Saying too many Manitobans are gathering and shopping for non-essential purposes, chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced a tightening of restrictions effective Friday, in order to protect people from COVID-19.
Saying too many Manitobans are gathering and shopping for non-essential purposes, chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced a tightening of restrictions effective Friday, in order to protect people from COVID-19.
A CBC News crew was deported from Uganda this weekend despite following protocols laid out for foreign journalists entering the country.The deportation, which occurred on Friday, happened about a month before the country's elections. Opposition parties and election observers have expressed concerns the vote won't be free or fair.Uganda is due to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on Jan. 14. Incumbent President Yoweri Museveni is seeking to extend his 34 year-rule — but has been accused of muzzling the media and has clamped down on political opponents."The expulsion of a foreign news crew in the early days of an election campaign that's already been marred by government security forces opening fire on opposition protests is extremely ominous," said CBC News foreign correspondent Margaret Evans, who was one of three CBC News journalists deported.Evans, producer Lily Martin and videographer Jean-François Bisson landed in the country on Nov. 21 to do a series of reports from both rural and urban areas, mainly focusing on issues relating to the coronavirus pandemic."Before entering the country, we applied for — and were issued with — accreditation from the Media Council of Uganda," Evans said, noting they also sought advice from the Ugandan High Commission in London on proper visa requirements prior to the trip."They advised that we enter Uganda on an 'ordinary,' or tourist, visa. This is a long-established practice for foreign journalists."Evans said five government agents arrived at their hotel in Kampala on Thursday."They said we were breaking the law by having arrived in the country on a tourist visa and then performing 'business activities,'" Evans said. "We, of course, said that made no sense given that we had openly applied for media credentials."Hotel security intervened after the CBC News crew refused to go to an undisclosed address with the five officials, who also wanted to confiscate their passports. Evans said she then went to her room to call and ask CBC's London bureau manager to contact the Canadian High Commission in Nairobi — which is also responsible for Uganda."We agreed with the man who had identified himself as being with the police that we would present ourselves at the Ministry of the Interior the next day," Evans said.The CBC News crew arrived at the ministry at 9 a.m. local time on Friday, along with Canada's honorary vice-consul in Uganda. Evans said they were held for several hours before being told they were being deported. They were then allowed to return to their hotel under armed guard to pack before being driven to the airport in Entebbe for an overnight flight to Amsterdam, she said."The vice-consul engaged on our behalf, but it was pretty clear it had been decided the day before when they sent five people to our hotel," Evans said.A spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada told CBC News on Sunday that they are aware of the situation. "Consular officials were in contact with local authorities in Uganda to gather information, and Canadian officials provided consular services to the affected individuals," spokesperson Angela Savard wrote in an email, adding that no further information could be disclosed due to Privacy Act provisions."Canada will continue to advocate for the protection of media freedom around the world."A spokesperson from the Ugandan government communications department said on Twitter the government "reserves the right to admit foreign persons including journalists."The same spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo P'Odel, also sent a pair of statements to CBC News in response."Every visa, work permit and media accreditation have terms and conditions, which can be revoked by the Uganda authority if violation occurs," he said in the first statement.In a follow-up statement, P'Odel said the journalists "applied for a tourist visa, instead they were found working without work permit. Consequent they [were] removed and advised to apply for permit and can be allowed to return."As stated by Evans, the trio had been advised to apply for tourist visas upon entering.Violent protests following arrest of opposition candidateIntimidation and violence against media is a regular occurrence in Uganda, according to Reporters Without Borders, a non-profit organization that advocates for freedom of information. In the organization's press freedom index for 2020, Uganda ranked 125th out of 180 countries.Evans said Museveni's government has been accused of suppressing Ugandan journalists "through a series of arbitrary arrests and attacks — especially against those covering the campaign of opposition candidate Bobi Wine, who has himself been jailed by the government on more than one occasion.""Those journalists don't have the support we in Canada are fortunate enough to have in circumstances like these," she said.Wine, a member of parliament and a musician who has emerged as a serious threat to a sixth term for Museveni, was released on bail on Nov. 20 after he was charged with holding rallies likely to spread COVID-19. New York-based Human Rights Watch said authorities were "weaponizing" COVID-19 to suppress the opposition ahead of elections."This is just the beginning of the campaign season," Oryem Nyeko, the group's Africa researcher, said on Nov. 20. "It seems to be a sign of things to come."Protests erupted in the wake of Wine's arrest, which, according to Reuters, led to at least 37 deaths. Violence snowballed as authorities deployed the military across Kampala and surrounding areas to help police forces disperse protesters they accuse of rioting and looting. Police said they used live bullets, tear gas and water cannon and arrested nearly 600 people.
OTTAWA — Kawartha Dairy Limited is recalling certain ice cream products in Ontario due to "possible presence of pieces of metal," Health Canada says. The Kawartha Dairy flavours affected by the recall are: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream in both 1.5 litre and 11.4 litre packages, and Mint Chip ice cream in 1.5 litre and 11.4 litre packages.Health Canada says consumers should not eat the four recalled products, and retailers, restaurants, and institutions should not sell or use them.Recalled ice cream should be thrown out or returned to the location where it was purchased.Health Canada says the recall was triggered by the company on Sunday, adding the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other items.There have been no reported injuries associated with eating the recalled flavours as of Sunday.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020.The Canadian Press
NEW YORK — The co-author of the million-selling “Game Change” has a book of his own coming about the 2020 election.Simon & Schuster announced Monday that John Heilemann is working on a “dramatic, first-hand account” of Joe Biden's victorious campaigns over his Democratic Party rivals in the primaries and over President Donald Trump in the general election. Heilemann had collaborated with Mark Halperin on “Game Change,” about the 2008 race, and on “Double Down,” about 2012.Halperin has since faced multiple allegations of sexual harassment. He was dropped by Showtime, where he and Heilemann hosted the political series “The Circus,” and a planned book by the two authors on the 2016 campaign was cancelled by Penguin Press.Heilemann's new book, currently untitled, draws on three decades of covering the former vice-president, who was Barack Obama's running mate in 2008 and 2012. The publication date is not yet scheduled.“I first met Joe Biden in 1986 when I was in college and he was getting ready to run for president the first time, and I’ve been following his ups and downs, his triumphs and tragedies, ever since,” Heilemann said in a statement. “The story of how, against all odds and against the apocalyptic backdrop of America in 2020, Biden rallied in the winter of his life to defeat Trump — and, in the eyes of many, to save the country — is one of the great political tales of this or any age, and I’m thrilled to have a chance to tell it.”Screen rights have been acquired by Showtime, where Heilemann still hosts "The Circus." The HBO adaptation of "Game Change" won five Emmys and three Golden Globe awards.Heilemann is national affairs analyst for NBC News and MSNBC and co-founder of the political video platform The Recount. He is also the author of “Pride Before the Fall: The Trials of Bill Gates and the End of the Microsoft Era,” which came out in 2001.His current project adds to the list of books expected on the 2020 race, which includes works by Maggie Haberman of The New York Times and by Ryan Lizza of Politico and co-writer Olivia Nuzzi of New York magazine.Hillel Italie, The Associated Press
A new council was sworn in in La Ronge with three councillors returning to the table and three new councillors joining them for the 2020-24 council term. Jordan McPhail and Hugh Watt have been re-elected, with Joe Hordyski returning to council following a mayoral loss in 2016, and Abby Besharah, Viviana Ruiz and Ryan Veteri joining them as new councillors as well as new mayor Colin Ratushniak. This will be McPhail’s second term on council after first being elected in 2016 and his first as the deputy mayor. The deputy mayor is chosen by the council, and McPhail said he was honoured that his fellow councillors were chosen. There is a learning curve when you join municipal politics, he said, so now that he understands how the council works and operates, he has hit his stride. McPhail was first encouraged to run by community members who thought we would be a good person for the job. Being solutions based and community-focused with a focus on grassroots activism, McPhail’s interest in politics was already there, so he decided to take their advice, and that of his family and friends, and dive into municipal politics. The 2016 term was a “trial by fire,” he said, since everyone was new to the table except for the former mayor Ron Woytowich. Joining him at the table this term are a diverse group of people who want to bring a new perspective and a focused plan for La Ronge’s future to the council. “We have a very good, strong group of people that have very thoughtful discussions that are mainly focused on the policy and the strategic direction of our community. I'm very optimistic for the next four years.” Veteri has been a long time volunteer in the community, he said, so getting this seat on council has been very exciting. Living in La Ronge since he was a teenager, Veteri said he has seen La Ronge at its worst years and wanted to contribute to making the community better. As an advocate for the homeless, Veteri said he wants more programs like scatter sites and food banks. The council needs to start taking better care of those in need in their community, he said, and a community project that would see tiny homes built for housing would be something that Veteri would like to work towards. “We could reach out to the provincial and federal government and press them for funding for such a project to happen.” Veteri is honoured to have the support of the people of La Ronge. He will work hard for his community, he said, and he will be readily available to address people’s concerns either through Facebook, email or phone. Besharah has lived in La Ronge since 2013 and has worked as an urban and regional planner for the last seven years, she said. Being elected to council and becoming part of the decision-making process will be a welcome change, however, she has always pushed for positive change within the government. With her background in government bureaucracy, Besharah saidshe hopes to help inform fellow council members about government policy so they can make informed decisions. Besharah was interested in how diverse this coming council team was in terms of diverse voices at the table. The last council was “pretty homogeneous,” she said, with men in similar fields making up the council. With the new council having a more diverse look to it, Besharah is expecting some lively debates about what is best for the town coming their way, she said. As an advocate for public spaces, Besharah said there is plenty the town can do to improve spaces for people to increase physical activity among the residents and beautify spaces to attract more tourism. Looking forward to the next term, Besharah said that more needs to be done to deepen communication between the town and its residents.Becky Zimmer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
Moderna Inc. said it would ask U.S. and European regulators Monday to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine as new study results confirm the shots offer strong protection — ramping up the race to begin limited vaccinations as the coronavirus rampage worsens.Multiple vaccine candidates must succeed for the world to stamp out the pandemic, which has been on the upswing in the U.S. and Europe. U.S. hospitals have been stretched to the limit as the nation has seen more than 160,000 new cases per day and more than 1,400 daily deaths. Since first emerging nearly a year ago in China, the virus has killed more than 1.4 million people worldwide.Moderna is one of several companies to have already submitted partial data to a "rolling review" process offered by Health Canada. Rather than presenting regulators with a complete package of trial results, the would-be vaccine-makers file data and findings as they become available. Canada has been looking at Moderna's first results since mid-October.Canada has a different approval process than the United States and European countries, meaning that Moderna and Pfizer do not have to apply or reapply at each step. Instead, they have to submit their newest data and findings.Moderna created its shots with the U.S. National Institutes of Health and already had a hint they were working, but said it got the final needed results over the weekend that suggest the vaccine is more than 94% effective.Of 196 COVID-19 cases so far in its huge U.S. study, 185 were trial participants who received the placebo and 11 who got the real vaccine. The only people who got severely ill — 30 participants, including one who died — had received dummy shots, said Dr. Tal Zaks, the Cambridge, Massachusetts, company's chief medical officer.When he learned the results, “I allowed myself to cry for the first time,” Zaks told The Associated Press. “We have already, just in the trial, have already saved lives. Just imagine the impact then multiplied to the people who can get this vaccine.”Moderna said the shots’ effectiveness and a good safety record so far — with only temporary, flu-like side effects — mean they meet requirements set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use before the final-stage testing is complete. The European Medicines Agency, Europe’s version of FDA, has signalled it also is open to faster, emergency clearance.WHAT COMES NEXTThe FDA has pledged that before it decides to roll out any COVID-19 vaccines, its scientific advisers will publicly debate whether there’s enough evidence behind each candidate.First up on Dec. 10, Pfizer and BioNTech will present data suggesting their vaccine candidate is 95% effective. Moderna said its turn at this “science court” is expected exactly a week later, on Dec. 17.RATIONING INITIAL DOSESIf the FDA allows emergency use, Moderna expects to have 20 million doses ready for the U.S. by year’s end. Recipients will need two doses, so that’s enough for 10 million people.Pfizer expects to have 50 million doses globally in December. Half of them — or enough for 12.5 million people — are earmarked for the U.S.This week, a different panel of U.S. experts, established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will meet to decide how initial supplies will be given out. They're expected to reserve scarce first doses for health care workers and, if the shots work well enough in the frail elderly, for residents of long-term care facilities. As more vaccine gradually becomes available in coming months, other essential workers and people at highest risk from the coronavirus would get in line. But enough for the general population isn't expected until at least spring.Outside the U.S., Zaks said significant supplies from Moderna would be available later, “in the first quarter” of next year.“Obviously we are doing everything in our power to increase the capacity and accelerate the timelines,” he said.Both Moderna's and Pfizer's vaccines are made with the same technology, using a piece of genetic code for the “spike” protein that studs the virus. That messenger RNA, or mRNA, instructs the body to make some harmless spike protein, training immune cells to recognize it if the real virus eventually comes along.ASTRAZENECA CONFUSIONAstraZeneca last week announced confusing early results of its vaccine candidate from research in Britain and BrazilThat vaccine appears 62% effective when tested as originally intended, with recipients given two full doses. But because of a manufacturing error, a small number of volunteers got a lower first dose — and AstraZeneca said in that group, the vaccine appeared to be 90% effective.Experts say it’s unclear why the lower-dose approach would work better and that it may just be a statistical quirk.A larger U.S. study of the AstraZeneca candidate still is underway that should eventually give the FDA a better picture of how well it works. The FDA has said any COVID-19 vaccine would have to be at least 50% effective.Meanwhile Britain’s government will have to decide whether its U.K. data is sufficient for an early rollout there.STILL IN THE PIPELINEJohnson & Johnson also is in final-stage testing in the U.S. and several other countries to see if its vaccine candidate could work with just one dose.Both the J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines work by using harmless cold viruses to carry the spike protein gene into the body and prime the immune system.The different technologies have ramifications for how easily different vaccines could be distributed globally. The AstraZeneca shots won't require freezer storage like the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.Candidates made with still other technologies are in late-stage testing, too. Another U.S. company, Novavax Inc., announced Monday that it has finished enrolling 15,000 people in a late-stage study in Britain and plans to begin recruiting even more volunteers for final testing in the U.S. and Mexico “in the coming weeks.”Vaccines made by three Chinese companies and a Russian candidate also are being tested in thousands of people in countries around the world.____The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.Lauran Neergaard, The Associated Press
Peel Regional Police are forecasting a $16.7 million increase in spending for 2021, the bulk of which will service a spike in salaries and benefits, and the addition of 27 officers. The budget, presented at a police board meeting Friday, calls for $462.5 million in total spending in 2021, a 3.8 per cent increase or a $316 per capita bump in the annual tax levy. The spending increase comes at a time when police services across Canada and south of the border have seen outcry over police violence and systemic anti-Black racism lead to calls to defund police in favour of non-police alternatives and community programs. Peel police will spend $5.2 million on hiring the 27 new officers, while other salary and benefits costs will eat up another $11.4 million of the increase. After it was endorsed by the board Friday, the budget will now go to Peel Regional Council for final review and approval in early 2021. Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, who is on the seven-member Peel Police Services Board, lauded police Chief Nishan Duraiappah for seeking to reallocate millions of dollars toward areas of public concern. “Thank you for putting emphasis on areas that are a concern to the community, whether it’s street racing, mental health, whether it’s human trafficking,” Brown said. The service says it saw more than $2 million in unforeseen costs this year as a result of the pandemic. It will draw on reserve funds to cover any COVID-related shortfalls. Looking ahead, Peel police is also calling for $597 million in capital upgrades –– to be funded from capital reserve funds –– it says will be needed over the next decade. It includes an anticipated $307 million for land and new facilities, $153 million for information and technology advancements, and $76 million for vehicles. At the board meeting Friday, Duraiappah also discussed a summary of the year’s crime trends: Gun crime and homicides trending down Peel is seeing a decline in gang and gun activity so far this year, and is also tracking a decrease in homicides, Duraiappah told the police board Friday. Nevertheless, he dubbed the service’s Project Siphon, which ended with more than 800 charges against 88 people earlier this month, the “largest in the service’s history.” The arrests led to what police say is the dismantling of a prominent Peel-area gang, the seizure of dozens of guns and arrests over three homicides and one attempted murder. So far this year, Peel police have seized 363 firearms, Duraiappah said, noting that “91 per cent of the handguns seized that are traceable came from the United States,” up from the 74 per cent in 2019. “We do have a plan to bolster our gang response,” Duraiappah said. “We know a dedicated gang team is one we need for the new year.” But intimate partner violence is still common So far this year, police have responded to 90 shootings and 14 homicides, five of which were linked to intimate partner violence. That continues a trend that also saw more than a third of the region’s 34 homicides last year linked to intimate partner-related disputes. “It’s still the top three calls that we have each day,” the chief said. “We need to turn the dial on this,” he said, adding that it’s a priority to lower the number of repeat offenders. This year, the service is averaging about 50 calls a day for intimate partner disputes and in response, Duraiappah said the service has created a dedicated intimate partner and family unit with 48 officers who will soon start working out of a hub dedicated to those calls. Rethinking mental health crisis calls Peel’s three dedicated Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Teams responded to 1,700 calls between their introduction in January and October, with only 22 per cent of those calls ending in someone being apprehended, a report to the board said. But police field about 16 daily calls for mental health distress, and the bulk of those calls still land in police hands, Duraiappah said. “We know it’s understaffed,” he said, adding that the rapid response teams can’t respond to that volume of demand — “they do about a third of them, so two-thirds are still being done by uniformed officers.” “Our goal is to have eight on the rapid response team,” he added. Under existing provincial law, only police have the power to apprehend a person experiencing a mental health crisis and take them for treatment. A near-record year for traffic deaths So far this year, Peel has seen a significant increase in vehicle-related deaths, at 38, up from 23 all of last year. Since 2010, only two full years have recorded more motor vehicle-related fatalities: 41 in 2018 and 40 in 2016. “We’re sadly at one of the highest levels of fatal motor vehicle collisions this region has ever seen,” the chief said. The chief also mentioned a troubling bump in stunt driving charges. Police laid 719 charges for stunt driving, to date, up from 332 over the same time frame in 2019.Jason Miller, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Toronto Star
Homicide investigators have identified the man who was shot and killed in front of a busy mall in the Fleetwood area of Surrey, B.C., on Sunday evening.The RCMP's Integrated Homicide Investigation team said Riyad Rasheed, 29, was shot in front of the Evergreen Mall at the corner of 152 Street and Fraser Highway just after 7:40 p.m. PT. He died of his injuries on scene.The mall was open at the time of the shooting, with shoppers having dinner or running errands when shots were fired. The bullets left holes in the front windows of a Shoppers Drug Mart, which was open at the time."Part of what makes this crime egregious ... this was a risk to the public as it unfolded," said Surrey RCMP Cpl. Elenore Sturko said during a news conference Monday."To have a shooting like this take place in such a public place at a time where there were individuals in the area shopping, going about their day, is very disturbing," Sturko continued. "Not only did a person lose their life last night, but it also damaged people's feeling of safety and security in their neighbourhood."RCMP said one of Rasheed's family members was with him when he was shot.IHIT Sgt. Frank Jang said Rasheed was known to police. His death is believed to be targeted and "linked to the ongoing Lower Mainland gang conflict," Jang said.Officials believe there was more than one suspect involved.Around 9 p.m., a vehicle was found burning near Cambie Road and No. 7 Road. Jang said the car, a dark-coloured sedan, is considered to be the vehicle the suspects used to escape after the shooting.Anyone who saw the shooting or who has relevant video or dashcam footage is asked to call the IHIT information line at 1-877-551-4448 or, if they wish to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
The first two vaccines against the novel coronavirus could be available to Americans before Christmas, Health Secretary Alex Azar said on Monday, after Moderna Inc became the second vaccine maker likely to receive U.S. emergency authorization. The Food and Drug Administration's outside advisers will meet on Dec. 10 to consider authorizing Pfizer Inc's COVID-19 vaccine. "So we could be seeing both of these vaccines out and getting into people's arms before Christmas," Azar said on CBS' "This Morning."
LONDON — Britain’s culture minister thinks the Netflix TV series “The Crown” should come with a disclaimer: It’s a work of fiction.Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden weighed in amid criticism of the historical liberties taken by the drama about the British royal family.“It’s a beautifully produced work of fiction. So as with other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that,” Dowden told the Mail on Sunday newspaper. “Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact.”Dowden is expected to write to Netflix this week to express his view. Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.Questions of historical fidelity were not a major issue during earlier seasons of the show, which debuted in 2016 and traces the long reign of Queen Elizabeth II, which began in 1952.But the current fourth season is set in the 1980s, a divisive decade that many Britons remember vividly. Characters include Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, whose 11-year tenure transformed and divided Britain, and the late Princess Diana, whose death in a car crash in 1997 traumatized the nation.Former royal press secretary Dickie Arbiter has called the series a “hatchet job” on Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, and his first wife Diana. The troubled relationship of the couple, played by Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin, is a major storyline in the series.Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, has also said the show should carry a notice that “this isn’t true but it is based around some real events.”“I worry people do think that this is gospel and that’s unfair,” he told broadcaster ITV.Some Conservatives have criticized the program’s depiction of Thatcher, played by Gillian Anderson. Britain’s first female prime minister, who died in 2013, is portrayed as clashing with Olivia Colman’s Elizabeth to an extent that some say is exaggerated.“The Crown” creator Peter Morgan, whose work also includes recent-history dramas “The Queen” and “Frost/Nixon,” has defended his work, saying it is thoroughly researched and true in spirit.In a 2017 discussion of “The Crown,” Morgan said “you sometimes have to forsake accuracy, but you must never forsake truth.”Steven Fielding, a professor of political history at the University of Nottingham, said the suggestion that “The Crown” carry a disclaimer was “reasonable and yet pointless.”“It invariably doesn’t have an effect,” he said. “There are studies that show that people believe fiction when it’s presented as fact — even if you tell them it’s not fact.”Fielding said it was no surprise that Charles and his allies were annoyed with the heir to the throne’s depiction as “a bit of an idiot.” But he said making a fuss about it only amplifies the attention.Historians are used to railing at inaccuracies in dramas such as the Academy Award-winning “Darkest Hour,” which included an invented scene of Winston Churchill meeting ordinary Londoners on an Underground Tube train during World War II.“Mixing historical fact and fiction has been around since Shakespeare. This is not new to films, it’s not new to TV,” said Fielding, co-author of “The Churchill Myths,” which examines Britain’s wartime leader in popular culture.“I don’t recall the culture secretary complaining about the ridiculous presentation of Winston Churchill in ’Darkest Hour,” he said. “Because it went with the myth, with the idea of Churchill the hero, nobody complained."“Nobody’s bothered if fact and fiction are all mangled up, so long as it’s saying nice things,” he added.Jill Lawless, The Associated Press
LONDON — Dave Prowse, the British weightlifter-turned-actor who was the body, though not the voice, of arch-villain Darth Vader in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, has died. He was 85.Prowse died Saturday after a short illness, his agent Thomas Bowington said Sunday.Born in Bristol, southwest England, in 1935, Prowse was a three-time British weightlifting champion and represented England in weightlifting at the 1962 Commonwealth Games before breaking into movies with roles that emphasized his commanding size, including Frankenstein’s monster in a pair of Hammer Studios horror films.Director George Lucas saw Prowse in a small part in “A Clockwork Orange” and asked the 6-foot-6-inch (almost 2-meter) actor to audition for the villainous Vader or the Wookie Chewbacca in “Star Wars.”Prowse later told the BBC he chose Darth Vader because “you always remember the bad guys.”Physically, Prowse was perfect for the part. Yet his lilting English West Country accent was considered less than ideal and his lines were dubbed by James Earl Jones.Prowse donned Darth Vader's black armour and helmet for “Star Wars” (1977), “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980) and “Return of the Jedi" (1983).He expressed some regret that, thanks to Vader's mask, “I can walk around with complete anonymity."“All actors crave recognition and I’d like to have some like Luke Skywalker and Han Solo,” he told The Associated Press in 1980. “Fortune tends to follow fame.”Lucas said Prowse “brought a physicality to Darth Vader that was essential for the character.”“He made Vader leap off the page and on to the big screen, with an imposing stature and movement performance to match the intensity and undercurrent of Vader’s presence," the director said in a statement on the official “Star Wars” website.“David was up for anything and contributed to the success of what would become a memorable, tragic figure. May he rest in peace.”Prowse also worked as a trainer for other actors, helping Christopher Reeve prepare to be the Man of Steel in hit 1978 film “Superman.”Prowse was also known to a generation of British children as the Green Cross Code Man, a superhero in road safety advertisements during the 1970s and '80s.Prowse suffered from arthritis for many years and campaigned to raise money for research into disease. In 1999 he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to charity and road safety.He was a regular at “Star Wars” fan events but was banned from official conventions by Lucas in 2010 after the pair fell out.Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the “Star Wars” films, tweeted that Prowse was “a kind man & much more than Darth Vader.” Hamill said the actor "loved his fans as much as they loved him. RIP.”“Shaun of the Dead” director-writer Edgar Wright also paid tribute to Prowse on Twitter.“As a kid, Dave Prowse couldn’t be more famous to me; stalking along corridors as evil incarnate in the part of Darth Vader & stopping a whole generation of kiddies from being mown down in street as the Green Cross Code man,” he wrote. “Rest in Peace, Bristol’s finest.”Prowse is survived by his wife Norma and their three children.Jill Lawless, The Associated Press
BRUSSELS — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday that the military alliance is grappling with a dilemma over its future in Afghanistan, as the United States starts pulling troops out while attacks by the Taliban and extremist groups mount.More than 17 years after taking the lead on international security efforts in Afghanistan, NATO now has around 11,000 troops from dozens of nations there helping to train and advise the national security forces. Most of the personnel are from Europe and other NATO partner countries.But the alliance relies heavily on the United States armed forces for air support, transport and logistics. European allies would struggle even to leave the country without U.S. help, and President Donald Trump’s decision to pull almost half the U.S. troops out by mid-January leaves NATO in a bind.“We face a difficult dilemma. Whether to leave, and risk that Afghanistan becomes once again a safe haven for international terrorists. Or stay, and risk a longer mission, with renewed violence,” Stoltenberg told reporters on the eve of a videoconference between NATO foreign ministers.Under a peace deal between the United States and the Taliban — without the involvement of other NATO allies or the Afghan government - all foreign troops should leave Afghanistan by May 1 if security conditions on the ground permit.“Whatever path we choose, it is important that we do so together, in a co-ordinated and deliberate way,” Stoltenberg said, on the eve of a videoconference between NATO foreign ministers where the organization’s most ambitious operation ever will be high on the agenda.Trump’s unilateral decision to leave only 2,500 U.S. troops with the mission had allied military planners scrambling, as they tried to work out whether NATO could continue to operate in Kabul, and other major cities. NATO diplomats say that for now they have enough “enablers” to get the job done.Afghan officials also fear that a rapid reduction in American troops could strengthen the Taliban’s negotiating position.NATO defence ministers are likely to make a final decision about the future of the Resolute Support Mission in February, after President-elect Joe Biden takes office. European diplomats expect the tone to change under Biden, but probably not the U.S. intention to leave Afghanistan as soon as possible.The uncertainty comes amid a sharp rise in violence this year and a surge of attacks by the Taliban against the beleaguered Afghan security forces since the start of peace talks in September. Islamic State militants have also struck this month, notably in a horrific attack on Kabul University that killed 22 people, most of them students.“We have seen over the last months and weeks several attacks,” Stoltenberg said. “Some are conducted by Taliban, some attacks ISIS claimed responsibility for. But what we know is that the Taliban is responsible for attacks and the level of violence is far too high.”Even U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison said: “We do not think the Taliban is keeping its word under the agreement. The violence is too high, and the Afghan people and the Afghan soldiers have paid a heavy price.”But despite the surge in violence, and deep uncertainty cause by the U.S. drawdown, the peace agreement appears to be an opportunity too good for NATO to miss.“We now see an historic opportunity for peace. It is fragile, but it must be seized,” Stoltenberg said. “We see an unpredictable and difficult military and political situation. But at least there are now talks.”Lorne Cook, The Associated Press
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Eight inmates were killed and 59 others were injured when guards opened fire to control a riot at a prison on the outskirts of Sri Lanka's capital, officials said Monday. Two guards were critically injured, they said. Pandemic-related unrest has been growing in Sri Lanka’s overcrowded prisons. Inmates have staged protests in recent weeks at several prisons as the number of coronavirus cases surges in the facilities. Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said inmates created “unrest” Sunday at Mahara prison, about 15 kilometres (10 miles) north of Colombo, and officials attempted to control the situation. But “the unrest situation turned into a prison riot,” he said, adding that prisoners tried to take control of the prison and hundreds attempted to escape. The inmates “reportedly destroyed most of the property including offices inside the prison,” Rohana said. The guards opened fire, and the clash left eight inmates dead and 59 injured, he said. Two prison officers were critically injured. He said hundreds of additional police were deployed to help the guards and strengthen security around the prison. An inmate was killed in similar unrest at another prison last week. Another died in March. More than a thousand inmates in five prisons have tested positive for the coronavirus and at least two have died. About 50 prison guards have also tested positive. Senaka Perera, a lawyer with the Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners, said the inmates at Mahara prison had been frustrated because their pleas for coronavirus testing and separation of infected prisoners had been ignored by officials for more than a month. On Monday, about 500 relatives of inmates gathered in front of the prison and urged the authorities to provide information about the prisoners and ensure their safety. Sujeewa Silva said her son has been detained at the facility for seven months after being arrested on drug charges. “I want to know whether he is safe. I asked the officers, please tell me the condition of my son," she said. Sri Lankan prisons are highly congested with more than 26,000 inmates crowded into facilities with a capacity of 10,000. Sri Lanka has experienced an upsurge in the coronavirus since last month when two clusters — one centred at a garment factory and other at a fish market — emerged in Colombo and its suburbs. Confirmed cases from the two clusters have reached 19,449. Sri Lanka has reported a total number of 22,988 coronavirus cases, including 109 fatalities. Bharatha Mallawarachi, The Associated Press
The 100th birthday bash celebrating the Centennial of the Town of Temiscaming is shaping up for a good time in 2021. Two-time JUNO award-winning Glorious Sons has been booked to headline the “mega reunion weekend” show Sept. 4, 2021. The news was announced Thursday. The highly energetic Canadian rockers hail from Kingston, Ontario, and have more than 200 million global streams to their credit. They have toured the world, selling out arenas on their own and sharing the stage with rock legends such as The Rolling Stones, The Struts, Greta Van fleet, and Twenty-One Pilots. With 12 top-10 radio singles including the hits S.O.S. (Sawed Off Shotgun), Everything Is Alright, Panic Attack and Kingdom in My Heart. Tickets will be sold exclusively at The Center in Temiscaming until Dec. 4 and then online 100e.temiscaming.net from 10 am on Dec. 4. Bleacher tickets $35, General Admission $45. Dave Dale is a Local Journalism Reporter with BayToday.ca. LJI is funded by the Government of Canada. NoneDave Dale, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca
BRUSSELS — With nothing on their agendas for months to come, music festival organizers in Belgium want to use their know-how to help the country's coronavirus vaccination campaign.The Belgian government has set a goal of vaccinating about 70% of the country's population, about 8 million people, when approved COVID-19 vaccination shots become available.As the vaccines are expected to arrive in multi-dose vials for shots to be administered all on the same day, Belgium health authorities are planning to vaccinate people in groups as much as possible. The task will pose many logistical challenges, including the creation of vaccination centres that festival organizers say they can help set up.Enjoying a strong reputation in the music world, Belgian festival experts have proven experience in both building huge pop-up structures and in crowd management.With the music industry hit hard by the pandemic's economic, several festivals in the French-speaking region of Wallonia and the Brussels area have created a federation to better defend their interests. They have a large network of technicians who are currently unemployed and are ready to help out.“Our sector has been at a standstill for many months, and our many staff are eager to bring their creativity and dedication to the fight against coronavirus," said federation president Damien Dufrasne.One of the hardest-hit countries in Europe, Belgium has reported some 577,000 confirmed cases and more than 16,500 deaths linked to the virus.Last week, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said COVID-19 vaccinations could start in the European Union's 27 nations before the end of December. The commission, the EU’s executive arm, has agreements with six potential vaccine suppliers and is working on a seventh contract. The deals allow it to purchase over 1.2 billion doses, more than double the population of the EU.___Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreakThe Associated Press
Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Monday demanded answers on the exact delivery date and quantities of COVID-19 vaccines for the province - when such information is available - from the Canadian federal government and from pharmaceutical companies. The premier called it “unacceptable” that hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent on vaccine efforts and no delivery date for them is yet to be provided.
Le Centre d’entrepreneuriat et d’essaimage de l’Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (CEE-UQAC) bénéficie d’une aide financière de 795 000 $ provenant de Développement économique Canada (DEC). Élizabeth Brière, députée de Sherbrooke et secrétaire parlementaire de la ministre du Développement économique, Mélany Joly, en a fait l’annonce, vendredi, lors d’une visioconférence en compagnie de Gilles Déry, président du CEE-UQAC, et de Louis Dussault, directeur général. L’entente, d’une durée de trois ans, permettra à l’organisation de poursuivre ses activités de sensibilisation et de promotion de l’entrepreneuriat auprès des étudiants collégiaux et universitaires du Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean. Ce montant permettra de stimuler l’esprit entrepreneurial, le transfert technologique et de connaissances ainsi que le développement de projets innovateurs au sein des petites entreprises régionales. La rectrice de l’UQAC, Nicole Bouchard, a souligné l’apport de l’organisation en ce qui a trait à la vitalité entrepreneuriale dans la région. « Les réalisations de Louis Dussault et de son équipe rejaillissent sur l’ensemble de la région. En donnant le coup de pouce nécessaire à la concrétisation d’idées toutes plus intéressantes les unes que les autres, le CEE-UQAC donne des ailes aux nouvelles générations d’entrepreneurs qui contribuent à façonner le visage économique de notre région. » Elle a, entre autres, mentionné des ouvertures nouvelles pour des étudiants faisant des études dans le secteur bioalimentaire, en produits naturels. Selon elle, l’UQAC a toujours renouvelé les ententes de partenariat avec le CEE-UQAC parce que l’organisme livre la marchandise. Pour sa part, Gilles Déry a choisi d’emprunter les paroles d’Antoine Riboud, fondateur et président de Danone, pour la philosophie des interventions du CEE-UQAC : « L’innovation est une alliance entre recherche, marketing, instinct, imagination, produit et courage industriel. Voilà ce qui illustre bien ce que nous valorisons au quotidien. » Fondé en janvier 1998, le CEE-UQAC a pour mission de promouvoir l’entrepreneuriat et de soutenir la création d’entreprises auprès des communautés universitaire et collégiale du Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean. Après 23 ans d’existence, le bilan du CEE-UQAC comprend 440 projets technologiques avec 160 PME, ce qui a permis l’embauche, par les entreprises d’accueil, de 179 candidats stagiaires. Il inclut la création de quatre centres de transfert technologique, le Centre de développement technologique en jeux vidéo et en informatique (CDT), le Centre de soudage par friction-malaxage (CSFM), le Centre de transfert en extrusion (CTE) et le Centre de transformation et de valorisation de bioproduits (CTVB), qui constituent des investissements de plus de 25 000 000 $. Des startups comme la Clinique Courte Échelle, LUM Design, Jack & Phil Musique, Distillerie du Fjord, PhytoChemia, Emploi Retraite, Clinique podiatrique Justine Leduc, Moulin à Cie, Miel des montagnes, Clinique santé du Saguenay, Savana Centre d’amusement, Bois Spécialité, Mobile Expert, Imago Structures, Productions Zan, Clinique d’ergothérapie Les mains ludiques et Morille Québec figurent dans la liste.Denis Villeneuve, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
Members of the Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation are electing a chief and council today.The first thing voters will encounter at the polling centres will be COVID-19 stations meant to prevent the spread of the virus, said Chief Electoral Officer Raelina Jobin.She said that includes a package with latex gloves, a disposable mask and a pencil to mark their ballot. Hand sanitizers will be available, said Jobin, and voters will put their names down on a list in case contact tracing is needed later.The voting process is set up to encourage physical distancing and voters will leave by a different door, she said.There are polling stations at the Heritage Hall in Carmacks, Jobin said, and in the Fireside Room at the Yukon Inn in Whitehorse.She said citizens can also arrange to cast a special ballot at a different location such as their home if they choose. CandidatesThe polling stations are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.There are two people, Edward Skookum and Nicole Tom, running for chief.Two people, Shirley Bellmore and Willian Van Fleet are running for elder councillor.Terry Billy, Chantelle Blackjack, Toni Blanchard and Joseph O'Brien are running for one of the two Crow clan councillors.Six people, Veronica Burgess, Cody Cashin, Calvin Charlie, Bill Johnnie Jr., Jo-lene Mullett and Tanya Silverfox are in the race for one of the two Wolf clan councillors.
A Penetanguishene councillor wants staff to draw out a timeline to be included in the new graffiti removal policy. "I congratulate Andrea (Betty) for the report on the graffiti policy," Coun. Brian Cummings said at a recent meeting. "But the problem I still have is that our Municipal Law Enforcement (MLE) policy and procedure manual has no timelines in it. We can do whatever we want to make these bylaws, but we have no timelines involved in correcting the graffiti or any of our bylaws. "I did ask for a timeline to remove graffiti, because it's very important that it gets removed immediately so it doesn't encourage more graffiti in town," he added. Betty, director of planning and community development, said the policy for the bylaw enforcement department does not have timelines, however, the property standards bylaw has some strict standards and rules. "There are some timelines for the removal of graffiti once the notice has been given from the town," she said, not specifying what the timelines were, and later admitting it requires clarity. "Each occurrence and complaint can vary and rely on outside sources." Having said that, Betty added that staff could take a look at that policy procedure on that bylaw, since it's about eight years old and worth a review. "We should have some sort of timeline on this," said Cummings. "I agree with the procedure, but there should be a timeline to the procedure." A quick look at the MLE policy and procedures document available online shows there are no timelines around notices of contravention issued under bylaw. CAO Jeff Lees said it would be useful to refer the item for review.Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com
Edward Blake Rudkowski was a member of Nunatsiavut, and before that the Labrador Inuit Association, for 34 years. He ran successfully to represent Labrador Inuit living outside the land claim as an ordinary member in 2017, was re-elected in 2018 and was named the Speaker of the Nunatsiavut Assembly, the legislative branch of the Inuit government. That was, until Nov. 20, when Blake Rudkowski was told he was no longer a member of Nunatsiavut, his status as a beneficiary was revoked and he could no longer hold the political office he had been elected to. Blake Rudkowski told SaltWire Network he was told he didn’t meet the eligibility requirements and was just over 17 per cent Inuit. According to the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, there are a number of requirements that can lead to a person being a beneficiary, including that a person is one-quarter Inuit, is a descendant of someone who settled permanently in the land claim area prior to 1940 with no Inuit ancestry or is adopted by a beneficiary. “To be clear, they didn’t tell me I wasn’t Inuit,” he said. “They said I wasn’t Inuit enough.” He says he would like to know what formula they use to come up with that determination, and what factors were taken into account to determine it. He’d also like to know why that number matters more than what was determined when he was first accepted as a member of the Labrador Inuit Association 34 years ago. His status as a beneficiary of Nunatsiavut had been challenged two years ago and he’d been going through the process ever since. “Immediately after the election, literally the day after, there were two challenges to my membership eligibility,” he said. “I’d been dealing with this behind the scenes since then.” He said the two people who challenged his membership were political rivals — one a person he had beaten in an election and another a former politician — and the timing of it seemed curious to him. “It felt like membership was being used as a tool of political retribution,” he said. Having Nunatsiavut beneficiary status challenged is like coming in as a new applicant and is a daunting task that, successful or not, can take up a lot of time. In 2013 an amendment was made to the Nunatsiavut Beneficiaries Enrolment Act that allows any member to challenge the membership of another. Blake Rudkowski said this allows people to try to use membership as a tool to try to harm their enemies. “What this does is it allows someone who is a malcontent or has a beef with someone else a vehicle to exact some sort of retribution. At minimum, even if it's not successful, it can cause someone a significant amount of mental anguish.” What this has created, Blake Rudkowski said, is a climate where some people are afraid to speak up about issues they have with the government for fear they may have their rights as a beneficiary stripped away, or at the very least have it challenged. When he was in government, it appeared there were an increasing number of memberships being challenged, he said, to the point where people were asking whether a full review was underway. He said he also heard complaints that the process was inconsistent, which he believes to be the case. “You have a lot of cases where it’s one brother in, one sister out, one cousin in, one cousin out, so there’s an inconsistency across the board which speaks to the fact that maybe there’s a problem with the process. That’s been a long-standing critique of many beneficiaries, there’s an inconsistent application of the rules.” Blake Rudkowski said he doesn’t know what steps he’ll take next, and while it appears his career as a politician in Nunatsiavut has come to an end it won’t be the last time people see him the political arena. The Nunatsiavut Government put out a statement Monday about Blake Rudkowski’s removal, saying he was removed from the government once his eligibility as a beneficiary had been revoked. “First Minister Tyler Edmunds reminds beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement that the Nunatsiavut Government plays no role whatsoever in determining the membership of any individual,” the statement read. “The beneficiary enrolment process is independent from the Nunatsiavut Government.” SaltWire asked to speak to someone with the Nunatsiavut Government about the requirements and the process, but an interview was not available before deadline.Evan Careen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram
Les skieurs et planchistes se sont rués vers les abonnements de saison aux stations de ski Mont Sutton et Bromont, montagne d’expériences. Alors que la saison est encore loin de se dessiner, les abonnements tout temps, pour les deux destinations, se sont écoulés. À Bromont, il reste seulement quelques abonnements pour les soirées tandis qu’à Sutton les seuls abonnements encore disponibles sont les Passes 5 jours. Par prudence, ne sachant pas comment se déroulerait la saison avec la pandémie de COVID-19, les deux stations ont choisi de vendre une quantité limitée d’abonnements et elles ne rendront disponibles que quelques billets journaliers. «C’est une question de choix d’entreprise. Si on vend trop d’abonnements, ce n’est pas mieux, on va être obligé de rembourser les gens», souligne Charles Désourdy, président de BME, qui espère que les premières pistes soient ouvertes à la mi-décembre. L’entreprise a mis de 10 à 15 % moins d’abonnements en vente, mais se garde l’option d’en vendre davantage une fois la saison bien lancée, selon le déroulement des activités. «On avait un bon rythme de prévente par rapport à l’an passé, mais avec la distanciation et les restrictions aux remontées mécaniques qui limitent nos capacités, on doit mettre fin à la vente d’abonnements pour se garder un peu de marge de manœuvre pour la saison, confie Jean-Michel Ryan, PDG de Mont-Sutton. Il faut commencer la saison correctement. Ensuite, on verra.» «Un privilège d’avoir une saison» «C’est un phénomène qu’on retrouve dans la plupart des stations, note M. Ryan. On sent que les gens veulent être dehors, qu’ils veulent skier et profiter de l’hiver. C’est un privilège cette année de pouvoir avoir une saison, alors il faut en profiter.» Il n’y aura donc pas d’excès de prudence cette année pour éviter tout risque de fermeture en raison de la pandémie de coronavirus. Les usagers seront mis à contribution pour que la saison se déroule rondement. «On parle de responsabilité conjointe. Il faut tout faire pour avoir une belle saison tout le monde ensemble», ajoute le PDG de Mont Sutton. Au jour le jour Le nombre de billets journaliers dépendra de l’achalandage à la station. Il se pourrait qu’il n’y en ait pas du tout à Bromont au début de la saison. Chose certaine, il faudra l’acheter en ligne en choisissant la date de visite. Pour rendre l’expérience plus agréable et peut-être accueillir plus de détenteurs de billets journaliers, les deux stations ouvriront le plus de versants possible au début de la saison, même si ce ne sont que quelques pistes qui seront skiables. Ainsi, les usagers seront dispersés dans les différentes remontées mécaniques. En temps normal, un versant ouvre lorsqu’un nombre précis de pistes sont prêtes. Manger dehors En plus de limiter les remontées mécaniques à une bulle familiale ou une personne par chaise, les stations doivent prévoir une capacité d’accueil de 50 % dans les chalets. Ceux-ci seront uniquement utilisés pour se réchauffer. Il ne sera pas permis d’y manger ni d’y laisser des effets personnels. Les bottes devront être chaussées à la voiture. Les skieurs et planchistes pourront tout de même se sustenter... en restant dehors. À Bromont, des camions de rues seront disposés sur le site pour offrir nourriture et boissons chaudes. À Sutton, un service de restauration extérieure se prépare. Cynthia Laflamme, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix de l'Est