U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence re-opens Congressional session to certify the electoral college vote saying the violent Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol did not win.
U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence re-opens Congressional session to certify the electoral college vote saying the violent Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol did not win.
Law enforcement officers far outnumbered protesters at state capitol grounds on Sunday, as few Trump supporters who believe the president's false claim that he won the 2020 election turned out for what authorities feared could be violent demonstrations. More than a dozen states activated National Guard troops to help secure their capitol buildings following an FBI warning of armed demonstrations, with right-wing extremists emboldened by the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6.
The debate about the U.S. Electoral College pits those who think the president should be chosen via popular vote versus those who believe the interests of small and large states must be balanced.
VICTORIA — A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the province against considering a domestic travel ban, saying restricting travel between provinces to fight COVID-19 would only further harm the sector.The B.C. government should steer away from pursuing an outright ban and work instead with the industry and communities to better educate travelers about pandemic health and safety protocols, said Vivek Sharma, chairman of the Tourism Association of B.C.He said many tourism-related businesses are barely surviving due to the pandemic and a travel ban now would likely mean many won't survive the winter. "Tourism businesses in large and small communities are the glue that binds communities together," Sharma said in an interview. "It runs through the fabric of our province and we need to find solutions as to how we can support them to get into spring and to create an environment in the spring where those businesses can flourish and succeed."He said the tourism sector wants to stress to the government that individual behaviour and not travel is behind the spread of COVID-19."What we are saying is the problem is not happening because of the travel," said Sharma.Premier John Horgan said earlier this week his government is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel.Sharma, speaking on behalf of tourism and accommodations organizations from Vancouver, Richmond and Greater Victoria, said a non-essential travel ban could also heighten unnecessary fears and misperceptions toward visitors to B.C.There were several police reports last year from people driving vehicles with out-of-province licence plates about being confronted by local residents concerned about the spread of COVID-19.Sharma said the association has a legal opinion stating a travel ban would be difficult to implement due to Canada's mobility rights provisions, but the industry is not looking for a legal confrontation with the province."We don't want to talk about conflict," he said. "I don't even want to say we will challenge this in court."Cara Zwibel, a lawyer with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said earlier the B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary.She said it is not clear that B.C. has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases linked to interprovincial travel.The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is appealing an earlier court decision upholding travel restrictions imposed last year by the Newfoundland and Labrador government. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan .16, 2021. Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press
A shipping delay from the pharmaceutical giant producing a key COVID-19 vaccine will in turn slow the pace at which some Ontario residents can be inoculated, the province's top doctor announced Saturday amid a continued spike in virus cases and related deaths. Dr. David Williams said some of those in line for Pfizer-BioNTech's coveted vaccine will have to wait longer than expected to receive their necessary second dose as the province tries to navigate the fallout from an overseas production delay. The company announced on Friday that issues at its facility in Belgium are forcing it to slow vaccine shipments to several countries, including Canada. Federal officials later revealed that only half of Canada's promised doses of the Pfizer vaccine will arrive in the country next month.Williams said the province would accordingly adjust the vaccination schedule for those tapped to be immunized with the Pfizer product, but noted the full impact of the shipping delay is still emerging. "We are working with the Public Health Agency of Canada to determine the exact timing and amount of these reductions, and we will assess and take appropriate action to ensure we can continue providing our most vulnerable with vaccines," Williams said in a statement. "We know the federal government is working to secure more supply and when they are able to deliver more vaccines, we will be ready to administer them."Williams said long-term care residents, essential caregivers and staff — the first group cleared for inoculation under the provincial vaccination strategy — will receive their second dose of Pfizer vaccine between 21 and 27 days after their initial shot. The delay adds only a week to the original timetable and does not affect those receiving the vaccine developed by pharmaceutical firm Moderna. The delay could be longer for anyone else slated for the Pfizer vaccine, Williams said, noting second doses could take place anywhere from 21 to 42 days after the initial one is administered. The province originally hoped to offer second shots about 21 days after administering a preliminary dose.Williams said the new timetable is in line with recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization."NACI has indicated that while efforts should be made to vaccinate according to the recommended schedules, some jurisdictions may maximize the number of individuals benefiting from a first dose of vaccine by delaying the second dose until further supplies of the vaccine become available, preferably within 42 days of receipt of the first dose," he said.At least 189,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered so far under Ontario's current plan, according to Health Minister Christine Elliott.Word of the vaccine schedule adjustments came as Ontario reported 3,056 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, along with 51 new deaths related to the virus. Hospitalizations related to COVID-19 stand at 1,632, with 397 patients in intensive care.Elliott said Toronto and the neighbouring regions of Peel and York continue to post the highest infection rates in the province. She said 903 of the most recent diagnoses were found in Toronto, with 639 in Peel and 283 in York. Some of those regions are among those targeted by a government blitz of big-box stores which got underway on Saturday. The province said earlier this week it would send 50 inspectors to stores in five regions — Toronto, Hamilton, Peel, York and Durham. They'll be looking to ensure the retailers are complying with the province's tightened public health rules, which went into effect on Thursday along with a provincewide stay-at-home order meant to curb the spread of the virus.Labour Minister Monte McNaughton has said inspectors will focus on compliance with masking and physical distancing rules, as well as other health guidelines.He said they'll have the authority to temporarily shut down facilities found to be breaching the rules, and to disperse groups of more than five people.The minister said inspectors will also be able to issue tickets of up to $750 to management, workers or customers if they're not abiding by the measures.Premier Doug Ford, who has faced criticism for allowing big-box stores to remain open for on-site shopping while smaller businesses are restricted to curbside pickup or online sales, vowed this week to crack down on big lineups and other infractions at large retailers.The weekend blitz comes days after the province enacted an order requiring residents to stay at home for all but essential purposes, such as shopping for groceries or accessing health care.The province has said police will be enforcing the order but won't have the power to stop people randomly to check their reasons for being outside.Ontario's stricter measures were announced after grim projections on COVID-19 suggested the health system could be overwhelmed if cases continue to rise at current rates. But even so, Toronto police announced they had arrested and charged the organizers of two large gatherings in the city's downtown core. Both organizers were charged with common nuisance, while police said an officer who was trying to break up one of the gatherings was allegedly assaulted. A 22-year-old man has been charged with assaulting a police officer and obstructing police. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2021. The Canadian Press
On Saturday, Alberta reported 15 more deaths due to COVID-19, along with 717 new cases of the disease. Currently, there are 12,713 active cases of the illness in Alberta. That includes 765 people who were in hospital with the illness on Friday — down 31 from Thursday — of which 122 were in intensive care unit beds. Provincial labs completed 12,439 tests for the disease on Friday, down from the 13,575 tests completed on Thursday. Of the 15 deaths reported Friday, 10 were linked to outbreaks at continuing care facilities. One death was linked to an outbreak at Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital, and another to an outbreak at Drumheller Health Centre. The deaths occurred between Jan. 1 and Jan. 15, and almost all involved people in their 70s, 80s or 90s. One death involved a woman in her 50s from the North Zone. Since the pandemic began in March, there have been 116,087 cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, including 1,417 deaths from the disease. Here is how the active cases break down among health zones: Calgary zone: 4,863 cases Edmonton zone: 4,510 cases North zone: 1,714 cases Central zone: 1,209 cases South zone: 400 cases Unknown: 17 cases An additional 7,451 doses of vaccine had been administered by the end of the day on Friday, bringing the total number of doses administered to 81,561. Alberta's public health restrictions continue to be in effect this weekend, though some restrictions, such as the closures of businesses like barbershops and hair salons, are to be eased on Monday. On Twitter, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, encouraged Albertans to get outside and enjoy the mild weather while following the public health measures currently in place. Hinshaw said her next in-person update will be on Monday.
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday Jan. 16, 2021. There are 702,183 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 702,183 confirmed cases (76,234 active, 608,084 resolved, 17,865 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 6,479 new cases Saturday from 89,622 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 7.2 per cent. The rate of active cases is 202.81 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 49,169 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 7,024. There were 137 new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 975 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 139. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.37 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 47.53 per 100,000 people. There have been 16,486,584 tests completed. _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 395 confirmed cases (eight active, 383 resolved, four deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday from 143 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. The rate of active cases is 1.53 per 100,000 people. 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 0.77 per 100,000 people. There have been 76,165 tests completed. _ Prince Edward Island: 104 confirmed cases (nine active, 95 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday from 477 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. The rate of active cases is 5.73 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of two 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 85,889 tests completed. _ Nova Scotia: 1,554 confirmed cases (30 active, 1,459 resolved, 65 deaths). There were four new cases Saturday from 1,334 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.30 per cent. The rate of active cases is 3.09 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 26 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is four. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.69 per 100,000 people. There have been 195,067 tests completed. _ New Brunswick: 911 confirmed cases (268 active, 631 resolved, 12 deaths). There were 27 new cases Saturday from 1,312 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 2.1 per cent. The rate of active cases is 34.5 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 146 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 21. There were zero new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of three new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.06 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 1.54 per 100,000 people. There have been 127,403 tests completed. _ Quebec: 240,970 confirmed cases (21,601 active, 210,364 resolved, 9,005 deaths). There were 2,225 new cases Saturday from 9,590 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 23 per cent. The rate of active cases is 254.58 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 14,737 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,105. There were 67 new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 358 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 51. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.6 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 106.13 per 100,000 people. There have been 2,647,264 tests completed. _ Ontario: 234,364 confirmed cases (28,618 active, 200,406 resolved, 5,340 deaths). There were 3,056 new cases Saturday from 71,183 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 4.3 per cent. The rate of active cases is 196.46 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 22,527 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 3,218. There were 51 new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 372 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 53. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.36 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 36.66 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,575,369 tests completed. _ Manitoba: 27,322 confirmed cases (2,986 active, 23,575 resolved, 761 deaths). There were 180 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 218.04 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,156 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 165. There were two new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 28 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.29 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 55.57 per 100,000 people. There have been 436,236 tests completed. _ Saskatchewan: 19,985 confirmed cases (4,043 active, 15,730 resolved, 212 deaths). There were 270 new cases Saturday from 1,218 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 22 per cent. The rate of active cases is 344.24 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,178 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 311. There were two new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 21 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is three. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.26 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 18.05 per 100,000 people. There have been 320,404 tests completed. _ Alberta: 116,087 confirmed cases (12,713 active, 101,957 resolved, 1,417 deaths). There were 717 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 290.83 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 5,446 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 778. There were 15 new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 145 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 21. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.47 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 32.42 per 100,000 people. There have been 2,979,663 tests completed. _ British Columbia: 60,117 confirmed cases (5,955 active, 53,115 resolved, 1,047 deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday from 4,365 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. The rate of active cases is 117.42 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,947 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 421. There were zero new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 48 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is seven. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.14 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 20.65 per 100,000 people. There have been 1,021,911 tests completed. _ Yukon: 70 confirmed cases (two active, 67 resolved, one deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 4.9 per 100,000 people. 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 2.45 per 100,000 people. There have been 6,256 tests completed. _ Northwest Territories: 25 confirmed cases (one active, 24 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 2.23 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of one 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 8,323 tests completed. _ Nunavut: 266 confirmed cases (zero active, 265 resolved, one deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday. 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 2.58 per 100,000 people. There have been 6,558 tests completed. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Jan. 16, 2021. The Canadian Press
SAN DIEGO — President-elect Joe Biden's decision to immediately ask Congress to offer legal status to an estimated 11 million people in the country has surprised advocates given how the issue has long divided Democrats and Republicans, even within their own parties. Biden will announce legislation his first day in office to provide a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants in the United States illegally, according to four people briefed on his plans. The president-elect campaigned on a path to citizenship for the roughly 11 million people in the U.S. illegally, but it was unclear how quickly he would move while wrestling with the coronavirus pandemic, the economy and other priorities. For advocates, memories were fresh of presidential candidate Barack Obama pledging an immigration bill his first year in office, in 2009, but not tackling the issue until his second term. Biden's plan is the polar opposite of Donald Trump, whose successful 2016 presidential campaign rested in part on curbing or stopping illegal immigration. “This really does represent a historic shift from Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda that recognizes that all of the undocumented immigrants that are currently in the United States should be placed on a path to citizenship,” said Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, who was briefed on the bill. If successful, the legislation would be the biggest move toward granting status to people in the country illegally since President Ronald Reagan bestowed amnesty on nearly 3 million people in 1986. Legislative efforts to overhaul immigration policy failed in 2007 and 2013. Ron Klain, Biden’s incoming chief of staff, said Saturday that Biden will send an immigration bill to Congress “on his first day in office.” He didn’t elaborate and Biden’s office declined to comment on specifics. Advocates were briefed in recent days on the bill's broad outlines by Esther Olivarria, deputy director for immigration on the White House Domestic Policy Council. Domingo Garcia, former president of the League of Latin American Citizens, said Biden told advocates on a call Thursday that Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate may delay consideration of the bill and that they shouldn’t count on passage within 100 days. “I was pleasantly surprised that they were going to take quick action because we got the same promises from Obama, who got elected in ’08, and he totally failed,” Garcia said. Ali Noorani, president of the National Immigration Forum and among those briefed Thursday night, said immigrants would be put on an eight-year path to citizenship. There would be a faster track for those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shields people from deportation who came to the country as young children, and Temporary Protected Status, which gives temporary status to hundreds of thousands of people from strife-torn countries, many from El Salvador. Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris offered similar remarks in an interview with Univision that aired Tuesday, saying DACA and TPS recipients will “automatically get green cards” while others would be on an eight-year path to citizenship. More favourable attitudes toward immigration — especially among Democrats — may weigh in Biden's favour this time. A Gallup survey last year found that 34% of those polled favoured more immigration, up from 21% in 2016 and higher than any time since it began asking the question in 1965. The survey found 77% felt immigration was good for the country on the whole, up slightly from 72% in 2016. Noorani said the separation of more than 5,000 children from the parents at the border, which peaked in 2018, alienated voters from Trump's policies, particularly conservatives and evangelicals. He believes a constantly shifting outlook for DACA recipients also hurt Trump among people who felt he was using them as “political pawns.” “What was seared in their mind was family separation. They took it out on the Republican Party in 2018 and they took it out on Trump in 2020," Noorani said. "To put a really fine point on it, they want to end the cruelty of the Trump administration.” It is impossible to know precisely how many people are in the country illegally. Pew Research Center estimates there were 10.5 million in 2017, down from an all-time high of 12.2 million in 2007. The Homeland Security Department estimates there were 12 million people in the country illegally in 2015, nearly 80% of them for more than 10 years. More than half were Mexican. ___ Associated Press writer Zeke Miller in Washington contributed to this report. Elliot Spagat, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The Latest on the fallout and increased security efforts after the attack of the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump loyalists (all times local): 7:30 p.m. Police have arrested a man with a handgun and 500 rounds of ammunition at a checkpoint in Washington set up ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Wesley Allen Beeler of Front Royal, Virginia, was charged with carrying a pistol without a license after being stopped at the checkpoint near the U.S. Capitol on Friday. Court documents say Beeler approached the checkpoint but did not have a valid credential for that area. Separately, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press he had a valid credential for inaugural events, though it was not issued by the government and was not recognized by the officers. The official was not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Court documents say an officer noticed Beeler had “firearms-related stickers” on his vehicle and asked him if he had any weapons inside. The papers say Beeler told the officers he had a handgun under the armrest and police detained him at the scene. They searched Beeler's car and found a high-capacity magazine in the 9mm handgun, along with more than 500 rounds of ammunition in the vehicle. Authorities said he didn’t have a license to carry the gun in Washington. His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. — Associated Press writer Michael Balsamo. The Associated Press
Canada's procurement minister urged drugmaker Pfizer-BioNTech to get the country's COVID-19 vaccine delivery schedule back on track as soon as possible as cases of the novel coronavirus surged past the 700,000 mark on Saturday. The country hit the milestone less than two weeks after recording 600,000 cases of the virus on Jan. 3 -- a feat that took months during the pandemic's first wave. Seven provinces recorded 6,479 cases on Saturday, pushing the national tally over 702,000. Nationwide inoculation efforts had resulted in more than half a million residents receiving a vaccine dose as of Friday night, though the pace of immunizations is set to decrease as Pfizer-BioNTech upgrades its production facilities in Europe. Procurement Minister Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians' concerns about the drug company's decision to delay international vaccine shipments for four weeks during the upgrades. "We are once again in touch with representatives from Pfizer to reiterate firmly the importance for Canada to return to our regular delivery schedule as soon as possible," she said on Twitter Saturday. "Pfizer assured us that it is deploying all efforts to do just that."She noted that shipments for the upcoming week will be largely unaffected, and said Ottawa will provide updates as they become available. Ontario became the latest province to adjust its vaccination rollout plans in light of Pfizer's announcement.Dr. David Williams, the province's Chief Medical Officer of Health, issued a statement on Saturday saying officials do not yet know the full impact the delay will have on Ontario's immunization strategy. "We understand that this change in supply could see deliveries reduced by at least half for Canada in the coming weeks," Williams said in a statement Saturday."We will assess and take appropriate action to ensure we can continue providing our most vulnerable with vaccines."In Ontario, long-term care residents, caregivers and staff who already received their first dose of Pfizer's vaccine will get their second dose between 21 and 27 days later, no more than a week beyond what was originally planned. But that time frame will be longer for anyone else receiving the Pfizer vaccine, with second doses being delivered anywhere from 21 to 42 days after the initial shot.Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube said Friday the reduced shipments mean that 86,775 of the 176,475 doses of the vaccine expected by Feb. 8 won't be delivered on schedule.Officials are establishing a new distribution plan, but the Quebec Health Department said it still intends to immunize as many people as possible within priority groups, with a delay of up to 90 days for the second dose.Officials in Saskatchewan said COVID-19 vaccinations will continue as doses are received, with Premier Scott Moe telling reporters Friday that the province's strategy for the two-dose regime depends on steady shipments.Canada's top doctor continued her push for strict adherance to public health guidelines as Saturday's case count inched closer to levels forecasted in bleak federal projections released earlier in the week. Modeling released on Thursday indicated Canada could see 10,000 daily cases by the end of January if current infection rates continue. "If we ease measures too soon, the epidemic will resurge even stronger," Dr. Theresa Tam said in a tweet. "This is double-down time!!"Tam said Hospitalizations and deaths across the country, which tend to lag one to several weeks behind a spike in cases, are still on the rise.Canada averaged 4,705 hospitalizations across the country with 875 patients requiring intensive care treatment For the seven-day period ending Jan. 14. During the same period, an average of 137 deaths were reported daily.Ontario topped 3,000 cases in a 24-hour period once again on Saturday and added another 51 deaths linked to the virus.In Quebec, 2,225 new infections were reported along with 67 deaths attributed to the virus, pushing the province over the 9,000 death mark since the beginning of the pandemic.New Brunswick continued to report the highest daily COVID-19 case counts in Atlantic Canada, with 27 new diagnoses reported Saturday. Nova Scotia, by contrast, reported just four.Saskatchewan reported 270 new COVID-19 cases and two further deaths on Saturday. Alberta logged 717 new infections, while Manitoba reported 180.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2021. Sidhartha Banerjee and Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press
The second wave of COVID-19 continues to put a strain on health resources across the province. New numbers indicate the pandemic has deeply affected people experiencing homelessness. Health agencies and physicians are calling for more to be done to help. Katherine Ward reports.
FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — Oilpatch giant Suncor says the body of a man whose bulldozer fell through the ice on one of its inactive tailings ponds earlier this week has now been recovered. The company issued a statement saying emergency responders completed their recovery efforts for Patrick Poitras on Friday night. The worker was an employee of Christina River Construction. Crews responded to the accident Wednesday afternoon at the mine site near Fort McMurray, Alta. A Suncor spokeswoman said at the time that occupational health and safety authorities were notified. The company says it's confirming Poitras' death with "great sadness" and "heavy hearts." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2021. The Canadian Press
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers made sure he’d play an NFC championship game at home for the first time in his Hall of Fame-caliber career. Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and also ran for a score as the top-seeded Green Bay Packers defeated the Los Angeles Rams 32-18 in an NFC divisional playoff game Saturday. Green Bay's potent offence overpowered the Rams' vaunted defence for much of the day. The Packers didn't allow any sacks despite playing without injured All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari, while Green Bay sacked Jared Goff four times. The Packers reached the NFC championship game for the fourth time in the last seven seasons as they chase their first Super Bowl berth in a decade. It will be their first at Lambeau Field since hosting for the 2007 season, when they fell to the New York Giants 23-20 in overtime. Green Bay won the Super Bowl for the 2010 season as the NFC’s No. 6 seed, and has lost at Seattle, Atlanta and San Francisco in its last three conference championship game appearances. Saturday’s game showed what a home-field advantage can mean, even with far less than capacity on hand due to the pandemic. The Packers played in front of 8,456 fans – a crowd that included paying spectators for the first time all season – but that small crowd made plenty of noise as the Packers built an early lead with snow flurries falling for much of the first half. That crowd changed “M! V! P!” during the closing minutes to salute All-Pro quarterback Rodgers. Buoyed by that crowd, the Packers (14-3) often seemed on the verge of putting the game away. But the Rams (11-7) continued to hang around. Green Bay finally sealed the victory with a 58-yard completion from Rodgers to Allen Lazard with 6:52 left. Rodgers went 23 of 36 for 296 yards, while Aaron Jones ran for 99 yards and a touchdown on just 14 carries. Goff was 21 of 27 for 174 yards and a touchdown less than three weeks after undergoing thumb surgery, and Cam Akers rushed for 90 yards and a touchdown. UP NEXT The Rams' season is over. The Packers host either the New Orleans Saints or Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Jan. 24. ___ Follow Steve Megargee at https://twitter.com/stevemegargee ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL Steve Megargee, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The public won’t see President Donald Trump’s White House records for years, but there’s growing concern the collection won’t be complete, leaving a hole in the history of one of America’s most tumultuous presidencies. Trump has been cavalier about the law requiring that records be preserved. He has a habit of ripping up documents before tossing them out, forcing White House records workers to spend hours taping them back together. “They told him to stop doing it. He didn’t want to stop,” said Solomon Lartey, a former White House records analyst. He said the first document he taped back together was a letter from Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., about a government shutdown. The president also confiscated an interpreter’s notes after Trump had a chat with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Trump scolded his White House counsel for taking notes at a meeting during the Russia investigation by former special counsel Robert Mueller. Top executive branch officials had to be reminded more than once not to conduct official business on private email or text messaging systems and to preserve it if they did. And now, Trump's baseless claim of widespread voter fraud, which postponed for weeks an acknowledgement of President-elect Joe Biden's victory, is delaying the transfer of documents to the National Archives and Records Administration, further heightening concern about the integrity of the records. “Historians are likely to suffer from far more holes than has been the norm,” said Richard Immerman at the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. In the Trump White House, "not only has record-keeping not been a priority, but we have multiple examples of it seeking to conceal or destroy that record.” Lack of a complete record might also hinder any ongoing investigations of Trump, from his impeachment trial and other prospective federal inquiries to investigations in the state of New York. But even with requests by lawmakers and lawsuits by government transparency groups, there is an acknowledgment that noncompliance with the Presidential Records Act carries little consequence for Trump. In tossing out one suit last year, U.S. Circuit Judge David Tatel wrote that courts cannot “micromanage the president’s day-to-day compliance.” The Presidential Records Act states that a president cannot destroy records until he seeks the advice of the national archivist and notifies Congress. But the law doesn’t require him to heed the archivist's advice. It doesn't prevent the president from going ahead and destroying records. Most presidential records today are electronic. Records experts estimate that automatic backup computer systems capture a vast majority of the records, but cannot capture records that a White House chooses not to create or log into those systems. THE MOVE Moving a president’s trail of paper and electronic records is a laborious task. President Barack Obama left about 30 million pages of paper documents and some 250 terabytes of electronic records, including the equivalent of about 1.5 billion pages of emails. The records of past presidents are important because they can help a current president craft new policies and prevent mistakes from being repeated. “Presidential records tell our nation’s story from a unique perspective and are essential to an incoming administration in making informed decisions,” said Lee White, director of the National Coalition for History. “They are equally vital to historians." When Trump lost the November election, records staffers were in position to transfer electronic records, pack up the paper ones and move them to the National Archives by Jan. 20, as required by law. But Trump’s reluctance to concede has meant they will miss the deadline. “Necessary funding from the (White House) Office of Management and Budget was delayed for many weeks after the election, which has caused delays in arranging for the transfer of the Trump presidential records into the National Archives' custody,” the National Archives said in a statement to The Associated Press. “Even though the transfer of these records will not be completed until after Jan. 20, the National Archives will assume legal custody of them on Jan. 20 in accordance with the Presidential Records Act.” White House spokesman Judd Deere said Saturday that contesting the election did not cause the delay in getting the president’s records transferred to the archives and that guidance was available to staffers on how to pack up their materials. One person familiar with the transition said guidance typically emailed to executive branch employees explaining how to turn in equipment and pack up their offices was sent out in December, but quickly rescinded because Trump insisted on contesting the election. With little guidance, some staffers in the White House started quietly calling records workers to find out what to do. Departing employees are instructed to create a list of folders in each box and make a spreadsheet to give the National Archives a way to track and retrieve the information for the incoming Biden team. The process gets more complex with classified material. The Biden administration can request to see Trump records immediately, but the law says the public must wait five years before submitting Freedom of Information Act requests. Even then, Trump — like other presidents before him — is invoking specific restrictions to public access of his records for up to 12 years. Six restrictions outlined in the law include national security, confidential business information, confidential communications between the president and his advisers or among his advisers and personal information. RECORD-KEEPING PRACTICES Around Trump's first impeachment and on other sensitive issues, some normal workflow practices were bypassed, a second person familiar with the process said. Apparently worried about leaks, higher-ups and White House lawyers became more involved in deciding which materials were catalogued and scanned into White House computer networks where they are automatically saved, this person said. The individuals, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss inner workings at the White House, said that if uncatalogued materials ended up in an office safe, for instance, they would at least be temporarily preserved. But if they were never catalogued in the first place, staffers would not know they existed, making such materials untraceable. White House staff quickly learned about Trump's disregard for documents as they witnessed him tearing them up and discarding them. “My director came up to me and said, ‘You have to tape these together,'” said Lartey, the former records analyst. Lartey said someone in the White House chief of staff's office told the president that the documents were considered presidential records and needed to be preserved by law. Lartey said about 10 records staffers ended up on Scotch tape duty at different times, starting with Trump’s first days in the White House through at least mid-2018. Trump's staff also engaged in questionable practices by using private emails and messaging apps. Former White House counsel Don McGahn in February 2017 sent a memo that instructed employees not to use nonofficial text messaging apps or private email accounts. If they did, he said, they had to take screenshots of the material and copy it into official email accounts, which are preserved. He sent the memo back out in September 2017. “It's an open question to me about how serious or conscientious any of those people have been about moving them over,” said Tom Blanton, who directs the National Security Archive at George Washington University, which was founded in 1985 to combat government secrecy. Trump was criticized for confiscating the notes of an interpreter who was with him in 2017 when the president talked with Putin in Hamburg, Germany. Lawmakers tried unsuccessfully to obtain the notes of another interpreter who was with Trump in 2018 when he met with Putin in Helsinki, Finland. It's unclear whether the two presidents talked about Russia's interference in the 2016 election. Many people suspected the subject did come up because at a news conference afterward, Trump said he believed Putin when Putin denied Russian interference despite U.S. intelligence agencies finding the opposite. Several weeks ago, the National Security Archive, two historical associations and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sued to prevent the Trump White House from destroying any electronic communications or records sent or received on nonofficial accounts, such as personal email or WhatsApp. They also alleged that the White House has already likely destroyed presidential materials. The court refused to issue a temporary restraining order after government lawyers told the judge that they had instructed the White House to notify all employees to preserve all electronic communications in their original format until the suit was settled. “I believe we will find that there’s going to be a huge hole in the historical record of this president because I think there’s probably been serious noncompliance of the Presidential Records Act," said Anne Weismann, one of the lawyers representing the groups in their suit. "I don’t think President Trump cares about his record and what it says. I think he probably cares, though, about what it might say about his criminal culpability.” Trump faces several legal challenges when he leaves the White House. There are two New York state inquiries into whether he misled tax authorities, banks or business partners. Also, two women alleging he sexually assaulted them are suing him. DESTROYING OR SAVING HISTORY Presidential records were considered a president's personal property until the Watergate scandal under President Richard Nixon prompted Congress in 1978 to pass the Presidential Records Act over worry that Nixon would destroy White House tape recordings that led to his resignation. After that, presidential records were no longer considered personal property but the property of the American people — if they are preserved. Lawmakers have introduced legislation to require audits of White House record-keeping and compliance with the law. “The American public should not have to wait until a president has left office to learn of problems with that president’s record-keeping practices," Weismann said. Deb Riechmann, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Wednesday, a history-making event in which the first Black, South Asian and female vice-president will take her oath of office from the first Latina justice. Harris chose Sotomayor for the task, according to a person familiar with the decision. She’ll also use two Bibles for the swearing-in, one of which belonged to Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Supreme Court justice. ABC News first reported the latest details of Harris’ inauguration plans. Harris has expressed admiration for both Sotomayor and Marshall. She and Sotomayor share experience as prosecutors, and she once called Marshall — like Harris, an alumnus of Howard University — one of her “greatest heroes.” The vice-president-elect said in a video posted to Twitter that she viewed Marshall as “one of the main reasons I wanted to be a lawyer,” calling him “a fighter” in the courtroom. And this will be the second time Sotomayor takes part in an inauguration. She swore in President-elect Joe Biden as vice-president in 2013. Alexandra Jaffe, The Associated Press
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE, Alta. — A 28-year-old man is in hospital in Calgary after police say he fell while ice climbing in the Rocky Mountains. RCMP say members from their Rocky Mountain House detachment responded to a dispatch on Friday afternoon that a climber had fallen and needed medical assistance. Police say an SOS beacon was received that indicated the climber was at the south end of Abraham Lake, about 200 km northwest of Calgary. They say reports indicate he fell 12 metres. The man was long-line rescued from his location by Ahlstrom Helicopters with the help of Rocky Mountain House Search and Rescue, and was then transferred to a STARS air ambulance helicopter. Police say his injuries were serious but not life-threatening. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2021. The Canadian Press
LOS ANGELES — Dr. Dre was back at home Saturday after being treated at a Los Angeles hospital for a reported brain aneurysm. Peter Paterno, an attorney for the music mogul, said Dre was home but offered no other details in an email exchange Saturday. The rapper and producer reportedly was released Friday from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. In a Jan. 5 social media post, Dre, 55, said he was “doing great and getting excellent care from my medical team.” TMZ had reported that he suffered a brain aneurysm the day before and was recovering at the medical centre. On Friday, actor and rapper Ice T posted that he had connected with Dre on FaceTime and that he had “just made it home. Safe and looking good.” Born Andre Young in the Southern California city of Compton, Dre broke out on the music scene as a co-founding member of N.W.A., producing the group’s groundbreaking 1988 debut album, “Straight Outta Compton.” He produced his own hits and multiplatinum albums, along with crafting music for many others including Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, Jay-Z and Nas. He also found success outside of the rap genre, producing pop hits for Gwen Stefani and Mary J. Blige. Dre founded Beats Electronics in 2008 with Jimmy Iovine, and six years later they launched a streaming subscription service, Beats Music. Apple acquired both in a $3 billion deal in 2014. The Associated Press
BARCELONA, Spain — Lower-division Spanish sides took out three more top-flight teams from the Copa del Rey on Saturday, taking advantage of playing the one-match elimination rounds on their home turf. Coach Abelardo Fernández had a nightmare debut in his second stint at Alavés after it was routed 5-0 by second-tier side Almería. Cádiz lost at Girona 2-0, and Elche fell at Rayo Vallecano 2-0 also in the round of 16. The three losers joined fellow top-flight clubs Atlético Madrid, Getafe, Celta Vigo and Huesca, which all lost in the round of 32. The three other first-division teams in action on Saturday needed to go to added time to see off their lower-tier rivals. Spain's football federation overhauled the domestic cup competition two seasons ago, getting rid of home-and-away legs for all rounds except for the semifinals. The move has succeeded in giving more modest sides a better chance to go deeper in the tournament. Almería’s Sadiq Umar already had the opener by the half hour when Alavés midfielder Tomás Pina was sent off for headbutting an opponent after they apparently exchanged heated words. More mistakes by the visitors turned into goals for Almería. Goalkeeper Antonio Sivera let a long shot by Ager Agetxe slip through his grasp to make it 2-0 before halftime. Sadiq used the back of his heel to claim a brace after Sivera and a defender bungled each other’s efforts to stop the striker. Rodrigo Battaglia headed a cross into his own net in an inept attempt to clear the ball in the 52nd, and a penalty conceded by Xima Navarro sent Almería’s Juan Villar to the spot for the fifth goal. Abelardo, a former Barcelona defender, coached Alavés from December 2017 to May 2019. After an unsuccessful stint at Espanyol last season, he was rehired by the Basque club on Tuesday to replace Pablo Machín with the club two points above the relegation zone in the Spanish league. “The first thing I want to do is to ask our fans for forgiveness,” Abelardo said after his team’s defeat. “We played very poorly. We play better or worse, but we must compete, and we did not even do that. I am very disappointed. We hope that this blow will force us to turn this around.” Cádiz was unable to create a single shot on goal at Girona, which got two goals from Valery Fernández early in the second half to advance to the final eight. Sevilla substitute Lucas Ocampos scored in added time to edge Leganés 1-0. Levante had to go to a penalty shootout to better Fuenlabrada after added time ended 1-1. Valladolid needed added time to avoid an upset at third-tier Peña Deportiva on the island of Ibiza. Roque Mesa scored twice in added time to help Valladolid win 4-1. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Joseph Wilson, The Associated Press
KAMPALA, Uganda — Uganda’s electoral commission said Saturday that President Yoweri Museveni won a sixth five-year term, extending his rule to four decades, while top opposition challenger Bobi Wine dismissed “cooked-up, fraudulent results” and officials struggled to explain how polling results were compiled amid an internet blackout. In a generational clash watched across the African continent with a booming young population and a host of aging leaders, the 38-year-old singer-turned-lawmaker Wine posed arguably Museveni's greatest challenge yet. The self-described “ghetto president” had strong support in urban centres where frustration with unemployment and corruption is high. He has claimed victory. In a phone interview from his home, which he said was surrounded by soldiers who wouldn't let him leave, Wine urged the international community to “please call Gen. Museveni to order” by withholding aid, imposing sanctions and using Magnitsky legislation to hold alleged human rights users accountable. Wine repeated that all legal options are being considered, including challenging the results in court and calling for peaceful protests. The electoral commission said Museveni received 58% of ballots and Wine 34%, and voter turnout was 52%, in a process that the top United States diplomat to Africa called “fundamentally flawed.” The commission advised people celebrating to remember COVID-19 precautions, but reaction in the capital, Kampala, was muted. At one point, hundreds of Museveni supporters on motorcycles sped by, honking and chanting. The military remained in the streets. AP journalists who tried to reach Wine's home on Kampala's outskirts were turned away by police. Wine has said he is alone with his wife, Barbie, and a single security guard after police told a private security company to withdraw its protection ahead of Thursday's election. “I'm alive,” Wine said. After declaring “the world is watching” on the eve of the vote, he said “I don’t know what will happen to me and my wife" now. He said he won't leave Uganda and abandon its 45 million people to the kind of treatment he has faced. The vote followed the East African country’s worst pre-election violence since the 76-year-old Museveni took office in 1986. Wine and other candidates were beaten or harassed, and more than 50 people were killed when security forces put down riots in November over his arrest. Wine, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, was detained several times while campaigning but never convicted. He said he feared for his life. This month, Wine petitioned the International Criminal Court over alleged torture and other abuses by security forces and named several officials including Museveni. In response to his allegations of vote-rigging, Uganda’s electoral commission said Wine should prove it. Wine says he has video evidence and will share it once internet access is restored. Museveni said in a national address that “I think this may turn out to be the most cheating-free election since 1962,” or independence from Britain. The electoral commission deflected questions about how countrywide voting results were transmitted during the internet blackout by saying “we designed our own system.” “We did not receive any orders from above during this election,” commission chair Simon Byabakama told reporters, adding his team was “neither intimidated nor threatened.” While the president holds on to power, at least nine of his Cabinet ministers, including the vice-president, were voted out in parliamentary elections, many losing to candidates from Wine’s party, local media reported. Tracking the vote was further complicated by the arrests of independent monitors and the denial of accreditation to most members of the U.S. observer mission, leading the U.S. to call it off. The European Union said its offer to deploy electoral experts “was not taken up.” “Uganda’s electoral process has been fundamentally flawed,” the top U.S. diplomat for Africa, Tibor Nagy, tweeted, warning that “the U.S. response hinges on what the Ugandan government does now.” The U.S. State Department urged “independent, credible, impartial, and thorough investigations” into reports of irregularities. It condemned “the continuing attacks on political candidates” and called for the immediate restoration of the internet and social media. “We reiterate our intention to pursue action against those responsible for the undermining of democracy and human rights in Uganda,” it said. Museveni, once praised as part of a new generation of African leaders and a longtime U.S. security ally, still has support in Uganda for bringing stability. He once criticized African leaders who refused to step aside but has since overseen the removal of term limits and an age limit on the presidency. He alleged repeatedly that foreign groups were trying to meddle in this election, without providing evidence. He accused Wine of being “an agent of foreign interests.” Wine denies it. The head of the African Union observer team, Samuel Azuu Fonkam, told reporters he could not say whether the election was free and fair, noting the “limited” mission which largely focused on Kampala. Asked about Wine’s allegations of rigging, he said he could not “speak about things we did not see or observe.” The East African Community observer team noted “disproportionate use of force in some instances” by security forces, the internet shutdown, some late-opening polling stations and isolated cases of failure in biometric kits to verify voters. But it called the vote largely peaceful and said it “demonstrated the level of maturity expected of a democracy.” Uganda’s elections are often marred by allegations of fraud and abuses by security forces. ___ Associated Press writer Cara Anna in Nairobi, Kenya contributed to this report. The Associated Press
For years, legal troubles have cast a cloud over Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee as he stood on the cusp of stepping out of his father's shadow and making a name for himself as the leader of the global tech giant. On Monday, he faces sentencing on a bribery charge that could sideline him from the world's largest smartphone and memory chip maker just as it looks to overtake rivals in areas such as chip contract manufacturing and artificial intelligence (AI). "Samsung is at a crossroads," said Park Ju-gun, head of researcher CEO Score.
Kelowna RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to the organizer of a protest in the city's downtown area on Saturday that contravened provincial public health orders related to COVID-19. Police did not name the organizer but say this is the third time they have issued a fine to this person for organizing a large gathering of people opposed to measures meant to reduce the spread of coronavirus. RCMP did not say how many people attended today's protest. A week ago, RCMP issued their $2,300 fine to the organizer for an anti-mask rally that drew about 125 people. The first fine was issued in December for a protest that drew about 1,000 people. In a statement, RCMP said that people in Canada have a right to protest, but that officers have to balance that right with the potential for health risks associated with large public gatherings. Police say they encourage everyone to adhere to provincial health orders, which currently include the suspension of outdoor gatherings, including rallies or protests. "We are reiterating to the public that the provincial Public Health Orders are not optional," Supt. Kara Triance said in a statement. "For those who have been abiding by the laws, thank you; now is not the time to give up. Vaccinations are being rolled out across our province. Please dig deep and find the courage to remain safe and calm."