The Philadelphia Eagles fired head coach Doug Pederson after a disappointing 4-11-1 season, but it doesn’t appear to be strictly related to what was happening on the field.
The Philadelphia Eagles fired head coach Doug Pederson after a disappointing 4-11-1 season, but it doesn’t appear to be strictly related to what was happening on the field.
WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers and conservative groups opposed President-elect Joe Biden's forthcoming immigration plan Tuesday as massive amnesty for people in the U.S. illegally, underscoring that the measure faces an uphill fight in a Congress that Democrats control just narrowly. In a further complication, several pro-immigration groups said they would press Biden to go even further and take steps such as immediate moratoriums on deportations, detentions and new arrests. Coupled with the discomfort an immigration push could cause for moderate Democrats, liberals' demands illustrated the pressures facing Biden as four years of President Donald Trump's restrictive and often harsh immigration policies come to an end. “It simply wouldn't have happened without us," Lorella Praeli, co-president of the liberal group Community Change, said of Biden's victory. “So we are now in a powerful position." Biden plans to introduce the legislation shortly after being inaugurated Wednesday, a move he hopes will spotlight his emphasis on an issue that's defied major congressional action since 1986. Its fate, as written, seemed in doubt. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who will become Senate majority leader this week, said Trump's impeachment trial, confirmation of Biden's Cabinet nominees and more COVID-19 relief will be the chamber's top initial priorities. “I look forward to working together with him" on the measure, Schumer said — a choice of words that might suggest changes could be needed for it to pass Congress. Biden's proposal would create an eight-year pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants, set up a processing program abroad for refugees seeking admission to the U.S. and push toward using technology to monitor the border. The measure was described by an official from Biden's transition team who described the plan on condition of anonymity. With an eye toward discouraging a surge of immigrants toward the U.S.-Mexico boundary, the package's route to citizenship would only apply to people already in the U.S. by this past Jan. 1. But it omits the traditional trade-off of dramatically enhanced border security that's helped attract some GOP support in the past, which drew criticism on Tuesday. “A mass amnesty with no safeguards and no strings attached is a nonstarter,” said Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. "There are many issues I think we can work co-operatively with President-elect Biden, but a blanket amnesty for people who are here unlawfully isn’t going to be one of them,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., often a central player in Senate immigration battles. “Total amnesty, no regard for the health or security of Americans, and zero enforcement," Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, who like Rubio is a potential 2024 GOP presidential contender, said in a Monday tweet. That view was shared by Mark Krikorian, executive director of the conservative Center for Immigration Studies, which favours curbing immigration. “Past proposals at least accepted the concept of turning off the faucet and mopping up the overflow. This is nothing but mopping up and letting the faucet continue to run," Krikorian said. Rosemary Jenks, top lobbyist for NumbersUSA, which also wants to limit immigration, said the measure seems likely to fail in the Senate. It would need at least 10 Republicans to join all 50 Democrats to overcome a filibuster that would kill the measure. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said, “Moving an immigration reform bill won’t be easy, but I think it’s possible." He cited a 2013 massive overhaul that narrowly passed the Senate, only to die in the GOP-run House. Menendez and Rubio were part of a bipartisan “Gang of 8" senators that helped win Senate approval. Under Biden's legislation, those living in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2021, without legal status would have a five-year path to temporary legal status, or a green card, if they pass background checks, pay taxes and fulfil other requirements. From there, it’s a three-year path to naturalization if they pursue citizenship. For some immigrants, the process would be quicker. So-called Dreamers, the young people who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children, as well as agricultural workers and people under temporary protective status could qualify more immediately for green cards if they are working, are in school or meet other requirements. Biden is also expected to take swift executive actions, which require no congressional action, to reverse other Trump immigration actions. These include ending to the prohibition on arrivals from predominantly Muslim countries. The legislation represents Biden's bid to deliver on a major campaign promise important to Latino voters and other immigrant communities after four years of Trump's restrictive policies and mass deportations. It provides one of the fastest pathways to citizenship for those living without legal status of any measure in recent years. Biden allies and even some Republicans have identified immigration as a major issue where the new administration could find common ground with the GOP to avoid the stalemate that has vexed administrations of both parties for decades. That kind of major win, even if it involves compromise, could be critical for Biden. He'll be seeking legislative victories in a Congress where Republicans are certain to oppose other Biden priorities, like rolling back some of the GOP’s 2017 tax cuts and increasing federal spending. Democrats will control the 50-50 Senate with Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris' tiebreaking vote. Democrats currently control the House 222-211, with two vacancies. ___ Barrow reported from Wilmington, Delaware. AP writer Elliot Spagat in San Diego also contributed to this report. Alan Fram, Lisa Mascaro And Bill Barrow, The Associated Press
Despite a significant short-term gap in deliveries of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today he's still confident the country is on track to vaccinate every Canadian who wants a shot by September. "This situation with the Pfizer delay is temporary. Our vaccination objectives for the first quarter of the year, January to March, are not changing," Trudeau said from the steps of Rideau Cottage today. "The total number of doses committed to us is still the same," he said, adding that "every Canadian" who wants to be vaccinated will get the shot "by September." Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military commander leading vaccine logistics for the federal government, said that Canadians should expect only 50 per cent of the promised Pfizer-BioNTech doses the government was promised for the remainder of January. Fortin said Canada will only get 82 per cent of the vaccine doses it expected this week, and no deliveries at all from Pfizer-BioNTech next week, before shipments resume in the last week of January. Watch: Trudeau on vaccine supply challenges in the first three months of 2021 Fortin said deliveries are expected to scale up in the first two weeks of February, adding he won't be able to offer more details about Pfizer-BioNTech shipments next month until he is briefed by the company on Thursday. Fortin has said previously that Canada was expecting the delivery of 1.4 million Pfizer doses in February. "Numbers are expected to go back up to what we had originally planned and Pfizer continues to tell us that they expect to be able to deliver up to four million of doses of Pfizer vaccine by the end of this quarter, so by the end of March," he said. Pfizer issued a public statement today saying that the company is looking to ramp up vaccine production and deliver up to two billion doses over 2021. "To accomplish this, certain modifications of production processes will be required," the company said. "Pfizer is scaling up manufacturing operations in our Puurs, Belgium manufacturing facility to increase dose availability and output and, as a result, there will be a temporary impact on some shipments until mid-February in order to quickly enable increased production volumes afterwards." The company said it anticipates that the supply disruptions will balance out and that it will be able to keep its delivery schedule for the first quarter of the year. Watch: Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin says some deliveries of Pfizer-BioNTech have been suspended Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand said she spent the weekend on the phone with Pfizer executives making the point that the delivery schedule must return to normal as soon as possible. "We knew that we would likely need to weather challenges with supply, given complex manufacturing, unprecedented global demand and rapid acceleration to peak production," Anand said. "This is an evolving situation but I will continue to update Canadians as soon as I have additional information." Anand later addressed a statement put out by Pfizer on Jan. 15 that said the supply disruptions in Europe would be gone, and vaccine delivery would be back to normal in the EU, by the week of Jan. 25. "They assured me that Canada would be treated equitably. They assured me that Pfizer would comply with its contractual commitments of four million doses for Q1," she told CBC News Network's Power & Politics in an interview that aired earlier this evening. Anand said last week that while Pfizer's Michigan plant is only 220 kilometres away from the Detroit-Windsor border crossing, the vaccines being produced there have been earmarked for the American market. Moderna is expected to deliver another two million doses of its vaccine over the first three months of the year. Fortin said that deliveries of that vaccine remain on track and Canada expects to take delivery of 230,000 doses in the first week of February. As of Jan. 14, Canada had received 765,100 vaccine doses. Of that total, 588,900 were from Pfizer-BioNTech and 176,200 were from Moderna. Other promising vaccine candidates from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson's pharmaceutical division, Janssen, are being reviewed by regulators at Health Canada.
Saskatchewan reported 309 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday along with six more deaths. Of the deaths reported, one person was in their 60s and lived in the Central West zone. Five others were in their 80s, two of whom lived in the Regina zone, two lived in the South East zone and one lived in the Saskatoon zone. To date, 225 people in Saskatchewan who tested positive for the virus have died. On Tuesday, the province's total caseload rose to 20,871. Here's where the new cases are: Far North West (25). Far North Central (16). Far North East (18). North West (29). North Central (30). North East (10). Saskatoon (69). Central West (three). Central East (19). Regina (43). South West (three). South East (19). There are 25 cases that have pending locations. Seven previous pending locations have been assigned to the Far North West (one), North West (one), North Central (four) and Regina (one) zones. The seven-day average of daily new cases is 300, or 24.7 new cases per 100,000 people. This is a slight increase from the previous seven-day average of 291 reported Monday. A total of 16,490 people have recovered from the virus, with 412 new recoveries reported Tuesday. Of the province's total cases, 4,156 are considered active, which is a slight decrease from Monday. According to the government, the reporting database is being updated to "reconcile a significant backlog in the number of recoveries." The changes will be reflected in the daily case statistics over the coming days. There are 207 people in hospital, 31 of whom are in ICU. The province processed 2,929 COVID-19 tests on Monday. Vaccine update The province administered 1,957 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, bringing the total number of vaccines administered in Saskatchewan to 24,575. The doses were administered in the following areas: Regina (401). Saskatoon (688). North Central (36). North West (132). Far North East (200). Central West (117). South East (383). More vaccine on the way The Saskatchewan government says another shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine is arriving in the province this week. The shipment contains 2,925 doses. The government says it will be divided between Regina, Fort Qu'Appelle and North Battleford areas and used to continue vaccinating priority populations.
Far from deterred by a lengthy layoff after getting her left knee scoped, Carli Lloyd is back with a steadfast resolve as the United States pushes toward the Tokyo Olympics. Lloyd's recovery work was on display Monday night in Florida when she played the full 90 minutes in the team's 4-0 victory over Colombia. Not bad for a veteran player who is 38 and hadn't played since last March. “I'm pretty happy with where I'm at physically, after an injury,” she said. “You know, having somewhat of a minor scope, I guess as people say, isn't really minor. So it took me a ways to get back and rebuild myself again.” Lloyd last played in the 2020 SheBelieves Cup. She did not play for her National Women's Soccer League team, Sky Blue, in last summer's Challenge Cup tournament or the league's fall series. She also missed the national team's final camp of 2020 and a match against the Netherlands. "She’s coming off a knee scope and playing 90 minutes. I think that’s incredible,” coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “She did a great job, assisted on two goals, helped us win the ball back, played for 90 minutes in high tempo. I think it was just a good example for some of the younger players in terms of what it takes to be on the next level.” Lloyd is probably best known for her hat trick in the U.S. victory over Japan to win the 2015 World Cup in Canada. She had a more limited role when the United States won the 2019 World Cup in France, but she still finished the year with 16 goals to lead the team. Lloyd also got attention for kicking a 55-yard field goal when she visited a Philadelphia Eagles' practice, leading to speculation, some serious and some not, about a possible shot at the NFL once she retires from the national team. But even during her recovery, Lloyd did not consider hanging up her soccer cleats. “It wasn't a question of not returning,” she said. “You know this was the longest hiatus and longest break mentally that I think I've ever had in my career. I've been fortunate enough with injuries, I've broken a lot of bones (but) this was my first surgery. I thought I'd make it throughout my career without surgery. I was pretty close." If Lloyd makes the 18-player squad for Tokyo, it will be her fourth Olympics. At the Beijing Games, she scored in overtime for a 1-0 victory against Brazil in the final. Four years later, she scored both goals in the gold-medal match against Japan at Wembley Stadium, becoming the only player to score winning goals in consecutive Olympic finals. While she was recovering from the knee injury with her husband, Lloyd reconnected with her family after years of estrangement. She also cut ties with her long-time coach, James Galanis. “I think it’s been pretty cool that things have come full circle for me. My family was at the start of my career and now they’re getting to be part of it at the end,” she said. Lloyd drew heat on social media Monday, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, when she and several U.S. teammates did not kneel for the national anthem. The team wore warmups that proclaimed Black Lives Matter. “I think the beauty of this team is that we stand behind each other no matter what,” she said. “Players decided to kneel, some players decided to stand, and at the end of the day we have each others' backs. I think ultimately we're all here to support one another in any way that we can, and that's what's amazing about this team.” The United States will play Colombia again Friday to conclude its January training camp. The next event on the team's schedule is the SheBelieves Cup in February. The already-delayed Olympic Games in Tokyo are looming, if the event is held. Lloyd has said in the past that she intends to retire following the Olympics. For now, the only thing missing for her is the goals. She had chances Monday but couldn't find the back of the net. “But I've also got to focus on where I am right now and where I want to be, and just keep plugging along,” she said. “I think it (scoring) is going to come, I just need to be patient. I can't beat myself up about it. But there's other roles for me to play besides scoring goals.” ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Anne M. Peterson, The Associated Press
VICTORIA — British Columbia's representative for children and youth says she has heard harrowing stories from those who were involuntarily hospitalized for a mental illness without access to legal advice. Jennifer Charlesworth has released a report with input from youth who say they were restrained, medicated and secluded against their will. Charlesworth is calling on the B.C. government to amend the Mental Health Act to allow youth to have access to a legal advocate while they're in care. She says that while the Health Ministry believes Indigenous youth are overrepresented when it comes to being detained in hospital, it lacks data on how many youth are being affected. Charlesworth says that's troubling because young people are being retraumatized when what they need is care that is culturally appropriate. She says over a decade, the number of children held under the Mental Health Act has increased an alarming 162 per cent, bringing into question the voluntary system of care and treatment. The province paused legislation last July to amend the act after Charlesworth and some First Nations groups said youth worried about being detained would fear asking for help. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2021. The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — Troops in riot gear lined the streets of the nation's capitol, but there were no crowds. Armored vehicles and concrete barriers blocked the empty streets around the U.S. Capitol. From behind miles of fencing, Joe Biden was safely sworn in as president in a Washington on edge, two weeks after pro-Trump rioters besieged the U.S. Capitol. Law enforcement officials contended not only with the potential for outside threats but also with rising concerns about an insider attack. Officials were monitoring members of far-right extremist and militia groups, increasingly concerned about the possibility such groups could stream into Washington and spark violent confrontations, a law enforcement official said. There were a few scattered arrests, but no serious disruptions in the city during Biden's inauguration ceremony. As Biden put it in his address: "Just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, to drive us from this sacred ground, it did not happen. It will never happen. Not today. Not tomorrow, not ever, not ever.” After the deadly attack that killed five on Jan. 6, the U.S. Secret Service stepped up security for the inauguration early, essentially locking down the nation's capital. More than 25,000 troops and police were called to duty. The National Mall was closed. Checkpoints were set up at intersections. In the hours before the event, federal agents were monitoring “concerning online chatter,” which included an array of threats against elected officials and discussions about ways to infiltrate the inauguration, the official said. In right-wing online chat groups, members who believe in the QAnon conspiracy theory expressed disappointment that their long belief in the unfounded conspiracy that top Democrats would be arrested for a sex trafficking ring and that Trump could seize a second term did not materialize. And 12 National Guard members were removed from the security operation a day earlier after vetting by the FBI, including two who had made extremist statements in posts or texts about Wednesday's event. Pentagon officials wouldn't give details on the statements. The FBI vetted all 25,000 members in an extraordinary security effort in part over the presence of some ex-military in the riot. Two other U.S. officials told The Associated Press that all 12 were found to have ties with right-wing militia groups or to have posted extremist views online. The officials, a senior intelligence official and an Army official briefed on the matter, did not say which fringe groups the Guard members belonged to or what unit they served in. The officials told the AP they had all been removed because of “security liabilities.” The officials were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, confirmed that Guard members had been removed and sent home, but said only two cases were related to inappropriate comments or texts related to the inauguration. He said the other 10 cases were for potential issues that may involve previous criminal behaviour or activities but were not directly related to the inaugural event. The FBI has also warned law enforcement officials about the possibility that members of right-wing fringe groups could pose as National Guard troops, according to two law enforcement officials familiar with the matter. Investigators in Washington were particularly worried that members of right-wing extremist groups and militias, like the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters, would descend on Washington to spark violence, the law enforcement officials said. Some of the extremist groups are known to recruit former military personnel and train extensively and have frequented anti-government and political protests. In addition to the thousands of National Guard troops, hundreds of law enforcement officers from agencies around the country were also brought into Washington. The increased security is likely to remain in the nation's capital for at least a few more days. Ben Fox, Colleen Long And Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus eclipsed 400,000 on Tuesday in the waning hours in office for President Donald Trump, whose handling of the crisis has been judged by public health experts a singular failure. The running total of lives lost, as compiled by Johns Hopkins University, is nearly equal to the number of Americans killed in World II. It is about the population of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Tampa, Florida; or New Orleans. It is equivalent to the sea of humanity that was at Woodstock in 1969. It is just short of the estimated 409,000 Americans who died in 2019 of strokes, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, flu and pneumonia combined. And the virus isn't finished with the U.S. by any means, even with the arrival of the vaccines that could finally vanquish the outbreak: A widely cited model by the University of Washington projects the death toll will reach nearly 567,000 by May 1. While the Trump administration has been credited with Operation Warp Speed, the crash program to develop and distribute coronavirus vaccines, Trump has repeatedly downplayed the threat, mocked masks, railed against lockdowns, promoted unproven and unsafe treatments, undercut scientific experts and expressed scant compassion for the victims. Even his own bout with COVID-19 seemed to leave him unchanged. The White House defended the administration. “We grieve every single life lost to this pandemic, and thanks to the president’s leadership, Operation Warp Speed has led to the development of multiple safe and effective vaccines in record time, something many said would never happen," said White House spokesman Judd Deere. President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Wednesday. The nation reached the 400,000 milestone in just under a year. The first known deaths from the virus in the U.S. were in early February 2020, both of them in Santa Clara County, California. While the count is based on figures supplied by government agencies around the world, the real death toll is believed to be significantly higher, in part because of inadequate testing and cases inaccurately attributed to other causes early on. It took four months to reach the first 100,000 dead. It took just over a month to go from 300,000 to 400,000. The Associated Press
TORONTO — A Canadian neonatal intensive care nurse who spoke at an anti-lockdown rally in Washington, D.C., has been fired, her employer said on Tuesday.The London Health Sciences Centre in London, Ont., confirmed its termination of Kristen Nagle, who had been suspended since November after attending a similar rally in the city.Nagle was one of two Canadian nurses who drew attention for speaking in Washington on Jan. 6. before supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol, leading to five deaths.In a statement, the London hospital said it suspended Nagle without pay in November for actions "not aligned" with its values and then began an internal investigation. That investigation was now complete, the hospital said."While we are not able to address the specifics of the investigation, we can confirm that the nurse has been terminated with cause," the statement said. "Safeguarding the health of our patients and their families, staff and physicians is of the utmost importance and remains our top priority."Nagle, a 14-year registered nurse, could not immediately be reached for comment.A petition calling for Nagle to be allowed to continue practising as a registered nurse garnered the 1,500 signatures it aimed to collect by noon on Thursday before now pushing to reach 2,500. "People are attacking this human who has an impeccable patient/nurse relationship," the petition states. "She has never brought any harm to them, nor would she ever put herself in a position to cause harm."Among other things, the petition states Nagle took no part in the Capitol protests and was only in D.C. because a summit organized by a group called Global Frontline Nurses had been moved from Florida to the American capital. It also says she has self-quarantined as required. "There are countless nurses who understand that something is not right with the system right now and are terrified from speaking out for fear of getting fired or have their licenses stripped," the petition states.Those signing the online petition called Nagle's fight one of free speech. "Freedom of speech is imperative in a democratic society," said one signatory, identified as Amanda Nafziger. The College of Nurses of Ontario has previously said it was investigating both Nagle and Sarah Choujounian, a registered practical nurse since 2004. The college said it could not provide details and had no further comment on Tuesday.Nagle and Choujounian both spoke at the Jan. 6 rally organized by Global Frontline Nurses, which maintains "fraud is rampant" regarding the COVID-19 crisis inside and outside hospitals.At the summit, Nagle said nurses were being threatened for speaking out or holding contrary views. She slammed policies she said isolate new mothers at a critical time."We are sharing truth with you whatever the cost may be,'' Nagle said. "Nurses, it is our time to rise."Choujounian had spent most of her career at a north Toronto nursing home until last year, has publicly decried COVID-19 vaccines as "experimental" and "unsafe." The founder of a group called Nurses Against Lockdowns, she has called the vaccine promotion and use a "crime against humanity."Global Frontline Nurses has called on nurses to come forward ahead of a news conference on Jan. 21.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2021. Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
CALGARY — What Marie-Philip Poulin looks forward to the most at the Canadian women's hockey team camp is simply lining up for drills and seeing her teammates' faces. It's been 10 months since the national women's hockey team was on the ice together. Hockey Canada obtained the necessary exemptions from Alberta Health to hold a 14-day camp in Calgary amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Poulin, Canada's captain, has missed the competition and camaraderie desperately. "It means a lot. It's been a long time coming," said the 29-year-old forward from Beauceville Que. "Just being back here as a group in Calgary, it's going to be awesome just to get back on the ice and really connect." All players and staff were told to quarantine for seven days and get tested for the virus before heading to Calgary. Of the 47 players invited, 35 arrived Sunday to quarantine in their hotel rooms and be tested four times over five days. Barring positive tests, the players were scheduled to start skating in groups of three Tuesday before larger groups hit the ice Thursday. Three intrasquad games are planned. "These women want the opportunity to just compete a little bit against each other," head coach Troy Ryan said. "That's one of the biggest things we're going to be able to provide them at this camp. "It brings a little bit of normal life back to them. Although it looks totally different, I think it kind of gives them a little bit of hope." The dozen invitees not in Calgary were classified as "unable to attend", which ranges from injury, college commitments and COVID exposure, but they'll participate in virtual meetings and activities, said Hockey Canada director of women’s national teams Gina Kingsbury. "We're seeing everyone on the screen. We just won't see everyone on the ice," Kingsbury said. Canada's last international game was Feb. 8, 2020, to cap a five-game Rivalry Series against the United States. At a short camp in Toronto later that month, Hockey Canada finalized the roster for the women's world championship, but the tournament in Nova Scotia was cancelled and rescheduled to April 7-17, 2021. Canada's international games in the 23 months since finishing third in the 2019 world championship in Finland has been limited to seven games against the U.S. The 2019 Four Nations Cup in Sweden was cancelled because of a dispute between the host women's team and its own federation. Women's professional hockey was in transition when the pandemic hit. The majority of the Canadian women's team belongs to the Professional Women's Hockey Players' Association (PWHPA) which has yet to announce any showcase tournaments this winter. So a perfect storm of circumstances has Canada's top female hockey players sorely lacking in meaningful games. Women in the national team pool train in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary hubs under varying restrictions and have skills coaches employed by Hockey Canada. Poulin's on-ice environment in Montreal has ranged from a limit of three players on the ice to larger groups with everyone wearing masks while they skate. "It's been a little difficult," Poulin acknowledged. "It's been challenging, but any time we had a chance to jump on the ice as a group, we took advantage and really pushed each other. Beyond camp is continued uncertainty over if and when the women's world championship will happen. Hockey Canada's operation of the national junior men's team and world under-20 tournament that concluded Jan. 5 in Edmonton paved a path for this women's camp and potentially the world championship to go ahead in a pandemic. "I hear from Hockey Canada the commitment is there," Kingsbury said. "If one country can do it's definitely us and we've shown that with world juniors. "It's just a matter of when in the year that looks like. I'm confident it will happen in the spring. It might be a few weeks later or a month later." The Calgary' camp, which concludes Jan. 30, is normally held in September. Ryan wants the players to focus on what they have and not what they're missing. "There's no way we would have been able to do this camp a few months ago, so it's a step in the right direction for sure," he said. "All the things that had to be done to make this camp possible, if you're not someone that steps back from that and actually appreciates it, I'm not sure that's the type of person we're going to have success with." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2021. Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press
BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel and the governors of Germany’s 16 states agreed Tuesday to extend the country’s pandemic restrictions until mid-February amid concerns that new mutations of the coronavirus could trigger a fresh surge in cases. The country's infection rate has stabilized in recent days, indicating that existing restrictions may have been effective in bringing down the numbers. On Tuesday, Germany's disease control centre reported 11,369 newly confirmed infections and 989 deaths, for an overall death toll of 47,622. However, surging infections in Britain and Ireland, said to be caused by a more contagious virus variant, had German officials worried that the mutation could also spread quickly there too if measures weren't extended or even toughened, prompting Merkel and the governors to bring forward a meeting previously planned for next week. “All our efforts to contain the spread of the virus face a serious threat,” Merkel told reporters in Berlin, citing the mutated version of the virus. In addition to extending the closure of restaurants, most stores and schools until Feb. 14, officials also agreed to require people to wear the more effective FFP2 or KN95 masks on public transport and stores. They also want to require employers to let staff work from home if possible to avoid office-driven infections. The governor of the eastern state of Saxony, which until recently had the highest rates on infection in the country, said it was important to drive the number of new cases down further. “We're currently seeing in Britain what happens when a mutation occurs, when the numbers explode," he told news channel n-tv. “We can't remain at this level.” Medical workers have been demanding an extension or toughening of the shutdown since many hospitals are still on edge, with intensive care wards overflowing in some areas. “The current measures on limiting social contacts seem to be showing an effect,” Susanne Johna, the head of the physicians' association Marburger Bund, told the dpa news agency, adding that the measures should continue to be upheld to further reduce new infections. “We urgently need further relief,” Johna said. ___ Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic,https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Kirsten Grieshaber And Frank Jordans, The Associated Press
BOSTON — A Massachusetts-based political scientist and author is accused of secretly working for the government of Iran while lobbying U.S. officials on issues like nuclear policy, federal authorities said Tuesday. Kaveh Lotfolah Afrasiabi was arrested by FBI agents at his home in Watertown, Massachusetts, on Monday, officials said. He is charged in New York City federal court with acting and conspiring to act as an unregistered agent of Iran. Afrasiabi, an Iranian citizen and a lawful permanent resident of the United States, was expected to appear in court later Tuesday. An email seeking comment was sent to his attorney. Authorities said that Afrasiabi has been paid by Iranian diplomats assigned to the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations in New York City since at least 2007, while making TV appearances, writing articles and lobbying U.S. officials to support the Iranian government's agenda. In 2009, Afrasiabi helped an unidentified congressman draft a letter to President Barack Obama about U.S. and Iranian nuclear negotiations, according to court documents. He never disclosed that he was working for Iran, officials said. After the U.S. military airstrike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, Afrasiabi told Iran’s foreign minister and permanent representative to the United Nations that Iran should “end all inspections and end all information on Iran’s nuclear activities pending a (United Nations Security Council) condemnation of (the United States’) illegal crime,'" according to court documents. Assistant Attorney General John Demers said Afrasiabi meanwhile portrayed himself "to Congress, journalists and the American public as a neutral and objective expert on Iran." “Mr. Afrasiabi never disclosed to a Congressman, journalists or others who hold roles of influence in our country that he was being paid by the Iranian government to paint an untruthfully positive picture of the nation," William Sweeney, assistant director-in-charge of the FBI's New York Field Office, said in a statement. Alanna Durkin Richer, The Associated Press
Specific details about workplace outbreaks of COVID-19 are not made public in most of Canada. Toronto is starting to make the information available, arguing that transparency increases accountability, but others wonder whether ‘naming and shaming’ does more harm than good.
The United States swore in its 46th President on Jan. 20, 2021. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris attended their inauguration in Washington, D.C. with a slew of distinguished guests, but few onlookers as the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a need for social distancing.Several past presidents were in attendance, including Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George Bush Jr., however the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, did not attend. Trump flew to his golf club in Florida earlier in the day. Outgoing Vice President Mike Pence did attend the ceremony with his wife.For all the latest on the U.S. inauguration, click this link for live updates.
VAL-D’OR-La Ville de Val-d’Or est devenue lundi soir la première municipalité au Québec à s’engager dans le mouvement pour le respect dans la démocratie. La campagne, lancée un peu plus tôt dans la journée par l’Union des municipalités du Québec, vise à assainir le climat d’intimidation qui prévaut actuellement dans le monde municipal. «Avec les réseaux sociaux, les risques de dérape sont plus présents, indique le maire de Val-d’Or, Pierre Corbeil. Grâce à la technologie, c’est plus facile maintenant d’exprimer son opinion, et ce, dans l’anonymat le plus total. La conséquence, c’est que certains élus sont victimes de menaces qui n’existaient pas auparavant. Le dossier des chevreuils à Longueuil en est un bel exemple.» Des propos de plus en plus durs Pierre Corbeil a plus de 30 ans d’expérience en politique. D’abord élu comme conseiller en 1988, il est aire de Val-d’Or depuis 2013, après un passage à l’Assemblée nationale de 2003 à 2007, puis de 2008 à 2012. Sans avoir été la cible de menaces ou d’intimidation, il constate que le vocabulaire employé à son endroit est plus cru, surtout en période de pandémie, où les citoyens sont plus à cran qu’à l’habitude. «Les gens ne font pas dans la dentelle, image le maire. Les commentaires sont salés, voire acerbes. On l’a vu ici entre autres en 2019, avec le dossier Sandra Gaudet, ou avec les militants anti-discrimination. Quand j’ai commencé en politique, on n’était pas témoins de ça. De temps à autre, il y avait ds sorties dans les médias, mais les commentaires ont augmenté en quantité et en intensité.» D’autres actions Le maire de Val-d’Or croit que si la situation ne s’améliore pas, la démocratie pourrait en souffrir, surtout au niveau municipal. «Avant, on voulait encourager les gens à s’impliquer dans le milieu municipal. Avec la situation actuelle, on essaie maintenant de ne pas les décourager de s’impliquer, affirme M. Corbeil. Les interventions sur les médias sociaux ont un effet de cumul, et certains hésitent à se lancer en politique pour ces raisons.» Le maire Corbeil, qui est membre du conseil d’administration de l’UMQ, explique que la résolution adoptée lundi soir pas son conseil, n’est qu’une première étape. «On est actuellement en mode sensibilisation, explique-t-il. On veut éveiller les consciences sur les conséquences du manque de respect dans l’espace public. On va voir lors des assises de l’UMQ, en mai, s’il y a lieu de poser d’autres actions. Il faut avoir à l’esprit que toutes les municipalités au Québec tiendront des élections en novembre prochain.» M. Corbeil croit que d’autres municipalités emboîteront le pas au cours des prochains jours. «C’est un hasard du calendrier si nous sommes les premiers à adopter la résolution, explique-t-il. À leur prochaine séance, d’autres municipalités vont se joindre au mouvement.»Michel Ducas, Initiative de journalisme local, La Presse Canadienne
GEORGETOWN – Holland College's president recalls a time when he struggled to find a job because for every job there was a surplus of workers trying to get it. "I can tell you without any degree of uncertainty that that is not the case anymore," Alexander (Sandy) MacDonald said. These days, industries such as early childhood care, resident care and correctional policing need workers, but either there aren't enough available or there are barriers keeping people from attaining the necessary skills, he said. "I can't think of a single industry on P.E.I. that isn't short on labour." MacDonald is hopeful that the college's new strategic plan will help to counter this with its four guiding principles, which he outlined during a presentation at Kings Playhouse in Georgetown on Jan. 12. The principles are innovative and flexible programming, support and inclusion, environmental leadership and corporate innovation. "Our budget (will be) framed around these four things," he said. The college has already adapted some of its programs around the first principle. Last year, the college's early childhood care program partnered with workplaces so students could start the program and learn the basics, then jump into work while still enrolled in the two-year program. Similarly, students pursuing a Red Seal apprenticeship would normally have to take time off work to attend the college's programming, which could be a deterrent for students who have to prioritize a steady income. Moving forward, Red Seal students will be able to continue working while taking part in virtual education. "(Now) they're earning and learning at the same time," MacDonald said. "It's not that there's anything new in the content, it's just in how we deliver it." As well, the college's bioscience program has partnered with UPEI via a joint program that mixes the college's expertise in applied learning with the university's focus on theory. In addition, an entry-level cook position was added to the college's culinary program as many restaurants don't need a fully-trained chef, MacDonald said. The second principle is about better supporting the college's diverse student base, such as people of ethnicity, people with learning disabilities or people with past traumas or addictions. About $300,000 has been set aside toward one day constructing a student support centre. "We have four counsellors now," MacDonald said. "We probably should have eight." The third principle pertains to responding responsibly to the impacts of climate change, such as by reviewing all programs to see about using greener techniques or by reassessing the possibility of including a transit pass in student union fees. As well, the college recently submitted a report to government outlining a potential centre that would act as a headquarters for P.E.I.'s 24 watershed groups, MacDonald said. The fourth principle, which involves the intent to invest in effective partnerships, opportunities and technologies, has proven challenging. That’s because it requires the college to change or restructure how it operates, such as by framing its budget around the four principals. "Because we want to make sure we're spending every nickel as efficiently as possible," he said. Twitter.com/dnlbrown95 Daniel Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Guardian
VANCOUVER — Dozens of peer support workers on the front lines of Vancouver's overdose crisis are about to be unionized in a move aimed at formally recognizing the role they play in saving lives. Andrew Ledger, president of CUPE Local 1004, says the workers voted 100 per cent in favour of joining the union last March. But he says certification has been delayed by several factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic and a challenge to certification filed by the employer, PHS Community Services Society. PHS Community Services did not immediately respond to an interview request. Ledger says the Labour Relations Board of British Columbia is expected to issue its official certification this week, affecting about 40 workers. Peer workers at overdose prevention sites, needle depots and other harm reduction services are employees with experiences similar to those they serve. Ledger says some have worked for decades without benefits like paid vacation or the ability to collectively negotiate higher wages. "It's access to benefits, it's acknowledgment of their service, it will establish seniority for these workers, it's job protection. It's all the same rights and benefits that their co-workers receive," Ledger says. "Those are really important for all workers and I think it's long overdue that these long-serving peer employees receive the same benefits." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2021. The Canadian Press
Just a day before Joe Biden’s inauguration as the next U.S. president, Ontario Premier Doug Ford asked the next American president for Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines from U.S. facilities.
Guatemala on Tuesday pressed on with transporting migrants back to the border with Honduras, further thinning out a U.S.-bound caravan that was halted by security forces at the weekend. Nearly 8,000 people entered Guatemala from Honduras last week, local authorities said. A Reuters witness estimated around a quarter of them, many with children, ended up stuck in the village of Vado Hondo when Guatemalan forces barred passage.
Richmond’s Chimo Community Services is encouraging people to bundle up and help raise funds for their fifth annual Coldest Night of the Year event. Money raised will support people experiencing homelessness, hurt and hunger. The family-friendly walk is completely virtual this year and will take place from Feb. 6 to 20. People can walk alone, or with members of their bubbles, throughout the community—while joining together with thousands of other participants in 149 cities across Canada. The Richmond event will see people walking outdoors on a self-designed route of two or five kilometres. Participants who raise over $150, or youth participants who raise over $75, will receive a unique toque to stay warm during their walk. Chimo is hoping to raise $25,000 to support their services. An anticipated 100 walkers and 16 teams are expected to brave the cold weather. The local lead sponsor is Vancity Richmond, as well as other sponsors Turning Point Recovery and Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Chimo has been serving Richmond for 48 years, and funds raised during the Coldest Night of the Year event will benefit clients during a time of year known historically for low levels of giving. Participants can register for Chimo’s Coldest Night of the Year at cnoy.org/register Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel
CALGARY — A Crown prosecutor says he will be seeking an adult sentence for an accused teen if he is convicted in a Calgary police officer's death. Doug Taylor made the comment at the start of a bail hearing Tuesday for the 18-year-old. The accused was 17 when he was charged earlier this month with first-degree murder in the death of Sgt. Andrew Harnett, so cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. The officer was hit and dragged while attempting to stop an SUV with plates that didn't match on New Year's Eve. Paramedics and fellow officers tried to revive him, but he died in hospital nearly an hour later. Police allege the youth was driving the vehicle and a 19-year-old, who also faces a charge of first-degree murder, was a passenger. "I, of course on behalf of the attorney general, have just filed a notice of intention by the attorney general to apply for an adult sentence," Taylor told court. An adult sentence for a young offender convicted of first-degree murder is life in prison with no parole eligibility for 10 years. Taylor said the Crown is also opposing the young man's release from custody. The co-accused in the case, Amir Abdulrahman is to appear in court Feb. 4. His lawyer, Balfour Der, has said he intends to seek bail on Feb. 12. Court documents indicate that, at the time Harnett was killed, Adbulrahman was wanted on outstanding warrants on several charges, including assault and failing to appear in court. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2021 — Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press