California Gov. Gavin Newsom has appointed Secretary of State Alex Padilla as the state’s next U.S. senator. He will fill the seat being vacated by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Padilla will be California’s first Latino senator. (Dec. 22)
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has appointed Secretary of State Alex Padilla as the state’s next U.S. senator. He will fill the seat being vacated by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Padilla will be California’s first Latino senator. (Dec. 22)
The debate about the U.S. Electoral College pits those who think the president should be chosen via popular vote versus those who believe the interests of small and large states must be balanced.
Qu’il s’agisse des professions en première ligne ou de la gestion de la crise, les femmes sont fréquemment oubliées ou caricaturées, avec des effets pervers en matière d’égalité.
Lakeview Pioneer Lodge reports that of the 31 residents still on site, 30 residents requested and were given the vaccine, and several of the residents experienced some side effects from the vaccine, such as mild nausea. Five residents are continuing to be watched carefully as their health is beginning to decline and family members have been asked to sit with these residents to assist with fluid intake and rehydration efforts. The remaining 26 residents on site are in stable health at this time. The six resident who were transferred to community hospitals in Melfort and Nipawin continue to be in good stable condition. The first of the tree residents in the Nipawin hospital will return to the Lodge today, followed tomorrow by the second resident, and the third resident will be transferred on Tuesday January 19thcompleting the repatriation of the residents from Nipawin. The Board, administration and the staff of Lakeview Pioneer Lodge send a huge thank you to the Nipawin Hospital administration and staff for looking after the Lodge family’s loved ones. On January 20th and 21st, two more residents will make their way back home from the Melfort Hospital. The transfer of the final resident at the Melfort Hospital is pending approval after having a medical assessment completed. Two other residents are in hospital, one in the Intensive Care Unit at Victorian Hospital in Prince Albert and another at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon. The resident in hospital in Saskatoon is being watched for their decreasing health outcomes, with extra attention being paid to mental health and well-being. The Lodge continues to extend their prayers for the families of these two residents and the five that are being monitored on site. This weekend the Lodge will be saying good-bye to some of the labour pool staff who came to help when it was so badly needed and quickly became friends. A sincere thank-you and an immense amount of appreciation goes out to all who have come and helped over the past weeks. Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Wakaw Recorder
KENOVA, W.Va. — Griffith & Feil Drug has been in business since 1892, a family-owned, small-town pharmacy. This isn't their first pandemic. More than a century after helping West Virginians confront the Spanish flu in 1918, the drugstore in Kenova, a community of about 3,000 people, is helping the state lead the nation in COVID-19 vaccine distribution. West Virginia has emerged as an unlikely success in the nation's otherwise chaotic vaccine rollout, largely because of the state's decision to reject a federal partnership with CVS and Walgreens and instead enlist mom-and-pop pharmacies to vaccinate residents against the virus that has killed over 395,000 Americans. More shots have gone into people’s arms per capita across West Virginia than in any other state, with at least 7.5% of the population receiving the first of two shots, according to federal data. West Virginia was the first in the nation to finish offering first doses to all long-term care centres before the end of December, and the state expects to give second doses at those facilities by the end of January. “Boy, have we noticed that. I think the West Virginia model is really one that we would love for a lot more states to adopt,” said John Beckner, a pharmacist who works at the Alexandria, Virginia-based National Community Pharmacists Association, which advocates for pharmacies across the country. It's early in the process, but that has not stopped Republican Gov. Jim Justice from proclaiming that the vaccine effort runs counter to preconceived notions about the Mountaineer State. “Little old West Virginia, that was thought of for hundreds of years, you know, as a place where maybe we were backward or dark or dingy,” Justice said last week. Instead, it turns out that “West Virginia has been the diamond in the rough,” Justice said on CBS’ "Face the Nation" on Sunday. Rather than relying on national chains, 250 local pharmacists set up clinics in rural communities. The fact that residents who may be wary of the vaccine seem to trust them makes a difference. “As my uncle always told me, these people aren’t your customers, they’re your friends and neighbours,” said Ric Griffith, the pharmacist at Griffith & Feil in Kenova, a town near the Kentucky state line. A chatty raconteur and former mayor of Kenova, he can recall generations of patrons frequenting the shop, which is almost unchanged since the 1950s, with a soda fountain and jukebox in the front and prescriptions in the back. Griffith, 71, began taking over the pharmacy from his father in the early 1990s and was elected to the House of Delegates as a Democrat last year. His daughter, Heidi Griffith Romero, 45, followed into the family business and is also administering shots. Holding a vaccination clinic at the town high school, he recalled his uncle telling him he lost four classmates to the 1918 flu pandemic, which killed more than 50 million people worldwide. “And it was a tragedy that I thought I would never be involved with,” he said, taking a break from giving vaccines to teachers aged 50 and over. When Mark Hayes, a middle school guidance counsellor in Kenova, walked up to receive his first dose, he spotted Griffith, who holds local celebrity status for hosting an extravagant annual Halloween pumpkin-carving party that attracts thousands. “I recognized him right away,” Hayes said. “‘The Pumpkin King? Are you giving me the shot?’” Kevin Roberts, a 59-year-old school bus driver in Kenova, said “it makes a difference” for a pharmacist he knows to administer the shots. “I hope that a lot of these skeptics change their mind,” he said. Officials also credit a 50-person command centre at the state’s National Guard headquarters in the capital of Charleston. Inside a cavernous hall, leaders of the vaccine operation and state health officials sit between plexiglass dividers to oversee shipments of the precious doses to five hubs. From there, deliveries go to drugstores and local health departments. CVS has so far declined to work with state officials on vaccinating people at its stores, but Walgreens is participating and has joined in to hold clinics at some nursing homes, officials said. The federal partnership involving both companies would have allowed Washington officials to dictate the terms of nursing home vaccinations, said Marty Wright, the head of the West Virginia Health Care Association, which represents health care companies. “If the state would've activated the federal plan, the state would've had zero control over the situation,” Wright said. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised West Virginia's efforts to vaccinate the elderly. “Expanding eligibility to all of the vulnerable is the fastest way to protect the vulnerable,” Azar said Tuesday at an Operation Warp Speed meeting. He also highlighted Connecticut as a bright spot in the vaccine rollout. Given West Virginia's success so far, leaders are now seeking more doses so they can open vaccinations for more groups. The Griffith & Feil store has had to decline shots for out-of-state customers who caught word of West Virginia's success. The governor recently lowered the age of eligibility for members of the general public to 70. The efforts have not been without errors. The Boone County Health Department was barred from distributing the vaccine last month after it mistakenly gave 44 people an antibody treatment instead of vaccines. The state began vaccinating school workers aged 50 or older less than two weeks ago. The governor wants in-person learning to resume at as many schools as possible by Tuesday, long before teachers will have received their second vaccine doses. As of Sunday, over 130,100 first doses have been administered, and 23,066 people have received both shots in the state with a population of about 1.78 million people. Nearly 55,800 of the first doses have gone to residents aged 65 and older. Mitchel Rothholz, who leads immunization policy at the American Pharmacists Association, said other governors would be wise to enlist local pharmacies. “Especially at a time when you have vaccine hesitancy and concerns in vaccine confidence, having access to a health care provider like a community pharmacist provides a comfort level to the patients and communities,” Rothholz added. ___ Associated Press Writer John Raby contributed to this report. Cuneyt Dil, The Associated Press
La pandémie a donné un coup de frein à la mobilité étudiante dans le monde. Les universités américaines en sont bien sûr affectées. Mais elles font face aussi à une baisse des inscriptions nationales.
WASHINGTON — The Latest on President Donald Trump's impeachment, President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration and the fallout from the Jan. 6 attack of the Capitol by pro-Trump loyalists (all times local): 9:05 a.m. Actor-playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda and rockers Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen are among the stars who will highlight a prime-time virtual celebration televised Wednesday night after Joe Biden is inaugurated as the 46th president. Biden’s inaugural committee announced the lineup Sunday for “Celebrating America,” a multinetwork broadcast that the committee bills as a mix of stars and everyday citizens. Miranda, who wrote and starred in Broadway’s “Hamilton,” will appear for a classical recitation. Musicians John Legend, Demi Lovato and Justin Timberlake, among others, will join Springsteen and Bon Jovi. Actresses Kerry Washington and Eva Longoria will act as hostesses, with former NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also scheduled to appear. The segments will include tributes to a UPS driver, a kindergarten teacher and Sandra Lindsey, the first American to receive the COVID-19 vaccine outside a clinical trial. The broadcast is in lieu of traditional inaugural balls. Biden plans still to be sworn in on the Capitol's West Front, but with a scaled-down ceremony because of the coronavirus and tight security after the Jan. 6 violent insurrection on the Capitol as Congress convened to certify his victory. ___ HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT IMPEACHMENT, THE INAUGURATION AND THE FALLOUT FROM THE JAN. 6 RIOTING AT THE CAPITOL: Across the country, some statehouses are closed, fences are up and extra police are in place as authorities brace for potentially violent demonstrations over the coming days. The safeguards will remain in place leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday. Biden plans to roll back some of President Donald Trump’s most controversial policies and take steps to address the coronavirus pandemic hours after taking office. Read more: — Deceptions in the time of the ‘alternative facts’ president — Biden outlines ‘Day One’ agenda of executive actions — Gen. Milley key to military continuity as Biden takes office — Guard troops pour into Washington as states answer the call — Harris to be sworn in by Justice Sotomayor at inauguration — Biden to prioritize legal status for millions of immigrants — Will Trump’s mishandling of records leave a hole in history? — Biden says his advisers will lead with ‘science and truth’ — More backlash for GOP’s Hawley as Loews Hotel cancels event ___ HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON: 8 a.m. Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris will resign her Senate seat on Monday, two days before she and President-elect Joe Biden are inaugurated. Aides to the California Democrat confirm the timing and say Gov. Gavin Newsom is aware of her decision. That clears the way for Newsom to appoint fellow Democrat Alex Padilla, now California’s secretary of state, to serve the final two years of Harris’ term. Padilla will be the first Latino senator from California, where about 40% of residents are Hispanic. Harris will give no farewell Senate floor speech. The Senate isn’t scheduled to reconvene until Tuesday, the eve of Inauguration Day. ___ 3 a.m. The threat of extremist groups descending on state capitals in a series of demonstrations Sunday prompted governors to roll out a massive show of force and implement tight security measures at statehouses across the country. Fencing, boarded-up windows and lines of police and National Guard troops have transformed statehouse grounds ahead of expected demonstrations leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday. The stepped-up security measures were intended to safeguard seats of government from the type of violence that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, when a mob supporting President Donald Trump overran the building while Congress was certifying the Electoral College vote. The FBI has warned of the potential for armed protests in the nation’s capital and all 50 state capitals. Some social media messages had targeted Sunday for demonstrations, though it remained unclear how many people might show up. The Associated Press
Un immense projet d’exploitation de charbon métallurgique à ciel ouvert dans les Rocheuses, signifiant ni plus ni moins la « décapitation » des montagnes, fait débat en Alberta. Une filiale de la compagnie Riversdale Resources Limited, Benga Mining Limited, propose de construire et d’exploiter une mine pour produire de l’acier, près de Crowsnest Pass, à sept kilomètres au nord de la communauté de Blairmore, dans le sud-ouest de l’Alberta. Le projet Grassy Mountain, s’il aboutit, produirait 4,5 millions de tonnes de charbon métallurgique par an, et ce, durant 25 ans. Ce projet minier trouve actuellement un écho négatif dans la province. « Il n’a pas fait l’objet d’une consultation publique auprès des Albertains », déplore Leor Rotchild, directeur de l’association professionnelle Canadian Business for Social Responsability, basée à Calgary. Cependant, le gouvernement fédéral a annoncé le 19 mars 2020 le début d’une période de consultation publique, qui se terminait vendredi. Le 1er juin dernier, afin de faciliter le projet, le premier ministre, Jason Kenney, a levé l’interdiction d’une réglementation environnementale datant de 1976. Le gouvernement albertain a décidé en effet de ne pas la renouveler en la laissant expirer. Cette réglementation interdisait jusqu’à présent les compagnies de charbon d’extraire du minerai à ciel ouvert le long des pentes des montagnes Rocheuses. Dans certaines zones, l’exploitation souterraine était elle aussi limitée, en fonction des effets qu’elle pouvait occasionner en surface. La ministre de l’Énergie, Sonya Savage, avait salué la nouvelle, voyant dans cette décision un moyen « d’attirer de nouveaux investissements pour une industrie importante ». Cependant, Leor Rotchild, l’entrepreneur écomilitant, y voit un manque de vision. « Je comprends que le gouvernement cherche à créer désespérément de l’activité économique en Alberta, mais le désespoir est une mauvaise stratégie », lance-t-il. Pour ce faire, il faudrait décapiter le haut de la montagne, à l’instar du projet minier de Teck Resources à Elk Valley, se situant entre l’Alberta et la Colombie-Britannique. « Quand tu élimines le haut d’une montagne, c’est très mauvais pour le tourisme, surtout en période de crise économique, car ce secteur est important ici. Ça sera difficile de continuer comme avant », explique Joseph Vipond, président de l’Association canadienne des médecins pour l’environnement. Cependant, il n’y a pas que le secteur touristique qui risque des dommages collatéraux. La faune est elle aussi en danger, l’habitat des caribous, des grizzlys, ainsi que celui de certaines espèces de truites étant menacés. En Colombie-Britannique, d’après le Dr Vipond, « il a déjà été démontré que ces mines de charbon à ciel ouvert rejettent de fortes concentrations d’un élément appelé sélénium, que l’on retrouve dans le bassin de la rivière Elk ». Aujourd’hui, « ce qui effraie vraiment les Albertains, c’est la contamination de l’eau potable. On retrouve maintenant dans toutes les rivières du sud-est [de la Colombie-Britannique] cet élément qui tue tous les poissons. C’est un phénomène qu’on devrait éviter ici », alerte-t-il. Ces concentrations de sélénium dans l’eau inquiètent aussi les éleveurs de l’Alberta quant aux effets sur l’agriculture et leur élevage. « La qualité de l’eau a une répercussion sur les bovins », précise Joseph Vipond. Le Conseil des Canadiens, une organisation citoyenne, s’est exprimé clairement sur son compte Twitter en invitant les gens à répondre jusqu’à vendredi à la consultation publique lancée par l’Agence d’évaluation d’impact du Canada. « Décapiter les montagnes et ouvrir de nouvelles mines de charbon ne devraient pas être une option en 2021, l’audition pour le projet de mine de charbon de Grassy Mountain dans les montagnes Rocheuses continue d’avancer. Dites non au charbon », tweetent-ils. Les professionnels du charbon, eux, se déclarent satisfaits, a indiqué Robin Campbell, président de l’Association canadienne du charbon et ancien ministre provincial de l’Environnement. Ce projet de mine, s’il voit le jour, créerait dans la région de Crowsnest Pass, ancienne ville minière, 500 emplois durant sa construction et 385 postes à plein temps durant son exploitation. Selon l’Association canadienne du charbon, l’estimation des recettes fiscales de Grassy Mountain s’élèverait à plus de 1,7 milliard de dollars de redevances et de taxes gouvernementales, sur environ 25 ans. Les taxes municipales devraient, elles, s’élever à 1,5 million de dollars par an, soit 35 millions de dollars en un quart de siècle. Cependant, il faudra encore attendre le résultat des consultations publiques sur ce projet qui divise l’opinion publique.Hélène Lequitte, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Devoir
MOSCOW — Russia’s prison service said opposition leader Alexei Navalny was detained at a Moscow airport after returning from Germany on Sunday. The prison service said he was detained for multiple violations of parole and terms of a suspended prison sentence and would be held in custody until a court makes a decision in his case. Navalny had spent the previous five months in Germany recovering from a nerve agent attack that he blamed on the Kremlin, and the prison service earlier said that his being outside the country violated terms of a 2014 suspended sentence for embezzlement. THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below. The plane carrying Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny landed Sunday in Moscow, where he faces the threat of arrest. But the flight landed at a different airport than had been scheduled, a possible attempt to outwit journalists and supporters who wanted to witness the return. Navalny, who is President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent and determined foe, was returning from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from poisoning by a nerve agent, which he blames on the Kremlin. Russia’s prison service last week issued a warrant for his arrest, saying he had violated the terms of suspended sentence he received on a 2014 conviction for embezzlement. The prison service has asked a Moscow court to turn Navalny’s 3 1/2-year suspended sentence into a real one. After boarding the Moscow flight in Berlin on Sunday, Navalny said of the prospect of arrest: “It’s impossible; I’m an innocent man.” The Kremlin has repeatedly denied a role in the opposition leader’s poisoning. Navalny supporters and journalists had come to Moscow's Vnukovo Airport, where the plane was scheduled to land, but it ended up touching down at Sheremetyevo airport, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) away. There was no immediate explanation for the flight diversion. The OVD-Info group, which monitors political arrests, said at least 37 people were arrested at Vnukovo Airport, although their affiliations weren't immediately clear. Vnukovo banned journalists from working inside the terminal, saying in a statement last week that the move was due to epidemiological concerns. The airport also blocked off access to the international arrivals area. Police prisoner-detention vehicles stood outside the terminal on Sunday. The independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta and opposition social media reported Sunday that several Navalny supporters in St. Petersburg had been removed from Moscow-bound trains or been prevented from boarding flights late Saturday and early Sunday, including the co-ordinator of his staff for the region of Russia’s second-largest city. Navalny fell into a coma while aboard a domestic flight from Siberia to Moscow on Aug. 20. He was transferred from a hospital in Siberia to a Berlin hospital two days later. Labs in Germany, France and Sweden, and tests by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, established that he was exposed to a Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent. Russian authorities insisted that the doctors who treated Navalny in Siberia before he was airlifted to Germany found no traces of poison and have challenged German officials to provide proof of his poisoning. They refused to open a full-fledged criminal inquiry, citing a lack of evidence that Navalny was poisoned. Last month, Navalny released the recording of a phone call he said he made to a man he described as an alleged member of a group of officers of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, who purportedly poisoned him in August and then tried to cover it up. The FSB dismissed the recording as fake. ___ Geir Moulson in Berlin, and Jim Heintz in Moscow, contributed to this report. Mstyslav Chernov, The Associated Press
MADRID — Third-division Spanish club Navalcarnero upset Eibar 3-1 to reach the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey on Sunday. Juan Esnáider, son of former Argentina forward Juan Eduardo Esnáider, scored twice for the small club from Madrid which will be playing in the last 16 of the Copa for the first time. Japanese forward Yoshinori Muto put Eibar ahead in the 16th minute and Manuel Jaimez equalized for the hosts from the penalty spot in the 30th before the 28-year-old Esnáider scored in the 61st and 79th minutes. Juan Eduardo Esnáider played in Spain in the 1990s, including for Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid. He also played for Argentina’s national team. Eibar had barely escaped elimination in the previous round, when it needed extra time to get past Las Rozas, another third-division club from Madrid. All other first-division clubs avoided upsets against lower-division clubs on Sunday. Valencia defeated Alcorcón 2-0, Villarreal edged Tenerife 1-0, Real Betis beat Sporting Gijón 2-0, Granada eliminated Málaga 2-1 and Osasuna got past Espanyol 2-0. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
A Saskatchewan man is braving the winter elements in a bid to raise awareness of the opioid epidemic. Ilajah Pidskalny is cycling from Saskatoon to Vancouver and shares the details of his journey so far.
Nine witnesses have taken the stand so far at the trial of Thomas Whittle in Corner Brook. The 29-year-old is accused of dangerous driving causing death and impaired driving causing death after the snowmobile he was driving collided with a taxi near Marble Mountain in 2017. Whittle's passenger, Justyn Pollard, was killed. Whittle is representing himself at trial, and apologized to jurors as he cross-examined RCMP forensic identification specialist Constable Jonathan Moran for entering and examining Pollard's autopsy photographs. Whittle said the photos would be hard for the jury of nine women and four men to see, but he requested they be entered as evidence so jurors could see bruising on Pollard's left hip and shoulder. Family members of Pollard's were present in the courtroom as the photos scrolled across a projected screen as Moran described each one, and at least one of them was obviously distraught. No helmets So far, the court has heard from witnesses including taxi drivers, taxi passengers, first responders, police officers and residents of Humber Valley Resort. They described seeing a snowmobile, going at a high speed, driving across a bridge around 4 a.m. on Feb. 19, 2017, and colliding head-on with a taxi van that had pulled over to the side of the entrance to the bridge. Video surveillance of the crash was also presented at trial, and clearly showed a snowmobile moving quickly on the bridge. Many witnesses testified that neither Whittle or Pollard were wearing helmets, winter coats, hats or mittens at the time. The driver of the Dodge Caravan taxi van was John Hardy, who works for Birchy Cabs. He told the court that Jibfest, a popular music festival at Marble Mountain, was happening that weekend and he was very busy bringing passengers back and forth from Humber Valley Resort to Marble Mountain. Hardy told the court he was approaching the bridge to enter the resort when he saw a bright light coming toward him and quickly pulled over. He then told the front passenger, Alex Robbins, 'I think this is going to hit us, brace yourself'. When Robins testified, he told Crown Attorney Renee Coates he can remember seeing two individuals on the ground near the snowmobile after the collision, and he recalls Whittle getting up and asking repeatedly if everyone was alright. Robbins said Whittle was quite distraught. Feeling no pain Little Rapids and Steady Brook volunteer Fire Chief Shawn Leamon was one of the first people to arrive at the scene, moments after 4 a.m, and said Pollard was not responsive at that time. Later, Pollard was taken to Western Memorial Regional Hospital and died of his injuries. Leamon said he can remember hearing Whittle say to the paramedics, "I have a good buzz on. I'm not feeling any pain," as he was assisting him onto the stretcher and into the ambulance. "There were no obvious signs that I could see any kind of alcohol or paraphernalia from drug use. Sometimes trauma can have an impact on an individual as well. The comment made me believe there were other factors involved," he said to the court. Since Whittle is representing himself during the three-week-long trial, he frequently asks Justice George Murphy for breaks so he can consult with Randy Piercey; a criminal defence lawyer who was appointed by Justice Murphy to aid in proceedings, but not make decisions for Whittle. The Crown will be calling witnesses for two or three more days, and then Whittle will have the opportunity to call his own evidence. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Small groups of right-wing protesters — some of them carrying rifles — gathered outside heavily fortified statehouses around the country Sunday, outnumbered by National Guard troops and police brought in to prevent a repeat of the violence that erupted at the U.S. Capitol. As darkness fell, there were no reports of any clashes. Security was stepped up in recent days after the FBI warned of the potential for armed protests in Washington and at all 50 state capitol buildings ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday. Crowds of only a dozen or two demonstrated at some boarded-up, cordoned-off statehouses, while the streets in many other capital cities remained empty. Some protesters said they were there to back President Donald Trump. Others said they had instead come to voice their support for gun rights or decry government overreach. “I don’t trust the results of the election,” said Michigan protester Martin Szelag, a 67-year-old semi-retired window salesman from Dearborn Heights. He wore a sign around his neck that read, in part, “We will support Joe Biden as our President if you can convince us he won legally. Show us the proof! Then the healing can begin.” As the day wore on with no bloodshed around the U.S., a sense of relief spread among officials, though they were not ready to let their guard down. The heavy law enforcement presence may have kept turnout down. In the past few days, some extremists had warned others against falling into what they called a law enforcement trap. Washington State Patrol spokesman Chris Loftis said he hoped the apparently peaceful day reflected some soul-searching among Americans. “I would love to say that it’s because we’ve all taken a sober look in the mirror and have decided that we are a more unified people than certain moments in time would indicate,” he said. The security measures were intended to safeguard seats of government from the type of violence that broke out at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, when far-right Trump supporters galvanized by his false claims that the election had been stolen from him overran the police and bashed their way into the building while Congress was certifying the Electoral College vote. The attack left a Capitol police officer and four others dead. More than 125 people have been arrested over the insurrection. Dozens of courts, election officials and Trump’s own attorney general have all said there was no evidence of widespread fraud in the presidential race. On Sunday, some statehouses were surrounded by new security fences, their windows were boarded up, and extra officers were on patrol. Legislatures generally were not in session over the weekend. Tall fences also surrounded the U.S. Capitol. The National Mall was closed to the public, and the mayor of Washington asked people not to visit. Some 25,000 National Guard troops from around the country are expected to arrive in the city in the coming days. U.S. defence officials told The Associated Press those troops would be vetted by the FBI to ward off any threat of an insider attack on the inauguration. The roughly 20 protesters who showed up at Michigan’s Capitol, including some who were armed, were significantly outnumbered by law enforcement officers and members of the media. Tensions have been running high in the state since authorities foiled a plot to kidnap Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last year. At the Ohio Statehouse, about two dozen people, including several carrying long guns, protested outside under the watchful eyes of state troopers before dispersing as it began to snow. Kathy Sherman, who was wearing a visor with “Trump” printed on it, said she supports the president but distanced herself from the mob that breached the U.S. Capitol. "I’m here to support the right to voice a political view or opinion without fear of censorship, harassment or the threat of losing my job or being physically assaulted,” she said. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, said he was pleased with the outcome but stressed that authorities "continue to have concerns for potential violence in the coming days, which is why I intend to maintain security levels at the Statehouse as we approach the presidential inauguration.” Utah's new governor, Republican Spencer Cox, shared photos on his Twitter account showing him with what appeared to be hundreds of National Guard troops and law enforcement officers standing behind him, all wearing masks. Cox called the quiet protests a best-case scenario and said many ”agitating groups" had cancelled their plans for the day. At Oregon's Capitol, fewer than a dozen men wearing military-style outfits, black ski masks and helmets stood nearby with semiautomatic weapons slung across their bodies. Some had upside-down American flags and signs reading such things as “Disarm the government.” At the Texas Capitol, Ben Hawk walked with about a dozen demonstrators up to the locked gates carrying a bullhorn and an AR-15 rifle hanging at the side of his camouflage pants. He condemned the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and said he did not support Trump. “All we came down here to do today was to discuss, gather, network and hang out. And it got blown and twisted completely out of proportion,” Hawk said. At Nevada's Capitol, where demonstrators supporting Trump have flocked most weekends in recent months, all was quiet except for a lone protester with a sign. “Trump Lost. Be Adults. Go Home,” it read. More than a third of governors had called out the National Guard to help protect their capitols and assist local law enforcement. Several governors declared states of emergency, and others closed their capitols to the public until after Biden's inauguration. Some legislatures also cancelled sessions or pared back their work for the coming week. Even before the violence at the Capitol, some statehouses had been the target of vandals and angry protesters during the past year. Last spring, armed protesters entered the Michigan Capitol to object to coronavirus lockdowns. People angry over the death of George Floyd under a Minneapolis police officer's knee vandalized capitols in several states, including Colorado, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. Last last month, crowds in Oregon forced their way into the Capitol in Salem to protest its closure to the public during a special legislative session on coronavirus measures. Amid the potential for violence in the coming days, the building's first-floor windows were boarded up and the National Guard was brought in. "The state capitol has become a fortress,” said Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney, a Democrat. “I never thought I’d see that. It breaks my heart.” ___ Associated Press writers Farnoush Amiri in Columbus, Ohio; Gillian Flaccus in Salem, Oregon; Mike Householder and David Eggert in Lansing, Michigan; Meg Kinnard in Columbia, South Carolina; Rachel La Corte in Olympia, Washington; Sam Metz in Carson City, Nevada; Marc Scolforo in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Paul Weber in Austin, Texas, contributed to this report. David A. Lieb And Adam Geller, The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Phil Spector, the eccentric and revolutionary music producer who transformed rock music with his “Wall of Sound” method and who later was convicted of murder, has died. He was 81. California state prison officials said he died Saturday of natural causes at a hospital. Spector was convicted of murdering actress Lana Clarkson in 2003 at his castle-like mansion on the edge of Los Angeles. After a trial in 2009, he was sentenced to 19 years to life. While most sources give Spector’s birth date as 1940, it was listed as 1939 in court documents following his arrest. His lawyer subsequently confirmed that date to The Associated Press. Clarkson, star of “Barbarian Queen” and other B-movies, was found shot to death in the foyer of Spector’s mansion in the hills overlooking Alhambra, a modest suburban town on the edge of Los Angeles. Until the actress’ death, which Spector maintained was an “accidental suicide,” few residents even knew the mansion belonged to the reclusive producer, who spent his remaining years in a prison hospital east of Stockton. Decades before, Spector had been hailed as a visionary for channeling Wagnerian ambition into the three-minute song, creating the “Wall of Sound” that merged spirited vocal harmonies with lavish orchestral arrangements to produce such pop monuments as “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Be My Baby” and “He’s a Rebel.” He was the rare self-conscious artist in rock’s early years and cultivated an image of mystery and power with his dark shades and impassive expression. Tom Wolfe declared him the “first tycoon of teen.” Bruce Springsteen and Brian Wilson openly replicated his grandiose recording techniques and wide-eyed romanticism, and John Lennon called him “the greatest record producer ever.” The secret to his sound: an overdubbed onslaught of instruments, vocals and sound effects that changed the way pop records were recorded. He called the result, “Little symphonies for the kids.” By his mid-20s his “little symphonies” had resulted in nearly two dozen hit singles and made him a millionaire. “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” the operatic Righteous Brothers ballad which topped the charts in 1965, has been tabulated as the song most played on radio and television — counting the many cover versions — in the 20th century. But thanks in part to the arrival of the Beatles, his chart success would soon fade. When “River Deep-Mountain High,” an aptly-named 1966 release that featured Tina Turner, failed to catch on, Spector shut down his record label and withdrew from the business for three years. He would go on to produce the Beatles and Lennon among others, but he was now serving the artists, instead of the other way around. In 1969, Spector was called in to salvage the Beatles’ “Let It Be” album, a troubled “back to basics” production marked by dissension within the band. Although Lennon praised Spector’s work, bandmate Paul McCartney was enraged, especially when Spector added strings and a choir to McCartney’s “The Long and Winding Road.” Years later, McCartney would oversee a remixed “Let it Be,” removing Spector’s contributions. A documentary of the making of Lennon’s 1971 “Imagine” album showed the ex-Beatle clearly in charge, prodding Spector over a backing vocal, a line none of Spector’s early artists would have dared cross. Spector worked on George Harrison’s acclaimed post-Beatles triple album, “All Things Must Pass,” co-produced Lennon’s “Imagine,” and the less successful “Some Time in New York City,” which included Spector’s picture over a caption that read, “To Know Him is to Love Him.” Spector also had a memorable film role, a cameo as a drug dealer in “Easy Rider.” The producer himself was played by Al Pacino in a 2013 HBO movie. “A genius irredeemably conflicted, he was the ultimate example of the Art always being better than the Artist, having made some of the greatest records in history based on the salvation of love while remaining incapable of giving or receiving love his whole life," Steven Van Zandt of Springsteen's E Street Band said Sunday on Twitter. The volume, and violence, of Spector’s music reflected a dark side he could barely contain even at his peak. He was imperious, temperamental and dangerous, remembered bitterly by Darlene Love, Ronnie Spector and others who worked with him. Years of stories of his waving guns at recording artists in the studio and threatening women would come back to haunt him after Clarkson’s death. According to witnesses she had agreed, somewhat reluctantly, to accompany him home from the Sunset Strip’s House of Blues in West Hollywood, where she worked Shortly after their arrival in Alhambra in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 3, 2003, a chauffeur reported Spector came out of the house holding a gun, blood on his hands, and told him, “I think I killed somebody.” He would later tell friends Clarkson had shot herself. The case was fraught with mystery, and it took authorities a year to file charges. In the meantime, Spector remained free on $1 million bail. When he was finally indicted for murder, he lashed out at authorities, angrily telling reporters: “The actions of the Hitler-like DA and his storm trooper henchmen are reprehensible, unconscionable and despicable.” As a defendant, his eccentricity took centre stage. He would arrive in court for pretrial hearings in theatrical outfits, usually featuring high-heeled boots, frock coats and wildly styled wigs. He arrived at one hearing in a chauffeur-driven stretch Hummer. Once the 2007 trial began, however, he toned down his attire. It ended in a 10-2 deadlock leaning toward conviction. His defence had argued that the actress, despondent about her fading career, shot herself through the mouth. A retrial got underway in October 2008. “Lana Clarkson was a warm, compassionate, kind, loving woman who would be 58 years old now. Her energy, brightness and love of life have sustained her family since her murder 18 years ago in 2003," Clarkson's mother, Donna Clarkson, said in a statement Sunday. Harvey Phillip Spector, in his mid-60s when he was charged with murder, had been born on Dec. 26, 1939, in New York City’s borough of the Bronx. Bernard Spector, his father, was an ironworker. His mother, Bertha, was a seamstress. In 1947, Spector’s father killed himself because of family indebtedness, an event that would shape his son’s life in many ways. Four years later, Spector’s mother moved the family to Los Angeles, where Phil attended Fairfax High School, located in a largely Jewish neighbourhood on the edge of Hollywood. For decades the school has been a source of future musical talent. At Fairfax, Spector performed in talent shows and formed a group called the Teddy Bears with friends. He was reserved and insecure, but his musical abilities were obvious. He had perfect pitch and easily learned to play several instruments. He was just 17 when his group recorded its first hit single, a romantic ballad written and produced by Spector that would become a pop classic: “To Know Him is to Love Him,” was inspired by the inscription on his father’s tombstone. A short, skinny kid with big dreams and growing demons, Spector went on to attend the University of California, Los Angeles for a year before dropping out to return to New York. He briefly considered becoming a French interpreter at the United Nations before falling in with the musicians at New York’s celebrated Brill Building. The Broadway edifice was then at the heart of popular music’s Tin Pan Alley, where writers, composers, singers and musicians turned out hit songs. He began working with star composers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who had met at Fairfax High a few years before Spector arrived. Ultimately, he found his niche in producing. During this period he also co-wrote the hit song, “Spanish Harlem,” with Ben E. King, and played lead guitar on the Drifters’ “On Broadway.” “I had come back to New York from California where there were all these green lawns and trees, and there was just this poverty and decay in Harlem,” he would recall later. “The song was an expression of hope and faith in the young people of Harlem ... that there would be better times ahead.” For a time he had his own production company, Philles Records, with partner Lester Silles, where he developed his signature sound. He assembled such respected studio musicians as arranger Jack Nitzsche, guitarist Tommy Tedesco, pianist Leon Russell and drummer Hal Blaine, and gave early breaks to Glen Campbell, Sonny Bono and Bono’s future wife, Cher. In the early 1960s, he had hit after hit and one notable flop: the album “A Christmas Gift to You,” released, tragically, on Nov. 22, 1963, the day President Kennedy was assassinated, the worst possible time for such a joyous record. “A Christmas Gift,” featuring the Ronettes singing “Frosty the Snowman” and Love’s version of “White Christmas,” is now considered a classic and a perennial radio favourite during the holiday season. Spector’s domestic life, along with his career, eventually came apart. After his first marriage, to Annette Merar, broke up, Ronettes leader singer Ronnie Bennett became his girlfriend and muse. He married her in 1968 and they adopted three children. But she divorced him after six years, claiming in a memoir that he held her prisoner in their mansion, where she said he kept a gold coffin in the basement and told her he would kill her and put her in it if she ever tried to leave him. When the Ronettes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, Spector sent along his congratulations. But in an acceptance speech by his ex-wife, she never mentioned him while thanking numerous other people. On Sunday Ronnie Spector said, “he was a brilliant producer, but a lousy husband.” “Unfortunately Phil was not able to live and function outside of the recording studio,” she wrote on Instagram. “Darkness set in, many lives were damaged. I still smile whenever I hear the music we made together, and always will. The music will be forever.” Darlene Love also feuded with him, accusing Spector of failing to credit her for her vocals on “He’s a Rebel” and other songs, but she did praise him when inducted into the Hall. Spector himself became a Hall member in 1989. As his marriages deteriorated, recording artists also began to quit working with Spector and musical styles passed him by. He preferred singles to albums, calling the latter, “Two hits and 10 pieces of junk.” He initially refused to record his music in multichannel stereo, claiming the process damaged the sound. A Spector box set retrospective was called “Back to Mono.” By the mid-1970s, Spector had largely retreated from the music business. He would emerge occasionally to work on special projects, including Leonard Cohen’s album, “Death of a Ladies’ Man” and The Ramones’ “End of the Century.” Both were marred by reports of Spector’s instability. In 1973, Lennon worked on an album of rock ‘n roll oldies with Spector, only to have Spector disappear with the tapes. The finished work, “Rock ‘n’ Roll,” didn’t come out until 1975. In 1982 Spector married Janis Lynn Zavala and the couple had twins, Nicole and Phillip Jr. The boy died at age 10 of leukemia. Six months before his first murder trial began, Spector married Rachelle Short, a 26-year-old singer and actress who accompanied him to court every day. He filed for divorce in 2016. In a 2005 court deposition, he testified that he had been on medication for manic depression for eight years. “No sleep, depression, mood changes, mood swings, hard to live with, hard to concentrate, just hard — a hard time getting through life,” he said. “I’ve been called a genius and I think a genius is not there all the time and has borderline insanity.” ___ Linda Deutsch is a retired special correspondent for The Associated Press. The Spector murder trial was one of many sensational cases she covered during her 48-year career as a Los Angeles-based trial reporter. Christopher Weber And Linda Deutsch, The Associated Press
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SHEFFIELD, England — Tanguy Ndombele's audacious hooked shot completed Tottenham's 3-1 victory at Sheffield United on Sunday, giving Jose Mourinho's side a first away success in the Premier League in two months. Played in by a Steven Bergwijn chipped pass, Ndombele used the outside of his boot to lob goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale and the ball landed in the far corner. It restored Tottenham's two-goal cushion in the 62nd minute after David McGoldrick glanced home John Fleck’s cross three minutes earlier for the last-place team. Tottenham needed only five minutes to go ahead. Bergwijn saw his strike tipped over by Ramsdale and Serge Aurier headed in from Son Heung-min’s resulting corner. After Son hit the post, Tottenham eventually got its second in the 40th through Harry Kane's 12th goal of the league campaign. The striker received the ball from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, then turned and drilled a low shot into the corner from the edge of the area. Spurs, who have thrown away 10 points from winning positions this season, might have been feeling nervy, but Ndombele came to rescue with his goal-of-the-season contender. “It was a good performance,” Mourinho said. "Again, 2-0 at halftime was not enough for what we built, for what we created. “And again, a very, very basic mistake, 2-1 and the game is open again but a great mentality and an amazing action and incredible goal, but it should be a bigger result. There was good energy from the team, consistent, strong-minded, dominant, pressing a lot." Tottenham moved up to fourth ahead of fifth-place Manchester City, which plays Crystal Palace later Sunday. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
The Regina Police Service is hoping the public can help them solve a robbery investigation after a business in the 2300 block of 9th Avenue North was robbed Saturday afternoon. Two men and a woman were inside the store when one man brought some items up to the till. That man then took a gun out, grabbed the items from the counter and ran. The other man and woman followed him. The man with the gun is described as wearing a red track suit with a white strip on the sleeve, a black mask and a black hat on backwards. The other man had a black Calgary Flames sweater on with a "C" on the front and was wearing dark pants and a dark mask. The woman had a black toque on with a white mask and a light blue parka with fur on the collar. Anyone with information is asked to call Regina police at 306-777-6500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. More from CBC News:
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