Musicians to serenade voters at polling locations around the country to create a positive, unifying experience and ease voters' anxiety generated by a campaign season that spewed misinformation and stoked divisions, fear and hate. (Oct. 29)
Musicians to serenade voters at polling locations around the country to create a positive, unifying experience and ease voters' anxiety generated by a campaign season that spewed misinformation and stoked divisions, fear and hate. (Oct. 29)
NEW YORK — The co-author of the million-selling “Game Change” has a book of his own coming about the 2020 election.Simon & Schuster announced Monday that John Heilemann is working on a “dramatic, first-hand account” of Joe Biden's victorious campaigns over his Democratic Party rivals in the primaries and over President Donald Trump in the general election. Heilemann had collaborated with Mark Halperin on “Game Change,” about the 2008 race, and on “Double Down,” about 2012.Halperin has since faced multiple allegations of sexual harassment. He was dropped by Showtime, where he and Heilemann hosted the political series “The Circus,” and a planned book by the two authors on the 2016 campaign was cancelled by Penguin Press.Heilemann's new book, currently untitled, draws on three decades of covering the former vice-president, who was Barack Obama's running mate in 2008 and 2012. The publication date is not yet scheduled.“I first met Joe Biden in 1986 when I was in college and he was getting ready to run for president the first time, and I’ve been following his ups and downs, his triumphs and tragedies, ever since,” Heilemann said in a statement. “The story of how, against all odds and against the apocalyptic backdrop of America in 2020, Biden rallied in the winter of his life to defeat Trump — and, in the eyes of many, to save the country — is one of the great political tales of this or any age, and I’m thrilled to have a chance to tell it.”Screen rights have been acquired by Showtime, where Heilemann still hosts "The Circus." The HBO adaptation of "Game Change" won five Emmys and three Golden Globe awards.Heilemann is national affairs analyst for NBC News and MSNBC and co-founder of the political video platform The Recount. He is also the author of “Pride Before the Fall: The Trials of Bill Gates and the End of the Microsoft Era,” which came out in 2001.His current project adds to the list of books expected on the 2020 race, which includes works by Maggie Haberman of The New York Times and by Ryan Lizza of Politico and co-writer Olivia Nuzzi of New York magazine.Hillel Italie, The Associated Press
The P.E.I. government has provided funding for a Summerside group that hopes to learn more about the challenges faced by French-speaking women when dealing with family violence.Actions Femmes I.P.E. was founded in the 1970s to support Acadian and French-speaking women on the Island. It was recently given $10,000 for a project that will not only consult survivors of violence about their experiences, but also share those voices.Group executive director Johanna Venturini said the province's Acadian and French-speaking populations are largely in rural areas, and that can create challenges beyond any language barriers."When you are in a very small rural community, everyone knows each other. Sometimes it can be helpful but we know that sometimes people can talk a lot and gossip can circulate very quickly," said Venturini."If you are experiencing violence, you don't really want that everyone knows about it. So it can be sometimes why a victim will prefer to hide in a situation and not want to leave her home."By talking to survivors of violence, Actions Femmes hopes to learn more about how to help Acadian and French-speaking women on the Island.By sharing their stories, the group intends to let people know that domestic violence can happen even in small communities, and it is everyone's business to help stop it.There are a number of avenues for women experiencing domestic violence to seek help, said Venturini. * 911 for immediate emergencies. * P.E.I. Rape and Sexual Assault Centre. * Family Violence Prevention Services. * 211 for help navigating the services available.While primarily English, these services do have bilingual staff available. Actions Femmes wants to learn how these services are helping French-speaking women, as well as any ways they might be failing them.More from CBC P.E.I.
NEW YORK — On Dec. 31, China reported a cluster of pneumonia cases of unknown origin to the World Health Organization. By Jan. 31, WHO declared an outbreak of a novel coronavirus a global health emergency. Come March 11, the world was facing down the COVID-19 pandemic.Parents sat children down to explain what a pandemic is. Related terms usually restricted to medicine and science stormed into everyday conversation. Over time, we were pandemic baking and pandemic dating and rescuing pandemic puppies from shelters.All of which led Dictionary.com on Monday to declare “pandemic” its 2020 word of the year.Searches on the site for the word spiked more than 13,500% on March 11, senior research editor John Kelly told The Associated Press in an interview ahead of the announcement.“That's massive, but even more telling is how high it has sustained significant search volumes throughout the entire year. Month over month, it was over 1,000% higher than usual. For about half the year, it was in the top 10% of all our lookups.”Another dictionary, Merriam-Webster, also selected pandemic as its word of the year earlier Monday.Kelly said pandemic beat out routine lookups usually intended to sort more mundane matters, such as the differences between “to, two and too.”“That's significant,” Kelly emphasized. “It seems maybe a little bit obvious, and that's fair to say, but think about life before the pandemic. Things like pandemic fashion would have made no sense. The pandemic as an event created a new language for a new normal.”Lexicographers often factor out routine lookups when evaluating word trends.The pandemic, Kelly said, made us all worthy of watercooler chatter with Dr. Anthony Fauci as our knowledge grew about aerosols, contact tracing, social distancing and herd immunity, along with the intricacies of therapeutic drugs, tests and vaccines that can help save lives.“These were all part of a new shared vocabulary we needed to stay safe and informed. It's incredible,” said Kelly, who works with a team of lexicographers to come up with words of the year based primarily on site traffic.Asymptomatic, furlough, non-essential, hydroxychloroquine and a host of other pandemic-related words saw massive increases in lookups as well.Jennifer Steeves-Kiss, chief executive officer of Dictionary.com, said one key ingredient in the hunt for the site's word of the year is sustained interest over time. Pandemic met that standard.“This has affected families, our work, the economy,” she said. “It really became the logical choice. It's become the context through which we've had dialogue all through 2020. It's the through line for discourse.”The word pandemic has roots in Latin and the Greek pandemos, meaning “common, public.” Breaking it down further, “pan” means “all” and “demos” means “people.” As evidenced in a medical text by a Dutch-born physician, Gideon Harvey, pandemic entered English in the 1660s in the medical sense, Kelly said. He noted that “demos” is also the basis for the word democracy.A pandemic is defined by Dictionary.com as a disease “prevalent throughout an entire country, continent, or the whole world; epidemic over a large area.” Its broader sense, as evidenced in its roots, can be used thusly: “A pandemic fear of atomic war.”Dictionary.com also noted other worthy search trends beyond the pandemic. After the May 25 death of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, words around racial justice experienced spikes, including fascism, anti-fascism, defund and white fragility.“There was no way for us to leave that out of the conversation this year,” Kelly said.Leanne Italie, The Associated Press
LONDON — Dave Prowse, the British weightlifter-turned-actor who was the body, though not the voice, of arch-villain Darth Vader in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, has died. He was 85.Prowse died Saturday after a short illness, his agent Thomas Bowington said Sunday.Born in Bristol, southwest England, in 1935, Prowse was a three-time British weightlifting champion and represented England in weightlifting at the 1962 Commonwealth Games before breaking into movies with roles that emphasized his commanding size, including Frankenstein’s monster in a pair of Hammer Studios horror films.Director George Lucas saw Prowse in a small part in “A Clockwork Orange” and asked the 6-foot-6-inch (almost 2-meter) actor to audition for the villainous Vader or the Wookie Chewbacca in “Star Wars.”Prowse later told the BBC he chose Darth Vader because “you always remember the bad guys.”Physically, Prowse was perfect for the part. Yet his lilting English West Country accent was considered less than ideal and his lines were dubbed by James Earl Jones.Prowse donned Darth Vader's black armour and helmet for “Star Wars” (1977), “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980) and “Return of the Jedi" (1983).He expressed some regret that, thanks to Vader's mask, “I can walk around with complete anonymity."“All actors crave recognition and I’d like to have some like Luke Skywalker and Han Solo,” he told The Associated Press in 1980. “Fortune tends to follow fame.”Lucas said Prowse “brought a physicality to Darth Vader that was essential for the character.”“He made Vader leap off the page and on to the big screen, with an imposing stature and movement performance to match the intensity and undercurrent of Vader’s presence," the director said in a statement on the official “Star Wars” website.“David was up for anything and contributed to the success of what would become a memorable, tragic figure. May he rest in peace.”Prowse also worked as a trainer for other actors, helping Christopher Reeve prepare to be the Man of Steel in hit 1978 film “Superman.”Prowse was also known to a generation of British children as the Green Cross Code Man, a superhero in road safety advertisements during the 1970s and '80s.Prowse suffered from arthritis for many years and campaigned to raise money for research into disease. In 1999 he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to charity and road safety.He was a regular at “Star Wars” fan events but was banned from official conventions by Lucas in 2010 after the pair fell out.Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the “Star Wars” films, tweeted that Prowse was “a kind man & much more than Darth Vader.” Hamill said the actor "loved his fans as much as they loved him. RIP.”“Shaun of the Dead” director-writer Edgar Wright also paid tribute to Prowse on Twitter.“As a kid, Dave Prowse couldn’t be more famous to me; stalking along corridors as evil incarnate in the part of Darth Vader & stopping a whole generation of kiddies from being mown down in street as the Green Cross Code man,” he wrote. “Rest in Peace, Bristol’s finest.”Prowse is survived by his wife Norma and their three children.Jill Lawless, The Associated Press
Une halte avec restauration rapide, station-service et dépanneur pourrait voir le jour près de la future autoroute 35, à Saint-Armand. Une demande pour modifier les usages du terrain est en cours d’approbation à la MRC Brome-Missisquoi. La municipalité a été approchée par une entreprise à numéro pour réaliser un tel projet, il y a quelques années déjà, raconte la mairesse Caroline Rosetti. Bien qu’elle ne connaisse pas les détails du projet, elle sait qu’il s’agira d’un endroit où il sera possible de s’arrêter pour manger un repas d’une bannière de restauration rapide et pour faire le plein d’essence avant de passer les douanes américaines ou en arrivant au Canada. Cependant, pour permettre cet usage, la municipalité a d’abord dû s’adresser à la MRC Brome-Missisquoi afin qu’elle modifie son schéma d’aménagement pour ce lot. Ensuite, Saint-Armand devra modifier son règlement d’urbanisme pour se conformer aux nouveaux usages. Le projet verrait le jour à l’intersection de la route 133 et des chemins Champlain et du Moulin, là où sera construit un carrefour giratoire par le ministère des Transports du Québec. Le nouveau zonage ne concernerait que le terrain ciblé et n’affecterait pas les usages des lots voisins. «C’est une pointe qui est déjà déstructurée par plein d’usages, explique Nacim Khennache, aménagiste à la MRC Brome-Missisquoi. Il y a une dizaine de résidences, une entreprise de transport et un garage dans ce coin-là. Nous, on va chercher le bout de la pointe juste à côté du carrefour giratoire, une petite superficie qu’on va dédier à un service routier de transit, à proximité de la sortie de l’autoroute, juste pour que ce soit logique pour que les utilisateurs de la route puissent, avant de passer les lignes, aller se restaurer ou s’approvisionner en essence.» Répondre à un besoin «C’est un bon endroit pour ça», ajoute Mme Rosetti. «Et c’est une bonne chose parce qu’on n’encourage pas nécessairement les camions-remorques à entrer dans le village.» La dernière station-service à proximité de l’autoroute, pour les camions et automobilistes qui se rendent aux douanes de Saint-Armand par l’A35 puis par la route 133, par exemple, est à Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. M. Khennache précise qu’il y en a une à Saint-Alexandre, mais plus loin de la voie rapide. Ce projet, s’il est accepté, permettra de répondre à un besoin. Une séance d’information publique se tiendra par visioconférence, le 2 décembre dès 19 h, en cliquant sur ce lien. La consultation publique par écrit se tiendra du 3 au 17 décembre. Les questions et commentaires pourront être envoyés à M. Khennache par courriel au email@example.com.Cynthia Laflamme, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix de l'Est
Windsor-Essex is handling more than a dozen COVID-19 outbreaks across various sectors, including two in hospitals, the local health unit reported Monday. There are now 17 outbreaks across several sectors in Windsor-Essex, including one at Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH) and another at Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare that were both declared on Sunday. Between the outbreaks and more than 400 active cases, medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed noted the strain public health is experiencing as the region moved into its first day of the province's red COVID-19 category Monday. Ahmed said resources are "limited" and that the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) is one of the "lowest funded on a per capita basis in the province of Ontario." "There are some disadvantages from a resourcing perspective that we are dealing with but our staff are dedicated and motivated," Ahmed said. "It's a monumental task given what we are dealing with. Just by the case rate, roughly our case rates are similar to what the city of Toronto is dealing with and you can imagine what kind of infrastructure and supports they have." During the health unit's daily briefing Friday, chief nursing officer Theresa Marentette said they are reaching out to the Ministry of Health for additional support and hiring at least 17 new staff members to join their COVID-19 team. The outbreak at WRH is taking place on the 7th floor at the Ouellette Campus after four staff members tested positive. All patients were swabbed on Friday and have come back negative, though a re-swabbing will be performed, the health unit said Monday. Many staff members have also been tested and received negatives at this time. The floor is a medical, non-surgical area that has 60 beds and makes up more than 10 per cent of the hospital's bed capacity, the hospital said in a news release. There will be no admissions or transfers from the 7th floor, unless a patient is being discharged home or for medical necessity. Meanwhile, the outbreak at Hotel Dieu is taking place on the 3rd floor of its rehabilitation tower, the hospital said in a news release Sunday. Three staff and two patients have tested positive for COVID-19 and are associated with the outbreak.More than 400 active casesOn Monday, the health unit reported 41 new cases for the region. Of these, five are close contacts of a confirmed case, five are local health-care workers, five are community acquired, one is an agri-farm worker and 25 are still under investigation. There are 424 active cases in the region, 89 of which were reported over the weekend. The new cases come as Windsor-Essex enters the red "control" zone of the province's COVID-19 public health restrictions framework. The new designation — one stage short of the lockdown tier — comes with further limits on dining and other activities.The number of new cases and outbreaks has put a strain on local public health resources, medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed said Monday. As a result, he said that anyone who has been in contact with a positive case should start to trace back their steps and develop a contact list before they are contacted by public health to speed up the process. There are seven workplace outbreaks, including: * Three in Leamington's agriculture sector. * One in Lakeshore's health care and social assistance sector. * One in a Leamington place of worship. * One in Leamington's finance and insurance sector. * One in Windsor's manufacturing sector.Two community outbreaks are still active, one at Victoria Manor Supportive Living in Windsor and another at Riverplace Residence in Windsor. Two schools — Frank W. Begley Public School and W. J. Langlois Catholic Elementary School — also remain in outbreak.Begley now has 49 cases, 40 are students and nine are staff members. W. J. Langlois has seven cases, with four students and three staff members confirmed positive. As of Tuesday, Begley will technically be out of its 14-day isolation period, though the school is closed until further notice.Ahmed said that unless told otherwise, students should remain in isolation. He said they are working to discharge cases and students. He also said that the health unit is working with the board to develop a return to school plan that will likely see students incrementally head back to class. There are four long-term care and retirement homes in outbreak, including: * Leamington Mennonite in Leamington with one staff case. * Chartwell Royal Oak Residence in Kingsville with one staff case. * Riverside place in Windsor with 17 resident cases and three staff cases. * Iler Lodge in Essex with 18 resident cases and three staff cases. Meanwhile, officials with the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance say they are preparing for a possible second wave of the virus.Hospital officials told reporters Monday they are watching closely as the number of infections rise In neighbouring regionsBut right now, Chatham-Kent has just 18 active cases of COVID-19, including one hospitalized patient at CKHA.
A Penetanguishene councillor wants staff to draw out a timeline to be included in the new graffiti removal policy. "I congratulate Andrea (Betty) for the report on the graffiti policy," Coun. Brian Cummings said at a recent meeting. "But the problem I still have is that our Municipal Law Enforcement (MLE) policy and procedure manual has no timelines in it. We can do whatever we want to make these bylaws, but we have no timelines involved in correcting the graffiti or any of our bylaws. "I did ask for a timeline to remove graffiti, because it's very important that it gets removed immediately so it doesn't encourage more graffiti in town," he added. Betty, director of planning and community development, said the policy for the bylaw enforcement department does not have timelines, however, the property standards bylaw has some strict standards and rules. "There are some timelines for the removal of graffiti once the notice has been given from the town," she said, not specifying what the timelines were, and later admitting it requires clarity. "Each occurrence and complaint can vary and rely on outside sources." Having said that, Betty added that staff could take a look at that policy procedure on that bylaw, since it's about eight years old and worth a review. "We should have some sort of timeline on this," said Cummings. "I agree with the procedure, but there should be a timeline to the procedure." A quick look at the MLE policy and procedures document available online shows there are no timelines around notices of contravention issued under bylaw. CAO Jeff Lees said it would be useful to refer the item for review.Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com
Wilbert Cook says if someone like him can do it, anyone can.The executive director of the Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation marked national addictions awareness week by sharing how a woman from his home town of Fort Good Hope, N.W.T. turned his life around about 20 years ago. "I was homeless. I was the type of guy passed out on the side of the road," he said in an interview with Loren McGinnis, host of CBC's The Trailbreaker.When he was in the midst of his additions, he woke up one morning looking for something to drink. He didn't have a phone, so went over to his neighbour's home to call a bootlegger."She started talking to me. She never got mad at me. She never gossiped. She never complained. She never put me down," he said.The elder was Alphonsine McNeely, a Sahtu Dene translator and women's advocate."She talked about herself, how she overcame alcohol, how she turned to the creator, turned her life around. "And I never forgot that. That's the first time that anyone has really spoken to me, like as a person, instead of just being a drunk."McNeely passed away last November. But her memory lives on in Cook, who now, through the foundation, helps others to heal.> "Healing is not a destination, it's a journey." \- Wilbert CookSince their cup of tea, Cook said he has spent a lot of time with elders, attending traditional ceremonies. He said it helps him release whatever feelings he has.Helping othersWhen asked once by someone why he keeps going, he said, it's because he needs it."I go to ceremonies because I'm weak. I need help. I always need help, healing is not a destination, it's a journey," he said. His journey included going back to school, studying political science and economics, which at first, he felt, didn't necessarily qualify him to head up the wellness foundation.He was approached about working for it while at a ceremony. He was interviewed and offered the job. "I'm a small part of the team. The real backbone of the foundation is executing. They're just a wonderful, beautiful group of people to work with," he said.What makes it even more special, he said, is the healing camp the foundation runs in Yellowknife.Cook said over the past few months, the number of people who can attend has been restricted to 15, including staff. He said there's been a slight decline in local clients coming out, but there's also been a huge increase of clients who want to come in from out of town."I don't know whether it's due to the fact that there's a lot more isolation in the communities because of limited travel south, so it probably weighs heavy on people. And it gives people more time at home maybe to reflect upon their lives," he said. "And, you know, they come to the realization that maybe they need help and they want come get help, and thankfully our name has really gotten out there in a positive way."It makes our heart swell with pride when they say we're going to recommend your camp to other people."
For Norma and Darren Dingwell, Wednesday mornings are spent with a handful of volunteers, peeling and chopping vegetables in the kitchen of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Montague, P.E.I.The couple has been hosting a weekly Wednesday night meal for people in the area for several years now. This spring, COVID-19 restrictions put that weekly tradition on hold temporarily, but the couple has found a way to keep it going, while adhering to public health measures."It's something that people had looked forward to for almost four years," said Norma."So then when COVID hit and everything had to stop, you know, we'd run into people that would come and they'd be like, 'Can you do it again? Can you tell us if you're going to do it again?' So, yeah, it was nice to start back up again."Before the pandemic, people would gather in person to enjoy the weekly dinner together. When that was no longer an option, Norma reached out to the Chief Public Health Office to find a way to make it work. > It's the best part of my week. — Darren DingwellNow, the meal is served in compostable takeout containers for people to enjoy at home. Masks are worn and hand sanitizer is used. And people come in one door, and go out another. 'Feeling of community'Norma said many people in her community struggle to pay for food, or go without so that their children have enough. She said the need for this meal has only grown — and it was important to find a way to keep offering it. "It saddens us that so many people rely on something like this," Norma said, adding that 80-90 people usually show up for the weekly meal. "But then we are very blessed that we are able to provide even just one good meal a week for people. It's something that they don't have to worry about, a Wednesday meal. They know that they can get one here." The meals are prepared entirely by volunteers, with food paid for entirely through donations. "It's the best part of my week," said Darren, who comes up with the meal plans — everything from spaghetti and meatballs to roasted vegetables served with pork gravy and homemade biscuits. "We still want to make sure that people have that feeling of community, that there is somebody there for them … Even though we can't dine in and share a meal together, we can still look after one another this way. And this, we felt it was very important." People asked to book ahead for Christmas mealThe couple plans to host a Christmas meal, as they usually do, but with some changes: It'll be a take-out dinner, and this year, the pair is offering to deliver it anywhere in the Montague area. "We want to get the word out to people that we're here on Christmas Day," Darren said."And don't go without. We're going to have all kinds." The couple asks that anyone interested in having a meal on Christmas Day contact them by Dec. 17, so that they know how much food to purchase and prepare. More P.E.I. news
Shelburne Council’s recent 1.6 per cent residential tax increase projection may be un-appealing to residents in the short term, but Councillor Steve Anderson says its much need-ed for responsible future planning. Anderson noted that Shelburne has several major infrastructure projects that must be dealt with and these projects are very costly.Steve said not having a tax increase just to appease voters is, in his mind, not responsible.Somewhere down the line, someone is going to have to pay for that lack of an increase. What’s important is that you’re able to show the public that they are getting value out of that tax increase, according to Steve. Having the best underground water and sewage pipes in the world does not appease the public, they cannot see underground in-frastructure. It is something they expect to be there, it is a given. A dog park or a tennis court is something tangible that they can appreciate and use. This budget is doing that with money being put to-ward the cricket pitch, community garden, res-toration of Jack Downey Park and even a tennis court. These are tangible projects that residents have asked for and make the tax increases more palatable, while allowing Council to deal with the big infrastructure issues. In addition, the new bus service in town will be expanding and there are plans for a major marketing push to make everyone aware of the service. Apparently, the Shelburne stop, is the most popular in the entire system. With this push, comes plans for more fre-quent service and even weekend runs. In addi-tion, Go Transit discussions are still on the ta-ble with the support of Solicitor General, MPP Sylvia Jones. The reception from Go was very positive.At the moment, the two proposed routes, by the advocates, are both not viable.None of the proposed roads are built to handle the traffic and they are not owned by the Town. Amaranth is dead set against any route running through their roads and ultimately, it is a Pro-vincial decision, not a Town one.Recent talks with MPP Sylvia Jones left things somewhat murkier still, as she said that first Shelburne needed to get the County on board before involving her office. The Coun-ty most recently were less than enthusiastic to proceed saying they would prefer to wait until a County Municipal Comprehensive Review, (MCR), was completed, before moving forward. That study and any subsequent decision would easily put construction 10 years away or more.A10 ORANGEVILLE CITIZEN | NOVEMBER 26, 2020 Shelburne Councillor comments on need for tax increasePeter Richardson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Citizen
A company has started selling the first blood test to help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, a leap for the field that could make it much easier for people to learn whether they have dementia. It also raises concern about the accuracy and impact of such life-altering news. Independent experts are leery because key test results have not been published and the test has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — it's being sold under more general rules for commercial labs. But they agree that a simple test that can be done in a doctor’s office has long been needed. It might have spared Tammy Maida a decade of futile trips to doctors who chalked up her symptoms to depression, anxiety or menopause before a $5,000 brain scan last year finally showed she had Alzheimer’s. “I now have an answer,” said the 63-year-old former nurse from San Jose, California. If a blood test had been available, “I might have been afraid of the results” but would have “jumped on that” to find out, she said. More than 5 million people in the United States and millions more around the world have Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia. To be diagnosed with it, people must have symptoms such as memory loss plus evidence of a buildup of a protein called beta-amyloid in the brain. The best way now to measure the protein is a costly PET brain scan that usually is not covered by insurance. That means most people don’t get one and are left wondering if their problems are due to normal aging, Alzheimer’s or something else. The blood test from C2N Diagnostics of St. Louis aims to fill that gap. The company's founders include Drs. David Holtzman and Randall Bateman of Washington University School of Medicine, who headed research that led to the test and are included on a patent that the St. Louis university licensed to C2N. ABOUT THE TEST The test is not intended for general screening or for people without symptoms — it’s aimed at people 60 and older who are having thinking problems and are being evaluated for Alzheimer’s. It’s not covered by insurance or Medicare; the company charges $1,250 and offers discounts based on income. Only doctors can order the test and results come within 10 days. It's sold in all but a few states in the U.S. and just was cleared for sale in Europe. It measures two types of amyloid particles plus various forms of a protein that reveal whether someone has a gene that raises risk for the disease. These factors are combined in a formula that includes age, and patients are given a score suggesting low, medium or high likelihood of having amyloid buildup in the brain. If the test puts them in the low category, “it’s a strong reason to look for other things” besides Alzheimer’s, Bateman said. “There are a thousand things that can cause someone to be cognitively impaired,” from vitamin deficiencies to medications, Holtzman said. “I don’t think this is any different than the testing we do now” except it’s from a blood test rather than a brain scan, he said. “And those are not 100% accurate either.” ACCURACY CLAIMS The company has not published any data on the test’s accuracy, although the doctors have published on the amyloid research leading to the test. Company promotional materials cite results comparing the test to PET brain scans — the current gold standard — in 686 people, ages 60-91, with cognitive impairment or dementia. If a PET scan showed amyloid buildup, the blood test also gave a high probability of that in 92% of cases and missed 8% of them, said the company’s chief executive, Dr. Joel Braunstein. If the PET scan was negative, the blood test ruled out amyloid buildup 77% of the time. The other 23% got a positive result, but that doesn't necessarily mean the blood test was incorrect, Braunstein said. The published research suggests it may detect amyloid buildup before it's evident on scans. Braunstein said the company will seek FDA approval and the agency has given it a designation that can speed review. He said study results would be published, and he defended the decision to start selling the test now. “Should we be holding that technology back when it could have a big impact on patient care?" he asked. WHAT OTHERS SAY Dr. Eliezer Masliah, neuroscience chief at the U.S. National Institute on Aging, said the government funded some of the work leading to the test as well as other kinds of blood tests. “I would be cautious about interpreting any of these things,” he said of the company’s claims. “We’re encouraged, we’re interested, we’re funding this work but we want to see results.” Heather Snyder of the Alzheimer’s Association said it won't endorse a test without FDA approval. The test also needs to be studied in larger and diverse populations. “It’s not quite clear how accurate or generalizable the results are,” she said. ___ Marilynn Marchione can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MMarchioneAP. ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content. Marilynn Marchione, The Associated Press
Toronto’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa responded to questions about the COVID-19 outbreak at Swansea Junior and Senior Public School, saying “there is very little that demonstrates transmission within the school,” adding that what they are seeing is COVID-19 cases “that are associated with cases from their own household.”
Indigenous communities in Wood Buffalo say they've been preparing for school shutdowns and they are ready to have an influx of students learning from home. Ron Quintal, president of the Fort McKay Métis Nation, said he's relieved three of his kids won't be travelling to school in Fort McMurray anymore. Internet in rural Wood Buffalo can be limited, but Quintal said the nation is providing students with laptops or Wi-Fi if needed. "We've done everything we can to make sure that going virtual is a reality in our household," he said. Fort McMurray has significantly more cases of COVID-19 than Fort McKay. Quintal said there have been just eight cases of COVID-19 in the community over the course of the pandemic. Fort McMurray has had almost 700. "You're constantly having to worry and have that anxiety," Quintal said. The community has used a security gate, temperature checks and COVID-19 testing at the health centre. "When it comes to your kids, protection is paramount," said Quintal. "We will take every precaution." The Northland School Division will see an additional 90 students start at-home learning as a result of the provincial government's new COVID-19 regulations. Nearly 630 students in rural Wood Buffalo will be learning from home and 1,291 will stay in class. Nancy Spencer-Poitras, superintendent of the Northland School Division, said about 40 per cent of the students in rural Wood Buffalo don't have access to the internet, and that an internet connection isn't always reliable for the other 60 per cent. So teachers have got creative — sending kids lessons on memory sticks or sending students homework packages. In some cases, where necessary, the school has provided students with Chromebooks as well. Spencer-Poitras said the district has the benefit of being smaller, meaning schools have been able to be flexible in response to the pandemic. Throughout the school year, more students have returned to class as parents become more comfortable. "We've been very fortunate with our communities being as diligent as they are that we have not had a lot of cases," she said. She said the numbers of students in class are always in flux, depending on how many cases the community has. "You might go from 100 kids being in the school down to 20," Spencer-Poitras said. "Our job is to ensure that programming continues for our students at all times." She said the Christmas break is welcome for the teaching staff though, because they are getting fatigued. "We don't have a lot of substitutes to begin with," said Spencer-Poitras. Calvin Waquan of Fort Chipewyan has a seven-year-old son in Grade 1. For the majority of the school year, his son is in class, but it fluctuates depending on community COVID-19 cases. "We're so remote that it's not really a big, big problem up here," Waquan said. But the class size isn't what it used to be. "My boy comes home and he tells us there's three kids in class," Waquan said. "Not as much as there normally would be." When he does his schooling from home, he gets booklets from the teacher that he can finish at his own pace. Janet Richards had been frustrated with her son's school in Conklin, but she said she's seen improvement this year. "I did send Levi to school [in person] this year because he really, really wanted to go," Richards said. She said there isn't much for him to do in Conklin, and she's a single mom, working a full-time job. Levi wanted to go to school, and it made sense for the family. Richards caught COVID-19, and now she and her family are isolating at home. Levi's teacher has sent him work packages and called to check-in. Richards said because her son is happy at school, she will likely be sending him back in December when the isolation is over.
LONDON — Britain’s culture minister thinks the Netflix TV series “The Crown” should come with a disclaimer: It’s a work of fiction.Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden weighed in amid criticism of the historical liberties taken by the drama about the British royal family.“It’s a beautifully produced work of fiction. So as with other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that,” Dowden told the Mail on Sunday newspaper. “Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact.”Dowden is expected to write to Netflix this week to express his view. Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.Questions of historical fidelity were not a major issue during earlier seasons of the show, which debuted in 2016 and traces the long reign of Queen Elizabeth II, which began in 1952.But the current fourth season is set in the 1980s, a divisive decade that many Britons remember vividly. Characters include Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, whose 11-year tenure transformed and divided Britain, and the late Princess Diana, whose death in a car crash in 1997 traumatized the nation.Former royal press secretary Dickie Arbiter has called the series a “hatchet job” on Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, and his first wife Diana. The troubled relationship of the couple, played by Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin, is a major storyline in the series.Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, has also said the show should carry a notice that “this isn’t true but it is based around some real events.”“I worry people do think that this is gospel and that’s unfair,” he told broadcaster ITV.Some Conservatives have criticized the program’s depiction of Thatcher, played by Gillian Anderson. Britain’s first female prime minister, who died in 2013, is portrayed as clashing with Olivia Colman’s Elizabeth to an extent that some say is exaggerated.“The Crown” creator Peter Morgan, whose work also includes recent-history dramas “The Queen” and “Frost/Nixon,” has defended his work, saying it is thoroughly researched and true in spirit.In a 2017 discussion of “The Crown,” Morgan said “you sometimes have to forsake accuracy, but you must never forsake truth.”Steven Fielding, a professor of political history at the University of Nottingham, said the suggestion that “The Crown” carry a disclaimer was “reasonable and yet pointless.”“It invariably doesn’t have an effect,” he said. “There are studies that show that people believe fiction when it’s presented as fact — even if you tell them it’s not fact.”Fielding said it was no surprise that Charles and his allies were annoyed with the heir to the throne’s depiction as “a bit of an idiot.” But he said making a fuss about it only amplifies the attention.Historians are used to railing at inaccuracies in dramas such as the Academy Award-winning “Darkest Hour,” which included an invented scene of Winston Churchill meeting ordinary Londoners on an Underground Tube train during World War II.“Mixing historical fact and fiction has been around since Shakespeare. This is not new to films, it’s not new to TV,” said Fielding, co-author of “The Churchill Myths,” which examines Britain’s wartime leader in popular culture.“I don’t recall the culture secretary complaining about the ridiculous presentation of Winston Churchill in ’Darkest Hour,” he said. “Because it went with the myth, with the idea of Churchill the hero, nobody complained."“Nobody’s bothered if fact and fiction are all mangled up, so long as it’s saying nice things,” he added.Jill Lawless, The Associated Press
While the province watches as COVID cases rise across the province, the Town of Nipawin is working on ways to share information among their residents and businesses. The Interagency Pandemic Oversight Committee, an informal emergency operations centre consisting of 20 organizations from across the town, have been meeting for the last few weeks to, “share resources and communication about COVID in our area and makes sure each organization is aware of how each agency is handling...education, chamber, social services, housing, health,” said Rennie Harper, Nipawin’s mayor. While they do not make any decisions regarding the pandemic, Harper said they have been mobilizing to assist those residents and communities that are in need of supplies. “It's a way for all of these organizations, the hospital and the health authority and others to communicate together about what's going on about the numbers and how can we help somebody.” The group also has been releasing messaging about public health orders like mandatory masking across the province and staying home as much as possible. Harper understands that people are tired of COVID and pandemic measures but she urges people to be vigilant. “We have to keep focusing on it, we have to keep going. Otherwise, the numbers will get higher here. And that's what I'm concerned about. Our numbers have been reasonable, let's keep them like that.” As of Nov. 28, there are 57 active cases in the 12 communities in the North East 1 zone, which includes Nipawin, Arborfield, Carrot River, Cumberland House and Zenon Park.Becky Zimmer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
Mono Council passed a Zoning Bylaw Amendment for a proposed micro brewery at its November 17 meeting. There was some objections from a few surrounding neighbours, however the majority of input was very positive.The primary issue of concern was water usage and this was addressed by a pump test conducted by Cambium. The test, using the existing well and pip-ing confirmed that the water supply was more than adequate and that a 98% recovery was achieved within 24 hours. Three private offsite wells were monitored during the test and no adverse effects were documented. The current max flow is 18 litres per min-ute, but could be increased to as much as 38 litres per minute if required. The proposed daily draw is 7,000 litres per day which is considered to be a very low amount, roughly equivalent to four, four bedroom homes. Such an amount is not considered signifi-cant according to Cambium. The project meets all the required policies and provisions of the Province, the County and Town. The County saw no problem with excess traffic on Mono Centre Road and had no objections to the proposed Microbrew-ery.As well, the Zoning Bylaw Amendment regulates the size of the Microbrewery and any increase in size would require a new application. The site and the buildings will detail the rural agricultural look of the prop-erty.Since Council passed the Zoning Bylaw Amendment, development of the proposed Microbrewery will proceePeter Richardson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Citizen
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Eight inmates were killed and 59 others were injured when guards opened fire to control a riot at a prison on the outskirts of Sri Lanka's capital, officials said Monday. Two guards were critically injured, they said.Pandemic-related unrest has been growing in Sri Lanka’s overcrowded prisons. Inmates have staged protests in recent weeks at several prisons as the number of coronavirus cases surges in the facilities.Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said inmates created “unrest” Sunday at Mahara prison, about 15 kilometres (10 miles) north of Colombo, and officials attempted to control the situation.But “the unrest situation turned into a prison riot,” he said, adding that prisoners tried to take control of the prison and hundreds attempted to escape.The inmates “reportedly destroyed most of the property including offices inside the prison,” Rohana said.The guards opened fire, and the clash left eight inmates dead and 59 injured, he said. Two prison officers were critically injured.He said hundreds of additional police were deployed to help the guards and strengthen security around the prison.An inmate was killed in similar unrest at another prison last week. Another died in March.More than a thousand inmates in five prisons have tested positive for the coronavirus and at least two have died. About 50 prison guards have also tested positive.Senaka Perera, a lawyer with the Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners, said the inmates at Mahara prison had been frustrated because their pleas for coronavirus testing and separation of infected prisoners had been ignored by officials for more than a month.On Monday, about 500 relatives of inmates gathered in front of the prison and urged the authorities to provide information about the prisoners and ensure their safety.Sujeewa Silva said her son has been detained at the facility for seven months after being arrested on drug charges. “I want to know whether he is safe. I asked the officers, please tell me the condition of my son," she said.Sri Lankan prisons are highly congested with more than 26,000 inmates crowded into facilities with a capacity of 10,000.Sri Lanka has experienced an upsurge in the coronavirus since last month when two clusters — one centred at a garment factory and other at a fish market — emerged in Colombo and its suburbs.Confirmed cases from the two clusters have reached 19,449. Sri Lanka has reported a total number of 22,988 coronavirus cases, including 109 fatalities.Bharatha Mallawarachi, The Associated Press
From the bench on her front porch, Jan Jang had a perfect view of the small cove just over the bank from her St. Chad’s home. The home, originally from the nearby Flat Islands, was floated to the area in the 1950s. From her perch, the British Columbia resident could trace the likely path the house took when it entered the cove. It would have likely entered the cove pulled by a singular boat and around Damnable Island in the centre before being hauled out of the water and eventually into its current place. Jang and her husband Ed purchased the property shortly after a vacation to the province some 12 years ago. "We saw the view and we knew immediately,” she said. Saltbox in design with white siding and black trim, the home sits in the middle of a gravel road. On a nearby hill, there is a flagpole, a cracked concrete foundation holding it in place. The back of the property has a small garden and wooden archway covered in overgrown vines. “That is the common house (of the time),” said 85-year-old former Flat Islands resident Everett Saunders. “I didn’t know what a bungalow looked like until I left.” The Flat Islands were amongst the earliest reported settlements in Bonavista Bay, with the first mention of residence recorded in 1806. The community was made up of four islands, Flat Island, Coward Island, North Island and Berry Head. Families with the surnames Hallett, Dyer, Morgan, Samson and Saunders, amongst others, built a life there, 21 miles from Bonavista in the middle of Bonavista Bay. There were two churches — a Church of England Church on Flat Island and the Methodist Church on North Island. Each island had a school, while there was a post office with a wireless telegram and a nurses station on Flat Island. The fishery ruled on Flat Islands as people made their living at the height of the Labrador fishery. There were often 25 to 30 schooners in the nearby waters. In the 1920s, the islands had some 900 full-time residents. Resettlement began in 1954 when the first home was floated to Glovertown. Others were disassembled, moved and then reconstructed at their destination. The collapse of the Labrador fishery forced families to move to the mainland for steady work. By 1957, most of the population was preparing to leave. Saunders left in 1958 and headed for St. John’s. In 1979, he moved to Eastport and he has been going back to the island ever since. His parents moved to Eastport, while others made lives in places like Glovertown, St. Chad’s, Burnside and St. John’s. “There was a lot of living on the island,” said Saunders, who left when he finished school at the age of 17. “It was quite different.” It was Thanksgiving weekend when the Jangs happened across the place that would become their longtime summer home. They were frequent visitors to the province and spent their time renting places while travelling around the island. It got to the point when they were visiting so frequently they decided it would be in their best interest to buy a summer home. They had finished a stay in St. John’s and were headed towards Lark Harbour on the west coast when Jan had the impulse to go to the Eastport Peninsula, where they had visited before. There, they stumbled upon St. Chad’s and fell in love with a quaint home along the shore of a secluded cove. It had a faded ‘House For Sale’ sign on the lawn. “We looked at each other, we looked at the view and we looked at the house,” said Jan, recalling the moments before their decision to buy. After some renovations, they were ready to make it their five-week Newfoundland home every summer for a dozen years. The house was built by Stephen Hallett in the early 1900s, although Jan isn’t sure of the exact date. It was 1958 when it was floated from Flat Island across Bonavista Bay and into St. Chad’s. A picnic table dedicated to The Dickers sits on the site. Several years ago, Saunders took the Jangs out to see where the house had been. For a couple of years, Saunders showed off his boyhood home while running a tour boat business out of the Eastport. His family home is gone now, but he still routinely makes day trips to the area for berry picking or just to walk around. When he ties his boat to the old family wharf and takes his first steps on the island, the world he knew plays out in front of him. He knows the location of every rock and the beginning of every path. He remembers Mr. Decker, his apple tree and how he'd get angry when Saunders and his friends would swipe an apple or two. If someone asks to head out, Saunders is sure to take them for a run to the islands. Lately, people have requested passage to the islands as they seek to say goodbye to loved ones. Saunders figures there have been three or four occasions where he's accompanied people as they scatter the ashes of those who once called the Flat Islands home. Saunders understands their wishes. “It was a great place," he said. "I'm so contented when I'm out here." The Jangs knew that type of contentment in St. Chad’s, but they sold their home earlier this fall. It wasn’t something they wanted to do, but health issues had made it increasingly difficult to travel the long distance between British Columbia to Newfoundland. It was a bittersweet decision, but one they felt was necessary. They’ll miss their Newfoundland haven. “We loved the house,” said Jan Jang. “It was a dear little house.” Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice
Edward Blake Rudkowski was a member of Nunatsiavut, and before that the Labrador Inuit Association, for 34 years. He ran successfully to represent Labrador Inuit living outside the land claim as an ordinary member in 2017, was re-elected in 2018 and was named the Speaker of the Nunatsiavut Assembly, the legislative branch of the Inuit government. That was, until Nov. 20, when Blake Rudkowski was told he was no longer a member of Nunatsiavut, his status as a beneficiary was revoked and he could no longer hold the political office he had been elected to. Blake Rudkowski told SaltWire Network he was told he didn’t meet the eligibility requirements and was just over 17 per cent Inuit. According to the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, there are a number of requirements that can lead to a person being a beneficiary, including that a person is one-quarter Inuit, is a descendant of someone who settled permanently in the land claim area prior to 1940 with no Inuit ancestry or is adopted by a beneficiary. “To be clear, they didn’t tell me I wasn’t Inuit,” he said. “They said I wasn’t Inuit enough.” He says he would like to know what formula they use to come up with that determination, and what factors were taken into account to determine it. He’d also like to know why that number matters more than what was determined when he was first accepted as a member of the Labrador Inuit Association 34 years ago. His status as a beneficiary of Nunatsiavut had been challenged two years ago and he’d been going through the process ever since. “Immediately after the election, literally the day after, there were two challenges to my membership eligibility,” he said. “I’d been dealing with this behind the scenes since then.” He said the two people who challenged his membership were political rivals — one a person he had beaten in an election and another a former politician — and the timing of it seemed curious to him. “It felt like membership was being used as a tool of political retribution,” he said. Having Nunatsiavut beneficiary status challenged is like coming in as a new applicant and is a daunting task that, successful or not, can take up a lot of time. In 2013 an amendment was made to the Nunatsiavut Beneficiaries Enrolment Act that allows any member to challenge the membership of another. Blake Rudkowski said this allows people to try to use membership as a tool to try to harm their enemies. “What this does is it allows someone who is a malcontent or has a beef with someone else a vehicle to exact some sort of retribution. At minimum, even if it's not successful, it can cause someone a significant amount of mental anguish.” What this has created, Blake Rudkowski said, is a climate where some people are afraid to speak up about issues they have with the government for fear they may have their rights as a beneficiary stripped away, or at the very least have it challenged. When he was in government, it appeared there were an increasing number of memberships being challenged, he said, to the point where people were asking whether a full review was underway. He said he also heard complaints that the process was inconsistent, which he believes to be the case. “You have a lot of cases where it’s one brother in, one sister out, one cousin in, one cousin out, so there’s an inconsistency across the board which speaks to the fact that maybe there’s a problem with the process. That’s been a long-standing critique of many beneficiaries, there’s an inconsistent application of the rules.” Blake Rudkowski said he doesn’t know what steps he’ll take next, and while it appears his career as a politician in Nunatsiavut has come to an end it won’t be the last time people see him the political arena. The Nunatsiavut Government put out a statement Monday about Blake Rudkowski’s removal, saying he was removed from the government once his eligibility as a beneficiary had been revoked. “First Minister Tyler Edmunds reminds beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement that the Nunatsiavut Government plays no role whatsoever in determining the membership of any individual,” the statement read. “The beneficiary enrolment process is independent from the Nunatsiavut Government.” SaltWire asked to speak to someone with the Nunatsiavut Government about the requirements and the process, but an interview was not available before deadline.Evan Careen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram
OTTAWA — Kawartha Dairy Limited is recalling certain ice cream products in Ontario due to "possible presence of pieces of metal," Health Canada says. The Kawartha Dairy flavours affected by the recall are: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream in both 1.5 litre and 11.4 litre packages, and Mint Chip ice cream in 1.5 litre and 11.4 litre packages.Health Canada says consumers should not eat the four recalled products, and retailers, restaurants, and institutions should not sell or use them.Recalled ice cream should be thrown out or returned to the location where it was purchased.Health Canada says the recall was triggered by the company on Sunday, adding the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other items.There have been no reported injuries associated with eating the recalled flavours as of Sunday.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020.The Canadian Press