Senators close to finishing encryption penalties legislation: sources

By Dustin Volz and Mark Hosenball
Senate Intelligence Committee chair Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) (R) talks to reporters after coming out of the Senate in Washington December 9, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

By Dustin Volz and Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Technology companies could face civil penalties for refusing to comply with court orders to help investigators access encrypted data under draft legislation nearing completion in the U.S. Senate, sources familiar with continuing discussions told Reuters on Wednesday.

The long-awaited legislation from Senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein, the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, may be introduced as soon as next week, one of the sources said.

It would expose companies like Apple Inc, which is fighting a magistrate judge's order to unlock an iPhone connected to the mass-shooting in San Bernardino, California, to contempt of court proceedings and related penalties, the source said.

Senators are expected to circulate the draft bill among interested parties next week and hope to introduce it soon after, though a timetable is not final, the source said.

The Senators' proposal would not seek criminal penalties, as some media reports have stated, the sources said.

The controversial proposal faces an uphill climb in a gridlocked Congress during an election year and would likely be opposed by Silicon Valley.

Tech companies have largely supported Apple in its legal fight against the Justice Department, which is seeking access to a phone used by Rizwan Farook, one of two shooters in the San Bernardino attack last December in which 14 were killed and 22 wounded.

It is particularly unlikely the proposal will gain traction in the U.S. House of Representatives, which staked out positions strongly supporting digital privacy in the wake of revelations about government-sanctioned surveillance of communications by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Last year, amid stiff private sector opposition, the White House backed away from pushing for legislation to require U.S. technology firms to provide investigators with mechanisms to overcome encryption protections.

But the issue found renewed life after the shootings in San Bernardino and Paris. An August email from Robert Litt, the top U.S. intelligence community lawyer, obtained by the Washington Post, noted that momentum on the issue "could turn in the event of a terrorist attack or criminal event where strong encryption can be shown to have hindered law enforcement."

Separately, Democratic Senator Mark Warner and Republican Representative Michael McCaul last week introduced legislation to create a national commission to further explore solutions to the so-called “going dark” problem, where strong encryption has made it more difficult for law enforcement to access communications belonging to criminal suspects.

(Reporting by Mark Hosenball and Dustin Volz; Editing by Bill Rigby)

  • Russia not welcome at G7, Canada's Trudeau says
    News
    Reuters

    Russia not welcome at G7, Canada's Trudeau says

    Canada does not support Russia's return to the Group of Seven, proposed by U.S. President Donald Trump over the weekend, because Moscow continues to flout international law, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday. "Russia was excluded from the G7 after it invaded Crimea a number of years ago, and its continued disrespect and flaunting of international rules and norms is why it remains outside of the G7, and it will continue to remain out," Trudeau said during his daily news conference. Trump said on Saturday he would postpone a Group of Seven summit he had hoped to hold next month until at least September and expand the list of invitees to include Australia, Russia, South Korea and India.

  • Woman sentenced in toddler's death says sorry to 'every single person' she hurt
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Woman sentenced in toddler's death says sorry to 'every single person' she hurt

    EDMONTON — A woman who was sentenced to 8 1/2 years in prison for her role in the death of a toddler found outside an Edmonton church says she's sorry to everyone she hurt.But she could not explain why she did what she did."I don't know why," Tasha-Lee Mack said between sobs at her sentencing hearing Monday in the Court of Queen's Bench. "It was like an out-of-body experience."I don't know why I did it. It's not me. I love kids."Mack, 28, was convicted last November of manslaughter for the death of 19-month-old Anthony Joseph Raine, who was found dead outside Good Shepherd Anglican Church in April 2017. His father, Joey Crier, was found guilty of manslaughter in a separate trial.Mack was sentenced Monday by Justice Rob Graesser."There is no doubt that the act that killed Anthony was brutal," he said in delivering the sentence.Graesser said Mack was convicted for failing to take steps to protect Anthony and in failing to take him for medical attention."These were not fleeting things," he said.Mack's trial had heard that Anthony, who was being cared for by her and Crier, went from being a chunky, happy boy to "skin and bones" in a matter of months.Court was told he suffered abuse before a fatal blow to his head and his abandonment behind the church.There was no evidence Mack struck Anthony, but Graesser said the woman consciously decided not to seek medical advice and instead spent hours "finding a place to dump Anthony dead or alive."Crown prosecutor Monica Sabo asked for a 10- to 12-year sentence, while defence lawyer Ajay Juneja suggested his client's sentence should be six years because she has severe psychological issues.Prior to being sentenced, Mack spoke to the court for at least 20 minutes."I understand what I did was wrong," she said. "The only way to make up for it is to make sure it never happens again. I have learned my lesson."Mack then apologized."I am sorry to every single person I've hurt," she said. "I really mean that."Earlier Monday, court heard victim impact statements from Anthony's family — including his mother, Dalyce Raine.Raine said in her statement that she doesn't think she'll ever be able to forgive the people responsible for her son's death."I entrusted the care of my son to Joey and I thought he was in good care," she said in her statement.Raine, who said Mack and Crier took so much from her, questioned why Crier didn't bring Anthony back to her."I wish I could see his face and see his smile one more time," she said.Raine said she doesn't wish hate on Mack or Crier, but she said they deserve to be behind bars."You should not be able to be free," she said in her statement. "I don't think I'll ever forgive you people for what you did."Raine and other family members said Anthony's death divided their community."It hurts and it beats me up inside," she said.Crier has not yet been sentenced, but a judge has said he will reduce Crier's overall sentence, because he has been assaulted in jail and spends much of his time in segregated custody.Mack's sentence was reduced by a year due to difficult conditions in the remand centre. She also received credit for time served, meaning she has five years left in her sentence.Both Mack and Crier were initially charged with second-degree murder.This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2020Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press

  • Security footage retrieved from highrise where Toronto woman fell to her death
    News
    CBC

    Security footage retrieved from highrise where Toronto woman fell to her death

    Ontario's police watchdog says it has reviewed security camera footage and interviewed the officers who were at the Toronto highrise where 29-year-old Regis Korchinski-Paquet fell to her death — after what her family says was a 911 call that went terribly wrong.But neither the footage nor the interviews will be made public, for now. "While the investigation is ongoing, the details … will not be released in an effort to ensure the memories of other potential witnesses are not tainted," the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said in a news release Monday.The SIU said it has interviewed six officers and four civilian witnesses. It expects to interview the family later this week.  The update comes after thousands of people took to the streets on Saturday to demand answers about the death of Korchinski-Paquet's, who was black, and to protest the deaths of an unarmed black people at the hands of police.Questions have swirled since Korchinski-Paquet's death with her family, community advocates and various politicians asking what exactly happened in the moments leading up to her 24-storey fall from the balcony of her family's apartment.An online petition calling for transparency in the investigation has amassed over 161,000 signatures.Concerns about role of raceKorchinski-Paquet's relatives have said they worry race played a role in her death too, citing the cases of Andrew Loku in 2015 and of D'Andre Campbell who was fatally shot by police in nearby Brampton, in April, after what the SIU called a "domestic situation." Campbell's family said he suffered from mental illness."The family is extremely concerned that in recent times people with mental health distress issues across North America are ending up dead after interactions with the police," their lawyer Knia Singh said last week. A CBC News investigation found black people made up 36.5 per cent of fatalities involving Toronto police, despite accounting for just 8.3 per cent of the city's population, in the period from 2000-17.Korchinski-Paquet was an active member of her church, a talented gymnast and proud of her Ukrainian and Nova Scotian roots, her family's lawyer said.In the past five years, however, she began experiencing epilepsy, with the family sometimes requiring help from police, according to Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders.Saunders has said police were called to the apartment where Korchinski-Paquet lived with her family on May 27 by multiple reports of an assault.Two of those calls stated that a knife was involved, according to the chief, but the family has said there was no assault underway or knife present when police arrived.Korchinski-Paquet, her brother and mother met police in the hallway of their apartment, Saunders said, and "words were exchanged" between her and officers.  Not long afterward, she asked to enter the apartment unit to use the bathroom. Police followed her inside, but did not allow her mother or brother to enter, the family has said.Within a minute or two, Singh said, the family heard a commotion inside the apartment. "Mom, help. Mom, help," were the final words her mother would hear her say before they heard silence, according to the family. Police officers confirmed minutes later Korchinski-Paquet was dead. In the immediate aftermath, Korchinski-Paquet's mother and cousin took to social media in a series of emotional video statements pointing fingers at police, saying they believed she had been pushed. Singh has since said those accusations would not be part of the family's official statement, but that they would instead wait for the evidence before coming to any further conclusions. Calls to fund body camerasAt a news conference last week, Korchiniski-Paquet's mother, Claudette Korchinski-Beals, said she'd sought help from the police for her daughter before, but that never had so many officers turned out as they did Wednesday. The family's lawyer has said five to eight officers were present.Toronto's police chief revealed Friday police did not send a crisis intervention team to the scene. Saunders said weapons-related calls take the highest priority, so front-line officers respond to them first. "There's no way I would put a nurse in the middle of a knife fight," he said. The chief would not say if any of the 911 calls about Korchinski-Paquet referenced mental health, but did say there was some discussion about seizures.Korchinski-Beals has said she asked officers to take her daughter to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto.Saunders has said police not "legally permitted to discuss the incident" because of the SIU investigation underway, urging calm and warning of "opportunists" seeking to fill in the blanks with misinformation. The SIU is an arm's-length civilian oversight agency that investigates deaths, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault involving police.The chief has also said the death might be "a textbook case in which body cameras should be provided," saying he'd like to see the technology begin to roll out in the third-quarter of the year.Meanwhile Ontario's Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca issued a letter to Premier Doug Ford calling for the province to provide funding to any police force prepared to deploy body cameras, adding the privacy commissioner should be consulted to ensure the use of the cameras adheres to guidelines.CBC News has contacted the premier's office for a response.Ford addressed the protests in the U.S. and in parts of Canada in his daily briefing Monday saying, "racism and hatred have no place in our province.""We must acknowledge this pain," he said. "Many of these issues are deeply rooted. They stem  from a history of racism and abuse … but it is only by facing them, it is only be working together that we can begin to address them.

  • Temporary foreign worker dies due to COVID-19 as disease hits southwestern Ontario farms hard
    Health
    CBC

    Temporary foreign worker dies due to COVID-19 as disease hits southwestern Ontario farms hard

    A temporary foreign worker from Mexico who came to Canada to work on a farm in Ontario died on Saturday due to COVID-19, as farms in the southwestern part of the province become a major driver for a spike in new cases. The 31-year-old man had no underlying health issues, said medical officer of health for the Windsor Essex County Health Unit, Dr. Wajid Ahmed. "Any of these workers who are self-isolating, our team gets in touch with them on a regular basis, almost daily, and we do provide them with translation service," said Ahmed. "We do provide them with some written information in their own native language to help them understand all the details, what's next step to do, how to reach out to us, to EMS or to call for help if they need any of these things, and we do monitor symptoms."The man was self-isolating in a hotel room before he called emergency services and went to the hospital, said Ahmed. In the last few weeks, workers who were not able to safely self-isolate in bunkhouses provided by their employers were moved to hotels, the health unit reported. Steve Laurie is responsible for the facilitation of temporary foreign workers to Woodside Greenhouses Inc., the pepper farm in Kingsville, Ont. where the man worked. Laurie, who said the man's name is Bonifacio Eugenio-Romero, said he took the man to the hospital on May 21 for treatment and a COVID-19 test after he said he had a fever. By May 23, the test came back showing the man had COVID-19, said Laurie, and all migrant workers who the man worked closely with were put into a hotel. Laurie said the man was put into a room by himself.On May 25, Laurie said the health unit tested the 22 other workers at the facility. Of those, two came back positive, two need to be retested and the remaining were negative.By Saturday, Eugenio-Romero had trouble breathing and was taken to hospital by EMS, both the health unit and Laurie confirmed.Laurie said 30 minutes later, the man died, leaving his co-workers upset and worried. "They're rattled," he said. "It's been a wake-up call for a lot of them."Laurie added workers would sometimes hide their symptoms so as to not miss pay, but that the company did daily wellness checks which included checking for a fever. "It's definitely been scary," said Laurie. "You hope these things won't happen to you or anyone you know."In a statement to CBC News, the Ministry of Labour said it is investigating the death. The Consulate of Mexico in Toronto said it is working with Eugenio-Romero's family for the repatriation of his body.Workers feel 'unsafe,' says union representativeSantiago Escobar, national representative for the United Food and Commercial Workers union in Canada, said he received a call about one month ago from workers at Woodside Greenhouses who said they were concerned because they had a lack of information and proper equipment to protect them from getting infected. He said he provided workers with pamphlets in Spanish to help educate them on protecting themselves.But Escobar wants the public to know which farms are under an outbreak — something the Windsor-Essex health unit will not do. "I don't know why they don't want to be open about this information, but we have spoken about these issues in the past and we think we have witnesses that employers are not providing enough information and personal protective equipment and also these workers are not able to practice social distancing," he said. Escobar said overcrowded housing units and a failure to meet provincial and federal standards for housing make the spread of the virus very easy. "Unfortunately we're witnessing that a lot of employers are not complying with the regulations they are supposed to follow," he said, adding many workers from the Windsor-Essex region have reached out because they do not feel safe at their jobs. Chris Ramsaroop, an organizer for the advocacy group, Justice for Migrant Farm Workers. said both levels of government must be held to account for "decades of inaction that have only intensified poor working and living conditions.""This death and the countless workers who are sick is not simply a tragedy it's negligence by politicians who sacrifice the needs of vulnerable workers while appeasing the interests of the regions powerful agricultural lobby," Ramsaroop said in an email to CBC News.Farms hit hard by COVID-19The news of the man's death comes after major spikes in the numbers of COVID-19 cases popped up at farms in the southwestern Ontario region. In Windsor-Essex, 175 — about 18 per cent — of all COVID-19 cases have been among farm workers from 17 different farms in the region. The Windsor Essex County Health Unit would not confirm which farms or businesses the workers were at, saying the public was not at risk because of these outbreaks. A farm operation in Norfolk County, south of Simcoe, declared a COVID-19 outbreak this weekend, after 85 migrant workers tested positive for the virus.The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit said Sunday that five workers have been hospitalized and approximately 25 others who tested positive are showing symptoms of the virus.The migrant workers are employed by Scotlynn Group in Vittoria, a major producer of sweet corn, watermelon, asparagus and pumpkins. Many workers are from Mexico.A farm in St. Thomas, Ontario Plants Propagation, had 20 people associated with it test positive this past week and is still waiting on test results for others. In that case, two health units are involved in contact tracing, as the workers lived in London but travelled daily to the Elgin County farm. Chatham-Kent's health unit reported 145 cases of COVID-19 for that community, with the majority of them linked to an outbreak at Greenhill Produce. There are now 101 workers at Greenhill Produce who have tested positive for COVID-19. An outbreak was investigated at the end of April, when about 40 cases of the disease were discovered among workers at the greenhouse operation, which also grows peppers. The health unit said those cases were contracted locally, as many of the workers had been in the country anywhere from a few months to one year. Only six of those cases are still active, according to CK Public Health. Another 95 workers have recovered.During a news conference Monday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he would address the issue of infection among migrant workers with public health officials, both to ensure the workers get tested to keep them safe, and to keep the supply chain safe.When asked if the province would consider increasing inspections and changing laws regarding communal living in cramped bunk houses, Ford said "that's something we can put on the table.""I've been there and seen the congregate living on these farms. Can we do it a month or so? I just don't think that's a reality," said Ford."What we can do is go in and test frequently. I think it's critical that we do. First, we'll do a test and another test in a week and continue testing to keep those people safe and keep the food and supply chain safe as well."The premier added that more information will be provided in the coming days."We'll be asking public health and Ontario health to start going in there and focusing on the migrant workers that are here. There's quite a few of them."Feds fast-track foreign workers' permits to fill labour gapsLast month, the federal government began fast-tracking approvals for temporary foreign workers already in Canada, to make them available to fill labour gaps in critical sectors such as agriculture and health care during the pandemic.The government is allowing workers who meet certain qualifications, to start work as soon as they secure new employment while they wait for their new permit to go through, cutting down the time it takes for approvals from ten weeks or more down to ten days or less.The goal is to help employers in the agriculture, agri-food and health care sectors meet urgent needs for additional employees during the global health crisis.At the time of that decision, immigration lawyer Eddie Kadri told CBC News he applauds the move but says caution also must be taken to ensure the health and safety of the workers."It's a Band-Aid to stop the bleeding," said Kadri. "But we have to make sure that these workers are safe in the plants that they are working or the farms that they are working. Not only when they are in quarantine for 14 days but when they are on the job site."Many farm owners were worried in the spring that they wouldn't have the labour needed to harvest crops, fearing the work shortage could lead to a food supply shortage as well.

  • Edmonton police launch review after officer posts photo of drug arrest
    News
    CBC

    Edmonton police launch review after officer posts photo of drug arrest

    The Edmonton Police Service is reviewing an incident in which an officer posted a photo of two officers posing with a shirtless and handcuffed man who was arrested while allegedly high on drugs."This fine young man was so thrilled with the service we provided him that he wanted to commemorate the moment with a picture," stated the caption on the photo posted to EPS Const. Mike Roblin's Instagram account on May 9. "Just kidding, he was so high he thought he was on Mars," read the caption, which included the hashtags summertimepolicing and dontdodrugskids.Dr. Haquike Virani, a specialist in addiction and public health at the University of Alberta, said the posted photo of the posed prisoner was "heartbreaking, disappointing, repulsive, infuriating.""Disappointing because I do know some police officers who are sincerely trying to understand and help people who are struggling with substances [abuse], poverty or homelessness," said Virani, who also has an inner-city clinic.Virani said incidents like this will make it more difficult to reach out to "excluded populations.""This is not the type of thing that helps us earn their confidence and trust. And I worry that it will push those folks further out to the margins and not give us access to help," he said.Virani said if anyone in the medical profession did something similar there would be serious consequences. He said the officer who posted the photo had no concerns about publicly ridiculing a person with addiction issues."It makes me concerned about what happens when we're not looking," he said. "And that resonates with the stories that I hear from patients who have had encounters with police officers."Lawyer calls for formal investigationEdmonton criminal defence lawyer Tom Engel called the photo and behaviour of the officers "despicable.""They seem to try to use the cover that they are warning kids not to use drugs," said Engel, whose law firm specializes in police misconduct cases. He is also the chair of the policing committee of the Criminal Trial Lawyers' Association of Alberta. "But that is not really what is going on here.""They have sought to deliberately humiliate this person and to make a mockery of him.""This is just despicable behaviour by these two officers and it portrays a despicable attitude. It is something that the chief of police has to root out in the Edmonton Police Service."Engel said the officers in the photo, who have not been identified, would never dare post a photo of anyone "who they thought could stand up for themselves or have anybody who would stand up for them."Edmonton police conducting reviewThe photo has been deleted from Roblin's account, but a citizen captured it and complained to the service's professional standards branch on May 11.The citizen recently contacted Engel because they believed the EPS was not taking the complaint seriously.Engel said the fact that Roblin blacked out the person's face before posting it reduces the breach of his privacy, but it doesn't eliminate it because the man himself, and others, may still recognize who he is had they seen the posted photo.EPS spokesperson Patrycja Mokrzan confirmed that its professional standards branch had been "made aware of the post" on May 11.But Mokrzan did not refer to it as a complaint. Instead, she said "the concern has been assigned to the named officer's work area for review and determination of the appropriate outcome. This concern is still being reviewed and has not yet been concluded."Engel said EPS is attempting to avoid dealing with the matter as a formal complaint that would require the chief to direct a full disciplinary investigation. A formal investigation would also be subject to potential future review by the provincial Law Enforcement Review Board if the complainant did not agree with the chief's ruling on the matter.Engel said it is unacceptable to deal with this informally because Roblin has a disciplinary record. Officer has disciplinary recordA judge found Roblin guilty of assault causing bodily harm for a 2015 incident in which a fellow EPS member was punched at a wedding party and suffered a serious concussion.The judge granted Roblin a conditional discharge, but he later pleaded guilty to discreditable conduct at an internal disciplinary hearing on Jan. 31, 2017. Roblin is also one of several officers now being investigated by the professional standards branch for conducting a search without a warrant of the property of a well-known inner-city slum landlord and convicted drug dealer.In 2019, the Law Enforcement Review Board ordered the police to re-investigate after it found the original investigation was substandard.Engel said if Edmonton Police Chief Dale McFee doesn't deal with this as a formal complaint under the provincial Police Act, which would require a proper investigation and transparent reporting of its findings, then the provincial director of law enforcement "should step in and take over the investigation.""I don't know what kind of training or what kind of culture [these officers] come from within the police service," Engel said, "but I think the chief has to deal with this very harshly."If you have information about this story, or information for another story, please contact us in confidence at cbcinvestigates@cbc.ca@charlesrusnell

  • Exclusive: Russia to roll out its first approved COVID-19 drug next week
    Health
    Reuters

    Exclusive: Russia to roll out its first approved COVID-19 drug next week

    Russia will start giving its first drug approved to treat COVID-19 to patients next week, its state financial backer told Reuters, a move it hopes will ease strains on the health system and speed a return to normal economic life. Russian hospitals can begin giving the antiviral drug, which is registered under the name Avifavir, to patients from June 11, the head of Russia's RDIF sovereign wealth fund told Reuters in an interview. There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, and human trials of several existing antiviral drugs have yet to show efficacy.

  • Strange symptoms, flare-ups, weeks-long illnesses for some COVID-19 survivors
    Health
    CBC

    Strange symptoms, flare-ups, weeks-long illnesses for some COVID-19 survivors

    Chandra Pasma thought it was strange when she started feeling a burning sensation in her neck and ear canal.It was March 16, just days after COVID-19 had been declared a pandemic, and the 40-year-old Ottawa resident knew people were being infected across the country. But since her symptoms weren't among those listed for the virus, she didn't think much of it.Then every single member of Pasma's household started falling ill.First it was her husband, 44-year-old Matt Helleman, who suddenly felt exhausted. Just days later, the couple's three children — seven-year-old twins and a nine-year-old daughter — started experiencing fevers, sore throats, and fatigue. And around the same time, Pasma's own symptoms ramped up into chest pain and a cough."I thought, oh crap," she recalls. "This is COVID."Like many people with milder forms of the illness, the whole family hunkered down, hoping to get better over a couple weeks at home — not knowing it would mark the start of a months-long recovery, with none of the family members feeling back to normal even now, more than 10 weeks later.So far, at least 90,000 Canadians have been infected with COVID-19. In some cases, the illness leads to a stay in intensive care or even causes death, with roughly 7,000 people dying to date. But in most other instances, those suffering from less-severe forms do recover outside the health-care system. What's growing clear, both patients and clinicians agree, is that some of those people wind up facing a long, rocky road to recovery.'Constant cycle' of new symptomsA few months back, as the little-understood virus was first spreading around the world, health officials initially described it as a respiratory illness, even weaving that piece into its official name: SARS-CoV-2, referring to "severe acute respiratory syndrome."Since then, evidence and patient stories have emerged suggesting it actually impacts various parts of the body.One recent study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, for instance, determined that changes to someone's ability to taste and smell are likely a common feature of infection — a symptom first noticed anecdotally by doctors around the world.Similarly, early notions of a roughly two-week recovery period for mild cases — outlined in a February review of preliminary Chinese data from the World Health Organization — have been questioned by people who say their less-severe illnesses are still taking weeks, if not months, to fully clear up.Pasma first realized her family wasn't alone after joining a COVID-19 support group called Body Politic on Slack, an online communication platform. The group now includes more than 4,000 people. There, she met other global COVID-19 sufferers who were also documenting weeks-long illnesses with a strange mix of symptoms.In Pasma's home, multiple family members wound up having gastrointestinal issues, such as nausea and diarrhea, while she experienced inflammation in between her lungs and chest wall. Then, weeks later, a chicken pox-like rash broke out on her stomach and upper thigh.Business trips"It just went on like that: A constant cycle of new symptoms developing," Pasma said. "One symptom would get better, and I'd start to feel optimistic I was through it. Then something new would set in — something totally random and strange."She isn't sure where she caught the illness, but said it may have been during one of two business trips to Toronto for her job as a researcher at the Canadian Union of Public Employees in the weeks before her symptoms started.Like many Canadians early in the pandemic, she wasn't told to get tested by her family physician, who instead encouraged her to just stay at home. It's an experienced echoed by others, who've reported bouts of illness but no positive test result to record their experience as a confirmed case of COVID-19 — an issue more common when testing guidelines in many places like Ontario were initially tied to travel abroad, which now represents the transmission source for less than six per cent of all confirmed cases to date in the province.Test came back negativeSome now question how many cases are flying under the radar, amid additional concerns over false negatives from COVID-19 tests, which detect the active virus circulating in someone's body, and a lack of access to antibody testing to see if someone previously had the virus, which wasn't approved for use in Canada until May and isn't widely available.For Pasma, it wasn't until after her symptoms worsened, flaring up a previous bout of pneumonia, that she went to a local hospital and got tested.The test came back negative. Pasma believes that's because it came so late in her illness — not that she wasn't infected."There seems to be zero followup," she said. "I don't know if there would be more follow up if we were acknowledged cases."Pasma also worries both the media and medical community have painted COVID-19 as far too binary, either on or off."You get better in two weeks, or you die," she said. "There's no talk at all about what happens to the people who do not get better in two weeks."600+ people surveyed about symptomsHannah Wei, a Toronto-based design and qualitative researcher who helped launch the Slack channel where COVID-positive people are swapping recovery stories, said most people are lacking "clarity" about how COVID-19 plays out beyond the most critical cases.Like Pasma, Wei also believes she got the illness back in March, likely after travelling abroad to Taiwan. But she didn't get tested after she returned to Canada because she said hospital staff in Vancouver, where she was staying for a client meeting, told her they were short on nasal swabs.Wei said she was sent back to her Airbnb room with just a sheet of paper featuring COVID-19 information from the hospital's website. She wound up stuck there with no followup until she tested negative weeks later before finally flying back home to Toronto."There's no centralized way to track and monitor how we're all doing," she said.To give sufferers more insight into the spectrum of symptoms and recovery time frames, Wei's team surveyed around 640 people from both their online channel, which is primarily younger adult COVID-19 sufferers, and other social media platforms.Many respondents shared similar experiences of weeks-long recoveries, with some stretching beyond a month, and featuring a range of symptoms — including respiratory issues, gastrointestinal problems, and sometimes neurological symptoms like dizziness, trouble concentrating, insomnia, or just a general feeling of "brain fog."  "When we ran the survey, people were on, on average, their 40th day," Wei said. "A lot of these people, they're getting to the point where they're not quite recovering, but they're not severely sick in the bed either. They just can't get back to their normal life."Patients calling for more followupWei and Pasma both say the medical community needs to focus more on these under-the-radar patients.Ontario family physicians who spoke to CBC News say thanks to the rise of telemedicine, it's easier to keep in touch with COVID-19 patients who don't need hospital care. Still, treating them remains a challenge given the wide range of symptoms and length of illness.It's a mixed bag, according to Markham-based family physician Allan Grill."You can have patients with mild symptoms that recover in a few days, like less than a week," said Grill, who is chief of family medicine at Markham Stouffville Hospital and lead physician at the Markham family health team."You can have other people where the symptoms last two or three weeks."WATCH | Physical distancing advice for those who have recovered from COVID-19:Pasma said the digital divide between patients and care providers can leave people feeling isolated as they recover at home.As she and her family slowly get their lives back, she's hoping more physicians grow aware of the challenging recovery process many COVID-19 sufferers are experiencing — so they can give newly diagnosed patients a heads up on what to expect, and help them manage the possible weeks ahead."Just because you're well and don't die from pneumonia doesn't mean you won't spend three or four months of your life trying to recover from this virus," she said.

  • Heading to Toronto's Pearson airport? Here's what you need to know about new changes
    News
    CBC

    Heading to Toronto's Pearson airport? Here's what you need to know about new changes

    There's a new normal landing at Toronto's Pearson International Airport on Monday. As Ontario begins to slowly reopen, the airport has announced new and enhanced policies — affecting both passengers and employees — to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Here's what you need to know if you're planning on travelling through the airport in the near future. Masks now mandatory, terminal access restricted According to a release issued by the airport last week, the following policies are in effect as of June 1:  * All passengers and airport employees must wear masks in public spaces, except when eating or drinking.  * Terminal access is restricted to passengers who are travelling on the same day, as well as airport employees on duty. "Meeters and greeters," or those dropping friends and loved ones off at the airport, are not permitted to enter the terminals. * Passengers arriving at Pearson Airport are asked to exit the terminal buildings immediately upon collecting their luggage.  * Employees are not allowed to dwell or gather in passenger areas for non-work reasons.In additional to those changes, passengers are "as always" encouraged to follow in-terminal signage and maintain at least two metres distance from others whenever possible. There are some exceptions to the new rules; travellers under two years old or those who have trouble breathing are not required to wear masks.Additionally, friends or family members of someone who requires mobility assistance, or those accompanying a minor travelling alone, are allowed access into the public spaces of terminal buildings. "The less that people are in the terminal using shared facilities … it's going to help eliminate further spread of the virus," said Antonio Modarelli, of the Toronto Airport Workers Council (TAWC) — a group that is made up of six unions, representing some 50,000 workers at Pearson Airport. 18 positive cases reported at airport so far With hundreds of different employers under one roof, Modarelli says TAWC has created a voluntary reporting log to track new positive cases of COVID-19 — something most employers have already committed to doing. "If there's an active case within one group, we all share the same workspaces," he said. To date, Modarelli says a total of 18 cases have been confirmed. Over the next month, Modarelli says the airport will likely see an increase in passenger travel within the terminals and public corridors. In preparation of that slight surge, he said TAWC has been working with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority to enact Monday's new measures, "something that both parties felt was very important." Those changes also including the addition of plexiglass to act as barriers in some areas, as well as enhanced cleaning services. "I think most of our workers here at Pearson are satisfied with the latest changes," Modarelli said. Refunds must be guaranteed, advocate saysThough the rules vary across Canada, Ontario isn't banning travellers from other provinces or mandating that they self-isolate for 14 days. But Gabor Lukacs, the founder of Air Passenger Rights, says that won't matter unless Canadians — and the federal government — decide to reopen their wallets. "[If] people are concerned about losing their money, they will not travel," he told CBC Toronto. "As long passengers cannot be assured that they're going to get a refund if their flight is cancelled, people will not be travelling." And pressure is mounting on the federal government to do just that.The minister of transport's office has been hit with a growing number of complaints to make it mandatory for Canadian airlines to refund passengers for flights cancelled due to pandemic travel restrictions if those companies are receiving aid from taxpayers. The federal government is expected to deliver an update on airline refunds in the coming weeks. Tourism Toronto receives $8M Meanwhile, Ottawa has earmarked millions of dollars to promote holiday travel inside Canada as it seeks to help the tourism industry weather the COVID-19 pandemic.Of those funds, just under $8 million will be dedicated to boosting Tourism Toronto. The tourism sector across the country, which employs about one in 11 Canadians, has been hit hard by the pandemic as international travel bans and border restrictions have choked off the flow of visitors.Ontario is set to lose just over 50 per cent of its revenue this year, which sits at around $36 billion annually, according to the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO). Well over half of the province's businesses have temporarily closed — with many saying they won't reopen — and some 38 per cent of jobs have been lost. TIAO says Toronot's allocated funds will be dedicated toward marketing businesses that have partially reopened and promoting travel within Ontario's borders. "We're really pushing Ontarians to get out and explore this summer, to go parts of the province you haven't been to," Beth Potter, president and CEO of TIAO, told CBC Toronto Sunday.

  • B.C. teachers raise alarm about going back to classes after COVID-19 cases in Quebec schools
    News
    CBC

    B.C. teachers raise alarm about going back to classes after COVID-19 cases in Quebec schools

    As students from across British Columbia head back to class on a voluntary basis today, some teachers say their employer is giving them little choice but to return to work in what they call an unsafe environment. This comes after at least 41 staff and students in Quebec tested positive for COVID-19 in the first two weeks after elementary schools outside the Montreal area reopened."I find it really unfortunate and very offensive, actually, because I think parents have the right to know [that] we can't ensure that your kids are going to be socially distant all day in a classroom," said one teacher from the North Vancouver School District.CBC News has agreed not to name the teacher as she fears speaking out could cost her her job.She has mapped out her class with measuring tape and says there's not enough space for kids socially distance in it. Other than directional tape on the floor, she says, there's no other means to help kids keep a safe distance.Staggered schedulesThe North Vancouver School District told CBC News that while the directive to stay two metres apart should be followed, "it may not be feasible and is not expected at all times in the school setting."The district added that classroom composition has been arranged "in thoughtful ways" with staggered schedules to reduce density with more time outside.B.C.'s Ministry of Education said limits on the number of children "should help kids social distance." For kindergarten to Grade 5, up to 50 per cent of students are allowed in the school at once. In higher grades, the limit is just 20 per cent.The ministry added that some classrooms will need to be amalgamated to make up for some teachers not returning. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has dismissed concerns about schools reopening. "We know how to deal with this, we know that it is not easily spread, and we know we can prevent it by putting in place the measures that we have in our schools."  Teachers seeking accommodationsTeachers who do not feel safe returning say they feel there's little choice. The North Vancouver teacher says her employer is providing little accommodation even for those who are immune-compromised. That means instead of being able to work from home, teachers who feel unsafe to go back or who cannot access childcare, in some cases must go on unpaid leave or use sick days. Nicole Jarvis, a teacher at the École Salish Secondary School thinks reopening is a good idea but doesn't think everyone should be forced to return to the workplace."I am deeply hoping that colleagues who have requested work from home accommodations will be granted so," Jarvis said.It's something the B.C. Teachers Federation also has concerns about."It's been a bit of a struggle, because the reasons why people are seeking accommodations [are] different under a pandemic, including child care being closed because because of COVID-19," said Terri Mooring, president of the B.C. Teachers Federation.Mooring added that the problem of teachers being granted accommodation in a timely manner is that there is a much larger number of teachers seeking it in a very short time period. But she said that "it is incumbent upon the employer to provide accommodations to members with appropriate medical information from their doctor to the point of undue hardship." B.C. School Trustees Association president Stephanie Higginson says not every person who doesn't want to return to work will be accommodated."It's just not possible, nor would it be the responsible thing to do," said Higginson.She stresses that public health officials and scientists have deemed B.C. classes safe to return to. No budget increaseThe Ministry of Education said there will be no budget increases to support teachers or custodians for the June reopening, however according to Higginson and Mooring, districts are getting creative.According to Mooring, since the pandemic hit and schools closed, some now have a surplus after needing fewer supply teachers and fewer bus drivers, for example. She says some of that surplus can be used for additional custodians and cleaning supplies.Other districts have moved custodial schedules.  "We've switched the shifts so our night-time cleaning staff is doing the cleaning in the day and then we'll have more of a skeleton crew on at night," said Jarvis, who is also a union representative with local 36 of the BCTF.She also added that teachers can ask the custodians for cleaning supplies if they want to do extra cleaning in high-traffic areas. Teachers won't be provided with personal protective equipment, according to their employer, but they are able to bring their own, saying provincial health guidelines say that hand washing and surface cleaning are more effective at combating the virus.

  • SpaceX crew captures jaw-dropping view of space station during approach
    Science
    Rumble

    SpaceX crew captures jaw-dropping view of space station during approach

    The SpaceX Crew Dragon 'Endeavour' captured jaw-dropping views of the International Space Station during its approach on May 31st, ,2020. Credit to 'NASA/SpaceX'.

  • Man sentenced to 1 year for selling crack to undercover RCMP
    News
    CBC

    Man sentenced to 1 year for selling crack to undercover RCMP

    One of the minor players caught up in an RCMP drug investigation in Yellowknife has been sentenced to a year in jail.Brandon Topilikon, 28, was sentenced in territorial court on Friday. He had earlier pleaded guilty to trafficking cocaine and numerous breaches of his release conditions.Topilikon was among 15 people charged in a 2018 RCMP investigation called Project Gloomiest, though he was far from being a target of the investigation.The RCMP say the main target was Toufic Chamas. Late last year the Edmonton man was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail for cocaine trafficking and firearms charges. Others arrested in the same investigation have yet to go to trial.Bad choice of buyerAccording to a statement of agreed facts read out in court during his sentencing on Friday, in March of 2018 Topilokon initiated a cocaine transaction in front of Centre Square Mall. He approached a man and asked if he wanted to buy any "hard or soft," meaning crack cocaine or powdered cocaine.The man he approached was an undercover RCMP officer. The officer agreed to buy a gram of crack, which Topilikon sold to him for $60. Topilikon also told the officer he owed another $20 for a phone number the officer could use to buy additional cocaine.In the months since, Topilikon has been released and re-arrested for violating the terms of his release, only to be released again. In addition to the drug trafficking charge, he was being sentenced for failing to obey his release conditions six times.A background report prepared for the sentencing indicated Topilikon, who is Inuit, suffered many of the same disadvantages growing up that other Indigenous people have suffered. His father was never part of his life. From a young age, he was left to take care of his mother, who had from schizophrenia. He stayed with relatives who abused alcohol and lived in three foster homes.Just before being sentenced Topilikon said that drug and alcohol addictions were his "normal.""I hate it," he said. "I despise it every day."Topilikon dabbed away tears as his lawyer talked about the situation in which his incarceration has left his two children. He and his partner were also taking care of two of her younger siblings.Judge Garth Malakoe noted Topilikon was selling to support his own drug habit, and suffers from disadvantages from his childhood through no fault of his own."If the stars align and Mr. Topilikon can avoid the old normal, as he says, and replace it with a new normal that focuses on parenting and working and dealing with his mental health issues then I think he can lead a productive life that does not rely on criminal activity," said Malakoe during his sentencing.After serving his jail time, Topilikon will be on probation for two years.His legal troubles are not over yet. Topilikon is accused of an April 10 knifepoint robbery. He's accused of robbing a man of his backpack. He's scheduled to appear in court on that charge June 16.

  • Ontario man, 68, connects with Newfoundland family he never knew
    News
    CBC

    Ontario man, 68, connects with Newfoundland family he never knew

    The pandemic is keeping some families apart right now, but an Ontario man who was adopted has found new family he never knew before, and they're just as happy as he is to have finally connected.Rick Betts was born in 1952 to Hazel Pennell, a Newfoundland woman living in Ontario, who put him up for adoption.Over the years, Pennell had lost touch with her family in Lark Harbour. Until they heard from Betts this spring, they didn't know she had had a child.He and some newly-found first cousins have now spent hours talking on the phone and over video, and they've been learning more about each other."It was an emotional connection that we had. It just opened up the floodgates," said Betts."We knew nothing, and now we feel we know everything. So it's been fabulous."Looking for yearsBetts' story goes back to the early 1950s when he was placed in foster care after he was born. He remained there until he was adopted at eight months old.He said he had a great life as a child with his adoptive parents and his sister, who was also adopted. It never occurred to him until years later to even look for his biological parents."I had always known that I was adopted. It was never a family secret or anything like that," said Betts.But, after his adoptive parents both died young, in their 50s, and he and his wife, Sandee, had children of their own, Betts started to think about his family medical history and he began a search in the early 1990s.Betts was able to get some information from the Children's Aid Society in Toronto and from the adoption unit of the Ontario government, including his mother's name and birth date. He also knew that she was from somewhere in Newfoundland, but that she was no longer living there. Hazel Pennell's last known address was Florida, and the government was unable to locate her.> It's a whole new place to belong. \- Rick BettsBetts spent a lot of time doing internet searches for birth, marriage, and death notices to try to find some reference to his birth mother but — since there are a lot of Pennells in Newfoundland and he didn't know which community she was from — he was unsuccessful.The Ontario adoption unit was able to find Betts' biological father in 2001, and it obtained and passed on some information about the man's medical history, but the elderly gentleman did not wish to make a connection. Betts said he was understanding of that.Genetic testing makes the linkBetts' search for his biological mother did not progress further until DNA test kits became available a few years ago. Even then, there was no breakthrough until this spring, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and through the help of a total stranger who had also had DNA testing.Rosemarie Whalen of Clarenville, who is searching for her biological father, had her DNA come up as a match — possibly third cousins — with Rick Betts on the AncestryDNA database.Her husband, Jamie Whalen, contacted Rick Betts to find out where he fit into his wife's family tree, and Betts shared with him what he knew about his mother's identity.Through the course of his research on behalf of his wife, Whalen had poured over dozens of obituaries of possible family members, and he thought he remembered Hazel Pennell's name."It just happened to stick out. Every death notice that I used to read, every name would stick in my head, and I knew that, yeah, there is a death notice there somewhere that [included] a Hazel Pennell in it," said Whalen.Whalen found the funeral notice, for a Pennell from Lark Harbour who had a sister named Hazel, and he sent it to Rick Betts.Within days, in late April, Betts had connected with two newly discovered first cousins from Newfoundland. They are the children of his biological mother's brother, Freeman."This is like a huge tree that's got to get put together," said Betts."It's a whole new place to belong."New details about a long-lost relativeIt turns out Betts' relatives in Newfoundland are just as pleased as he is to finally get some answers about Hazel Pennell.Since the late 1980s, Betts' first cousin, Brenda Eldridge, had tried to locate her father's long-lost sister, who had left Newfoundland as a young woman, only returning once for a visit."My grandfather always kept an 8-by-10 photo of her in his living room. He always talked about her," recalled Eldridge.But Hazel Pennell didn't stay in contact, and the family didn't know that she'd had a baby, nor anything else about what happened to her, including whether she might possibly still be alive.Eldridge said connecting with the son of her Aunt Hazel has been emotional."It seemed like it was a dream come true," said Eldridge. "And, to find out that we had another cousin, we were ecstatic," she said.Eldridge said her 89-year-old father, Freeman, was surprised but also pleased to learn that his sister had a son, and they're in the process of arranging a video conversation between him and Betts. "My Dad is over the moon," said Eldridge. "I think he often wondered where Aunt Hazel was, and what happened to her. Knowing that we have a piece of her in Rick, he's pretty excited."Too late to meet his motherUnfortunately, there will be no reunion between Betts and his biological mother, as Hazel Pennell died more than four years ago in Florida.Through new information he was able to piece together in May, Betts has identified his mother's last place of residence and has found her funeral notice.Hazel Depaola was 93 when she died in October 2015. Her obituary does not mention her maiden name of Pennell, but it does state that her place of birth was Lark Harbour, Newfoundland. No children are listed in the funeral notice, so there are no brothers or sisters for Rick to meet.Betts was glad to learn that his birth mother had eventually married and appeared to have had a good life which included work in the hospitality industry, travelling, and a love for animals, all according to her funeral notice.And, even though he didn't get a chance to meet his biological mother, Betts feels the search was still worth the effort, and he's anxious to come to Newfoundland to meet his new cousins when pandemic restrictions permit him to do so.Eldridge is also eager to meet Betts. She said if it wasn't for COVID-19, she and her brother would have been on a plane to Ontario by now: "I'm excited to meet him in person. I feel like I already know him, and I'm just so happy that we've connected."Betts said he believes learning about his existence is helping his birth mother's Newfoundland family understand why she didn't stay in contact, as the early 1950s were a different era when having a child outside of marriage had a stigma and shame attached to it."It sounds like there was a lot of holes and information they just didn't know about," said Betts. "I'm glad that I was able to fill in some of those gaps for sure. And it's very exciting, meeting all these relatives."'It takes just one person'Even though it took Betts nearly three decades to find the missing link that led him to his birth mother's family, he encourages other people searching for their roots to not give up.For Jamie Whalen, who provided that missing link, and whose wife is still searching for her family roots, Betts' story gives him hope."I mean, after 30 years looking for your mom, it just takes one person, after 30 years, to help."Betts said his story proves that a long wait can eventually pay off.Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Changing of the guard at Bank of Canada adds to COVID-19 uncertainty: Don Pittis
    News
    CBC

    Changing of the guard at Bank of Canada adds to COVID-19 uncertainty: Don Pittis

    In a time of ultimate economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19 and the lockdown to fight it, this week's shuffle at the top of Canada's central bank will only add to the confusion.That's not to say that newly appointed Gov. Tiff Macklem, who takes over from Stephen Poloz on Wednesday, will do a bad job.But just as when Poloz replaced media darling Mark Carney, who set off to an even more glamorous and demanding job at the Bank of England only to be replaced by a relatively stodgy and unknown replacement, changes of leadership style at the top matter.As it turned out, Poloz — appointed by the Harper government seven years ago in place of heir apparent Macklem — turned out to be an excellent choice as he rode the shockwaves radiating from the 2008 financial crisis with avuncular aplomb.'Solid' is what you want in governor"Oh, I think he's done a good job," said Joe Martin, director of Canadian Business History at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, referring to Poloz. "I think he's been solid and that's what you want in a central banker."Of course in retrospect, there is always room for criticism, including the complaint that cutting rates to help the oil sector in 2015 gave the industry a false sense of security while further stoking consumer over-borrowing.But even Martin's qualifier "solid" reveals how much the measure of a bank governor, like others in leadership roles, is based on qualities that are hard to nail down. And as with Poloz, the judgment of Macklem's fitness will be how he responds to crises that are by definition unpredictable.Poloz faced surprises: the oil crash and U.S. President Donald Trump's unexpected disruption of trade. The fact that despite a long decline in unemployment, global inflation remained tepid even as markets soared. The ideas presented in an earlier analysis that Poloz would be a party-pooper, forced to raise interest rates after Carney's cuts, now looks very wrong indeed.If anything, the Bank of Canada under the incoming governor is facing even more uncertainty in an already uncertain time, not least because Macklem remains an unknown quantity, said Martin, who has watched the new appointee in his role as dean at Rotman."He was [at the Bank of Canada] during 2008, and he knows what a bad crisis looks like," said Martin. Macklem was senior deputy governor until May 2014.But Martin said in many ways, the incoming governor is untested. "I am not entirely comfortable he's the best manager in the world."Martin says one-on-one Macklem is more affable than Poloz, but it is hard to know how that will translate into running an organization as large as the Bank of Canada. The Rotman historian says other unknowns that could lead to conflict include Macklem's climate change-fighting stance, his uncertain ability to "read the room" and perhaps most significantly, his independence from Finance Minister Bill Morneau who appointed him.When the bank was founded by the Conservative government of R.B. Bennett in the 1930s, amid considerable rancour, it was a private institution divorced from government. Since then, it has grown closer, and in the current crisis, Martin says even closer co-operation between fiscal and monetary policy may not be a bad thing.'Massive challenge' aheadOf course, as the Canadian economy plunges into the unknown, there is enough that could go wrong to turn the job, seen only months ago as a career-clinching sinecure for the 59-year-old economist, into a poisoned chalice."Clearly, Macklem faces a pretty massive challenge," said Jacqueline Best, a University of Ottawa professor specializing in economic crises, who spoke just after wrestling with Zoom to teach a course called the Everyday Politics of the Global Economy. One of the things that impressed Best about Poloz was his ability to articulate how much the central bank does not know about the direction of the economy. That was especially clear in his recent speech where he reminded Canadians that the country could face either inflation or deflation and that deflation would have the most dangerous impact.Deflation the big scary thing"Generally, deflation is more of a problem than inflation so that's the big scary thing, getting into a deflationary spiral," said Best, who says one of the difficulties Macklem will face is that central banks can no longer depend on simple rules any more.Best says that since the days of former U.S. central banker Alan Greenspan and then Carney after him, the role of governor has turned into that of a public media figure representing the face of the bank and of Canadian policy abroad.As Poloz discovered, one of the many challenges of the job was rolling with the punches as Canada's powerful neighbour and its mercurial president changed policy in ways the Bank of Canada could not ignore.Some commentators have suggested that in a bid to win the November election, Trump may try to pull out all the stops and spend like a Democrat, igniting inflation after all.Whether Trump wins or loses, Macklem's term as governor will extend not just until the U.S. election but to the aftermath when perhaps he will have one of the most difficult tasks for a central banker: taking away the punch bowl when government, business and ordinary borrowers want the party to keep going.Follow Don on Twitter @don_pittis

  • How To Stay Cool Without Air Conditioning
    Lifestyle
    HuffPost Canada

    How To Stay Cool Without Air Conditioning

    We won't have offices or movie theatres or malls to escape to this summer.

  • Her parents live 80 metres away but she can't visit. Why? The Quebec border
    News
    CBC

    Her parents live 80 metres away but she can't visit. Why? The Quebec border

    Nadine Bolduc couldn't live much closer to her parents, but these days she feels very far away from them.Bolduc lives in the tiny community of Boundary, N.B., in Madawaska County. Her parents' house is about 80 metres away, across a small bridge spanning a narrow creek.That creek is also the New Brunswick-Quebec border, and that means Bolduc is not allowed to visit her parents unless she's prepared to self-isolate for 14 days after the two-minute walk back home."Since they're from New Brunswick, they can't see anyone they know, and they're alone," she said."We do all of our business in New Brunswick, and right now we can't make it," said Bolduc's father, Germain."We have to stay there and that's why it's a little bit harder. We can't go to New Brunswick. Everything is there and we can't go there."The New Brunswick government has closed its borders to non-essential visitors to limit the spread of COVID-19 and has set up screening checkpoints staffed by provincial enforcement officers.It's been disruptive in many ways, but it's particularly acute here, at the province's most remote border crossing with Quebec — a spot that, in normal times, may be the most integrated location along the boundary.The small cluster of houses and businesses, along with a few cottages on nearby Baker Lake, constitute a single community that happens to be in two provinces. "They're really divided our community here in half," said Nadine Bolduc.Pre-pandemic, Bolduc walked over to Chez Rita, a diner on the Quebec side next door to her parents' house, a couple of times a week. But it's closed now, because the owners live on the New Brunswick side and can't get there to open it.There are no more trips up the road to the dépanneur, or convenience store, for cheap beer.A 'weird' situationIt's a sudden hardening of a border, finalized by Great Britain in 1851, that had been an afterthought until COVID-19."Almost everybody that I know that lives on the Quebec side of Baker Lake is originally from New Brunswick," said Léo-Paul Charest, a former senior civil servant in the provincial civil service originally from Edmundston.When Charest retired from his government job, he decided to build his retirement home on the lake and found a nice spot."And then when finally we started looking at it seriously, hey, it was in Quebec."The border closure here covers two crossings a stone's throw from each other. On the main road, where New Brunswick Route 120 meets Quebec Highway 289 at a small bridge over the creek, New Brunswick officers are pulling over vehicles for screening at a checkpoint."It's kind of hectic," Bolduc said. "We have 24-hour surveillance from the New Brunswick side, and we have all the noises and the lights. It's kind of weird."She lives on Boundary Road, which forks off Route 120 and crosses the same creek about 200 metres from the main road. That bridge is closed completely by a large barrier. Bolduc has been running errands for her parents, who can't reach their usual grocery store, pharmacy and bank in communities like Clair and Edmundston on the New Brunswick side. She brings whatever they need to the barrier and leaves it there for them to pick up.That's also where her father Germain spoke to CBC News. He stayed on the Quebec side of the border while she remained on the New Brunswick side.Make an exception, resident urgesWhile Germain Bolduc said the situation is "not that bad," he said homes on his side of the line, which are remote and isolated from larger population centres in Quebec, should be treated as part of New Brunswick."If they could give us a pass so we can go there and come back — it would be just around here," he said. "We come from Quebec, but not the city, and not the city of Montreal."Charest agreed. "I don't think people really understand our situation," he said. "People that don't live near a boundary, they don't know."He said when people think of the province of Quebec, they think of the province's high number of COVID-19 cases, "but you know, that's Montreal.""Here, it's almost New Brunswick anyway. ...  The risk factor is less than having somebody from Fredericton go to Edmundston."Charest owns a rental property in Edmundston he's been unable to reach for maintenance. His wife can't visit her 92-year-older mother. He can't bring his car to a garage, just a few metres inside New Brunswick near Bolduc's house, to get his winter tires removed."What we're looking for is consideration. Just maybe, take our address. We live on the border. I'm 20 metres from the border. There should be something done for these people here."Seeking political helpCharest has contacted the MLA representing the New Brunswick side, Liberal Francine Landry, and Jean-Pierre Ouellet, mayor of the rural municipality of Haut-Madawaska.But there's little they can do."I agree that the border should be controlled, and I guess most of the population agrees with that," Ouellet said. "But when you apply the law, there's a matter of judgement and common sense."That's what I'm asking, for the people who are applying the rules and regulations to use some kind of common sense in their decisions to allow people to come in or go out." Premier Blaine Higgs has attributed New Brunswick's relative success controlling COVID-19, and the resulting reopening of parts of the economy, to strict border measures."We're able to allow the freedom inside the province because of the position we're in right now," he said last week. "Borders are our main line of defence here, and I know that for communities that live right on the border, it's a special challenge."'It's protection for us'Despite the inconveniences, Nadine Bolduc said she isn't actually opposed to the border restrictions. "We felt from the beginning like we were trapped [and] there were eyes on us 24 hours a day, and that's a downfall," she said. "But I'm not against it. I mean it's protection for us."Until recently, Quebec also had checkpoints here for traffic entering the province, but they were removed a couple of weeks ago.Now, "my parents are kind of nervous, anxious about it, because they feel like they're not protected," Bolduc said."So they're happy and I'm happy that on the New Brunswick side, [enforcement officers] are still here and will be here for the summer. So I'm really grateful for them to be here. We feel protected."From the other side of the barrier, her father Germain agreed."I think it's a good thing," he said, "but it's sometimes hard for us."

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    Deadly police raid fuels call to end 'no knock' warrants

    It’s the stuff of nightmares: Breonna Taylor and her boyfriend were in bed when a trio of armed men smashed through the front door. The three men turned out to be plainclothes police detectives, one of whom was wounded in the chaos and violence that March night. Taylor's death led to protests and a review of how Louisville police use "no knock" search warrants, which allow officers to enter a home without announcing their presence, often in drug cases to prevent suspects from getting rid of a stash.

  • Protest against anti-black racism, police impunity in Montreal turns violent
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Protest against anti-black racism, police impunity in Montreal turns violent

    MONTREAL — A Montreal anti-racism protest demanding justice for a black Minnesota man who died following a police intervention last week degenerated into clashes between police and some demonstrators on Sunday night.The march had snaked its way through downtown Montreal on Sunday afternoon without incident, but Montreal police declared the gathering illegal about three hours after it began when they say projectiles were thrown at officers who responded with pepper spray and tear gas.Tensions flared after the formal rally had concluded and some demonstrators made their way back to the starting point, in the shadow of Montreal police headquarters downtown.Windows were smashed, fires were set and the situation slid into a game of cat-and-mouse between pockets of protesters and police trying to disperse them.Demonstrators had gathered to denounce racist violence and police impunity — both in the U.S. and at home in Montreal.George Floyd died in Minneapolis on Monday after pleading for air while a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck.His death has sparked nightly protests in major U.S. cities.The Montreal rally was a solidarity gathering with American anti-racism activists, but organizers say it is also an opportunity to express their own anger at the treatment of racialized people in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada.Some of the names invoked included names of black men killed during Montreal police interventions in recent years."It's important for everyone to be here today so that we can have a lot of voices to say the George Floyd event is not a singular event," said Marie-Livia Beauge, one of the event organizers. "It keeps happening and it's happening here in Montreal so to be here together is to show solidarity and denounce the injustice."The gathering drew Montrealers of all stripes and backgrounds, holding posters with slogans. Protesters chanted "Black lives matter" and "I can't breathe" — what Floyd was caught on video saying.They took a knee in unison several times in solidarity with the movement.But when Montreal police called on protesters to disperse, some refused.Leah Blain, 20, chose to continue demonstrating and was part of a group trying to reach police headquarters when she was met with pepper spray. "We were just standing here, we were showing our support and this is what happens, the police support a system that's against us, so if you support them, you're against us," she said.On Sunday evening, Steve Haboucha was clearing broken glass from the frame around the front window of his Koodo Mobile store on Montreal's Ste Catherine Street. Security video from his store, he said, shows a stream of people entering the cell phone shop and leaving with accessories over a 30-minute period.About ten police officers were there, standing over broken glass, keeping guard outside. Haboucha said the police told him there were "hundreds" of stores that suffered the same fate along the route the protesters took.A few kilometres west on the same downtown street, the loud pops of cracking glass echoed through the neighbourhood, preceding a group of people who turned their destruction onto seemingly random targets.On one corner, a group used a metal construction sign and its steel stand to smash the front glass of a payday loan branch.All along Ste Catherine, people smashed windows and looted stores, while trying to evade police.Before chaos erupted, Vincent Mousseau, a social worker and community organizer, called out Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante, who earlier Sunday had condemned "violence, racism and systemic discrimination" in a series of tweets.Mousseau cautioned against empty words from leaders."In fighting this, we need to ensure our movements are not co-opted to stifle our anger with their kind word and simultaneous inaction," Mousseau said.Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers repeatedly told people to spread out, trying to find a spot where a two-metre distance could be maintained.Despite a majority of people wearing masks and organizers squirting hand sanitizer, the numbers attending made distancing impossible.The location adjacent to Montreal police headquarters was packed, with police closely guarding the building that houses their brass.Dr. Horacio Arruda, Quebec's director of public health, told Radio-Canada on Sunday evening that he recognized the importance of the cause but urged hand washing and for anyone exhibiting symptoms to let health authorities know they attended the protest.Around the start of the demonstration, Montreal police took the unusual step of issuing a tweet saying they were dismayed by the death of George Floyd."Both the action taken and the inaction of the witnesses present go against the values of our organization," the force tweeted calling on for a peaceful demonstration."We respect the rights and the need of everyone to speak out against this violence and will be by your side to ensure your safety," the police said.The Montreal rally followed one in Toronto on Saturday, which remained peaceful.So too did Sunday's rally in Vancouver, where thousands gathered outside the city's art gallery, waving signs and chanting their support of the Black Lives Matter movement and Floyd.Tristan Miura, who held up a skateboard painted with the words "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," said he hopes Vancouver will reflect on the protesters' message."Vancouver has always been quite liberal and very open about what they feel is wrong in the community," said Miura. "I think Vancouver, as a whole, is taking this time to reflect on past issues and preventing further issues from occurring."Others hoped it would spark a larger reaction in Canada."I hope this is just the start," said Chance Lovett. "I hope this is just the beginning of a larger conversation and a larger movement."Vancouver police said there have been no arrests during the event.This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 31, 2020.— with files by Nick Wells in Vancouver.Sidhartha Banerjee and Giuseppe Valiante, The Canadian Press

  • China says U.S. 'addicted to quitting' over plan to withdraw from WHO
    News
    Reuters

    China says U.S. 'addicted to quitting' over plan to withdraw from WHO

    China said on Monday the United States was "addicted to quitting" following a U.S. decision to leave the World Health Organization (WHO) and said the withdrawal reveals a pursuit of power politics and unilateralism. Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters during a daily briefing that the international community disagreed with what he described as the selfish behaviour of the United States. "The U.S. has become addicted to quitting groups and scrapping treaties," said Zhao.

  • Meet the 'forgotten Canadians' stranded in remote corners of the world demanding help to get home
    News
    CBC

    Meet the 'forgotten Canadians' stranded in remote corners of the world demanding help to get home

    An Alberta woman fears for her life in Peru as the death toll there rises and the health care system collapses around her. A 75-year-old pensioner from Nova Scotia is stranded alone on the top of a mountain in a tiny village in Central America, with no way out. A Montreal woman is living in a $7-a-day hotel room in the mountains of locked-down Nepal and has been told the local hospital ran out of necessities to help those with COVID-19. They are the outliers — the last 10 per cent of Canadians stranded abroad who want to come home during a deadly worldwide pandemic. But the Canadian government may not be able to repatriate them all because of the complexity of their cases."It's a possible death sentence for a lot of Canadian citizens and residents in Peru," Albertan Ana Nehring told CBC News from Lima. "We need to be rescued. We need to get out of here."Ottawa is down to its final push to retrieve Canadians stuck abroad. Over 40,681 have been repatriated from 107 countries on 378 flights since the COVID-19 pandemic began.But the federal government has said the last unresolved cases are often the toughest ones to address. In some countries, there aren't enough Canadians to justify sending an entire plane. In others, repatriation flights are being barred from entering. Canadian consular services officials, meanwhile, are working to help stranded citizens shelter where they are until borders reopen.But some of those stranded say they are in precarious situations and want Canada to find a way to get them home quickly."We are working to help as many Canadians as possible return home, but some may remain outside the country for an indeterminate period," Angela Savard, a spokesperson with Global Affairs, said in a statement to CBC News. Stuck in Peru: Ana Nehring, Lise Blais Nehring flew to Peru on March 3 to rush to her mother's side after she suffered a stroke. She's an only child and needed to find her mother a long-term care facility to live in. Two weeks later, Peru launched a lockdown that closed its borders to international travel. Nehring is still stuck in Lima.She said the country is struggling to control its outbreak — and all she wants to do is get home to St. Albert.According to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, Peru has more than 160,000 confirmed cases, the tenth-highest national caseload in the world — and has recorded more than 4,500 deaths.Nehring said the streets are filled with military and police. She said she's haunted by seeing a dead body on the ground on her way to the grocery store recently; she couldn't for sure whether it was a victim of COVID-19."We need more help," Nehring said. "I'm scared. We should not be here. The numbers are growing very rapidly ... There are a lot of people dying."She said she tried to land a spot on one of Canada's nine repatriation flights out, but all the seats were taken. Global Affairs told CBC News that it brought more than 2,650 citizens back to Canada on those planes. But it ended the efforts in mid-April because the Peruvian government stopped allowing repatriation flights into the country.Nehring said she wants the government to send a military aircraft to pick up Canadians who want to leave Peru — they number about 200, according to a Facebook group's tally.Lise Blais is also in Lima and worried about catching COVID-19 as the number of cases climb. She's trying to get home to her son and grandchildren in Montreal and said she's been stuck inside the same four walls since March 16."Life is very difficult," said Blais. "I'm really scared to death."It's so stressful. I'm losing my appetite. I don't sleep well. It's like a permanent nightmare. Living and waiting, it's really terrible. Enough to make stomach ulcers."WATCH | Lise Blais, stranded in Peru, says, 'The waiting is killing me'Stranded in Costa Rica: Maxine BruceMaxine Bruce is a 75-year-old Canadian snowbird stuck in Costa Rica. She's been hauling her groceries two kilometres up a mountain because she won't get in a taxi due to the pandemic. She's walking even further to try to scour the nearby village of Santa Maria de Dota for supplies and medications.Bruce said she's trying to get home to the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia to help her brother, who has early onset dementia. But for some reason, she said, Global Affairs Canada thinks she's in another Central American country — the government has been sending her a "wealth of information applicable to Panama."The Canadian government has been "useless," she said."We're the forgotten Canadians stranded in these places. Basically, they said it was my choice to travel so it's down to me to get myself out of this mess."Trying to get out of Ecuador: David RobinsonDavid Robinson has spent the past year living on the ocean in Manta, Ecuador, while he had a medical procedure done to his foot. Now he said he wants to "get the hell out of Dodge" but Canada's consular services told him by email on May 6 that the only way out would be on a U.S.-chartered flight.He said he's upset he was told to contact the U.S. embassy for help."It's maddening," he said. "It's literally disgusting. I've been paying taxes since I've been 15 and this is what they're doing to me now, saying, 'Whatever.'"The last of six flights contracted by the Canadian government left Ecuador on April 30. Global Affairs said that as of today, commercial fights are allowed to take off and land in that country — but there are no direct flights to Canada planned "for the foreseeable future.""Many indirect options will become available as airlines re-establish operations," said Savard. "For those seeking to return to Canada from Ecuador, we encourage those Canadians to contact a travel agent or research flights to Canada online."Hunkering down in Nepal: Catherine BretonCatherine Breton is stuck in a cheap hotel with a small group of German and British tourists who are also stranded. She's in Bandipur, a small village in the mountains in Nepal about an hour's walk from a main road and a 12-hour bus ride from the capital, Kathmandu.She said she was on a spiritual journey to study Buddhism when the pandemic hit. Breton said she couldn't afford $4,000 for a spot on an earlier repatriation flight, so she decided to wait for other options to emerge. She's still waiting."I'm getting scared," she said. "There's more and more cases."Nepal has more than 1,500 COVID-19 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.The Canadian government offers a $5,000 emergency loan to people stranded abroad for "life-sustaining needs." Breton said she's struggled to get out of debt before and had promised herself she'd never do it again, but realizes now she has no choice but to take the money.The local hospital told her it does not have ventilators and has run out of supplies needed to treat people with COVID-19. She said a Facebook group she's part of lists more than 70 Canadians in Nepal who want to travel home — but she's been told by consular support in India there aren't enough people for a repatriation flight."I just don't understand that," she said. "They have the possibility to do it. I don't know why they don't."

  • COVID-19 in Toronto 'could have been much worse,' city says, as number of deaths top 800
    News
    CBC

    COVID-19 in Toronto 'could have been much worse,' city says, as number of deaths top 800

    COVID-19 could have claimed more lives in Toronto if residents had not heeded public health directives, the city's medical officer of health said on Monday."While COVID-19 has drastically altered our lives and tragically we have lost too many of our friends, family members and other loved ones to this virus, as I have stated before, thus far we have averted what could have been much worse," Dr. Eileen de Villa said."If you hadn't done your part, we could have been experiencing tragedies similar to what we've seen in other parts of the world. But we are not out of the woods yet and we need to remain diligent and focused as we move forward."At a city hall news conference, De Villa reported that Toronto has 164 new COVID-19 cases as of Sunday afternoon, bringing the cumulative total in the city to 11,338.A total of 828 people have died of COVID-19 in Toronto and a total of 379 people are in hospital, the city reported on its website on Monday. Of the people in hospital, 83 are in intensive care units and 65 are on ventilators.A total of 8,630 people have recovered, an increase of 184 from Saturday. "There is more testing and we should expect to see more cases," de Villa told reporters.The city has had a cumulative total of 149 outbreaks at long-term care homes, retirement homes and hospitals.The Toronto Board of Health is set to meet next Monday and De Villa said she plans to recommend ways to improve the city's response to the pandemic at the meeting."A critical component of our work will continue to be case investigation and contact management and follow-up," she said."Although these are actually two distinct areas of public health activity and are often described in the popular media as contact tracing, these aspects of our public health response are amongst the most important when it comes to containing the spread of COVID-19."The board of health will also discuss Toronto's ongoing opioid poisoning crisis, which she said has been made worse by the pandemic. De Villa said the "dual public health crises" are having a significant impact on people who use drugs."Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures that were implemented to promote physical distancing, which was necessary to contain the spread of COVID-19, have forced harm reduction and other services that people rely upon to significantly reduce their service offerings or their service hours," she added.Washrooms opened at Trinity Bellwoods, Christie PitsThe new numbers come as city staff begin to reopen washrooms in public parks across Toronto while the pandemic continues.Mayor John Tory, who also spoke at the news conference, said city staff opened washrooms in Trinity Bellwoods Park and Christie Pits on the weekend.The city will open washrooms at another 50 sites by Saturday, with the remainder to be opened by the middle of the month. The city has about 200 washrooms in public parks.Toronto Public Health (TPH) is recommending all washrooms in parks should receive a "deep clean" once a week. TPH says water fountains and water bottle-filling stations should also open this week but should be cleaned and disinfected daily.Tory said the city is advising park visitors to wear face masks when using public washrooms and to wash their hands before and after using the public toilets. He said there will be signs in place to encourage physical distancing.Toronto to receive $166M from federal gas tax fundMeanwhile, Tory said the city will receive $166 million from the federal gas tax fund, according to the federal government. He said the money will be received in a lump sum by June 10."We had been planning to receive this funding before COVID-19 struck, so the fact that it is still coming and coming on an accelerated basis, is good news. This announcement is a good start, but it does not represent the comprehensive response needed for cities, including the City of Toronto, and it is not new money," Tory said.Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government is rushing $2.2 billion in expected infrastructure funding to Canada's cities.Trudeau said sending gas-tax funds months sooner than planned should ease municipalities' cash flow concerns, which is why the government is sending the money in one shot.Speaking outside his Ottawa residence, Trudeau said the money can be used for construction projects to meet local infrastructure needs and put people to work.Toronto alone says it's facing a $1.5-billion shortfall this fiscal year and will need to slash services unless the other levels of government step in and help.City, United Way to work on homelessness planMeanwhile, the city has formed a partnership with United Way Greater Toronto (UWGT) to develop what it calls a "COVID-19 shelter interim recovery strategy" that will help the city and its agencies deal with homelessness over the next six to 12 months.Tory said the city and the United Way have also formed a new task force of organizations involved in helping people experiencing homelessness.Until June 30, the task force will consult community providers, Indigenous communities, heath sector organizations, regional municipal governments and members of the public about what the city can do to slow the spread of COVID-19 in its shelter system.The city and United Way will host virtual meetings, conduct surveys, and organizations discussions with health, housing and shelter organizations. The task force will focus on, among other things: * Lessons learned from the city's pandemic response. * Continued infection prevention measures needed to protect vulnerable individuals experiencing homelessness. * Capacity of the city's shelter system and best practices for programs that provide services to homeless people.Enforcement team talked to 7,200 residents about closuresToronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg, head of the city's emergency management office, told reporters that the city received 94 complaints on Sunday about people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks and bylaw officers issued eight tickets.In May, the city's enforcement team have talked to more than 7,200 people in city parks about closures to slow the spread of COVID-19 and public health measures.Toronto Public Library opens more drop boxesOn Monday, Toronto Public Library reopened 53 more library branch drop boxes that will accept borrowed library materials. Residents will be able to schedule when they can pick up reserved materials starting next Monday.The library reinstated drop box service on May 25 at 17 library branches and have expanded it to 70 branches. Right now, drop boxes are only accepting borrowed library books, magazines, DVDs, CDs and audio books.While residents are encouraged to return borrowed items, the library says it is not mandatory. Residents can continue to hold on to materials until branches reopen and they will not be charged fines during the pandemic. Library customers can continue to place holds online through the library's website.Rainbow flag raised at city hall to kick off Pride Month Mayor John Tory, Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam, who represents Ward 13-Toronto Centre, and Jad Jaber, a member of Pride Toronto's board of directors, proclaimed June as Pride Month in Toronto and raised the rainbow and transgender flags at a ceremony at city hall.The ceremony kicks off Pride Toronto's 2020 Virtual Pride Festival."Toronto prides itself on being not only the most diverse city in the world, but a city that is embracing of everyone, no matter what their religion, their skin colour or their sexual orientation. Raising the flags today is important for that exact reason," Tory said.Tory said the festival, which runs from June 1 to 28, is a virtual celebration showcasing the history, courage and diversity of Toronto's lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, queer, questioning and Two-Spirit communities. The event will culminate with the Virtual Pride Festival Weekend from June 26 to 28.

  • Atlanta mayor: 2 officers fired in 'excessive force' arrests
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Atlanta mayor: 2 officers fired in 'excessive force' arrests

    ATLANTA — Two police officers have been fired and three others placed on desk duty over excessive use of force during a protest arrest incident involving two college students, Atlanta's mayor said Sunday.Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said at a news conference that she and police Chief Erika Shields made the decision after reviewing body-camera footage of a Saturday night incident that first gained attention from video online and on local news.“Use of excessive force is never acceptable," Bottoms told reporters. Shields called the footage “really shocking to watch.”Police on Sunday night identified the fired officers as Investigator Ivory Streeter, who was hired in December 2003, and Investigator Mark Gardner, who was hired in August 1997.Bottoms said the woman, Taniyah Pilgrim, was released without charges. She said the man, Messiah Young, was released, too, and she's ordering the charges against him dropped. She didn't specify what charges he faced. A police report says Young was charged with attempting to elude police and driving with a suspended license.Dramatic body camera video that police released Sunday night shows police taking another young man into custody in a downtown street alongside a line of stopped cars. The man is pleading with police to let him go, saying he didn't do anything.Young, sitting in the driver's seat of a car stopped in the street holds up his phone, appearing to shoot video as an officer approaches and pulls the driver's side door open. Young pulls the door shut and says repeatedly, “I'm not dying today." He urges the officers to release the other man and let him get in the car as the dark sedan advances a bit.The car gets stuck in traffic and officers run up to both sides of the car shouting orders. An officer uses a stun gun on Pilgrim as she's trying to get out of the car and then officers pull her from the vehicle.Another officer yells at Young to put the car in park and open the window. An officer repeatedly hits the driver's side window with a baton, and another officer finally manages to break it.As the glass shatters, an officer uses a stun gun on Young and officers pull him from the car as officers shout, “Get your hand out of your pockets,” and, “He got a gun. He got a gun. He got a gun.” Once he's out of the car and on the ground, officers zip tie Young's hands behind his back and lead him away.Police reports do not list a gun as having been recovered.The mayor said she had delayed the news conference several hours to review all the body-camera footage because she and Shields wanted to be certain about what happened.“I really wanted to believe that the body-worn camera footage would provide some larger view that could better rationalize why we got to this space,” Shields said. “And having spent most of the afternoon with the mayor, reviewing the footage exhaustively, I knew that I had only one option, and that is to terminate the employees.”Bottoms said she had spoken to leaders at Spelman College and Morehouse College, where she said the the young people were students. She said she'd also spoken to representatives for the students but hadn't yet spoken directly to them.Shields offered an apology and said she knows the officers' behaviour was unacceptable and caused further fear.“Sometimes the best thing, the only thing you can do as a police chief is come in and clean up the mess that’s before you,” Shields said.“When wrong is wrong, we have to, as law enforcement, start dealing with it in the same manner that we would deal with it with non-law enforcement," Shields said. "For some reason, we’ve fallen into a gray area where there’s a separate set of rules for law enforcement, and if we want to get out of this space that we’re in now we have to change how we manage internally.”Shields said she experienced a broad range of emotions as just a few hours before she saw the video, another of her officers was seriously injured. A preliminary investigation indicates the officer was in an intersection on foot to block traffic from passing into an area where there were protesters when a person on an ATV approached at a high rate of speed and hit him.Officer Maximilian Brewer suffered significant injuries to his legs and remained in the intensive care unit Sunday evening, Shields said, adding that she hopes he’ll be able to walk again. The ATV rider was taken into custody at the scene and to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.Police on Sunday night identified the driver of the ATV as 42-year-old Avery Goggans. He has been charged with DUI, serious injury by vehicle, reckless driving, possession of marijuana and several other traffic charges, police Sgt. John Chafee said in an email.Bottoms imposed a 9 p.m. curfew for Saturday and Sunday. Gov. Brian Kemp authorized up to 3,000 National Guard troops to be deployed in cities across the state to respond if needed to protests over the deaths of George Floyd in Minnesota and Ahmaud Arbery in coastal Georgia.Atlanta police said Sunday they had arrested more than 150 people as protesters threw rocks at officers and broke windows in the downtown area. The curfew was initially imposed after demonstrations Friday night turned violent with people setting fires and smashing windows at businesses and restaurants.Kate Brumback, The Associated Press

  • Israeli defence chief says he's preparing for consequences of West Bank annexations
    News
    Reuters

    Israeli defence chief says he's preparing for consequences of West Bank annexations

    Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said on Monday he ordered the military to step up preparations for Israel's pending annexation of parts of the West Bank, a plan that could stoke Palestinian violence. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to begin cabinet discussions on July 1 on extending Israeli sovereignty to Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, occupied territory that Palestinians seek for a state. Gantz's directive appeared to indicate that the centrist politician had either signed on to the move, or at least believed it would be inevitable, given right-wing support in the Netanyahu-led coalition cabinet.

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    A look at the antifa movement Trump is blaming for violence

    President Donald Trump has blamed antifa activists for violence at protests over police killings of black people, but antifa isn’t an organization and targeting it isn’t simple. WHAT IS ANTIFA? Short for “anti-fascists,” antifa is not a single organization but rather an umbrella term for far-left-leaning militant groups that confront or resist neo-Nazis and white supremacists at demonstrations.

  • Beijing could bar exit of dual Canadians from Hong Kong amid protests: lawyer
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Beijing could bar exit of dual Canadians from Hong Kong amid protests: lawyer

    OTTAWA — A Canadian legal activist is warning the federal government to grant asylum to democracy activists in Hong Kong and expanded settlement to those with links to Canada before China prevents them from leaving.The warning came Monday from Avvy Go, the director of the Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, which has already helped bring Hong Kong pro-democracy activists to Canada.There are 300,000 Canadians of Hong Kong descent in China, and Go says if Ottawa doesn't act now to accommodate those who want to leave, Beijing will prevent them from leaving in the future."The time to act is now. As China continues to crack down on the democracy movement in Hong Kong, it may soon find ways to prohibit Hong Kong activists from leaving that city, period," Go said Monday at a joint video press conference hosted by Amnesty International."Even with those who are Canadian citizens, China may refuse to recognize their dual citizenship status and deny their exit from Hong Kong."MPs from the four major Canadian political parties and one independent senator stood in solidarity with the proposals Go put forward at a virtual press conference convened by Amnesty International.Canada, along with the United States, Britain and Australia, have condemned Beijing's imposition of a new national security law that they say violates Hong Kong's freedom from Chinese communist interference."This is the Beijing government's most breathtaking, threatening and callous attack yet ... discarding any pretence of fulfilling China's international promises made when Hong Kong was handed over in 1997," said Alex Neve, the secretary general of Amnesty's Canadian branch.Go called on the federal government to implement several immigration and asylum measures, to help people get out of Hong Kong before it is too late. They are:—Expediting family sponsorship applications by Canadians with spouses and parents in Hong Kong.—Expanding family-reunification sponsorship programs beyond parents and spouses.—Issuing more temporary-resident permits, work visas and student visas.—Granting refugee status to democracy advocates, and offering them stepped-up resettlement options.Last year, Hong Kong residents took to the streets in mass protests against a proposed extradition law from Beijing that was eventually abandoned.During that unrest, Go's clinic received requests from Canadians of Hong Kong descent whose relatives participated in pro-democracy protests, she said.Since Beijing announced the new security law, the clinic is getting calls from Canadians who are worried about their families even though they may not have been involved with the democracy movement, said Go."These are our people. And as parliamentarians dedicated to promoting and protecting democracy, we cannot stand by silently. I endorse all of the actions," said Independent Sen. Marilou McPhedran.McPhedran said she has travelled across Africa and seen the effect of China's massive development spending, an influence-buying effort that many analysts say is a power play by Beijing's ruling communist party."The weaponization of economic support is something that we need to understand better as we look at what is happening in Hong Kong," said McPhedran."The violation of the Hong Kong Basic Law, which is the essence of what China is saying it is going to do, is in fact a precursor to threats to democracies in many other countries as well."Conservative MP Kenny Chiu, who was born in Hong Kong, said the people of his homeland respect human rights and the rule of law, and they are prepared to commemorate Thursday's anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre that saw the Chinese army kill scores of pro-democracy student protesters in 1989."We're witnessing in Hong Kong basic dictatorship in disguise, exerting its power out of fear for these values," said Chiu.This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2020.Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press

  • Listen to the sound this cat makes every time it gets pet
    Entertainment
    Rumble

    Listen to the sound this cat makes every time it gets pet

    SO awww-dorable! Does your cat do the "activation" sound when you pet her/him?