Chiefs' TE Travis Kelce has been unbelievably dominant at the position in 2020, making him deserving of the season-long fantasy football MVP.
Chiefs' TE Travis Kelce has been unbelievably dominant at the position in 2020, making him deserving of the season-long fantasy football MVP.
PALM BEACH, Fla. — Donald Trump has lost his social media megaphone, the power of government and the unequivocal support of his party's elected leaders. But a week after leaving the White House in disgrace, a large-scale Republican defection that would ultimately purge him from the party appears unlikely. Many Republicans refuse to publicly defend Trump's role in sparking the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. But as the Senate prepares for an impeachment trial for Trump's incitement of the riot, few seem willing to hold the former president accountable. After House Republicans who backed his impeachment found themselves facing intense backlash — and Trump’s lieutenants signalled the same fate would meet others who joined them — Senate Republicans voted overwhelmingly Tuesday for an attempt to dismiss his second impeachment trial. Only five Republican senators rejected the challenge to the trial. Trump's conviction was considered a real possibility just days ago after lawmakers whose lives were threatened by the mob weighed the appropriate consequences — and the future of their party. But the Senate vote on Tuesday is a sign that while Trump may be held in low regard in Washington following the riots, a large swath of Republicans is leery of crossing his supporters, who remain the majority of the party’s voters. “The political winds within the Republican Party have blown in the opposite direction,” said Ralph Reed, chair of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and a Trump ally. “Republicans have decided that even if one believes he made mistakes after the November election and on Jan. 6, the policies Trump championed and victories he won from judges to regulatory rollback to life to tax cuts were too great to allow the party to leave him on the battlefield.” The vote came after Trump, who decamped last week to his private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, began wading back into politics between rounds of golf. He took an early step into the Arkansas governor’s race by endorsing former White House aide Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and backed Kelli Ward, an ally who won reelection as chair of Arizona’s Republican Party after his endorsement. At the same time, Trump’s team has given allies an informal blessing to campaign against the 10 House Republicans who voted in favour of impeachment. After Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer backed impeachment, Republican Tom Norton announced a primary challenge. Norton appeared on longtime Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s podcast in a bid to raise campaign contributions. On Thursday, another Trump loyalist, Rep. Matt Gaetz, plans to travel to Wyoming to condemn home-state Rep. Liz Cheney, a House GOP leader who said after the Capitol riot that “there has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.” Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. — a star with Trump’s loyal base —- has encouraged Gaetz on social media and embraced calls for Cheney’s removal from House leadership. Trump remains livid with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, who refused to support Trump's false charges that Georgia's elections were fraudulent. Kemp is up for reelection in 2022, and Trump has suggested former Rep. Doug Collins run against him. Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman’s decision not to seek reelection in 2022 opens the door for Rep. Jim Jordan, one of Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters, to seek the seat. Several other Republicans, some far less supportive of the former president, are also considering running. Trump’s continued involvement in national politics so soon after his departure marks a dramatic break from past presidents, who typically stepped out of the spotlight, at least temporarily. Former President Barack Obama was famously seen kitesurfing on vacation with billionaire Richard Branson shortly after he left office, and former President George W. Bush took up painting. Trump, who craves the media spotlight, was never expected to burrow out of public view. “We will be back in some form,” he told supporters at a farewell event before he left for Florida. But exactly what form that will take is a work in progress. Trump remains deeply popular among Republican voters and is sitting on a huge pot of cash — well over $50 million — that he could use to prop up primary challenges against Republicans who backed his impeachment or refused to support his failed efforts to challenge the election results using bogus allegations of mass voter fraud in states like Georgia. “POTUS told me after the election that he’s going to be very involved,” said Matt Schlapp, the chair of the American Conservative Union. “I think he’s going to stay engaged. He’s going to keep communicating. He’s going to keep expressing his opinions. I, for one, think that’s great, and I encouraged him to do that.” Aides say he also intends to dedicate himself to winning back the House and Senate for Republicans in 2022. But for now, they say their sights are on the trial. “We’re getting ready for an impeachment trial — that’s really the focus,” said Trump adviser Jason Miller. Trump aides have also spent recent days trying to assure Republicans that he is not currently planning to launch a third party — an idea he has floated — and will instead focus on using his clout in the Republican Party. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said he received a call from Brian Jack, the former White House political director, on Saturday at home to assure him that Trump had no plans for defection. “The main reason for the call was to make sure I knew from him that he’s not starting a third party and if I would be helpful in squashing any rumours that he was starting a third party. And that his political activism or whatever role he would play going forward would be with the Republican Party, not as a third party,” Cramer said. The calls were first reported by Politico. But the stakes remain high for Trump, whose legacy is a point of fierce contention in a Republican Party that is grappling with its identity after losing the White House and both chambers of Congress. Just three weeks after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, Trump’s political standing among Republican leaders in Washington remains low. “I don’t know whether he incited it, but he was part of the problem, put it that way,” said Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a strong Trump supporter, when asked about the Capitol siege and the related impeachment trial. Tuberville did not say whether he would personally defend Trump in the trial, but he downplayed the prospect of negative consequences for those Republican senators who ultimately vote to convict him. “I don’t think there’ll be any repercussions,” Tuberville said. “People are going to vote how they feel anyway.” Trump maintains a strong base of support within the Republican National Committee and in state party leadership, but even there, Republican officials have dared to speak out against him in recent days in ways they did not before. In Arizona, Ward, who had Trump’s backing, was only narrowly reelected over the weekend, even as the party voted to censure a handful of Trump’s Republican critics, including former Sen. Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain. At the same time, Trump’s prospective impeachment sparked a bitter feud within the RNC. In a private email exchange obtained by The Associated Press, RNC member Demetra DeMonte of Illinois proposed a resolution calling on every Republican senator to oppose what she called an “unconstitutional sham impeachment trial, motivated by a radical and reckless Democrat majority.” Bill Palatucci, a Republican committeeman from New Jersey, slapped back. “His act of insurrection was an attack on our very democracy and deserves impeachment,” Palatucci wrote. ___ Peoples reported from New York. Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington contributed to this report. Steve Peoples And Jill Colvin, The Associated Press
À Laval, la Cité de la biotech abrite une société de recherche contractuelle qui est non seulement impliquée dans la moitié des projets de développement de vaccins contre la COVID-19, mais qui s’affiche désormais comme «le plus important joueur» mondial en matière de tests cliniques liés à l’approbation de nouveaux vaccins. Il s’agit de Nexelis, un prestataire de services auprès d’entreprises pharmaceutiques et biotechnologiques né en 2015 (sous l’ancien vocable NÉOMED-LABS) à la suite de la fermeture du centre de recherche sur les vaccins que GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) exploitait au 525, boulevard Cartier. Le 20 janvier, l’entreprise lavalloise annonçait une importante acquisition, la 5e à survenir au cours des trois dernières années. D’ici la fin du mois de janvier, le laboratoire de bioanalyse clinique certifié GCLP que détenait GSK à Marburg, en Allemagne, sera la propriété de Nexelis, qui gonfle ainsi ses effectifs à plus de 360 employés dont près de la moitié œuvrent à Laval. Composée de quelque 80 scientifiques et analystes, l’équipe allemande continuera à œuvrer étroitement avec le géant pharmaceutique britannique en soutien au développement de futurs candidats vaccins de GSK, et ce, en vertu d’un accord de collaboration stratégique d'une durée de 5 ans. «La sous-traitance stratégique permettra à GSK d'accroitre sa capacité de tests et son agilité [et] de continuer à accélérer le développement des candidats vaccins dans notre pipeline», a indiqué par voie de communiqué Emmanuel Hanon, chef de la R&D; de GSK Vaccins, rappelant au passage «la réussite du transfert d’activités de laboratoire à Nexelis» en 2015. Depuis 2017, Nexelis aura en moyenne doublé ses revenus chaque année pour atteindre le plateau des 100 M$ US en 2021, indique son président et chef de la direction, Benoit Bouche. «Le segment de la bioanalytique dans le domaine des vaccins est une niche de l’ordre de 250 M$ et notre part de marché mondiale est supérieure à 20 %», précise-t-il. Benoit Bouche souligne également que les quelque 150 employés affectés aux laboratoires de Laval sont actuellement mis à contribution pour les essais cliniques de 20 des 42 projets de vaccin contre la COVID-19 en développement à travers la planète. En clair, le mandat consiste à valider l’efficacité des candidats vaccins en vue de l’ultime homologation des agences réglementaires, tels Santé Canada et la Food and Drug Administration (FDA) aux États-Unis. Les méthodes analytiques et les plateformes technologiques de pointe développées par Nexelis lui assurent une capacité de tests d’échantillons cliniques à très haut débit. «Notre capacité d’analyse est de 10 à 15 000 tests par jour», illustre M. Bouche en évoquant l’ensemble des laboratoires que l’entreprise possède dans ses cinq installations en Amérique du Nord et en Europe. Entreprise détenue par la société de portefeuille Ampersand Capital Partners, Nexelis a le vent dans les voiles et entend bien poursuivre son expansion comme en témoignent les 80 nouvelles embauches projetées en cours d’année. «On s’engage à recruter au moins 100 nouveaux chercheurs à Laval dans les 3 années qui viennent, dont 40 en 2021», termine Benoît Bouche. Dans la foulée de cette expansion à très court terme, le patron de Nexelis est d’ailleurs à évaluer l’occupation d’un second site à la faveur d’un immeuble vacant de la Cité de la biotechnologie et de la santé humaine. Stéphane St-Amour, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department on Tuesday rescinded a Trump-era memo that established a “zero tolerance” enforcement policy for migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, which resulted in thousands of family separations. Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson issued the new memo to federal prosecutors across the nation, saying the department would return to its longstanding previous policy and instructing prosecutors to act on the merits of individual cases. “Consistent with this longstanding principle of making individualized assessments in criminal cases, I am rescinding — effective immediately — the policy directive,” Wilkinson wrote. Wilkinson said the department’s principles have “long emphasized that decisions about bringing criminal charges should involve not only a determination that a federal offence has been committed and that the admissible evidence will probably be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction, but should also take into account other individualized factors, including personal circumstances and criminal history, the seriousness of the offence, and the probable sentence or other consequences that would result from a conviction.” The “zero tolerance” policy meant that any adult caught crossing the border illegally would be prosecuted for illegal entry. Because children cannot be jailed with their family members, families were separated and children were taken into custody by Health and Human Services, which manages unaccompanied children at the border. While the rescinding of “zero tolerance” is in part symbolic, it undoes the Trump administration’s massively unpopular policy responsible for the separation of more than 5,500 children from their parents at the U.S-Mexico border. Most families have not been prosecuted under zero tolerance since 2018, when the separations were halted, though separations have continued on a smaller scale. Practically, the ending of the policy will affect mostly single men who have entered the country illegally. “While policies may change, our mission always remains the same: to seek justice under the law," Wilkinson wrote in the memo. President Joe Biden has issued an executive order to undo some of Trump’s restrictive policies, but the previous administration has so altered the immigration landscape that it will take quite a while to untangle all the major changes. Some of the parents separated from their children were deported. Advocates for the families have called on Biden to allow those families to reunite in the United States. Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, along with Trump and other top leaders in his administration, were bent on curbing immigration. The “zero tolerance” policy was one of several increasingly restrictive policies aimed at discouraging migrants from coming to the Southern border. Trump’s administration also vastly reduced the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. and all but halted asylum at the border, through a combination of executive orders and regulation changes. The policy was a disaster; there was no system created to reunite children with their families. A report from the Justice Department’s inspector general, released earlier this month, found that the policy led to a $227 million funding shortfall. Children suffered lasting emotional damage from the separations and the policy was criticized as grossly inhumane by world leaders. The policy began April 6, 2018, under an executive order that was issued without warning to other federal agencies that would have to manage the policy, including the U.S. Marshals Service and Health and Human Services. It was halted June 20, 2018. A federal judge ordered the families to be reunited and is still working to do so. The watchdog report also found that Sessions and other top officials knew the children would be separated under the policy and encouraged it. Justice officials ignored concerns from staff about the rollout and did not bother to set up a system to track families in order to reunite them. Some children are still separated. ___ Follow Balsamo and Long on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MikeBalsamo1 and https://twitter.com/ctlong1. Michael Balsamo And Colleen Long, The Associated Press
Construction on Place des Arts began in earnest, then a pandemic set back. Work resumes once again, then a second lockdown — then the announcement of a sort-of third lockdown. The construction was supposed to continue, but then everything was shut down once again last week, with the building work ceasing on Friday. But then Monday it started again. There was an amendment to the legislation. It’s just another part of the journey, says Léo Therrien, executive director of the new Francophone arts and culture centre in downtown Sudbury. “The construction is expected to be done at the end of the summer, give or take, and again COVID willing,” said Therrien. “And then our hope is to open later in the fall. Even once the work is finished, everyone has to move in, we have to test all the equipment, you have to do a few shows, too.” But he’s pleased this timeline should coincide with the vaccination process in Sudbury. “I think everyone will be ready to get back to shows,” he said. It is also this specific, pandemic-related journey that has revealed an interesting way for the seven organisations behind ROCS (Regroupement des organismes culturels de Sudbury) to offer planning and programming that is not only accessible in the pandemic world, but in the post-pandemic world as well: streaming. “Our hope is with streaming that we'll be able to stream internally to the various venues inside,” said Therrien. That includes the ability to watch a performance from anywhere in the building. “There's a performance in La Grande Salle (main theatre),” he said. “We can send it to the studio, we can send it to the Bistro, we can send it to other venues. We could split people in various places internally. “But we can also Zoom it, stream it externally, too, for conferences, for performances, and so on.” Whether you love a live show, or your life is more conducive to enjoying it in your pyjamas, there will be options for you. There will even be recordings, something in the works for La Nuit sur l'étang music festival. “Right now, they're planning the shows in March,” said Therrien, “But they might be able to get only 50 people right now because of COVID. So, their plan is to have various cameras and record the whole show and sell it later on at another date – present it as a recorded show.” And because of the occasional pause in the construction, there is the opportunity to consider these aspects: when you can’t build, you have the advantage of time while you work out the kinks of closed-circuit television. Silver Linings, as they say. “It's the right time for us to put the equipment in place because the walls aren't done yet. It would be too hard to do it if it was all finished,” said Therrien. “That's one of the only bonuses from COVID, is that we were able to adapt.” But also, they are not open. That means they are not bringing in revenue as of yet. Still, that may again be fortuitous (to be generous with the interpretation). Therrien said that while they wish the building was finished, it also prevented them from having to cancel or postpone. “We didn't have to stop any shows because we didn't have any shows planned,” he said. “So many of our partners had to cancel their season, then restart it and cancel it again. And it's been that nightmare for them.” He said that they hope the opening of the Place des arts will allow community arts and culture groups — both Anglophone and Francophone — to come together and pool resources, to use the knowledge and experience from every corner of the city to create programming to enrich Francophone culture and, by extension, Sudbury culture, as well as offer a home to Anglophone groups, like YES Theatre, which is currently in negotiations with the Place des arts team. There will not only be the headquarters of the seven founding Francophone organisations, as well as a gift shop, bookstore, bistro and multi-purpose studio space, but also a grand theatre and office space and rehearsal space. And there has never been a better time for art, said Therrien. Movies, television, books, puzzles, art galleries tours and musicals on Zoom — you name the medium, the world consumed content on it — and he’s hopeful this trend will continue. “Art and culture is healthy to our wellbeing, the health of ourselves,” said Therrien. “That’s why a place like this is essential to our community and to everyone in it.” Jenny Lamothe, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sudbury.com
MADRID — Real Betis came from behind to beat Real Sociedad 3-1 in extra time on Tuesday, reaching the Copa del Rey quarterfinals for the second time in three seasons. Forward Borja Iglesias scored twice in extra time after Sergio Canales equalized late in regulation in a round of 16 match played under heavy fog in Seville. Iglesias netted with a left-footed shot from close range six minutes into extra time and then sealed the victory with a header in the 111th minute of the game. Mikel Oyarzabal had put the visitors ahead after a breakaway in the 13th and Canales made it 1-1 in the 78th with a low shot from outside the area. Both teams finished with 10 men as Sociedad's Asier Illarramendi was sent off in the 48th and Betis' Antonio Sanabria got a red card in the 76th. Betis was eliminated in the round of 32 of the Copa in three of the last four seasons but made it to the semifinals in 2019, when it lost to eventual champion Valencia. Sociedad made it to last season's final against Basque Country rival Athletic Bilbao. The final has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic and is yet to be rescheduled as officials try to wait for fans to be allowed to return to stadiums. VILLARREAL BACK IN QUARTERS Yéremi Pino scored a 19th-minute winner as Villarreal beat second-division club Girona 1-0 to reach the quarterfinals for the second straight season. Villarreal will be seeking its first semifinal appearance since 2015, when it was eliminated by eventual champion Barcelona. It was upset by second-division club Mirandés in last season's quarterfinals. LEVANTE ADVANCES Levante won 4-2 at Valladolid in a game between two top-tier teams. Toni Villa in the 13th and Shon Weismann in the 65th scored for the hosts. Levante got on the board with goals from Enis Bardhi in the 23rd, Mickael Malsa in the 45th, Coke Andujar in the 59th and José Luis Morales in the 80th. Levante made it to the Copa del Rey quarterfinals for the first time since 2014, while Valladolid was seeking its first quarterfinal appearance since 2007. On Thursday, Barcelona faces second-division club Rayo Vallecano. Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid have already been eliminated. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___ Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni Tales Azzoni, The Associated Press
Colin Ratushniak is happy to see a new batch of vaccines coming into his town of La Ronge the past week. The first batch of first dose Moderna vaccines was delivered on Jan. 8, with the newly elected mayor of La Ronge getting the vaccine himself when it first arrived. Ratushniak said he was happy to see the second round of first vaccines coming to La Ronge later in January but he is expecting more challenges coming their way. “There has to be a lot more management to make sure that the second dosages are available for those people who already did receive the first one. It's going to become a little bit more challenging to make sure that happens.” Ratushniak has full trust in the health care providers in La Ronge but that will be something to be made aware of as residents reach that 28-day second dose period. The rollout has been chaotic, he said, with eligible people only given hours of notice for when they can get the vaccine. During the Jan. 19 press conference, Saskatchewan Health Authority CEO Scott Livingstone addressed the issue of the lack of social media and cell phone usage among Saskatchewan seniors, and said they are currently using the same infrastructure as they would with getting information out about flu clinics. With the storage needs of the vaccine being a challenge in small communities, time is of the essence when administering the vaccine and the Health Authority is still working on the best ways of getting the word out to those who are eligible to receive it. “We are looking at multiple ways of having the ability to contact whether that's through social media, through newspapers, through radio advertisements, direct telephone calls to patients that are, are viewed as eligible to receive a vaccine More education is also needed with people either choosing not to be vaccinated or getting the vaccine and then believing they do not have to follow public health protocols that are still in place, Ratushniak said. “There’s this false sense of believing that once you get the vaccination that you don't have to follow any protocols, and you don't have to wear a mask anymore, you can do whatever you want. That's simply not the case until we see a 70 per cent vaccination rate.” Becky Zimmer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
Months-long protests in India escalated on Tuesday as thousands of farmers clashed with police in New Delhi over new laws that they say will push small farmers out of the market and let private corporations exploit them.
Dr. Jeannette Armstrong is the associate professor in Indigenous Studies at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan (UBCO) campus. Armstrong was one of three speakers discussing systemic racism in science in a conversations on Indigenous knowledge in academia. Indigenous people still face systemic racism, and their voices are often left unheard, said Ananya Mukherjee Reed, provost and vice-president of UBCO during her opening remarks of the Jan. 20 webinar. During the two-hour discussion, three Indigenous leaders and researchers discussed some of the differences and misunderstandings of Indigenous knowledge and western science, as well as the impacts of what they framed “environmental racism.” Armstrong, who shared a Syilx Okanagan perspective, spoke alongside Aaron Prosper from Eskasoni First Nation, and Elder Albert Marshall from the Mi’kmaw Nation. “In these times of climate change, societal disease and diseases, we need Indigenous knowledge,” said Armstrong. As Canada Research Chair in Okanagan Indigenous Knowledge and Philosophy, Armstrong has been recognized for her award-winning literary work on education, ecology and Indigenous rights. Indigenous knowledge remains overlooked in academia, particularly in science, because unlike a western scientific method, Indigenous knowledge is not evidence-based, according to Armstrong. Indigenous knowledge is focused on a holistic perspective incorporating traditional knowledge and lived experiences, she says. “A general definition of Indigenous knowledge consists of those beliefs, assumptions, and understandings of non-western people developed through long-term associations with a specific place,” Armstrong told participants during the event. “Therefore, Indigenous knowledge is considered the second tier of knowledge, that is, below science. This is racist.” According to Prosper, Indigenous knowledge has been misused or co-opted within the scientific field. “Indigenous people had knowledge prior to Western scientific knowledge, in terms of traditional medicine,” said Prosper, who studies Indigenous Health and Indigenous Ethics & Research Methodologies. “In my personal opinion, there is a significant issue within the scientific field when it comes to racism, systemic racism.” Prosper feels Indigenous knowledge, and Indigenous information or data should be valued the same as Western scientific knowledge. “Usually what you see done is an Elder getting interviewed, getting traditional knowledge taken out, and then the researcher collects the data as a western methodology, to interpret that data, which makes it incorrect,” Prosper explained. Marshall believes two-eyed seeing is the transformative change society needs to understand and incorporate Indigenous knowledge. “Being Indigenous, I see everything through my Indigenous lens,” said Marshall, who says ‘two-eyed seeing’ means a worldview which reconciles and incorporates Indigenous ways of knowing and western scientific ways of knowing. “To see from one eye with the strengths of Indigenous knowledge, and to see from the other eye with the strengths of Western science knowledge and to use both of these eyes together, is two-eyed seeing.” Indigenous knowledge systems can offer society solutions for living in balance with the environment, the speakers stressed. According to Armstrong, the Syilx Okanagan people view the land as a dynamic system, and their sole purpose is to protect the tmxwulaxw (land) and tmixw (all living lifeforms). “In the Syilx view, the human duty is to perceive how the tmixw are regenerating themselves and how therefore the human must move forward in unity with them,” she said. “Immersion in the knowledge of tmixw allows us to view its reality and makes it possible for the aliveness of each separate life form.” During the webinar, environmental racism was discussed. “In the context of environmental racism, the government had been failing to shut down treatment plants in Indigenous communities,” Prosper told participants. The Pictou Landing First Nation community in Nova Scotia is east of Boat Harbour and is utilized for traditional fishing and hunting. “This place is a significant importance to the Pictou Landing First Nation community,” he said. According to Prosper, Boat Harbour has been receiving wastewater effluent from the industry, and the government has neglected health concerns from the Indigenous people living there. The government told the community that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to make a change, he says. “The government told the people, there’s no evidence of this effluent that we’re putting into boat harbour is affecting the health of the people,” says Prosper. “If our environment is not healthy, how can we be healthy?” said Marshall. Marshall said Indigenous Peoples need to amplify our voices, to protect the environment for future generations. People cannot live in silence, he says, allowing the government to continuously destroy the land. “The government needs to be held accountable because all they do is compromise the ecological entirety of the area, and they compromise the system,” Marshall says. “I was taught, while you stay here on earth, you have to be mindful for the next generations. Most importantly, the future generations will have the same opportunity as we had, of being able to sustain themselves in a healthy environment.” Armstrong is committed to pursuing an alternative academic approach to Indigenous environmental knowledge in her research and study. She has created a methodology that she says may assist as a model in Indigenous Peoples’ struggle to include Indigenous knowledge in the academy. “I am developing better access to Indigenous knowledge through Indigenous oral literature situated as the knowledge documentation system of the Syilx peoples,” Armstrong explains. Marshall is working on cultural understandings and healing of our human responsibilities to care for all creatures and our Earth Mother through two-eyed seeing. “These essentials of the web of life should be protected under the charter of human rights because they constitute to me, a climate emergency,” says Marshall. In response, Prosper is committed to approaching his research mindfully. “How do Indigenous communities consent to research when they were exposed to these unethical experiments, whether be in the residential school or within their own communities?” Prosper asked the group. “We have to be mindful when engaging with Indigenous communities.” “Even the most adverse individuals are still dealing with various issues as a result of their experience with colonialism, and they are still trying to reconcile that.” Prosper acknowledges that little progress in the scientific field has been made, but a lot of work needs to be done. “Yes, we’ve been a lot done within 100 years. Have we done a great job? I don’t think so,” explained Prosper. “I think it’s going to take another hundred years to see a difference.” This event is the second of three examining racism in science, specifically from Indigenous perspectives, with the final one, planned for the spring, will explore Black scientists’ views. Editor’s note: Jeannette Armstrong is reporter Athena Bonneau’s grandmother. At IndigiNews, we take journalistic independence seriously, adhering to the Canadian Association of Journalists Ethics Guidelines. Due to Armstrong’s role at UBCO and participant in the webinar as an elder and knowledge keeper, we felt it was important to include her perspective in this piece. Athena Bonneau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Discourse
WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats are preparing to push ahead quickly on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package even if it means using procedural tools to pass the legislation on their own, leaving Republicans behind. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told senators to be ready to vote as soon as next week on a budget reconciliation package that would lay the groundwork for swift passage. Coming so soon in Biden's administration, the action provides a first test of Republican opposition to the White House priorities as well as to the new president's promise of a “unity” agenda. “The work must move forward, preferably with our Republican colleagues, but without them if we must," Schumer said after a private meeting of Democratic senators. "Time is of the essence to address this crisis. We're keeping all options open on the table.” Unwilling to wait for Republicans who argue Biden's price tag is too high and his priorities too wide-ranging, Democrats are flexing their newfound power as they take control of the Senate alongside the House and White House. It is the first time in a decade the party has held the full sweep of power in Washington, and Democrats say they have no time to waste trying to broker compromises with Republicans that may, or may not, happen. They have watched Republicans use similar procedural tools to advance their priorities, most recently the Trump administration’s GOP tax cuts. The fast-moving events days into the new majority on Capitol Hill come as the White House continued meeting privately with groups of Republican and Democratic lawmakers in hopes of striking a bipartisan agreement. Biden's COVID-19 aid package includes money for vaccine distribution, school reopenings and $1,400 direct payments to households and gradually boosts the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour over five years. The next steps remain highly fluid. The bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus of more than 50 House lawmakers met virtually Tuesday with top administration officials on the virus aid and economic recovery package. A White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the virtual conversation with the caucus, said there was agreement on the scope of the challenges facing the country and the need for additional relief. Biden and other members of his team intend to continue making their case to lawmakers about the need to act with urgency. Separately, the dozen senators who emerged from a lengthy private meeting with the White House on Sunday evening are talking on their own about trying to craft a more targeted bill. The bipartisan group of senators assembled privately again Monday evening. White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters earlier Tuesday that Biden is still looking to negotiate on an aid package, while emphasizing that several components of the existing aid will lapse in March. “He laid out his big package, his big vision of what it should look like, and people are giving their feedback,” Psaki said. "He’s happy to have those discussions and fully expects it’s not going to look exactly the same on the other end.” Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who led a bipartisan effort for the last $900 billion relief package, is working again with the senators on crafting an alternative package that she has said would be more focused on money for vaccine distribution and tailored economic assistance to the neediest Americans. Collins said Tuesday that the White House made good on its commitment to deliver a more detailed accounting of the proposed expenditure. But she said the group is still waiting for data on how much funding remains unallocated from past relief measures that, by her tally, totals a whopping $1.8 trillion still unspent. Congress has approved some $4 trillion in emergency aid since the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year, a stunning outlay and the largest rescue package in the nation's history. Senators from both parties who joined the White House call over the weekend agreed the priority needs to be standing up the country's faltering vaccine distribution system. With the death toll climbing, and new strains of the virus threatening more trouble ahead, ensuring vaccinations appears to be crucial to stemming the COVID-19 crisis. Several senators from both parties also said they want the $1,400 direct checks to be more targeted to those in need. They also want an accounting of what remains from previously approved aid bills. But Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and the incoming Budget Committee chair, said he is already working on the budget package for next week and expanding it to include Biden's proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour over five years. Raising the wage is a long-running Democratic priority that would essentially double the current $7.25 hourly wage set the last time the party was in control in the Obama administration. Advocates say the pay raise would boost millions of full-time workers from poverty. “There is a consensus,” Sanders told reporters at the Capitol. “If Republicans are not prepared to come on board, that’s fine. We’re not going to wait. We’re going forward soon and aggressively.” Lisa Mascaro And Josh Boak, The Associated Press
A COVID-19 variant of concern has potentially spread to a third facility in a region north of Toronto, according to local public health officials. Dr. Charles Gardner, medical officer of health for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU), said data from Public Health Ontario suggests that the variant is now present in the Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care, formerly known as Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene. "We have a new location now that is potentially associated with the U.K. variant. We just have to wait for that additional test result," Gardner told reporters. "This does speak to the potential for this to be transmitting now in the community. It's really, really important that people take that to heart and behave accordingly in order to reduce your risk of being part of transmission from this new variant. If it isn't spreading readily in our community now, it may very well do so in the near future." Further testing is required to confirm if the variant is one first detected in the United Kingdom. The facility is a 301-bed psychiatric hospital in Penetanguishene, about 150 kilometres north of Toronto. According to Dr. Vanessa Allen, chief of microbiology and laboratory science at Public Health Ontario, the strain is more contagious and there is evidence that it causes more severe disease in some people. Waypoint, in a notice on its website, said the outbreak is in its Horizon Program for Geriatric Psychiatry, where there are two patients and one staff member with COVID-19. The other two facilities where the variant is present are Roberta Place Long Term Care Home in Barrie and Bradford Valley Community Care in the town of Bradford West Gwillimbury. 99 people with COVID-19 in region likely have variant Gardner told reporters that 99 more people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the region probably have a variant of the virus, according to a positive first screening. Genome sequencing will confirm whether the variant is in fact involved in the 99 cases. Ninety-seven of the 99 cases are associated with outbreaks at the Roberta Place and Bradford Valley. Two of the 99 cases, however, have no established link. WATCH | Concern mounts over variant: One of those cases is connected to the outbreak at Waypoint Centre through a person who works there, while the other is not connected to an outbreak and the health unit is investigating that person. The 99 new cases are in addition to seven cases of the variant first detected in the U.K. that have been confirmed in the region by genome sequencing. The data comes from an ongoing investigation, called a point prevalence study, by Public Health Ontario that is testing all positive COVID-19 samples in Ontario from Jan. 20 for three new variants of the virus. The testing involves some 2,500 samples, Gardner said. The samples are being genetically sequenced to determine the particular variant of concern. The variants were first detected in the U.K., South Africa and Brazil. The health unit said it is still waiting for results that will identify which variant of the virus has infected the 99 people but notes that it expects it to be a variant first identified in the U.K. 46 people have died in Roberta Place outbreak The outbreak at Roberta Place, which Gardner described as "severe," has led to the deaths of 46 people with COVID-19 — 45 residents and one essential caregiver. A total of 127 residents and 82 staff members have tested positive. Only two residents at the home do not have the virus. Three essential caregivers, including the one who died, three external partners and 42 household contacts of people associated with the home have also tested positive for COVID-19. "One of the issues here is the potential for transmission in the community," he said. "We are doing all that we can to do aggressive case and contact management and follow up with all of the identified cases and their contacts and put them into isolation and slow the spread of this new variant, the UK variant, into our community. But we do have cause for concern," he said. Gardner said the Canadian Red Cross, Hospice Simcoe, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre and Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital are all at the site to help the home bring the outbreak under control. Soldiers' Memorial is doing rapid testing at the facility. "We need to absolutely follow the stay at home order so that we can protect ourselves, those who are more vulnerable and our health care system. We need to assume that a variant of this virus is everywhere and do everything we can to drive it out," Gardner said in a news release on Tuesday.
Hunters and trappers along the Taltson River have been left dealing with wreckage caused by high water levels that flooded cabins and damaged trapping equipment. Last week, Arthur Beck, a trapper from Fort Resolution, posted photos on his Facebook page that show trapping equipment along the Taltson River submerged under ice and damage to a cabin. There's ice "right up to the windows," he said, adding everything from skidoos and motors to blankets are "done." "It's really sad … all our traps are frozen. All our equipment is done. I mean, we're not rich people," he said. "It's hard. "You just barely make enough to survive." Beck, who says he's hunted, fished and trapped along the Taltson all his life, is pointing the blame at the Taltson Dam, about 113 kilometres upstream. He says the dam released water three times this year — in October, November and December 2020. CBC requested an interview with the Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC), but the request was denied. In an email, Doug Prendergast, communications manager for NTPC, also would not clarify whether any water was released from the Taltson dam during the time frame specified by Beck. Instead, he told CBC News that there weren't any operational activities — planned or unplanned —"that could have resulted in higher downstream water levels." Prendergast said the hydroelectric facility has a minimal impact on water levels and flow on the Taltson River, with a maximum generation capacity of 18 megawatts, characterizing the facility as "quite small." The corporation acknowledged that the river saw peak flows in December and January, but that they "were not a result of flow releases from Taltson," he said in the email. "The apparent peaks may be related to the historically high natural flows resulting in occasional debris/ice jams, turbulence or surging at or above the WSC station that would affect the raw data readings." Damage to animal habitats, business Beck says the photos of the damaged cabin and equipment only show part of the problem. He guesses water rose around 10 to 12 feet. On top of the equipment locked under ice, he says it has caused damage to the habitats of beavers and muskrats. "Poor animals, nobody speaks for them," he said. Beck also said his brother was trying to start a tourism camp in the area, but now that dream is over too. "He was almost finished. And now he's flooded … he's done." Beck says the good news is that people haven't been spending all year at cabins, like they used to. "Because if there were people out there, they would have had a hard time," he said. "It would have been a major disaster." He says it's not the first time this has happened — water levels also rose similarly high back when he was a child. Too early for blame: MLA Steve Norn, the MLA for Tu Nedhé-Wıı̀lıı̀deh, says he's been getting calls from constituents since Beck shared his photos of the destroyed properties. Norn has also been in touch with Shane Thompson, the N.W.T.'s Environment Minister, who is also responsible for the power corporation. He says he hopes there will be environmental experts involved at some point. "[A] hydrologist perhaps to give us a real sense of what's happening, because there could be a variety of factors, not just environmental, it could be the dam." Above all else, Norn says he will work with Thompson to ensure there is support for those affected by the flood. "It's a bit early on yet. We'll know more in the coming days," he said, "It's upsetting to me and a lot of my constituents in the area."
Some Tiny council members want some serious action being taken against big corporations that threaten the township's water supply. "We need to stop playing by the rules," said Coun. Gibb Wishart, addressing the question to appeal or not to appeal in the case of the renewal of the permit to take water (PTTW) for the Teedon Pit. "The reason the dump (Site 41) got stopped is that an old couple got arrested; First Nations were there and set up camp, nobody played by the rules. "I think if we play the game the ministry...," he was saying, when Mayor George Cornell cut him off to remind him that even at that time the council played by the rules. Even though Cornell was cautious about siding an appeal process in the matter, Coun. Tony Mintoff spoke his mind clearly. "Anything I’ve heard is overwhelmingly against any kind of operation there," he said. "I encourage council to put their concerns ahead of the province’s unwillingness to allow municipalities to decide what’s best for them within their boundary. "As members of council, it’s our obligation to represent the interests of our residents," added Mintoff. "My suggestion would be we clearly appeal every step." Another member of council, however, was a bit cautious about going the appeal route. "Maybe," said Deputy Mayor Steffen Walma.said, "the right course of action would be to break out some of our concerns around the EBR (Environmental Bill of Rights) process reform and how we work with the MOECP (Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Parks) in future to make sure the municipality and adjacent landowners are notified of big decisions like this one. "Maybe this goes back to our flaws in the first appeal or commenting process with regards to monitoring water quality." Walma also suggested that if the council does plan on appealing the renewal, it should hold further discussions in-camera. "We have a community member that has made significant upgrades and worked with the township on our comments to date," he added. "There was no need for them to install that many wells. They could have gotten away with a lot less. I think that’s something we want to maintain. It’s a good working relationship so in the future we can share our concerns with them. I think going the legal route potentially cuts those options down." The discussion came forth after council had heard the united plea -- save our water --- from various residents of Tiny and beyond that made deputations to elected officials at Tuesday's special council meeting. Council had convened a special session after it became aware of the Jan. 14 decision by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Parks to renew a 10-year PTTW for CRH Canada Group Inc., which operates the aggregate quarry. "The approval of the water taking permit may compromise the quality of this water," said Tiny resident Bonnie Pauzé. "As elected officials, we, the taxpayers are putting it all on your shoulder to stop this potential disaster. Every single voter drinks water. Do we want to go down in history as heroes that protected and saved one of the world's purest aquifers? Please don't disappoint us. We need you to step up to the plate. Protect the water." Similar messages were presented by others as well. "Our water needs are being undermined for the sake of a global business," said Erik Schomann, another Tiny resident. "The cost business analysis as I have been able to tell is incomplete. There was no announcement regarding the permit, no civilian insight." Even residents of Guelph had joined in the fight. "Matters of groundwater protection are of extreme concern to people across the province," said Karen Rathwell. "The community is asking for a pause; time to study this phenomenon. Once the overburden is scraped away and the digging eats away through the layers of protection, the groundwater is exposed to pollution." According to the township's legal counsel, Sarah Hahn, if the township decides to appeal, it has to clear a two-part test to seek leave to appeal. "First, you look at whether granting of the permit or any conditions within are unreasonable," she said, explaining that this means, "No reasonable person having regard for law and policies have issued the permit. It’s a pretty high test to have to reach. Secondly, could it result to significant harm to the environment. "It’s not a will, it’s a could, so I think there’s some grounds there," added Hahn. "The test for reasonableness is quite high. Having some evidence that what the ministry did was unreasonable is certainly something we would want to put forward if an appeal was brought." The township said they were satisfied with the conclusion drawn by the professional hydrogeologist, who said the ministry had addressed the municipality's concerns laid out in a 2018 letter to the ministry. "Staff’s opinion is that we rely on our experts and in this case it’s Burnside," said Shawn Persaud, director of planning and development. "Based on their letter, we recommend the township not file an appeal relative to the permit to take water." In his Jan. 25 letter, Dave Hopkins, senior hydrogeologist with R. J. Burnside and Associates Ltd., states that ministry has met and addressed the requests laid out by the township in 2018. "The new PTTW has a much more robust monitoring program than the original PTTW and addresses the Township’s request for additional wells," reads his conclusion. "The monitoring program will be completed, and the annual report is to be prepared by a qualified person (P. Geo. or equivalent). "The Permit requires that an annual report documenting the monitoring well results be submitted to the MECP (MOECP). This will allow the MECP to evaluate the impacts of pumping and make any necessary additions to the monitoring program/permitted rates as required. The PTTW also requires the monitoring of specific domestic wells, which is unusual. "Residents, who feel that their wells may have been impacted, may wish to contact CRH to have their well added to the monitoring program. It is Burnside’s opinion, that all of the Township comments have been addressed by the MECP and the conditions included in the new PTTW." Wishart, however, felt all concerns had not been addressed. "I think the major issue that the township is up against the wall with is that we’re talking about water quality, not the serviceability of a gravel pit," he said. "The province doesn’t seem to address that at all. They dance around saying that the various authorities, namely the gravel pit operators, operate within the guidelines that they’re given. "They’ve answered all the questions we had, but we’re talking about water quality and the potential," added Wishart. "We have no proof at all. All we have is the wish they not take away the filtering medium between the sky and the water." Based on that, he asked, does the province even want to hear us if we conclude that they’re not answering our questions? Mintoff didn't seem to think so. "The MOECP didn’t inform us," he said, "and gave us only 15 days to prepare with documented support, so clearly in their mind they didn’t want an appeal. I think they gave us scant time to prepare for these appeals because they’re not welcoming." Mintoff said he would like to see council adopt the two principles that it doesn’t support the taking of aggregate or washing it in an environmentally sensitive area. Further, he said, the municipality also asked that no further licences be issued until a water study by Dr. John Cherry, professor emeritus at University of Waterloo, has produced its findings. "One of the basic risk management principles is to weigh the risks and rewards," said Mintoff. "In my opinion, CRH gets all the rewards and the township and residents assume all the risks. If their experts are wrong, what are the consequences and who is going to live with them? I don’t think it’s going to be CRH." He said he was tired of hearing that ministries are understaffed or under-resourced and don’t have the wherewithal to operate effectively. "They cannot be, in my opinion, entrusted to protect our most valuable resource," said Mintoff. "We need to err on the side of caution. There’s nothing in it for us, only serious potential for impact on water quality and other environmental components." He also offered a somewhat long-term solution to the situation. "Perhaps it’s time for us to offer the purchase of these specific properties at fair market value and once rehabilitated by the current owners, we could create public-private partnerships to use this land to create more affordable housing," said Mintoff. "And if they choose to decline our offer, then we should look at the practicality of the legal feasibility of expropriating that property in order to do so." Unable to decide whether to appeal or not, council moved into an in-camera session around other matters, promising to reconvene at 1 p.m. Wednesday to further discuss the issue. Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com
NEW YORK — Actor Elliot Page and Emma Portner said Tuesday that they are divorcing after three years of marriage. “After much thought and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to divorce following our separation last summer," the Canadian couple said in a joint statement. "We have the utmost respect for each other and remain close friends.” They gave no further details. Page, the 33-year-old Oscar-nominated star of “Juno,” “Inception” and “The Umbrella Academy,” and Portner, a 26-year-old choreographer and dance teacher, announced their marriage early in 2018 after only having hinted at their relationship on social media. Portner was vocal in her support of Page when the actor came out as transgender in December, an announcement that was widely greeted as a watershed moment for the trans community in Hollywood. The Associated Press
First Nation leaders in Manitoba have shared that hundreds of Manitoba First Nation citizens have always been neglected in some aspect when it comes to health services. First Nation leaders are making a plea to the provincial and federal governments to take concrete action to reduce and eventually eliminate anti-Indigenous racism in Canada’s health care system. “It is hard to believe that in this day and age, we have to talk about racism,” said Grand Chief Garrison Settee, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc. in a press conference on Facebook Live on Tuesday. “I thought that we as a nation have evolved to a place that we are more tolerant and accepting of one another, but in our health care system, that is not the case. Anti-Indigenous racism is apparent, and stories from our First Nations confirm that it does exist.” Organizations such as MKO and KIM have voiced out their frustrations as their members continue to face mistreatment in hospitals and nursing stations. It has even come to a point whereby First Nations would rather suffer quietly in their own homes because they know they will not receive adequate health services as they are continually being doubted by health officials. “No one should be doubted when they are looking for medical attention. They should be treated with respect and compassion. That is all we want,” said Chief Shirley Ducharme, O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation. On Jan.11, O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation Councillor Brian Wood’s wife, Carol, had a car accident that caused tremendous pain in her right leg. That day, Wood quickly brought her to the nursing station in South Indian Lake where a nurse attended to her for less than five minutes. The nurse diagnosed her and stated that since her leg does not appear to be broken, Wood should return home with his wife and schedule a flight to Thompson so that she can be reassessed the next week. When they got home, her leg started to swell and turned blue. Not trusting the nurse, he decided to call Ducharme about his dilemma. After speaking with her, he managed to approve his wife as an outpatient. Immediately, he and his wife drove four hours to Thompson so she could receive proper care. “The health staff there noticed that she wasn’t doing very well. They took her to the emergency room right away and did some x-rays. They found that there were two fractures in her leg and that there was something wrong with her knee,” said Wood. She was later sent to Winnipeg via medevac so that she could receive surgery. As of now, she is recuperating in Thompson with a 14-inch scar on her leg. Wood noted that this is only an example of First Nations people who cannot access medical care in their home community due to negligence. First Nations who have issues accessing medical systems in a culturally safe way may contact Bernice Thorassie, MKO’s Client Navigator for advocacy assistance at Bernice.email@example.com or call 204-307-5066. Dr. Barry Lavallee, Chief Executive Officer at Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin (KIM) Inc. said that racism in the health care system essentially promotes torture and suffering towards First Nation citizens attempting to seek help. On Wednesday and Thursday, MKO and KIM will hold an online event aimed to unify federal, provincial, and territorial governments, First Nations, Inuit, Métis Nation and health system partners to discuss and confirm actions planned and underway to address anti-Indigenous racism in Canada’s health care systems. Nicole Wong is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Nicole Wong, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun
WASHINGTON — Female soldiers can let their hair down, and flash a little nail colour under new rules being approved by the Army. But male soldiers will still have to shave. Army leaders announced Tuesday that they are loosening restrictions on various grooming and hairstyle rules, as service leaders try to address longstanding complaints, particularly from women. The changes, which also expand allowances for earrings and hair highlights and dyes, are particularly responsive to women of various ethnicities, and will allow greater flexibility for braids, twists, cornrows and other styles more natural for their hair. The new regulations take effect in late February and come after months of study, in the wake of a directive by former Defence Secretary Mark Esper, who ordered a new review of military hairstyle and grooming policies last July. The review was part of a broader order to expand diversity within the military and reduce prejudice, in the wake of widespread protests about racial inequality last summer. “These aren’t about male and female,” said Sgt. Maj. Michael Grinston, the Army's top enlisted leader during a Facebook Live presentation on Tuesday about the latest changes. “This is about an Army standard and how we move forward with the Army, and being a more diverse, inclusive team.” The Army announcement has been long-planned, but it came just days after the Pentagon's first Black defence secretary — Lloyd Austin — took over. Austin has vowed to try to root out racism and extremism in the ranks and foster more inclusion. Esper and many of the service leaders have also been taking steps to make the military more diverse, particularly in the higher ranks. As an example, Esper last summer ordered that service members’ photos no longer be provided to promotion boards. Officials said studies showed that when photos are not included “the outcomes for minorities and women improved.” On Tuesday, Army Sgt. Maj. Brian Sanders told reporters that the panel recommending the new grooming changes considered a variety of factors, including cultural, health and safety issues. He said the tight hair buns previously required by the Army can trigger hair loss and other scalp problems for some women. And larger buns needed to accommodate thick or longer hair, can make a combat helmet fit badly and potentially impair good vision. At the same time, he said that changes, like allowing women in combat uniforms to wear earrings such as small gold, silver and diamond studs, let them “feel like a woman inside and outside of uniform." He added, "At the end of the day, our women are mothers, they're spouses, they're sisters, they definitely want to be able to maintain their identity and that’s what we want to get after." In many cases — such as the earrings — the changes simply let female soldiers wear jewelry or hairstyles that are already allowed in more formal, dress uniforms, but were not allowed in their daily combat uniforms. Army leaders said women will now be able to wear their hair in a long ponytail or braid and tuck it under their shirt. Sanders said that allowing that gives female soldiers, particularly pilots or troops at a firing range, greater ability to turn their head quickly, without the restraints that the buns created. The new regulations also allow the exact opposite. Female soldiers going through Ranger or special operations training get their heads shaved, like male soldiers do. But when they leave training, their hair is too short, based on the Army's previous minimum length requirements. Now there will be no minimum length rules. For men, however, the perennial request to allow beards is still a no-go. Grinston's answer to the question from the online audience was short and direct: “No.” He noted that the Army already makes exceptions for medical and religious reasons. Also, male soldiers still can't wear earrings. The new lipstick and nail polish rules, however, allow men to wear clear polish, and allow colours for women, but prohibit “extreme” shades, such as purple, blue, black and “fire engine” red. Men will also be able to dye their hair, but the colours for both genders are limited to “natural" shades. Prohibited colours include blue, purple, pink, green, orange or neon. In another sign of the times, the new rules state that soldiers will now automatically receive black and coyote-colored face masks. They are also permitted to wear camouflage colored masks, but have to buy those themselves. The Army also is taking steps to change wording in the regulations to remove racist or insensitive descriptions. References to “Fu Manchu” moustache and “Mohawk” hairstyle have been removed, and replaced with more detailed descriptions of the still-banned styles. Lolita C. Baldor, The Associated Press
Advanced Micro Devices on Tuesday beat quarterly revenue estimates and forecast robust 2021 sales on strong demand for its chips used in PCs, data centers and gaming consoles from companies and customers adapting to remote working. The company also supplies chips for gaming consoles, which boosted its fourth-quarter sales as new devices from Microsoft and Sony debuted during the holiday season quarter. The company projected first-quarter revenue to be about $3.2 billion, plus or minus $100 million, compared to analysts' average estimate of $2.74 billion, according to Refinitiv.
Public health regulations in the Sudbury district could be made even more restrictive than the current lockdown and stay-at-home order if a variant of the COVID-19 virus somehow increases the number of infections. The issue was discussed in an online interview hosted by Science North on Monday with Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health for the Public Health Sudbury and Districts. Staff scientist Katrina Pisani joined Sutcliffe for a 40-minute discussion on why the COVID-19 guidelines in Ontario keep changing. Pisani told the online audience the purpose of the discussion was to get a better understanding of why guidelines change and what the public needs to know about the current emergency regulations and the stay-at-home order currently in place. On Monday afternoon, the province decided to expand the order for an additional two weeks. Sutcliffe said despite some initial confusion, the order was simple and direct. "So the stay-at home order is exactly that for all Ontarians, to stay home unless it is really essential that you're not at home." She said it is intended to be as simple as possible notwithstanding some of the confusion about it. This is despite speculation and questions that people might have about every little excuse to somehow get around essential reasons for leaving home. Sutcliffe said essential reasons could include such things as picking up groceries, going to the pharmacy, getting health care or doing some essential work that cannot be done from home. "It's different from the lockdown, because the lockdown is one of the areas of the coded phases for management of COVID in our province. And so those that were in the gray or lockdown parts of our province meant that they had high rates of COVID-19 and there are specific requirements there, but not an overall stay-at-home order as we have now, really to protect our health and our health-care system as we have seen rates of the disease really increase across the province," said Sutcliffe. Pisani asked about the importance of one's mental health, because some people believe it is important to get out of the house for something like a walk around the block. Sutcliffe said it was an important point as the pandemic has left many people feeling isolated, not being able to engage with their friends or their families as they would normally. She added it has had an impact on people with addictions and risks associated with drug overdoses. Sutcliffe said the stay-at-home order does allow people to go outside for exercise. It allows you to spend time with members of your own household, but not to have more than five people when you are gathered outdoors and no gatherings indoors. Sutcliffe said from the public health perspective the order does recognize the importance of having time outdoors. She said it is understood the risk of the virus outdoors is lower, with fresh air and better ventilation by not being in an enclosed space, but it is still important to wear a face mask when one is close to others in the outdoors. When asked if the outdoor activities could be made more restrictive, Sutcliffe said that had more to do not necessarily with an increase in active COVID-19 cases, but more about the kind of virus that presents itself. "People will be aware that there are the variants of concern (VOC) or different variants; the UK Variant, the South African Variant, the Brazil Variant that we understand are more transmissible," Sutcliffe explained. It was revealed Monday afternoon that a variant of the COVID virus might have infected a Sudbury person who had been travelling. That person is now in isolation. "The big concern is, as those get more commonplace and spread in our communities, what additional public health measures might be needed to prevent transmission?" said Sutcliffe. "If something is so transmissible that it might require further restrictions outdoors then those decisions, based on science, will have to be made," she added. "But really I think that the kind of virus we are seeing and the transmissibility is a big factor in that. If we're finding that being outdoors people are still gathering together closely, then there might be additional measures and we know that's been the case in some parts of the province put in place." Pisani mentioned the situation of the North Bay Parry Sound district health unit, where it was decided earlier this month that snowmobiling, outdoor skating and tobogganing would be banned for the time being. Sutcliffe also acknowledged that the pandemic is indeed frustrating and people are having a difficult time with it. “I think we are tired of hearing that we are all in it together, but we are still all in it together. And that means Team Sudbury, or Team Northern Ontario or Team Ontario or Team World. You know we are all in this together and we need to support each other.” Len Gillis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sudbury.com
The P.E.I. Legislature is set to resume Feb. 25, Premier Dennis King said in a news release. "Much of our focus over the last 10 months has been on getting through the pandemic, while keeping Islanders safe and healthy. Now that vaccinations are rolling out, the finish line is in sight," King said. "It is important for government to articulate our vision for a strong recovery for our province." The spring session will include the 2021-2022 operating budget, which will be introduced in the days following the speech from the throne. 20 pieces of legislation Government also plans to introduce approximately 20 pieces of legislation, the release said. "Our government will continue to collaborate with the other parties, and house leaders will meet this Thursday to begin the process of collecting input for the throne speech," King said. The fall sitting of the legislature ended on Dec. 4. The Progressive Conservatives have a majority government with 14 seats. The Green Party has eight, and the Liberals five. More from CBC P.E.I.
HALIFAX — The Canadian Space Agency is harnessing satellite technology to monitor and protect endangered North Atlantic right whales in the country’s waters. The agency said Tuesday it will lead a $5.3-million project funded by the federal government called smartWhales, which will use satellites to detect the presence of right whales and to predict the animals' movements. Canada is giving a total of $5.3 million over three years to five companies for a series of projects to help protect the endangered species. One of the projects will involve a system that can rapidly provide location data and detect if the whales are approaching a ship. Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan says collecting satellite data about the movement of the whales is key to preventing collisions between whales and ships and to spot cases where the animals are caught in fishing gear — two of the leading causes of right whale deaths. In October, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimated only 366 right whales were alive in January 2019, with fewer than 94 of them being females with the ability to breed. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. — — — This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. The Canadian Press Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the system would detect if whales approached a fishing vessel, but in fact its aim is to detect if whales approach larger ships.
Out of 99 new positive cases discovered in the Simcoe Muskoka Region, health officials say 97 are linked to a long-term care home in Barrie and all of those people are likely affected by the fast-spreading U.K. variant. There are concerns the highly contagious strain of the virus is more widespread than initially thought. Miranda Anthistle has the details.