Global News Washington bureau chief Jackson Proskow breaks down highlights from inauguration day and U.S. President Joe Biden’s first steps as commander-in-chief.
Global News Washington bureau chief Jackson Proskow breaks down highlights from inauguration day and U.S. President Joe Biden’s first steps as commander-in-chief.
President Joe Biden on Saturday said his administration would make an announcement on Saudi Arabia on Monday, following a U.S. intelligence report that found Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had approved the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Biden administration has faced some criticism, notably an editorial in the Washington Post, that the president should have been tougher on the crown prince, who was not sanctioned despite being blamed for approving Khashoggi's murder.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two days before the assault on the U.S. Capitol, Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, a Republican, said supporters of then-President Donald Trump's claims of election fraud were basically in a “death match with the Democrat Party.” A day later, right-wing activist Alan Hostetter, a staunch Trump supporter known for railing against California's virus-inspired stay-at-home orders, urged rallygoers in Washington to "put the fear of God in the cowards, the traitors, the RINOs, the communists of the Democrat Party.” The shared grammatical construction — incorrect use of the noun “Democrat” as an adjective — was far from the most shocking thing about the two men's statements. But it identified them as members of the same tribe, conservatives seeking to define the opposition through demeaning language. Amid bipartisan calls to dial back extreme partisanship following the insurrection, the intentional misuse of “Democrat” as an adjective remains in nearly universal use among Republicans. Propelled by conservative media, it also has caught on with far-right elements that were energized by the Trump presidency. Academics and partisans disagree on the significance of the word play. Is it a harmless political tactic intended to annoy Republicans' opponents, or a maliciously subtle vilification of one of America’s two major political parties that further divides the nation? Thomas Patterson, a political communication professor at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, said using “Democrat” as an adjective delivers a “little twist” of the knife with each usage because it irritates Democrats, but sees it as little more than that. “This is," he says, “just another piece in a big bubbling kettle of animosities that are out there.” Others disagree. Purposely mispronouncing the formal name of the Democratic Party and equating it with political ideas that are not democratic goes beyond mere incivility, said Vanessa Beasley, an associate professor of communications at Vanderbilt University who studies presidential rhetoric. She said creating short-hand descriptions of people or groups is a way to dehumanize them. In short: Language matters. “The idea is to strip it down to that noun and make it into this blur, so that you can say that these are bad people — and my party, the people who are using the term, are going to be the upholders of democracy,” she said. To those who see the discussion as an exercise in political correctness, Susan Benesch, executive director of the Dangerous Speech Project, said to look deeper. “It’s just two little letters — i and c — added to the end of a word, right?” she said. “But the small difference in the two terms, linguistically or grammatically, does not protect against a large difference in meaning and impact of the language.” During the “Stop the Steal” rallies that emerged to support Trump's groundless allegations that the 2020 election was stolen from him, the construction was everywhere. Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel accused “Democrat lawyers and rogue election officials” of “an unprecedented power grab” related to the election. Demonstrators for the president's baseless cause mirrored her language. After Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia was removed from her House committees for espousing sometimes dangerous conspiracy theories, she tweeted: “In this Democrat tyrannical government, Conservative Republicans have no say on committees anyway." Trump’s lawyers used the construction frequently during his second impeachment trial, following the lead of the former president, who employed it routinely while in office. During a campaign rally last October in Wisconsin, he explained his thinking. “You know I always say Democrat. You know why? Because it sounds worse,” Trump said. “Democrat sounds lousy, but you know what? That’s actually their name, the Democrat Party. Right? The Democrat Party. So I always say Democrat.” In fact, “Democratic” to describe some version of a U.S. political party has been around since Thomas Jefferson and James Madison formed the Democratic-Republican Party in the 1790s. Modern Democrats are loosely descended from a split of that party. The precise origins of Republicans' truncated phrasing are difficult to pin down, but the Republican National Committee formalized it in a vote ahead of the 1956 presidential election. Then-spokesman L. Richard Guylay told The New York Times that “Democrat Party” was “a natural,” because it was already in common use among Republicans and better reflected the “diverse viewpoints” within the opposing party — which the GOP suggested weren’t always representative of small-d democratic values. Wisconsin Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who had just led his notorious campaign against alleged communists, Soviet spies and sympathizers, was the most notable user of the phrase “Democrat Party” ahead of the vote. The current RNC did not respond to emails and phone messages seeking comment for this story. The construction was used sparsely in the following decades, but in recent times has spread to become part of conservatives' everyday speech. At the height of last summer’s racial justice protests, the group representing state attorneys general criticized “inaction by Democrat AGs” to support law enforcement. In explaining its rules for cleaning Georgia's voter roles, the office of Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said it was following a process started in the 1990s under “a Democrat majority General Assembly and signed into law by a Democrat Governor.” Asked recently what he would think of his former health director running for the U.S. Senate in Ohio, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine responded, “I’m going to stay out of Democrat primaries.” Using Democrat as a pejorative is now so common that it’s almost jarring to hear a Republican or conservative commentator accurately say “Democratic Party.” Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor said she wishes both parties would abandon their heightened rhetoric toward each other. She spoke out forcefully in September after the Ohio Republican Party maligned a “Democrat common pleas judge” who had ruled against them. The party later apologized. Her objection was the politicization of the judiciary, which she has fought against, and not specifically the GOP's misuse of the word “Democrat." But in a later interview, she said the language was a reflection of today's hyperpartisan political environment. “It's used as almost like a curse word,” said O'Connor, a Republican. “It's not being used as a compliment or even for purposes of being a benign identifier. It's used as a condemnation, and that's not right.” For their part, Democrats rarely push back, even when the phrase is used in state legislative chambers or on the floor of Congress. It wasn't always that way. Then-President George W. Bush departed from his written remarks and used the phrase “Democrat majority” in his 2007 State of the Union address. He was swiftly rebuked and apologized. “Now look, my diction isn’t all that good,” a rueful Bush said. “I have been accused of occasionally mangling the English language, so I appreciate you inviting the head of the Republic party.” Bush’s self-deprecating joke highlighted a key issue around Republicans' use of “Democrat” as an epithet, says political scientist Michael Cornfield, an associate professor at George Washington University. Democrats don't have a comparable insult for Republicans. "It's a one-way provocation,” he said. In the 1950s, Democrats toyed with a tit-for-tat approach in which they would refer to Republicans as “Publicans,” the widely despised toll collectors of ancient Rome. Republicans scoffed at the effort, which they rightly noted no one would understand. Republicans also could turn it around as a way to burnish their brand: In British usage, a publican is someone who owns a pub. Meanwhile, “Republic” — without the “a-n” — isn’t derogatory. It's known as a “God word” in American politics, just as small-d “democratic” is, meaning a revered cultural concept that's universally understood. The truncated “Democrat,” on the other hand, “rhymes with rat, bureaucrat, kleptocrat, plutocrat," Cornfield said. "‘Crats’ are bad. So you can see why they do it.” David Pepper, a former Democratic Party chairman in Ohio, says Republicans' phrasing has “clearly been thought about." Even so, he doesn't see trying to erase it as a good use of Democrats' time as the party seeks to reset the national agenda after four years of Trump. He said that while President Joe Biden has pledged national unity, “the other side is literally trying to make the other party sound like rodents." “To me,” Pepper said, “that’s absurd and disturbing at the same time.” ___ AP news researcher Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this report. Julie Carr Smyth, The Associated Press
Manchester City keeps on winning in its surge to the title. Brighton keeps on finding creative ways to lose in its plunge toward the relegation zone. The English Premier League followed a familiar script on Saturday, complete with its latest episode of VAR chaos. With a scrappy 2-1 victory over West Ham, City extended its winning run to 20 games in all competitions and established a 13-point lead that seems destined to end in the club’s fifth top-flight title in 10 years. The fact that City’s goals came from its two centre backs — Ruben Dias and John Stones — highlighted the difficulty the leaders had at Etihad Stadium against a fourth-placed West Ham side showing its unlikely bid for Champions League qualification is no fluke. “After 15 minutes, we said, ‘OK, today we are not going to paint something beautiful. Today is the day just to take the three points,’” said City manager Pep Guardiola, whose team was playing in the Champions League in Budapest less than 72 hours earlier. That’s what happened — as with every game City has played since the middle of December. Dias headed in a wonderful cross from Kevin De Bruyne in the 30th minute for his first goal for the club, only for Michail Antonio to equalize just before halftime for the first goal City has conceded at home in 2 1/2 months. Stones grabbed the winner by sweeping in a finish from Riyad Mahrez’s pass. “Some days it doesn’t come off for the forwards, and today me and Ruben chipped in,” Stones said. “That’s part of us being such a good team and the collective. In big games or important games, everyone chips in, maybe sometimes the person you don’t expect.” Manchester United and Leicester are tied on points as City’s nearest rivals, and both play on Sunday. It was a significant day at the other end of the standings, as well, with Brighton somehow contriving to lose at West Bromwich Albion 1-0 in the most mystifying way possible. Brighton probably thought losing to Crystal Palace 2-1 on Monday after allowing just two touches in its own box would end up being its most unfortunate of defeats this season. It was wrong. Five days later, Graham Potter’s side missed two penalties and also saw a goal from a free kick ruled out because of the incompetence of referee Lee Mason amid farcical scenes at The Hawthorns. Lewis Dunk curled in a quickly taken free kick from the edge of the area a split second after Mason blew his whistle for play to restart. However, Mason blew for a second time just as the ball was crossing the line, having seen that West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone was still lining up his defensive wall and wasn’t ready for the free kick. Mason initially awarded no goal, then reversed his decision. As chaos ensued — with players from both teams surrounding the official -- the increasingly beleaguered Mason was advised by the VAR to view the incident on the pitchside monitor and, after a lengthy delay, returned to the field to again disallow the goal. “It’s embarrassing, it’s a horrendous decision,” Dunk said. “I said to the ref, ‘Can I take it?’ He blew his whistle and I took it. “I don’t think he knew what he was doing. He gave the goal, why did he give it? I don’t know why VAR was getting involved. He said ‘Goal’ … you can look on the video if you want.” Asked if Mason lost control of the game Dunk said: “Yeah, he did. Fact.” As it was, Kyle Bartley’s goal earned West Brom only its third win of the season and moved the next-to-last team to within eight points of safety. At the end of a miserable week, Brighton was just four points above the relegation zone having played one game more than third-to-last Fulham. WIN FOR VILLA Villa moved to within four points of the European qualification positions by beating Leeds 1-0 thanks to Anwar El Ghazi’s early goal. El Ghazi was left unmarked to turn home the only goal from close range in the fifth minute and dogged defending saw Villa avenge its 3-0 home loss to Leeds in October. Villa star midfielder Jack Grealish was again missing through injury. Newcastle hosted Wolverhampton late Saturday. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___ Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80 Steve Douglas, The Associated Press
MILAN — The fedora Humphrey Bogart wore in “Casablanca” may have secured Borsalino’s place in fashion and cinematic history, but it will be something like the cow-print bucket hat that will help ensure its future. The storied Italian hatmaker still makes its felt hats by hand in a Piedmont region factory, using the same artisanal techniques from when the company was founded in 1857 and some of founder Giuseppe Borsalino’s original machinery. It is updating its offerings for next fall and winter, with a focus on customization and youth-trends. The new collection displayed during Milan Fashion Week takes inspiration from the Arts & Crafts design movement in mid-19th century Britain. Hat pins with leaf and floral motifs allow women to uniquely shape the hats, to take up an oversized brim, say, or to create an elegant fold in the crown. A leopard fedora can be paired with a long chain, to wear over the shoulder when going in and out of shops, while a clochard has an optional leather corset. “You cannot change a hat so much,’’ Giacomo Santucci, Borsalino’s creative curator, said. “You can change the attitude of the hat.” Unisex styles, including baseball caps, berets and bucket hats, come in updated new materials - including a spotted cow print, black patent leather and rainproof nylon. Such genderless looks are becoming an increasingly important part of the collection, Santucci said. “The hat is no longer a tool to cover yourself, but to discover yourself,’’ he told The Associated Press. The company, which relaunched three years ago, was in the process of scaling up production from 150,000 hats a year to a goal of half a million when the pandemic hit. “To be honest, it is such a small company, in a way it is very simple to react,’’ said Santucci, who is also the current president of the Italian Chamber of Buyers. “The smaller you are, the more reactive and prompt." Beyond new styles, that means getting people talking. Santucci, who was Gucci CEO during the Tom Ford era, created a new film for this season, featuring Milanese women who chose hats to match their styles, striding through the centre of the city. Last season’s film featured dancers from Alessandria, site of the original Borsalino factory, dancing through the factory floor. "My strong belief is that fashion is becoming more and more a discussion,'' Santucci said. New social media platforms like Clubhouse are giving people the chance to create a limited and select group to discuss relevant topics, which Santucci said has been key during the isolation imposed by the pandemic. He also has pursued collaborations with ready-to-wear brands, including Borsalino X Valentino. “Brands are changing. It is getting closer to entertainment, to give people the chance to engage with the brand, to understand it better. Not only to understand what was done in the past, but to really interact and to have the chance to be part of the same community,’’ Santucci said. Colleen Barry, The Associated Press
Several rounds of staff reports, public comments, and consultant presentations later, Tiny council still remains at square one around an effective strategy to address short-term rental (STR) issues in the township. At the end of the day, staff were sent back to prepare a public survey and to continue drafting an STR licensing bylaw and renters code of conduct with public input. In the process' latest round, council's committee of the whole received an open deputation Friday from a resident, who had concerns around the third-party monitoring system, a presentation from the third-party service provider and another staff report. "I read through the supplier and I have concerns about the cost and the Big Brother feel," said Kim Romans, who is a year-round Tiny resident with two rental cottages on her property. "This is not a registry, this is about regulation. "We are a small township and a small number of units," she added. "People who are offering STRs should come to the table and work with council to design something that works for the people and township. We shouldn't be burdening people with over-regulating and the costs associated with them." Coun. Tony Mintoff clarified for Romans that the township's intent was always to come up with some sort of regulation around STRs in the area. "It's always been the intent to have a registration and a licensing program," he said. "As for survey of the members of the public and property owners, that's part of the plan." Council also sat through a presentation by Samantha White, account executive with Granicus - Host Compliance, whose services were giving Romans the jitters. The company, White said, focuses and specializes in helping local governments address their short-term rental related challenges. "We pull down the data from the top 60 STR platforms and match that with your assessor data to drive greater compliance using the solutions we have," White said. The five tools that Granicus offers include digital registration and tax collection, address identification, compliance and rental activity monitoring and a dedicated hotline for complainants, she explained. Steve Harvey, chief municipal law enforcement officer, said staff had brought forward Granicus as an efficiency tool. "Staff see this as a very important efficiency tool to get us up and running very quickly for 2021," he said. "It's a critical component to rolling this out. Recreating something similar to this would take a lot of time and be cost prohibitive. (Granicus costs) $36,000 a year and we're asking council to consider them as sole-source provider." In addition to the $36,000 cost for bringing on Granicus, Harvey said, staff was also proposing an additional bylaw officer at a cost of $51,000 for eight months. Some council members still had concerns if the township had the right way of approaching the issue. "What are we trying to achieve and more particularly what are we trying to achieve for the 2021 season?" said Mayor George Cornell. "I don't think we're at a point where we can start writing up our bylaw and engage Granicus. There's a whole public consultation piece here that hasn't been looked at. We haven't made any decisions yet. I would caution council not to get ahead of ourselves." That's exactly where Mintoff was coming from. "I think it's premature to be thinking about engaging a third-party consultant and hiring a staff now when we haven't even put the issue of what the program is going to look like," he said. "I do agree with the bylaw approach versus the zoning approach because it would help us administer a monetary penalty system." Instead, Mintoff said a survey is a good first step in which to begin. He also wasn't convinced if the definition of an STR should focus on any period less than 28 consecutive calendar days since the problems lie with those renting for weekends. "We should be looking at under eight days," he said, adding, "We can get our feet wet and look at the ones that are causing the most problems. "If we just say, if you're going to rent less than eight days, you have to register," said Mintoff. "That doesn't say you can't rent for 28 days." All council members agreed that engaging Granicus services at this time wasn't necessary, however, White and her colleague offered to help staff in crafting the licensing framework. Meanwhile, staff will continue with the strict enforcement policy already in place. Council is hoping to have a report back with an implementation date for the end of May. The decision was ratified at the council meeting held later the same day. Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting its sixth death from COVID-19 as the province continues to battle an outbreak of a virus variant first detected in the United Kingdom. Health authorities say the latest death was a man over the age of 70 in the Eastern Health region. The province also recorded four new confirmed cases in the same region, including two females and two males with one between the ages of 20 and 39 and three between the ages of 40 and 49. Officials say contact tracing is underway and anyone considered a close contact has been advised to quarantine. Newfoundland has been in lockdown since Feb. 12, when officials first announced an outbreak in the St. John’s area was fuelled by the mutation of the novel coronavirus. The province has 271 active cases of COVID-19 and there are currently 10 people in hospital with six in intensive care. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2022. The Canadian Press
(Furrukh Ikram via YouTube - image credit) Peel Regional Police say a man has been arrested after allegedly stealing a tow truck and fleeing from officers on Friday. A video of the arrest surfaced online and shows the moments leading up to it. A spokesperson for Peel police told CBC Toronto that they received a call around 11:15 a.m. on Friday about several men fighting. At some point, a tow truck was stolen, they said. Police located the tow truck in a nearby residential neighbourhood. A video of the incident posted on YouTube by the user Furrukh Ikram shows the tow truck reversing out of a residential driveway in what appears to be a Brampton neighbourhood before a police cruiser catches up and rams into the side of the truck. Several other cruisers then arrive to box in the vehicle on each side. Police officers exit their cruisers and begin pounding on the driver's side of the truck yelling, "Get out!" while the the vehicle appears to continue attempting to flee. WARNING | The following video contains graphic images and audio It is unclear whether police used Tasers in their efforts to stop the driver, but crackling can be heard in the video. After a couple of minutes, police can be seen forcibly removing the man from the truck and placing him under arrest. Police say the man was taken into custody and transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has invoked their mandate following the incident, police said. The SIU is an independent agency that investigates incidents involving police that result in serious injury or death as well as allegations of sexual assault. Police say a 35-year-old man has been charged with theft under $5000, theft of a motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.
PARIS — French league top-scorer Kylian Mbappe scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain routed rock-bottom Dijon 4-0 to move up to second place on Saturday. PSG was two points ahead of Lyon, which could reclaim second spot it it wins on Sunday. Moise Kean gave visiting PSG the perfect start after five minutes. Mbappe and defender Abdou Diallo combined down the left to find near the penalty spot the Italy striker, who shifted the ball onto his right foot and squeezed it inside the right post. Mbappe netted a penalty in the 32nd following a handball and has converted all five he has taken this season. Five minutes after the break, he clipped the ball into the bottom left corner after neatly being set up by Rafinha for his 18th goal. Centre half Danilo headed in the fourth from a corner late on. Elsewhere, Metz hit two late goals to win at Bordeaux 2-1 with a last-minute goal from Cape Verdean forward Vagner. Metz’s improvement under coach Frederic Antonetti continued as it rose to fifth place, while Bordeaux’s fifth defeat in six games left it mired in mid-table. Striker Samuel Kalu put Bordeaux ahead in the 13th from Youssouf Sabaly's cross. After defender Thomas Delaine equalized in the 71st with a fine curling shot from the left, Vagner met Thierry Ambrose's cross at the back post. SUNDAY GAMES Marseille's fans will be in a better mood for the home game against Lyon after unpopular president Jacques-Henri Eyraud was replaced and Jorge Sampaoli was named as the new coach. Lille faces lowly Strasbourg and Monaco looks to make it 12 league games unbeaten when it hosts Brest. Niko Kovac's Monaco side has not lost since mid-December and comfortably won at PSG at 2-0 last weekend. Lyon will move top on goal difference if it wins and Lille loses. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Jerome Pugmire, The Associated Press
Canadian rapper D.O. Gibson set the Guinness World Record for the longest freestyle rap in 2003, when he rapped for eight hours and 45 minutes. He talks to the CBC's Asha Tomlinson about why it's important for students to know more about Black history.
WASHINGTON — The House approved a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill that was championed by President Joe Biden, the first step in providing another dose of aid to a weary nation as the measure now moves to a tense Senate. “We have no time to waste,” Biden said at the White House after the House passage early Saturday. "We act now — decisively, quickly and boldly — we can finally get ahead of this virus. We can finally get our economy moving again. People in this country have suffered far too much for too long.” The new president’s vision for infusing cash across a struggling economy to individuals, businesses, schools, states and cities battered by COVID-19 passed on a near party-line 219-212 vote. That ships the bill to the Senate, where Democrats seem bent on resuscitating their minimum wage push and fights could erupt over state aid and other issues. Democrats said that mass unemployment and the half-million American lives lost are causes to act despite nearly $4 trillion in aid already spent fighting the fallout from the disease. GOP lawmakers, they said, were out of step with a public that polling finds largely views the bill favourably. “I am a happy camper tonight," Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said Friday. “This is what America needs. Republicans, you ought to be a part of this. But if you're not, we're going without you." Republicans said the bill was too expensive and said too few education dollars would be spent quickly to immediately reopen schools. They said it was laden with gifts to Democratic constituencies like labour unions and funneled money to Democratic-run states they suggested didn't need it because their budgets had bounced back. “To my colleagues who say this bill is bold, I say it's bloated," said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. “To those who say it's urgent, I say it's unfocused. To those who say it's popular, I say it is entirely partisan.” The overall relief bill would provide $1,400 payments to individuals, extend emergency unemployment benefits through August and increase tax credits for children and federal subsidies for health insurance. It also provides billions for schools and colleges, state and local governments, COVID-19 vaccines and testing, renters, food producers and struggling industries like airlines, restaurants, bars and concert venues. Moderate Democratic Reps. Jared Golden of Maine and Kurt Schrader of Oregon were the only two lawmakers to cross party lines. That sharp partisan divide is making the fight a showdown over whom voters will reward for heaping more federal spending to combat the coronavirus and revive the economy atop the $4 trillion approved last year. The battle is also emerging as an early test of Biden's ability to hold together his party's fragile congressional majorities — just 10 votes in the House and an evenly divided 50-50 Senate. At the same time, Democrats were trying to figure out how to assuage liberals who lost their top priority in a jarring Senate setback Thursday. That chamber's nonpartisan parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, said Senate rules require that a federal minimum wage increase would have to be dropped from the COVID-19 bill, leaving the proposal on life support. The measure would gradually lift that minimum to $15 hourly by 2025, doubling the current $7.25 floor in effect since 2009. Hoping to revive the effort in some form, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is considering adding a provision to the Senate version of the COVID-19 relief bill that would penalize large companies that don't pay workers at least $15 an hour, said a senior Democratic aide who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal conversations. That was in line with ideas floated Thursday night by Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., a chief sponsor of the $15 plan, and Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., to boost taxes on corporations that don't hit certain minimum wage targets. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., offered encouragement, too, calling a minimum wage increase “a financial necessity for our families, a great stimulus for our economy and a moral imperative for our country.” She said the House would “absolutely" approve a final version of the relief bill because of its widespread benefits, even if it lacked progressives’ treasured goal. While Democratic leaders were eager to signal to rank-and-file progressives and liberal voters that they would not yield on the minimum wage fight, their pathway was unclear because of GOP opposition and questions over whether they had enough Democratic support. House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal, D-Mass., sidestepped a question on taxing companies that don't boost pay, saying of Senate Democrats, “I hesitate to say anything until they decide on a strategy." Progressives were demanding that the Senate press ahead anyway on the minimum wage increase, even if it meant changing that chamber's rules and eliminating the filibuster, a tactic that requires 60 votes for a bill to move forward. “We’re going to have to reform the filibuster because we have to be able to deliver,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., another high-profile progressive, also said Senate rules must be changed, telling reporters that when Democrats meet with their constituents, "We can’t tell them that this didn’t get done because of an unelected parliamentarian.” Traditionalists of both parties — including Biden, who served as a senator for 36 years — have opposed eliminating filibusters because they protect parties' interests when they are in the Senate minority. Biden said weeks ago that he didn't expect the minimum wage increase to survive the Senate's rules. Democrats narrowly hold Senate control. Pelosi, too, seemed to shy away from dismantling Senate procedures, saying, “We will seek a solution consistent with Senate rules, and we will do so soon.” The House COVID-19 bill includes the minimum wage increase, so the real battle over its fate will occur when the Senate debates its version over the next two weeks. Democrats are pushing the relief measure through Congress under special rules that will let them avoid a Senate GOP filibuster, meaning that if they are united they won't need any Republican votes. It also lets the bill move faster, a top priority for Democrats who want the bill on Biden's desk before the most recent emergency jobless benefits end on March 14. But those same Senate rules prohibit provisions with only an “incidental” impact on the federal budget because they are chiefly driven by other policy purposes. MacDonough decided that the minimum wage provision failed that test. Republicans oppose the $15 minimum wage target as an expense that would hurt businesses and cost jobs. ___ Associated Press writers Mary Clare Jalonick, Kevin Freking and Josh Boak in Washington contributed to this report. Alan Fram, The Associated Press
(Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press - image credit) New Brunswickers can now travel and visit people in different regions after a series of changes to the orange phase took effect at midnight. The province reported two new cases on Saturday as the active total continues to drop. The new cases are people in their 70s in the Edmundston region (Zone 4). There are 41 total active cases across New Brunswick, with two additional recoveries announced Saturday. One person is hospitalized and in intensive care related to the virus. Residents can now go between orange zones for non-essential trips and include people from other regions as part of their steady 10 contacts. Hospital visits are also permitted as of Saturday with public health measures in place. The change follows several instances of family members unable to see ill or dying relatives. In one situation, an 80-year-old was kicked out of the hospital for holding her husband's hand. Under the revised orange rules, compassionate travel exemptions to attend a funeral will be offered to people living outside New Brunswick. People will need approval from Public Health and must adhere to guidelines that include a five-day self-isolation and negative test upon arrival. The province announced the looser restrictions at a news conference on Friday. Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province chief medical officer of health, said a return to the less-restrictive yellow phase could be just over a week away if the decline in cases continues. She said rules will be modified due to the presence of COVID variants. "The fewer contacts each person has, the better," Russell said. "This is so very important." Public Health has updated and loosened some of the orange phase rules as of Friday. People will be asked to limit their contacts to a steady 15 under the yellow phase, which can include those living in other health zones. New Brunswick reported 1,430 total cases of COVID-19 in Saturday's update. There have been 1,362 recoveries and 26 deaths. Public Health has conducted 228,219 tests, including 827 on Friday. More vaccine arrives New Brunswick has a larger supply of COVID-19 vaccine after additional shipments arrived this week. The province received more than 11,000 doses, according to the latest numbers from the federal government. Those shipments boost the total number of doses to 46,775, including 36,075 of Pfizer-BioNTech and 10,700 of Moderna. Another 9,360 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are expected to arrive next week. Play to resume for N.B. teams in QMJHL The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has announced plans to resume the season for New Brunswick teams after the pandemic put their games on pause. The province's three teams will be allowed to compete against each other starting the week of March 8. A new schedule is expected to be released next week, and fans will be allowed at arenas. The league said the decision follows meetings with Public Health and government and that the situation will be re-evaluated in the coming weeks. What to do if you have a symptom People concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online. Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included: A fever above 38 C. A new cough or worsening chronic cough. Sore throat. Runny nose. Headache. New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell. Difficulty breathing. In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes. People with one of those symptoms should: Stay at home. Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor. Describe symptoms and travel history. Follow instructions.
Si la pandémie a affecté un grand nombre d’entreprises, ce n’est certainement pas le cas pour les entrepreneurs électriciens, qui font des affaires d’or. Pour plusieurs d’entre eux, il s’agit ni plus ni moins de la plus grosse période de leur histoire. Habituellement, le début de l’année est une période creuse. L’an dernier à pareille date, les contrats et les soumissions se sont multipliés et la tendance s’est maintenue. Que ce soit dans le secteur résidentiel ou industriel, il n’y a pas eu de relâche depuis ce temps. Selon l’un d’entre eux, la pandémie est en grande partie responsable. « En étant dans leurs maisons, les gens se sont trouvé des travaux à faire. Normalement, on est une quinzaine d’employés. Maintenant, nous sommes au-dessus de 20. On n’a pas baissé la garde du tout, tout le monde travaille. On n’a jamais autant soumissionné. Ça n’a pas diminué encore et ça ne tend pas à diminuer non plus », prédit Michel Lessard, président de Valmo Électrique, d’Hébertville-Station. Du « jamais vu » De son côté, Jacques Tremblay, président de Rémy Bouchard Électrique à Alma n’hésite pas à le dire, c’est du « jamais vu ». Il assure toutefois que même s’ils sont occupés, les électriciens ne sont pas débordés pour autant. La clientèle pourra être desservie sans problème. L’entreprise, qui se spécialise surtout dans le secteur industriel, a notamment obtenu des contrats auprès de Rio Tinto, de la Mine Niobec et Produits forestiers Résolu. « Le plus fort cette année, c’est le côté industriel. Pourquoi? Parce que beaucoup d’entreprises qui sont en rénovation, font des agrandissements, et souhaitent être conformes aux nouvelles normes environnementales », explique-t-il. De meilleurs salaires? Ghislain Tremblay, président des Électriciens du Nord, situé à l’Ascension-de-Notre-Seigneur, ne croit pas que la pandémie ait une quelconque incidence sur la demande de services d’électriciens. Selon lui, c’est parce que les gens font de meilleurs salaires qu’auparavant. « Oui, on fait de la rénovation, mais ce qu’on a le plus, c’est de la construction neuve. C’est rendu que le monde gagne tellement de gros salaires. Chaque mois, je reçois une trentaine de plans de maison et il n’y en a aucune qui est en bas de 300 000 $. On parle de maison avec des garages doubles chauffés », constate-t-il. Au niveau de la main d’œuvre, même si la relève est bien présente, Ghislain Tremblay estime que celle d’expérience se fait plutôt rare. Jacques Tremblay ajoute pour sa part que son entreprise tire son épingle du jeu grâce au bouche-à-oreille. Enfin, Michel Lessard dit ne pas avoir de problème de rareté de main-d’œuvre. Julien B. Gauthier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Lac St-Jean
MONTREAL — One year since Quebec recorded its first presumptive case of COVID-19, the province is recording 858 new infections and 13 deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus. The Health Department reported 599 hospitalizations today, a drop of 21 patients. There are also seven fewer people requiring intensive care for a total of 112. One year ago today, Quebec authorities reported that a woman returning from travel to Iran was the province's first presumptive COVID-19 patient. Her status was confirmed the next day. Since the pandemic was declared last March, the province has reported 287,003 confirmed infections and 10,385 deaths, with 268,645 people recovered. Quebec administered 15,902 doses of COVID-19 vaccine on Friday for a total of 418,399. Premier Francois Legault, in a letter posted today to his Facebook page, says he feels great hope as vaccinations of the general population have begun in recent days and are scheduled to ramp up on Monday in the Montreal area. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2021. The Canadian Press
A Lloydminster man and a Saskatoon woman arrested by RCMP for having a stolen vehicle were allegedly in possession of weapons for a dangerous purpose. Shaylean Dillon, 23, of Saskatoon, and Leyen Meesto, 37, of Lloydminster, Sask., were arrested Feb. 23 after Lloydminster RCMP got a call at about 6 p.m. about a stolen vehicle. Police kept an eye out for the vehicle and soon spotted it at a business on 18 Street in Lloydminster. RCMP towed the vehicle for a forensic examination but wouldn’t say what prompted them to do so. Dillon has been charged with possession of property obtained by crime, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, resisting/obstructing a peace officer and driving while prohibited. Meesto was charged with possession of property obtained by crime, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, resisting/obstructing a peace officer, failing to comply with a probation order and two counts of failing to comply with conditions of a release order. Meesto was remanded into custody and appears in Lloydminster, Alta., Provincial Court on March 2. Dillon was released and appears in Lloydminster Sask., Provincial Court on March 23. The charges against Dillon and Meesto haven’t been proven in court. Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
Alma pourrait intenter des recours judiciaires envers Bell Mobilité puisque l’entreprise ne paie pas son bail pour la location d’installations. Depuis 2016, Bell Mobilité loue des espaces sur 16 poteaux électriques à Alma pour des émetteurs-récepteurs de téléphonie cellulaire. Dès le départ, elle n’a jamais payé les frais liés à l’analyse de la demande ainsi qu’à l’hébergement des équipements. Selon le bureau des communications du maire, la multinationale doit 10 000 $ à la Ville. Pour justifier son absence de paiement, elle invoque une entente datant de 1958 visant les équipements de téléphonie sur les poteaux. Or, Alma plaide que cette entente ne vise que les équipements de téléphonie et non ceux de la téléphonie cellulaire. « Malgré les nombreuses démarches qu’on a initiées à la ville d’Alma pour que Bell régularise la situation, on se heurte à un mur. C’est un refus total de collaborer. Le contrat finit en juin 2021 et il ne se renouvelle pas automatiquement. Ce qu’on souhaite donc faire, c’est transmettre un avis de fin de contrat d’ici le 1er mars et de demander à Bell Mobilité de retirer ses équipements », a indiqué le conseiller municipal Frédéric Tremblay lors de la séance du conseil municipal le 15 février. Mesquinerie Le maire d’Alma, Marc Asselin, soutient que l’entreprise fait preuve de « mesquinerie » malgré la bonne foi de la ville. « Je le dis assez souvent concernant les entreprises, il y en a qui sont de bons citoyens corporatifs, qui participent à l’évolution de leur société. Bell, c’est une multinationale qui fait des sous, des surplus importants. Elle doit contribuer comme les autres. Tous nos efforts de discussion ont été faits d’une manière respectueuse. Or, on a une fin de non-recevoir. Ils font des profits avec les citoyens d’Alma », déplore le premier magistrat. Recours La municipalité pourrait du même coup intenter des recours judiciaires envers l’entreprise de télécommunication. En effet, le Service du greffe et le cabinet d’avocats Cain Lamarre ont été mandatés afin de transmettre les avis, préparer les recours et prendre entente pour récolter les sommes dues. Julien B. Gauthier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Lac St-Jean
More than 850 cows that have spent months on a ship in the Mediterranean are no longer fit for transport and should be killed, Spain's Agriculure Ministry said on Saturday, confirming an earlier Reuters report. The cows were kept in what an animal rights activist called "hellish" conditions on the Karim Allah, which docked in the southeastern Spanish port of Cartagena on Thursday after struggling to find a buyer for the cattle during the past two months. The animals were rejected by several countries over fears they had bovine bluetongue virus.
Pour une deuxième journée consécutive, la région du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean jouit d'une absence de nouveaux cas. Le total régional demeure donc à 8 817 depuis le début de la pandémie. Aucun décès supplémentaire s'ajoute au bilan. À cet effet, le total reste inchangé à 264 décès. Depuis le 21 février, seulement 7 nouveaux cas du coronavirus se sont ajoutés au bilan régional. En date de vendredi, 15 cas étaient actifs. Le CIUSSS n'était toutefois pas en mesure de fournir le nombre d'hospitalisations. À l'échelle du Québec, on dénombre 858 nouveaux cas. Les hospitalisations sont en baisse à 599, soit 11 de moins qu'hier. 112 personnes sont aux soins intensifs. 13 nouveaux décès s'ajoutent, portant le total à 10 385 depuis un an. Vaccination En ce qui a trait à la vaccination, 15 902 doses ont été administrées hier, pour un total de 418 399, à l'échelle du Québec. Jusqu'à présent, la province a reçu 537 825 doses. Julien B. Gauthier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Lac St-Jean
Existant depuis plusieurs décennies, le Club de ski de fond de Matane envisage l’avenir avec optimisme. Même en ce temps de pandémie de la COVID-19, principalement parce qu’il n’a aucune dette et qu’il compte plus de 300 membres. « Nous avons tout ce qu’il faut pour être opérationnel, assure le président depuis trois ans, Paul Gauthier. Il n’est pas question de s’endetter pour plaire davantage à quelques personnes, par exemple en construisant un plus gros chalet avec un service de bar. Ce n’est vraiment pas notre objectif. » Optimisme au Club de ski de fond de MataneBien au chaud Érigé en 1992 par des bénévoles, le chalet L’Igloo peut normalement accueillir bien au chaud de 15 à 20 personnes. Mais en raison de la pandémie, il ne peut en recevoir que deux dans le respect des normes en vigueur. Comme il est en bonne situation financière, le Club a pu embaucher trois personnes pour diminuer la charge de travail des bénévoles, soit Donald Bouffard pour le traçage des sentiers, ainsi que Gina Bernier et Lucie Lacroix à l’accueil. La pandémie ne nous a pas trop affectés – Paul Gauthier « Comme nos activités se déroulent principalement l’extérieur et que les conditions météo sont propices, note Paul Gauthier, la pandémie ne nous a pas trop affectés. Quoique nous ayons dû annuler nos sorties nocturnes. Nous constatons aussi une plus grande participation des gens habituellement habitués à passer l’hiver à la chaleur, dans le Sud. Ils ont ressorti leurs skis ou raquettes! » En exploitation depuis décembre cette saison, le Club offre 18 km de sentiers de ski de fond, 20 km de sentiers de raquette et 5 km de sentiers de vélo d’hiver fatbike, en collaboration avec le Club de Vélo Éolien de Matane. Il est accessible de 10 h à 16 h en semaine et de 9 h à 16 h la fin de semaine. Outre les cartes de membres et les forfaits, la tarification quotidienne est de12 $ par jour pour le ski de fond et de 4 $ pour la raquette. Romain Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Monmatane.com
WASHINGTON — Federal investigators probing the death of a U.S. Capitol Police officer killed in the Jan. 6 riot have zeroed in on a suspect seen on video appearing to spray a chemical substance on the officer before he later collapsed and died, two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. The FBI has obtained video that shows the person spraying Brian Sicknick and other law enforcement officers during the Jan. 6 riot, the people said. But they cautioned that federal agents haven't yet identified the suspect by name and the act hasn't been directly tied to Sicknick's death. The idea that Sicknick died after being sprayed by a chemical irritant has emerged in recent weeks as a new theory in the case. Investigators initially believed that Sicknick was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, based on statements collected early in the investigation, according to one of the people and another law enforcement official briefed on the case. But as they've collected more evidence, the theory of the case has evolved and investigators now believe Sicknick may have ingested a chemical substance — possibly bear spray — during the riot that may have contributed to his death, the officials said. The people could not publicly discuss the details of an ongoing investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Sicknick died after defending the Capitol against the mob that stormed the building as Congress was voting to certify Joe Biden’s electoral win over Donald Trump. It came after Trump urged supporters on the National Mall to “fight like hell” to overturn his defeat. The circumstances surrounding Sicknick’s death remain unclear and a final cause of death has not yet been determined. Capitol Police have said he died after he was injured “while physically engaging with protesters” and this week, the agency’s acting chief said officials consider it a line-of-duty death. Sicknick collapsed later on, was hospitalized and died. The Justice Department opened a federal murder investigation into his death, but prosecutors are still evaluating what specific charges could be brought in the case, the people said. In a statement late Friday, Capitol Police said the medical examiner’s report on Sicknick’s death is not yet complete. “We are awaiting toxicology results and continue to work with other government agencies regarding the death investigation,” the statement said. The New York Times first reported investigators were zeroing in on one suspect in the case; CNN previously reported law enforcement had collected video evidence to identify a handful of potential suspects. The FBI has already released about 250 photos of people being sought for assaulting federal law enforcement officers during the riot. Some have already been arrested and the Justice Department said about 300 people have been charged with federal offences related to the riot. Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
A Vancouver-area health authority says people at three schools in the region have tested positive for a COVID-19 variant of concern.A news release from Fraser Health says it is working with the Surrey school district to manage COVID-19 exposures at Queen Elizabeth Secondary School, Frank Hurt Secondary School and M.B. Sanford Elementary School. It says the cases involving an unspecified COVID-19 variant appear to be linked to community transmissions, but the schools will remain open. The health authority also declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Royal Columbian Hospital on Friday.It says five patients at the hospital tested positive for COVID-19 after evidence of transmission in a medicine unit.It says the emergency department remains open and no other areas have been impacted.Meanwhile, an outbreak at the CareLife Fleetwood long-term care home in Surrey was declared over.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2021. The Canadian Press