"Let Russ Cook" seems like it was last season at this point for Seahawks fans. Dalton Del Don and Matt Harmon hand out their picks at quarterback this weekend ahead of championship weekend.
"Let Russ Cook" seems like it was last season at this point for Seahawks fans. Dalton Del Don and Matt Harmon hand out their picks at quarterback this weekend ahead of championship weekend.
From a global perspective, there was nothing unique about the recent raid on the U.S. Capitol. Both Republican and Democratic administrations have backed military coups around the world for decades.
BERLIN — Germany is seeing a promising decline in new coronavirus infections, but must take "very seriously” the risk posed by a more contagious variant and will have to be cautious whenever it starts easing its lockdown, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday. Merkel and Germany’s 16 state governors on Tuesday decided to extend the country’s lockdown by two weeks until Feb. 14 and tighten some measures, for example requiring surgical masks — rather than just fabric face coverings — in shops and on public transportation. On Thursday, Germany’s disease control centre said that 20,398 new cases were reported over the past 24 hours, nearly 5,000 fewer than a week ago. The number of new cases per 100,000 residents over seven days stood at 119, the lowest since the beginning of November — though still well above the level of 50 the government is targeting. There were 1,013 more deaths, bringing Germany’s total so far to 49,783. The new variant, which has been detected in Germany and many other European countries, isn't yet dominant there, but “we must take the danger from this mutation very seriously,” Merkel told reporters. “We must slow the spread of this mutation as far as possible, and that means ... we must not wait until the danger is more tangible here,” she said. “Then it would be too late to prevent a third wave of the pandemic, and possibly an even heavier one than before. We can still prevent this.” Merkel said that Germany won't be able to open up everything at once whenever the lockdown ends, declaring that schools must open first. “We must be very careful that we do not see what happens in many countries: they do a hard lockdown, they open, they open too much, and then they have the result that they are back in exponential growth very quickly,” she said. She pointed to Britain's experience in December, when the new variant took hold. The Associated Press
Le président de la Corporation de développement de l’Étang Burbank, Alain Caron, ne se représentera pas à ce titre. Un nouveau président sera donc choisi lors de la prochaine assemblée générale annuelle le 13 mars 2021 à 10 h. Alain Caron était en poste depuis le mois de novembre 2018. « Je veux faire autre chose, souligne celui qui est également président du CA du Canal Info +. J’ai aussi joint une autre organisation que je ne peux pas nommer pour l’instant. » M. Caron note le festival des oiseaux migrateurs qui se tient sur trois fins de semaine comme apport majeur durant sa gouverne. Il est entre autres l’instigateur des concours de photos. « Ce dont je suis le plus fier, c’est d’avoir un bel exécutif avec des jeunes, mentionne-t-il. Il n’y a pas de chicane. Quand je suis arrivé, on était en chicane avec la Ville, mais on est sorti de ça et on est réconcilié. Je suis vraiment fier de ça et c’est le moment de partir. » En plus du président, trois administrateurs ne reviendront pas : Gaëlle Satre, Élizabeth de Lanauze et Michel Pruneau. Ce dernier a œuvré à titre d’administrateur et de bénévole près d’une quinzaine d’années au profit de la Corporation. « C’est un grand bénévole, explique M. Caron. Il a toujours été là pour l’entretien et c’est grâce à lui que les sentiers sont ouverts l’hiver. » Comme l’assemblée générale se tiendra en virtuel, les personnes intéressées à soumettre leur candidature devront le faire à l’avance. La Corporation rappelle qu’il faut être membre 30 jours avant l’AGA pour mettre sa candidature et pour voter. Les gens ont donc jusqu’au 10 février pour prendre leur carte de membre. Il est possible de le faire au EtangBurbank.com. Bioblitz Malgré la pandémie, la Corporation prépare plusieurs événements pour la saison estivale et l’automne. C’est notamment le cas pour un bioblitz. « Les scientifiques se mélangent avec les gens de la place pour faire un inventaire de tout ce qui est vivant aux alentours, résume Alain Caron. Toutes les plantes, les insectes, les oiseaux, les poissons et les mammifères qui sont à l’étang sont inventoriés. C’est une grande aventure avec les gens de la place. »Simon Roberge, Initiative de journalisme local, La Tribune
ROME — The missing piece for AC Milan in its decade-long quest to return to glory — and financial stability — could prove to be a 34-year-old striker who hasn’t played in nearly a year. Mario Mandžukic’s signing this week is tantamount to a statement of title intentions. Hitherto having maintained that its goal was returning to the Champions League after a seven-year absence by securing only a top-four finish, Milan now appears firmly set on winning Serie A. And standing three points clear of city rival Inter Milan nearing the season’s mid-point, why not? It’s just that having exceeded expectations all season — for all of 2020 actually, or since Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned last January — it’s been a slow process in terms of building the belief that a title run is possible. Juventus has ruled Serie A for nine consecutive seasons and Milan has finished no better than fifth over the past seven years. Whereas hedge-fund owner Elliott Management has for the most part prioritized signing younger players on the rise with bright financial prospects, Mandžukic is a veteran scorer looking for one last turn in the spotlight. “The history of Milan tells us to be ambitious and get back to where we should be,” Milan coach Stefano Pioli said. “His arrival goes in that direction. … He’s an extra weapon.” Mandžukic knows Italian soccer, having scored 44 goals in 162 appearances for Juventus before spending last season in Qatar with league champion Al-Duhail. He could perform as a reserve for the 39-year-old Ibrahimovic or play together with the Swede in a supporting role. “There will be two of us to scare the opponents now,” Ibrahimovic said. Milan is also reportedly in talks to sign centre back Fikayo Timori from Chelsea and left back Junior Firpo from Barcelona, with midfielder Soualiho Meïté recently loaned in from Torino. “We are almost halfway through the league and now the games are starting to be more difficult,” Ibrahimovic said after scoring both goals in a 2-0 win over Cagliari on Monday. “It will be a very tough season. But now with Mandžukic and Meïté — and I don’t know if others will arrive — we will have more players available for the coach to rotate in.” By winning Serie A, Milan could grab millions more in Champions League money from UEFA — funds that are desperately needed to provide relief from financial fair play sanctions that resulted in Milan voluntarily withdrawing from last season's Europa League. Mandžukic could make his Milan debut against Atalanta on Saturday, with the team needing only one point to secure the mostly meaningless halfway title. Then he could be of even more use three days later in a derby with Inter in the Italian Cup quarterfinals. “Looking at the schedule there will be some rotation as we’ll need to preserve energy, not run risks or have too many injuries,” Pioli said. “Having some extra choices is important. I’m happy with the club’s choice.” ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___ Andrew Dampf is at https://twitter.com/AndrewDampf Andrew Dampf, The Associated Press
A Montreal-based organization that offers government-sanctioned French lessons to immigrants has moved online because of the pandemic, but the group's executive director says that's forcing some people to drop out of class. Up to 20 per cent of students are quitting Bienvenue à NDG's online classes because they don't have a proper computer or internet access, according to Luis Miguel Cristancho. "They need support," Cristancho said. Learning French is essential for new immigrants, as it is the main way to communicate in Quebec, said Cristancho. French lessons are just one of many services the organization offers new immigrants as it strives to help people adjust to life in the province, be it building social connections, finding work or learning how to navigate the health-care system. But learning the local language is essential, said Cristancho. "If they quit French, they're always going to have trouble to integrate," he said. "They are always going to struggle to understand Quebec society." Quitting French affects adults and kids, director says Ensuring people integrate into the community is his organization's mission, he said. He said it is not just adults who are struggling with language, because kids need classes too. He said parents also help their children learn French and complete their work at school. Parents also need to be able to communicate with teachers, he explained, and those language barriers can be devastating. "French is crucial," Cristancho said. Paulina Escutia is one of many who turned to Bienvenue à NDG for help after immigrating to the area. She came to Canada with her two children and has since enrolled them in French classes, but she said it is difficult for them to keep up. "If one of my kids lost an explanation from the teacher, I need to try to explain," Escutia said. Cristancho says the courses are also a way to make new connections and socialize as people adjust to their life in a new country, but much of that socialization is lost when classes are held online. Immigration ministry says there are solutions In a statement, the Immigration Ministry says immigrants studying French can receive an allowance of $188 per week if they take full-time classes. Those taking classes part-time, can get $15 per day, the statement says. As for those who need help obtaining computers, the ministry says they can contact partnering organizations for assistance getting the proper equipment and workstations are available in libraries when they are open. "Many partner organizations loaned equipment to the students. Some partner organizations have referred students to resources that recycle and sell computers at very low prices," the ministry says.
Turkey and the European Union have started the year positively and steps to restart talks with Greece over hydrocarbons in the Mediterranean are welcome, but the EU remains concerned about human rights, the bloc's top envoy said on Thursday. "We have seen an improvement in the overall atmosphere ... we strongly wish to see a sustainable de-escalation in the eastern Mediterranean," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters alongside Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu before their meeting. "We remain concerned about the (human rights) situation in Turkey," Borrell said.
Portugal will head to the polls on Sunday to choose a new President, despite pandemic lockdown measures still in place. We take a look at Chega!, a right-wing party pushing to get through to the second round.
Every week, more people are using the NAN Hope program, which launched last August to help people with mental health and addiction issues. As of Jan. 20, the program had 247 clients who are receiving active care. That's up from last week when the program had 235 active clients, according to nurse practitioner and Nishnawbe Aski Nation's (NAN) COVID-19 Task Team chair Mae Katt. Every week, the program sees an increase in the use of services, she said. “Either by more referrals from service providers, self-referrals or any professional services, nursing, police, child welfare or any hospital services,” Katt said. “If you look at growth of clients who are actively in care, we’re meeting our expectations.” NAN Hope was created to fill gaps in existing mental health support services and provide confidential, culturally-appropriate support to all Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) citizens. Since the start of the pandemic, the number of mental health issues like depression and anxiety has been on a rise across the province, said Carl Dalton, a social worker and CEO of Dalton Associates. During the second wave of the pandemic, one in 10 Canadians has experienced thoughts or feelings of suicide, up from six per cent in the spring, according to the survey released by the Canadian Mental Health Association last December. According to the survey, 54 per cent of Indigenous people have experienced deteriorating mental health during the second wave of COVID-19, up from 41 per cent in the first wave. The statistics show that 20 per cent of Indigenous people have had suicidal thoughts or feelings in the second wave, compared to 16 per cent during the first wave. There’s also been an increase in alcohol and substance use. “The NAN COVID-19 task team works with the leadership to protect the communities from the impacts of COVID-19. We do know the impacts are affecting many parts of the community,” Katt said. Those who use the program include elders, adults, youth and children. “We have children and youth that can call in. It’s concerning but also good because they’re not afraid to reach out for any assistance they need,” said Dalton. The community-driven program was launched by Nishnawbe Aski Nation in partnership with KO eHealth Telemedicine, Dalton Associates and Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority. In addition to providing a confidential 24/7 crisis line, NAN Hope also offers access to clinical and mental health counselling and connects clients to existing mental health and addiction support services that are available in their home communities. “It’s not a replacement program, it’s to integrate existing services that are really going to promote the values, wellness initiatives, local traditions,” Dalton said. “It’s integrated into treatment plans at hospitals, discharge planning. It’s integrated into nursing stations, it’s bringing services that wouldn’t be there already." The services are available to on- and off-reserve NAN citizens from all 49 First Nation communities in the Nishnawbe Aski region. On top of English, the program is available in traditional languages including Cree, OjiCree and Ojibwe. Traditional knowledge keepers and healers are also a part of the program’s roster of counsellors, according to NAN’s community update. “I think it’s pretty crucial to have traditional counsellors and people who speak the language available,” Dalton said. “We’ve listened to what communities have asked and requested, and that’s not an uncommon request to have it in multiple dialects.” Katt said providing services in traditional languages expands the age group that can access the care. What makes the program different from other similar initiatives is that it’s an ongoing service, Dalton said. Clients can call as many times as they want or speak to the same counsellor if they wish. Navigators and counsellors also do follow-up calls with clients. “It’s not just a phone-in and one call and that’s finished,” Dalton said. “If we get a referral from a primary clinician, a family member, from a citizen, then we do follow-up calls with them. We follow up on the treatment plan as long as their consent is given and we share information with primary care clinician. We also do follow-up the next day and say, ‘how are things today’, getting a feedback but also just making sure if they need, the services are there whenever they’re ready.” Services are provided by more than 30 wellness navigators and on-call counsellors, according to NAN Hope’s website. “I think there are a lot of workers in the community that are experiencing burnout and are overwhelmed by the number of issues going on that are out of their control,” Dalton said. “That’s the limitation of mental health and addiction services, not necessarily sitting at home. Community service providers, healers, they get overwhelmed and they also need assistance and care. And the NAN Hope people, we’re here to support them. You want to make sure you’re reaching out even though they’re helping others.” Katt said as NAN Hope is a new service, organizers didn’t have a big budget to promote the program. “I think when you set up the service, you put most of your money in the actual service portion. I think in some ways we could’ve really looked at some resources to beef up our marketing,” she said. NAN Hope services can be accessed by calling a toll-free number at 1-844-NAN-HOPE (626-4673), using a live webchat or sending a text through nanhope.ca. Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com
Summerside's sewage treatment plant is back in compliance following what city officials describe as a "glitch," which pumped higher than normal levels of effluent into the city's harbour for more than three weeks. Bruce MacDougall, the councillor responsible for the water and sewer utilities, says staff noticed the higher than acceptable levels last month. He said federal and provincial officials were immediately notified and the shellfish fishery in the harbour was shut down. "Late December, we had a little glitch in the system and whenever staff noticed it they notified the provincial and federal officials," MacDougall said in an interview with CBC News. "We do testing every day and that's how we noticed it. So once we noticed the higher readings, we had to put an action together to bring those readings down." 'It wasn't raw discharge' The problem was noticed Dec. 13. The levels did not return to normal until Jan. 6. City officials say these events are rare ever since it invested more than $19 million into upgrades at the plant in 2008. The last time something like this happened was more than 10 years ago, the city said. Morley Foy, an engineer with the Department of Environment, said operational issues created the higher than normal levels. He said the sewage was still being treated but the amount of solids being released into the harbour was higher than normal. "It wasn't raw discharge by any means, but it was above the limits," said Foy. "The UV system that's in place, the ultraviolet light that does the portion of the treatment for the disinfection was able to manage those high levels, and throughout the whole period when the facility was not working the way it should have been working, it was still performing very well for bacteria reduction." 'Changes to processing plants' Foy said there was "very little impact" to the harbour. "The time of year was very fortunate for this event in the sense that there was no recreational activity taking place within the harbour nor was there any fishing activities taking place within the harbour," said Foy. Despite that, a shellfish closure was ordered Dec. 14. A spokesperson with the federal Department of Fisheries said, "Signs were installed and the fishing industry was notified. No fishing activity was taking place in the area at that time. "The area will remain closed until the beginning of the spring fishing season." Greg Gaudet, Summerside's director of municipal services, said the city began work immediately to correct the problem. But he said the fix took some time. 'Back into the safe zone' "It usually takes about a 10- to 12-day time period, you got to realize all that liquid … has to work its way through the whole process of the plant," said Gaudet. "What we believe may have happened, there may have been some changes to processing plants in Summerside in December, they may have had some shutdowns, in which case they weren't putting out any biological oxygen demand into the sewer system, which gave our system that we had fine-tuned a little burp. "Basically, it upset the process." Gaudet said they plan to improve communications between the city and its biggest sewage customers. "When they change their operations, we have to change ours." The Summerside sewage treatment plant not only treats sewage from the city, it also treats waste from people's homes throughout Prince County. When somebody has their private sewage tank cleaned, that waste ends up at the Summerside plant. MacDougall said these events are rare and the city works hard to ensure they don't happen. "Everything has been brought back into the safe zone," MacDougall told city councillors during a meeting on Monday night. "We've got the all clear now." More from CBC P.E.I.
A growing number of COVID-19 cases in Rosthern has led the Saskatchewan Health Authority to bring in more restrictions at the local hospital. On Wednesday, the health authority said family visits at the Rosthern Hospital would be limited to compassionate reasons only. "The decision to restrict family presence is not taken lightly," read a news release from the health authority. "These measures are in place to keep you, your loved ones, and health care workers safe." Compassionate reasons include visiting patients in end of life care, people undergoing major surgery or maternity and pediatrics. The health region said the restrictions will be in place until it is safe to remove them. Rosthern Hospital was added to the provincial COVID-19 outbreak list on Dec. 24. As of Wednesday, there were 442 active cases of COVID-19 in the North Central region. Anyone who wants to visit the hospital must go through a screening process, including a temperature screening and must fill out a questionnaire. The health authority reminded everyone in the province to follow COVID-19 recommendations, including staying two metres apart from people, wearing a mask and self-isolating if they come down with any COVID-19 symptoms. CBC Saskatchewan wants to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you. Share your story with our online questionnaire.
Like 8,000 flying trapeze artists passing in midair, the Biden and Trump administrations swapped out senior leadership of the federal government on the fly as Joe Biden was inaugurated as the nation's 46th president. Biden announced the dozens of career civil servants who would be leading federal agencies, pending Senate approval of his permanent nominees. Acting heads of Cabinet agencies raised their right hands Wednesday afternoon for oaths of office. Emails went out briefing federal employees on just which career employee would be serving as their acting boss. It’s a painstakingly executed exchange of Cabinet agency senior staffing with inherent risk of bad goof-ups in the best of years, former agency officials and scholars of the federal bureaucracy say. And this year, when Biden’s administration was starting work amid fears that President Donald Trump’s followers would launch more attacks like the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, had added challenges. “Day One is always going to be the riskiest” when it comes to uncertainty about who's in charge, or the new people missing news of some critical event during an agency transition, said Paul C. Light, a professor of public service at New York University. One example, he said, would be scientists in the ranks learning of some vital development in the spread of the coronavirus pandemic or development of vaccines. “As sure as we’re talking here, these things happen,” Light said. “It’s a very dense hierarchy and there are no alarm bells." There was no immediate word of any trouble Wednesday in the first hours of the change in leadership. Biden supporters earlier had accused Trump security agencies of failing to share vital information in the weeks leading up to the handoff. Trump’s false insistence that he, not Biden, won the presidential election raised the level of worries over Wednesday’s transition. U.S. officials this month made a point of specifying in advance who would be the acting head of the Defence Department at 12:01 p.m. Wednesday, the minute after Biden became president. Deputy Defence Secretary David Norquist became acting head of the Defence Department between the resignation of Trump appointee Christopher C. Miller and Senate confirmation of Biden’s nominee to replace him, retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin. Across Cabinet-level agencies, most political appointees of the old administration turned in resignations by Inauguration Day, following tradition. Before leaving office, Trump had tweaked the orders of succession at some agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, in ways that changed which career staffer was in charge when all the political appointees go away. Environmental advocates and other opponents of the Trump administration, and scholars of government, expressed suspicion of some of Trump’s succession changes in his last weeks, fearing he might plant loyalists as acting heads to make trouble for Biden. But Barack Obama’s White House and others before him in their finals weeks also made adjustments to who’s left in charge in agencies, said Anne Joseph O’Connell, a Stanford Law School professor and expert in government process. That's usually “not because of party preferences but to help with good governance,” O’Connell said. “To the extent you care about government, you care about transition.” However, with Trump’s reluctance after Election Day to yield power, “you could see why many would question the need for changes to succession now,” she added. In any case, federal law on vacancies gives incoming presidents wide choice in picking their own acting agency heads from among employees, regardless of succession plans. Biden by Wednesday afternoon announced his own selections of acting agency heads, from the State Department to the Social Security Administration to the National Endowment for the Arts. “My expectation is that the incoming Biden administration will be relying very heavily on the vacancies act to staff their administration until their nominations are confirmed,” O’Connell said. Another Trump-era complication for this election cycle's power swap: Trump added more layers and senior staffers to federal government, Light said. Researchers have crunched the federal government’s annual directory of executive-level Cabinet staffers — the associates to the chiefs of staff, the deputies to the deputies — each year since the Kennedy administration. There were 451 of them, then. There were 3,265 of those senior Cabinet employees when Obama left town — and 4,886 at last count under Trump, Light said, in research that Brookings published in October. The thicker bureaucracy adds to the risk of vital communications not making it up to new leaders, Light said. The rule for any acting heads remaining from past administrations is simple, Light said: Do no harm. The understanding over the years is “acting appointees are not going to do anything significant” without warning, he said. “We just cross our fingers and hope that people will behave.” Ellen Knickmeyer, The Associated Press
The Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) have identified the victims of a double homicide in Fort Erie as two young women from Windsor and Toronto. Police say the victims are Juliana Pannunzio, 20, of Windsor, and Christina Crooks, 18, of Toronto. The information came hours after officers revealed more details about the incidents that led up to a double homicide in a Fort Erie home on the Niagara Parkway. NRPS say a group of people, some who don't live in the Niagara region, were at the home on Jan. 18. The home was a short-term rental. Someone fired a gun, and people left the house before officers arrived. Police found the two dead women in the home and say both had "obvious trauma to their bodies." Detectives are trying to identify anyone who was at the home, but the investigation is still in its infancy. Despite this, they don't believe there's an immediate threat to public safety. Police say, as they look for evidence, they will search the Niagara River with dive teams, resulting in closures between Black Creek Road and Switch Road. Police expect a presence in the area for days. "Homicide detectives are appealing to anyone who may reside or have a business in the area of the scene that has security cameras, doorbell cameras or dashboard cameras to contact them. They may have captured something that could assist the investigation," reads a release from police. Police find takeout food order at the scene Detectives said on Thursday afternoon they found a takeout food order at the scene. Inside a grey, plastic bag with "923" written on it was a white Styrofoam container with a cheeseburger, fries, chicken wings, celery, carrots and blue cheese dip. The bag also contained five ketchup packets from the brand, Sunspun. Police are looking to identify what restaurant the order came from. Detectives say they believe it was ordered on Monday, Jan. 18 or in the early morning hours of Jan. 19.
Mongolia's Prime Minister Khurelsukh Ukhnaa submitted his resignation to parliament on Thursday after protests in the capital Ulaanbaatar over the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state news agency Montsame reported. Khurelsukh said in his resignation statement that he should "assume the responsibility upon himself and accept the demand of the public." The protests erupted on Wednesday over what some Mongolians saw as the inhumane treatment of a COVID-19 patient and her newborn baby, Montsame said.
If there was proof that the snowstorm slamming into eastern Newfoundland was serious, it came Thursday afternoon when the Avalon Mall announced it was shutting down. As the first flurries fell in the St. John's area just after noon Thursday, schools and other facilities in the St. John's area began closing ahead of the incoming storm that would blast the Avalon and Bonavista peninsulas. Both regions remain under a winter storm warning, with 20 to 35 centimetres expected by Friday morning. As of 6:30 p.m., Environment Canada meteorologist Rodney Barney reported 15 centimetres at St. John's International Airport. Some backyard observations from residents — and CBC's Ashley Brauweiler — marked higher totals. The Department of Transportation said on Twitter after 6 p.m. that it took plows off the Witless Bay Line and Route 100, among other Avalon highways, due to whiteout conditions and over concerns about the safety of plow operators. A number of travel warnings are in effect for highways throughout the region as of Thursday evening. The Department of Public Safety has asked all residents to remain indoors where possible and avoid unnecessary travel. Rash of closures The storm prompted all St. John's area schools in the English school district to dismiss their students at least three hours before regular dismissal Thursday, with a decision on Friday's classes to be made at 6 a.m. the following morning. In the French school district, Ecole Rocher-du-Nord closed at noon. The City of St. John's closed its facilities at 2 p.m. ahead of the snow storm. Memorial University closed its St. John's campus buildings at noon. The College of the North Atlantic also closed its St. John's campuses and its Placentia campus. Metrobus halted service as of 5 p.m. Thursday due to the forecast. The Avalon Mall closed its doors at 3:30 p.m., adding it will provide an update Friday morning on whether or not the building will be open. Liquor stores in St. John's, Mount Pearl, Paradise, Conception Bay South, Bay Roberts, Carbonear and Placentia shut their doors at 5 p.m. Plows will be clearing major arteries throughout the night, said City of St. John's Coun. Sandy Hickman. Other streets will be cleared tomorrow as the snow tapers off, he said, adding crews and equipment were well prepared. "We are ready to roll with the full complement," he said. The city is also bringing in a 24-hour parking restriction as of 6 p.m. Thursday evening, outside of downtown and the business district. Hickman said the restriction will continue through Friday, and the city added it won't know when the restriction will be lifted until public works makes the decision. The reasoning is to allow easy and effective snow removal for equipment operators. Vehicles parked on roads during this time may be ticketed or towed, the city said, and an update will be issued when restriction is over. As for sidewalks, Hickman said new equipment with "drop spreaders" for sand and salt will continue to make way for pedestrians. "I think people will see an improvement," he said. "It won't be, likely, a small snowfall, so it will take a little longer of course." Winds are expected to gust up around 80 km/h, and in some places, like Cape Race, top 100 km/h, creating poor visibility. "It will be blizzard-like visibilities this evening and into the overnight periods, but the storm's moving through fairly quickly, so it's not going to be a long-lasting event," said Environment Canada Meteorologist Dale Foote. The storm marks the first major winter weather event for the St. John's area, with Foote calling the storm was a proper nor'easter, "a typical January storm that we'd expect in a normal year." A special weather statement is in effect for a swath of the northeast coast, central Newfoundland and Northern Peninsula, which could see between 10 to 15 centimetres of snow. On the Avalon, Boudreau said, the storm's winds and snow will ease slightly but continue overnight, but the snow should taper off by Friday morning, with gusts continuing until noon. A second weather system anticipated for Saturday probably won't materialize, as it's tracking east of Newfoundland at the moment, the meteorologists said. "If that works out, Saturday should be a nice day for the entire island," said Foote. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Birdtail Sioux First Nation and the Ojibway First Nation have both seen COVID-19 vaccine roll out in their communities this week. Elders in both communities are at the top of the list. But Birdtail Chief Ken Chalmers did say vaccine fear is real. He said at least one person is waiting to see how it works out for others. "But we’re campaigning to get that done," he said, but that vaccine wasn’t wasted as someone further down the list, according to age, took it. Social media, Chalmers said, is the main root of vaccine fear. Chalmers said the community has had a few scares. "We had one case that we isolated. We’re back down to zero," he said, adding the person had travelled to a hospital and that’s likely where the virus was contracted. Everyone in contact with that person was isolated. All tests came back negative and that person is now doing well. Keeseekoowenin Chief Norman Bone said, so far, his community hasn’t seen a case. "We’ve been fortunate to not have any cases, here," Bone said. "We’ve done fairly well since last spring." Bone said the community is observing the fundamentals, as dictated by provincial public health officials — and leadership has communicated those to community members. "We’ve tried to make all the people aware to take all the precautions, in terms of self-isolation, wearing masks, shopping for essentials only," he said. "Whatever it is we’ve done, is working for us." While Birdtail has barriers blocking visitors from entering the community, such is not the case at Keeseekoowenin, due to the community having multiple entry points. Bone has previously said it is simply not possible to blockade the community. At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Indigenous Services Canada associate deputy minister Valerie Gideon said the highest funding requests her department received are for perimeter security. "For communities to be able to try and control that to-and-from traffic into community. We’re close to 350 communities that have closed their borders to non-essential travel, and are really maintaining their resolve in order to protect their community members," she said. However, Chalmers wonders which communities received those funds because he does not have certainty that his community will see reimbursement for roadblocks. While Gideon said those measures are critical, Chalmers said he’s getting mixed messages on that matter, and so far the First Nation is using its own dollars. "We got zero," Chalmers said. "Security costs $90,000 a month. And they won’t tell us who got that money." Chalmers references Shamattawa First Nation, which required an emergency response, which likely cost the federal government millions of dollars. He acknowledges Northern reserves are getting hit hard, but he’s also very concerned about protecting his own reserve. The feds, said Chalmers, told Birdtail is in a low-risk area. But due to the same reasons any reserve is vulnerable, so is Birdtail. "That was a surprise to me. The whole province is in code red," he said. Food security is an issue, and both Chalmers and Bone said that’s being handled. Birdtail has its own store, and is providing vouchers for those who need them. At Keeseekoowenin, fishing and hunting continues to provide additional support. "Last year, we started fishing, doing our own process of getting food to the people that would need. We’re still doing that," Bone said. The community also benefitted from the Fisher River Cree Nation receiving $11 million from the Surplus Food Rescue Program to rescue up to 2.9 million pounds of freshwater fish, which was distributed to more than 75 Indigenous communities throughout Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the North. "We took part in that and we’re still distributing some of that fish," Bone said. The area sees mostly deer, and hunting parties have been out to add that to the community’s food source. "The guys have been going out and providing some of that as a food source for some of the people that require it here in the community," Bone said. "Some of the stuff we’d been doing before. We also making sure potatoes and some basic stuff … We’ve been doing some of this stuff over the years, already. We just carried on with that." But Bone added distribution was increased over previous years. School children are also being protected, as both communities have been going the remote learning route. Bone said that has been working well for Keeseekoowenin. What’s hardest for on-reserve members? Funerals. Gathering to grieve and celebrate the life of a loved one is impossible in these times. Public health orders have limited these gatherings. A funeral may have been the site of some viral spread at Sioux Valley Dakota Nation — the community put out a notice that anyone who attended a particular funeral, and showed signs of symptoms, should get tested. Chief Jennifer Bone did not return a call from The Brandon Sun. Chalmers plans to organize a memorial for all those the community has lost during these many long pandemic months. For now, he just wants to keep all children and elders safe to the fall of 2021. As for Bone, he’s just grateful things have worked out the way they have for his community so far. Michèle LeTourneau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brandon Sun
GENEVA — The United States will resume funding for the World Health Organization and join its consortium aimed at sharing coronavirus vaccines fairly around the globe, President Joe Biden’s top adviser on the pandemic said Thursday, renewing support for an agency that the Trump administration had pulled back from. Dr. Anthony Fauci’s quick commitment to the WHO — whose response to the pandemic has been criticized by many, but most vociferously by the Trump administration — marks a dramatic and vocal shift toward a more co-operative approach to fighting the pandemic. “I am honoured to announce that the United States will remain a member of the World Health Organization,” Fauci told a virtual meeting of the WHO from the United States, where it was 4:10 a.m. in Washington. It was the first public statement by a member of Biden’s administration to an international audience — and a sign of the priority that the new president has made of fighting COVID-19 both at home and with world partners. Just hours after Biden’s inauguration Wednesday, he wrote a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres saying the U.S. had reversed the planned pullout from the WHO that was expected to take effect in July. The withdrawal from the WHO was rich with symbolism — another instance of America's go-it-alone strategy under Trump. But it also had practical ramifications: The U.S. halted funding for the U.N. health agency — stripping it of cash from the country that has long been its biggest donor just as the agency was battling the health crisis that has killed more than 2 million people worldwide. The U.S. had also pulled back staff from the organization. Fauci said the Biden administration will resume “regular engagement” with WHO and will “fulfil its financial obligations to the organization.” The WHO chief and others jumped in to welcome the U.S. announcements. “This is a good day for WHO and a good day for global health,” Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “The role of the United States, its role, global role is very, very crucial.” The two men hinted at a warm relationship between them, with Fauci calling Tedros his “dear friend” and Tedros referring to Fauci as “my brother Tony.” John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called it “great news” in an email. “The world has always been a better place when the U.S. plays a leadership role in solving global health problems including the fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria, polio and other diseases,” he said. Danish Health Minister Magnus Heunicke wrote on Facebook: “This is going to have a huge impact on the world’s ability to fight the pandemic. It is decisive that the United States is involved as a driving force and not a country that is looking for the exit when a global catastrophe rages.” Fauci also said Biden will issue a directive Thursday that shows the United States’ intent to join the COVAX Facility, a project to deploy COVID-19 vaccines to people in need around the world — whether in rich or poor countries. Under Trump, the U.S. had been the highest-profile — and most deep-pocketed — holdout from the COVAX Facility, which has struggled to meet its goals of distributing millions of vaccines both because of financial and logistic difficulties. WHO and leaders in many developing countries have repeatedly expressed concerns that poorer places could be the last to get COVID-19 vaccines, while noting that leaving vast swaths of the global population unvaccinated puts everyone at risk. While vowing U.S. support, Fauci also pointed to some key challenges facing WHO. He said the U.S. was committed to “transparency, including those events surrounding the early days of the pandemic.” One of the Trump administration’s biggest criticisms was that the WHO reacted too slowly to the outbreak in Wuhan, China, and was too accepting of and too effusive about the Chinese government’s response to it. Others have also shared those criticisms — but public health experts and many countries have argued that, while the organization needs reform, it remains vital. Referring to a WHO-led probe looking for the origins of the coronavirus by a team that is currently in China, Fauci said: “The international investigation should be robust and clear, and we look forward to evaluating it.” He said the U.S. would work with WHO and partner countries to “strengthen and reform” the agency, without providing specifics. ___ Associated Press writers Cara Anna in Nairobi, Kenya, and Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, contributed to this report. Jamey Keaten, The Associated Press
A mother from Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., is urging people to take COVID-19 — and the health measures in place — seriously, as her son fights for his life. Myrine Kakfwi, 30, has been in an intensive care unit in an Edmonton hospital for the last three weeks. Every day his mother Dolly Pierrot rubs lotion on her son's feet and hands, and massages his legs as he lies on his back in his hospital bed. "We have been talking to him, telling him not to give up and telling him how many people are praying for him. His dad plays music for him and we pray with him," she said in a Facebook post. Not just a bad flu It was over a month ago, on Dec. 5, when Kakfwi told his mom from his home in Edmonton that he thought he had COVID-19 — he was coughing and felt he had a bad flu, Pierrot told CBC News. "I was immediately worried and I was really concerned for him," she said. Just a few days later, on Dec. 7 she heard from her eldest son that Kakfwi was taken by ambulance to the University of Alberta Hospital. Pierrot says that was the same day Kakfwi was diagnosed with COVID-19. "I just wanted to know how serious it was, if he was OK," she said. "My oldest son said that Myrine was coughing up blood." Pierrot says she was also concerned for her eldest, since he was in contact with Kakfwi and was taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton to be put in isolation. Luckily, his COVID-19 test came back negative, she said. Pierrot says the hospital then told her that Kakfwi was admitted and being treated in isolation. "He came in with a collapsed right lung and they said that he had ... double pneumonia," Pierrot said. It wasn't until about a week before Christmas that Kakfwi seemed to be recovering. "He was FaceTiming us, he was talking to us," Pierrot said. "He was really regretful that he didn't take COVID-19 seriously. He said he was just not being careful." Suddenly offline But as the days and hours passed, Pierrot said her son's health seemed to deteriorate again. "He was just not making sense," she said of Kakfwi when he was speaking to the family. "And then all of a sudden, he just went offline and we couldn't get ahold of him." They tried calling on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day but still no answer from her son. "I kept calling U of A and nobody seemed to know where he went," Pierrot said. By Dec. 27 she was in contact with the intensive care unit and found her answer. A doctor called Pierrot and told her Kakfwi was "seriously" ill. "He said that he was admitted into ICU … and he had double pneumonia and he had a couple of bacteria in both lungs and he was placed on a ventilator." 'You need to come down' She asked the doctor if she and Kakfwi's dad should travel from Fort Good Hope down to Edmonton. The doctor said they should come immediately. Pierrot said her local MLA, Paulie Chinna, and the Yamoga Land Corporation helped her make travel arrangements. They landed in Edmonton the next morning. When they arrived at the hospital, they were allowed to see Kakfwi right away, she said, and were given 24-hour access to him. The doctors told them Kakfwi no longer had COVID-19, but the after effects were keeping him unwell. Kakfwi had a CT scan on Monday, where doctors found another infection in one of his lungs. One of his lungs has also been leaking air, so a specialist is going to see if a valve can be inserted to close up the leak, she said. "So he's been … fighting back for the last three weeks," Pierrot said, adding they're taking it day by day. Right by his side Pierrot said she and Kakfwi's dad have been staying at a hotel, and splitting their time between there and the hospital. She says everyone has been rooting for a quick recovery for her son. "The doctors told us that he's young and so they're really pushing his body hard … they're not giving up on him" Pierrot said. And neither are his parents. "As long as he's fighting, his dad and I are fighting right along with him, and we're not going anywhere, we're going to stay here and be with him [for] the whole thing." Message to others Pierrot says she is sharing her son's story in hopes that people will take COVID-19 seriously. "It's real, it's dangerous," Pierrot said. "It spreads so quick and so easy, we just have to be so vigilant with sanitizing and wearing your mask and staying home." She said the family has received an abundance of support through messages, phone calls and donations from the community of Fort Good Hope. "Which is really comforting to know that people do care about each other and we feel so supported here," Pierrot said. "Just amazing how people pull together and rallied behind us... it just really helps us stay strong throughout this."
A Kelowna man who lied about his qualifications as a social worker is facing a new proposed class-action lawsuit for allegedly failing to inform a former client about the existence of a program designed to help young adults age out of the foster care system. In a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court earlier this week, Zachary Alphonse claims Robert Riley Saunders and a colleague at the Ministry of Children and Family Development were required to tell him about the Young Adults Program when he turned 19. Instead, Alphonse, who is now 29, claims he only learned about the program's existence when the ministry contacted him last summer. But by then, he was too old to collect benefits that could have provided him with up to 48 months of financial support a decade earlier. "If [Alphonse] had been informed of the existence of and his eligibility for the Young Adults Program and had been provided with assistance in applying for the program, [he] would have started his adult education and advanced his work goals at a better pace," the lawsuit reads. 'Kind of languished aimlessly' Saunders has already been the subject of one successful class action, filed on behalf of dozens of former foster children who accused him of isolating them in order to siphon funds meant for their care into his own pocket. Last summer, the ministry agreed to a multimillion dollar settlement that will see at least 102 former foster children, the majority of them Indigenous, collect thousands of dollars intended to cover both their financial loss and trauma they suffered as a result of Saunders' actions. According to court documents filed in relation to the settled claim, Saunders faked a social work degree. The Kelowna man is also facing multiple criminal charges of fraud and breach of trust for the same alleged behaviour. Jason Gratl, the lawyer who represented the first group of claimants, also represents Alphonse. He says the target of the latest lawsuit is primarily the government. "It turns out the Ministry of Children and Family Development hasn't been telling children about the existence of this adult education program at or near the time they age out, so lots of foster children are falling between the cracks," Gratl told the CBC. "Not knowing about the program, they kind of languished aimlessly." 'Thousands of former children' Alphonse claims he became homeless after turning 19 in August 2010. At that point, he says he had only completed Grade 9 and lacked the resources to work on a graduate equivalency degree. "For a period of approximately one year, [he] could see no future for himself, felt hopeless and unable to advance his interests," the lawsuit reads. Alphonse claims he began working part-time jobs but was held back by his lack of education. He says he got a technical certification in computer repair at age 27, while working full time. He now needs only three courses to complete his Grade 12 equivalency in order to graduate from high school. "We do know there are thousands of former children in care who did not enter the adult education program to which they were entitled, but we don't know exactly the proportion of those who weren't notified of the existence of the program," Gratl says. "But the general idea of the class action is to encourage the Province of British Columbia by means of a court order to restart the clock on those benefits." Alphonse is seeking damages which include the cost of future education as well as aggravated and punitive damages. The ministry has not filed a response to the lawsuit and neither has Saunders.
Last week's windstorm swept away some potential profits for Habitat for Humanity's Regina ReStore. The home and building supply store, which sells donated building materials and furniture to raise money for Habitat, had appliances in its outdoor compound that were tossed around by the wind, and are now unusable. "It was kind of an array of items," Amanda Partridge, manager of Regina's ReStore, said in an interview. "Quite a few stoves were tossed around through the parking lot and washing machines — we had a few of those that seem to be in high demand right now, so we don't even have access to those anymore so it was kind of a hit," she said in an interview. Along with the appliances, the store's sign was completely destroyed in the storm, Partridge said. Now, the store, located at 1740 Broder St., is asking the public to help replenish its stock. "We just aren't getting all the donations that we would hope for," she said. Partridge wanted people to know the ReStore is open and taking donations, as some people have been confused about that. She said the store has implemented more cleaning measures for safety. In addition to appliances, the ReStore also takes furniture and building supplies.
Après le nom de la ville de Val-des-Sources, voilà le tour de la rue de l’Amiante de changer de nom. La rue, située dans le secteur industriel de Val-des-Sources, portera dorénavant le nom de la rue des Bâtisseurs. Ce changement allait de soi selon le maire Hugues Grimard. « On a changé Asbestos parce que ça voulait dire amiante et là c’est directement l’amiante, souligne-t-il. C’est la suite logique du repositionnement de notre appellation. » La ville a envoyé une lettre à tous les propriétaires fonciers de la rue pour obtenir des suggestions de nom, mais n’en a reçu aucun. Le conseil municipal a donc décidé d’aller de l’avant avec le nom des bâtisseurs. « On ne voulait pas faire un long et lourd processus », résume le maire. M. Grimard confirme aussi que le ministère des Transports devrait mettre à jour au printemps ses panneaux de signalisation pour enlever la mention d’Asbestos.Simon Roberge, Initiative de journalisme local, La Tribune