Meteorologist Nadine Powell times out the next burst of snowfall that could make roads slippery again.
Meteorologist Nadine Powell times out the next burst of snowfall that could make roads slippery again.
(NBC/The Associated Press, NBC/Reuters - image credit) Schitt's Creek won the Golden Globe for best television comedy on Sunday, shortly after star Catherine O'Hara captured the award for best actress for her portrayal of Moira Rose. Dan Levy — who co-created the show with his father, Eugene Levy — accepted the award remotely and paid homage to the Canadian cast and crew. "The incredible work you all did over these past six seasons have taken us to places we never thought possible, and we are so grateful to all of you for it," he said. "Thank you to the CBC and Pop TV for making the active choice to keep this show on the air and give it the time and space it needed to grow." The show topped fellow nominees Ted Lasso, The Great, The Flight Attendant and Emily in Paris. "This acknowledgement is a lovely vote of confidence in the messages Schitt's Creek has come to stand for: the idea that inclusion can bring about growth and love to a community," Dan Levy said. "In the spirit of inclusion, I hope that this time next year, the ceremony reflects the true breadth and diversity of the film and television being made today because there is so much more to be celebrated." Earlier, O'Hara thanked Eugene and Dan Levy for creating "an inspiring, funny, beautiful family love story in which they let me wear 100 wigs and speak like an alien." "Thank you CBC for making this show in Canada," she said. Eugene Levy, Dan Levy and Annie Murphy were each nominated for acting awards as well. Jason Sudeikis bested Eugene Levy for best actor in a television series for his role in Ted Lasso, John Boyega won the award for best supporting actor for his role in Small Axe over Dan Levy and Gillian Anderson's turn on The Crown earned her best supporting actress over Murphy. Schitt's Creek, which aired on CBC and Pop TV, ended its sixth and final season last April. The Ontario-shot show swept the comedy category at the Emmy Awards last fall. Nomadland wins 2 awards, Boseman honoured posthumously Nomadland won best drama film while its director, Chloé Zhao, became the first woman of Asian descent to win best director at the Golden Globes. The film follows a woman, played by Frances McDormand, who leaves her small town to join a group of wanderers in the American West. Accepting the best picture award, Zhao paid tribute to all those who have been on difficult journeys, quoting a line from the film: "We don't say goodbye, we say see you down the road." Meanwhile, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm won best movie, musical or comedy, while star Sacha Baron Cohen won best actor for his portrayal of the fictional journalist from Kazakhstan. In a major surprise, the Globe for best actress in a drama film went to Andra Day in The United States vs. Billie Holiday. Day played the legendary jazz and blues singer in the biopic directed by Lee Daniels. A tearful and overwhelmed Day spoke through tears as she said she was "in the presence of giants," naming her fellow nominees Viola Davis, Carey Mulligan, Vanessa Kirby and Frances McDormand. Six months after his death at age 43, Chadwick Boseman won the Golden Globe for best actor in a dramatic film for his final role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Boseman's widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, accepted the award for her late husband, saying "he would thank God, he would thank his parents, he would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices." Through tears, Ledward added: "I don't have his words, but we have to take all the moments to celebrate those we love." In the Netflix film, Boseman plays an ambitious trumpeter named Levee who aims to launch himself with his own updated version of the songs of Ma Rainey, the powerhouse blues singer played by Viola Davis. Boseman, who starred in the Marvel blockbuster "Black Panther," died in August after privately battling colon cancer for four years. Netflix, which came in with a commanding 42 nominations, won the top TV awards. The Crown, as expected, took best drama series, along with acting wins for Anderson, Josh O'Connor and Emma Corrin. O'Connor and Corrin portrayed Prince Charles and Princess Diana, respectively. The Queen's Gambit, another Netflix show, won best limited series or TV movie and star Anya Taylor-Joy won best actress in a limited series. Jodie Foster, meanwhile, won her first Golden Globe in nearly three decades. Foster won the Globe for best supporting actress in a film for her role in The Mauritanian. Jane Fonda accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award, praising the "community of storytellers" for their vital role in troubled times, and calling for greater diversity in Hollywood. The 83-year-old actor and activist, star of Barbarella, Klute, Coming Home, On Golden Pond and 9 to 5, received the Globes' version of a lifetime achievement award, one of the few honorees to accept a Globe in person in Beverly Hills. The DeMille award honours "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment." Previous winners include Walt Disney, Judy Garland, John Wayne, Sidney Poitier, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks and Fonda's father Henry Fonda. The Fondas become the first parent and child to both receive the DeMille award. Norman Lear accepted the Carol Burnett Award on Sunday at the Golden Globes for his storied career in television, saying he "could not feel more blessed." The 98-year-old still-working television legend, creator of All in the Family, The Jeffersons and One Day at a Time, is the third winner of the award that honours "outstanding contributions to television on or off the screen." Hosts on different coasts Earlier, co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler began the pandemic-era award show by delivering a split-screen opening from separate coasts. With Poehler at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., and Fey in New York's Rainbow Room, the two did an initial gag where Fey reached out through the screen and stroked Poehler's hair. Golden Globes hosts Tina Fey, left, and Amy Poehler, opened the show from New York and Beverly Hills, Calif., respectively. When attendees would normally be streaming down the red carpet on Sunday evening, many stars were instead posing virtually. Regina King, resplendent in a dazzling dress, stood before her yawning dog. Carey Mulligan, nominated for Promising Young Woman, said from a London hotel room that she was wearing heels for the first time in more than a year. Lee Isaac Chung, writer-director of the tender Korean-American family drama Minari (a movie the HFPA was criticized for ruling ineligible for its top award because of its non-English dialogue), accepted the award for best foreign language film while his young daughter embraced him. "She's the reason I made this film," said Chung. "Minari is about a family. It's a family trying to learn a language of its own. It goes deeper than any American language and any foreign language. It's a language of the heart. I'm trying to learn it myself and to pass it on," said Chung. Other awards included Pixar's Soul for best animated film; Rosumund Pike took best actress in a comedy or musical film for I Care a Lot; and Aaron Sorkin won for best screenplay for Trial of the Chicago 7. The film, a favourite to win best drama film at the Globes, was sold to Netflix by Paramount Pictures last summer due to the pandemic. "Netflix saved our lives," said Sorkin. Issues in lead-up to show On a night when the organization that gives out the Golden Globes is facing condemnation for having no Black voting members, the night's first award went to a Black actor, with Daniel Kaluuya winning best supporting actor in a film for his work in Judas and the Black Messiah. Kaluuya's acceptance speech could not be heard from his location at first, and he jokingly shouted, "You did me dirty!" once the audio was restored. Kaluuya didn't mention the issue directly in his acceptance, though he praised the man he played to win the award, Blank Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was was killed in an FBI raid in 1969. The Globes, normally a loose-and-boozy party that serves as the kickoff for Hollywood's awards season, has been beset with problems beyond the coronavirus leading up to this year's ceremony. They include a revelation in the Los Angeles Times that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which gives out the awards, has no Black voting members in the group. LISTEN | Why the Golden Globes' shady reputation persists: Fey took a shot at the organization in the show opening, explaining to the two small live audiences made up of first responders and essential workers that "the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is made up of around 90 no Black journalists." This year, none of the most acclaimed Black-led films — Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, One Night in Miami, Judas and the Black Messiah and Da 5 Bloods — were nominated for the Globes' best picture award. With the HFPA potentially fighting for its Hollywood life, Sunday's Globes were part apology tour. Within the first half hour of the NBC telecast, members of the press association also appeared on stage to pledge change. "We recognize we have our own work to do," said vice president Helen Hoehne. "We must have Black journalists in our organization."
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Spacewalking astronauts ventured out Sunday to install support frames for new, high-efficiency solar panels arriving at the International Space Station later this year. NASA's Kate Rubins and Victor Glover put the first set of mounting brackets and struts together, then bolted them into place next to the station's oldest and most degraded solar wings. But the work took longer than expected, and they barely got started on the second set before calling it quits. Rubins will finish the job during a second spacewalk later this week. The spacewalkers had to lug out the hundreds of pounds of mounting brackets and struts in 8-foot (2.5-meter) duffle-style bags. The equipment was so big and awkward that it had to be taken apart like furniture, just to get through the hatch. Some of the attachment locations required extra turns of the power drill and still weren't snug enough, as indicated by black lines. The astronauts had to use a ratchet wrench to deal with the more stubborn bolts, which slowed them down. At one point, they were two hours behind. “Whoever painted this black line painted outside the lines a little bit," Glover said at one particularly troublesome spot. “We’ll work on our kindergarten skills over here,” Mission Control replied, urging him to move on. With more people and experiments flying on the space station, more power will be needed to keep everything running, according to NASA. The six new solar panels — to be delivered in pairs by SpaceX over the coming year or so — should boost the station’s electrical capability by as much as 30%. Rubins and Glover tackled the struts for the first two solar panels, due to launch in June. Their spacewalk ended up lasting seven hours, a bit longer than planned. “Really appreciate your hard work. I know there were a lot of challenges,” Mission Control radioed. The eight solar panels up there now are 12 to 20 years old — most of them past their design lifetime and deteriorating. Each panel is 112 feet (34 metres) long by 39 feet (12 metres) wide. Tip to tip counting the centre framework, each pair stretches 240 feet (73 metres), longer than a Boeing 777's wingspan. Boeing is supplying the new roll-up panels, about half the size of the old ones but just as powerful thanks to the latest solar cell technology. They’ll be placed at an angle above the old ones, which will continue to operate. A prototype was tested at the space station in 2017. Rubins' helmet featured a new high-definition camera that provided stunning views, particularly those showing the vivid blue Earth 270 miles (435 kilometres) below. “Pretty fantastic," observed Mission Control. Sunday’s spacewalk was the third for infectious disease specialist Rubins and Navy pilot Glover — both of whom could end up flying to the moon. They’re among 18 astronauts newly assigned to NASA’s Artemis moon-landing program. The next moonwalkers will come from this group. Last week, Vice-President Kamala Harris put in a congratulatory call to Glover, the first African American astronaut to live full time at the space station. NASA released the video exchange Saturday. “The history making that you are doing, we are so proud of you,” Harris said. Like other firsts, Glover replied, it won't be the last. “We want to make sure that we can continue to do new things,” he said. Rubins will float back out Friday with Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi to wrap up the solar panel prep work, and to vent and relocate ammonia coolant hoses. Glover and Noguchi were among four astronauts arriving via SpaceX in November. Rubins launched from Kazakhstan in October alongside two Russians. They’re all scheduled to return to Earth this spring. ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content. Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press
TAMPA, Fla. — The Blue Jays kicked off spring training action with a win Sunday, edging the New York Yankees 6-4. Rowdy Tellez got Toronto off to an early lead with a two-run double in the first inning. Lefty Anthony Kay pitched two perfect innings for the Jays, striking out the Yankees' first six batters of the day. Toronto was up 5-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth when Andrew Velazquez got New York on the board, capitalizing on a fielding error by Jays second baseman Otto Lopez. Rob Brantly narrowed Toronto's lead in the fifth, blasting a two-run homer to centre field. Mike Tauchman followed suit with a single homer on a fly ball to centre field to make the score 5-4. Right-hander Jacob Waguespack gave up all three fifth-inning runs before he was replaced on the mound by Anthony Castro. Logan Warmoth sealed the Jays' victory with a homerun to right-centre field at the top of the sixth. T.J. Zeuch was credited with the Toronto win after allowing one run on two hits over two innings. New York's Michael King took the loss after giving up three runs in the first two innings. The Jays are set to play the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2021. The Canadian Press
(Enzo Zanatta/CBC - image credit) At least eight trees were spray-painted with racist graffiti in a park in Vancouver's Marpole neighbourhood on Saturday. The Vancouver Park Board said the trees were covered in swastikas and the slogan "White Power." In a statement, the Vancouver Park Board said it is "heartbroken and enraged" by the incident at Riverview Park. "The City of Vancouver and the park board condemn these abhorrent acts of racism in the strongest possible terms. We stand in solidarity with the Indigenous, Black, racialized and Jewish communities targeted by these messages," it read. "These messages are intended to create shock, fear and division." Some of the defaced trees are near a playground. It further expressed regret to anyone — including families and children accessing the nearby playground — who had to see the messages. "We acknowledge the park crews who are in the process of safely removing the hurtful graffiti. We also acknowledge this as an act of disrespect to the natural world on the Musqueam territory," it continued. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact 311.
A new app has been released that aims to help agricultural producers monitor and track their mental health. Avail, produced by Bridges Health based in Saskatoon, offers a confidential system for producers to record and analyze their mental health while providing online resources, such as articles and videos. The app also assists in finding care providers in their communities. The app encourages regular check-ins and will note patterns in the data that is logged. Users can set their distance as to how far they’d be willing to travel, and the app tells them all the professionals within the area that are available to assist them. “In Saskatchewan, the agriculture sector impacts our business and our families, so we were honoured to work alongside the government and participants to enhance this mental health and wellness tool,” said Anderson Kyle, a Business Development Consultant with Bridges Health. Bridges Health won the 2020 Innovation Challenge and received $10,000 to develop the new Avail app. The app was presented last week to the Government of Saskatchewan. “The Avail app provides users with a proactive and individualized solution to take an active role in managing their mental health,” Kyle added. The Innovation Challenge encourages Saskatchewan-based tech companies to find unique ways to tackle the many issues that the public face. Previous projects include tech responses to rural crime, a hands-free way to ask for permission to hunt or fish on private land online, and an app to track landfill waste. The Avail app was designed to assist producers monitor their mental well-being as the job can lead to high stress, especially during times such as harvest season or planting season. “Avail is a holistic health and wellness tool, providing users with a technology that measures, manages, and enhances their mental well-being,” he concluded. The app touches on multiple topics, including stress, anxiety, healthy eating, and physical activity. Once an individual fills out the proper information on the app, they will be provided with a spreadsheet that shows the user where they are doing well and where they can improve. The app is currently only available to farmers and producers in Saskatchewan, but Bridges Health has plans to eventually expand the product worldwide. The app can be found on Google Play and the App Store for those interested in downloading it. Spencer Kemp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator
NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on the surface of Mars on February 18, 2021 and it has already begun to send back jaw-dropping images of the surrounding area.
by Spencer Kemp Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Over the past decade, Saskatchewan has seen a decrease in the number of collisions that involve drinking or drugged drivers. The number of incidents is only around a third of what it had been a decade ago, with 617 incidents taking place in 2019. There has been a downward trend of collsions since 2008 when the province saw 1,695 collisions that involved drivers under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. Corporal Darcy Thiemann with the Esterhazy RCMP detachment says while their numbers stay fairly consistent from year to year, they have noticed a decrease in the number of young drivers taking to the streets while under the influence. He says that with the current state of bars and nightclubs being closed early, they have also noticed fewer drivers taking the risk as well. “You get the fluctuation sometimes through the busier times of the year,” explained Corporal Mike Eady with the Westman RCMP Detachment. “But I haven’t noticed too much of a downward trend.” Eady did note a change in their calls, however. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, he noted a decrease in calls regarding impaired drivers, but an increase in other types of calls. “It’s changed up a bit from what it’s been in the past. It’s roughly as busy but with different types of calls coming in. People have been cooped up for quite a bit so a lot of mental health-type calls and domestic diputes, that type of thing.” “What we really want people to understand is when you are charged with impaired driving you really turn your life upside-down,” explained Tyler McMurchy of SGI. “There are license suspensions, vehicle impoundments, ignition interlock requirements, driver education, and you will face significant financial costs from not only what is determined by the court, but also from the Safe Driver Recognition Program.” McMurchy explained that the consequences for drivers who have a blood alcohol content over .08. Upon being charged, those drivers' vehicles can be impounded for 30 days. Following the impoundment, the driver's licence can be suspended until all the charges are dealt with in court. “You’ll also have your license suspended immediately as well. That suspension is indefinite. It will be suspended until the charges are dealt with in court or until you are eligible for the ignition interlock program,” McMurchy added. “There is a really significant financial cost and there is the way it will just upend your life as a result of getting an impaired driving charge.” The number of road fatalities is well below the 5-year average of fatalities due to drivers who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Numbers have been trending downwards since 2008.. “If somebody died because you were impaired, could you live with yourself?” McMurchy asked. “We don’t want anybody to ever face that question and have to find the answer to that.” In 2019, 342 individuals were injured due to impaired drivers in Saskatchewan while 21 individuals lost their lives. S Spencer Kemp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator
COVID-19 numbers for Alberta, reported on February 25: 132,432 people have been infected with the virus. The earliest known COVID-19 case in Alberta was detected in a blood sample collected on Feb. 24. The first case was announced on March 5. Of those cases, 126,074 people have recovered, or 95.2 per cent of all cases. 399 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the active total to 4,484. 280 people are in hospital, with 56 people in intensive care units. Privacy regulations means Alberta Health cannot release how many COVID-19 patients are being treated in local hospitals or health centres. Eight new deaths from COVID-19, totalling 1,874. The majority of people who have died from COVID-19 also had high blood pressure, dementia, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. 9,217 people were tested for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. To date, 3,387,829 tests for COVID-19 have been carried out on 1,813,521 people. 9,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the last 24 hours. 195,572 doses have been administered in total; 80,620 people are fully immunized with both doses. 106 adverse events following immunization have been reported to Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services. Adverse events are classified as any health problem following immunization. They are not necessarily caused by the vaccine. COVID-19 in Fort McMurray: Seven new active cases in the past 24 hours, bringing known active total to 40. The first case was reported in the city on March 19. Three new recoveries in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 1,711. Masks in public spaces become mandatory on Oct. 26, after 51 active COVID-19 cases were reported in the Wood Buffalo region. Alberta has since declared a province-wide mask order. Privacy regulations means Alberta Health cannot release how many COVID-19 patients are being treated in local hospitals or health centres. Three people have died from COVID-19 in Fort McMurray, with the last death reported on Dec. 24. The first death was reported Sept. 8. COVID-19 in rural areas and Wood Buffalo National Park: One new COVID-19 case in rural communities or Wood Buffalo National Park has been reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the active total to two cases. No new recovery in rural areas or Wood Buffalo National Park in the past 24 hours, keeping the total at 139. One recovered COVID-19 case is no longer being considered a local case. AHS has not confirmed which rural communities have active COVID-19 cases, only community leaders have. Masks in public spaces become mandatory on Oct. 26, after 51 active COVID-19 cases were reported in the Wood Buffalo region. Alberta has since declared a province-wide order. Privacy regulations means Alberta Health cannot release how many COVID-19 patients are being treated in local hospitals or health centres. There have been no deaths from COVID-19 in the RMWB’s rural areas. COVID-19 outbreaks at Wood Buffalo’s schools: Information on school outbreaks can be found online from Alberta Health Services. No school in Wood Buffalo has been ordered to close. An outbreak is declared when five people linked to a public site, such as a workplace, test positive for COVID-19. At continuing care centres and schools, the number is two. An outbreak is over when no new COVID-19 cases have been reported after 30 days. COVID-19 outbreaks at Wood Buffalo’s workplaces: Information on workplace outbreaks can be found online from Alberta Health Services. Canadian Natural’s Albian site. Canadian Natural’s Horizon site. Canadian Natural’s Kirby site. Imperial Oil’s Kearl Lake site. North American Construction Group. Suncor’s base plant. Suncor’s Fort Hills site. Syncrude’s Mildred Lake site. Syncrude’s Aurora site. YMCA Eagle Ridge child care. An outbreak is declared when five people linked to a public site, such as a workplace, test positive for COVID-19. At continuing care centres and schools, the number is two. An outbreak is over when no new COVID-19 cases have been reported after 30 days. Sarah Williscraft, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort McMurray Today
MADRID — Atlético Madrid got back to winning on Sunday, beating Villarreal 2-0 to halt its slump and restore a five-point lead at the top of the Spanish league. An own-goal by Alfonso Pedraza in the first half and a goal by forward João Félix in the second helped Atlético end a three-game winless streak and rebuild its lead over second-place Barcelona, which won 2-0 at fourth-place Sevilla on Saturday. Atlético has a game in hand compared to the Catalan club. Third-place Real Madrid can get back to within three points of Atlético on Monday with a win against fifth-place Real Sociedad at home. Madrid will have played one more game more than Atlético. Atlético hosts Madrid in the city derby next Sunday. Diego Simeone's team was coming off a 1-0 loss to Chelsea in the first leg of the round of 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday. It also lost 2-0 to Levante at home in the Spanish league, and had previously drawn with Levante in a league match postponed from the second round because of the coronavirus pandemic. “It was a very important victory,” Atlético defender Stefan Savic said. “We were coming off a bad streak of results and the team responded well. That’s what makes me happy.” It was Atlético's first clean sheet after eight matches, which had marked the team's worst streak conceding goals since Simeone arrived in late 2011. Unai Emery's Villarreal, winless in six consecutive Spanish league games, dropped to seventh place. Atlético went ahead in the 25th minute after Savic's header was saved by Villarreal goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo but the ball ricocheted off Pedraza and went in. The goal was initially disallowed for offside but later confirmed by video review. Félix, who recently was sidelined for testing positive for COVID-19, scored his first goal since January with a low shot from inside the area in the 69th. The Portugal forward, who came off the bench after halftime, celebrated profusely and put a finger to his mouth, as if asking someone to be quiet. It wasn't clear to whom he was sending a message. MURILLO SCORES LATE Colombian defender Jeison Murillo scored in the final minute of stoppage time to salvage a 1-1 draw for Celta Vigo against relegation-threatened Valladolid. Murillo netted the equalizer with a header from a set piece taken by Iago Aspas in the fourth minute of added time. Fabián Orellana had opened the scoring for the hosts in the 70th. The result extended Valladolid's winless streak in the league to eight matches. The team owned by former Brazil great Ronaldo stayed just outside the relegation zone with 22 points from 25 matches. Celta, which has one win in its last 10 matches in all competitions, was in 11th place with 30 points from 25. OTHER RESULTS Eighth-place Granada ended a six-match winless streak by beating second-to-last-place Elche 2-1 at home. Earlier, Juanmi Jiménez scored in the 84th as Real Betis won 1-0 at Cádiz. It was the third win in a row for Betis, which moved to sixth. Cádiz, winless in seven consecutive league games, is three points from the relegation zone. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Tales Azzoni, The Associated Press
YANGON, Myanmar — Security forces in Myanmar opened fire and made mass arrests Sunday as they sought to break up protests against the military’s seizure of power, and a U.N. human rights official said it had “credible information” that at least 18 people were killed and 30 were wounded. That would be the highest single-day death toll among protesters who are demanding that the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi be restored to power after being ousted by a Feb. 1 coup. About 1,000 people are believed to have been detained Sunday. “Deaths reportedly occurred as a result of live ammunition fired into crowds in Yangon, Dawei, Mandalay, Myeik, Bago and Pokokku,” the U.N. Human Rights Office said in a statement referring to several cities, adding that the forces also used tear gas, flash-bang grenades and stun grenades. An Associated Press journalist was taken into police custody on Saturday morning while providing news coverage of the protests. The journalist, Thein Zaw, remains in police custody. The AP called for his immediate release. “Independent journalists must be allowed to freely and safely report the news without fear of retribution. AP decries in the strongest terms the arbitrary detention of Thein Zaw,” said Ian Phillips, AP vice-president for international news. The Foreign Correspondents Club of Myanmar also condemned the arrest. The Democratic Voice of Burma reported that as of 5 p.m. in Myanmar, there had been 19 confirmed deaths in nine cities, with another 10 deaths unconfirmed. The independent media company broadcasts on satellite and digital terrestrial television, as well as online. DVB counted five deaths in Yangon and two in Mandalay, the largest and second-largest cities. It registered five deaths in Dawei, a much smaller city in southeastern Myanmar that has seen tens of thousands of protesters nearly every day since the coup. Witnesses said Sunday’s march was also large and people were determined not to be driven off the streets. Confirming the deaths of protesters has been difficult amid the chaos and general lack of news from official sources, especially in areas outside Yangon, Mandalay and the capital of Naypyitaw. But in many cases, photos and video circulated showed circumstances of the killings and gruesome photos of bodies. The independent Assistance Association of Political Prisoners reported it was aware that about 1,000 people were detained Sunday, of whom they were able to identify 270. That brought to 1,132 the total number of people the group has confirmed being arrested, charged or sentenced since the coup. Gunfire was reported almost as soon the protests began Sunday morning in Yangon, as police also fired tear gas and water cannons while trying to clear the streets. Photos of shell casings from live ammunition used in assault rifles were posted on social media. Initial reports on social media identified one young man believed to have been killed. His body was shown in photos and videos lying on a sidewalk until other protesters carried him away. In Dawei, local media reported at least three people were killed during a protest march, supported by photos and video. Photos on social media showed one wounded man in the care of medical personnel. Before Sunday, there had been eight confirmed reports of killings linked to the army’s takeover, according to the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the crackdown, calling the use of lethal force against peaceful protesters and arbitrary arrests “unacceptable,” and expressed serious concern at the increase in deaths and serious injuries, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. “The secretary-general urges the international community to come together and send a clear signal to the military that it must respect the will of the people of Myanmar as expressed through the election and stop the repression,” Dujarric said. U.S. officials including Secretary of State Antony Blinken also condemned the violence. White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan issued a statement saying the U.S. is “alarmed” by the violence and stands in solidarity with Myanmar people “who continue to bravely voice their aspirations for democracy, rule of law, and respect for human rights." Washington has imposed sanctions on Myanmar because of the coup, and Sullivan said it would “impose further costs on those responsible,” promising details “in the coming days.” The Feb. 1 coup reversed years of slow progress toward democracy after five decades of military rule. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party would have been installed for a second five-year term in office, but the army blocked Parliament from convening and detained her and President Win Myint, as well as other top members of Suu Kyi’s government. On Sunday morning, medical students marched in Yangon near the Hledan Center intersection, which has become the gathering point for protesters who then fan out to other parts of the city. Videos and photos showed protesters running as police charged at them, and residents setting up makeshift roadblocks to slow their advance. Some protesters managed to throw tear gas canisters back at police. Nearby, residents were pleading with police to release those they picked up from the street and shoved into police trucks to be taken away. Dozens or more were believed to be detained. “The world is watching the actions of the Myanmar military junta, and will hold them accountable,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for New York-based Human Rights Watch. “Live ammunition should not be used to control or disperse protests and lethal force can only be used to protect life or prevent serious injury.” Security forces began employing rougher tactics on Saturday, taking preemptive actions to break up protests and making scores, if not hundreds, of arrests. Greater numbers of soldiers also joined police. Many of those detained were taken to Insein Prison in Yangon’s northern outskirts, historically notorious for holding political prisoners. According to the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners, as of Saturday, 854 people had been arrested, charged or sentenced at one point in relation to the coup, and 771 were being detained or sought for arrest. The group said that while it had documented 75 new arrests, it understood that hundreds of other people were also picked up Saturday in Yangon and elsewhere. The Associated Press
Dufferin OPP say one man has died from his injuries after his car collided with another vehicle that failed to stop at a stop sign in Amaranth. At about 8:26 a.m. Feb. 20, the OPP’s Dufferin detachment responded to a collision on County Rd. 12 and 20th Side Rd. in Amaranth. The initial investigation determined a silver sedan was being driven southbound on County Road 20 when it went through a stop sign and collided with a red sedan heading eastbound on 20th Side Road. The driver and passenger in the silver sedan sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were taken a local hospital.. The driver of the red sedan, who was the sole occupant of the vehicle, suffered fatal injuries as a result. He has been identified as Scott Hambleton, 60, of Grand Valley. Police continue to investigate the collision and ask anyone with information to contact them at 1-888-310-1122. Those who have witnessed the collision and wish to speak to victim services can call Caledon/Dufferin Victim Services at 905-951-3838. Editor's Note: Feb. 23, 7 p.m.: this article has been edited from a previously published version to accurately detail the roads on which the collision occurred. Joshua Santos, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Orangeville Banner
La Ville de Sept-Îles a annoncé ce matin la fermeture de ses glaces extérieurs pour la journée, en raison du temps doux. Ceci sera temporaire, puisque déjà, demain, un Avertissement de tempête hivernale a été émis par Environnement Canada. Alors qu’en ce dernier jour de février la température tournera autour de 0 dégré, de lundi à mardi, Environnment Canada prévoit entre 20 et 40 centimèetres de neige, des vents forts, et de la poudrerie pour le secteur de Baie-Trinité, ainsi que Port-Cartier et Sept-Îles. Les vents pourraient atteindre 80 km/h. Karine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
One of the town’s timeless traditions returns for the first time this year on March 6. The Orangeville Winter Farmer’s Market is scheduled to be held at the Tony Rose Memorial Sports Centre’s B-rink at 6 Northmen Way to allow for expand social distancing. This is not a permanent move. They will be downtown again. “People are trying to support the market,” said Alison Scheel, general manager of the Orangeville Business Improvement Area (OBIA). “ (Online orders) grow steadily every market Saturday. It started slow, but it picked up.” The B-rink location offers plenty of space for safe social distancing and can accommodate 50 people at one time. It will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every other Saturday. Products include maple syrup, honey, falafels, cheese, bread, lamb meat, chicken, baked goods and prepared meals. The market was once held downtown near town hall, where vendors attracted mainly casual shoppers who happened to live nearby. It will return. The market was closed in January and February because of the mandated governmental shutdown. They were still providing preorder and pickup options for interested customers. Scheel said they average about 300 to 350 people every market Saturday as it is only held two times a month. The entrance to the market is located south of the parking lot. There will be no access through the main door. Most vendors will attend every other market, but some will alternate or change from market to market. Scheduled vendors include Bennington Hills Farm, Rasmi’s Falafel and Wild Culture Ferments, along with others. They will all be positioned at least 10 feet apart. “Customers leave their contact information at the door for contact tracing purposes,” said Scheel. “Everyone in the building has to wear a mask, and the vendor has to distance.” Organizers will not permit customers to touch the products or produce, as most items will be pre-bagged. For more information, visit www.downtownorangeville.ca and click on the farmers' market tab. Joshua Santos, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Orangeville Banner
Most years across Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia, the spring and summer are filled with rodeo events over the weekend. In 2020, rodeos all across Canada were cancelled due to Covid-19. For the first time in over 100 years, the Calgary Stampede was cancelled as a result of the pandemic, but for the time being it’s set to take place in 2021. Along with the Stampede, other rodeos could be back this year too. The Canadian Cowboys Association is Canada’s largest semi-pro and pro rodeo association and has been around since 1963, promoting rodeos—it consists of 900 members. It sanctions events across Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia—including seven major events and five optional, novice, and junior events per year—and draws over 850,000 spectators from the Western U.S., Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and all over Canada. In 2020, it had to cancel its entire slate of events—the Canadian Cowboys Association sanctions over 50 rodeo events in prairie communities. Every fall it hosts its Championship Finals in Swift Current and has thousands of spectators. The unknowns around what comes next with the pandemic and provincial guidelines will mean nothing is set in stone, but the Canadian Cowboys Association is preparing as if there will be a season and remains hopeful events can run, even if they’re at a lesser extent. “We’re being hopeful that rodeos will happen this year and what we’re looking at is if rodeos will be able to run as outdoor events with spectators,” said Lenora Bells of the Canadian Cowboys Association. “With the rodeos that are indoors, we’re looking at the possibility of switching them to outdoors so that they can have spectators. “This is all of course only if the Covid-19 guidelines will allow us to hold these outdoors. We’re being cautiously optimistic. We’ve been in touch with our rodeo communities—we have about 50 of them—and we’ve been communicating with the committees that are in charge of the rodeo events. “About half of them have gotten back to us that they plan to go ahead with an outdoor venue as long as they can have at least 100 spectators and they’re hoping that the government and the health authority will look into increasing that. We’re just hoping that there will be more flexibility for the outdoor events. “Right now the decision for the seven months is coming from the health authority hopefully before the end of February and we’ll go from there. I know that the communities, and even us as an association, are looking at our partnerships and sponsorships in anticipation of rodeos going ahead and we’re also planning to go ahead with the finals in October in Swift Current.” The importance of rodeo events across communities in the prairies cannot be underestimated, they help the local economy by driving more business into town. Bells says they’re working to ensure all communities are able to host some sort of event as long as the guidelines allow and they’re ready to adjust venues and shift dates if need be. “Our board has met a couple times already over this and we just continue to plan for having rodeos,” she said. “It would be great to have all of them happen. We have two that happen in April that are indoors and they’re looking at just rescheduling to a different date later in the summer. “So there might be some rescheduling happening too so the communities can have rodeos and some kind of festival to gather the community together. They’re definitely big for these communities—our subcontractors, our judges, our pickup men, our secretaries, everybody is just chomping at the bit to get out there.” Bells thinks it’s important for the Canadian Cowboys Association to try and do something this year if they’re able to because even if it’s a smaller rodeo, it’s better than nothing and people haven’t been able to look forward to local events in a long time. She says some communities have even begun prepping for their yearly rodeo as they remain hopeful the spring and summer will bring a safer atmosphere. “Some of the communities are already selling, not tickets to the rodeo, but they’re having fundraisers,” she said. “Some of the communities are doing that where you can buy a raffle ticket and win something. I know some communities are starting to do that. We’re keeping in touch with the communities and we have social media to keep up with. “We encourage all our communities and members to follow our social media—we have over 600 cowgirl and cowboy members, subcontractors, etc.—and this can keep everybody up to date. So we encourage everybody to keep an eye on that and continue to be optimistic that even if it’s at a smaller scale, we can still plan on something happening. Everybody is ready to get together, but in a safe way so that’s what we’re figuring out.” It’s not an easy task for the Canadian Cowboys Association to plan rodeos and guide communities in four different provinces through this because of the unknowns ahead. There’s a few months until the season begins, but there’s no way of knowing what travel restrictions and numbers for gatherings will look like for each province. Still, Bells doesn’t think it would do any good to wait around to hear what they might be able to do in the coming months, they’d rather plan and ensure if they can do something then they will. She says for those in the rodeo community, communication is key as they move forward and encourages people to stay posted for updates through their social media channels. “What we’re doing is planning like we’re having a season so the planning process is happening,” she said. “For the dates of the rodeos, we’ll be going from last season’s dates—which now would be the 2019 dates—we’ll be posting those again on our website so people can see where the rodeos might be happening. If people want to look at that previous schedule, they can judge where and when rodeos might be happening.” https://www.world-spectator.com Rob Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator
At their regular meeting on Wednesday, Rocanville Town Council made the decision to slash the prices of lots in Cameron Crescent by 50 per cent, in a bid to incentivize buyers. The subdivision on the east side of Rocanville consists of 22 lots, of which four have been sold, leaving 18 available lots. Council decided that cutting the cost of the lots by 50 per cent would help buyers looking to build a home secure a loan. The lots on Cameron Crescent vary in size and price, and once purchased, must be built on within two years. Mayor Ron Reed says he hopes the discount helps buyers and prospective home owners who are interested in the land. “If it’s more enticing to get the land, then it’s easier for them to move forward,” he says. Town moving toward restructuring of recreation There was discussion at the meeting Wednesday about restructuring how the town’s recreation facilities are managed. Currently each facility in the town has a board that manages that facility, but the town wants to move toward having the rec director oversee the facilities, with the boards in place for input and fundraising. Council sat down with Rec Director Andrea Logan on Wednesday to discuss some of the changes. “The rec director would be a rec manager overall and oversee all the boards, and rather than the boards managing the rec director,” said Mayor Ron Reed after the meeting. “We would keep the boards as far as input from each different group. But then they would report their needs and wants to the rec director and then the rec director would make the final decision on overall rec decisions.” Reed says the new model would likely start with the pool and the rink, and then be applied to other town facilities as the town transitions its facilities to the new model of management. Reed said the rec director could look after things like scheduling and potentially staffing, leaving the boards free to focus more on things like fundraising instead of the overall management duties of the facilities. “They would be more like a fundraising board versus a managing or an administrative board where they do everything on their own underneath the rec director,” says Reed. Outdoor rink, dog park, walking paths, and new pool discussed In sitting down with Rec Director Andrea Logan on Wednesday, the town and Logan also discussed a few major recreation projects, both short-term and long-term, as well as securing grant money for the projects. First on the agenda was Rocanville’s indoor swimming pool. Logan said the pool is in need of some major renos and repairs, including a new liner, new decking, a dehumidifier and air exchange system. She asked council if she should start applying for grants for these projects, and said the pool board has talked about whether the town should be looking at a whole new pool at some point. She said the importance of having an indoor pool is big for Rocanville, as it is one of the main thing that sets their town’s rec facilities apart. No other town in the area has a public indoor pool, and most have outdoor pools. Councillor Owen Wilson pointed out that a new pool would be a very big, major long-term goal, and that the town should be applying for grants now for repairs in order to keep the current pool operational for as long as possible. Logan suggested that councillors do a walk through of the facility with her one evening to review all of the work that needs to be done, and a date was set for that to be done. The town also discussed their plans for a walking path and dog park, which would be developed in a copse of trees on the east side of town behind the former Grainger’s Excavating location. Logan said she will begin applying for grants for things like benches and dog bag stations for that area and council figured it was a project that could be completed fairly quickly once the weather is warmer. A location for a permanent outdoor rink was also discussed with council favoring an area behind the curling rink. The plan is to level and area and have boards up by next winter so that the rink can be used, and Logan said she would apply for grants for that project as well. Ice plant to be shut off at rink The ice plant at the rink will be shut off sometime within the next week in order to save money on rink costs due to very little activity taking place in the rink because of Covid-19. The rink will continue to operate with natural ice for as long as possible until the weather turns and the ice begins to melt. Goulden thanked for years of service on library board Council passed a motion to purchase a gift for Deenie Goulden in recognition of her long-time service as the town rep on the library board. Goulden has been doing the job since 2006, first as the town’s rep during her time on council, and then as a member at large afterwards. As per town policy, the town’s library rep would be paid to attend the library meetings, however Goulden has never been paid for her work, nor asked to be paid. Council decided to purchase a $500 gift card to thank her for her service. Reduced rent for dental office, playschool extended Council passed a motion to extend a reduced rental rate for the playschool and dental office for six more months. The playschool dental office, which are located in town facilities, have had their rent reduced by 50 per cent to alleviate the effects of Covid-19, and it was decided to review that rate at the end of 2020. Council made the decision to extend the reduced rate for six more months and then review it again at that time. Letter of thanks After the town created some outdoor winter walking paths around the ball diamonds in Rocanville, council received a letter of thanks for a family that was thrilled with the paths, saying they have been using them often and enjoying being able to take their dogs out on the paths. Rob Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator
WASHINGTON — Nearly 4 million doses of the newest COVID-19 vaccine will be shipped Sunday night, and will begin to be delivered to states for injections starting on Tuesday. White House COVID-19 co-ordinator Jeff Zients announced that the entire stockpile of the newly approved single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will go out immediately. J&J will deliver about 16 million more doses by the end of March and 100 million total by the end of June. Though the new shot is easier to administer and requires only one dose, the administration is not altering its distribution plans. Zients says, “We’re distributing the J&J vaccine as we do the Moderna vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine.” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, the chair of the White House equity task force, encouraged Americans to take the first dose available to them, regardless of manufacturer. ___ THE VIRUS OUTBREAK: — Fraud is overwhelming pandemic-related unemployment programs. J&J’s one-dose shot cleared, giving U.S. a 3rd COVID-19 vaccine to use. Health experts are urging Pope Francis to rethink his March trip to Iraq, saying that could become a huge superspreading event for the virus. Plunging demand for COVID-19 tests may leave US exposed. Biden team readies a broader economic measure after virus relief. ___ Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak ___ HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING: WASHINGTON — A U.S. advisory panel has endorsed the new one-dose COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson as a third option to bolster the national effort against the coronavirus pandemic. Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted overwhelmingly to recommend the vaccine for adults 18 years old and up. The ruling followed emergency clearance of the vaccine by U.S. regulators a day earlier. Members of the group emphasized that all three vaccines now available in the U.S. are highly protective against the worst effects of the virus, including hospitalization and death. J&J plans to ship several million vaccine doses to states in the coming week, delivering a total of 20 million shots by the end of March. Health officials are eager to have an easier-to-use vaccine against COVID-19, which has killed more than 511,000 Americans and continues to mutate in troubling ways. CDC recommendations are not binding on state governments or doctors, but are widely heeded by the medical community. The same CDC panel previously recommended use of the two vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna authorized in December. __ SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is cancelling about 7,200 coronavirus vaccine appointments after an error in the state health department’s registration website allowed people without qualifying conditions to register for the shots. Department spokesman Tom Hudachko said in a statement that the error allowed residents who are not 65 or older or who don’t have an underlying medical condition to sign up. The Salt Lake Tribune reported Sunday those appointments are being cancelled. People who meet the state’s conditions can keep their vaccine appointments scheduled through Vaccinate.utah.gov. Public school teachers and first responders also are eligible for vaccines. Utah so far has administered more than 680,000 vaccine doses and estimates that 10% of its 3.2 million population has been fully vaccinated. ___ ATHENS, Greece — Greek health authorities have announced that 70 specialized intensive care units will be added to Athens hospitals as high hospitalization rates have nearly filled the available ones. The Athens area along with several others across the country are under lockdown until March 8, with most shops closed, schools operating on distance learning and a 9 p.m. curfew, but many experts talk of extending this for at least another week. On Sunday, authorities announced 1,269 new COVID-19 cases, along with 36 deaths. This brings the number of confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic to 191,100, with 6,504 deaths. There are 391 patients on ventilators in ICUs, close to a record high. ___ RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s capital has entered a two-week lockdown, joining several states in adopting measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as intensive care beds begin to fill in some important cities. At least eight Brazilian states adopted curfews over the past week due to the rise in cases and deaths from COVID-19. Thursday was Brazil’s deadliest day since the beginning of the pandemic, with 1,541 deaths confirmed from the virus. So far 254,000 people have died overall. Brasilia Gov. Ibaneis Rocha decreed the total closure of bars, restaurants, shopping malls and schools until March 15 and prohibited gatherings of people. Sale of alcoholic beverages was prohibited after 8 p.m. In the federal district, 85% of hospital beds were occupied on Sunday, according to the local health ministry. President Jair Bolsonaro again criticized such measures, saying on his Twitter account: “The people want to work.” He threatened on Friday to cut off federal emergency pandemic assistance to states resorting to lockdowns. ___ ROME — While new COVID-19 cases surge in Italy’s north, the island of Sardinia has earned coveted ‘’white zone’’ status, allowing for evening dining and drinking at restaurants and cafes and the reopening after months of closure of gyms, cinemas and theatres. Earlier this year, the Italian government added ‘’white zone’’ status to its colour-coded system of restrictions on businesses and schools, with “red zone” designation carrying the strictest measures. Starting on Monday, the region of Sardinia, with an incidence of fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 residents, will be able to allow the most liberties since a second wave of coronavirus infections last fall prompted the government to tighten restrictions nationwide after easing them during summer. The Health Ministry report covering the third week of February shows nationwide incidence was 145 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and several regions had far higher incidence. The Mediterranean island of Sardinia is a popular vacation destination. Last summer, crowds at seaside discos and clubs there were cited as a factor in the climb in an explosion of cases in Italy in the last months of 2020. ___ TEHRAN, Iran — Iran has surpassed 60,000 known coronavirus-related deaths, the latest grim milestone for the hardest-hit country in the Middle East. The Health Ministry reported 93 new deaths from COVID-19 on Sunday and more than 8,000 new infections, pushing the total infection count over 1.63 million. After more than a year of the pandemic, deaths from COVID-19 recently have declined in Iran as movement restrictions in the capital have set in, including inter-city travel bans, mask mandates and school closures. The government on Sunday banned incoming travellers from a list of 32 countries, including Britain and other states in Africa and Latin America, due to fears of new virus variants. Over the year, Iran has struggled with surges that at times overwhelmed its health system as authorities resisted a total lockdown to salvage an economy crippled by U.S. sanctions. Iran’s vaccine drive recently has gotten underway, with Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine administered to health workers this month. An additional 250,000 doses by the Chinese state-backed pharmaceutical Sinopharm arrived in Iran over the weekend. The country is also accelerating efforts to produce a domestic vaccine, beginning human trials for its second vaccine on Sunday. ___ BERLIN — The German disease control agency is adding France’s Moselle region to its list of areas with a high rate of variant coronavirus cases, meaning travellers from there will face additional hurdles when crossing the border into neighbouring Germany. The Robert Koch Institute said Sunday that the restrictions would come into force at midnight on March 2, putting Moselle on a par with countries such as the Czech Republic, Portugal and the United Kingdom. Travellers from those areas must produce a recent negative coronavirus test before crossing the German border. The measure is likely to affect many people who live on one side of the frontier and work on the other. The Moselle region in northeastern France includes the city of Metz and borders with the German states of Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate. Clement Beaune, the French minister for European affairs, said France regrets the decision and is in negotiations with Germany to try to lighten the measures for 16,000 inhabitants of Moselle who work across the border. ___ LONDON — Britain’s government says families with children in school will be provided with free coronavirus home test kits as part of plans for schools to reopen beginning on March 8. Free, twice-weekly tests will be provided to children’s households regardless of whether anyone has symptoms, officials said Sunday. The tests will also be offered to adults working with schools, including bus drivers. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said testing family members will provide “another layer of reassurance to parents and education staff that schools are as safe as possible.” Schools in England have been closed except to children of key workers since January. Britain is also racing ahead with its vaccination program, with almost 20 million in the U.K. who have now had a first jab. Some 2 million people aged 60 to 63 in England will start getting invitations to book their shots beginning on Monday. The government aims to offer a first jab to all adults by the end of July. Britain has Europe’s worst virus death toll at nearly 123,000 dead. ___ BUDAPEST — Hungary’s prime minister on Sunday received a COVID-19 vaccine developed in China as his country aims to boost vaccination rates using jabs developed in eastern countries. Prime Minister Viktor Orban posted photos on Facebook of himself being inoculated with the Sinopharm vaccine. Hungary last week became the first country in the European Union to begin using the Chinese jab. Hungary’s government has been critical of the speed of the EU’s vaccination program, and has purchased vaccines from Russia and China to boost procurements. “The vaccines reserved by the EU are simply not arriving, and they are arriving more slowly than predicted. If we didn’t have the Russian and Chinese vaccines, we would be in big trouble,” Orban said during a radio interview on Friday. He earlier said he would choose to receive the Sinopharm vaccine because he trusted it the most. ___ ROME — Infectious disease experts are expressing concern about Pope Francis’ upcoming trip to Iraq, given a sharp rise in coronavirus infections there, a fragile health care system and the unavoidable likelihood that Iraqis will crowd to see him. No one wants to tell Francis to call it off, and the Iraqi government has every interest in showing off its relative stability by welcoming the first pope to the birthplace of Abraham. The March 5-8 trip is expected to provide a sorely-needed spiritual boost to Iraq’s beleaguered Christians. But from a purely epidemiological standpoint, a papal trip to Iraq amid a global pandemic is not advisable, health experts say. “I just don’t think it’s a good idea,” said Dr. Navid Madani of Harvard Medical School’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. “This could potentially lead to unsafe or superspreading risks.” Their concerns were reinforced with the news Sunday that the Vatican ambassador to Iraq, the main point person for the trip, tested positive for COVID-19 and was self-isolating. The embassy said Archbishop Mitja Leskovar’s symptoms were mild and that he was continuing to prepare for Francis’ visit. Beyond his case, experts note that wars, economic crises and an exodus of Iraqi professionals have devastated the country’s hospital system, while studies show most of Iraq’s new COVID-19 infections are the highly-contagious variant first identified in Britain. ___ ANKARA, Turkey — Travelling across roads covered with ice and snow, vaccination teams have been going to Turkey’s isolated mountain villages as the government seeks to inoculate 60% of the country’s people against coronavirus over the next three months. After much effort, medical workers arrived Friday to vaccinate older villagers in Gumuslu, a small settlement of 350 in the central province of Sivas that lies 140 miles (230 kilometres) from the provincial capital. “It’s a difficult challenge to come here,” said Dr Rustem Hasbek, head of Sivas Health Services. “The geography is tough, the climate is tough, as you can see.” Turkey rolled out the Chinese Sinovac vaccine on Jan. 14 and has so far given out 8.2 million doses. Ankara has also ordered 4.5 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Turkey aims to vaccinate 52.5 million people by the end of May. ___ HELSINKI — Police in Denmark said eight people were arrested following in an anti-lockdown demonstration with 1,200 participants in the centre of Copenhagen, the Danish capital. The demonstration proceeded largely peacefully Saturday but those detained are suspected of behaving violently against police or violating fireworks regulations, police said. Participants gathered in a square in front of Copenhagen’s town hall. The rally was organised by a group identifying as “Men in Black Denmark.” It was the first demonstration in Copenhagen since the Danish government last week that it was extending several anti-coronavirus restrictions. ___ BANGKOK — Thailand started its first vaccinations Sunday with 200 public health officials receiving the Sinovac vaccine from China. Health Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul was given the first shot at a hospital near Bangkok, followed by the deputy health minister and other senior officials. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who attended the vaccination ceremony, said the public should have confidence in the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, as it has been approved by authorities in Thailand and other countries. Prayuth did not receive the vaccine on Sunday because he is older than Sinovac’s recommended age, which is 18-59. Prayuth is 66. Thailand received the first 200,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine on Wednesday. They are part of the government’s plan that has so far secured 2 million doses from Sinovac and 61 million doses from AstraZeneca. Thailand has had more than 25,000 confirmed cases and 83 deaths from COVID-19. ___ WASHINGTON — The U.S. now has a third vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two. Health experts have anxiously awaited a one-and-done option to help speed vaccinations. The virus has already killed more than 510,000 people in the U.S. and is mutating in increasingly worrisome ways. The FDA said J&J’s vaccine offers strong protection against what matters most: serious illness, hospitalizations and death. One dose was 85% protective against the most severe COVID-19 illness, in a massive study that spanned three continents. The Associated Press
CHARLOTTETOWN — Officials in Prince Edward Island have placed the province under a 72-hour lockdown starting at 12 a.m. Monday after multiple new infections and two clusters of COVID-19 emerged on the island over the weekend. The "modified red alert" period will see schools and most non-essential businesses close for three days and require islanders to practice physical distancing with anyone outside their immediate household, with exceptions for people who live alone or require essential support. "We would rather go harder and stronger now than wait for an outbreak like we have seen in other provinces that could put us in an extended period of lockdown for weeks or even months," Premier Dennis King said late Sunday during a briefing with reporters. The restrictions were announced as health officials reported five new COVID-19 infections, for a total of 17 cases in the past five days. Along with the new diagnoses comes a growing number of close-contact and potential exposure sites at places like fast-food restaurants and retail stores. Two COVID-19 clusters have been identified in the cities of Summerside and Charlottetown and many of the new infections cannot be linked to travel, officials said. "We have two clusters of cases that are in our community and we do not have a source," chief medical officer of health Dr. Heather Morrison said. "However, they all appear to be linked to each other. We are not seeing widespread community transmission at this point in time." The three-day lockdown will allow public health officials to undertake comprehensive contact tracing and ramp up testing, she said. "We need to get our arms around these clusters of cases and make sure it has not spread into any kind of widespread community transmission," Morrison added. The short-term lockdown was announced as more moderate "circuit-breaker measures" took effect in an effort to curb the spike in infections. Those restrictions included limiting gatherings to a household plus a consistent circle of 10 contacts, banning tournaments but allowing sports practices to continue, and limiting gyms and retail stores to half their normal capacity. Those measures will remain in force until March 14, while the lockdown is expected to be lifted Thursday. But if new cases emerge over the coming days that are not linked to the two clusters, or if new infections continue to rise, Morrison said it's possible the lockdown could be extended. The new infections recorded on Sunday include two males, both in their 20s, and three females, two in their 20s and one in her 50s. The province reported six new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, all among patients in their 20s. "Until we are able to confirm otherwise, we need to act as if this is a variant," King said, referring to virus mutations of concern that have surfaced across the country. "What we know is that the variants move and spread quickly, therefore we need to move quickly as well and do our best to get caught up." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2021. The Canadian Press
British finance minister Rishi Sunak will announce an extra 1.65 billion pounds ($2.30 billion) to fund the country's fast vaccination rollout as part of his annual budget statement on Wednesday, the finance ministry said. "Protecting ourselves against the virus means we will be able to lift restrictions, reopen our economy and focus our attention on creating jobs and stimulating growth," Sunak said in a statement. Britain has so far given a first vaccination more than 20 million people, or more than one in three adults, Europe's fastest vaccination rollout.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Jessica Korda opened the LPGA Tour season last month by winning the Tournament of Champions. On Sunday, it was Nelly's turn. Nelly Korda followed in big sister's footsteps with a three-shot victory that looked easier than it felt. She seized control with three birdies through six holes, closed with 12 pars and shot a 3-under 69 at Lake Nona to win the Gainbridge LPGA. “Yeah, Jess' win, I was like, ‘OK, I got to get one now,’" Korda said. “We were close that one year. She won in Thailand and I was leading in Singapore. But it's nice to get back-to-back Korda wins now.” More than just matching her sister, Korda won for the first time on American soil. The other three victories for 22-year-old Nelly were in Australia and twice in Taiwan. It also was the first time she won with her parents watching. Her father, Petr Korda, is a former Australian Open tennis champion. “I’ve had an amazing week and I made some clutch putts when I needed to and pulled it off,” Korda said. Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., finished in a tie for 16th place. Henderson ended her tournament with a 6-under 282. On the other side of the course, Annika Sorenstam wrapped up her return after more than 12 years of retirement with a par on the ninth hole for a 76, finishing last among the 74 players who made the cut. The 50-year-old Swede was making this one-time appearance because Lake Nona has been her home course for two decades. “I'm just thankful being here, playing here and being able to make the cut,” Sorenstam said. “I think I never gave up, even though it was not really going my way and I wasn't hitting as well as I should be to be out here. The purpose was to get some tournament rounds, and I did that.” She has said she plans to play the U.S. Senior Women's Open this summer and she'll need to get sharp, though Sorenstam said preparing for that would not include another LPGA event. “I have so much respect for these players,” she said. Sorenstam finished 29 shots behind Korda, who won by three over Lexi Thompson and Lydia Ko. Korda, who finished at 16-under 272, began the final round with a one-shot lead over rookie Patty Tavatanakit, the former UCLA star who fell back quickly and wound up with 74 to tie for fifth. There wasn't much drama on the final day. Korda made sure of that with a steady diet of pars and picking up enough birdies when she needed them. That doesn't mean it was easy. “Honestly, I did not play very good golf today, and I just stayed really solid,” Korda said. “I don’t even know what I did. It was definitely very stressful.” Ko, a former world No. 1 trying to end nearly three years without winning, had a 69. Thompson closed with a 68. Jin Young Ko, the current No. 1, took bogey on the par-5 second hole and dropped too many shots along the way to mount any sort of a rally. She shot 71 and finished fourth. ___ More AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
A U.S. national security commission is recommending that American universities take steps to prevent sensitive technology from being stolen by the Chinese military, a sign of growing concerns over the security of academic research. The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI), led by former Google chairman Eric Schmidt, is set to vote Monday on its final report to Congress. A new section on university research was added to a recently published final draft, which also features numerous recommendations in areas including competition in artificial intelligence and the semiconductor supply chain.