Check out all of the hummingbirds gathered here to enjoy some food from a backyard feeder. It's so cool to watch!
TORONTO — A year-long investigation that began as a probe into an alleged Toronto gang has led to more than 100 arrests across Ontario for crimes that include murder, drug trafficking and firearms offences, police said Thursday. Toronto police said the operation — dubbed Project Sunder — dismantled the Eglinton West Crips, which was allegedly involved in criminal activity as far as Thunder Bay, Ont. "The Eglinton West Crips were involved in extensive gun and drug trafficking networks that span the province of Ontario," said Toronto police Deputy Chief Myron Demkiw."These networks are alleged to have trafficked large quantities of narcotics, specifically cocaine and fentanyl, to many communities outside of the Greater Toronto Area."Police said they had made 114 arrests and expected about 800 criminal charges to be laid in the ongoing investigation that began in September 2019. While Toronto police led the probe, the investigation also involved forces in Waterloo, York Region, Peel Region, Durham Region, Thunder Bay, and the provincial police. Chief Supt. Paul Mackey of the Ontario Provincial Police said that collaboration between so many forces was necessary to combat a criminal organization of this size."This particular investigation clearly demonstrates how GTA-based street gangs have influence across Ontario, from Ottawa to Thunder Bay and many places in between," he said."No community is immune. Criminals do not respect jurisdictional boundaries."Police said that officers carried out 141 search warrants over several months. A total of 31 firearms were seized, along with seven kilograms of cocaine, two kilograms of fentanyl, two kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and other street drugs, as well as $300,000 in currency.Deputy Chief Brian Bigras of the York Regional Police said that the size of the seizures was indicative of how widespread and dangerous the alleged gang was."Project Sunder stopped a criminal group in their tracks, a criminal group that clearly had tentacles that spread across the province of Ontario," saidThis report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 29, 2020. John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press
The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated an increase in mail-in and early voting, which was already taking place in recent elections, and has led to talk of an election "season" of vote counting — a development that has chagrined U.S. President Donald Trump."It would be very, very proper and very nice if a winner were declared on Nov. 3, instead of counting ballots for two weeks, which is totally inappropriate, and I don't believe that's by our laws," Trump said between campaign stops on Tuesday.Trump appeared to be confusing media projections with actual certified results from the states themselves. He did not object, for example, when Arizona was projected for him by the networks on election night in 2016 but not officially certified by the state until two days later."Results are never certified on the night of the election," Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said on Tuesday. Boockvar's statement applies nationwide, with state certifications taking place between Nov. 5 and Dec. 8.With one big exception in 2000, which caused a reorganization and rethink of modelling and exit poll methods, media projections the night of an election have been on point. It's the process which enabled Trump to make a victory speech around 3 a.m. ET after election night in 2016, as Hillary Clinton had conceded to his campaign 30 minutes earlier, even with very close margins in four states, three of which went to Trump.Trump's rationale would see many Americans outside of the country, including service members, disenfranchised if their ballots aren't received by election day. The State Department estimated over 614,000 cast a ballot outside the U.S. in 2016, including over 51,000 serving in the military.In fairness to the president, things can get confusing in the United States with no overriding federal election commission. The decentralized electoral college system sees many states projected the minute after polls close, while others are unclear.So, here's a look at who makes the projections, an estimated time frame for some key states and a few examples that illustrate the republic has survived waiting several hours or longer not knowing the result.The mediaCNN and the traditional three U.S. over-air networks ABC, CBS and NBC form the National Election Pool (NEP) consortium, utilizing Edison Research data. The Associated Press trumpets the 2018 midterm performance of its VoteCast survey, also used by Fox News."If AP cannot definitively say a candidate has won, we don't speculate," David Scott, AP deputy managing editor, said this week.Dan Merkle, executive director of elections at ABC News, made similar comments to its polling website partner, FiveThirtyEight, assigning a confidence level of 99.5 per cent before its consortium would make a call in any state.Generally speaking, the media organizations and their vendors employ exit polls of early and same day voters, phone polls of early and mail-in voters and statistical models that follow recent trends at a granular county or district level. Projections aren't made until a representative sample from the state, geographically and demographically, can be assured.It's important to remember that, in terms of the presidential contest, most states are not up for grabs. Both the Cook Political Report and nonpartisan aggregator 270 to Win have a total of 337 electoral college votes categorized as not in doubt at all or little doubt. All told, about 15 states are rated as toss-up or as a "lean" to one party or the other."States like Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, those are states that we expect to count similar to in the past.… If it's a one- or two-point race, yes, we'll be waiting for more data. But if we have a few-point margin, three, four, five points, those races should be projectable," Merkle told FiveThirtyEight.Florida state officials were able to begin processing and verifying early ballots 22 days before the election, so their dump of results in the early hours after polls close will be significant and a mix of early and day-of voters.WATCH l Texas activists work hard to overcome voting obstacles:In a scenario where Florida's 29 electoral college votes can be projected for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Trump's path is foggy at best.Jim Messina, a former campaign manager for Barack Obama, told the New Yorker this week his consulting group has over 60,000 different simulations involving different pathways, and all theoretical Trump wins involve him carrying Florida."It's just the math," said Messina.If Florida indeed goes to Trump or is up in the air, the focus turns to a small number of northeastern and Midwestern states.States such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania would most likely not be projected on election night, ABC's Merkle said, and therefore it would be "somewhat surprising" if an overall winner of the presidency is projected on election night or into its wee hours.The statesSome 70 million Americans had voted by Oct. 27, and states vary as to whether those ballots can be processed ahead of the closing of in-person polls, as well as what date postmarked ballots will be accepted by.Officials from the perceived swing states are confident they can handle the increase in early voting."Our estimate is Friday [Nov. 6] before we can ensure all these ballots will be tabulated and processed," Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said recently."I do expect the overwhelming majority of ballots will be counted in a couple of days," Pennsylvania's Boockvar has said, while for his part Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has said he expects their result to be known by Nov. 4.These states aren't laggards. States such as Utah and Washington are expected to take longer to fully tabulate their results. But those states won't be eyed obsessively as they are seen as comfortably projected for Trump and Biden, respectively.If Ohio can't be projected on election night, things could get interesting. Under state law, there are no results announced between election night and when the final total is certified, a time frame of weeks given that the postmarked ballots are eligible to be counted if received by Nov. 13.The state says it will update outstanding absentee vote totals, which could help deduce if it's statistically possible for a candidate to catch up.Americans have gone to bed uncertainU.S. elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, and even in less challenging times than a pandemic, the accepted result spilled into the next day or later.As historian Michael Beschloss pointed out in a 2016 article, despite a subdued speech around 3 a.m. following election day, Richard Nixon in 1960 did not officially concede. As they would a few more times in the pre-internet age, Americans awoke to an early edition newspaper on their porch stating the race was still too close to call.NBC broke into a game show around noon that Wednesday with a Nixon aide reading his concession speech to Democratic nominee John F. Kennedy.WATCH l Monitoring a U.S. election not unusual, but 2020 brings unique challenges:"The outcome of Tuesday's election hung in the balance for hours," The Associated Press reported in 1968. In that year, as well as in 1976 and 2004, candidates conceded to the eventual winner early morning or midday on the Wednesday. Americans perhaps got lulled into expecting an immediate result after three landslides in the 1980s followed by two elections in the 1990s that were not especially nail-biting affairs. Then came 2000.Democratic nominee Al Gore famously conceded to George W. Bush after some networks projected Florida to fall for the Republican. Gore soon called Bush back to rescind that concession as more data came in throwing the projection into doubt. Confusing ballots saw some Floridians "overvote" for two candidates and others not sufficiently punch their card for any candidate.On that Dec. 12, Gore lost a key Supreme Court ruling and conceded the next day. Bush edged Gore by 537 votes in the Florida count.While those unique circumstances won't be duplicated, "many of the fundamental pathologies unearthed by the 2000 debacle remain," writes Richard Hasen in the recent book Election Meltdown: Dirty Tricks, Distrust and the Threat to American Democracy."Political actors realized that the courts were fertile grounds for fighting over election rules," Hasen said.Indeed, the U.S. Supreme Court has had to rule on a number of rule challenges during this campaign, including Wednesday on Pennsylvania's absentee ballots.In terms of the media, the fallout from 2000 saw the Voter News Service consortium ditched and eventually replaced by the NEP.Beware red or blue 'mirage'Election experts have warned that results reported in some states on election night could have a red or blue "mirage" — a scenario in which one candidate is ahead but votes counted later show a decided advantage for the other candidate.Pennsylvania, for example, has reported that Democrats had requested mail-in or absentee ballots by more than a two-to-one margin over Republicans.In the 2018 midterms, Trump targeted a Florida election official with unsubstantiated allegations of criminal wrongdoing as he seemingly refused to accept that absentee ballots with a decided Democratic advantage began to be tabulated after election night. Those votes narrowed the advantages Republican candidates held — and ultimately retained — in Florida's gubernatorial and Senate races.The transition of power relies heavily on good faith dealings between candidates. Trump has only said he'd concede if this year's result is "fair," though he hasn't defined what that means.Hasen lobbies for the centralized reforms and an end to "blue state" and "red state" approaches to election rules. In order for Americans to respect results this year and beyond, he says, a bipartisan group of respected political elders may need to be called on to attest to the contest's fairness.One such group, the National Council of Election of Integrity, slammed Trump's comments on Tuesday."Trump is more a symptom of the American electoral system's malfunction than a cause," Hansen wrote. "The problems will exist even after he leaves the political scene."What do you want to know about the U.S. election? Your questions help inform our coverage. Email us at Ask@cbc.ca
HARRIGAN COVE – Beverly Ledden’s husband woke her at 1 a.m. on August 27 and said, “Ambulance. I am having a heart attack.” She called 911, routed through her online phone service, but all Bell landlines in the area were down at the time. The couple cannot get a reliable cell signal at home in Harrigan Cove. Ledden had found the cost of a landline expensive and opted instead for a computer-based line. Her ‘Magic Jack’ line accepted the 911 call and its U.S. headquarters transferred the call back to the local landline provider in Canada, which in this case is Bell. Since Bell was down, the emergency call was not successfully forwarded. Calling neighbours for help from her Magic Jack line was futile, as their Bell landlines were out. “On August 26-27 we had no landline available to us and no 911 service. My husband, who had a heart attack that morning on Aug 27, was very fortunate we got help,” she told The Journal during a recent interview. Ledden was able to get him into their car before he passed out and drove to the nearest community, Port Dufferin, where there was intermittent cell service in front of the SR Balcom Centre. With one bar on her cell phone, she was able to reach the 911 service for help. Now Ledden is lobbying politicians to deem cell service an essential one for all Nova Scotians. She wrote, in part, to Councillor David Hendsbee, District 2, HRM: “I had to put my husband in the car and drive until I had cell phone service. Bell has the only phone service on the Eastern Shore with landlines. Cell is non-existent … If even one life could be saved by having these essential services that would be enough.” During the emergency, Ledden had the presence of mind to give her husband an aspirin at home and then Emergency Health Services transported him to Eastern Shore Memorial Hospital (ESMH) where – fortunately – the emergency department happened to be open. Due to COVID restrictions she was unable to accompany her husband at the hospital. Mr. Ledden was stabilized at ESMH and then transferred to the QEII in Halifax. “He had three stents put in the left descending arterial artery and, thankfully, is recovering nicely,” Ledden says. “I was very lucky to get him in the car before he lost consciousness and get to where I could get cell service.” Ledden says for residents of rural Nova Scotia, essential services must be a priority, including cell service. “We have lobbied for Internet and did have some success in a number of communities with fibre-op service – but for just a small portion of the folks who live on the Eastern Shore. I have an Internet phone as the price of Bell Aliant with long distance is reaching the $100 mark. Although we are in the HRM, even dialing companies, doctors or any other services in Halifax are long distance,” she explains. The convenience and cost of the Internet phone was appealing, as the couple have all the services they were getting from Bell Aliant – and even long distance in North America – for less than $6 a month. For peace of mind, at 8 a.m. on Aug. 27, Ledden called Bell to have a landline installed. Katie Hatfield, Bell Aliant spokesperson, told The Journal in an email: “We first heard from Ms. Ledden on the morning of August 27 following her husband’s health issue … We connected her residence with Bell Aliant service the same day.” Ledden travelled to the city to be with her husband and, when she returned, she discovered she still had no Bell connection. It was a week later before the couple had a landline dial tone. “We heard back from Ms. Ledden on August 31 to report that there was no dial tone, and we scheduled a technician visit for the following day, September 1. Due to a scheduling issue on our end, the repair was completed on September 3. We don’t have any records of any further service issues at Ms. Ledden’s home, but we did speak to her on September 25 about some billing concerns and credited her account for a month of free service for the inconvenience,” said Hatfield. “There is no cell service along the Eastern Shore except if you are fortunate enough to get a weak signal or have no landscape (hills and valleys) in the way,” says Ledden. “Since the storm Dorian went through last year and put us off the grid for phone service and Internet, we have been experiencing outages and poor lines with our phone service from the only landline provider in many areas. Trees on lines and poles being pulled over have become very hard on our landlines.” “October 7 we also had no Bell landlines for approximately 24 hours again,” an exasperated Ledden says. The cost continues to rise but the service does not change. “For $97 a month, I now have a landline from Bell Aliant – as well as my Magic Jack Internet phone and a cell phone I can only use in certain communities. Really, if the communication lines are out your call to 911 will not go through. Cell service should be considered an essential service to everyone not just those who live in populous areas. Every life should count,” she advocates.Janice Christie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal
An outbreak at a church in Blenheim is now connected with an estimated 30 COVID-19 cases in Chatham-Kent, with upwards of 230 people being asked to self-isolate. Chatham-Kent medical officer of health Dr. David Colby said Thursday that an infected individual who attended a Chatham blood donor clinic earlier this month was a member of the Blenheim Word of Life Church. The health unit has issued an exposure notice to 150 others who were at the clinic. The region's three hospitalized cases are also from the church's outbreak, the health unit said. Colby added that a congregant living outbreak in Chatham is also linked to the church outbreak. He called the church outbreak "rather large and unwieldy.""We continue to monitor and isolate with regard to that outbreak," Colby said. Blenheim is a small village in the Chatham-Kent region.The church posted on Facebook early last week that a member of its "church families" had tested positive for COVID-19. In a Facebook message to CBC News Thursday, pastor Tim Joyce said "We would very much appreciate that you would respect our privacy at this time." He continued to say, "We are still in the middle of this situation. When it's done and over we will release a statement. Right now we are supporting one another praying for one another and our community." The church has since closed its doors for two weeks.Colby said that in contact tracing interviews, members of the church said that they had been following physical distancing guidelines."They were respecting physical distancing rules and so forth," Colby said. "But I note that it's a storefront church that is very small inside and we know that crowding can make a difference and that singing can make a difference."Colby also said the health unit is not looking at new regulations for churches in the region, and that the case appeared to be unique among churches."Obviously there was a breakdown in precautions somewhere along the line. So we're going to start from square one and re-emphasis all of the precautions," he added.'It is very scary'Owner of More Than TZ Customizing Sami Ibari, whose shop is located right beside the church in the strip mall, told CBC News Thursday that the number of cases and those self-isolating as a result of the community outbreak is alarming. "It is very scary. We live in very close, tight community here and when you see it knocking at your door it make you very worried about what's going on," he said."I wish there's no harm will happen to that people who did have that disease and I wish that people around this area to be more concerned and take more precautions."He said with so many people in one room, the precautions are maybe "not enough." But the fact that the church is closed and the health unit is on top of the situation makes him feel at ease. "What happened here [is] like a big awakening for other people around us to [take] more precautions."
VANCOUVER — A border officer who assisted in the examination of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver's airport before her arrest two years ago says information sharing was discussed with the RCMP before she landed. Scott Kirkland told the B.C. Supreme Court on Thursday that someone raised the question of how information collected by border officials could be legally obtained by police during a meeting between Canada Border Services Agency and RCMP officers before Meng's plane arrived. Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Mona Duckett, Kirkland agreed that Section 107 of the Customs Act was brought up in the meeting in the context of how the the RCMP could legally obtain information from a customs and immigration exam. He agreed that it was raised in anticipation that border officials could discover information worth sharing. Kirkland testified that he couldn't recall whether it was an RCMP or border officer who raised the Customs Act on the issue of information sharing. "It was brought up in the context of how the RCMP could legally obtain information from your examination?" Duckett asked. "Yes," Kirkland said. "So, in advance of the examination, there was a discussion of the sharing of information obtained, right?" "Yes," he said. "In anticipation of getting information worth sharing?" Duckett asked. "If that arose, yes." Kirkland is the second in a series of witnesses called to testify at the request of Meng's defence team, which is gathering evidence for arguments it will make next year that she was subjected to an abuse of process. The defence has alleged there was a "co-ordinated strategy" to have the RCMP delay her arrest so border officials could question Meng under the pretense of a routine immigration exam. Also on Thursday, Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes released a decision allowing the defence to pursue an argument next year as part of its abuse of process allegations. The defence has sought to argue that the United States misled Canadian officials in its summary of the case against her. "I have concluded that there is an air of reality to Ms. Meng's allegations of abuse of process in relation to the requesting state's conduct in certifying the (record of case)," the decision says. Meng is wanted in the United States on fraud charges over allegations she lied to HSBC about Huawei's relationship with a company doing business in Iran, putting the bank at risk of violating American sanctions against that country. Meng and Huawei deny the allegations. On Wednesday Kirkland testified that border officers made “abundantly clear” to the RCMP that the Mounties could not interfere in their examination process. He said the border agency was obligated to conduct its own screening of Meng after she landed because officers had suspicions relating to criminality and national security that could affect Meng's admissibility to Canada. That examination is independent of the RCMP's process, he said. However, he acknowledged on Thursday that his colleagues seemed to "lack the same urgency" about national security, which he said he developed based on internet sources and his own knowledge of telecommunications. He did not lead the examination. Meng was flagged on an internal database because of an outstanding warrant but Kirkland could not recall anything in the database that indicated a national security concern. During Meng's examination, he said she was never informed of the existence of a warrant for her arrest, nor asked about national security concerns like espionage. "Do you agree that throughout the examination there was not an iota of evidence gathered to support a national security concern," Duckett asked? "That is correct." On Wednesday, Kirkland said he suggested that after identifying Meng at the gate, the border agency should pass her to the RCMP immediately. He was concerned that an exam by border officers before her arrest could be seen as a delay in due process and raised as a charter issue in court, he said. On Thursday, he said he never voiced the reason for his concern. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 29, 2020. Amy Smart, The Canadian Press
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is preparing a 2021 legislative agenda with two “great, big initiatives” — expanding health care access and rebuilding American infrastructure — that are longtime Democratic priorities aligned with Joe Biden’s platform and taking on fresh urgency in the COVID-19 crisis. Pelosi said the bills, from the party's own top 10-list of legislation that has already passed the Democratic House this session of Congress, "fit comfortably” with what Biden is proposing in his “Build Back Better” platform.
Some mailed their votes weeks ago, and now U.S. and dual citizens living in Toronto are preparing for a close presidential race that will have consequences in this country too.Toronto is home to 78,371 people who are eligible to vote in Tuesday's election, according the Federal Voting Assistance Program.Tyler Thom is one of them. The American citizen has been living in Toronto since 2018 and is a Canadian resident. Originally from Wisconsin, the 32 year-old mailed his ballot to his home state."I'm nervous," Thom said in an interview. "Regardless of the outcome."Thom says the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and frayed race relations continue to make the United States a deeply divided country. He believes Democratic nominees for president and vice president, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, will be able to bring Americans together.Immigration, health care, key issues"No one is listening to each other right now," he said. "I talk to my friends and family. A lot are legitimately scared. It sounds like it's the start of civil war. I don't want to be alarmist, but regardless of the election, there are tough times ahead."Thom also worries about the current administration's attempts at repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. He says some of his family members could be affected by changes to their health care.As well, immigration is a major issue for him. Thom came to Canada after his husband, who is Mexican, was denied residency status in the United States."I'm very frustrated with the U.S. immigration system. Trump has done nothing to make it better. He's only incited more racism and more fear," Thom said.Republican focused on fiscal policyMark Feigenbaum, a lawyer and dual citizen based in Toronto, is also getting anxious about the election results. But the long-time Republican and chairman of Republicans Overseas Canada is hoping for another four years for President Donald Trump.Feigenbaum, who grew up in Los Angeles and specializes in cross-border tax law, says he focuses on fiscal issues as a voter, and less on Trump's personality and policy moves made in other areas."My Republican tendencies lean towards the fiscal side — lower taxes, smaller government, less regulation — and less on the social side. I saw what vice president Biden's plan was in the debates and I don't think that's the right path," Feigenbaum said.According to the research done after the 2016 presidential election by the Federal Voting Assistance Program, there are more than 620,000 people eligible to vote in U.S. elections living in Canada.Interest in Democrats AbroadDianna English, a Toronto resident and volunteer communications officer with Democrats Abroad, says voters living in Canada could actually influence the outcome of the election in key swing states, such as Michigan."We do have the capacity to turn key elections if we get out and vote," English said.Getting the vote out in Canada has not been easy for any party. Just five per cent of people living in Canada eligible to vote in the U.S. election four years ago cast absentee ballots.English believes that will change this year, at least for Democrats based in Canada. She says Democrats Abroad has experienced a 35-per-cent increase in membership this year and that membership has grown by 90 per cent since 2016.English adds that web traffic to votefromabroad.org, which assists expatriate voters, is up this year as well. She believes that the impact of the Trump presidency has been global and the results of this election will matter to US citizens no matter where in the world they live."Americans know that the effects of a second Trump term aren't going to stop at the border," English said.
Loved ones of Canadians and permanent residents who died in the crash of Ukrainian Airlines Flight PS752, say they've received a growing number of threats believed to be from Iran and inside Canada.
MONTREAL — Quebec is suspending all private refugee sponsorships by organizations because it says it has serious concerns with the integrity of the program. The province said Wednesday that until November 2021, only groups of two to five people can privately sponsor a refugee. All larger organizations including church groups and non-profits that have privately sponsored refugees for years are shut out of the program for the next 12 months. The government published its decision in the Official Gazette and did not give details other than saying it had serious concerns about the integrity of certain practices within the framework of the program. Quebec's Immigration Department said in an emailed statement Wednesday it received "serious allegations" regarding the program. "Investigations are ongoing and we will not be commenting further to avoid harming their progress." Paul Clarke, executive director of Action Refugies Montreal, a non-profit that has sponsored refugees to Quebec since the 1990s, called the government's decision unfortunate. Clarke said legitimate organizations such as his have been put under a cloud of suspicion following the suspension. He said it's unfair to punish his group for the alleged mistakes of others. "They are using a sledgehammer when they should be using surgical tools," Clarke said in an interview Wednesday, in reference to the Immigration Department. Quebec's decision to suspend private refugee sponsorships from organizations does not reduce the number of refugees who can apply to immigrate to the province. Clarke said the government has allowed about 750 applications for the last couple of years and will do so for 2021. The published public order says the government has "serious concerns about the integrity of certain practices of legal persons within the framework" of the private refugee sponsorship program. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2020. Giuseppe Valiante, The Canadian Press
China's Ant Group Co Ltd <688688.SS> <6688.HK> has been cutting funding and staff support to many of the overseas e-wallet firms it has invested in as it pivots away from earlier ambitions of becoming a global payments leader, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. It has made large cuts to the hundreds of millions of dollars it spent each year to subsidise user growth at overseas e-wallet firms offering digital payment and other financial services, and is repatriating Ant staffers, according to more than a dozen executives who work or have worked with Ant in nine countries. This year, Ant also quietly halted an ambitious plan to create a global payments infrastructure based on a common QR code system connecting all the e-wallets it has invested in, despite efforts to make it a reality throughout 2019, the sources said.
Seventy inmates at the Calgary Correctional Centre have tested positive for COVID-19, according to new numbers provided by Alberta Health Services.As of Wednesday, 70 inmates and 17 staff members have tested positive. Five inmates who had tested positive previously have been released from the facility and are isolating at home, as they had completed their court-mandated sentences.Earlier this week, multiple infected inmates said they had been moved into "the hole" — otherwise known as solitary confinement or administrative segregation — and were living through inhumane conditions."It's making me feel worried, and lose hope, and I'm worried about my family," one inmate said earlier this week. "I feel like I'm stuck here to die."Linda, whom CBC News agreed to use a pseudonym for as she fears repercussions for her loved one in the jail should he be identified, said the new numbers reported Wednesday were frightening."I'm sick to my stomach," she said.Linda's loved one is in the facility for a non-violent crime. She said he still hasn't been able to wash his hands, and it has been two weeks since the prisoners had their laundry done."I'm not saying that these guys are innocent by any means, or that they should have some glorified place to live," she said. "But they need flushing toilets. They need food. They need clean laundry, hot showers and fresh air."According to AHS, the increase in inmate case numbers primarily emerged after inmates who previously tested negative were re-swabbed on Tuesday.In a statement provided to CBC News on Sunday, a spokesperson for Alberta Justice Minster Kaycee Madu said staff and inmates at the facility were being encouraged to raise their concerns, and corrective action was being taken as needed.Alberta reported four more COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, and again broke the record for active cases of the illness.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX’s second astronaut flight is off until mid-November because red lacquer dripped into tiny vent holes in two rocket engines that now must be replaced. SpaceX and NASA officials announced the discovery of the potentially damaging contamination Wednesday. The clogged holes were found after the aborted launch of a GPS satellite on Oct. 2. Two of those engines were contaminated with the bright red coating, which protects engine parts during cleaning. SpaceX later found the same problem with two of the nine booster engines on the rocket that will launch four astronauts to the International Space Station. It will be SpaceX's second launch of astronauts for NASA after a successful test flight earlier this year. The engine trouble prompted SpaceX and NASA to bump the launch to Nov. 14, two weeks later than planned. A company vice-president, Hans Koenigsmann, said new procedures are being implemented to the prevent the problem. “The important part, I think, for us is that we caught it before anything happened,” Koenigsmann told reporters. “Really important for us that we fix it ... and make sure that never happens again.” The clogged vent holes — located in the engine gas generators — are just one-sixteenth of an inch (1.6 millimeters). On-board computers detected the problem and halted the Oct. 2 countdown in the final few seconds. The contaminated engines could have been badly damaged if they had fired, Koenigsmann said. The cleaning process is done by an outside company, which was not identified. The problem appears to have cropped up in just the last couple months, he noted, affecting brand new boosters but not the older ones that already have been recycled several times. SpaceX's next launch for NASA — a satellite to monitor sea level change — is scheduled for Nov. 10 from California following the replacement of one contaminated engine. ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content. Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took a victory lap Wednesday for shepherding Amy Coney Barrett onto the U.S. Supreme Court, while his Democratic challenger questioned his priorities. Amy McGrath said the Republican should have done more to deliver more coronavirus aid to hurting Kentuckians. She called it a symptom of what ails the Senate, saying that under McConnell's leadership “everything’s been polarized, everything has been red or blue, dysfunctional.” McConnell countered that he's “never seen the Democrats so radical" and tried linking McGrath to her party's progressive leaders — a tested GOP tactic in Kentucky. He also recounted his role in President Donald Trump's impeachment acquittal in the Senate, telling a campaign audience: “I led the opposition to impeaching Donald Trump and I’m proud of it.” McConnell and McGrath, a retired Marine combat pilot running as an political outsider, are engaged in a bruising, mega-spending campaign. Trump's chief ally in Congress, McConnell has touted his leadership post as an asset for Kentucky as he seeks a seventh term. But McGrath has chided McConnell for his decades in the Senate and has called for term limits for senators. With less than a week until Election Day, McConnell played up his alliance with Trump in putting conservatives on the federal bench. The GOP-led Senate has confirmed more than 200 judicial nominees of the Republican president, including three Supreme Court justices. The push to reshape the judiciary continued with Barrett's confirmation Monday to the high court. “It was a proud moment when we confirmed her Monday night," McConnell said during a campaign stop in Oldham County, near Louisville. “We worked through the weekend ... and we made an important difference for the country.” McConnell referred to the confirmations of Trump's judicial picks as “the most significant thing we could do that would last a long time.” McConnell has led in polling. But McGrath is putting up a fight — backed by tens of millions in campaign funds bankrolling her TV advertising blitz. McGrath said Barrett's confirmation was done in a “hypocritical and cynical fashion" by McConnell, who blocked former President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, in an election year. “Now eight days from an election he jams one through," McGrath said in Louisville on Tuesday. “That’s not America. That’s not what our Senate’s supposed to be doing. And he knows it.” Instead, the focus should have been on reaching a deal to deliver more federal aid to a pandemic-stricken country, she said. “He won’t help Kentuckians in their time of need," McGrath said. “It’s him that’s stopping this. That’s the Congress that he built. You know what, that’s his legacy. That in a moment of national crisis, he cared about himself. He cared about his political party. He cared about his power.” Insisting he wants another coronavirus relief bill, McConnell said he tried pushing through targeted relief for schools, small businesses and the health care sector but was stymied by Senate Democrats. McConnell continued to tout his lead role in passing a $2 trillion economic rescue package early in the pandemic. His follow-up relief bill totalled about $500 billion, which stalled amid partisan wrangling over its size and scope. McGrath has said McConnell waited too long and offered too little in the follow-up bill. Continuing a campaign theme, McGrath said every American deserves affordable and accessible health care, adding “there are lots of ways to get there.” She supports adding a public health insurance option and expanding access to Medicare for people 55 and older. The Democratic challenger warned that adding Barrett to the Supreme Court imperils the Obama-era Affordable Care Act, and said McConnell was complicit. “Sen. McConnell tried for a decade to get rid of it," McGrath said. “He couldn’t do it legislatively. Now he’s trying to do it in the courts." At their recent debate, McConnell said: “No one believes the Supreme Court is going to strike down the Affordable Care Act.” With Kentucky being hit by another coronavirus surge, McConnell urged people to wear masks in public and practice social distancing until a vaccine is developed and distributed. “We will get through this, and I promise you we will have one or more vaccines that work ... and we’re going to kill this virus,” he said. Kentuckians have been voting by mail-in ballots for weeks, and early in-person voting started more than two weeks ago and continues up to Election Day. Bruce Schreiner, The Associated Press
Suncor Energy Inc. is reporting a third-quarter operating loss of $302 million or 20 cents per share as revenue fell 34 per cent to $6.5 billion due to lower production and oil prices compared with the same period of 2019. Suncor says maintenance outages across its oilsands and refining operations resulted in production falling to 616,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from 762,000 boe/d in the year-earlier period, while refinery output fell to 399,700 barrels per day or 87 per cent utilization from 463,700 bpd or 100 per cent. Suncor, which announced three weeks ago it will cut as many as 1,930 jobs over 18 months to reduce total staff by 10 to 15 per cent, says it is on track to achieve its $1-billion operating cost reduction target by the end of 2020.
Shock that the N-word would be spelled out, and frustration that its use is still up for discussion is what Sabrina Jafralie says she felt when she saw the word printed in a recently published Quebec history textbook.This week, a colleague of Jafralie's, Westmount High School social sciences teacher Robert Green, shared photos of the textbook which is in use at some Montreal high schools. A passage in the book Journeys through the history of Quebec and Canada features the N-word, spelled out in full in French and English. It references a 1968 book by journalist and Front de libération du Québec member Pierre Vallières, which compares the struggle of francophone Quebecers to the civil rights struggle of African Americans. The English Montreal School Board and Lester B. Pearson School Board have both confirmed some of their schools use the textbook and said they were looking into the matter.Jafralie, who teaches ethics and religious culture at Westmount High, says the school boards should take immediate action."It should be removed, automatically," she said. "Right away, I knew that I don't want that word visible, available for my students to see. All my students."Use of the word has been widely discussed in Quebec media and politics after a University of Ottawa professor was suspended after she said it in class, referring to some Black communities who re-appropriated it. Politicians at the national assembly defended its use in academic setting.A word that was created to demean and dehumanize has no place in a textbook, no matter the context, says the director the Côte-des-Neiges Black Community Association, Tiffany Callender. "It's not just about content, it's about living in the world," Callender said. "We do better as a society when we retire words that are hurtful and originated in degrading other people."She said the book's authors and translators could have used star characters to avoid spelling the word out in full."Do whatever you need to do, but make sure you do not traumatize the Black students and the Black teachers who have to use this tool, because they have a right to say how they feel about it, too. And they have a right to feel comfortable in a learning environment."Jafralie says the significance of Vallières's book can be taught without saying or spelling the word.She says teaching about the book should also involve providing students the context of the African-American and African-Canadian experience it purports to draw inspiration from."We need to have history books that are reflective of the inclusive history narrative in Quebec, and not just limited to one perspective," she said.
Katarina Staniszewski feels that a simple neighbourhood dispute has turned into attempts at character assassination. She and her husband, Trevor Watson, made a presentation to Tiny's council earlier in September, asking them to redefine construction noise as interpreted under the current noise bylaw as well as looking into banning gas-powered leaf blowers. A month later, a group of neighbours sent in their letters to council, calling out Watson and Staniszewski for not making an effort to fit into the neighbourhood and being elitist. One of the letters, signed by Nancy and Ted Phelps, also alleges that Watson and Staniszewski are responsible for a letter sent to residents in the area by the non-existent Copeland Creek Subdivision Association. Staniszewski, a resident of Copeland Creek Estates, calls it all "a feeble attempt to try to sabotage what we're trying to accomplish here," adding, "all the allegations in those letters are false." She said the letter delivered to everyone in the subdivision, except for their house, mentions complaints related to dog barking. "Our dealing with council, we're not even addressing issues about dogs," said Staniszewski. "How are we now held responsible for writing a letter?" Talking about the deputation she and Watson made to council, she said there were three items the couple was concerned about: The definition of construction noise, persistent noise and gas-powered leaf blowers. "Those were all we were concerned about," said Staniszewski. "In our deposition, we did not name any neighbours. We didn't use their addresses. We were quite discreet and respectful." Further, she said, sending out that letter would not help their cause. "Why would we do that?" said Staniszewski. "That's insane. Why would we jeopardize our own situation for what we're trying to achieve? It's counter-productive to what we're trying to work with council on. They're discrediting us." To her, the timing is also a bit suspect. "Apparently, it's sent by somebody that's calling themselves the association," Staniszewski. "I'm thinking maybe it's someone who is aware of our deposition to council. From what I can tell the email is generated Sept. 27, that letter must have been received sometime after our deposition. I'm thinking someone's trying to create havoc for us, and maybe someone had a valid complaint and didn't want to be named." Their complaints, added Staniszewski, were valid and they knew they were going on the record on a public forum, which exposed them to backlash from their neighbours. "We're not the type of people that complain on a whim," she said. "This has been going on for years. This was our last attempt to try and solve something." Staniszewski said she feels there was malicious intent behind the letters sent to council. "This is like character assassination," she said. "Now my reputation is slandered because of this. It makes us look like a bunch of fanatics. And that's what the person's intent was." Where Staniszewski said she disagrees with most of the allegations in the letters, she does agree with one. "We don't have much contact with our neighbours," she said. "I don't know who is here and who's doing what. I know maybe a couple by name, but I don't know who they are personally." But Staniszewski said not being socially involved in the neighbourhood isn't a bad thing. "I think it's minding your own business and being a good neighbour by being quiet," she said. And now, Staniszewski said, it may not be any use trying to talk to her neighbours anyway. "I don't think it would help because judging by the tone of their letters, they've already made up their minds," she said. "Any complaint that's generated in the subdivision is our fault." At the committee of the whole meeting, Coun. Cindy Hastings said she spoke to a number of residents in the subdivision after Watson and Staniszewski made their presentation. "This really upset the neighbourhood because I think everybody tries to get along and they do try to look after their yards," she said. "There was some concern that council was considering banning leaf blowers. I think we should take that off the table before we proceed." Coun. Tony Mintoff said he certainly wasn't in favour of pursuing the prohibition of leaf blowers or other landscaping equipment. "I'm content with reviewing the long-term review of the noise bylaw and review of construction noise and how it will be applied in future," he said. And while Staniszewski said she's disappointed the leaf blower discussion is off the table, she's glad the rest of their request is still under discussion. "We're trying to define construction noise," she said. "It's such a loose interpretation, that's why bylaw doesn't do anything about it. That's what we're trying to achieve, make the definition so that there's no grey area. "I'm not trying to redefine the entire noise bylaw. It's just to deal with situations that have become very difficult. I understand people using leaf blowers, but when it goes on and on and on, and if it's deliberate, it's not good." She said she's hoping for a positive resolution so everyone can enjoy their property. "We're just looking for a nice quiet place to live," said Staniszewski. "Otherwise, we have no choice now but to move."Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com
MINNEAPOLIS — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jason Lewis of Minnesota was released from a hospital Wednesday afternoon following a two-night stay for emergency internal hernia surgery, the campaign said in a release. The statement said Lewis needed “a little time to fully recover” and was not specific about whether her would resume campaigning. Lewis, a one-term former congressman, is challenging incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Tina Smith. “I am walking, feeling well, catching up on work, and on my way back home to Woodbury,” Lewis said. Lewis had experienced severe abdominal pain early Monday morning and was taken to the emergency room at the Fairview Range Medical Center in Hibbing, where Vice-President held a rally later that day. Lewis had planned on attending Pence's event in northeastern Minnesota. The campaign said the condition could have been life-threatening. The Associated Press
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — A man charged in an alleged conspiracy to kidnap Michigan's governor also made threatening online comments about President Donald Trump, former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton and other prominent political figures, an FBI agent said in a federal court filing. Barry Croft, a Delaware resident, railed against numerous present and former elected leaders in private Facebook posts, special agent Kristopher Long said. Croft is one of six purported members of an extremist paramilitary group accused of scheming to kidnap Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer because of her shutdown orders to control the coronavirus. Long described the posts in an affidavit supporting a request for a warrant to search an account that Croft allegedly created Sept. 2 and closed Sept. 26. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the document Wednesday after The Detroit News reported its contents. It said one Facebook post in May showed an image of Trump with a caption reading, “True colours shining through, wanna hang this mf'er too!!!%” Another post the next day said, “I say we hang everything currently governing us, they're all guilty!!% And what a deterrent, Rope!!!%" Other profanity-laced posts spoke of hanging former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “for war crimes against humanity," the affidavit said. Another asked, "Which Governor is going to end up dragged off, and hung for treason first?” An exchange between Croft and an unidentified person referred to protests and “potential acts of violence" in South Carolina, including an apparent reference to Republican Gov. Henry McMaster, the affidavit said. “I'll be in Columbia, SC on Friday,” Croft allegedly wrote May 4. “They say they want their Governor in custody. ... I want to grab them all, and hold trial." A photograph of a noose carried a caption calling for hanging Obama, "both Clinton's, Democrats, Liberals, Muslims” and others including “Ihan Omar” and “A.O.C.,” apparent references to Democratic U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez of New York, the document said. Whitmer has repeatedly accused Trump of encouraging extremist behaviour with his rhetoric. In an interview with The Associated Press this month, she said he had “given safe harbour to hate organizations and domestic terror organizations.” During a campaign visit Tuesday to Lansing, Michigan, Trump appeared to refer to the alleged plot when he said, “It was our people that helped her out with her problem. I mean, we’ll have to see if it’s a problem. ... She blamed me, and it was our people that helped her. I don’t get it." Croft, whom the affidavit described as a long-haul truck driver, was ordered transferred to Michigan this month. A federal judge in Grand Rapids, Michigan, ruled during an Oct. 16 preliminary hearing there was enough evidence against five other suspects in the alleged kidnap conspiracy to send the case to a grand jury for possible indictments. Eight men said to be members or associates of a paramilitary group called the Wolverine Watchmen and are charged in state court with counts including providing material support for terrorist acts. Some are accused of taking part in the alleged scheme against Whitmer. Defence attorneys have described the suspects as “big talkers” who never intended to follow through with action. But investigators say some cased Whitmer's vacation home in northern Michigan and agreed to buy explosives and tactical gear. —- Associated Press reporters David Eggert in Lansing and Ed White in Detroit contributed to this story. John Flesher, The Associated Press
EDMONTON — Somewhere near Lake Baikal on the Siberian steppes, archeologists were opening 7,000-year-old graves. The bodies had been carefully interred. One was buried with a long, carved spoon. Another had been honoured with a necklace of elk teeth. "They look like people being buried — except they're dogs," said Robert Losey, a University of Alberta archeologist. Those ancient pets are not only moving evidence of their owners' esteem, they're now part of research hinting at how far back dogs and humans go. "We don't just have a human history that's independent of everything else on Earth," said Losey, one of 56 international authors of a paper published Thursday that links human and canine genetics. "We've been successful by relying on and altering the histories of other species." The first dog probably emerged from a type of wolf, but no one knows when, or where, or who domesticated it. It was a while ago. The oldest dog burial dates back about 14,000 years. Losey and his many colleagues sequenced the genomes of 27 ancient dogs — including the one with the elk-tooth collar — with a maximum age of about 11,000 years. They compared them with genomes of 17 ancient humans who lived in roughly the same time and place as the dogs. The dog genomes showed that 11 millennia ago, dogs had been domesticated long enough to produce five separate genetic lineages. That suggests the relationship between humans and dogs was old even then. "They'd already been around for a long time, enough to differentiate groups by the end of the ice age," said Losey. Scientists also found the movement of those different dog genomes tracked the movement of the human genomes. "When people migrated, they didn't migrate alone," Losey said. "They came with dogs, often a genetically distinct form of dogs." When the first farmers came to Europe from what is now eastern Turkey, they didn't adopt the dogs already living there. They brought their own. The genomes of both species track together nicely. That didn't always happen. But Losey and his colleagues found that throughout most of prehistory, humans lighting out for new territory preferred companions they already knew. The differences between the genetic strands weren't breeds. Losey said the variation between dogs then was much less than it is today and that most of them would have looked much alike. "They would have been somewhat diverse," Losey said. "Most or all of them would physically mix right in with a modern dog — some all-black dogs, some all-white dogs, some with floppy ears. If my neighbour were walking one of these dogs from 10,000 years ago, you wouldn't blink an eye." Losey, a dog lover himself, said studying the relationship between humans and dogs gives him a little insight into that long-ago pet owner who laid his friend to rest by the shores of Lake Baikal. "There's such a huge public interest in dogs," he said. "Every time we learn even a little bit more about their long history with people, we get additional insight into what it means to live with these animals." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 29, 2020. — Follow @row1960 on Twitter Bob Weber, The Canadian Press
DALLAS — An Austin real estate developer at the centre of recent allegations against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asked for an investigation into his uncorroborated claims that other businessmen have an elaborate conspiracy to steal $200 million worth of his properties with the help of a federal judge. The Associated Press obtained a copy of a Nate Paul's undated complaint, which reveals that the developer’s claims focused on his business to an extent not previously known and raises new questions about the Republican attorney general’s handling of allegations made by a wealthy donor. After Paxton hired an outside lawyer to investigate Paul’s claims, his seven top deputies reported the attorney general to the FBI for alleged abuse of office, bribery and other crimes linked to his relationship with Paul. In his complaint to prosecutors in Austin, Paul said the owner of a chain of Texas car dealerships schemed with lawyers, investors and others to seize his assets. The developer accuses 11 people of an intricate fraud that was allegedly set to include the judge and another court-appointed official facilitating a “rigged auction." The signed, 10-page “request to investigate" is one of two from Paul that were referred to Paxton’s office, setting off the remarkable revolt by the Republican’s staff. Paul’s complaint is largely based on things he says he heard second-hand. Many of those accused are in business and legal fights with Paul, and some derided his claims as ridiculous. None have been charged with crimes. A retired FBI agent who reviewed the complaint called the plot as likely as “winning the lottery.” “I’m confident these allegations are all a bunch of complete nonsense,” said Keith Byers, an attorney in the Houston area who previously oversaw FBI public corruption cases. “The unfortunate part of this is that the good name of a seemingly reputable judge is being smeared by these wild and farcical allegations.” Paxton dropped the case after it became public. He has denied any wrongdoing and cast blame on “rogue employees and their false allegations.” His staff's accusations have nonetheless fueled new calls for the resignation of an attorney general who’s spent most of his tenure in office maintaining his innocence in the face of unrelated criminal charges. Paxton said he hired Houston criminal defence attorney Brandon Cammack to probe Paul's claims of wrongdoing by the FBI, which searched the developer's home and office last year. But the attorney general's office has not answered questions about the fraud complaint. Cammack has declined to discuss the substance of his work for Paxton. But a person with knowledge of the investigation said Cammack referenced the second complaint in an invoice for his work. The person spoke on condition of anonymity out of concern the person could face retribution. The fraud complaint seems to explain why Cammack served subpoenas to people in legal and business disputes with Paul. The developer gave Paxton a $25,000 campaign contribution in 2018, but the full nature of their relationship is unclear. Paul alleges car dealership owner Bryan Hardeman and his son planned to leverage $43 million of debt owed by Paul's companies to seize $200 million worth of the developer's properties. Hardeman's “grand plan” was to buy the debt and consolidate it into a bankruptcy case before a judge with an “illegal side deal,” the complaint states. The judge would then force Paul's companies into the hands of a court-appointed receiver also in on the deal. Finally, the receiver would sell the properties in an auction Hardeman rigged so he could win and net more than $150 million. Paul said he got wind of the plot in mid-September after Hardeman tried to recruit one of the developer’s investors, Alan Nalle. Nalle said Hardeman approached him about buying some debt Nalle holds on one of Paul’s properties, but questioned the characterization of this as a planned fraud. “I guess you could get there but that seems like a stretch to me,” Nalle said during a brief interview. Hardeman did immediately respond to messages seeking comment left with his lawyer and office. In an Oct. 22 deposition, Hardeman said that he has never communicated with the judge or receiver, according to a partial transcript filed in another case involving Paul. Judge Tony Davis is overseeing several bankruptcy cases involving Paul’s companies. A clerk said in an email, “We do not comment on matters involving parties or cases pending before us.” A lawyer for the receiver, Gregory Milligan, said, "The allegations that my client is involved in a conspiracy of any sort are ludicrous and wholly without merit.” Paul's lawyer, Michael Wynne, said his client has "significant evidence" to support his allegations but declined to elaborate. “I will reserve further comment since this is an ongoing investigation,” he said. Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore said Paxton approached her office to set up a meeting with Paul and his lawyer and that local prosecutors referred both of Paul's subsequent complaints to the attorney general's office. The first complaint was sent to Paxton's office because it involved allegations against the state and federal investigators, who would normally handle such a case. The second was sent to Cammack because he was already looking into Paul's allegations and it dealt with a federal judge, Moore told AP. The person with knowledge of the investigation in the attorney general's office said Paxton's top deputies did not see the second complaint and only learned of it from Cammack's invoice. Moore said she personally reviewed Paul’s claims only after the allegations by Paxton’s staff became public. She characterized both requests for investigations as “extremely unusual.” Moore declined to comment on whether her office is investigating anyone involved. On Wednesday, Deputy First Assistant Attorney General Ryan Bangert resigned from Paxton’s office. With his departure, all seven of the lawyers who accused Paxton of crimes have resigned, been put on leave or fired. Jake Bleiberg, The Associated Press
The chief executive of Nvidia Corp <NVDA.O> said his planned acquisition of Arm from SoftBank Group Corp <9984.T> cost an "arm and a leg," but that the chip designer's valuable network of customers made it worthwhile. Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank announced in September it would sell Arm to U.S. chip designer Nvidia for $40 billion as it builds a cash pile through asset disposal. "I had to pay you an arm and a leg for it," Jensen Huang told SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son in a pre-recorded conversation at annual conference SoftBank World.
Republican Sen. David Perdue of Georgia and Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff met in Savannah for their second debate Wednesday night in a bitter race in which both sides have flooded the airwaves with attack ads. The contest, which polls indicate is extremely close, could have national implications over which party controls the Senate, with Democrats hoping Ossoff could give their party their first Senate win in Georgia since 2000. Libertarian Shane Hazel is also on the ballot, raising the potential that Ossoff and Perdue will head to overtime in the form of a Jan. 5 runoff — required if no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in November.
When Melissa Seger was driving home late Tuesday night along Windsor's Riverside Drive she says a man in a car with one working headlight followed her. She's one of several women in the city who have stepped forward with a similar story. Windsor Police arrest said a man had been arrested and charged with criminal harassment Tuesday night at Riverside Drive and Ouellette Avenue. According to a news release, the arrest was made following a complaint from a woman who said she had been followed by a man in a car. Police declined to comment further."It was about 10 o'clock so it was pretty dark out and ... I noticed there was a guy behind me pretty much the whole length of Riverside from downtown to east side," Seger told CBC News. "I just kept driving and I sped up a bit and I turned into a dark driveway and I shut my lights off and I noticed him kind of creeping by, looking for my car." Eventually, he turned around so she started following him, he intercepted her and tried to talk to her. "I was just yelling from my window, like asking him why he was following me and he said 'can I buy you a coffee?' And I was like no like why are you following me? I'm trying to go home and I can't go home now," she said. Neighbours came out to help her chase him away and when the man left, Seger called police, who told her she wasn't the only person making the same claim. 'He didn't do anything illegal'It's not clear if the incident the man was arrested for was the one she recounted.Seger also said she came across a post on Facebook that had more than 1,000 shares and it was alerting people living in central Windsor to be on alert for a man in a car with one headlight out. "Last night on my way home from a friends house in the west end I noticed a car behind me on Wyandotte," it says." ... I didn't think much of it until the car also started making all the same turns as me I take to get home through the central area streets. I started shaking at the thought of being followed .. I drove away from my house in fear of showing a stranger where my daughter and I live."The post continued to say that the woman called 911 and police located them and pulled the car over. "The officer said he would be on their radar as he didn't do anything illegal but they don't condone that behaviour," the post continued to say. When Seger reported the incident, she says police told her she wasn't the only woman making the same claim. Two of the women said that police told them since the man wasn't doing anything illegal, there wasn't much that could be done.When CBC News asked police why the women were told that and what happened that led to an arrest, police wouldn't comment.Similar incidentJanelle Cunning told CBC News Wednesday that she was followed by a similar car when walking her dog in the Fontainebleau area. She said the man followed her to her driveway and when she asked if there was something he needed, the man said he just wanted to say hi. "It scares the living daylights out of me," Cunning said. "I just want to see females have their power back and feel safe. I wouldn't want to feel like have a fear to walk out my house and be on the road and wonder, am I going to be followed today? And I want that for other women. I want us to be able to feel safe." Late Monday night, Gabrielle Comeau had a similar experience in city's east end. The man drove right to her house and when she asked what he was looking for, "he said, 'I'm looking for you.'""Right now, I feel very motivated to do whatever I can to get this guy off the streets and to also educate other women that we need to stick together and that we need protect one another and talk about these things more," Comeau said. Investigation ongoingPolice said in a release that if women experience something like this, they should get to a populated location, like a business, and call 911 immediately. Victims should also try to get as many physical descriptors as possible. Police are still investigating and ask that anyone who may have experienced something similar come forward.
OTTAWA — The House of Commons finance committee — which could be holding consultations on an upcoming federal budget that is expected to contain historic deficits and unprecedented spending to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic — continues to be stuck on the WE Charity affair. Liberal members of the committee have resumed their filibuster of a Conservative motion that calls on the Speaker of the Commons to rule that redactions made to more than 5,000 pages of government documents on the WE affair amount to a breach of the committee's privileges. The committee had ordered that the documents be released, without any redactions, to the parliamentary law clerk, who would then decide what information needed to be blacked out to protect personal privacy or cabinet confidences. Instead, senior public servants blacked out some information before releasing the documents to the committee. The country's top public servant, Privy Council clerk Ian Shugart, wrote to the committee Tuesday, offering to testify about why the redactions were made. Liberal MPs are arguing — at great length — that Shugart and other public servants should be allowed to explain themselves before being condemned by the committee. They have proposed an amendment to suspend the Conservative motion until the committee hears from the public servants and has a chance to compare the documents released by the government and those released by the law clerk after he made additional redactions. Law clerk Philippe Dufresne, who has said the government redactions did not comply with the committee's order, would also be asked to testify under the Liberal amendment. But New Democrat MP Peter Julian argued Wednesday that the amendment is a "sneaky" way to effectively kill the Conservative motion because the Speaker will only rule on matters of privilege that are presented to him promptly. In letters accompanying the documents, Shugart and deputy ministers of various departments said they blacked out things like the cellphone numbers and email addresses of WE Charity officials, other than co-founders Craig and Marc Kielburger, references to family members in some emails, and irrelevant portions of cabinet memoranda that dealt with other issues. Shugart said he agreed to release information that could be an invasion of privacy under the Privacy Act and which would normally be considered cabinet confidences. By refusing to hear from Shugart, Liberal MP Annie Koutrakis said opposition members seem to be saying "he's not to be trusted." Liberal MP Peter Fragiskatos at one point suggested Wednesday's meeting could drag on well into the night and Thursday morning. And he declared that he was prepared to "absolutely go to the hilt" in defence of the integrity of public servants. Liberal member Julie Dzerowicz argued that the objective of the amendment is to break the impasse that has paralyzed the committee and allow it to get on with pre-budget consultations. "We are wasting a lot of time," she said. "And I think that in the end it really is Canadians who end up suffering." Julian countered that the Liberals should let the Conservative motion come to a vote if they really want to move on. The controversy revolves around the government's decision in June to pay WE Charity $43.5 million to administer a student services grant program, despite the organization's close ties to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family. WE backed out of the arrangement within days and the program was subsequently cancelled. Trudeau and former finance minister Bill Morneau, who also has close ties to WE, have apologized for not recusing themselves from the decision to involve the charity. Both are under investigation by the federal ethics commissioner. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2020. Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press
Hurricane Zeta has begun to batter Mississippi’s Gulf Coast with a dangerous storm surge, high winds and heavy rain. (Oct. 28)