New York CIty has announced that vaccination hubs will be open 24-hours a day beginning this Sunday, expanding the number of COVID-19 vaccinations across the city (Jan. 4)
New York CIty has announced that vaccination hubs will be open 24-hours a day beginning this Sunday, expanding the number of COVID-19 vaccinations across the city (Jan. 4)
WASHINGTON — The patter of paws is being heard in the White House again following the arrival of President Joe Biden's dogs Champ and Major. The two German shepherds are the first pets to live at the executive mansion since the Obama administration. Major burst onto the national scene late last year after Biden, then president-elect, broke his right foot while playing with the dog at their home in Wilmington, Delaware. The Bidens adopted Major in 2018 from the Delaware Humane Association. Champ joined the family after the 2008 presidential election that made Joe Biden vice-president. The dogs moved into the White House on Sunday, following Biden's inauguration last week. “The first family wanted to get settled before bringing the dogs down to Washington from Delaware,” said Michael LaRosa, spokesperson for first lady Jill Biden. “Champ is enjoying his new dog bed by the fireplace and Major loved running around on the South Lawn.” The dogs were heard barking outside near the Oval Office on Monday as Biden signed an executive order lifting the previous administration's ban on transgender people serving in the military. Last week, the Delaware Humane Association cosponsored an “indoguration” virtual fundraiser to celebrate Major's journey from shelter pup to first dog. More than $200,000 was raised. Major is the first shelter dog to ever live in the White House and “barking proof that every dog can live the American dream," the association said. The Bidens had promised to bring the dogs with them to the White House. They plan to add a cat, though no update on the feline's arrival was shared on Monday. White House press secretary Jen Psaki predicted, while on video answering questions from members of the public, that the cat will “dominate the internet” when it arrives. Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump, a self-described germaphobe, does not own any pets and had none with him at the White House. Just like they do for ordinary people, pets owned by the most powerful people in the world provide their owners with comfort, entertainment, occasional drama and generally good PR. “Pets have played an important role in the White House throughout the decades, not only by providing companionship to the presidents and their families, but also by humanizing and softening their political images,” said Jennifer Pickens, author of a book about pets at the White House. Pets also serve as ambassadors to the White House, she said. Pickens added that she hoped the Bidens' decision to bring a rescue dog to the White House might inspire others to adopt. President Theodore Roosevelt had Skip, who is described by the White House Historical Association as a “short-legged Black and Tan mongrel terrier brought home from a Colorado bear hunt.” Warren G. Harding had Laddie Boy, who sat in on meetings and had his own Cabinet chair. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had his beloved terrier Fala. At night, Fala slept in a special chair at the foot of the president’s bed. More recently, George H.W. Bush’s English springer spaniel Millie was featured on “The Simpsons” and starred in a bestseller, “Millie’s Book: As dictated to Barbara Bush.” Hillary Clinton followed Bush’s lead with a children’s book about family dog Buddy and cat Socks: “Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ Letters to the First Pets.” When he declared victory in the 2008 presidential race, Barack Obama told his daughters: “You have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House.” Several months later, Bo joined the family, a gift from Sen. Ted Kennedy. A few years later, fellow Portuguese water dog Sunny arrived. Among the stranger White House pets was Calvin Coolidge and first lady Grace Coolidge’s raccoon Rebecca. She was given to the Coolidge family by a supporter who suggested the raccoon be served for Thanksgiving dinner, according to the White House Historical Association. But instead she got an embroidered collar with the title “White House Raccoon” and entertained children at the White House Easter Egg Roll. Some notable pets belonged to first kids, including Amy Carter’s Siamese cat, Misty Malarky Ying Yang, and Caroline Kennedy’s pony Macaroni. The Kennedy family had a veritable menagerie, complete with dogs, cats, birds, hamsters and a rabbit named Zsa Zsa. President Harry Truman famously said that “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog” — and many successors have followed Truman's advice. The first President Bush once said, “There is nothing like the unconditional love of a dog to help you get through the rough spots.” ___ Associated Press writer Kevin Freking contributed to this report. Darlene Superville, The Associated Press
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Sarah Sanders, Donald Trump's former chief spokeswoman, announced she's running for Arkansas governor at a time other Republicans are distancing themselves from the former president facing an impeachment charge that he incited the deadly siege at the U.S. Capitol. But the former White House press secretary, who left the job in 2019 to return to her home state, ran the other direction with an announcement Monday that embraced Trump as much as his rhetoric. “With the radical left now in control of Washington, your governor is your last line of defence,” Sanders said in a nearly eight-minute video announcing her 2022 bid that prominently featured pictures of the president as well as some of his favourite targets. Trump, who publicly encouraged Sanders to run, wasted no time putting his seal of approval on her bid. The former president on Monday night backed Sanders' candidacy — his first official, public endorsement since leaving office — and called her a “warrior who will always fight for the people of Arkansas and do what is right, not what is politically correct." The daughter of former Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sanders is the most high-profile Trump official to seek major office and is doing so less than a week after the tumultuous end of his presidency. Her candidacy could showcase just how much of a hold Trump still has on the GOP. “Trump is simply not a liability here,” said Janine Parry, a political scientist at the University of Arkansas. “At least for the time being, we’re in a state where he remains an asset.” That’s even as the Senate is preparing for an impeachment trial over the Jan. 6 insurrection by Trump supporters that was aimed at halting the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory over Trump. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell rebuked the president last week, saying he “provoked” the siege. Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson told reporters days before Biden’s inauguration he wanted Trump’s administration to end, though he also opposed the president’s impeachment. Sanders’ announcement makes a brief reference to the Capitol siege that left five dead, equating it with violence that occurred at some protests last year over racial injustice and the 2017 shooting at a congressional baseball practice that injured U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise and four others. “This is not who we are as Americans,” Sanders said in the video, but not mentioning Trump’s role in encouraging his supporters who stormed the Capitol. She joins a Republican primary that already includes two statewide elected leaders, Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. The three are running to succeed Hutchinson, who is unable to run next year due to term limits. No Democrats have announced a bid to run for the seat. Griffin and Rutledge had already spent months positioning themselves ahead of Sanders’ entry by lining up endorsements, raising money and trying to stake their claims as the most conservative candidate. Griffin has called for the outright elimination of the state’s income tax, while Rutledge signed on to Texas’ ultimately unsuccessful lawsuit challenging the result of the presidential election. Following the riot, Griffin and Rutledge issued statements condemning the storming of the Capitol but not addressing Trump’s role in stirring up his backers. Combined, the two have raised more than $2.8 million for the race. Griffin on Monday criticized Sanders for promising in her video to cut off funding to so-called sanctuary cities that violate immigration laws. He noted a 2019 measure Hutchinson signed into law already does just that by cutting off funding to cities that don’t co-operate with immigration authorities. “It sounds like she needs to catch up on what’s been going on in Arkansas,” Griffin said in a statement. Rutledge, meanwhile, said in a statement the race was about “who has a proven record and not merely rhetoric.” The race could also get even more crowded. Republican State Sen. Jim Hendren, a nephew of Hutchinson’s, is considering a run for the seat and said he hoped to make a decision within the next three weeks. “Right now we have three announced candidates but they all do represent the far right part of the Republican Party,” said Hendren, who has been much more willing to criticize Trump and hasn’t ruled out an independent bid. “The question I have to decide is, is there room for a more pragmatic, centrist type of approach?” Sanders was already well known in Arkansas politics, going back to when she appeared in ads for her father’s campaign. She managed Sen. John Boozman’s 2010 election and worked as an adviser to Sen. Tom Cotton’s in 2014. During Sanders’ nearly two-year tenure at the White House, daily televised briefings led by the press secretary ended after Sanders repeatedly sparred with reporters who aggressively questioned her. She faced questions about her credibility, but she also earned reporters’ respect working behind the scenes to develop relationships with the media. She remains an unknown on many issues and wasn’t made available for interviews Monday, though she staked out some positions in her introductory video that include reducing the state’s income tax. Her introductory video indicates she’s leaning more on her time with Trump, with it featuring images of or calling out those who frequently drew his ire including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and CNN. Republicans hold a firm grip on Arkansas, with the GOP holding all statewide and federal seats. They also hold a majority in both chambers of the Legislature. Trump in November won the state by nearly 28 percentage points, one of the biggest margins in his ultimate loss to Biden. State Democratic Party Chairman Michael John Gray on Monday called the GOP primary a “race to the bottom.” But national party leaders indicated Sanders’ candidacy may draw more resources and attention to a long-shot race that will coincide with 2022 congressional midterm elections. “As we close the book on a dark chapter in our history, we must make sure Trump’s brand of politics stays in the past," Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison tweeted. “Now, Sarah Huckabee Sanders is running on his record." Hutchinson, who has remained generally popular since taking office in 2015, said he didn't plan on endorsing anyone at this time in the race. “I am a voter, so I will follow the campaign with interest, but I have a job to do for the next two years, and I will devote my energies to bring Arkansas out of the pandemic and to revitalize our economy," he said in a statement. ___ Follow Andrew DeMillo on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ademillo Andrew Demillo, The Associated Press
Canada's natural resources minister accused the Opposition of beating their chests in a show of support for the oil and gas industry, during an emergency debate in the House of Commons regarding the Keystone XL pipeline expansion project Monday evening. "Do we, as some are suggesting, start a trade war with our closest ally and largest trading partner, with the single largest customer for Canadian crude? ... I have not yet heard a single argument that would convince me a trade war is in the best interests of our oil and gas workers," Seamus O'Regan said. O'Regan said the new U.S. administration represents an opportunity to work together with a government aligned with Canada's priorities on clean energy, pointing to TC Energy — the Calgary-based company behind the Keystone project — committing to buying renewable energy to achieve net zero emissions. Last week, on his first day in office, U.S. President Joe Biden scrapped the pipeline's permit as one of multiple actions intended to fight climate change, effectively killing the $8-billion US project. If completed, the 1,897-kilometre pipeline expansion project, first announced in 2005, would have carried 830,000 barrels of oilsands crude from Hardisty, Alta., to Nebraska, where it would then connect with the original Keystone pipeline that runs to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries. Opposition Leader Erin O'Toole called for the debate earlier on Monday, accusing the government of not doing enough to advocate for the expansion. During the evening's debate, which stretched until just past midnight in Ottawa, O'Toole described empty office towers and job losses in Calgary. "Canada has been dealt a serious blow … these are Canadians, thousands of them, being totally forgotten and left behind by this government," he said. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government has repeatedly said it supports the project, and Trudeau expressed his disappointment with Biden during a call between the two nations' leaders on Friday. "We will stand up and have our workers' backs.… Let's talk TMX. We approved it, we bought it, we're building it," O'Regan said, referring to the federal purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which is under construction. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has called for sanctions against the U.S. in response to the permit's cancellation. Kenney's government invested $1.5 billion Cdn in equity in the project alongside billions in loan guarantees.The provincial opposition NDP is calling on the Alberta government to release documents containing details of that deal, calling it a risky one. The project had been rejected under former president Barack Obama's government. It was later approved under former president Donald Trump, but Biden had repeatedly stated he intended to rescind that permit once elected. Canada's ambassador to the U.S. has said it's time to respect that decision, however disappointing it may be to proponents, and move forward. WATCH | Keystone XL pipeline project 'appears to be dead,' says Rachel Notley Edmonton-Strathcona NDP MP Heather McPherson said Biden's decision should have come as no surprise given Biden's opposition and legal challenges of the project. "Remember when Jason Kenney gambled on Donald Trump. He didn't gamble his money — he gambled ours … that was his plan to get jobs for workers in my province," she said. "Now, he wants to start a trade war with the U.S., the customer for 95 per cent of our energy exports." Lakeland Conservative MP Shannon Stubbs said while the decision did not come as a shock, it underlines that Canada is in a vulnerable position when it comes to its energy industry as the U.S. has increased domestic production. "With the stroke of a pen thousands of people are out of work in the middle of a global crisis ... Canadians whose livelihoods depend on the oil and gas sector are rightfully anxious about their future," she said. O'Regan referred to climate change as an "existential crisis." "The market has an important role here. It is the leading role in determining how investment decisions should be made, but it is our government's duty to set the parameters on that and to incent what we believe to be extraordinarily important goals, namely net-zero emissions by 2050. That is the goal we have set for ourselves, and many of our friends, colleagues and competitors around the world have also set that goal for themselves. This is an existential crisis, there is no question." It's also an economic crisis for the many people across the country who worry they may be left behind, he said. "We cannot allow that to happen." Former Green Party Leader and Saanich-Gulf Islands MP Elizabeth May said it would be extremely unfair to say those who think the Keystone expansion cancellation was a good decision don't care about workers losing their jobs. "I would no more say that people who are supporting the oilsands are deliberately and consciously threatening my grandchildrens' future than I would say it's right to be celebrating when people suffer an immediate downturn in their economic prospects."
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week. MOVIES — An intimate melodrama set in England just before the outbreak of World War II, “The Dig” is the kind of well-crafted, well-acted period drama not unearthed so often. Simon Stone’s adaptation of John Preston’s novel, which begins streaming Friday on Netflix, stars Carey Mulligan as a British landowner and widow who brings in a local excavator for a provincial museum (Ralph Fiennes) to investigate what will prove to be a landmark archeological find. In her review, AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr called “The Dig” “a truly beautiful piece, contemplative and melancholy, with a lovely score by Stefan Gregory and enveloping scenery shot by Mike Eley.” — Aside from “Trolls” and Woody Allen’ “Wonder Wheel,” Justin Timberlake hasn’t been acting much since a string of good early ‘10s performances including “Social Network” and “Inside Llewyn Davis.” In Fisher Stevens’ “Palmer,” Timberlake takes a rare leading role in a predictable but tender redemption drama. In the film, debuting Friday on Apple TV+, a bearded Timberlake plays an ex-convict and former college football star who returns home from prison and strikes up a friendship with a boy (Ryder Allen) being looked after by his grandmother (June Squibb). — The first in Warner Bros.’ planned year-long rollout of films opening on both HBO Max and in theatres is the starry neo-noir thriller “The Little Things.” Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto star in John Lee Hancock’s ’90s-set crime drama, with Washington and Malek playing police investigators of a Los Angeles serial killer. It debuts Friday. — AP Film Writer Jake Coyle MUSIC — iHeartRadio’s fifth annual ALTer EGO show dedicated to contemporary rock artists starring Billie Eilish, Foo Fighters and Coldplay will air virtually on Thursday night. Other performers include Mumford & Sons, twenty one pilots, Beck, the Black Keys, the Killers, Weezer, blink-182, Cage the Elephant and Muse. Foo Fighters will kick off the performances at 9:30 a.m. EST and Eilish – who will go on at 10:20 a.m. EST – will wrap the event. — British singer-songwriter Arlo Parks is having a breakthrough, and she can count former first lady Michelle Obama as a fan. The singer’s “Eugene” – taken from her debut “Collapsed In Sunbeams” – was featured on “Vol. 1: The Michele Obama Playlist” on Spotify, inspired by the first season of Obama’s podcast. Parks, who will released her album on Friday, was also longlisted for the prestigious BBC Sound of 2020 poll. — Live from the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles, Adam Lambert will hold a concert Friday to celebrate his 39th birthday. “Adam Lambert Live” will include two shows – one at 3 p.m. EST and another at 10 p.m. EST. He will perform songs from his latest album, “Velvet,” as well as other tracks from his catalogue. Tickets cost $18.50. — AP Music Editor Mesfin Fekadu TELEVISION — “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” returns 10 p.m. EDT Tuesday for season No. 27 with a sidekick: “The Real Sports Podcast,” which expands on stories featured on the HBO series with further interviews and behind-the-scenes details. Among the segments featured on the debut episode of Gumbel’s show: how Minneapolis police officers helped build a high school sports powerhouse and student trust, and profiles of athletes struggling with “long-haul” COVID-19 symptoms. The accompanying podcast’s first episode is out this week. — If a wacky sci-fi series sounds appealing, check out “Resident Alien.” Alan Tudyk plays Harry, masquerading as a small-town doctor — and a human — after crash-landing on Earth. He’s pulled into helping solve a murder and relationships with his new neighbours, complicating his assignment to wipe out the planet’s population. Tudyk (“Firefly,” “American Dad!”) fully embraces the silly, along with castmates including Sara Tomko (“Once Upon a Time”) and Corey Reynolds (“The Closer”). Based on the comic book series of the same name, “Resident Alien” debuts 10 p.m. EST Wednesday on SyFy. — “Forgotten Genius” pays tribute to Percy Julian, an African American chemist whose achievements and success came despite the roadblocks of racism. The 2007 documentary, which is being rebroadcast Wednesday on PBS’ science series “Nova” (check local listings for time), recounts his pioneering research that helped lead to the mass production of cortisone and birth control pills. Ruben Santiago-Hudson (“Billions”) portrays Julian, who became a wealthy businessman and advocate for civil rights. The documentary streams free through February on PBS.org. — AP Television Writer Lynn Elber ___ Catch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/apf-entertainment. The Associated Press
A man is in critical condition following a two-vehicle collision in Mississauga, Peel Regional Police say. Police earlier said the man had died but later issued a correction indicating he had lost vital signs and was revived. Emergency crews were called to the area of Dixie Road and Winding Trail at 2:47 p.m, where the man had been found with life-threatening injuries. He was rushed to a trauma centre and by 4:23, police said he had died. Shortly afterwards, they said the man had in fact lost vital signs and that medical staff were able to revive him. Dixie Road has been shut down in both directions from Burnhamthorphe East to Winding Trail, with drivers asked to use alternate routes. Peel police's major collision bureau has taken over the investigation. Anyone with dashcam or surveillance footage is being asked to contact police.
Irving Oil's attempt to win immediate wholesale petroleum price increases from the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board stalled quickly Monday over objections from a variety of community organizations that too much of the application is based on secret material. "The amount of information that is redacted in these documents makes it very difficult for our organization to meaningfully participate," said Abram Lutes with the New Brunswick Common Front for Social Justice "It limits our ability to participate meaningfully and to advocate on behalf of low income workers and people in poverty." Several other groups expressed similar concerns and the EUB's acting Chair Francois Beaulieu scheduled a hearing Friday morning to deal with the objections. That forced a delay in Irving Oil's request for immediate increases in wholesale petroleum margins at least until next week. "The board will adjourn and we'll await the interveners to file their objections," said Beaulieu. Until recently, Irving Oil has shown little outward concern about petroleum wholesale margins in New Brunswick. Since 2016, it twice declined to participate in scheduled reviews of the issue by the board, including the latest one launched in 2019. COVID-19 has affected business But the company says the COVID-19 pandemic has hit its business hard, and it now requires immediate changes. In prepared remarks for the EUB on Monday that he was ultimately unable to deliver before proceedings adjourned Irving Oil marketing president Darren Gillis planned to outline the company's hardships "We've reduced spending across the company, cancelled projects, and unfortunately reduced our employee and contractor workforce," said the prepared remarks. "Significant sales declines (Jet Fuel, Marine Fuel and Transportation Fuel) and higher costs are having a serious impact on the entire supply chain. No one, no company is insulated from the impacts of the pandemic, including Irving Oil." Company asks for substantial increases The company is applying for a 62.8 per cent (4.09 cent per litre) increase in the allowed wholesale margin for motor fuels and a 54,9 per cent (3.02 cent per litre) increase in the margin for furnace oil. It is asking that prior to a full hearing in late March, 85 per cent of the requested increase on motor fuels (3.5 cents) and 99 per cent of the increase on furnace oil (3.0 cents) be granted immediately The increases are substantially more than the 11 per cent growth in inflation that has occurred since the margins last changed in March 2013. But much of Irving Oil's evidence in support of changes that large is not being publicly shared to protect company operational and financial information, an immediate sticking point Monday Beaulieu noted the EUB itself along with public intervener Heather Black and any experts they hire are permitted to view all the material, but that did little to satisfy several participants. Hafsah Mohammad with the Moncton social justice and climate action group Grassroots NB expressed support for Black's role but said more perspectives on Irving Oil's application are needed "I think that has a problematic element with one person speaking for the entire public," said Mohammad. "I thought that's why there are interveners. If it is solely on Heather Black I am concerned with just one person being assigned to this role." Mohammad also pressed Beaulieu to explain his view on a letter sent to the EUB by Mike Holland, the New Brunswick natural resources and energy development minister, and its effect on the hearing.. Holland wrote to the board on Jan. 6, one day after Irving Oil filed its application, to back the company's request for an "expedited" review. "I did not have any intention to comment on the letter but if an intervener does put it forward I'll comment on it," said Beaulieu. "I'm putting it forward," said Mohammad Beaulieu said all citizens have a right to send letters to comment on matters before the board, and he viewed Holland's as just one of many that have arrived from the public. Irving oil lawyer concerned over delay "Any person in the province of New Brunswick can comment on any proceeding of the board," said Beaulieu "We're independent and that will continue." Irving Oil lawyer Len Hoyt expressed concern about delays in getting to the request for immediate price increases, but the application is effectively on hold for a week while the company's reliance on confidential information is dealt with first "The urgency and the expediency of this is of upmost importance to my client." said Hoyt.
WASHINGTON — Federal law enforcement officials are examining a number of threats aimed at members of Congress as the second trial of former President Donald Trump nears, including ominous chatter about killing legislators or attacking them outside of the U.S. Capitol, a U.S. official told The Associated Press. The threats, and concerns that armed protesters could return to sack the Capitol anew, have prompted the U.S. Capitol Police and other federal law enforcement to insist thousands of National Guard troops remain in Washington as the Senate moves forward with plans for Trump's trial, the official said. The shocking insurrection at the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob prompted federal officials to rethink security in and around its landmarks, resulting in an unprecedented lockdown for Biden's inauguration. Though the event went off without any problems and armed protests around the country did not materialize, the threats to lawmakers ahead of Trump's trial exemplified the continued potential for danger. Similar to those intercepted by investigators ahead of Biden’s inauguration, the threats that law enforcement agents are tracking vary in specificity and credibility, said the official, who had been briefed on the matter. Mainly posted online and in chat groups, the messages have included plots to attack members of Congress during travel to and from the Capitol complex during the trial, according to the official. The official was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation publicly and spoke Sunday to the AP on condition of anonymity. Law enforcement officials are already starting to plan for the possibility of armed protesters returning to the nation's capital when Trump’s Senate trial on a charge of inciting a violent insurrection begins the week of Feb. 8. It would be the first impeachment trial of a former U.S. president. Though much of the security apparatus around Washington set up after the Jan. 6 riot and ahead of Biden’s inauguration — it included scores of military checkpoints and hundreds of additional law enforcement personnel — is no longer in place, about 7,000 members of the National Guard will remain to assist federal law enforcement, officials said. Gen. Dan Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said Monday that about 13,000 Guard members are still deployed in D.C., and that their numbers would shrink to 7,000 by the end of this week. John Whitley, the acting secretary of the Army, told a Pentagon news conference that this number is based on requests for assistance from the Capitol Police, the Park Police, the Secret Service and the Metropolitan Police Department. Whitley said the number is to drop to 5,000 by mid-March. Thousands of Trump’s supporters descended on the Capitol on Jan. 6 as Congress met to certify Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential race. More than 800 are believed to have made their way into the Capitol during the violent siege, pushing past overwhelmed police officers. The Capitol police said they planned for a free speech protest, not a riot, and were caught off guard despite intelligence suggesting the rally would descend into a riot. Five people died in the melee, including a Capitol police officer who was struck in the head with a fire extinguisher. At least five people facing federal charges have suggested they believed they were taking orders from Trump when they marched on Capitol Hill to challenge the certification of Biden’s election victory. But now those comments, captured in interviews with reporters and federal agents, are likely to take centre stage as Democrats lay out their case. More than 130 people have been charged by federal prosecutors for their roles in the riot. In recent weeks, others have been arrested after posting threats against members of Congress. They include a Proud Boys supporter who authorities said threatened to deploy “three cars full of armed patriots” to Washington, threatened harm against Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., and who is accused of stockpiling military-style combat knives and more than 1,000 rifle rounds in his New York home. A Texas man was arrested this week for taking part in the riot at the Capitol and for posting violent threats, including a call to assassinate Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y ___ Associated Press writer Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report. Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
New Brunswick's health minister says she believes the province can stay on track with its vaccination goals for the first quarter of 2021 despite a disruption in the supply of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine starting this week. Dorothy Shephard says she's hopeful the federal government is right when it says Pfizer will "ramp up" shipments of its COVID-19 vaccine in March so that supplies catch up and provinces can still hit their targets. But in the meantime the province will have to adjust its roll-out plans for February to deal with the reduction in shipments, which includes no new Pfizer vaccine for Canada this week. "We can't issue vaccines if we don't have the vaccine to release," Shepherd said Monday. "Absolutely we are making those changes." She did not provide details of what those changes would be. She also added: "We have been assured that the shipments will be ramped up in March so that we should be able to meet our planned vaccination rollout for [the first quarter] in the month of March. … So I expect March is going to be very busy." As of Monday, New Brunswick had received 21,675 vaccine doses, including a shipment of 3,900 doses from Pfizer last Friday. 'Almost easier than the flu shot' One of those doses went into the arm of family physician Dr. Marc-André Doucet at a clinic at the Chaleur Regional Hospital in Bathurst on Saturday. "There was no wait," Doucet said. "Everything was smooth sailing. "We're privileged to be among the first to have it. Obviously I think we're also exposed to the risk, so it makes sense." He said he suffered no side effects from the dose he received Saturday, his first. "It's actually almost easier than the flu shot I get every year." On Monday, Ontario said it would postpone shots to some health care workers in February because of the Pfizer delays, so that long-term care residents at greater risk could be vaccinated with the supply the province has. Shephard said in New Brunswick, another vaccine from Moderna is being used for long-term care residents so that won't be affected by the Pfizer delay. Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military commander leading vaccine logistics for the Public Health Agency of Canada, recently said there would be no Pfizer deliveries to Canada this week and that shipments would reduced by up to 50 per cent over four weeks. New Brunswick had been due to receive 35,100 Pfizer doses between now and the end of February. The federal government's delivery schedule website hasn't been updated with new numbers for Pfizer. The company is upgrading its plant in Belgium to manufacture even more doses this year than originally planned, but that means slowing production temporarily. The site shows New Brunswick is still expected to receive 4,300 doses of Moderna's vaccine next week and another 4,700 doses in the final week of February. The province has also been holding back 7,418 doses to ensure there are enough second shots for everyone who has had a first one. Shephard said 1,300 people were vaccinated at 10 long-term care facilities last week, as well as 1,950 health-care workers at hospitals in Bathurst, Edmundston, Saint John and Fredericton. 20 long-term care facilities to get Moderna vaccine Another 750 people at 20 long-term care facilities will get doses of the Moderna vaccine this week, along with 1,600 health-care workers who will get their second dose. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two shots to be fully effective. So far 14,257 New Brunswickers have received at least one shot and 2,839 have had both doses and are considered fully immunized. Shephard said the province could go faster if it had more supply. "It continues to not be a matter of our ability to vaccinate, but that we do not have the vaccine in sufficient quantities yet." Last week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the CEO of Pfizer has personally assured him that shipments would pick up again and catch up with the original shipment schedule by the end of March. "That has yet to be seen," Shephard said. "We can only hope that is what will happen." Anyone who wants vaccine could get it by fall In December, the federal government said there would be enough Pfizer vaccine to immunize three million Canadians by the end of March. With per capita distribution that would mean 60,000 New Brunswickers. The province hopes that by fall any New Brunswicker who wants the vaccine will have had the chance to get it. "Our goal is to get to September and be where we want to be," Shephard said. "These kinds of adjustments have to be made, we have to work with them, and we will continue to work with them."
Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab will continue his work unabated after protests escalated to a new level on Saturday when a group of people stood with signs outside his Regina home. "The Ministry of Health has indicated that Dr. Shahab will not let this incident distract him from continuing his important ongoing work and is unavailable for comment today," Jim Billington, spokesperson for the Saskatchewan government, said in a statement Monday. Billington said Premier Scott Moe and Shahab would provide an update on current public health orders and vaccine delivery at a news conference on Tuesday. The current set of public health restrictions are scheduled to expire on Friday. Protests of Saskatchewan's public health orders and government policy have been common through the 10 months of the pandemic, but have largely stayed in public areas. Throughout the spring and summer, there were sporadic protests outside the Saskatchewan legislature and later at the T.C. Douglas Building where Shahab and workers within the Ministry of Health have offices. The protest moved to Shahab's residence on Saturday. "We had police respond immediately," Regina Police Chief Evan Bray said. Officers arrived at around 2:30 p.m. CST, with policing staying for about an hour until protesters left. "They were a group of protesters we're acquainted with. We've had interactions with them and discussions with them many times, most of them being around the legislature," Bray said. "The primary focus is on, is there any immediate risk to the safety of anyone, and if there isn't, then the investigative work is done to determine if any potential charges will come from that," Bray said. The Regina Police Service is currently working with Crown prosecutions to determine if any charges will be laid, according to Bray. Moe released his own statement Saturday, referring to the people who gathered outside Shahab's home as, "a group of idiots." "This harassment of Dr. Shahab and his family at their home is simply unacceptable, sickening and wrong," he said. "To those that did this — you should be ashamed of yourselves and your actions." Moe invited those with concerns about public health measures and decisions by government to contact him or their MLA. Shahab is a public servant and works under the umbrella of the Ministry of Health. He and his team make recommendations to government, but he does not have the authority to compel them to implement measures. On Saturday, the province said Shahab and his family were not harmed during the protest. On Monday, Billington said, "while appropriate steps are being taken to ensure the safety and security of Dr. Shahab, we are unable to provide information regarding security considerations." In November, Ontario Premier Doug Ford referred to people protesting restrictions outside his home as "buffoons." In October, people in Manitoba left cardboard tombstones on the front lawn of Premier Brian Pallister's lawn protesting his response to a wave of COVID cases. The Winnipeg Free Press reported on Saturday that anti-restriction protesters planned to demonstrate outside Pallister's home and police were on scene, but a protest never materialized. Protests move from the legislature to private residence In December, an event outside the legislature billed as a "Freedom Rally" drew criticism from Moe when a video showed one speaker making racist remarks toward Shahab. "Those comments are foolish and they should never be made. Quite frankly, they're nothing short of idiotic," Moe at the time, adding that he was "embarrassed" that people from Saskatchewan made those "disgusting" comments. "We have a chief medical health officer in this province who we should be very thankful to have. He didn't have to come to Saskatchewan. And he is among the very best, providing the very best public health advice that any province could ask for." Two organizers of that rally were fined $2,800 for violating public health orders. On Jan. 12, Regina Leader-Post photographer Brandon Harder captured security escorting Shahab to his vehicle after a media conference at the legislative building. A couple of people held signs near the vehicle, with one reading "Expose Mask Nazis." After that incident, Moe tweeted, "This kind of harassing behaviour is utterly unacceptable. Dr. Shahab deserves nothing short of our thanks and respect for his dedication to the health and safety of Saskatchewan people." Doctors group condemns protest On Monday, the association that represents Saskatchewan physicians condemned the protest outside Shahab's home. "Bringing a protest to Dr. Shahab's private residence is absolutely unacceptable, and the SMA condemns these actions," said Dr. Barb Konstantynowicz, president of the Saskatchewan Medical Association, in a release. She said the SMA commended Moe for telling those that disagree with public health policy to contact elected officials and not civil servants. "Since the pandemic, physicians and all health-care providers have demonstrated their unwavering commitment to caring for and putting the safety of Saskatchewan citizens first. Everyone's effort to reduce the spread of this virus is critical," Dr. Konstantynowicz said. "The SMA is extremely grateful for Dr. Shahab's tireless, dedicated efforts in fighting the pandemic on behalf of the people of the province." CBC Saskatchewan wants to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you. Share your story with our online questionnaire.
She’s had Dex since he could fit in her hand. As a puppy, Dex had an overbite that made nursing impossible. So Cindi Ilchuk adopted and hand fed the dog until he was able to eat. Now he’s 10 years old, 65 pounds, and the two are inseparable. “Dex is a support dog. He’s not an officially trained support dog, but he fell into the job and he’s filled the role wonderfully,” said Ilchuk’s stepfather Wayne Pierce. “That dog is everything to Cindi. I don’t know what she’d do without him. He’s the one constant in her life.” On Jan. 17, Dex broke his paw in the panic that ensued when a fire engulfed the hallway at Ilchuk’s apartment — the Town Park Apartment C block fire that has displaced everyone who lived in the 15 units. RELATED: ‘Suspicious’ Port Hardy apartment fire could keep tenants out of their homes for months RELATED: Fundraiser started for tenants left hanging after apartment fire In the panic of the fire, Ilchuck slid down the drain pipe to escape the fire and smoke in the hallway. A friend tried to pass Dex down to her. She half-caught, half-broke the dog’s fall, but he landed on one paw breaking it badly. “Everyone heard him yelp when that happened,” Pierce said. If the break had been a few inches higher, a simple cast could have been used. But the paw was broken at a joint, and requires surgery. Dex has been at the North Island Veterinarian Hospital since the fire and is getting anxious for Ilchuk, staff told Pierce. Pierce will take Dex to Campbell River Veterinarian Hospital for surgery on Jan. 25, but isn’t sure how their family will cover the $4,000 bill, plus over $1,000 due to the North Island Veterinarian Hospital. Ilchuk is on disability income for a variety of health challenges, and now faces the imminent challenge of finding new housing. She has been living in Town Park Apartment C-block in Port Hardy for just over a year — the longest home Pierce can remember in the last 20 years. Ilchuk’s mother Ann Ilchuk has started a GoFundMe account to raise funds towards the surgery costs: https://gofund.me/70f1ef35. Staff at both veterinarian hospitals will also accept payments to Dex’s account. RCMP consider the fire suspicious and are investigating. Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Zoë Ducklow, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Island Gazette
95 classes du Centre de services scolaire (CSS) de Laval sont présentement fermées en raison de cas liés à la COVID-19. Comme l'organisation compte 87 établissements scolaires dans son réseau, cela représente en moyenne un peu plus d'une classe fermée par lieu d'enseignement selon les données fournies le lundi 25 janvier. Annie Goyette, directrice adjointe du Secrétariat général et du Service des communications au CSS de Laval, assure d'ailleurs que les «équipes-écoles étaient heureuses de retrouver leurs élèves et que le retour s’est bien déroulé» lorsque questionnée par le Courrier Laval au sujet de la rentrée hivernale du primaire et du secondaire. Au total, 414 cas positifs à la COVID-19 ont été confirmés parmi les élèves et employés du réseau scolaire lavallois depuis le début du mois de janvier. Parmi ceux-ci, 137 cas sont toujours actifs. Selon les données émises par le gouvernement du Québec, un total de 82 bâtiments du CSS de Laval comptent des cas actifs de la COVID-19 au sein de leurs installations. Voici la liste complète de ceux-ci : 14 établissements privés et écoles anglophones sont aussi touchés : Le gouvernement provincial a également précisé que 2008 cas actifs ont été confirmés dans le réseau scolaire québécois en date du 22 janvier. Parmi ceux-ci, on compte 1613 élèves et 395 membres du personnel. Notons que 511 classes (+63) de la province ont été fermées pour réduire les risques de propagation. Avec un bilan de 21 460 personnes testées positives à la COVID-19, Laval a connu une hausse de 112 cas en 24 heures. Le total de décès augmente à 813 depuis le début de la pandémie. Le Centre intégré de santé et services sociaux de Laval cumule également 19 342 guérisons, ce qui signifie qu’il y a désormais 1305 cas actifs confirmés sur le territoire lavallois. Parmi les personnes touchées, 79 sont hospitalisées, dont 26 aux soins intensifs. 79 employés de l’organisation de santé sont toujours absents du travail en raison de la COVID-19. 13 résidences privées pour aînés (RPA) de Laval et 4 CHSLD sont présentement touchés par la COVID-19. Voici la liste complète de celles-ci : Par ailleurs, les résidences Bégonias et Boulay, ainsi que la Villa Les Tilleuls ont été placées dans la catégorie des établissements en situation critique en raison du taux d’infection. Au Québec, le bilan est maintenant de 254 836 cas et 9521 décès. Au total, 1321 personnes sont toujours hospitalisées, dont 217 aux soins intensifs.Nicholas Pereira, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
OTTAWA — New documents show Canada’s cyberspy agency was so alarmed by the potential fallout from an alleged secrecy breach by a senior RCMP employee that it revised a damage assessment to “severe” from "high" in the days after his arrest. Cameron Jay Ortis was taken into custody on Sept. 12, 2019, for allegedly revealing secrets to an unnamed recipient and planning to give additional classified information to an unspecified foreign entity. Ortis, who led the RCMP's National Intelligence Co-ordination Centre, is charged with Security of Information Act violations, breach of trust and a computer-related offence. The federal Communications Security Establishment initially judged potential damage from the incident as "high" given Ortis' access to some of the most sensitive information in Canada. A CSE memo, newly obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, says the assessment was bumped up to "severe" after the cybersecurity agency conducted "a more in-depth analysis." The Sept. 24, 2019, memo says Ortis had access to information designated Top Secret Special Intelligence, or SI. He was also allowed to use the Canadian Top Secret Network, which holds a range of information including SI. An unauthorized disclosure of information designated Top Secret SI "could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave injury to the national interest," the memo says. "Much of the information, if improperly disclosed, could provide significant insight into Canada's intelligence operations and those of its closest allies," it adds. "Given the training required to properly access and handle SI information, Mr. Ortis would have been fully aware of the potential harm that unauthorized disclosure would bring to existing intelligence capabilities." The memo indicates the RCMP provided the CSE with relevant documentation to help with the damage assessment. "The documents reviewed by CSE to date are all classified (up to Top Secret) with SI handling caveats designed to restrict their distribution to only officially Top Secret-cleared and SI-indoctrinated individuals within Canadian and allied governments." The memo makes it clear the harm from disclosure of the documents in question would go well beyond just the content, exposing crucial classified sources and methods. "The loss of such hard-won and costly capabilities would render Canadian and allied agencies less able to produce valued intelligence for national decision makers. "Analysis of the content of these documents could reasonably produce significant conclusions about allied and Canadian intelligence targets, techniques, methods and capabilities." Countermeasures taken as a result of these insights by people seeking to evade authorities could be "extremely damaging" to a broad range of intelligence efforts, the memo adds. "Furthermore, the unauthorized disclosure of such information would undermine the confidence of Canada's allies in sharing sensitive intelligence, including SI, with Canadian security and intelligence partners, limiting Canada's ability to support key government priorities, with negative repercussions for Canadian national security." CSE spokesman Evan Koronewski said Monday the agency was unable to comment on the memo because the matter is still before the courts. Ortis is being held in an Ottawa jail as his complex case proceeds. Federal prosecutors served notice in June that sensitive or potentially injurious information might be disclosed during the case. That prompted an application to the Federal Court the next month to shield materials that could harm Canada's security, defence or international relations if revealed. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021. Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press
Tay councillors told staff municipal open burning policy needs more than a reduction in fire-pit size to control the smoke complaints that brought the matter to this stage. At a recent committee meeting, Fire Chief Brian Thomas was asked to take a closer look at how to address the smoke issue using a method other than reduction in fire pit size, which he had pitched in a staff report. "By making a few minor adjustments, such as the size of a fire-pit (down to 0.6 metres in diameter)," he said to council, "I believe will help make a hotter, cleaner burning fire and less chance of old construction paint being used." Another recommendation in his report was to ban open-air burning in urban areas between midnight and 5 p.m. "Hopefully, some of these (recommendations) will address those issues and lessen the complaints," said Thomas. "I know it won't be the end of complaints, but it might keep the majority of our residents from expressing concerns to council." But council members weren't entirely convinced those two measures would help solve any problems. Deputy Mayor Gerard LaChapelle said even if pit sizes are reduced, residents could simply use a chainsaw or axe to chop down a skid and burn it in a smaller pit. "It isn't going to restrict me from using building materials," he said. "We all have the means to break the rules, so I believe people will find a way to break these rules, too." Municipal law enforcement officer Rob Kennedy said fire-pit size is one of the first features a bylaw officer looks at when a property is visited following a complaint. "That is one of the tools we use for education," he said, adding staff understands some people have their fire pits built into landscaping or their decks, so changing the size would be a hardship. "If we have smaller fire wood, that means smaller pieces of wood, they burn hotter and faster. That does dissipate the whole aspect of the smoke that's realistically the problem that brought this to light." Coun. Jeff Bumstead said he didn't agree with the reduction in fire-pit size but he did agree with a change in timing. "If someone is burning a skid that they're not supposed to be burning, they'll find a way to burn it in a smaller pit," he said. "I agree with a change in timing, I don't agree with the 5 p.m. and midnight timing. I think it might be a bit too restrictive. I would suggest from 3 p.m. till one or two in the morning in the urban areas." His peer, Coun. Mary Warnock, did not see eye to eye with him on the timing issue. "I'm not in agreement with the hours because a lot of people are having fires after midnight," she said, adding she'd like to see a 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. duration. "In the winter time, nowadays people are burning fires daily and they need to gather outside in the winter time and keep warm." Bumstead suggested that maybe the reason residents are burning items that produce noxious fumes is because they're not aware of what is allowed in the fire-pit. "The majority of the problems is the fact that people don't understand what seasoned dry wood is," he said, adding he was in support of an educational approach. "I don't know if putting some pictures right on the permit would be a way to go." That struck a chord with everyone --- even staff. "We did step up proactive enforcement and education," said Kennedy, adding that last year bylaw attended 52 open air burning complaints, had 17 inquiries and did 18 routine patrols. He did not have a breakdown in terms of urban and rural areas. "It was found that one out of 20 people we stopped were burning correctly. Everybody had at least one thing wrong, whether it be minor or major. There were a few major problems with some people." LaChapelle said educating is essential but the township must also go a step further and determine when education ends and punishment begins. When residents receive burn permits, they sign for it, he said, pointing out that's when an education element can come in. "The second part is when you're identified as an offender after being educated, that's a strike, and the third one is when the fine comes in," he said. The matter was referred to a next meeting of council for when staff will bring back another report with changes to it. Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com
Canada’s Natural Resource Minister Seamus O'Regan rebuffed calls to issue sanctions on the United States over President Joe Biden‘s move to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline expansion. He said the government has a “responsibility to Albertans to safeguard our relationship with the single largest customer for Canadian crude.”
It may be getting colder out, but stepping inside Rita Pintea's greenhouse offers a balmy escape from the chill. Rising steam fills the humid tunnel with the smell of fresh, soft earth, planted recently with lettuce. The 75-foot-long greenhouse is a first for Rita and her husband, Laurentiu, who, two weeks ago, constructed the framing and assisted Rita in installing a plastic covering. "We were trying to figure out how we can deal in Canadian winters with some inexpensive methods," Rita said. Also known as a "caterpillar tunnel," for its ribbed segments, the greenhouse is covered by two, six-millimetre-thick polyethylene sheets, which have warm air funnelled in between, inflating the layers to help prevent temperature loss and keep snow from piling up. "It should keep the zone difference about two zones up," she said, referring to hardiness zones, which traditionally dictate what plants will have the best chance of survival according to climate conditions. Rita is educated as a nurse and paramedic but has opted to stay close to her familiar roots, settling down and planting some of her own in Canada, eight years ago. “As kids, we grew up constantly on the field,” she said of her parent's farm back in Romania, where they still grow food today. Now, her children, ages three, nine and 12, help out with the farming on roughly an acre of land in Beamsville where she operates Rita's Market. Manure from their chickens is used for fertilizer inside the greenhouse and absolutely no sprays are used, Rita says. Had the greenhouse been around sooner, it would've prolonged her growing season beyond last year's fall killing frost. This year, she hopes to plant salad greens, green onions, peas and cucumbers. Provided seeds and trays arrive on time, harvesting could begin as soon as February for some salad greens. "Everything is an experiment this year," she said. Not so for Sascha and Agnes Ohme, of Ohme Farms, who have had a greenhouse since first acquiring their Jordan Station property in 2009. “Within a month we had a greenhouse up," Sascha said. They knew it would be a necessity to keep growing when winter came. The farm could operate 52 weeks of the year, "no problem," he says — breaking a concept of domestic production being hampered by cruel Canadian winters. “We have something growing in every greenhouse, back to back, all year round,” Sascha said. While hardy root vegetables like squash, rutabaga and carrots actually do better outside and can tough out a freeze, the climate-controlled greenhouse environment allows for a head start on the growing season, keeping fresh greens local and providing more products during wintertime. “Variety truly is interesting and keeps it fun for the person eating,” Sascha said, mentioning some of their rarer offerings: crosne, oca tubers and mâche. The Ohmes also farm organically, using composted cow manure, organically-certified sprays and biologically beneficial insects. “They basically just slow release; there’s different stages of insects in there and they just come out of holes,” Sascha said of small, white packets stuck into dirt on a stick around a mâche crop. But with more variety and organic farming methods also comes added cost. Unlike Rita's tunnel, the Ohmes electrically heat their greenhouses and, on days with less sun, use artificial light to supplement daylight, resulting in hefty energy bills. The Ohmes also try to add another greenhouse each year, leading Sascha to notice what he says is a doubling of cost for greenhouses since cannabis production became legal. Once supplying Niagara's restaurants with premium greens, Ohme Farms and Rita's Market now rely on individuals consumers to reap what they've sown. Rita's Market runs a winter stand selling microgreens and produce, while Ohme Farms offers a smorgasbord of veggies and greens via a community supported agriculture model. Jordan Snobelen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Niagara this Week
MONTREAL — The Quebec government came under pressure Monday to ease lockdown restrictions, from the opposition who called for the homeless to be curfew exempt, to regional mayors who said the rules are unjustified in their towns. Mayors in less-populated parts of the province where COVID-19 infections rates are low said health authorities should ease restrictions after they are set to expire Feb. 8. Marc Parent, the mayor of Rimouski, Que., said his region shouldn't be treated like Montreal, which reports hundreds of new cases every day. Rimouski, by contrast, located about 540 kilometres northeast of Montreal, reported a single new case on Sunday, he said. “When you look at the lower St-Lawrence, the Gaspe and the North Shore, we are in the neighbourhood of about 10 cases per 100,000 residents,” Parent said in an interview Monday. He said residents are looking for health orders to reflect the COVID situation in their region. “I believe the Quebec government must take into consideration the regional realities … it’s a must," Parent said. Much of Quebec has been under some form of lockdown since October, when in-person dining at restaurants, bars, gyms and entertainment venues were closed. But in early January, following a rise in COVID-related hospitalizations, the premier ordered all non-essential businesses across the province to close and imposed an 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew for virtually all Quebecers. Rejean Porlier, mayor of Sept-Iles, Que., said he’s had conversations with Quebec’s director of public health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, about identifying thresholds that would trigger certain extra measures as needed. “That’s what was behind the colour-coded system in the beginning, but we’re in a completely different place now: it’s oatmeal for everyone,” Porlier said. He said curfews and restaurant closures don't make sense in Sept-Iles, located about 650 kilometres northeast of Quebec City, which reported zero new COVID-19 cases on Sunday and five cases last week. “We’ll have to respect the decisions that are taken but we’re hopeful our concerns will be heard and we’ll be able to resume certain activities here,” Porlier said. “When there are zero cases, our (hospital) beds aren’t occupied, what could justify such extreme measures?” Also on Monday, opposition parties joined community groups for a virtual news conference during which they repeated demands the government exempt the homeless from the provincewide curfew. Meanwhile, lawyers argued in Quebec Superior Court that the curfew violates homeless people's Charter rights to safety and security and to be protected against cruel and unusual punishment or treatment. The judge hearing the case is expected to rule later in the week. Last week, Premier Francois Legault rejected the Montreal mayor's request for an exemption, saying he had concerns people would fake homelessness to defy the curfew and avoid the fine, which can be as high as $6,000. Montreal's request came following the recent death of Raphael Andre, a 51-year-old homeless Innu man found dead in a portable toilet. New data indicates the daily infection rate and number of hospitalizations are trending downward. Quebec has reported a drop in hospitalizations for the past six reporting periods, representing 179 fewer patients in hospital. Health officials reported 1,203 new cases of COVID-19 Monday and 43 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including 12 that occurred in the past 24 hours. The Health Department said hospitalizations dropped by six, to 1,321 and 217 patients were in intensive care, a decrease of two. Fewer hospitalizations in recent days are starting to impact hospitalizations, Heath Minister Christian Dube said. "Case data continue to be encouraging," Dube said in a tweet announcing the daily count. "It shows that our efforts over the past few weeks are bearing fruit." Health officials said Monday 1,672 more people have recovered from COVID-19, for a total of 228,887, adding that Quebec has 16,424 active reported cases. Officials said 220,715 doses of vaccine had been administered as of Sunday, representing 2.58 per cent of the population that had been vaccinated. Quebec has reported 254,836 infections and 9,521 deaths linked to the virus since the beginning of the pandemic. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021. — with files from Morgan Lowrie Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
NEW YORK — Illustrator Michaela Goade became the first Native American to win the prestigious Randolph Caldecott Medal for best children's picture story, cited for “We Are Water Protectors.” Tae Keller's “When You Trap a Tiger” won the John Newbery Medal for the outstanding children's book overall of 2020. Jacqueline Woodson, whose previous honours include a National Book Award, won her third Coretta Scott King Award for best work by a Black author for “Before the Ever After.” And a tribute to Aretha Franklin, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T," received the King award for best illustration. The book was written by Carole Boston Weatherford, with images by Frank Morrison. The awards were announced Monday by the American Library Association. Goade is a member of the Tlingit and Haida Indian tribes in Southeast Alaska. “We Are Water Protectors,” written by Carole Lindstrom, is a call for environmental protection that was conceived in response to the planned construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline through Standing Rock Sioux territory. Keller, who was raised in Hawaii and now lives in New York, drew upon Korean folklore for “When You Trap a Tiger," in which a young girl explores her past. Keller's work also was named the year's best Asian/Pacific American literature. The Newbery medal was established in 1922, the Caldecott in 1937. Goade is the first Native American to win in either category. Daniel Nayeri's “Everything Sad Is Untrue (a true story)" won the Michael L. Printz Award for best young adult novel, and Mildred D. Taylor, known for “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” among other works, was given a “Literature Legacy” award. Kekla Magoon, who has written or co-written “X: A Novel" and “How It Went Down,” won a lifetime achievement award for young adult books. Ernesto Cisneros' “Efrén Divided" won the Pura Belpré prize for outstanding Latinx author. Raul Gonzalez's “Vamos! Let’s Go Eat” received the Belpré award for illustration. The Stonewall Book Award for best LGBT literature was given to Archaa Shrivastav for “We Are Little Feminists: Families." ____ On the Internet: ala.org. Hillel Italie, The Associated Press
TORONTO — Enthusiasm for TFI International Inc. and BlackBerry Ltd. offset some investor concerns to push the Canada's main stock index higher. The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 60.11 points to 17,906.02. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 36.98 points at 30,960.00. The S&P 500 index was up 13.89 points at 3,855.36, while the Nasdaq composite was up 92.93 points at 13,635.99. The Canadian dollar traded for 78.51 cents US compared with 78.64 cents US on Friday. The March crude oil contract was up 50 cents at US$52.77 per barrel and the March natural gas contract was up 14.2 cents at US$2.60 per mmBTU. The February gold contract was down US$1 at US$1,855.20 an ounce and the March copper contract was up 0.3 of a cent at US$3.63 a pound. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X) The Canadian Press
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Two major casino companies announced deals Monday with daily fantasy sports providers as they seek to expand their reach and integrate different forms of fan engagement with professional sports into their gambling operations. In the first deal, announced Monday morning, Bally's continued its acquisition juggernaut by acquiring the daily fantasy sports company Monkey Knife Fight in an all-stock transaction that further widens the fast-growing company's drive to add casino, online sports betting and media companies. Later in the day, Caesars Entertainment announced a strategic investment in SuperDraft, a daily fantasy sports company launched in September 2019, with the option to acquire the whole company over time. Daily fantasy sports involves players assembling virtual rosters of professional athletes, and then competing against others based on the performance of those athletes in real life. It is played just for fun, as well as for cash. There has been growing synergy between daily fantasy sports and sports betting; two of the original dominant fantasy providers, DraftKings and FanDuel, have become leading sports betting bookmakers in the U.S. Providence, Rhode Island-based Bally's becomes the third U.S. sports betting company to have a daily fantasy sports component, along with DraftKings and FanDuel. Bally's has been on a tear in recent months, adding gambling and media properties as it aims to become a major national player. “With this acquisition, we are pleased to enter into the high-growth (daily fantasy sports) market," said George Papanier, the company's president and CEO. "Monkey Knife Fight is a unique asset that we look forward to incorporating into Bally’s constantly growing omnichannel portfolio of land-based casinos and iGaming platforms.” Bally's recent moves include the purchase of Bally's casino in Atlantic City, a media partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group and its pending acquisition of Bet.Works. The company plans to integrate Monkey Knife Fight's geographic presence in 37 states, Washington, D.C., and Canada, with Sinclair’s portfolio of 21 regional sports networks. Monkey Knife fight has about 180,000 registered users, 80,000 of whom have made monetary deposits in order to play. Papanier said Monkey Knife Fight will support Bally’s plans to develop a potential customer database in states that have not yet adopted sports betting but which are considered lucrative potential markets, including California, Florida and Texas, as well as in Canada. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021. Caesars did not divulge the amount of its investment in SuperDraft, which operates in more than 35 states. "We’re super excited to be part of Caesars’ powerful gaming ecosystem,” said Steve Wang, CEO and founder of SuperDraft. “Daily fantasy players deserve a breath of fresh air, and we’re here to transform the industry. SuperDraft is now well-positioned to accelerate its growth with financial staying power while broadening its consumer appeal with bigger contests and better rewards to players of all interest levels.” ___ Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC. Wayne Parry, The Associated Press
Le conseil municipal de la Saint-Sauveur-des-Monts a remis à plus tard les démarches visant l’édification d’un projet immobilier dans le secteur du Mont-Habitant. « Nous avons dû remettre à plus tard les consultations publiques pour l’évaluation de ce projet. Nous devons attendre après la Santé publique, afin de pouvoir réunir de 50 à 75 citoyens en un même endroit, à cause de la Covid. On préfère prendre notre temps, agir en toute transparence et voir ce que le promoteur voudra faire. Il est question de possiblement baisser le nombre de maisons mises en chantier », a décrit le maire de Saint-Sauveur, M. Jacques Gariépy. « J’aimerais rassurer les gens, qui me disent que l’on va perdre une belle montagne. Rassurez-vous, il n’est pas question de toucher à la station de ski. C’est un projet à part ». Le premier citoyen sauverien a tenu à souligner l’envoi à Québec d’une résolution de son conseil, demandant à la SQ d’exercer un contrôle plus serré auprès des personnes en provenance des zones rouges, vers la MRC des Pays-d’en-Haut. « Nous l’avons acheminé à la ministre de la sécurité publique, au premier-ministre Legault, au préfêt de la MRC, à notre députée/ministre Marguerite Blais, etc. On veut que tous les moyens soient pris pour garder notre taux de contamination bas ». Enfin, M. Garipéy espère conclure avant la période des fêtes une entente avec la MRC des PDH, afin que les résidents de Saint-Sauveur puissent utiliser gratuitement les sentiers du territoire de la MRC. Il y aura une collecte des encombrants les 3 et 4 novembre prochains. Les citoyens qui souhaitent utiliser ce service doivent s’inscrire en ligne sur le site de la municipalité avant le 30 octobre à midi. Le port du masque est maintenant obligatoire à l’écocentre, dès votre arrivée, pour protéger le personnel et les utilisateurs du site.Ève Ménard, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Accès