Regan is among the photographers to have put their names to a new project aimed at 11-18 year olds called ‘Show and Tell’ that hopes to encourage youngsters to use photography to support their mental health during the global pandemic.
Regan is among the photographers to have put their names to a new project aimed at 11-18 year olds called ‘Show and Tell’ that hopes to encourage youngsters to use photography to support their mental health during the global pandemic.
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and his team are headed to Saudi Arabia and Qatar this week for talks in a region simmering with tension after the killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist. A senior administration official said on Sunday that Kushner is to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Saudi city of Neom, and the emir of Qatar in that country in the coming days.
The head of a U.S. biotechnology company that is developing one of the most promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates says Canada is not far behind other countries when it comes to receiving doses of its vaccine, despite criticism of the government's procurement plan from the Conservative opposition. "Canada is not at the back of the line," Noubar Afeyan, co-founder and chairman of Moderna, told CBC's Chief Political Correspondent Rosemary Barton on Sunday. Afeyan said because Canada was among the first countries to make a pre-order with Moderna, the country is guaranteed to receive a certain portion of the company's initial batch of doses as long as the vaccine proves safe and effective and is given regulatory approval. "The people who were willing to move early on with even less proof of the efficacy have assured the amount of supply they were willing to sign up to," Afeyan said in an interview on Rosemary Barton Live. "Nothing that happened subsequently can affect that." Moderna's mRNA vaccine is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials and preliminary data released two weeks ago show it appears to be 94.5 per cent effective. Millions of doses procured The federal government secured an agreement on Aug. 5 with Moderna for 20 million doses of its vaccine, with the option to procure an additional 36 million doses. The U.S. announced a deal for up to 500 million doses just days later while the U.K. and European Union inked deals with Moderna only in the past two weeks. In total, Canada has procured some 358 million doses from seven companies — the most per capita of any country in the world, according to research from Duke University's Global Health Institute. WATCH | Federal government pressured on when Canadians will get COVID-19 vaccine Despite that promising news, the Liberal government came under intense pressure this week to lay out a timeline for when Canadians will begin receiving an inoculation as countries like the U.S., U.K. and Germany have all announced plans to begin vaccinating their populations in December. Opposition politicians and some premiers argued Canada was falling behind other countries in its planning after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canadians would have to wait to get vaccinated because the first doses of any vaccine will go to people in the countries where the vaccines are being manufactured. Federal officials said on Thursday that if all goes well as many as three million Canadians — mainly those in "high-priority groups" — could be vaccinated in early 2021. One day later, Trudeau said that Canada is on track to vaccinate nearly every person who wants a shot by September 2021. But officials have provided few details about the government's plan to roll out a vaccine once Health Canada gives one the green light. Conservative critiques At a press conference on Sunday, Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole repeated his view that Canada is behind other countries in procuring a vaccine. "While the Americans and the British are talking about mass vaccination throughout December and January, our government is now talking about getting Canadians vaccinated by September," O'Toole said. "We need to show Canadians that there is a plan for the vaccine." O'Toole said the Trudeau government only turned its attention to pre-ordering tens of millions of vaccine doses from companies such as Pfizer and Moderna in August after its collaboration between the National Research Council and Chinese vaccine maker CanSino collapsed following months of delays. "I would not have put all our eggs in the basket of China," O'Toole said. Regulatory approval pending Companies have compressed the time it normally takes to develop a vaccine by initiating the manufacturing of doses even before studies into their efficacy are completed as part of a global effort to develop COVID-19 vaccines as quickly as possible to bring the pandemic to an end. Moderna is in the process of applying for emergency-use authorization with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Once the company obtains that authorization, Afeyan said it will begin shipping doses to countries that have made pre-orders, including Canada. Afeyan said he expects to start shipping the vaccine to Canada in the first quarter of 2021 and the quantity of shipments should increase through the second quarter and throughout the rest of the year. The company expects to be able to produce a total of 20 million doses by the end of 2020 and between 500 million and 1 billion doses throughout 2021. Moderna submitted early safety and pre-clinical data from Phase 1 and 2 trials with Health Canada last month as part of the regulator's rolling regulatory review process. Health Canada must approve any COVID-19 vaccine before it can be distributed to Canadians. Experts say Moderna's vaccine — which requires two shots taken 28 days apart — will be relatively easy to store and distribute because the vaccine can remain stable at normal fridge temperatures of 2 C to 8 C for 30 days. By contrast, another leading candidate manufactured by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer must be shipped and stored at -70 C. WATCH | Health Minister on how the federal government should address vaccine hesitancy: Health Minister Patty Hajdu said it's difficult to nail down a delivery date at the moment for any of the leading vaccine candidates because of the long list of uncertainties stemming from unfinished clinical trials, ongoing regulatory reviews, and manufacturing and logistical challenges related to distribution. "We're all anxious to get out of this mess as a world, but certainly as a country as well," Hajdu said. "As Canada's health minister, I'm staying focused on Canadians and on our own process, making sure our delivery plans are well laid out and that we have what we need in terms of being able to deliver on the variety of different kinds of vaccines." Hajdu added that her top priority is ensuring that Health Canada has what it needs to make sure the regulatory process proceeds smoothly so that any vaccines that are approved are safe and effective.
A new program that will pay for former youth in care to go to university is money well spent, according to both Memorial University's president and an advocate for children in foster care.The program will cover the cost of four years of undergraduate tuition and fees for young people who have been in the foster care system, something MUN President Vianne Timmons says will give those students "a hand up." "It's really important for those young people to see, and to know, that university is accessible for them … I wanted to make sure that this group in particular had the hope and the resources for a positive future," she said."We do have scholarships and bursaries to support lots of students but we wanted to target this group because so many, when they hit 18 years old, are lost. They don't have the system behind them to support them."The university said in a news release Thursday that the program would be made available for 20 students, but Timmons told CBC News she's willing to expand it if necessary."I guarantee you, if there's more than 20 that step up, we're lifting that cap. Our registrar does not know that yet, but I'm saying this," she said."I want to make sure that anyone who has gone through the foster system has access to a university education with undue harm."> This is a program that changes lives. \- Vianne TimmonsTimmons said the initiative is so important to her, she will personally donate enough money to cover the tuition of one of the students availing of the program."[I] came from a family where no one went to university. All six of us, my brothers and sisters, got access to a university education. It changed our lives," she said."So this is a program that changes lives."In addition to putting forward her own money, Timmons said the university will be looking for donations and reviewing its own spending to cover the cost of the program, diverting funds from other areas if necessary.The program will launch in the Spring 2021 semester with Timmons saying the program will continue as long as she is president, and hopefully long after.'A game changer'Heather Modlin, provincial director of fostering agency Key Assets, says the program will likely have a huge effect in the lives of the young people who avail of it."This has the potential to really be a game changer for children in care and children who have been in care," she said.Modlin said making a education more accessible to youth who have been in foster care is a vote of confidence in those children from the university."I've worked with young people in care for a really long time and I've known some extraordinarily intelligent, innovative, creative, resilient young people who haven't always had the same opportunities in life that other children may have," she said."When children know there's an opportunity, they will rise to meet that … children in care have gotten a really loud and clear message from the university that we believe in you, you belong here and we want to make it possible for you to come to university."And the effect of program goes beyond the individual, Modlin said."Whenever we give people an opportunity to get out of a cycle and create a healthier cycle, there are economic benefits, there are mental health benefits, there are impacts on our health care [system]."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Liam Docherty may be only 13 years old, but he's already garnering attention from the Canadian blues establishment. The young Qualicum Beach, B.C.-based singer-songwriter has been nominated for the New Artist of the Year category in the Maple Blues Awards, which recognize the best blues musicians across the country."It's a really big deal," Liam told host Gloria Macarenko on CBC's On The Coast.Liam first picked up the guitar when he was aged four, having been introduced to the instrument by his father. A concert by Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel in 2015 exposed Liam to the blues and the finger-picking style. "I kept on practising over the years," he said. "When I was seven, I learned some pop songs and I'd busk at the Salt Spring Island farmers market."Liam's performances earned him the moniker "red-headed blues boy" from locals. He was supposed to perform at the Vancouver Island Music Festival and the Nanaimo Blues Festival before they were cancelled due to COVID-19.Instead, he put out his first album, Modern Magic Melody, which earned him the award nomination. "I never actually expected this," he said. Organic songwriting processLiam says his songwriting process is something that flows organically from his love of playing."I always come up with new pieces. If I like them, I record them and start working on them and building them out," he said.For his lyrics, Liam collects phrases and words he likes from books and poems in a journal."They change during the songwriting process, of course, [but] those [phrases] can be a foundation for songs," he said. He also gets ideas from reading about his favourite blues musicians. Reading about Robert Leroy Johnson, an American blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter, and how he was affected by the Mississippi Delta flood, inspired Liam to write his own song about the historic event, Wipe My Weeping Eyes."I pick up the guitar every day ... I just love playing it so much," he said.
CHICAGO — Public health officials in Illinois on Sunday reported 57 more deaths from COVID-19, as well as 7,178 new confirmed and probable cases.There have been 720,114 COVID-19 cases in Illinois since the pandemic began. The death toll has reached 12,193 people.The state reported 62,740 tests in the past 24 hours with more than 10.4 million tests overall.Currently, 5,858 people in Illinois are being hospitalized for COVID-19, with 1,185 people in intensive care units.___HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:—Fauci: US may see ‘surge upon surge’ of virus in coming weeks—U.K. stocks up on vaccines, hopes to start virus shots within days— Federal judges uphold Kentucky governor's virus school order—When Turkey changed the way it reports COVID-19 infections, it confirmed what many long suspected: The country faces an alarming surge of cases—The European plazas where people gather at Christmas are new just empty squares due to the pandemic.—COVID-19 is causing havoc in the NFL: The Denver Broncos have no quarterbacks. The San Francisco 49ers have no home stadium. And the Baltimore Ravens may not have enough players available for their next game.___Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak___HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:NEW YORK -- New York City will reopen its school system to in-person learning and increase the number of days a week many children attend class even as the coronavirus pandemic intensifies in the city.Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday that some elementary schools and pre-kindergarten programs will resume classes Dec. 7. Others will take longer to reopen their doors. The announcement marks a major policy reversal for the nation’s largest school system.It comes just 11 days after de Blasio announced that schools were shutting down because of a rising number of cases. The plan for reopening middle and high schools is still being developed.Some elementary schools and pre-kindergarten programs will resume classes Dec. 7, a week from Monday, the mayor said. Others will take longer to reopen their doors.___INDIANAPOLIS: Public health officials in Indiana say 24 more people have died from the new coronavirus for a total of 5,418 deaths in the state.The Indiana Department of Health reported 4,335 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. The overall number of cases in the state is 333,312.Public health officials say there are another 267 people who likely died from COVID-19 based on clinical diagnoses but for whom there’s no positive test on record.___BEIRUT — The recorded coronavirus death toll in Lebanon has topped 1,000, just as the small Mediterranean country of about 6 million plans to ease a two-week nationwide lockdown.Lebanon’s Health Ministry reported 13 new deaths on Sunday, raising the toll to 1,004. An additional 1,266 new infections have brought registered infections to 126,903 since February.Health Minister Hassan Hamad said the government plans to ease a two-week lockdown that ends Monday. Hamad said the lockdown has given the battered health sector some breathing room, allowing the government to expand ICU capacity in the country.The lockdown included a curfew from sunset to sunrise.Lebanon is facing a crippling financial and economic crisis which had preceded the coronavirus restrictions and was only deepened by a massive explosion in Beirut’s port. The damage from the blast has further strained limited resources, particularly in the health sector.___ISTANBUL— Turkey’s COVID-19 fatalities continued to rise Sunday, hitting another record with 185 new deaths.The death toll has reached 13,558, according to health ministry statistics. The number of critically ill patients has climbed over 5,000.The ministry said 29,281 people had tested positive in the past 24 hours. The Turkish government resumed reporting all positive cases this week after only reporting symptomatic patients for four months.Nighttime curfews over the weekend are in effect for a second week across the country but media reports show packed public spaces during the day.___ATHENS, Greece — Greek authorities announced 1,193 new coronavirus cases Sunday, a significantly lower daily figure than recently.The total number of cases since the pandemic began is 104,227.There were also 98 deaths over the past day, pushing the total number of fatalities to 2,321.Despite the drop, the public health system remained close to capacity, as far as the number of specialized intensive care units go. There are 603 patients on ventilators, authorities said.In the northern city of Thessaloniki, where most of the new cases have occurred recently, patients are now being transferred to private clinics requisitioned for the purpose. The first transfers took place Sunday.___BERLIN — Austria’s defence minister has tested positive for the new coronavirus, becoming the second member of the country’s Cabinet to be infected.The Austria Press Agency reported that her ministry said Sunday Defence Minister Klaudia Tanner is doing well and will work from home. She had already been in quarantine for 10 days because she had been in contact with another person who tested positive.Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg tested positive for the virus in mid-October and returned to his ministry later that month after showing no symptoms.Austria on Nov. 17 deepened lockdown measures in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. They are due to run though Dec. 6.Infection rates have declined in the Alpine country, but Chancellor Sebastian Kurz cautioned in an interview with Sunday’s edition of the Kleine Zeitung newspaper that Austrians will still have to live with “massive restrictions” after that.___ROME — For a second straight day, the number of additional deaths of COVID-19 patients dropped considerably in Italy, according to Health Ministry statistics released Sunday.Also lower were the number of beds occupied by hospitalized COVID-19 patients.There were 541 deaths of persons with confirmed coronavirus infections since Saturday, compared to 686 on the previous day and 827 on the day before that.Since the pandemic began, Italy has tallied 54,904 known deaths. Daily new caseload numbers also dropped considerably – 20,648 on Sunday, compared to 26,323 on Saturday -- but as often happens on weekends, there were far fewer COVID-19 swab tests performed since the previous day. Italy’s total of confirmed cases in the pandemic rose to 1,585,178.Doctors and other health experts are urging the Italian government to maintain most of the current anti-COVID-19 restrictions in the run-up before Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. They fear that crowds of travellers, shoppers and revelers would trigger another surge in contagion.___HONOLULU -- A group of Hawaii leaders launched a campaign Sunday to promote the islands as an appealing location for a remote office with a view.Now that many companies, especially in the tech industry, allow employees to work from anywhere during the pandemic, they hope Hawaii will be alluring.They’re also throwing in roundtrip tickets to Honolulu for the first 50 approved applicants.Some say high-paid workers will bolster an economy decimated by dramatically fewer tourists.Others worry what those with Silicon Valley money will mean for housing, especially when there’s already a crunch for affordable places to live.___PRAGUE — The Czech government said Sunday it is easing measures imposed to contain the new coronavirus due to falling numbers of new confirmed cases.Health Minister Jan Blatny said all stores, restaurants and bars can reopen on Thursday and a ban on Sunday sales is lifted.Restaurants can be open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., though they are limited to 50% of their capacity. Stores and shopping centres also must limit the number of customers.Hair salons, fitness centres and gyms are allowed to reopen, as are zoos, museums and galleries.The Czech Republic was among the hardest hit by a new wave of infections in the fall, but the number of new cases has been on a decline since Nov 4.The country of almost 10.7 million had 518,649 confirmed cases with 8,054 fatalities. The day-to-day increase of new cases reached 2,667 on Saturday.___PARIS — France’s highest administrative court on Sunday ordered a rethink of a 30-person attendance limit for religious services put in place by the government to slow down the spread of coronavirus.The measure took effect this weekend as France relaxes some virus restrictions, but it faced opposition by places of worship and the faithful who called it arbitrary and unreasonable. Even before the ruling, several bishops had announced they would not enforce the restrictions and some churches were expected defy it.The Council of State has ordered that Prime Minister Jean Castex modify the measure within three days.French churches, mosques and synagogues started opening their doors again to worshippers this weekend — but only a few of them, as France cautiously starts reopening after its latest virus lockdown.Many people expressed irritation outside several Paris churches where priests held services for groups that numbered over 30.___BAGHDAD — Iraq has reopened its schools amid a raging pandemic that has claimed more than 12,000 lives across the country, with kids returning to socially-distanced classrooms and other safety measures Sunday.Students will be attending school only one day per week according to a rotation system meant to prevent crowding and the spread of the new coronavirus, according to the Education Ministry.Iraq, like much of the rest of the world, has resorted to distance learning after schools closed in February due to the virus outbreak. But online education is out of reach for many in a country with poor infrastructure that has suffered decades of war.Iraq has the second-highest outbreak and number of deaths in the Middle East region after Iran, with more than 500,000 confirmed cases, according to Health Ministry figures.Daily infection rates average 2,400 cases per day — a slower rate than in previous weeks — but health workers say the number may be higher as many Iraqis with symptoms choose to stay home and avoid hospitals to get tested.___ISLAMABAD — Pakistan has recorded 43 more deaths and 2,829 new COVID-19 cases.With the new figures, Pakistan's tally of COVID-19 deaths is now 7,985.___HONG KONG — Hong Kong has reported 115 new coronavirus infections, the first time it has seen cases in the triple digits since Aug. 2.The government on Sunday also announced that classes at kindergarten, primary and secondary schools will be shut for the rest of the year in light of the worsening coronavirus situation in the city.Of the 115 infections reported Sunday, 24 were untraceable. Another 62 were linked to recent outbreaks in dance studios across the city, taking the total number of infections in that cluster to 479, health officials said.Employees and recent guests at three restaurants in the city have also been ordered to undergo compulsory testing after multiple positive cases had been linked to the venues.Hong Kong has reported 6,239 coronavirus infections since the pandemic began, with 109 deaths.___SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea is shutting down indoor gyms offering intense workout classes and banning year-end parties at hotels in the greater Seoul area to fight the virus.Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said Sunday authorities will also ban the operation of private music institutes teaching singing and wind instruments and saunas at public bath houses in the capital area. He said fitness centres, cafes and libraries operating inside apartment complexes will also be closed. The new steps will be effective from Tuesday.The country reported 450 new cases on Sunday. South Korea on Thursday registered more than 500 new virus cases for the first time in eight months.—-PHOENIX — University of Arizona researchers say the current surge in the coronavirus outbreak will present the state with a hospital crisis that could become a disaster unless the state takes steps such as ordering a three-week stay-home shutdown and implementing a statewide mask mandate.Members of the university’s COVID Modeling Team said failing to take such steps would be like facing a major forest fire without evacuation orders. It also recommends providing economic aid to affected small businesses and families and preventing evictions and foreclosures.The team has tracked the outbreak since last spring and made its recommendations in a letter Friday to the state Department of Health Services.Many local governments have imposed mask mandates since Gov. Doug Ducey last summer lifted a prohibition on such orders. The local mandates cover an estimated 90% of the state’s population but enforcement is lax or nonexistent in some places.Arizona on Saturday reported 4,136 additional known COVID-19 cases and 36 more deaths.The Associated Press
ATLANTA — Bishop Reginald Jackson stepped to the microphone at a drive-in rally outside a church in southwest Atlanta as his voice carried over a loudspeaker and the radio to people gathered in, around and on top of cars that filled the parking lot.“Let’s keep Georgia blue," Jackson said. “Let’s elect Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock to the United States Senate.” The presiding bishop of more than 400 African Methodist Episcopal churches in Georgia added a pastoral flourish as horns honked and supporters cheered: “If I have a witness, somebody say amen!"As Georgia becomes the nation’s political hotspot this winter before twin runoff elections Jan. 5 that will determine control of the Senate, faith-based organizing is heating up.Conservative Christians are rallying behind Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, while Black churches and liberal-leaning Jewish groups are backing Democratic challengers Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. The Democrats' fates are seen as intertwined in a state that this year turned blue in the presidential election for the first time since 1992 by a razor-thin margin.“These runoffs are critically important,” Jackson said. “We want to make sure there is no decrease in turnout.”Across Georgia, the African Methodist Episcopal Church is implementing a program designed to ensure its members, and Black voters overall, cast ballots in the runoff — focusing on votes by mail and early in-person voting. Pastors at each church remind tens of thousands of congregants every week to apply for an absentee ballot and of early voting dates, Jackson said in an interview. Each local church also follows up with congregants to make sure they have a plan to vote.The New Georgia Project, a nonpartisan voter mobilization group founded by Democrat Stacey Abrams, who ran for governor in 2018, is also preparing to tap the influence of faith communities in stoking turnout.Rev. Billy Honor, director of faith organizing at the group, said the conservative Christian Faith & Freedom Coalition — founded by former Georgia GOP chairman Ralph Reed — has long positioned Georgia “as the home of evangelical fundamentalist types when it comes to the political space."“But the truth is, for a very long time, there has been an active, effective movement of progressive-minded, justice-centred clergy” who have worked in the state on voting rights, health care and other issues, Honor added. He said Warnock was part of that work before his candidacy. Warnock is senior pastor at Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, the congregation led by the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.Meanwhile, Loeffler and Perdue can expect to benefit from a conservative Christian base that has long boosted the state’s Republicans. Faith & Freedom made Georgia one of its top three spending targets in a $50 million get-out-the-vote program during the general election and plans increased organizing for the runoffs.The reach of "the evangelical vote in Georgia is very large and very strong,” Timothy Head, the group’s executive director, said in an interview.Head noted that while President Donald Trump kept a strong hold on white evangelical voters this year, Perdue out-performed Trump in Georgia during the general election. President-elect Joe Biden may have won over some evangelicals by contrasting his character with that of Trump, Head said, but he argued that the same sort of case would be harder for Democrats to make against Loeffler and Perdue.Another faith-focused conservative group, the legislative affiliate of the Family Research Council, is holding trainings and pastor briefings before the runoffs. The anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, whose president advised Trump’s reelection campaign on Catholic outreach, has announced a $4.1 million plan to boost Loeffler and Perdue through a partner political action committee.Religious issues already have become a campaign flashpoint in the runoff. The GOP has resurfaced excerpts from past Warnock sermons to assail him as insufficiently supportive of the military as well as anti-Israel. The Democrat signed a letter last year comparing Israel's policy toward Palestinians to “previous oppressive regimes" and criticized it in a 2018 sermon, while also calling for a two-state solution in the region.Warnock pushed back in a recently released television ad, saying the attacks are “trying to scare people by taking things I’ve said out of context from over 25 years of being a pastor.”One group criticizing Warnock as too left-leaning on Israel, the Republican Jewish Coalition, is also mobilizing on behalf of the GOP incumbents.Jewish Democrats in Georgia predicted that the GOP attack on Warnock’s Israel record would fall flat, citing his record of friendship with the Jewish community through his pulpit at Ebenezer.Sherry Frank, president of the Atlanta section of the National Council of Jewish Women, said she sees “no doubt in the Jewish community about (Warnock’s) stance on Israel and anti-Semitism.” Frank's group is conducting nonpartisan voter turnout work for the runoffs.Georgia’s Jewish Democrats also see, in Ossoff and Warnock, candidates whose joint push for the Senate harkens back to a tradition of Black and Jewish leaders working together during the civil rights movement. Warnock has a bond with a prominent Atlanta rabbi whose predecessor at the synagogue was close with King.Warnock is viewed “as the inheritor" of King’s legacy, said Michael Rosenzweig, co-chair of the Georgia chapter of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, which has endorsed both Democrats. “And to the extent that Jews were supportive of the civil rights struggle and supportive of (King), I think they look supportively on Rev. Warnock.”Ossoff, who is Jewish, has defended Warnock against GOP criticism over Israel and fondly recalled his own connection to the late Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia civil rights leader who endorsed Ossoff before his death in July. In October, Ossoff said he and Lewis talked during their first meeting about “the bond between the Black and Jewish communities, marching alongside rabbis and young Jewish activists in the mid 1960s ... and how important it was that these communities be brought together."___Schor reported from Washington.___Associated Press religion coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through the Religion News Foundation. The AP is solely responsible for this content.Elana Schor And Ben Nadler, The Associated Press
Friends and relatives of an Ontario Provincial Police officer killed in the line of duty last week remembered him Saturday as a "man of kindness, gentleness and love," who doted on animals and would drop everything to help someone in need. Const. Marc Hovingh died in a shooting on Manitoulin Island that also left a civilian dead.
BUDAPEST, Hungary — After facing strong condemnation, a Hungarian commissioner on Sunday begrudgingly retracted an article comparing American-Hungarian billionaire and philanthropist George Soros, a staunch critic of Hungary’s government, to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.“Europe is George Soros’ gas chamber,” Szilard Demeter, ministerial commissioner and head of the Petofi Literary Museum in Budapest, wrote in an opinion Saturday in the pro-government Origo media outlet. “Poison gas flows from the capsule of a multicultural open society, which is deadly to the European way of life.”The comments drew outrage from Hungary’s Jewish community, including the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation, which called the article “tasteless” and “unforgivable.”“(It's) a textbook case of the relativization of the Holocaust, and is therefore incompatible with the government’s claim of zero tolerance for anti-Semitism,” the group said.In a statement Sunday on Origo, Demeter said he would retract his article “independently of what I think" and will delete his Facebook page.“I will grant that those criticizing me are correct in saying that to call someone a Nazi is to relativize, and that making parallels with Nazis can inadvertently cause harm to the memory of the victims,” he said in a statement.In the article, Demeter, who was appointed by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to oversee cultural production, compared Soros to Hitler, writing he was “the liberal Führer, and his liber-Aryan army deifies him more than did Hitler’s own.”Soros, who was born in Hungary and is a Holocaust survivor, is a frequent target of Orban’s government for his philanthropic activities that favour liberal causes. Government media campaigns targeting Soros have led to charges of anti-Semitism.The article also noted the conflict over the European Union’s next budget, which Hungary and Poland are holding up over provisions that could block payments to countries that do not uphold democratic standards. Demeter referred to the two countries, both of which are under EU investigation for undermining judicial independence and media freedom, as “the new Jews.”The government of Israel, a close ally of Hungary, condemned Demeter’s comments.The Israeli Embassy in Budapest tweeted, “We utterly reject the use and abuse of the memory of the Holocaust for any purpose … There is no place for connecting the worst crime in human history, or its perpetrators, to any contemporary debate.”Gordon Bajnai, a former Hungarian prime minister, wrote on Facebook on Sunday that if Demeter isn't removed from his post by Monday, “Hungarians and the rest of the world will obviously consider (his) statement as the position of the Hungarian government.”Justin Spike, The Associated Press
MAIDGURI, Nigeria — Suspected members of the Islamic militant group Boko Haram killed at least 40 rice farmers and fishermen in Nigeria as they were harvesting crops in the country's northern state of Borno, officials said. One said the death toll could rise to about 60 people. The attack Saturday in a rice field in Garin Kwashebe came on the same day that residents were casting votes for the first time in 13 years to elect local councils, although many didn’t go to cast their ballots. The farmers were reportedly rounded up and summarily killed by armed insurgents in retaliation for refusing to pay extortion to one militant. Malam Zabarmari, a leader of a rice farmers association in Borno state, confirmed the massacre to The Associated Press, saying at least 40 and up to 60 people could have been killed. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari expressed grief over the killings. “I condemn the killing of our hardworking farmers by terrorists in Borno State. The entire country is hurt by these senseless killings. My thoughts are with their families in this time of grief,” he said. Buhari said the government had given the armed forces everything needed “to take all necessary steps to protect the country’s population and its territory.” A member of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Satomi, who represents the Jere Federal constituency of Borno, said at least 44 burials were taking place Sunday. “Farmers and fishermen were killed in cold blood. Over 60 farmers were affected, but we only have so far received 44 corpses from the farms,” the lawmaker said. Boko Haram and a breakaway faction, the Islamic State West Africa Province, are both active in the region. Boko Haram’s more than decade-long insurgency has left thousands dead and displaced tens of thousands. Officials say Boko Haram members often force villagers to pay illegal taxes by taking their livestock or crops but some villagers have begun to resist the extortion. Satomi said the farmers in Garin Kwashebe were attacked because they had disarmed and arrested a Boko Haram gunman on Friday who had been tormenting them. “A lone gunman, who was a member of Boko Haram came to harass the farmers by ordering them to give him money and also cook for him. While he was waiting for the food to be cooked, the farmers seized the moment he stepped into the toilet to snatch his rifle and tied him up,” he said. “They later handed him over to the security. But sadly, the security forces did not protect the courageous farmers. And in reprisal for daring them, the Boko Haram mobilized and came to attack them on their farms.” Insurgents also torched the rice farms before leaving, he said. ___ AP journalist Bashir Adigun in Abuja contributed to this report. Haruna Umar, The Associated Press
It's a troubling time for hundreds of seniors in Windsor-Essex who report feeling lonely during this time of year, many of whom live in isolation.Experts say this feeling of loneliness is heightened this year with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic where people are being more careful and limiting their social interactions.This is where "Be a Santa to a Senior" program comes into play. It's run by Home Instead, a seniors' care business, and aims to assist older adults who feel lonely or are isolated during this time of year by delivering gift packages to them donated by the community."This pandemic has certainly hit our seniors a lot harder than a lot of other populations," said Colleen Jershy, a co-owner of the business in Tecumseh, Ont. "A lot of them are already isolated. A lot of them have family from out of town ... Everybody doesn't want to get anybody sick and so really they've had a lot of social isolation."She also said there are seniors who don't have any family or anyone to visit."We've even had a lot of people they call and they nominate themselves for the program. And they will tell us, you know, I listened to the radio, I heard about the program, I don't have anybody. So, you know, it's very difficult to hear, but at least we can provide a little bit of light to them," she said.Jershy explains how the program works: they collect gift packages and deliver it to those who are financially challenged, isolated and lonely during the holiday season. Some highly requested items include: blankets, hats, gloves, scarves, toiletry, activity books and gift cards. She said those who are looking to donate can "sponsor as many people as possible" and drop off the items they want to donate outside of their office at 1071 Lesperance Rd. They also accept cash donations.This year marks the 10 year anniversary of the program and they're looking to assist 1,616 people. They're accepting gifts until Dec. 4.
Au contraire à ce qui a été véhiculer comme informations, le pont entre Béarn et Fabre ne sera pas fermé mais plusieurs restrictions seront en vigueur à la suite de son inspection par la direction générale de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue du Ministère des Transports (MTQ). « Nous ne fermons pas le pont. Il n’en a d’ailleurs jamais été question. En revanche, à la suite d’une inspection, le pont P-07452 doit être réduit en charges à 10 tonnes pour tous les types de véhicules. Le pont est présentement affiché aux charges légales » nous fait savoir le conseiller en communication de la direction générale de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue du Ministère des Transports, monsieur Luc Adam. De la corrosion au niveau des poutres Cette décision trouve son fondement en se basant sur un minutieux diagnostique technique et pour des raisons sécuritaires. « Le pont P-07452 enjambe le ruisseau l’Africain et est situé sur la route 391 à environ 200 mètres de l’intersection de la route 101 vers le nord. Le pont présente de la corrosion au niveau des poutres et des chevêtres. Or, Étant donné la faiblesse du pont, la baisse de charges vise à protéger la structure tout en assurant la sécurité des usagers et ainsi d’éviter la fermeture » nous explique le conseiller de communication. « Un projet de reconstruction complète de ce pont est en préparation au MTQ mais ces travaux ne peuvent être faits à court terme. Le MTQ travaille cependant à une solution de rétablissement à court terme avec le pont existant » a-t-il ajouté. Impact sur le transport lourd À noter que le débit journalier qui passe sur le pont est de 570 véhicules, dont 38 % de transport lourd. « La réduction de charges aura un impact sur le transport lourd en provenance de Scierie Béarn (25 km de plus vers le sud du Témiscamingue) et le Centre de tri de la MRC (35 km de plus vers le sud du Témiscamingue). Le détour se fait par les routes 391, 382 et 101 via Ville-Marie » souligne Luc Adam. La direction générale de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue nous informe que les partenaires (municipalités, entreprises, transport scolaire, service d’urgences, etc.) ont été informés le 16 novembre 2020. L’autobus scolaire n’est épargné Afin de respecter les nouvelles mesures, le déneigement qui est sous la responsabilité du MTQ dans ce secteur, sera effectué avec un véhicule léger de moins de 10 tonnes. « L’autobus scolaire pourra continuer à y circuler, compte tenu que son poids est inférieur à 10 tonnes. Ainsi un nouvel affichage sera en place dans les prochains jours et par l’occasion un communiqué de presse sera alors diffusé pareillement » précise le conseiller de communication.Moulay Hicham Mouatadid, Initiative de journalisme local, Reflet Témiscamien (Le)
If citizens disbelieve the institutions that count ballots and the organizations that accurately report on those results, it will impossible to agree on what a legitimate election looks like.
Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare (HDGH) has declared an outbreak on the third floor of its rehabilitation tower, according to a Sunday news release. Three staff and two patients have tested positive for COVID-19 and are associated with the outbreak.This comes after the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) says it is investigating a cluster of cases at both Windsor Regional Hospital Ouellette campus and HDGH.According to the release, outbreak measures have been implemented at HDGH on Friday, which includes closing the unit to any new admissions, enhanced cleaning on the unit, and temporarily suspending students, contractors and non-essential staff and the Designated Care Partners Visitation Program on the unit.Daily case count in Windsor-EssexThere are 26 new cases in the region Sunday, with 466 active cases. Eleven people are in hospital and the local death toll is currently 79.In total, the region has 14 outbreaks across four different sectors. There are seven workplace outbreaks, including: * Three in Leamington's agriculture sector. * One in Lakeshore's health care and social assistance sector. * One in a Leamington place of worship. * One in Leamington's finance and insurance sector. * One in Windsor's manufacturing sector. Two community outbreaks are still active, one at Victoria Manor Supportive Living in Windsor and another at Riverplace Residence in Windsor. Two schools — Frank W. Begley Public School and W. J. Langlois Catholic Elementary School — also remain in outbreak.Begley now has 49 cases, 40 are students and nine are staff members. W. J. Langlois has seven cases, four are students and three are staff members.There are three long-term care and retirement homes in outbreak, which include: * Riverside Place in Windsor has 17 resident cases and three staff cases. * Leamington Mennonite in Leamington with one staff case. * Iler Lodge in Essex with 18 resident cases and three staff cases.
The number of COVID-19 cases at the Saskatoon Provincial Correctional Centre has surpassed 100, including both inmates and staff.Glenn Billingsley, the manager of Labour Relations for the Saskatchewan Government Employees Union says as of Saturday night, there were 106 COVID-19 cases in inmates and 22 cases in staff for a total of 128.He says staff at the facility are working hard to keep inmates and each other safe, but notes the situation has put pressure on everyone inside. "What we now see is a rising number of inmates that have received a positive and that's a concern," Billingsley said. "We have grave concerns for our correction workers and the rising anxiety among the inmates, which is becoming more concerning for our staff."The latest update means one-fifth of inmates at the centre have now tested positive for COVID-19. There are almost 500 inmates at the Correctional Centre, according to an inmate who wrote a letter to provincial and federal governments.Billingsley said the union has been hearing concerns about the mental health of its employees as they work through the outbreak, but notes steps are being taken to reduce their risk of exposure."It's become extremely risky for our COs [corrections officers] to be working during this time and we are doing everything needed to request all the proper and approved PPE required," he said, noting it's a "very live situation."An outbreak at the facility was officially recorded on Nov. 17 and cases spread quickly throughout the facility, with some inmates initiating a hunger strike as they called for more measures to separate healthy inmates from their infected peers.Intakes suspended, no visitorsIn a statement, Minister of Policing and Corrections Christine Tell said the provincial government is "deeply concerned" about the rising cases at the facility, saying it has introduced strict measures to slow the spread of the virus. This includes suspending intake at the jail and prohibiting any outside visitors besides staff.On Sunday, Billingsley confirmed they've been told by the ministry positive cases are still being housed in units where other healthy inmates are living, and said those cases are being monitored on an individual basis."At this point, it's almost impossible to separate them into one unit," he said. Billingsley said the level of communication between staff at the Saskatoon facility, the union and the pandemic team has been "extremely co-operative" and says he feels communication is being relayed to both union members and inmates. "What we're seeing is an incredible collective collaboration between both management and the union at the facilities," he said. He said while cases are expected to rise in the next few days, he says they are hopeful the measures in place will work in slowing the spread, saying "within the next week, we should be turning the corner."He said staff at the facility deserve major credit for working their way through a situation that has been anything but easy."The general public, when they understand the seriousness and the risk our correction workers are facing, would realize these core individuals of employees are incredibly dedicated to their jobs and deserve a tremendous amount of credit."
L’Instance régionale de concertation sur la réussite éducative, l’Action Réussite Abitibi-Témiscamingue, la Conférence des préfets de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue ainsi que Petits bonheurs Abitibi-Témiscamingue ont organisé une conférence de presse concernant la Grande semaine des tout-petits qui s’est déroulé du 15 au 21 novembre 2020. C’était une occasion de communiquer et de susciter le dialogue autour du développement des tout-petits, de mettre en lumière des initiatives locales et régionales qui soutiennent la petite enfance et de mobiliser l’ensemble de la société. Plusieurs activités et événements se sont déroulé partout au Québec tout au long de la semaine. Les tout-petits au moment de nos décisions Si les tout-petits du Québec sont l’avenir de notre société, ils sont aussi notre présent. « Il est important que nous développions le réflexe d’avoir les tout-petits en tête au moment de nos décisions, ils sont les citoyens de demain et c’est pour eux ultimement que nous travaillons » souligne le Président de la conférence des préfets et le préfet de la MRC de la Vallée-De-L’Or, monsieur Martin Ferron. L’objectif de la grande semaine est de renforcer la mobilisation d’un grand nombre d’acteurs locaux et régionaux à travers le Québec autour des enjeux liés à la petite enfance et à la périnatalité. L’importance de nos actions Les organisateurs de cette semaine militent à ce que cette mobilisation et cet enthousiasme devaient absolument se poursuivre et, surtout, atteindre les acteurs provenant de milieux moins traditionnellement préoccupés par la petite enfance et la périnatalité, tels que le milieu des affaires ou le secteur municipal. « Il faut ainsi prendre au sérieux l’importance de nos actions à long terme et nos décisions sans bien évidement marginaliser l’importance du présent » a indiqué le Président de la conférence des préfets. « En collaboration avec les organismes de la région, nos municipalités sont engagées dans ce sens au quotidien, leur implication se traduit par l’offre de l’infrastructure et de services municipaux qui facilitent la vie des familles, tels que l’accès à la bibliothèque municipale, les offres d’activités culturelles, sportives et sociales » a-t-il ajouté. Offrir toutes les chances de succès Les acteurs grandement engagés à réussir cette Grande semaine des tout-petits soutiennent la volonté et l’engagement de ces partenaires nationaux de façon à faire de la Grande semaine des tout-petits une occasion de sensibilisation, de dialogue et de mobilisation sociétale en faveur de la petite enfance et de la périnatalité. « Pour être à la hauteur, nos réflexions doivent aussi se faire à la hauteur des attentes de nos enfants. Qu’elles se construisent sur des bases solides sans discriminations, nous offrons toutes les chances de succès et nous bâtissons en ce fait une communauté forte » nous faire savoir monsieur Martin Ferron. Les défis de la COVID-19 Selon l’Observatoire des tout-petits, la crise sanitaire sans précédent qui frappe le Québec a et continuera d’avoir des effets majeurs sur les tout-petits et leurs parents. Bien qu’elle ait notamment contribué à modifier favorablement le rythme de vie de plusieurs familles, la pandémie entraîne son lot de défis pour les parents. « La période de pandémie que nous traversons présente un défi de plus pour les familles et donc il est très important que nous maintenions nos objectifs. La situation avec la COVID-19 met la lumière sur l’importance des mesures qui favorisent la conciliation famille/travail et les enjeux du développement des tout petits. En revanche, Un aspect plus positif de la crise est qu’elle permet d’expérimenter concrètement de nouvelles façons de faire et d’innover » a conclu le Président de la conférence des préfets et le préfet de la MRC de la Vallée-De-L’Or, monsieur Martin Ferron. Moulay Hicham Mouatadid, Initiative de journalisme local, Reflet Témiscamien (Le)
SYDNEY – Digital Mi'kmaq continues to find ways to help Indigenous students access e-learning in Atlantic Canada by donating over 700 laptops to Indigenous communities across the Atlantic region. Chris Googoo, Ulnooweg’s chief operating officer, says the COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the systemic barriers Indigenous students face while accessing education. The company first helped with personal protection equipment but as the pandemic continued they switched gears to meet the needs of online learners. And the organization listened to the communities. Digital Mi’kmaq‘s “Backyard Science” programming is as an educational tool that balances modern science with Indigenous knowledge. Googoo sees it as an educational resource that helps Indigenous students see the link between the study of oceans, ecology and Indigenous knowledge. Ulnooweg Indigenous Communities Foundation also contributed $100,000 in grant funding to assist Indigenous communities to increase their educational capacity. Googoo says the laptops they donated cost between $800 to $900 each and were best-suited to run the special Digital Mi’kmaq programming it offered such as 3D tech, animation and robotics. About 250 of those laptops were donated to Nova Scotia with the majority headed to Eskasoni First Nation. “Nova Scotia still has accessibility issues,” says Googoo. He took part in a meeting that discussed the internet access challenges rural communities face in the province. Googoo says the province is committed to meeting those barriers by 2025. Both We’koqma’q and Eskasoni First Nation face internet accessibility issues because of their geographic locations and he knows communities are working to try to fix those problems. Eskasoni is still developing its own telecommunications company. But Digital Mi’kmaq did what they could by donating Chromebooks and laptops. Googoo said he was happy to help but he knows more issues need to be addressed. He thinks the Mi’kmaq education authority, Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey, is still chronically underfunded. Another issue laid bare by COVID-19 was access to food and food insecurity in Indigenous communities. And a partnership with the United Way helped five communities across the Atlantic provinces begin breaking ground on community food programs like food centres, community gardens and greenhouses. Potlotek First Nation is one that has already started on its greenhouse. The other communities include Lennox island, Eel River Bar, Annapolis Valley and Miapukek. Googoo says he's excited to find out what knowledge and stories on food security issues elders will pass on to younger Indigenous people.Oscar Baker III, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cape Breton Post
KYIV, Ukraine — A human rights group in Belarus says over 300 people have been detained during Sunday protests against the country’s authoritarian president, who won his sixth term in office in a vote widely seen as rigged.The protests took place in Minsk, the capital, and other cities and attracted thousands of people. In Minsk, large crowds gathered in different parts of the city despite the snowy weather for what has been dubbed as the Neighbors' March, blocking the roads in some areas.“Neighbour for neighbour against dictatorship,” one protest banner read.“Go away, rat!” the crowds chanted, referring to President Alexander Lukashenko, who has run the country for 26 years, relentlessly cracking down on dissent.Nearly 250 demonstrators were detained in Minsk alone, police said.Mass protests have gripped Belarus, a former Soviet republic in eastern Europe, since official results from the Aug. 9 presidential election gave Lukashenko a landslide victory over his widely popular opponent, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. She and her supporters refused to recognize the result, saying the vote was riddled with fraud.Authorities have cracked down hard on the largely peaceful demonstrations, the biggest of which attracted up to 200,000 people. Police used stun grenades, tear gas and truncheons to disperse the rallies.On Sunday, police once again deployed tear gas and stun grenades to break up some of the crowds in Minsk, and some were chased into residential courtyards and beaten up with truncheons, the Viasna human rights centre said. More than 300 people have been detained all across the country, according to the group.Ahead of the rally, water cannons, armoured vehicles and police vans were seen in the centre of Minsk. Several subway stations were closed and internet access was restricted.On Saturday, Tsikhanouskaya, who left the country soon after the election under pressure from the authorities and is currently in exile in Lithuania, extended her support to the protesters.“I will support everyone who takes part in the Neighbors' March this Sunday,” Tsikhanouskaya said in a video statement. “We have come a long, hard way together already... We're a proud, brave, peaceful people that have learned the price of freedom and will never agree to live without it.”The Associated Press
GENEVA — A proposal that could have stiffened penalties against companies based in Switzerland if they violate human rights or harm the environment abroad failed in a Swiss referendum on Sunday.The initiative titled “Responsible companies — to protect people and the environment” won a narrow majority of votes, with 50.7% per cent backing it and 49.3% against, but failed because a majority of the country's cantons, or states, came out against it. Support was strongest in urban areas, much of Switzerland’s French-speaking west and Italian-speaking Ticino.Under Switzerland's system of direct democracy, which gives voters a direct say several times each year on a variety of issues, proposals need a majority both of votes cast and of cantons to pass. The Swiss held two other referendums this year, but one in May was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The federal government opposed the plan championed by left-leaning groups and some big civil society organizations, asserting that it went too far. Parliament has proposed a countermeasure that would also boost scrutiny of such companies’ actions.The measure could have made large Switzerland-based companies liable in the country's courts for their flawed operations or those of their subsidiaries and subcontractors in foreign nations, unless they were able to show that they conducted proper due diligence beforehand.It would have required Swiss-based companies to better verify their activities in foreign countries and could have made them more liable for any damage caused. It could potentially have affected multinationals like mining and minerals company Glencore, agribusiness company Syngenta, and cement firm LafargeHolcim — which have at times faced criticism over their activities abroad.Parliament’s alternative, which should now take effect instead, won't require companies to answer to Swiss courts and will focus on issues like mining of minerals from conflict zones or child labour. It also seeks more co-operation among countries on such matters.Another measure that would have banned the financing by the Swiss national bank or pension funds of any weapons for export, from handguns to assault rifles to tanks, also failed Sunday, with a majority of both voters and cantons opposing it.—-Eds: This story corrects an earlier version that had wrongly indicated that the measures on the ballot Sunday had originally been planned for a vote in May.The Associated Press
Police say a man has died and another is critically injured following a morning shooting in Oshawa, Ont. Durham regional police say they were called to an area of Simcoe Street around 10:30 a.m. and found two men with gunshot wounds, one of them without vital signs. Spokesman Const. George Tudos says that man was later pronounced dead. He says the other is being treated for life-threatening injuries. Tudos says there are no outstanding suspects and no threat to public safety at this time. He says homicide investigators remain at the scene to piece together what happened, and witnesses are encouraged to come forward. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2020. The Canadian Press
President Donald Trump returned to the White House on Sunday after spending the Thanksgiving holiday break with his family at Camp David. (Nov. 29)