Halifax recorded 45 cm of snow overnight.
Halifax recorded 45 cm of snow overnight.
China's medical products regulator said on Thursday that it had approved two more COVID-19 vaccines for public use, raising the number of domestically produced vaccines that can be used in China to four. The two newly cleared vaccines are made by CanSino Biologics Inc (CanSinoBIO) and Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, an affiliate of China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm). They join a vaccine from Sinovac Biotech approved earlier this month, and another from Sinopharm's Beijing unit approved last year.
Le CLD de Brome-Missisquoi invite les très petites, petites et moyennes entreprises qui ont un manque de liquidité à le contacter pour déterminer si elles sont admissibles à un programme d’aide d’urgence (PAUPME), dont une partie peut se transformer en subvention. « Le salon de coiffure, la petite boutique du coin et même la cantine, ils peuvent passer par le prêt pour avoir un pardon de prêt qui va jusqu’à 80 % du prêt initial. On ne demande pas la rentabilité de l’entreprise, on vise la viabilité, indique Isabelle Dumont, conseillère en développement d’entreprises au CLD. Il faut que leurs problèmes découlent de la pandémie et non d’avant la pandémie. » Le prêt permet d’éponger un manque de liquidité résultant de la pandémie. Il est accessible à toutes les PME, même si elles n’ont pas été obligées de fermer leurs portes depuis le début de la deuxième vague de COVID-19. Le pardon de prêt, soit le AERAM, qui permet aux entrepreneurs d’être libérés d’une partie de cette dette, s’applique aux frais fixes des PME qui ont été fermées par décret gouvernemental. Gym, restaurant, services non essentiels ne sont que quelques exemples des entreprises admissibles. Selon Mme Dumont, ce ne sont pas toutes les PME qui sont au courant de l’existence de ces programmes. Le CLD joue le rôle de facilitateur dans la demande. La conseillère prend le temps de bien vulgariser le programme et le CLD a même élaboré un formulaire simple pour déterminer l’admissibilité. Une pression de moins La Galerie Artêria, à Bromont, a eu droit à un prêt ainsi qu’à un pardon de prêt puisqu’elle a dû fermer à partir des Fêtes. La propriétaire Geneviève Lévesque a eu une « petite panique » quand le gouvernement a annoncé que les commerces non essentiels allaient devoir fermer à partir du 24 décembre. Elle avait déjà vécu une première fermeture de trois mois au printemps. De plus, ses employés ne peuvent plus voyager à travers le monde pour vendre des tableaux d’artistes québécois. Le chiffre d’affaires de la petite entreprise bromontoise a donc fondu depuis maintenant un an. Le programme d’aide a permis la survie de la galerie d’art. « Ça enlève une pression, ça nous donne de meilleures nuits, confie Mme Lévesque. On pense qu’on va passer à travers, mais on ne sait pas combien de temps il faut survivre, donc tous les petits coups de pouce font la différence. De sentir qu’on n’est pas laissé à nous-même, de sentir que les gens croient en notre projet, ça fait du bien. » L’exportation d’œuvres d’art se poursuit, mais repose sur la réputation que la galerie auprès de clients réguliers qui leur font confiance. Processus simplifié par le CLD La coiffeuse Nathalie Dépeault, de Coiffure Ovima à Farnham, peut mieux respirer grâce au programme d’aide d’urgence pour les PME et au pardon de prêt. Elle a trouvé le processus simple et efficace avec le CLD. « Quand on a fermé le 24 décembre, on devait fermer jusqu’au 8 janvier seulement. J’avais assez d’argent d’accumulé pour le loyer, mais la fermeture s’est prolongée. Je ne me qualifiais pas pour de l’aide au loyer au fédéral et quand je regardais les critères des autres programmes, je ne fittais dans rien. Ça commençait à m’apeurer parce que je voyais les prochains mois s’en venir vite. » En deux semaines, le processus pour accéder au PAUPME était complété et Mme Dépeault obtenait de l’aide financière. « Ça réduit beaucoup d’anxiété de savoir qu’on peut compter sur de l’aide. Je me suis sentie bien accompagnée. Je me sentais moins seule. » Quelques éléments du programme de pardon de prêt ont été modifiés. Les mois de novembre et de décembre ne sont plus admissibles pour les nouveaux demandeurs. Par contre, si l’entreprise a dû fermer plus de 90 jours, elle aura droit à un ou deux mois supplémentaires de pardon de prêt, indique Isabelle Dumont. Elle invite les entrepreneurs et travailleurs autonomes à la joindre au 450 266-4928, poste 301, ou par courriel au firstname.lastname@example.org pour obtenir des informations et vérifier leur admissibilité. Au cours des derniers mois, le CLD de Brome-Missisquoi a reçu 375 demandes d’information et 120 demandes d’aide financière. Les membres de son équipe de conseillers ont ouvert 95 dossiers et approuvé 85 demandes de prêt. Dix dossiers sont toujours à l’étude. L’organisme s’est déjà vu attribuer une demi-douzaine de subventions gouvernementales, dans le cadre du Fonds local d’investissement (FLI) d’urgence, pour soutenir la communauté d’affaires locale. Une bonne partie de cette somme, soit environ 2,65 M$, a déjà été redistribuée à quelque 77 entreprises sous forme de prêts d’une valeur moyenne de 34 400 $. « Nous disposons présentement d’une réserve de 869 000 $ pour répondre aux nouvelles demandes d’aide financière », souligne Mme Dumont. Cynthia Laflamme, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix de l'Est
Just over two weeks after his poisoning with a military-grade nerve agent in Siberia, Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny began to respond to the words of his wife Yulia and wake from a drug-induced coma. In the months that followed, Navalny withdrew to a remote corner of the Black Forest. Reuters spoke to more than a dozen people who visited Navalny or communicated with him during his almost five months in Germany.
ROME — Italy paid tribute Thursday to its ambassador to Congo and his bodyguard who were killed in an attack on a U.N. convoy, honouring them with a state funeral and prayers for peace in Congo and all nations “torn by war and violence.” Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, the pope’s vicar for Rome, presided over the solemn funeral at the Santa Maria degli Angeli basilica that was attended by Premier Mario Draghi, top lawmakers, representatives of the armed forces and relatives of the young men. Ambassador Luca Attanasio and Carabiniere paramilitary officer Vittorio Iacovacci were killed Monday north of Goma when an armed group stopped them as they travelled in a two-car convoy to a World Food Program school feeding project. WFP's Congolese driver, Moustapha Milambo, was also killed in the attack. Italy has formally asked the U.N. for an inquiry into what happened amid questions about whether the U.N. security arrangements were sufficient for the mission. In his eulogy, De Donatis decried the “stupid and ferocious” attack and said it was right that Italy, Congo and the community of nations weep over such violence that “tore Luca and Vittorio from this world." “Let us pray together that today is a day in which the prayer for peace in Congo and in all nations torn by various forms of war and violence is raised to heaven," he said. He denounced how so many Congolese feel the constant threat of danger from rebel groups “knocking at their door,” saying the country had been “cruelly devastated by violence that sees their children die every day.” But he praised the men for working for peace and looking out for others “even at the cost of their own lives.” “If this the fate of peace workers, what will be the fate of the rest of us?” he asked. The funeral, carried live on state RAI television, featured masked Carabinieri officers as pallbearers and altar servers, with a military band performing Chopin’s haunting “Funeral March” as the flag-draped coffins were carried in and out of the basilica. After the service, the socially-distanced crowd applauded as the two hearses pulled out of the piazza carrying the coffins for burial, flanked by a police escort. Attanasio is survived by his wife and three young daughters, at least one of whom attended the funeral, as well as his parents and siblings. Iacovacci is survived by his fiancee and other family members. Nicole Winfield, The Associated Press
Starboard, which owns a 7.7% stake in ACI, had urged the company to hire advisers and consider a sale in December, two months after calling it an "attractive" takeover candidate. M&A activity in the payments sector has accelerated over the last few years as companies need scale against the backdrop of increasing complexity and technology requirements for e-commerce.
(Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit) Growing up in Tsawwassen, B.C., Ashley Bell and Brock Ranata had both heard of Southlands — a 530 acre development with homes, farmland and open fields near Boundary Bay Regional Park — but never seriously considered living there. That is, until a global pandemic dramatically changed their day-to-day lives. "We were living in our one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver and working literally a foot beside each other for eight hours a day," said Bell, 36. "Not going to confirm or deny that that maybe had something to do with us getting more space." The couple says before COVID-19, they were looking to buy a condo in downtown Vancouver. Working from home, however, inspired them to expand their search criteria. In November, they said goodbye to their rental in the city's Fairview neighbourhood and purchased a townhouse in the Southlands development with help from their parents. "COVID made things in our lifestyle a lot better to then put us in this position to be out here and make it work," said Hill, who acknowledges that not everybody has been so fortunate in the past year. "It was a catalyst for completely changing our lifestyle." And it seems they are not the only ones. Though the pandemic initially caused home sales to slump, economists and real estate insiders say 2021's numbers have already surpassed expectations, as many British Columbians look to capitalize on low mortgage rates and increased savings in order to purchase property — in some cases for the very first time. The spike appears to reflect a national rebound, thought by the Bank of Canada to show "early signs" of an overheated housing market. Still, for many the purchase appears to be a bet on the province's post-pandemic future, with some wagering that work from home protocols will remain in place. "Some people believe that we [will] work at home forever. But it may not be the case." said Brian Yu, Central 1 Credit Union deputy chief economist. "I think that some businesses will want their staff back in the office once the pandemic ends," Yu said. Millennials buying or looking to buy: survey In particular, data suggests millennials are among those driving sales. In a survey of 2000 Canadians aged 25 - 35 conducted between December 29 and January 8, Royal LePage found 240 had purchased a home during the pandemic. The survey showed another 600 planned on buying a home within 2 years. The data does not include a breakdown of how many people were interviewed in each region. However, 65% of those surveyed in British Columbia said they intend to buy within the next five years. "This is a local market, this is a domestic, principal-residence driven market," said Adil Dinani, sales representative at Royal LePage West Real Estate Services in Greater Vancouver. "People are buying to live, not buying to profit, or not buying to speculate." But while more than half of B.C. respondents to the survey said they would choose to live in a city, even more (63%) said they felt it was important that their employer allow them to work remotely. The company also found that, despite surging job loses, B.C. respondents had a relatively rosy outlook on their finances with more than 70% saying they were confident in their short and long term personal financial outlooks. Bank of Canada watching home sales 'carefully' Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem, however, is approaching the situation more cautiously, saying the central bank is seeing early signs that people may be purchasing homes solely on the assumption that prices may go up. "In that low-for-long world, there are risks that housing could get carried away, so that is something we will be looking at very carefully," said Macklem, speaking with the combined Calgary and Edmonton chambers of commerce. Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem says the central bank is seeing early signs that Canadians are purchasing homes on the belief that prices will rise indefinitely. "It's definitely nicer to see mortgage rates at what we got it at," said Ranata. "They're almost giving you the money," he said.
Deutsche Telekom's Slovak Telekom business cannot avoid sanctions imposed by Slovak antitrust authorities even though it has already been penalised by EU competition enforcers, the EU's top court ruled on Thursday. The case came before the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union after Slovak Telekom questioned the legality of the Slovak watchdog's 17.45-million-euro ($21 million) fine levied in 2009 as a result of the company using below-cost prices to squeeze out competitors. The European Commission in 2014 fined the company for squeezing competitors by charging unfair wholesale prices in Slovakia, which followed an investigation that began in 2009.
COVID-19 is here to stay, France and Germany said on Thursday, after European Union leaders discussed ways to fight new variants of the virus, step up inoculations and save Europe's tourism industry from another ruinous summer. Leaders of the 27 EU member nations agreed in a video conference to keep "tight restrictions" on public life and free movement as the bloc races against the emergence of new variants that are holding back an economic rebound. "We have to prepare for a situation where we have to continuously vaccinate for a longer period of time, maybe over years, due to new coronavirus variants, akin to the situation we know from the flu," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
SARAJEVO, Bosnia — A Bosnian court sentenced on Thursday a Bosnian Muslim man to six years in prison on charges that he fought for the Islamic State group in Syria. Jasmin Keserovic, who has spent nearly seven years in Syria, was also charged with inciting others to take part in terrorist activities. Judges said that by publicly calling on Muslims to kill Christian soldiers and civilians alike, the defendant “demonstrated specific ruthlessness.” Hudges rejected defence claims that Keserovic was in Syria for charity work to help the local population amid the war. He was part of a group of seven Bosnian men flown back to Bosnia from Syria on a U.S. Air Force flight in December 2019 along with 18 women and children. In 2014, Bosnia became the first country in Europe to introduce prison terms for its citizens who fought abroad. Fighters who have since returned to the country were tried and, in most cases, sentenced to prison. The Associated Press
BERLIN — A German man has been charged with espionage for allegedly passing information on properties used by the German parliament to Russian military intelligence, prosecutors said Thursday. The suspect, identified only as Jens F. in line with German privacy rules, worked for a company that had been repeatedly contracted to check portable electrical appliances by the Bundestag, or the lower house of parliament, federal prosecutors said in a statement. As a result of that, he had access to PDF files with floor plans of the properties involved. The Bundestag is based in the Reichstag building, a Berlin landmark, but also uses several other sites. Prosecutors said, at some point before early September 2017, the suspect “decided of his own accord” to give information on the properties to Russian intelligence. They said he sent the PDF files to an employee of the Russian Embassy in Berlin who was an officer with Russia's GRU military intelligence agency. They didn't specify how his activities came to light. The charges against the suspect, who is not in custody, were filed at a Berlin court on Feb. 12. The court will have to decide whether to go ahead with a trial. Relations between Germany and Russia have been buffeted by a growing list of issues in recent years. In October, the European Union imposed sanctions on two Russian officials and part of the GRU agency over a cyberattack against the German parliament in 2015. In addition, a Russian man accused of killing a Georgian man in broad daylight in downtown Berlin on Moscow’s orders in 2019 is on trial in Berlin. And last year's poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was flown to Germany for treatment and then arrested immediately after he returned to Russia, has added another layer of tensions. The Associated Press
(Natalia Goodwin/CBC - image credit) Thursday evening public health officials announced a cluster of three new cases of COVID-19, and asked all residents of Summerside to be on the lookout for symptoms. Also Thursday, Dr. Heather Morrison said enforcement is now involved with two new cases announced Wednesday and a link to one public exposure site, the Toys R Us in Charlottetown. Some changes the pandemic has made to the economy are permanent, says Premier Dennis King, and the province will support businesses through those changes. The University of Prince Edward Island announced it is planning a return to a "more normal" academic experience in the fall of 2021, and Thursday COVID-weary students expressed relief. The Chief Public Health Office says a public exposure at Toys R Us in Charlottetown Tuesday morning is now being investigated by enforcement. A report from the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council shows potential vulnerabilities for P.E.I.'s economic recovery. It will likely be another six to eight weeks before the Atlantic bubble reopens, Dr. Heather Morrison said in her regular weekly COVID-19 briefing Tuesday. Prince Edward Island now has six active cases of COVID-19, and has diagnosed a total of 120 cases since the pandemic hit P.E.I. almost a year ago. There have been no deaths or hospitalizations. On Thursday, Newfoundland and Labrador reported 10 new cases of COVID-19. The province now has 335 active cases. Nova Scotia reported eight new cases, with the total of active cases at 27. New Brunswick reported one new case with 49 active cases. Also in the news Further resources Reminder about symptoms The symptoms of COVID-19 can include: Fever. Cough or worsening of a previous cough. Possible loss of taste and/or smell. Sore throat. New or worsening fatigue. Headache. Shortness of breath. Runny nose. More from CBC P.E.I.
The work depicts a rarely seen view of Paris in the nineteenth century. 'Scène de rue à Montmartre' shows how the busy suburb used to be a rural, tranquil place.View on euronews
Chinese retailer Suning.com said on Thursday shareholders plan to sell 20% to 25% of the company to unnamed buyers which might lead to a change in control as its parent seeks to raise cash. The company said it was notified of the stake sale by its founder Zhang Jindong and its parent Suning Appliance Group, who respectively hold a 20.96% and 19.88% stake in the firm. Suning.com's other shareholders include e-commerce giant Alibaba Group which bought a 19.99% stake as part of a strategic partnership in 2015.
Many people in Gander want to see its air connectivity to the rest of the country restored. Since the start of the pandemic, airlines have pulled several flights from the Gander International Airport, further isolating the central Newfoundland region through a lack of air support. On Jan. 23, Air Canada dropped the last of its flights out of Gander. That followed a pair of similar announcements earlier in the summer. That lack of connection has had a ripple effect on businesses and people around the region. “What we’re hearing from our members is that there is a direct impact that goes beyond the obvious,” said Hannah DeYoung, the Gander and Area Chamber of Commerce’s first vice-chairperson. With that in mind, the chamber recently created a petition to be sent to the House of Commons in Ottawa with the airport as its focus. The group hopes to draw even more attention to the plight of airlines in the country, with particular focus on what a lack of flights to and from central Newfoundland means for the region. The chamber is calling for the federal government to provide financial assistance to airlines in Canada, which is dependent on helping to re-establish national air service to airports like the Gander International Airport. It also calls for an effort to ensure Gander is re-connected to the mainland, thus lessening the economic impact on the area. Slowly, the petition has been garnering support online. Since it was launched on Feb. 1, it was been signed by 973 people and businesses from around the country. “What we’re hearing from our members is how it affects the supply chain,” said DeYoung. “From getting supplies to small businesses to getting inventory and getting workers in and out. That’s the immediate impact.” The ramifications of the cancellation of flights from the airport have been top of mind of many in the town recently. The Town of Gander has been proactive from the start in its advocacy for the airport. Recently, the town asked people to submit testimonials of how they’re connected to the airport and what the loss of those flights meant for them. Chris Fraser has first-hand knowledge that the ramifications of the airport’s decline reach into many different areas. As the owner and pharmacist of Gander Pharmachoice, he relies on the airport for integral parts of his business. While a lot of his major volume of medication comes from a local supplier in St. John’s, some supplies need to come from a supplier on the mainland. “Now, it’s basically got to be flown in somewhere or trucked in from somewhere else,” said Fraser. It has led to a steady increase in wait times for the pharmacy when it comes to flying in supplies, going from next-day service to a two-day wait and now up to four days. That means it is almost a week to wait for supplies like dressings or gauze. “It does impact on our store. I can’t speak for others … but in the meantime, anyone who needs something quick, can’t get it flown in,” said Fraser. There has also been talk of forming a regional committee to address their concerns and raise awareness of how much the area depends on the airport. The hope is the petition will help magnify that effort and the voices of those directly affected by the cancellations. “There is very much a fear that when we think about recovery and resiliency through COVID-19 and past the pandemic, there is no guarantee these flights are going to come back and that they’re going to come back at the right time,” said DeYoung. “We’re advocating for right now, but also for the recovery piece. “That there is a plan here to make sure that when it is possible to travel and when it is possible to get somewhat back to normal, that there is access for our area.” Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice
(Paul Palmeter/CBC - image credit) Halifax police are searching for two men in connection with a home invasion, shooting and abduction in Bedford late Wednesday night. Police say they received a call at 11:30 p.m. AT that a man had been shot in an apartment in the 1-100 block of Glen Moir Terrace. When officers arrived, the victim wasn't there, but someone told them he had been abducted by the suspects in the victim's own vehicle. Halifax Regional Police spokesperson Const. John MacLeod said officers later located the victim, a 42-year-old man, not far away. He was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police say the men who shot and abducted the victim were wearing dark clothing and masks. The victim's vehicle, a 2014 Dodge Caravan cargo van, has not been found. Police say the rear windows of the van have been covered with white window tinting, and the driver's side window has a no-smoking decal on it. Police say they do not believe the incident is a random act. MORE TOP STORIES
TORONTO — The magazine long known as the Ryerson Review of Journalism is temporarily removing "Ryerson" from its name. The biannual magazine published by the Ryerson School of Journalism will place brackets in front of its name, going by the ( ) Review of Journalism, the Review, or the ( ) RJ until the end of the winter semester.The move comes after the school of journalism announced in December it would review the names of its two student publications -- the Review and the Ryersonian -- given their namesake's legacy. Egerton Ryerson was an architect of Canada's residential school system, which sought to convert and assimilate Indigenous children into Canadian culture and saw them suffer widespread physical and sexual abuse.Ryerson University is also examining its relationship with its namesake, with the school's head creating a task force that will "recommend actions to reconcile the legacy of Egerton Ryerson."The 15 final-year undergraduate and graduate students currently running the Review say that while they don't have the power to permanently change the magazine's name, they want this year's publication to reflect the processes that are currently underway. "The Review's mission is to probe the quality of journalism in Canada. One of the central tenets of our mission is to 'foster critical thinking about, and accountability within, the industry,'" the masthead said in a written statement. "This means we must also foster critical thinking and accountability within our own publication."They also pointed to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action, which includes a call to better educate Canadian journalism students on the history of Indigenous Peoples. Questions surrounding the university's relationship to its namesake are far from new. In 2010, the school published a statement saying that while Ryerson did not implement or oversee residential schools, his beliefs "influenced, in part, the establishment of what became the Indian Residential School system."Eight years later, the school added a plaque beside a statue of Ryerson that's displayed prominently on campus. It reads, in part, "As Chief Superintendent of Education, Ryerson's recommendations were instrumental in the design and implementation of the Indian Residential School System." The issue came back to the fore over the summer when the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis prompted anti-racism protests all over the world. In July, the school's statue of Ryerson and a monument to John A. Macdonald at the provincial legislature were both splashed with pink paint. There have also been calls to rename Dundas Street -- which happens to be the southern border of Ryerson University's campus -- because its namesake, Henry Dundas, delayed the abolition of slavery in Britain by 15 years. The City of Toronto is currently reviewing those calls. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press
The invitation to a foot race set Dave Murphy on the path to changing his life. In 2018 he was leaving the neighbourhood park with his daughter. The pair were walking back to their Calgary home when she asked her father if he wanted to race home. The now 45-year-old Murphy was pushing 400 pounds and still dealing with the ramifications of a late-night altercation in Ontario more than two decades earlier. He was 17 then and that altercation left the Grand Falls-Windsor native without part of the muscle in his left leg. Parents can have a hard time saying no to their children, and Murphy is no different. However, due to his health, he had to tell his daughter they couldn’t race. The look he was met with sparked something. “That look of disappointment on her face, I will never forget. That lit a fire under me,” said Murphy. “That was the thing and the biggest reason for her and my wife, to be around longer for them. “I was headed in a bad direction.” He was 391 pounds when he started, and he now sits at 235 pounds. Almost three years later, Murphy has dropped 155 pounds and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. When he started, Murphy set himself a 100-pound goal to reach. To help keep himself in check, he added a stipulation to that goal. For every pound he lost, he would make a $1 donation to military veterans and first responders. “First responders saved my life in 1994. I was attacked and knifed 13 times, so I wouldn’t have even made it if it wasn’t for first responders,” said Murphy. “So, I needed a way to stay motivated, so I made a pledge online that I was going to lose 100 pounds and donate a dollar a pound.” The son of preachers — his parents were Salvation Army officers — Murphy always believed in paying it forward. At each of his family's stops, he saw the benefits of giving and supporting something bigger than himself. First responders saved his life in Ontario, and he has spent the last two-plus decades paying them back. It started with dropping off a tin of coffee at fire stations every week and that morphed into several other initiatives that supported military veterans. Things like sending Tim Hortons gift cards to soldiers and The Gratitude Project were a way for Murphy to say thank you. “I just want to pay it forward and help as many people as I can,” said Murphy. To date, Murphy figures he’s donated more than $3,000 with the help of people who have matched his donations to the volunteer organization Can Praxis. Can Praxis is an organization that offers mental-health recovery programs to Canadian military veterans and first responders who have an operational stress injury or post-traumatic stress disorder. Founded in 2013, the Alberta-based group uses equine therapy to accomplish its goals. “Dave has done great and his support for Can Praxis and for veterans and first responders has been meaningful,” said Steve Critchley, a facilitator with Can Praxis. Weight loss journeys are never easy. Ask anyone in the middle of one. For Murphy, there were days when he didn’t want to hit the gym or head to his boxing sessions. On those days, he’d think of his family and of the first responders he was raising money for. “They're running into burning buildings and fires while people are running out of them, and here I am not wanting to go (to the gym),” said Murphy. “Whenever there is a day I don’t want to go, I think about those guys and I’m like, ‘alright, let's go.’” Benchmarks for success come in different forms. When looking at the work Murphy has done for his well-being, these benchmarks come in the form of his family. It was an interaction with his daughter that started him on his fitness journey and it’s another interaction with his daughter that reaffirms his commitment. Often the pair would go to a play centre near the family home. Whenever his daughter would hit the obstacle course, Murphy would sit on the benches and watch. There was no way he could muster the energy to join her. Before the centre’s shutdown due to the pandemic, Murphy was able to hit the course alongside his daughter. “I got a second chance at life,” said Murphy. Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Maple Leaf Foods Inc. beat expectations as it reported a fourth-quarter profit of $25.4 million, up from $17.5 million a year ago, and sales that rose more than 10 per cent. The food processing company says the profit amounted to 20 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Dec. 31, up from 14 cents per share a year earlier. Sales for the quarter totalled $1.13 billion, up from $1.02 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019, as both its meat protein and plant protein groups saw gains. Meat protein group sales rose 11.3 per cent, while plant protein sales rose 5.5 per cent. On an adjusted basis, Maple Leaf says it earned 30 cents per share, up from an adjusted profit of 12 cents per share a year earlier. Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of 21 cents per share and $1.07 billion in sales, according to financial data firm Refinitiv. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 25, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:MFI) The Canadian Press
BUDAPEST, Hungary — The advocate general for European Union's highest court on Thursday urged the court to rule that Hungary violated the bloc's laws on asylum when it passed legislation narrowing the possibilities for asylum-seekers to receive international protection. The non-binding opinion from the European Court of Justice's Advocate General, Athanasios Rantos, states that the 2018 amendments to Hungary's asylum laws — which prohibited asylum-seekers who passed through safe countries en route to Hungary from receiving international protection — violated EU law. “By introducing that ground for inadmissibility, Hungary has failed to fulfil its obligations under the Procedures Directive,” Rantos wrote, referring to the EU's asylum protocols. Opinions by advocates general are often but not always followed by the European Court of Justice, which will make a final ruling on the case at a later date. The European Commission, the bloc's executive branch, brought the case before the court as part of an infringement procedure it launched against Hungary in 2018 over its non-compliance with asylum law. Rantos also advised the court to rule that a Hungarian law that cracks down on organizations and individuals that provide legal assistance to asylum-seekers violates EU law. The legislation, known as the “Stop Soros” law, was an amendment to Hungary’s criminal code that threatened aid workers and human rights advocates working with asylum-seekers with up to a year in prison. It was approved by the Hungarian parliament in 2018. The law was named after Hungarian-American philanthropist George Soros, a pro-democracy advocate who has long been a target of the Hungarian government. Hungary's right-wing government has been a staunch opponent of immigration, and its treatment of migrants have brought it into frequent conflict with the rest of the 27-nation EU. Last year, the country closed its transit zones — enclosed areas along the southern border with Serbia used to hold asylum-seekers while their asylum requests were being decided — after the European court ruled they amounted to detention and thus violated EU law. Last month, the EU’s border control agency, Frontex, suspended operations in Hungary after the government in Budapest did not comply with a December ruling by the European court that ordered Hungary to grant protection to asylum-seekers as required by law and to stop returning them to Serbia. The country's prime minister, Viktor Orban, claims he is seeking to protect Hungary's conservative Christian identity and to defend Europe from immigration from the Mideast and Africa. ___ Follow AP’s global migration coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/migration Justin Spike, The Associated Press
BERLIN — Hundreds of German police officers conducted co-ordinated raids early Thursday in Berlin and the surrounding state of Brandenburg in the investigation of an organization banned over allegations of Islamic extremism. Some 850 police, including SWAT teams, were involved in the raids of apartments linked to members of the organization known as Jama'atu Berlin, the state Interior Ministry said. The organization, whose name translates literally as the “Berlin Group," was banned by Berlin's state Interior Minister Andreas Geisel ahead of the raids on the grounds it was a “very radical” group that followed the Islamic State group's ideology. “The ban is another clear signal to all religious extremists,” Geisel said. “We will fight the roots of terror. We will tolerate no place where terror is preached and the so-called Islamic State is glorified.” Authorities said the organization espoused an anti-Semitic ideology and advocated “armed jihad and terrorist attacks on civilians.” The raids were meant to secure its assets and look for evidence, authorities said, and no arrests were announced. The organization consisted of two groups — one of women and one of men — who would meet regularly in private homes and parks, and spread their ideology over the internet and with flyers in public spaces, authorities said. The Associated Press