A couple was found to be carrying the virus, but neither had travelled or been in contact with a known case, officials say.
A couple was found to be carrying the virus, but neither had travelled or been in contact with a known case, officials say.
The federal government is eyeing a comprehensive North American energy strategy as workers reel from cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline. The project's presidential permit was rescinded by U.S. President Joe Biden on his first day in office, prompting outrage from Alberta's provincial government. TC Energy, the proponent, had pre-emptively ceased construction of the project. "I was the minister of natural resources when the Obama administration cancelled Keystone XL. So for me, it's Round 2 of deep disappointment," Minister Jim Carr, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's representative for the Prairies, said Monday. "We have to look forward, however, to a continental energy strategy." That North American energy strategy is enticing to Alberta's premier as well, with Jason Kenney suggesting to the prime minister that they approach Washington together to pitch a collaborative approach to North American energy and climate policy. "Canada and the U.S. share a highly integrated energy system, including criss-crossing infrastructure such as pipelines and electricity transmission systems. Our energy and climate goals must be viewed in the context of that integrated system," Kenney wrote. The premier has called the Keystone cancellation an "insult" and a "gut-punch," repeatedly pressing for retaliation against the U.S. and suggesting economic and trade sanctions if the administration is unwilling to engage in conversations about the future of the pipeline. Last year, Kenney invested $1.5 billion in Keystone XL, arguing it would never be completed without the infusion. The pipeline, first announced in 2005, would have carried 830,000 barrels of crude a day from the oilsands in Alberta to Nebraska. The Biden administration has made no indication it intends to consider reinstating the permit. TC Energy has already laid off 1,000 workers in Alberta. A continental energy partnership has been an elusive goal for more than 15 years, with multiple trilateral meetings ending with consensus but often without measurable outcomes. It's been five years since Carr, then the minister of natural resources, hosted his American and Mexican counterparts to discuss the potential of such a partnership. They agreed to collaborate on things like energy technologies, energy efficiency, carbon capture and emissions reduction. While they signed a document stating these shared goals, synergy between the three countries has been slow to develop. In December 2014, a similar meeting ended with a to-do list to move forward on a continental energy strategy, including mapping energy infrastructure and sharing data. That data website hasn't been updated since 2017. In that meeting, then-natural resources minister Greg Rickford was making the pitch to the Obama administration for why Keystone XL should be permitted to live. It was cancelled — for the first time — less than a year later. "We've gone through a period over the last number of years where relations around energy have kind of died a slow death and become more and more narrowly focused around individual projects," said Monica Gattinger, director of the Institute for Science, Society and Policy at the University of Ottawa. "There's tremendous potential between Canada and the United States to collaborate around energy and environmental objectives in the long term." Gattinger said changes in the United States around hydrocarbon and shale have diminished the country's motivation for a broader energy approach. With the national governments in Canada and the U.S. now more closely aligned on climate priorities, she added there's the potential for a breakthrough. "Both countries have vast potential across a whole host of energy resources," she said. "Those are the conversations that we have not been having in North America for a number of years now. And there is a real opportunity to do so at this time." Carr is optimistic, too. "We're hardly starting from scratch, and there will be alignment," he said, alluding to his hope for co-operation between the U.S. and Canada, but also with the Prairie provinces. "There is an awful lot of work to be done and an awful lot of potential."
BEIJING — The Chinese government said Wednesday that actions like its warplanes flying near Taiwan last weekend are a warning against both foreign interference in Taiwan and any independence moves by the island. Asked about the flights, Zhu Fenglian, a spokesperson for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, said China's military drills are to show the nation's resolution to protect its national sovereignty and territorial integrity. "They are a stern warning against external interference and provocation from separatist forces advocating for Taiwan independence,” she said at a regular briefing, giving the Chinese government's first official comment on the recent flights. China sent eight bombers and four fighter jets into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone on Saturday, according to Taiwan's Defence Ministry. Taiwan scrambled fighters to monitor the activity. The U.S. State Department later issued a statement urging China “to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan” following China's sizeable show of force. China then sent 16 military aircraft into the same area on Sunday, Taiwan said. Taiwan is a self-governing island about 160 kilometres (100 miles) off China's east coast. The Chinese government regards it as a renegade province that should be united with mainland China. Zhu said that China would not renounce the use of force to guard against separatist moves and foreign interference. “We ... reserve the option to use all necessary measures,” she said. "Our position has been consistent and will not change.” The Associated Press
Global coronavirus cases surpassed 100 million on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally, as countries around the world struggle with new virus variants and vaccine shortfalls. Almost 1.3% of the world's population has now been infected with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and more than 2.1 million people have died. Around 668,250 cases have been reported each day over the same period, and the global fatality rate stands at 2.15%.
The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 10:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 28,505 new vaccinations administered for a total of 868,454 doses given. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 2,291.479 per 100,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 1,122,450 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 77.37 per cent of their available vaccine supply. Please note that Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis. Newfoundland is reporting 3,258 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 8,549 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 16.326 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 16,500 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 3.2 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 51.81 per cent of its available vaccine supply. P.E.I. is reporting 1,207 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 7,117 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 44.866 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 9,225 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 5.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 77.15 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nova Scotia is reporting 3,102 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 11,622 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 11.909 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 28,850 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 3.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 40.28 per cent of its available vaccine supply. New Brunswick is reporting 3,821 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 14,257 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 18.277 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 21,675 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 65.78 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Quebec is reporting 4,164 new vaccinations administered for a total of 224,879 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 26.281 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 238,100 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 94.45 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Ontario is reporting 9,707 new vaccinations administered for a total of 295,817 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 20.139 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 411,650 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 71.86 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Manitoba is reporting 1,618 new vaccinations administered for a total of 31,369 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 22.781 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 55,650 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 4.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 56.37 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Saskatchewan is reporting 727 new vaccinations administered for a total of 34,080 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 28.902 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 32,725 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 104.1 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Alberta is reporting 361 new vaccinations administered for a total of 99,814 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 22.674 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 122,725 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 81.33 per cent of its available vaccine supply. British Columbia is reporting 2,509 new vaccinations administered for a total of 122,359 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 23.844 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 144,550 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 84.65 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Yukon is reporting 445 new vaccinations administered for a total of 4,397 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 105.365 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 14,400 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 35 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 30.53 per cent of its available vaccine supply. The Northwest Territories are reporting 7,578 new vaccinations administered for a total of 9,471 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 209.912 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 14,400 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 32 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 65.77 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nunavut is reporting 265 new vaccinations administered for a total of 4,723 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 121.959 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 12,000 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 31 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 39.36 per cent of its available vaccine supply. *Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published January 26, 2021. The Canadian Press
Musician Adrian Sutherland is committed to a life in his remote home on the Attawapiskat River where it flows into James Bay in Northern Ontario. As a community serviced only by air and winter ice road that’s a big commitment for a touring musician who has spent the better part of the past decade as the lead singer and guitarist for the rock band Midnight Shine. Sutherland originally assembled the group as a backing band for an intended solo project. “I got a grant at the time to record a bunch of music I had written before the band even came together,” he says on the line from his home in Attawapiskat. “So that basically got put on the back burner once the band was formed back in 2011, and we just kind of kept running with it,” Sutherland explained. “We all felt that it was something very good and positive and we all wanted to keep it going.” A member of the Āhtawāpiskatowi ininiwak Cree community, Sutherland is a man who possesses a rich and diverse background of experience. A former paramedic, he wears many hats in the territory. He’s a Master Corporal with the Canadian Ranger Patrol, and with his wife Judy and their four children, he owns and operates a local eatery called The Moose. In addition to his family business and army reserve work, the Midnight Shine front man has dedicated himself to numerous community cultural initiatives. Sutherland was instrumental in bringing the ArtsCan Circle to his community. He’s an Artist Ambassador for the Downie Wenjack Fund. He launched a local music program with the assistance of the MusiCounts charitable organization, which works with the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences to bring sustainable music programs to in-need schools and communities across Canada. He’s also a vocal critic of the Canadian government in regard to its failure to secure clean drinking water for remote Indigenous communities and Sutherland has strong opinions on how COVID-19 protocols have left many community members locked out with few options to survive. In addition to the ongoing water issues, Sutherland’s James Bay community has also suffered from overcrowded housing and poor medical facilities which he feels has been made worse by the current pandemic. “It’s certainly exacerbated the problem and I think it has really exposed the situation and the types of conditions that exist up here.” “Personally, I think there's just a lot of things happening up here right now with all the restrictions that are being put on us, even the delivery of the vaccinations,” Sutherland said. “I haven’t heard anything in the community about how they’re going to roll it out. Which leads me to wonder about healthcare and how the planning of all this is supposed to unfold.” Finding himself locked down in his northern community, physically separated from the other three members of Midnight Shine, Sutherland decided it was a good time to revisit his original intention of releasing some solo material that he had been working on before COVID shut everything down. “No one has expressed that they didn’t want to continue on as Midnight Shine,” Sutherland says. “It was just a good time for me to step away for a while. We had done three albums together and it just felt like the right time, especially since the pandemic came down, even more so now that we can’t perform or get together at all. It just seems more timely now for me to put my efforts toward a solo project.” Working with Toronto musicians, brothers, and songwriting partners Chris Gormley and Matt Gormley, Sutherland recorded his solo compositions with producer Carl Jennings just before everything went into lockdown. Unable to tour the new material the Cree songwriter decided to sit on the masters for a while to wait and see how things played out. In October 2019 Sutherland released his first single from the sessions called Politician Man. Coming to his audience with a pop rock sound the Attawapiskat musician admits that his songwriting with Midnight Shine often had political overtones that were much subtler than his debut solo single. “I try to do it in a way that invites people in for conversation and not like punching you in the nose with it. Politician Man is completely the opposite. It's more in your face,” he said. As the pandemic persisted Sutherland continued to focus on running his family business and adventuring out on hunting excursions with his children. He also invested time in building a modest recording studio, as well as putting work into his first book of memoirs, commissioned by Penguin Random House Canada, which is slated for release next year. He admits that his experience writing the book so far has been more straightforward and less demanding than song structure. His compositions are influenced by his life in the north, incorporating aspects of his Cree language and traditional percussion to create underlying soundscapes within the songs with the intention of capturing the sonic ambience of the natural world that surrounds him. While embedded deep into the pandemic lockdown Sutherland was inspired by Indigenous blockades, grassroots citizen initiatives, and social justice movements like Black Lives Matter to release his second solo recording Respect The Gift, which he had been sitting on for more than a year. “We wrote this song almost as if we knew what was coming here. It’s kind of weird when you listen to the lyrics,” he says. “It's about challenging the state and rising up together. We can't continue the way we have. We all know that now. We all can see that. It’s about rising up and shining light on the darkness and trying find ways to coexist and move together.” Adrian Sutherland’s inspiring new single, Respect The Gift, is accessible on all the popular music streaming platforms, and it’s also available to download at midnightshine.bandcamp.com Windspeaker.com By David Owen Rama, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Windspeaker.com, Windspeaker.com
WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security issued a national terrorism bulletin Wednesday warning of the lingering potential for violence from people motivated by antigovernment sentiment after President Joe Biden's election, suggesting the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol may embolden extremists and set the stage for additional attacks. The department did not cite any specific plots, but pointed to “a heightened threat environment across the United States” that it believes “will persist” for weeks after Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration. It is not uncommon for the federal government to warn local law enforcement through bulletins about the prospect for violence tied to a particular event or date, such as July 4. But this particular bulletin, issued through the department’s National Terrorism Advisory System, is notable because it effectively places the Biden administration into the politically charged debate over how to describe or characterize acts motivated by political ideology, and suggests it regards violence like the kind that overwhelmed the Capitol as akin to terrorism. The bulletin is an indication that national security officials see a connective thread between different episodes of violence in the last year motivated by anti-government grievances, including over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results and police use of force. The document singles out crimes motivated by racial or ethnic hatred, such as the 2019 rampage targeting Hispanics in El Paso, Texas, as well as the threat posed by extremists motivated by foreign terror groups. A DHS statement that accompanied the bulletin noted the potential for violence from “a broad range of ideologically-motivated actors.” “Information suggests that some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence,” the bulletin said. The alert comes at a tense time following the riot at the Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump seeking to overturn the presidential election. DHS also noted violent riots in “recent days,” an apparent reference to events in Portland, Oregon, linked to anarchist groups. “The domestic terrorism attack on our Capitol earlier this month shined a light on a threat that has been right in front of our faces for years,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. “I am glad to see that DHS fully recognizes the threat posed by violent, right-wing extremists and is taking efforts to communicate that threat to the American people.” The alert was issued by acting Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske. Biden’s nominee for the Cabinet post, Alejandro Mayorkas, has not been confirmed by the Senate. Two former homeland security secretaries, Michael Chertoff and Janet Napolitano, called on the Senate to confirm Mayorkas so he can start working with the FBI and other agencies and deal with the threat posed by domestic extremists, among other issues. Chertoff, who served under President George W. Bush, said attacks by far-right, domestic extremists are not new but that deaths attributed to them in recent years in the U.S. have exceeded those linked to jihadists such as al-Qaida. “We have to be candid and face what the real risk is,” he said in a conference call with reporters. Federal authorities have charged more than 150 people in the Capitol siege, including some with links to right-wing extremist groups such as the Three Percenters and the Oath Keepers. The Justice Department announced charges Wednesday against 43-year Ian Rogers, a California man found with five pipe bombs during a search of his business this month who had a sticker associated with the Three Percenters on his vehicle. His lawyer told his hometown newspaper, The Napa Valley Register, that he is a “very well-respected small business owner, father, and family man” who does not belong to any violent organizations. Ben Fox And Eric Tucker, The Associated Press
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
Google is reviving plans to launch its own news website in Australia within weeks, according to a local media outlet contracted to provide articles for the venture, as the search giant fights world-first proposed laws on content payments. The launch of the News Showcase product as early as next month is Google's latest tactic in a high-profile campaign against the Australian government's planned legislation to make the company pay local news providers for content that appears in its search engine. Google had announced plans to launch News Showcase in Australia last June, signing deals with seven small local outlets, including The Conversation, for content.
Demand for Xiao's skills has soared since he graduated in 2014 with a computer engineering degree but now he just ignores the offers, having recently joined TikTok owner Bytedance after several years with Southeast Asia's Grab. Singapore is aiming to become a regional tech hub but faces a severe talent crunch as more firms move in, interviews with more than a dozen recruiters, companies and workers show. China's Tencent, Bytedance, U.S.-based Zoom Video Communications and unicorn Grab and Sea Ltd are among companies expanding in Singapore, fueling a war for tech talent in the city-state, where the jobless rate had reached a 16-year high due to a coronavirus-induced recession.
Canadians are "Angry Birds" when it comes to climate change, shows a survey the United Nations calls the largest ever taken on the issue. The mammoth survey, which drew respondents through the use of popular online games, ranked Canada seventh out of 50 countries in its perception of how important the problem is — and tops in the gap between men and women on the issue. "Canada was at the top end of the group of countries we surveyed in terms of the recognition of the climate emergency," said Steve Fisher, an Oxford University sociologist who helped run the survey on behalf of the United Nations Development Program. The novel survey found respondents through games such as Angry Birds and Dragon City. As people played the games, a questionnaire would pop up instead of an ad. Project director Cassie Flynn, who is with the UN program, said the idea came to her while riding the subway in New York. "Every single person was on their phone," she said. "I started looking over people's shoulders and the huge majority was playing games. I thought, 'How do we tap into that?'" Two years, 1.2 million responses (in 17 languages) and a great deal of innovative statistical thinking later came the People's Climate Vote. It is an attempt, said Flynn, to gauge the public's sense of urgency on climate change and how people feel about different policies. "The decisions (on climate) are going to affect every single person on the planet. What we wanted to do is to bring public opinion into that policy-making." As the federal Liberal government advances on its ambitious climate program, it seems Canadians are more concerned about the issue than most. Three-quarters of those surveyed agreed that climate change is an emergency compared with the global average of 64 per cent. That belief topped out at 83 per cent for respondents under 18. But, at 72 per cent, it wasn't much weaker among those over 60. The survey also found that Canadians who believed climate change is an emergency believed it strongly. Three-quarters said action should be urgent and on many fronts. They really liked solutions based in conservation. Support for nature-based climate policies was higher in Canada at 79 per cent than in any other countries with high carbon emissions from land use. They also wanted polluters to pay. Some 69 per cent favoured policies that regulate company behaviour. Only the United Kingdom, at 72 per cent, registered stronger among high-income countries. And, at 81 and 80 per cent respectively, respondents in the U.K. and Canada were virtually tied at the top in support of ocean and waterway protection. Canada also had the largest gap between men and women in their assessment of the importance of climate change. Canadian women and girls surveyed were 12 per cent more likely to rate it an emergency than men and boys. Globally, there wasn't much difference. Fisher, who researches political attitudes and behaviour, said climate change is a more partisan issue in Canada, the United States and Australia than elsewhere on the globe. "It is related to partisanship in those countries," he said. "Women are much more likely to vote for the more climate-conscious left parties." Fisher said the use of cellphone games gave researchers access to groups that are hard for pollsters to reach, such as young people. "It was kind of new to do the fieldwork in this way," he said. "It reached an awful lot of people." Each respondent was asked to complete the survey only once. The team used 4,000 different games, some popular with children, some with older people. Still, the sample skewed young. The statisticians had to adjust the sample to ensure all groups were given appropriate weight. The survey is considered accurate to within two percentage points, 19 times out of 20. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. — Follow @row1960 on Twitter Bob Weber, The Canadian Press
Students at the University of British Columbia are reacting strongly to the administration's proposed tuition increase for the upcoming academic year. The suggested two per cent hike for most students — and four per cent hike for new international students — comes as classes continue online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "It was just upsetting to me. Like, everybody's going through a tough time right now, and as far as I know, everybody's kind of still paying the same amount of money that they would pay in a normal year," said Joshua Peng, a second year arts student. "It's just quite the bomb to drop on us, emotionally speaking," said Peng. The university sent students an email on Monday with links to a consultation website, but the idea of a consultation having any effect was quickly panned by some students on social media. Matthew Ramsey, director of university affairs, declined an interview request from CBC News. Ramsey sent a written statement that said inflationary pressures are among the reasons UBC is proposing the increase. "If tuition increases are approved as proposed for 2021-22, UBC proposes to allocate all of this year's incremental credit tuition revenue resulting from the rate increase towards COVID-19-impacted key priorities," wrote Ramsey, adding that in total, the tuition increases would result in $19 million in incremental funds in 2021-2022. For Peng, who hasn't yet had a complete year of university unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the university experience has not been what he had expected, or hoped it would be. "It does suck for me, but I know friends who really don't want this [tuition increase]. They're not in the best environment right now," he said. Peng had hoped by this semester, classes might have returned to a hybrid format of online and in-person classes, but the number of COVID-19 cases in the province has remained high. He said he struggles to maintain attention during online lectures at home, and being in the lecture hall "just works better." Beyond the education, Peng said the social and networking aspect of university has been completely absent. When asked about the quality of education at UBC during the pandemic, relative to the cost, Ramsey sent a link to a public relations article posted in August titled Why tuition is not being reduced at UBC. It argues that a fee reduction isn't possible, in part, due to a projected $225 million deficit for the 2020-2021 academic year. In April, students launched a petition asking UBC to issue partial refunds to students during the pandemic. By late January, it had received nearly 9,000 signatures, but has had no success in decreasing tuition or generating refunds. Do you have more to add to this story? Email firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Rafferty Baker on Twitter: @raffertybaker
The Prince Albert Outreach Program recently distributed items to local schools thanks to a Share The Warmth Grant from SaskEnergy. Items were distributed to Vincent Massey Public School, Riverside Public School and Queen Mary Public School in Prince Albert. “One of the Outreach workers applied for a grant from SaskEnergy and PA Outreach received a $1,000 grant for Share the Warmth,” Touni Vardeh Esakian, a team leader with Prince Albert Outreach, said. “With the SaskEnergy grant PA Outreach purchased gloves, toques and snack food, which were distributed to the schools.” The program thanked SaskEnergy for their grant. PA Outreach explained that serving youth looked different this winter. The grant helped them purchase an abundance of food items and warm clothing for youth and their families. The items were distributed in early this month. “Without the heartwarming generosity of SaskEnergy, we would not have been able to help as many youth stay warm and less hungry,” PA Outreach said in a media release. “Thank you SaskEnergy.” Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador first felt the onset of COVID-19 on Sunday and was tested after returning to the capital on a commercial flight from an event in central Mexico, his spokesman said on Tuesday. Spokesman Jesus Ramirez said that passengers on the flight were being contacted, and that journalists traveling with the president were recommended to isolate. Lopez Obrador had a fever on Sunday and was still experiencing some mild symptoms by Tuesday, including a minor headache, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said in an evening news conference.
Walmart Inc will add small robot-staffed warehouses to dozens of its stores to help fill orders for pickup and delivery, the company said on Wednesday, as Americans shift their spending online amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The robots will work behind the scenes, picking frozen and refrigerated foods as well as smaller general merchandise items from inside the warehouses, or local fulfillment centers, that will carry "thousands of frequently purchased items." The world's largest retailer, which operates nearly 5,000 stores nationwide, did not say how many stores will have the new centers but said it was "planning dozens of locations, with many more to come."
Canadian search and rescue crews continue to search for a missing pilot whose small plane went down over the ocean along the B.C.-Washington state border. Two Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft and the Canadian Coast Guard cutter Sir Wilfrid Laurier have joined the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. military officials in the effort to find the man and his Cessna 170 in the waters between Victoria and Port Angeles, Wash. The man was flying solo from Ketchican, Alaska to Port Angeles on Tuesday when U.S. officials received a mayday distress call shortly before 5 p.m. PT. Lt.-Cmdr. Tony Wright of the Canadian Forces Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria said on Tuesday the pilot described his location during the mayday call. "We're supporting the U.S. Coast Guard,'' Wright said, adding he had no other information immediately available.
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.
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Mikyla Grant-Mentis scored the go-ahead goal at 4:56 of the third period, and the Toronto Six held on to edge the Boston Pride 2-1 on Tuesday in National Women's Hockey League action. It's the first victory in franchise history for the expansion team. Toronto (1-1-1) trailed 1-0 heading into the third before Brooke Boquist tied the game 3:31 into the period with a power-play goal Christina Putigna opened the scoring at 11:59 of the first while on a Pride (1-2-0) power play. Elaine Chuli made 24 saves for the Six, while Boston's Lovisa Selander stopped 36-of-38 shots. The NWHL went full bubble hockey Saturday in a quarantined environment in Lake Placid, New York. Each of the six teams are set to plays five games in eight days followed by the playoffs, with the semifinals and final airing on NBCSN. The semifinals are Feb. 4 and championship game is Feb. 5. The NWHL didn't crown a 2020 Isobel Cup champion in its fifth season because of the pandemic. The majority of the Six roster is Canadian NCAA Division 1 alumni with some who also played in the defunct Canadian Women's Hockey League. This report by The Canadian Press was first published January 26, 2021. The Canadian Press
North Shore Rescue say ground crews have rescued a snowboarder who was caught in an avalanche in the backcountry on Tuesday afternoon in Cypress Provincial Park. Team leader Mike Danks said rescue crews received a call at about 4:15 p.m. from a friend of the person who needed help. Danks said the man had been involved in a small avalanche and couldn't get out of the area on his own. "He was stuck, basically buried up to his waist. So we had crews responding into that area. The conditions are not optimal for sending people in the field, but because of the restriction of daylight for the helicopter, were not able to get crews into that area." By 10 p.m. the man had been transported to Cypress Resort and was to be taken to hospital. Danks said the man was confused and hypothermic, and may have suffered a pelvis fracture and injury to his shoulder. Complex rescue Ground teams were led by an avalanche forecaster and professional ski guide. The rescue was complex and involved two avalanche professionals, a doctor, an emergency nurse, a paramedic, and multiple rope rescue technicians, according to a Facebook post from North Shore Rescue. Talon Helicopters were eventually deployed along with North Shore Rescue's air operations team, and Cypress ski patrol, who also performed a rope rescue. North Shore Rescue warns that avalanche conditions are considerable, and are a danger to the lives of rescue crews as well as those they help. Danks said this snowboarder was "very lucky" given the circumstances. "He was out of bounds, caught in an avalanche. No avalanche safety equipment with them, no one else with them, either. So those are really big risks to take in conditions like this." He advises people to call 911, not friends, if they are caught in an avalanche so it's easier for crews to find them.
Même en tant que fonctionnaire québécoise, Coura Felwine Sene ne peut obtenir ses papiers d’immigrations. Tout commence au Sénégal en 2015. Coura Felwine Sene rêve de s’établir ailleurs. Le nom « Québec » circule autour d’elle et l’attire. Pour émigrer, elle fait affaire avec une agence locale afin d’obtenir les papiers. « J’ai payé 1200 dollars pour l’admission et le certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ). L’agence s’occupait de toutes les démarches », explique-t-elle. C’est là pourtant que, sans le savoir, elle se fait flouer. L’agence et les documents délivrés s’avèrent frauduleux. Mais personne ne s’en rend compte, ni elle, ni les fonctionnaires d’ici chargés de vérifier la crédibilité des documents. Ainsi, tout se déroule comme prévu à son arrivée au Québec. Son certificat d’acceptation est échangé contre un permis d’étude. Elle s’installe à Rimouski. Après quelques années à jongler entre les études et un emploi — « j’ai passé mes nuits à l’Université », dit-elle —, elle renouvelle son CAQ sans problème. Dès sa formation terminée, elle décroche un emploi à temps plein dans un des ministères québécois. On lui offre un statut de travailleur temporaire, qui expire en janvier 2023. Déterminée à s’installer pour de bon au Bas-Saint-Laurent, elle entreprend alors les démarches pour obtenir sa résidence permanente. Elle doit d’abord passer par Québec pour obtenir un nouveau certificat. Alors qu’elle en est à rassembler ses papiers, tout bascule. « J’ai demandé au ministère de l’Immigration un duplicata de mon premier CAQ. C’est là qu’ils se sont rendu compte du caractère frauduleux. » « Le numéro du dossier est à mon nom, mais le numéro de référence correspond à un autre individu au Sénégal », détaille-t-elle. Elle se dit atterrée que les fonctionnaires puissent renouveler ses papiers, pour ensuite les invalider. « Pourquoi ont-ils annulé le CAQ qui expire en août ? J’ai fini mes études depuis. Je n’en ai plus besoin. » Qui plus est, argumente-t-elle, elle aurait sans doute pu obtenir tous les papiers pour une résidence permanente sans cette copie du CAQ. « Il ne fallait pas appeler », lui aurait-on dit au ministère. Depuis, elle multiplie les recours pour demeurer au Québec. Elle porte plainte en justice au Sénégal et obtient gain de cause. Les autorités sénégalaises font fermer l’agence frauduleuse et arrêtent les propriétaires. Son employeur, le gouvernement du Québec, lui offre un permis de travail fermé. Ce document lui permettrait de postuler sur Arrima, la nouvelle plateforme numérique de sélection des immigrants. Or, avec une mention de fraude de son dossier, Coura Felwine Sene ne croit pas en ses chances. « C’est sûr qu’ils ne vont pas me choisir. » Prise dans un cul-de-sac administratif, elle ne peut croire qu’elle pourrait devoir quitter la province. Elle soutient avoir dépensé près de 100 000 $ pour ses études et son installation à Rimouski. « J’ai le droit d’être respecté. Ça fait cinq ans que je suis ici. Je travaille. Je ne reçois aucun chômage. » « Je suis très découragée. J’ai pleuré toute la fin de semaine. » L’avocate en immigration Nadia Bourra ne s’étonne pas du refus du gouvernement. « On peut être citoyen canadien et ensuite perdre ce statut, si le point de départ était frauduleux. […] S’il y a eu une fraude, c’est normal que le gouvernement refuse. Il ne peut pas permettre cela. » Le ministère québécois de l’Immigration ne commente pas les dossiers particuliers. Par courriel, une porte-parole confirme toutefois que « la ministre peut rejeter la demande d’une personne qui a fourni, dans les cinq ans précédant l’examen de la demande, directement ou indirectement, un renseignement ou un document faux ou trompeur ». « Sur l’ensemble des demandes reçues pour les dossiers « étudiants » de 2016 à 2020, ce sont 0,07 % des demandes qui ont reçu une décision de refus pour ce motif, en moyenne, par année », ajoute-t-elle. Mme Sene confirme ces statistiques. « L’agent m’a dit que c’est la première fois qu’il voit un cas comme ça. » Elle laisse cependant entendre que d’autres compatriotes pourraient se retrouver à la fois victimes de fraude et d’une erreur administrative. « Je suis la première victime, mais il y en aura d’autres. »Jean-Louis Bordeleau, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Devoir
Nguyen Phu Trong, Vietnam's ruling Communist Party chief, has been nominated for a rare third term, a Party official said, according to several state media articles that were published on Wednesday then subsequently amended, removing the comments. On Monday, more than 1,600 delegates began nine days of mostly closed-doors meetings at the Party's five-yearly Congress, during which a new leadership team will be picked to bolster Vietnam's ongoing economic success - and the legitimacy of the Party's rule. Trong, 76, who is also Vietnam's president and architect of its anti-corruption campaign, had been widely tipped to continue as party chief despite health issues and old age - which should technically disqualify him for the position, although "special case" exceptions are granted.