Hundreds of schoolboys in northwestern Nigeria are now free following their mass abduction. The children were snatched almost a week ago in an attack on a boarding school.
Hundreds of schoolboys in northwestern Nigeria are now free following their mass abduction. The children were snatched almost a week ago in an attack on a boarding school.
WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers and conservative groups opposed President-elect Joe Biden's forthcoming immigration plan Tuesday as massive amnesty for people in the U.S. illegally, underscoring that the measure faces an uphill fight in a Congress that Democrats control just narrowly. In a further complication, several pro-immigration groups said they would press Biden to go even further and take steps such as immediate moratoriums on deportations, detentions and new arrests. Coupled with the discomfort an immigration push could cause for moderate Democrats, liberals' demands illustrated the pressures facing Biden as four years of President Donald Trump's restrictive and often harsh immigration policies come to an end. “It simply wouldn't have happened without us," Lorella Praeli, co-president of the liberal group Community Change, said of Biden's victory. “So we are now in a powerful position." Biden plans to introduce the legislation shortly after being inaugurated Wednesday, a move he hopes will spotlight his emphasis on an issue that's defied major congressional action since 1986. Its fate, as written, seemed in doubt. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who will become Senate majority leader this week, said Trump's impeachment trial, confirmation of Biden's Cabinet nominees and more COVID-19 relief will be the chamber's top initial priorities. “I look forward to working together with him" on the measure, Schumer said — a choice of words that might suggest changes could be needed for it to pass Congress. Biden's proposal would create an eight-year pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants, set up a processing program abroad for refugees seeking admission to the U.S. and push toward using technology to monitor the border. The measure was described by an official from Biden's transition team who described the plan on condition of anonymity. With an eye toward discouraging a surge of immigrants toward the U.S.-Mexico boundary, the package's route to citizenship would only apply to people already in the U.S. by this past Jan. 1. But it omits the traditional trade-off of dramatically enhanced border security that's helped attract some GOP support in the past, which drew criticism on Tuesday. “A mass amnesty with no safeguards and no strings attached is a nonstarter,” said Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. "There are many issues I think we can work co-operatively with President-elect Biden, but a blanket amnesty for people who are here unlawfully isn’t going to be one of them,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., often a central player in Senate immigration battles. “Total amnesty, no regard for the health or security of Americans, and zero enforcement," Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, who like Rubio is a potential 2024 GOP presidential contender, said in a Monday tweet. That view was shared by Mark Krikorian, executive director of the conservative Center for Immigration Studies, which favours curbing immigration. “Past proposals at least accepted the concept of turning off the faucet and mopping up the overflow. This is nothing but mopping up and letting the faucet continue to run," Krikorian said. Rosemary Jenks, top lobbyist for NumbersUSA, which also wants to limit immigration, said the measure seems likely to fail in the Senate. It would need at least 10 Republicans to join all 50 Democrats to overcome a filibuster that would kill the measure. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said, “Moving an immigration reform bill won’t be easy, but I think it’s possible." He cited a 2013 massive overhaul that narrowly passed the Senate, only to die in the GOP-run House. Menendez and Rubio were part of a bipartisan “Gang of 8" senators that helped win Senate approval. Under Biden's legislation, those living in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2021, without legal status would have a five-year path to temporary legal status, or a green card, if they pass background checks, pay taxes and fulfil other requirements. From there, it’s a three-year path to naturalization if they pursue citizenship. For some immigrants, the process would be quicker. So-called Dreamers, the young people who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children, as well as agricultural workers and people under temporary protective status could qualify more immediately for green cards if they are working, are in school or meet other requirements. Biden is also expected to take swift executive actions, which require no congressional action, to reverse other Trump immigration actions. These include ending to the prohibition on arrivals from predominantly Muslim countries. The legislation represents Biden's bid to deliver on a major campaign promise important to Latino voters and other immigrant communities after four years of Trump's restrictive policies and mass deportations. It provides one of the fastest pathways to citizenship for those living without legal status of any measure in recent years. Biden allies and even some Republicans have identified immigration as a major issue where the new administration could find common ground with the GOP to avoid the stalemate that has vexed administrations of both parties for decades. That kind of major win, even if it involves compromise, could be critical for Biden. He'll be seeking legislative victories in a Congress where Republicans are certain to oppose other Biden priorities, like rolling back some of the GOP’s 2017 tax cuts and increasing federal spending. Democrats will control the 50-50 Senate with Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris' tiebreaking vote. Democrats currently control the House 222-211, with two vacancies. ___ Barrow reported from Wilmington, Delaware. AP writer Elliot Spagat in San Diego also contributed to this report. Alan Fram, Lisa Mascaro And Bill Barrow, The Associated Press
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Alabama announced plans Tuesday to restore the world’s only full-sized mockup of a space shuttle coupled with an external fuel tank and twin rocket boosters. The shuttle test model, called Pathfinder, has been weathering outside the museum in Huntsville for more than three decades. The restoration work will be funded with a $500,000 federal grant and additional corporate donations, officials said. The shuttle mockup was mated with a huge fuel tank and two prototype solid-rocket boosters for display at the state-owned museum in 1988. The multimillion refurbishment will take several years and involve removing the display, repairing it and returning it to its giant concrete stand. Consisting of a shuttle-shaped metal frame covered with sheeting, Pathfinder was originally used to test ground handling, transportation and other procedures for the space shuttle. Once testing was completed and it wasn't further needed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Pathfinder was outfitted with fiberglass, plywood panels and engines to more closely resemble an actual shuttle. The Associated Press
TORONTO — Online storytelling company Wattpad Corp. says it will be acquired by South Korean internet conglomerate Naver for US$600 million. The Toronto-based company says the acquisition is a cash and stock transaction that was unanimously approved by its board of directors earlier today. Under the terms of the deal, Wattpad will keep its Canadian headquarters and remain under the leadership of co-founders Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen. Wattpad has been running a self-publishing platform since it was founded in 2006, but in recent years managed to reach deals to get some users' books printed or made into movies. Wattpad says the acquisition will accelerate the company's international growth and expand its audience because Naver owns digital comics platform Webtoon. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of the company's fiscal year and is subject to regulatory approvals. This report by The Canadian Press was first published January 19, 2020. The Canadian Press
A fourth COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Windsor Regional Hospital Tuesday evening. The hospital's 6N unit is the latest area of the organization experiencing an outbreak, with four positive patients and no positive staff. This news comes after the hospital announced three outbreaks in the last two weeks. "We expect to experience these situations as COVID-19 continues to spread in our community," said Karen Riddell, WRH Chief Nursing Executive and Chief Operating Officer, in a news release. "We continue to remain vigilant in ensuring that we have the correct infection prevention and control guidelines and precautions in place to reduce spread of the COVID-19 virus." In a news release Tuesday, the hospital provided an update on each of the other three outbreaks: 4M at the Ouellette Campus has 10 positive patients and five positive staff. Declared in outbreak Jan. 6. 6E at the Ouellette Campus has 10 positive patients and six positive staff. Declared in outbreak Jan. 8. 4N at the Met Campus has one positive patient and 11 positive staff. Declared in outbreak Jan. 14. The hospital said that admissions to the units continue, but it keeps COVID-19 patients cohorted. Transfers into units experiencing an outbreak are required to be approved by the hospital's Infection Prevention and Control department, the hospital said, adding that testing will continue. Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare is also experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak, which was declared on Tuesday. The hospital said in a news release Sunday that two staff and three patients tested positive on the 3N unit of the Dr. Y. Emara Centre for Healthy Aging and Mobility.
ATLANTA — Paul McDonough has returned to Atlanta United as vice-president of soccer operations. The MLS team announced the rehiring of McDonough on Tuesday after he spent two years as Inter Miami's sporting director. McDonough returns to the role he held in Atlanta from 2016-18, becoming a key player in the club's dynamic entry into MLS. United set numerous attendance records and captured the MLS Cup championship in just its second season in 2018. McDonough left after the championship to lead Inter Miami's entry into MLS as an expansion team this past year. The club went 7-13-3 and made the MLS playoffs in its pandemic-affected debut season. Atlanta United, meanwhile, fell on hard times in 2020. The club fired coach Frank de Boer and missed the playoffs for the first time. “Paul was a key part of our team as we built Atlanta United and we’re delighted to have him back in the organization,” Atlanta United president Darren Eales said in a statement. “Paul brings a vast knowledge of the game, but more importantly he is a great cultural fit who complements our front office." McDonough will report to technical director Carlos Bocanegra and take a leading role in managing the salary cap. McDonough previously worked with Orlando City, helping the club transition to its inaugural season in MLS. He began his career in college coaching, serving as an assistant at Wake Forest, South Carolina and UConn. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Troops in riot gear lined the sidewalks, but there were no crowds. Armored vehicles and concrete barriers blocked empty streets. Miles of fencing cordoned off many of the nation's most familiar landmarks. Joe Biden was safely sworn in as president in a Washington on edge, two weeks after rioters loyal to former President Donald Trump besieged the Capitol. Law enforcement officials contended not only with the potential for outside threats but also with rising concerns about an insider attack. Officials monitored members of far-right extremist and militia groups, increasingly concerned about the risk they could stream into Washington and spark violent confrontations, a law enforcement official said. There were a few scattered arrests but no major protests or serious disruptions in the city during Biden's inauguration ceremony. As Biden put it in his address: “Here we stand just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, to drive us from this sacred ground. It did not happen. It will never happen, not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Not ever.” After the deadly attack that killed five on Jan. 6, the Secret Service stepped up security for the inauguration early, essentially locking down the nation's capital. More than 25,000 troops and police were called to duty. The National Mall was closed. Checkpoints were set up at intersections. In the hours before the event, federal agents monitored “concerning online chatter,” which included an array of threats against elected officials and discussions about ways to infiltrate the inauguration, the official said. In right-wing online chat groups, believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory expressed disappointment that top Democrats were not arrested for sex trafficking and that Trump did not seize a second term. Twelve National Guard members were removed from the security operation a day earlier after vetting by the FBI, including two who had made extremist statements in posts or texts about Wednesday's event. Pentagon officials would not give details on the statements. The FBI vetted all 25,000 members in an extraordinary security effort in part over the presence of some ex-military in the riot. Two other U.S. officials told The Associated Press that all 12 were found to have ties with right-wing militia groups or to have posted extremist views online. The officials, a senior intelligence official and an Army official briefed on the matter, did not say which fringe groups the Guard members belonged to or what unit they served in. The officials told the AP they had all been removed because of “security liabilities.” The officials were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, confirmed that Guard members had been removed and sent home, but said only two cases were related to inappropriate comments or texts related to the inauguration. He said the other 10 cases were for issues that may involve previous criminal behaviour or activities but were not directly related to the inaugural event. The FBI also warned law enforcement officials about the possibility that members of right-wing fringe groups could pose as National Guard troops, according to two law enforcement officials familiar with the matter. Investigators in Washington were particularly worried that members of right-wing extremist groups and militias, like the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters, would descend on Washington to spark violence, the law enforcement officials said. Some of the groups are known to recruit former military personnel, to train extensively and to have frequented anti-government and political protests. In addition to the thousands of National Guard troops, hundreds of law enforcement officers from agencies around the country were also brought into Washington. The increased security is likely to remain in the nation's capital for at least a few more days. ___ Associated Press writers Lolita Baldor in Washington and James LaPorta in Delray Beach, Florida, contributed to this report. Ben Fox, Colleen Long And Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
Health experts have determined that the high rates of COVID-19 in First Nation communities are due to younger adults being in contact with each other during the holidays and underlying conditions are also a complicating factor. According to Dr. Michael Routledge, medical advisor at Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin Inc., the transmission of the virus happened mostly during Christmas and New Year. Additionally, challenges in terms of housing and access to clean drinking water within the First Nation communities have also contributed to the high number of hospitalizations as well as those in the intensive care units (ICU). “What we have seen in the last week or two is a fairly significant increase of activity in the North which is impacting some of our Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) communities. It is a mixed bag; some are seeing low transmissions but others are having quite severe outbreaks,” said Routledge, speaking during a press conference on Tuesday. Routledge added that KIM had expected to see these high rates due to the holidays, and it was of no surprise to them either that some First Nations were not able to protect themselves from the pandemic because of their housing situation and issues with their drinking water advisories. As of Monday, Manitoba Indigenous people make up approximately three-quarters of active cases in the province and 62% of the new cases. There are 60 First Nations patients currently hospitalized along with 13 in ICU. Some communities had tremendous feedback regarding the Moderna vaccine. Over 90% of Elders over the age of 70 have accepted the vaccine along with the benefits it could bring to their communities. “I think it is important to communicate the effectiveness of the vaccine rollout in our First Nations. It has given us a renewed sense of hope and optimism, and I believe we have reached a pivotal point of our journey through this pandemic,” said MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “It (the vaccine) gives our people the chance to have the protection they need for their families, so this is a good day for us as we now have the opportunity to bring safety and wellness to our First Nations.” This week, the first batch of vaccine has arrived in the Misipawistik Cree Nation (MCN) and the Chemawawin Cree Nation (CCN). It was reported on Tuesday that there is 35 positive cases, with over 200 people who have been in direct contact with a positive case in MCN. Vaccination in the MCN is expected to begin this Thursday. “The way I look at it, our great-grandparents recognized the value of medical science to help our people, and that’s why healthcare is in our treaties, and we have a treaty right to the vaccine,” said MCN Chief Heidi Cook. “I plan on getting it myself whenever I am eligible, that may not be for a while, but I believe we need to protect more of our Elders and those with health conditions first.” Chief Clarence Easter from CCN said he received his Moderna vaccination on Monday after an Elder had cancelled their appointment. His community received 40 doses on Saturday, and the rollout started Monday morning. Other than the soreness in his arm, he said that he felt fine and encouraged other Elders to take it as well. Nicole Wong is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Nicole Wong, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun
TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey Supreme court has overturned a man's bank robbery conviction because of a prosecutor's reference to a classic horror movie. During closing arguments in the case against Damon Williams, the prosecutor showed jurors a photo from the movie “The Shining” depicting a character played by Jack Nicholson telling his terrified wife and son, “Here’s Johnny!” moments after breaking through a door with an axe. The reference was meant to illustrate that actions can speak louder than words, and to support the prosecutor's contention that Williams should be convicted of a more serious offence even though no threatening words were spoken to the bank teller in Camden County in 2014. The jury convicted Williams of second-degree robbery, which requires the use of force or the threat of force, rather than the less serious crime of third-degree theft. Prosecutors argued that Williams' conduct before and after passing a note to the teller supported the more serious charge. Williams is currently serving a 14-year term. A unanimous Supreme Court disagreed Tuesday, writing that prosecutors “must walk a fine line” when comparing a defendant with “an individual whom the jury associates with violence or guilt.” “The use of a sensational and provocative image in service of such a comparison, even when purportedly metaphorical, heightens the risk of an improper prejudicial effect on the jury,” Justice Lee Solomon wrote. “Such a risk was borne out here." The Camden County prosecutor's office, which tried the case, declined to comment on the ruling Tuesday. The Associated Press
MONTREAL — Quebec Premier Francois Legault is calling on the federal government to ban non-essential flights to Canada over fears that travellers will bring new variants of COVID-19 back to the province. The call comes one day after a fifth case of the COVID-19 variant first detected in the United Kingdom was found in Quebec, public health director Dr. Horacio Arruda told reporters Tuesday. The other four cases of the variant, which scientists believe is more contagious, were found in December and were all within a single family. Legault said he is open to discussing what's defined as essential but it's clear that flights to all-inclusive resorts in sun destinations are not essential. "I feel like Quebecers are angry, I'm angry, to see that we're making an effort, and there are people who travel internationally for fun and who return here with the virus and clog our hospitals," he said. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Canadians to cancel any plans they have for international trips in the near future. Trudeau warned the federal government could at any time, and without warning, enforce new restrictions on travellers returning to Canada. However, when asked if he would ban flights, Trudeau told reporters that the Constitution guarantees Canadians the right to travel and to return to the country. Legault said he doesn't understand Trudeau's response. "How come we were able to do it last spring?" he asked. In the meantime, Legault said he wants the federal government to do more to ensure that people returning from other countries quarantine for 14 days. "Robocalls are not sufficient" to ensure that people are following the rules, he said. Legault said he's asked Quebec's public security minister to look into what action the province could take at airports if the federal government doesn't act. It wouldn't be the first time that authorities in Quebec sent officials to an airport over concerns of federal inaction. In March, Montreal public health officials and city police were sent to Montreal-Trudeau International Airport to encourage arriving travellers to self-isolate. Earlier Tuesday, Quebec revised its COVID-19 vaccination schedule as a result of the expected slowdown in Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipments. The federal government said Canada won't get any doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine next week. The provincial Health Department said it would lower its target of administering 250,000 doses by Feb. 8, to 225,000 doses, adding it expects to have received 1,203,100 doses of approved vaccine by March 29. Quebec Health Minister Chrstian Dube said the changes to Quebec's vaccine schedule are relatively minor and he hopes that higher shipments in coming weeks will make up for the slowdown. The Health Department said it conducted 10,514 inoculations on Monday and has now given 164,053 people the first dose of vaccine. Legault said Quebec has now vaccinated more than 80 per cent of long-term care residents and plans to begin vaccinating people living in private seniors residences next week. More than 100,000 health care workers have also received the first dose of vaccine, Dube said. Quebec reported 1,386 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday — the lowest number of new cases in a single day since early December — and 55 additional deaths linked to the virus, including 16 deaths within the preceding 24 hours. Legault described the number of new cases as an "encouraging sign" and said it suggests that the province's restrictions, including an 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, are working. But the premier said the number of hospitalizations will have to come down before he considers lifting restrictions. Earlier in the day, the Health Department said the number of hospitalizations rose by nine from the day before to 1,500, while the number of people in intensive care declined by five from the previous day, to 212. Quebec has reported 245,734 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 9,142 deaths linked to the novel coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2021. ——— This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Jacob Serebrin, The Canadian Press
ALMA – An underground propane storage proposal is officially dead as the Local Planning and Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) case on the matter has been closed. In a letter from the LPAT sent to the Township of Mapleton, the municipality that would have hosted the site, states applicant Core Fuels Ltd. has withdrawn their appeal on a Mapleton council decision to deny their proposal. The proposal was to bury four propane tanks that would hold nearly one million litres in total at the Core Fuels location on Wellington Road 7 just outside of Alma. Mapleton council unanimously voted against this at a September meeting citing an overwhelmingly negative response from nearby residents. Alma residents formed the Concerned Citizens of Alma (CCA) as an opposition group to the development. The group presented a petition opposed to the development with 210 signatures, representing nearly every household in Alma, CCA were concerned over a possible explosion and the ability of the volunteer fire hall to respond to any issues and the proximity to a residential area as major reasons it would not be the right fit for the area. Core Fuels later appealed the decision to LPAT with the first hearing scheduled for March 17. This hearing has been cancelled because of the applicant withdrawal and the case is listed as closed on the LPAT website. “We’re glad that the township has turned it down unanimously and we’re pleased to see it withdrawn from the LPAT,” said Amanda Reid, Alma resident and CCA spokesperson. “Am I happy that it is not going to go in our residential area? Yes absolutely.” Reid noted that Core Fuels could still bring another proposal forward but underground bulk propane storage appeared to officially be squashed for Alma. “I’m sure that during COVID it wouldn’t have been very fun anyways to have dealt with LPAT,” Reid said. “I do wish Core Fuels well in their business but I know our group is happy to know they have withdrawn their appeal.” Keegan Kozolanka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com
NEW YORK — Two of Fox News Channel's top news executives involved in the controversial — but correct — election night call of Arizona for Democrat Joe Biden are out at the network. Bill Sammon, senior vice-president and managing editor at Fox's Washington bureau, announced his retirement to staff members on Monday. On Tuesday, as part of a restructuring of Fox's digital operations, politics editor Chris Stirewalt was let go. Fox's decision to call Arizona for Biden took the network's anchors by surprise and infuriated the White House, which believed the determination was premature. Stirewalt and Fox's decision desk chief, Arnon Mishkin, were the two most visible people defending the decision on the air amidst heat from President Donald Trump and his supporters. Mishkin, who worked the election on a contractual basis, is not a Fox employee. Two days after the call, Stirewalt said on the air that “Arizona is doing just what we expected it to do and we remain serene and pristine.” He hasn't been on the air at Fox since the post-election period. Reached on Tuesday, both Stirewalt and Sammon declined comment. Fox, in a statement on Tuesday, said that “as we conclude the 2020 election cycle, Fox News Digital has realigned its business and reporting structure to meet the demands of this new era." Nearly 20 people lost their jobs as part of the restructuring, according to someone familiar with the changes who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to speak on personnel issues. No one at Fox would comment specifically on Stirewalt, citing the confidentiality of individual personnel matters. He's been with Fox since 2010. Fox and The Associated Press, which called Arizona for Biden later on election night, remained alone until ABC, CBS and NBC all called it for Biden on Nov. 12, eight days after the election and after all the networks had declared Biden the winner overall. Biden won Arizona by 10,475 votes out of nearly 3.4 million cast. The call angered many Fox News Channel fans. In its wake, conservative broadcaster Newsmax, which has featured many of the personalities who backed Trump’s questioning of the election results, saw a sharp viewership increase. Fox's ratings have dipped as a result, and the network recently announced lineup changes that most prominently added a new opinion show in the early evening. David Bauder, The Associated Press
The United States swore in its 46th President on Jan. 20, 2021. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris attended their inauguration in Washington, D.C. with a slew of distinguished guests, but few onlookers as the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a need for social distancing.Several past presidents were in attendance, including Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George Bush Jr., however the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, did not attend. Trump flew to his golf club in Florida earlier in the day. Outgoing Vice President Mike Pence did attend the ceremony with his wife.For all the latest on the U.S. inauguration, click this link for live updates.
Deng Pravatoudom played the Lotto Max numbers her husband dreamt of 20 years ago and won a $60M jackpot. Video by Shibani Gokhale
Power has been restored to thousands of homes across northern B.C. and throughout the Interior after powerful wind gusts swept the area on Tuesday. The wind knocked out power to roughly 10,000 people at the peak of the day, mostly in Prince George and Burns Lake. Around 1,000 people in the Summit Lake, Prince George, McLeod Lake, Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake and Fort St. James areas remain in the dark Wednesday. "Crews will be working around the clock on restoration efforts but at this point we anticipate some customers ... to be without power overnight," BC Hydro said in a notice posted early Wednesday. Prince George Airport recorded a wind gust of 91 km/h on Tuesday afternoon. The wind brought trees down on a number of homes and streets. The strongest winds were expected to ease by the evening, but gusty winds from the west continued through the night in some areas. Weather warnings for both regions have been rescinded.
Municipal leaders in Cap-Pelé are concerned about a misconception that COVID-19 cases have been occurring only in Moncton, and are working to dispel that notion. “We know that there have been cases in our community,” said Justin LeBlanc, director of events and communications for the village of Cap-Pelé. But because the term 'Moncton zone', 'Moncton region' or similar is used to describe Zone 1, there are people who genuinely do not believe that cases occurred in the surrounding communities, LeBlanc said. Village staff have heard residents calling into radio shows indicating these views and are concerned they may be more widely held, LeBlanc said, especially by those who are upset they have to abide restrictions they don't believe are warranted for the area in which they live. “Definitely with the airport being located in [Metro] Moncton and a lot of cases related to travel, people may think the cases stay in Moncton, but we are very connected to Moncton also,” LeBlanc said. While residents of Cap-Pelé and surrounding areas may use the same airport occasionally, hundreds of people who live in Cap-Pelé also work and shop every day in Metro Moncton, he said. Referring to the zone as the “Southeast zone” would be more inclusive for those in the communities outside Moncton, he said, and could help alleviate the problem. For now, the town is doing everything it can to make this information clear by word of mouth, social media and news releases, LeBlanc said. The town was made aware of community residents who tested positive by the residents themselves, LeBlanc said. Public Health does not release this information, citing confidentiality. While the town has seen compliance with pandemic measures, there are concerns the wording of the zones may be giving some a false sense of security, he said. Zone 1 encompasses a large area, LeBlanc said. In addition to Moncton, it also includes Dieppe, Riverview, Salisbury, Petitcodiac, the Harcourt area, Port Elgin area, Rockport, Sackville, Dorchester, Shediac, Beaubassin-Est, Cap-Pelé, Saint-Antoine, Grande-Digue, Cocagne, Bouchtouche, Richibucto, Saint-Louis-de-Kent area, Coverdale, Hillsborough, Riverside-Albert, Alma and every community in between. On Thursday, Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's Chief Medical Officer of Health, referred to the zone as “Moncton and southeast New Brunswick” during the COVID-19 briefing. When asked by Times & Transcript if the use of “Moncton and southeast New Brunswick” was going to be used from now on to dispel the misconception that cases are not occurring outside the largest city, Russell pointed to the department’s website which lists communities in each health zone. Russell also reiterated Public Health has no plans to name smaller communities where there are positive cases. The decision not to go further than the health region in naming where cases occur is largely to protect people’s confidentiality, she said. But she said it is also because they believe it may be too late to serve a purpose. “By the time we announce a case in a particular area, the virus has probably been circulating for seven days prior to that,” she said, repeating that she wants people to behave as if they and those they are with have COVID-19 all the time. Clara Pasieka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal
EDMONTON — Alberta’s chief medical officer of health says residents in long-term care and supportive living facilities will remain the priority as the province grapples with a looming slowdown in COVID-19 vaccine supply. Dr. Deena Hinshaw says health officials may also have to rebook vaccination appointments for those getting the required second dose. Hinshaw made the announcement just hours after the federal government said there will be no shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine next week and reduced shipments for about three weeks after that. The slowdown is due to Pfizer retrofitting its Belgium-based plant in order to ramp up production down the road. Hinshaw says Alberta has 456 new cases of COVID-19, with 740 patients in hospital. There are 119 patients in intensive care and 1,463 people have died. “This is frustrating, but the factory issues in Belgium are out of our control," Health Minister Tyler Shandro said in a release Tuesday. "We will continue to use what we have to protect as many Albertans as possible. And we will continue to inform Albertans of any changes to our vaccination plans.” Alberta recently finished giving first doses of vaccine to all residents in its 357 long-term care and supportive living facilities. “These are absolutely the highest-risk locations, and people who live in these facilities are the most vulnerable to severe outcomes,” Hinshaw told a virtual news conference. “Two-thirds of all our (COVID-19) deaths have been in long-term care and supportive living facilities.” Alberta has given 90,000 first doses of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to those in the high priority cohort: those in the care homes and front-line health-care workers. Canada was to get more than 417,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this week and next, but will now get just over 171,000 this week and nothing the following week. Both vaccines require two doses weeks apart for full effectiveness. The delay has also forced the province to put off implementing the next phase of priority cases: Indigenous seniors over 65 and other seniors 75 and older. Alberta remains under strict lockdown measures, which include a ban on indoor gatherings. Bars, restaurants and lounges can offer takeout or pickup service only. Retailers are limited to 15 per cent customer capacity, while entertainment venues like casinos and movie theatres remain shuttered. The province relaxed some measure slightly on Monday. Outdoor gatherings can have 10 people maximum. Personal care services, like hair salons, manicure and pedicure salons and tattoo shops, can open by appointment only. Hinshaw said it’s not clear when further restrictions can be lifted. “Our health system is still under severe strain,” she said. “This continues to impact our ability to deliver care, not only for COVID-19 but all the other health needs Albertans have.” There were 11,096 active COVID cases Tuesday, about half the number recorded at its peak in mid-December. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2021. Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press
MILLBROOK -- Millbrook’s 4th Line Theatre will launch its Digital Festival of Light and Dark next week. Micro-grants have been provided to 13 regional artists by the festival so they can create 12 five-minute digital showcases of their work, the theatre announced Tuesday. The digital festival is free-of-charge to watch online and will allow people to engage with the artists’ creations in the safety of their own homes during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown through the theatre’s digital video gallery. Managing artistic director Kim Blackwell said the theatre — which had to cancel last summer’s performances and then staged the Open Spaces Theatre Festival in downtown Peterborough in September followed by a limited run of “Bedtime Stories and Other Horrifying Tales” prior to Halloween at the theatre in October — wants to support local artists. “That was the genesis for the idea which ultimately became the Digital Festival of Light and Dark. I am excited to showcase the work of so many talented local artists from almost every conceivable discipline,” Blackwell said. “These short, digital works will be a chance for 4th Line audiences to see the depth and breadth of regional artists and their creative worlds.” A variety of artistic styles such as poetry, photography and puppetry are manifested in the artists’ projects. Topics and issues explored include the new silent nightlife in downtown Peterborough in lockdown, an exploration of physical vulnerability in the pandemic and the story of a girl trapped alone in a Welsh mine, to name only three, according to the theatre. The 12 artists include Madison Constello, Naomi Duvall, Jennifer Elchuk, Josh Fewings, Madison Sheward, Frank Flynn, Steafan Hannigan, Mike Moring, Tristan Peirce, Kelsey Powell, Benj Rowland, P.J. Thomas and Laura Thompson. In Hannigan’s multimedia project titled “the many shades between light and dark: art v COVID-19 in 2020,” artists, performers, musicians and directors reflect upon their life-changing experiences during the past year amid the global pandemic. Hannigan is a multidisciplinary artist working in a variety of mediums including photography, video and music. Born and raised in Ireland, he currently lives in Baltimore in Northumberland County. Peirce’s project, “Night Shift,” gives viewers a glimpse into Peterborough’s night life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pierce is a photographer and videographer, based in Peterborough, who is also taking part in the Art Gallery of Peterborough’s group exhibition Presently. “It’s Political,” a project created by Thompson — a designer based in Peterborough whose video work draws on found footage to create moving collages that are surreal and dynamic — explores the women’s movement and its evolution, history and future. The 12 projects will be posted at www.4thlinetheatre.on.ca/festival-of-light-and-dark and at www.youtube.com/user/4thlinetheatreVIDEO starting at noon on Monday. Marissa Lentz is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach her via email: email@example.com Marissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump might argue the calendar is his friend when it comes to a second impeachment trial. Trump's impeachment last week by the House of Representatives for his role in inciting the riot at the U.S. Capitol set up his trial in the Senate. But there's one potential wrinkle. In 2019, the last time Trump found himself impeached by the House, he had nearly a year left in his presidency. But on Wednesday, with the inauguration of Joe Biden, Trump will be out of office by the time any Senate trial gets started. Some Republican lawmakers argue it's not constitutional to hold an impeachment trial for a former president, but that view is far from unanimous. Democrats for their part appear ready to move forward with a trial. On Tuesday, Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said she doesn’t think a post-presidency impeachment trial is constitutional. But Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, wasn’t so sure. “I think there’s serious questions about it,” he said. Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal, meanwhile, said it was “bogus” that a trial after Trump leaves office wouldn't be constitutional, noting that the Senate has held impeachment trials of federal judges after they’ve resigned. “So whether somebody resigns, or runs out the clock it makes no difference. They can still be held accountable and there’s nothing in the spirit, or the letter of the impeachment provisions in the Constitution that argues against it,” he said. Some questions and answers about whether a former president can be impeached. WHY IS THIS OPEN TO DEBATE? The Constitution says: “The President ... shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” But the Constitution says nothing about the impeachment of a former president. The question has also never come up. The only other two presidents to be impeached, Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson, were tried while still in office. WHAT DO SCHOLARS AND HISTORY HAVE TO SAY ON THE TOPIC? A recent Congressional Research Service report for federal lawmakers and their staffs concluded that while the Constitution's text is “open to debate,” it appears most scholars agree that a president can be impeached after leaving office. One argument is that state constitutions that predate the U.S. Constitution allowed impeachment after officials left office. The Constitution's drafters also did not specifically bar the practice. Still, the text of the Constitution could be read to suggest impeachment only applies to current office holders. In the early 19th century, one influential Supreme Court justice, Joseph Story came to that conclusion. One powerful suggestion that post-office trial is acceptable, however, comes from history. The Congressional Research Service report cites the 1876 impeachment of Secretary of War William Belknap. Belknap resigned over allegations he received kickbacks. The House impeached him after his resignation, and while Belknap objected to being tried in the Senate because he'd left office, the Senate heard three days of arguments on the topic and then deliberated in secret for over two weeks before concluding Belknap could be tried. He was ultimately acquitted. COULD TRUMP CHALLENGE A CONVICTION? Courts are unlikely to want to wade into any dispute over impeachment. In 1993, in a case involving an impeached former judge, the Supreme Court ruled it had no role to play in impeachment disputes because the Constitution says the “Senate shall have sole Power to try any impeachments.” DOES AN IMPEACHMENT TRIAL OF A FORMER PRESIDENT PRESENT OTHER LEGAL ISSUES? One other issue is who would preside at the impeachment trial of an ex-president. The Constitution says it's the chief justice's job to preside at the impeachment trial of a president. But scholars offer differing views about whether that's Chief Justice John Roberts' job if Trump's trial begins after he's out of office. The choices for who would preside appear to be Roberts, Kamala Harris, who by then will be vice-president, or Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who will be the Senate’s president pro tem once the Democrats take control of the Senate. WHAT'S THE POINT OF IMPEACHING SOMEONE WHO IS OUT OF OFFICE? The consequence the Constitution sets up for a president who is impeached and convicted is removal from office. That's not really a concern for a former president. Still, conviction would send a message about Trump's conduct. Moreover, if the Senate were to convict, lawmakers would presumably take a separate vote on whether to disqualify Trump from holding future office. Some lawmakers believe that's appropriate. "We need to set a precedent that the severest offence ever committed by a president will be met by the severest remedy provided by the Constitution — impeachment and conviction by this chamber, as well as disbarment from future office," incoming Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, said Tuesday. ___ Associated Press reporter Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report. Jessica Gresko, The Associated Press
Global equity benchmarks rose to new record highs and oil prices rose on Wednesday as investors moved into riskier assets in anticipation of further U.S. stimulus under the new Biden administration to mend the economic damage of the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. President Joe Biden, who was sworn into office on Wednesday, last week laid out a $1.9 trillion stimulus package proposal to boost the economy and speed up the distribution of vaccines. U.S. Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen urged lawmakers to "act big" to save the economy and worry about debt later at a confirmation hearing Tuesday.
At the Limerick Township planning meeting on Dec. 21, an update was provided by Councillor Jan MacKillican on the letters sent out to the residents occupying the boathouses located on public lands at the St. Ola boat launch. In addition to the new Licence to Occupy bylaw and a current map of the area showing the location of the boathouses, a second letter was sent out with a correction on the application to state that the application cost is $2,500 over 25 years versus $1,500 as was originally stated within the application. This whole process with the boathouses on the public lands at the St. Ola boat launch began when the township had wanted, under the authority of the Municipal Act 2001 S.O. Ministry of Natural Resources Policy Number PL 4.11.07, to implement a licencing structure for the boathouses in question. Back in April, the council had sent out a public notice to identify the occupants of these boathouses to register with the municipality to make sure they are represented in the licencing process. Ultimately, the cost to licence these boathouses is $2,500 for 25 years. The exception to this process is boathouse #3, as it is included within the owner’s roll number and taxes are paid on it. MacKillican stated during the Dec. 21 meeting that the letters to the boathouse occupants were sent out on Nov. 30 with the bylaw via email and was also posted on the township’s website. This had been brought forth as a motion and passed at the last planning meeting on Nov. 16. “Basically, the letters have gone out to the owners that we identified with the map and the bylaw. We did get an email within the last couple of days saying that there were issues with what we sent out and I’ll work with Victoria [Tisdale, clerk and treasurer of Limerick Township] on that. I think we need to just reissue the bylaw one more time, get rid of the section that refers to insurance from the township. We just need to check to make sure we have the right bylaw and the right map. There are two maps. An original one and then there’s two boathouses that aren’t on shore, number 15 and 16, so there was a second map done so we should make sure that final map gets out and we can send it out and say we’re still on track here. There’s been some revisions, and perhaps you didn’t get the right version but here it is once and for all.” According to Mayor Carl Stefanski, no replies to the boathouse letters had been received as of Jan. 15, and the issue should be the first on the agenda at their next planning meeting, date and time to be decided soon. Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times