Calgary police Supt. Ryan Ayliffe says the service will work with the dog handler seen kicking a dog in a viral video, and continue to review the incident.
Calgary police Supt. Ryan Ayliffe says the service will work with the dog handler seen kicking a dog in a viral video, and continue to review the incident.
As COVID-19 vaccine supplies ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks. Here's a list of their plans to date: Newfoundland and Labrador The province says it is in Phase 1 of its vaccine rollout. Health-care workers on the front lines of the pandemic, staff at long-term care homes, people of "advanced age" and adults in remote or isolated Indigenous communities have priority. Chief medical health officer Dr. Janice Fitzgerald has said Phase 2 will begin in April if vaccine supply remains steady. The second phase prioritizes adults over 60 years old, beginning with those over 80, as well as Indigenous adults, first responders, rotational workers and adults in marginalized populations, such as those experiencing homelessness. Adults between 16 and 59 years old will be vaccinated in the third phase of the rollout, and Fitzgerald has said she expects that to begin this summer. --- Nova Scotia Health officials began expanding access to COVID-19 vaccines on Feb. 22, opening community clinics for people aged 80 years and older. Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, has said the province's plan is to open another 10 clinics in March for 48,000 people who will be mailed a letter informing them how to book an appointment. Strang said the vaccination program will then expand to the next age group in descending order until everyone in the province is offered the chance to be immunized. The age groups will proceed in five-year blocks. Future community clinics are to be held March 8 in Halifax, New Minas, Sydney and Truro; March 15 in Antigonish, Halifax and Yarmouth; and March 22 in Amherst, Bridgewater and Dartmouth. The province began its vaccination campaign with residents of long-term care homes, those who work directly with patients, those who are 80 and older, and those who are at risk for other reasons including First Nations and African Nova Scotian communities. Nova Scotia plans to have vaccine available to at least 75 per cent of the population by the end of September 2021. --- Prince Edward Island The province says the first phase of its vaccination drive, currently slated to last until the end of March, targets residents and staff of long-term and community care, as well as health-care workers with direct patient contact at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure. Those 80 and older, adults in Indigenous communities, and truck drivers and other rotational workers are also included. The next phase, which is scheduled to begin in April, will target those above 70 and essential workers. The province intends to make the vaccine available to everyone in late summer and fall. --- New Brunswick The province is also focusing on vaccinating those living in long-term care homes, health-care workers with direct patient contact, adults in First Nations communities and older New Brunswickers in the first phase, which lasts until at least March. The next phase is scheduled to begin in the spring and includes residents and staff of communal settings, other health-care workers including pharmacists, first responders and critical infrastructure employees. The government website says once the vaccine supply is continuous and in large enough quantities, the entire population will be offered the shots. --- Quebec Quebec started vaccinating older seniors on Monday, after a first phase that focused largely on health-care workers, remote communities and long-term care. In Montreal, mass vaccine sites including the Olympic Stadium opened their doors to the public as the province began inoculating seniors who live in the hard-hit city. The government announced last week it would begin booking appointments for those aged 85 and up across the province, but that age limit has since dropped to 70 in some regions, including Montreal. The province says the vaccination of children and pregnant women will be determined based on future studies of vaccine safety and efficacy in those populations. --- Ontario The province began vaccinating people with the highest priority, including those in long-term care, high-risk retirement home residents, certain classes of health-care workers and people who live in congregate care settings. Several regions in Ontario moved ahead Monday with their plans to vaccinate the general public, while others used their own systems to allow residents aged 80 and older to schedule appointments. Toronto also began vaccinating members of its police force Monday after the province identified front-line officers as a priority group. Constables and sergeants who respond to emergency calls where medical assistance may be required are now included in the ongoing first phase of Ontario's vaccine rollout, a spokeswoman for the force said. A day earlier, Toronto said the province expanded the first phase of its vaccination drive to include residents experiencing homelessness. The provincial government has said it aims to begin vaccinating Ontarians aged 80 and older starting the week of March 15, the same day it plans to launch its vaccine booking system, which will offer a service desk and online portal. It has said the vaccine rollout will look different in each of its 34 public health units. When asked about the lack of provincewide cohesion, Health Minister Christine Elliott said that public health units know their regions best and that's why they have been given responsibility to set the pace locally. --- Manitoba Manitoba is starting to vaccinate people in the general population. Appointments are now available for most people aged 94 and up, or 74 and up for First Nations people. Until now, vaccines have been directed to certain groups such as health-care workers and people in personal care homes. Health officials plan to reduce the age minimum, bit by bit, over the coming months. Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the province's vaccine task force, has said inoculations could be open to all adults in the province by August if supplies are steady. --- Saskatchewan The province is still in the first phase of its vaccination rollout, which reserves doses for long-term care residents and staff, health-care workers at elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure, seniors over the age of 70 and anyone 50 or older living in a remote area. In all, nearly 400,000 doses are required to finish this stage. The next phase will be focused on vaccinating the general population by age. It hopes to begin its mass vaccination campaign by April, but there if there isn’t enough supply that could be pushed back to June. Saskatchewan will begin immunizing the general population in 10-year increments, starting with those 60 to 69. Also included in this age group will be people living in emergency shelters, individuals with intellectual disabilities in care homes and people who are medically vulnerable. Police, corrections staff and teachers are among the front-line workers not prioritized for early access to shots. The government says supply is scarce. --- Alberta Alberta is now offering vaccines to anyone born in 1946 or earlier, a group representing some 230,000 people. Appointments are being offered through an online portal and the 811 Health Link phone line. Shots are also being offered to this cohort at more than 100 pharmacies in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton starting in early March and the government has said there are also plans to include doctors’ offices. Health Minister Tyler Shandro has said all eligible seniors should have their first shots by the end of March. But he said Monday that the province will not give Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to anyone over the age of 65 after the National Advisory Committee on Immunization expressed concerned there is limited data on how well it will work in older populations. The first phase of the vaccine rollout also included anyone over 65 who lives in a First Nations or Metis community, various front-line health care workers, paramedics and emergency medical responders. Phase 2 of the rollout, to begin in April, is to start with those 65 and up, Indigenous people older than 50 and staff and residents of licensed supportive living seniors’ facilities not previously included. --- British Columbia British Columbia will extend the time between the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines to four months so all adults could get their initial shot by the end of July. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says evidence from the province and around the world shows protection of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. The province launched the second phase of its immunization campaign Monday and health authorities will begin contacting residents and staff of independent living centres, those living in seniors' supportive housing as well as homecare support clients and staff. Seniors aged 90 and up can call to make their appointment starting next Monday, followed a week later by those aged 85 and over, and a week after that by those 80 and up. Henry also says first responders and essential workers may be eligible to get vaccinated starting in April as the province also decides on a strategy for the newly authorized AstraZeneca vaccine. --- Nunavut The territory says it expects enough vaccines for 75 per cent of its population over the age of 18. After a COVID-19 vaccine is administered, patients will be tracked to ensure they are properly notified to receive their second dose. Nunavut's priority populations are being vaccinated first. They include residents of shelters, people ages 60 years and up, staff and inmates and correctional facilities, first responders and front-line health-care staff. --- Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories its priority groups — such as people over 60, front-line health workers and those living in remote communities — are being vaccinated The territory says it expects to vaccine the rest of its adult population starting this month. --- Yukon Yukon says it will receive enough vaccine to immunize 75 per cent of its adult population by the end of March. Priority for vaccinations has been given to residents and staff in long-term care homes, group homes and shelters, as well as health-care workers and personal support workers. People over the age of 80 who are not living in long-term care, and those living in rural and remote communities, including Indigenous Peoples, are also on the priority list for shots. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. The Canadian Press
LOS ANGELES — Chloé Zhao became the second woman to win best director at the Golden Globes and the first female winner of Asian descent on a night in which her film “Nomadland” was crowned the top drama film. Zhao, who was among three women nominated in the directing category, was honoured for her work on “Nomadland,” about people who take to the road and move from place to place seeking work for usually low wages. It stars two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand and includes nonprofessional actors. “I especially want to thank the nomads who shared their stories with us,” Zhao said, accepting the directing honour virtually on Sunday night. She singled out real-life nomad Bob Wells, who appears in the movie, for help with her remarks. “This is what he said about compassion,” Zhao said. “Compassion is the breakdown of all the barriers between us. A heart to heart pounding. Your pain is my pain. It’s mingled and shared between us.” The 38-year-old director who lives in Los Angeles is a leading Oscar contender for “Nomadland,” which is in select theatres and streaming on Hulu. “Now this is why I fell in love with making movies and telling stories because it gives us a chance to laugh and cry together and it gives us a chance to learn from each other and to have more compassion for each other,” Zhao said in her acceptance remarks. “So thank you everyone who made it possible to do what I love.” She joins Barbra Streisand, who won in 1984 for “Yentl,” as the only women to win directing honours at the Globes. Until this year, just five women had been nominated in the category. “Sometimes a first feels like a long time coming. You feel like, it’s about time,” Zhao said in virtual backstage comments. “I’m sure there’s many others before me that deserve the same recognition. If this means more people like me get to live their dreams and do what I do, I’m happy.” Regina King ("One Night in Miami...") and Emerald Fennell ("Promising Young Woman") were the other female director nominees. Zhao also was nominated for best motion picture screenplay and lost to Aaron Sorkin. McDormand received a nod for actress in a motion picture drama, but lost. Born in China, Zhao made her feature directing debut in 2015 with “Songs My Brother Taught Me.” She broke out in 2017 with “The Rider.” Next up for her is the big-budget Marvel film “Eternals,” set for release this fall. Beth Harris, The Associated Press
Filming a polar bear just inches from its nose, close enough to see its breath fog up the lens, was a career highlight for Jeff Thrasher. The CBC producer is part of the team behind "Arctic Vets," a new show that follows the day-to-day operations at Assiniboine Park Conservancy in Winnipeg."It was breathing warm air onto the lens. I was thinking, 'Wow, there's nothing between me and this polar bear,"' Thrasher said, who filmed the shot using a GoPro camera up in Churchill, Man. The show is also the first time cameras have been allowed in the Winnipeg facility, which houses Arctic animals like seals, polar bears and muskox."I've filmed many, many things in my career and that's right up there," Thrasher said. There are 10 half-hour episodes in the new series that features expeditions to Manitoba's subarctic, emergency animal rescues and daily life at the conservancy. The first episode follows veterinarian Chris Enright to Churchill just as polar bears are starting to migrate up the coast of Hudson Bay. When a bear wanders too close to town, Enright works with the local Polar Bear Alert Team to catch it and lift it by helicopter to a safe distance away. In the same episode, back in Winnipeg, the team trims the hooves of resident 800-pound muskox, Chloe.Although being around Arctic animals is part of Enright's daily life, he hopes the show will help bring southern Canadians a little closer to the North."This is our norm. But it's not the norm for a lot of people, so the show is a good opportunity to tell these stories," he said. "We have herds of caribou that rival migrating animals on the Serengeti, but people in the South don't necessarily know about that. And that's really unfortunate, because there's some incredible wildlife in the North."Enright also hopes the show will urge Canadians to think about protecting the country's Arctic ecosystems, which face the critical threat of climate change."There's a lot of concern with the effects of climate change and over the next 50, 100 years what's going to happen. As southerners, there are things we can do to protect and conserve those ecosystems," he said. The COVID-19 pandemic also hit in the middle of filming, which Enright said prevented the team from travelling into Nunavut.Jackie Enberg, an animal care supervisor and Heather Penner, an animal care professional, are also featured in the show for their work with polar bears."It's not just animal care or vet care, or conservation and research. It's all of it. We all have a great passion to educate and share and help inspire other people to make a difference, whether it's to make changes in your lives or just talk about," Penner said.Enberg said the bears featured in the show were rescued when they were a few years old. "They're here because they could not survive in the wild," Enberg said. "We just ultimately hope people will fall in love with polar bears as much as we have," Penner said. "Arctic Vets" premiers Friday, Feb. 26 at 8:30 p.m. on CBC and CBC Gem. By Emma Tranter in Iqaluit, NunavutThis report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021.---This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship The Canadian Press Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version erroneously reported that "Arctic Vets" premiers Friday at 8 p.m. In fact, it airs Friday at 8:30 p.m.
BERLIN — Germans flocked to the salons Monday as hairdressers across the country reopened after a 2 1/2-month closure, another cautious step toward normality as Germany balances a desire to loosen restrictions with concerns about more contagious virus variants. The move came after many German elementary students returned to school a week ago, following a decision by Chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany’s 16 state governors. They will confer again on Wednesday to decide how to proceed with the rest of Germany’s coronavirus restrictions, which at present run until Sunday. Some German states also allowed businesses such as florists and hardware stores to open on Monday. Most stores have been closed nationwide since Dec. 16. Restaurants, bars, sports and leisure facilities have been closed since Nov. 2 and hotels are allowed only to accommodate business travellers. At his Liebe zum Detail ("Love of Detail") salon in Cologne, manager Marc Nicolas Bruehl said he is fully booked for the next four weeks. “There is a certain ambivalence about it, because on the one hand we are of course happy to be able to open up again and to earn money ourselves again," he said. "On the other hand, the increasing numbers and the emerging (virus) mutations are of course also something that concerns us.” Customer Udo Matzka, 64, said he was “totally happy that I can be here today.” “I wouldn't have thought how systemically relevant a hairdresser can be," he said. There are increasing calls for restrictions to be further relaxed, but also a desire to remain cautious. A steady decline in daily new infections has stalled, and even been reversed in some areas, as a more contagious variant first discovered in Britain spreads. “This week will set the course for the coming months,” said Bavarian governor Markus Soeder, an advocate of a cautious approach. He called the virus situation “unstable” and said authorities must not “fly blind into a third wave.” “It's really important that we make smart decisions this week,” he said. “Smart decisions means that the mood must be taken on board — we must find the right balance between caution and opening, and we absolutely must not lose our nerves ... and simply fulfil all wishes.” Germany’s disease control centre reported 4,732 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours and another 60 deaths, bringing Germany's overall pandemic death toll to 70,105. The number of new cases over seven days stood at nearly 66 per 100,000 residents — far below its peak of nearly 200 just before Christmas but also well above the level of 35 at which, under existing plans, the government wanted to loosen rules further. Germany had given 4.9% of its population a first vaccine shot as of Sunday, while 2.5% had received a second jab — relatively slow progress that has drawn sharp criticism. Bavaria and two neighbouring states, meanwhile, plan to give 15,000 vaccine doses to the neighbouring Czech Republic, which currently has the highest infection rate in the 27-nation European Union. Soeder said the “symbolic measure” ultimately helps Germany, because Czech authorities want to use it in high-risk areas near the border and vaccinate cross-border commuters. He also suggested that virus hotspots along the border should receive a greater share of available tests and vaccines to help contain the spread there. Most of the German counties with high infection rates are near the Czech border. ___ Daniel Niemann in Cologne and Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed to this report. ___ Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Geir Moulson, The Associated Press
(Mike Heenan/CBC - image credit) Fredericton foresters have been warning about the infamous emerald ash borer for years. Now it's here. "Unfortunately, we knew it was just a matter of time and here it is," said Mike Glynn, a forester with the City of Fredericton. The invasive species that has destroyed millions of ash trees in North America was recently found in the Forest Hill area of Fredericton. Glynn said it's possible the insect has been in that area for years, and crews are just discovering it now. He assumes the insect has made its way to other areas of the city, possibly a while ago. "We haven't seen it yet but it doesn't mean it's not here." In New Brunswick, the emerald ash borer was first spotted in Edmundston in 2018. It was found in Oromocto the following year. What is it? The emerald ash borer is a bright, metallic green beetle native to East Asia, that probably arrived in packaging in the 1990s, according to Natural Resources Canada. No natural predators on this continent, including woodpeckers, have been able to stop its spread. The beetle lays eggs on the bark of the ash tree, and those eggs weave their way inside the tree, creating tunnels that vary in shape, including, zigzags and an "S" shape. The tunnels erode the ash tree's ability to feed. Despite efforts to limit its spread with quarantines and pesticides, the emerald ash borer has already made its way through Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and into the Atlantic provinces. The invasive beetle was found in Edmundston in 2018 and then in Oromocto the following year. On its own, an emerald ash borer only travels about 400 to 700 metres a year, but with people moving firewood from province to province, the ash borer can travel much farther. Ash trees have limited resistance to stave off the insects, which can kill trees within one to four years of infestation. How to get rid of it To prepare, the city has been inoculating ash trees, mostly in Odell and Wilmot parks and along city streets To apply the pesticide, several holes are drilled into the tree. Then a small white canister carrying the insecticide TreeAzin into the holes. The active ingredient in TreeAzin is azadirachtin, which is derived from a tree native to India called the neem tree. Treatments need to be performed every two years. Fredericton has about 10,000 ash trees in Odell Park and about 2,400 along city streets. The numbers don't include ash trees in other city-owned parks or on private property. "There's no guarantee with the treatment but if you don't treat the trees they will not survive," Glynn said. To fight off the invasive species, the city will cut down weaker ash trees and replace them with new ones and intensify detection. Almost 40 traps have been set up to find the tiny insect, but more are expected. Members of the public can also report any sightings to the City of Fredericton, Glynn said. "This is very bad news for the ash tree population of Fredericton."
JUNEAU, Alaska — Scientists in Alaska have discovered 10 cases of a new coronavirus strain that researchers have said is more contagious and potentially more effective at evading vaccines. The B.1.429 variant, first discovered in California, was identified in Alaska in early January and has since been detected nine more times, according to a report released on Wednesday by scientists assembled by the state to investigate new strains. At least six groups of B.1.429 cases have been detected statewide this year, the report said. Scientists and public health officials have expressed concerns about multiple new strains of the coronavirus, which they say could prolong the pandemic even as governments scale up their vaccination efforts, KTOO-FM reported. State public health officials also said they have identified two cases of the more contagious B.1.1.7 strain, first discovered in the United Kingdom, along with one case of the P.1 strain, which was first seen in Brazil. The P.1 strain is also more contagious, and vaccines may be less viable against it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designates the P.1 and B.1.1.7 strains as “variants of concern.” The CDC has not yet designated the B.1.429 variant first found in California as a variant of concern. The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Glam was back for the Golden Globes virtual, bicoastal awards night Sunday as nominees Zoomed in from around the world and, for Leslie Odom Jr., from his front porch in Los Angeles not far from the action in Beverly Hills. And they were ready, style wise, as the Globes split hosts, with Amy Poehler at the Beverly Hilton and Tina Fey at the Rainbow Room in New York. There was nary a pair of sweats in sight. Jason Sudeikis was a glam outlier in a rainbow tie-dye hoodie from his sister's clothing line as he picked up an award remotely, saying : “Wow, do I talk now?” The sweatshirt, which retails for $110, whipped up buzz on social media, prompting Fey to joke after Sudeikis accepted his award: “If anybody wants to know where they can get Jason Sudeikis' hoodie, go to nbc.com/globesfashion.” The page, please note, doesn't exist. Backstage after the show, Sudeikis told reporters he owns a multitude of hoodies but chose the one emblazoned with “Forward” on the front and “Listen + Lead” on the back as fitting for the unusual night. “When people you care about do cool interesting things you should support them,” he said. Jodie Foster won wearing a black-and-white silk pajama set from Prada, her dog Ziggy in a bandana to match and her wife by her side. During a Zoom session with reporters after the show, a giddy Foster stuck out a bare foot showing she went shoeless to collect her award and said: “This is the best Globes ever! To be able to be home just felt really real. It didn’t feel like it was filled with so much artifice.” Regina King's dog snoozed in the background before the show as she showed off her Louis Vuitton gown in silver and black — and Amanda Seyfried previewed a springy, coral Oscar de la Renta with floral adornment, echoing many stars who said they wanted to bring a little joy. “I've got my son, who is 5 months old, laying against a pillow in a tux," Seyfried said. Cynthia Erivo went for neon green Valentino to present in person, and Kaley Cuoco munched pizza in a de la Renta design. Gillian Anderson, alone in Prague, wore a green gown and Julia Garner a two-tone Prada black and white look. She didn't forget the lipstick, a deep red. Laverne Cox, in a red, embellished cape-sleeve gown, did something even more unusual: She stood up to chat with reporters on E! and NBC via Zoom before the show. “I wanted to feel festive and go for it,” she told NBC. “It's really amazing about this whole Zoom world. People can do whatever they want.” That meant Chanel for Shira Haas in Los Angeles, and custom Gucci for Elle Fanning in London. “It's nice to have something to celebrate and get dressed up for, and actually put on a dress to walk from my living room to my kitchen,” Fanning told E!. “I thought, why not?” The jewels flowed along with the gowns, which included a stunning, bright green sparkler for Anya Taylor-Joy by Dior Couture with a matching coat. Fey and Poehler, both dressed in black to open the show, joked about the unusual set up and the distance between them, with Fey pretending to stroke Poehler's hair through their screens. The two, with numerous fashion changes, were joined by an array of presenters as winners accepted via Zoom, with an early glitch when winner Daniel Kaluuya's audio went silent at first, then perked up so he could speak. King's dog wasn't the only surprise star. Sarah Paulson held her little black pooch on screen and Emma Corrin's fluffy white cat grabbed a moment for itself. And there were kids, too. Mark Ruffalo's two wandered behind him as he accepted an award. Aaron Sorkin was joined by a bevy of women on hand for his win. Lee Isaac Chung, director of “Minari,” hugged his small daughter tight as he accepted an award, his dressed-up offspring squeezing back with: “I prayed, I prayed, I prayed.” Peter Morgan, creator of “The Crown,” was a winner from his “tragic little office,” calling the pre-pandemic Globes “always the most fun awards show.” Nominees bantered from screen to screen, shouting out their hellos to each other. On stage and for their small, in-person — and masked — audiences, production designer Brian Stonestreet pivoted like never before when the Globes decided to go bicoastal earlier in February, just days before show time. The awards veteran, who has designed for the Grammys, the Billboards, the Academy of Country Music and others, told The Associated Press ahead of the Globes' big night that he gained massive horizontal real estate for the screen-centric show with the shrinking of tables in size and number. “Funnily enough, it gave me a little more freedom in terms of scenery,” he said of the Beverly Hilton, while incorporating the Rainbow Room's massive centre chandelier adorned with stars and orbs in New York. He used the extra space (about 36 guests in New York and 42 in Beverly Hills) to expand screen presence and curvier, more dramatic, staircases. On the floor, he placed trophies on pedestals among his two- and three-person cocktail tables, rather than the usual 6-foot round tables seating 10 to 12 people for a total of more than 1,000. Instead of star-studded crowds crammed into the Hilton's ballroom, the Globes hosted frontline and essential workers, along with food bank workers from the show’s philanthropic partnership with Feeding America. Lydia Marks, a New York set decorator, told The Associated Press the evening's technical challenges were many. With so many remote locations and two live sets, the few glitches should be forgiven, she said. “While it looks easy, the direction needs to remain responsive in a way that is more like a live sporting event than an awards show,” Marks said. “I think it looks pretty seamless and controlled for the amount of feeds they are working with.” ___ Associated Press writer Beth Harris in Los Angeles contributed to this story. Leanne Italie, The Associated Press
Toronto Mayor John Tory on Monday outlined the city's vaccination plan, which will see vaccines spread out across 49 hospital sites, 46 community health centres and 249 pharmacies. He called it the "largest vaccination effort" in the city's history, but added people need to continue to abide by public health measures to keep each other safe.
(Submitted by Chip Taylor - image credit) A new report says monarch butterfly populations in Mexico have decreased, but according to one expert, the number of butterflies Canada will see this year depends on what happens this month as they embark on their migrations north. The presence of the monarch butterfly in the Mexican hibernation forests declined by 26 per cent due to a reduction of its habitat, according to the recent report by WWF-Telmex Telcel Foundation. According to the report, the species occupied 2.1 hectares in December 2020 compared to the 2.83 hectares in December 2019. These numbers are unsurprising to Chip Taylor, the director of Monarch Watch at the University of Kansas. "They were about as I expected," he said. "But that tells us that we are dealing with a population that fluctuates with the weather conditions, but it's also dependent on the amount of habitat available. Had there been a lot more habitat available last year in the form of nectar plants, then it's likely we would have seen a higher population," he said. Taylor said that monarchs need nectar plants and milkweed, which he said Canada provides a lot of. The presence of the monarch butterfly declined by 26% in the Mexican hibernation forests due to a reduction of its habitat, according to a recent report by WWF-Telmex Telcel Foundation. "As we get into Canada ... we get a lot more common milkweed. And one of the things that happens in Canada is that the monarchs who have reached Canada in May and June develop a population of common milkweed and that population tends to move along the lakes and eventually move through Point Pelee in fairly large numbers," he explains. Every fall, Point Pelee plays host to thousands of monarch butterflies on their migrations. The insects make their way across Lake Erie to the mountains of Mexico, roughly 3,000 kilometres south, for the winter. In late spring, their offspring return to Canada, and the cycle continues. According to Parks Canada, monarchs have a life span of about a month but the ones who emerge late in the summer are born to migrate and stay alive for over six months to make the journey. Taylor said it's hard to predict what the population of the monarch butterfly will be like this spring until he sees how conditions are like in Texas. "The Canadian situation is highly dependent on what happens in March in Texas. So if the returning butterflies are abundant and they have good conditions in Texas, there are good conditions as they move north in May and June and they encounter good conditions in Canada, the population does well," he said. "If they get off to a bad start in Texas. It's going to be a bad year in Canada." - Chip Taylor, director of Monarch Watch Taylor said the butterflies have already left the overwintering sites in Mexico and should reach Texas in about two weeks. "The question is, what are they going to find when they get there?" He asks, pointing to the massive winter freeze that took place just weeks ago. "The question I'm asking all my colleagues in Texas is that vegetation going to come back in time, so they're going to be milkweeds above ground and nectar plants for the butterflies to feed on," he said. Chip Taylor, the director of Monarch Watch, says how conditions will look in Canada is highly dependent on how conditions will be like in Texas in two weeks. Taylor said he's watching the weather and monitoring plant development carefully and can better predict how things will look in two weeks. "What we've learned in the past is that what happens in March in Texas has a big influence that that determines everything that happens, including what happens in Canada, on the rest of the year," he said. "So it's very important for the population to get off to a good start. If they don't, if the population doesn't get off to a good start, then it's very likely that it's never going to be able to recover. There just aren't enough generations," he said. What you can do Taylor says people can help preserve the monarch butterfly by creating a lot of habitat for the species. Point Pelee National Park also encourages local residents to plant a butterfly garden with native plants, milkweed for monarch butterflies and caterpillars. "Create a habitat and they will come, they will use it," Taylor said.
Selon Marie-Ève Sigouin, directrice de la foresterie pour RYAM, le succès du projet ne se calcule pas en termes de mètres cubes ni en pourcentage de territoire sans perturbation. « Le succès, c’est d’avoir été capable d’établir un dialogue, de faire un plan ensemble, et d’avoir une démarche pour continuer le travail », dit-elle, fière du travail accompli par le comité formé avec le ministère de la Forêt de la Faune et des Parcs (MPPF), de la communauté de Pikogan, et de la Société pour la nature et les parcs (SNAP). Pier-Olivier Boudreault, biologiste pour la SNAP, abonde dans le même sens. « On s’entend sur 95 % des mesures et tout le monde travaille de bonne foi pour en arriver à une position conjointe, dit-il. Je crois que ça envoie un message positif parce qu’on est capable de s’asseoir ensemble et de franchir des étapes importantes ». Ce dernier estime que l’industrie forestière fait partie de la solution pour réduire notre empreinte carbone, mais que l’on doit trouver un équilibre entre les niveaux de récolte et les impacts sur la biodiversité. Benoit Croteau, directeur territoire et environnement, du Conseil de la Première Nation Abitibiwinni, se réjouit également du travail accompli jusqu’à présent, tout en ajoutant qu’il reste beaucoup à faire. D’emblée, le comité de travail a décidé de s’éloigner des extrêmes. Chaque groupe avait de bonnes raisons de ne pas s’asseoir à la table, remarque Marie-Ève Sigouin, mais tous les intervenants ont convenu qu’ils devraient faire des compromis. Par exemple, RYAM a accepté d’emblée qu’il y ait une perte de possibilité forestière, alors que Pikogan et la SNAP ont accepté la poursuite des opérations forestières. « On savait que la protection du caribou amènerait une baisse de la garantie d’approvisionnement, mais on préférait s’impliquer dans le processus pour minimiser les impacts », explique la directrice de la foresterie chez RYAM. En sachant que des mesures pour la protection du caribou étaient inévitables, RYAM a choisi d’investir dans ses scieries, plutôt que de s’apitoyer sur son sort en brandissant la menace de pertes d’emplois. « Ça nous force à mieux utiliser le bois qu’on récolte et c’est pourquoi on investit pour améliorer le rendement matière », ajoute cette dernière. De plus, la baisse de la possibilité forestière devrait mener à une baisse de la garantie d’approvisionnement pour l'équivalent de trois semaines de travail à l’usine de La Sarre. Cette diminution ne représente pas nécessairement une baisse de volume à transformer, car RYAM peut acheter des lots mis aux enchères ou encore acheter du bois aux producteurs privés pour compenser, dit-elle. Le résultat final est imparfait, admet Marie-Ève Sigouin, personne n’a atteint 100 % de ses objectifs, mais tout le monde se rallie derrière le plan de protection du caribou. Après deux ans de travail, le comité a réussi à réduire le taux de perturbation à 39 % dans les zones occupées par les caribous. « On doit continuer à travailler pour atteindre le 35 %, mais c’est le plus loin qu’on a pu en arriver après deux ans de travail », note cette dernière. Malgré le manque à gagner, FSC reconnaît le travail effectué et la démarche d’amélioration continue, ce qui permet à RYAM de conserver sa certification FSC. « On veut poursuivre le travail et éventuellement, on aimerait établir une aire protégée, souligne Benoit Croteau. Il faudra aussi s’arrimer avec l’Ontario parce que le caribou ne sait pas quand il traverse la frontière. » Malgré une demande média faite le 9 février dernier, ainsi que plusieurs relances depuis, le MFFP n’avait pas répondu au Progrès, au moment de mettre sous presse, pour définir l’importance d’un tel projet dans le cadre de la préparation du Plan de rétablissement du caribou forestier, qui devrait voir le jour en 2023. Bien que le MFFP ait été impliqué activement, et que son travail a été souligné par tous les intervenants du comité caribou, c’est Québec, en tant que propriétaire et gestionnaire des forêts publiques, qui détient le dernier mot pour entériner les mesures proposées par le comité de travail conjoint. None Guillaume Roy, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
ISLAMABAD — The United States wasted billions of dollars in war-torn Afghanistan on buildings and vehicles that were either abandoned or destroyed, according to a report released Monday by a U.S. government watchdog. The agency said it reviewed $7.8 billion spent since 2008 on buildings and vehicles. Only $343.2 million worth of buildings and vehicles “were maintained in good condition,” said the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, which oversees American taxpayer money spent on the protracted conflict. The report said that just $1.2 billion of the $7.8 billion went to pay for buildings and vehicles that were used as intended. “The fact that so many capital assets wound up not used, deteriorated or abandoned should have been a major cause of concern for the agencies financing these projects," John F. Sopko, the special inspector general, said in his report. The U.S. public is weary of the nearly 20-year-old war and President Joe Biden is reviewing a peace deal his predecessor, Donald Trump, signed with the Taliban a year ago. He must decide whether to withdraw all troops by May 1, as promised in the deal, or stay and possibly prolong the war. Officials say no decision has been made but on Monday, Washington's peace envoy and the American who brokered the U.S.-Taliban deal, Zalmay Khalilzad, was back in the Afghan capital for a tour of the region. Taliban insurgents and the Afghan government have been holding on-again-off-again talks in the Gulf Arab state of Qatar but a deal that could bring peace to Afghanistan after 40 years of relentless war seems far off. After Kabul, Khalilzad will travel to Qatar's capital of Doha and neighbouring countries, including Pakistan, to push anew for progress in the Doha talks and a cease-fire to end the relentless violence. Analyst Bill Roggio of the Long War Journal said the findings by SIGAR are not surprising. The reasons for the financial losses include Taliban attacks, corruption and “throwing money at the problem without considering the implications,” he said. “It is one thing to build a clinic and school, it is another to operate, maintain, and in many cases defend this infrastructure from Taliban attacks,” said Roggio. "Additionally, the West has wildly underestimated the impact of Afghan corruption and in many cases incompetence. It was always a recipe for failure.” U.S. agencies responsible for construction didn't even ask the Afghans if they wanted or needed the buildings they ordered built, or if they had the technical ability to keep them running, Sopko said in his report. The waste occurred in violation of “multiple laws stating that U.S. agencies should not construct or procure capital assets until they can show that the benefiting country has the financial and technical resources and capability to use and maintain those assets effectively,” he said. Torek Farhadi, a former adviser to the Afghan government, said a "donor-knows-best” mentality often prevailed and it routinely meant little to no consultation with the Afghan government on projects. He said a lack of co-ordination among the many international donors aided the wastefulness. For example, he said schools were on occasion built alongside other newly constructed schools financed by other donors. The construction went ahead because once the decision was made — contract awarded and money allocated — the school was built regardless of the need, said Farhadi. The injection of billions of dollars, largely unmonitored, fueled runaway corruption among both Afghans and international contractors. But experts say that despite the waste, the need for assistance is real, given the Afghan governments heavy dependence on international money. The worsening security situation in Afghanistan also greatly impeded the monitoring of projects, with shoddy construction going undetected, said Farhadi, the former Afghan government adviser. “Consult with the locals about their needs and sustainability of the project once the project is complete,” he urged U.S. funding agencies looking to future projects. “Supervise, supervise, supervise project progress and implementation and audit every single layer of expenditure.” Going forward, Roggio said smaller, more manageable projects should be the order of the day. To build big unmanageable projects that Afghanistan has neither the capacity nor technical expertise for after 40 years of relentless war “feeds into the Taliban narrative that the government is corrupt, incompetent, and incapable of providing for the Afghan people,” he said. Kathy Gannon, The Associated Press
CROTONE, Italy — Crotone fired coach Giovanni Stroppa on Monday, with the Serie A club bottom of the standings and eight points from safety. The 53-year-old Stroppa had been in charge since 2018 and led Crotone to promotion from Serie B last season. Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at home to Cagliari was Crotone’s sixth straight loss and its 18th in 24 matches this campaign. “So ends a beautiful and intense journey, that lasted almost three years, and that wasn’t without difficult moments but that culminated in the extraordinary survival in Serie B and furthermore in the second, historic, promotion to Serie A,” Crotone said in a statement. Stroppa took charge of Crotone in June 2018, with the team in the second division, but was fired in October of that year after collecting just 11 points from nine matches. He was rehired two months later and steered the team to safety before guiding it to a second-place finish in Serie B the following season and promotion to the top flight. It is the sixth coaching change in Serie A this season. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
In the opening moments of a Golden Globes night even more chaotic and confounding than usual, co-host Tina Fey raised a theoretical question: “Could this whole night have been an email?” Only the next three hours would tell. Well, sure, it could have been an email. But then you wouldn't have had Chadwick Boseman’s eloquent widow, bringing many to tears as she explained how she could never be as eloquent as her late husband. Or Jane Fonda, sharply calling out Hollywood for its lack of diversity on a night when her very hosts were under fire for exactly that. Or Chloé Zhao, making history as the first woman of Asian descent to win best director (and the first woman since 1984.) Or 98-year-old Norman Lear, giving the simplest explanation for his longevity: never living or laughing alone. Or Jodie Foster kissing her wife joyfully, eight years after very tentatively coming out on the same telecast. Of course, there were the usual confounding results and baffling snubs, compounded here by some epic Zoom fails. But then we had the kids and the dogs. And they were adorable. Next year, can we still have the kids and the dogs, please? Some key moments of the first and hopefully last virtual Globes night: AN OVERDUE RECKONING The evening began under a cloud of embarrassing revelations about the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and its lack of inclusion, including the damaging fact that there are no Black members in the 87-person body. Fey and co-host Amy Poehler addressed it early: “Even with stupid things, inclusivity is important." Winners like Daniel Levy of “Schitt's Creek” and presenters like Sterling K. Brown referred to it. Jane Fonda made it a theme of her powerful speech accepting the Cecil B. DeMille award. And the HFPA made a hasty onstage pledge to change. “We recognize we have our own work to do,” said vice-president Helen Hoehne. “We must have Black journalists in our organization.” “I DON'T HAVE HIS WORDS” The best-actor award to Chadwick Boseman for “Ma Rainey's Bottom” had been expected. That did not dull the emotional impact of his victory. His widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, tearfully accepted in his honour, telling viewers that her husband, who died of colon cancer at 43 before the film was released, “would say something beautiful, something inspiring, something that would amplify that little voice inside of all of us that tells you you can. That tells you to keep going, that calls you back to what you are meant to be doing at this moment in history.” But, she said poignantly, “I don't have his words." Co-star Viola Davis could be seen weeping as Ledward spoke. She was not alone. PREDICTABLE ZOOM FAILS It was obvious there were going to be awkward Zoom fails. It started early, when the very first winner, Daniel Kaluuya for “Judas and the Black Messiah,” was on mute as he accepted his award, leaving presenter Laura Dern to apologize for technical difficulties. Thankfully, the problem was resolved in time for the actor to speak. Jason Sudeikis, whose charmingly rambling speech ("This is nuts!") and rumpled hoodie signalled he hadn't expected to win, finally realized he needed to “wrap this puppy up.” And winner Catherine O'Hara ("Schitt's Creek") had some perhaps unwelcome help from her husband, whose efforts to provide applause sounds and play-off music on his phone while she spoke lost something in translation, causing confusion on social media. Oh yes, and there were those conversations between nominees before commercials — did they know we heard them? KIDS AND PETS, STILL BRINGING JOY Still, the virtual acceptances from winners stuck at home had a huge silver lining: happy kids and cute pets. When Mark Ruffalo won for “I Know This Much is True,” two of his teens could not control their joy enough to stay out of the camera shot. Not to be outdone, the adorable young daughter of Lee Isaac Chung, writer-director of the Korean-American family drama “Minari,” sat in his lap and hugged him throughout his acceptance for best foreign language film. “She’s the reason I made this film,” said Chung. Winner Jodie Foster ("The Mauritanian") also had a family member in her lap: her dog. Also seen: Sarah Paulson's dog, and Emma Corrin's cat. LOVE FOR BORAT, SNUB FOR BAKALOVA ... AND EXPOSURE FOR GIULIANI Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova, breakout star of Amazon’s “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” had been widely expected to win, but lost out to Rosamund Pike ("I Care a Lot") who saluted Bakalova's bravery. In her movie, Pike said, “I had to swim up from a sinking car. I think I still would rather do that than have been in a room with Rudy Giuliani.” The former New York mayor's infamous cameo was also the butt of jokes from “Borat” star Sacha Baron Cohen, who called Giuliani “a fresh new talent who came from nowhere and turned out to be a comedy genius ... I mean, who could get more laughs from one unzipping?” Baron Cohen, who won for best actor in a comedy, also joked that Donald Trump was “contesting the result” of his win. A FIERY FONDA Did you expect anything less from Fonda? In her memorable DeMille award speech, the multiple Globe winner extolled the virtues of cinematic storytelling — “stories can change our hearts and our minds” — then pivoted to admonishing Hollywood. “There's a story we’ve been afraid to see and hear about ourselves,” she said, “a story about which voices we respect and elevate and which we tune out: a story about who’s offered a seat at the table and who’s kept out of the rooms where decisions are made.” She said the arts should not merely keep step with society, but lead the way. “Let's be leaders,” she said. ZHAO MAKES HISTORY When Zhao won best director for her haunting and elegant “Nomadland,” she was the first Asian American woman ever to win that award. But that wasn't the only way she made history: it was the first directing Globe for a woman in nearly 40 years, since Barbra Streisand won for “Yentl." Her film, a look at itinerant Americans, “at its core for me is a pilgrimage through grief and healing,” Zhao said. “For everyone who has gone through this difficult and beautiful journey at some point in their lives, we don’t say goodbye, we say: See you down the road.” With Zhao's win, the road widens for other female directors. ___ This story has been corrected to show that Norman Lear is 98, not 99. Jocelyn Noveck, The Associated Press
NEW DELHI — India is expanding its coronavirus vaccination drive beyond health care and front-line workers, offering the shots to older people and those with medical conditions that put them at risk. Among the first to receive a vaccine on Monday was Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Those now eligible include anyone older than 60, as well as those over 45 who have ailments such as heart disease or diabetes that make them vulnerable to serious COVID-19 illness. The shots will be given for free at government hospitals and will also be sold at over 10,000 private hospitals at a fixed price of 250 rupees, or $3.40, per shot. But the rollout of one of the world's largest vaccination drives has been sluggish. Amid signs of hesitancy among the first groups offered the vaccine, Modi, who is 70, got a shot at New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Science. He received the vaccine produced by Indian vaccine maker Bharat Biotech — which has been met with particular skepticism. He appealed for all to get vaccinated, tweeting afterward, “together, let us make India COVID-19 free!” The drive, which began in January in the country of 1.4 billion people, has recently taken on even more urgency, since new infections have begun to increase again after months of consistent decline, and scientists have detected worrisome variants of the virus that they fear could hasten infections or render vaccines or treatments less useful. Scores of elderly people started lining up outside private hospitals on Monday morning. Sunita Kapoor was among them, waiting for a vaccine with her husband. She said that they had been staying at home and not meeting people for months to stay safe from the virus — and were looking forward to being able to socialize a bit more. “We are excited,” said Kapoor, 63. Many said that they had struggled with the online system for registering and then waited in line for hours before receiving the vaccine — problems that other countries have also experienced. Dr. Giridhar R. Babu, who studies epidemics at the Public Health Foundation of India, said that long waits for the elderly were a concern since they could pick up infections, including COVID-19, at hospitals. “The unintended effect might be that they get COVID when they go to get the vaccine,” he said. Even though India is home to the world’s largest vaccine makers and has one of the biggest immunization programs, things haven't gone according to plan. Of the 10 million health care workers that the government had initially wanted to immunize, only 6.6 million have gotten the first shot of the two-dose vaccines and 2.4 million have gotten both. Of its estimated 20 million front-line workers, such as police or sanitation workers, only 5.1 million have been vaccinated so far. Dr. Gagangdeep Kang, an infectious diseases expert at Christian Medical College Vellore in southern India, said the hesitancy by health workers highlights the paucity of information available about the vaccines. If health workers are reticent, “you seriously think that the common public is going to walk up for the vaccine?” she said. Vaccinating more people quickly is a major priority for India, especially now that infections are rising again. The country has recorded more than 11 million cases, second in the world behind the United States, and over 157,000 deaths. The government had set a target of immunizing 300 million people, nearly the total U.S. population, by August. The spike in infections in India is most pronounced in the western state of Maharashtra, where the number of active cases has nearly doubled to over 68,000 in the past two weeks. Lockdowns and other restrictions have been reimposed in some areas, and the state's chief minister, Uddhav Thackeray, has warned that another wave of cases is “knocking on our door.” Similar surges have been reported from states in all corners of the massive country: Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir in the north, Gujarat in the west, West Bengal in the east, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in central India, and Telangana in the south. Top federal officials have asked authorities in those states to increase the speed of vaccinations in districts where cases are surging, and to track clusters of infections and monitor variants. “There is a sense of urgency because of the mutants and because cases are going up,” said Dr. K. Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India. He said that the consistent dip in cases over months resulted in a “reduced threat perception,” leading to vaccine hesitancy. “The (vaccination) drive began when perception was that the worst was over, so people were more hesitant,” Reddy said. Others have also pointed out that the reticence to get vaccinated was amplified, at least in part, by the government's opaque decision making while greenlighting vaccines. But experts say that allowing private hospitals to administer the shots — which began with this new phase of the campaign — should improve access. India's health care system is patchy, and in many small cities people depend on private hospitals for their medical needs. Still, problems remain. India had rolled out online software to keep track of the shots and recipients, but the system was prone to glitches and delays. The federal government will decide which hospitals get which vaccine and people will not have a choice between the AstraZeneca vaccine or the Bharat Biotech one, confirmed Dr. Amar Fettle, the nodal COVID-19 officer for southern Indian state Kerala. The latter got the go-ahead by Indian regulators in January before trials testing the shot's effectiveness at preventing illness were completed. But opening up the campaign to private hospitals may allow the rich to “shop” around for places that are providing the AstraZeneca vaccine — an option that poorer people wouldn't have, said Dr. Anant Bhan, who studies medical ethics. India now hopes to quickly ramp up vaccinations. But the country will likely continue to see troughs and peaks of infections, and the key lesson is that the pandemic won't end until enough people have been vaccinated for the spread of the virus to slow, said Jishnu Das, a health economist at Georgetown University who advises West Bengal state on the virus response. “Don’t use a trough to declare success and say it's over,” he said. ___ Associated Press journalists Krutika Pathi and Rishabh Jain contributed to this report. ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content. Aniruddha Ghosal, The Associated Press
Being innovative and doing things differently isn’t new for SmartICE — since the social enterprise began in a basement at Memorial University in 2013, it has to come up with new technologies and found ways to integrate into the northern communities it works in, while bringing traditional Indigenous knowledge into what it does. What SmartICE does is provide data on sea-ice thickness and local ice conditions to 23 Inuit communities in Labrador and the Arctic. The company has a production facility in Nain where it teaches Inuit youth how to build the technology it uses, which has been a great success so far. Now, thanks to a US$500,000 grant from the Climate Change Resilience Fund, SmartICE is developing a new holistic program to provide Inuit youth with the skills to create ice travel safety maps using satellite imagery and Inuit sea-ice terminology. Trevor Bell, the founding director of SmartICE, said the need for the maps had been identified by the communities and will address what is seen by residents as a gap in service and knowledge. Bell said there currently are sea-ice charts created by the federal government for shipping purposes in the Arctic, but they don’t meet the needs of people travelling on sea ice for a number of reasons, so that’s where these maps will come in. The Sikumik Qaujimajjuti (which roughly translates to "tool to know how the ice is") project will train the company’s community operators to make maps at the right temporal and spatial scale using Inuktitut terminology and traditional knowledge of the ice, combined with SmartICE observations and satellite imagery. The satellite imagery already exists, Bell said, and SmartICE will use the same source material as the government, but through a different lens. While it would be possible to train the federal ice analysts to make maps at the right scale for communities, he said, in reality many of those analysts have never been on community sea ice before. “They probably have no idea what it’s like to travel on the ice and therefore it’s not appropriate. The community wouldn’t trust those maps made by somebody else,” Bell said. “When it’s made by one of their own, using their own knowledge, using their own language, using their own observations, that’s something that’s really useful for communities.” Rex Holwell, the SmartICE Northern Production Centre and regional operations lead for Nunatsiavut, will run the program in Nain, and is learning how to make the maps. Holwell said people out on sea ice are using topographical maps on their GPS devices, and these new ice travel safety maps will be a significant improvement. Holwell said the technical skills the youths will learn in the community will be transferable to other work, similar to the program offered at the northern production centre in Nain, and will help them gain more traditional knowledge. “The ice knowledge my grandfather had isn’t necessarily as embedded as it should be in my son, for example,” he said. “I have freezers full of food, we have food storage here in Nain, so that ability, that need, of travelling on the sea ice is not there for the younger generation.” Bell said that gap in knowledge was highlighted by Inuit elders and was part of the impetus for this project. Using Inuit terminology on the maps will also help in that regard, he said, as well as add more nuanced descriptions. In western science there are about 15 words that describe different types of ice, he said, and the terms are designed with the idea of informing a ship captain the easiest route through the ice. In Inuktitut there are up over 75 different terms for ice, depending on the region. “There’s different terminology for different seasons, for freeze up, the dark season, break up, and those words may be a single Inuktitut word but to the people who hear or read it, it describes a feature, tells them what season it’s in, probably tells you what the weather was likely recently or tells you about safety,” he said. “Terminology is so rich and it’s so crucial to strengthen that traditional knowledge and terminology because as Inuit say, when you’re out on the ice that’s what keeps us safe.” Evan Careen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram
YANGON, Myanmar — Police in Myanmar’s biggest city fired tear gas Monday at defiant crowds who returned to the streets to protest last month's coup, despite reports that security forces had killed at least 18 people a day earlier. The protesters in Yangon were chased as they tried to gather at their usual meeting spot at the Hledan Center intersection. Demonstrators scattered and sought in vain to rinse the irritating gas from their eyes, but later regrouped. The coup reversed years of slow progress toward democracy in Myanmar after five decades of military rule. It came Feb. 1, the same day a newly elected Parliament was supposed to take office. Ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party would have led that government, but instead she was detained along with President Win Myint and other senior officials. The army has levelled several charges against Suu Kyi — an apparent effort by the military to provide a legal veneer for her detention and potentially to bar her from running in the election the junta has promised to hold in one year. On Monday, Suu Kyi made a court appearance via videoconference and was charged with two more offences, her lawyer Khin Maung Zaw told reporters. Accused of inciting unrest, she was charged under a law that dates from British colonial days and has long been criticized as a vaguely defined catch-all law that inhibits freedom of expression. That charge carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison. The other charge from Monday carries a one-year sentence. Following her detention on the day of the coup, the 75-year-old Suu Kyi was initially held at her residence in the capital of Naypyitaw, but members of her National League for Democracy party now say they don't know where she is. Since the takeover, a movement of protests in cities across the country has been growing — and the junta's response has become increasingly violent. The U.N. said it had “credible information” that at least 18 people were killed and 30 were wounded across Myanmar on Sunday. Counts from other sources, such the Democratic Voice of Burma, an independent television and online news outlet, put the death toll in the 20s. Any of the reports would make it the highest single-day death toll since the military takeover. The junta has also made mass arrests, and the independent Assistance Association for Political Prisoners reported that as many as 1,000 people were detained Sunday, though it has only confirmed 270 of those. Several journalists have been among those detained, including one for The Associated Press. At least five people are believed to have been killed Sunday in Yangon when police shot at protesters, who have remained non-violent despite provocation from the security forces and pro-military counter-demonstrators. People erected makeshift sidewalk shrines Monday at the spots where several of the victims were shot and also paid their respects by standing outside the hospitals where the bodies were being released to families. In Dawei, a small city in southeastern Myanmar where an estimated five people were killed Sunday, the number of protesters on the streets Monday was lower than usual. Marchers there split into smaller groups, parading through the city to the applause of bystanders who also made the three-finger salutes adopted by the resistance movement to show their support. Confirming the deaths of protesters has been difficult amid the chaos and general lack of news from official sources, especially in areas outside Yangon, Mandalay and Naypyitaw. But in many cases, there was evidence posted online such as videos of shootings, photos of bullet casings collected afterwards and gruesome pictures of bodies. In a statement published Monday in the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper, Myanmar’s Foreign Ministry declared that the junta “is exercising utmost restraint to avoid the use of force in managing the violent protests systematically, in accordance with domestic and international laws in order to keep minimum casualties.” But U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the crackdown, calling the use of lethal force against peaceful protesters and arbitrary arrests “unacceptable,” and expressed serious concern at the increase in deaths and serious injuries, said U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric. “What the world is watching in Myanmar is outrageous and unacceptable,” the U.N.’s independent expert on human rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, said in a separate statement. “Words of condemnation are necessary and welcome but insufficient. The world must act. We must all act.” He proposed that countries could institute a global embargo on the sale of arms to Myanmar, “tough targeted and co-ordinated sanctions” against those responsible for the coup, the crackdown and other rights abuses, and sanctions against the business interests of the military. Social media posts from Myanmar have increasingly urged the international community to invoke the doctrine of the “responsibility to protect” to intervene directly to restrain the junta. Any kind of co-ordinated measures, however, would be difficult to implement as two permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, China and Russia, would almost certainly veto them on the basis of being opposed to interference in the internal affairs of other countries. In Washington, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan issued a statement saying the U.S. is “alarmed” by the violence and stands in solidarity with Myanmar's people, “who continue to bravely voice their aspirations for democracy, rule of law, and respect for human rights.” Washington has imposed sanctions on Myanmar because of the coup, and Sullivan said it would “impose further costs on those responsible,” promising details “in the coming days.” Security forces began employing rougher tactics on Saturday, taking preemptive action to break up protests and make mass arrests. Many of those detained were taken to Insein Prison in Yangon’s northern outskirts, historically notorious for holding political prisoners. Among the arrests made Sunday, the independent Assistance Association for Political Prisoners was able to identify about 270 people, bringing to 1,132 the total number of people the group has confirmed being arrested, charged or sentenced since the coup. An AP journalist was taken into police custody on Saturday morning while providing news coverage of the protests. The journalist, Thein Zaw, remains in police custody. The AP called for his immediate release. “Independent journalists must be allowed to freely and safely report the news without fear of retribution. AP decries in the strongest terms the arbitrary detention of Thein Zaw,” said Ian Phillips, the AP's vice-president for international news. The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Myanmar also condemned the arrest. The Associated Press
(Submitted by Cape Breton Regional Police - image credit) Theft of catalytic converters from the exhaust system of vehicles has become a growing problem in Canada. It's not a new issue, says Bryan Gast, the national director of investigative services at the Insurance Bureau of Canada, but as the price of certain metals has risen, so have thefts. "Catalytic converters have been stolen for years," he said. "The difference lately is the price of precious metals, and obviously it's the precious metals inside those catalytic converters that they're looking to steal and then sell on the black market," he said. A catalytic converter is part of a vehicle's exhaust system. It converts pollutants to less toxic material. New cars, used cars — nearly any vehicle with a catalytic converter can be a target, Gast says. The exception is electric vehicles, which don't have them, because they don't produce any emissions. Metals precious The thefts have been happening across the country for the last year and thieves appear to be after three precious metals inside the converter: platinum, rhodium and palladium. "That's really what the rise is about," said Gast. Those metals are "more valuable than gold right now." According to the website for Montreal-based Kitco Metals, which buys and sells metals and also reports on market trends, palladium is currently selling for just over $2,800 Cdn an ounce, although the Kitco 2021 outlook says it could rise to $3,000 by the end of the year. Platinum was selling for $1,500 an ounce on Monday, while rhodium was going for about $30,000 US an ounce at the end of February. An example of a catalytic converter. Thieves typically crawl under vehicles to cut them out. By comparison, an ounce of gold is currently selling for about $2,200. One reason for the rising value of platinum, rhodium and palladium is that as automakers make vehicles to meet tightening emission standards, manufacturers need more of those metals inside the new catalytic converter to do that work. In the Waterloo region, police say there were 81 reports of catalytic converter thefts between Jan. 1 and Feb. 12 of this year, most of them happening in Kitchener, Ont. "We are asking the community to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police immediately," Const. Andre Johnson of the Waterloo Regional Police Service told CBC. "We are also asking anyone who may have been a victim of a converter theft, who has not yet reported it to police, to please do so," he said. Stolen from mechanic shops, dealerships Nearby in Guelph, Ont., there have been at least 20 reports of catalytic converters being stolen from vehicles since Christmas. Scott Tracey, a spokesperson for the Guelph Police Service, says thieves will crawl under a vehicle and cut out the tubular catalytic converter at both ends, leaving a missing section of the exhaust pipe. The most recent theft in that city was from a group of vans parked together, but Tracey says they've seen thefts reported from vehicles parked overnight at mechanic shops, sometimes at private residences and also at vehicle dealerships. Tracey says after the catalytic converter has been stolen, "[drivers] come in the morning and start warming the vehicles up and it makes a terrible noise because there's essentially no exhaust system on the vehicle." National rash of thefts RCMP in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island have warned people this year about a rash of thefts. In P.E.I. last month, five people were charged in a string of thefts that police estimate caused damages of more than $100,000. Last June, 20 Canada Post vehicles were targeted by thieves in Ottawa. In July, 27 people were arrested and 68 criminal charges were laid in Hamilton following a two-week project by police targeting catalytic converter thefts. Police in Sudbury reported 52 thefts of catalytic converters between June 1 and Dec. 31, 2020. This photo shows some of the catalytic converters police in Edmonton have seized as evidence following an investigation that led to charges against a 24-year-old man. "This is a substantial increase in comparison to the 12 reports of thefts of catalytic converters reported in the same time period in 2019," Sudbury police said in a release. Thieves have cut converters out of school buses in Winnipeg, hundreds have been stolen in Edmonton and in Calgary, a man died in Feb. 2020 after it appeared he was trying to steal a catalytic converter and the vehicle fell on top of him. Tips to avoid theft Gast says thefts from vehicles that are higher off the ground appear to happen more frequently, but even so, it doesn't take much for a thief to jack up a car and remove the converter "in just minutes." He says there are some measures drivers can take to protect their vehicles. The two cheapest and most cost-effective ways are: Park in a garage when possible. If you can't park in a garage, park in a well-lit area. He says there are third-party companies that can etch an ID number onto a vehicle's catalytic converter and enter that information into a database. The database is available for concerned salvage operators to check. Gast said while black-market scrap metal dealers would likely still take an engraved converter, "it really helps with minimizing the ability for [thieves] to get rid of their product." He said he has also heard of people going to their local garage to have the converter welded to the vehicle frame or have mechanics put a screen over it. That may be a bit extreme, he says, but anything that makes it more difficult to cut out the converter can help deter a would-be thief.
LONDON — Prince Philip was transferred Monday to a specialized London heart hospital to undergo testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition as he continues treatment for an unspecified infection, Buckingham Palace said. The 99-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II was moved from King Edward VII's Hospital, where he has been treated since Feb. 17, to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, which specializes in cardiac care. As Philip was moved into a waiting ambulance for the transfer, people held up open umbrellas to shield him from photographers and the public. The palace says Philip “remains comfortable and is responding to treatment but is expected to remain in hospital until at least the end of the week.’’ Philip was admitted to the private King Edward VII’s Hospital in London after feeling ill. Philip’s illness is not believed to be related to COVID-19. Both he and the queen, 94, received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine in early January. The Bart’s Heart Centre is Europe’s biggest specialized cardiovascular centre, the National Health Service said. The centre seeks to perform more heart surgery, MRI and CT scans than any other service in the world. Philip, who retired from royal duties in 2017, rarely appears in public. During England’s current coronavirus lockdown, Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, has been staying at Windsor Castle, west of London, with the queen. Philip married the then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947 and is the longest-serving royal consort in British history. He and the queen have four children, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Danica Kirka, The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — From Jason Sudeikis’ hoodie to Jodie Foster’s bare feet, the stars embraced a virtual Golden Globes, and still found ways to cut loose. There was no red carpet and logjam of celebrities outside the show’s usual location at the Beverly Hilton. No boozy camaraderie at the jammed-in tables inside the ballroom, either. The coronavirus pandemic made certain of that. Instead, most of Sunday night’s winners accepted from their own homes or hotel rooms in laidback settings unheard of for Hollywood's biggest awards shows. Many were surrounded by spouses, parents, kids, pets or support staff. Several winners welcomed the change. “This is the best Globes ever, to be able to be home, but also it just felt really real,” a giddy Foster said in virtual comments after her win. “It didn’t feel like it was filled with so much artifice. I think people were kind of thrilled by the newness and the sort of live theatre.” Foster cozied up on a sofa, cuddling her white dog while sharing a kiss with her wife. Friends watching on television downstairs raised a delayed shout when she was announced as the winner for supporting actress in a motion picture drama. Foster stuck her bare foot in the air, showing media that she wasn’t wearing any shoes. She was headed downstairs to eat dinner after her win. “It was really fun,” said Aaron Sorkin, winner for motion picture screenplay. “There was an intimacy to it.” Sacha Baron Cohen won two trophies for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” with wife Isla Fisher smiling next to him. He donned a traditional tuxedo and she wore a gown and red lips. “The virtual experience was different, but a lot more relaxing,” Baron Cohen said. “You didn’t have to do the red carpet, which I’m not sure a lot of people enjoy.” In London, Sudeikis won best actor in a television series, musical or comedy for “Ted Lasso.” He wore a white hoodie promoting his sister's dance and workout studio in New York City. “When people you care about do cool, interesting things you should support them, so this is no different than that,” Sudeikis later told reporters. Clearly surprised by his win, the actor hesitated and rambled during his acceptance remarks. Fellow nominee Don Cheadle was shown whirling his finger in the air, a joking signal that Sudeikis should wrap up. “The guy's got chops,” Sudeikis said. “He's an ex-stage manager.” Nominee Kate Hudson hosted a family get-together. Wearing a strapless gown, she sat with her kids, her partner Danny Fujikawa, her mother Goldie Hawn, as well as Kurt Russell and brother Oliver Hudson. Her 2-year-old daughter, Rani, blurted out, “Hi, everybody!” as the telecast went to a commercial break. Nicole Kidman and musician-husband Keith Urban got glammed up to sit on their couch. Their daughters, Sunday and Faith, both wore white dresses while making a rare appearance. A shocked Andra Day had a crowd that included two co-stars from “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” her manager, her publicist, her parents and some of her cousin's family. Known for her singing career, Day became the second Black woman to win for actress in a motion picture drama in her acting debut. “There's cake outside, so I'm going to eat with that, and with my family and my team,” she said after her win. “We're just going to eat so much food.” Beth Harris, The Associated Press
Le conseil des maires de la MRC Haute-Yamaska a refusé de présenter et d’appuyer une résolution de l’Agence forestière de la Montérégie, préoccupée par les effets négatifs pour la foresterie si cette MRC et celle de Brome-Missisquoi étaient transférées en Estrie pour ce ministère. Une décision qui déçoit le préfet de la MRC Brome-Missisquoi, Patrick Melchior. La résolution de deux pages a été soumise à l’ensemble des MRC de la Montérégie. Elle liste tous les effets négatifs que pourrait avoir le transfert de la foresterie vers l’Estrie. L’Agence forestière de la Montérégie demande que son territoire ne soit pas amputé de la Haute-Yamaska et de Brome-Missisquoi et que son budget demeure le même. «Le préfet Paul Sarrazin a dit qu’il n’avait pas d’information comme quoi il pourrait y avoir des pertes si la Haute-Yamaska était transférée en Estrie. Moi, c’est un autre son de cloche que j’ai eu, affirme M. Melchior. J’ai parlé à Claudine Lajeunesse, la directrice générale de l’AFM. Selon les experts, il y a des effets négatifs à transférer la foresterie.» La Table des préfets de la Montérégie a été approchée également, mais les préfets ont préféré attendre que les deux MRC concernées se prononcent avant de passer au vote. «Ce qui me déçoit le plus, c’est que si ça n’a pas d’impact négatif pour eux, ils pourraient nous appuyer quand même puisque ça ne leur enlève rien», croit le préfet de Brome-Missisquoi. Préoccupée La moitié du budget que reçoit l’AFM est pour la mise en valeur des forêts dans Brome-Missisquoi, où on compte 400 producteurs forestiers, et dans la Haute-Yamaska, où se trouvent 150 producteurs forestiers, informe Claudine Lajeunesse. Ces producteurs forestiers sont notamment des producteurs acéricoles. La directrice générale de l’organisme de concertation est préoccupée par ce qui pourrait arriver à l’agence advenant un transfert de cette compétence à l’Estrie. La Montérégie est la seule région à avoir développé une entente sectorielle sur le développement des forêts privées. Le programme d’aménagement durable des forêts est aussi administré différemment en Estrie, alors que les chantiers forestiers sont plus imposants et mécanisés. Elle a rencontré, avec le président de l’agence, M. Sarrazin en décembre pour lui présenter la résolution et répondre à ses questions, s’il en avait. Elle avait été rassurée. Mais «à notre grande surprise, la résolution n’a pas fait l’objet d’un point à l’ordre du jour. Le président de l’agence a posé une question et c’est là que M. Sarrazin en a parlé. On était surpris de voir ça, d’autant plus que j’avais quand même envoyé à Johanne Gaouette [la directrice générale de la MRC], quelques jours avant la séance, toutes les lettres d’appuis et les lettres des conseillers forestiers qui desservent la Haute-Yamaska et qui détaillaient leurs préoccupations.» La résolution a été appuyée par cinq MRC montérégiennes jusqu’à présent ainsi que par l’UPA de la Montérégie, des producteurs acéricoles, le syndicat des producteurs forestiers du sud du Québec, et l’Agence de mise en valeur de la forêt privée de l’Estrie. Pour un transfert en totalité Paul Sarrazin ne considère pas que l’AFM a présenté des faits préoccupants et il avait été plutôt rassuré par le ministre responsable de l’Estrie, François Bonnardel, comme quoi les argents suivraient. «Le conseil des maires ne peut pas prendre de décision sur des informations incertaines, répond-il. Je comprends qu’il y a des gens qui peuvent être inquiets, mais quand on prend une décision, il faut se mettre au-dessus de la mêlée et regarder l’ensemble du portrait.» La MRC Haute-Yamaska souhaite un transfert complet en Estrie, et non un transfert à la pièce. La municipalité régionale de comté est divisée en deux, alors qu’elle doit se référer à l’Estrie pour la moitié des ministères et à la Montérégie pour la balance. «On a eu une rencontre complète dans Brome-Missisquoi où les élus des deux MRC étaient là avec des gens du gouvernement pour voir quels pouvaient être les impacts, ajoute-t-il. À date, personne ne m’a donné d’indication comme quoi il y aurait une perte de service, une perte de moyens.» Il assure toutefois qu’il défendra les intérêts des différents intervenants le moment venu. La résolution pourrait être appuyée par d’autres MRC dans la région et sera présentée de nouveau à la table des préfets. Cynthia Laflamme, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix de l'Est