Euronews' Hans von der Brelie speaks to the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Johann Sattler, in Sarajevo to discuss the migration mismanagement there.
Euronews' Hans von der Brelie speaks to the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Johann Sattler, in Sarajevo to discuss the migration mismanagement there.
The U.S. Senate will start debating President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill this week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday after Democrats backed down from an effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 as part of it. The backpedaling did not end hopes of addressing the minimum wage issue in Congress. Democrats and some Republicans have voiced support for the idea of raising the federal minimum wage, now at $7.25 an hour, for the first time since 2009, although they disagree on how much.
Trystan Lackner first got interested in urban food security way back in his senior year of high school after a supportive vice-principal helped him build a community garden in barren soil where portable classrooms had been removed. It ended up producing around eight or 10 grocery bags full of lettuce, potatoes, carrots and other produce that they donated to local volunteer group Feed The Need Durham. But it only lasted the year that Lackner and classmates he had brought along were there to sustain it. “It was a seed,” says Lackner, explaining he didn't have the experience or knowledge at the time to carry it forward. “The community garden was there, and then it wasn't, and there wasn't any communication of those ideas.” Fast-forward a few years and a degree in international development later, and Lackner is looking to make a more lasting impact. After six months of preparation, Lackner and colleagues hosted an online summit called "Does Your Meal Plan Cover Climate Change?" last month as part of Youth Challenge International’s Innovate MY Future program. “Our whole idea was to develop an educational summit for young people to become more aware, get involved, and connect with the experts within the field,” he says, about the Youth Roots Durham project. The hope is that more informed communities will build more resilience into the process by which they get fed, one that faced a sharp shock due to COVID-19 disrupting global supply chains, as well as ongoing threats to the same system from climate change. The summit included a weekend panel discussion of experts followed by networking, and workshops on the links between food and climate change, the benefits of moving from mass production of commodity crops, and how to get involved in pushing for more sustainable practices. One speaker at the summit was a local permaculture farmer, who grows multiple crops in proximity to each other for mutual benefit. The practice can reduce the need for pesticides and cut carbon emissions by limiting the need to transport food, Lackner explains. The information gathered in the course of the project is being prepared to be archived on a page of the Durham Food Policy Council’s website, ensuring that unlike his high school garden, Lackner’s legacy may live on. The region — which is suburban in its southern sections near Lake Ontario and more rural in its north towards the Lake Simcoe border — exports most of its produce in the form of commodity crops, such as soy and corn, Lackner says. He says that with demand for food to expand by roughly 70 per cent in coming decades as our global population approaches 10 billion people, innovative solutions applied locally will be key. “There is a very high possibility that you will see in the next decade or two, if we can innovate more with the greenhouses and produce more in warehouse settings, you can essentially urbanize and create factories of food within these large urban centres,” he says. In addition to these modern factory farms, Lackner wants to see more rooftop gardens and government policy that sets aside land to protect it from being developed other than as farmland. And for young people wondering what they can do, he says just dive in. “Get out there, get your hands dirty. Make that change that you want to see,” he says. “If you see something that no one else is doing or that's missing, don't wait for someone else to get that going, start it yourself and get involved. There is a way to do all that and connect with the experts and community partners.” Morgan Sharp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
ESPN has re-signed Rece Davis to a multiyear contract that will keep him in place as host of the network’s popular Saturday college football pregame show. The network announced the deal Monday. Davis, 55, is entering his seventh year as host of ESPN’s “College GameDay.” He told The Associated Press this new deal will take him through his 10th season leading the show that includes Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and Lee Corso. "I believe I have the best job in sports television, but when you’ve been doing anything for a while there comes a period of evaluation, I guess, to see whether there are things you would like to pursue,” Davis said. “And for me I still very much wanted to host ‘College GameDay’ and to still have the opportunity to host some significant events along with that from time to time. Fortunately for me our place was able to provide all of those things.” Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the network. Davis will also continue to host ”College GameDay” for basketball, along with the network’s coverage of the NFL draft on ABC and the men’s Final Four. Davis is also set to host ESPN's coverage of the UEFA European Football Championship this summer. He will still to do some play-by-play for college football and basketball games. “The professionalism, energy and knowledge he brings to every show and every assignment is first-class as one of the best in the business," ESPN senior vice-president of production Lee Fitting said in a statement. Davis declined to say if he was pursued by other networks, but he said negotiations with ESPN moved expeditiously. “ESPN, and my long relationship with them, sort of had what I feel like my strong suits are but also opportunities to do some things to continue to grow as well," Davis said. The basketball version of “GameDay” began in 2005 with Davis as the host. He took over as host of the college football road show in 2015, replacing Chris Fowler. Fowler left “GameDay” to concentrate on calling games and become ESPN's lead college football play-by-play announcer. Davis said he enjoys calling games and might consider making a similar transition later in his career. “I feel like I've really built my career on hosting,” Davis said. “I hate the phrase tee-up the analyst. Anybody can do that. A good host is prepared for the conversation and knows where the lines are. He added: “My first priority is ‘GameDay.’ I still get a rush every time. I like being at the command centre of big events." “College GameDay” had a very different vibe last year as the coronavirus pandemic forced the show to be held on location but without fans. The threat of COVID-19 led to Corso, 85, doing the show from his home in Florida. “College GameDay” faced competition for the first time the last two seasons from Fox's “Big Noon Kickoff," but ESPN's show has remained on top in terms of viewership. “The best way to do it is to take care of your business and not be fixated on what someone else does and to be be confident and thorough in the direction you've tried to go into to,” Davis said. “If you start trying to react to someone else, that's more detrimental than helpful in my opinion. ”We still want to be regarded as the ultimate destination and if you turn away from our show, you're going to miss something." ___ Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at https://westwoodonepodcasts.com/pods/ap-top-25-college-football-podcast/ ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 Ralph D. Russo, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — U.S. manufacturing expanded in February at the fastest pace three years with the arrival of a surge in new orders. The Institute for Supply Management reported Monday that its gauge of manufacturing activity rose to a reading of 60.8% last month, 2.1 percentage-points above the January level of 58.7%. It was the strongest performance since February 2018. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector. The survey found optimism increasing with five positive comments for every cautious comment, up from a 3-to-1 ratio in the January survey. Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom and state legislative leaders have reached an agreement aimed at getting most public schoolchildren back in classrooms by the end of March. Under the deal announced Monday, school districts could get up to $6.6 billion if they reopen classrooms by March 31. To get the money, schools must return to in-person instruction at least through second grade. However, districts in counties with coronavirus case numbers low enough within a specific classification level must return to in-person instruction for all elementary school grades, plus one grade each in middle and high school. The proposal does not require staff and students to be vaccinated. Districts are not required to have agreements with teachers’ unions. Adam Beam, The Associated Press
Joe Biden has said he wants to return the United States to the Joint Collective Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear deal. But the window of opportunity may be closing.
(CBC - image credit) Carol Henzie says the provincial and federal governments need to do more to protect people like her parents after they were exposed three times to COVID-19 in a Pointe-Claire home for independent seniors. "The people that are supposed to be caring and taking care of our parents and our seniors are exposing them to the virus," said Henzie, citing Feb. 18 as the third time her parents were put at risk. "We're supposed to protecting our seniors, and we're not." Her parents live in Maywood Pointe-Claire and she recently found out that an in-home care worker from a local CLSC tested positive for the disease just a few days after visiting her mother and father. Now her mother has tested positive, and is in quarantine with her husband. They had both been vaccinated earlier in the week and, so far, Henzie said her father is doing just fine. "Neither of us have any symptoms," said Terrence Henzie. "We neither have a cough or cold or sneezing or wheezing. Nothing of the kind." Preliminary data from the Institut national de santé publique du Québec suggests the vaccines are 80 per cent effective after two weeks for health-care workers and after three weeks among the residents of long-term care homes. Carol Henzie said she holds public health accountable for her parents being exposed. She wants to see all health-care workers tested regularly for the disease if they work with seniors. CIUSSS says it is following regulations Hélène Bergeron-Gamache, a spokesperson for the West Island regional health board, said the CIUSSS de l'Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal follows the provincial directives for screening health workers. "We strongly encourage our employees to get tested preventively and on a regular basis," she said in an email. "To facilitate access, mobile screening clinics are located in some of our facilities." Quebec 85-years-old and over lined up for their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in Laval last week, but most who live in long-term care homes have already been vaccinated. The agency also follows infection prevention and control rules, providing all employees with the appropriate equipment and training they need to safely provide quality care and services, Bergeron-Gamache said. "Remember that, with community transmission still present, no one is safe from contracting the virus," she said. Quebec long-term care homes struggled through pandemic Long-term care homes — in particular CHSLDs, where residents have significant health or mobility issues — were hit hard by COVID-19 last spring as both staff and visitors brought the highly contagious disease into facilities. There has been a chorus of calls for reform since the early days of the pandemic, as its impact on long-term care homes has brought to light many issues with the way both private and public residences are managed. Francine Ducharme, a geriatrics researcher and nursing sciences professor at Université de Montréal, recently helped prepare a report on long-term care for the Royal Society of Canada in 2020 that showed Canadian seniors' homes have allowed staff-to-patient ratios to drop. The homes have also increasingly shifted to lower-paid care aides and personal support workers, who are often given "variable and minimal formal training," according to the report. A separate report by Quebec's ombudsman revealed the majority of the deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the province between March and June 2020 were among long-term residents — 3,890 in all. In some cases, ombudsman Marie Rinfret noted, overworked staff could not meet residents' basic needs such as being fed, changed or comforted as they died.
NEW YORK — Before a late night rehearsal in December, Terrence Floyd couldn’t remember the last time he squatted on a drum throne, sticks in hand and ready to perform. Surely, he said, it had not happened since his brother, George Floyd, died at the hands of police in Minneapolis last May, sparking a global reckoning over systemic racism and police brutality. Now, Terrence is lending a talent he honed as a youngster in a church band to help produce and promote a forthcoming album of protest anthems inspired by the Black Lives Matter demonstrations prompted in part by his brother's death. “I want to pay my respects to my brother any way I can, whether it’s a march, whether it’s just talking to somebody about him, or whether it’s doing what I do and playing the drums,” Terrence told The Associated Press. “His heartbeat is not beating no more,” he said, “but I can beat for him.” The untitled project, set for release one year after George Floyd’s death, follows a long history of racial justice messages and protest slogans crossing over into American popular music and culture. In particular, music has been a vehicle for building awareness of grassroots movements, often carrying desperate pleas or enraged battle cries across the airwaves. Terrence was recruited for the project by the Rev. Kevin McCall, a New York City activist who said he believes an album of street-inspired protest anthems does not yet exist. “These protest chants that were created have been monumental,” said McCall. “It created a movement and not a moment.” Some songs make bold declarations, like the protest anthem album’s lead single, “No Justice No Peace.” The well-known protest refrain, popularized in the U.S. in the 1980s, is something that millennials grew up hearing before they joined the front lines of their generation’s civil rights movement, McCall said. McCall is featured on the track, along with his fiancée, singer Malikka Miller, and choir members from Brooklyn’s Grace Tabernacle Christian Center. The song is currently available for purchase and streaming on iTunes, Amazon Music and YouTube. Godfather Records, a label run and owned by David Wright, pastor of Grace Tabernacle Christian Center, plans to put out the seven-song album. His late father, Timothy Wright, is considered the “Godfather of gospel music.” “We’re mixing gospel music with social justice, to reach the masses,” Wright said. “We have always been strengthened through songs, like ‘We Shall Overcome’ and ‘Wade in the Water.’ I want to put a new twist on it.” There is a history of interplay between music and Black protest. The 1991 beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles Police Department officers — as well as the contemporary “war on drugs” — amplified NWA’s 1988 anthem, “F(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk) tha Police,” and Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power,” released in 1989. More recently, Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright,” Beyoncé’s “Freedom” featuring Lamar, and YG’s “FDT” provided a soundtrack for many BLM protests. Legendary musician and activist Stevie Wonder released his hit 1980 song, “Happy Birthday,” as part of a campaign to recognize the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday as a federal holiday. King’s Day, which faced years of opposition at the national level, was officially recognized in 1986, three years after it won the backing of federal lawmakers. Some historians cite Billie Holiday’s musical rendition of the Abel Meeropol poem, “Strange Fruit,” in 1939 as one of the sparks of the civil rights movement. The song paints in devastating detail the period of lynching carried out against Black Americans for decades after the abolition of slavery, often as a way to terrorize and oppress those who sought racial equality. The new film “United States vs. Billie Holiday” depicts the jazz luminary’s real-life struggle to perform the song in spite of opposition from government officials. Singer and actress Andra Day, who portrays Holiday in the film, recently told the AP the song's significance influenced her decision to take on the role. “It was her singing this song in defiance of the government that reinvigorated the movement,” Day said. “And so that was really incentivizing for me.” Todd Boyd, the Katherine and Frank Price Endowed Chair for the Study of Race and Popular Culture at the University of Southern California, said many of the most well-known protest chants came out of the civil rights and Black power movements, and then inspired songs. “That’s how culture works,” Boyd said. “Something that starts out in one space can very easily grow into something bigger and broader, if the movement itself is influential.” Terrence Floyd said the protest anthem project feels like a fitting way to honour his brother’s memory. Many years before his death, George Floyd dabbled in music — he was occasionally invited to rap on mixtapes produced by DJ Screw, a fixture of the local hip-hop scene in Houston. “If his music couldn’t make it out of Houston, I’m using my Floyd musical ability to reach people in his name,” Terrence said. ___ AP entertainment reporter Jamia Pugh in Philadelphia contributed. ___ Morrison is a member of the AP’s Race and Ethnicity team. Follow him on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/aaronlmorrison. Aaron Morrison, The Associated Press
Shawinigan – Tous les superhéros accomplissent des miracles, c'est bien connu. Nino Mancuso, le grand patron du Shawicon et son équipe en ont réalisé un également dans les dernières semaines, alors qu'ils ont réussi l'exploit de mettre sur pieds la sixième édition de l'événement, dans tout le contexte que l'on connaît, tout en s'assurant au passage la présence de grandes pointures du milieu du divertissement d'ici et d'ailleurs. Nino Mancuso ne s'en cache pas : l'édition 2021 n'avait rien à voir avec les précédentes. «Ça a été bien, bien, bien différent des autres années!» sourit-il, d'emblée. «Jusqu'en décembre, on n'était pas sûr de ce qu'on ferait. Avec les décisions du gouvernement, c'était difficile de se brancher», exprime-t-il. Non seulement fallait-il avoir le feu vert, mais tout était à faire pour l'organisation. «D'habitude, on se prépare dès le mois de mai ou juin, on avait donc un gros retard en partant dans la préparation et c'est quand même beaucoup de travail», concède le principal intéressé. Cette édition «bien, bien, bien» différente aura tout de même ouvert de belles possibilités à M. Mancuso et son équipe. «Avec la pandémie, on a eu la chance d'avoir des gros noms qu'on n'aurait pas pu avoir sinon. Qu'on pense à Bonnie Wright qui a joué dans Harry Potter ou à la gang de ''Dans une galaxie près de chez vous'' que j'essayais d'avoir depuis la première édition mais dont les acteurs ne pouvaient jamais tous en même temps parce qu'ils étaient sur un tournage, au théâtre. On a profité de cette situation. Ça a été bénéfique.» Nino Mancuso est par ailleurs convaincu d'avoir fait bonne impression auprès des vedettes de cette année et de leurs agents, ce qui, estime-t-il, ne nuira pas dans un futur proche. «C'est quand même compliqué d'atteindre certaines vedettes. J'ai été chanceux, j'ai contacté de grandes compagnies qui m'ont répondu. Tout le monde est super content, les invités ont eu beaucoup de plaisir et les artistes ont adoré la réaction des fans qui ont participé et nous ont suivi en grand nombre. C'était assez fou», se réjouit-il. L'événement se fait une fierté d'avoir été l'un des premiers en son genre à être offert totalement gratuitement aux passionnés du genre. «On a gravi un échelon de plus en tenant quelque chose de numérique. On est bien fiers d'avoir pu l'offrir gratuitement aux gens.» À peine l'édition 2021 terminée, l'organisation planchera logiquement sur la septième présentation de l'événement à pareille date l'an prochain. «On va commencer tranquillement. On est toujours un peu dans l'attente. Chose certaine, il y a des trucs qui vont changer, on va essayer quelque chose de nouveau», a laissé entendre M. Mancuso. En 2020, le Shawicon avait amené plus de 266 000$ en retombées économiques pour la ville de Shawinigan. Marc-André Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nouvelliste
Infectious diseases expert Dr. Isaac Bogoch checks in with The Morning Show to answers the latest coronavirus questions.
MOSCOW — Two top United Nations human rights experts urged an international probe into the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and called Monday for his immediate release from prison. Agnès Callamard, the Special U.N. Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and Irene Khan, the Special U.N. Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, said Navalny’s poisoning was intended to “send a clear, sinister warning that this would be the fate of anyone who would criticize and oppose the government.” “Given the inadequate response of the domestic authorities, the use of prohibited chemical weapons, and the apparent pattern of attempted targeted killings, we believe that an international investigation should be carried out as a matter of urgency in order to establish the facts and clarify all the circumstances concerning Mr. Navalny’s poisoning," they said in a statement. Navalny, the most prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, fell sick on Aug. 20 during a domestic flight in Russia and was flown while still in a coma to Berlin for treatment two days later. Labs in Germany, France and Sweden, and tests by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, established that he was exposed to a Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent. Russian authorities have denied any involvement in the poisoning. In December, Navalny released the recording of a phone call he said he made to a man he described as an alleged member of a group of officers of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, who purportedly poisoned him in August and then tried to cover it up. The FSB dismissed the recording as a fake. Callamard and Khan on Monday published their official letter sent to the Russian authorities in December and noted that “the availability of Novichok and the expertise required in handling it and in developing a novel form such as that found in Mr. Navalny’s samples could only be found within and amongst state actors.” The experts emphasized in the letter that Navalny “was under intensive government surveillance at the time of the attempted killing, making it unlikely that any third party could have administered such a banned chemical without the knowledge of the Russian authorities.” Navalny was arrested on Jan. 17 upon returning from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from the nerve agent poisoning. The arrest triggered massive protests, to which the Russian authorities responded with a sweeping crackdown. Last month, Navalny was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for violating the terms of his probation while convalescing in Germany. The sentence stems from a 2014 embezzlement conviction that Navalny has rejected as fabricated — and which the European Court of Human Rights has ruled to be unlawful. Last week, Navalny was sent to serve his prison sentence to a prison outside Moscow despite the ECHR's demand for his release, which cited concerns for his safety. Russian officials have dismissed demands from the United States and the European Union to free Navalny and stop the crackdown on his supporters. Mikhail Galperin, Russia's deputy justice minister, charged Monday that Moscow has contested the ECHR's ruling demanding Navalny's release in a letter sent to the Strasbourg-based court. Meanwhile, the UN rights experts noted that an international probe into Navalny's poisoning is “especially critical” now when he is in prison. They called for his immediate release and reminded Russia that it's “responsible for the care and protection of Mr. Navalny in prison and that it shall be held responsible for any harm that may befall him.” Vladimir Isachenkov, The Associated Press
Sundridge may be on the verge of eliminating an algae problem with its lagoons by using ultrasound. Council received a presentation about the cutting-edge technology from Paul Dyrda, the senior operations manager at the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA). Dyrda says the ultrasound technology, called LG Sonic, works, and he wants council to approve the purchase of the $31,000 equipment. That may happen this month when council debates the presentation. Dyrda says the density and heaviness of the algal blooms at Sundridge's lagoons has “overwhelmed” the wastewater treatment system in the past. “The facilities were not designed to treat water with that amount of algae,” he explains. As a result, Dyrda says, the village's facility failed to meet environmental compliance objectives during warm weather since that's when algae is most active. At one point, Dyrda says, OCWA considered using a floating ball system where enough balls are placed in the water system that they block the sun's ultraviolet rays which, in turn, stops the algae growth. The problem is the cost worked out to be $500,000. OCWA applied for government funding for the floating balls, but the request was rejected. However, around the same time, Dyrda says, OCWA staff learned about the ultrasonic technology, which breaks the algae down at a cellular level and then it dies. OCWA received permission from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks to try the technology on one of the lagoons last summer. “So for two months we had the algae-control device in the middle of one lagoon and compared it to the other lagoon without the device,” Dyrda says. “The difference was dramatic. The difference between the two lagoons was unbelievable and it was very successful.” Dyrda says the ultrasonic technology is so cutting-edge he doesn't believe any other municipality has government approval to use it. Dyrda says the one “caveat” with the technology is it only works on breaking down blue-green algae and green algae, which now plague the village's lagoons. “So there's the potential that you get rid of one algae, but then another type takes its place,” he told council. But, he added, there is no other option, like spending half a million dollars on the floating balls “which may or may not have worked. “This (ultrasonic technology) is the better option of the two,” Dyrda said. He wants council to approve the purchase so the equipment can be installed once the snow is gone. In addition to the $31,000 cost, installation wouldn't exceed $5,000. Dyrda says last summer's pilot project made the village's lagoons compliant with government regulations and said once the LG Sonic system is in place “all the effluent water that's going to leave the lagoons is going to be compliant.” With Dyrda during the presentation was OCWA's business development manager, Ted Smider. “Sundridge is a pioneer in this and I know other parts of OCWA are looking at this particular technology to be used, so you're the first,” Smider said. In response Mayor Lyle Hall said he was sure the village would hear more about the technology in the future and added “hopefully, we'll be the model for other organizations and municipalities.” Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative, The North Bay Nugget
Chatham-Kent restaurants, gaming establishments, cinemas, performing art venues and gyms are able to receive an intake of 50 clients after the provincial government moved the municipality to the Orange Zone. On Friday the Ontario government, in consultation with its chief medical officer of health, announced it was moving nine public health regions to new levels in the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework. The change came into effect Monday morning. During the past two weeks, with the Fairfield Park long-term care home outbreak under control, new cases have significantly decreased, prompting the zone change. The move into Orange means Chatham-Kent saw a weekly incidence rate of 25 to 39.9 new cases per 100,000 residents. On Friday, four recoveries and four new cases of COVID-19 were reported, keeping the active total at 17 cases. Limits for organized public events and gatherings in staffed businesses and facilities, where physical distancing can be maintained, has increased to 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors. Religious ceremonies and weddings can continue to see an indoor occupancy of 30 per cent of a room’s capacity. Fitness or exercise classes can only have a maximum of 10 people and must take place in a separate room. New vaccine on the block Health Canada also announced on Friday that it gave the green light to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine which has an efficacy rate of 62 per cent from 15 days after the second dose was given to the study’s participants. It was authorized for use in individuals 18 years of age and older. "Today's approval of AZO by Health Canada represents a major addition to the armamentarium in the fight against COVID-19. I am very pleased," said Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s medical officer of health. The vaccine will be produced in Ontario and India. The Ontario-produced AstraZeneca vaccine will have 500,000 doses quicker. “There’s been no update in terms of when Chatham-Kent will receive this particular vaccine, but Health Canada produced a statement saying that it will begin being distributed in April,” Colby said. Colby added that the provincial projections for its vaccination schedule are based on only Moderna and Pfizer availability, with more being added, projections will need to be updated. His original timeline for Chatham-Kent was to have the population inoculated by September and to date things have been going on schedule. Jenna Cocullo, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chatham Voice
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Police in Sri Lanka said Monday they have arrested two people in connection with the death of a 9-year-old girl who was repeatedly beaten during a ritual they believed would drive away an evil spirit. The two suspects — the woman performing the exorcism and the girl's mother — appeared in court on Monday to hear charges over the girl's death, which occurred over the weekend in Delgoda, a small town about 40 kilometres (25 miles) northeast of the capital, Colombo. The court ordered the suspects detained until March 12. According to police spokesperson Ajith Rohana, the mother believed her daughter had been possessed by a demon and took her to the home of the exorcist so a ritual could be performed to drive the spirit away. Rohana said the exorcist first put oil on the girl and then began to repeatedly hit her with a cane. When the girl lost consciousness, she was taken to a hospital, where she died. An autopsy was scheduled for Monday. The woman who performed the ritual on the girl was known in the area for offering such services in recent months and police were investigating whether anyone else had been abused, Rohana said. Rohana urged the public to be careful about such services as the girl was not the first to die during such a ritual. Bharatha Mallawarachi, The Associated Press
Initiée par le Service des loisirs, de la culture et de la vie communautaire de la Ville Matane, la publication de la série Traces de vies met en valeur dix personnes remarquables de la Matanie. Par le biais de ces portraits, la créatrice de contenu Mélanie Gagné et le photographe Louis-Philippe Cusson voulaient contrer l’isolement causé par la pandémie de la COVID-19, d’abord pour ces aînés. « Nous avons apprécié les entretiens avec ces êtres d’exception dans le respect des normes sanitaires de circonstance, d’indiquer en substance Mme Gagné et M. Cusson. Nous les remercions de leur générosité et de leur chaleur humaine. Ces belles rencontres auraient pu se prolonger des heures et des heures, car leur vie est inspirante et palpitante! » Jusqu’au 18 avril sur les présentoirs du parc Jean-Charles Forbes Ces portraits inspirants sont exposés jusqu’au 18 avril sur les présentoirs du parc Jean-Charles Forbes, en face de la bibliothèque municipale Fonds de solidarité FTQ sur l’avenue Saint-Jérôme. Ils ont aussi paru pendant autant de semaines en version plus longue dans l’hebdomadaire L’Avantage gaspésien. Les personnes retenues : Fernand Desjardins, un patenteux reconnu; Gaétane Fillion, une bénévole à la bibliothèque mobile à la Résidence des Bâtisseurs; Monique Fournier, une passionnée d’horticulture, de musique et d’histoire; et Denise Gentil, une fonceuse, mobilisatrice, persévérante et vaillante Plus Guillermo Jaramillo, un homme sensible et plein de talents; Yvette Lapointe, une passionnée d'histoire et d’horticulture; Roger Marquis, un grand-père moderne; Berthier Pearson, un voyageur et auteur prolifique; Gaston Roussel, gestionnaire du cimetière et enfin, Georgine Ruest, une femme aux loisirs multiples. Ouvrir/fermer la section Yoast SEO Romain Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Monmatane.com
(Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit) Ontario reported another 1,023 cases of COVID-19 on Monday as nine public health units moved to different tiers of the province's colour-coded restrictions system, including two that are headed back into lockdown. Among the new cases are 280 in Toronto, 182 in Peel Region and 72 in Ottawa. Thunder Bay and Simcoe Muskoka, meanwhile, logged 55 and 39 additional cases, respectively. Both health units have seen a rise in new infections in recent weeks, driven in part by the spread of more contagious variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Last week, the province announced it would activate what it describes as an "emergency brake" for the two regions, shifting them to the grey "lockdown" tier. The move imposed a variety of more stringent public health measures in those regions, including capping most indoor gatherings at 10 people, closing restaurants to in-person service and forcing non-essential retailers to operate at 25 per cent capacity. "We know this is upsetting to the local individuals and people," Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said at a news conference on Monday. "We want to be cautious and careful and we are assessing these situations." Seven other public health units, meanwhile, saw restrictions eased somewhat today as they moved down a level in the provincial framework. The Niagara Region is now classified as red, the Chatham-Kent, Middlesex-London and Southwestern units all moved to the orange tier, Haldimand-Norfolk and Huron Perth transitioned to the yellow level, and Grey Bruce to green, the least restrictive. As regions move into zones with looser restrictions, Williams advised people to stay vigilant about the variants of concern no matter which colour zone they're in, saying those variants are much more easily transmissible. As for further cases in today's report, the following public health units also reported double-digit increases: Hamilton: 53 York Region: 47 Halton Region: 39 Waterloo Region: 39 Durham Region: 34 Niagara Region: 30 Windsor-Essex: 22 Middlesex-London: 18 Brant County: 16 Lambton: 14 Northwestern: 12 Peterborough: 12 Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 12 Sudbury: 11 (Note: All of the figures used in this story are found on the Ministry of Health's COVID-19 dashboard or in its Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any region may differ from what is reported by the local public health unit on a given day, because local units report figures at different times.) The seven-day average of new cases fell slightly to 1,099. Ontario's lab network completed 35,015 tests for the virus and reported a test positivity rate of 3.1 per cent. The seven-day average of positivity rates has been relatively flat for several days. Seven more cases screened positive for the virus variant first identified in the United Kingdom, bringing the total number so far to 535. No new cases linked to variants first found in South Africa and Brazil were added to today's update. As of Sunday, the cumulative number of cases of variants of concern in the province sits at 565. The Ministry of Education reported 116 school related infections: 99 students, 15 staff members and two people who were not identified. Twenty schools, or about 0.4 per cent of all publicly-funded schools in Ontario, are currently closed due to the illness. Health units also recorded the deaths of six more people with COVID-19, bringing the province's official toll to 6,986. Soft launch for vaccine booking portal Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health said Ontario's website for booking COVID-19 vaccination appointments will begin a soft launch in six health units this week. The online portal is currently scheduled to be operational provincewide on March 15. Regions participating in the soft launch are: Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Peterborough Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Grey Bruce Lambton But the spokesperson noted the site will not be available to the general public in those regions. Officials will reach out to a small number of people aged 80 or older and eligible health-care workers to invite them to participate. "This will help inform the province's plan to organize the vaccination of larger populations, providing the opportunity to try components of the system before the full launch," the spokesperson said in an email. Some public health units have begun offering appointments and first doses to residents 80 years old and above before Ontario's centralized booking system becomes available to the public. Guelph, Ottawa, Waterloo and Simcoe Muskoka are among them. In the GTA, York Region began booking appointments this morning. In an emailed statement to CBC Toronto, a spokesperson for the region's public health unit said within the first two hours of operation, approximately 20,000 appointments were booked across the region's five locations on the online portal. Within hours, the region posted to its official Twitter account that all available appointments had been taken, and more will only become available once there is local capacity and vaccine supply. The Ministry of Health said it anticipates that public health units using their own programs for online appointments right now will migrate to the province's portal once it has launched. "Be careful, be consistent, wait for your vaccine — it's coming," Williams said. The province said it administered 17,424 doses of COVID-19 vaccine yesterday. A total of 263,214 people have now received both shots of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, according to the Ministry of Health. Last week, Health Canada approved Astrazeneca's vaccine for use, though there has been no word on when doses may actually arrive in provinces.
Coup de théâtre, vendredi soir dernier à la séance régulière du Conseil municipal de l’Estérel, où le résultat d’un sondage citoyen a vu le projet de réaménagement du terrain de golf l’Estérel être rejeté à 70 % par les répondants. Les chiffres démontrent qu’un total de 365 citoyens (domiciliés dans la municipalité ou propriétaire d’un immeuble) ont répondu à l’exercice, alors qu’au répertoire des municipalités (MAMH), on dénote une population totale de 231 personnes. « Il y avait aussi des propriétaires de terrains vacants, des copropriétaires d’unités de condos à l’Hôtel (Estérel) qui pouvaient répondre. On a obtenu un très haut taux de réponse », a souligné M. Joseph Dydzak, maire de l’Estérel. Au décompte officiel, 70,68 % des gens ont répondu « je m’oppose à ce projet ». 4,94 % ont souligné « être favorable à ce projet ». Par ailleurs, 9,86 % des répondants ont souligné « avoir certaines réserves et que plusieurs éléments devront être modifiés avant acceptation. » Ces données ont convaincu le maire d’y aller d’un énoncé au nom du Conseil municipal. « Les chiffres sont clairs et sans équivoque. La volonté des citoyens guide nos décisions. Le projet soumis ne fera pas partie du nouveau plan d’urbanisme. Golf Estérel gardera sa vocation récréative actuelle », a déclaré virtuellement M. Dydzak. En réaction à la décision rendue par le conseil municipal, le promoteur Replay Destinations a réagi dès la fin de l’assemblée. Son projet aurait pu atteindre des investissements totaux de 85 M $ au total. « Les propriétaires du Club de golf Estérel et de Replay Destinations prennent acte de la décision (…). Bien qu’il s’agisse d’un mode de consultation inhabituel, le message est très clair, quant à la volonté des élus de ne pas aller de l’avant avec notre proposition de revitalisation du parcours de golf, qui nécessitait un changement de zonage visant la construction d’unités d’habitation, pour assurer la viabilité financière du projet intégré », a écrit le vice-président et leader, secteur fabrication et manufacturier du cabinet national, M. Robert Lupien. La décision entraîne aussi des changements d’opérations. « En conséquence (…), nous avons pris la décision de ne pas rouvrir le golf cet été. Nous sommes très déçus de cette décision, dans le contexte où nous avions procédé l’été dernier à l’ouverture du golf dans un geste de bonne foi, à la suite d’une demande de la Ville de l’Estérel de nous engager dans un processus coopératif de planification avec la communauté. Nous aurions apprécié avoir l’opportunité de recevoir des amendements constructifs et de poursuivre ces discussions », a poursuivi M. Lupien. Le maire Dydsak a tenu à préciser cette déclaration. « Au contraire, ce sont eux qui nous ont offert de garder le golf ouvert, en 2020. » Golf Estérel entend revenir à la charge une nouvelle fois, après des demandes différentes en 2018 et en 2021. « Nous entendons maintenant soumettre un projet de développement conforme à la règlementation présentement en vigueur, sur le zonage et les usages permis, incluant à la fois des bâtiments résidentiels et commerciaux. » Le maire Dydsak a tenu à rappeler le contexte une nouvelle fois. « Ce n’est pas un projet comparable au golf. Ils ont le droit de construire quelques maisons unifamiliales dans la péninsule et sur quelques autres terrains résidentiels. » Ève Ménard, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Accès
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said a "disappointing" $1.7 billion had been pledged by countries on Monday for humanitarian aid in Yemen - less than half the $3.85 billion the world body was seeking for 2021 to avert a large-scale famine. Childhood in Yemen is a special kind of hell. Some 16 million Yemenis - more than half the population of the Arabian Peninsula country - are going hungry, the United Nations says.
SILVER SPRING, Md. — Spending on U.S. construction projects rose 1.7% in January as new home building continues to lift the sector. Last month's increase followed small revised gains in December and November. Spending on residential construction rose 2.5% in January, with single family home projects up 3%, the Commerce Department reported Monday. Despite an economy that’s been battered for nearly a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, historically low interest rates and city dwellers seeking more space in the suburbs and beyond has boosted home sales. Last week, the Commerce Department reported that sales of new homes jumped 4.3% in January, and are 19.3% higher than they were last year at this time. In a separate report, the government reported that applications for building permits, which typically signal activity ahead, spiked 10.4% in January. Spending on government projects, which has been constrained by tight state and local budgets in the wake of the pandemic, rose 1.7%. Matt Ott, The Associated Press
Community organizations in Timmins have prepared a few events in celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD). It is marked annually on March 8. In the past, the Timmins and Area Women in Crisis (TAWC) has hosted a dinner honouring 10 women who have overcome adversity and contributed to the community. This year, the organization is hoping to honour at least 30 women each day starting on March 8. Until March 3, TAWC is accepting nominations of extraordinary women who deserve recognition. The selected women will receive gift boxes with self-care products, all made by local women. “We wanted to make it a little bit extra special,” said Caroline Martel, TAWC’s manager of programs and services. “We wanted to honour women who’ve gone above and beyond during the pandemic … like frontline workers and health workers, teachers. If anyone knows anyone who’s really stepped up this year, we really want to hear their stories and nominate them.” Nomination forms can be found here or by emailing TAWC. Ellevive will host a free virtual meeting with Quebec singer Nathalie Simard on March 8 and 9. Simard will share her personal journey and testimony from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The event is held in partnership with a Sudbury-based Centre Victoria pour femmes, Fem'aide and the Office of Francophone Affairs at Laurentian University. For Ellevive’s and Centre Victoria’s clients, an exclusive activity will be offered on March 10. For another virtual event on March 8, the Timmins Chamber of Commerce has invited Erin Elofson of Pinterest Canada. Elofson is an innovator, project manager and head of the Canada, Australia and New Zealand region at Pinterest, which is a visual discovery engine where users share images and find inspiration and ideas. At the event, she will talk about women in leadership roles, the importance of having a curated digital presence and female parity on governing boards. The event will be held via Zoom from noon till 1 p.m. It costs $25 plus tax for chamber members and $40 for general admission. To register, click here. Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com