These parents played the classic Jimmy Kimmel prank on their son, telling him they ate his Halloween candy the day after Halloween. His reactions are simultaneously heartbreaking and hilarious!
These parents played the classic Jimmy Kimmel prank on their son, telling him they ate his Halloween candy the day after Halloween. His reactions are simultaneously heartbreaking and hilarious!
China's embassy in the Philippines has denounced the United States for "creating chaos" in Asia, after a visiting White House envoy backed countries in disputes with China and accused Beijing of using military pressure to further its interests. During a trip to Manila on Monday, national security adviser Robert O'Brien underscored the U.S. commitment to Taiwan and told the Philippines and Vietnam, countries both locked in maritime rows with China, that "we've got your back". "It shows that his visit to this region is not to promote regional peace and stability, but to create chaos in the region in order to seek selfish interests of the U.S.," the embassy said in a statement issued late Monday.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday vowed to defend the democratic island's sovereignty with the construction of a new fleet of domestically-developed submarines, a key project supported by the United States to counter neighbouring China. Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory, has been for years working to revamp its submarine force, some of which date back to World War Two, and is no match for China's fleet, which includes vessels capable of launching nuclear weapons. At a ceremony to mark the start of construction of a new submarine fleet in the southern port city of Kaohsiung, Tsai called the move a "historic milestone" for Taiwan's defensive capabilities after overcoming "various challenges and doubts".
B.C.'s health-care workers are pleading with the public to heed health orders while bracing for difficult working conditions as COVID-19 cases in the province continue to rise.On Monday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced there were another 1,933 cases of COVID-19 over the last three days and 17 more deaths.This comes just over two weeks after restrictions were initially put in place in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health authorities, and a few days after those restrictions were extended to cover the entire province. Christine Sorensen, president of the B.C. Nurses' Union, says nurses are frustrated when they see people continue to gather in groups and not follow the guidelines because that increases transmission and puts additional pressure on the health-care system."It puts greater demands on the staff that also fairly tired, looking for a bit of a rest and a break and really not seeing anything coming in the next few months, particularly with the holiday season coming and people wanting to mix and mingle with their friends and family," Sorensen said. Dr. Kathleen Ross, the president of Doctors of B.C., says the prospect of burnout is looming closer for many front line health-care workers. "Many of us are afraid to go home for fear of infecting our loved ones and many more of us drop our clothes at the door and run to the shower before we even greet our family," said Ross. "We're adjusting to the new normal ... but of course we cannot expect that surge capacity to last forever."And both Ross and Sorensen point out it is not just front line health-care workers shouldering the burden, but additional staff like cleaning crews and maintenance workers who keep the whole health-care system operational."There are lots of unsung heroes in the system, not just in the emergency rooms where there are doctors and nurses taking care of our most acutely ill," Sorensen said. Sorensen says she worries the spike in cases could escalate to point where essential health-care workers are kept on the job even if they've been exposed."[I'm] very concerned [about that]. Nurses are dedicated and they do want to continue working, but if we get enough nurses exposed or sick, we won't have enough nurses to deliver healthcare," she said. Ross says this is a crucial moment."If everyone does their part, if we all step forward and follow the public health guidelines as they have been laid out, then we'll get there. But we have to do it all together."
Salt that crystallizes with sharp edges is the killer ingredient in the development of a reusable mask because any COVID-19 droplets that land on it would be quickly destroyed, says a researcher who is being recognized for her innovation.Ilaria Rubino, a recent PhD graduate from the department of chemical and materials engineering at the University of Alberta, said a mostly salt and water solution that coats the first or middle layer of the mask would dissolve droplets before they can penetrate the face covering.As the liquid from the droplets evaporates, the salt crystals grow back as spiky weapons, damaging the bacteria or virus within five minutes, Rubino said."We know that after the pathogens are collected in the mask, they can survive. Our goal was to develop a technology that is able to inactivate the pathogens upon contact so that we can make the mask as effective as possible."Rubino, who collaborated with a researcher at Georgia State University in Atlanta to advance the project she started five years ago, was recognized Tuesday with an innovation award from Mitacs. The Canadian not-for-profit organization receives funding from the federal government, most provinces and Yukon to honour researchers from academic institutions.The reusable, non-washable mask is made of a type of polypropylene, a plastic used in surgical masks, and could be safely worn and handled multiple times without being decontaminated, Rubino said.The idea is to replace surgical masks often worn by health-care workers who must dispose of them in a few hours, she said, adding the technology could potentially be used for N-95 respirators.The salt-coated mask is expected to be available commercially next year after regulatory approval. It could also be used to stop the spread of other infectious illnesses, such as influenza, Rubino said.Dr. Catherine Clase, an epidemiologist and associate professor of medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, said the "exciting" technology would have multiple benefits.Clase, who is a member of the Centre of Excellence in Protective Equipment and Materials in the engineering department at McMaster, said there wasn't much research in personal protective equipment when Rubino began her work."It's going to decrease the footprint for making and distributing and then disposing of every mask," she said, adding that the mask could also address any supply issues.The Public Health Agency of Canada recently recommended homemade masks consist of at least three layers, with a middle, removable layer constructed from a non-woven, washable polypropylene fabric to improve filtration.Conor Ruzycki, an aerosol scientist in the University of Alberta's mechanical engineering department, said Rubino's innovation adds to more recent research on masks as COVID-19 cases rise and shortages of face coverings in the health-care system could again become a problem.Ruzycki, who works in a lab to evaluate infiltration efficiencies of different materials for masks and respirators, is also a member of a physician-led Alberta group Masks4Canada, which is calling for stricter pandemic measures, including a provincewide policy on mandatory masks.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020.Camille Bains, The Canadian Press
A B.C. surgeon who called his preteen patient a "loose woman" during an appointment has been fined and reprimanded by his professional regulator.Dr. Bruce Taro Yoneda, an orthopedic surgeon based in Victoria, has admitted that he "engaged in unprofessional conduct by using sexualized language during a surgical consult," according to a public notice posted Friday by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C.Yoneda also acknowledged telling the same young patient he would give her a "lube job," and admitted he did not give her a full explanation before he began questioning her about her menstrual cycle.The college's inquiry committee, which investigates complaints against doctors, "was critical of the registrant's admitted conduct and concluded that his use of inappropriate language displayed a lack of insight," the notice says.As part of a consent agreement with the college, Yoneda has been fined $7,500, received a formal reprimand and has had his registration as a doctor transferred to "conditional" status. He's also agreed to take courses in clinical communication and professionalism.
Residents were given proper notice of a vote to remove Fort Simpson's liquor purchasing restrictions, according to N.W.T. finance minister Caroline Wawzonek. MLA for Nahendeh Shane Thompson – also a minister – posted to Facebook on Monday regarding concerns constituents had raised about the plebiscite held on November 12. Specifically, the post related to concerns about how much public notice was provided leading up to the vote and how to contact the official in charge of it. Residents ultimately voted overwhelmingly in favour of lifting alcohol restrictions in the community. Of 730 eligible voters, 240 cast a ballot and 175 of those were in favour of removing restrictions. The Department of Finance, which oversees liquor regulations in the N.W.T., is now in the process of implementing the result, which may take several weeks. Thompson's post relayed a message he had received from Wawzonek addressing concerns. “Based on all of the information I have received to date, I am confident in the integrity of the plebiscite held in the village of Fort Simpson,” Wawzonek's message to Thompson reads. Wawzonek states some residents who attend school away from Fort Simpson believe they did not receive adequate notice of the plebiscite. She concludes, however, that there was sufficient notice within the village, on Facebook, and through the media in the weeks and months before the vote. She adds returning officer Tammie Cazon fulfilled her duties in the Local Authorities Elections Act by providing public notice of the plebiscite, including details on how and where to vote. Wawzonek says Cazon met legislative requirements by posting public notices in five locations – the bank, the Northern store, the Unity store, the Nahanni Inn and Pandaville restaurant. “It is not the responsibility of the returning officer to locate and notify every resident of the community who may not be currently living in the community. That would be an impossible task," Wawzonek writes. "Voters bear some of the responsibility for informing themselves about how to exercise their democratic right to vote.” The final concern regards the returning officer’s email address and confusion about how to reach Cazon. Wawzonek again asserts faith in the process, saying her department confirmed with Cazon only one email address was distributed for voters to use. Proxy voting was an option in the plebiscite but, according to Wawzonek, Cazon did not receive any emails related to proxy voting. The community of Fort Simpson requested the plebiscite after a petition with more than 150 signatures from residents was turned in to the village council late last year, asking for action to try to remove the restrictions. Restrictions are set to be lifted in the coming weeks, though an exact date has not been set. Once the regulations are changed and restrictions lifted, the village is still bound to pandemic-related alcohol restrictions, which limit customers to a maximum of $200 per day at any liquor store in the territory and six mickeys (375-ml bottles) of spirits in a 24-hour period.Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
The staff tested positive last week and Maxwell was checked for the virus on Nov. 18 using a rapid test which was negative, the prosecutors said in a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan. Maxwell was placed in quarantine at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn for 14 days, said the letter. Maxwell has not shown any symptoms of COVID-19 and will be tested again at the end of her two-week quarantine.
An opposition lawmaker called on Tuesday for Malaysia to outlaw online hate speech, accusing authorities of downplaying the gravity of an issue highlighted by a Reuters investigation into abuse on Facebook of Rohingya refugees and undocumented migrants. Citing the Reuters report on rising xenophobia online in Malaysia in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, lawmaker Chan Foong Hin asked the Communications and Multimedia Ministry last week to state its plans to combat such hate speech.
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Miss Vickie's Canada says some of its potato chips that were part of a recall in Eastern Canada earlier this month due to possible glass contamination were inadvertently shipped west. The company says the chips were only shipped to retail customers in Alberta, Brandon, Man., and Moose Jaw, Sask, and that it's working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to co-ordinate a voluntary recall. It says 630 bags are involved, and they have very specific "guaranteed fresh" dates and "manufacturing codes." Consumers who have purchased the chips should not eat them and are urged to throw them out or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. At the beginning of November, Miss Vickie's recalled some chips sold online and in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada due to what it said was "isolated reports of the presence of a small piece of glass found at the bottom of the bag." The CFIA says on its website there have been reported injuries associated with the products. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 23, 2020. The Canadian Press
A Dene-Tahltan woman who lives in remote northern B.C. is sharing her birthing story — shining a light on the extra layer of complications faced by life-givers in rural areas. Jasmine Netsena is a successful musician who has travelled across North America for her award-winning career. After moving back to Fort Nelson First Nation from Edmonton, she thought she was settling down. But when she became pregnant with her second child, she was travelling more than ever — including booking the date she would give birth at a hospital a four hour drive away in Fort St. John, and being flown to Prince George for surgery in her third trimester. There is a hospital near where she lives in Fort Nelson, however the services there are limited. In cities, women who are facing complications during pregnancy can easily access care. But for women like Netsena in rural areas, there are less services and specialized medical care is often scarce. Netsena gave birth to a healthy baby in September. She was just a few months pregnant when she began to feel stomach pain that she later found out was an inflamed gallbladder. “I went into the hospital with abdominal pain and I felt like they didn’t take me that seriously, I was just sent home,” she says. "I felt like that was wrong because a pregnant woman with abdominal pain shouldn’t really be sent home especially when we’re so far from a hospital that would be able to take care of me.” The first two times she went to the hospital, she says, she was told that it was because of “gas” and that it was a normal part of pregnancy. Then it was discovered that she had gall stones and needed to go on a low-fat diet. It wasn’t until her third trimester that she says the doctor finally took her concerns seriously, and a simple blood test indicated it was her gallbladder, and she needed surgery to remove it. Not being able to undergo the procedure in Fort Nelson, Netsena was flown to hospital in Prince George for the surgery. Afterwards, she recovered for five weeks at home before driving 400 km to Fort St. John — where she waited to deliver her baby. Planned birth travel is the reality for women who are far away from care like Netsena, who travelled to be near the proper hospital a month prior to her due date, which is a typical time frame for birth trips. Netsena planned in advance to bring her daughter along and had a doula by her side, however her partner couldn’t be with her because of the distance. A spokesman from B.C. Northern Health did not respond to Netsena’s particular circumstance, but spoke generally about the challenges for pregnant women who live in remote areas of the region. Steve Raper says the health authority recognizes that travelling for maternal care can be disruptive and inconvenient, but “patient safety … must come first.” “Ideally, women would give birth as close to their family and community as possible — no matter where they live in the province,” he says. “Some communities, however, face challenges providing these services.” Those challenges, he says, include recruiting and retaining trained staff, a low need for maternal care services, or clinicians not being comfortable providing some services without higher-level supports such as surgeons on deck. “We also recognize that sometimes, babies arrive unexpectedly – and when this occurs, our physicians and staff are equipped to respond to an unplanned delivery at all Northern Health hospitals,” he added. It’s a challenge all mothers who live in remote areas must keep in mind, and especially affects Indigenous people as reserves are often located far from urban centres. But because living in cities can be challenging for other reasons, people like Netsena must weigh the pros and cons of both. Netsena, who is originally from Telegraph Creek, moved away from the reserve for a short time to obtain a degree in music at the University of Alberta. She packed up her life and moved to Edmonton in 2019 with her five-year-old daughter, but after the first semester she quickly realized she was not where she wanted to be. “The family-life balance and all that was just a lot for me to take, and also I just really questioned why I wanted to get my music degree,” she says. “I just wasn’t sure what I would do with it except teach and I wasn’t really feeling like teaching was my calling.” Netsena is a singer-songwriter, and taught herself how to play guitar. She won the SOCAN Foundation Indigenous Songwriters Award in 2018. Netsena took a step back to rethink what type of degree she wanted and figured that she didn’t necessarily need to move to the city to get a higher education with all the online options available nowadays. After enduring such a strenuous second pregnancy, Netsena is happy to be at home with her baby and the rest of her family. “With my first it went by so fast.” she says of her oldest daughter Sadeya. “I’m glad I have another baby. I’m just trying to really enjoy it because it’s going to be over before I know it.” She often sings to her newborn baby and so does her oldest daughter Sadeya. “They both have strong lungs,” Netsena laughs. Our series on reproductive health access is made possible in part with funding from First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and Thunderbird Partnership Foundation. Their support does not imply endorsement of or influence over the content produced. Catherine Lafferty, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Discourse
By Melissa Renwick Esowista, BC - A member within Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation has tested positive for COVID-19. The Esowista resident started displaying symptoms upon returning home from a trip to Port Alberni and contacted the nation’s Emergency Operations Centre. A COVID-19 test was issued and once it was confirmed positive on Nov. 22, community members were notified. “We knew going into the second wave that we were going to experience this at some point,” said Elmer Frank, Tla-o-qui-aht Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) chair. “It’s unfortunate that it did happen, but our community was ready.” As COVID-19 cases began to rise across the province, Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation returned to Stage One of their recovery plan at the beginning of November. “We needed to put our action plan in place and start ramping up our measures so that when a virus came into our community, we’d be ready for it,” Frank said. The community’s EOC is recommending that only one person per household leave the community for essential services, like picking up prescription medication and collecting groceries. “Now that the virus is here, I think that community members are starting to see how quickly it could spread,” said Frank. “There’s a lot of cooperation and understanding when we’re making these recommendations.” Frank said that the COVID-19 patient has been fully transparent, which has helped the EOC respond to contact tracing effectively. Anyone who was in direct contact with the patient has been notified and is self-isolating, he said. While the nation is taking all of the necessary steps to keep its members safe, Frank said that citizens need to keep their guards up. “The virus is spreading so quickly because we’re letting our guards down,” he said. “It’s our friends, it’s our family, it’s our loves ones – we have got to trust them in a different way at this time.” Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has urged British Columbians to do their part in restricting social gatherings and non-essential travel, a sentiment that Frank echoed. “At the end of the day, we’re hoping we become a COVID-19 free community,” said Frank. “Tla-o-qui-aht and Nuu-chah-nulth member have to be very careful on how we all act and discipline ourselves moving forward for the best interest of ourselves, our communities and our most vulnerable – our elders.”Melissa Renwick, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Ha-Shilth-Sa
WARSAW, Poland — Police detained several people and charged a female photojournalist with assaulting a police officer as women-led protests over abortion rights flared up again on Monday in Poland. Soon after the protest in Warsaw began, police arrived and forcibly removed people, including photojournalist Agata Grzybowska. It was the first case of a reporter being detained during the month of protests that have rocked Poland after a high court ruled in favour of a near-total abortion ban. Officers dragged Grzybowska away as bystanders called on them to stop, saying that she was a journalist. A large group then gathered outside the police station in central Warsaw where she was taken, rallying on her behalf as they waited hours for her release. After she was let go, Grzybowska said that she was charged with assaulting an officer, something she denied. In video footage of the incident circulating in Polish media, Grzybowska does not appear to act aggressively to the officers. She told The Associated Press that an officer appeared to be angered by her use of a flash when she took photos and that he kicked her. Police spokesman Mariusz Ciarka said on TVN24 that police did not realize at the time of her arrest that she was a journalist, though she can be seen in videos holding up her press credentials. Lawmakers from the centrist opposition party Civic Platform went to the police station to intervene on behalf of the reporter and another detained person. One of them, Sen. Bogdan Klich accused police of growing increasingly aggressive toward protesters, in quotes carried by the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper. The protests, organized by the group Women's Strike, have been occurring regularly ever since the country's constitutional court issued an Oct. 22 ruling that further tightens an abortion law that was already one of the most restrictive in Europe. Women and many others have reacted with rage to a step they believe deprives citizens of a fundamental freedom. They have been defying the risk of contagion and a ban on gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic to join demonstrations that have drawn hundreds of thousands of people across the nation of 38 million people. The protests have also come to encompass other grievances against the conservative ruling party, including the detentions of people taking part in the demonstrations. On Monday, protesters blocked traffic in Warsaw while others gathered in front of the Education Ministry building in an expression of solidarity with teachers who have been threatened with disciplinary reprisals by the education minister for supporting the protests. Several people handcuffed themselves to the ministry gate and and a large banner was hung reading, “Free abortion and free education.” One woman glued her hand to the gate of the Education Ministry and the police worked for about an hour to unglue her before she was taken away in an ambulance. As mass protests have continued, the government has so far not taken the legal action needed for the abortion ruling to take effect. . Vanessa Gera, The Associated Press
Stocks ended at record highs on Tuesday while bitcoin and oil prices also rose as political uncertainty subsided after U.S. President-elect Joe Biden got the formal go-ahead to begin his transition to the White House. Short of spelling out his defeat after repeated false claims that he had won the Nov. 3 race, President Donald Trump said Monday he told the federal agency that must sign off on the presidential transition to begin the process. Japan's Nikkei closed at its highest since 1991, European stocks ended at their highest since February and Wall Street's Dow Industrials hit a record high above 30,000, with reports of Biden's nomination of former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen further enticing risk-taking investors.
China launched an ambitious mission on Tuesday to bring back material from the moon's surface for the first time in more than 40 years - an undertaking that could boost human understanding of the moon and of the solar system more generally. (Nov. 24)
WASHINGTON — The federal prison system will be among the first government agencies to receive the coronavirus vaccine, though initial allotments of the vaccine will be given to staff and not to inmates, even though sickened prisoners vastly outnumber sickened staff, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. Officials at the federal Bureau of Prisons have been instructing wardens and other staff members to prepare to receive the vaccine within weeks, according to people familiar with the matter. The people could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity. The internal Bureau of Prisons documents, obtained by the AP, say initial allotments of the vaccine “will be reserved for staff.” It was not immediately clear how many doses would be made available to the Bureau of Prisons. As of Monday, there were 3,624 federal inmates and 1,225 Bureau of Prisons staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19. Since the first case was reported in March, 18,467 inmates and 1,736 staff have recovered from the virus. So far, 141 federal inmates and two staff members have died. There have been more than 12 million cases in the U.S. and over 257,000 deaths. But prisons are a particular concern because social distancing is virtually nonexistent behind bars, inmates sleep in close quarters and share bathrooms with strangers. In the early days of the pandemic, prisoners and staff members said the Bureau of Prisons had run short of even the most basic supplies, like soap. The internal Bureau of Prisons records obtained by the AP also detail how the agency has been working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Trump administration’s vaccine program, known as “Operation Warp Speed,” to secure the vaccines. The documents say the administration’s initial distribution will include the federal prison system. Health officials have been warning for more than a decade about the dangers of epidemics for those incarcerated. Nearly 25% of all inmate cases and 30% of the staff cases have been reported within just the last month. Some staff members said they are apprehensive about receiving the vaccine because of what they feared was a lack of long-term testing and possible side effects. Though the virus is also rising in state prisons nationwide, any plans for administering doses in those prisons would be handled by the states. Government guidance has suggested that states should be ready to receive initial doses of the vaccine within weeks, though officials have said initial supplies of the vaccine will be scarce and rationed. While health care workers may be among those to receive initial doses, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s leading infectious disease expert, has said the general population can likely expect first doses of a vaccine starting in April. No vaccine has been approved by the Trump administration yet — a necessary step before any doses can be delivered. Pfizer formally asked U.S. regulators Friday to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine, starting the clock on a process that could bring limited first shots as early as next month. Advocates say the federal government should be doing more to ensure vulnerable, at-risk inmates have access to the vaccine as soon as possible. “If true, it’s a disgrace,” David Patton, the head of the federal defender office in New York, said of the Bureau of Prisons plan. “Prisoners are among the very highest-risk groups for contracting COVID-19. The conditions of confinement make social distancing and proper hygiene and sanitation nearly impossible. The government should certainly prioritize prison staff, but to not also prioritize the people incarcerated is irresponsible and inhumane.” The Bureau of Prisons has been accused of missteps and scattershot policies since the virus reached the U.S. earlier this year. An inspector general’s office report last week concluded that at one prison complex in Louisiana, which emerged as an early coronavirus hotspot, prison officials had failed to comply with federal health guidance and left inmates with the virus in their housing units for a week without being isolated. Staff members, advocates and inmates at other prisons around the country described a hodgepodge of coronavirus policies, being told by supervisors they don’t need to wear masks and having broken thermometers for temperature checks. A spokesman for the Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Michael Balsamo And Michael R. Sisak, The Associated Press
NEW YORK — “Jeopardy!” record-holder Ken Jennings will be the first in a series of interim hosts replacing Alex Trebek when the show resumes production next Monday.Producers announced Monday that Jennings, who won 74 games in a row and claimed the show's “Greatest of All Time” title in a competition last year, will host episodes that air in January.A long-term host for Trebek, who died of cancer on Nov. 8, will be named later.“By bringing in familiar guest hosts for the foreseeable future, our goal is to create a sense of community and continuity for our viewers,” the show's executive producer, Mike Richards, said.The show is in its 37th year of syndication, and Trebek was its only host. It is still airing shows that Trebek filmed before his death.Richards said that “Jeopardy!” will air repeat episodes for the holiday weeks beginning Dec. 21 and 28, meaning Trebek's final week of shows will air starting Monday, Jan. 4.Jennings' episodes begin on Jan. 11.The Associated Press
The latest updates from around Canada as officials try to contain the spread of COVID-19.
WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden on Monday tapped Obama-era officials for top national security and economic roles, signalling a stark shift from the Trump administration's “America First” policies that disparaged international alliances and favoured deregulation and tax cuts.The picks include former Secretary of State John Kerry to take the lead on combating climate change. Biden is also expected to choose Janet Yellen, who was nominated by former President Barack Obama to lead the Federal Reserve, as the first woman to become treasury secretary.Biden's emerging Cabinet marks a return to a more traditional approach to governing, relying on veteran policymakers with deep expertise and strong relationships in Washington and global capitals. And with a roster that includes multiple women and people of colour — some of whom are breaking historic barriers in their posts — Biden is fulfilling his campaign promise to lead a team that reflects the diversity of America.The incoming president will nominate longtime adviser Antony Blinken to be secretary of state, lawyer Alejandro Mayorkas to be homeland security secretary and Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be ambassador to the United Nations. Avril Haines, a former deputy director of the CIA, will be nominated as director of national intelligence, the first woman to hold that post.Thomas-Greenfield is Black, and Mayorkas is Cuban American.They “are experienced, crisis-tested leaders who are ready to hit the ground running on day one,” the transition said in a statement. “These officials will start working immediately to rebuild our institutions, renew and reimagine American leadership to keep Americans safe at home and abroad, and address the defining challenges of our time — from infectious disease, to terrorism, nuclear proliferation, cyber threats, and climate change.”In the weeks ahead, Biden could also name Michèle Flournoy as the first woman to lead the Defence Department. Pete Buttigieg, the former Indiana mayor and onetime presidential candidate, has also been mentioned as a contender for several Cabinet agencies.In making the announcements on Monday, Biden moved forward with plans to fill out his administration even as President Donald Trump refuses to concede defeat in the Nov. 3 election, has pursued baseless legal challenges in several key states and has worked to stymie the transition process.Trump said Monday that he was directing his team to co-operate on the transition but vowed to keep up the fight. His comment came after the General Services Administration ascertained that Biden was the apparent winner of the election, clearing the way for the start of the transition from Trump’s administration and allowing Biden to co-ordinate with federal agencies on plans for taking over on Jan. 20.The nominations were generally met with silence on Capitol Hill, where the Senate's balance of power hinges on two runoff races that will be decided in January.The best known of the bunch is Kerry, who made climate change one of his top priorities while serving as Obama's secretary of state, during which he also negotiated the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accord. Trump withdrew from both agreements, which he said represented a failure of American diplomacy in a direct shot at Kerry, whom he called the worst secretary of state in U.S. history.“America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is,” Kerry said. “I’m proud to partner with the president-elect, our allies, and the young leaders of the climate movement to take on this crisis as the president’s climate envoy.”Biden will appoint Jake Sullivan as national security adviser. At 43, he will be one of the youngest national security advisers in history.Blinken, 58, served as deputy secretary of state and deputy national security adviser during the Obama administration and has close ties with Biden. If confirmed as secretary of state, he would be a leading force in the incoming administration’s bid to reframe the U.S. relationship with the rest of the world after four years in which Trump questioned longtime alliances.Blinken recently participated in a national security briefing with Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris and weighed in publicly just last week on notable foreign policy issues in Egypt and Ethiopia.He will inherit a deeply demoralized and depleted career workforce at the State Department. Trump’s two secretaries of state, Rex Tillerson and Mike Pompeo, offered weak resistance to the administration’s attempts to gut the agency, which were thwarted only by congressional intervention.Although the department escaped massive proposed cuts of more than 30% in its budget for three consecutive years, it has seen a significant number of departures from its senior and rising mid-level ranks, from which many diplomats have opted to retire or leave the foreign service given limited prospects for advancements under an administration they believed did not value their expertise.Blinken served on the National Security Council during President Bill Clinton's administration before becoming staff director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when Biden was chair of the panel. In the early years of the Obama administration, Blinken returned to the NSC and was then-Vice-President Biden’s national security adviser before he moved to the State Department to serve as deputy to Kerry.A graduate of Harvard University and Columbia Law School, Blinken has aligned himself with numerous former senior national security officials who have called for a major reinvestment in American diplomacy and renewed emphasis on global engagement.“Democracy is in retreat around the world, and unfortunately it’s also in retreat at home because of the president taking a two-by-four to its institutions, its values and its people every day," Blinken told The Associated Press in September. "Our friends know that Joe Biden knows who they are. So do our adversaries. That difference would be felt on day one.”___Associated Press writers Michael Balsamo in Washington, Bill Barrow in Atlanta and Alexandra Jaffe in Wilmington, Delaware, contributed to this report.Matthew Lee, The Associated Press
VANCOUVER — An Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the BC Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. Maxwell Johnson's complaint says both he and his 12-year-old granddaughter were detained last December by Vancouver police officers when they tried to open an account at the Bank of Montreal using their Indigenous status cards.His complaint alleges that the bank called 911 over an identification issue because they are Indigenous, while it accuses the police of racial profiling that led to their detention and the use of handcuffs. Johnson released details of the human rights complaint in a news release issued on the website of the Heiltsuk First Nation. He and his granddaughter are members of the First Nation in Bella Bella.He said in an interview on Monday that the incident has led to a resurgence in his panic and anxiety attacks."It's affected me quite a bit," Johnson said. "When this happened to us, my anxiety just went through the roof. I started counselling again. It's affected my motivation, my thought process, quite a bit of stuff."Johnson is seeking compensation and wants a public apology from the Vancouver Police Board, the police department and the bank. Const. Tania Visintin of the Vancouver Police Department said in a statement that the circumstances are regrettable and that the actions of the responding officers are being investigated by the Office of Police Complaints Commissioner.The department is also reviewing its policy for future situations with a report to be submitted to the police board, she said. The Bank of Montreal said in a statement that it "deeply regrets the situation that took place in Vancouver in December 2019 involving Mr. Johnson and his granddaughter."The bank apologized again and said it was "humbled and honoured" to be invited by the Heiltsuk Nation to participate in a healing ceremony for the Johnson family in Bella Bella. Since then, it has established an Indigenous advisory council and conducted cultural training for bank staff."We continue to seek ways to ensure we are doing better for our Indigenous customers," the statement says.Johnson questioned the actions of police, particularly why officers placed him and his granddaughter in handcuffs if they were only being detained."It was so hard when we were detained. We had to prove who we were and where we came from," he said. "It gets so tiring trying to prove who you are as a First Nations person."Marilyn Slett, the chief councillor of the Heiltsuk First Nation, said her community wants to see changes in the way the Bank of Montreal and the Vancouver Police Department handle Indigenous issues."We're a long ways away from reconciliation when these types of things happen to our people when they're trying to open up a bank account," she said in an interview. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 23, 2020.Nick Wells, The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — A lawyer for a man who spent 37 years in prison for the murder of a toddler says the British Columbia Appeal Court should first consider new evidence in the case he believes involved a miscarriage of justice.Thomas Arbogast said Monday that Phillip Tallio pleaded guilty in 1983 based on "ineffective assistance" from his lawyer at the time.Tallio was 17 when he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his 22-month-old cousin Delavina Mack, who court has heard had been sexually assaulted in a home in the northern community of Bella Coola.Tallio, now 54, told the court last month that he wasn't aware of the implications of the plea agreement his trial lawyer had him sign when he was a teenager.Arbogast said DNA evidence the Crown has rejected because it does not point to Tallio as the perpetrator could have made a difference at his trial because experts have testified it is reasonable, relevant and credible."You say that that is the basis on which to set aside a guilty plea, even if the plea was otherwise entered in conformity with the law?" asked Justice S. David Frankel, one of three judges on the appeal panel."Yes," Arbogast replied, referring to three other cases with valid guilty pleas he outlined that were found to be unreliable based on subsequent information.He said the Crown's view that a voluntary and valid guilty plea is the end of the matter and requires no further analysis may be acceptable in most cases considered by the Appeal Court, but not in cases like his client's.Tallio, who is out on bail, received a life sentence without chance of parole for 10 years as part of a plea agreement. He was never released from prison because he refused to admit his guilt to the parole board.The opinion of a second psychiatrist was particularly problematic during the trial, Arbogast said. The Crown and defence counsel relied on the statement, he said."That caused an entire string of events to unfold with respect to the plea," he said, adding that the opinion "could not have been used as proof of the truth in 1983."The court has heard the second psychiatrist wrote in a letter dated May 17, 1983, that Tallio made incriminating statements about the crime scene.The first psychiatrist who met with Tallio several times starting when he arrived at a psychiatric institute for a court-ordered assessment on April 25, 1983, found the teen had a low IQ but was not necessarily mentally ill.Arbogast said Tallio's compelled placement at the institute the following day was without consent and done on the basis of an assessment of his fitness to stand trial and mental health.He said questions on whether statements to psychiatrists in that context could be used as proof of the truth were before the courts as far back as the 1960s before amendments in 1992 allowed them to be used to discredit an accused but not as evidence against them.Arbogast said trial counsel would not have been involved in plea negotiations if the second psychiatrist's statement "was not in play." "There was no other cogent evidence to support guilt that was admissible," he said.Rachel Barsky, another of Tallio's lawyers, said testimony last month from experts suggests DNA tests by a lab in Texas on the girl's tissue samples taken during an autopsy do not positively point to Tallio as the perpetrator.Barsky said later testing done at the B.C. Institute of Technology was contaminated.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 23, 2020.Camille Bains, The Canadian Press