On the latest Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast, Scott Pianowski and Andy Behrens give you the tight ends you need to pickup to replace George Kittle as he is out at least 8 weeks with a foot fracture.
On the latest Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast, Scott Pianowski and Andy Behrens give you the tight ends you need to pickup to replace George Kittle as he is out at least 8 weeks with a foot fracture.
WILMINGTON, Del. — President-elect Joe Biden's pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget is quickly emerging as a political battle that could disrupt his efforts to swiftly fill out his administration.Some Republicans are expressing doubt that Neera Tanden could be confirmed by the Senate after she spent years attacking GOP lawmakers on social media — and many panned the choice.Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton claimed Tanden’s rhetoric was “Filled with hate & guided by the woke left.”Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn said Tanden's “combative and insulting comments" about Republican senators created “certainly a problematic path." He called her “maybe (Biden's) worst nominee so far" and “radioactive.”Potential Budget Committee Chair Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was less hostile, telling reporters, “Let's see what happens." Moderate Susan Collins, R-Maine, a target of Tanden's, said, “I do not know her or much about her, but I've heard she's a very prolific user of Twitter.”Such sentiment is notable considering the GOP's general reluctance to criticize President Donald Trump's broadsides on Twitter. But like all of Biden's nominees, Tanden has little margin for error as she faces confirmation in a closely divided Senate.That could be especially daunting for Tanden, the former adviser to Hillary Clinton and the president of the centre-left Center for American Progress, given her history of political combat.Biden's transition team released a litany of praise for Tanden from figures including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.Other Democrats also rushed to defend Tanden's nomination. Former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett said Tanden “grew up on welfare and lived in public housing. She experienced first hand the importance of our social programs. Her extraordinary career has been devoted to improving opportunities for working families. She is an excellent choice to lead OMB.”“Neera Tanden is smart, experienced, and qualified for the position of OMB Director,” added Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, a member of the party’s progressive wing. “The American people decisively voted for change - Mitch McConnell shouldn’t block us from having a functioning government that gets to work for the people we serve.”On the Senate floor, Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said it's impossible to take Republicans' criticism of Tanden seriously.“Honestly, the hypocrisy is astounding. If Republicans are concerned about criticism on Twitter, their complaints are better directed at President Trump,” Schumer said.At OMB, Tanden would be responsible for preparing Biden’s budget submission and would command several hundred budget analysts, economists and policy advisers with deep knowledge of the inner workings of the government.If Democrats should win runoff elections for Georgia’s two GOP-held Senate seats, Tanden’s job would become hugely important because the party would gain a slim majority in the chamber. That would allow them to pass special budget legislation that could roll back Trump’s tax cuts, boost the Affordable Care Act and pursue other spending goals. OMB would have a central role in such legislation.Top Democrats, Biden included, supported anti-deficit packages earlier in their careers, but the party has since changed. Biden was a force behind the establishment of the Obama deficit commission, which was created to win votes of Democratic moderates to pass an increase in the government’s borrowing cap and was chaired by former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles.Tanden shares a commonly held view among Democratic lawmakers that Republicans usually profess concerns about deficits only when Democrats are in power, pointing to tax cut packages passed in the opening year of Trump’s administration and former President George W. Bush’s 2001 tax cut.___Taylor reported from Washington.Zeke Miller And Andrew Taylor, The Associated Press
Russia is trying to import foreign-made drugs to fight the COVID-19 pandemic due to a shortage of products at home, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Tuesday, as authorities reported a record 569 new daily deaths from the coronavirus. Russia has several vaccines against the virus in the works and produces some drugs domestically, including Coronavir and Avifavir, both of which are based on favipiravir, which was developed in Japan and is widely used there as the basis for treatment. During a meeting with senior government officials on Tuesday, Murashko said there was a problem with the supply of favipiravir in some regions.
NEW YORK — The year's most played artist on Spotify? Globally speaking: Bad Bunny. The Puerto Rican superstar is the music platform’s most-streamed artist of the year with 8.3 billion streams globally. The Latin Grammy winner and hitmaker , who released a new album last week, leads a top five list that also includes Drake, J Balvin, Juice WRLD and The Weeknd. With more than 3.3 billion streams, Bad Bunny’s sophomore solo album “YHLQMDLG” tops Spotify’s list of most-streamed albums globally. The Weeknd’s “After Hours,” Post Malone’s “Hollywood’s Bleeding,” Harry Styles’ “Fine Line” and Dua Lipa’s “Future Nostalgia” round of the top five. The Weeknd’s album is the only one in the top five to earn no Grammy nominations. The album’s single, “Blinding Lights,” is Spotify’s most-streamed song of the year with 1.6 million streams globally. “Dance Monkey” by Australian singer Tones and I is the second most-streamed song of the year, while Roddy Ricch’s “The Box,” SAINt JHN’s “Roses – Imanbek Remix” and Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now” came in third, fourth and fifth, respectively. In the U.S., late rapper Juice WRLD was the most-streamed artist on Spotify. His album “Legends Never Die” was the platform’s most-streamed album in the U.S., while Ricch’s “The Box” was the country's most-streamed song. Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd may discontinue its premium Galaxy Note phone next year, sources with knowledge of the matter said, a move that would reflect the sharp drop in demand for high-end smartphones due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Galaxy Note, known for its large screen and a stylus for note-taking, is one of two Samsung premium phone series - the other being the more compact Galaxy S which draws in consumers with its state-of-the-art parts. At present, the South Korean tech giant does not have plans to develop a new version of the Galaxy Note for 2021, three sources said, declining to be identified as the plans were not public.
Is shopping in stores safe during the pandemic?There are ways to reduce risk, but health experts advise avoiding it when possible.The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says holiday shopping in crowded stores is a “higher risk” activity and that people should limit any in-person shopping, including at supermarkets.Instead, the agency recommends shopping online, visiting outdoor markets or using curbside pickup, where workers bring orders to your car.If you need to enter a store, go during off hours when there will likely be fewer people. Wear a mask and stay at least 6 feet away from others.Try to spend as little time inside the store as possible, says Dr. Isaac Weisfuse, a public health expert at Cornell University.“You just want to go in and out,” he says. “Get your shopping done and move on.”Use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when you leave, and then wash your hands with soap and water when you get home.Retailers have been doing all kinds of things to make shoppers feel safe, but they don't eliminate the risk. Some check shoppers' temperatures at the entrance, for example, but an infected person may not have a fever and can still spread the virus.The plastic barriers between customers and cashiers also might not block all droplets from an infected person, Weisfuse says. If the air in a store feels stuffy, he says that’s a sign of poor ventilation, and you should leave.___The AP is answering your questions about the coronavirus in this series. Submit them at: FactCheck@AP.org.Read previous Viral Questions:What does emergency use of a COVID-19 vaccine mean?Is it safe to stay in hotels during the pandemic?Is it safe yet to fly during the pandemic?The Associated Press
ATLANTA — Georgia voters on Tuesday are choosing the short-term replacement for civil rights legend John Lewis. Former Atlanta City Council member Kwanza Hall and former Morehouse College President Robert Franklin are contesting a runoff election. The men finished first and second, but no one won a majority in a first round of voting in September among seven candidates. The winner of the two Democrats will only fill the seat until Jan. 3, though. State senator and state Democratic Party chair Nikema Williams easily defeated Republican Angela Stanton King in November for a full two-year-term starting in January. Williams and King didn’t run in the special election. The 5th Congressional District includes most of the city of Atlanta, as well as some suburban areas of Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton counties. Turnout could be light, after fewer than 31,000 people voted in September. Lewis died at age 80 from pancreatic cancer in July after 34 years in Congress. He was the youngest and last survivor of the speakers at the 1963 March on Washington, when Lewis led the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He was best known for leading protesters in the 1965 “Bloody Sunday” march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, where he was beaten by state troopers. Hall and Franklin both contend they can get something accomplished during a short stay in Congress. Voting on a temporary federal budget could be the most significant act that Hall or Franklin takes, although there are still fading hopes of additional COVID-19 relief legislation. The 49-year-old Hall touts his experience on the Atlanta City Council and the Atlanta school board, saying he will make the most of his limited time to try to focus on directing money to the district’s top concerns. “People know me as someone who has gotten something done,” Hall said of his previous positions. Franklin and Hall share similar positions on issues, but Franklin, now a theology professor at Emory University, preaches a higher cause as well. “It’s about moral leadership at a time of national crisis,” said the 66-year-old Franklin, who promises to call attention to Lewis’ legacy and to further Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of the “beloved community." Franklin has raised $282,000, including $65,000 he loaned his campaign, while Hall has raised $194,000. Jeff Amy, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Major Biden is getting an early start in the spotlight as a presidential pet after a play date ended with his owner, President-elect Joe Biden, suffering a broken foot. As if that weren’t enough for one weekend, it was also confirmed that Major will have to share the White House with, of all things, a cat.It’ll get better, Major.In a few weeks, Major, fellow German shepherd Champ and the TBD feline are expected to make the move to the White House. Presidential pets provide their owners with a source of comfort, entertainment, occasional drama and generally good PR.The arrival of the Biden pets will also mark the next chapter in a long history of pets residing at the White House after a four-year hiatus during the Trump administration.“Pets have always played an important role in the White House throughout the decades,” said Jennifer Pickens, an author who studies White House traditions. “It not only provides companionship to the president and their family, but I believe it also humanizes and softens their political image.”Having a dog or cat will give some pet-loving constituents a connection with the president, added Tom Whalen, a presidential historian at Boston University.“When a president, the leader of the country, the leader of the free world really, is seen with a dog or a cat, you know, basically there is a bond that they have with their public, whether they’re Republican or Democrat," Whalen said.President Theodore Roosevelt had Skip, who is described by the White House Historical Association as a “short-legged Black and Tan mongrel terrier brought home from a Colorado bear hunt.” Warren G. Harding had Laddie Boy, who sat in on meetings and had his own Cabinet chair. And President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had his beloved terrier Fala. At night, Fala slept in a special chair at the foot of the president's bed.More recently, President George H.W. Bush’s English springer spaniel Millie was featured on “The Simpsons” and starred in a bestseller, “Millie’s Book: As dictated to Barbara Bush.” Hillary Clinton followed Bush’s lead with a children’s book about family dog Buddy and cat Socks: “Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ Letters to the First Pets."When he declared victory in the 2008 presidential race, Barack Obama told his daughters: “You have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House.” Several months later, Bo joined the family, a gift from Sen. Ted Kennedy. A few years later, fellow Portuguese water dog Sunny would arrive to provide companionship.Among the stranger White House pets was Calvin Coolidge and first lady Grace Coolidge’s raccoon named Rebecca. She was given to the Coolidge family by a supporter who suggested the raccoon be served for Thanksgiving dinner, according to the White House Historical Association. But instead she got an embroidered collar with the title “White House Raccoon” and entertained children at the White House Easter Egg Roll.Some notable pets belonged to first kids, including Amy Carter’s Siamese cat, Misty Malarky Ying Yang, and Caroline Kennedy’s pony, Macaroni. The Kennedy family had a veritable menagerie, complete with dogs, cats, birds, hamsters and a rabbit named Zsa Zsa.President Harry Truman famously said that “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog." It should not be a surprise that many presidents have taken him up on that advice. The first President Bush once said, “There is nothing like the unconditional love of a dog to help you get through the rough spots."“From a presidential perspective, you know, a dog or cat or horse, they’re great because they’re nonjudgmental. They’re going to give you their unqualified love. And they’re not going to criticize what you did in Somalia or how the economy is doing," Whalen said. “The pets are always there for you. And I think presidents, whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, need that kind of reassurance from time to time, given how things are."___Associated Press video journalist Mike Householder contributed to this report from Detroit.Kevin Freking, The Associated Press
Most food banks in Ontario experienced a “rapid surge in demand” during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report published by Feed Ontario. One of the Sudbury Food Bank’s agencies reported a 150 per cent increase in the number of people accessing emergency food support each day, while Manitoulin Family Resources served 1,500 clients during their busiest month – a significant increase from their regular 300 to 330 clients. “COVID-19 has compounded the already extreme challenges that are being faced by low-income Ontarians, and it has really impacted all communities,” said Carolyn Stewart, executive director of Feed Ontario. “Particularly in terms of food bank use, we are concerned about what’s to come in the winter months.” The 2020 Hunger Report released on Monday looked at data from 130 direct member food banks and 1,100 affiliate services that was gathered between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020. It also included a special feature about the impact of COVID-19 on emergency food assistance services from the onset of the pandemic on March 17 to September 2020. About 1 in 8 Ontarians – or 13 per cent of Ontario households – were considered food insecure in 2018, and 537,575 individuals accessed food bank services in the province between 2019 and 2020. More than 3.2 million visits were made to food banks in Ontario during the same period, and 33 per cent of food bank visits were from children. In the last two years, the province has seen a 7.8 per cent increase in the number of people accessing support, and an 11.8 per cent increase in the number of visits being made. “Unfortunately, food bank use continues to rise and last year was no exception. We believe this continual increase in food bank use is driven by three things: an inadequate social safety net, precarious employment, and unaffordable housing,” said Stewart. “For example, over 85 per cent of those that we serve are either rental or social housing tenants who spend over 70 per cent of their monthly income on rent. The good place to be, they say, is around 30 per cent. That’s significantly more, and it leaves little room for anything else.” More than 65 per cent of individuals who visited food banks in the last year were on social assistance, many of them receiving far less than the “national standard” of $2,000 set by the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). There has also been a 44 per cent increase in the number of employed people accessing food bank services over the last four years. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated these pre-existing issues. From March to June, food banks saw an overall 26.5 increase in the number of first-time users. Out of 200 food bank users surveyed in September, roughly 50 per cent are worried about defaulting on a mortgage or facing eviction in the next two to six months. An additional 90 per cent are incurring a significant amount of debt just to cover their expenses. Manitoulin Family Resources, an agency that provides programming related to violence against women prevention, children’s services, and emergency food assistance to Manitoulin Island, shared its story with Feed Ontario for the purpose of the report. “While the initial days of the pandemic were very quiet for food bank requests, it caused concern that we were not even receiving requests from some of our regular visitors,” said the organization. “(Eventually), referrals began to increase, sometimes high, sometimes low, but then came a day where a worker called with 700 names of those in need. It was a turning point.” The organization decided to send prepared pallets of food for pickup instead of their regular individual baskets. The pallets were then delivered and distributed to households in the area. “For three consecutive months, our food bank provided food to over 1,000 individuals, with the highest month being over 1,500. As restrictions have eased in the province, we have seen a drop from those high numbers,” said Manitoulin Family Resources in the report. “Some have speculated that individuals have had financial stability due in large part to CERB, but as CERB evolves and COVID numbers have again started to rise at a faster rate than the earlier wave, we are attempting to prepare for what will come.” The report confirmed that according to the data, government income supports like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the moratorium on evictions and the student loan interest freeze did help relieve some of the pressure on food bank use. Community initiatives like pop-up food banks and meal programs also worked alongside government intervention to address the emergency need for food. “Food banks would like to work ourselves out of business. No food bank thinks that we are the solution to food insecurity or poverty. Rather, we are serving an emergency need in the community,” said Stewart. “The only way to address that need is good public policy. In our report, we do recommend a few key things to help move that needle forward.” These things include reinstating the CERB benefit for those who have been impacted by COVID-19 as well as rent relief for low-income tenants that are facing large rent arrears or eviction, and the overhauling of Ontario’s social assistance programs so that recipients have the means to move out of poverty. “Ontarians need access to quality employment, support services that do not perpetuate or deepen poverty, and access to safe, adequate, and affordable housing,” concluded the report. “By investing in these key solutions, the Government of Ontario will not only reduce poverty and food insecurity, but also build a more equitable and healthier province for the people and families that call it home.” The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government. email@example.com Twitter: @SudburyStar Colleen Romaniuk, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star
Edna Lenora Perry broke stained-glass ceilings. And in doing so, she sunk a church floor — at least, that’s what attendees at Edna’s ordination ceremony whispered to one another when the wood flooring gave way at St. John’s Cathedral before she became one of the first female Anglican priests in the country. “There was some real resentment to having a woman involved,” says Sheldon Perry, Edna’s middle son, who recalls the moment catastrophe forced 300 people to evacuate the Winnipeg place of worship on March 24, 1981. It was, in fact, a combination of heavy rain, basement construction and high capacity that resulted in pews shifting on temporary floorboards sagging more than a half-metre. Edna hardly seemed fazed; she, two male deacons and their supporters simply drove to another church to complete the ceremony. The people who were close to her will say this was no outlier achievement in Edna’s 96 years. When she set her mind to something, she made it happen — sexism be damned. ● ● ● In Edna’s obituary, published shortly after she died of old age at Middlechurch Home earlier this year, her life is succinctly described as “productive.” That is an understatement. She raised three sons, John, Sheldon and Keith Perry, juggled careers as an educator and priest, and maintained an endless list of volunteer activities that earned her the honour of having a residential street in Transcona named after her: Edna Perry Way. She even made time to publish an autobiography, with help from her youngest son. As written in the introduction of A Prairie Girl’s Life: The Story of The Reverend Edna Lenora Perry, “Edna didn’t have to wait until the Dirty ’30s for life to get hard; she was born to it.” On June 30, 1923, she came into the world and met older siblings Frank, Ethel, Theo and May. Her parents, George Frank and Ethel Jenny Martens moved from The Pas to the Manitoba capital for a brief period, when Edna was born, before accepting a farmland subsidy from the province that took them to Marchand. A tight family budget meant she spent much of her childhood making up games. On the farm, she and her sister Mary would drape a large blanket over both sides of their sturdy resident plough horse and play “house” underneath the animal. Despite the early hardships, Edna looked back on those memories fondly when she reflected on her life, recalls Keith, her youngest son and the co-writer of the book about her life story. Edna and her youngest child undertook what would become an 11-year-project to compile A Prairie Girl’s Life after the love of her life, Jack Perry died in 2002. “She needed something to fill the void,” Keith says. Edna and Jack met at a dinner and dance organized for English trainees of the Royal Air Force in Carberry. She was set up with another airman, but as soon as the duo locked eyes, she knew Jack was “the one.” She promptly asked his date if they could swap seats. In 1944, Jack was recalled to the U.K. for the final big push of the Second World War. But as always, Edna was determined and found a way to England by posing as a war correspondent and hopping on a boat. A talented pianist, she played wartime songs long after the battle ended. She had married Jack in 1945 in his hometown of Devon, England, and they returned to the Prairies so Jack would have better job prospects. “One of her favourite expressions was, ‘Let’s have a party.’ She just liked getting together and playing music. She played (piano) by ear, so when she lost her sight, that didn’t affect her playing,” says eldest son John. Edna played piano during the square dance nights she organized at Transcona East End Community Centre. While raising three sons, Edna resumed her career as a schoolteacher and climbed the ranks to become a principal. Before she met Jack, she was working in a one-room schoolhouse with a limited teaching permit she received during the war. Edna was passionate about science and outdoor education, which motivated her to organize camping trips and found the Manitoba Outdoor Education Association. She also lobbied for the creation of kindergarten and eyesight clinics in the Springfield-Transcona School Division. John recalls his mother being so successful in getting students involved in science fairs that the local association of science teachers took notice. The board asked “E.L. Perry” to join the group, but rescinded the offer once they learned she was a woman. “She was truly a woman ahead of her time who didn’t let her gender define her life or ambitions,” says Shelley Hart, a family friend. Earning two degrees — in education and theology — while raising her family and taking in friends who were in need of a loving home were just some of her glass-ceiling-shattering accomplishments, Hart says. Edna was an Anglican minister at numerous cathedrals, in northeast Winnipeg and in Teulon. She was also chaplain of the Transcona Legion and the Mothers’ Union. When she suddenly lost her sight in 1989, she conducted funerals and weddings by memory. Jack read the Bible verses aloud and she taped them, so she could replay them repeatedly and write sermons from the audio. Rev. Brian Ford says Edna was always open-minded and “on the positive side” of history in the Anglican Church. She welcomed the ordination of women and gay men as priests when there was still debate about the subject, as well as allowing children to take communion without having been confirmed, Ford says. In the seven years before Edna died, Ford visited her twice every week at Middlechurch Home. He’d take a Thermos of tea and if Edna was lucky, homemade cookies from his wife. It was during these visits the friends would read together and reflect on Edna’s “productive” life — from her early days on the farm to being a war bride and beyond. Edna is survived by her three children, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. For Keith, her youngest child, “matriarch” is the best word to describe his mother and her legacy.Maggie Macintosh, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Free Press
Ottawa is rolling out a wave of new funding for pandemic-battered industries including tourism, the arts and regional aviation, with smaller companies top of mind — and large airlines notably absent.The Liberal government's fiscal update sketches out a program that will provide low-interest loans of up to $1 million for badly hurt entrepreneurs.The aid, dubbed the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP), comes on top of a newly expanded emergency loan program already in place for small businesses, and technically is not limited to certain industries.Meanwhile the devastated tourism sector will have access to one-quarter of the more than $2 billion that Ottawa is doling out to regional development agencies through June 2021, including a $500-million top-up announced Monday.The move aims to bolster an industry made up largely of small and medium-sized businesses and that accounts for roughly 750,000 jobs and two per cent of GDP, according to the government.Another $181.5 million will flow to show business and performers via the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts, the fall economic statement says.Rent relief and nearly $700 million in capital investments are en route to airports over six years. About $206 million in further support is bound for regional aviation, including smaller airlines, via a new "regional air transportation initiative" overseen by development agencies.But an aid package targeting big players such as Air Canada and WestJet Airlines remains in the works as talks with Ottawa drag on, with the lack of specifics in the fiscal update frustrating industry leaders.“We had hoped to get a better sense of where the government was going. Instead they repeated the line that they've repeated several times over the past several months — that they’re ‘establishing a process with major airlines regarding financial assistance,’ ” said Mike McNaney, head of the National Airlines Council of Canada.Countries around the world have given carriers US$173 billion in support, he said. Many have also required airlines to offer refunds for cancelled flights, something Ottawa says will be a condition of any bailout."We are very much a global outlier and are ostensibly stuck at Stage Zero on the government planning process," McNaney — whose industry group represents Air Canada, WestJet, Transat and Jazz Aviation — said in a phone interview.The regional aviation support comes with question marks, as well."A regional initiative, what’s that?" asked John McKenna, CEO of the Air Transport Association of Canada, which represents some 30 regional airlines. "We have no idea. We have not been consulted," he said in a phone interview. "Never mind new initiatives, try to support the existing services so they survive."In a speech to the House of Commons, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland stressed the benefits of the broader government-backed loan program for smaller companies."We know that businesses in tourism, hospitality, travel, arts and culture have been particularly hard-hit," Freeland said."So we’re creating a new stream of support for those businesses that need it most — a credit availability program with 100 per cent government-backed loan support and favourable terms for businesses that have lost revenue as people stay home to fight the spread of the virus."The HASCAP credit program will offer interest rates below the market average, according to the fiscal update, with more details coming "soon."It also said the government is "exploring options to enhance" a federal loan program for big companies, little-loved by industry since its inception in the spring.The Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) offers loans of $60 million or more to large businesses facing cash problems, but comes with an interest rate that jumps to eight per cent from five per cent after the first year — far above typical private-sector lending rates.Only two firms have been approved for LEEFF loans since the Liberals announced the program on May 11, according to the Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation: a casino company and a producer of metallurgical coal.NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh criticized the government for failing to offer industry aid that includes explicit job protections."They have not rolled out any sector-specific supports, meaningfully, that are tied to jobs," he said.Bloc Québécois Yves-François Blanchet slammed the lack of "precision" in the fiscal snapshot."They basically say that there is no limit to what they will spend, without saying or without admitting how badly you spend it," he said.The $686 million in airport aid includes $500 million over six years, starting this year, to back infrastructure spending at large airports that would include massive transit projects, such as the new light-rail station at the Montreal airport.The government is also proposing to extend $229 million in additional rent relief to the 21 airport authorities that pay rent to Ottawa, with "comparable treatment" for Ports Toronto, which operates Billy Bishop airport in downtown Toronto.The supports unveiled Monday come on top of Ottawa's pan-sectoral announcement to raise the wage subsidy to 75 per cent of company payroll costs — it was reduced to a maximum of 65 per cent in October — as well as an extension of the rent subsidy to mid-March from the end of 2020.David Chartrand, Quebec coordinator for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, applauded the wage subsidy, but lamented the radio silence on large airlines."After almost 10 months of crisis, still nothing," he said in a release in French.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020.Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press
A crucial caveat expected in Monday’s fiscal statement from Ottawa failed to manifest: there is no end in sight to federal spending amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As Canada stares down a nearly $400-billion, record-high deficit for 2020, the Liberal government plans to spend up to $100 billion over the next three years, along with a further $25.1 billion in immediate measures to support workers and businesses affected by the novel coronavirus. That’s not all. In a long-awaited speech from the House of Commons, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland did not provide a “fiscal anchor,” or spending cap, to draw any red lines around the limit to which the feds will continue funnelling toward an economic recovery she acknowledged is still well-off the horizon. Not only is the newly announced additional spending currently unaccounted in the government’s fiscal framework, the ultimate size and timing of future investments could also vary, depending on the evolving health and economic situation. “We will invest every single necessary and helpful measure,” said Freeland, adding $8 out of every $10 spent on fighting the pandemic will continue to come from Ottawa. “We will support Canadian families and businesses in a deliberate, prudent and effective way.” Providing future tax targets and economic measures in what is essentially a mini-budget, and currently Canada’s only financial blueprint for the future, Freeland said the government’s immediate priority is to do “whatever it takes” to help Canadians stay safe and solvent. “When the economy has recovered, the time-limited stimulus will be withdrawn and Canada will resume a prudent and responsible fiscal path,” Freeland said at a news conference Monday. “We don’t have a long-term fiscal anchor for now. That will come when the economy is more stable.” Until then, she told reporters, the government will rely on “fiscal guardrails,” such as the employment rate and total hours worked. But she admitted the specific details on those “guardrails” aren’t yet available. “More information will be released on that in the coming months,” said Freeland. “And I have to say, government debt is highly affordable now because of Canada’s strong economic performance in the past and low interest rates.” To pay for it all, Canada will continue to borrow against current debt loads and will run a deficit which is the largest budget shortfall since the Second World War. For investors, commerce stakeholders and the independent parliamentary budget office, that means Monday’s announcement is a source of worry. Nine months into COVID-19, they are troubled Canada will continue spending funds at the risk of unsustainable costs in the future. “I’d say I’m surprised, but really I’m not,” said Don Drummond, an economist at C.D. Howe Institute. “This is the government’s way of squaring demands, and it’s frankly highly unmanageable if they just want to keep spending all this money without any end to it.” Drummond said the lack of a spending cap is also a problem for public accountability. “It’s not that I don’t think they should be spending funds to help people during this crisis,” he said. “The problem is that there’s no end to it when we also haven’t had a budget in a year-and-a-half.” Kevin Page, who leads the University of Ottawa’s Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy, said the economic update also failed to deliver a message to markets and bond-rating agencies to address concerns about the growing size of the federal debt. He pointed to a recent IMF report, which showed Canada’s deficit — combining federal and provincial numbers — is the largest this year among almost all advanced economies, when measured as a percentage of GDP, with debts well below comparable countries. “But I also understand the other pressures they have had from provincial governments and business groups to keep spending, so it’s a difficult situation,” said Page. Monday’s report also forecasts $11 billion in “non-announced measures” for the next five years. That’s 10 times the amount forecast for the same period in the 2019 report. It remains unclear whether those will go towards coronavirus-related support or elsewhere. “I believe there should be a very public inquiry into this completely unclear and growing spending that will definitely cause significant harm in the future,” said Drummond. The outlook also mentioned federal debts as a percentage of GDP, before including the new stimulus. It showed those percentages will climb from 31.2 per cent from last year to 50.7 per cent this year, and 52.6 per cent next year. Following which, it will continue to decline. Those are numbers that have never been seen before, even in previous recessions. The finance minister said the risks associated with not providing enough economic support right now outweigh those involved in spending too much. Freeland said Ottawa will not repeat the “mistakes” made following the 2008 recession, when the federal government introduced austerity measures to rein in spending. “We are all tired. But we also know vaccines, and a better day, are coming. To get to that day, we must first help each other get through the winter,” she said.Temur Durrani, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Free Press
A new estimation tool attempts to predict how many people could become infected with COVID-19 in different indoor scenarios.View on euronews
In a release on Monday the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) announced that they would begin offering daily, drive-through mobile COVID-19 testing in Prince Albert on Wednesday, Dec. 2 in order to meet an increased demand. The testing will be available at the Cone Shop Car Wash located at 980 6th Ave E from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week. Requirements include anyone under 16 years old be accompanied by a parent or guardian and people who are seeking testing have a health card. “As first-come, first-served sites, the public should expect some wait times at the drive-thrus, due to possible demand for services and the protocols that need to be followed to ensure safety for everyone,” the release explained. At the site patient registration, specimen collection and cleaning protocols will need to be completed. “Everyone in each vehicle should be a member of the same family or family bubble, and as long as everyone in the vehicle has a valid Saskatchewan Health Card, everybody can get a test during the same visit.” They explained that offering these new testing sites is one way the SHA is expanding options for people to get tested for COVID-19. “Testing is part of the Saskatchewan Health Authority's strategy to limit the spread of COVID-19. “ The city’s current test site continues to operate with booked appointments via referral from 811 or your physician.Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald
As rising cases put Windsor-Essex public health resources under strain, officials are asking that people prepare isolation plans and that those who either test positive or think they have COVID-19 start a COVID diary. With 17 active outbreaks across several sectors and more than 400 active cases, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) said during its COVID-19 briefing Monday that staff are under strain and need peoples' support.Medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed said those steps — having an isolation plan and keeping a contacts diary — can significantly help public health's efforts. Ahmed said if you have been identified as a close contact of a confirmed case, you shouldn't wait for public health to get in touch, but start by getting tested and immediately implement isolation plans. But, what should be included in an isolation plan? What sorts of questions should you prepare to be asked by public health if you test positive? How can you be proactive in slowing the spread? Having a planKate Kemplin, a University of Windsor nursing professor, compares it to the hurricane evacuation plans she got used to growing up in Florida."It's almost like that in reverse — you're not evacuating, you're self-isolating," she said.This means thinking about how you're going to get all of your essential needs met while minimizing contact with others. That includes how you can get groceries delivered, whether a neighbour or anyone else is available to help you, and how you're going to get physical activity."If you need to go outside for a walk, you're going to do loops around your backyard or your living room," she said.If you need to go to work, you should also come up with a plan to keep contact to the absolute minimum. This means driving, or taking a taxi, Uber or Lyft to work — making sure that you stay in the back seat and as far away from the driver as possible. You should also think about how to ensure that you can keep your mask on at all times or as much as possible."Just small things we don't typically think about. Make some notes in your phone, leave a little post-it note with your plan," Kemplin said. When CBC News asked WECHU about isolation plans, a spokesperson pointed to isolation advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).The agency recommends that you: * Stay at home unless you need to go out for "time-sensitive medical services." * Arrange to have groceries and supplies dropped off at your residence. * Stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others if possible, * Disinfect and clean surfaces that you touch often at least once daily, among other measures.The PHAC also has a list of items it recommends you have if you need to isolate at home. It includes household cleaning products, medication to reduce fever and a thermometer, among others.Keeping a 'COVID' diaryKemplin also supports the idea of keeping a COVID diary — a document of all the places you've been and all your close contacts.The idea is that a COVID diary would be a useful tool if you have to provide information to contact tracers from the health unit."Even if it seems ridiculous at the time, we have to be willing to appear as if we overreacted, because that's how to keep the public safe," she said.Colin Furness, an infection control epidemiologist and an assistant professor at the University of Toronto, agrees."It's a great idea. And I think my first piece of advice is don't wait until you might be feeling sick or think that someone around you is," he said."I think a lot of people are wondering how they can be useful, how can they be helpful in this really dreadful time, and I think this is a perfect example of being able to be diligent and mindful," he added.Furness says the most important pieces of information to keep track of are where you've been indoors in an enclosed space, who you were with, how long you were there for, and whether people were wearing masks or not.If you're someone who has to work a job that involves a lot of contact with the public, things get more complicated. He says in that case it's especially important to keep track of times — what was happening when."Exposure time as we call it actually matters quite a lot," he said.Kemplin and Furness agree an even better strategy than keeping a diary is to have no need to do it by having so little contact with others."Contact tracing becomes incredibly easy if you don't go anywhere," Kemplin said.But keeping a COVID diary can be useful for another reason even if you don't expect to speak with a contact tracer soon, Furness says. It can give you a documented snapshot of how much contact you're having with other people in the pandemic. "I think it's great for mindfulness," he said.
VICTORIA — British Columbia recorded 46 more deaths over the last three days, its highest number of fatalities for that time period.Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry became emotional Monday as she expressed her condolences to families and thanked caregivers for their dedication.Henry says 80 per cent of the deaths were in long-term care homes, and 441 people have now died of COVID-19 in the province.She says 2,364 new infections were diagnosed between Friday and Monday, for a total of 33,238 cases since the pandemic began.Henry says the rise in deaths reflects the challenge of dealing with the virus in communities, and the impact on seniors when it gets into care homes.There are outbreaks in 57 long-term care and assisted living facilities as well as in five in acute-care units in British Columbia."Health-care workers have been at the front lines, or maybe the last line of defence right now," she says. "I know how challenging it is and I'm with you every single day, supporting you in admiration for the work that you're doing."Henry says most faith leaders are supporting her order banning religious services and understand that faith can be practised outside of buildings.The RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to a church in Langley after it held a service on the weekend."We are putting in the measures that we believe are the best we can do to protect communities, to protect our health and to protect us from transmission of this virus," Henry says.She says there's always an ethical dilemma when it comes to balancing the unintended consequences of her orders and how they affect people."How do you do just the right amount to try and keep this virus from spreading rapidly and causing so much suffering? There's no right answer to this, there's no perfect way of doing it and I will always be accused of doing too much or not enough."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020.The Canadian Press
A sunny Saturday in May 2009 took a dark turn when a boater in the Salish Sea north of Washington state's Orcas Island found a body floating in the water.The discovery sparked a mystery that has stumped authorities until earlier this month, when DNA profiling and cross-border collaboration brought closure to what had become an 11-year-old cold case in the U.S., and an 11-year-old missing person's case in B.C.B.C. RCMP say the body has been identified as Penticton man James Neufeld, last seen leaving home in his green Plymouth Voyager van on Jan. 21, 2009.The vehicle was found two weeks later at Alexandra Bridge Provincial Park in the Fraser Canyon, and the fate of the 55-year-old left to speculation. But this past September, the first step toward ultimately solving both mysteries came when the cold case of the unidentified body was reactivated with the understanding that updated DNA records might provide a new lead.According to Washington's San Juan County Coroner Randy Gaylord, a tooth sent to a lab in Baltimore was used to create a DNA profile which was then added to the FBI's the Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS.Because of the proximity to the border, the information was also shared with Canadian authorities. "We know that the Salish Sea crosses the boundary and people who die in Canada may float to the United States and vice versa," said Gaylord. Once in receipt of the new information, the B.C. Coroners Service was able to cross reference it against its own database."Mr. Neufeld's relative's [DNA] profile was present in our database and once the San Juan County Coroner sent us the profile, we entered it just to do a general search and it matched," said Laura Yazedjian, identification specialist with the B.C. Coroners Service.Gaylord says solving the cases is both sad and somewhat remarkable."It is believed he went into the [Fraser River] at the park," he said. "If you do a Google search from the Alexandra Bridge Provincial Park to where he was found, it's about 220 kilometres. It's just a remarkable distance for human remains to travel."He never thought it would take so long to identify the remains because there were two strong leads in 2009: forensic dental records and a four-inch medical plate from a previously broken left arm that had a model number on it.Information about both were circulated in Canada and the U.S. 11 years ago, but to no avail. "We put the dental records out ... but there was no hit. And the reason why is because Mr. Neufeld had not visited the dentist in 20 years," said Gaylord."So the second approach we thought would be successful is to follow up with the medical plate... We called 19 different hospitals in Canada from the East Coast to the West Coast. And every hospital gave us the same same answer: without the name of the person, the date of the installation or surgical procedure, they weren't able to identify who it was."Yazidjian hopes the positive identification helps bring Neufeld's family some closure."To be able to give them some answers after this long is one of the main reasons I do my job," she said.
WILMINGTON, Del. — Joe Biden has had his first look as president-elect at the President's Daily Brief, a top secret summary of U.S. intelligence and world events — a document former first lady Michelle Obama has called “The Death, Destruction, and Horrible Things Book." Biden has already had eyes on different iterations of the so-called PDB, which is tailored to the way each president likes to absorb information. More than a decade ago, Biden read President George W. Bush's PDB during Biden's transition into the vice presidency. After that, he read President Barack Obama's PDB for eight years. Beginning Monday, after a four-year break, he's reading President Donald Trump's PDB. “The briefers almost certainly will be asking Biden what he prefers in terms of format and style,” said David Priess, author of “The President’s Book of Secrets,” a history of the PDB. “At a minimum, they’re seeing what seems to resonate most with him so that when they make the book his book, they can tailor it to him.” Obama’s PDB was a 10- to 15-page document tucked in a leather binder, which he found waiting for him on the breakfast table. Later in his presidency, he liked reading the ultra-secret intelligence brief on a secured iPad. “Michelle called it “The Death, Destruction, and Horrible Things Book,” Obama wrote in his recently released book, ”A Promised Land." “On a given day, I might read about terrorist cells in Somalia or unrest in Iraq or the fact that the Chinese or Russians were developing new weapons systems," Obama wrote. "Nearly always, there was mention of potential terrorist plots, no matter how vague, thinly sourced, or unactionable — a form of due diligence on the part of the intelligence community, meant to avoid the kind of second-guessing that had transpired after 9-11.” From now until Inauguration Day, Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris will be reading the PDB crafted for Trump, who had delayed giving Biden and Harris access to it as he contests the outcome of the election. Trump, who prefers absorbing information in visual ways, likes short texts and graphics. “Trump himself said during his campaign and during the transition in 2016 that he did not like reading long documents — that he preferred bullet points,” said Priess, who has not seen any of Trump's PDBs. “It probably has charts, tables, graphs — things like that. Not the parody that people make that it's like a cartoon book ... but something that is more visual. But we don't know for sure.” The written brief, which Trump doesn't always read, often is followed by a verbal briefing with an intelligence official, although those oral briefings stopped at least for a time in October. Priess said he didn't know why they stopped or if they had resumed, but that they stopped at a time when Trump was spending much of his time on the campaign trail. Before Trump authorized Biden to get the PDB as president-elect, Biden was given some intelligence background briefings as a candidate. But they were more general and did not include the nation's top secrets. The other thing that a president-elect gets is a briefing "on CIA’s covert actions,” former acting CIA director Mike Morell said at an event hosted by the Center for Presidential Transition based in Washington. "It’s important for the president-elect to get this briefing ... because on Inauguration Day, these covert actions will become the new president’s.” In 1961, President John F. Kennedy read his first brief while sitting on the diving board of a swimming pool at his retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. President Lyndon Johnson liked to read his brief in the afternoon. President Richard Nixon relied on his national security adviser Henry Kissinger to peruse the briefs and tell him what he thought the president should know. As the laborious recount of ballots dragged on in 2000, President Bill Clinton decided that then-Gov. George W. Bush should get access to his PDB just in case he was the winner. Bush became was the first incoming president to read it before he was president-elect. Biden is getting the PDB later than usual because of Trump's ongoing protest of the election results. Trump approved the briefings for Biden last Tuesday, a day after his administration approved the formal transition process to his successor. When Biden walks into the Oval Office, he'll be inheriting nuclear threats from North Korea and Iran, changing political dynamics in the Middle East, the winding down of America’s presence in Afghanistan and rising competition from China. Biden had access to the PDB in Wilmington, Delaware. Harris received it in a secure room at the Commerce Department, where the presidential transition offices are located. Even Biden, who has decades of experience in foreign policy, could be the victim of an old political adage that no matter how informed he thinks he is, he could learn otherwise from the PDB. Former CIA Director Michael Hayden wrote in his book that revelations and new insight found in the PDB are known as “aw s---” moments. As in: “Aw s---," he wrote, "wish we hadn’t said that during that campaign stop in Buffalo.” ___ Riechmann reported from Washington. Deb Riechmann And Zeke Miller, The Associated Press
MIAMI — A 2-year-old girl is recovering after falling early Monday from a fourth-floor window of an apartment in Miami. A palm tree under the window helped slow the speed of the fall and the child landed in some bushes, Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll told WPLG. The child was being cuddled by her uncle and was crying when rescue crews arrived at the scene in Miami's Little Havana neighbourhood, Carroll told the television station. The girl was then taken to a hospital for treatment. Miami Police Cmdr. Freddie Cruz told the TV station that detectives were trying to determine what led to the fall and whether the girl’s parents bear any responsibility. No additional details were immediately available. Associated Press, The Associated Press
OTTAWA — The federal government is proposing millions of dollars in new spending as a down payment on a planned national child-care system that the Liberals say will be outlined in next spring's budget.As a start, the Liberals are proposing in their fiscal update to spend $420 million in grants and bursaries to help provinces and territories train and retain qualified early-childhood educators.The Liberals are also proposing to spend $20 million over five years to build a child-care secretariat to guide federal policy work, plus $15 million in ongoing spending for a similar Indigenous-focused body.The money is meant to lay the foundation for what is likely going to be a big-money promise in the coming budget.Current federal spending on child care expires near the end of the decade but the Liberals are proposing now to keep the money flowing, starting with $870 million a year in 2028.The Canadian Press has previously reported that the government is considering a large annual spending increase as it contemplates how to work with provinces to add more child-care spaces while ensuring good learning environments and affordability for parents."I say this both as a working mother and as a minister of finance: Canada will not be truly competitive until all Canadian women have access to the affordable child care we need to support our participation in our country’s workforce," Freeland said in the text of her speech on the fiscal update.Calling it an element of a "feminist agenda," Freeland added that spending the money makes "sound business sense" and has the backing of many corporate leaders.Freeland has been among a group of female cabinet ministers who pushed child care as a federal priority even before the pandemic.A national system won't likely be a one-size-fits-all program, experts say, but it would be federally funded, modelled on the publicly subsidized system in Quebec.A Scotiabank estimate earlier this fall suggested that creating nationally what Quebec has provincially would cost $11.5 billion a year.A report on prospects for national daycare last week from the Centre for Future Work estimated governments could rake in between $18 billion and $30 billion per year in new revenues as more parents go into the workforce.Freeland has made a note in recent days about the need to do something on child care given how many women fell out of the workforce when COVID-19 forced the closures of schools and daycares in the spring.Many have not gone back to work.The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, which has promoted a long-term plan on child care as an economic necessity, said the Liberals still need to provide immediate help to parents and daycare providers. "The rate at which women are being forced to leave the workforce because of child-care gaps continues to undermine Canada’s economic recovery and requires emergency funding," said chamber president Perrin Beatty.Dec. 7 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women, which at the time called for governments to immediately get going on a national daycare system.As Freeland noted during a virtual fundraiser last week, many women who were toddlers then are mothers now and the country hasn't moved far enough on child care."Many smaller things are happening from province to province that when we look at those things, put them together, we'd have a lot of the elements for building a national system," said Monica Lysack, an early-childhood education expert from Sheridan College in Ontario."We just need to make sure that in the end every parent who needs it can get it and that it's affordable."The $420 million in to train and retain them was seen by many as a key investment toward that end to deal with what the executive director of Child Care now noted were "very low wages and difficult working conditions" in the sector. "But we must also see significant, long-term federal funding in the 2021 federal budget so that we can replace short-term repairs with robust infrastructure,” Morna Ballantyne said. Her group and others have called for an extra $2 billion in child-care funding in next year's budget, with $2 billion more added on top in each subsequent year.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020.Jordan Press, The Canadian Press
EDMONTON — Premier Jason Kenney says Alberta’s largest hospitals are at 91 per cent capacity due to COVID-19 cases and widespread cancellation of more non-urgent surgeries may be necessary. “Our top 15 hospitals are increasingly under stress,” Kenney told NewsTalk 770 radio in an interview Monday. “Ultimately, if we get more and more COVID patients in hospital, the response to open up (COVID) capacity will be widespread surgical cancellation.” He said Alberta has 8,500 hospital beds. Some 2,400 are being set aside for pandemic patients and one-quarter of those beds will be in intensive care. “We have a plan to get back to that level of availably given the current surge that we see,” said Kenney. He said the crucial question is staffing. “You can’t just snap your fingers and suddenly train and certify hundreds of additional nurses for intensive care, for example. We only have a finite number of anesthesiologists who can assist with intubation for COVID patients." In October, the Edmonton area began cancelling 30 per cent of non-urgent surgeries to deal with mounting COVID-19 caseloads. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, reported 1,733 new cases Monday — a one-day record — to go with 453 patients in hospital, 96 of them in intensive care. There were eight more deaths, bringing that total to 541. Last week, Kenney announced a new round of health restrictions designed to address COVID-19 hot spots while keeping the majority of businesses and the economy going. Among the changes, the six diners allowed per table in restaurants now have to be from the same household. Retailers have to limit capacity to 25 per cent. The key change is that people are not supposed to hold gatherings in their homes under penalty of fines ranging from $1,000 to $100,000. Also Monday, Health Minister Tyler Shandro responded to the release of an Alberta Health Services internal memo sent out last Friday. It urged staff in Calgary hospitals to reduce use of bulk oxygen where possible due to expected constraints caused by the pandemic. “Even as our hospitals are packed full of the critically sick, AHS is running short on oxygen,” NDP Opposition health critic David Shepherd told the house. Not true, said Shandro. “This is a contingency plan of AHS, as they do throughout the year,” he said. Dr. David Zygun, Edmonton zone medical director for Alberta Health Services, said the memo was part of an “anticipatory” plan to make sure there are ample resources. “We do have an adequate oxygen supply,” he said. The NDP also criticized Kenney for urging members of the South Asian community in Calgary to avoid extended gatherings. He said some of the highest case rates are in that community, but stayed silent on large weekend rallies protesting mandatory mask rules. “These marches are super-spreader events,” NDP Leader Rachel Notley told Kenney. “Will you condemn these marches and the Albertans who so irresponsibly organized them?” Kenney said it’s up to local law enforcement to hand out tickets to anyone breaking public health orders and said: “We ask Albertans to be responsible in their actions.” Calgary police Supt. Ryan Ayliffe said there were a number of officers, wearing body cameras and taking notes to lay charges later, present during the anti-mask rallies. “It’s my understanding some of those charges were going to be laid this morning,” said Ayliffe, who added that the focus is on organizers and flagrant rule-breakers. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020. — With files from Colette Derworiz in Edmonton Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press