Ontario is delaying the start of in-person learning in COVID-19 hot spots until next month as the number of cases continue to rise. Erica Vella speaks with one mother about the change.
Ontario is delaying the start of in-person learning in COVID-19 hot spots until next month as the number of cases continue to rise. Erica Vella speaks with one mother about the change.
There was no distribution plan for the coronavirus vaccine set up by the Trump administration as the virus raged in its last months in office, new President Joe Biden's chief of staff, Ron Klain, said on Sunday. "The process to distribute the vaccine, particularly outside of nursing homes and hospitals out into the community as a whole, did not really exist when we came into the White House," Klain said on NBC's "Meet the Press." Biden, a Democrat who took over from Republican President Donald Trump on Wednesday, has promised a fierce fight against the pandemic that killed 400,000 people in the United States under Trump’s watch.
Guyana said late on Saturday that a Venezuelan navy vessel detained two vessels that were fishing in Guyana's exclusive economic zone, the latest dispute in a long-running border conflict between the two South American nations. Caracas says much of eastern Guyana is its own territory, a claim that is rejected by Georgetown. The conflict has flared up in recent years as Guyana has started developing oil reserves near the disputed area.
ATLANTA — Six months after his death, the late civil rights leader and longtime Georgia congressman John Lewis will retain a palpable influence in Congress: The state’s two new Democratic U.S. senators — both personal friends and admirers — promise to carry on his legacy. Sen. Raphael Warnock was Lewis’ pastor and stood at his bedside before Lewis died. Sen. Jon Ossoff, the Senate’s youngest current member, served as an intern in Lewis’ Washington office years ago. Both were sworn into office Wednesday. Their victories have already brought about significant change. Warnock is Georgia’s first Black senator, and Ossoff is the first Jewish senator from the state. Together, their election victories swung control of the Senate to Democrats. Stacey Abrams, a Democrat who narrowly lost the nationally watched race for Georgia governor in 2018, said in a statement to The Associated Press that Warnock and Ossoff represent Lewis’ legacy in the Senate “as champions of civil rights, human rights and voting rights." “Congressman Lewis is irreplaceable,” Abrams wrote. "However, Georgians gave America the opportunity to pass sweeping reforms that will strengthen our democracy and commemorate his fight for all.” Both of the newly minted senators have pledged to pursue legislation to expand and protect voting rights, a cause that Lewis championed for most of his life. Democrats and their supporters are hopeful that their newfound control of the White House and Congress could mean voting protections previously stalled by a GOP-led Senate could receive quick passage. Chief among those is a bill passed by the House in 2019 that has since been renamed after Lewis. It seeks to restore portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013. The ruling in Shelby County v. Holder ended a requirement that jurisdictions with a history of discriminatory voting practices receive preclearance from the federal government for any changes to voting procedures. Democrats and voting rights groups argue that the ruling has led to a cascade of changes in many states that have disenfranchised voters, including polling place closures. In a news conference Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi identified the legislation as a top priority and said she was optimistic about its prospects. That said, the Senate could have its hands full with the impending impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, as well as consideration of appointments by President Joe Biden and his early legislative proposals, including a $1.9 trillion coronavirus plan. Lewis died in July at the age of 80 after battling pancreatic cancer. He served in the House for 33 years representing Georgia’s 5th Congressional District, which includes most of Atlanta. Lewis became a key player in the civil rights movement as a young man in the 1960s. He helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, was among the original Freedom Riders who challenged segregated bus terminals in the South, and was the youngest person to speak at the March on Washington in 1963. Most associated with the pursuit to secure and protect voting rights, Lewis led protesters in the 1965 Bloody Sunday march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, where he had his skull fractured by police, and was a driving force behind voting rights laws in the U.S. for decades. Lewis was a parishioner of Warnock's for years at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached and Warnock remains pastor. Warnock was called to Lewis' bedside days before his death and presided over his funeral service. “Today the world lost a giant. I lost a mentor, a church member and a friend," Warnock said in a tweet shortly after Lewis' death. “In his youth, John Lewis wrestled with a call to ministry. But instead of preaching sermons, he became a sermon for all the world to see.” Ossoff first met Lewis when, as a teenager, he was inspired by Lewis' book “Walking With the Wind” and wrote him a letter. “I was so inspired by how a person so young had taken a leadership role in the pursuit of justice and confronting the abuse of power, and was just in awe of his life,” Ossoff said in an interview with The Associated Press in December. Lewis wrote back and invited Ossoff to come work in his office for a few months, spawning a yearslong relationship between the two. Lewis' early endorsement of Ossoff helped him defeat a challenger with far more experience in elected office to clinch the Democratic nomination for Senate. Warnock and Ossoff defeated Republican incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who both ran on fealty to Trump, in a runoff election on Jan. 5. They are the first Democrats to win a U.S. Senate election in Georgia since 2000. On the night of the election, as the Democrats’ leads became clear, members of Congress who worked alongside Lewis paid tribute to the late congressman, saying he laid the groundwork for the victories. “My friend John Lewis planted the foundation of this Georgia over his career,” Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey said in a tweet. “I wish he were here tonight to watch this.” Ben Nadler, The Associated Press
The Biden administration will work closely with Israel on regional security issues and to build on the country's regional normalization agreements, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told his Israeli counterpart, according to a statement on Sunday. "They discussed opportunities to enhance the partnership over the coming months, including by building on the success of Israel's normalization arrangements with UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco," according to a statement on Sullivan's call on Saturday with Israel's Meir Ben Shabbat.
NEW YORK — Larry King was easy to poke fun at, particularly late in his career at CNN: the pinched look, guffaws and coke-bottle glasses, the suspenders and old-time microphone on the desk in front of him. He was grandpa trying to dance to Drake at a wedding. But at least grandpa tried, didn't he? And if you sat down to talk with him, he could take you places with his words, and you would enjoy the journey. You'd certainly be sorry if he wasn't there. Hearing about King's death Saturday at age 87 stirred a similar feeling. The Brooklyn-born King was a classic conversationalist, a throwback to a different era in showbiz and media even during the height of his on-air career. For 25 years until 2010, “Larry King Live” was a fixture on CNN's weeknight schedule, and that was after a lengthy career as a late-night radio host. King talked to politicians and musicians, the serious and the silly, not as a newsman but as anyone would if suddenly thrust into the room with a famous face. Sometimes it felt that way; King would never be accused of over-preparing for an interview. Journalists at CNN gnashed their teeth at missed opportunities to show off their toughness and knowledge if they'd been in his place asking questions of premiers or presidents. He described himself as a minimalist whose chief goal was to make his guests look good. “I ask short questions,” he said once. “I have no pretense at intellectuality.” King could fill a blooper reel of gaffes that would have been fatal to the careers of lesser personalities. He mistakenly addressed Ringo Starr as “George," and notoriously asked Jerry Seinfeld if it was his choice to leave his namesake sitcom or if the network had cancelled it. But, hey, “Seinfeld” aired at 9 p.m. on Thursdays. So did “Larry King Live.” He was busy. “You're not a reminiscencer?' he asked Prince once. “Is that a word, Larry?” Prince asked. “I invented it,” King said. While King may have sat down to talk to authors without reading their books, he did homework, said Tammy Haddad, his producer for the first eight years King was on CNN. And he wasn't necessarily an easy inquisitor. Ross Perot didn't intend to announce his candidacy for president on King's show in 1992, but the host pressed him - both on the air and during commercial breaks - until he did, Haddad said. He would make interview subjects feel so comfortable that sometimes they'd reveal more than they had intended, she said. “Whenever you sat down in Larry King's TV living room, you felt like you were just having a conversation with a friend and forgot that millions around the world were watching you,” singer Tony Bennett tweeted on Saturday. The lineup for King's 25th anniversary shows - LeBron James, Bill Gates, Barack Obama and Lady Gaga - spoke to the eclectic mix he tried to bring to “Larry King Live.” “He'd be happy talking to a taxi driver,” Haddad said. “He came to each of them with the same level of interest.” His connections brought in some big names: Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra in the last interview he gave before his death. King also had a penchant for fading B- or C-list stars, and few things gave him more pleasure than laughing with Don Rickles for an hour. He was more than game enough to speak to a younger generation of stars, too, and took a souped-up ride with Snoop Dogg through the streets of Los Angeles. “Larry King Live” was a type of show that would feel foreign on cable news today, given its obsession with hard-nosed political combat. Podcasts would now be the closest place to get something similar to what King offered, Haddad said. “I think that's one of the reasons people are so nostalgic about Larry,” she said. “They really got to know people (King interviewed) in a way that you just don't have the opportunity to do anymore.” Among the personalities who took time Saturday to tweet memories and photos of themselves with King was filmmaker Kevin Smith. “My dad always asked me, 'Did you see who Larry King talked to last night?'" Smith wrote. “Would've blown his mind to know that one day, it would be his son. "Thanks for that.” David Bauder, The Associated Press
For two Virginia police officers who posed for a photo during the deadly U.S. Capitol insurrection, the reckoning has been swift and public: They were identified, charged with crimes and arrested. But for five Seattle officers the outcome is less clear. Their identities still secret, two are on leave and three continue to work while a police watchdog investigates whether their actions in the nation's capital on Jan. 6 crossed the line from protected political speech to lawbreaking. The contrasting cases highlight the dilemma faced by police departments nationwide as they review the behaviour of dozens of officers who were in Washington the day of the riot by supporters of President Donald Trump. Officials and experts agree that officers who were involved in the melee should be fired and charged for their role. But what about those officers who attended only the Trump rally before the riot? How does a department balance an officer's free speech rights with the blow to public trust that comes from the attendance of law enforcement at an event with far-right militants and white nationalists who went on to assault the seat of American democracy? An Associated Press survey of law enforcement agencies nationwide found that at least 31 officers in 12 states are being scrutinized by their supervisors for their behaviour in the District of Columbia or face criminal charges for participating in the riot. Officials are looking into whether the officers violated any laws or policies or participated in the violence while in Washington. A Capitol Police officer died after he was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher as rioters descended on the building and many other officers were injured. A woman was shot to death by Capitol Police and three other people died after medical emergencies during the chaos. Most of the officers have not been publicly identified; only a few have been charged. Some were identified by online sleuths. Others were reported by their colleagues or turned themselves in. They come from some of the country’s largest cities — three Los Angeles officers and a sheriff’s deputy, for instance — as well as state agencies and a Pennsylvania police department with nine officers. Among them are an Oklahoma sheriff and New Hampshire police chief who have acknowledged being at the rally, but denied entering the Capitol or breaking the law. “If they were off-duty, it’s totally free speech,” said Will Aitchison, a lawyer in Portland, Oregon, who represents law enforcement officers. “People have the right to express their political views regardless of who’s standing next to them. You just don’t get guilt by association.” But Ayesha Bell Hardaway, a professor at Case Western Reserve University law school, said an officer’s presence at the rally creates a credibility issue as law enforcement agencies work to repair community trust, especially after last summer's of protests against police brutality sparked by the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Communities will question the integrity of officers who attended the rally along with “individuals who proudly profess racist and divisive viewpoints,” she said. “It calls into question whether those officers are interested in engaging in policing in a way that builds trust and legitimacy in all communities, including communities of colour.” In Rocky Mount, a Virginia town of about 1,000, Sgt. Thomas Robertson and Officer Jacob Fracker were suspended without pay and face criminal charges after posting a photo of themselves inside the Capitol during the riot. According to court records, Robertson wrote on social media that the “Left are just mad because we actually attacked the government who is the problem … The right IN ONE DAY took the f(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk) U.S. Capitol. Keep poking us.” Attempts to contact the pair were unsuccessful and court records do not list lawyers. Leaders in Rocky Mount declined to be interviewed. In a statement, they said the events at the Capitol were tragic. “We stand with and add our support to those who have denounced the violence and illegal activity that took place that day,” said Police Chief Ken Criner, Capt. Mark Lovern and Town Manager James Ervin. “Our town and our police department absolutely does not condone illegal or unethical behaviour by anyone, including our officers and staff.” On the other side of the county, five Seattle officers are under investigation by the city’s Office of Police Accountability. Two officers posted photos of themselves on social media while in the district and officials are investigating to determine where they were and what they were doing. Three others told supervisors that they went to Washington for the events and are being investigated for what they did while there. Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz said his department supports officers’ freedom of speech and that those who were in the nation's capital will be fired if they “were directly involved in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.” But police leaders need to evaluate more than just clear criminal behaviour, according to Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a policing research and policy group. They must also consider how their actions affect the department credibility, he said. Officers' First Amendment rights “don’t extend to expressing words that may be violent or maybe express some prejudice,” Wexler said, “because that’s going to reflect on what they do when they’re working, when they’re testifying in court.” Through the summer and fall, Seattle police — along with officers elsewhere — came under criticism for their handling of mass protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd. The city received more than 19,000 complaints against officers, most for excessive use of force and improper use of pepper spray. Andrew Myerberg, director of the Seattle Office of Police Accountability, said none of the officers now under investigation were involved in those cases. But Sakara Remmu, cofounder of Black Lives Matter Seattle/King County, said the officers should be fired regardless. Their public declarations of solidarity with Trump fosters not just community distrust, but terror of the entire department, she said. “It absolutely does matter when the decorum of racial peace cracks and racial hatred comes through, because we already have a documented history and legacy of what that means in this country,” Remmu said. In Houston, the police chief decried an officer who resigned and was later charged in the riot. A lawyer for Officer Tam Pham said the 18-year veteran of the force "very much regrets” being at the rally and was “deeply remorseful.” But many chiefs have said their officers committed no crimes. “The Arkansas State Police respects the rights and freedom of an employee to use their leave time as the employee may choose,” department spokesman Bill Sadler said of two officers who attended the Trump rally. Malik Aziz, the former chair and executive director of the National Black Police Association, compared condemning all officers who were in Washington to tarring all the protesters who took to streets after the killing of George Floyd with the violent and destructive acts of some. A major with the Dallas Police Department, Aziz said police acting privately have the same rights as other Americans, but that knowingly going to a bigoted event should be disqualifying for an officer. “There’s no place in law enforcement for that individual,” Aziz said. Martha Bellisle And Jake Bleiberg, The Associated Press
Saskatchewan's premier says the fight over the Keystone XL pipeline isn't over yet. In a recent interview with CBC's Rosemary Barton, Premier Scott Moe says conversations around the TC Energy project are ongoing, despite U.S. President Joe Biden's recent cancellation of the pipeline's permit by executive order. "I wouldn't say this project is over by any stretch. There is a lot of conversation to have on KXL," Moe said in an interview on Rosemary Barton Live. The 1,897-kilometre pipeline would have carried 830,000 barrels of crude oil daily from oilsands in Hardisty, Alta., to Nebraska, connecting to the original Keystone pipeline running to the U.S. Gulf Coast refineries. A portion of the project would have crossed into southern Saskatchewan. Moe, along with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Ontario Premier Doug Ford, has pushed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal government to take action against the pipeline's halt. That could include economic sanctions, Moe suggested — a possibility also raised by Kenney. "I haven't said that we should go to sanctions and sanctions should be utilized first," Moe said in his interview with Barton. "But sanctions are always on the table in any conversation or any challenge that we may have with our trading relationship with our largest partner." The project, originally blocked by U.S. President Barack Obama, was then approved by President Donald Trump, who wanted to negotiate the terms of the project, before ultimately being blocked again by Biden in the first days of his presidency. Federal Opposition leader Erin O'Toole has also expressed frustration over the cancellation of the project, saying in a statement it "will devastate thousands of Canadian families who have already been badly hurt by the economic crisis." Trudeau's government has repeatedly said that it supports the project and has made that clear to the new U.S. administration, but both the prime minister and Canada's ambassador to the U.S. have said it is time to respect the decision and move on. Speaking on Friday morning, Trudeau reiterated his disappointment with the cancellation and said he would raise the issue during his phone call with Biden scheduled for later in the day. "Obviously the decision on Keystone XL is a very difficult one for workers in Alberta and Saskatchewan who've had many difficult hits," he said. "Over the past years we have been there for them and we will continue to be there for them and I will express my concern for jobs and livelihoods in Canada, particularly in the West, directly in my conversation with President Biden." Trudeau stressed he and the new president are on the same wavelength on fighting climate change and middle-class job creation, as well as the "values of Canadians." Moe called the cancellation a "devastating blow to North American energy security," and said in the interview with Barton he'll continue to advocate for the pipeline, which he says has both economic and environmental benefits for Canada.
A new app has been created to bring awareness and support to those impacted by gun violence in Toronto. The Enough is Enough app was launched by music producer Dub J. Global News Weekend Host Mike Arsenault has more.
CALGARY — Dr. Liz Ruelle says it was a difficult decision to close her veterinary practice to first-time patients after being swamped with requests by new pet owners who turned to animal companionship during the pandemic.For Ruelle, who operates the Wild Rose Cat Clinic in Calgary, everything takes two to three times longer with COVID-19 safety protocols, so providing timely medical attention to animals can be challenging.She's six months behind on regular checkups and so decided last October to refer new furry patients to emergency clinics. "Everyone was running out and getting pets ... and we're now facing backlogs of annual exams, because we weren't doing them for months," Ruelle said."I have a hard time saying no to people. It's gut-wrenching for us. When we're saying no, it's because we physically can't."Humane Canada says 78,000 cats and 28,000 dogs were in shelters across Canada in 2019. Sixty-five per cent of the felines and 73 per cent of dogs were either adopted or reclaimed by their owners.Numbers for last year aren't yet available, but shelters across the country say demand has been brisk, although the number of cats and dogs available has dropped."Our adoptions have thankfully stayed steady throughout the pandemic and haven't seen a marked increase in animal returns," said Jessica Bohrson from the Calgary Humane Society."With so many folks now working from home, they've been able to give their new pets a great deal of attention."There are about 10,000 veterinarians in Canada. Dr. Enid Stiles, president of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, said that's too few vets for the number of pets.The greatest shortfall is in British Columbia, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador."It's become a triage of what's most important. Certainly these new pets have thrown a wrench into things, because in Canada we already have a very big shortage of veterinarians," said Stiles, who shut down her Montreal clinic to new patients in December."My clinic said we would never do that, but ... we ended up having to stop taking any new patients because we're burning out. We had to put the brakes on and that's hard because where are those pets going to go?"The irony is they're going to end up being pushed out to more rural vets, who may still have some ability to see these patients, but now they're having to travel great distances in a pandemic just to get veterinary care."Lack of attention for newer patients has led to many veterinarians being subjected to verbal abuse from angry pet owners, Stiles added."People get frustrated and they're very emotional when dealing with pets. We understand, but certainly with the pandemic it's even more of a struggle," she said."People's fuses are short."The Toronto Humane Society switched to virtual adoptions last spring. The organization has fewer animals available than usual because it isn't allowed to bring in any from the United States with the border closed.Hannah Sotropa said the society has received more than 11,000 applications for adoption since the pandemic began."Definitely the interest has certainly increased. We're not seeing an increase in adoptions per se largely due to the fact we have had fewer animals," she said.The Toronto Humane Society has its own public veterinary service clinic which vaccinates, spays and neuters pets. It also has a dental suite."There's going to be backlogs. What's really important is we find ways to make veterinary care more accessible, so we can prevent animals ending up in our shelters simply due to affordability or lack of availability to basic, veterinary care," Sotropa said."It's important for people to know that even if they are an adopter, they can still come for help if they need it."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2021— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
TORONTO — When COVID-19 swept across Canada last year, Andre Mazerolle's five-year career in marketing ground to a halt as he was laid off from his job. Gutted, the Oshawa, Ont. man poured himself into his motorcycle hobby while he tried to plot the next phase in his working life. Then a chance conversation with a friend made him realize there was a way to do both. "She said, 'Hey, I got laid off too and I'm working at a motorcycle store selling parts and accessories....You should come and work with me,'" Mazerolle recalled. "A week later, I was at the motorcycle store ... doing something I was passionate about." Faced with hiring freezes, wage cuts and layoffs forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians like Mazerolle are making dramatic career changes. Others are seeking skills upgrades or shifting their hours after realizing their current jobs don't offer the stability and flexibility they need to raise kids or care for immunocompromised family members. An online survey of 3,000 Canadians that Morneau Shepell released in November found 24 per cent say the COVID-19 pandemic led them to consider a job or career change. Makenzie Chilton, a B.C. woman who runs career coaching company Love Your Mondays, said people around the world have been reaching out to her throughout the pandemic. As the economic downturn continued, she said, more people were ready to consider bigger moves on the job front. "Initially everyone was worried about their jobs because in March nobody knew what was happening ... (by) June, it was just an influx of people looking to create a change," she said. Educational institutions are seeing an uptick in interest too. Ryerson University's Chang School of Continuing Education, for example, said enrolment for spring-summer courses in 2020 grew by 15 per cent when compared with 2019. Particularly popular were certificate programs in disaster and emergency management, advanced safety and health studies, it said. Jennifer Hargreaves says that isn't surprising. The owner of Tellent, an organization that helps professional women find flexible work opportunities, said COVID-19 has triggered a "big pause" for Canadians juggling work, social calendars and kids, no matter what their plans looked like a year or two ago. The pandemic pushed them to slow down or stop, she said. Many women even decided to make their career a second priority because daycares closed or their kids moved to virtual schooling. "It sucks and it forces you to re-evaluate where you are and what you want, but I think that's a silver lining and a bit of a blessing for some people," Hargreaves said. That slowdown came in March for Kristin Hoogendoorn of Milton, Ont. Hoogendoorn has built a travel business over the past four years, and running it became her passion. When the pandemic started, she cancelled more than 100 flights for clients and found herself worrying about her husband's work too because he's employed by an airline. After more than a decade of self-employment, Hoogendoorn hadn't job hunted in years and her self-confidence was wavering, but she knew she had to do something. "I thought, 'I can't live on no income anymore'," she said. "I just don't know how we are going to get out of this." She eventually sat down with career coaches who boosted her morale and helped her plot her future. She's now seeking a part-time job, ideally something in sales or technology that's relatively pandemic-proof. She'll hang onto her travel business, but will keep it on the back burner until COVID-19 subsides. "If I let it go completely I would be giving up and doing a disservice to (my clients) after everything that we've been through together," she said. "It's too hard." Mazerolle, who moved from the first motorcycle company that hired him to working for Mackie Harley-Davidson in January, was quicker to make the career switch, but agreed it was an emotional process. His anxiety was high and because of strict lockdown restrictions, he felt isolated and missed work. "When I was let go, it was like I had lost this wonderful umbilical cord attaching me to all the people in my organization, and now they're gone too," he said. Finding a new job was a chance to leave some of those hardships in the dust, but it came with a learning curve, even for a motorcycle lover like Mazerolle. Now he is constantly learning about parts and accessories, getting excited about innovations Harley-Davidson is working on and talking to customers who love motorcycles as much as he does. "It is kind of like a dream coming true, and don't we want our dreams to come true?" This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2021. Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press
Canadian convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc has been quietly reassuring shareholders about its growth strategy after its abrupt plan to buy French retailer Carrefour SA befuddled investors and cast doubt about the stock's short-term prospects. Couche-Tard's $20 billion approach for Carrefour was rejected by the French government earlier this month on food security concerns. The bid for Carrefour pushed the Quebec-based company into unchartered territory - an untested market, a relative new business segment and its biggest deal yet - surprising shareholders.
WASHINGTON — As the House prepares to bring the impeachment charge against Donald Trump to the Senate for trial, a growing number of Republican senators say they are opposed to the proceeding, dimming the chances that former president will be convicted on the charge that he incited a siege of the U.S. Capitol. House Democrats will carry the sole impeachment charge of “incitement of insurrection” across the Capitol late Monday evening, a rare and ceremonial walk to the Senate by the prosecutors who will argue their case. They are hoping that strong Republican denunciations of Trump after the Jan. 6 riot will translate into a conviction and a separate vote to bar Trump from holding office again. But instead, GOP passions appear to have cooled since the insurrection. Now that Trump's presidency is over, Republican senators who will serve as jurors in the trial are rallying to his legal defence, as they did during his first impeachment trial last year. “I think the trial is stupid, I think it’s counterproductive,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.. He said that "the first chance I get to vote to end this trial, I’ll do it” because he believes it would be bad for the country and further inflame partisan divisions. Trump is the first former president to face impeachment trial, and it will test his grip on the Republican Party as well as the legacy of his tenure, which came to a close as a mob of loyal supporters heeded his rally cry by storming the Capitol and trying to overturn Joe Biden's election. The proceedings will also force Democrats, who have a full sweep of party control of the White House and Congress, to balance their promise to hold the former president accountable while also rushing to deliver on Biden's priorities. Arguments in the Senate trial will begin the week of Feb. 8. Leaders in both parties agreed to the short delay to give Trump's team and House prosecutors time to prepare and the Senate the chance to confirm some of Biden’s Cabinet nominees. Democrats say the extra days will allow for more evidence to come out about the rioting by Trump supporters, while Republicans hope to craft a unified defence for Trump. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said in an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday that he hopes that evolving clarity on the details of what happened Jan. 6 “will make it clearer to my colleagues and the American people that we need some accountability.” Coons questioned how his colleagues who were in the Capitol that day could see the insurrection as anything other than a “stunning violation” of tradition of peaceful transfers of power. “It is a critical moment in American history and we have to look at it and look at it hard,” Coons said. An early vote to dismiss the trial probably would not succeed, given that Democrats now control the Senate. Still, the mounting Republican opposition indicates that many GOP senators would eventually vote to acquit Trump. Democrats would need the support of 17 Republicans — a high bar — to convict him. When the House impeached Trump on Jan. 13, exactly one week after the siege, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said he didn’t believe the Senate had the constitutional authority to convict Trump after he had left office. On Sunday, Cotton said “the more I talk to other Republican senators, the more they’re beginning to line up” behind that argument. “I think a lot of Americans are going to think it’s strange that the Senate is spending its time trying to convict and remove from office a man who left office a week ago,” Cotton said. Democrats reject that argument, pointing to a 1876 impeachment of a secretary of war who had already resigned and to opinions by many legal scholars. Democrats also say that a reckoning of the first invasion of the Capitol since the War of 1812, perpetrated by rioters egged on by a president who told them to “fight like hell” against election results that were being counted at the time, is necessary so the country can move forward and ensure such a siege never happens again. A few GOP senators have agreed with Democrats, though not close to the number that will be needed to convict Trump. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said he believes there is a “preponderance of opinion” that an impeachment trial is appropriate after someone leaves office. “I believe that what is being alleged and what we saw, which is incitement to insurrection, is an impeachable offence,” Romney said. “If not, what is?” But Romney, the lone Republican to vote to convict Trump when the Senate acquitted the then-president in last year’s trial, appears to be an outlier. Sen. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, said he believes a trial is a “moot point” after a president's term is over, “and I think it’s one that they would have a very difficult time in trying to get done within the Senate.” On Friday, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a close Trump ally who has been helping him build a legal team, urged the Senate to reject the idea of a post-presidency trial — potentially with a vote to dismiss the charge — and suggested Republicans will scrutinize whether Trump’s words on Jan. 6 were legally “incitement.” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who said last week that Trump “provoked” his supporters before the riot, has not said how he will vote or argued any legal strategies. The Kentucky senator has told his GOP colleagues that it will be a vote of conscience. One of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s nine impeachment managers said Trump’s encouragement of his loyalists before the riot was "an extraordinarily heinous presidential crime." Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pennsylvania., said "I mean, think back. It was just two-and-a-half weeks ago that the president assembled a mob on the Ellipse of the White House. He incited them with his words. And then he lit the match.” Trump’s supporters invaded the Capitol and interrupted the electoral count as he falsely claimed there was massive fraud in the election and that it was stolen by Biden. Trump’s claims were roundly rejected in the courts, including by judges appointed by Trump, and by state election officials. Rubio and Romney were on “Fox News Sunday,” Cotton appeared on Fox News Channel's “Sunday Morning Futures” and Romney also was on CNN's “State of the Union,” as was Dean. Rounds was interviewed on NBC's “Meet the Press.” ___ Associated Press writer Hope Yen contributed to this report. Mary Clare Jalonick And Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
AMSTERDAM — A suspected Canadian drug baron has been arrested in the Netherlands on an Interpol warrant, according to Dutch and Australian police. The 57-year-old was detained Friday and is of “significant interest” to Australian and other law enforcement agencies, according to a statement Sunday from the Australian federal police. It says he was targeted as part of an operation that dismantled a global crime syndicate in 2019 that was accused of trading large amounts of illegal drugs and laundering the profits. The Australian police plan to seek his extradition. Dutch national police tweeted that he was arrested at the request of Australian authorities via Interpol. The international police agency did not comment on the arrest. The suspect's name was not released by Dutch authorities, in line with the country's privacy rules, but media widely reported it to be Tse Chi Lop. Australian police said they would work with the country's Attorney-General’s Department to prepare an extradition request. Dutch National Prosecutor's Office spokesman Wim de Bruin said Sunday no extradition hearing had yet been scheduled. The Associated Press
IQALUIT, Nunavut — In Nunavut, it's not unusual for the internet to cut out, slow down or stop working altogether. Unlike most jurisdictions in Canada, there is no option for unlimited internet. Instead, residents are faced with high prices and heavy fees for higher monthly data caps. Amy Matychuk, who lives in Iqaluit, says each month she and her fiancé wait for the notice from their internet service provider telling them they've reached their data limit. Matychuk says the couple spends about $250 a month on internet. Her fiancé is completing his masters, which requires him to be on Zoom nearly eight hours a day. "He's at the maximum data he can have on his phone, so once we run out of internet at home he can hot-spot to his phone," she said. Nunavut’s internet problems aren’t new, but the territory's senator, Dennis Patterson, says the pandemic has made a bad situation even worse. "Internet continues to be of crucial importance to remote communities in Nunavut. The situation has sadly not changed," Patterson said in an interview. A report commissioned by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the land-claim body that represents Inuit in the territory, says the fastest possible internet speed in Nunavut is eight times slower than the national average. The report states Nunavut is the only jurisdiction in Canada without residential access to internet speeds over 25 megabits per second. The highest possible speed in Nunavut is 15 megabits per second. Some 86 per cent of Canadian households have access to unlimited data packages and 94 per cent have access to broadband speeds of at least 25 megabits, the report says. It would cost a single Nunavut household at least $7,000 annually to reach the average level of data usage in Canadian households. Nunavut is also the only Canadian province or territory without access to fibre internet. There are three proposals that could bring it to Nunavut through lines connected to other provinces, but those are still a few years away from completion. Patterson says one reason internet hasn’t improved in the territory is a lack of competition for service providers. Northwestel, which is owned by Bell, serves all of Nunavut’s 25 communities. Qiniq, its main competitor, also offers internet and mobile phone service but runs off a different network because it doesn't have access to Northwestel's. “It's like an airport being owned by one airline and other airlines needed to either build their own airport or pay premium rates to access that airport," Patterson said. Another reason internet hasn't improved in the territory is because previously announced federal funding has not been distributed, he added. "There's been no action. It’s deeply disturbing to me." Last summer, projects in Yukon and the Northwest Territories received $72 million from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to improve broadband internet service. Nunavut did not receive any money. In a news release at the time, the CRTC said Nunavut projects were deferred to a second round of funding. "We need immediate relief during the height of the pandemic when all these services in health and education and working at home are so critical," Patterson said. The CRTC said in an email that it "is continuing to evaluate the applications submitted to the second call for applications." "Further funding announcements will be made as additional projects are approved." The CRTC said it could not disclose how many Nunavut projects had applied for funding. Andrew Anderson, communications director with Northwestel, said the company's proposal to the CRTC seeks to bring internet speeds up to 50 megabits per second with an option for unlimited internet. Right now, the company's highest internet package for home users is 150 gigabytes a month and costs $129. “We’re hopeful that our proposal brings good value to Nunavut and will help meet that standard, but we’re waiting to hear back on that," Anderson said. For his part, Patterson will continue to push the federal government to make immediate investments for faster, more affordable internet as the pandemic rages on. "People still need to work and do schooling remotely. It’s no secret that Nunavut has been subject to internet blackouts." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2021 ___ This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship Emma Tranter, The Canadian Press
JOHANNESBURG — Tributes are pouring in for South Africa's Oscar-nominated anti-apartheid jazz trombonist and composer Jonas Gwangwa, who has died at the age of 83. With driving music that fired up Black South Africans’ resistance to repressive white minority rule, Gwangwa left the country rather than submit to apartheid censorship. Other prominent exiled South African musicians included Hugh Masekela, Abdullah Ibrahim and Miriam Makeba. “Jonas Gwangwa ascends to our great orchestra of musical ancestors whose creative genius and dedication to the freedom of all South Africans inspired millions in our country and mobilized the international community against the apartheid system," President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a tribute. So potent was Gwangwa's musical activism that his home was bombed by apartheid forces in 1985, but he survived, Ramaphosa said in his tribute. Raised in Johannesburg's Soweto township, Gwangwa rose to prominence in 1959 as a member of the Jazz Epistles, a group that included Masekela and Ibrahim. When the apartheid regime imposed a state of emergency in 1960, it restricted jazz performances which were viewed as promoting racial equality. Gwangwa was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga, South Africa's highest honour for outstanding contribution in arts and culture, in 2010. He was nominated for an Oscar for music he composed for the 1987 movie “Cry Freedom,” which starred Denzel Washington and Kevin Kline. Gwangwa’s death fell on the anniversary of the deaths of his friends and fellow African music giants Masekela and Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi, who died in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Mogomotsi Magome, The Associated Press
Sherbrooke — Uniquement deux amendes de 5000 $ chacune ont été distribuées en milieu agricole par le ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques en Estrie en 2019 et 2020. Après 72 plaintes, dont 36 qui ont mené à des avis de non-conformité, les habitants de la région devrait-ils attendre davantage de conséquences ? Au ministère de l’Environnement, l’imposition de sanctions pécuniaires est plutôt laissée à la discrétion de l’inspecteur. Si on émet automatiquement un avis de non-conformité à tout manquement à la loi, on donnera une amende si on souhaite « obtenir un retour rapide à la conformité ou pour dissuader à court terme la répétition du manquement », explique le Ministère par écrit. C’est donc ce qui est arrivé à Saint-Ludger en octobre 2019, lorsque l’inspecteur s’est rendu sur une ferme après une plainte concernant l’accès d’animaux à un cours d’eau, mais qui s’est finalement solvée en amende pour débordement d’une fosse à purin. La deuxième sanction ici mentionnée a été imposée à une entreprise de transport pour avoir stocké inéadéquatement des matières résiduelles festilisantes sur un terrain du Canton de Cleveland, en juin 2020. Chantal d’Auteuil, qui est chargée de cours en gestion de l’eau à l’Université de Sherbrooke et directrice générale de l’Association des biologistes du Québec ne croit pas que les changements doivent venir de la sévérité du traitement des contrevenants, sauf dans un cas : l’épandage de pesticides trop près d’un cours d’eau ou d’un prélèvement d’eau. Pour 2019 et 2020, on recense 6 avis non-conformité sur 7 plaintes, mais aucune sanction (voir autre texte). « C’est assez sérieux, dit-elle. La conformité, c’est de se tasser, ce n’est pas compliqué. La distance d’épandage est de 3 m, alors d’habitude quand ça dépasse, c’est que c’est excessif et qu’on est quasiment dans le cours d’eau. Pour ça, on pourrait peut-être être plus sévère. Ce serait même mieux que la distance revienne à 5 m comme avant, mais ça, c’est de la volonté politique. » Parlant de volonté politique, tout comme la directrice général du COGESAF (Conseil de gouvernance de l’eau des bassins-versants de la rivière Saint-François) Stéphanie Martel, Mme D’Auteuil plaide pour que le Ministère déploie davantage de ressources. Un seul et unique inspecteur a effectivement été en charge de traiter les 72 plaintes des deux dernières années en milieu agricole estrien. « Je pense que le Règlement sur les exploitations agricoles a assez de grippe, note Mme Martel. Mais le problème, comme à peu près tous les règlements, c’est l’application de la loi. Il manque clairement de ressources humaines et financières en région pour en faire l’application. » Nul besoin donc d’augmenter la pression sur les agriculteurs, croient-elles. Les initiatives doivent venir d’en haut : « À la base ce qui est inquiétant, c’est ce que le gouvernement permet comme concentration de pesticides, ajoute même Mme D’Auteuil. Il y aurait moyen de réviser à la baisse ces concentrations-là pour éviter que ça se retrouve dans les fossés et dans les cours d’eau. » Assouplissements demandés « S’ils ne donnent pas de sanction, c’est probablement parce qu’il n’y a pas matière à en donner une, avance le vice-président de l’UPA-Estrie, Michel Brien. Parfois, ils demandent juste de réparer ce qui a été fait. Ça arrive parfois aussi qu’ils ne sont pas très complaisants. Chaque cas est différent. Ça dépend du problème. » Celui-ci affirme donc avoir confiance en le système actuel, mais croit que certains ajustement pourraient être faits au Règlement sur les exploitations agricoles, L’UPA demande par exemple depuis plusieurs années à ce que la date limite d’épandage soit repoussée du 1er au 15 octobre. « Après le 1er octobre, on n’a pas le droit d’épandre, à moins d’avoir une lettre d’un agronome. Ça arrive qu’on récolte à la fin septembre, mais qu’il pleuve pendant deux semaines de temps. Et en plus, les saisons allongent de plus en plus. » Il n’a pas été possible d’obtenir une réponse du cabinet du ministre de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques dans les délais. Jasmine Rondeau, Initiative de journalisme local, La Tribune
Officials in President Joe Biden's administration tried to head off Republican concerns that his $1.9 trillion pandemic relief proposal was too expensive on a Sunday call with Republican and Democratic lawmakers, some of whom pushed for a smaller plan targeting vaccine distribution. "It seems premature to be considering a package of this size and scope," said Republican Senator Susan Collins, who was on the call with Brian Deese, director of the White House's National Economic Council, and other top Biden aides.
BERLIN — Hertha Berlin fired coach Bruno Labbadia and general manager Michael Preetz on Sunday after a poor run of form left the big-spending club near the Bundesliga relegation zone. Labbadia spent nine months in charge and becomes the fourth permanent Hertha coach to leave the post in the last two years after Saturday's 4-1 defeat to Werder Bremen. Preetz departs after nearly 12 years as general manager, with former sporting director and former German national team player Arne Friedrich taking over his duties. Hertha is 14th in the Bundesliga, two points above the relegation playoff place, and has won only one of its last eight league games. “With 17 points from 18 games we are in a very serious situation,” chairman Carsten Schmidt said in a statement. “Therefore we have decided after due consideration to provide new impetus with a change of coach. We will clarify the successor for the coach position in the coming days.” Schmidt told broadcaster Sky that candidates to succeed Labbadia include Pal Dardai, who coached Hertha from 2015 to 2019. “We have a clear plan," Schmidt said. “We are not going into this task unprepared.” Labbadia was initially appointed in April 2020 to steady the ship after a turbulent 10-game spell under former Germany and United States national team coach Jürgen Klinsmann, but failed to make progress toward the top half of the table in his second season. The poor form comes despite Hertha being among Europe's biggest spenders on transfers in 2020. It is particularly troubling for Hertha given the club's stated aim of establishing itself as a Champions League regular and also the success of rival Union Berlin, eighth in the standings, on a much smaller budget. With funding from investor Lars Windhorst, Hertha spent large sums last year on signing forwards Krzysztof Piatek from Milan and Matheus Cunha from Leipzig, defensive midfielder Lucas Tousart from Lyon and midfielder Matteo Guendouzi on loan from Arsenal. None has consistently hit strong form in Berlin. ___ More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
Suddenly, they're everywhere. They're atching your eye as you drive through a busy intersection, popping up on lawns and street corners, calling out for your attention — and your vote. As soon as the provincial election was called, candidates got busy putting up campaign signs. But each sign has to compete with other signs that a voter may see on a given day, including countless signs that have nothing to do with the election. There's an art to making your sign stand out. We asked three experienced candidates to share their tips for making a great campaign sign. David Brazil is a PC candidate running his fifth campaign, Siobhan Coady is a Liberal candidate on her sixth run, and Sheilagh O'Leary is an NDP candidate, also running the sixth campaign of her career. All about the name Our three candidates may disagree on the issues, but these veterans are unanimous on the most important part of a campaign sign: the name. "Making sure your name is bold and big, because of course you want it to correspond with the name on the ballot," said Coady, who has won federal and provincial elections during her career. "So you want to make sure the last name is really well established on the sign." Brazil seconded that. "The key thing is your last name," he said. "Your first name is not as important. When people start thinking about, in a general conversation, who they're going to vote for, generally it's the last name that comes up." O'Leary — currently the deputy mayor in St. John's — agrees the name should be prominent, but says it doesn't have to be the last name. On her signs, she puts her first name in bold. "I think people know me as Sheilagh. I think Sheilagh is more personable." she said. Keep it simple A candidate may be tempted to squeeze as much info onto a signs as possible. But O'Leary, a professional photographer, says clutter can muddle the message. "The information needs to go out in other sources. You just need to get the name recognition out there at this stage of the game," she said. "With the flyers and the other supportive materials, the web sites, that's how people can mine down and find out what's going on." Brazil agrees it's best to keep it simple. "You don't want a big story board that people gotta read, because that's not what this is about," said Brazil. "You don't want to interfere with their — if they're driving for example, that they take their eye off the road." At most, Brazil says a campaign sign can make room for a few small embellishments. "Sometimes you put the graphic, sometimes it could be a little catch-phrase, it could be your picture attached to it. It could be the way the lettering is done. So you try to look at what catches people's eyes." Colour scheme The colours of a campaign sign are another way to catch eyes, but they also convey a political message. "When we're talking about partisan politics, we're talking about brands. So there are existing colour schemes," said O'Leary. The orange background on her signs quickly lets voters know that O'Leary is an NDP candidate. Coady's signs are mostly Liberal red, Brazil's signs mostly PC blue. To see our candidate's sign-secrets in action, check out the video below. But using bold, bright colours also makes a sign more visible, which can be helpful during a campaign leading to a mid-February election. "You really want to have a very vibrant colour," said Coady. "You want to have it so that it stands out against the background. Especially in winter, you want it to stand out against white." Location, location, location Just as there is an art to crafting a campaign sign, there's also a strategy for where to place them. Brazil says that high-traffic intersections are the best spots for the largest, most expensive signs. "For example, right here, this takes in 70 to 80 per cent of my traffic volume," said Brazil, pointing to a large sign at a busy spot on Portugal Cove Road. Coady says there's a cumulative effect to putting up many signs in a given area, and adding more throughout the campaign. "You also want to make sure you have some momentum," she said. "Building your signs around the community is also part of that strategy." For O'Leary, a small sign in someone's front yard sends the biggest message. "These are the ones, in my opinion, that matter," she said, hammer in hand. "The ones that you nail into the lawns of people who are supporters. And when you go around the neighbourhood and you see those, you know that, that's a vote, that's a vote, that's a vote." A message in a flash A political campaign may be all consuming for the candidates, but for most people, it's just one of a million things happening in their daily lives. Smart politicians know they have precious few chances to make an impression, and to fight for a tiny slice of someone's attention. Having well-designed, well-positioned campaign signs can make the difference between being elected, and being overlooked. Each of our three candidates say their signs need to deliver a message at just a quick glance. "First of all, that my name is on the ballot. Second, that I'm here to work for them." said Coady. "I want them to know that I've represented them for the last ten years, and I want to continue to do that." said Brazil. "I want you to say, there's Sheilagh O'Leary! I can call her if I have a problem." said O'Leary. On Feb. 13, we'll find out if those messages were received. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
A man in western P.E.I. surrendered peacefully to police Sunday after a tense situation in which police asked residents to stay inside and others to avoid the area, neighbours say. In a news release issued at 3:25 p.m., RCMP said the "situation has been dealt with." They provided no other details, other than to request that people continue to avoid the area on Route 14 in Nail Pond between the Back Settlement Road and Route 182, where the man was seen emerging from a home. Hal Perry, the MLA for the area, confirmed in a Facebook post that the man surrendered after "lengthy negotiations." West Prince RCMP sent an email early Sunday asking people to avoid the area due an "active incident in progress." They said there was no danger to the public. However, neighbours said said the situation was "nerve-racking" as at least nine police cars and an armoured truck were stationed outside the home. They said police told residents to stay inside, lock their doors and turn off their lights. Neighbour Florence DesRoches said she was sitting in her living room when she saw police apprehend the man at around 2:30 p.m. "When I looked out the window, I just noticed him walking out of the house with his arms up in the air and the armoured truck pulled up and there was cars come from everywhere," DesRoches said. When I looked out the window, I just noticed him walking out of the house with his arms up in the air and the armoured truck pulled up and there was cars come from everywhere — Florence DesRoches She said police approached him, he got down on the ground, they pointed guns at him, and he was handcuffed and taken back inside. Allan McInnis, mayor of the nearby town of Tignish, said the local fire hall was offered as a base for police. He said police told him Sunday morning "everything was well being taken care of." DesRoches said police were on scene for several hours. "People were calling my place constantly because they knew we live up here and they wanted to know what was going on, and when you don't know what's going on and nobody is telling you anything ... it's kinda nerve-racking." Maritime Electric had a planned power outage in the area from 2-6 a.m. However, a spokesperson for the utility said it was not related to the incident. More from CBC P.E.I.