Ever since Britain returned Hong Kong to Chinese rule in 1997, opposition activists have tried to bring full democracy to the city, believing that China would live up to its promise to one day allow universal suffrage to elect the city's leader. Chinese parliamentarians in Beijing unveiled details of a plan to revamp the political structure of China's freest city that critics say has all but killed off the pledge of one person, one vote. China's move comes months after a sweeping national security law was imposed on the Asian financial hub, cracking down on dissent, and more than a year after months of sometimes violent anti-China, pro-democracy protests which swept the city.
Le conseil municipal de Tadoussac a décidé de ne pas adopter le Schéma de couverture de risques en sécurité incendie 2e génération tel que demandé par la MRC de La Haute-Côte-Nord et s’allie donc à la municipalité de Sacré-Cœur. Il demande plutôt à la MRC de conclure des ententes entre le service incendie de Forestville et celui de Tadoussac et Sacré-Cœur « puisque le temps de réponse pour ce dernier est beaucoup plus court pour intervenir sur certaines parties du territoire des Bergeronnes ». L’adoption a donc été reportée à une date ultérieure par les élus tadoussaciens. Johannie Gaudreault, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Haute-Côte-Nord
MONTREAL — The Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec and DP World have signed a US$1.2-billion deal to start the construction of an international container port and industrial logistics park in Indonesia. Under the agreement with Indonesia's Maspion Group, CDPQ and DP World said DP World Maspion East Java will become the sole operator of a modern international container port with design capacity of up to three million 20-foot equivalent units. DP World and CDPQ will also work with Maspion Group to develop an integrated industrial and logistics park, next to the container terminal. Groundbreaking on the container terminal in Gresik is expected to take place later this year. Commercial operations expected to begin in 2023. Since creating their joint venture four years ago, DP World and CDPQ have invested in 10 port terminals. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. The Canadian Press
COMMUNAUTÉ. Le Centre du Plateau Laval s’est fait généreux durant la semaine de relâche. Ayant à cœur la réussite éducative des enfants de Sainte-Angèle, l’organisme de soutien a remis gratuitement des livres à 70 enfants. «Nous avons acheté des livres neufs pour chaque tranche d’âge de 0 à 18 ans. La distribution s’est faite le jeudi 4 mars. Chaque enfant a reçu deux ou trois livres. C’est une façon pour nous de souligner la réussite éducative tout en favorisant le goût de la lecture», explique Josée Gariépy, directrice de l’organisme. «C’est la première fois que l’on fait cela. Cette année, avec la COVID-19, on ne peut pas recevoir les familles durant la relâche. C’est donc une façon de garder contact. Les enfants et parents sont contents. C’est dans la mission de notre organisme la réussite éducative. Et comme on le sait, développer le goût de la lecture en bas âge c’est un gros plus», ajoute-t-elle en rappelant que le Centre du Plateau Laval offre également des ateliers d’aide aux devoirs. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
Living through pandemic can have a silver lining. For budding artist Lisa Koenig, the extra time at home has allowed her to pursue her creativity while raising money for a worthy cause. “Having more time on my hands, not needing or having to go anywhere, and working from home has been great, as it has allowed me time to paint,” Keonig said. “Raising money for Napanee Community Kitten Rescue through my painting was an easy, fun way to pay it forward.” Koenig says she’s not new to painting, but had let her hobby lapse as life got busy. Currently a Registered Reflexologist and an Ayurvedic Indie Head Masseuse – on hold since the pandemic began – and an Ambassador and Sales Manager for the Gibbard District Riverside Residences in Napanee, she says her passion was reignited after taking a couple of art classes at the at the Gibbard District given by Napanee artists Gary Barnett and Joanne Kells Chalmers. “I started collecting paint, brushes, and canvases, and just let the creativity happen,” Koenig shared with Kingstonist. “With information overload, along with so many unknowns during these times, I was able to immerse myself in developing my artistic side.” Back in September, Sondra Elliott, owner of Pet Panache in downtown Napanee, approached Koenig with the idea of holding some sort of art show fundraiser. “There was no question who to raise funds for,” Koenig said. “Napanee Community Kitten Rescue was an obvious choice, as the inspiration for my art are my cats.” Koenig is more well-known to many in the Kingston area than they may think -- She was a radio personality under the name Lisa Ray at a variety of radio stations in the area prior to retiring from the career. Launching Groovy Cats, art with a mid-century vibe, has allowed Koenig to raise $1,100 for the kitten rescue. Contributions of artwork from local Rivers Edge Art District artists Lynn Barnett and Joanne Kells Chalmers were also part of the fundraiser, and contributed to the total. “I had three cats, however my eldest cat, Oscar, passed away at the age of 18 (he's the longest relationship I've had!). I chose to do this fundraiser in his honour,” she said. “The idea was to donate 50 per cent of the sales from our artwork that was on display for sale at Pet Panache in downtown Napanee, but I decided to donate 100 per cent of sales from my Groovy Cats paintings to the fundraiser.” Keonig says the donation has been put toward the purchase of a nebulizer for cats who develop lung diseases, such as pneumonia and asthma. Nebulizers aerosolize medicines into a fine mist, allowing some medicines to be inhaled, instead of taken orally. “Napanee Community Kitten Rescue is truly an inspiring charity,” she continued, “They are dedicated to assisting our community with awareness, educationand resources for the care, rehabilitation and adoption of community kittens --- feral, homeless, or stray.” Learn more about Napanee Kitten Rescue here, and visit Groovy Cats on Facebook to see what Koenig is working on. Some of her painting are on display at Ellena's Cafe in Napanee. Jessica Foley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, kingstonist.com
KATHMANDU, Nepal — Nepal’s government and a communist rebel group formally signed a peace agreement Friday that it is hoped will end violent attacks, extortion and bombings by the rebels. Rebel leader Netra Bikram Chand, who is better known by his guerrilla name Biplav, emerged out of hiding on Friday after the government lifted a ban on his Nepal Communist Party group so it could take part in the public signing of the peace agreement. “Nepal has entered a peaceful era. There is no more violence in Nepal or any any violent conflicts left in Nepal,” Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli said at the ceremony. Under the peace deal, the government will lift its ban on the group, release all of their party members and supporters from jail and drop all legal cases against them. In exchange the rebel group agrees to give up all violence and resolve any issues through peaceful dialogue. This group had split from the Maoist Communist party, which fought government troops between 1996 and 2006, when it gave up its armed revolt, agreed to U.N.-monitored peace talks and joined mainstream politics. The Maoist fighting had left 17,000 people killed, hundreds missing and many more maimed. The Associated Press
Les contribuables de la municipalité de Tadoussac bénéficient de mesures d’assouplissement en ce qui concerne le paiement de leur compte de taxes encore cette année en raison de la pandémie de COVID-19. En séance extraordinaire le 24 février, les élus ont adopté une résolution fixant le départ des amendes et pénalités au 31 août 2021 pour ceux qui ne pourraient rembourser leurs taxes municipales selon les versements préétablis, qui demeurent les mêmes. Tel que mentionné par le maire Charles Breton, « l'an passé les élus avaient été pris de court par la pandémie, mais cette année, on prend des mesures de soutien à l'avance ». Johannie Gaudreault, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Haute-Côte-Nord
For one year, Albertans have lived in the shadow of a global pandemic, watching as an unrelenting virus ebbs and flows — etching itself deeper in our lives. Alberta announced its first case of COVID-19 on March 5, 2020. We'd been collectively bracing for that moment. But few could have predicted the weight of what was to come. There have been 1,911 lives erased and countless others scarred as COVID-19 unleashed itself in nursing homes, kept loved ones separated and altered futures in untold ways. Loved ones lost White paper angels tacked on door after door. The chilling sight shook Nina Vaughan as she walked through the Calgary nursing home where her 82-year-old father lay dying. She was allowed in to say goodbye after he suffered for weeks alone in his room. It's a memory that still haunts her. "Every time somebody died, they put a piece of paper on the door with an angel on it. And walking down the hall and seeing all those doors with angels." Vaughan paused and took a deep breath. "It really shows you how empty it was and how many people had passed away." This sign was attached to the fence outside the McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre in southeast Calgary as a COVID-19 outbreak swept through the facility in the spring of 2020. (Jennifer Wiebe) Nearly two-thirds of Alberta's COVID-19 deaths (1,215 of the 1,911) have been in continuing care. The McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre was the site one of the province's earliest outbreaks. It resulted in 111 cases including 20 deaths. "It became apparent pretty quickly that the facility really wasn't prepared for an outbreak like that. I don't think our country was prepared for an outbreak like that," said Vaughan. Her father, aunt and uncle all lived at the centre. Just a few weeks after it was locked down last March, all three had contracted the virus. By early April, Nina's aunt was gone, her death directly attributed to COVID-19. Nina's father, Lorne Vaughan, died in May. "[My dad] was so weak by that time — and had lost so much weight and wasn't eating and wasn't even able to sit up by himself anymore — that his heart just couldn't fight it any longer." Lorne was never counted in Alberta's COVID-19 death statistics, according to Nina, because he was taken off oxygen and deemed "recovered" a week before he died. The 82-year-old — who had Parkinson's but no known heart problems — ended up back on oxygen a few days later. "It really makes me wonder how many people, like my father … lingered beyond when they were considered recovered from COVID and then ultimately passed away," she said. Nina and Dot Vaughan have sought mental health supports after losing three of their family members between April and December at Calgary's McKenzie Towne Care Centre, which was hit hard by a COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.(Nina Vaughan) Nina's uncle died in December. His health slowly failed during the months following his diagnosis. "It's been a tough year," said Dot Vaughan, Nina's mother. By the end of 2020, she had lost her husband of 59 years, her twin sister and her brother-in-law. "I have my moments. And sometimes I'll cry uncontrollably," she said. "Now I'm the only one left of my family." Dot, who has endured her own long bouts of isolation, prefers not to dwell on the pain. She guards the memory of her husband with a mix of humour and down-to-earth realism. "He never, ever complained," she recalled with a laugh. "[He always said] that you have to play the hand your dealt, even if it isn't a good one." Naomi Charles, pictured here at her 91st birthday lunch on Jan. 26, 2020. Prior to the pandemic, her family would visit her daily at her care home.(Submitted Ruth Dantes) A year of loneliness and isolation During the last few months of Naomi Charles's life, she would plead with her family to take her home. Her nursing home was locked down as Alberta battled its second wave of COVID-19. But dementia kept Charles, 92, from grasping why she was alone. She died on Feb. 22, 2021. "This is what COVID has done. Within a year she's gone from being strong and able to do things for herself to [being] gone," said Ruth Dantes, Charles's daughter. I think she basically gave up. - Ruth Dantes, speaking about her mother Charles moved into Millrise Seniors Village in the fall of 2019 after several strokes left her with early signs of vascular dementia. At the time, the former school principal was still spry. "She was a very strong woman and family was a very integral part of her lifestyle," said Dantes, who visited regularly. Just a few months later, the facility was battling an outbreak and was closed to visitors. Charles survived a COVID-19 infection. But in the months to follow, her health deteriorated and she was treated for depression. Dantes says she was concerned about her mother's care and moved her to another facility last summer. Then, more lockdowns in December. There were no visits over Christmas. According to Dantes, her mother's dementia left her confused and feeling abandoned. Naomi Charles, pictured here with her family on her 90th birthday, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in April 2020. She recovered from the infection but endured several care home lockdowns. She died on Feb. 22, 2021.(Submitted by Ruth Dantes) A zoom call on her 92nd birthday in January was particularly hard. "All that you could hear her say is, 'It's my birthday, take me home. Take me out of here,'" said Dantes. A few weeks later — when it became clear Charles was dying — family visits were allowed. "I think she basically gave up. And she decided I'm not eating and there's no point in me living," recalled Dantes. "We are a very close-knit family.… And she was missing all that. Being kept in your room all by yourself, what kind of life is that?" Invisible toll In the spring of 2020, Dani Pohn, 38, and her wife were fighting what felt like a very bad flu inside their East Village condo. Pohn was tired and short of breath. She had a searing headache, chest pain and was ultimately diagnosed with COVID-19 on June 9. The Verve condominium would eventually become the site of Alberta's largest high-rise apartment outbreak with 56 cases, all classified as "recovered." But Pohn, a respiratory therapist who used to walk several hours a day, is anything but. Dani Pohn, 38, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in June 2020 during an outbreak at the Verve Condominium in Calgary's East Village. She is now being treated at a post-COVID clinic for Calgarians with long-term respiratory problems.(Mike Symington/CBC) As the virus settled into her lungs, even a short jaunt from the couch to the fridge would trigger exhaustion. Nine months later, she is still off work and is being treated at a clinic for long-term COVID-19 symptoms. "It's super frustrating … and at the same time, I know other people are much sicker than I am," said Pohn. She can walk for short periods now. The extreme fatigue still lingers. "Its discouraging to be ill in a way that you don't know how to get better," Pohn said. "I would love to be able to go back to work in a year. But I'm also realistic that that may not happen and I may have to be accommodated to a different type of work." Dani Pohn still struggles with fatigue and respiratory problems nine months after her COVID-19 diagnosis. She is unsure when she will be able to return to her job as a respiratory therapist — if at all.(Mike Symington/CBC) Pohn, like many other Albertans, keeps an eye on the daily COVID-19 statistics. But they don't reflect her experience. "We need to look past the death numbers. We need to look past the recovered numbers," she said. "There are a lot of people dealing with these long-term effects that are going to have an untold burden on our health system … and have major consequences for society. "A lot of lives have been changed." The year ahead As the pandemic spills into its second year in Alberta, case counts and positivity rates are starting to climb again, variant cases are mounting and Albertans are living under the threat of a potential third wave. But there is also promise. Dot Vaughan, who has lost so much, recently received her second shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. "A big sigh of relief for sure. You're not instantly safe. But each day that goes by, the vaccine works slowly," she said. It is a welcome milestone that brings her daughter, Nina, some comfort. "It does feel like … hope." Dot Vaughan, pictured here with her daughter, Nina, received her second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at her retirement home in early February.(Mike Symington/CBC)
Les élus de Tadoussac ont octroyé un mandat à la Fédération québécoise des municipalités (FQM) afin d’accompagner la municipalité dans le projet Destination Tadoussac phase 2. « La chargée de projets actuelle qui travaille sur le dossier va nous quitter dans deux semaines et on va travailler avec la FQM pour cheminer la dernière étape de ce projet », a expliqué la directrice générale Marie-Claude Guérin lors de l’assemblée extraordinaire le 24 février. « On n’a pas vraiment le droit à l’erreur avec le calendrier serré », d’ajouter le maire Charles Breton. Rappelons que la première phase de Destination Tadoussac s'est réalisée en 2020. Les travaux, dont les coûts ont été évalués à 1,8 M$, prévoyaient le réaménagement de l’espace situé devant l’église Sainte-Croix. Une place publique adjacente à l’église a été érigée ainsi que des voies piétonnières pour y accéder via la rue du Bord-de-l’Eau. Johannie Gaudreault, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Haute-Côte-Nord
Cipher Mining Inc said it had agreed to go public through a merger with blank-check firm Good Works Acquisition Corp in a deal valuing it at $2 billion, underscoring the rising interest in the bitcoin space. Shares of Good Works rose 15.9% to $11.59 after markets opened for trading on Friday. The bitcoin mining firm's bid to go public comes as a clutch of other crypto firms are pushing ahead with similar plans despite regulatory uncertainty.
WASHINGTON — Joe Biden is enjoying an early presidential honeymoon, with 60% of Americans approving of his job performance thus far and even more backing his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. At a moment of deep political polarization in America, support for Biden’s pandemic response extends across party lines. Overall, 70% of Americans back the Democratic president's handling of the virus response, including 44% of Republicans. Still, Biden faces more skepticism from Americans on the economy, which has been battered by the pandemic. Fifty-five per cent of Americans approve of Biden’s approach to the economy thus far, and 63% say the U.S. economy is in poor shape, the AP-NORC survey shows. Republicans are also less likely to back Biden on the economy than they are on the pandemic, with just 17% supporting his fiscal stewardship. Less than two months into his presidency, Biden has made the pandemic his central focus, urging Americans to follow stringent social distancing and mask guidelines and vowing to speed up distribution of critical vaccines. He’s also argued that until the spread of the virus is under control, the economy won’t fully recover. To address financial shortfalls in the meantime, he’s asking Congress to pass a $1.9 trillion pandemic rescue plan that would provide direct payments to millions of Americans and surge funds into state and local governments. The measure has already passed the House. But Biden is having to make compromises to keep all Democratic senators in support of the measure, including agreeing this week to narrow eligibility for $1,400 stimulus checks. In a concession to moderate Democratic senators, Biden agreed that individuals making more than $80,000 annually and couples making more than $160,000 won’t receive any benefits. Biden's original proposal extended the stimulus funds to Americans with higher annual wages. The administration estimates that 158.5 million households will still receive checks under the Senate compromise. The prospect of a pandemic relief bill is welcome news to John Villegas, 58, an Illinois Democrat who supports Biden's handling of both the virus response and the economy. “With the closure of so many businesses, there are a lot of people suffering,” said Villegas, who called Biden’s approach a “180 degree shift” from his predecessor, Donald Trump. Trump argued that the U.S. economy couldn't afford the hit that came from enacting restrictions on business and travel. The worst fears of economists were averted as Republican-led states followed Trump's lead and resisted restrictions, but COVID-19 cases skyrocketed. More than 520,000 people have died in the United States from the virus over the past year. Despite their differing approaches to managing the economy during the pandemic, Biden’s approval ratings on the economy are similar to Trump’s, whose handling of the economy since the virus took hold was consistently backed by about half of Americans. The key difference: That level of support made the economy Trump’s strongest issue, while it’s a relative weakness for Biden compared with Americans' views of his handling of the pandemic and other issues. In a reflection of the partisanship that continues to rage in the U.S., many Americans' views of the economy have flipped since the new president was inaugurated. In December, 67% of Republicans and just 15% of Democrats described the economy as good. Now, 35% of Republicans and 41% of Democrats describe the economy positively. There’s been little change in overall growth or unemployment over that time. Biden’s handling of the pandemic may well determine the course of his presidency and the political capital he has to pursue significant legislation on other matters. Democrats are working urgently to tee up bills addressing infrastructure investment, policing reforms and voting rights. Biden has also vowed to tackle climate change and build on the sprawling health insurance measure signed into law when he served as Barack Obama’s vice-president. His promises of action have garnered him solid approval ratings on some of those fronts. For example, about 6 in 10 Americans say they approve of Biden’s handling of health care and race relations. Overall, 48% of Americans say the country is headed in the right direction, compared with 37% who said that in December. The poll also shows that 43% of Americans expect things in the country overall to get better in the next year, while 34% think things will get worse and 23% think they will remain about the same. Biden himself has been purposefully cautious in predicting when life in the U.S. will return to a pre-pandemic normal. Even as he promises that the U.S. will have enough vaccine supply for all Americans by the end of May, he’s said it could be the end of the year or early 2022 before Americans can stop wearing masks or fully return to normal activities. His team’s goal in setting expectations? Underpromise, then overdeliver. ___ The AP-NORC poll of 1,434 adults was conducted Feb. 23-March 1 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points. ___ Online: AP-NORC Center: http://www.apnorc.org/. Julie Pace And Emily Swanson, The Associated Press
Walter Gretzky, the father of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky and the man who taught and nurtured the hockey player considered the "Great One," died on Thursday at the age of 82. He had been battling Parkinson's disease and other health issues in the past few years, but his son in a statement said he never let his health "get him down."
The pandemic has led to many men battling stress while trying to embody the role of “the protector or provider” and struggling to reach out for help, says Elissa Rodkey, a Crandall University psychology professor. And these challenges aren’t being talked about as often as those being faced by women or children during the pandemic, she said, but it's important they also come to light and steps are taken to address them. Alexithymia, a difficulty recognizing emotions, is much more common in men, said Rodkey. Boys and girls being raised differently has meant, traditionally, we don’t always encourage displays of certain emotions in boys, she said. The result is “these men do not have a vocabulary to describe their inner life. They don’t understand what they are experiencing.” Research indicates that men tend to be worse at seeking both mental and physical help, said Rodkey, which can have a negative impact on their well-being. To address that issue, Nova Scotia’s Department of Community Services launched a pilot program during the pandemic, said Dominic Boyd, a part-time social worker for Family Service of Eastern Nova Scotia and a former Sackville resident. Men can call 211 to be connected to the Men’s Help Line and talk to a councillor for up to 30 minutes, or can be referred to a service that could last up to four sessions, he said. The pandemic “has certainly put a lot of strain on men,” Boyd said, pointing to breadwinners who may have lost jobs, rotational workers who face strain over travelling and their family life, pressures in relationships, and loss of social support. A lot of things happening right now may feel emasculating, agrees Rodkey. For some men, it may be losing their job, resulting in dependency on the government or a family member. Some may also feel an internal responsibility to appear strong on behalf of the household even if they're struggling, she said. Male identity can also be tied to working out, sports, clubs or other activities wiped out by the pandemic, and they may be missing the male friendships, established through them, Rodkey said. Men generally have a more difficult time forming friendships than women, have fewer friends and have interactions that are shorter in duration, said Crandall University sociologist Adam Stewart. Men often don’t have a support network of other men to rely on and workplaces often fill in some of the gaps, providing valuable interactions for men with other men, he said. With many men working from home since March, many of those interactions have been lost, Stewart said. And with all the changes that came with the pandemic, “mental distress has gone up,” said Boyd. Boyd considers himself one of the lucky exceptions, because he is part of a group of men who meet once a month to talk about the challenges they are facing during the pandemic. The group previously met in person, in Sackville. It was a little weird to move online, he said, but he’s now found it helpful to talk about issues they're grappling with. “Each person gets a chance to share with the group and there is time for reflection and feedback. We just share our thoughts or perspectives, but it’s helpful to hear things from different angles,” he said. “I don’t think there are a lot of groups like this out there,” Boyd said, adding that it’s likely harder to start groups online if you didn’t have something established before. Online support like this isn’t for everyone, he said, but if men try it and allow themselves to relax and trust, after a couple of meetings, they may find it helpful. Clara Pasieka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal
Britain's Prince Philip, the 99-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth, has been transferred back to a private hospital after successfully undergoing a procedure to treat a heart condition, Buckingham Palace said on Friday. Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh who has been hospitalised for more than two weeks, was moved to a London hospital with a specialist cardiac centre on Monday for treatment for a pre-existing heart issue. The Palace said he had now returned the private King Edward VII’s Hospital where he was first admitted for treatment for an unspecified but non-COVID related infection.
ELORA – A representative from Portage Ontario is clarifying the facility is staying open despite a news report saying otherwise. On Monday, it was reported that 26 "youth justice facilities", including the Elora-based facility, were closing. Ashley-Ann Maginnis, Portage Ontario manager of development, said this was a miscommunication, they do not run a youth justice facility and will remain operational. Portage Ontario operates a youth addictions treatment centre in Elora for clients from across the province including those referred to the centre by the provincial Ministry of Children and Youth Services. The ministry announced a series of cutbacks and closures across the youth justice system but Portage Ontario is just getting some funding cutbacks on beds the ministry pays for. “The government will be announcing that they will not be referring open custody clients to residential care,” Maginnis said. “We didn’t lose all of our funding from them. We’re just having a small reduction of 16 beds that would have been set aside for the Ministry of Children and Youth Services clients to now eight beds.” She also clarified this is just one source of clients and income. The facility also receives grants, Ministry of Health funding and they do their own fundraising as well. She said they were shocked to see this in the newspaper and it stirred up a lot of concern from supporters and referrers. “We’ve tried to reach out to everybody to let them know we’re still operating because it was a miscommunication and it led to people to believe that we were closing,” Maginnis said. She said they have reached out to clarify this with the families of their clients and are in the process of reaching out to other supporters to confirm they are staying open. “Portage Ontario has served Ontario for 35 years and looks forward to the next 35,” she said via email. Keegan Kozolanka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com
The appointment of Vollero, who as the first finance chief of Snap guided its transition to a public company, comes amid rising expectations of Reddit's initial public offering. Reddit on Friday also disclosed a 90% surge in advertising revenue during the fourth quarter, while daily active users jumped to more than 52 million. Following the retail frenzy, Reddit's value doubled to $6 billion in February, as it raised more money to handle the rush of new subscribers.
BERLIN — A German court on Friday temporarily blocked the country's domestic intelligence agency from putting the Alternative for Germany party under observation due to suspicions of extreme-right sympathies, as a legal appeal is heard. The Cologne state court said the party, known as AfD, could not be classified or treated as a “suspected case” of extremism until a decision was made on an emergency brief submitted by the party, after it alleged the intelligence agency broke a court order not to make such a classification public. In an ongoing legal battle, the AfD has been fighting against being classified as “suspected” by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, known by the initials BfV, arguing that the publicity surrounding such a move so close to the Sept. 26 national election would damage the party’s electoral chances. With court cases still pending, the BfV had been forbidden to make any announcement of such a classification, but on Wednesday the German press widely reported that BfV president Thomas Haldenwang had informed state branches of the intelligence service that the AfD had been deemed a “suspected case.” Though there was no announcement and the BfV refused to comment on the reports, the Cologne court said in its ruling that “everything points to the fact that the BfV didn't keep its promises of secrecy or has not taken enough precautions to ensure that procedurally relevant information leaks out.” Following the ruling, the AfD called for Haldenwang's resignation and for “political consequences” for his boss, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer. “Who protects us from the protectors of the constitution?” AfD parliamentary leader Alexander Gauland asked reporters. The injunction issued Friday is in force until the AfD's overall legal case is concluded, but can be appealed, the court said. It was not immediately clear when there might be a ruling, despite AfD's request for an expedited decision. AfD entered Germany’s national parliament as the third-biggest party in the 2017 election, benefiting from a backlash at the time against the influx of more than 1 million asylum-seekers. It is currently the largest of four opposition parties in the national parliament and has lawmakers in all 16 state assemblies. The party has moved steadily to the right since it was founded in 2013 by critics of the shared euro currency. Several senior figures have quit in recent years, warning that the party is being taken over by far-right extremists. Recent polls have shown support for AfD, which won 12.6% of the vote in 2017, at between 9% and 11%. David Rising, The Associated Press
Les grands vents du nord qui soufflent sur le fjord du Saguenay ont obligé l’évacuation des dernières cabanes de pêche blanche encore présentes sur le site de Saint-Fulgence, jeudi matin. Tôt en matinée, les autorités municipales ont invité les propriétaires encore installés sur le site officiel à évacuer les lieux puisque le souffle du vent était en train d’effriter les glaces sous l’effet des vagues. Selon Philippe Gagnon, coordonnateur aux loisirs pour la municipalité de Saint-Fulgence, six cabanes étaient encore présentes vers 10 h, jeudi matin. « Les glaces s’en vont vers le large. Ce n’est pas dramatique, mais on ne prend pas de chance puisque les vents ne cessent pas. Hier (mercredi), il ne ventait pas trop. » Selon les informations obtenues, d’autres cabanes étaient toujours présentes dans le secteur de la Pointe aux Pins, qui n’est pas sous juridiction municipale, mais personne n’était en mesure de confirmer combien de petites installations y étaient toujours. Du côté de l’Association de pêche blanche, le président Dany Caron a précisé que le site de pêche a été fermé par précaution, lundi. Les grands vents, jumelés au doux temps et aux grandes marées, sont la recette idéale pour empêcher la poursuite des activités de pêche, selon lui. Toutes les cabanes devraient avoir quitté les glaces en fin de semaine prochaine. Une évaluation sera effectuée afin de voir s’il sera possible de poursuivre la pêche en se déplaçant à pied en bordure du Saguenay. Denis Villeneuve, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
Cryptocurrency trading volumes soared by 17% last month in the wake of Tesla's $1.5 billion bitcoin bet, with larger exchanges taking a growing share of the overall volumes, data showed on Friday. Trading volumes jumped to $2.7 trillion in February, with volumes at major exchanges jumping over 35% to $2.4 trillion, researcher CryptoCompare said. Smaller exchanges saw volumes slump by 36% to $381 billion, suggesting growing consolidation of trading at larger venues.
Canada's exports to the United States, its largest trading partner, rose sharply in January, leading to a surprise trade surplus, Statistics Canada said on Friday. Canada's trade surplus with the rest of the world was C$1.41 billion ($1.11 billion) in January, the largest since July 2014. "This is very strongly driven by our top trading partner," Hall said, noting that demand from the United States will continue to be strong as its economy strengthens with increased vaccinations spurring a broader recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.