Speaking at Lagos Fashion Week, model Naomi Campbell encourages the fashion world to support African designers and says that investment in the infrastructure of the continent is important. (Dec. 17)
Speaking at Lagos Fashion Week, model Naomi Campbell encourages the fashion world to support African designers and says that investment in the infrastructure of the continent is important. (Dec. 17)
From a global perspective, there was nothing unique about the recent raid on the U.S. Capitol. Both Republican and Democratic administrations have backed military coups around the world for decades.
NEW YORK — With a trilingual song that calls for the people of the Americas to unite in a more fair and loving world, Brazilian reggae band Natiruts, Jamaican musician Ziggy Marley and Mexican actress Yalitza Aparicio hope to make the whole continent vibrate. “América Vibra” was released Wednesday — the day of President Joe Biden's inauguration — as a nod to a new beginning. “We don't want walls. We are bridges,” recites the Oscar-nominated actress in Spanish before Marley and Natiruts vocalist Alexandre Carlo sing about social justice and environmental protection in English and Portuguese, respectively. “América Vibra” includes a musical video directed by Rick Brombal which combines images of the Brazilian Senate, the White House and other iconic places covered or surrounded by vegetation in an allusion to the power of nature over that of men. The single's cover image, which shows the faces of the three artists painted in colorful geometric figures, was developed by Brazilian muralist Carlos Eduardo Fernandes Léo, better known as Kobra. “The idea (for the song) arose in 2019, before the pandemic,” said Carlo in a recent interview with The Associated Press from his home-studio in Brazil's capital, Brasilia. Natiruts, a reggae band with a career of over 25 years, planned to include it in a DVD recorded at the Luna Park in Buenos Aires, Argentina, after playing in Mexico, Paraguay, Chile and Puerto Rico, but the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the plan, he explained. Months later they decided to continue on. “The purpose was the same, the unity of the Americas,” Carlo said. And with this in mind they invited an English-speaking colleague based in the United States to give more “legitimacy to the song” — the son of legendary Bob Marley, like his father a musician and an activist. For the Spanish part of the song, they wanted a woman, and Aparicio, an actress and activist of Mixtec origin, provided even greater representation. “The identity with the Native Indians, the identity with her country, with the struggles, with the people,” Carlo said. “Yalitza made this song grow with her personality, with her representation of Latin America.” For the “Roma” star, her spoken music debut — she says she cannot sing — was about “experimenting another phase and discovering what would happen.” “What drew me to this project was the message that it carries... the intention of sharing with the world something as important as unity, and what better way than doing it through a trilingual song, through music,” Aparicio said in a Zoom interview from Mexico City. “Besides, it's a collaboration with two big reggae stars. No one could have said no!” she added with laugh. Her part includes the Spanish verses: “We don't want hunger, we are live. We don't want guns, we are peace. We don't want hatred, we are love.” In a press release, Marley said that collaborating with Natiruts and Aparicio was “a great pleasure.” “My lyrics is talking about realizing what’s going on with the environment and wanting to see some justice in the world,” he said. “We have to take care of the planet, take care of each other and just build a better world together.” The decision to release “América vibra” the same day as Biden’s inauguration had to do with the hope for change. “It's the victory of dialogue, the victory of calmness, the victory of unity over other leaders that emerged in the world that have a way of communication that is more violent, more aggressive, more denying of science, for example; intransigent,” Carlo said. “I know that we can expect a lot from the incoming administration, but we can do more than sit and wait, we need to act," added Aparicio. “Everyone can do a bit from where they stand if we want to see a real change.” ___ Follow Sigal Ratner-Arias on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sigalratner. Sigal Ratner-Arias, The Associated Press
The Grey-Bruce Medical Officer of Health (MOH) says the region is ready for kids to return to the classroom. “We, in Grey-Bruce, are in good standing to proceed with what we started in the first term of school,” said Dr. Ian Arra, MOH for the Grey Bruce Health Unit (GBHU) during a virtual town hall meeting held last night. Yesterday, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced the government will let students in seven public health units return to the physical classroom on Jan. 25. Students in the Bluewater District School Board and Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board will be allowed back in the classroom starting Monday. “I realize that there may be some questions related to health and safety as students and staff return to in-person learning while the provincial stay-at-home order remains in place,” stated Lori Wilder, director of education for the Bluewater District School Board in a letter to parents. “With this regional approach, and through consultation with public health, it has been determined that our relatively low local COVID-19 case numbers place us in a favourable position for students to physically attend school as many were doing before the holidays,” Wilder continued. According to Arra, current data trends in the region have indicated that it is time for kids to go back to school. “We are ready to go back. Does this mean that school is a safe place? It’s a pandemic and we need to remember this,” he said. GBHU's most recent situation report states there are currently 30 active cases the region and Grey-Bruce has seen a total of 657 cases since the onset of the pandemic. Arra noted that during the initial semester of classes, there were COVID-19 cases reported in school-aged children, however, no transmission was detected within the schools. “The screening handled most of these cases and prevented them from going into school. None of these measures are perfect. But, the more we implement them, the more committed we are to them, the better the results,” Arra said. According to Arra, the GBHU witnessed a surge of cases in October and November as the second wave of COVID-19 hit the province. During that time period, there were no outbreaks declared in any schools in Grey-Bruce. “That says that if it's circulating in the community, it does not mean it's going to be circulating in schools in that controlled environment. You can infer from it also, if the physical distancing, hand washing and other measures are implemented, it will be a safe environment, wherever that environment is,” he stated. As the students return to the classroom next week, Arra is quick to remind parents that the provincial stay-at-home order is still in effect and he would discourage any activities outside of the home and classroom. “The fact that the kids are going back to school, does not mean that the stay-at-home order does not stand,” he said. “Going outside of our homes for whatever the activity is different from our children getting the social and educational experience they need.” Arra said, at this point, kids should not be engaging in after-school activities or social engagements. “I would ask everybody to remember this is not mutually exclusive – staying at home and returning to the classroom – we need to do one and the other to actually make both work,” he said. “The school staff, teachers, workers are doing an amazing job at controlling the environment. If kids get together after school, that's not a controlled environment. A birthday party, or whatever it is, that's definitely the opposite of controlled environments.” Students returning to the classroom on Monday will continue to be required to complete the province's daily COVID-19 self screening questionnaire before coming to school. Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca
FRANKFURT — Union Berlin defender Florian Hübner was banned for two games Thursday after a confrontation with Bayer Leverkusen's Nadiem Amiri but cleared of racially abusing him. A German soccer federation disciplinary panel banned Hübner for “unsporting behaviour” but said there was not proof of racist or discriminatory conduct. Hübner was also fined 20,000 euros ($24,300). Following the game last week, Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah told broadcaster DAZN that a Union player had used a derogatory term referring to Amiri’s Afghan background. Tah also said he had not heard the alleged racial slur himself. Amiri, who plays for the German national team, told a federation investigation that he could not rule out that different words might have been used, the federation said. In a statement issued by Union, Hübner accepted the ban and fine. He said he had “cleared up” the matter after speaking with Amiri. Hübner denied using any racist language and said he had faced insulting language during the game. Amiri told Leverkusen’s club website last week that he had received and accepted an apology from an unnamed Union player for “ugly words on the pitch said in the heat of the moment that he’s very sorry for.” The federation said an investigation into another Union player, Cedric Teuchert — over alleged breaches of rules — was closed. It said Teuchert “was advised to pay closer attention to his choice of words on the field in the future.” Union won the Jan. 15 game 1-0 with a goal from Teuchert. Leverkusen is third in the league and Union is sixth. Hübner will be banned for a visit to Augsburg on Saturday and a home game against Borussia Mönchengladbach on Jan. 30. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
Alleged street gang associates accused of shooting at police who were pursuing them during a high-speed chase on Onion Lake Cree Nation had appearances in Lloydminster Provincial Court Jan. 20. Crown Prosecutor Oryn Holm from North Battleford, told the court he was opposed to the release of Twaine Derek Buffalo, 39, Glynnis Larene Chief, 37, and Tyler Ryan Wolfe, 35, all from Onion Lake Cree Nation. Buffalo and Wolfe have show cause hearings on Feb. 3, and Chief has a hearing on Jan. 28. Melissa Lee McAlpine, 32, of Lloydminster, Sask., appeared by CCTV from Pine Grove Correctional Centre for women and the appearances for the rest of the defendants were waived. The Crown agreed to McAlpine’s release. Defence Cameron Schmunk from Legal Aid in North Battleford told the court he was only representing McAlpine that day as duty counsel. She is scheduled to appear again on March 3. The case against Danny Lee Weeseekase, 38, from Makwa Sahgaiehcan First nation, was adjourned to Feb. 3. Buffalo, Chief, Weeseekase, Wolfe and McAlpine were all arrested on Jan. 1, 2021. The incident started at about 2 p.m. on Jan. 1 when Onion Lake RCMP received a call from a resident in a rural area west of Onion Lake that a black SUV came into their private yard, drove off and smashed through their fence. RCMP patrolled the area in search of the SUV and found it driving at a high rate of speed on Highway 17 about four kilometres south of the Chief Taylor Road junction. They followed the SUV down Highway 17 and then onto Chief Taylor Road. That’s when police saw a long-barreled firearm come out of the SUV window and shots were fired at police. Police continued to pursue the SUV, which stopped in front of the Onion Lake Cree Nation high school. Two men, including the driver and a front passenger, jumped out of the SUV and fled on foot into an open field. Police chased the fleeing suspects on foot and additional RCMP officers arrested the remaining three passengers, including one man and two women. RCMP found the driver, Tyler Wolfe, hiding inside a garbage bin and the passenger in a nearby baseball field. From the SUV, police seized two SKS rifles, one sawed-off shotgun, one sawed-off 22-caliber rifle and different types of ammunitions. RCMP say the occupants of the SUV were identified as street gang associates. North Battleford Provincial RCMP General Investigation Section took over the investigation. Wolfe, Weeseekase, Chief and Buffalo were charged with discharging a firearm with intent to endanger life, being an occupant of a vehicle knowing there was a firearm, careless use of a firearm, possession of a firearm without a license, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, possession of a prohibited weapon, and assault of a police officer with a weapon. Wolfe is additionally charged with flight from police and dangerous driving. Weeseekase is additionally charged with breach of recognizance for possessing a weapon. McAlpine was charged with discharging a firearm with intent to endanger life, being an occupant of a vehicle knowing there was a firearm, and assault of a police officer with a weapon. The charges against Wolfe, Weeseekase, McAlpine, Chief and Buffalo haven’t been proven in court. Onion Lake state of emergency Onion Lake Cree Nation declared a state of emergency in January 2020 after a string of drug and gang-related violence threatened the safety of the community, including three murders in as many months. If anyone has any information that could assist investigators, please contact Onion Lake RCMP at 306-344-5550. Information can also be submitted anonymously to Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submitting a tip online at www.saskcrimestoppers.com. If you are associated with a gang and want to leave it, contact STR8 UP in northern Saskatchewan at 306-763-3001, STR8 UP in central Saskatchewan at 306-244-1771, or Regina Treaty Status Indian Services in southern Saskatchewan at 306-522-7494 to get assistance. Onion Lake Cree Nation borders the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan and is located about 50 kilometres north of Lloydminster. firstname.lastname@example.org Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter / Battlefords Regional News-Optimist Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
OTTAWA — It will likely be another year before a federal review of the government's key transparency law is complete. Newly released terms of reference for the government study of the Access to Information Act say a report will be submitted to the Treasury Board president by Jan. 31 of next year. The review, announced last June, has prompted skepticism from open-government advocates who point to a pile of reports done over the years on reforming the access law. The law, introduced in 1983, allows people who pay $5 to ask for a range of federal documents, but it has been widely criticized as antiquated and poorly administered. Ken Rubin, a longtime user of the access law, says putting the government in charge of reviewing its own secrecy and delay problems was never a good idea. He says the Liberals should either present a new transparency bill before the next general election or let Parliament and the public figure out how to improve access to federal records. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
Russia has ordered TikTok and other social networks to restrict online calls for nationwide protests in support of detained Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.View on euronews
There are 32 new cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick and an outbreak has been declared at another Edmundston care home, Dr. Jennifer Russell said at a live-streamed COVID-19 update Thursday. The update was the first since the Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton regions — Zones 1, 2 and 3 — were rolled back to the red phase of recovery on Tuesday. They joined the Edmundston region, which was already in the red phase. The three remaining zones are in orange. The situation in the Edmundston region, Zone 4, remains "gravely concerning," Russell said. There are now 113 cases in that area, "the largest number of any zone in the province." Russell said outbreaks have spread to workplaces and to special care homes in the region, including a new outbreak at the Le Pavillon Le Royer. Russell also noted that the outbreak at Parkland Riverview's Canterbury Hall care home has been declared over, with no new cases in 14 days. All residents at the facility were being vaccinated Thursday. 32 new cases reported, 19 of them in Zone 4 The cases announced Thursday break down in this way: Moncton region, Zone 1, five cases: an individual 30 to 39 an individual 40 to 49 an individual 50 to 59 an individual 60 to 69 an individual 80 to 89 Saint John region, Zone 2, three cases: two people 20 to 29 an individual 40 to 49 Fredericton region, Zone 3, three cases: an individual 19 or under an individual 40 to 49 an individual 60 to 69 Edmundston region, Zone 4, 19 cases: an individual 19 or under two people 20 to 29 two people 30 to 39 two people 40 to 49 five people 50 to 59 three people 60 to 69 an individual 70 to 79 three people 80 to 89 Campbellton region, Zone 5, two cases: two people 19 or under All of the individuals are self-isolating and their cases are under investigation. The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 1,057, with 719 recovered and 324 currently active cases. There have been 13 deaths, and three patients are now hospitalized, two of them in intensive care. As of Thursday, 179,582 tests have been conducted, including 1,902 since Wednesday's report. There have been 10,436 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered in New Brunswick, with 2,567 people fully vaccinated with two doses and 7,339 doses held back for second doses and planned clinics. Mount Allison confirms off-campus case Mount Allison University has confirmed a positive case of COVID-19 in its campus community. In an email to students and staff Thursday, the university said it is the first positive case this term and the second since the start of the pandemic. "At this point there are no other confirmed cases related to Mount Allison," Anne Comfort, acting vice-president of international and student affairs, said in the email. The individual is an "off-campus member" of the Mount Allison community, Comfort said. "They are asymptomatic, have been self-isolating by themselves, and will continue to self-isolate." Contact tracing is underway, and Public Health will contact anyone who needs to take further precautions, she said. Not aware of student-to-student transmission: Russell Dr. Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of health, again faced questions Thursday about the decision to keep schools open during the red phase, and about the risk to students and staff. Asked at the COVID-19 update if she was aware of any "student-to-student transmission" in schools, Russell said no such cases have been brought to her attention. "The only cases I've been made aware of are adult-to-adult transmission among staff in schools or adult-to-child," Russell said, adding that doesn't mean student-to-student transmission has not happened. Under the revised red phase rules, if a positive case of COVID-19 is confirmed at a school, the school will be closed for a minimum of three days to allow for contact tracing. On Wednesday, when Zones 1, 2 and 3 entered the red phase, attendance records showed more than 14,000 students stayed home. 'There may be delays': Higgs on vaccines Premier Blaine Higgs provided an update on the province's vaccine rollout at Thursday's briefing, noting that the province continues to roll out vaccines "as they become available." But that availability has been hampered recently, with no shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this week and reduced shipments expected next week. Because of that, "some facilities have had to reduce the number of vaccines that will be administered," Higgs said Thursday. "There may be delays … this is why very early on in the process we set aside a number of vaccines, so that everyone who received their first dose could receive second dose and be fully vaccinated." Currently, 2,567 New Brunswickers have been fully vaccinated. More than 1,300 people were to receive their first dose of the vaccine at clinics in 10 long-term care homes that began Tuesday and concluded Thursday, Higgs said. Clinics are also being planned on Saturday for health-care workers in the Edmundston, Bathurst, Fredericton and Saint John areas. Why 3 zones are staying orange, for now Three zones in the province are seeing stabilizing, low or even non-existent case numbers, the province's chief medical officer of health said Thursday. Zones 5, 6 and 7 — the Campbellton, Bathurst and Miramichi regions — are in the orange phase of recovery. There are 26 active cases in Campbellton, nine in Bathurst, and Miramichi hasn't had a confirmed case since Boxing Day. So why are they not being eased into the least-restrictive yellow phase? Russell said it's a case of caution mixed with proximity, noting the zones will remain in orange "until we see further progress in the surrounding red zones." She has previously cautioned against assuming a zero case count means a region is COVID-free. "You have to remember that case numbers are a snapshot" of what was happening seven days prior, "so even if there were no cases a week ago, it doesn't mean COVID isn't in the community today." Russell has also previously noted that testing rates are very low in the Miramichi region, something she again pointed to at Thursday's update. "When we see case numbers not very high in a certain area, I can't imagine they're not experiencing any symptoms whatsoever," Russell said. "So again, my message is 'Please get tested. Even if you have only one symptom. Even if it's mild.' " Russell noted there are plans to open "four or five" more testing locations, including some in rural areas. A new assessment centre opened Thursday in Clair, in Zone 4, Russell said. Full lockdown likely for Edmundston region Dr. Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of health, and Premier Blaine Higgs both addressed the "deeply worrying" situation in the Edmundston region, Zone 4, at Thursday's update. The fact that outbreaks are creeping into adult residential facilities and workplaces is a concern, Russell said. She noted that 24 of the cases in Zone 4 are directly linked to the Nadeau poultry plant, including six of the 19 cases announced Thursday in Zone 4. An outbreak was declared earlier this week at the plant, which remains closed. Edmundston is also the site of outbreaks at two special care homes, the Manoir Belle Vue and Le Pavillon Le Royer. Premier Blaine Higgs, who also spoke at Thursday's update, said that a complete lockdown of the Edmundston region has been discussed and looks "likely" to happen in the days ahead. It would be similar to what New Brunswickers saw in March when the entire province was in shutdown, he said. Higgs shares details of stepped-up enforcement efforts Rising case numbers throughout much of the province have made it "more important than ever to follow ... and enforce" Public Health rules, Premier Blaine Higgs said Thursday. He noted that, since Saturday, 179 house visits have been conducted to ensure people are self-isolating. There were just four cases of non-compliance. Enforcement officers conducted 327 site visits between Sunday and Thursday, with the following results: 20 non-compliance orders issued. 20 tickets issued under Emergency Measures Act. 23 stop-work orders under WorkSafeNB. 12 orders under WorkSafeNB. One administrator penalty. Public exposure warnings Public Health has identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious on the following flight: Jan. 3 – Air Canada Flight 8910 from Toronto to Moncton, arrived at 11:23 a.m. Public Health has also issued the following potential COVID-19 exposure warnings: Edmundston region: Sparta Progression Gym, 113 44th Ave. D., on Jan. 13 and Jan. 15 between 7 and 9 a.m. Moncton region: Goodlife Fitness Centre, 175 Ivan Rand Dr. E., on Jan. 13 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Moncton North After Hours Medical Clinic, 1633 Mountain Rd., on Jan. 14 from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. Edmundston region: Jean Coutu Kim Levesque-Cote Pharmacy, 276 Broadway Blvd., Grand Falls, on Jan. 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Parts for Trucks,21 Powers Rd., Grand Falls, on Jan. 11, 12 and 14 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. What to do if you have a symptom People concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online. Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included: A fever above 38 C. A new cough or worsening chronic cough. Sore throat. Runny nose. Headache. New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell. Difficulty breathing. In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes. People with one of those symptoms should: Stay at home. Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor. Describe symptoms and travel history. Follow instructions.
A former NDP candidate for Corner Brook says he wants a leadership review by the provincial NDP. Graham Downey-Sutton, who announced on Jan. 15 he would step down as the NDP nominee for the district, released a video on social media on Tuesday citing ongoing family issues as well as concerns over provincial NDP Leader Alison Coffin and the provincial campaign director for the NDP, Mat Whynott. Downey-Sutton told SaltWire Network he didn’t feel there was a lot of support from Coffin for a PET scanner or the hospital generally in Corner Brook, and when he had tried to get more support, he wasn’t happy with the response. “Essentially all they did was put out a social media statement that (Coffin) had been born in the Corner Brook Hospital, that her mother had worked there and that she was an unequivocal supporter of the hospital and the PET scanner,” he said. “That was fine, but people had questions about a statement she made in the past about the future of the hospital and they were asking me about it. Here I was trying my best to support this, and people were wondering if the leader even supported a hospital being there.” Downey-Sutton has been active on the PET scanner issue, organizing a petition and leading a rally in October. The scanner was promised by former premier Dwight Ball in 2014, and whether or not the region would get one has been a topic of contention in recent weeks. The issue is key for Downey-Sutton, a cancer survivor, who said it’s a critical piece of equipment for the region and what he perceives as lack of support from Coffin on it led to him losing confidence in her. Downey-Sutton said he wants a leadership review to go ahead at this year’s convention, and he isn’t the only person with concerns. He said he also had issues with Whynott, a former Nova Scotia NDP MLA who has been hired as the provincial campaign director by the Newfoundland and Labrador NDP. Downey-Sutton said he felt uncomfortable with some of the advice Whynot gave him and didn’t think it was appropriate how elected members deferred to him, and that Whynott doesn’t understand the issues facing the province. “Nothing against Nova Scotians, my father is a Nova Scotian. I think it’s a great place, but Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia are two very different provinces with two very unique sets of problems,” he said. “We have an elected executive doing whatever he says and that just seems undemocratic to me.” Downey-Sutton said he was told not to bring up issues such as social and environmental justice because they don’t get votes, issues he feels are core to the NDP. SaltWire spoke to Coffin about the video, who said that while she hadn’t seen it, she understood Downey-Sutton had withdrawn as a candidate due to family issues. “I have a great deal of respect for giving people time to do that,” she said. “As for the rest, he voiced his opinions for sure and he knows how to reach me if he wants to discuss the rest of it a little further.” When asked about the comments regarding Whynott, Coffin said it was his job to direct the campaign, which would involve things like giving advice to candidates. “He’s making sure we’re all aligned on the same messaging, making sure the candidates are well supported. He’s doing his job. I don’t know what more there is to say about that.” Evan Careen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris showcased American designers at their inauguration Wednesday, and Harris gave a nod to women's suffrage, Shirley Chisholm and her beloved sorority in pearls and purple. Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush also donned hues of purple. Harris has cited Chisholm, a Democrat from New York, as an inspiration for her career. Chisholm was the first Black woman elected to Congress and the first Black major-party candidate to run for U.S. president. Pearls had a strong fashion showing, in line with a social media campaign that had inauguration watchers donning strands in support and celebration of Harris. Nobody in attendance did them quite like Jennifer Lopez — from earrings to bracelets — as she sang “This Land is Your Land" in head-to-toe white Chanel. Rep. Barbara Lee, a California Democrat, wore a pearl necklace owned by Chisholm herself. It was a gift from Chisholm's goddaughter. “Because of Shirley Chisholm, I am,” Lee, who is Black, posted on Twitter. “Because of Shirley Chisholm, Vice-President Harris is.” The pearls Harris wore, by Wilfredo Rosado, were also a symbol of unity with her sisters in Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first African American Greek-letter sorority, said Rachel Torgerson, fashion features director for Cosmopolitan. The sorority's founders are referred to as the “Twenty Pearls.” Every new member receives a badge adorned with 20 pearls. Harris attended Howard University, one of the nation's historically Black colleges and universities. “There’s no doubt that every part of her look today celebrates who she is, where she came from and where she hopes to lead the country. Every piece was carefully considered and packed with meaning,” Torgerson said. Like Harris, Rosado is the child of immigrants. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders drew fashion praise on social media for his cozy, comfortable inauguration wear: His signature beige parka and a pair of knit patterned mittens. The look earned him his own inauguration Bobblehead to mark his viral fashion moment. It's now on pre-sale for $25 at the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s online store. Jill Biden wore an ocean blue wool tweed coat over a dress by American designer Alexandra O’Neill of the Markarian label. The new first lady's matching coat and dress included a velvet collar and cuffs on the coat, and a chiffon bodice and scalloped skirt on the dress. The neckline of the dress is embellished with Swarovski pearls and crystals. The same crystals adorn the coat. The outfit was handcrafted in New York City. Aides said Harris was dressed in Christopher John Rogers and Sergio Hudson. Both are Black designers, Rogers from Louisiana and Hudson from South Carolina. Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff, wore a Ralph Lauren suit. Michelle Obama, a fashion icon, drew praise from fans on social media for her belted pantsuit in plum, also by Hudson. Joe Biden wore a navy blue suit and overcoat by Ralph Lauren. It was a change from Brooks Brothers, the oldest U.S. clothier at 202. The brand has outfitted 41 of the 46 American presidents, including Barack Obama during his inauguration in 2009. Brooks Brothers fell on hard financial times last year, when it filed for bankruptcy reorganization and announced a planned sale. Ralph Lauren has a history of nonpartisan dressing, including moments with Michelle Obama and outgoing first lady Melania Trump. Joe Biden wore Polo shirts, emblazoned with the label’s pony and polo player logo, to take both of his COVID-19 vaccinations on television. Véronique Hyland, fashion features director for Elle magazine, noted the wins for young American designers. “They chose a diverse group of talents — Christopher John Rogers, Pyer Moss’ Kerby Jean-Raymond, Markarian’s Alexandra O’Neill and Jonathan Cohen — to be a part of this historic moment," she said. “It made for a meaningful statement at this particular time, when all small businesses, including fashion businesses, are in need of support and spotlighting.” Harris’ choice to wear pieces by Black designers “felt particularly significant in light of her triply historic title as the first female, Black and Asian American vice-president of our country,” Hyland added. As for the colour purple, it was a symbol of unity and bipartisanship. Republican Red and Democratic blue make purple. “If there’s a message to be taken from today’s inauguration fashion, it’s that those who attended are signalling faith in unity and bipartisanship, as well as restoring truth and trust,” Torgerson said. Hillary Clinton confirmed she wore “purple with a purpose,” telling The Associated Press: “I want to just send a bit of a symbolic message that we need to come together.” Lady Gaga went for red and let her pin do the talking. She sang the national anthem in a lavish custom Schiaparelli gown designed by Daniel Roseberry with a full red skirt and a navy coat adorned with a humongous gold dove holding an olive branch. Garth Brooks went another way: country. He performed “Amazing Grace” holding his black cowboy hat and dressed in blue denim jeans paired with a black suit jacket and shirt. Another inauguration fashion star on Twitter was Nikolas Ajagu, the husband of Harris' niece, Meena Harris. Sharp-eyed sneakerheads noted his ultra-rare and pricey Air Dior Jordan 1 shoes. The Dior 1s, a collaboration between Dior and Jordan, debuted last year and retail for $2,000. They're reportedly going for up to $7,000 on some sneaker resell sites. Harris' stepdaughter, Ella Emhoff, schooled some of the older folks in her embellished Shetland Miu Miu coat in a pied de poule pattern with a large brown button at the neck and a pointed collar. “To put it quite plainly, over the last four years we’ve been starved for fashion choices from the White House that are thoughtful and intentional for the sake of the greater good," said Nikki Ogunnaike, digital director for Harper’s Bazaar. ____ This story was first published on January 20, 2021. It was updated on January 21, 2021, to correct the fact that Meena Harris is Vice-President Kamala Harris’ niece, not her sister. Leanne Italie, The Associated Press
THUNDER BAY — For more than five years, the Thunder Bay police force and its partner agencies have been dealing with a high-volume of individuals travelling from southern Ontario to traffic drugs in the northwest. Through a virtual news conference on Thursday, Jan. 21, Thunder Bay police announced the results of a major joint-forces police investigation involving several agencies in southern Ontario which resulted in the seizure of $2.7 million worth of street drugs. Despite the massive seizure of drugs and arrest of 12 individuals, police said they continue to be “plagued” with more individuals ready to take over for those who have been arrested. “Any given day, our highways have couriers bringing more drugs to our communities,” Det.-Insp. John Fennell of the Thunder Bay Police Service said Thursday. “It has been made very clear from our investigations and the people being charged that much of this illicit drug trade is coming from southern Ontario,” he said. Several police forces were involved in the operation called Project Valiant including Ontario Provincial Police, York Regional Police and Canada Border Services Agency. The operation was led by the Thunder Bay Police Service. “Our gang and gun problem is real and it needs to be taken very seriously by our legal system and our government,” Fennell said. "As much effort as we put into these initiatives we continue to be plagued with a steady stream of new persons taking over for those we have been able to charge.” The investigation took place from August 2020 to December 2020. Approximately six search warrants were conducted in Thunder Bay and one major search warrant was executed in Markham, Ont. As a result, police seized 11.9 kilograms of fentanyl, 1.55 kilograms of cocaine, more than 4,000 pills of fentanyl, 846 packages of cannabis edibles for the black market and eight capsules of hydromorphone. Furthermore, police seized several weapons including 10 rifles, four shotguns, one crossbow, two high-capacity magazines, two tasers and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Police also located and seized four cars, one motorcycle, more than $120,000 in Canadian cash, fake government identification and drug trafficking paraphernalia. The project’s lead, Det.-Sgt. Dan Irwin, said during Thursday’s news conference, the long-term impact of initiatives such as Project Valiant aimed to address the high volume of illicit drugs coming into the community from southern Ontario is minimal. “It makes an impact at the beginning but like Det.-Insp. Fennell said as soon as we make arrests unfortunately the highways and the planes are full of individuals coming from the south to continue to sell fentanyl, cocaine, crack cocaine, and various other drugs,” he said. Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
For the first time in more than a decade, Republicans are waking up to a Washington where Democrats control the White House and Congress, adjusting to an era of diminished power, deep uncertainty and internal feuding. The shift to minority status is always difficult, prompting debates over who is to blame for losing the last election. But the process is especially intense as Republicans confront profound questions about what the party stands for without Donald Trump in charge. Over the past four years, the GOP's values were inexorably tied to the whims of a president who regularly undermined democratic institutions and traded the party's long-standing commitment to fiscal discipline, strong foreign policy and the rule of law for a brash and inconsistent populism. The party now faces a decision about whether to keep moving in that direction, as many of Trump's most loyal supporters demand, or chart a new course. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, one of the few Republican elected officials who regularly condemned Trumpism, evoked President Ronald Reagan in calling this moment “a time for choosing.” “We have to decide if we’re going to continue heading down the direction of Donald Trump or if we’re going to return to our roots,” Hogan, a potential 2024 White House contender, said in an interview. “The party would be much better off if they were to purge themselves of Donald Trump,” he added. “But I don’t think there’s any hope of him completely going away.” Whether the party moves on may come down to what Republicans such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz do next. Cruz spent weeks parroting Trump's baseless claims of election fraud, which helped incite the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol. Republican elections officials in several battleground states that President Joe Biden carried have said the election was fair. Trump’s claims were roundly rejected in the courts, including by judges appointed by Trump. Cruz on Wednesday acknowledged Biden's victory but refused, when pressed, to describe it as legitimate. “He won the election. He is the president. I just came from his inauguration,” Cruz said in an interview. Looking forward, Cruz said Trump would remain a significant part of the political conversation, but that the Republican Party should move away from divisive “language and tone and rhetoric” that alienated suburban voters, particularly women, in recent elections. “President Trump surely will continue to make his views known, and they’ll continue to have a real impact, but I think the country going forward wants policies that work, and I think as a party, we need to do a better job winning hearts and minds,” said Cruz, who is also considering a White House run. In the wake of the Capitol riot Jan. 6, a small but notable faction of high-profile Republicans is taking a stronger stance against Trump or seeking distance from him. The Senate’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell, said on the eve of the inauguration that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol was “provoked by the president.” Even Mike Pence, Trump's vice-president and long considered his most devoted cheerleader, skipped Trump’s departure ceremony to attend Biden’s inauguration. Trump has retreated to his South Florida club, where he has retained a small group of former White House aides who will work out of a two-story guest house on the Mar-a-Lago grounds. In addition to advisers in Washington, Trump will have access to a well-funded political action committee, the Save America PAC, that is likely to inherit tens of millions of dollars in donations that flooded his campaign coffers after his election loss. Those close to Trump believe he will lay low in the immediate future as he focuses on his upcoming impeachment trial for inciting the riot. After that, he is expected to reemerge, likely granting media interviews and finding a new home on social media after losing his powerful Twitter bullhorn. While his plans are just taking shape, Trump is expected to remain politically active, including trying to exact revenge by backing primary challenges against Republicans he believed scorned him in his final days. He continues to leave the door open to another presidential run in 2024. Some friends believe he might even flirt with running as a third-party candidate, which would badly splinter an already fractured GOP. Trump issued an ominous vow as he left the White House for the last time as president: “We will be back in some form." Many in the GOP’s die-hard base continue to promote conspiracy theories, embrace white nationalism and, above all, revere Trump’s voice as gospel. Trump loyalists in states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wyoming expressed outrage and disappointment in the 10 Republicans who voted with Democrats to impeach Trump last week. One of them, Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer, said he bought body armour to protect himself from a wave of threats from Trump supporters. In Wyoming, state GOP Chairman Frank Eathorne raised the possibility of secession this week and criticized Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, another Republican who backed Trump's impeachment. “The Republican National Committee views President Trump as our party leader into the future. ... The (state party) agrees,” Eathorne said, noting that Trump “represents the timeless principles” that the state and national GOP stand for. Trump left office with a 34% approval rating, according to Gallup — the lowest of his presidency — but the overwhelming majority of Republicans, 82%, approved of his job performance. Even as some try to move on, Trump's continued popularity with the GOP's base ensures he will remain a political force. Despite the GOP's many challenges, they're within reach of retaking one or both chambers of Congress in next year's midterm elections. Since the 2006 midterms, the party in the White House has lost on average 37 House seats. Currently, Democrats hold a 10-seat House majority and they’re tied with Republicans in the Senate. Hogan, the Maryland governor, said that the GOP may be at one of its lowest points ever, but noted that Reagan reclaimed the White House for Republicans just six years after President Richard Nixon was forced to resign in disgrace. “Obviously, (Trump) still has got a lock on a pretty good chunk of the Republican base, but there are an awful lot of people that were afraid to speak out for four years — unlike me —who are now starting to speak out," Hogan said. Still, there are plenty of hurdles ahead. Primary challenges could leave the party with congressional nominees next year who are even further to the right, potentially imperiling the GOP's grip on races they might otherwise win. More immediately, Senate Republicans, including McConnell, are wrestling with whether to convict Trump of high crimes and misdemeanours as outlined in last week's House impeachment. The Senate could ultimately vote to ban Trump from ever holding office again. “I hope that Republicans won’t participate in this petty, vindictive, final attack directed at President Trump,” Cruz said. “We should just move on.” ___ Associated Press writers Jill Colvin in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Mead Gruver in Cheyenne, Wyoming, contributed to this report. ___ This story has been corrected to show that Frank Eathorne is the GOP chairman in Wyoming, not Montana. Steve Peoples, The Associated Press
HALIFAX — Nova Scotia's deputy premier and finance minister says she will leave politics when the next provincial election is called. Karen Casey made the announcement following a cabinet meeting today, saying that after 15 years representing the riding of Colchester North, she is ready to retire and wants to spend more time with her grandchildren. Casey says while she had been pondering her future for some time she only made a final decision over the last week. She had served under Premier Stephen McNeil in the education and health portfolios and was named deputy premier in 2017. McNeil, who is leaving politics next month, says he counts Casey as a personal friend and believes she played an "integral role" in helping return the province to fiscal health. Casey was a former interim leader of the Progressive Conservatives and defected to the Liberals in 2011. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
TUNIS, Tunisia — The Tunisian president has denied claims that he made anti-Semitic remarks this week while trying to calm youths after days of unrest. Kais Saied's statement was in response to allegations by the Conference of European Rabbis that he accused Jews of being responsible “for the instability of the country." The CER statement, issued Tuesday, said such talk “constitutes an immediate threat for the physical and moral integrity of Tunisian Jewish Citizens.” The organization asked the head of state to retract his words. The statement, relayed by some Israeli media, caused an uproar, forcing Saied to address the allegations, which his office firmly denied. In a statement Wednesday night, his office denounced the “propagation of false information,” saying it amounted to “calumny.” Saied visited M’nihla-Ettadhamon, outside the capital Tunis, on Tuesday to speak directly with youths after a spate of vandalism and looting in several towns. The Tunisian president, wearing a mask, was not always fully audible in the recording posted by his office of his encounter with the youths. The groundswell of anger grew out of economic and social ills and failed promises of opportunities that flowed from Tunisia’s revolution 10 years ago, The unrest began amid a four-day lockdown that started Jan. 14 — the day Tunisia marked its revolution. “The president mentioned no religion and there was no reasonable motive to deal with the question of religion in the context of protests,” his office's statement said. It said the president spoke with the chief rabbi of Tunisia, Haim Bittan, to reassure him that Tunisian Jews enjoy “the solicitude and protection of the Tunisian state, like all other citizens.” Saied also used the occasion to underscore his fervent defence of Palestinians' rights “to their land,” referring to Israeli-occupied territory, while saying that position is not linked to religious freedom. There are an estimated 1,500 Jews in Tunisia, mainly on the island of Djerba. The Associated Press
A teacher at Roncalli Central High School in Avondale has been arrested for sexual offences against a former student. Noel Strapp, 38, of Harbour Main, has been suspended from his job since the start of the investigation, RCMP said in a release Thursday. He's charged with sexual assault and sexual exploitation for a number of incidents alleged to have happened between 2014 and 2016., according to the release. Holyrood RCMP were contacted on Nov. 25, 2019, by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, which received the original report. Last January, RCMP confirmed they were conducting an investigation into a teacher at the Avondale school, but did not provide any further details. Strapp was released from custody Thursday on a number of conditions and is scheduled to appear in provincial court on March 2. Two teachers in nearby schools have been criminally charged in the past two years. Robin McGrath, principal of Admiral's Academy in Conception Bay South, was charged in March 2019 with four counts of assault on young students with disabilities between kindergarten and Grade 6. Substitute teacher Krysta Grimes was charged with sexual exploitation in August 2019 for an alleged interaction with a student in Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove. Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
According to the government of Alberta COVID-19 website updates as of January 19, 2021, there are 22 new cases of the novel coronavirus in Cardston County- which brings the county to 109 active cases. To compare, during the same time span there have only been 11 new cases in all of Lethbridge, and only one new case in Lethbridge County. The government of Alberta website does not break down the locations of the cases further. The County of Cardston covers a large area of over 3,000 square kilometres of land, which includes 11 hamlets, 2 towns, 2 villages, many Hutterite colonies, and the Kainai Blood Tribe. According to the government of Alberta website there are 16, 459 people living within these boundaries. While no other detailed records could be found on other municipal websites about where each of these cases are across the county, the blood tribe website specifies that 78 cases are currently found on the kainai reserve, leaving 30 elsewhere in the area. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief medical officer of health, stated Tuesday night that the vaccine had begun to be administered. She says “we started with long-term care and designated supportive living facilities because residents in these locations are the most at risk.” Statistics show that two out of every three Albertans who have died from COVID-19 live in these settings, which is why Albertans over the age of 75 will be candidates to receive the vaccine during one the next batch arrives. According to the Alberta regional dashboard website, approximately 3% of residents in the county fall into this age category and 6% of town residents. Elizabeth Thompson-Christensen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temple City Star
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health’s (WDGPH) roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine will be seeing impacts with pause in production lines at Pfizer’s facility. WDGPH announced on Monday (Jan. 18) that they would be making changes to their vaccine program in response to the recent announcement from Pfizer that some production lines at their facility in Belgium are working to increase their overall capacity. Public Health, in a press release, said that the pausing in production will be felt in Ontario and affect deliveries to Guelph for a short period. WDG Public Health will be continuing to move forward with the vaccine supply that they have on hand, but will be making changes to the vaccination clinic; with rescheduling of appointments unavoidable. Those who will be affected by the pause will be contacted directly. Residents, staff, and essential caregivers in long term care and retirement homes will continue to be prioritized for vaccinations. Individuals who have already received the vaccine will be able to get their second does, although for some it will be delayed. Public Health said that the delay in the second dose will not affect individuals developing immunity to the second dose. “Everyone wants to see vaccines arrive as quickly as possible to the region,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO of Wellington-Dufferin- Guelph Public Health. “This delay is only temporary and will allow the manufacturer the ability to provide increased vaccine to Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph in the coming weeks. As an agency, our commitment remains, vaccinating as many people as quickly as possible according to the provincial schedule.” For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine visit www.wdgpublichealth.ca/vaccine. Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press
On a regular patrol of their trail this week, officials with the Morell River Management Cooperative in eastern P.E.I. were dismayed to discover hundreds of pieces of plastic snowflake confetti, likely used in a photo shoot. Confetti bombs containing large amounts of paper or plastic confetti have become popular with people taking photos or videos, especially for social media, and for events like gender reveal parties — pink confetti for a girl, blue for a boy. "We were kind of surprised to find that there," said group co-ordinator Hannah Murnaghan, who outlined her concerns on the organization's Facebook page. The confetti was difficult to clean up because some of it had already been frozen into the ground, she said. It took volunteers a couple of hours to pick up all the pieces using shovels and picking up individual pieces by hand. "We're pretty sure we got all the pieces, but if we hadn't have got them all, rain or wind would have eventually carried them into the river and that would end up impacting the aquatic life," she explained. 'Long, slow death' Plastics left in the environment can have negative consequences on the health of wild animals, says Parks Canada wildlife health specialist Dave McRuer, who works out of the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown. Animals may eat the plastic, which cannot be digested or passed. "This blockage or impaction can lead to starvation and a long, slow death," McRuer said. "Depending on environmental conditions, larger pieces of plastic may break down into microplastics; pieces less than 5 millimetres in length. These are known to negatively impact hormone cycles, reproduction, and growth." Cigarette butts are also a concern, Murnaghan said — toxic chemicals from the filters can leach into the soil and water. "Plastic doesn't belong in the environment," Murnaghan said. "If you take it in with you, take it out, whether you're going for a picnic, a photo shoot, fishing or a hike." She said the people who left the confetti have contacted the organization and apologized, and have also volunteered to help with future clean-up projects. She urges people who want to use confetti to search for biodegradable paper versions rather than plastic. More from CBC P.E.I.
The North Vancouver Island health region had just two new cases of COVID-19 in the second week of January. The first week of January showed three new cases, and the last week of 2020 had just one. The Local Health Area known as Vancouver Island North includes Woss, Zeballos and everything north. Confusingly, the larger Health Service Delivery Area, called North Vancouver Island, includes Campbell River, the Comox valley, Tahsis and Gold River. Vancouver Island West, encompassing Tahsis and Gold River, has not had a new case since it recorded two at the beginning of Dec. 2020. The Greater Campbell River area had three cases in the third week of January, four cases during Jan. 3-9, and four cases in the last week of 2020. Comox Valley, the most populous Local Health Area in the North Island, had nine new cases between Jan. 10-16, down from 18 in Jan. 3-9, and 21 cases in the last week of 2020. Updated Local Health Area data is published weekly. RELATED: B.C. Premier, health officials to discuss next steps in COVID immunization plan Zoë Ducklow, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Island Gazette
NEW YORK — Chris Martin admits that Coldplay’s latest album could have sounded terrible if it wasn’t for one person — mastering engineer Emily Lazar. Like the musical magician she is, Lazar added her special touch to the band’s eighth album “Everyday Life,” which was released in late 2019 and is now competing for the top prize at the 2021 Grammy Awards. Martin describes the universal and political album as “a patchwork quilt of opinions and thoughts about life and humans and the planet and how much we love Nigerian music and how much we love gospel (music) and how much we love, like, old-fashioned, northern European church music.” “All these weird things and sampling from voice memos — in the wrong hands it could have sounded awful.” Lazar came in to save the day — a role she’s played on thousands of albums and a reason she’s making history at this year’s Grammy Awards. For her work on Coldplay’s album, she shares a nomination with Martin and friends for album of the year. Lazar is also the mastering engineer on HAIM’s “Women In Music Pt. III” and Jacob Collier’s “Djesse Vol. 3” — both nominated for album of the year — making Lazar a triple nominee in the Grammys’ biggest category. “You kind of go into a little bit of shock after the first one. You’re not even focused for the next one because you think, ‘That’s it.’ By the time we got to the third one, I almost had to check myself and say, ‘Why are they listing all the records that I worked on?’” Lazar said in a phone interview. Lazar, 49, made history at the 2019 Grammys when she became the first woman to win best engineered album (non-classical) for her work on Beck’s “Colours.” She was the first female mastering engineer to ever be nominated in the album of the year category for her role on Foo Fighter’s “Wasting Light” and she’s the only female mastering engineer nominated for album of the year this year, though engineer/mixers Laura Sisk and Jasmine Chen are competing for their roles on Taylor Swift's “folklore" and HAIM’s third album. “If someone has achieved that in one go, it’s clear proof that they bring something special,” Martin said of Lazar’s record three nods for album of the year. “Recorded music is always followed behind technology. The people that know how to, first of all invent and secondly master that technology, are as worthy of attention and praise as the artist themselves because we can’t exist without the people that invented recording and invented the piano." He added: "Emily is a technician, but she’s very much a musician’s technician. She knows everything about the technology but is always in service of the song or the piece. And that’s hard to find. I don’t know how to switch ProTools on, for example. And some technicians don’t know whether the chorus is good or not. Emily sort of bridges those two worlds so beautifully.” Like many touring musicians and those behind-the-scenes, Lazar started her career in front of the scene as a rock-pop singer-songwriter. But she grew frustrated in the recording studio, feeling like her voice was being silenced from engineers when she had thoughts about how a song should sound. “There was a weird invisible fence between engineers and artists, and it wasn’t inviting, especially as a woman, to be asking questions about how to make things sound a particular way. The assumption was that you were just the artist and you’d show up and you’d do stuff and you wouldn’t get to have a say,” she said. And, of course, she was just one of two women in the room. “There were certainly no other women on the technical side. I did have a female bass player in my band, finally, at one point. I did have a little girl power. It wasn’t enough to go against the entire sea of (men). It was rough. It was a lot of interesting behaviour. It only inspired me to work harder to figure it all out.” She went on to get her master’s degree in music technology and cut her teeth at a music engineering firm where she “learned a lot about how I didn’t want to run a company.” The mastering engineer’s role on most albums comes at end of the album-making process, “putting that final audio polish on an album,” as Lazar describes it. But Lazar always thought differently, and as a freely creative musician and thinker, she wanted to collaborate with artists while they were making their albums. “I learned exactly how to create an environment that felt really comfortable to me as an artist and as an engineer, which I thought would be really comfortable for other people,” said Lazar, who launched her Manhattan-based company, The Lodge, at age 25. “I kind of felt like what I wanted to do didn’t exist. I also felt this feeling that if I didn’t do it, I didn’t really know who would. I really did do it differently. I didn’t think anyone was going to change it. There were no other women and there was no other idea of making a creative collective. It was more of this sterile, weird environment. It was more like a dentist office with rooms and leather couches. It didn’t feel right.” “I took a lot of heat for that originally in the old-school,” she said. “The old-school vibe was, ‘Is this woman crazy?’ I don’t know if they called me a woman. They may have said something more derogatory. ‘Why is she touching that? That’s not her job. Her job is just to do this.’ Now I think the boundaries have blurred a bit. I know there are moments where I’ve been able to jump in and save the day for people.” Lazar has mastered more than 4,000 albums throughout her career, including releases by Björk, David Bowie, Sia, Wu-Tang Clan, Barbra Streisand, the Chainsmokers, Dolly Parton, Lou Reed, Destiny's Child, Depeche Mode, Alanis Morissette, Vampire Weekend, Little Big Town, Morrissey, Natalie Merchant and Tiësto. She reached new heights when she worked as the mastering engineer on The Rolling Stones’ 2020 vinyl reboot of “Goats Heads Soup” as well as the 50th anniversary release of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road,” released in 2019. “You can’t think of anything more important to the rock ‘n’ roll cannon than the Beatles and the Rolling Stones,” she said. “I feel incredibly humbled and blessed to have gotten to play a part in that.” While she’s evaluated in her musical career, Lazar knows it’s important to help bring up others, especially women and minorities in a field dominated by white men. She’s participated in programs like She Is the Music and Women’s Audio Mission because she knows the importance of representation. “I believe that you should work with the best (engineer) for what you’re trying to do: male, female, gay, straight, Black, white, green, whatever. It doesn’t matter to me as long as they have the right creative vibe to what you’re trying to do. It shouldn’t actually matter. Until everyone has a seat at the table, we do have to make an effort to pull the chairs out for some people to get in there to have some dinner,” she said. “No one did for me, but I would like to help that happen.” “I could tell you lots of terrible stories, but I think that focusing on the terrible stories doesn’t necessarily — it may ruin some people’s lives that were total jerks, whether they were aware of it or not,” she continued. “There are moments that I would love to out some of those people, but my inner voice says that it’s really more important to make sure these things don’t happen by creating environments that are more amenable to equality and equity on every level.” Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press