On #BellLetsTalk Day, Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse discusses how he’s kept himself motivated and sharp over the past nine months and discloses what songs he’s learning on the guitar.
On #BellLetsTalk Day, Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse discusses how he’s kept himself motivated and sharp over the past nine months and discloses what songs he’s learning on the guitar.
The Champions League talking points ahead of the first set of second-leg matches in the round of 16 on Tuesday and Wednesday: JUVENTUS VS. PORTO (first leg: 1-2) Álvaro Morata is finding his best form at the right time for Juventus. Morata had not scored in the league since December and was sidelined recently with illness but the Juventus forward has scored three times in his last two matches -- including in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Lazio. Morata has scored six goals in this season’s Champions League, two more than teammate Cristiano Ronaldo. The 36-year-old Ronaldo was given some much-needed rest at the weekend and went on only for the final 20 minutes, which should leave him fresh for Tuesday's match against Porto. Juventus has been dealing with illness and injuries. Coach Andrea Pirlo hopes Giorgio Chiellini and Matthijs de Ligt will recover in time to play Porto. Forward Paulo Dybala is still sidelined, while Rodrigo Bentancur is also out after contracting the coronavirus. Porto also has some injury problems, including defender Pepe with a right leg ailment. DORTMUND VS. SEVILLA (3-2) Borussia Dortmund’s 4-2 loss to Bundesliga rival Bayern Munich at the weekend could leave its mark for Tuesday’s visit from Sevilla. Star striker Erling Haaland, who scored twice in Dortmund’s 3-2 win over Sevilla in the first leg, was taken off early with stud marks on the back of his right ankle after a nasty challenge from Jérôme Boateng. Although Haaland told Dortmund coach Edin Terzic “it wouldn’t be a big problem.” The loss in Munich marked the end of Dortmund’s four-game winning run across all competitions. The team was without Jadon Sancho, Raphaël Guerreiro and Gio Reyna. All three face a race to be fit for Tuesday. Sevilla has been struggling since the first-leg loss to Dortmund, losing three of its four matches since then. It is coming off a loss to relegation-threatened Elche in the Spanish league, and was eliminated by Barcelona in the semifinals of the Copa del Rey despite a 2-0 first-leg win. PSG VS. BARCELONA (4-1) Barcelona seems like a different team to the one which played so badly in the second half at home to PSG. Ronald Koeman’s lineup is 16 games unbeaten in the league and the defence appears to be considerably stronger now that he has ditched the ineffective 4-3-3 formation for a 3-5-2 system which offers his central defenders more protection. Veteran defender Gerard Pique is a doubtful starter for the game, however, after hurting his knee midweek. A lot will rest Wednesday on Barça’s French defenders Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti, with PSG is almost at full strength. Goal-scoring winger Angel Di Maria is back from injury and Neymar is close to a return after getting back to training. PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino may see no valid reason to drop the 4-2-3-1 formation which worked so well in Spain, with Kylian Mbappe helping himself to three goals despite playing wide and not as the central striker. Even though PSG defends a big lead at Parc des Princes, there may be some nerves about facing Lionel Messi in top form once again. PSG went out after losing 6-1 in Spain in 2017 having won the home leg 4-0. But this Barcelona lineup is not as strong as the 2017 squad, and PSG is more resilient now. LIVERPOOL VS. LEIPZIG (2-0) The teams return to neutral territory at the Puskas Arena in Budapest with Liverpool's two-goal cushion perhaps not as commanding as it seems given the team's recent problems, particularly in its injury-hit defence. The pressure is on the soon-to-be-deposed English champions because winning the Champions League might be the most likely route back into the competition for next season. Juergen Klopp's squad currently sits outside the Premier League's top four. Leipzig is on a six-game winning run in the Bundesliga and briefly took over top spot on Saturday. Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann omitted Angeliño from the team that beat Freiburg 3-0, but dampened hopes the Spanish winger will return in time for Liverpool. Uncharacteristic defensive lapses helped Liverpool in the first leg. The game is again taking place in the Hungarian capital due to German restrictions on visitors amid the coronavirus pandemic. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
Several provinces were preparing to loosen COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday, as Canada's chief public health officer expressed optimism over vaccines ahead of the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 crisis.The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic last March 11, and Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said it's been a difficult 12 months marked by hardship and sacrifice."Yet, as the months have gone by, I have also witnessed the remarkable courage, strength, and generosity demonstrated by Canadians," she wrote in a statement."Through it all, it is the incredible support that Canadians have shown for one another that has impressed me the most."Tam expressed optimism that brighter days were coming, thanks to the recent approvals of the Johnson & Johnson and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines."This week has been a very good week for Canada's COVID-19 vaccination programs," she wrote.The anniversary comes as all provinces are expanding their mass vaccination programs and some are loosening restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of the virus.Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick are among the provinces preparing to lift restrictions on Monday after weeks of stable or declining cases. A stay-at-home order in Ontario's Toronto, Peel and North Bay regions will lift on Monday, while five Quebec regions, including Quebec City, will be downgraded from red to orange on the province's colour-coded regional alert system.All of New Brunswick will transition to the less-restrictive "yellow" alert level Sunday at midnight, meaning residents can expand their contacts from 10 to 15 people and team sports activities may resume.Canada's two biggest cities will remain under fairly strict restrictions, however. Toronto — and neighbouring Peel Region — will enter the "grey lockdown" category, which will allow more retailers to open, with restrictions, but leaves gyms, personal care services and indoor restaurant dining closed.The greater Montreal region remains a red zone, which means an 8 p.m. curfew is still in effect.Tam said the addition of the two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster and help ease the worries surrounding supply disruptions or setbacks.In a long message, Tam said it is not that it is not possible to directly compare the efficacy of different vaccines to one another."Each vaccine was studied in a separate trial conducted at different times, using different populations and conditions," she wrote.She said the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, manufactured by Janssen, was shown to be 66 per cent effective overall in preventing moderate to severe COVID-19, while the AstraZeneca vaccine was found to have an efficacy of 62 per cent in generally preventing "symptomatic COVID-19." Both vaccines, she said, were found to protect against severe disease, meaning that those who got COVID-19 after the shot were much less likely to get seriously ill. Currently, Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization does not recommend that the AstraZeneca vaccine be given to those aged 65 or over due to limited data, but Tam stressed that the recommendations could change.She noted both the new vaccines are easier to transport than those produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which require freezer storage. With Canada set to receive more than 900,000 COVID-19 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines this week, many provinces are ramping up their vaccination campaigns.Health authorities across British Columbia will start booking COVID-19 vaccination appointments Monday for people 90 years old and older and Indigenous residents over the age of 65.Quebec, which has been booking vaccine appointments for seniors 70 or 80 and over depending on the region, will speed up the pace this week as more mass vaccination centres open across the province after focusing mainly on hard-hit Montreal last week. Quebec counted 707 new cases of the virus on Sunday, and seven more deaths. Ontario reported administering 30,192 doses of COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday, for a total of 890,604 doses handed out so far. That province logged 1,299 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, and 15 added deaths. Manitoba counted 56 new cases of the virus and two more deaths. Saskatchewan, meanwhile, reported 116 more cases and two more deaths due to COVID-19, including a person who was under 20 years old. Alberta logged roughly 300 new cases of the virus Sunday, though the province said a system upgrade meant precise numbers weren't available. Farther east, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island each recorded two new cases of COVID-19. The government said it would receive more than 14,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this week, which will be sent to five different parts of the province.This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2021 Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
MANCHESTER, England — Success for Manchester United these days is being the spoiler as Manchester City goes on to eventually claim the league titles. City manager Pep Guardiola's pursuit of a world-record winning streak ended after United won the derby 2-0 on Sunday. A penalty won after 36 seconds was converted by Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw netted five minutes into the second half to end City's 21-match winning run in all competitions. But the complexion of the Premier League has drastically changed since City's last defeat 106 days earlier at Tottenham left the team in 11th place — eight points behind the London club at the top. Now losing is more a matter of pride and missing out on catching the mark of 27 consecutive wins set by Welsh side The New Saints in 2016. City has not only climbed to the summit but built a lead that meant its second-placed neighbour only trimmed the gap to 11 points with victory at the Etihad Stadium. With such a commanding lead and only 10 games remaining, United has probably only just delayed the moment City dethrones Liverpool as champion. Just like three years ago when Jose Mourinho's derby win prevented City sealing the title that April day. But it's only two months since United harboured ambitions of its own of lifting the trophy — for the first time since 2013 — when it sat in first place. The title challenge has melted away for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side and United will likely be consigned to seeing City crowned champions for the third time since United's name was last etched into the trophy. But there is no longer a vast gulf when these two sides meet in the Premier League. United has won three of the last derbies and drawn the other. It's almost a year to the day since United also beat City 2-0 at Old Trafford, the last time they played in a full stadium or any fans were allowed into a Manchester stadium due to the pandemic. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Rob Harris, The Associated Press
VICTORIA — Health authorities across British Columbia announced locations for COVID-19 vaccine centres Sunday, the day before some of the province's oldest residents could start booking appointments to get their first shots. Vaccine call centres are set to open Monday morning to make COVID-19 vaccine appointments for people 90 and older, and Indigenous people 65 or older, as well as those who identify as Indigenous elders. Island Health officials said Sunday 19 community sites across Vancouver Island have been identified to administer COVID-19 vaccines and 25 community sites in the Vancouver Coastal Health region will be used as clinic locations. The Interior, Northern and Fraser health authorities say they will confirm vaccination sites with people when they book a COVID-19 appointment. "We recognize that there's lots of people that are eager to call in and get going (Monday), so just another reminder that please, unless you are in that category of over 90 or Indigenous over 65 or you identify as an elder, please don't call next week so we can get through this important population,'" said Victoria Schmid, Island Health's pandemic planner. "Your turn will come," she said at a news conference Sunday. "We just need everyone to be patient right now." People can contact their health authority and book appointments for themselves or their spouse, and family members or friends are permitted to schedule an appointment on someone else's behalf, Schmid said. People will be asked to provide the person's first and last name, date of birth, postal code and personal health number and will be asked for an email address or text number to confirm the COVID-19 vaccine appointment, she said.. People born in 1936 or earlier can start calling for appointments on March 15 and those born in 1941 or earlier can start scheduling their shots on March 22. Schmid said she expected the appointments to last about 30 minutes, which includes a 15-minute waiting period following the administration of the vaccine. She suggested people wear short sleeves to make it easier to give the vaccine and not to forget a mask. A support person to can accompany people to the vaccine clinic, she said. Schmid said sites for the community clinics were chosen for their accessibility and comfort and familiarity for Indigenous people. "Ease of access was really important to us," she said. "We really tried to keep a travel time to no more than 15 minutes within urban areas. We want to make sure these sites are accessible for individuals with mobility challenges." Immunization clinics will also be held at Indigenous friendship centres in Victoria, Port Alberni and Port Hardy, Schmid said. Vancouver Coastal Health said in a news release its clinics will be located cross Metro Vancouver and the Squamish and Whistler areas and the Sunshine Coast. The clinics will be held at community, friendship, senior and cultural centres and other regional sites. The health authorities plan to have B.C.'s population of elderly people, ranging in age from 80 to more than 90 years and Indigenous people 65 and older and elders, vaccinated against COVID-19 by April 12, Schmid said. She said a person 90 years and older who calls next week for a COVID-19 vaccination will get their appointment within one week. "They have a week to register for the following week's vaccination appointment," said Schmid. "After that, we're going to move to register those over 85 and then moving down the week after to those over 80." Island Health's Dr. Mike Benusic said he's optimistic about the vaccination rollout. "The announcements we're giving right now provide me with such a sense of hope," he said. "The fact is right now we have 25 times the number of people vaccinated within Island Health than people who have had COVID-19 within Island Health, and we're only going to see that number sky rocket in the next few weeks and months." This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2021. Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press
The United States has identified three online publications directed by Russia's intelligence services that it says are seeking to undermine COVID-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna, a State Department spokeswoman said on Sunday. The outlets "spread many types of disinformation, including about both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, as well as international organizations, military conflicts, protests, and any divisive issue that they can exploit," the spokeswoman said. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) first reported on the identification of the alleged campaign on Sunday.
Durham Region’s medical officer of health says the region is in “very good shape” with vaccine distribution and administration. In a recent update to the region’s health and social services committee, Durham Region Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Kyle says clinics opening Monday, all those ages 80 and older can now book their appointment to be vaccinated, noting the vast majority of seniors living in long-term care and high-risk retirement homes in Durham Region, as well as most healthcare workers, have been vaccinated. “We were tasked by the government to develop a plan that when fully operational, will allow vaccination of approximately 10,000 clients per day,” says Kyle, noting there will be at least one clinic in each of the eight municipalities. As of Monday, March 8, two clinics will be open: Durham College and Ontario Tech University in Oshawa, and the other in Pickering. “The staging of the opening dates (of the other clinics is) a sign that we are ramping up, staffing up,” he adds. According to the Durham Region Health website, The Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex in Clarington will open on Tuesday, March 9, followed by the opening of the McKinney Centre in Whitby on Monday, March 15. Uxbridge Arena, Scugog Arena and Rick MacLeish Memorial Community Centre Arena will open on a rotating basis beginning March 15. Finally, the Audley Recreation Centre in Ajax will open on Tuesday, March 16. The mobile clinic will also continue to vaccinate additional Phase 1 populations as required, Kyle notes. However, he says the region can’t get too far ahead of the vaccine supply. “While I say the maximum capacity is 10,000 clients per day, the number of clinic sites and available appointments will depend on vaccine supply,” Kyle continues. Furthermore, Kyle says the region’s communications plan is “robust” and has been developed to “promote vaccine awareness, accurate evidence, informed information, and timely and accurate information.” “We’re building on key messages from the Ministry of Health and the go-to place for all things COVID vaccine is durham.ca/covidvaccines,” he says, noting the website is updated on an ongoing basis. Courtney Bachar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Oshawa Express
OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — A series of explosions at a military barracks in Equatorial Guinea killed at least 20 people and wounded more than 600 others on Sunday, authorities said. President Teodoro Obiang Nguema said the explosion at 4 p.m. local time was due to the “negligent handling of dynamite” in the military barracks located in the neighbourhood of Mondong Nkuantoma in Bata. “The impact of the explosion caused damage in almost all the houses and buildings in Bata," the president said in a statement, which was in Spanish. The defence ministry released a statement late Sunday saying that a fire at a weapons depot in the barracks caused the explosion of high-calibre ammunition. It said the provisional death toll was 20, adding that the cause of the explosions will be fully investigated. The country's president said the fire may have been due to residents burning the fields surrounding the barracks. State television showed a huge plume of smoke rising above the explosion site as crowds fled, with many people crying out “we don’t know what happened, but it is all destroyed.” Images on local media seen by The Associated Press show people screaming and crying running through the streets amid debris and smoke. Roofs of houses were ripped off and wounded people were being carried into a hospital. Equatorial Guinea, an African country of 1.3 million people located south of Cameroon, was a colony of Spain until it gained its independence in 1968. Bata has roughly 175,000 inhabitants. Earlier, the Health Ministry had tweeted that 17 were killed. The ministry made a call for blood donors and volunteer health workers to go to the Regional Hospital de Bata, one of three hospitals treating the wounded. The ministry said its health workers were treating the injured at the site of the tragedy and in medical facilities, but feared people were still missing under the rubble. The blasts were a shock for the oil rich Central African nation. Foreign Minister Simeón Oyono Esono Angue met with foreign ambassadors and asked for aid. “It is important for us to ask our brother countries for their assistance in this lamentable situation since we have a health emergency (due to COVID-19) and the tragedy in Bata,” he said. A doctor calling into TVGE, who went by his first name, Florentino, said the situation was a “moment of crisis” and that the hospitals were overcrowded. He said a sports centre set up for COVID-19 patients would be used to receive minor cases. Radio station, Radio Macuto, said on Twitter that people were being evacuated within four kilometres of the city because the fumes might be harmful. Following the blast, the Spanish Embassy in Equatorial Guinea recommended on Twitter that “Spanish nationals stay in their homes." ___ Joseph Wilson reported from Barcelona, Spain. ___ A previous version of this story was corrected to show that state television is TVGE, not TGVE. Sam Mednick And Joseph Wilson, The Associated Press
Chinese drone giant DJI Technology Co Ltd built up such a successful U.S. business over the past decade that it almost drove all competitors out of the market. Yet its North American operations have been hit by internal ructions in recent weeks and months, with a raft of staff cuts and departures, according to interviews with more than two dozen current and former employees. The loss of key managers, some of who have joined rivals, has compounded problems caused by U.S. government restrictions on Chinese companies, and raised the once-remote prospect of DJI's dominance being eroded, said four of the people, including two senior executives who were at the company until late 2020.
Hundreds marched near the National Assembly in Quebec City Sunday afternoon, calling on the government to allow team sports to resume in the province. Athletes, parents, community organizations and politicians participated in the march, stressing the importance of team sports on peoples' mental and physical health. The protest was started by Isaac Pépin, a football player in Secondary 5 at Séminaire Saint-François. He is asking that Quebecers be allowed to participate in team sports again, both for health reasons, and so that younger athletes can keep improving at their sports. "With everything that's going on today and the number of people who showed up, I have hope that this will work," Pépin said Sunday. High school football player Isaac Pépin, centre, organized the pro-sports march Sunday. (Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press) The protest also garnered the support of Isabelle Charest, the province's minister responsible for sports. "I hear your cries and it is these positive messages that I take with me when I speak to public health," Charest wrote on Twitter Sunday. "We will make it happen." Montrealers voice support In Montreal, several people echoed their sentiments. Tony De Francesco, director of community services and sports at Sun Youth, believes a return to team sports is long overdue. "People from youth organizations like us have noticed a lot of issues, especially with young student athletes, in terms of being able to function on a daily basis without sports," said De Francesco. De Francesco says many of the youth he works with rely on sports as a means to succeed academically, and many feel lost without it. "A lot of them use this as a social construct and as a coping mechanism to a lot of the things that are happening in their life for the first time," he said. "Sports is their way out and it actually helps them get better grades." Justin Frattaroli, an 18-year-old CEGEP student who plays football at Sun Youth, usually relies on team sports as an outlet for his stress. For most of the past year, he's had to resort to exercising at home instead. "Because of this pandemic, not only am I missing out on practices, on games, but — I'm sure all athletes can agree with me — we miss being with teammates, the bus rides home, the going out to eat with each other and just being together," said Frattaroli. "Practicing got everything off my mind. It helped me mentally. It helped me physically" Discussions with federations ongoing Starting March 15, extra-curricular activities and sports in schools will be allowed across the province, but team sports outside of school are still forbidden. Last week, Premier François Legault said the government is in talks with sports federations to gradually resume sports more widely, but Legault said it's clear some sports cannot be allowed given the risk of transmission. Legault is expected to announce more details on that next week. In an interview Sunday, Luc Fournier, interim general manager of Sports Québec, said the federation has submitted its proposal for the resumption of sports and is currently waiting to hear back from public health authorities. "We hope to have an answer maybe Monday or Tuesday," said Fournier. "We know that competitions would be very tough to reopen right now but if we can start by practice or by side activities that would be great." Some less eager for team sports to resume Montreal resident Jennifer Cox says there would need to be strict public health measures in place for her to send her child back to his hockey team. (CBC) Before the pandemic, Montreal resident Jennifer Cox would be at the arena with seven-year-old son, Cameron, every weekend. "Hockey was a really big part of our family's life, our weekend life," said Cox. This year, she opted to set up a skating rink in the family's backyard instead, to make sure Cameron could keep practicing. While her son misses interacting with his teammates and coaches, Cox isn't sure she'll be sending him back to the rink just yet — especially because they have an at-risk family member at home. "If we were to consider it, we'd really have to see the numbers, how many kids are being allowed to get on the ice, if there's any additional safety restrictions in terms of wearing masks under their helmets and things of that nature," said Cox. "I don't think we're 100 per cent ready to dive back into full team sports right now."
WASHINGTON — The United States and South Korea have reached agreement in principle on a new arrangement for sharing the cost of the American troop presence, which is intended as a bulwark against the threat of North Korean aggression. The State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs said the deal includes a “negotiated increase” in Seoul's share of the cost, but it provided no details. The Bureau wrote on Twitter that the agreement, if finalized, would reaffirm the U.S.-South Korean treaty alliance as “the linchpin of peace, security and prosperity for Northeast Asia.” The negotiations had broken down during the Trump administration over a U.S. demand that Seoul pay five times what it previously had paid. The U.S. keeps about 28,000 troops in South Korea. The Wall Street Journal, which was first to report the agreement, said it would last through 2025. Robert Burns And Matthew Lee, The Associated Press
Health Minister John Haggie says the province may be on track to start staycations on time this tourism season.(Government of Newfoundland and Labrador) With the accelerating COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Newfoundland and Labrador, Health Minister John Haggie is optimistic that staycation season will start on time this year, but the reaction from tourism operators is mixed. "I think we may well be on track to start on time this year," Haggie said of staycations during Friday's provincial COVID-19 briefing, moments after Premier Andrew Furey announced that people who want the vaccine will have the shot by the end of June. Despite optimism from the provincial government, the pandemic has decimated the tourism industry worldwide over the last year, as people have been ordered to stay home as much as possible, borders have closed and airlines have slashed and suspended flights. Whales and icebergs normally draw thousands of tourists to Newfoundland and Labrador. There is optimism and uncertainty about how the tourism season will proceed amid the second year of the coronoavirus pandemic. (Submitted by Kris Prince) Last summer, the province's $1 billion tourism industry slowed to a trickle of staycationers and a few tourists from nearby provinces, once the Atlantic bubble formed in July. Kier Knudsen, owner the Dark Tickle Company in St. Lunaire-Griquet on the Northern Peninsula, says his family has been in business, in some form, for over 100 years. His company is known for its wild berry jams, sauces and chocolates sold in gift shops across the province. They also operate a boat tour expedition and a cafe. He said their gift shop and orders for their wholesale products were "dead" last year, and they didn't operate the boat tour at all. Knudsen calls the provincial government's optimism about staycations "a positive thing." But, he said, because they're about a thousand kilometres away from the Avalon Peninsula, fewer staycationers will be at their door, as it's difficult for them to come for the weekend. "I mean, we'll get some staycationers, but it's not enough to support a tourism business in this area," he said. "So we really need interprovincial travel to open for us to make a go of it." Knudsen noted 70 per cent of his business relies on visitors from Ontario and Quebec. Knudsen said business has dipped during the pandemic, but the Sculpin Cones have been a nice boost bringing in locals and people from across the island to his cafe.(Submitted by Kier Knudsen) Prince Edward Island's Premier Dennis King said Sunday he's hopeful the Atlantic Bubble will reopen by "early spring." But the Newfoundland and Labrador's health minister said it's too early to predict what will happen with interprovincial travel. "Because that's outside our control. But I really think that by the end of summer, there will be some serious consideration, maybe, of going back to a level one," Haggie said Friday. Meanwhile, Knudsen said people typically start their vacation planning during the winter and early spring, which will influence how well tourism operators do over the summer months. "If they're not doing that now, there's a good chance they're not going to be able to come in. The season — it's dead before it starts," he said. "2022 is what we're looking towards." Knudsen added he's hoping locals continue to support the province's tourism industry and continue taking staycations after the pandemic is over. Focusing on locals In contrast, Janet Denstedt, owner of the Old Saltbox Co. — a company operating vacation homes dotted across Newfoundland — says her focus will be on staycationers. "I think this year we're just really focused on supplying our Newfoundlanders with a special holiday and preparing out-of-province people for 2022 at this point," she said, while hoping for some out-of-province travels later in the fall. She calls the late start to last summer's staycation season "challenging," since her company lost all out-of-province bookings, amounting to 70 per cent of their business. The Old Saltbox Co. restores homes and decorates them with a modern touch. They rent vacation homes in Twillingate, Musgrave Harbour, Fogo Island, Greenspond, Burgo and Francois. (Old Saltbox Co.) "We survived," she said. "For the most part, it ended up pretty good. We had a whole lot more staycationers through our houses that never would have gotten to stay." While she is looking forward to a better season this summer, her biggest concern is about other tourism businesses who have also struggled through the last year. "The restaurants, and the tour operators and just local crafts people and musicians that are losing out on international and out-of-province visitors ... if we don't have them as part of our industry, then it really cuts down on the experience that the guests get," Denstedt said. Still, she thinks demand to visit the province will increase as the world recovers from COVID-19. "There's going to be so much pent up desire to get to the rock," she said. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
World shares dipped on Monday as the U.S. Senate's passage of a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill put fresh pressure on Treasuries and tech stocks with lofty valuations, raising inflation jitters. "Between reflation, inflation risk and equity valuations, there's plenty of reasons for the market to be jittery over the bond re-pricing," said Natixis strategist Florent Pochon. "Equity valuations will of course remain a burning issue, in particular for overly rich sectors," he also said.
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 6:30 p.m. COVID-19 continues to spread in an outbreak in Nunavut. The territory says there are four new cases in Arviat, the only community where there are active cases. Arviat, which has a population of about 2,800, has had 337 COVID-19 cases, 25 of which are currently active. All schools and non-essential businesses in Arviat have been closed for months and travel has been restricted. --- 6 p.m. Alberta's chief medical health officer says there are an estimated 300 new COVID-19 cases, but says firm information isn't available today due to a system upgrade. Dr. Deena Hinshaw says on Twitter that the new cases include 54 that involve variants of concern. Information was not available Sunday on the number of hospitalizations or new deaths. Hinshaw says about 8,100 COVID-19 tests were completed in the previous 24 hours, and that the positivity rate was approximately four per cent. She says the system upgrade work is nearly complete and that online updates will resume Monday. --- 4 p.m. Health authorities on Prince Edward Island are reporting two new cases of COVID-19. Officials say both involve men in their 20s who are now self-isolating. One case is connected to a previously known diagnosis, and the other tested positive after he was at a public exposure site more than a week ago. With 26 active reported cases, chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison says there are more active infections in the province now than at any other point in the pandemic. --- 3 p.m. Saskatchewan is reporting two new deaths among people who tested positive for COVID-19, one of whom was under 20 years old. The exact age of that person was not released, but the government's daily pandemic update says the patient was from Saskatchewan's North West zone. The other person who died was in the 40-to-49 age group and was from the Far North West zone. The province is reporting 116 new COVID-19 cases today. The government says a shipment of 7,022 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is expected to arrive Tuesday and will be divided between Saskatoon and Regina. Another 7,020 doses of that vaccine are expected Wednesday and will go to North Battleford, Yorkton and Prince Albert. --- 2:45 p.m. Public health officials in New Brunswick are reporting two new cases of COVID-19. Authorities say one case is related to travel and the other is connected to a previously known infection. Effective midnight tonight, officials are loosening public health restrictions across the entire province. In the new provincewide “yellow” alert level, residents can expand their contacts from 10 to 15 people and team sports activities may resume. --- 2:10 p.m. Manitoba health officials are reporting two new deaths of people with COVID-19. The province's daily pandemic update says both deaths were in the Winnipeg health region and are linked to outbreaks at care facilities. The province says there were 56 new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba as of this morning. --- 1:20 p.m. Newfoundland and Labrador health authorities are reporting one new case of COVID-19 today. Officials say the person involved is a man between 20 and 39 years old, and his infection is related to international travel. The province has now seen 10 consecutive days of single-digit case counts following an outbreak in St. Jon’s last month. Public health says there are 87 active reported COVID-19 cases in the province, including three people in intensive care. --- 1 p.m. Nova Scotia health authorities are reporting two new cases of COVID-19. Officials say one infection is travel-related, while the other is a close contact of a previously known case. There are now 29 active reported COVID-19 infections in the province. Authorities say two patients are in hospital and one is in intensive care. --- 11:10 a.m. Quebec is reporting 707 new cases of COVID-19 and seven new deaths linked to the pandemic. Two of the deaths occurred in the last 24 hours while the rest happened earlier. Hospitalizations declined by nine to 592, with 107 people in intensive care, which is two fewer than a day prior. The province administered 15,329 doses of vaccine on Saturday. --- 10:40 a.m. Ontario is reporting 1,299 new cases of COVID-19 today and 15 more deaths linked to the virus. Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 329 new cases in Toronto, 192 in Peel Region, and 116 in York Region. Today's data is based on 46,586 completed tests. The province also says 30,192 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered since Saturday's update. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2021 The Canadian Press
Here's a sight most airline passengers don't get to witness! Watch as this flight soars right above the cloud deck.
PARIS — Marseille's chaotic season took its latest turn for the worse when it lost 2-1 at fourth-tier Canet-en-Roussillon in the French Cup on Sunday. Marseille was eliminated from the Champions League in last place in its group. It has struggled in the French league with an interim coach after the previous one resigned and with a new coach having just arrived. On top of all that, angry fans are facing court cases after smashing up the club's training complex. Considering all these problems, Marseille needed a morale-boosting win against an amateur side to reach the last 16. But it went badly wrong in Perpignan. “I’m ashamed. There are no words to describe it, we played like (expletive),” Marseille defender Boubacar Kamara told broadcaster Eurosport moments after the final whistle. “It’s a fair result, there are no excuses. We are a professional team and we've made a huge mistake.” A superb free kick from midfielder Jeremy Posteraro on his 30th birthday put the minnows ahead after 20 minutes. He was about 25 metres out and to the right of the penalty area when he floated a magnificent shot into the top left corner, with No. 2 goalkeeper Yohann Pele rooted to the spot as the ball sailed in. Marseille equalized before halftime when playmaker Dimitri Payet sent forward Valere Germain free down the right flank, and his cross was headed in by Poland striker Arkadiusz Milik for his third goal since joining on loan from Italian side Napoli. That should have settled Marseille down, but Posteraro was not finished and his astute pass sent midfielder Yohan Bai clean through in the 71st. He neatly clipped the ball over Pele for the winner against Marseille, a club which still proudly boasts of being the only French side to win the Champions League, back in 1993. Those days are long gone. Marseille fell apart in the last 10 minutes, with five simple passes going astray and with one corner from the left taken so badly it didn't even enter into play. It was a bad Sunday all around for the Payets, too, with younger brother Anthony Payet also on the losing side. He played up front for fourth-tier Romorantin against fellow amateurs Chateaubriant but failed to score in a 3-1 home defeat. Elsewhere, Canada striker Jonathan David scored late on again as Lille won 3-1 at fourth-tier Corsican side GFC Ajaccio to advance to the last 16. Four days ago, he netted in the last minute and then in injury time to help Lille stay on top of the French league. This time his goal was less vital as Lille was already 2-0 up when he struck a low shot in the 84th. The home side grabbed a consolation goal shortly after. First-tier Angers had little trouble beating amateur side Club Franciscain 5-0, with midfielder Ibrahim Amadou grabbing two goals. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Jerome Pugmire, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Antony Blinken is proposing a series of steps to help jumpstart Afghanistan’s stalled peace process between the government and Taliban, according to a letter from Blinken to Afghanistan’s president Ashra Ghani published Sunday by Afghanistan’s TOLONews. The letter calls for bringing the two sides together for a U.N.-facilitated conference with foreign ministers and envoys from Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India and the United States “to discuss a unified approach to supporting peace in Afghanistan.” Blinken also calls for holding talks between the Afghan government and Taliban in a senior-level meeting in Turkey in the coming weeks to hammer out a revised proposal for a 90-day reduction in violence. The secretary of state has also called on special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad to share with both the Afghan government and Taliban written proposals to help accelerate discussions, according to the TOLONews report. Blinken also made clear in the letter that the Biden administration continues to consider a “full withdrawal” of the roughly 2,500 U.S. forces in the country by the May 1 deadline negotiated by Trump administration. The State Department declined to comment on the TOLONews report. “We have not made any decisions about our force posture in Afghanistan after May 1,” the State Department said in a statement. “All options remain on the table.” Afghanistan presents one of the new administration’s most difficult foreign policy decisions. The U.S. public is weary of a war nearly 20 years old, but pulling out now could be seen as giving the Taliban too much leverage and casting a shadow over the sacrifices made by U.S. and coalition troops and Afghan civilians. Blinken urged Ghani to quickly embrace the proposal and underscored his concern that the security situation in the country could quickly deteriorate as the weather warms in Afghanistan “Even with the continuation of financial assistance from the United States to your forces after an American military withdrawal, I am concerned that the security situation will worsen and the Taliban could make rapid territorial gains,” Blinken wrote in the letter. The Associated Press
Karla Combres says the night before the first COVID-19 lockdown last year, her husband was in Nipawin for a meeting with 100 people. "He came home that night and I said, you know what? I don't think you should go to work tomorrow," Combres told CBC's Saskatchewan Weekend. "It was as quick as that. You know, like, from one day to the next, it was unthinkable to gather with that many people." Combres is a life cycle celebrant in Saskatoon and one of the organizers of an online vigil being held this Thursday at 7:00 p.m. CST to mark the one-year anniversary of the pandemic. The vigil is called Together in Remembrance, Together in Hope, and it was organized by Saskatoon's multi-faith community, but Combres said everyone is welcome. "For anybody coming to this, no grief is too big or too small," she said. "This is really for everyone, no matter what your race or your creed or your colour or your age or where you are in the province." Her work centres around gathering people and in the early days of the pandemic, she said she wasn't sure how she was going to be able to continue doing that in a meaningful way. "Over the course of the past year, I have found ways through researching and participating in gatherings and then also through just really learning and being creative on my own with the people I work with," she said. Gatherings are smaller and people join via livestream but it is still possible to connect, she said, and she hopes people will find that with the vigil as well. Combres had the idea for a vigil but she said it was Blake Sittler who got the ball rolling initially to mark the anniversary. Sittler is the executive director of Saskatoon's Roman Catholic chaplaincy and another organizer of the vigil. He and his wife were celebrating their 25th anniversary in New York before the pandemic hit, arriving home only a few days before the first case was found there. "We went back to work for a day or two and on Friday, I grabbed my laptop and I said, you know, I'm going to take this laptop home in case I need to stay home for a few days and a few days turned into a full year working in my basement," he said. A person in a face mask walks through an almost empty Times Square in New York City as the COVID-19 outbreak pandemic continues.(Andrew Kelly/Reuters) Sittler said the goal of the event was to represent as many of the different communities in the province as possible, echoing the provincial motto, "From many peoples strength." "We knew we wanted to mark the day because humans do try to make meaning of their lives through ritual," Sittler said. He said the vigil is not a religious event but instead an opportunity to bring people together so they feel less alone. "You're not alone in your mourning, you know, you're not alone in the jobs you lost, your fear, the loneliness, the isolation.… And at the same time, now that the vaccines are coming out, we also wanted to let them know that they aren't alone in their hope." Sittler said he'll be thinking of people in special care and long-term care homes who have been isolated throughout the pandemic, as well as the workers in those facilities. "These are folks who have built up this province and have spent their life serving their community and their kids," he said. "It's like being in isolation in a prison. And some of them even asked that question is like, what did we do wrong that this is happening?" Sittler said he wanted to put an event together where people could gather and say, 'I'm not crazy for being sad and I'm not crazy for being hopeful.'(Supplied by Shirley Larkin/White Coat Black Art) The event will have greetings from representatives from different traditions. A front-line worker will speak about their experience, and there will also be poetry and music. The event also invites everyone to bring a candle to light. "People know what it means to light a candle in the window, you know, for the weary traveler to just find their way through the darkness," Sittler said. "And that's what this is, to light a candle, to give people hope to say that we're in this together." The event is free but you need to register at covidvigil.ca. You can join on Zoom, and it will also be livestreamed to YouTube.
Research led by University of Manitoba (U of M) professors found that Indigenous people are twice more likely than others to have difficulty meeting their financial obligations during the COVID-19 crisis. A third of Indigenous Canadians surveyed lost their jobs early in the pandemic which is a higher proportion than people of colour, who were in turn more likely to lose their jobs than white Canadians. Of Indigenous men between the ages of 18 to 34 who took the survey, 47% reported having trouble paying their bills on time due to the pandemic. “Early in the pandemic, some of the United States’ largest reservations were reporting major COVID-19 outbreaks,” said Kiera Ladner, a U of M Professor in Indigenous and Canadian politics on Monday. “In Canada, the outbreaks on reservations followed shortly after. While the medical field can help us track the medical outcomes, our project focuses on the social, mental health and economic outcomes of Indigenous peoples, immigrants, refugees and the racialized communities.” COVID-19’s differential impact on the mental and emotional health of Indigenous Peoples and Newcomers: A socioeconomic analysis of Canada, US and Mexico examines the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19 on Canada, the US and Mexico with a focus on the experiences of Indigenous Peoples and newcomers. When U of M received $671,332 in funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in June 2020, the university’s team already had three months of survey data on COVID-19’s differential socioeconomic impact on Indigenous people. Sample survey results also showed that Indigenous people are 31 per cent more likely than other groups to experience moderate-severe depressive symptoms. Only a third of Indigenous people reported excellent or good mental health than 43% of people of colour and 46% of white Canadians. “It is important people recognize that the pandemic affects other people differently, not only because they are Indigenous people, but also the fact that Indigenous people are sometimes located in more remote communities,” said Dr. Jasmine Thomas, the research’s postdoctoral fellow. “These communities may have limited access to healthcare, so they have a greater risk of these negative outcomes. The research is still ongoing and expects to conclude by this year’s fall. Research results will be presented weekly to federal government officials who can use the information to help design pandemic programs, as well as to First Nation and community organizations delivering services. A web portal is under development to ensure that data is accessible to Indigenous communities and organizations. Since it can be difficult to survey First Nation reserves with poor Internet service, interviews with some First Nation communities will be conducted to fill in the gaps and help answer questions raised by the survey results. “At the end of the day, data matters. Indigenous nations need better data to create effective and meaningful policy,” said Ladner. “Data is needed for all governments trying to respond effectively to this pandemic and to create good public policy. Data is needed for Indigenous peoples to hold governments accountable when they fail to act or when differentiated action is required.” Ladner hopes that the research can be used to confront and destabilize the underpinnings of systemic racism in healthcare and to understand how systemic racism impacts COVID-19. Nicole Wong is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Nicole Wong, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun
TORONTO — Health-care workers across Ontario still struggle to obtain personal protective equipment to shield them from COVID-19, three major unions said Sunday as they called on the province to do more to ensure their safety as the pandemic rages on. Unifor, the health-care arm of the Service Employees International Union and the Canadian Union of Public Employees also called for a "universal wage" of $25 an hour for all personal support workers regardless of what part of the provincial system they work in. Both messages are part of a provincewide public awareness campaign set to launch in workplaces on Monday. The secretary-treasurer of CUPE's Ontario Council of Hospital Unions said many workers were denied access to PPE at the beginning of the pandemic, contending it was often kept under lock and key by employers. Sharon Richer said that practice continues today in some cases, despite assurances from the province that it has a stockpile of 12.4 million pieces of PPE such as N95 masks. "We're asked to work with a deadly virus," she said. "We're not provided with the tools to protect ourselves and not supported if we become ill from it. We demand better from this government and our employers." The unions, which represent 175,000 health-care workers, say thousands of them have contracted COVID-19 throughout the pandemic and 20 have died from the virus. Richer said early in the pandemic there was debate about how COVID-19 was spread and N95 masks were difficult to obtain. But as the pandemic nears its one-year anniversary, she argued there is no excuse not to provide workers with vital protective gear. "The masks were very scarce," Richer said. "They're not now. ... We shouldn't have to go into work on a daily basis and beg for protection to keep us safe from this virus." SEIU President Sharleen Stewart said the unions are also asking the government to raise the wages of personal support workers in all health care settings to $25 an hour. The pandemic has illustrated the importance of PSWs in hospitals, long-term care, and in home care, she said. A staffing study released by the province last year illustrated the disparity between PSW wages in different sectors of the health-care system. It found that PSWs in Ontario long-term care homes make an average hourly wage of $22.69. That compared to the $17.30 average hourly rate paid to PSWs delivering home care. Stewart said working conditions for PSWs are poor, full-time opportunities and benefits are hard to come by, and wages are low. "The government ... must raise the minimum wage for personal support workers and make it universal in every sector," she said. "Whether you work in a hospital, a nursing home or in home and community care, a PSW, is a PSW, is a PSW." Katha Fortier of Unifor said workers will participate in the campaign in the coming weeks, as Ontario prepares to launch its 2021-2022 budget. "COVID-19 has over-stressed Ontario's health-care resources and led to the tragic failure of the long term care system," she said. "But the truth is the pandemic revealed systemic problems that frontline workers have been struggling with for years." During the pandemic, Ontario has spent hundreds of millions to provide temporary pay hikes to workers throughout the health-care sector. In October, the province said it would provide a targeted wage increase between $2 to $3 an hour to more than 147,000 personal support workers. That program, which cost $461 million, is set to expire on March 31. A spokeswoman for Health Minister Christine Elliott said the government is monitoring the impact of that temporary wage increase for PSWs and evaluating next steps. "We will continue to engage with our sector partners to inform an approach to a wage enhancement intervention after March and in the long-term for the home and community care sector," Alexandra Hilkene said in a statement. The government has also spent nearly $1.1 billion on PPE and other supplies for health care workers, she added. "We have continued to respond to emergency escalations for PPE within 24 hours to hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes, and other facilities in order to support essential workers in all settings and ensuring supplies and equipment are expedited to those most in need," Hilkene said. Meanwhile, Ontario reported 1,299 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, along with 15 more deaths linked to the virus. Health Minister Christine Elliott said there were 329 new cases in Toronto, 192 in Peel Region, and 116 in York Region. Sunday's data is based on 46,586 completed tests. The province also reported administering 30,192 doses of COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday, for a total of 890,604 doses handed out so far. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2021. Shawn Jeffords, The Canadian Press
ORLANDO, Fla. — The long ball helped Bryson DeChambeau outlast Lee Westwood on Sunday to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational, only the key shots were as much with his putter as his driver. DeChambeau holed a 40-foot birdie putt on the front nine and a 50-foot par putt early on the back nine. He closed it out with a nervy 5-foot par putt for a 1-under 71 and a one-shot victory over the 47-year-old Westwood. It matched the low score of the day, one of only three rounds under par in the toughest final round at Bay Hill in 41 years. Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., stayed in the mix until the very end. The Canadian holed a 15-foot eagle putt on the 16th to get within one shot, only to find a bunker on the par-3 17th and miss a 6-foot par putt. With a bogey on the final hole, he shot 74 to finish alone in third. DeChambeau and Westwood were never separated by more than one shot over the final 15 holes, a fascinating duel of generations that came down to the last shot. For the second straight day, DeChambeau revved up thousands of fans on the par-5 sixth hole by smashing driver over the lake and leaving himself 88 yards away on the 565-yard sixth hole. Westwood was 168 yards behind him, and raised both arms to jokingly mimic DeChambeau's reaction from the day before. They both made birdie. DeChambeau appeared to be in trouble on the 11th when he narrowly missed going in the water off the tee, caught a plugged lie in the front bunker and gouged it out to 50 feet. He made that for par to stay ahead by one. Westwood tied him with a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-5 12th, only to give it back with a three-putt on the 14th. The tournament turned on the par-5 16th, where it was Westwood who had the advantage. DeChambeau's drive went up against the lip of a bunker and he had to lay up short of the water. Westwood had 158 yards and hit a poor short iron that came up short of the green. He chipped nicely, except that it rolled out 6 feet by the hole on the lightning-quick greens and he missed the birdie for a chance to tie. DeChambeau took the one-shot lead to the 18th and hit his most important drive of the day — in the fairway. Westwood's tee shot settled in a divot, and he did well to get it on the green and two-putt from 65 feet. DeChambeau's birdie putt slid by some 5 feet and he shook his arms in celebration when the par putt dropped. Westwood closed with a 73, not a bad score considering the average of 75.49 was the highest for a final round since 1980. Jordan Spieth was part of a four-man race on the front nine and briefly tied for the lead with a birdie on the par-5 sixth. That turned out to be his last birdie of the day. He took bogey on three of his last four holes for a 75, dropping him into a three-way tie for fourth with Andrew Putnam (71) and Ricky Werenski (73). For Spieth, it was his third top-five finish in his last four events. DeChambeau said he received a text Sunday morning from Tiger Woods, who is recovering from serious leg injuries from his car crash in Los Angeles. He said Woods, an eight-time Bay Hill winner, told him to “keep fighting.” He also considered the words from Arnold Palmer to “play boldly.” He needed all of that with the fight Westwood gave him, and the test Bay Hill provided. “It's been quite a battle this whole entire time,” DeChambeau said. DeChambeau rose to No. 6 in the world with his ninth PGA Tour victory, and he became the first player this season with multiple victories, to go along with his U.S. Open title in September. It matched the longest it took for a multiple winner on the PGA Tour since 1969. Nick Price won his second title in the 21st week of the season in 1994. Rory McIlroy, who started four shots out of the lead, was never in the mix. He came undone on the par-5 sixth, where he hit two tee shots into the water and then hit the fairway, green and made the putt to salvage double bogey. He shot 76. Doug Ferguson, The Associated Press