A new alert from the American Heart Association found that marijuana is linked to an increased risk of heart trouble, including heart attacks and heart failure.
A new alert from the American Heart Association found that marijuana is linked to an increased risk of heart trouble, including heart attacks and heart failure.
In a moment of nation-splintering turmoil, an incoming American president, Abraham Lincoln, travelled by train to his inauguration in Washington, D.C., in a nerve-racking ride cloaked in disguise as he faced threats to his life. Now, 160 years later, an incoming president has cancelled plans for a train ride to Washington. It was supposed to be a symbolic journey highlighting Joe Biden's decades-long habit of riding the rails to D.C. each day from his family home in Delaware. Instead, it has taken on a sad new symbolism, of an American capital clenched shut in fear of political violence at Wednesday's inauguration. The question nagging at residents here, and at security analysts, is whether the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was the worst of a passing storm, a one-off, or the start of a dark era of political violence. What's already clear is this will be no normal inauguration. The American capital has transformed into a heavily armed and tightly barricaded fortress. "Clearly, we are in uncharted waters," Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser told a news conference last week, urging tourists to stay away from her city during the inauguration. Fences are now up around Washington's downtown. Thousands of soldiers are patrolling the streets, bridges are blocked, parking garages are shut, bicycle-sharing services are suspended, Airbnb reservations are cancelled, and residents are being urged on neighbourhood chat groups against renting rooms to tourists. Suspicion strikes Capitol Hill neighbourhood Security concerns are most acute in the neighbourhood near the Capitol. Lawyer Matt Scarlato already has an overnight bag packed in case unrest spills into his neighbourhood and he's forced to flee the city with his family. He lives near one of the new security barriers near Capitol Hill, where police are forcing residents on some streets to show ID if they want to access their home. Scarlato was working from home the day of the riot in the Capitol building, when unexploded bombs were found near political party offices. He received a message from his son's daycare urging parents to immediately come pick up their children. Scarlato grabbed a baseball bat and tossed it in the car for the ride to the daycare. "It was a minute-by-minute escalation," Scarlato said. "We were all just sitting in the house saying, 'What the hell is going on?'" A longtime resident of the area, he compared the recent panic to a smaller-scale version of what he witnessed during the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. On the day of the Capitol riot, he was concerned by the sight of an unfamiliar RV on his street given the reports of bombs in Washington and the recent explosion in Nashville. For her part, Monica Ingram, a retired health-care administrator, was rattled yesterday morning by the sound of helicopters hovering over the same Capitol Hill neighbourhood. Around that same time, the congressional precinct was ordered evacuated. The panic was the result of an explosion and fire nearby, caused by a propane tank in a homeless encampment. Ingram said people now look at each other differently, warily. Ingram saw a man taking pictures of streets near the Capitol the other day and she worried whether he was up to something nefarious. "We're suspicious of each other now. It's sad," she said. "It's very disheartening, upsetting. It's like I don't even know this country anymore." WATCH | Staff and media scramble as a blast goes off during inauguration rehearsal: Some call for indoor inauguration She's among the many people with mixed feelings about whether this inauguration should even be happening in public. Ultimately, she prefers it going forward, as opposed to moving to a makeshift indoor location, in order to deliver a message: that this country won't buckle in fear. There is, however, a part of her that hopes Biden might throw another inaugural party, a year from now, a real festive party, after this pandemic, and this panic. Biden should have a "redo" inauguration, she said. "It's so sad that president-elect Biden has to be sworn in like this. It should be a day of joy for this country." There's no guarantee this place will feel safer in a year. Mark Hertling, a retired lieutenant-general who led U.S. soldiers in Europe, said he worries about whether the United States is now entering an era of political insurgency. And he's not alone. One-time riot or preview of insurgency? Some analysts who study domestic political violence have warned for years (in thesis papers and books and government reports) that the conditions existed for an American insurgency on the right. Those conditions include a proliferation of guns, a surge in ex-military joining militia groups, two increasingly hostile political parties, and a split along racial and cultural lines in a rapidly diversifying country. A 2018 book, Alt-America, charts how membership in armed militia groups skyrocketed after the election of a first Black president, Barack Obama, in 2008, and these fringe groups began showing up at political protests. Alleged members of such militias are now accused of participating in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, where numerous people were dressed in paramilitary-themed clothing and several could be heard in the crowd warning they'd be back with weapons. "Welcome to the reality of other countries," said Greg Ehrie, who led FBI domestic terrorism units and is now vice-president of law enforcement and analysis at the Anti-Defamation League. "There is sort of an underlying belief that if we can get through Wednesday, this stops and then it moves on. And that's just not true.… This is going to be something we're going to be living with for several years — this heightened sense of security." Details released since the siege of the Capitol suggest things could have been worse. Jan. 6 could have been worse One man arrested that day allegedly had two guns and enough materials to make 11 Molotov cocktails, and another allegedly had a loaded gun, spare bullets and a gas mask. A federal prosecutor said one air force veteran who carried plastic handcuffs intended to take hostages. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York City said in a YouTube video she believed she was going to die during the riot in the Capitol and that she experienced a traumatic event she declined to discuss: "Many, many, many members of Congress were almost murdered," she said in the video. "We were very lucky [to escape]." One police officer died as a result of injuries sustained during the riot. Another said he narrowly survived the angry mob and described how he was Tasered while some wanted to take his gun and kill him with it. Joseph Young, a professor at American University in D.C. who studies the factors that drive political violence, usually in other countries, said he is bothered by the trends he sees. "More and more, my work has been applicable to the United States," he said in an interview. "[And that's] troubling." A word of historical caution He said it's wrong, however, to conclude this is a more violent political era than the 1960s and 1970s. The U.S. experienced hundreds of terrorist attacks back then, from white-supremacist church bombings to political assassinations to the activities of the left-wing group Weather Underground, which bombed the Capitol, the State Department and other government buildings. But he's still worried about the current U.S. situation. As are the authorities preparing for inauguration day. The Pentagon has authorized the Washington, D.C., National Guard to carry weapons on domestic soil amid ongoing worries about the possible use of explosives. About 25,000 National Guard troops from D.C. and several states were expected to be part of the security operation. National Guard members are being screened themselves for any extremist affiliations. A Secret Service member was reportedly under investigation over political comments related to the Capitol riot posted on Facebook. Jared Holt, an expert who monitors extremist chatter online, said it has gotten quieter lately. He said he was extremely worried before Jan. 6 about the heated and violent rhetoric he saw in online platforms. People were posting tips for smuggling guns into Washington and maps of the underground tunnels connecting the Capitol to lawmakers' offices. Those same forums erupted in joy after the attack. "It was initially jubilation," said Holt, of the Digital Forensic Research Lab at the Washington-based Atlantic Council think-tank. "They were thrilled. They felt incredibly accomplished. [Now], the cohesion between groups has eroded." It became clear within hours of the riot that it might backfire — against those involved and against Donald Trump. It failed to stop the vote to certify Biden's election win. Then it led to Trump's swift impeachment in the House. WATCH | Preparations underway to fortify U.S. capital ahead of inauguration day: Has the threat already receded? Some rioters in the Capitol who posted triumphant images of themselves on social media have been arrested or fired from their jobs, with their posts used as evidence against them. Social media platforms are either limiting extremist rhetoric and shutting out Trump, are offline altogether (Parler), or are unusually slow (Gab). Holt now worries that violent rhetoric is moving to tighter channels that are harder to monitor publicly, such as Telegram and other private messaging apps. So residents of Washington, D.C., and the country as a whole, enter this historic transition week in a fog of uncertainty, about whether they've just witnessed a dark passing moment in the life of the American republic or a sombre omen. "It looks like a police state down here. We've never seen it like this," Emilie Frank, a communications professional, said in an interview a few days ago, referring to the imposing concrete-and-metal labyrinth being erected downtown. "It would normally be bustling, everybody's excited [for the inauguration]. But it's silent, blocked off, police cars everywhere." She doesn't know if any of this will be necessary. But she'd rather have this than the under-preparation by authorities that the city witnessed on Jan. 6, she said. "So, even if it's just [for] show, it's better than nothing, I guess," she said. "If some people will be convinced they should stay away after seeing all this stuff in place, then that's good." WATCH | Ex-FBI agent on the new domestic terrorism:
MEXICO CITY — Authorities in Mexico's Gulf coast state of Veracruz said Monday that 12 men were killed and their bodies dumped on a roadside in what may have been a dispute between cattle ranchers. The killings occurred in the rural town of La Choapas, near the border with the neighbouring state of Tabasco. Veracruz Gov. Cuitláhuac Garcia wrote in a statement that “initial investigations suggest a division between ranchers and helpers from La Choapas and Uxpanapa.” He added that “abuses and threats between them led to this unfortunate outcome.” The region is south of the crime-ridden city of Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz. The Associated Press
SANTIAGO, Chile — A powerful earthquake struck in northwestern Argentina near the border with central Chile just before midnight Monday, shaking people in parts of both countries. There were no reports of injuries or serious damage, though some power outages were reported in the quake area. The U.S. Geological Survey said the tremor had a preliminary magnitude of 6.4. Its epicenter was 27.6 kilometres (17 miles) southwest of the Argentine town of Porcito and struck at a depth of 14 kilometres (nearly nine miles). The quake was followed by a magnitude 5.0 aftershock about a quarter hour later and then at least five more strong aftershocks in the next hour ranging from magnitude 5.3 to 4.8, the USGS said. Argentine media said some houses reportedly were damaged in the small down of Media Agua and at least one road was said to have been disrupted, but there were indications of injuries. Electricity also failed in spots and some goods were shaken from supermarket shelves, the reports aid.. People in the quake zone reported there was panic when the initial quake struck and said they spent anxious hours as the aftershocks brought new shaking. Strong movement was felt in Chile's capital, Santiago, which is about 300 kilometres (186 miles) from the area hit by the quake. Chilean officials said there were no damage reported in that nation. The Associated Press
A grieving Vancouver mother wants answers after the shrine she maintained for years in her daughter's memory was removed without any notice. The shrine, near East 7th Avenue and St. Catherines Street in East Vancouver, was established near the spot where Marlene Thistle's daughter, Janice Nicole Bryant, 33, was shot and killed on May 23, 2017. Bryant's killer has not been found. "Someone took it upon themselves to remove the memorial, and dump it right there like it was garbage," said Thistle. "My daughter is not garbage." Thistle put up the memorial — which had flowers, statues of angels and a cross — just a few metres from where Bryant was shot. "She was a genuine human being. She had a huge heart, was very loving," Thistle said. "She'd give the shirt off her back to anyone in need." Thistle said the memorial was both a way of honouring her daughter and keeping a light on her unsolved case. The removal of the memorial has been devastating, she said. "When I witnessed it, it was like her being gone all over again, the moments of her being shot," Thistle said. "What if this memorial site was for your daughter, your sister or your mother? Really sit back and think about the impact of how you would feel as an individual to find a memorial destroyed like it was." In an email to CBC, both the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Park Board say their staff were not responsible for taking down the memorial. City officials did note, however, that there had been several requests from the public to remove it due to its location and sight lines from the adjacent roads. Thistle said the memorial had taken years to build up, but she is committed to putting it back together for her daughter. "Until her murder case is solved, I will set it up again."
TOLEDO, Ohio — An Ohio police officer was shot and killed after an hourslong armed standoff that resulted in gunfire Monday, police said. Toledo Police Officer Brandon Stalker, 24, died after the shooting that sent both him and the suspect to the hospital, Police Chief George Kral said at a Monday night news conference. Negotiators had tried for hours to get the suspect to surrender peacefully. Stalker leaves behind a fiancée and a child. He had joined the police department in July 2018. “Very sad day for the city of Toledo and specifically the Toledo police department,” Kral said. "He was an amazing police officer.” The suspect's condition wasn't disclosed. Kral said the standoff started at about 4 p.m. when officers noticed a man with warrants out for his arrest in connection to cathedral vandalism smoking outside a home in a residential neighbourhood. Officers approached the man, who fled brandishing a firearm and entered a nearby home. Police set up a barrier around the home and a SWAT team was called in, Kral said. After hours of unsuccessful negotiation, police used tear gas to force him out. He then exited holding two guns, firing. Police shot back, striking the subject. One of the suspect's shots hit Stalker, Kral said. Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said his city's department “has had to endure too many dark and terrible days in the last six months," with the July on-duty killing of 26-year-old Officer Anthony Dia and the unexpected death of an officer just a few weeks ago. “This has been a very difficult time,” Kapszukiewicz said. “It is a very difficult day for the city." Gov. Mike DeWine has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff. Police said they would provide an update on the standoff Wednesday. The Associated Press
HSINCHU, Taiwan — Taiwanese troops using tanks, mortars and small arms staged a drill Tuesday aimed at repelling an attack from China, which has increased its threats to reclaim the island and its own displays of military might. “No matter what is happening around the Taiwan Strait, our determination to guard our homeland will never change,” said Maj. Gen. Chen Chong-ji said, director of the department of political warfare, about the exercise at Hukou Army Base south of the capital Taipei. Chen said the exercise was intended as a show of Taiwan’s determination to maintain peace between the sides through a show of force. The drills are also meant to reassure the public the military is maintaining its guard ahead of next month’s Lunar New Year festival, when many troops take leave. Hukou base lies in Hsinchu county, a centre for Taiwan's high-tech industries that have thrived despite the constant threats of invasion by China, which considers the self-governing island democracy part of its own territory to be conquered by force if necessary. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has sought to bolster the island's defences with the purchase of billions of dollars in weapons from key ally the U.S., including upgraded F-16 fighter jets, armed drones, rocket systems and Harpoon missiles capable of hitting both ships and land targets. She has also boosted support for the island's indigenous arms industry, including launching a program to build new submarines to counter China's ever-growing naval capabilities. China's increased threats come as economic and political enticements bear little fruit, leading it to stage war games and dispatch fighter jets and reconnaissance planes on an almost daily basis toward the island of 24 million people, which lies 160 kilometres (100 miles) off China’s southeast coast across the Taiwan Strait. Along with world’s largest standing military, numbering around 2 million members, China has the largest navy, with approximately 350 vessels, including two aircraft carriers and about 56 submarines. It also possesses around 2,000 combat fighters and bombers and 1,250 ground-launched ballistic missiles, considered a key strategic and psychological weapon against Taiwan. Taiwan’s armed forces are a fraction of that number, with much of its ground force consisting of short-term conscripts, and its fleet numbers only around 86 vessels, roughly half of them missile boats for coastal patrol. The Associated Press
EDMONTON — Shea Weber's goal held up as the game-winner as the Montreal Canadiens beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 Monday night. Rookie Alexander Romanov and Arttuti Lehkonen also scored for Montreal (2-0-1), which beat Edmonton (1-3-0) for the second time in three nights. The Habs also trounced the Oilers 5-1 on Saturday. Goalie Jake Allen made 25 saves in his debut for the Canadiens Montreal’s penalty kill was key in the victory, shutting down Oilers snipers Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on seven power plays. Mikko Koskinen stopped 31-of-34 shots for Edmonton. He conceded a short-handed goal 12:15 into the third period after Lehkonen broke up a pass in his own zone and sprinted up the ice with the puck on his stick. He put a quick snap shot past Koskinen for his first of the season, and put Montreal up 3-0. Edmonton clawed a goal back with just over two minutes to go, though, with Devin Shore popping a snap shot past Allen for a short-handed tally. Koskinen allowed one to get past earlier in the game on a Montreal power play with seconds to go in the second period. Edmonton had the man advantage when McDavid was called for hooking, leading to 1:20 of 4-on-4 hockey before the Habs got a 40-second power play to close out the frame. With about 11 seconds left on the clock, Montreal's Jeff Petry drove through the slot and Shore careened into Koskinen. Meanwhile, Weber launched a shot from the side of the net and Koskinen made the initial stop. He couldn't control the rebound, though, which bounced back out to Weber. The defenceman batted it in off Koskinen's back as he lay in the crease with Shore underneath him. The goal was instantly called off, with the official saying Petry caused goalie interference when he sent Shore crashing into his netminder. Montreal coach Claude Julien elected to challenge the call and, upon review, the officials agreed, giving Weber his first goal of the season and a 2-0 lead for Montreal. Montreal already had a first-period tally from Romanov, who opened the scoring 9:53 into the game with a shot from just below the blue line. The puck rocketed through traffic and past Koskinen stick side for the Russian rookie's first NHL goal. Montreal selected Romanov, 21, 38th overall in the 2018 draft. The Canadiens scored on one of its five power plays. Montreal had to kill off three penalties in the first period alone, including more than 30 seconds of 5-on-3 play. Edmonton had some promising opportunities across the stretch -- including a big shot from McDavid that ricocheted off the knob of Allen's stick -- but the Habs didn't surrender a goal. As a crucial part of the penalty kill, Weber played 9:10 in the first frame alone. Montreal will open a three-game series with the Canucks in Vancouver on Wednesday. The Oilers will be in Toronto the same night to battle the Leafs. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 18, 2021. The Canadian Press
BEIJING — China is now dealing with coronavirus outbreaks across its frigid northeast, prompting additional lockdowns and travel bans. The country reported a total of 118 newly confirmed cases Tuesday — most of them in Jilin province, the Hebei region just outside Beijing and Heilongjiang province bordering Russia. A fourth northern province, Liaoning, has also imposed quarantines and travel restrictions to prevent the virus from further spreading, part of measures being imposed across much of the country to prevent new outbreaks during during February’s Lunar New Year holiday. Authorities have called on citizens not to travel, ordered schools closed a week early and conducted testing on a massive scale. ___ THE VIRUS OUTBREAK: — Japan’s prime minister vows to hold the already postponed Olympics this summer as proof of victory over virus — Israel trades Pfizer vast troves of medical data for the continued flow of its hard-to-get vaccine — Brazil approves two coronavirus vaccines, ones by Sinovac and Oxford-AstraZeneca — China's economy grows in 2020 as it rebounds from virus, likely only major economy to expand — Britain vows to give all adults 1st shot of the virus by September — Tennis players find ways to keep fit even during hotel room quarantines in Australia __Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak ___ HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING: WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Travelers to New Zealand from most other nations will need to show negative coronavirus test results before boarding as of next Monday. New Zealand recently imposed the test requirement for travellers from the U.S. and Britain, and authorities said Tuesday that it is being extending to all other countries, with the exception of Australia and a handful of Pacific Island nations. Travelers returning from Antarctica are also exempt. COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says New Zealand has some of the strictest border measures in the world. There is currently no community spread of the virus in New Zealand, with all known infections among travellers who have been put into quarantine at the border. Most travellers are required to spend two weeks in quarantine upon arrival. ___ WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming White House press secretary says his administration does not intend to lift coronavirus travel restrictions for Europe, the U.K., Ireland and Brazil. The message from Jen Psaki came Monday evening after the White House said President Donald Trump had lifted the restrictions for those countries, effective Jan. 26. Psaki then tweeted: “On the advice of our medical team, the Administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26.” She added, “In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19.” Trump imposed the travel restrictions early in the pandemic to slow the spread of the coronavirus to the U.S. They prevented most people without American citizenship or residency from travelling to the U.S. from the affected regions. ___ OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has announced a plan to set up coronavirus vaccination sites statewide with help from the National Guard and others as part of an overall goal to vaccinate 45,000 people a day. Inslee said Monday that while the goal is currently higher than the current allotment of vaccine the state is receiving from the federal government, the state is working to get the infrastructure in place now for when the supply increases. He says the state is now vaccinating between 13,000 and 15,000 people a day. The governor also announced a public-private partnership with business, health care and labour entities on areas ranging from co-ordination of volunteer vaccinators to communications support. ___ JACKSON, Miss. — More than 100,000 people in Mississippi have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, and officials are taking further steps to administer the state’s supply of shots more efficiently, Gov. Tate Reeves said Monday. Inoculation rates in Mississippi have lagged far behind most of the U.S., according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But Reeves insisted Monday that health officials are making changes to speed things along. The state’s website for making vaccine appointments has been upgraded to handle increased traffic, and more people are answering calls from those booking by phone, he said. Meanwhile, state officials are working to free up more shots for the general population aged 65 and older by getting several thousand doses from nursing homes that received more than they need, Reeves said. ___ LOS ANGELES — California’s state epidemiologist is urging a halt to more than 300,000 coronavirus vaccine doses by Moderna because some people who received it needed medical treatment for possible severe allergic reactions. Dr. Erica S. Pan is recommending that vaccine providers stop using one lot of the Moderna vaccine pending completion of an investigation. She says less than 10 people who were inoculated at a single vaccination site needed medical attention. But she also said serious reactions to vaccinations are extremely rare. The virus has claimed more than 33,000 lives in California. ___ MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced on Monday the state will open nine community sites this week to vaccinate adults over 65, pre-kindergarten through 12th grade educators, school staff and child care workers. The program opens the state’s vaccine rollout beyond the first high-priority group that includes healthcare workers and long-term care residents and staff. The nine sites will start inoculating people Thursday by appointment-only due to the small number of available doses. The announcement comes after the Democratic governor accused the Trump administration of “lying” when he and six other governors asked for permission to receive their states’ second doses from a national stockpile to ramp up vaccination efforts. The governors were told by federal officials that the administration would release the federal reserve of doses, but later learned the stockpile had already been exhausted. ___ BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota reported on Monday zero coronavirus deaths for the fifth time this month, although the fatality rate by population continues to be among the worst in the country. The state’s death count, which stands at a total of 1,384, is the sixth highest per capita in the country at 185 deaths per 100,000 people, according to John Hopkins University researchers. North Dakota’s 14-day rolling average of daily new cases has decreased by more than 27%, according to The COVID Tracking Project data. The state has experienced a steady decline in daily new cases since the virus case count peaked in mid-November. It now ranks 48th per capita in the U.S. for new cases over the last two weeks. A statewide mask mandate that was enacted in mid-November was allowed to expire Monday morning. ___ ST. LOUIS -- More than 172,000 people in St. Louis County have registered for the COVID-19 vaccine, but the the local health department so far has only received 975 doses, county Executive Sam Page said Monday. The county expects more doses to arrive Tuesday but it was unclear how many, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Page also urged residents to be honest about the information they use to register for vaccinations, saying some have falsely claimed to be health care workers or brought along family members who are ineligible at this time. A new inoculation phase began Monday in Missouri that allows older people and those with certain pre-existing conditions to be vaccinated. ___ PRAGUE — The fast-spreading coronavirus variant first identified in the U.K. has been found in the Czech Republic, a health official said Monday. The National Institute of Public Health confirmed its findings after it announced over the weekend it was testing suspected samples. Health Minister Jan Blatny says the variant accounts for about 10% of all sequenced samples in in the country. No further details were provided. The country of 10.7 million has reported 891,852 confirmed coronavirus cases and 14,449 deaths since the start of the pandemic. The daily infection rate has been in decline since Jan 6., prompting the government to allow stores selling stationary and children’s clothes and shoes to reopen. The country still remains under a tough lockdown with a nighttime curfew. ___ MADRID — Spain’s Health Ministry has confirmed 84,287 new known coronavirus cases since Friday amid a post-Christmas virus surge. The ministry also reported 455 deaths over the weekend. Monday’s figures brought the total number of confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic to 2.34 million and known deaths to 53,769. Spain’s 14-day incidence rate for 100,000 inhabitants rose to 689, from 575 on Friday. Coronavirus patients currently occupy 33% of ICU beds, up from 30% on Friday. Despite the substantial daily increases, Health Minister Salvador Illa on Monday insisted the measures taken by each of Spain’s 17 regions are enough to quell the increase, ruling out a total lockdown. Spain’s health emergency chief Fernando Simon said that the country could be at the peak of the latest surge or getting close to it. ___ ROME — For the first time in three weeks, Italy’s daily caseload of known coronavirus infections dropped below 10,000 on Monday. Health Ministry figures reported 8,825 additional cases since Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 2.4 million since the start of the pandemic. Sicily has the nation's highest daily caseload. Italy registered 377 deaths for a second straight day. The nation’s known COVID-19 death toll of 82,554 is the second highest in Europe. ___ MADRID — The tiny British colony of Gibraltar says it has lost more people to the coronavirus since the start of the year than from any other single cause in the past century. Gibraltar, with a population of some 34,000, has posted 38 deaths since Jan. 1. “Even in war, we have never lost so many in such a short time,” Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said on Monday. He said 21 people had died from the virus in the past three days, bringing the colony's total virus deaths to 45 since the start of the pandemic. Located on Spain’s southern coast, Gibraltar has recorded some 4,000 cases. It has been under lockdown since the beginning of January. ___ BERLIN — Swiss authorities say they have placed two hotels under quarantine and ordered all guests and employees to be tested after a new variant of the coronavirus was detected among them in the upscale skiing resort of St. Moritz. Local authorities said Monday they have also closed down skiing schools, regular schools and kindergartens. Officials did not reveal the names of the two affected facilities, but Swiss media said both were luxury hotels. In addition to tests at the hotels, all residents of St. Moritz were being asked to be tested on Tuesday. Authorities ordered all residents to wear protective masks, and asked people to reduce their contacts to prevent the further spread of the virus. “The health office is concerned,” authorities of the Graubuenden canton said in their statement. “The variant of the virus is clearly more contagious than the one that’s currently predominant globally.” Swiss media reported that the variant of the virus detected in St. Moritz was the one first found in South Africa. ___ MOSCOW -- Backers of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V say it has been approved in Turkmenistan, an ex-Soviet nation in Central Asia that hasn’t officially reported any infections so far. The Russian Direct Investment Fund that bankrolled the development of the shot announced Monday that health officials in Turkmenistan approved Sputnik V “under the emergency use authorization procedure.” It wasn’t immediately clear whether Russia would ship the vaccine to Turkmenistan any time soon. The vaccine is still undergoing advanced studies among tens of thousands of people needed to ensure its safety and effectiveness. Nevertheless, the shot last month was rolled out in a large-scale vaccination campaign in Russia. It has also received regulatory approval in several other countries, and immunization with Sputnik V has started in Belarus and Argentina. Turkmenistan, a gas-rich nation of 5.9 million, hasn’t reported any coronavirus infections, but authorities have shut restaurants and non-food stores and recommended that the population wears masks to protect against dust and unspecified infectious agents. However, the British ambassador to the capital, Ashgabat, said last month that he had contracted the virus. The Associated Press
Health officials in the Northwest Territories have identified two more probable cases of COVID-19 in Fort Liard over the past 24 hours. On the weekend, three cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the community of about 500. Fort Liard was placed under a two-week containment order Saturday evening. According to a statement released Monday evening, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the N.W.T. stands at 28, with no hospitalizations and 24 cases listed as recovered. "Probable cases are treated the same as confirmed cases in an investigation," Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola said in the statement. "Contact tracing and isolation begins immediately while the samples are confirmed." According to the statement, all of the diagnoses are in the same cluster and connected to out-of-territory travel. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms is asked to call the rapid response team at 867-695-1655. Health officials now believe the COVID-19 wastewater signal detected in Hay River was related to the cluster of cases in Fort Liard. Since Jan. 11, 189 people have come forward for testing related to the Hay River wastewater signal and none have tested positive for COVID-19. Yellowknife update No new cases of COVID-19 were identified at the Avens Manor in Yellowknife. A rapid response team had been testing there to identify the source of an infection in Yellowknife. Health officials will continue to monitor wastewater signals, but "it is highly likely that the source has passed their communicable period." "As time passes, if there are no detects, we will determine that widespread community transmission did not occur and that this was a single locally acquired case with no identified source," Kandola stated. People in the N.W.T. are asked to get tested at the first sign of any symptoms of COVID-19. "No matter where you are in the N.W.T., it is more important than ever for you to get tested for COVID-19 at the first sign of any symptoms," Kandola stated. "This will help identify new cases, new contacts who should be isolated, and prevent additional transmission."
MERRICKVILLE – More lockdowns and more restrictions are leading to an increased interest in outdoor activities to alleviate social isolation. So when Merrickville Mayor Doug Struthers was quoted just before Christmas as saying the municipal outdoor rink wouldn't be opening this year, it prompted a group of resident front-line workers to take matters into their own hands. "The concern I had was that the week the mayor said those words I saw a group of children skating at the bottom of the locks in Merrickville, three feet from open water," said Eddie Yomans, OPP officer and Merrickville resident, He's not alone. Katie Dickie, another resident, mother, and civilian with the OPP, has also seen children skating on puddles in the street and at the edge of the river. Dickie's concern is not only safety, it's also that the mayor's comments send the wrong message when the health unit is encouraging outdoor recreation during lockdowns for physical and mental health reasons. At the same time, the comments were out of step with what neighbouring municipalities were actually doing at the time. "North Grenville has two outdoor rinks operating and both opened up about the third week of December. They are not staffed, the operation of both facilities is handled by volunteers," said Mark Guy, director of parks, recreation and culture with North Grenville. In North Augusta, recreation coordinator Mattijs van der Veen says they opened their outdoor rinks in early January, and always intended to open them, but were delayed by the weather and logistics. According to Struthers the Merrickville rink didn't open for a couple of reasons. "The municipality's 'rink attendant' did not renew his contract this year and finding a replacement was challenging. The weather wasn't cooperating, and we had to research and put protocols in place to ensure that we opened the rink safely," said Struthers. It's not clear why the municipality couldn't hire a new rink attendant right away, except as Struthers says" "I think circumstances overcame the posting." According to Struthers the weather was a big factor, because he says it's harder to build an ice surface on concrete than on grass or plastic sheeting as other municipalities are doing. "They said there wasn't good enough weather to create an ice surface. I argued with them because I have a rink at my house, and I told them I could get ice on that surface in one day," said Mike Seeley, a correctional officer, long-time resident and former volunteer firefighter. Seeley spent many of his childhood winters helping his father and grandfather flood and maintain the Merrickville outdoor rinks since the late 1960s. On Saturday, Jan. 9, volunteers showed up at the rink around noon, and Seeley and Troy Murphy, another resident, stayed there overnight, leaving at 7 a.m. on Sunday after successfully laying down a useable ice surface that kids were skating on later that day. "If I had started earlier, like in December, I would have been able to get six or seven inches of ice down and then it would have been easier to maintain in this changeable weather," said Seeley. Once the municipality became aware of the community's desire to open the rink, and volunteers came forward to build and maintain the ice surface, staff started working with them, according to Struthers. "In the end it is a positive outcome with volunteers stepping up when the municipality was facing challenges," said Struthers. "With the rink now open, thanks to our volunteers it's another recreation asset available to our residents to safely exercise during the pandemic lockdown." Warm weather last week saw the rink closed again, but over this past weekend, with cooler temperatures in the forecast, volunteers were out clearing and prepping the surface for flooding again on Sunday. The Merrickville rink has a long community history. In the late 50s and early 60s the rink was located on what is now a parking lot at the edge of the Parks Canada Park. In the mid to late 60s the Merrickville Legion donated the land for the new rink and firehall to the municipality. "Then in the late 70s, I was on the fire department, and we revamped the rink, and I got sponsors for the rink boards," said longtime resident Lee Horning. A lack of maintenance saw the surface and boards deteriorate and in the late 80s the rink was temporarily moved onto the ball diamond, where it stayed for two years, until the firefighters rebuilt the rink in its present location across from the Community Centre parking lot. "I'm sad at how the place has been let go. It's a mess now, the concrete is cracked and there are tree saplings growing on the inside of the boards," said Horning. "To not maintain the rink to the standard it was built is just disrespectful to the volunteers who put in hundreds of hours to build and maintain it," said Seeley. The real impetus for the volunteers, many of whom have school-age children, was both the need for out-door recreation but more importantly concern over safety in a community with a river running through it. "We were late getting out of the gate, and it took the community to let the municipality know how much they valued the rink. An incredible group of volunteers stepped in and got the job done," said Coun. Bob Foster. Heddy Sorour, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brockville Recorder and Times
Alberta is going to run out of COVID-19 vaccine early this week due to a shipment delay from Pfizer. On Monday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced the province will run out of vaccine on Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning, resulting in the province temporarily halting giving out more first doses of the vaccine. "By the end of the day, or early tomorrow, Albertans will have no more vaccine doses in storage to administer as first doses to Albertans," Kenney said. "We have quite simply run out of supply." So far, the province has given out almost 90,000 doses since vaccinations started on Dec. 15, but now the province will be halting any more first-dose appointments. Kenney said the second doses will continue as planned. "Second dose appointments will not be cancelled," Kenney said. "We believe we can administer second doses to all those who need them within the recommended time frame." On Friday, Canadians learned doses of Pfizer vaccine would be reduced for several weeks due to the Pfizer vaccine manufacturing facility scaling up, which will result in a short period of shutdown on the vaccine supply. All countries that receive vaccines from the European facility will be facing the same delay. Tyler Shandro, Alberta minister of health, said Friday that Canada will only receive 20 per cent of the previously expected Pfizer vaccine this week, followed by a reduction of 80 per cent for one week and 50 per cent in the two weeks after. Shandro said this will force delays in getting the vaccine out ot Albertans. "This is unfortunate news and we are all disappointed. However, we will not stop,” Shandro said. Shandro said the delay will slow down the immunization process of priority health care workers in Phase 1 of the vaccine roll-out plan, along with seniors over the age of 75 and all Indigenous seniors living on reserve over the of 65. Kenney said by Monday seniors in all of Alberta's 375 long-term care and designated supported living facilities had received their first round of vaccinations, but further vaccinations of Phase 1 groups will be delayed. "This means the planned vaccination of First Nations and Métis individuals over the age of 65, and seniors broadly over the age of 75, has been put on hold," Kenney said. The province had hoped to start vaccinations of priority seniors next week. Shandro said the province is going to continue to increase vaccine capacity, including staff and locations, across the province so the sites are ready to hit the ground running when the vaccine shipments come in. By the end of January, the province will be prepared to hand out 50,000 doses a week, if not more, Shandro said. According to the federal government, the most profound impact on the supply will be during the week of Jan. 25, where it is expected to drop by 80 per cent. The vaccine creation will scale back up in the first two weeks of February and then return to what was expected after that. Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, St. Albert Gazette
PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. — The port in Prince Rupert, B.C., has set another record in defiance of the economic downtown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The port authority announced Monday that despite unprecedented challenges brought on by the pandemic, 32.4 million tonnes of cargo moved through the port in 2020, up nine per cent from the year before. The volume increase was led by a rise in exports of coal, propane and wood pellets. The port says the high demand for thermal coal led to a 26 per cent increase at the Ridley Terminal, where rail cars with B.C. and Alberta natural resources are unloaded and the product is shipped. While cargo shipments were up last year, the port says in a news release that passenger volumes dropped off significantly, with the cancellation of the cruise season and BC Ferries seeing a steep decline in ridership. Prince Rupert Port Authority CEO Shaun Stevenson says the facility has increased trade in support of Canada's economic health through the pandemic, enabling over $50 billion in international trade. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 18, 2020. The Canadian Press
The provincial government started to tear down heritage buildings on the West Don Lands downtown on Monday after community members demanded the demolition plans be halted to preserve the structures. The Dominion Wheel and Foundries Company site, at 153 to 185 Eastern Ave., is a provincially owned property now subject to a Ontario ministerial zoning order issued in October. The order, one of three for the West Don Lands, paves the way for housing construction and allows the province to bypass municipal planning processes, including public consultations. Only one of the four buildings appears to have been partially demolished as of Monday evening. Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam, who represents Ward 13, Toronto Centre, called it an "act of vandalism." She has asked the province to halt all demolition and to work with the community but says those calls have been ignored. "Today, we have seen bulldozing equipment and demolition crew onsite in front of the Foundry buildings. They have clearly taken down a portion of the wall," Wong Tam told reporters Monday at the site."This is now been in direct opposition to community voices which were very loud, very widespread. "It is absolutely outrageous and we call on them to stop is demolition work immediately," she said. When word spread last week that demolition was about to begin, prompting community leaders and politicians to speak out against the plan, the province told CBC Toronto it was within its authority to make the move. Stephanie Bellotto, spokesperson for Steve Clark, Ontario's minister of municipal affairs and housing, said the ministry has issued three ministerial zoning orders for the West Don Lands on properties owned by the province to "accelerate" the construction of nearly 1,000 affordable housing units and 17,000 square feet of new community space. "The specific site in question has sat vacant in a state of bad repair since the 1980s at a cost to taxpayers, and the government is committed to leveraging this underutilized provincial property to build new affordable housing and community space," Bellotto said in a statement last Friday. The ministry insists "heritage elements" will inform the design of any new buildings on the site. A demolition crew first appeared on the site last Thursday and told residents that they were ordered to clear the site by March. Tim Hurson, a resident of the area, said he ran down to the site at around 3:30 p.m. when he noticed demolition crews and machinery on Monday. "It's a huge disappointment but it is right in keeping with what we've seen so far, already," Hurson told CBC Toronto. "As far as we're aware, there was no permit for the demolition to take place. There isn't even an application to do anything with the property." Hurson said he had been emailing the province about the site for two years and has not heard back. "It seems like a totally gratuitous thing to start tearing it down right now at 3:30 in the afternoon on a Monday, it's almost like trying to sneak it by," he said. He said it appears residents who live in the area do not have a say in what takes place in their own neighbourhoods especially when it comes to heritage buildings. "As the province saw that we were accelerating, they started accelerating," Hurson said. "But there is no remedy here once these buildings are down, zero." Friends of the Foundry, a newly formed group that advocates for local planning, is urging the government to work with the community to find an alternative to demolition and preserve the site. According to the group, the Dominion Wheel and Foundries buildings were part of a complex that manufactured equipment for railways in the first half of the 20th century. Wong-Tam said she has worked with the city's litigation team, chief planner and transportation services to review provincial and federal statutes, as well as city bylaws and has determined that the province is in breach of its own heritage policies. "They have not undertaken the prerequisite work before demolishing these buildings which should have been their last resort," she said. Wong-Tam said that the province must provide documentation that it has conducted a heritage impact assessment and strategic conservation plan but this has been "willfully ignored." "I think it's borderline criminal and corrupt and I want to know why is it that Doug Ford can't vaccinate people of Ontario to save their lives and he can't move fast enough to do that, but he can move fast enough to do this to our community."
EDMONTON — Alberta has decided to cancel recently issued coal leases in the Rocky Mountains, as public opposition grows to the United Conservative government's plan to expand coal mining in the area. Late Monday afternoon, Energy Minister Sonya Savage issued a press release saying the sale of 11 recently purchased coal leases would be cancelled. Savage added that no further leases would be sold on lands that were protected from open-pit mines under a policy the government revoked last May. "We have listened carefully to the concerns raised in recent days, and thank those who spoke up with passion," she said in the release. “This pause will provide our government with the opportunity to ensure that the interests of Albertans, as owners of mineral resources, are protected." She also said the move will have no impact on existing coal projects currently under regulatory review. The cancelled leases are a small portion of the coal exploration leases the government has issued since revoking a policy that protected the eastern slopes of the Rockies — home to endangered species as well as the water source for millions downstream — since 1976. The decision came as more than 100,000 signatures had been collected on two petitions opposing increased mining on two related fronts. One, sponsored by environmental groups on Change.org, was addressed to the provincial government and had 77,000 signatures Monday afternoon — an increase of about 10,000 over the weekend. Another, sponsored by a private citizen and addressed to federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, had nearly 28,000 names opposing the Benga coal project in southern Alberta, which is undergoing a federal-provincial environmental review. As well, a Facebook site called Protect Alberta's Rockies and Headwaters has more than doubled its membership over the last week to more than 10,000. The Benga review has received more than 4,000 statements of concern from members of the public, the vast majority opposing the project. Members of the Blood Tribe in southern Alberta have sent more than 700 postcards to Wilkinson asking him to block coal development in the Rockies and another 2,000 have joined an online group to that end, said organizer Latasha Calf Robe. Edmonton New Democrat MP Heather McPherson has received hundreds of calls on the issue, a spokeswoman said. The Opposition New Democrats also started a petition that garnered nearly 2,900 names in a week. A spokesman said the number nearly doubles every day. New Democrat environment critic Marlin Schmidt welcomed the suspension Monday, but said it raises more questions. "They're not committing to reinstating the coal policy, so they're not ruling out future development in these areas like people are demanding. It's a partial victory, but it's a clear signal that Albertans need to keep pushing to put permanent protections in." Schmidt asked if the cancellations create any financial obligations for the province. "How much are taxpayers on the hook for?" Neither Savage nor Alberta Energy staff were available to take questions on the issue. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 18, 2021 Bob Weber, The Canadian Press
Justin Timberlake may just have had a second baby boy, but he's got an album about to pop, too!
(ANNews) – A coalition promoting harm reduction policies to manage the opioid poisoning crisis is calling on the Alberta government to restore funding for Lethbridge’s supervised consumption site after a police investigation found funds the United Conservatives said were missing. The AIDS Reduction Community Harm Education and Support Society (ARCHES), which operated the busiest supervised consumption site in North America, was forced to shutter at the end of August after a government-ordered audit reported that $1.6 million in funding was missing. This resulted in a police investigation, which found the money and no basis for criminal charges. In light of these developments, Albertans for Ethical Drug Policy — a coalition of advocates, healthcare workers and people who use drugs — has issued a release telling Associate Minister of Addictions and Mental Health Jason Luan to reverse his decision to close the site. On March 5, 2020, the government issued a report on supervised consumption sites, which was explicitly prohibited from discussing the efficacy of the sites in favour of examining their social and economic impact on surrounding residents and businesses. Its methodology was lambasted by experts. That same day Luan announced an audit of ARCHES, which the coalition says suggests it was politically motivated. “In July 2020, Jason Luan used the findings of this audit as a justification to defund and closed down supervised consumption services (SCS) in Lethbridge, a deliberate and ideological approach that led to individual and community harms at an alarming rate,” the release notes. In just the first three-quarters of 2020, Lethbridge had 42 opioid poisoning deaths, more than double the number in 2019. Additionally, Lethbridge had the highest opioid death rate out of 100,000 people of the province’s seven largest cities at 51.1. Red Deer was the second-highest with 39.1, according to provincial data released in December 2020. Dr. Susan Adelmann, a physician who works at the Blood Tribe Medical Clinic’s detox facility in Standoff, says Lethbridge’s rate is the country’s highest and possibly North America’s. “It is so inappropriate for them to have closed that place,” she said. Adelmann wrote an open letter to Luan, which was signed by three other doctors, prior to the conclusion of the police investigation, calling on the government to reconsider its closure. The letter cited the inadequacy of the mobile site that replaced it, which operates 20 hours a day and can serve three people at a time. ARCHES, by contrast, was open 24-7, and had 13 injection booths, as well as two inhalation rooms. There was an inverse relationship between use of the supervised consumption site on the one hand, and deaths and EMS calls on the other, reported independent journalist Kim Seiver. And according to a 2017 literature review in Canadian Family Physician, opioid treatment is “far more effective” than abstinence-only recovery. Indeed, Alberta Health Serves has an explicit policy in support of harm reduction. Albertans for Ethical Drug Policy says the COVID-19 pandemic and opioid crisis have exacerbated each other, which makes harm reduction all the more crucial. “We know that COVID-19 has pushed many at-risk of overdose into isolation and has made the current drug supply more volatile than ever before. Any disruption in existing services across this province is a death sentence to our most vulnerable Albertans,” the group says. “Lethbridge ARCHES clients have done nothing to deserve being cast out into the street during a dual health crisis.” Jeremy Appel is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter for Alberta Native News. Jeremy Appel, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Alberta Native News
If you think the world of politics could do with more consensus making and working across the aisles (and at this point, really, who doesn’t), then a new series from TVO might be right up your alley. Political Blind Date returns Tuesday, Jan. 19at 9 p.m. ET on TVO, tvo.org, and the TVO YouTube channel. Each of the six half-hour shows matches two politicians with differing points of view and sends them out into the community on a “date.” There likely won’t be any hook ups…But hopefully they’ll find some common ground? Of particular interest to Sun Peaks Independent News readers is the Jan. 26 episode on pipeline politics. In it, Green Party MP Elizabeth May (Saanich-Gulf Islands, B.C.) and Cathy McLeod, shadow minister for Crown-Indigenous Relations and Conservative MP (Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, B.C) will unwrap the pros and cons of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion and its impact on Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities across British Columbia. What does the building of a second parallel pipeline mean for those living along its route is among the issues that will be discussed. Joel Barde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sun Peaks Independent News Inc.
JUNEAU, Alaska — Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy appointed Clyde “Ed” Sniffen attorney general Monday, a role that Sniffen, a longtime state Department of Law attorney, has held in an acting capacity following the resignation of Kevin Clarkson. Clarkson in August submitted his resignation for what he called a “lapse of judgment” after details of text messages he sent to another state employee were revealed. Sniffen told The Associated Press he thinks having an attorney general picked from the department's ranks helps with morale, citing his understanding of the department, experience and familiarity with the range of legal issues the department has handled. He joined the department in 2000, and has held positions including working in the consumer protection unit and as a chief assistant attorney general and deputy attorney general, according to a bio released by Dunleavy's office. Before that, he was in private practice. The outgoing chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Matt Claman, an attorney, praised Sniffen's experience and called him a “straight shooter." But Claman said he wanted to hear from Sniffen on issues such as why the state sought to join with those supporting Texas in its effort to set aside the 62 electoral votes for President-elect Joe Biden in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. “I want to hear that and kind of reflect on those things,” said Claman, an Anchorage Democrat. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Texas did not have the legal right to sue those states. Biden will be sworn in as president on Wednesday. Sniffen said it was “entirely appropriate to ask the court to just take a look at it, to see if this election was fair. ... We supported a brief that asked the court to just take a look at those issues. The court ultimately decided not to take a look at them.” Alaska was not successful in formally signing onto a friend of the court brief but submitted a letter expressing its support, he said. Sniffen declined to go into detail about his discussions with Dunleavy, a Republican, on the matter, but said they spoke about it and “came to the decision that this was something that we thought was appropriate to do.” Sniffen said the election is over. “Joe Biden is the winner. I don't think anyone can question that. I think numerous courts have taken a look at that now. The Supreme Court has weighed in,” Sniffen said. “Absolutely, it's time to confirm Joe Biden as our next president and move on.” When it comes to the election held in Alaska, "we thought the integrity of the election was sound,” he said. Sniffen said he hopes to attract more people to join the department and wants to build-up its in-house expertise and depth of experience to handle more complicated cases, dealing with natural resources as well as constitutional and environmental issues rather than relying on outside counsel. Becky Bohrer, The Associated Press
Ahuntsic-Cartierville - Plusieurs éclosions se sont déclarées ces derniers jours dans les trois hôpitaux sur le territoire du Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS) du Nord-de-l’Île de Montréal, a appris Journaldesvoisins.com. Des éclosions sont en cours à l’hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal, à l’hôpital Jean-Talon ainsi qu’à l’hôpital Fleury, confirme le CIUSSS. Éclosions importantes à Fleury Le 13 janvier, en réponse à une demande d’information, le CIUSSS avait informé le JDV d’une éclosion en chirurgie et à l’urgence de l’hôpital Fleury, avant de se rétracter et d’indiquer qu’il n’y avait d’éclosion qu’en chirurgie. Le JDV a donc omis l’information dans sa mise à jour hebdomadaire du 14 janvier. À peine 48 heures plus tard, le CIUSSS a demandé à la population d’éviter les urgences de l’hôpital Fleury et a décidé de restreindre les visites dans l’établissement en raison d’«au moins trois éclosions » actives dans l’installation, sans préciser dans quelles unités. Elle assure que toutes les mesures ont été prises dès l’apparition des premiers cas pour contenir les éclosions. Éclosions à Sacré-Cœur et Jean-Talon L’unité de gériatrie de l’Hôpital Jean-Talon est également aux prises depuis le 14 janvier avec une éclosion qui touche un membre du personnel et quatre personnes hospitalisées. Deux cas se sont également déclarés parmi le personnel de l’unité Mère-Enfant de l’Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur, tandis que quatre nouveaux ont été détectés samedi chez des usagers à l’unité d’hémodialyse. Un total de 112 employés du CIUSSS sont actuellement infectés par la COVID, soit environ 30 de plus qu’il y a une semaine.Simon Van Vliet, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal des voisins
A majority of Canadians, New Brunswickers among them, want improved access to psychologists, according to a poll conducted by Nanos. Canadians most frequently report having the most confidence in psychologists when it comes to helping people with mental health problems, but many say access to these professionals is still a problem and they’d like both the private and public sector to help them do that more easily. “COVID-19 has impacted the psychological health of New Brunswickers who were already faced with a shortage of psychologists,” said Mandy McLean, executive director of the College of Psychologists of New Brunswick. "Access to necessary psychological support was difficult before – and the need for the services of licensed psychologists continues to grow." Fifty-eight per cent of New Brunswickers responded that COVID-19 has had a negative or somewhat negative impact on their ability to access mental health care by psychologists. In the public sector, which includes psychologists who work in schools, hospitals and community mental health systems, the shortage is significant, McLean told the Times & Transcript. Of New Brunswick respondents, 46.1 per cent said the amount of time needed for Canadians to get access to psychological services in the publicly-funded health-care system is either unreasonable to somewhat unreasonable. More than 88 per cent of New Brunswickers supported or somewhat supported improving access to psychologists through the publicly-funded health-care system. Many New Brunswickers say the cost of receiving care from a psychologist is influencing their decision to pursue treatment privately. More than 83 per cent said cost was very or somewhat significant in deciding whether to access a psychologist. McLean said some extended workplace health plans are offering benefits for sessions with a psychologist for about $300 a year, which would not provide more than a couple of sessions with a private psychologist. More than 76 per cent of New Brunswickers said providing greater access to psychologists through employer health benefit plans would be a good or very good idea. Access is also about wait times. Long wait times significantly or somewhat significantly were a factor for 76.2 per cent of New Brunswickers in deciding to access a psychologist. Psychologists have nearly a decade of training or more, said McLean, making them unique in their extensive training in how people think, learn and behave. Nearly half of New Brunswickers believe psychologists are effective in diagnosing people living with depression, anxiety, addiction of learning disabilities. Nanos conducted a representative online survey of 3,070 Canadians, drawn from a non-probability panel between Sept. 25 and Oct. 2, 2020. The research was commissioned by the Canadian Psychological Association and the Council of Professional Associations of Psychologists and was conducted by Nanos Research before being compiled into a report. Clara Pasieka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal