Rod Phillips resigned as Ontario’s finance minister after the controversy over his Christmas vacation to St. Barts, despite the government urging people to stay at home. Meanwhile, Alberta’s minister of municipal affairs travelled to Hawaii.
Rod Phillips resigned as Ontario’s finance minister after the controversy over his Christmas vacation to St. Barts, despite the government urging people to stay at home. Meanwhile, Alberta’s minister of municipal affairs travelled to Hawaii.
PALM BEACH, Fla. — Donald Trump has lost his social media megaphone, the power of government and the unequivocal support of his party's elected leaders. But a week after leaving the White House in disgrace, a large-scale Republican defection that would ultimately purge him from the party appears unlikely. Many Republicans refuse to publicly defend Trump's role in sparking the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. But as the Senate prepares for an impeachment trial for Trump's incitement of the riot, few seem willing to hold the former president accountable. After House Republicans who backed his impeachment found themselves facing intense backlash — and Trump’s lieutenants signalled the same fate would meet others who joined them — Senate Republicans voted overwhelmingly Tuesday for an attempt to dismiss his second impeachment trial. Only five Republican senators rejected the challenge to the trial. Trump's conviction was considered a real possibility just days ago after lawmakers whose lives were threatened by the mob weighed the appropriate consequences — and the future of their party. But the Senate vote on Tuesday is a sign that while Trump may be held in low regard in Washington following the riots, a large swath of Republicans is leery of crossing his supporters, who remain the majority of the party’s voters. “The political winds within the Republican Party have blown in the opposite direction,” said Ralph Reed, chair of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and a Trump ally. “Republicans have decided that even if one believes he made mistakes after the November election and on Jan. 6, the policies Trump championed and victories he won from judges to regulatory rollback to life to tax cuts were too great to allow the party to leave him on the battlefield.” The vote came after Trump, who decamped last week to his private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, began wading back into politics between rounds of golf. He took an early step into the Arkansas governor’s race by endorsing former White House aide Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and backed Kelli Ward, an ally who won reelection as chair of Arizona’s Republican Party after his endorsement. At the same time, Trump’s team has given allies an informal blessing to campaign against the 10 House Republicans who voted in favour of impeachment. After Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer backed impeachment, Republican Tom Norton announced a primary challenge. Norton appeared on longtime Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s podcast in a bid to raise campaign contributions. On Thursday, another Trump loyalist, Rep. Matt Gaetz, plans to travel to Wyoming to condemn home-state Rep. Liz Cheney, a House GOP leader who said after the Capitol riot that “there has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.” Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. — a star with Trump’s loyal base —- has encouraged Gaetz on social media and embraced calls for Cheney’s removal from House leadership. Trump remains livid with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, who refused to support Trump's false charges that Georgia's elections were fraudulent. Kemp is up for reelection in 2022, and Trump has suggested former Rep. Doug Collins run against him. Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman’s decision not to seek reelection in 2022 opens the door for Rep. Jim Jordan, one of Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters, to seek the seat. Several other Republicans, some far less supportive of the former president, are also considering running. Trump’s continued involvement in national politics so soon after his departure marks a dramatic break from past presidents, who typically stepped out of the spotlight, at least temporarily. Former President Barack Obama was famously seen kitesurfing on vacation with billionaire Richard Branson shortly after he left office, and former President George W. Bush took up painting. Trump, who craves the media spotlight, was never expected to burrow out of public view. “We will be back in some form,” he told supporters at a farewell event before he left for Florida. But exactly what form that will take is a work in progress. Trump remains deeply popular among Republican voters and is sitting on a huge pot of cash — well over $50 million — that he could use to prop up primary challenges against Republicans who backed his impeachment or refused to support his failed efforts to challenge the election results using bogus allegations of mass voter fraud in states like Georgia. “POTUS told me after the election that he’s going to be very involved,” said Matt Schlapp, the chair of the American Conservative Union. “I think he’s going to stay engaged. He’s going to keep communicating. He’s going to keep expressing his opinions. I, for one, think that’s great, and I encouraged him to do that.” Aides say he also intends to dedicate himself to winning back the House and Senate for Republicans in 2022. But for now, they say their sights are on the trial. “We’re getting ready for an impeachment trial — that’s really the focus,” said Trump adviser Jason Miller. Trump aides have also spent recent days trying to assure Republicans that he is not currently planning to launch a third party — an idea he has floated — and will instead focus on using his clout in the Republican Party. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said he received a call from Brian Jack, the former White House political director, on Saturday at home to assure him that Trump had no plans for defection. “The main reason for the call was to make sure I knew from him that he’s not starting a third party and if I would be helpful in squashing any rumours that he was starting a third party. And that his political activism or whatever role he would play going forward would be with the Republican Party, not as a third party,” Cramer said. The calls were first reported by Politico. But the stakes remain high for Trump, whose legacy is a point of fierce contention in a Republican Party that is grappling with its identity after losing the White House and both chambers of Congress. Just three weeks after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, Trump’s political standing among Republican leaders in Washington remains low. “I don’t know whether he incited it, but he was part of the problem, put it that way,” said Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a strong Trump supporter, when asked about the Capitol siege and the related impeachment trial. Tuberville did not say whether he would personally defend Trump in the trial, but he downplayed the prospect of negative consequences for those Republican senators who ultimately vote to convict him. “I don’t think there’ll be any repercussions,” Tuberville said. “People are going to vote how they feel anyway.” Trump maintains a strong base of support within the Republican National Committee and in state party leadership, but even there, Republican officials have dared to speak out against him in recent days in ways they did not before. In Arizona, Ward, who had Trump’s backing, was only narrowly reelected over the weekend, even as the party voted to censure a handful of Trump’s Republican critics, including former Sen. Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain. At the same time, Trump’s prospective impeachment sparked a bitter feud within the RNC. In a private email exchange obtained by The Associated Press, RNC member Demetra DeMonte of Illinois proposed a resolution calling on every Republican senator to oppose what she called an “unconstitutional sham impeachment trial, motivated by a radical and reckless Democrat majority.” Bill Palatucci, a Republican committeeman from New Jersey, slapped back. “His act of insurrection was an attack on our very democracy and deserves impeachment,” Palatucci wrote. ___ Peoples reported from New York. Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington contributed to this report. Steve Peoples And Jill Colvin, The Associated Press
Ottawa's medical officer of health is calling on the province to allow schools in this city to reopen as soon as possible, saying current COVID-19 rates here are manageable. "The level of community transmission in Ottawa is similar to, or lower now, than it was at our peak in October when schools were open and we managed that level of COVID in the schools," Dr. Vera Etches said Tuesday during a technical briefing on the city's vaccination plan. There are many different kinds of harms that we see with schools being closed, which lead us to wanting to open them as soon as we can. - Dr. Vera Etches Last Wednesday, Ontario announced schools within four public health units in eastern Ontario could reopen on Monday. Ottawa was not on the list, and there's still no word from the province about when in-person learning can resume in this city. Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, CEO of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, told reporters on Tuesday he believes schools in that region will be allowed to reopen by Feb. 9 or Feb. 10, so long as caseloads remain on the right trajectory. Etches argues Ottawa's current COVID-19 caseload doesn't justify the ongoing closure. She has compared in-class learning to essential work for children, and said parents are facing too much stress handling their own work while supervising their kids' at-home schooling. There's also the strain on students: during last spring's provincewide shutdown, demand for mental health services among children and youth increased, Etches said. "There are many different kinds of harms that we see with schools being closed, which lead us to wanting to open them as soon as we can," said Etches. Return to school should not depend on vaccination campaign, Etches says In recent weeks, Ottawa has seen a steady decline in COVID-19 transmission. On Tuesday, Ottawa Public Health reported just 23 new cases, while the test positivity rate has dropped to three per cent, down from 4.6 per cent two weeks ago. If cases surge again, the city has proven itself equipped to track cases in schools and keep the virus at bay, said Etches. "I never use the word 'safe,'" she said. "But what I feel confident about is that we can manage the COVID levels to decrease transmission within schools, just as we did in the fall." In areas of Ontario where students returned to the classroom Monday, the province has introduced additional measures to control the spread of COVID-19 including targeted asymptomatic testing, more vigorous screening, mandatory masks for students in grades 1 to 3, and mandatory masks outdoors when physical distancing can't be maintained.
FREDERICTON — New Brunswick reported 10 new COVID-19 infections Tuesday as health officials prepared to ease restrictions in the Saint John and Fredericton regions. Five of the latest cases were reported in the Edmundston region, which is under a 14-day lockdown that began Sunday. Three cases were identified in the Saint John area while the Moncton and Campbellton regions each reported one new case. The Saint John and Fredericton regions were scheduled to move into the lower pandemic-alert level of "orange" Tuesday at midnight. Gyms, spas and entertainment centres can reopen in those areas under strict guidelines. Officials said the province had 339 active reported cases and seven patients were in hospital with the disease, including three in intensive care. New Brunswick has reported a total of 1,161 infections and 14 deaths linked to the virus. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. The Canadian Press
HAMILTON — Captain Kyle Bekker, who led Forge FC to back-to-back Canadian Premier League titles, has re-signed with the Hamilton team. The Canadian international midfielder was named the CPL's most valuable player last year after leading the league in appearances (tied with 11) and minutes played by an attacking player (879). The 30-year-old native of Oakville, Ont., who had three goals and one assist in the league's truncated 2020 season, was also a finalist for MVP honours in 2019. “We are extremely happy to have our captain sign his new contract and commit to our club for the foreseeable future,” Costa Smyrniotis, Forge's director of football, said in a statement. “Kyle has been such a valuable leader for our club since day one, both on the field and in the community. We look forward to continued success together in Hamilton.” Bekker has made 49 appearances for Forge in all competitions, including 39 in league play. Bekker played in Major League Soccer from 2013-16 with Toronto FC, FC Dallas and Montreal. He then suited up for North Carolina FC in the United Soccer League and the San Francisco Deltas in the North American Soccer League. Bekker, who has won 18 caps for Canada, came up through the Sigma FC youth program in Mississauga, Ont., under current Forge head coach Bobby Smyrniotis, Costa's brother. He played collegiate soccer at Boston College. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021 The Canadian Press
Ucluelet, BC - When Ottis Crabbe’s parents opened Abbondanza in 2014, the pizzeria became like the family’s home-away-from-home. To this day, Crabbe’s father, Cory, jokes that he only returns to his house in Ucluelet to sleep at night. “We’re always here,” he said. Crabbe got his start working at the Italian eatery by running the cash register, before transitioning to manning the wood-fire in a bid to help his father on a busy night. “It’s no easy feat,” said Cory. “It’s an art in itself.” Yet Crabbe took to it like a natural and as he stood there, illuminated by the warm glow of the fire, his dreams of becoming a chef started to take flight. “It’s just so real,” he said. “It’s one of those things that no matter how much time and effort you put into it, you can never achieve perfection – yet, you can strive for it and that’s almost poetic.” Following in his father’s footsteps, Crabbe is now studying culinary management at Vancouver Island University (VIU), where he earned a spot on the Junior Culinary Team Canada earlier this month. Along with eight others, Crabbe is set to compete at the Culinary Olympics in Germany in 2024. One of the oldest, largest and most diverse international culinary arts competitions in the world, the Culinary Olympics hosted around 1,800 participants from 67 nations last February. Over the next three and a half years, training for the competition will be “extremely intense,” said John Carlo Felicella, manager of the Canadian youth team. COVID-19 restrictions have set the team back by at least six months, but Felicella feels confident that if the team works together, they can go after what they want, “and that’s first place,” he said. The intensive training in discipline and technique will extend into Crabbe’s professional life by fostering a maturity that will springboard his career, said Felicella. Upon hearing the news, Crabbe’s stomach was flooded with butterflies as he realized what was at stake. “It’s time to tighten up the boots and get to work,” said the Tla-o-qui-aht man. Taking after his father’s ethos on cooking, Crabbe emphasized the importance in “unity” – of putting on your apron and “knowing that you’re part of something bigger than yourself.” “You’re not just cooking for yourself,” he said. "You’re cooking for everybody that’s supporting you.” Rita Gower, acting chair of the culinary institute of VIU, said that Crabbe not only has “buckets of talent,” but the stamina to go the distance. “It’s a lot of work and Ottis has been nothing except enthusiastic and hard-working,” she said. “He’s always willing to take on something extra and in every way has demonstrated that he has the personal attributes to be successful in this competition.” For Crabbe, Canadian cuisine means keeping it local with fresh proteins. Drawing inspiration from his First Nations roots, the 19-year-old has a deep “respect for ingredients.” “Canadian food is a melting pot of every culture,” he said. “It’s just the ability to express what your mom made on Sundays.” Like his father, Crabbe uses cooking as a “doorway into society.” “He fell in love with it like I did,” said Cory. “It’s almost impossible for me to describe how proud I am.” Beyond the culinary olympics, Crabbe dreams of continuing to participate in competitions and train under a Michelin star chef. While he asserts the importance of gaining exposure to different cultures and food scenes through travel, he hopes to one day return to where it all began. “After I’m done flexing my culinary muscles, or seeing what my potential is, I’d like to go back home,” he said. "And cook with my family at the restaurant.” Melissa Renwick, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Ha-Shilth-Sa
Months-long protests in India escalated on Tuesday as thousands of farmers clashed with police in New Delhi over new laws that they say will push small farmers out of the market and let private corporations exploit them.
WASHINGTON — The interim chief of the Capitol Police apologized Tuesday for failing to prepare for what became a violent insurrection despite having warnings that white supremacists and far-right groups would target Congress. Yogananda Pittman, in prepared testimony before Congress, said that the Capitol Police “failed to meet its own high standards as well as yours." She listed several missteps: not having enough manpower or supplies on hand, not following through with a lockdown order she issued during the siege and not having a sufficient communications plan for a crisis. “We knew that militia groups and white supremacists organizations would be attending,” Pittman wrote. “We also knew that some of these participants were intending to bring firearms and other weapons to the event. We knew that there was a strong potential for violence and that Congress was the target.” Her admissions come as U.S. law enforcement investigate a number of threats aimed at members of Congress and as the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump gets underway. A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that authorities have detected ominous chatter about killing legislators or attacking them outside the Capitol. Trump supporters tore down fences and broke through doors and windows after an event in which the now-former president called on them to “fight” and “stop the steal.” Inside the building, Congress was certifying the victory of President Joe Biden. Five people died, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher. A sixth person, another Capitol Police officer, later died by suicide. The day after the riot, then-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said that his force “had a robust plan established to address anticipated First Amendment activities.” Sund has since resigned, as have the sergeants-at-arms for the House and Senate. Officers who have spoken to the AP described being overrun by insurrectionists who in many cases were more armed than they were. The officers said they were given next to no plan beforehand or communication during the riot. There are conflicting accounts of why the Capitol Police did not have more backup. Pittman's statement Tuesday provoked a new round of finger-pointing. In her testimony, Pittman said Sund asked the Capitol Police Board, which oversees the department, to declare a state of emergency and allow him to request National Guard support, but the board declined. The Defence Department has said it asked the Capitol Police if it needed the Guard, but the request was denied. A member of the Capitol Police Board denied Pittman's claim hours after her testimony was released. J. Brett Blanton, who serves as the architect of the Capitol, said that Sund did not ask him for help and that there was “no record of a request for an emergency declaration.” Several law enforcement and congressional reviews are underway. Both Pittman and Timothy Blodgett, the acting House sergeant-at-arms, told Congress on Tuesday that they need stronger communications and more fortifications around the Capitol building. Blodgett called on members of Congress to prepare for future emergencies and offered training for any offices that requested it. “You want people to have some level of access to the government,” said Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio. But he noted that it's also important that they feel protected and positioned to respond quickly to anything that might happen. ___ Associated Press writer Michael Balsamo in Washington contributed to this report. Nomaan Merchant And Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press
L’histoire se répète en Tunisie. En ce mois de janvier, de nouvelles manifestations, violemment réprimées, ont lieu dans tout le pays. La jeunesse en particulier réclame une démocratie durable.
BARRIE, Ont. — Public health officials say 99 more people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Simcoe-Muskoka region likely have a variant of the virus. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit says most of the cases are linked to a deadly outbreak at a Barrie, Ont., long-term care home that has killed 46 people and infected more than 200. But two cases have no known link, including one that’s part of a small outbreak at a regional hospital. The data came from an ongoing study by Public Health Ontario that’s screening all positive COVID-19 tests from Jan. 20 for three new variants of the virus. Local health officials say they are still waiting for results that will identify which variant of the virus has infected the 99 people but note that they expect it to be a variant first identified in the U.K. The U.K. variant has already been identified in some of those infected in the Barrie long-term care home outbreak. Dr. Charles Gardner, the region’s top doctor, says if the variant isn't already spreading in the community, it likely will be soon. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. The Canadian Press
TORONTO — Canada's main stock index suffered its worst drop of the year on a broad-based decline led by the energy and technology sectors. The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 126.61 points to 17,779.41. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 22.96 points at 30,937.04. The S&P 500 index was down 5.74 points at 3,849.62, while the Nasdaq composite was down 9.93 points at 13,626.06. The Canadian dollar traded for 78.73 cents US compared with 78.51 cents US on Monday. The March crude oil contract was down 16 cents at US$52.61 per barrel and the March natural gas contract was up 3.8 cents at nearly US$2.64 per mmBTU. The February gold contract was down US$4.30 at US$1,850.90 an ounce and the March copper contract was down a penny at US$3.62 a pound. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X) The Canadian Press
Windsor police are asking the public to help them find three men who are wanted following an assault that took place in November. On Nov. 15, at around 12:30 a.m., police say officers responded to an assault call at a business in the 1100 block of Wyandotte Streeet West. Two men were outside the business when they were assaulted by three other men, police said in a news release Tuesday. The suspects left the scene in a white Chrysler 300 and the two victims suffered non-life threatening injuries and were transported to hospital. Officers in the Major Crime Unit are actively investigating the incident and are asking that anyone with information that might help identify the suspects contact police.
TUNIS, Tunisia — Hundreds of Tunisians protested out outside their country's heavily guarded parliament Tuesday as lawmakers prepared to vote late into the night on a new government after a week of youth protests and riots over poverty and a lack of jobs that left one young demonstrator dead and hundreds jailed. Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi announced a government reshuffle last week in the midst of the unrest. He promised Tuesday that the new team would concentrate on deep reforms to create jobs and improve living conditions in the North African country, which has been mired in economic crisis deepened by the coronavirus pandemic. But four of his 11 proposed new Cabinet members are facing investigations or suspicions of corruption, which threatens to further undermine Tunisians’ faith in a leadership accused of failing to live up to the promises of the country’s democratic revolution 10 years ago that unleashed the Arab Spring. Security was so tight in the streets around the parliament building that several lawmakers were unable to access the grounds, according to independent parliamentary deputy Mabrouk Korchid. Security forces drove arriving demonstrators back some 500 metres (yards) from the vicinity of the building. More than two dozen human rights organizations and other groups marched Tuesday afternoon through central Tunis to the parliament building to demand the release of hundreds of people who were arrested in this month’s unrest and to denounce repressive measures by police. A protester in his 20s died in a hospital Monday, becoming the first apparent fatality amid the unrest. The young man's death produced a new outpouring of anger in his hometown of Sbeitla that the army was sent in to quell. His family said he was hit in the head by a tear gas canister during a protest, the state news agency reported. The Interior Ministry said an investigation has been opened. During the parliamentary debate on the new Cabinet, legislator Ali Hermassi denounced the failure of four successive governments to improve the economy, noting that unemployment has risen, as has inflation, while investment has fallen. He also deplored the handling of the recent protests. “The country needs political and social stability to emerge from the crisis,” he said. The head of one faction, Souhair Maghzaoui, told the prime minister: “If you intend to return to police repression, you are deluding yourself,” referring to heavy-handed tactics under the authoritarian regime thrown out by Tunisia’s 2010-2011 uprising. Meanwhile, President Kais Saied insisted the government reshuffle is unconstitutional because the prime minister didn’t follow the procedures for informing the president first. “The Presidency of the Republic is not a mailbox that signs decrees and organizes oath-taking ceremonies,” Saied said during a security council meeting. He also questioned the wisdom of naming the four proposed ministers who are suspected of conflict of interest or embezzlement. I-Watch, the Tunisian arm of anti-corruption group Transparency International, sent a letter to lawmakers urging them not to approve the four proposed ministers. The president also criticized the reduction of the number of women in the new government from six to four. “Women are not cosmetic powder” but crucial players in the government, he argued. The confidence vote was scheduled for the end of the day, with lawmakers voting on the new members of the government one-by-one. Bouazza Ben Bouazza, The Associated Press
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he remains confident in Canada's vaccine supplies despite threats from Europe that it might impose export controls on vaccines produced on that continent. Speaking to reporters outside his Ottawa residence Tuesday morning, Trudeau said the situation in Europe is worrisome but he is "very confident" Canada is going to get all the COVID-19 vaccine doses promised by the end of March. And despite the sharp decline in deliveries of a vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech this month, he said Canada will still vaccinate all Canadians who want shots by the end of September. "We will continue to work closely with Europe to ensure that we are sourcing, that we are receiving the vaccines that we have signed for, that we are due," Trudeau said. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a video statement posted to Twitter Tuesday that Europe will set up a "vaccine export transparency mechanism" so Europe knows exactly how many doses are being produced in the world's largest trading bloc and where they are being shipped. "Europe invested billions to help develop the world‘s first COVID-19 vaccines to create a truly global common good," she said. "And now the companies must deliver." Europe is also getting smaller shipments from Pfizer than promised, because the company temporarily slowed production at its plant in Belgium so it can be expanded. AstraZeneca has also warned Europe its first shipments of vaccine will be smaller than expected because of production problems. But Europe, which invested more than C$4 billion in vaccine development, is demanding the companies fulfil their contracts on time. "Europe is determined to contribute to this global common good but it also means business," said von der Leyen. International Trade Minister Mary Ng said she had spoken to her European counterpart, Valdis Dombrovskis, about the situation and will keep working with Europe to keep the supply chain open. "There is not a restriction on the export of vaccines to Canada," Ng said in question period. Conservative health critic Michelle Rempel Garner accused Ng of playing games with her response, noting the issue isn't that there is an export ban now, but that Europe is threatening to impose one. With all of Canada's current vaccine doses coming from Europe, "that's a concern," Rempel Garner said. "If the Europeans ban exports of vaccines, what's Plan B for Canada?" she asked. Both Pfizer and Moderna are making doses of their vaccine in the U.S. and in Europe, but all U.S.-made doses are currently only shipped within the U.S. Former U.S. president Donald Trump invoked the Defence Production Act last year to prevent export of personal protection equipment. He then signed an executive order in December demanding U.S.-produced vaccines be prioritized for Americans only and threatened to use the act to halt vaccine exports as well. President Joe Biden has already invoked the act to push for faster production of PPE and vaccines. Though he has not specifically mentioned exports, Biden has promised 100 million Americans will be vaccinated within his first 100 days of office, making the prospects the U.S. shares any of its vaccine supply unlikely. Canada has contracts with five other vaccine makers, but only two are on the verge of approval here. AstraZeneca, which has guaranteed Canada 20 million doses, needs to finish a big U.S. trial before Health Canada decides whether to authorize it. Johnson and Johnson is to report results from its Phase 3 trial next week, one of the final things needed before Health Canada can make a decision about it. Canada is to get 10 million doses from Johnson and Johnson, but it is the one vaccine that so far is administered as only a single dose. Trudeau said AstraZeneca isn't supplying Canada from its European production lines. A spokeswoman for Procurement Minister Anita Anand said Canada will not say where the other vaccines are coming from because of the concerns about security of supplies. AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson have set up multiple production lines in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, India, Australia and Africa. Canada has no current ability to produce either those vaccines or the ones from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. It is entirely reliant on foreign production at the moment. More than 113,000 people in Canada have received two full doses of either the Moderna or BioNTech vaccine. Another 752,000 have received a single dose. But the reduction in Pfizer shipments to Canada forced most provinces to slow the pace of injections. Europe, Mexico, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia also have slowed their vaccination campaigns because of the supply limits. Trudeau said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla assured him the full shipments will resume in mid-February, and that Canada will get its contracted four million doses by the end of March. He said he spoke to Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel Tuesday morning and was promised Moderna's shipments of two million doses by March 31 are also on track. MPs were scheduled to have an emergency debate on Canada's vaccine program Tuesday night. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press
The accused in a fatal 2016 shooting at a ByWard Market nightclub says he only fired his gun in self-defence after another drug dealer tried to take over his sale. Mustafa Ahmed, 32, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Omar Rashid-Ghader, who was 33 at the time of his killing. On Tuesday, Ahmed told court about the confrontation that led to Rashid-Ghader's death. I was terrified. I was only trying to save my own life. - Mustafa Ahmed "I was terrified. I was only trying to save my own life," Ahmed testified from behind Plexiglas at the Elgin Street courthouse. The proceedings are being made available to the public via Zoom. Ahmed said he was arranging a drug deal at the bar of the Sentral Nightclub at Dalhousie and Clarence streets just after 3 a.m. on Aug. 14, 2016. He said Rashid-Ghader's associates approached him to try to get involved in the deal, which would've meant Ahmed wouldn't make any money. Shooter startled Ahmed said he was startled when Rashid-Ghader, also known as "Esco," appeared behind him at the bar and began trying to get involved as well. Ahmed said he was then struck by what he thought was the butt of a gun, which video evidence has shown was actually a bottle. He said he didn't know whether Rashid-Ghader still had the weapon as he continued to beat Ahmed on the floor. He said he knew that Rashid-Ghader, from whom he had previously picked up drugs, carried weapons such as guns, baseball bats, bricks and machetes, so Ahmed said he was worried he'd end up in hospital or dead. Ahmed testified that the bouncers at the club hadn't checked him for weapons, so he had no reason to believe they had checked Rashid-Ghader, either. Ahmed said he only fired after he had been slammed into the floor and hit repeatedly. He said Rashid-Ghader tried to wrestle control of the gun from him, and didn't let up until after the second shot was fired. Bullet pierced victim's heart Noting that one of the bullets went through Rashid-Ghader's heart, Ahmed's defence lawyer Solomon Friedman asked his client if he had aimed his weapon with that intention. "My thoughts were focused on getting myself out of that situation. I fired in his general direction," Ahmed responded. "I didn't aim for his head, I didn't aim for his heart." Ahmed said he didn't know Rashid-Ghader was dead when he left the club. Once Ahmed heard he was wanted for second-degree murder, he disposed of the bloodied shirt he'd worn that night, fled to Toronto and got rid of the gun he'd used that night. "I didn't murder him," Ahmed recalled thinking at the time. "I just think in my head, [the police are] not going to believe my side of the story.... I was just defending myself." Court heard Ahmed had previously been shot, and that's why he started carrying a gun. The trial resumes Thursday with cross-examination.
NEW YORK — CBS has placed two top executives on administrative leave as it investigates charges of a hostile work environment for women and minorities at news operations in some of its largest individual stations. Peter Dunn, president of the CBS Television Stations, and David Friend, senior vice-president for news at the stations, are on leave pending the results of an external investigation. “CBS is committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace where all voices are heard, claims are investigated and appropriate action is taken where necessary,” the network said in a statement. The accusations were outlined over the weekend in an investigation by the Los Angeles Times and a subsequent meeting between CBS and the National Association of Black Journalists. Since 2009, Dunn has been head of stations owned and operated by CBS in big cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago and others. The Times said Dunn had referred to a Black male news anchor in Philadelphia as “just a jive guy." One executive at the station quit because she couldn't tolerate the culture and another has filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relates Commission alleging he was fired for co-operating with an internal review of his bosses, the Times reported. The NABJ has said CBS stations lag in maintaining diverse staffs, saying New York's WCBS-TV had only one female Black full-time reporter and went five years without a male Black reporter. “This is toxic. There's no other way to put it,” said Ken Lemon, the NABJ's vice-president of broadcast, on Tuesday. Since the story was published, Lemon said he had talked to at least five other people with new experiences to tell about the working atmosphere at CBS. He said the NABJ is optimistic about the steps CBS has taken. David Bauder, The Associated Press
A man with a history of drug charges visiting a house allegedly occupied by someone with a similar criminal past piqued the interest of Six Nations Police on Tuesday. So officers decided to follow the man’s silver Honda Odyssey as it made its way from the house on Chiefswood Road to a Hagersville business. Police say the vehicle did a full loop around the building before backing into a loading area with its trunk open. When police pulled the van over after it left the loading dock, officers noticed a meth pipe on the floor between the driver and passenger seats. A search of the van unearthed unspecified quantities of fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine and pills, along with baggies, cash, cellphones and a digital scale. Police arrested and charged the three people in the van – a 50-year-old man from Hagersville, a 40-year-old man from Ohsweken and a 25-year-old woman from Ohsweken – with possession of fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime, as well as failure to comply with a release order. The Hagersville man was also charged with possessing methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking. The three were held for a bail hearing. J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator
Maybe Spiderman was onto something about the power of webs after all. A Western University husband-wife research duo, Miodrag and Vojislava Grbic, are using spider mite silk to develop a new, microscopic material they say is “stronger than steel” and would be a boon for biomedical developments. “Silk produced by mites and spiders is one of the most elegant and well-designed materials in existence,” Miodrag Grbic said from his research lab in Spain. The newly developed biomaterial is twice as stiff as spider silk, 400 times thinner and has a tensile strength four times that of steel. It’s also biodegradable and non-toxic. The Grbics used the genetic DNA framework of the gorse spider mite, Tetranychus lintearius, to develop a new fibre and biofilm, based on the insect's silk, which they’ve patented. “These nanoparticles can be used in biomedicine, for example, for targeted drug delivery (in the body) because you need a carrier to deliver drugs to particular cells,” Miodrag said. Other potential applications range from vaccine delivery and regenerative medicine to food production. Miodrag said the team is working to see if the material could have applications in COVID-19 vaccines. Developing the material was a happy coincidence for the couple, born out of a “crazy side project.” The Grbics originally were sequencing the genome of spider mites in an effort to combat the pests in agriculture only to stumble upon the power of the insect’s silk. In collaboration with teams in Spain and the United States, researchers used radiation and light, and minuscule force measurements to determine the makeup of spider mite silk. The Grbics were then able to tweak that code and manufacture their new nanoparticles based entirely on the original spider mite silk. “Instead of focusing on killing this pest, which is devastating tomatoes and potatoes and greenhouse industry, we can actually learn from this particular animal and turn something negative into something positive,” Miodrag said. Outside of medicine, the nanoparticles also could be used to coat slow-release fertilizer pellets, pesticides and herbicides to create “smart agrochemicals” for use in sustainable agriculture. “Having a broader view in a particular project, especially in genome sequencing projects, are really opening gold mines for different applications,” Miodrag said. email@example.com Twitter.com/MaxatLFPress Max Martin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press
WASHINGTON — Female soldiers can let their hair down, and flash a little nail colour under new rules being approved by the Army. But male soldiers will still have to shave. Army leaders announced Tuesday that they are loosening restrictions on various grooming and hairstyle rules, as service leaders try to address longstanding complaints, particularly from women. The changes, which also expand allowances for earrings and hair highlights and dyes, are particularly responsive to women of various ethnicities, and will allow greater flexibility for braids, twists, cornrows and other styles more natural for their hair. The new regulations take effect in late February and come after months of study, in the wake of a directive by former Defence Secretary Mark Esper, who ordered a new review of military hairstyle and grooming policies last July. The review was part of a broader order to expand diversity within the military and reduce prejudice, in the wake of widespread protests about racial inequality last summer. “These aren’t about male and female,” said Sgt. Maj. Michael Grinston, the Army's top enlisted leader during a Facebook Live presentation on Tuesday about the latest changes. “This is about an Army standard and how we move forward with the Army, and being a more diverse, inclusive team.” The Army announcement has been long-planned, but it came just days after the Pentagon's first Black defence secretary — Lloyd Austin — took over. Austin has vowed to try to root out racism and extremism in the ranks and foster more inclusion. Esper and many of the service leaders have also been taking steps to make the military more diverse, particularly in the higher ranks. As an example, Esper last summer ordered that service members’ photos no longer be provided to promotion boards. Officials said studies showed that when photos are not included “the outcomes for minorities and women improved.” On Tuesday, Army Sgt. Maj. Brian Sanders told reporters that the panel recommending the new grooming changes considered a variety of factors, including cultural, health and safety issues. He said the tight hair buns previously required by the Army can trigger hair loss and other scalp problems for some women. And larger buns needed to accommodate thick or longer hair, can make a combat helmet fit badly and potentially impair good vision. At the same time, he said that changes, like allowing women in combat uniforms to wear earrings such as small gold, silver and diamond studs, let them “feel like a woman inside and outside of uniform." He added, "At the end of the day, our women are mothers, they're spouses, they're sisters, they definitely want to be able to maintain their identity and that’s what we want to get after." In many cases — such as the earrings — the changes simply let female soldiers wear jewelry or hairstyles that are already allowed in more formal, dress uniforms, but were not allowed in their daily combat uniforms. Army leaders said women will now be able to wear their hair in a long ponytail or braid and tuck it under their shirt. Sanders said that allowing that gives female soldiers, particularly pilots or troops at a firing range, greater ability to turn their head quickly, without the restraints that the buns created. The new regulations also allow the exact opposite. Female soldiers going through Ranger or special operations training get their heads shaved, like male soldiers do. But when they leave training, their hair is too short, based on the Army's previous minimum length requirements. Now there will be no minimum length rules. For men, however, the perennial request to allow beards is still a no-go. Grinston's answer to the question from the online audience was short and direct: “No.” He noted that the Army already makes exceptions for medical and religious reasons. Also, male soldiers still can't wear earrings. The new lipstick and nail polish rules, however, allow men to wear clear polish, and allow colours for women, but prohibit “extreme” shades, such as purple, blue, black and “fire engine” red. Men will also be able to dye their hair, but the colours for both genders are limited to “natural" shades. Prohibited colours include blue, purple, pink, green, orange or neon. In another sign of the times, the new rules state that soldiers will now automatically receive black and coyote-colored face masks. They are also permitted to wear camouflage colored masks, but have to buy those themselves. The Army also is taking steps to change wording in the regulations to remove racist or insensitive descriptions. References to “Fu Manchu” moustache and “Mohawk” hairstyle have been removed, and replaced with more detailed descriptions of the still-banned styles. Lolita C. Baldor, The Associated Press
In the middle of winter, in the middle of a pandemic, where do you go to find joy? Maybe it's a physical spot, or a memory. Our new Happy Place series explores both. When Anna Quon thinks of her happy place, she goes back six years in time. In 2015, she saw an ad for a loft for rent, and went to check it out. It was love at first sight. Take a listen to Anna Quon's audio essay: Transcript, in part: I remember feeling lacklustre about the online ad for the apartment. It looked small, this bachelor loft near the university, but it was in my price range, and close to the No. 1, king of Halifax bus routes. I went to look, not expecting much. But my first step inside the old house's windy attic staircase, covered with original portraits, still lifes, and an antique map, was thrilling. I fell in love with the loft — bright and spacious, simply furnished — immediately. The outgoing tenant told me the landlady's husband, a professor and master carpenter, had made everything. The tiny tiled kitchen and bathroom were a delight, well-designed and spotless, the staircase to the basement laundry, like that of a castle turret, charmingly precarious. But I was in good health then, a scant five years ago, easily able to carry a wet load of laundry up three stories to hang dry. The best part about this apartment was the handmade round wooden table, surrounded by four cheap and sturdy chairs, under a tilt and turn skylight. It was the place I worked on my laptop, and the hub of my social life. I had two new Halifax friends who I shared many a meal with there, beneath the sometimes star-filled, sometimes snow-filled, rectangle of that magical window. If you have a Happy Place story to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org. MORE TOP STORIES
Marcus Brady understands the historical significance of being an offensive co-ordinator in the NFL. The Indianapolis Colts promoted Brady to the position Monday, just three years after the former CFL player/coach came aboard as an assistant quarterback coach. Brady becomes just the third current Black offensive co-ordinator in the NFL after Kansas City's Eric Bieniemy and Tampa Bay's Byron Leftwich. Kansas City and Tampa Bay meet in the Super Bowl on Feb. 7 at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium. "I understand my position, I understand what's going on in the media because it's a topic of discussion," Brady told reporters on a videoconference Tuesday. "I understand I've got to go out there and do a great job. "It's my responsibility . . . to go out and produce so others get the same opportunities that I've been blessed with here." Indianapolis promoted Brady from quarterback coach to replace Nick Sirianni, who left to become the Philadelphia Eagles' head coach. The Colts are expected to name Scott Milanovich, who resigned Monday as head coach of the CFL's Edmonton Football Team, as their new quarterback coach although Brady wouldn't confirm that Tuesday. It's been a meteoric rise in Indianapolis for Brady, a 41-year-old San Diego native entering his 13th year as a pro coach. Brady began as a receivers coach in 2009 with the CFL's Montreal Alouettes under head coach Marc Trestman after seven seasons as a quarterback with Toronto (2002-03), the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2004-05) and Alouettes (2006-08). Milanovich was Montreal's offensive co-ordinator before becoming Toronto's head coach in 2012. Brady replaced Milanovich as the Alouettes' offensive co-ordinator, then reunited with Milanovich as the Argos offensive co-ordinator (2013-17) before joining the Colts. Brady and Milanovich won two Grey Cups together in Montreal under Trestman (2009-10). Milanovich added another with Toronto in 2012 while Brady secured a third CFL title with the Argos in 2017, again under Trestman after Milanovich left to become quarterback coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. "I started in coaching at a young age, I believe I was 28 at the time, and I felt like I could still play," Brady said. "I love the mental aspect of football and being a coach, you still get the rush of preparing and going out and competing. "Once I got into that aspect of coaching, I set my goals on what I wanted to accomplish and just continue to work on." Brady said his time in Canada helped shape him as a coach. "There are different rules, there's an extra guy on the field, there's three downs, different clock-management going on but it's an exciting game," Brady said. "The pace is a little bit faster, all the movements and the motions, there's a bit more variety there in that aspect so you can get very creative offensively. "Some of the RPO (run-pass option plays employed by several NFL teams) people say it came from college, which I'm sure a lot of it has, but we were doing a lot of that as well up in the CFL. I've learned a lot from the CFL and have been able to bring it here, just little nuances of the game there." Trestman enjoyed much success in Canada, compiling a 60-48 regular-season record while winning Grey Cups with Montreal and Toronto. A veteran NFL offensive co-ordinator, Trestman also served as a head coach with the Chicago Bears (2013-14). "He (Trestman) is a great culture setter . . . just the foundation he set," Brady said. "He comes more from a West Coast (offence) background so that was my initial start as far as an offensive system, which I love and we had a ton of success. "A lot of it was just the detail in the assignments and making sure everybody's on the same page working together. I learned quite a bit from (Trestman) there." Brady called plays during his time as a CFL offensive co-ordinator but Colts head coach Frank Reich — a former NFL quarterback — already handles those duties. However, Brady will still be very busy each Sunday. "Just being another voice and help him (Reich) out between series," Brady said. "Give him ideas of what we're seeing, communicate with the other staff whether it's run plays, other pass plays. "It's a collective group effort there and then relaying that back to Frank because he's got to pay attention to what's going on while the defence is going. We kind of brainstorm together and then communicate with Frank so he's ready to go the next series." Indianapolis (11-5) finished second in the AFC South this season before suffering a 27-24 road playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills. But the Colts will have two huge holes to fill offensively with the retirements of veteran quarterback Philip Rivers and left tackle Anthony Castonzo. Rivers signed a one-year deal with Indianapolis after mutually agreeing with the L.A. Chargers to part ways. The Colts could again be a landing spot for a veteran quarterback amid reports Matthew Stafford — who has reached a similar agreement with Detroit to part ways — has a preference to play in Indiana next season. "Obviously quarterback is a very important position, left tackle is a very important position and so we've got to address those issues,' Brady said. "We'll put our heads together as an entire group and staff and put the best roster out there. "You could go young (at quarterback), you could go with a veteran. We've got to put our minds together and figure out who's out there, who can we get to put into this situation. Until we know who we can get you can't really make that decision yet." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021 Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press