White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and his team are headed to Saudi Arabia and Qatar this week for talks in a region simmering with tension after the killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist. A senior administration official said on Sunday that Kushner is to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Saudi city of Neom, and the emir of Qatar in that country in the coming days. Kushner will be joined by Middle East envoys Avi Berkowitz and Brian Hook and Adam Boehler, chief executive of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation.
The head of a U.S. biotechnology company that is developing one of the most promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates says Canada is not far behind other countries when it comes to receiving doses of its vaccine, despite criticism of the government's procurement plan from the Conservative opposition. "Canada is not at the back of the line," Noubar Afeyan, co-founder and chairman of Moderna, told CBC's Chief Political Correspondent Rosemary Barton on Sunday. Afeyan said because Canada was among the first countries to make a pre-order with Moderna, the country is guaranteed to receive a certain portion of the company's initial batch of doses as long as the vaccine proves safe and effective and is given regulatory approval. "The people who were willing to move early on with even less proof of the efficacy have assured the amount of supply they were willing to sign up to," Afeyan said in an interview on Rosemary Barton Live. "Nothing that happened subsequently can affect that." Moderna's mRNA vaccine is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials and preliminary data released two weeks ago show it appears to be 94.5 per cent effective. Millions of doses procured The federal government secured an agreement on Aug. 5 with Moderna for 20 million doses of its vaccine, with the option to procure an additional 36 million doses. The U.S. announced a deal for up to 500 million doses just days later while the U.K. and European Union inked deals with Moderna only in the past two weeks. In total, Canada has procured some 358 million doses from seven companies — the most per capita of any country in the world, according to research from Duke University's Global Health Institute. WATCH | Federal government pressured on when Canadians will get COVID-19 vaccine Despite that promising news, the Liberal government came under intense pressure this week to lay out a timeline for when Canadians will begin receiving an inoculation as countries like the U.S., U.K. and Germany have all announced plans to begin vaccinating their populations in December. Opposition politicians and some premiers argued Canada was falling behind other countries in its planning after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canadians would have to wait to get vaccinated because the first doses of any vaccine will go to people in the countries where the vaccines are being manufactured. Federal officials said on Thursday that if all goes well as many as three million Canadians — mainly those in "high-priority groups" — could be vaccinated in early 2021. One day later, Trudeau said that Canada is on track to vaccinate nearly every person who wants a shot by September 2021. But officials have provided few details about the government's plan to roll out a vaccine once Health Canada gives one the green light. Conservative critiques At a press conference on Sunday, Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole repeated his view that Canada is behind other countries in procuring a vaccine. "While the Americans and the British are talking about mass vaccination throughout December and January, our government is now talking about getting Canadians vaccinated by September," O'Toole said. "We need to show Canadians that there is a plan for the vaccine." O'Toole said the Trudeau government only turned its attention to pre-ordering tens of millions of vaccine doses from companies such as Pfizer and Moderna in August after its collaboration between the National Research Council and Chinese vaccine maker CanSino collapsed following months of delays. "I would not have put all our eggs in the basket of China," O'Toole said. Regulatory approval pending Companies have compressed the time it normally takes to develop a vaccine by initiating the manufacturing of doses even before studies into their efficacy are completed as part of a global effort to develop COVID-19 vaccines as quickly as possible to bring the pandemic to an end. Moderna is in the process of applying for emergency-use authorization with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Once the company obtains that authorization, Afeyan said it will begin shipping doses to countries that have made pre-orders, including Canada. Afeyan said he expects to start shipping the vaccine to Canada in the first quarter of 2021 and the quantity of shipments should increase through the second quarter and throughout the rest of the year. The company expects to be able to produce a total of 20 million doses by the end of 2020 and between 500 million and 1 billion doses throughout 2021. Moderna submitted early safety and pre-clinical data from Phase 1 and 2 trials with Health Canada last month as part of the regulator's rolling regulatory review process. Health Canada must approve any COVID-19 vaccine before it can be distributed to Canadians. Experts say Moderna's vaccine — which requires two shots taken 28 days apart — will be relatively easy to store and distribute because the vaccine can remain stable at normal fridge temperatures of 2 C to 8 C for 30 days. By contrast, another leading candidate manufactured by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer must be shipped and stored at -70 C. WATCH | Health Minister on how the federal government should address vaccine hesitancy: Health Minister Patty Hajdu said it's difficult to nail down a delivery date at the moment for any of the leading vaccine candidates because of the long list of uncertainties stemming from unfinished clinical trials, ongoing regulatory reviews, and manufacturing and logistical challenges related to distribution. "We're all anxious to get out of this mess as a world, but certainly as a country as well," Hajdu said. "As Canada's health minister, I'm staying focused on Canadians and on our own process, making sure our delivery plans are well laid out and that we have what we need in terms of being able to deliver on the variety of different kinds of vaccines." Hajdu added that her top priority is ensuring that Health Canada has what it needs to make sure the regulatory process proceeds smoothly so that any vaccines that are approved are safe and effective.
TORONTO — Every day virtual court sits, Catherine Riddell wakes up, shakes off the aches, grabs her walker and hops in a cab down to the real courthouse where she steels herself for a long day peering into the mind of the man who tried to kill her. Court has set up a private room for victims and families of those killed in the Toronto van attack to watch the proceedings that are being held by videoconference due to the pandemic. Most days Riddell is alone.But not really, the 70-year-old says, when you consider the two victims services employees she's bonded with, or the helpful court staff. She also feels the love of family, friends and complete strangers — and her 14-year-old cats Kleo and Bootsy.But she's still struggling to understand why she didn't die that day."I'm trying very hard to stay positive because, to me, that's the key to getting back to what you want to be and then really praying that the city will stay positive," Riddell says."I know that it's been very devastating for a lot of people and I'm hoping that they can find the strength to get by."Riddell laughs more now, but her journey has been difficult.She had just left the bank at Yonge Street and Finch Avenue and was walking toward the library at Mel Lastman Square when a van hopped the curb and drove down the busy sidewalk, striking 26 people, killing 10.Alek Minassian was the man behind the wheel.Riddell never saw him coming. She was hit from behind and launched into the air, crashing through a transit shelter, glass shards raining down on her. The crash fractured her spine and broke her ribs, scapula and pelvis. She had massive bruising, internal injuries and a minor brain injury — she had difficulty reading for months afterward as she struggled to focus.She spent two years rehabilitating, from physiotherapy to hydrotherapy to massage therapy. She was depressed for a time, but counselling helped."There were times when I kind of would say to myself, 'you know I wish he'd done a better job of it and then just ended it for me,' and I wouldn't have had to go through all this and everybody would have done their mourning and been through it and moved on with their life," she says. "It didn't happen that way, which is a good thing because I'm quite grateful."It helps that Riddell remembers nothing of the crash and only recalls snippets of the next two weeks while at St. Michael's hospital."At least I don't have those memories to haunt me at night," she says. "In the middle of the night when I'm asleep I don't wake up with the image of what occurred. So in that way I feel like I've been spared a lot."Two weeks after the attack, when she first became alert, Riddell apologized to her brother for crossing the street, thinking it was her fault she was hit. That's when she found out she was involved in one of the worst attacks in Canadian history.Minassian, 28, has admitted in court to planning and carrying out the attack. He has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of first-degree murder, and 16 counts of attempted murder, arguing he is not criminally responsible for his actions due to autism spectrum disorder.Riddell avoided news coverage of the attack and did not learn where she was actually hit until a stranger came up to her at the first-year anniversary to tell her he was by her side right after. She thought she was hit about a 10-minute walk north because that's her last memory. Two weeks ago came her toughest moment — the first day of trial when the prosecution presented in detail how and where all 26 people were hit. The prosecution showed a photograph of the shattered bus shelter where Riddell landed."It just felt so real that's actually when I felt it the most," she says."It was hard seeing what happened to everybody. I cried my eyes out all day, all night."Riddell has worked hard to get to this point, hoping to face the man in the van in person. Yet Riddell is gaining strength. She worked hard to get to the point to go down to court to face the man in the van.The days in court are long. She prefers a regular nap. Up until now, she says, she has not thought much about the man on trial."If you ask me, do I think there's something wrong with him?" she says. "I absolutely do. Do I think he knew the difference between right and wrong? I absolutely do."But she says she's trying to keep an open mind. "If he was really incapable then they got to prove it to me," she says. "That's why I have to be at court every day. I have to hear all of the testimony because if the verdict goes that way I have to be able to cope with that."Riddell says she often thinks about the other victims who lost their lives in the attack."I'm 70 and some of those kids who died are in their twenties," she says. "So I feel compelled to make the very best opportunity I've been given otherwise I should have been one of the ones who passed away." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2020 Liam Casey, The Canadian Press
GENEVA — A proposal that could have stiffened penalties against companies based in Switzerland if they violate human rights or harm the environment abroad failed in a Swiss referendum on Sunday.The initiative titled “Responsible companies — to protect people and the environment” won a narrow majority of votes, with 50.7% per cent backing it and 49.3% against, but failed because a majority of the country's cantons, or states, came out against it. Support was strongest in urban areas, much of Switzerland’s French-speaking west and Italian-speaking Ticino.Under Switzerland's system of direct democracy, which gives voters a direct say several times each year on a variety of issues, proposals need a majority both of votes cast and of cantons to pass. The Swiss held two other referendums this year, but one in May was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The federal government opposed the plan championed by left-leaning groups and some big civil society organizations, asserting that it went too far. Parliament has proposed a countermeasure that would also boost scrutiny of such companies’ actions.The measure could have made large Switzerland-based companies liable in the country's courts for their flawed operations or those of their subsidiaries and subcontractors in foreign nations, unless they were able to show that they conducted proper due diligence beforehand.It would have required Swiss-based companies to better verify their activities in foreign countries and could have made them more liable for any damage caused. It could potentially have affected multinationals like mining and minerals company Glencore, agribusiness company Syngenta, and cement firm LafargeHolcim — which have at times faced criticism over their activities abroad.Parliament’s alternative, which should now take effect instead, won't require companies to answer to Swiss courts and will focus on issues like mining of minerals from conflict zones or child labour. It also seeks more co-operation among countries on such matters.Another measure that would have banned the financing by the Swiss national bank or pension funds of any weapons for export, from handguns to assault rifles to tanks, also failed Sunday, with a majority of both voters and cantons opposing it.—-Eds: This story corrects an earlier version that had wrongly indicated that the measures on the ballot Sunday had originally been planned for a vote in May.The Associated Press
Véritables coffres-forts modernes, les cartes à puces sont conçues pour résister aux attaques. Décodage avec des spécialistes en cryptographie.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said on Sunday that his “top priority” is a plan for COVID-19 vaccines, adding “there is no plan for the economy if we don’t have rapid testing and vaccines as swiftly as possible.”
ATLANTA — Bishop Reginald Jackson stepped to the microphone at a drive-in rally outside a church in southwest Atlanta as his voice carried over a loudspeaker and the radio to people gathered in, around and on top of cars that filled the parking lot.“Let’s keep Georgia blue," Jackson said. “Let’s elect Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock to the United States Senate.” The presiding bishop of more than 400 African Methodist Episcopal churches in Georgia added a pastoral flourish as horns honked and supporters cheered: “If I have a witness, somebody say amen!"As Georgia becomes the nation’s political hotspot this winter before twin runoff elections Jan. 5 that will determine control of the Senate, faith-based organizing is heating up.Conservative Christians are rallying behind Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, while Black churches and liberal-leaning Jewish groups are backing Democratic challengers Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. The Democrats' fates are seen as intertwined in a state that this year turned blue in the presidential election for the first time since 1992 by a razor-thin margin.“These runoffs are critically important,” Jackson said. “We want to make sure there is no decrease in turnout.”Across Georgia, the African Methodist Episcopal Church is implementing a program designed to ensure its members, and Black voters overall, cast ballots in the runoff — focusing on votes by mail and early in-person voting. Pastors at each church remind tens of thousands of congregants every week to apply for an absentee ballot and of early voting dates, Jackson said in an interview. Each local church also follows up with congregants to make sure they have a plan to vote.The New Georgia Project, a nonpartisan voter mobilization group founded by Democrat Stacey Abrams, who ran for governor in 2018, is also preparing to tap the influence of faith communities in stoking turnout.Rev. Billy Honor, director of faith organizing at the group, said the conservative Christian Faith & Freedom Coalition — founded by former Georgia GOP chairman Ralph Reed — has long positioned Georgia “as the home of evangelical fundamentalist types when it comes to the political space."“But the truth is, for a very long time, there has been an active, effective movement of progressive-minded, justice-centred clergy” who have worked in the state on voting rights, health care and other issues, Honor added. He said Warnock was part of that work before his candidacy. Warnock is senior pastor at Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, the congregation led by the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.Meanwhile, Loeffler and Perdue can expect to benefit from a conservative Christian base that has long boosted the state’s Republicans. Faith & Freedom made Georgia one of its top three spending targets in a $50 million get-out-the-vote program during the general election and plans increased organizing for the runoffs.The reach of "the evangelical vote in Georgia is very large and very strong,” Timothy Head, the group’s executive director, said in an interview.Head noted that while President Donald Trump kept a strong hold on white evangelical voters this year, Perdue out-performed Trump in Georgia during the general election. President-elect Joe Biden may have won over some evangelicals by contrasting his character with that of Trump, Head said, but he argued that the same sort of case would be harder for Democrats to make against Loeffler and Perdue.Another faith-focused conservative group, the legislative affiliate of the Family Research Council, is holding trainings and pastor briefings before the runoffs. The anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, whose president advised Trump’s reelection campaign on Catholic outreach, has announced a $4.1 million plan to boost Loeffler and Perdue through a partner political action committee.Religious issues already have become a campaign flashpoint in the runoff. The GOP has resurfaced excerpts from past Warnock sermons to assail him as insufficiently supportive of the military as well as anti-Israel. The Democrat signed a letter last year comparing Israel's policy toward Palestinians to “previous oppressive regimes" and criticized it in a 2018 sermon, while also calling for a two-state solution in the region.Warnock pushed back in a recently released television ad, saying the attacks are “trying to scare people by taking things I’ve said out of context from over 25 years of being a pastor.”One group criticizing Warnock as too left-leaning on Israel, the Republican Jewish Coalition, is also mobilizing on behalf of the GOP incumbents.Jewish Democrats in Georgia predicted that the GOP attack on Warnock’s Israel record would fall flat, citing his record of friendship with the Jewish community through his pulpit at Ebenezer.Sherry Frank, president of the Atlanta section of the National Council of Jewish Women, said she sees “no doubt in the Jewish community about (Warnock’s) stance on Israel and anti-Semitism.” Frank's group is conducting nonpartisan voter turnout work for the runoffs.Georgia’s Jewish Democrats also see, in Ossoff and Warnock, candidates whose joint push for the Senate harkens back to a tradition of Black and Jewish leaders working together during the civil rights movement. Warnock has a bond with a prominent Atlanta rabbi whose predecessor at the synagogue was close with King.Warnock is viewed “as the inheritor" of King’s legacy, said Michael Rosenzweig, co-chair of the Georgia chapter of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, which has endorsed both Democrats. “And to the extent that Jews were supportive of the civil rights struggle and supportive of (King), I think they look supportively on Rev. Warnock.”Ossoff, who is Jewish, has defended Warnock against GOP criticism over Israel and fondly recalled his own connection to the late Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia civil rights leader who endorsed Ossoff before his death in July. In October, Ossoff said he and Lewis talked during their first meeting about “the bond between the Black and Jewish communities, marching alongside rabbis and young Jewish activists in the mid 1960s ... and how important it was that these communities be brought together."___Schor reported from Washington.___Associated Press religion coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through the Religion News Foundation. The AP is solely responsible for this content.Elana Schor And Ben Nadler, The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Testing a novel release strategy, Universal Pictures' animated sequel “The Croods: A New Age” had one of the best opening weekends of the pandemic, grossing $14.2 million over the five-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.Whereas new releases have traditionally lasted around 90 days in theatres, Universal has mapped out a shorted theatrical window in deals with major chains AMC and Cinemark that gives the studio the option to move new releases to premium video-on-demand after just 17 days. “The Croods: A New Age” is expected to shift to the home before Christmas for a $20 rental. For an industry reeling from the pandemic, it's part of wider changes seeping through the industry.“The Croods: A New Age” grossed $9.7 million Friday-Sunday, which rivals even the weekend start for “Tenet” in October. Warner Bros. didn't break down the three-day weekend figures for “Tenet,” which began preview screenings in the U.S. on a Monday, but said it grossed $20.2 million in its first week in U.S. theatres plus its first two weeks in Canadian theatres.While the opening for “The Croods: A New Age” was something Hollywood hadn’t seen in months — a movie that outperformed expectations — it was still only a sliver of what the industry usually sees in the typically busy holiday movie season. Last year, “Frozen II” led all films over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend with $123.7 million, while “Knives Out” scored $41.7 millionSince “Tenet” opened, most larger releases have been postponed or detoured to digital, sometimes while still playing in theatres overseas. The Walt Disney Co. steered “Mulan” to a premium purchase on Disney+, but opened in China and elsewhere. Next month, Warner Bros. will release “Wonder Woman 1984” simultaneously on HBO Max and in theatres. Disney has uprooted the Pixar animation “Soul” to its streaming platform.That's left smaller films to lead what's left of the box office — about 40% of the normal number of theatres. Most have tapped out around $4 million on opening weekend. The Kevin Costner and Diane Lane film “Let Him Go” debuted with $4.1 million in ticket sales from 2,454 locations earlier this month. The body-swap horror movie “Freaky,” with Vince Vaughn, has been No. 1 the last two weekends after debuting with $3.7 million.One of the biggest differences is that Universal spent more heavily to market the $65 million “Croods” sequel from DreamWorks Animation. It played in 2,211 locations, or about half the usual amount for such a release.Overseas, the film grossed $20.8 with almost all of that — $19.2 million — coming from China.___Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAPJake Coyle, The Associated Press
MAIDGURI, Nigeria — Suspected members of the Islamic militant group Boko Haram killed at least 40 rice farmers and fishermen in Nigeria as they were harvesting crops in the country's northern state of Borno, officials said. One said the death toll could rise to about 60 people.The attack Saturday in a rice field in Garin Kwashebe came on the same day that residents were casting votes for the first time in 13 years to elect local councils, although many didn’t go to cast their ballots.The farmers were reportedly rounded up and summarily killed by armed insurgents in retaliation for refusing to pay extortion to one militant.Malam Zabarmari, a leader of a rice farmers association in Borno state, confirmed the massacre to The Associated Press, saying at least 40 and up to 60 people could have been killed.Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari expressed grief over the killings.“I condemn the killing of our hardworking farmers by terrorists in Borno State. The entire country is hurt by these senseless killings. My thoughts are with their families in this time of grief,” he said.Buhari said the government had given the armed forces everything needed “to take all necessary steps to protect the country’s population and its territory.”A member of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Satomi, who represents the Jere Federal constituency of Borno, said at least 44 burials were taking place Sunday.“Farmers and fishermen were killed in cold blood. Over 60 farmers were affected, but we only have so far received 44 corpses from the farms,” the lawmaker said.Boko Haram and a breakaway faction, the Islamic State West Africa Province, are both active in the region. Boko Haram’s more than decade-long insurgency has left thousands dead and displaced tens of thousands. Officials say Boko Haram members often force villagers to pay illegal taxes by taking their livestock or crops but some villagers have begun to resist the extortion.Satomi said the farmers in Garin Kwashebe were attacked because they had disarmed and arrested a Boko Haram gunman on Friday who had been tormenting them.“A lone gunman, who was a member of Boko Haram came to harass the farmers by ordering them to give him money and also cook for him. While he was waiting for the food to be cooked, the farmers seized the moment he stepped into the toilet to snatch his rifle and tied him up,” he said.“They later handed him over to the security. But sadly, the security forces did not protect the courageous farmers. And in reprisal for daring them, the Boko Haram mobilized and came to attack them on their farms.”Insurgents also torched the rice farms before leaving, he said.___AP journalist Bashir Adigun in Abuja contributed to this report.Haruna Umar, The Associated Press
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Argentine police searched the home and office of Diego Maradona's personal doctor on Sunday as part of investigations into the death of the 60-year-old soccer star, which caused a wave of grief across the country.Reporters saw several police officers stationed at the door of the offices of neurologistDr. Leopoldo Luque in Buenos Aires' Belgrano neighbourhood.Court investigators have been taking declarations from Maradona's relatives, according to a statement from the San Isidro prosecutor's office, which is overseeing a probe into the medical attention Maradona received prior to his death on Wednesday.It said investigators were trying to secure Maradona's medical records.Maradona was buried Thursday in a private ceremony attended by only two dozen people following a vigil at the presidential palace where tens of thousands of weeping fans lined up to filed past his coffin.Maradona died of a heart attack in a house outside Buenos Aires where he had been recovering from a brain operation Nov. 3. He had suffered from a long series of medical issues, some related to overindulgence in drugs and alcohol.The Associated Press
P.E.I. has no new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday.Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.'s chief public health officer, made the announcement Sunday in the second previously unscheduled briefing of the weekend.On Saturday, two new cases that are unrelated were confirmed.One is a 15-year-old male student at Charlottetown Rural High School. The other is a male between the ages of 10 and 19 who travelled to P.E.I. from Toronto. He is not a student on P.E.I.Morrison said the student has no history of travel outside of P.E.I., and health officials are working to identify the source of the infection."We have been fortunate with all our previous cases in being able to identify a source or linkage giving us confidence that all our previous cases were related to out-of-province travel," she said."Given the amount of testing completed in P.E.I., including 3,000 tests in the past week alone, I am reassured that we do not have widespread community transmission in P.E.I."School will be cleanedCharlottetown Rural will be thoroughly cleaned and will remain open Monday, said Norbert Carpenter, acting director of the Public Schools Branch.Carpenter said the school system is committed to making sure students, staff and parents feel comfortable about going to the school.P.E.I. has had 72 cases of COVID-19. Four remain active. There have been no deaths or hospitalizations.More than 1,100 people on P.E.I. were tested in the past 24 hours, Morrison said. It's the largest number since the pandemic began about eight months ago.About 70 close contacts of the positive cases were tested and must self-isolate for 14 days regardless of a negative test result. Many are students who will be set up for online learning during that period.> I want to assure Islanders that our system responded appropriately and efficiently to this case that involved 353 contacts. — Dr. Heather MorrisonOther "casual" contacts — people who may have been in the proximity of the case — were also tested."I want to assure Islanders that our system responded appropriately and efficiently to this case that involved 353 contacts," Morrison said."Our system is ready to respond to cases when necessary, and the results of our collective efforts in the last 36 hours is further evidence that we continue to be poised to respond and take the necessary steps to contain the transmission of COVID-19 in our province."'Privilege we've earned'Beginning Monday, all high school students in the province will be required to wear a mask at all times while inside school.Premier Dennis King praised the health-care system and thanked Islanders for their co-operation."It's a privilege we've earned because we've followed these protocols," he said.The other Atlantic provinces announced new cases Sunday: 14 in New Brunswick, 10 in Nova Scotia and four in Newfoundland and Labrador.More from CBC P.E.I.
If citizens disbelieve the institutions that count ballots and the organizations that accurately report on those results, it will impossible to agree on what a legitimate election looks like.
Police say a man has died and another is critically injured following a morning shooting in Oshawa, Ont. Durham regional police say they were called to an area of Simcoe Street around 10:30 a.m. and found two men with gunshot wounds, one of them without vital signs. Spokesman Const. George Tudos says that man was later pronounced dead. He says the other is being treated for life-threatening injuries. Tudos says there are no outstanding suspects and no threat to public safety at this time. He says homicide investigators remain at the scene to piece together what happened, and witnesses are encouraged to come forward. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2020. The Canadian Press
Liam Docherty may be only 13 years old, but he's already garnering attention from the Canadian blues establishment. The young Qualicum Beach, B.C.-based singer-songwriter has been nominated for the New Artist of the Year category in the Maple Blues Awards, which recognize the best blues musicians across the country."It's a really big deal," Liam told host Gloria Macarenko on CBC's On The Coast.Liam first picked up the guitar when he was aged four, having been introduced to the instrument by his father. A concert by Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel in 2015 exposed Liam to the blues and the finger-picking style. "I kept on practising over the years," he said. "When I was seven, I learned some pop songs and I'd busk at the Salt Spring Island farmers market."Liam's performances earned him the moniker "red-headed blues boy" from locals. He was supposed to perform at the Vancouver Island Music Festival and the Nanaimo Blues Festival before they were cancelled due to COVID-19.Instead, he put out his first album, Modern Magic Melody, which earned him the award nomination. "I never actually expected this," he said. Organic songwriting processLiam says his songwriting process is something that flows organically from his love of playing."I always come up with new pieces. If I like them, I record them and start working on them and building them out," he said.For his lyrics, Liam collects phrases and words he likes from books and poems in a journal."They change during the songwriting process, of course, [but] those [phrases] can be a foundation for songs," he said. He also gets ideas from reading about his favourite blues musicians. Reading about Robert Leroy Johnson, an American blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter, and how he was affected by the Mississippi Delta flood, inspired Liam to write his own song about the historic event, Wipe My Weeping Eyes."I pick up the guitar every day ... I just love playing it so much," he said.
L'entraide, l'affect ou encore l'adaptation face aux procédures peuvent en limiter les effets tout en maintenant une bonne ambiance au sein des équipes.
The number of COVID-19 cases at the Saskatoon Provincial Correctional Centre has surpassed 100, including both inmates and staff.Glenn Billingsley, the manager of Labour Relations for the Saskatchewan Government Employees Union says as of Saturday night, there were 106 COVID-19 cases in inmates and 22 cases in staff for a total of 128.He says staff at the facility are working hard to keep inmates and each other safe, but notes the situation has put pressure on everyone inside. "What we now see is a rising number of inmates that have received a positive and that's a concern," Billingsley said. "We have grave concerns for our correction workers and the rising anxiety among the inmates, which is becoming more concerning for our staff."The latest update means one-fifth of inmates at the centre have now tested positive for COVID-19. There are almost 500 inmates at the Correctional Centre, according to an inmate who wrote a letter to provincial and federal governments.Billingsley said the union has been hearing concerns about the mental health of its employees as they work through the outbreak, but notes steps are being taken to reduce their risk of exposure."It's become extremely risky for our COs [corrections officers] to be working during this time and we are doing everything needed to request all the proper and approved PPE required," he said, noting it's a "very live situation."An outbreak at the facility was officially recorded on Nov. 17 and cases spread quickly throughout the facility, with some inmates initiating a hunger strike as they called for more measures to separate healthy inmates from their infected peers.Intakes suspended, no visitorsIn a statement, Minister of Policing and Corrections Christine Tell said the provincial government is "deeply concerned" about the rising cases at the facility, saying it has introduced strict measures to slow the spread of the virus. This includes suspending intake at the jail and prohibiting any outside visitors besides staff.On Sunday, Billingsley confirmed they've been told by the ministry positive cases are still being housed in units where other healthy inmates are living, and said those cases are being monitored on an individual basis."At this point, it's almost impossible to separate them into one unit," he said. Billingsley said the level of communication between staff at the Saskatoon facility, the union and the pandemic team has been "extremely co-operative" and says he feels communication is being relayed to both union members and inmates. "What we're seeing is an incredible collective collaboration between both management and the union at the facilities," he said. He said while cases are expected to rise in the next few days, he says they are hopeful the measures in place will work in slowing the spread, saying "within the next week, we should be turning the corner."He said staff at the facility deserve major credit for working their way through a situation that has been anything but easy."The general public, when they understand the seriousness and the risk our correction workers are facing, would realize these core individuals of employees are incredibly dedicated to their jobs and deserve a tremendous amount of credit."
KYIV, Ukraine — A human rights group in Belarus says over 300 people have been detained during Sunday protests against the country’s authoritarian president, who won his sixth term in office in a vote widely seen as rigged. The protests took place in Minsk, the capital, and other cities and attracted thousands of people. In Minsk, large crowds gathered in different parts of the city despite the snowy weather for what has been dubbed as the Neighbors' March, blocking the roads in some areas. “Neighbour for neighbour against dictatorship,” one protest banner read. “Go away, rat!” the crowds chanted, referring to President Alexander Lukashenko, who has run the country for 26 years, relentlessly cracking down on dissent. Nearly 250 demonstrators were detained in Minsk alone, police said. Mass protests have gripped Belarus, a former Soviet republic in eastern Europe, since official results from the Aug. 9 presidential election gave Lukashenko a landslide victory over his widely popular opponent, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. She and her supporters refused to recognize the result, saying the vote was riddled with fraud. Authorities have cracked down hard on the largely peaceful demonstrations, the biggest of which attracted up to 200,000 people. Police used stun grenades, tear gas and truncheons to disperse the rallies. On Sunday, police once again deployed tear gas and stun grenades to break up some of the crowds in Minsk, and some were chased into residential courtyards and beaten up with truncheons, the Viasna human rights centre said. More than 300 people have been detained all across the country, according to the group. Ahead of the rally, water cannons, armoured vehicles and police vans were seen in the centre of Minsk. Several subway stations were closed and internet access was restricted. On Saturday, Tsikhanouskaya, who left the country soon after the election under pressure from the authorities and is currently in exile in Lithuania, extended her support to the protesters. “I will support everyone who takes part in the Neighbors' March this Sunday,” Tsikhanouskaya said in a video statement. “We have come a long, hard way together already... We're a proud, brave, peaceful people that have learned the price of freedom and will never agree to live without it.” The Associated Press
Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare (HDGH) has declared an outbreak on the third floor of its rehabilitation tower, according to a Sunday news release. Three staff and two patients have tested positive for COVID-19 and are associated with the outbreak.This comes after the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) says it is investigating a cluster of cases at both Windsor Regional Hospital Ouellette campus and HDGH.According to the release, outbreak measures have been implemented at HDGH on Friday, which includes closing the unit to any new admissions, enhanced cleaning on the unit, and temporarily suspending students, contractors and non-essential staff and the Designated Care Partners Visitation Program on the unit.Daily case count in Windsor-EssexThere are 26 new cases in the region Sunday, with 466 active cases. Eleven people are in hospital and the local death toll is currently 79.In total, the region has 14 outbreaks across four different sectors. There are seven workplace outbreaks, including: * Three in Leamington's agriculture sector. * One in Lakeshore's health care and social assistance sector. * One in a Leamington place of worship. * One in Leamington's finance and insurance sector. * One in Windsor's manufacturing sector. Two community outbreaks are still active, one at Victoria Manor Supportive Living in Windsor and another at Riverplace Residence in Windsor. Two schools — Frank W. Begley Public School and W. J. Langlois Catholic Elementary School — also remain in outbreak.Begley now has 49 cases, 40 are students and nine are staff members. W. J. Langlois has seven cases, four are students and three are staff members.There are three long-term care and retirement homes in outbreak, which include: * Riverside Place in Windsor has 17 resident cases and three staff cases. * Leamington Mennonite in Leamington with one staff case. * Iler Lodge in Essex with 18 resident cases and three staff cases.
For City Cinema in Charlottetown, the pandemic has meant overcoming obstacles. Now there are more.In order to reopen in July, the theatre had to make a number of changes in order to comply with public health orders. Plexiglas was installed, stickers placed on the ground and seats marked off.Attendance steadily improved through the summer months."The last couple of months, we've really kind of hit a stride and had several sellout shows," said Marshall Harrington, the cinema's manager. "And we were in a good situation for December to continue that trend."They had three films lined up that were set to debut in theatres in December. City Cinema had already sold tickets and bought ads promoting the screenings.Films were set to run every night of the week, an increase from four nights a week the theatre was doing before.Releases suspendedBut, on Wednesday, days before the showings were set to begin, Harrington got an email from the studio responsible for those movies, saying that they were suspending the releases to theatres. "What they told us was that due to quite a few theatre closures across Canada, they cancelled their theatrical runs of these films in Canada. So they, unfortunately, had to pull those titles from our schedule," he said. "It was deflating." That left Harrington scrambling to fill the gaps. The theatre managed to find replacements, but the loss of the three films, as well as the situation around COVID-19, mean City Cinema has to return to the four showings per week.For the cinema, it's another challenge in an already challenging year. "We've had our challenges with reopening and adjusting to local health guidelines and trying to follow them as best we can," said Harrington."It's just another challenge that we need to overcome," he said.'We didn't see any hurt in keeping them'At a time when theatres around the world are hurting because of the pandemic, Harrington said the move to pull the films was one that City Cinema didn't quite understand. "From our perspective, we didn't see any hurt in letting us keep the titles. But … they just pulled the whole run across Canada. So there really wasn't much we could do."We do understand it from their perspective. They're looking at it as a big picture. But … for us, we didn't see any hurt in keeping them," he said. But, despite this, Harrington said he's looking forward to the December lineup. More from CBC P.E.I.
A resident in a Victoria assisted living facility says the return to stringent COVID-19 prevention measures is leading to increased anxiety and isolation for the seniors who live there. Judith Hodgson lives with her husband, Camil Dufort, at Ross Place Retirement Residence, where she says everyone has been asked to stay in their suites. "Our meals come to the door in boxes, not always warm," she said. "Many of us have no 'essential visitor,' and many of us will not see family or a friend at Christmas. But we all hope this will help COVID numbers to go down."Hodgson's concerns echo those raised in two separate reports released this month by the B.C. Care Providers Association and by British Columbia's Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie.Terry Lake, CEO of the B.C. Care Providers Association, says there have been no cases to date of visitors bringing COVID-19 into long-term care. Mackenzie urged easing visitor restrictions after a survey by her office found the restrictions were harming the health of long-term care home residents. In an interview with CBC On the Island host Gregor Craigie, Hodgson said that over the summer months, when COVID-19 cases declined and restrictions eased, residents enjoyed increased freedom and renewed social connections."We went back to the dining rooms. There were only two at a table," Hodgson said. "We resumed some exercises in hallways and some people went out to visit with families and friends."Those days of relative freedom ended with the arrival of B.C.'s second wave of COVID-19. Meanwhile, Hodgson worries about the loneliness of her fellow residents. Many are in their 90s or older and are missing the ability to visit with family members. Others are heartbreakingly alone.Hodgson said neighbours in the building try to support each other through phone calls, elbow bumps when they meet in the hallway, and small, distanced happy-hour dates. But she said it's hard to summon the energy and optimism that helped get her through the first wave of the pandemic. The couple is also coping with a non-COVID-related health setback, after Dufort, 88, suffered a small stroke. "For three days I haven't been out except to pick up my mail and I'm kind of a social person. And so I'm finding it really difficult," she said. "All I want for Christmas is a hug." She would also like to talk to an anti-mask protester."We just want to meet one of these people who refuses to wear a mask and talks about their personal freedom, and bring them in to live in a facility for a week and see what they would think," Hodgson said. "They are thinking about their freedom," she said. "Well, I think my rights end where yours begin, I'll put it that way."To listen to the full interview with Judith Hodgson, tap the link below: With files from CBC Radio On The Island