The ball drop will happen in New York's Times Square this year, but like other iconic New York holiday events, the public can only watch it on TV or online. The NYPD will route people who try to gather on Times Square away from the area. (Nov. 24)
The ball drop will happen in New York's Times Square this year, but like other iconic New York holiday events, the public can only watch it on TV or online. The NYPD will route people who try to gather on Times Square away from the area. (Nov. 24)
Former President Donald Trump considered replacing the acting attorney general with an official willing to pursue unsubstantiated claims of election fraud, and he pushed the Justice Department to ask the Supreme Court to invalidate President Joe Biden’s victory, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. Citing people familiar with the matter, the Journal said the efforts in the last weeks of Trump's presidency failed because of resistance from his Justice appointees who refused to file what they viewed as a legally baseless lawsuit in the Supreme Court. Other senior department officials later threatened to resign if Trump fired then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, several people familiar with the discussions told the Journal.
KINGMAN, Ariz. — An Arizona sheriff's office was investigating a tour bus crash that killed one person and injured dozens of others, including five seriously, officials said Saturday. The Las Vegas-based bus crashed Friday and rolled over in northwestern Arizona while headed to a Grand Canyon viewpoint on the Hualapai Reservation. The wrecked bus was towed from the scene and examining it at a tow yard would be part of the investigation being conducted by the Mohave County Sheriff's Office, spokeswoman Anita Mortensen said. Cause of the crash was not immediately determined and no information was available about the vehicle's speed before the crash and other circumstances that might be related, Mortensen said. A fire official who responded to the scene said Friday that speed appeared to be factor. A photo provided by the sheriff’s office showed the bus on its side on a road that curves through Joshua trees with no snow or rain in the remote area. Kingman Regional Medical Center spokeswoman Teri Williams said 40 people were released after treatment Friday for minor injuries while three others who were seriously injured remained hospitalized Saturday and two additional seriously injured patients were transferred Friday to an unspecified Las Vegas hospital. The two transferred patients' conditions weren't known. No identities were released, and it wasn't immediately known whether the passengers were in a group or where they were from. The bus was heading to Grand Canyon West, about 2 1/2 hours from Las Vegas and outside the boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park. The tourist destination sits on the Hualapai reservation and is best known for the Skywalk, a glass bridge that juts out 70 feet (21 metres) from the canyon walls and gives visitors a view of the Colorado River 4,000 feet (1,219 metres) below. In a statement issued late Friday, the Hualapai Tribe and its businesses said they were saddened by the rollover and that safety is the highest priority for guests, employees and vendors. The Associated Press
Montreal police say they responded this morning to two large gatherings in the city's Outremont neighbourhood, their third such intervention in the area in under 24 hours. Service de Police de la Ville de Montreal spokeswoman Veronique Comtois says all three gatherings were held at places of worship and involved more than 10 people, the limit for indoor religious gatherings. Police responded to the first gathering around 5:15 p.m. Friday, the second around 9:30 a.m. Saturday, and the third around two hours later at 11:45 a.m. Officers took the names of people present at the scenes and will submit reports to Quebec's office of criminal prosecutions, which will decide whether to pursue further penalties. Quebec banned religious gatherings in its latest round of lockdowns earlier this month, but reversed the ban on Thursday after outcry from religious groups. Comtois says police issued three fines for curfew violations in the same area on Friday night, in incidents unrelated to the gathering earlier that evening. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — A burned body, believed to be of a homeless person, has been found in a forested area of North Vancouver, B.C. RCMP Sgt. Peter DeVries says no foul play is suspected at this time and instead this appears to be a tragic accident. He says a resident of a nearby home called police around 5 p.m. Friday about a fire in the bushes behind the Phibbs Exchange bus loop near Orwell Street. Police found the body along with items that suggested the person had set up shelter in the area. DeVries says the cause of the fire is under investigation but the temperature has dropped significantly in North Vancouver and the person might have been trying to warm themselves up. He says the coroners service is working to identify the person and it is not currently known if the individual was a woman or a man. He says it's not clear whether anyone other than the deceased person was camping there and no one else was at the scene when police arrived. DeVries is urging everyone to do what they can to help the homeless, especially as winter weather hits Metro Vancouver. "If you see homeless people, help them out," he said. He points to a program started by a fellow North Vancouver RCMP officer, Cpl. Randy Wong, called Warming the Homeless, which delivers socks, toques, mittens and other items to people living on the streets. When the weather gets cold, police proactively go out and find people who may be homeless and help them find shelter, DeVries added. "I know that police agencies throughout the Lower Mainland do the same things. It's a sad reality of society that this is the case." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. The Canadian Press
A COVID-19 scare caused Canada's planned scrimmage with the U.S. to be called off Saturday in Bradenton, Fla.The Canadian men had been scheduled to play two 70-minute soccer scrimmages against the Americans. Both teams are in camp, in separate bubbles, at the IMG Center.But four inconclusive tests from players/staff in the Canadian camp Friday caused the teams to cancel the match as a precaution. With both camps coming to an end on the weekend, there was no opportunity to reschedule."This is part of the learning we were hoping to be exposed to when we're down here, to understand how to adapt on the fly to a new COVID reality," Canada coach John Herdman said in an interview. "And again right at the core of everyone's decision are the health and safety of players. It's difficult times but we have to experience it to know how to adapt and then come out of it stronger."The inconclusive Canadian tests eventually came back negative and the Canadians played an intrasquad game instead.The match was billed as Red versus White with more veteran players at the core of the Red team. The youngsters won 1-0, however, with Vancouver Whitecaps defender Derek Cornelius knocking in a rebound."It's unfortunate the timing," Herdman said if the cancelled U.S. scrimmage. "But at the end of the day we got out of today what we hoped, which was another opportunity to assess all the players and get a sense of how our young players are tracking for the men's national team or the Olympic squad. And there were some real good learnings today."World Cup and CONCACAF Olympic qualifying are scheduled to begin in March. The Gold Cup follows in July.Herdman called the replacement intrasquad contest "an intense match.""These players when they compete against each other they tend to ramp it up another level," he said."It was a close game and a tough match for both teams," he added.The youngsters also won the first intrasquad scrimmage last Sunday, with Whitecaps forward Theo Bair scoring the lone goal after Toronto FC winger Jacob Shaffelburg was taken down by CF Montreal defender Kama Miller. Vancouver 'keeper Maxime Crepeau saved Pacific FC's Marco Bustos' penalty but Bair headed the rebound in.The Canada camp did not fall in a FIFA international window so top players like Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich). Jonathan David (Lille), Scott Arfield (Rangers), Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City), Milan Borjan (Red Star Belgrade) and Atba Hutchinson and Cyle Larin (both Besiktas) were not called in.But Herdman likes what he saw from those on hand, knowing depth could be crucial in a busy 2021. Because of COVID, a sore throat or case of the sniffles carry different implications and consequences these days, he noted."We're going to have to take bigger squads into our environments," Herdman said. "That's going to create a lot more opportunities."And I think a lot of these young players, particularly the guys that have broken through in MLS (last) year — Tajon Buchanan (New England), Alistair Johnston (Nashville SC), Ralph Priso (Toronto FC), Derek Cornelius (Vancouver) — there was a lot of the younger core players that showed that they could potentially push into that MNT (men's national team) environment."Herdman said with the uncertainty over the start of the 2021 MLS season, he may try for another camp for the North American players in advance of March. ---Follow @NeilMDavidson on TwitterThis report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021 Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
The Scottish National Party published a "Roadmap to Referendum" on Saturday, laying out plans for another vote on Scottish independence just as the United Kingdom grapples with COVID-19 and the impact of Brexit. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who would have to agree to a new referendum, argues there is no need for a new vote after independence was rejected by Scottish voters in 2014. But the SNP has said that if it wins a parliamentary majority at elections scheduled for May 6, it will pass its own bill so that a referendum can take place once the pandemic is over.
A concrete manufacturing facility in Surrey has been destroyed by a massive overnight fire. Surrey firefighters responded to the call just before 4 a.m. Saturday, and arrived on the scene at 192 Street and 54th Avenue to find a 20,000 square foot building engulfed in flames. The fire had also spread to several buildings nearby. Steve Serbic, assistant chief of operations for the Surrey Fire Service, said 36 firefighters and 15 fire trucks responded, and were forced to fight the fire from the outside, because of the explosive nature of the flames. "The fire consumed the whole building and the crews went into a defensive attack," said Serbic. Serbic said there were large propane tanks just outside the building, which the crews protected to avoid an explosion. "The challenging part of this fire was the gas, there were large propane tanks and natural gas that took some time to get shut off so the crews were battling some gas fires," he said. Serbic said there were no employees on the scene when the fire broke out, and the cause of the fire is under investigation. "It was a very cold night. There was lots of ice, lots of water, lots of aerials went up and the crews did a really good job," he said. "There were no injuries, so it was a productive outcome considering what they arrived to." Crews remained on the scene into Saturday morning, and excavators will go through the collapsed building to ensure hotspots are completely put out.
An effort to shake off some homesickness led Adam DuBourdieu to mix pop culture and provincial politics — namely, taking politicians involved in this election and matching them with their visual counterparts on "The Simpsons." Originally from Kippens on the province’s west coast, DuBourdieu, 30, moved to Edmonton, Alta., just before the COVID-19 pandemic set in. As with many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, he experienced homesickness in the months that followed the move. A keen follower of local politics when living in the province, DuBourdieu set about combatting his traveller’s lament by having some fun with the upcoming provincial election. Combining his love for "The Simpsons" and politics, he matched the politicians running in the election with the Simpsons character he saw as their cartoon counterparts. “I always loved watching 'The Simpsons,'” DuBourdieu. “I watched it with my dad.” Some matchups were tough, while others were easy fits, such as the NDP’s Jim Dinn, a former schoolteacher, and his match with Principal Skinner. "You can't take yourself too seriously. Being a teacher, that's par for the course," Dinn said of that character match. Dinn has seen the rather large social media thread containing the pictures. He said that as a teacher, he learned long ago that you have to have a sense of humour, and it's a lesson he's taken with him to politics. Seeing the thread, he took it in good fun. He said it could be worse. It could turn into a meme like a recent picture of United States Senator Bernie Sanders. "Let's have a laugh with it," said Dinn. "It's a good thing. It's a bit of good fun." The result was a 47-part thread on Twitter filled with pictures of the politicians and their characters side by side. It is a mixture of retiring MHAs, incumbents and party leaders of all political stripes. "The Simpsons" and politics have a bit of history. Across its 32 seasons, the show has mixed humour and politics. The show seemingly predicted the start of the United States presidency of Donald J. Trump, and the Lisa Simpson presidency that followed him. Coincidentally, Torngat Mountains MHA Lela Evans is paired with the presidential Lisa. The relationship, however, between "The Simpsons" and the political arena doesn’t stop at a coincidental presidential prediction. The show has often tackled topics of the day, such as same-sex marriage and gun control, and it has often been accused of having a liberal bias. Springfield’s Mayor Quimby is a regularly appearing character, and DuBourdieu saw him as a perfect match for Conception Bay East-Bell Island incumbent David Brazil. Homer Simpson — coupled with Topsail-Paradise MHA Paul Dinn — once fought former U.S. president George H.W. Bush after the two became neighbours. Former U.S. presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford have also made cameo appearances on the show. DuBourdieu tabbed Ford as the right match with Mount Pearl North MHA Jim Lester. “Politics has always been in 'The Simpsons,' and Newfoundland politics has some characters,” said DuBourdieu. Harbour Grace-Port de Grave MHA Pam Parsons knew at once who voiced Bart Simpsons’ former babysitter, Laura Powers. “That’s the one where Darlene from Roseanne voiced the character. Sara Gilbert,” she said. Like other children of the ’80s and early ’90s, Parsons grew up in the early years of "The Simpsons." She saw the show move from animated shorts on "The Tracy Ullman Show" to a pop culture phenomenon on Fox. “Growing up as a child, I certainly watched 'The Simpsons.' I loved Bart Simpson. I think we all did,” said Parsons. “I even had the little toys that McDonald’s was putting out.” Parsons is one of 10 women featured in the long Twitter thread. Of the 10, nine are incumbent MHAs and their animated doppelgangers. The remaining one is Newfoundland and Labrador Lt.-Gov. Judy Foote. She was paired with Springfield Elementary second-grade teacher Mrs. Hoover. “I like that (Dubourdieu) was non-partisan,” said Parsons, who appreciated the comedic break it offered. “I got a good chuckle out of it.” The response to the sizeable thread has been favourable online. It was something that surprised DuBourdieu at first. Since it went online, there have been dozens of interactions between politicians and the public. People have marvelled at how perfect some of the comparisons are, such as independent MHA Eddie Joyce being matched with oil tycoon Rich Texan. “It is something people are familiar with,” DuBourdieu said about why he chose to use "The Simpsons" as a reference point. Liberal candidate George Murphy tweeted that he thought of himself as the lovable barfly Barney Gumble instead of Police Chief Wiggum, the character he is attached to. Other candidates, such as Progressive Conservative candidate Kristina Ennis and the NDP’s Jenn Deon, have expressed interest in being connected to their Simpsons doubles. Lake Melville NDP candidate Amy Hogan even went ahead and did her own. It was Jerri Mackleberry, the mother of notable twins Sherri and Terri. “I think I’m probably the twins, Sherri and Terri’s mom, Jerri. It’s is the purple hair and the glasses,” Hogan tweeted. DuBourdieu pledged to do a third part of the thread if there is enough interest. In the days since it was posted, a link to the thread made its way around the Progressive Conservative email chain. “We got a good kick out of it,” said Conservative MHA Barry Petten. "You can’t help but laugh.” The Conception Bay South representative readily admitted he wasn’t much of a Simpsons watcher and had little background on Superintendent Chalmers or why he was paired with him. Still, Petten said he appreciated the work and the humour it brought to the election. “It’s all good humour,” he said. Looking back on the process and the result of his humourous entry into the Newfoundland and Labrador political scene, DuBourdieu has no regrets about piecing everything together. Some comparisons were easy, while others required a bit more thought, he said, and he learned a little along the way, namely, how male-dominated this province’s legislature is. As the province rolls toward the election on Feb. 13, DuBourdieu will watch from his home in Alberta. In the meantime, he is glad he got to contribute to the run-up in some way. “I’m glad I did it and I hope people get a good chuckle out of it,” said DuBourdieu. Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice
Police in Gatineau, Que., have arrested a man after a woman's body was found in the city's Buckingham sector Saturday morning. Officers were called to 190 rue Pigeon at around 7:30 a.m. after receiving a 911 call about an unconscious woman, the Gatineau Police Service said in a media release. Police said when they arrived on scene, it was obvious the woman could not be resuscitated. A man in his 60s was arrested at the scene, police said, but as of late Saturday afternoon had not been charged. The woman was in her 70s, police said. Her name has not been released. Police continue to investigate the suspicious death.
MONTREAL — Quebec reported a continued drop in overall COVID-19 case numbers on Saturday, as Premier Francois Legault called on residents to hold strong amid tougher restrictions on daily life. Legault released a message on his Facebook page on Saturday in which he acknowledged Quebecers were frustrated, but called for empathy for essential workers, who he said are bearing the brunt of much of people's stress. "This is normal, given all the upheaval we're going through," Legault said. "People are more impatient. At times, we have a bit of a short fuse." The drop in case numbers comes after the Quebec government implemented an 8 p.m. curfew province-wide on Jan. 9. Legault attributed the decline to the curfew, but has said hospitals are too full to lift the new restrictions as scheduled on Feb. 8, raising the likelihood that they will remain in place for at least several more weeks. Quebec on Saturday reported a drop in the number of people hospitalized due to COVID-19, continuing a trend that has been ongoing for the last several days, provincial health minister Christian Dubé said on Twitter. But Dubé warned that hospitalizations are still high, making it difficult for health-care workers to handle the load. Legault said earlier this month that the situation in Quebec's hospitals was critical, especially in the Montreal area. The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 fell by 43 to 1,383 on Saturday, while deaths attributed to the virus rose by 76 to 9,437 since the start of the pandemic. The total number of new COVID-19 cases reported on Saturday was 1,685. As of Saturday, at least 225,245 people in Quebec have recovered from COVID-19. The premier said in his Facebook post that there were encouraging signs that the situation in the province would improve soon, noting that Quebec finished vaccinating long-term care residents this week along with 130,000 health-care workers. Quebec reported administering 9,715 new vaccinations over the past 24 hours, for a total of 210,252 doses, or 2.46 per cent of the province's population. During the last seven days, 72,396 people have been vaccinated, for a daily average of 10,342 people. The Quebec government expects hospitalizations and case numbers to drop over the course of the next few weeks, Legault said. "There is hope on the horizon," he said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. Jon Victor, The Canadian Press
After an long-awaited inquiry into ground search and rescue was formally established earlier this month, Liberal Leader Andrew Furey says another inquiry, one looking into Innu children in care, won't start until the search and rescue inquiry is finished. The provincial government established the search and rescue inquiry in a wave of announcements on Jan. 14, the day before the election was called. The inquiry into search and rescue was promised in 2015, after 14-year-old Burton Winters perished when his snowmobile became stuck on the sea ice outside Makkovik three years prior. Winters's family has repeatedly asked for the inquiry to begin and explain why it took two days for a military aircraft to be dispatched to aid ground search and rescue. However, the search and rescue inquiry will focus on policy, instead of investigation. It will hold one hearing into the search for Burton Winters. It's not clear when inquiry commissioner and former provincial court justice James Igloliorte will begin formally gathering facts and holding hearings, but proceedings are expected to wrap up sometime in June. But, Furey says the long-awaited inquiry into Innu children in care in Newfoundland and Labrador won't happen at the same time. "They're not going to happen simultaneously, but we have had really good progress with the Innu Nation and it looks like we've secured a council and a framework to move forward," Furey said Thursday. The province said more than three years ago it would launch an inquiry into Innu children in the child-care system, but there's been little to no movement in the time since. The suicide of Innu teen Wally Rich, while he was in the care of a group home in the child protection system in May 2020, renewed calls for that inquiry to begin last year. A shortage of Supreme Court judges hindered the search for a commissioner for the inquiry, and the Innu Nation previously agreed agreed to allow a commissioner from out of the province to head the inquiry. PCs, NDP call for inquiry to start PC Leader Ches Crosbie said Saturday that he doesn't know why the inquiry into Innu children in care has taken so long. "This has been bouncing around for something like three years, I think. The point about that is that it should have been done and over with by now," he said. "I don't understand why the government is dragging its feet." Alison Coffin, leader of the New Democratic party, echoed Crosbie's comments. "I think that we need to start that inquiry sooner rather than later. I don't understand why they would think that they can't be concurrent," she said. "Those are two separate and distinct things and I think they both deserve to be addressed, [it's] something that we said we were going to do for a really long time, I'm not sure why he's put it off." The Innu Nation says it will have more to say about the inquiry and other issues next week. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Canada Post employees and contractors who typically work the afternoon shift are self-isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak at a key mail facility in Mississauga, Ont. The postal service says in a statement that Peel Public Health recommended the precautionary measure as the most effective way to control further spread at the Gateway facility on Dixie Road. It says afternoon-shift workers who were at the facility Friday evening were told to leave and self-isolate for 14 days, while those who were not there Friday were told to self-isolate for 14 days from the last day they were at work. Canada Post did not say how many employees were affected by the measure, but it says they include those represented by unions, team leaders, managers, support teams and contracted cleaners. It says it's also following other recommendations from Peel Public Health, including conducting on-site rapid testing of other employees next week and enforcing safety protocols with an increased focus on washrooms, lunch rooms and locker rooms. "We understand this situation has been hard on employees at the facility and we will continue to follow the guidance of Public Health and keep them informed," the statement says. "Given the significance of the Gateway facility within our processing network, we are evaluating and adapting our existing contingency plans to manage the impact on customers." Rapid testing at the site has resulted in 42 positive tests over the past four days, Canada Post says. It says there have been a total of 190 positive cases at the facility since Jan. 1. Spokesman Phil Legault has said the facility is central to the Crown corporation's entire national delivery and processing network. Legault said the plant continues to operate and process heavy incoming parcel volumes, but there will be delays. More than 4,500 people work at the Mississauga site. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. The Canadian Press
Exactly a year ago, Wuhan shocked the world by confining its 11 million inhabitants to their homes, beginning a 76-day lockdown. View on euronews
An Ontario doctor who caught the coronavirus variant is no longer on the medical team at two nursing homes east of Toronto, after it was revealed this week that she's been charged with obstruction for allegedly misleading health officials about her contacts. Dr. Martina Weir was an attending physician at Fairview Lodge in Whitby, Ont., and Hillsdale Terraces in Oshawa, Ont., long-term care homes run by the Durham Region municipal government. A spokesperson confirmed by email on Saturday that Weir "is no longer working as an attending physician at any of Durham Region's long-term care homes." Weir's status at the homes was suspended earlier this week and her contract was put under review, after CBC News revealed she has been charged with three provincial offences alleging she hindered COVID-19 contact-tracing efforts. Two of the charges under Ontario's Health Protection and Promotion Act against Weir allege she provided inaccurate information about her contacts both before and after it was discovered, by fluke, that she and her husband had caught the highly contagious variant of the coronavirus first detected in the United Kingdom. The third charge alleges she committed obstruction by giving false information to Durham Region's associate medical officer of health. Her husband, Brian Weir, who works in administration for Toronto Paramedic Services as a senior scheduler, has also been charged with three similar counts. The non-criminal charges, which carry a maximum penalty of $5,000 each, have not been tested in court. Weir and her husband said through their respective lawyers earlier this week that they are not guilty and will "vigorously defend" themselves. Their case first came to public attention on Boxing Day when Ontario's Ministry of Health put out a statement that a then-unnamed Durham Region couple had tested positive for the coronavirus variant first reported in the U.K. The Health Ministry said at the time that they had "no known travel history, exposure or high-risk contacts." But a day later, the ministry issued a second statement alleging the couple had withheld information. "Additional investigation and follow-up case and contact management has revealed that the couple had, indeed, been in contact with a recent traveller from the U.K., which is new information not provided in earlier interviews," the ministry said on Dec. 27. CBC News has learned that a close family member who lives in Britain flew to Canada in mid-December to spend time over the holidays at the Weirs' home. 'Protocols were followed' The two nursing homes where Weir worked have made it clear that "there are no concerns about risk to residents related to this matter," because Weir wasn't on site after Dec. 11 — well before she is believed to have tested positive for COVID-19. Weir also has staff privileges at three hospitals in Durham Region. Lakeridge Health, which operates the hospitals, said on Thursday that Weir didn't enter any hospital facilities, work or care for patients during the month of December. "All COVID-19 prevention protocols were followed to ensure the safety of our team and our patients," Lakeridge Health said in a statement. CBC News also has no information that Weir's husband went to work and put anyone at risk at his workplace.
MOSCOW — Russian police arrested more than 3,000 people Saturday in nationwide protests demanding the release of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the Kremlin's most prominent foe, according to a group that counts political detentions. The protests in scores of cities in temperatures as low as minus-50 C (minus-58 F) highlighted how Navalny has built influence far beyond the political and cultural centres of Moscow and St. Petersburg. In Moscow, an estimated 15,000 demonstrators gathered in and around Pushkin Square in the city centre, where clashes with police broke out and demonstrators were roughly dragged off by helmeted riot officers to police buses and detention trucks. Some were beaten with batons. Navalny’s wife Yulia was among those arrested. Police eventually pushed demonstrators out of the square. Thousands then regrouped along a wide boulevard about a kilometre (half-mile) away, many of them throwing snowballs at the police before dispersing. Some later went to protest near the jail where Navalny is held. Police made an undetermined number of arrests there. The protests stretched across Russia’s vast territory, from the island city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk north of Japan and the eastern Siberian city of Yakutsk, where temperatures plunged to minus-50 Celsius, to Russia’s more populous European cities. Navalny and his anti-corruption campaign have built an extensive network of support despite official government repression and being routinely ignored by state media. “The situation is getting worse and worse, it’s total lawlessness," said Andrei Gorkyov, a protester in Moscow. "And if we stay silent, it will go on forever.” The OVD-Info group, which monitors political arrests, said at least 1,167 people were detained in Moscow and more than 460 at another large demonstration in St. Petersburg. Overall, it said 3,068 people had been arrested in some 90 cities, revising the count downward from its earlier report of 3,445. The group did not give an explanation for its revision. Russian police did not provide arrest figures. Undeterred, Navalny's supporters called for protests again next weekend. Navalny was arrested on Jan. 17 when he returned to Moscow from Germany, where he had spent five months recovering from a severe nerve-agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin and which Russian authorities deny. Authorities say his stay in Germany violated terms of a suspended sentence in a 2014 criminal conviction, while Navalny says the conviction was for made-up charges. The 44-year-old activist is well known nationally for his reports on the corruption that has flourished under President Vladimir Putin's government. His wide support puts the Kremlin in a strategic bind — officials are apparently unwilling to back down by letting him go free, but keeping him in custody risks more protests and criticism from the West. In a statement, the U.S. State Department condemned “the use of harsh tactics against protesters and journalists this weekend in cities throughout Russia” and called on Russian authorities to immediately release Navalny and all those detained at protests. Navalny faces a court hearing in early February to determine whether his sentence in the criminal case for fraud and money-laundering — which Navalny says was politically motivated — is converted to 3 1/2 years behind bars. Moscow police on Thursday arrested three top Navalny associates, two of whom were later jailed for periods of nine and 10 days. Navalny fell into a coma while aboard a domestic flight from Siberia to Moscow on Aug. 20. He was transferred from a hospital in Siberia to a Berlin hospital two days later. Labs in Germany, France and Sweden, and tests by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, established that he was exposed to the Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent. Russian authorities insisted that the doctors who treated Navalny in Siberia before he was airlifted to Germany found no traces of poison and have challenged German officials to provide proof of his poisoning. Russia refused to open a full-fledged criminal inquiry, citing a lack of evidence that Navalny was poisoned. Last month, Navalny released the recording of a phone call he said he made to a man he described as an alleged member of a group of officers of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, who purportedly poisoned him in August and then tried to cover it up. The FSB dismissed the recording as fake. Navalny has been a thorn in the Kremlin’s side for a decade, unusually durable in an opposition movement often demoralized by repressions. He has been jailed repeatedly in connection with protests and twice was convicted of financial misdeeds in cases that he said were politically motivated. He suffered significant eye damage when an assailant threw disinfectant into his face. He was taken from jail to a hospital in 2019 with an illness that authorities said was an allergic reaction but which many suspected was a poisoning. Daria Litvinova And Jim Heintz, The Associated Press
DALLAS — A 34-year-old Texas man has been arrested for allegedly taking part in the storming of the U.S. Capitol this month and posting violent threats, including a call to assassinate Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. Garret Miller, who is from the Dallas suburb of Richardson, was arrested Friday after being named in a five-count federal complaint. Authorities allege that Miller posted photos and videos on his social media accounts that show him inside the Capitol during the Jan. 6 storming of the building by supporters of then-President Donald Trump. They also say he called for violence in online posts, including a tweet that simply read “Assassinate AOC,” a reference to the liberal Ocasio-Cortez. In another tweet, Miller posted: “They are right next time we bring the guns," an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit. Miller also threatened a U.S. Capitol police officer during an exchange on Instagram, writing that he planned to “hug his neck with a nice rope," the affidavit states. After posting a photo on Facebook showing him inside the Capitol, Miller responded to a comment on the picture with: “just want to incriminate myself a little lol," according to an FBI affidavit. Ocasio-Cortez on Friday posted Miller's charging documents on Twitter and then tweeted: “On one hand you have to laugh, and on the other know that the reason they were this brazen is because they thought they were going to succeed." Miller's attorney, Clint Broden, said in an email to The Associated Press that Miller regrets the actions he took “in a misguided effort to show his support for former President Trump." “His social media comments reflect very ill-considered political hyperbole in very divided times and will certainly not be repeated in the future," Broden said. “He looks forward to putting all of this behind him." Miller is scheduled for a detention hearing on Monday. “We are hopeful that, given his family support and regret for his actions, he will be released so that he can resolve the charges against him in a timely fashion," Broden said. The Associated Press
During a COVID-19 outbreak, employees at a Loblaws warehouse in Calgary worked while symptomatic, didn't wear masks, and didn't disinfect equipment, according to a recently issued health order. Alberta Health Services said epidemiologists determined at least 10 people were working while showing symptoms of COVID-19 during the ongoing outbreak at Westfair Foods, a warehouse located at 55 Freeport Boulevard N.E. that serves Loblaws stores like Real Canadian Superstore and Shoppers Drug Mart in Calgary. The health order, issued Thursday, also states that there was inconsistent masking among forklift operators at the warehouse. "The most recent outbreak includes many positive cases among employees within this role (attack rates of 23 per cent and 30 per cent respectively between the two outbreaks)," the order reads. It stated that disinfection procedures weren't being observed, washrooms weren't being disinfected frequently, and there was a lack of evidence that systems to prevent spread of COVID-19 were being carried out or monitored by on-site management. An Alberta Health spokesperson said there are 60 cases linked to the current outbreak at the warehouse, 11 of which are active, and that updated numbers would be available on Tuesday. Loblaws was ordered to implement daily screening at the warehouse and maintain records, ensure all workers are wearing masks, complete a risk mitigation plan, and share materials with AHS that were provided to employees about COVID-19. Catherine Thomas, senior director of external communications for Loblaws, said in an emailed statement that the AHS report is not in line with the company's expectations for the site, and that the company is working closely with public health on next steps. "Since the beginning of the pandemic, the safety of our team members has been at the forefront of everything we do. Specifically at our distribution centres, we have put a number of protocols in place, including daily health screening, increased sanitization efforts, and physical distancing requirements," the statement read. There are currently multiple COVID-19 outbreaks at warehouses in the Calgary area, including at three Walmart Logsitics facilities, a Sobeys distribution centre, a Cargill processing facility, and an Amazon warehouse. Other health orders The health order was also one of a few issued in the city this week. Fatima restaurant in northeast Calgary was ordered to close for breaking COVID-19 and other food safety rules, including storing open foods alongside mouse droppings and a food handler wearing a mask beneath their nose. Dynamic Furniture in the city's southeast was ordered closed, as close contacts of COVID-19 cases were working while legally required to be quarantined, some staff were not wearing masks, and staff were wearing dirty gloves. And Northside Baptist Church, in the northeast, was ordered to allow health inspectors to enter the facility and to enforce COVID-19 rules, after pastor David Atkins refused to allow a public health inspector to enter and dozens of congregants were observed entering the church without masks.
A five-year-old boy from Sainte-Marie-de-Kent, N.B., has been picked up by the big leagues. A video of Nicholas Allain riding a mini-Zamboni on his backyard rink has been shared by the NHL on its Instagram page. In the video, Nicholas is driving a battery-operated John Deere tractor made for kids that was modified to clean the backyard rink his dad, Marty, built for him. It was Marty's first time making a backyard rink. A Zamboni? He had no idea it was going to be such a hit right out of the gate. "It was pretty cool," Marty said, adding that the NHL Instagram account contacted him in advance to ask permission to share his video. The NHL's official account has 4.5-million followers. "A lot of my friends, and even people that I didn't talk to in a while, reached out and thought it was pretty cool," he said. Marty originally posted the video online in a Facebook page for people who make outdoor rinks. Things just snowballed from there before catching the attention of the NHL. He said his son may not realize how much the video has been shared because he's so young, but he said Nicholas was pretty excited to look at the post the NHL made showing him driving the Zamboni with the caption "FRESH SHEET ALERT." "He watches hockey a little bit," said Marty. He said his son's favorite team is the Vegas Golden Knights because Lukas Cormier, who plays for the team, is also from Sainte-Marie-de-Kent. Marty said he decided to make the rink this year because he was concerned that minor hockey, and access to the local arena, would be interrupted due to COVID-19, which turned out to be true. He started planning in the fall and started building the pieces in the garage. "It was a lot of time," he laughed. "I didn't count my hours but a lot of Friday nights in the garage with a few cold pops." The project turned out to be quite elaborate with rounded corners and boards painted to look like a professional rink, topped off with bright flood lights for practices at night. He's already planning to make the rink bigger next year. "I wanted to do something special for my son," he said. "I wanted to do something where he could really practise his shot." It didn't take Marty long to realize that he had the perfect opportunity to make a small Zamboni for his son to help care for the ice surface. Marty rigged the machine with studded tires, a bucket, hose and a sheet of cloth to groom the ice. "He can actually manoeuvre around and get it all done if he wants to — if a five-year-old wants to," Marty laughed. Marty said Nicholas would rather skate on the rink than clean it, even with his Zamboni.
At least two businesses in the Maritimes have had their online contests hijacked by scammers in the past week. The businesses, Nimrods' restaurant in P.E.I. and the snack-food company Made with Local in Nova Scotia, are warning customers not to be fooled by scammers telling them they won a contest and asking them to provide personal information such as credit card numbers. Nimrods' began a contest recently in conjunction with the Facebook group P.E.I. Good News Only. Facebook users would like and share a post, and be eligible to win a $100 gift certificate. But soon afterward, people were notified by scammers with a fake Nimrods' account saying they had won, and linking to a page where they were asked to provide credit card information. "We started receiving messages from people saying, 'Is this fake or is this real?' and so then we knew there was an issue," said Nimrods' co-owner Mikey Wasnidge. Nimrods' and the administrator of P.E.I. Good News Only quickly posted a message warning of the scam. Sheena Russell, who is from P.E.I. and founded Made with Local in Dartmouth in 2012, said something similar happened with her company last week. Made with Local, a company that creates food bars and baking mixes using local ingredients, was running a giveaway on Instagram offering a one-year supply of food bars, worth about $600. "About 24 hours in, we started seeing fake accounts trying to lure people in to entering their personal information in exchange for their prize, which is clearly not how this actually works, so that was pretty upsetting," Russell said. Wasnidge and Russell said they would contact the winners privately or post the name of the winner, and not ask for personal information. Nobody reported losing money Neither business owner contacted the police about the scam, and say they are relieved that, to their knowledge, nobody lost any money. However, they are disappointed and discouraged that someone would target their company that way. "It feels terrible," Russell said. "We spent most of the day on Friday talking to people about how this wasn't us and please don't click the link, like trying to essentially protect people from getting duped into this which you know definitely kind of take the fun out of what we were trying to do." Russell said they have run many contests in the past with no issues, but thinks the early success of the Instagram contest might have caught the attention of the scammers. Wasnidge said it makes him wonder how far scammers are willing to go, and will make the company rethink how it does contests in the future. "It's a little unnerving," he said. "It kind of hurts us that people are using the name Nimrods', you know, taking advantage of the recognizability and the familiarity and the support that that name has, and using that to trick people and make money." More from CBC P.E.I.
FREDERICTON — The New Brunswick Liberal party chose a new executive Saturday but has yet to decide when to name a new leader. Former federal member of parliament and Moncton, N.B., mayor Brian Murphy was elected the new party president as 1,100 members took part in a virtual biennial meeting Saturday afternoon. Murphy said the party did well in francophone ridings during the last provincial election, but didn't make the same inroads in anglophone areas. "Looking inwardly, we don't have representation in southern and western New Brunswick. we only have one MLA in three of the largest cities, so we have some work to do," Murphy said in an interview following the meeting. He said the party needs to improve organization, policy and unity. "We have to look within ourselves and to the future and get some policy," he said. "Our held ridings are in the north in the francophone part of the province and we want to change that." Murphy said the party will look to a number of methods, including social media, to get its message out to attract young voters. "We've got to reach voters where they are," he said. "We have to modernize the way we send our message, not our message. Our message is we are a party of inclusion. We are a party of acceptance." The party has not set a date for a leadership convention to replace Kevin Vickers, who quit after failing to win a seat in last year's provincial election. Currently Premier Blain Higgs' Progressive Conservatives have a majority in the legislature with 27 seats, while the Liberals have 17, the Greens have three and there are two members from the People's Alliance. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. The Canadian Press