Sen. Mitch McConnell, joined by other GOP Senate leaders, continues to express opposition to President Donald Trump drawdown plans in Afghanistan and Iraq. (Nov. 17)
Sen. Mitch McConnell, joined by other GOP Senate leaders, continues to express opposition to President Donald Trump drawdown plans in Afghanistan and Iraq. (Nov. 17)
WASHINGTON — Disputing President Donald Trump’s persistent, baseless claims, Attorney General William Barr declared the U.S. Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election.Barr's comments, in an interview Tuesday with the The Associated Press, contradict the concerted effort by Trump, his boss, to subvert the results of last month's voting and block President-elect Joe Biden from taking his place in the White House.Barr told the AP that U.S. attorneys and FBI agents have been working to follow up specific complaints and information they’ve received, but “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”The comments, which drew immediate criticism from Trump attorneys, were especially notable coming from Barr, who has been one of the president's most ardent allies. Before the election, he had repeatedly raised the notion that mail-in voting could be especially vulnerable to fraud during the coronavirus pandemic as Americans feared going to polls and instead chose to vote by mail.More to Trump's liking, Barr revealed in the AP interview that in October he had appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham as a special counsel, giving the prosecutor the authority to continue to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia probe after Biden takes over and making it difficult to fire him. Biden hasn't said what he might do with the investigation, and his transition team didn't comment Tuesday.Trump has long railed against the investigation into whether his 2016 campaign was co-ordinating with Russia, but he and Republican allies had hoped the results would be delivered before the 2020 election and would help sway voters. So far, there has been only one criminal case, a guilty plea from a former FBI lawyer to a single false statement charge.Under federal regulations, a special counsel can be fired only by the attorney general and for specific reasons such as misconduct, dereliction of duty or conflict of interest. An attorney general must document such reasons in writing.Barr went to the White House Tuesday for a previously scheduled meeting that lasted about three hours.Trump didn't directly comment on the attorney general's remarks on the election. But his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and his political campaign issued a scathing statement claiming that, "with all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn’t been any semblance” of an investigation into the president's complaints.Other administration officials who have come out forcefully against Trump's allegations of voter-fraud evidence have been fired. But it's not clear whether Barr might suffer the same fate. He maintains a lofty position with Trump, and despite their differences the two see eye-to-eye on quite a lot.Still, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer quipped: “I guess he’s the next one to be fired.”Last month, Barr issued a directive to U.S. attorneys across the country allowing them to pursue any “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities before the 2020 presidential election was certified, despite no evidence at that time of widespread fraud.That memorandum gave prosecutors the ability to go around longstanding Justice Department policy that normally would prohibit such overt actions before the election was certified. Soon after it was issued, the department’s top elections crime official announced he would step aside from that position because of the memo.The Trump campaign team led by Giuliani has been alleging a widespread conspiracy by Democrats to dump millions of illegal votes into the system with no evidence. They have filed multiple lawsuits in battleground states alleging that partisan poll watchers didn’t have a clear enough view at polling sites in some locations and therefore something illegal must have happened. The claims have been repeatedly dismissed including by Republican judges who have ruled the suits lacked evidence.But local Republicans in some battleground states have followed Trump in making unsupported claims, prompting grave concerns over potential damage to American democracy.Trump himself continues to rail against the election in tweets and in interviews though his own administration has said the 2020 election was the most secure ever. He recently allowed his administration to begin the transition over to Biden, but he still refuses to admit he lost.The issues they've have pointed to are typical in every election: Problems with signatures, secrecy envelopes and postal marks on mail-in ballots, as well as the potential for a small number of ballots miscast or lost.But they've gone further. Attorney Sidney Powell has spun fictional tales of election systems flipping votes, German servers storing U.S. voting information and election software created in Venezuela “at the direction of Hugo Chavez,” – the late Venezuelan president who died in 2013. Powell has since been removed from the legal team after an interview she gave where she threatened to “blow up” Georgia with a “biblical” court filing.Barr didn't name Powell specifically but said: “There's been one assertion that would be systemic fraud and that would be the claim that machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results. And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven’t seen anything to substantiate that.”In the campaign statement, Giuliani claimed there was “ample evidence of illegal voting in at least six states, which they have not examined.”“We have many witnesses swearing under oath they saw crimes being committed in connection with voter fraud. As far as we know, not a single one has been interviewed by the DOJ. The Justice Department also hasn’t audited any voting machines or used their subpoena powers to determine the truth,” he said.However, Barr said earlier that people were confusing the use of the federal criminal justice system with allegations that should be made in civil lawsuits. He said a remedy for many complaints would be a top-down audit by state or local officials, not the U.S. Justice Department.“There’s a growing tendency to use the criminal justice system as sort of a default fix-all," he said, but first there must be a basis to believe there is a crime to investigate.“Most claims of fraud are very particularized to a particular set of circumstances or actors or conduct. ... And those have been run down; they are being run down,” Barr said. “Some have been broad and potentially cover a few thousand votes. They have been followed up on."___Associated Press writers Lisa Mascaro and Eric Tucker contributed to this report.Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
Le conseil municipal a autorisé hier soir une dépense de 7,2 M$, taxes incluses, pour l’acquisition de 66 % du site du musée Armand-Frappier, situé au 520, boulevard des Prairies. Le terrain appartenant désormais à la municipalité correspond à «toute la bande riveraine», a indiqué le maire Marc Demers lors de l’assemblée. Le parc municipal que la Ville y aménagera donnera sur 320 mètres de berges en bordure de la rivière des Prairies. D’une superficie de 27 715 mètres carrés, cet espace public équivaut à 17 patinoires de la Ligue nationale de hockey, illustrait M. Demers dans un communiqué publié en fin de soirée. Avec la marina Le Commodore, dans Pont-Viau, le terrain boisé adjacent à la berge des Baigneurs, dans Sainte-Rose, et les deux grandes îles de l’archipel Saint-François, ce terrain en rive de Laval-des-Rapides porte à quatre le nombre d’acquisitions aux fins d’aménagement de parcs et d’espaces verts ou de conservation depuis le printemps. Maison des aînés Le parc riverain voisinera avec la première maison des aînés que le gouvernement Legault implantera sur le territoire lavallois. L’annonce avait été faite la veille par la ministre responsable des Aînés et des Proches aidants, Marguerite Blais. Il s’agira d’un complexe de huit bâtiments climatisés de 12 places chacun, totalisant 96 chambres individuelles. Un projet évalué à 52 M$, dont la mise en chantier n’a toutefois pas été précisée. L’Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) a ainsi vendu le dernier tiers du terrain au ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux afin de répondre aux besoins du CISSS de Laval en matière d’hébergement. La transaction globale, qui s’est conclue le 18 novembre, s’élève à 15,34 M$. Le Ministère aurait donc payé 8,5 M$, avant taxes, pour 34 % du terrain, soit 1,66 M$ de plus que la Ville qui met la main sur un terrain deux fois plus grand, incluant le bâtiment patrimonial qui abrite le Musée. «Par la vente de ce terrain situé sur le campus de notre établissement de recherche universitaire, nous sommes heureux de contribuer à la réalisation des projets structurants de la Ville de Laval, du CISSS de Laval et du ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux», a déclaré par communiqué le directeur général de l’INRS, Luc-Alain Giraldeau. L’administration Demers convoitait ce terrain depuis 2014, avait laissé savoir le maire à la séance du conseil de juillet 2018 lorsqu’un citoyen du secteur, Raymond Lamothe, était venu proposer à la Ville d’en faire l’acquisition. Même que les pourparlers entre la Municipalité et l’INRS étaient déjà engagés, précisait Marc Demers. M. Lamothe rêvait de ce parc riverain que le corridor vert piétonnier du boulevard Armand-Frappier relie au centre-ville. En octobre de la même année, le conseil municipal avait adopté à l’unanimité la proposition formulée par le conseiller de l’opposition officielle, Claude Larochelle, à l’effet d’entreprendre «des démarches urgentes auprès du propriétaire»… avant qu’un promoteur immobilier ne flaire la bonne affaire. L’espace vert sera baptisé du nom de Parc Armand-Frappier en l’honneur de ce pionnier de la recherche en microbiologie et de la médecine préventive au pays. Rappelons qu’en 1938, s’inspirant du modèle de l’Institut Pasteur, Dr Armand Frappier (1904-1991) fondait à Laval l'Institut de microbiologie et d'hygiène de l'Université de Montréal. Trente-quatre ans plus tard, en 1972, cette institution devenait une des constituantes de l'Université du Québec, puis un des quatre centres de recherche de l'Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) en 1999. C’est autour de l’Institut Armand-Frappier que se déployait en 1989 le Parc scientifique et de la haute technologie et, en 2001, la Cité de la biotechnologie et des sciences de la vie au Québec.Stéphane St-Amour, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
In mid-August, the laboratory doing COVID-19 testing at St. Paul's hospital in Vancouver was facing a problem: the reagent required to carry out the tests was in short supply. "There was a lack of availability," said Dr. Daniel Holmes, director of pathology and laboratory medicine at the hospital. "Without the reagent — the chemicals that go into it — it's like having a car without gasoline."So Holmes and his team at the lab turned to a trick used in virology; they began working on a way to pool test samples together.The idea was to combine the samples from four patients — a number determined by the positivity rate they were finding at the St. Paul's lab, between three and seven per cent."If you have a whole bunch of samples and most of them test negative for a disease, you can mix all of the samples together, and if the mix tests negative, then you can infer that all of the samples that went into the mix must be negative," explained Holmes.The idea was simple enough, but the task of automating the process with a robotic machine and computer code took a while.Holmes said it wasn't until Sept. 20 that the system was ready for its first live run — just as the second wave of the pandemic began to ramp up."The robot ... scans all the barcodes, it tells the server which specimens are in which well, and in the end, it reports out all the negatives," he said.The four samples in the pools that test positive have to then be tested individually, so if the positivity rate increases, the method becomes inefficient.Holmes said he was getting anxious as positivity rates climbed in recent weeks, but so far they've been able to continue mixing samples at St. Paul's.The technique has eased the workload on staff at the lab, as well as getting four times as many tests out of the reagent used for the pooled samples, said Holmes, noting that the lab typically does about 40 per cent of its daily tests — which range from 1,000 to 1,700 per day — using the pooling technique.As well as effectively reducing the required resources, mixing samples hastens the time it takes to process most patients' tests, though Holmes said there's a three-hour wait if a pool needs to be tested again as individual samples."If they are one of the people who's fortunate enough to have a negative test, their result is going to come back to them, somewhere between three and 10 hours earlier," he said.Do you have more to add to this story? Email email@example.comFollow Rafferty Baker on Twitter: @raffertybaker
Hong Kong pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam have been sentenced to jail on charges related to an unauthorized anti-government protest last year at the city’s police headquarters. Wong, who pleaded guilty to organizing and participating in the protest, received 13 1/2 months behind bars. Chow, who also pleaded guilty to participating in the protest and inciting others to take part, received 10 months, while Lam received 7 months after pleading guilty to incitement. The protest took place on June 21 last year, and saw thousands surround the police headquarters as they demonstrated against excessive force by police against protesters, as well as a now-withdrawn extradition bill that would have allowed suspects to be extradited to mainland China. Zen Soo, The Associated Press
The Rainbow District School Board reported a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the preschool room at the daycare at Algonquin Road Public School on Tuesday. All staff and the parents/guardians of children who are required to self-isolate have been notified, and Public Health Sudbury & Districts will follow up directly with close contacts. “Public Health has advised the service provider that there is no evidence of transmission at this time,” said the Rainbow District School Board in a letter to parents. “The daycare remains open and the before and after school programs continue to operate. Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting will take place throughout the school, including the daycare, before classes begin this morning.” Although the school does not operate the daycare, the school board wanted to inform parents/guardians of the situation. At this time, there has been no Public Health direction related to the school as a result of the confirmed case at the daycare. Parents/guardians are reminded to screen their children daily for symptoms of COVID-19 using the screening tool on the school board's website at www.rainbowschools.ca. Anyone who is sick must stay home. It is also important to continue to follow COVID-19 prevention measures. This includes washing your hands often with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoid touching your face, practice physical distancing, and wear a face covering, especially when physical distancing cannot be maintained. For more information about COVID-19 or the measures taken to address COVID-19, visit www.phsd.ca/COVID-19 or contact Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705-522-9200 ext. 524. “As always, we will monitor our school population closely for any signs of COVID-19, remain vigilant, and follow any guidance that we may receive from Public Health,” said the school board. “Thank you for working together to keep everyone safe.” Also Tuesday, Public Health Sudbury & Districts reported two new cases of COVID-19 in its service area on Tuesday. Both cases are located in Greater Sudbury, and the individuals are currently self-isolating. One of the individuals was a close contact of a confirmed case, and the other one’s exposure category was not specified because the information is either pending or missing. No other information about the confirmed cases was provided. Two more cases have now been resolved in Public Health’s service area, bringing the total number of active cases to 9. There are two active COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care homes in Sudbury. An outbreak was declared at Extendicare Falconbridge on Nov. 23 and Extendicare York on Nov. 24. Visit www.phsd.ca/COVID-19 for more information or call the health unit at 705-522-9200. The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government. firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @SudburyStar Colleen Romaniuk, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star
ATLANTA — Former Atlanta City Council member Kwanza Hall won a special runoff election Tuesday for a brief term in Congress and will succeed the late civil rights legend John Lewis.The 49-year-old Hall defeated fellow Democrat Robert Franklin, 66, in the Atlanta area district and will only hold the seat for a few weeks through Jan. 3.Hall and Franklin were the top vote getters in a September special election after Lewis, a civil rights titan, died in July following 34 years in Congress. Neither candidate won a majority, though, forcing a runoff that leaves the winner with only about a month to serve in Congress.Lewis’ long-term replacement will be state senator and state Democratic Party chair Nikema Williams, who easily defeated Republican Angela Stanton King in November for a full two-year-term starting in January. Williams and King didn’t run in the special election.The 5th Congressional District includes most of the city of Atlanta, as well as some suburban areas of Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton counties. About 22,000 people voted, less than 5% of the district's registered voters.Also Tuesday, Sonya Halpern beat Linda Pritchett to replace Williams in the state Senate in District 39, covering parts of Fulton County. Voters in Clarke and Oconee counties chose Democrat Deborah Gonzalez as district attorney over nonpartisan candidate James Chafin.Lewis died at age 80 from pancreatic cancer. He was the youngest and last surviving speaker from the 1963 March on Washington, when Lewis led the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He was best known for leading protesters in the 1965 “Bloody Sunday” march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, where he was beaten by state troopers.Hall and Franklin both contended that they could get something accomplished during a short stay in Congress. Voting on a temporary federal budget could be the most significant act that the winner takes, although there are still fading hopes of additional COVID-19 relief legislation.Hall touted his experience on the Atlanta City Council and the Atlanta school board, saying he would make the most of his limited time working on COVID-19 relief and other issues. He linked his effort to Lewis in a statement after his win, noting that his father and Lewis had both worked with Martin Luther King Jr.“This win tonight allows me to continue that fight and to work every day of this term," Hall said in a statement.Franklin and Hall shared similar positions on issues, but Franklin, formerly president of Morehouse College and now a theology professor at Emory University, also touted his moral leadership. He pledged to support Hall in a concession call.“Although not the outcome we had wanted, I am pleased that our district will have voice and vote in the critical days ahead,” Franklin said in a statement texted to The Associated Press.Franklin raised $282,000, including $65,000 he loaned his campaign, while Hall raised $194,000.Jeff Amy, The Associated Press
Voici le message qu’il a décidé de partager ce matin sur les réseaux sociaux : Kuei kassinu etshiek Bonjour a vous tous, Toute une semaine d’émotions, pour ma part, j’ai été testé positif à la covid 19. Je fais partie de ses 6 cas au centre administratif. Ce fut tout un choc pour moi, car selon l’enquête épidémiologique des premiers cas du centre administratif, cela touché le secteur où nos bureaux sont, j’étais un contact significatif à degré Faible. Mais je me suis malgré tout mis en isolement pour protéger les gens et ma famille. Je suis allé passer le test malgré que j’avais aucun Symptôme. Ça m’a pris 72h avoir d’avoir mon résultat, 3 jours a penser au oui ou non j’étais porteur du virus et pendant ses trois jours-là. Aucun symptôme, alors je pensais que j’étais négatif mais hélas non. Ce que l’on récent lorsque tu es positif, c’est la honte, la peur et la culpabilité. Vous savez, personne veut attraper ce virus, même moi car ma belle-mère a eu de gros traitement de chimio et radio pour combattre un cancer alors même si nous restons à LTQ jamais nous voyageons, les seul places que nous faisons en ville c’est l’épicerie, pharmacie et CT. Le reste du temps nous étions à la maison.pour justement protéger nos êtres chers. Ma famille viendra tjrs en tête de liste. Mais comble de malheur, j’ai attrapé le Virus à Wemotaci et non en ville alors nous ne somme pas à l’abri du virus. Moi, je n’en veut a personne d’avoir eu la covid c’est comme ça et c’est tout. Ce n’est pas le temps de faire la chasse aux sorcières mais plutôt d’être Solidaire entre nous. Merci aux anges gardiens de Wemotaci, vos tisane et médecine traditionnelle m’ont aidé a passé vers cette douloureuse épreuve de confinement. Le plus dur pour moi été d’être isolé de ma famille mais c’était pour le bien. Pour ce qui est de ma santé, je suis asymptomatique. Je n’ai eu aucun symptôme depuis le début. C’est pour ça que je suis heureux d’avoir passer le test, sinon jamais j’aurais su que j’avais la Covid car j’aurais peut-être pu infecté plus de gens mais je prends tous les précautions possible, Masque, lavages de mains régulier et être à 2 mètres. Hier, nous avons eu le dernier résultat de mes contacts significatifs. Ma belle-mère est négatif, vous ne pouvez pas savoir comment ça me soulage. Aujourd’hui, comme depuis le jour 1, je suis asymptomatique et je ne suis pas un faux positif. J’ai attrapé la Covid-19 et je veux que mon message sert a quelque chose. C’est de dire aux gens de faire attention à eux et d’appliquer le plus possible les mesures sanitaires. Je pries pour les malades car des gens ont des complications et sont hospitalisé. À partir de samedi, ma levée d’isolement sera effectif. Je suis a la fin de mon isolement et contamination!! Selon les infirmiers de santé publique, je serais immunisé pour 3 mois!! Mais dans la vie, nous ne contrôlons pas grand chose, dieu a décidé que je devais passer par cette épreuve. Je l’accepte et surtout je veux que mon cas serve à quelques choses. Faites attention Tsheneskemetnau kassinu etshiekKarine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Wed. Dec. 2, 2020.There are 383,468 confirmed cases in Canada._ Canada: 383,468 confirmed cases (66,369 active, 304,888 resolved, 12,211 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers.There were 5,329 new cases Tuesday from 97,680 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 5.5 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 41,024 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 5,861.There were 81 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 593 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 85. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.23 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 32.49 per 100,000 people. There have been 11,573,322 tests completed._ Newfoundland and Labrador: 339 confirmed cases (33 active, 302 resolved, four deaths).There was one new case Tuesday from 324 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.31 per cent. Over the past seven days, there has been 16 new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 0.77 per 100,000 people. There have been 62,844 tests completed._ Prince Edward Island: 72 confirmed cases (four active, 68 resolved, zero deaths).There were zero new cases Tuesday from 760 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of three new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 60,683 tests completed._ Nova Scotia: 1,315 confirmed cases (142 active, 1,108 resolved, 65 deaths).There were 10 new cases Tuesday from 3,165 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.32 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 88 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 13.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.69 per 100,000 people. There have been 146,919 tests completed._ New Brunswick: 508 confirmed cases (116 active, 385 resolved, seven deaths).There were seven new cases Tuesday from 1,065 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.66 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 58 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is eight.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 0.9 per 100,000 people. There have been 101,550 tests completed._ Quebec: 143,548 confirmed cases (12,264 active, 124,200 resolved, 7,084 deaths).There were 1,177 new cases Tuesday from 8,376 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 14 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 9,218 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,317.There were 28 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 197 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 28. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.33 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 83.49 per 100,000 people. There have been 2,194,452 tests completed._ Ontario: 118,199 confirmed cases (14,524 active, 100,012 resolved, 3,663 deaths).There were 1,707 new cases Tuesday from 33,508 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 5.1 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 11,689 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,670.There were seven new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 144 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 21. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.14 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 25.15 per 100,000 people. There have been 6,103,234 tests completed._ Manitoba: 17,107 confirmed cases (9,066 active, 7,713 resolved, 328 deaths).There were 282 new cases Tuesday from 2,201 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 13 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,549 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 364.There were 16 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 80 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 11. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.83 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 23.95 per 100,000 people. There have been 349,309 tests completed._ Saskatchewan: 8,745 confirmed cases (3,819 active, 4,875 resolved, 51 deaths).There were 181 new cases Tuesday from 1,444 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 13 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,862 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 266.There were four new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 14 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.17 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 4.34 per 100,000 people. There have been 262,262 tests completed._ Alberta: 59,484 confirmed cases (16,628 active, 42,305 resolved, 551 deaths).There were 1,307 new cases Tuesday from 27,600 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 4.7 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 9,948 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,421.There were 10 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 59 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is eight. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.19 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 12.6 per 100,000 people. There have been 1,473,584 tests completed._ British Columbia: 33,894 confirmed cases (9,663 active, 23,774 resolved, 457 deaths).There were 656 new cases Tuesday from 18,967 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 3.5 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 5,546 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 792.There were 16 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 99 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 14. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.28 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 9.01 per 100,000 people. There have been 802,376 tests completed._ Yukon: 47 confirmed cases (17 active, 29 resolved, one deaths).There were zero new cases Tuesday from 170 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of nine new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.45 per 100,000 people. There have been 5,336 tests completed._ Northwest Territories: 15 confirmed cases (zero active, 15 resolved, zero deaths).There were zero new cases Tuesday from 42 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 6,397 tests completed._ Nunavut: 182 confirmed cases (93 active, 89 resolved, zero deaths).There was one new case Tuesday from 58 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 1.7 per cent. Over the past seven days, there has been 38 new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is five.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 4,300 tests completed.This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Dec. 2, 2020.The Canadian Press
The Greater Sudbury Police Service Explosive Disposal Unit has removed improvised explosive devices from the scene of a Gore Bay shooting that claimed the lives of an OPP officer and a civilian on Nov. 19. “The (Explosive Disposal Unit) is assisting in ensuring the scene is safe as there were IEDs located at the scene,” said Kaitlyn Dunn, the corporate communications officer for Greater Sudbury Police. “Members of our (unit) are taking the necessary precautions to ensure officer safety and community safety.” Police were called to a property on Hindman Trail in Gore Bay on the morning of Thursday, Nov. 19, to investigate a complaint about the presence of an unwanted man. Soon after arriving, police located the man in a trailer. After a short interaction, there was an exchange of gunfire. OPP Const. Marc Hovingh and a 60-year-old man later identified as Gary Brohman were both struck. Both men were transported to the hospital, where they succumbed to their injuries. Ontario’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit, invoked its mandate and is investigating the incident. Greater Sudbury Police is also assisting with the investigation. The SIU is now actively investigating two separate incidents that occurred on Manitoulin Island following the death of a 43-year-old man by a gunshot wound in Little Current on Nov. 27. The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government. email@example.com Twitter: @SudburyStarColleen Romaniuk, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star
UK Health Minister Matt Hancock announced that the country is the first to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.View on euronews
Pfizer and BioNTech say they've won permission Wednesday for emergency use of their COVID-19 vaccine in Britain, the world’s first coronavirus shot that’s backed by rigorous science -- and a major step toward eventually ending the pandemic.The move makes Britain one of the first countries to begin vaccinating its population as it tries to curb Europe’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreak.Other countries aren’t far behind: The U.S. and the European Union also are vetting the Pfizer shot along with a similar vaccine made by competitor Moderna Inc.Pfizer said it would immediately begin shipping limited supplies to the U.K. -- and has been gearing up for even wider distribution if given a similar nod by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a decision expected as early as next week.But doses everywhere are scarce, and initial supplies will be rationed until more is manufactured in the first several months of next year.Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla called the U.K. decision “a historic moment.”“We are focusing on moving with the same level of urgency to safely supply a high-quality vaccine around the world,” Bourla said in a statement.While the U.K. has ordered enough Pfizer vaccine for 20 million people, it’s not clear how many will arrive by year’s end and adding to the distribution challenges is that it must be stored at ultra-cold temperatures.Two doses three weeks apart are required for protection. First in line, the U.K. government says, are frontline health care workers and nursing home residents, followed by older adults.British regulators also are considering another shot made by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. But Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned “we must first navigate a hard winter” of restrictions to try to curb the virus until there’s enough vaccine to go around.Every country has different rules for determining when an experimental vaccine is safe and effective enough to use. Intense political pressure to be the first to roll out a rigorously scientifically tested shot colored the race in the U.S. and Britain, even as researchers pledged to cut no corners. In contrast, China and Russia have offered different vaccinations to their citizens ahead of late-stage testing.The shots made by U.S.-based Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech were tested in tens of thousands of people. And while that study isn’t complete, early results suggest the vaccine is 95% effective at preventing mild to severe COVID-19 disease. The companies told regulators that of the first 170 infections detected in study volunteers, only eight were among people who’d received the actual vaccine and the rest had gotten a dummy shot.“This is an extraordinarily strong protection,” Dr. Ugur Sahin, BioNTech’s CEO, recently told The Associated Press.The companies also reported no serious side effects, although vaccine recipients may experience temporary pain and flu-like reactions immediately after injections.But experts caution that a vaccine cleared for emergency use is still experimental and the final testing must be completed. Still to be determined is whether the Pfizer-BioNTech shots protect against people spreading the coronavirus without showing symptoms. Another question is how long protection lasts.The vaccine also has been tested in only a small number of children, none younger than 12, and there’s no information on its effects in pregnant women.___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.Lauran Neergaard, The Associated Press
In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kick-start your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Dec. 2 ...What we are watching in Canada ...The Manitoba government has signed a pay agreement that will allow nurses to be shifted to priority areas in the fight against COVID-19. It says the agreement with the Manitoba Nurses Union will allow nurses to be redeployed in personal care homes, intensive care units and designated COVID-19 units. Health Minister Cameron Friesen says it will allow for changes to work assignments, locations, schedules and shifts to support the changing needs of hospital patients and care home residents. He says nurses affected by these changes, including those already working in facilities dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks, will get extra pay. The agreement also establishes a COVID-19 northern allowance for staff redeployed to the north, as well as an allowance for current northern nurses who work in one community but pick up additional shifts elsewhere in the region. Union president Darlene Jackson says the deal will help keep nurses on the job and give them some security and recognition. ---Also this ...Nunavut's two-week lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to end today as the territory continues to see a drop in new cases. Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut's chief public health officer, said earlier this week that schools, businesses and workplaces could reopen.Restrictions are to lift in all communities except Arviat, which has 76 active cases and will remain shut down for at least two more weeks. Patterson says that's because his team hasn't determined if community transmission there is ongoing.Nunavut had 93 active infections and 89 recovered cases on Tuesday for a total of 182. The territory had not had any cases at all until early November.\---What we are watching in the U.S. ...Disputing U.S. President Donald Trump’s persistent, baseless claims, Attorney General William Barr declared the U.S. Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election.Barr's comments, in an interview Tuesday with the The Associated Press, contradict the concerted effort by Trump, his boss, to subvert the results of last month's voting and block president-elect Joe Biden from taking his place in the White House.Barr told the AP that U.S. attorneys and FBI agents have been working to follow up specific complaints and information they’ve received, but “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”The comments, which drew immediate criticism from Trump attorneys, were especially notable coming from Barr, who has been one of the president's most ardent allies. Before the election, he had repeatedly raised the notion that mail-in voting could be especially vulnerable to fraud during the coronavirus pandemic as Americans feared going to polls and instead chose to vote by mail.More to Trump's liking, Barr revealed in the AP interview that in October he had appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham as a special counsel, giving the prosecutor the authority to continue to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia probe after Biden takes over and making it difficult to fire him. Biden hasn't said what he might do with the investigation, and his transition team didn't comment Tuesday.\---What we are watching in the rest of the world ...Pfizer and BioNTech say they've won permission Wednesday for emergency use of their COVID-19 vaccine in Britain, the world’s first coronavirus shot that’s backed by rigorous science -- and a major step toward eventually ending the pandemic.The move makes Britain one of the first countries to begin vaccinating its population as it tries to curb Europe’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreak.Other countries aren’t far behind: The U.S. and the European Union also are vetting the Pfizer shot along with a similar vaccine made by competitor Moderna Inc.Pfizer said it would immediately begin shipping limited supplies to the U.K. -- and has been gearing up for even wider distribution if given a similar nod by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a decision expected as early as next week.But doses everywhere are scarce, and initial supplies will be rationed until more is manufactured in the first several months of next year.\---On this day in 2006 ...Liberal delegates chose Quebec MP Stephane Dion as their new federal leader at a Montreal convention.\---Holiday news ...The Canadian Christmas Tree Growers Association says people planning to buy a live Christmas tree this season should start shopping now and expect to pay more.Farmers anticipate 2020 will be a record sales year. Association head Larry Downey says it's simple supply and demand: a shortage of trees coupled with a greater appetite from people hoping to liven up their living spaces amid widespread stay-at-home orders.“Personally, we don’t see COVID affecting us,” says Downey, whose family farm in Hatley, Que. sells up to 30,000 Christmas trees each year.Most wholesale farmers Downey has spoken this year with have already reached sales records, he adds, with much of the demand coming from vendors in the United States. Retailers typically place their orders for trees as early as June, Downey says.The Christmas tree market is still feeling the effects of the Great Recession, which put many U.S. growers out of business and led others to reduce planting. Since saplings take eight to 10 years to reach the size of a typical Christmas tree, the effects of the lower supply have only recently emerged.In entertainment ...Experts believe the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies such as Netflix will go up under a taxation plan the government wants to put in place next year,Ottawa says in its fiscal update released Monday it will require multinationals to collect GST or HST on digital products and services, which it said would add up to $1.2 billion over five years.Sometimes labelled a "Netflix tax," the measure would also apply to other services such as Amazon.com Inc.'s Prime Video or the Spotify audio streaming service, as well as digital products such as software applications.The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales, so it's only fair that foreign multinationals should do the same.KPMG tax partner Joe Micallef says it's likely Canadians will end up paying the taxes collected for the government by foreign multinationals."Right now, the way in which they're delivering their services, they're not responsible for the collection," Micallef says."And so, effectively, it would mean that these charges would be appearing on (their) invoices."Dwayne Winseck, a media industry researcher at Carleton University in Ottawa, also expects companies will add the price of the tax to the total sale price.\---ICYMI ...The Oscar-nominated Canadian star of the film "Juno" has come out as transgender.The Halifax-raised Elliot Page, formerly known as Ellen Page, has made the announcement in a powerful post on social media.The star of the Toronto-shot Netflix series "The Umbrella Academy" says his preferred pronouns are he/they.Page's letter thanks those who have supported him along the journey, and addresses the trauma trans people face from discrimination, hateful acts, and a lack of rights.He says it feels remarkable "to finally love" who he is enough to pursue his "authentic self."And he's been "endlessly inspired by so many in the trans community.""Thank you for your courage, your generosity and ceaselessly working to make this world a more inclusive and compassionate place. I will offer whatever support I can and continue to strive for a more loving and equal society," Page says.."I also ask for patience. My joy is real, but it is also fragile. The truth is, despite feeling profoundly happy right now and knowing how much privilege I carry, I am also scared. I'm scared of the invasiveness, the hate, the 'jokes' and of violence."\---This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020The Canadian Press
Le Bloc québécois a défendu l’adoption du projet de loi C-216 pour la protection de la gestion de l’offre dans les futures négociations commerciales la semaine dernière. Le regroupement politique se réjouit donc d’apprendre que les producteurs concernés seront dédommagés pour les embûches créées par la mise en place des deux derniers accords de libre-échange. Le projet de loi C-216 du Bloc québécois vise à empêcher le gouvernement d’affaiblir la gestion de l’offre lorsqu’il conclut des ententes internationales avec ses partenaires. Et à la suite des pressions répétées des députés pour le versement de l’ensemble des compensations aux producteurs et aux transformateurs sous gestion de l’offre, la députée Michaud se dit soulagée que le gouvernement annonce enfin une partie de l’aide promise. En effet, la ministre Marie-Claude Bibeau a annoncé samedi qu’une certaine forme d’indemnité sera offerte à ces producteurs et transformateurs qui ont grandement été affectés par les brèches faites au système agricole québécois à travers les concessions des trois derniers accords commerciaux. En effet, ils recevront les reste des versements dus en trois ans. Kristina Michaud, qui prend le dossier à cœur, a pu s’entretenir avec le président des producteurs de lait du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gabriel Belzile, à la suite de l’annonce. « Je représente une circonscription rurale où l’agriculture est extrêmement importante », a-t-elle expliqué. « J’ai rencontré de nombreux producteurs depuis mon élection il y a un peu plus d’un an et je sais à quel point cette nouvelle était attendue. Les producteurs de lait, œufs et volaille pourront enfin obtenir des indemnisations même si aucune compensation ne permettra de rétablir l’équilibre qui avait été acquis. » Mme Michaud renchérit que « c’est un bon pas, mais plusieurs détails restent à venir ». De plus, les transformateurs de l’ensemble des secteurs ont été complètement écartés par l’annonce d’Ottawa, sans compter qu’il n’y a toujours aucune compensation pour l’ACEUM (ancien ALENA). La députée craint que la promesse du gouvernement de n’accorder aucune autre concession dans de futurs accords ne soit encore que des paroles en l’air. « Pour véritablement tenir parole, le gouvernement et tous les partis d’opposition doivent adopter le projet de loi C-216 déposé par le Bloc Québécois. Ce sont des gestes concrets tels que celui-ci qui vont réellement protéger nos producteurs », a ajouté la bloquiste. En attendant, Kristina Michaud et ses collègues persisteront aux côtés des gens du milieu agricole pour qu’ils puissent obtenir « la juste part des compensations qui leur est due et qu’ils ne soient plus tributaires des futures ententes internationales », d’après les dires de la députée fédérale.Claudie Arseneault, Initiative de journalisme local, Mon Matane
Joshua Wong, 24, one of Hong Kong's most prominent democracy activists, was jailed on Wednesday for more than 13 months over an unlawful anti-government rally in 2019, the toughest and most high-profile sentence for an opposition figure this year. Wong's sentence comes as critics say the Beijing-backed government is intensifying a crackdown on Hong Kong's opposition and chipping away at wide-ranging freedoms guaranteed after the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997, a charge authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong reject. Reacting to the court ruling, Britain's foreign minister Dominic Raab urged Hong Kong and Beijing authorities to stop their campaigns to stifle the opposition.
Rappelons qu’en 2010 la Ville de Sept-Îles a vendu une vingtaine de terrains sur les rues Roméo-Vachon, Joséphat-Méthot et Comeau qui ont été endommagés par un affaissement du sol. Par la suite, une cinquantaine de maisons ont été suivies de près, afin de voir si leurs structures ne seraient pas endommagées également par un tel affaissement. Maître Luc Dion, du cabinet Besnier, Dion et Rondeau est mandaté afin de coordonner les expertises finales. Le directeur général de la Ville Patrick Gwilliam mentionne qu’un expert en sol est prêt à se prononcer et s’engager professionnellement afin de dire que ces maisons ne bougeront plus dans le futur. Il y aura tout de même certaines vérifications, mais le tout semblerait très positif. Certains terrains ont été surveillés lors de ces expertises, et à la lumière de ces années de suivi, quelques-uns pourraient être vendus prochainement.Karine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
A Peel police officer faces multiple charges after allegedly leaving three prohibited firearm magazines in the trunk of a police cruiser.Police announced the constable had been charged on Tuesday, but revealed few other details.They said the officer, an eight-year veteran, was investigated by the force's professional standards bureau for 14 months. "The officer reported off duty leaving behind three prohibited firearm magazines loaded with ammunition in the trunk of the police cruiser that he was operating," a news release said.The magazines were not work issued. The officer faces three counts of unauthorized possession of a prohibited device, three counts of careless storage of a prohibited device and one count of careless storage of ammunition.Police say the officer is set to answer to the criminal charges on Jan. 4, 2021, and that a Police Services Act investigation will follow that.
WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet picks are quickly running into the political reality of a narrowly controlled Senate that will leave the new Democratic administration dependent on rival Republicans to get anything done.Under leader Mitch McConnell, the Republican senators will hold great sway in confirming Biden’s nominees regardless of which party holds the majority after runoff elections in January. Biden will have little room to manoeuvr and few votes to spare.As Biden rolled out his economic team Tuesday — after introducing his national security team last week — he asked the Senate to give his nominees prompt review, saying they “deserve and expect nothing less.”But that seems unlikely. Republicans are swiftly signalling that they’re eager to set the terms of debate and exact a price for their votes. Biden's choice for budget chief, Neera Tanden, was instantly rejected as “radioactive.” His secretary of state nominee, Antony Blinken, quickly ran into resistance from GOP senators blasting his record amid their own potential 2024 White House campaigns.Even as most Republican senators still refuse to publicly acknowledge President Donald Trump’s defeat, they are launching new battles for the Biden era. The GOP is suspended between an outgoing president it needs to keep close — Trump can still make or break careers with a single tweet — and the new one they are unsure how to approach. Almost one month since the Nov. 3 election, McConnell and Biden have not yet spoken.“The disagreement, disorientation and confusion among Republicans will make them inclined to unite in opposition,” said Ramesh Ponnuru, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, during a Tuesday briefing.“They don’t necessarily know what they’re for, but they can all agree they don’t like Neera Tanden.”A new president often runs into trouble with at least a few Cabinet or administrative nominees, individuals who rub the Senate the wrong way and fail to win enough votes for confirmation or are forced to withdraw after grueling public hearings.Trump’s nominees faced enormous resistance from Senate Democrats, who used their minority-party status to slow-walk confirmation for even lower-level positions. It’s been an escalation of the Senate's procedural battles for at least a decade.But the battles ahead are particularly sharp as Biden tries to stand up an administration during the COVID-19 crisis and economic freefall, rebuilding a government after Trump chased away many career professionals and appointed often-untested newcomers.Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer praised the expertise Biden's choices will bring to government. He scoffed at Republicans for complaining about Tanden’s penchant for sharp tweets after four years of Trump’s endless Twitter barbs that GOP senators often tried to ignore.“After what all we went through over the past four years, I would expect that almost all of President-elect Biden’s nominees would be widely acceptable,” Schumer said from the Senate floor.Instead, he warned, the "switch is starting to flip” into Republican opposition.To be sure, some key Biden choices will have an easier path to confirmation. Janet Yellen, who would become the nation’s first female treasury secretary, drew few public complaints from Republicans. Many had voted to confirm her in 2014 as Federal Reserve chair.Democrats have their own battles ahead. Biden faces the daunting task of keeping the party's centrist and progressive factions from splintering as he tries to put his team in place.Republicans now hold a 50-48 advantage in the Senate, but if Democrats win both Georgia seats in the Jan. 5 runoff elections, they would wrest control, since the vice-president, which will be Kamala Harris, becomes a tie-breaker.The nomination fights will serve as an early indicator of the approach Republicans take toward Biden as they find their political footing in a post-Trump environment.Trump continues to wield great influence over the party as he is being eased out, and senators, in particular, need to keep him close for the Georgia runoff elections.The president is planning to visit Georgia on Saturday, where two GOP senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, failed to clear the 50% threshold to win reelection in November. Perdue faces Democrat Jon Ossoff and Loeffler faces Democrat Raphael Warnock in a state that flipped to support Biden.McConnell has said almost nothing about Biden’s nominees or next year's agenda as he continues to give Trump the time and space to challenge election results in court cases that have delivered few victories.Instead, he's letting other Senate Republicans, particularly those seen as having White House ambitions, make names for themselves. GOP Sens. Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio and Josh Hawley, among others, have all hurled pointed complaints about Biden's picks.Despite Trump’s defeat, Republicans in Congress may have little incentive to work with Biden. They performed better than Trump, retaining many House and Senate seats they were expected to lose. One lesson Republicans learned from the November election may be to keep doing what they've been doing.McConnell gave a nod toward what's ahead after GOP senators met Tuesday by conference call, forced to abandon their traditional sit-down lunches as the COVID-19 crisis surges and threatens to further disrupt the Capitol.McConnell talked about finishing the remaining few weeks of “this government” and “the new administration” to come.Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
The proposal to have the former Capital Pointe site be a temporary parking lot for one year has been approved.Regina's new city council voted 6-5 in favour of the proposal. A developer has said it is interested in purchasing the land if it had approval to use it as a parking lot for a one-year term.The city is owed $2.8 million from the property. Councillors Landon Mohl, Jason Mancinelli, Terina Shaw, John Findura and Lori Bresciani voted in favour, along with Mayor Sandra Masters. "I feel that I need to put a little bit of a trust going forward," Findura said. "I would like to see it move forward, get out of that hole." Councillors Andrew Stevens, Bob Hawkins, Cheryl Stadnichuk, Shanon Zachidniak and Daniel LeBlanc voted against the proposal."I think it's a mistake, frankly," Stevens said. "There was such promise with that corner. It really fell short and went from a hole to a buried hole now to a parking lot. And I'm not sure what's worse from a planning perspective. There was absolutely no reason to approve this." Masters said that the city is not in the business of commercial real estate development."I have a bigger fear that if we don't provide what assistance we can in terms of facilitating a sale, that we end up ... we can end up with possession of it for years," Masters said. It was the first time the new council was together. It approved a new meeting schedule and will now meet twice a month instead of once a month. Councillor Lori Bresciani is in her second term. She said from her view, the first meeting went smoothly."Of course, there's the procedural things that take a little bit of time. But I thought overall it was very, very well done," Bresciani said. "Mayor Masters did a great job and actually all of councillors spoke. So I think, again, very inclusive. And at the end of the day, that's what we want."New wellness committee, no more mandatory written statements for delegatesCity council also created a new community wellness committee. The committee will discuss housing, poverty reduction, mental and physical wellness, addiction, discrimination and other social determinants of health and crime. Masters said this is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic and that the city needs to support those combating the increasing number of overdoses. "The city needs to continue to support the services that are providing the [naloxone] kits and arriving on scene for the overdoses," Masters said. She said the city also needs to build relationships with different levels of government for funding initiatives. Masters said a safe consumption site is one of the options the committee could look into. She said she's interested in hearing from Prairie Harm Reduction about the one in Saskatoon."As well as looking at other best practices in other communities for the success stories that they've had or perhaps mistakes that have been made or learned lessons," she said. Stevens said the creation of the committee is symbolic right now and hopes it shows commitment to these issues. "I think what's really exciting about this new council and mayor is that everybody's talking about addictions, social determinants of health and community well-being," Stevens said.Also during the meeting, city council debated the mandatory written statements that previously had to be provided by people hoping to address the councillors.Councillor Stevens brought forward an amendment and said he has worked with people with intellectual disability who have trouble with the written requirement. People did not have to read their written statement verbatim. The idea passed with only Councillor Shaw opposed. Now people wanting to speak to the council will need to tell city administration in advance and will be encouraged to provide a written submission so the city administration can prepare answers, but the written submission is not a requirement. Both the priorities and planning committee and the finance and administration committee were cut, with their responsibilities transferred to the executive committee. The community and protective services committee and the public works and infrastructure committee also merged into a new operations and community services committee.
It's been three and a half years since P.E.I. RCMP trained its first five drone pilots and just last week, eight more members were added to the team. "As time goes on we're seeing more and more calls where a drone is useful," said RCMP Staff-Sgt. Kevin Baillie, the drone co-ordinator for RCMP on the Island."Drone technology has improved and we have expanded our drone fleet, increased our capabilities and also trained additional pilots." Baillie said these devices are primarily used as aerial cameras at collision scenes and crime scenes. But, he said they can also be used for search and rescue.> A picture is always worth 1,000 words, whereas now with a video it is worth 10,000. — Cst. Steve MacDonnell"Before we acquired drones, generally the only way to get an aerial photo was to use a helicopter or an aircraft which was much more expensive," he said. Saving moneyAccording to Baillie, the entire drone fleet in the province costs roughly $30,000. Approximately the same as 10 or 15 hours of helicopter time, he said. Currently, he said there are 14 active pilots in the P.E.I. RCMP. One of those is Cst. Steve MacDonnell. "I enjoy flying the drone, it's very useful for us at crime scenes," he said. "A picture is always worth 1,000 words, whereas now with a video it is worth 10,000." MacDonnell is a forensic expert and said having access to a drone makes looking for evidence faster and easier. "It's very useful for sure," said MacDonnell. "It saves getting a ladder and getting on a roof."We can look for paths the perpetrator could have taken to get to the home."So far, MacDonnell has only been trained to fly a smaller drone, but he said he'd like to upgrade and learn to operate one of the larger devices used for search and rescue. Drones are not for surveillanceFor MacDonnell and Baillie, tools like this improve the safety of officers and also allow a better understanding of incidents or crimes.But Baillie said the drones are never used to imvade people's private lives."We can't invade anybody's privacy unless we get a search warrant authorized by a judge," he said."To this point on P.E.I. we have not used drones for surveillance and nor do we have any plans to."For now, Baillie said he has no plans to train additional drone pilots on P.E.I. or purchase more devices. Instead, he prefers to watch how the technology grows and share his expertise with other RCMP in the Maritimes."We do all work together and we share information on the drones we're using," he said.More from CBC P.E.I.
UNALASKA, Alaska — An Alaska city that is home to one of the nation’s busiest fishing ports has included wastewater testing among the mitigation efforts that could help maintain a low number of coronavirus infections.Unalaska began testing its wastewater in July for traces of COVID-19, Alaska’s Energy Desk reported Monday.The island community of about 4,500 year-round residents located on Dutch Harbor, 800 miles (1,287 kilometres) from Anchorage, has recorded 107 coronavirus cases, including 85 from a single factory trawler.Despite the island’s first case of community spread two weeks ago, any virus in Unalaska’s waste remains below the detection level.“If somebody has COVID-19, they’re shedding this virus in fragments,” said Karie Holtermann, lab manager at Unalaska’s wastewater treatment plant. “It’s in their GI tract, they’re shedding it into their feces, into their urine. And so we’re trying to pick that up in our testing here.”The plant processes about 350,000 gallons (1,325 kilolitres) of waste and greywater daily, equating to about 70 gallons (265 litres) per Unalaska resident per day.Sewage testing has been successfully used as an early detection method for other diseases such as polio, Holtermann said.A Netherlands-based study concluded wastewater serves as an early warning system for coronavirus spread by detecting the virus in people who have not been tested or who have mild or no symptoms, Holtermann said.“What they’ve all seen is that wastewater monitoring can predict an outbreak a week before showing up at the clinic,” Holtermann said. “And once it is shown that COVID-19 is in a community, it’s able to show the beginning, the tapering and the resurgence of an outbreak.”If the virus levels increase with an influx of winter fishing season workers, the wastewater tests could pinpoint the part of town where the cases are focused, she said.Holtermann takes two to three wastewater samples during peak flow times, dipping a bucket hanging from a rope at some of the 10 lift stations on the island.“We go all around the clock,” she said. “So, at midnight, three o’clock in the morning — it’s a very interesting view of Unalaska.”For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.The Associated Press