For two Virginia police officers who posed for a photo during the deadly U.S. Capitol insurrection, the reckoning has been swift and public: They were identified, charged with crimes and arrested. But for five Seattle officers the outcome is less clear. Their identities still secret, two are on leave and three continue to work while a police watchdog investigates whether their actions in the nation's capital on Jan. 6 crossed the line from protected political speech to lawbreaking. The contrasting cases highlight the dilemma faced by police departments nationwide as they review the behaviour of dozens of officers who were in Washington the day of the riot by supporters of President Donald Trump. Officials and experts agree that officers who were involved in the melee should be fired and charged for their role. But what about those officers who attended only the Trump rally before the riot? How does a department balance an officer's free speech rights with the blow to public trust that comes from the attendance of law enforcement at an event with far-right militants and white nationalists who went on to assault the seat of American democracy? An Associated Press survey of law enforcement agencies nationwide found that at least 31 officers in 12 states are being scrutinized by their supervisors for their behaviour in the District of Columbia or face criminal charges for participating in the riot. Officials are looking into whether the officers violated any laws or policies or participated in the violence while in Washington. A Capitol Police officer died after he was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher as rioters descended on the building and many other officers were injured. A woman was shot to death by Capitol Police and three other people died after medical emergencies during the chaos. Most of the officers have not been publicly identified; only a few have been charged. Some were identified by online sleuths. Others were reported by their colleagues or turned themselves in. They come from some of the country’s largest cities — three Los Angeles officers and a sheriff’s deputy, for instance — as well as state agencies and a Pennsylvania police department with nine officers. Among them are an Oklahoma sheriff and New Hampshire police chief who have acknowledged being at the rally, but denied entering the Capitol or breaking the law. “If they were off-duty, it’s totally free speech,” said Will Aitchison, a lawyer in Portland, Oregon, who represents law enforcement officers. “People have the right to express their political views regardless of who’s standing next to them. You just don’t get guilt by association.” But Ayesha Bell Hardaway, a professor at Case Western Reserve University law school, said an officer’s presence at the rally creates a credibility issue as law enforcement agencies work to repair community trust, especially after last summer's of protests against police brutality sparked by the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Communities will question the integrity of officers who attended the rally along with “individuals who proudly profess racist and divisive viewpoints,” she said. “It calls into question whether those officers are interested in engaging in policing in a way that builds trust and legitimacy in all communities, including communities of colour.” In Rocky Mount, a Virginia town of about 1,000, Sgt. Thomas Robertson and Officer Jacob Fracker were suspended without pay and face criminal charges after posting a photo of themselves inside the Capitol during the riot. According to court records, Robertson wrote on social media that the “Left are just mad because we actually attacked the government who is the problem … The right IN ONE DAY took the f(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk) U.S. Capitol. Keep poking us.” Attempts to contact the pair were unsuccessful and court records do not list lawyers. Leaders in Rocky Mount declined to be interviewed. In a statement, they said the events at the Capitol were tragic. “We stand with and add our support to those who have denounced the violence and illegal activity that took place that day,” said Police Chief Ken Criner, Capt. Mark Lovern and Town Manager James Ervin. “Our town and our police department absolutely does not condone illegal or unethical behaviour by anyone, including our officers and staff.” On the other side of the county, five Seattle officers are under investigation by the city’s Office of Police Accountability. Two officers posted photos of themselves on social media while in the district and officials are investigating to determine where they were and what they were doing. Three others told supervisors that they went to Washington for the events and are being investigated for what they did while there. Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz said his department supports officers’ freedom of speech and that those who were in the nation's capital will be fired if they “were directly involved in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.” But police leaders need to evaluate more than just clear criminal behaviour, according to Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a policing research and policy group. They must also consider how their actions affect the department credibility, he said. Officers' First Amendment rights “don’t extend to expressing words that may be violent or maybe express some prejudice,” Wexler said, “because that’s going to reflect on what they do when they’re working, when they’re testifying in court.” Through the summer and fall, Seattle police — along with officers elsewhere — came under criticism for their handling of mass protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd. The city received more than 19,000 complaints against officers, most for excessive use of force and improper use of pepper spray. Andrew Myerberg, director of the Seattle Office of Police Accountability, said none of the officers now under investigation were involved in those cases. But Sakara Remmu, cofounder of Black Lives Matter Seattle/King County, said the officers should be fired regardless. Their public declarations of solidarity with Trump fosters not just community distrust, but terror of the entire department, she said. “It absolutely does matter when the decorum of racial peace cracks and racial hatred comes through, because we already have a documented history and legacy of what that means in this country,” Remmu said. In Houston, the police chief decried an officer who resigned and was later charged in the riot. A lawyer for Officer Tam Pham said the 18-year veteran of the force "very much regrets” being at the rally and was “deeply remorseful.” But many chiefs have said their officers committed no crimes. “The Arkansas State Police respects the rights and freedom of an employee to use their leave time as the employee may choose,” department spokesman Bill Sadler said of two officers who attended the Trump rally. Malik Aziz, the former chair and executive director of the National Black Police Association, compared condemning all officers who were in Washington to tarring all the protesters who took to streets after the killing of George Floyd with the violent and destructive acts of some. A major with the Dallas Police Department, Aziz said police acting privately have the same rights as other Americans, but that knowingly going to a bigoted event should be disqualifying for an officer. “There’s no place in law enforcement for that individual,” Aziz said. Martha Bellisle And Jake Bleiberg, The Associated Press
Saskatchewan's premier says the fight over the Keystone XL pipeline isn't over yet. In a recent interview with CBC's Rosemary Barton, Premier Scott Moe says conversations around the TC Energy project are ongoing, despite U.S. President Joe Biden's recent cancellation of the pipeline's permit by executive order. "I wouldn't say this project is over by any stretch. There is a lot of conversation to have on KXL," Moe said in an interview on Rosemary Barton Live. The 1,897-kilometre pipeline would have carried 830,000 barrels of crude oil daily from oilsands in Hardisty, Alta., to Nebraska, connecting to the original Keystone pipeline running to the U.S. Gulf Coast refineries. A portion of the project would have crossed into southern Saskatchewan. Moe, along with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Ontario Premier Doug Ford, has pushed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal government to take action against the pipeline's halt. That could include economic sanctions, Moe suggested — a possibility also raised by Kenney. "I haven't said that we should go to sanctions and sanctions should be utilized first," Moe said in his interview with Barton. "But sanctions are always on the table in any conversation or any challenge that we may have with our trading relationship with our largest partner." The project, originally blocked by U.S. President Barack Obama, was then approved by President Donald Trump, who wanted to negotiate the terms of the project, before ultimately being blocked again by Biden in the first days of his presidency. Federal Opposition leader Erin O'Toole has also expressed frustration over the cancellation of the project, saying in a statement it "will devastate thousands of Canadian families who have already been badly hurt by the economic crisis." Trudeau's government has repeatedly said that it supports the project and has made that clear to the new U.S. administration, but both the prime minister and Canada's ambassador to the U.S. have said it is time to respect the decision and move on. Speaking on Friday morning, Trudeau reiterated his disappointment with the cancellation and said he would raise the issue during his phone call with Biden scheduled for later in the day. "Obviously the decision on Keystone XL is a very difficult one for workers in Alberta and Saskatchewan who've had many difficult hits," he said. "Over the past years we have been there for them and we will continue to be there for them and I will express my concern for jobs and livelihoods in Canada, particularly in the West, directly in my conversation with President Biden." Trudeau stressed he and the new president are on the same wavelength on fighting climate change and middle-class job creation, as well as the "values of Canadians." Moe called the cancellation a "devastating blow to North American energy security," and said in the interview with Barton he'll continue to advocate for the pipeline, which he says has both economic and environmental benefits for Canada.
Guyana said late on Saturday that a Venezuelan navy vessel detained two vessels that were fishing in Guyana's exclusive economic zone, the latest dispute in a long-running border conflict between the two South American nations. Caracas says much of eastern Guyana is its own territory, a claim that is rejected by Georgetown. The conflict has flared up in recent years as Guyana has started developing oil reserves near the disputed area.
ATLANTA — Six months after his death, the late civil rights leader and longtime Georgia congressman John Lewis will retain a palpable influence in Congress: The state’s two new Democratic U.S. senators — both personal friends and admirers — promise to carry on his legacy. Sen. Raphael Warnock was Lewis’ pastor and stood at his bedside before Lewis died. Sen. Jon Ossoff, the Senate’s youngest current member, served as an intern in Lewis’ Washington office years ago. Both were sworn into office Wednesday. Their victories have already brought about significant change. Warnock is Georgia’s first Black senator, and Ossoff is the first Jewish senator from the state. Together, their election victories swung control of the Senate to Democrats. Stacey Abrams, a Democrat who narrowly lost the nationally watched race for Georgia governor in 2018, said in a statement to The Associated Press that Warnock and Ossoff represent Lewis’ legacy in the Senate “as champions of civil rights, human rights and voting rights." “Congressman Lewis is irreplaceable,” Abrams wrote. "However, Georgians gave America the opportunity to pass sweeping reforms that will strengthen our democracy and commemorate his fight for all.” Both of the newly minted senators have pledged to pursue legislation to expand and protect voting rights, a cause that Lewis championed for most of his life. Democrats and their supporters are hopeful that their newfound control of the White House and Congress could mean voting protections previously stalled by a GOP-led Senate could receive quick passage. Chief among those is a bill passed by the House in 2019 that has since been renamed after Lewis. It seeks to restore portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013. The ruling in Shelby County v. Holder ended a requirement that jurisdictions with a history of discriminatory voting practices receive preclearance from the federal government for any changes to voting procedures. Democrats and voting rights groups argue that the ruling has led to a cascade of changes in many states that have disenfranchised voters, including polling place closures. In a news conference Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi identified the legislation as a top priority and said she was optimistic about its prospects. That said, the Senate could have its hands full with the impending impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, as well as consideration of appointments by President Joe Biden and his early legislative proposals, including a $1.9 trillion coronavirus plan. Lewis died in July at the age of 80 after battling pancreatic cancer. He served in the House for 33 years representing Georgia’s 5th Congressional District, which includes most of Atlanta. Lewis became a key player in the civil rights movement as a young man in the 1960s. He helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, was among the original Freedom Riders who challenged segregated bus terminals in the South, and was the youngest person to speak at the March on Washington in 1963. Most associated with the pursuit to secure and protect voting rights, Lewis led protesters in the 1965 Bloody Sunday march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, where he had his skull fractured by police, and was a driving force behind voting rights laws in the U.S. for decades. Lewis was a parishioner of Warnock's for years at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached and Warnock remains pastor. Warnock was called to Lewis' bedside days before his death and presided over his funeral service. “Today the world lost a giant. I lost a mentor, a church member and a friend," Warnock said in a tweet shortly after Lewis' death. “In his youth, John Lewis wrestled with a call to ministry. But instead of preaching sermons, he became a sermon for all the world to see.” Ossoff first met Lewis when, as a teenager, he was inspired by Lewis' book “Walking With the Wind” and wrote him a letter. “I was so inspired by how a person so young had taken a leadership role in the pursuit of justice and confronting the abuse of power, and was just in awe of his life,” Ossoff said in an interview with The Associated Press in December. Lewis wrote back and invited Ossoff to come work in his office for a few months, spawning a yearslong relationship between the two. Lewis' early endorsement of Ossoff helped him defeat a challenger with far more experience in elected office to clinch the Democratic nomination for Senate. Warnock and Ossoff defeated Republican incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who both ran on fealty to Trump, in a runoff election on Jan. 5. They are the first Democrats to win a U.S. Senate election in Georgia since 2000. On the night of the election, as the Democrats’ leads became clear, members of Congress who worked alongside Lewis paid tribute to the late congressman, saying he laid the groundwork for the victories. “My friend John Lewis planted the foundation of this Georgia over his career,” Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey said in a tweet. “I wish he were here tonight to watch this.” Ben Nadler, The Associated Press
TORONTO — The patient, when he came into the hospital ER with what seemed to be mild pneumonia, wasn't that sick and might otherwise have been sent home. Except the man had just returned from China, where a new viral disease was spreading like a brush fire. His chest X-rays were also unusual. "We'd never seen a case like this before," says Dr. Jerome Leis. "I'd never seen an X-ray quite like that one." It was the evening of Jan. 23, 2020, when the team at Toronto's Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre decided to admit the 56-year-old patient. That same day, Canada's chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, told the country: "The risk of an outbreak in Canada remains low," Tam said in a refrain she and other officials would repeat for weeks on end. Less than two days after admission to Sunnybrook, the man would become "Patient Zero" — the first COVID-19 case in Canada. For several weeks, Leis, the hospital's medical director of infection prevention and control, had been anticipating just such a moment. He had known since the end of December about the outbreak in Wuhan, China, and he'd been following Chinese authorities as they published information about the new pathogen and its effects. Drawing on lessons learned from the SARS epidemic years earlier, Sunnybrook's screening staff were already asking new specific questions of incoming patients. Protocols were sharpened. Just that morning, in fact, internal-medicine residents and faculty had done a refresher around protective gear. "We were extremely suspicious that this was the novel coronavirus that had been described," Leis says. "It does feel like a lifetime ago and yet it does just seem like yesterday." Dr. Lynfa Stroud, on-call general internist and division head of general internal medicine at Sunnybrook, was notified the new patient needed to be admitted. "We didn't know what exactly we were dealing with," Stroud says. "We had early reports of presentations and how people evolved. We were a bit nervous but we felt very well prepared." The following day, as China was locking down Hubei province, Dr. Peter Donnelly, then head of Public Health Ontario, was asked about lockdowns in Canada. "Absolutely not," he declared: "If a case comes here, and it is probably likely that we will have a case here, it will still be business as normal.'' Confirmation of the clinicians' suspicions at Sunnybrook would come from the agency's laboratory, which had been working furiously to develop and validate a suitable test for the novel coronavirus based on information from China. The agency's lab had been testing samples for two weeks when the Sunnybrook call came in. "They sent a sample to us in a cab," says Dr. Vanessa Allen, chief of microbiology and laboratory science at Public Health Ontario. It would be the start of a round-the-clock effort to test and retest the new samples. "The last thing you need is a false signal or some kind of misunderstanding," says Allen, who had been a resident during the SARS outbreak. By about midday of Saturday, Jan. 25, the lab was sure it had identified the new organism that would soon take over the world and become a household name. "It wasn't called COVID at the time," Allen says of the disease. Over at Sunnybrook, Leis received the confirmation without much surprise. "It was consistent with what we were seeing and what we suspected," he says. "I was actually happy that the lab was able to confirm it." Within hours, public health authorities would let the country know that Canada had its first case of the "Wuhan novel coronavirus," although further confirmation from the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg was pending. "I want Ontarians to know that the province is prepared to actively identify, prevent and control the spread of this serious infectious disease in Ontario," Health Minister Christine Elliott declared as the province announced a new "dedicated web page" for latest information. The wife of "Patient Zero" would also soon be confirmed as COVID-19 positive but was able to self-isolate at home. "This (man) was one of the first cases to report on the more milder spectrum of disease, which was not something we were aware of," Leis says. "It helped to teach us about the larger spectrum in disease severity that we see with COVID-19, which is very different from SARS." Looking back now at their roles in a small piece of Canadian pandemic history, those involved talk about how much we didn't know about a virus that has since infected three-quarters of a million people in Canada, killing more than 18,800 of them. "The initial detection, in some ways, was the easy part," Allen says. "This virus and the implications are extremely humbling, and just the prolonged nature and impact of this was certainly not on my radar in January of last year." Yet treating "Patient Zero" and his wife afforded valuable lessons about what was then a poorly understood disease. For one thing, it became apparent that most of those afflicted don't need hospital admission — hugely important given the massive number of infections and resulting stresses on critical-care systems. "To be honest: We would have sent this patient home from the emergency room," Stroud says. "We admitted him because, at that time, it wasn't known very well what the course of illness was." Sunnybrook alone has now assessed more than 4,000 COVID-19 patients. To survive the onslaught, the hospital developed a program in which patients are screened and, if possible, sent to self-isolate under remote medical supervision. Both "Patient Zero" and his wife recovered. Their cases would mark Canada's first minor health-care skirmish of what was to become an all-out global defensive war against COVID-19. It also marked the beginning of relentless work hours for those on the front lines of health care. For health-care workers, it's been a long year since those first energized, if anxious, days one year ago. There's a weariness in their voices, a recognition the war is still raging, even as vaccines developed with stunning alacrity offer some hope of a truce. "We have been working essentially non-stop since last January and it's not slowing down now," Leis says. "Health-care teams are tired. There's a lot of concern about burnout. It's been challenging for sure." Despite COVID-19's deadly toll, the vast majority of COVID-19 patients, like "Patient Zero," recover. Still, even for some of those, their battle might never be over. "These people just don't get magically better," Stroud says. "Some will have lifelong lung scarring and damage to their lungs." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2021. Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — As the House prepares to bring the impeachment charge against Donald Trump to the Senate for trial, a growing number of Republican senators say they are opposed to the proceeding, dimming the chances that former president will be convicted on the charge that he incited a siege of the U.S. Capitol. House Democrats will carry the sole impeachment charge of “incitement of insurrection” across the Capitol late Monday evening, a rare and ceremonial walk to the Senate by the prosecutors who will argue their case. They are hoping that strong Republican denunciations of Trump after the Jan. 6 riot will translate into a conviction and a separate vote to bar Trump from holding office again. But instead, GOP passions appear to have cooled since the insurrection. Now that Trump's presidency is over, Republican senators who will serve as jurors in the trial are rallying to his legal defence, as they did during his first impeachment trial last year. “I think the trial is stupid, I think it’s counterproductive,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.. He said that "the first chance I get to vote to end this trial, I’ll do it” because he believes it would be bad for the country and further inflame partisan divisions. Trump is the first former president to face impeachment trial, and it will test his grip on the Republican Party as well as the legacy of his tenure, which came to a close as a mob of loyal supporters heeded his rally cry by storming the Capitol and trying to overturn Joe Biden's election. The proceedings will also force Democrats, who have a full sweep of party control of the White House and Congress, to balance their promise to hold the former president accountable while also rushing to deliver on Biden's priorities. Arguments in the Senate trial will begin the week of Feb. 8. Leaders in both parties agreed to the short delay to give Trump's team and House prosecutors time to prepare and the Senate the chance to confirm some of Biden’s Cabinet nominees. Democrats say the extra days will allow for more evidence to come out about the rioting by Trump supporters, while Republicans hope to craft a unified defence for Trump. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said in an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday that he hopes that evolving clarity on the details of what happened Jan. 6 “will make it clearer to my colleagues and the American people that we need some accountability.” Coons questioned how his colleagues who were in the Capitol that day could see the insurrection as anything other than a “stunning violation” of tradition of peaceful transfers of power. “It is a critical moment in American history and we have to look at it and look at it hard,” Coons said. An early vote to dismiss the trial probably would not succeed, given that Democrats now control the Senate. Still, the mounting Republican opposition indicates that many GOP senators would eventually vote to acquit Trump. Democrats would need the support of 17 Republicans — a high bar — to convict him. When the House impeached Trump on Jan. 13, exactly one week after the siege, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said he didn’t believe the Senate had the constitutional authority to convict Trump after he had left office. On Sunday, Cotton said “the more I talk to other Republican senators, the more they’re beginning to line up” behind that argument. “I think a lot of Americans are going to think it’s strange that the Senate is spending its time trying to convict and remove from office a man who left office a week ago,” Cotton said. Democrats reject that argument, pointing to a 1876 impeachment of a secretary of war who had already resigned and to opinions by many legal scholars. Democrats also say that a reckoning of the first invasion of the Capitol since the War of 1812, perpetrated by rioters egged on by a president who told them to “fight like hell” against election results that were being counted at the time, is necessary so the country can move forward and ensure such a siege never happens again. A few GOP senators have agreed with Democrats, though not close to the number that will be needed to convict Trump. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said he believes there is a “preponderance of opinion” that an impeachment trial is appropriate after someone leaves office. “I believe that what is being alleged and what we saw, which is incitement to insurrection, is an impeachable offence,” Romney said. “If not, what is?” But Romney, the lone Republican to vote to convict Trump when the Senate acquitted the then-president in last year’s trial, appears to be an outlier. Sen. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, said he believes a trial is a “moot point” after a president's term is over, “and I think it’s one that they would have a very difficult time in trying to get done within the Senate.” On Friday, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a close Trump ally who has been helping him build a legal team, urged the Senate to reject the idea of a post-presidency trial — potentially with a vote to dismiss the charge — and suggested Republicans will scrutinize whether Trump’s words on Jan. 6 were legally “incitement.” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who said last week that Trump “provoked” his supporters before the riot, has not said how he will vote or argued any legal strategies. The Kentucky senator has told his GOP colleagues that it will be a vote of conscience. One of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s nine impeachment managers said Trump’s encouragement of his loyalists before the riot was "an extraordinarily heinous presidential crime." Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pennsylvania., said "I mean, think back. It was just two-and-a-half weeks ago that the president assembled a mob on the Ellipse of the White House. He incited them with his words. And then he lit the match.” Trump’s supporters invaded the Capitol and interrupted the electoral count as he falsely claimed there was massive fraud in the election and that it was stolen by Biden. Trump’s claims were roundly rejected in the courts, including by judges appointed by Trump, and by state election officials. Rubio and Romney were on “Fox News Sunday,” Cotton appeared on Fox News Channel's “Sunday Morning Futures” and Romney also was on CNN's “State of the Union,” as was Dean. Rounds was interviewed on NBC's “Meet the Press.” ___ Associated Press writer Hope Yen contributed to this report. Mary Clare Jalonick And Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
An Olympic hopeful is trying to keep her head above water amid speculation over whether the Summer Games will go ahead in six months. "We have to focus on what we can control," said Haley Daniels, a member of Canada's canoe slalom team, from her home in Calgary. On Friday, British tabloid The Times reported that Tokyo was looking to get out of hosting the Games. The Japanese government dismissed the report, and International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach has said he is confident the Games will go ahead July 23 to Aug. 8, after being postponed last year. Daniels said she woke up to a flood of condolence text messages that day. "I didn't believe it … it was a mini heart attack," she said. Daniels said she and other athletes reached out to Olympic officials, who reassured athletes the Games would go forward. WATCH | IOC denies reports Tokyo Olympics may be cancelled Canadian Olympic Committee CEO David Shoemaker has said the committee has confidence the Games can be staged in a safe way. "I hope that we can make it happen safely," Daniels said. "At the end of the day the Olympics was started to bring nations together … I think if we can have an Olympics to bring the world back together, so be it, let's have it." Much of Japan, including Tokyo, is under a state of emergency due to a third wave of COVID-19 infections, and a recent study found that a government campaign promoting domestic tourism may have contributed to the sharp increase in cases. The country reported 5,047 new cases and 108 new deaths, a daily record, on Friday. Daniels said she's preparing herself for the possibility the Games won't go forward. She said personally, the impact the pandemic has had on athletes has been a setback but she's trying to stay hopeful. "I'm 30-years-old and I thought that when I was 29 I'd hopefully be competing in my first Olympic Games," she said. "There's no other way to describe it, it's a blow ... but for me it was also an opportunity to really slow down and look at how I can be better." Daniels said this is the most time she has spent at home in Canada in 15 years. "We're on the road close to nine months of the year … it's hard because when you're a high-performance athlete your identity is defined in your vocation. When I finish work I don't get to go home and put my feet up," she said. If the Games don't go ahead, it oddly won't be the only time a member of Daniels' family has seen their Olympic dreams dashed. Her uncle Tom Daniels made the Olympic team for water polo in 1980, the year Canada boycotted the Summer Games in Moscow due to the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan. Michael Holroyd, Daniels' coach and the head coach for Alberta Slalom Canoe Kayak, said he hopes athletes like Daniels have the opportunity to compete. "For Haley it's enormous, right? It's everything she's been working for, for 15 years now." He said athletes have adapted to the challenges of the pandemic, from dealing with cancelled events to training at home. He hopes that flexibility will be an asset in the long-term. "I just remain hopeful and go from there," he said. Daniels has been training on the Kananaskis River on days warmer than 0 C. Last week her life jacket froze to her body. On colder days, she's training in her garage — a makeshift gym that includes weights purchased at Value Village. But right now with travel not an option, it's how she can keep going. "That's the only way we can train right now, so we just have to look at what we can do and do it," she said.
JOHANNESBURG — Tributes are pouring in for South Africa's Oscar-nominated anti-apartheid jazz trombonist and composer Jonas Gwangwa, who has died at the age of 83. With driving music that fired up Black South Africans’ resistance to repressive white minority rule, Gwangwa left the country rather than submit to apartheid censorship. Other prominent exiled South African musicians included Hugh Masekela, Abdullah Ibrahim and Miriam Makeba. “Jonas Gwangwa ascends to our great orchestra of musical ancestors whose creative genius and dedication to the freedom of all South Africans inspired millions in our country and mobilized the international community against the apartheid system," President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a tribute. So potent was Gwangwa's musical activism that his home was bombed by apartheid forces in 1985, but he survived, Ramaphosa said in his tribute. Raised in Johannesburg's Soweto township, Gwangwa rose to prominence in 1959 as a member of the Jazz Epistles, a group that included Masekela and Ibrahim. When the apartheid regime imposed a state of emergency in 1960, it restricted jazz performances which were viewed as promoting racial equality. Gwangwa was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga, South Africa's highest honour for outstanding contribution in arts and culture, in 2010. He was nominated for an Oscar for music he composed for the 1987 movie “Cry Freedom,” which starred Denzel Washington and Kevin Kline. Gwangwa’s death fell on the anniversary of the deaths of his friends and fellow African music giants Masekela and Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi, who died in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Mogomotsi Magome, The Associated Press
Warning: This story contains graphic details about sexual assault. The trial centred on the rape of a 14-year-old girl in a B.C. motel room where she'd been plied with alcohol by multiple strange men. No one has been convicted in the crime and it appears unlikely anyone ever will, but a B.C. judge has used the case to make an urgent appeal for action to protect Indigenous women and girls from violence. In an acquittal handed down last month, Provincial Court Judge Alexander Wolf said society has failed in its duty to protect people like the victim in this Feb. 2, 2018 assault. "Indigenous females have a greater chance of being victims to spousal violence. They have an increased chance of being sexually abused while in care, and sexually assaulted when out of care. If you are a female teenager in jail, chances are that you are an Indigenous girl," wrote Wolf, a member of the Kwikwasut'inuxw Haxwa'mis First Nation. "We need to do something, we need to act. If we do not act now, when will these horrible crimes against our young girls and women ever end?" Wolf's Dec. 22 judgment carefully defines legal terms and explains court procedures in simple, clear language rarely seen in this type of document. He also picks apart common myths about sexual assault and cautions that there's "no right or wrong way to act when you are a victim." Most significantly, Wolf lays out what it means when he says he cannot convict the man accused of raping this teenager, despite the evidence of wrongdoing. "Please do not mistake the concept of an acquittal with the concept of innocence. The accused and these other males are guilty of not taking care of these young girls," Wolf wrote. Attacker's identity in question Many of the details of the attack are redacted from the judgment in order to protect the identity of the victim, including both her and the accused's names, the two First Nations to which they belong and the community where the assault took place. There is no doubt that the 14-year-old was raped, according to the judge. The central question was the identity of the person responsible — specifically, if it was a man with the initials N.M. who was charged with sexual assault and sexual interference. The victim, known as C.H. in the judgment, told the court she blacked out on a motel bed after she and two friends had drinks with up to five previously unknown men in their 20s and 30s. She testified that when she woke up, there was a man forcing himself on her. When C.H. made it home, she told her mother what had happened and her mother immediately told her to take off her clothes to preserve the evidence and drove her to the hospital for an examination, the judgment says "I was a bit surprised that anyone would have the ability to act so rationally and with such immediacy," Wolf said of the mother. "I had a better understanding how she could react so appropriately when she told the court that she had also been raped … when she was 16." DNA evidence taken during the examination was inconclusive. C.H. told the court she only saw her attacker's face for one or two seconds, and she initially told police that a different man had raped her. It also appears that somehow, none of the men who were in the motel room that night were questioned by police, according to Wolf. Victim 'emotionally, psychologically and spiritually scarred' "What do we know? We heard testimony that N.M. invited underage girls into his hotel room, and that he and his friends gave them alcohol. We also heard evidence that he grabbed the butt, took off the bra and kissed one of the young girls," Wolf said. The court also heard evidence that N.M. had dropped his pants in front of another girl, and repeatedly invited them to sit on his lap. "Do I think it is possible he hurt C.H.? Yes, I think we all know that is a very real possibility," Wolf wrote. But the standard of proof in criminal law is not what is possible or even probable, the judge said. Rather, it's about what can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. In this case, that bar was not met. Nonetheless, Wolf said each of the men in the motel room that night failed in their responsibility to those girls, and the result is another "emotionally, psychologically and spiritually scarred" young person. "This case is illustrative to me that there is intergenerational trauma caused by the residential school system that has flowed from our grandmothers down to our grandchildren," Wolf said. C.H. and N.M. belong to two different First Nations, and the judge invited representatives of both communities to attend court for his judgment in a gesture toward future healing. "I do not have enough cultural knowledge to make suggestions of what can be done. Nor do I think it is my place to direct communities to do certain things, and I will not. But I would welcome the opportunity to be part of any community driven restorative justice approach that might be undertaken," Wolf said.
Taiwan will more than double the number of people who have to quarantine at home to more than 5,000 as it seeks to contain a rare domestic cluster of COVID-19 connected to a hospital, the health minister said on Sunday. While Taiwan has kept the pandemic well under control thanks to early and effective prevention, with the large majority of its 890 infections imported cases, it has since Jan. 12 been dealing with a small number of domestic transmissions at a hospital. Health Minister Chen Shih-chung told reporters that they will expand the number of people who have to quarantine at home for 14 days who may have had contact with the infected patients from the hospital cluster.
There was no distribution plan for the coronavirus vaccine set up by the Trump administration as the virus raged in its last months in office, new President Joe Biden's chief of staff, Ron Klain, said on Sunday. "The process to distribute the vaccine, particularly outside of nursing homes and hospitals out into the community as a whole, did not really exist when we came into the White House," Klain said on NBC's "Meet the Press." Biden, a Democrat who took over from Republican President Donald Trump on Wednesday, has promised a fierce fight against the pandemic that killed 400,000 people in the United States under Trump’s watch.
Celebrities and interview subjects, from Bill Clinton to Oprah Winfrey, are mourning the death of Larry King. His broadcast interviews with world leaders, movie stars and ordinary Joes helped define American conversation for a half-century. King died Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles at age 87. On social media, King was remembered by a number of figures and fans, including singers Barbra Streisand and Bette Midler, entertainer 50 Cent and actors Reese Witherspoon, George Takei and Albert Brooks. ___ “I enjoyed my 20+ interviews with Larry King over the years. He had a great sense of humour and a genuine interest in people. He gave a direct line to the American people and worked hard to get the truth for them, with questions that were direct but fair. Farewell, my friend," former President Bill Clinton wrote on Twitter. ___ “It was always a treat to sit at your table. And hear your stories. Thank you Larry King," Oprah Winfrey tweeted. ___ “He was one of a kind! May he Rest In Peace. #LarryKing," singer Barbra Streisand wrote on Twitter. ___ “When I was a young morning DJ, I listened to Larry King’s overnight radio show every night on my way to work. He was one of the greats and I am glad to have known him ‘Bethesda, Maryland you’re on the air...,’" talk show host Jimmy Kimmel tweeted. ___ “I’ve known Larry King since I arrived in LA 42 years ago. Larry King Live changed CNN in the 80s blending entertainment with news & I loved being on the show," former NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson wrote on Twitter. “Larry was one of the best interviewers on TV. Always well prepared, asked intelligent questions, & always made the interviews fun, serious, & entertaining!" ___ “Larry King was a Brooklyn boy who become a newsman who interviewed the newsmakers. He conducted over 50,000 interviews that informed Americans in a clear and plain way," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted. “New York sends condolences to his family and many friends." ___ “I’m sad to learn about Larry King’s passing. He was such a kind gentleman, and he made all of us feel as though we were speaking with a lifelong friend. There will never be anyone like him, and he will be missed by many. My sincerest condolences to his family & friends. Celine xx…," singer Celine Dion wrote on Twitter. ___ “Goodbye and Godspeed to Larry King; a great interviewer and a great listener, and they are not the same thing. He always made me feel as though I were the only person in the room. Condolences to his family, friends, and fans around the world," Bette Midler wrote on Twitter. ___ “Oh no!!! RIP Larry King...what a Titan you were! One of our true icons. You are no longer in pain. Rest well," actor Viola Davis wrote on Twitter. ___ “So sad to hear the news about Larry King today. I was lucky enough to be interviewed by him and see his unique interview style first hand. He was a deeply thoughtful, intelligent, kind man... Sending love to his family & all of his many fans," actor Reese Witherspoon tweeted. ___ “R.I.P. Larry King. I loved his all night radio show in the 80’s. You could call in at 1 in the morning and just riff for hours. His radio show made a great opening for Lost In America. Rest easy Larry," actor Albert Brooks tweeted. ___ “My friend Larry King has died," news commentator Keith Olbermann wrote on Twitter. “It is literally true that thousands of us can make that sad statement this morning. While he was easily caricatured, I’ve never known anybody who made a bigger deal out of the slightest kindness afforded him." ___ “I lost a dear friend and mentor. Truly an American treasure. Rest in peace, Larry King," TV personality Ryan Seacrest tweeted. ___ “R.i.P To the legend Larry King God bless him," entertainer 50 Cent wrote on Twitter. ___ “Thanks for the countless interviews and insights, Larry King. You understood human triumph and frailty equally well, and that is no easy feat. There was no one else like you, and you shall be missed. Rest with the heavens now," actor George Takei tweeted. ___ “It is with emotion and affection that I remember #LarryKing, king of the talk show and legendary face of @CNN, a remarkable individual, a great journalist and a good man who loved life deeply," singer Andrea Bocelli wrote on Twitter. ___ “RIP Larry King!!!! I loved the easy breezy format of his CNN show, and his amazing voice," Bravo TV Producer and Executive Andy Cohen wrote on Twitter. ___ “Larry King was my @CNN colleague and good friend. He was an amazing interviewer and a mentor to so many of us. He loved what he did and all of us loved him. He was a real mensch. My Deepest Condolences to his loving family. May He Rest In Peace and May His Memory Be A Blessing," CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer tweeted. ___ “I mourn the passing of Larry King whom I have known for nearly 40 years. He was a great interviewer - sensitivity, humorous and witty. And he actually let you talk! An all around mensch. Millions around the world shall miss him, including myself," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Twitter. ___ “The Los Angeles Dodgers are saddened by the passing of Larry King and offer their deepest condolences to his family and friends," the baseball team tweeted. ___ “I’ve had the honour of being interviewed by Larry King multiple times in my life. It was always a joy and a pleasure. He truly was the King of Talk. On a personal level, I’ll miss him. Professionally, we’ll all miss him. Rest In Peace, my friend," Jesse Ventura, former governor of Minnesota, wrote on Twitter. Associated Press, The Associated Press
When New Brunswick native Susan McDade decided to retire from an almost 30-year career with the United Nations, she was the highest ranking Canadian in the United Nations Development Programme. As an assistant secretary-general with the UNDP, she was responsible for 17,000 people in 130 countries, with a budget of $5 billion. But as a single mom of two teenagers, being "on planes all the time" was taking its toll. So she came to a decision. "The UN could find another person," McDade said in an interview back in her hometown of Rothesay, "My kids can't find another mother." The full circle journey took McDade around the world, but it began in the community of Renforth, now part of Rothesay, with parents who encouraged her to give back. Even they were surprised when, at 16, she applied to finish her high school education at the Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific in Victoria. Growing up in Renforth, McDade said, the only immigrants she knew were educated professionals. They were doctors and engineers, and she thought it would be interesting to attend school with students from 70 different countries. She calls her two years there "life-changing." She left school confident that she wanted to pursue work in the international field and studied economics and international affairs at the University of Guelph, then got a master's degree at the International Institute for Social Studies in the Netherlands. After an internship at the UN sponsored by the OECD, McDade accepted a job at the UN in 1991, and her first field posting was eye-opening. Fluent in Spanish, she was sent to Guatemala, then in the throes of a 35-year civil war. 'Very scary' posting "It was a very scary first posting," McDade said. "If you were an Indigenous person, you were labelled a terrorist," she said, adding that the country had descended into lawlessness. "You had no trust in the police, no trust in the army, no trust in the armed militias." It was a country where the simplest of daily events could put you in harm's way. "We got a flat tire in a mountainous region," McDade recalled, "And I thought 'If we don't get this tire fixed we're going to get killed.'" After a year in Guatemala, she was moved to China for a four-year stint in the mid-90s. That brought her to New York, where she would spend the next decade as a UN administrator, focused on energy issues. But while the work in New York was interesting, she missed field work, which she said meant having clear goals and the ability to see the results of your work, and she wanted to get back to Latin America. By this time, she was a single mother with a young son and pregnant with her second child. That would have likely disqualified her from postings in most of Latin America, where the Catholic Church still holds great influence on society. Fortunately, the posting she received was Cuba, a country McDade said is much more liberal. She also believes being Canadian and having a recent posting in China likely helped in Cuba's acceptance of her posting. Her experience in Cuba was very different from what she saw in that first posting in Guatemala. "The Cuban government is very clear on what constitutes human development. They want every child educated, every child vaccinated," McDade said. She also said Cuba is the best-prepared country in Latin America to deal with natural disasters. McDade continued to work in Latin America until her recent job with UNDP, which brought her back to New York. But with a boy in high school and a girl in middle school, she began to think it was time to slow down and spend more time with her children. So early last year, she made the decision to retire from her position and move back to her hometown. She is living less than a mile from the house she grew up in. The timing of the move couldn't have been better, leaving New York just weeks before the pandemic hit North America in force. McDade said that had she stayed, her job, which was focused on global business continuity, would have become all-encompassing. "My kids wouldn't have seen me — ever," she said. And she and her family would have been in ground zero of the first wave of the U.S. COVID-19 fight. "I feel like I won the lottery every day." Not easy, but satisfying work For people considering her line of work, McDade said they need to make sure they're prepared. If you don't have a skill, like medicine or engineering, get a good grounding in politics, history and economics, she said And understand it's not just volunteerism. The job takes its emotional toll, on you and the people around you. "It's very hard on relationships, I know very few who had relationships that lasted," McDade said. "You're away from your roots and your family and it's a 24-hour clock. We always had an office open somewhere." Despite all that, McDade said, once her children get out of school and off to university, the job could lure her back. "Who knows," she said, "I'm pretty young to be retired."
AMSTERDAM — A suspected Canadian drug baron has been arrested in the Netherlands on an Interpol warrant, according to Dutch and Australian police. The 57-year-old was detained Friday and is of “significant interest” to Australian and other law enforcement agencies, according to a statement Sunday from the Australian federal police. It says he was targeted as part of an operation that dismantled a global crime syndicate in 2019 that was accused of trading large amounts of illegal drugs and laundering the profits. The Australian police plan to seek his extradition. Dutch national police tweeted that he was arrested at the request of Australian authorities via Interpol. The international police agency did not comment on the arrest. The suspect's name was not released by Dutch authorities, in line with the country's privacy rules, but media widely reported it to be Tse Chi Lop. Australian police said they would work with the country's Attorney-General’s Department to prepare an extradition request. Dutch National Prosecutor's Office spokesman Wim de Bruin said Sunday no extradition hearing had yet been scheduled. The Associated Press
L’accident est survenu vers 20h, samedi soir, alors qu’un groupe de trois motoneiges circulaient dans un sentier à 30 kilomètres au nord de New Richmond, en Gaspésie. Les trois véhicules se suivaient lorsque le dernier engin a fait une sortie de piste. Deux occupants étaient à bord de l’engin. Le conducteur, un homme de 64 ans de New Richmond, était décédé à l’arrivée des secours, plusieurs heures plus tard. La passagère, une femme dans la cinquantaine, s’en sort avec des blessures mineures. Un enquêteur a été dépêché sur place par la Sûreté du Québec afin de comprendre les circonstances de l’accident. Il s’agit du troisième accident majeur à survenir dans l’Est-du-Québec en quelques jours. Jeudi, un jeune homme de Gaspé a percuté un arbre en motoneige. Il est toujours dans un état critique. Samedi, un adolescent est décédé à Dégelis, au Témiscouata, après être entré en collision avec une camionnette lorsqu’il était à bord de son véhicule tout-terrain. Simon Carmichael, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Soleil
A new app has been created to bring awareness and support to those impacted by gun violence in Toronto. The Enough is Enough app was launched by music producer Dub J. Global News Weekend Host Mike Arsenault has more.
Officials in President Joe Biden's administration tried to head off Republican concerns that his $1.9 trillion pandemic relief proposal was too expensive on a Sunday call with Republican and Democratic lawmakers, some of whom pushed for a smaller plan targeting vaccine distribution. "It seems premature to be considering a package of this size and scope," said Republican Senator Susan Collins, who was on the call with Brian Deese, director of the White House's National Economic Council, and other top Biden aides.
NEW YORK — Screenwriter Walter Bernstein, among the last survivors of Hollywood’s anti-Communist blacklist whose Oscar-nominated script for “The Front” drew upon his years of being unable to work under his own name, died Saturday. He was 101. The cause was pneumonia, according to his wife, the literary agent Gloria Loomis. A World War II correspondent for the military who also had been published in The New Yorker, Bernstein was at the start of what seemed a promising film career when the Cold War and anti-Communist paranoia led to his being blacklisted in 1950, a fate which ruined the lives of many of his peers and led some to suicide. Job offers to Bernstein were rescinded and onetime friends stopped speaking to him. FBI agents looked through his trash, showed up at his door and followed him outside. “I was starting to look around when I left my house, looking over my shoulder when I walked down the street, bracing myself for the inevitable encounter,” he wrote in his memoir “Inside Out,” published in 1996. “Even expecting it, I was startled when it came, and there would be the sudden sour taste of fear for a moment and then a shaming wave of anger, not at them but at myself for being afraid. I could never really get angry at them. They were only doing their job, like delivering milk.” Unwilling to provide the House Un-American Activities Committee names of suspected Communists, the way director Elia Kazan and others had been spared from banishment, Bernstein found employment through the use of “fronts,” people willing to lend their names (and receive part of the proceeds) for scripts he had written. His fronts included an actor’s wife hoping to help her husband break through in movies and a friend of a friend, a guy named Leo, who had a gambling habit to support. Few were aware at any given time that Bernstein had contributed to such hit CBS television series as the crime drama “Danger” and to “You Are There,” hosted by Walter Cronkite and featuring re-enactments of historical events ranging from the Boston Tea Party to the death of Cleopatra. While many were blacklisted just for supporting left-wing causes, Bernstein actually was a member of the American Communist Party and remained so until 1956, when the Soviet Union invaded Hungary and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev revealed the many brutalities of Joseph Stalin, who had died three years earlier. Bernstein would remember his decision with “relief” over no longer abiding Soviet dogma and “sadness” for the people who were fellow idealists. “I had left the Party, but not the idea of socialism,” he wrote in his memoir, “the possibility that there could be a system not based on inequality and exploitation.” The blacklist began to weaken in the late ’50s and ended for Bernstein in 1959 with “That Kind of Woman,” starring Sophia Loren. He was soon working on “The Magnificent Seven,” the Hollywood adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s classic “Seven Samurai,” and on an A-list film that ended in tragedy, “Something’s Gotta Give.” Marilyn Monroe was cast as a shipwreck survivor who returns to her husband and children after being presumed lost. But Monroe was often late or absent altogether from the set and was fired in June 1962. Two months later, she was found dead from an apparent suicide. In the 1970s, Bernstein was able to use his own story for what became his most acclaimed project, “The Front,” starring Woody Allen as a stand-in for blacklisted writers and featuring Bernstein’s friend Zero Mostel, who also had been ostracized in the ’50s. Bernstein received an Academy Award nomination in 1977 and a Writers Guild of America prize for best screen drama. Around the same time, Allen gave him an acting cameo in the Oscar-winning “Annie Hall.” His other writing credits included the Burt Reynolds football comedy “Semi-Tough” and films by such old friends as Martin Ritt (“The Front,” “The Molly Maguires,” a story of rebelling miners he once cited as his personal favourite) and Sidney Lumet (“Fail-Safe”). Bernstein himself directed “Little Miss Marker,” a 1980 release based on the Damon Runyon short story. In 1994, he received a lifetime achievement award from the Eastern branch of the Screen Writers Guild. Into his 90s, he taught screenwriting at New York University and was an adviser to the film school at the Sundance Institute, founded by Robert Redford. Bernstein was married four times, most recently to Loomis, and had five children. Over his long life, he also enjoyed an eclectic range of friends and acquaintances, from authors Irwin Shaw and Shirley Jackson to songwriter Irving Berlin and actress Bette Davis, who, Bernstein was surprised to learn, shared his admiration for the writings of Karl Marx. “The most wonderful books,” she called them. Descended from Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, Bernstein was born and raised in New York City and by his teens had found his passions for movies and politics. As an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, he reviewed movies for the campus newspaper until he was fired for panning the popular 1937 fantasy “Lost Horizon.” In his spare time, he read Marx and Engels, Steinbeck and Dreiser, and sought out films by Sergei Eisenstein and other Russian directors. “The books had opened my head,” he wrote. “The movies opened my heart.” He was drafted in 1941 and spent much of World War II as a reporter for the Army publication Yank, filing dispatches from the Middle East, Sicily and Yugoslavia, where he became the first American to interview the country’s longtime leader, Josip Broz Tito. After the war ended, in 1945, he joined the staff of The New Yorker and received a 10-week contract to work for Columbia Pictures in Hollywood. He stayed 10 months, long enough to be noticed by government agents and to discover his love for movies wasn’t dispelled by learning how they were made. “I had been initiated into the mystery, participated in the sacred process,” he wrote in his memoir. “Making a movie was like building a cathedral, the hard and skilled work of many hands. Then you looked at it when it was finished and, if you were blessed, you saw Chartres. If not, you saw St. Patrick’s on Fifth Avenue. It was still a cathedral. Even as an acolyte I could still enter the dark, embracing cave and feel mysteriously freed.” Hillel Italie, The Associated Press
Ontario reported 2,417 new cases of COVID-19 and 50 more deaths on Sunday. Today marks the seventh day in a row that the daily new case number is below 3,000. Toronto has 785 new cases, Peel Region has 404, York Region has 215, and Niagara Region has 121. The number of people in hospital has declined by 65 and now sits at 1,436. The number of people in the ICU is down by three and now sits at 392, while the number of people on ventilators has increased by two and is now 301. A total of 5,803 people have died in Ontario of COVID-19-related reasons. As of Sunday, 225,046 COVID-19 cases have been marked as resolved, a number that increased by 2,759 since Saturday. Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said the province's network of labs completed more than 48,900 tests in the past 24 hours. As of Saturday evening, 280,573 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, Elliott said in a tweet. Toronto marks 1 year since 1st COVID-19 case in city It's been exactly one year since the first known case of COVID-19 was detected in Toronto. The 56-year-old man had arrived at Sunnybrook hospital in Toronto with what seemed to be mild pneumonia. Because he had travelled from China and his X-rays were unusual, the decision was made to admit him. Samples were sent by cab to the province's public health laboratory, which had been working to come up with a reliable test. The lab was soon able to confirm the man was infected with what was then the novel coronavirus. Although "Patient Zero" recovered, nearly 19,000 in Canada have since died from COVID-19. 242 long-term care homes reporting active outbreaks Meanwhile, the province reported that there are currently 242 active outbreaks in long-term care homes and 161 at retirement homes. This includes an outbreak of B.1.1.7, the variant of COVID-19 first detected in the United Kingdom, that has spread throughout Roberta Place Long Term Care Home where at least 32 residents have died. All but 2 of 129 residents at the home have been infected with COVID-19 The Canadian Red Cross was deployed to the home on Jan. 17 to help bring the outbreak under control. Ontario Labour Minister Monte McNaughton said in an interview with CBC's Rosemary Barton Live on Sunday that the situation at long-term care homes is "very, very concerning." "Certainly my heart goes out to all of those families affected by COVID-19. We're doing everything humanly possible to protect the residents and protect the workers," he said. McNaughton said that he thinks there will be word in the next couple of days on a "massive expansion of rapid testing" in long-term care homes and other health care facilities. "One thing that we know for sure is we need these vaccines. We need to get long-term care residents and long-term care workers and the elderly population vaccinated as quickly as possible," he said. On Sunday, Ontario Minister of Long-Term Care Merrilee Fullerton tweeted that there are 142 homes with at least one staff member self-isolating and with no residents positive for COVID-19. She said 113 homes have resident cases, of which 50 have fever than five cases each. Fullerton said there are a total of 255 LTC homes with COVID-19 cases. Male teen worker who died of COVID-19 identified Meanwhile, a male teenager who died of COVID-19 has been identified by the long-term care home near London, Ont., where he worked as Yassin Dabeh. The Middlesex-London Health Unit has not confirmed Dabeh's workplace or age. However, in an interview with CBC News on Saturday, Dr. Alex Summers, the health unit's associate medical officer of health, said the teen is the youngest person in the region diagnosed with the virus to die. Summers said the diagnosis came within the last four weeks, and Dabeh's infectious period had actually ended and that the teen was not working in the home when he was infectious. Summers could not say whether the teen had underlying health conditions. An investigation into his death is underway he said. "It's certainly a very sad day and a reminder of how the impact of this pandemic can be felt," he said.
Italy will take legal action and step up pressure in Brussels against Pfizer Inc and AstraZeneca over delays in deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines with a view to securing agreed supplies, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Sunday. The aim was to get the companies to meet the vaccine volumes they had promised and not to seek compensation, Di Maio said on RAI state television. "This is a European contract that Pfizer and AstraZeneca are not respecting and so for this reason we will take legal action... We are working so our vaccine plan programme does not change," he said.