Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has won a seventh term in Kentucky. McConnell is the chief ally of President Donald Trump in Congress and the longest-serving Republican Senate leader in history. (Nov. 3)
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has won a seventh term in Kentucky. McConnell is the chief ally of President Donald Trump in Congress and the longest-serving Republican Senate leader in history. (Nov. 3)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu travelled to Saudi Arabia and met its crown prince, an Israeli official said on Monday, in what would be the first publicly confirmed visit there by an Israeli leader as the countries close ranks against Iran. Earlier, Israeli media said Netanyahu had secretly flown on Sunday to Neom, on the Red Sea, for talks with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Reports of the meeting between the crown prince and Netanyahu were denied by Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud.
NEW YORK — Taylor Swift won her third consecutive artist of the year prize at the American Music Awards, but she missed the show for a good reason: She said she's busy re-recording her early music after her catalogue was sold. In a video that aired during Sunday's awards show, the pop star said “the reason I’m not there tonight is I’m actually re-recording all of my old music in the studio where we originally recorded it. So it’s been amazing. And I can’t wait for you to hear it." Last year music manager Scooter Braun — who manages Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande — announced that his Ithaca Holdings company had acquired Big Machine Label Group, the home to Swift’s first six albums. This month Braun said he has sold the master rights to Swift’s first six albums to an investment company; Swift acknowledged the sale on social media and said she would not work with the new buyers because Braun was still involved. Instead, she headed back to the studio. Swift beat out Bieber, Post Malone and Roddy Ricch to win the top award. She also won favourite music video and favourite pop/rock female artist, winning three honours and tying Bieber, Dan + Shay and the Weeknd for most wins Sunday. The Weeknd lost artist of the year, but he still kicked off his all-star week as a big winner: Days before he’s expected to land multiple Grammy nominations, he won favourite soul/R&B male artist, favourite soul/R&B album for “After Hours" and favourite soul/R&B song for “Heartless” two days before the 2021 Grammy nominations are announced. “The last time I received this award it was given to me by the late, great Prince," he said after winning favourite soul/R&B album. “And, you know, he’s the reason I get to constantly challenge the genre of R&B and yeah, I’d like to dedicate this to him." The Weeknd didn’t break character throughout the three-hour show with his gauze-wrapped face, which matched the vibe of his recent album and music videos where he appears blooded and bruised. He accepted his awards and performed with his face wrapped in gauze. Kenny G joined the Weeknd for his performance, playing the sax in downtown Los Angeles as the Weeknd walked across a bridge singing “In Your Eyes.” He finished the performance singing “Save Your Tears.” The Weeknd was one of several artists who appeared live at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles for the fan-voted awards show. Others recently taped their performances because of the coronavirus pandemic, though host Taraji P. Henson — who appeared live from the venue — said the few audience members sitting in the mezzanine practiced social distancing, wore masks and were tested for the virus. Henson joked that A-list celebrities were in the audience, including Beyoncé, though cardboard cut-out of the singer, Jay-Z and other stars appeared in seats. But a good number of chart-toppers were in the building. Breakthrough singer-rapper Doja Cat performed and won new artist of the year and favourite soul/R&B female artist. Grammy-winning country duo Dan + Shay beautifully performed “I Should Probably Go to Bed” and won favourite country duo or group, collaboration of the year and favourite country song for “10,000 Hours," the latter two shared with Bieber. And Megan Thee Stallion — won favourite rap/hip-hop songs for “WAP" with Cardi B — performed “Body" from her recently released debut album “Good News." Bieber and Shawn Mendes kicked off the AMAs with a pre-taped performance of their new duet “Monster," marking the first time they performed the song together. It began with a stripped-down Bieber singing his recent hit “Lonely," with songwriter-producer Benny Blanco on piano, and “Holy," where background dancers wearing masks joined him. Mendes, strumming his guitar, then appeared for “Monster," which featured the twentysomethings singing lyrics about about fame and growing up as celebrities who attracted massive public attention. Mendes later sang his song “Wonder" during the show, which aired on ABC. Katy Perry, in her first performance since giving birth to her first child, gave a strong performance of the emotional and hopeful song “Only Love,” which featured a surprise guest appearance from Darius Rucker, who sang and played guitar. With flaming red lights glaring behind her, Billie Eilish sang her new song “Therefore I Am,” as her brother-songwriter-producer Finneas backed her on guitar. Jennifer Lopez and Maluma teamed up to perform their new songs “Pa’ Ti” and “Lonely” from the film “Marry Me,” which both of them star in, while Dua Lipa — who won favourite pop/rock song — floated in the air during her performance of “Levitating.” 24kGoldn and Iann Dior — who currently have the country's No. 1 song with the smash hit “Mood," also performed. The multi-genre track is the rare song that has reached No. 1 on both the rap and rock charts. Other performers included BTS, Lewis Capaldi, Machine Gun Kelly, Lil Baby, Bell Biv DeVoe and Nelly, who performed hits from his diamond-certified debut album “Country Grammar," which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. This year the AMAs, which typically awards one Latin honour, launched more categories in the genre. Becky G — who burst on the music scene in 2014 with the pop hit “Shower" but has recently had success singing in Spanish and launching hits on the Latin charts — won favourite Latin female artist. She used her speech to honour immigrant families. “I proudly wave both flags, Mexican and American. And like many, many children and grandchildren of immigrants, no matter where they’re from, we have learned from the ones before us what sacrifice and hard work looks like," she said. “And I dedicate this award to all of our immigrant workers in this pandemic; the students and immigrant families. It’s because of my family, my abuelitos, that I stand here today." Nominees for the AMAs were based on streaming, album and digital sales, radio airplay and social activity, and reflect the time period of Sept. 27, 2019, through Sept. 24, 2020. Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press
GENEVA — A panel of human rights experts working with the United Nations said Monday that former Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn was wrongly detained in Japan and has urged “compensation” for him from the Japanese government.The Japanese government denounced the report as a “totally unacceptable” viewpoint that will change nothing in the country's legal process.In its opinion published Monday, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found that Ghosn’s arrest in Japan in late 2018 and early 2019 was “arbitrary” and called on Japan’s government to “take the necessary steps to remedy the situation of Mr. Ghosn without delay.” A determination of whether detention is arbitrary is based on various criteria, including international norms of justice.While Ghosn is no longer in Japan, having fled in a dramatic operation that drew headlines worldwide, the opinion could weigh on minds in courtrooms in the country and beyond. It could affect, for example, the possible extradition of two Americans, Michael Taylor and his son Peter, whom Japanese prosecutors say helped the executive sneak out of Japan.Ghosn, a 66-year-old with French, Lebanese and Brazilian citizenship, led Japanese automaker Nissan for two decades, rescuing it from near-bankruptcy. He was arrested in November 2018 on charges of breach of trust, in misusing company assets for personal gain, and violating securities laws in not fully disclosing his compensation. He denies wrongdoing.In December, he fled Japan to Lebanon while out on bail awaiting trial, meaning his case will not go on in Japan. Interpol has issued a wanted notice but his extradition from Lebanon is unlikely.The five-member working group, which is made up of independent experts, called on Japan to ensure a “full and independent investigation” of Ghosn’s detention, and asked the government “to take appropriate measures against those responsible for the violation of his rights.”The working group said that “the appropriate remedy would be to accord Mr. Ghosn an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations."The opinions of the working group are not binding on countries but aim to hold them up to their own human rights commitments. Among its past rulings involved the case of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who was likewise deemed to have had his human rights violated.The panel, which is independent from the United Nations, noted a string of allegations from Ghosn and his representatives, such as that he was subjected to solitary confinement and long interrogations at day or night, and denied access to court pleadings. His team claimed that interrogations of Ghosn were aimed to extract a confession.Japan’s system has been repeatedly criticized by human rights advocates. The panel cited previous concerns about Japan’s so-called “daiyo kangoku” system of detention and interrogation that relies heavily on confessions and could expose detainees to torture, ill-treatment and coercion.Japan's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the government had applied “appropriate procedures” in the case, and it could not provide full information to the working group before a trial had begun. For that reason, the ministry added, it would be inappropriate for the working group to make a decision on the Ghosn case “based on limited information and biased allegations” from him and his team.“The opinion is totally unacceptable, and is not legally binding,” the ministry statement said. It also warned that the opinion could set a dangerous precedent, and “encourage those who would stand criminal trial to entertain the idea that flight can be justified and prevent the realization of justice and the proper functioning of the criminal justice system in each country.”"Japan can by no means accept the opinion of the Working Group regarding the case of the defendant Carlos Ghosn," it added.Ghosn lawyer Jessica Finelle welcomed the “brave” decision by the panel and said its members had been “hard on the Japanese legal system” and the way that Japanese authorities treated Mr. Ghosn, "specifically, violating numerous times his presumption of innocence, presenting him as guilty, orchestrating two of his arrests with the media...”Ghosn was “very happy” and “relieved” about the opinion, she said."He is somehow is getting back his dignity because he’s been humiliated during this time that he was held in Japan,” she said.Ghosn has accused Nissan and Japanese officials of conspiring to bring him down to block a fuller integration of Nissan with its French alliance partner Renault SA of France.Ghosn's lawyers filed a petition with the working group in March last year, appealing to its role to look into cases in which governments are alleged to have wrongly detained individuals under agreed international human rights conventions.Its members declined to speak to reporters about the opinion, the U.N. human rights office said.____Jeffrey Schaeffer reported from Paris.Jamey Keaten And Jeffrey Schaeffer, The Associated Press
BEIJING — Chinese authorities are testing millions of people, imposing lockdowns and shutting down schools after multiple locally transmitted coronavirus cases were discovered in three cities across the country last week.As temperatures drop, widescale measures are being enacted in Tianjin, Shanghai and Manzhouli, even though the number of new cases remains low compared to the United States and other countries that are seeing new waves of infections.Experts and government officials have warned that the chance of the virus spreading will be greater in cold weather. Recent flareups have shown that there is still a risk of the virus returning, despite being largely controlled within China.On Monday, the National Health Commission reported two new locally transmitted cases in Shanghai over the previous 24 hours, bringing the total to seven since Friday. China has recorded 86,442 cases overall and 4,634 deaths since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.The two latest cases confirmed in Shanghai were close contacts of another airport worker who was diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier in November. On Sunday night, the city's Pudong International airport decided to test its workers, collecting 17,719 samples through the early hours of Monday morning. Plans call for testing others in surrounding communities if further cases are detected.Videos on social media purportedly from workers showed what appeared to be chaotic scenes at the airport as they were given last-minute orders to get tested. In the videos, people are seen standing in large groups pushing back and forth against officials in hazmat suits.Shanghai has been more selective with mass testing, targeting people associated with a particular place, such as the airport or the hospital where someone who has tested positive had worked, rather than an entire district.In Tianjin, health workers have collected more than 2.2 million samples for testing from residents in the Binhai new district, after five locally transmitted cases were discovered there last week.In Manzhouli, a city of more than 200,000 people, local health authorities are testing all residents after two cases were reported on Saturday. They also shut down all schools and public venues and banned public gatherings such as banquets.China has resorted to its heavy, top-down approach each time new cases of local transmission are found — shutting down schools and hospitals, locking down residential communities and entire neighbourhoods, and testing millions.Tianjin authorities shut down a kindergarten and moved all the teachers, family and students to a centralized quarantine space. They also sealed the residential compound where the five cases were found.China's approach to controlling the pandemic has been criticized for being draconian. It locked down the city of Wuhan, where cases were first reported, for more than two months to contain the virus, with the local government shutting down all traffic and confining residents to their homes. Domestically, however, China has called its strategy “clear to zero” and has boasted of its success.“In the entire world, only China has the ability to get to zero. Other countries don’t have this ability," Zeng Guang, the chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a webinar hosted by Chinese media in September. "It’s not just getting to zero, even for them to control the first wave of the epidemic is hard.”“‘Clearing to zero’ is actually the most economically effective way to do epidemic prevention. If you don’t do that, then this problem will get more troublesome,” he said. "Use a heavier hand, and get to zero, then people will feel reassured.”___AP researcher Chen Si in Shanghai contributed to this report.The Associated Press
Saint-Tite – La MRC de Mékinac réagit au cri du cœur lancé dans nos pages par les relais de motoneiges qui craignent de ne pas traverser l'hiver si on leur permet seulement d'accueillir des clients pour les réchauffer, sans pouvoir ouvrir leurs salles à manger. Tous ont décrié l'impact des coûts fixes élevés comme le chauffage, la main-d'oeuvre ou le nettoyage des lieux pour expliquer les difficultés financières qu'ils anticipent. La MRC de Mékinac se dit sensible de la situation vécue par les relais de son territoire. «C’est une situation vraiment préoccupante pour notre milieu. L’industrie de la motoneige est un moteur économique très important pour notre MRC, tant au niveau des relais que des autres commerces autour. Les motoneigistes sortent souvent dans les sentiers avec le but de se rendre dans un relais, de consommer et de faire d’autres arrêts dans différents commerces. La fermeture des relais peut entrainer un ralentissement économique sur un volet beaucoup plus large» s'inquiète Nadia Moreau, directrice du service de développement économique de la MRC de Mékinac. Elle craint que l'impact financier des décisions gouvernementales ne vienne hypothéquer sérieusement le secteur jusqu'au printemps. «Nous sommes évidemment grandement conscients des enjeux de la propagation de la COVID-19. Nous tentons par tous les moyens de soutenir notre milieu pour passer à travers cette crise. Par contre, nous aimerons grandement que ce que nous pouvons favoriser localement puisse se faire chez nous. La possibilité de voir les habitués de notre région se déplacer vers une région aux conditions plus souples demeure inquiétante tant au niveau sanitaire qu’économique» ajoute Nadia Moreau. La MRC soutient que selon les commerçants, les chiffres d'affaires sont en péril de 75 à 90%.Marc-André Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nouvelliste
A public elementary school in Chatham-Kent is experiencing the region's first COVID-19 outbreak, the local public health unit declared Saturday. Three students have tested positive for COVID-19 at Winston Churchill Public School, according to the Lambton Kent District School Board's website. The school remains open at this time. In a news release Saturday, public health said it has notified all close contacts, who have been tested and told to isolate. If you haven't been contacted by public health, the news release states, then there is no need for testing. The region is in the province's yellow or "protect" category. As of Monday, there are 32 active cases, with one person in hospital. Three workplaces are in outbreak. More from CBC Windsor
As winter kicks in, some flexible workers are looking to ditch often lonely and isolated home offices for warmer climes, something the Canary Islands want to cash in on following the impact of the coronavirus on its main source of income: tourism.View on euronews
What should deafness sound like on film? For his debut feature “ Sound of Metal,” filmmaker Darius Marder wanted to create a sound experience that audiences had never heard before. The idea was to simulate the journey of his lead character, Ruben, a punk metal drummer with sudden severe hearing loss and eventually deafness. It wouldn’t be silence, but something more complex and nuanced. And it would take years of prep, experimental methods on set and 23 weeks of sound work to accomplish. “Sound of Metal,” now playing in limited release before it debuts on Amazon Prime Video on Dec. 4, not only delivers on that lofty goal but also features one of the best performances of the year from actor Riz Ahmed who was tasked with the challenge of bringing Ruben to life. Marder, who co-wrote “The Place Beyond the Pines” had spent years trying to “scare the crap out of” actors with the prospect of playing Ruben. It was important, too, that the actor be hearing since, he said Ruben starts out that way. Then he met Ahmed, the 37-year-old British actor of Pakistani decent known for the HBO miniseries “The Night Of,” for which he got an Emmy nomination, and films like “Nightcrawler,” “Rogue One” and “Venom,” and he knew he found the right actor for what he was asking. “He is a great talent and a great intellect, but I didn’t know what was behind that,” Marder said. “What I found was someone who was appropriately frightened, which is always a good sign, but also just intoxicatingly interested in being frightened and taking on that challenge.” Ahmed would have to really play the drums, learn American Sign Language (ASL) and essentially push himself to the limits playing this ex-heroin addict who with his hearing loss fears that he may lose everything: His livelihood, his girlfriend and bandmate (Olivia Cooke) and his identity. “We wanted to do something that was all in,” Ahmed said. “We just wanted to really connect to how overwhelming and invigorating and terrifying it can be to kind of throw yourself into the deep end of a creative endeavour.” To make matters even more complicated, Marder decided to shoot on 35mm film, which meant that takes would be limited. But even that was exciting for Ahmed. “I liked the idea of spending seven months learning the drums and sign language and then doing a four week shoot where you only get two takes of anything because we’re shooting on film,” Ahmed said. On set, Ahmed wore custom implants in his ears that emitted white noise and a high ringing to approximate tinnitus. He couldn’t even hear his own voice. On those days communicated with Marder on little bits of paper. In the final mix, a lot of the sounds you hear in the movie are, as Marder puts it, "the inside of Riz.” They recorded in his mouth, his throat and even his eyelids. For his part, Ahmed spent time with members of the deaf community in New York and got quite close with his sign instructor, who helped him navigate the new culture. He explained that as a late-deafened person, Ruben goes through stages where he thinks of his hearing loss as “a loss, a lack, a disability.” Later, during his stay in a sober, deaf community, he starts to realize it is a culture and a way of being, Ahmed said. Representation of disability in film is a complex topic and actors with disabilities continue to lobby for authentic portrayals. And just as Marder knew that he needed a hearing actor to embody Ruben’s journey, he also knew he wanted actors from deaf culture to populate the rehab facility, including the very significant part of Joe, the Vietnam veteran who runs the centre. Marder was encouraged to consider A-list actors, all of whom were hearing, for the meaty part, but he didn’t relent. “That was something I fought very hard for,” Marder said. “And it was a much harder fight than it should have been.” He ended up finding actor Paul Raci, a Vietnam veteran himself and a child of deaf adults. The film is also open captioned in English to make it more accessible for all audiences, except in scenes with ASL. “We have to experience what Ruben experiences,” Marder said. “He has to contend with being a minority and not being comfortable in a culture that isn’t his. And so do we as an audience.” Ahmed found it to be a transformative experience. “I really hope that when people watch the film, it kind of stays with them and maybe changes them a little bit as well,” he said. “It’s a film about reevaluating who you think you really are and realizing the things you think define us are not all we are.” —- Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press
The grief and lessons, five years after I lost my brother.
This summer at Innisfil Beach Park was unlike any other because of the pandemic, and there might be some lessons there for the future. The Innisfil Beach Park ad hoc committee, which makes recommendations to council on park improvements, wants to see the town implement some of the methods used this summer to manage the park continue into 2021. The tow strategy, no visitor parking within one kilometre of the shoreline, and the boat launch app are among them. “This year, it was an opportunity to try out different things,” said Coun. Donna Orsatti, who chairs the committee. The pandemic required the town to do things differently to manage crowding in the interest of public safety. “It changes the way that you view everything,” she said. “Distancing and the way you use a park, the need for people to be able to walk, to get outdoors, to have space.” For James Roncone, citizen member and vice-chair of the committee, the pandemic was an opportunity to put into action ideas previously suggested, like the parking restrictions near the shoreline and the boat launch app. “We already had that in the works, so that's why they were able to launch very quickly,” he said. Looking back, Roncone said he thinks more technology and data will help the town manage the park even better. “Using technologies, you have control,” he said. “I've always said that you need to know how many people are in the park and how many parking spots you have available.” Roncone said he envisions an app where people can book their parking spot, boat launch time, and other amenities at the park. He said the committee has also asked council to look into parking technology to deal with congestion from people trying to enter the park. According to the Town of Innisfil, from the May long weekend to Sept. 20, a total of 32,514 resident vehicles were admitted to the park. Resident vehicles made up 73 per of all vehicles that attempted to enter the park during that time frame. Nicole Bowman, interim director of operations for the town, said better parking technology could help manage the park. “Is that the exact right solution for next summer? Well, that depends on what the COVID landscape looks like, but we still learned that there is a role for technology in there, in helping to provide balance at the park,” she said. One of the most effective strategies used this summer to manage the park was actually a low-tech one. “Our ‘beaches in motion’ concept was one of our biggest wins,” Bowman said. “We were able to have a safe place for people to visit.” Perhaps the biggest lesson from this summer is the importance of flexibility. “We were constantly adapting and we really learned this summer that sometimes we need to try something and then adjust and go forward again,” she said. If the pandemic continues next summer, Bowman said, the town is ready to use what it learned this year to ensure a safe place for residents. “We certainly have a playbook that's ready to open up again and pick up where we left off,” she said. Shane MacDonald, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
Canada's largest working cattle ranch hopes to convince B.C.'s Court of Appeal to overturn a 2018 ruling that said the public should be allowed to access two lakes near Merritt, B.C.It's the latest development in a lengthy court battle between the Douglas Lake Cattle Company (DLCC) and a small recreation club in Merritt over who should be allowed access to public areas enclosed by private property.In December 2018 a justice of the Supreme Court of B.C. ruled that Minnie Lake and Stoney Lake in the Nicola Valley should be publicly accessible.The lakes and a local road are surrounded by private ranch lands owned by the company, which is owned by U.S. billionaire Stan Kroenke.For years, access to Minnie Lake and Stoney Lake had been blocked by fences and locked gates.The 2018 ruling ordered those gates to be removed so the public could access the lakes.The court said at the time it would be "nonsensical" for a government to retain rights to a lake if a single owner purchasing all land surrounding it could prohibit use.It also clarified that Stoney Lake Road, which the DLCC had previously closed to the public, was a public road because public money had been spent on it and it had previously been a historic trail from a traditional Indigenous village.The victory was a culmination of the advocacy from the Nicola Valley Fish & Game Club, and most notably Merritt resident Rick McGowan, who for decades maintained that the DLCC had unlawfully prohibited access for anglers and other people seeking recreation there."We thought we would like to try to make a difference and try to see if we could possibly save the right for all future generations to access public property," he said."In the Nicola Valley there are locked gates everywhere and most of them are illegal."According to the Outdoor Recreation Council of B.C., which has been allowed to intervene on behalf of the fish and game club for the appeal, the DLCC seeks an order declaring there is no public access to Stoney Lake and that access to Minnie Lake is only by way of Wasley Creek. "This case raises important questions about the extent of the public's right to cross private property to access public resources such as lakes, hiking trails and wilderness," said Morgan Blakley, a lawyer for the council, which represents 100,000 outdoor recreation users in the province."The decision could have implications for public access across the province and brings to bear hundreds of years of case law." The appeal is scheduled for two days, starting at 10 a.m. PT Monday.
MILAN — In a signal of rebirth, the Donizetti theatre in the northern Italian city of Bergamo, devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, reopened this weekend after three years of renovations.But the planned gala celebration had to be postponed, and new productions for an annual festival dedicated to the city's native composer Gaetano Donizetti had to be streamed online from an empty theatre.Festival musical director Riccardo Frizza said the autumn festival was envisioned as a life-affirming moment for the city and province, where 6,000 people died in a single month last spring. In the summer he conducted Donizett's Requiem, performed outside the city’s cemetery in tribute to the dead.“You have to know that in my festival orchestra and in the chorus there are people who lost two or three family members,’’ Frizza said. “We couldn’t do the festival without having done this tribute to those who aren’t with us anymore.”Plans for an audience had to be scrapped after the virus started to resurge in October, even if Bergamo itself is experiencing lighter contagion than the spring, when images of army trucks transporting the dead to other regions for cremation laid bare the pandemic's toll. The calendar was cut to three productions.All three weekend performances of Donizetti’s “Marino Faliero,” “Le Nozze in Villa” and “Belisario” are available online indefinitely for a subscription price of 59 euros ($70.) Frizza said the money is needed to help freelance singers and musicians recoup some income during a year in which classical music has been all but shutdown by the coronavirus.Italy shut all theatres in February, and there was a tentative reopening over the summer.While some other theatres are offering free online streaming of their archives, Frizza said few are offering new opera productions. The Donizetti theatre package includes extras like commentary, interviews and a virtual tour of the renovated theatre, its frescoed ceilings given a fresh vibrancy. Another Donizetti opera filmed last year, “L'Ange De Nisida," will be released on Wednesday.By comparison, Milan’s famed La Scala theatre will broadcast a Dec. 7 concert on state television, substituting its traditional gala season-opener.To ensure the health of the Donizetti Festival orchestra, singers and chorus, strict protocols were put into place, including weekly testing and separate rehearsals. During the weekend performances, the chorus, most of the orchestra and Frizza wore masks.At La Scala, more than 40 members of the chorus have tested positive for the virus, plus another 18 in the orchestra.Frizza, who suffered a mild bout with the virus during the March peak when Italy was in total lockdown, said no one in the festival contracted the virus during the rehearsals. That's critical to allowing the live performances to go ahead despite the partial lockdown in Lombardy.“No one can imagine the March lockdown without music, without books, without televised performances,” Frizza said. “The pandemic has taught those who hadn’t understood before, the importance of culture, arts and beauty in the world.”Colleen Barry, The Associated Press
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.MOVIES— The Christmas movie, that yuletide evergreen, is subtly changing. “Happiest Season,” which premieres Wednesday on Hulu, has many of the genre's comforting standards — a homecoming trip, family discord, a secretly planned engagement — but it opens the holiday comedy to a fresh cast of characters, and comes away all the more charming for it. Writer-director Clea DuVall's film — originally planned as a theatrical release by Sony Pictures — stars Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis as Harper and Abby, a couple who travel to Harper's Waspy family for the holidays. Just before they arrive, Harper confesses she isn't out to her family. The spirited supporting cast includes Aubrey Plaza, Mary Steenburgen and Daniel Levy.— “Superintelligence,” too, is a studio film uprooted to a streaming service by the pandemic. The Melissa McCarthy comedy, her latest with director-husband Ben Falcone ("Tammy," “The Boss"), had been headed to theatres but will instead debut Thursday on HBO Max. In it, an artificial-intelligence supercomputer voiced by James Corden tasks McCarthy's unemployed character with saving the world.— Ironically, the week's top Netflix release is the one that's been playing in theatres. After two weeks in select cinemas, Ron Howard's “Hillbilly Elegy” begins streaming Tuesday. The adaptation of J.D. Vance's much-talked-about 2016 bestseller hasn't been a hit with critics ( including this one ), but it's also a kind of regular feature to the season: a big 'ol helping of awards bait, with a handful of big performances by elite actors (Glenn Close, Amy Adams).—AP Film Writer Jake CoyleMUSIC— Miley Cyrus is ready to rock ‘n’ roll on her new album. The pop star recruited some famous rock stars to help on her seventh studio release “Plastic Hearts,” including Stevie Nicks, Billy Idol and Joan Jett. And Mick Rock, the iconic rock ‘n’ roll photographer who has shot everyone from David Bowie to Debbie Harry, photographed the “Plastic Hearts” cover art. But pop fans shouldn’t worry too much about Miley’s rock sound, the album – out Friday – also features a collaboration with hitmaker Dua Lipa and includes producers like Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse, Bruno Mars) and Louis Bell (Post Malone).— Speaking of Dua Lipa, the Brit has had a major year in music thanks to the success of her sophomore album “Future Nostalgia” and the smash hit single “Don’t Start Now.” She’ll celebrate her big year on Friday with “Studio 2054,” a multidimensional live experience where Lipa is promising fans “a night of music, mayhem, performance, theatre, dance and much more.” The singer said there will be “surprise superstar guests” at the event, and standard tickets costs $11.99.— Grammy-winning Chicago-based rockers Smashing Pumpkins will release a double album on Friday. “CYR” features 20 tracks produced by founding member and frontman Billy Corgan. The band’s 11th album also features founding members James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlin as well as guitarist Jeff Schroeder. “CYR” is the follow-up to 2018’s “SHINY AND OH SO BRIGHT, VOL. 1 / LP: NO PAST. NO FUTURE. NO SUN” – Corgan, Iha and Chamberlin’s first collaborative album in 18 years.— AP Music Editor Mesfin FekaduTELEVISION— If you like “Bones” and “CSI” but just need more French accents, your best bet is the terrific NOVA special “Saving Notre Dame.” The hour-long PBS documentary airing Wednesday shows the incredible lengths architects, engineers and craftspeople have gone to restore the iconic Paris cathedral stricken by 2019's fire. There is detective work — where did the original limestone come from? — and painstaking efforts to reclaim the building’s glory, like stained glass specialists using cotton swabs to remove toxic lead. Everyone wears wear full hazard protection gear as they navigate a “giant house of cards.”— Can you have a “Saved by the Bell” without Screech? Peacock is hoping fans won't notice that character's absence when its sequel to the popular TV series brings back members of the original cast — Elizabeth Berkeley, Mario Lopez, Tiffani Thiessen and Mark-Paul Gosselaar — but not Dustin Diamond, who played the quirky Screech. In this sequel kicking off Wednesday, Gosselaar is California governor who has a son at Bayside High, Berkeley is a guidance counsellor and Lopez is once again A.C. Slater, now a gym teacher.— It happens all the time: You wake up next to a dead body in a Bangkok hotel. In the case of HBO Max’s adaptation of “The Flight Attendant,” the comedy and darkness work simultaneously. Kaley Cuoco of “The Big Bang Theory” plays an air hostess with a drinking problem whose looney attempts to cover up her part in the death place her in the crosshairs of the FBI. The first three episodes of the limited series premier Thursday, with the first one free now if you're willing to give HBO Max your email.— AP Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy___Catch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/apf-entertainment.The Associated Press
The Saskatchewan Health Authority has sent out a warning to anyone who visited Original Joe's Restaurant and Bar in Prince Albert, Sask., earlier this month.The authority says people who visited the restaurant from Nov. 12-16 are asked to self-isolate for 14 days and arrange for testing.The alert, which was issued Sunday, made it clear that parents and children were both asked to isolate.The restaurant posted on its Facebook page that it had closed its doors on Saturday after one of its workers tested positive. The post said the restaurant would be re-opening after given the green light from the health authority.While alerts like this were once commonplace, the health authority announced last week it would no longer be publishing the long list of possible COVID-19 transmission locations, as the virus was now everywhere in the province.The authority said it would now only notify the public if all contacts could not be notified within a 48-hour period and if there was an increased risk to the public.The notice reminded everyone that people could develop symptoms from two to 14 days after being exposed to COVID-19.Anyone who was at the restaurant is asked to call HealthLine 811 or a doctor and nurse practitioner and apply for testing.
BROCKTON – The Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund allocation for Brockton has been decreasing over the past several years. Brockton received $2,380,000 in 2012; by 2017, that had decreased to $1,607,100. Brockton was notified that the 2021 allocation will decrease by $48,500 from 2020’s $1,536,600 to $1,488,100. The municipality relies on the OMPF grant to provide government services. Small, rural municipalities don’t have the large tax base that cities do. Coun. Steve Adams suggested drafting a letter to express concern over the decrease. Coun. Dean Leifso wondered if other municipalities in the area were getting the same decrease. Mayor Chris Peabody regarded the information as “mixed” news – both good and bad. It’s a bit of a drop. But he also noted Brockton has received a number of grants from “this government” and credited MPP Lisa Thompson for working on behalf of her constituents. Peabody said Leifso’s idea was a good one. “Let’s do some research.”Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times
BROCKTON – Council had the opportunity to look at and discuss the recommendations in the review of committees of council, presented by Clerk Fiona Hamilton. The matter had been tabled from the Oct. 27 meeting. The review was completed at council’s request, stemming from meetings for the 2020 municipal budget, in response to financial pressures. As stated in the report, COVID-19 meant many committee meetings were delayed during the spring months. When they resumed, staff were unable to consult directly with committee members. However, as Hamilton noted, the pandemic caused additional financial pressures and “highlighted the importance of finding efficiencies and streamlining processes for minimal effect on residents.” Staff reviewed the number of committees of council with a view towards consolidating or eliminating some of them and thus reducing staff overtime and other expenses. As of March 2020, the municipality had more than 15 committees of council. Among the recommendations made by staff were reduction of each committee to seven members, term limits for committee members, and proper succession planning. Staff also had recommendations on reducing the number of meetings. “It’s important we get this right,” commented Mayor Chris Peabody. Among the items discussed by council was the recreation committee and whether it should be for Brockton or remain Walkerton. It would have an impact on the volunteers who serve on the committee. Also discussed was the mandate for the childcare committee, the possible need for a roads committee, the use of sub-committees and the number of meetings. Council passed a motion to hold a public information session and allow time for committee members to comment. A further report will be brought back to council Dec. 8.Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times
Victory is always sweet in municipal politics, said Mayor Duane Favel, and this year, victory has meant starting his fifth term as leader of the Northern Village of Île-à-la-Crosse. Duane defeated fellow mayoral candidate Peter Durocher with 323 votes to 257, with 580 total votes cast. This will be a long four years of council, Favel said, with many challenges facing northern Saskatchewan communities and with COVID-19 those challenges are going to get bigger, he said. In a previous interview before the election, Duane said physician retention and high water levels have been a challenge for the community for years. Joining Duane at the council table will be incumbents Vincent Ahenakew, Bodean Desjarlais, Myra Malboeuf, and Gerald Roy, and new councillors Noel McLean and Kevin Favel. Having a mix of old and new councillors is good to have for both continuity and bringing new voices to the table, Duane said. “It's nice to have a council who clearly has a good background on some of the things we've been working on and to bring those two councillors up to speed. Certainly, their voices will be heard as well.” Mentoring the new councillors will be an important step in the coming term, Duane said. Duane said he would like to thank the outgoing councillors who have stepped away from the table, including Durocher, who decided to run for mayor. The open spots allowed for two new voices to join the conversation and Duane said he is excited to work with this new council. Becky Zimmer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
NASHVILLE — For Grammy-winning international star Angelique Kidjo, her artistry and her activism inform each other because music has the power to connect beyond skin colour, language or countries.“Music has that absolutely powerful side to it that sometimes when I finish a concert, I’m like, ’Why can’t we just live like this?'” said the singer-songwriter from the West African country of Benin.That sentiment is something that Skip Marley, a third-generation musician and grandson of reggae icon Bob Marley, has grown up knowing as well.“We’re talking to the people, so it’s all colours, all religions,” said Marley. “Music is music. That’s the beauty of it. It cuts through all of those barriers or borders.”These musicians are part of an online fundraising concert on Dec. 1 called Peace Through Music: A Global Event For Social Justice, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.The Facebook Live event will also feature performances by Annie Lennox, Becky G, Brandi Carlile and Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, Carlos Santana, Gary Clark Jr., Mavis Staples, Ringo Starr, Run The Jewels, Sheila E, Yo-Yo Ma and more. The event will raise money for the Playing for Change Foundation, the United Nations Population Fund, Sankofa, Silkroad and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.Kidjo, who is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, is an outspoken advocate for women’s rights and education for young women in Africa through her Batonga Foundation. Kidjo has travelled the world to encourage young people to be leaders in their own communities because she says that is the leverage needed to address systematic issues of poverty and climate change.“We’ve created a world with billions of people suffering and a minority of people are living on top of them. And if we want to live in a world of peace, we have to take care of Mother Nature and at the same time take care to get people out of poverty,” said Kidjo, from her home in Paris.For the online concert, Kidjo teamed up remotely with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Peter Gabriel to sing Gabriel's anti-apartheid anthem “Biko,” about a South African activist who was killed in detention in the 1970s. Kidjo said the song’s message directly connected to this year’s Black Lives Matter protests over police killings of Black men and women.“Racism is so linked to capitalism and we have failed to address that issue for so many, many, many years and centuries, I think from slavery all the way to today, that it becomes a cancer that is eating our societies,” said Kidjo.“Get Up, Stand Up,” a simple message that has become part of Bob Marley’s legacy to the world, was the obvious song choice for his grandson to sing for this online concert.“Wherever there is a fight, wherever there is oppression, wherever there is wrongdoing, there will always be that anthem,” said Marley, who performed with song with his mother Cedella Marley.It’s a spiritual experience to sing his grandfather’s songs, Marley said.“Those are the songs I first hear and the songs I first sing,” said Marley. “So when I’m singing it, I’m feeling my grandfather.”Kristin M. Hall, The Associated Press
Cinq générations d’agriculture sur leur terre de Baie-des-Sables, et l’héritage agricole de la famille Chamberland tient toujours, 110 ans plus tard. En service depuis 2000, la Ferme D. & E. Chamberland est relancée après qu’Eric ait décidé de poursuivre la récolte de pommes de terre. Le premier Chamberland à lancer la ferme familiale fut Joseph, l’arrière-grand-père d’Eric, élevé à Saint-Joseph-de-Lepage près de Mont-Joli. Il était l’aîné d’une grande famille et il était assez vieux pour s’établir, mais comme il avait d’autres enfants après lui, son père ne voulait pas lui vendre sa propre terre. Sa sœur vivait à Baie-des-Sables, et par la poste elle lui fait savoir que la terre voisine était à vendre. Le père de Joseph, André, a donc fait acquisition de la terre pour Joseph qui avait 19 ans à l’époque, considéré mineur et devait attendre ses 21 ans avant. Joseph a été le premier à s’établir sur la terre en 1910 jusqu’en 1948, où il a élevé sa famille. Celui-ci vendait des pommes de terre, mais aussi des légumes de toutes sortes, même qu’il allait pêcher des palourdes à Métis pour les vendre par la suite. C’est en 1948 que le grand-père d’Eric, Antonio, a repris la terre et s’est mis à faire du commerce de légumes variés, dont des pommes de terre et des fraises estivales cueillies dans Bellechasse, des pommes et des porcs, se construisant une porcherie pour subvenir à ses besoins. Dans les années 1950, il couvrait de la vallée de La Matapédia jusqu’à Causapscal, et il a soudainement décidé de se tourner vers le nord de la Gaspésie, comme Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, Mont-Louis ou Grande-Vallée. C’est donc officiellement depuis 1952 que des Chamberland vendent des pommes de terre de Baie-des-Sables jusqu’à Rivière-au-Renard, sans interruption. Ils n’ont jamais osé vendre au sud de Baie-des-Sables, comme il y avait déjà des commerçants avec leur propre marché. Antonio, le fameux grand-père d’Eric, a donc eu la terre jusqu’en 1974, où son père, Denis, a ensuite racheté la terre. Son père a bâti le tout premier entrepôt de pommes de terre. Il a alors commencé à mécaniser sa production et améliorer beaucoup les terres pendant les années 1980, afin que les patates soient de meilleure qualité, pour un meilleur rendement en y ajoutant du compost et des engrais verts. Denis n’avait pas de formation d’agriculture et n’était pas agronome, mais il s’intéressait aux nouvelles façons de faire et la nature du sol de ses champs. Pendant qu’Antonio complétait les livraisons, Denis était prêt au poste à la ferme. Antonio était d’ailleurs très peu à la maison, car il avait le camion et se promenait pour les ventes. Denis, lui, restait sur place, dirigeait les employés et gérait les activités. À 15 ans seulement, le père d’Eric était déjà à la tête du personnel, comptant environ 10 ou 12 personnes. En effet, tout se faisait à la main ou à genoux dans le champ – la production n’était pas automatisée. Antonio est décédé à 80 ans à cause d’un accident dans son camion, en 1995. Denis a donc dû revirer de bord et a décidé du destin de l’entreprise. Le père d’Eric a fait le choix de lâcher le reste de la production, comme le porc et tous les autres commerces en se concentrant sur la pomme de terre. Il voulait ainsi développer un marché plus ciblé. Son père, Denis, avait été plutôt innovateur, alors ils ont repris la production en agrandissant l’entreprise préexistante. En effet, Denis avait essayé de vendre à des grossistes, mais sans succès. Il a donc acheté un nouveau camion et a commencé à organiser ses propres livraisons. « Ce qui permet de garder la ferme fonctionnelle et rentable, c’est de livrer les patates directement. Oui, ça contient des frais additionnels, mais on passe toute notre production sans problème », a expliqué Eric. En effet, en 2000, Eric et sa femme, Diane, viennent s’installer sur la ferme à leur tour et reprennent les rênes de l’entreprise, baptisée depuis quelques années déjà « Ferme D. & E. Chamberland ». Eric était originellement infirmier à l’hôpital de Matane et travaillait aux soins intensifs. Ensuite, il y a eu les coupures financières du ministre Jean Rochon en 1997, ils n’avaient que deux enfants à ce moment-là. Ils ont ainsi changé la machinerie et grossi leurs installations en agrandissant l’entrepôt à quelques reprises, créant une salle d’emballage. Un bout original de l’entrepôt existe encore aujourd’hui, mais il disparaîtra l’année prochaine en agrandissant une fois de plus de manière significative leur bâtiment d’entreposage. Depuis 1974, cinq agrandissements ont eu lieu. « Dans les dernières années, le matériel s’est modernisé : les lifts électriques sont arrivés, les caisses de bois sont arrivées, et ça c’était l’innovation », a lancé Eric. Chaque génération a amené quelque chose de nouveau. Eric est enfant unique, et il savait que son père gérait la ferme seul, et Diane a été élevée sur une ferme laitière à Saint-Damase. Il a donc commencé un été, mais ça a été une adaptation parce qu’il n’avait jamais travaillé dans les champs, seulement la livraison. Après deux étés d’essai, ils se sont lancés dans l’entreprise pour un 23 ans, et depuis peu, avec l’aide de leur fils Mathieu. En 2019, le fils d’Eric, Mathieu, un de leurs quatre enfants, rachète la majorité des parts de la compagnie familiale, qui aidait à la ferme depuis cinq ans. Il a commencé très jeune la livraison avec son père, puis a suivi son grand-père Denis dans les champs. Plus tard, Mathieu a voulu aller à l’université en histoire pour finalement changer d’idée et retourner à l’agriculture. Il a complété un diplôme d’études professionnelles en mécanique agricole à Mont-Joli. Présentement, ils se séparent le travail : Eric s’occupe généralement des livraisons, et Mathieu est présent dans les champs et gère la production. Mathieu a donc pris la place de son grand-père Denis, en s’occupant des champs, l’entretien et les innovations. Diane et Eric se disent ravis de voir leur fils reprendre la ferme, même s’ils n’ont jamais demandé à leurs enfants de faire partie de la relève. Mathieu a fait quelques années comme mécanicien dans un garage à Matane pour prendre de l’expérience et connaître autre chose, avant d’arriver avec des nouvelles idées modernes. Depuis environ cinq ans, ils ont fait beaucoup de changements pour s’adapter. Mathieu est très à l’affût des nouveautés, en achetant par exemple une nouvelle machine d’emballage qui permet de sauver sur les coûts de main d’œuvre. Mathieu est d’ailleurs en contact avec une agroéconomiste de l’Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) concernant l’emprunt d’argent pour acheter de la machinerie. « Emprunter, ça peut être payant en calculant ce que ça va apporter dans quelques années après avoir remboursé la machine », a expliqué Diane. Mathieu se dédie à la recherche de nouvelles technologies afin d’améliorer la rentabilité des installations. L’agroenvironnement est beaucoup plus poussé pour une génération actuelle. Ce qu’on vise, à l’avenir, est la réduction des pesticides, même si le biologique ne serait pas rentable pour l’instant. L’année prochaine, ils auront une tour météorologique avec un capteur de store pour faire des analyses dans l’air pour savoir exactement quand on a besoin d’arroser pour ne pas arroser inutilement. La récolte d’oignons a pu réduire ses arrosages de 50 %. Il a d’ailleurs fait faire des tests avec des drones il y a deux ans, mais c’était encore trop expérimental et n’a pas donné les résultats escomptés. Ils sont au bout de chaîne d’alimentation, et apprécient vraiment de venir à l’encontre de leurs consommateurs, dans l’esprit d’achat local. Pendant la pandémie, ils ont vu une augmentation de leurs ventes et de l’appréciation de leurs clients. Et heureusement, cette année, ils ont eu une excellente récolte. « Ça a été sec partout au Bas-Saint-Laurent pour le foin et les céréales, mais il a plut pour les pommes de terre. Au bon moment, et juste dans la région ici, de Mont-Joli à Matane. Le Bic et Trois-Pistoles ont eu bien des difficultés », ont expliqué Eric et Mathieu. En début août, ils commencent à récolter toutes les semaines, et c’est fin septembre ou début octobre qu’ils arrachent tout ce qu’il reste dans leur vingtaine d’hectares en production, avant qu’il fasse froid. Et au printemps, ils recommencent leurs semences en mars, et plantent leurs champs en mai. Au total, la superficie de la ferme est d’environ 70 hectares, avec environ une trentaine en production, sans compter la portion de champs en rotation. En 2013, ils sont devenus accrédités par Super C et Métro. Un inspecteur passe quotidiennement pour vérifier si leur procédure est conforme aux normes. Ils vendent d’ailleurs au Super C de Matane et au Métro de Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, et le reste va aux cantines de la région, qui sont d’importants clients de la Ferme D. & E. Chamberland pour les patates frites. Présentement, Mathieu a 28 ans et reste dans sa propre maison au centre du village de Baie-des-Sables. Il se concentre sur les défis actuels que présente la ferme, et avec l’aide de son père Eric, met la main à la pâte quotidiennement pour récolter les meilleures pommes de terre possible, en espérant un jour pouvoir réduire son niveau de pesticides. Et qui sait, peut-être qu’un jour, l’expertise familiale de la Ferme D. & E. Chamberland perdurera avec une sixième génération.Claudie Arseneault, Initiative de journalisme local, Mon Matane
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — New analysis suggests two out of three Alaska adults have at least one risk factor health officials link with a higher chance of severe COVID-19 infection.The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services findings indicate most adult Alaska residents are at an increased risk for hospitalization or worse after contracting COVID-19, The Anchorage Daily News reported Saturday.The risk factors include past or current smoking, obesity, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease and heart disease or previous heart attacks.Using information from a survey of 8,500 Alaska adults between 2016 and 2018, researchers compared the health factors of the respondents to the conditions identified by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that can increase the likelihood of severe COVID-19 cases.While the analysis found two out of three Alaska adults are likely to have at least one of the conditions increasing risk, other factors such as advanced age also make serious coronavirus infections more likely, said Ann Potempa, public health specialist with the state health department’s Chronic Disease Prevention section.The combination of advanced age and chronic disease raises the number of Alaska adults living with vulnerability to severe coronavirus experiences to 71%, Potempa said.Following a death or hospitalization resulting from the coronavirus, “the first thing everybody wants to know is about that underlying health condition,” Chronic Disease Prevention section Director Karol Fink said.People without the risk factors can believe the disease will not affect them in a serious way, while disregarding the threat to family members, friends or colleagues who might have underlying health conditions causing higher vulnerability, Fink said.“So we really wanted to put a number to that thought process to help people understand how many Alaskan adults are at risk for serious illness from COVID-19,” Fink said.For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.The Associated Press