U.S. President Donald Trump issued a brief concession video 24 hours after his supporters wreaked havoc on the Capitol Building, but his speech is unlikely to quiet the calls from Democrats and some Republicans for Trump to be removed from office.
U.S. President Donald Trump issued a brief concession video 24 hours after his supporters wreaked havoc on the Capitol Building, but his speech is unlikely to quiet the calls from Democrats and some Republicans for Trump to be removed from office.
WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers and conservative groups opposed President-elect Joe Biden's forthcoming immigration plan Tuesday as massive amnesty for people in the U.S. illegally, underscoring that the measure faces an uphill fight in a Congress that Democrats control just narrowly. In a further complication, several pro-immigration groups said they would press Biden to go even further and take steps such as immediate moratoriums on deportations, detentions and new arrests. Coupled with the discomfort an immigration push could cause for moderate Democrats, liberals' demands illustrated the pressures facing Biden as four years of President Donald Trump's restrictive and often harsh immigration policies come to an end. “It simply wouldn't have happened without us," Lorella Praeli, co-president of the liberal group Community Change, said of Biden's victory. “So we are now in a powerful position." Biden plans to introduce the legislation shortly after being inaugurated Wednesday, a move he hopes will spotlight his emphasis on an issue that's defied major congressional action since 1986. Its fate, as written, seemed in doubt. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who will become Senate majority leader this week, said Trump's impeachment trial, confirmation of Biden's Cabinet nominees and more COVID-19 relief will be the chamber's top initial priorities. “I look forward to working together with him" on the measure, Schumer said — a choice of words that might suggest changes could be needed for it to pass Congress. Biden's proposal would create an eight-year pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants, set up a processing program abroad for refugees seeking admission to the U.S. and push toward using technology to monitor the border. The measure was described by an official from Biden's transition team who described the plan on condition of anonymity. With an eye toward discouraging a surge of immigrants toward the U.S.-Mexico boundary, the package's route to citizenship would only apply to people already in the U.S. by this past Jan. 1. But it omits the traditional trade-off of dramatically enhanced border security that's helped attract some GOP support in the past, which drew criticism on Tuesday. “A mass amnesty with no safeguards and no strings attached is a nonstarter,” said Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. "There are many issues I think we can work co-operatively with President-elect Biden, but a blanket amnesty for people who are here unlawfully isn’t going to be one of them,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., often a central player in Senate immigration battles. “Total amnesty, no regard for the health or security of Americans, and zero enforcement," Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, who like Rubio is a potential 2024 GOP presidential contender, said in a Monday tweet. That view was shared by Mark Krikorian, executive director of the conservative Center for Immigration Studies, which favours curbing immigration. “Past proposals at least accepted the concept of turning off the faucet and mopping up the overflow. This is nothing but mopping up and letting the faucet continue to run," Krikorian said. Rosemary Jenks, top lobbyist for NumbersUSA, which also wants to limit immigration, said the measure seems likely to fail in the Senate. It would need at least 10 Republicans to join all 50 Democrats to overcome a filibuster that would kill the measure. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said, “Moving an immigration reform bill won’t be easy, but I think it’s possible." He cited a 2013 massive overhaul that narrowly passed the Senate, only to die in the GOP-run House. Menendez and Rubio were part of a bipartisan “Gang of 8" senators that helped win Senate approval. Under Biden's legislation, those living in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2021, without legal status would have a five-year path to temporary legal status, or a green card, if they pass background checks, pay taxes and fulfil other requirements. From there, it’s a three-year path to naturalization if they pursue citizenship. For some immigrants, the process would be quicker. So-called Dreamers, the young people who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children, as well as agricultural workers and people under temporary protective status could qualify more immediately for green cards if they are working, are in school or meet other requirements. Biden is also expected to take swift executive actions, which require no congressional action, to reverse other Trump immigration actions. These include ending to the prohibition on arrivals from predominantly Muslim countries. The legislation represents Biden's bid to deliver on a major campaign promise important to Latino voters and other immigrant communities after four years of Trump's restrictive policies and mass deportations. It provides one of the fastest pathways to citizenship for those living without legal status of any measure in recent years. Biden allies and even some Republicans have identified immigration as a major issue where the new administration could find common ground with the GOP to avoid the stalemate that has vexed administrations of both parties for decades. That kind of major win, even if it involves compromise, could be critical for Biden. He'll be seeking legislative victories in a Congress where Republicans are certain to oppose other Biden priorities, like rolling back some of the GOP’s 2017 tax cuts and increasing federal spending. Democrats will control the 50-50 Senate with Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris' tiebreaking vote. Democrats currently control the House 222-211, with two vacancies. ___ Barrow reported from Wilmington, Delaware. AP writer Elliot Spagat in San Diego also contributed to this report. Alan Fram, Lisa Mascaro And Bill Barrow, The Associated Press
Four people have been arrested in connection with the death of Amber Dawn Wood, 38, of Bienfait, Sask. Justin Julien Englot, 29, and Jayden Marie Sanford, 25, both of Regina, have been charged with accessory after the fact to murder and possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000. Sanford and Englot made their first appearance in Regina provincial court Tuesday morning. Two other people, both males, are also in custody. They haven't been charged, but police say an investigation is continuing. Wood died after being severely injured Saturday morning at a home on the 700 block of Athol St., police said. Police were called to the scene following a report someone had been shot. Wood was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead. It was the city's first homicide of 2021.
L’Académie de danse de Forestville s’est tournée vers le Web pour poursuivre ses activités malgré le reconfinement obligé par la pandémie de COVID-19. Au lieu de mettre un frein à ses cours, l’organisme offre ses services via la plateforme numérique Zoom. « Au printemps dernier, nous sommes vraiment tombés des nues quand on a appris que nous devions cesser nos activités. On ne voulait pas que cela se reproduise, alors on a demandé à notre professeure de danse de suivre une formation pour donner des cours en ligne », affirme la présidente de l’Académie de danse de Forestville, Ruth Villeneuve. À l’automne, quand les cours ont recommencé au local du Complexe Guy-Ouellet, l’organisme avait déjà un plan B s’il se voyait contraint d’arrêter ses services. « On se doutait bien que la pandémie ne se règlerait pas en quelques mois », soutient Mme Villeneuve, qui s’implique pour l’Académie depuis bientôt quatre ans. Stéphanie Lessard, professeure de danse de l’Académie, a toutefois dû adapter ses exercices afin qu’ils soient réalisables chacun chez soi. Le temps des cours a aussi été raccourci pour faciliter l’apprentissage. « Les plus jeunes se réunissent à raison de 30 minutes et les plus âgées s’exercent pendant 45 minutes, au lieu d’une heure », indique-t-elle. Le manque d’équipement électronique a aussi fait diminuer la participation des élèves à 75 %. « Certains désirent attendre à la reprise des cours au local », mentionne Mme Lessard. Quant au nombre de danseurs inscrits, il est aussi en baisse cette année en raison de la situation sanitaire. « Nous avons entre 70 et 80 élèves, ce qui est une petite diminution comparativement à l’an dernier, mais ce n’est pas si mal », de commenter la professeure. Toutefois, pour la présidente, il était important d’offrir l’opportunité aux jeunes de s’occuper et de garder un lien avec l’enseignante. « La plupart des élèves sont contents de se voir, même si ce n’est que par visioconférence, selon Stéphanie Lessard. Ceux du primaire ont recommencé l’école, mais le groupe de danse n’est pas composé des mêmes amis que dans leur classe. » Spectacle En ce qui concerne le traditionnel spectacle de fin d’année, qui se tient habituellement en avril, le conseil d’administration de l’organisme attend les consignes gouvernementales. « On se prépare en fonction qu’il y en aura un, mais on ne sait pas comment vont se traduire les règlements sanitaires à ce moment. On travaille donc sur des plans B et C pour ne pas l’annuler complètement comme l’an dernier », dévoile Ruth Villeneuve. Les réseaux sociaux pourraient faire partie des solutions. « On pense à une nouvelle formule comme faire des directs sur la page Facebook de l’Académie pour chaque groupe », explique la professeure de danse. Toutefois, rien n’est décidé pour l’instant. Rappelons que depuis la fermeture de l’auditorium de la polyvalente des Rivières, les spectacles de l’Académie de danse se déroulent au Complexe Guy-Ouellet. Les danseurs pourront peut-être utiliser la scène du tout nouveau Pavillon des arts, si la situation sanitaire le permet.Johannie Gaudreault, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Haute-Côte-Nord
Katie Green has been interested in art since she could hold a pencil. Originally from Maryland, she describes herself as having lived “kind of all over the place.” For the last seven years she’s called Richmond home, and is perhaps best known as a caricature artist who goes by the name “Cartoon Katie.” Green’s parents were very supportive of her desire to have a career as an artist. “They were always getting me the little ‘how to draw Mickey Mouse’ books,” she says. As an art student, she studied visual effects and animation, but was doing caricature art on the side. The style appeals to her partially because of its similarities to animation. “I really like being a little sillier with the drawing,” she says. “I can take a picture of stuff, or I can spend a lot of time rendering perfect details. Mimicking life is impressive, but for me it’s not as fun, not as creative—I want (my art) to express something a little different than what you can normally see.” After graduating with a bachelor of fine arts degree, Green worked at a Los Angeles studio as a visual effects artist. And when that studio opened a branch in Vancouver, she was moved up north, still taking caricature gigs occasionally on the side. Eventually she decided to leave the film industry and pursue caricature art full-time. First looking up what kind of city permits she would need to be a caricature artist, Green says the City of Richmond suggested she contact the Harbour Authority. When she did, she was given a patch of grass outside the Gulf of Georgia Cannery to sell art from. “I do a bunch of markets and things, and what I primarily do are events—like Songs in the Snow, or people’s birthday parties, or charity things,” says Green. “(At events) I’ll go and perform, and rather than have people pay to get each drawing like at a market, I’m just drawing as many of the guests as I can in a set amount of time, like an entertainer.” Now an independent business owner, Green covers events from birthday parties to dry grads to business holiday parties. Sometimes she works with other artists at larger events, and she also teaches some classes at local community centres. Many of her gigs come through networking, where someone sees her at an event or market and asks her to work their event or activity as well. “At any kind of celebration party, caricature can fit right in because it’s a customized souvenir,” she says. Green has a process with each drawing: she begins by imagining a person’s head shape, trying to decide how much space it will take up. But usually, while the face shape is the first thing she thinks of, it’s the last part she draws. “People always say I start with the nose, but in my brain I’m starting with a lot of other shapes and things first,” she says. “The nose is in the middle, so if I get it down first I don’t have to draw on top of something to get it the right shape.” Sometimes when she sees people in public, Green imagines how she would draw them. “It’s a thought process that I can’t turn off,” she says. For instance, she might see someone on a bus with an interesting face, or have a conversation with someone who makes a noticeable facial expression. But because she knows she can’t whip out a sketchbook and start drawing without permission, she tries to remember shapes to recreate later. “Inspiration strikes when I see certain faces or certain features, (even) when I’m not drawing,” says Green. Her own personal style has changed over time, depending on what she’s interested in and what she feels like making. The COVID-19 pandemic has totally changed her style, for instance, as well as the way she’s been drawing. “I don’t really feel like I have one specific style, I’m just always trying to be funny, I want it to look good, and I want people to like it,” she says. Because of the humorous nature of caricature, Green says sometimes people don’t respond positively. She describes her art as an illustration rather than a recreation of a photograph, and always tries to have samples available so people know what to expect. “Even though I’m doing art every day, every day seems to be different, I have different challenges to problem-solve, I’m coming up with a new way to deal with something,” she says. One of the challenges this year was the pandemic, of course, which created a distinct lack of work opportunities for many artists. “Everyone was out of work—we had our livelihoods cancelled for some unknown amount of time,” says Green. Some artists created virtual set-ups, including Green. She began with free virtual caricature parties, then began networking with other artists on big virtual events. “There’s been a lot of trying to keep the art community lifted up, while also trying to figure out how to keep my business going.” Virtual events have become more successful and consistent, although not without some technical challenges. Green says as well as doing art, she also provides some technical support to people who may not necessarily know how to turn on their camera, for example. After the events, she emails out drawings so people can access them. During online drawing events, Green uses a tablet and stylus to create her art. She usually shares her screen so people can see what she’s drawing as it’s being created, while also seeing her face as she draws. Normally, she balances drawing on paper and drawing digitally, as she recognizes the complementary skill sets. But despite the challenges, Green is still optimistic. She says inspiration comes from everywhere, especially laughter and “anything fun.” “I don’t feel that it’s making fun of somebody. I know people get that mentality with caricature, with the editorial side of it where you’re usually making fun of politicians, but from a retail and event standpoint it’s more a celebration of what makes people unique rather than making fun of them,” she says. “When I see a unique face, it’s definitely fun—but it’s fun in a positive way, not in a negative way.” Over the years she’s worked on some interesting projects, including children’s storybooks, logos for businesses, and orders for board game or card game art design. But one project that stood out to her was an ongoing collaboration with a Danish man who wanted to create a book of idioms. “They were all in Danish, so he was using Google Translate to help communicate with me,” says Green. “But I had to be illustrating the imagery that would be associated with it, not the meaning.” The language barrier created some communication challenges, but also yielded some fun drawings. “That project was super fun, the guy was really nice and I work with him all the time—but it was one of those cases where every day was a different joke we were coming up with because it made no sense to the project,” she says. When she’s not drawing, Green likes to play video games to hang out virtually with friends, or watch movies with her husband. As a freelance artist, she appreciates being able to work on whatever she’s interested in. Recently, she’s been making a lot of tutorials to help other artists. “The cool part about being freelance and working independently is that I don’t have to dream about a project—I get to work on it when I want to, as long as I don’t have too much other work at the same time.” Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel
Historically, we immunized children against diseases like polio that were a clear danger to them, but COVID-19 is usually mild in children. However, herd immunity is unlikely without vaccinating kids.
If you’ve been to a farmers’ market lately, then the reality of seasonal cooking in the middle of winter has plainly revealed itself to you. Tis the season for root vegetables, and not a whole lot else. But there is beauty to cooking with the season, not just because it feels in sync with the planet, but also because it compels you to make the most of what is available, whether those ingredients are familiar … or not so much. Root vegetables are pretty much what they sound like: vegetables that grow under the earth and must be dug up to be harvested. In cold weather, from late fall to early spring in temperate climates, root vegetables are pretty much all that’s seasonally available, other than some late-summer crops that are hardy enough to store. Since root vegetables grow underground, they absorb a lot of nutrients from the soil, and so are nutritional powerhouses, usually also high in starch. Root vegetables include potatoes, yams and Jerusalem artichokes (all of which are also tubers), as well as beets, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, carrots, yuca, kohlrabi, the onion family, garlic, celery root (or celeriac), turmeric, jicama, radishes (including daikon and horseradish), and ginger. Some root vegetables get sweeter once the first frost hits. The cold causes the roots to work hard to prevent the plants from freezing, which causes the natural starches to convert to sugar. Carrots, turnips, rutabagas and beets are good examples. So as we head into the belly of winter, it’s the perfect time to explore the world of root vegetables. As Robert Schueller, head of marketing at Melissa’s Produce, a specialty produce company based in California, puts it, hardy root vegetables are ideal for “comfy foods; warm meals during the cooler time.” Schueller says that in recent years, specific varietals of root vegetables are having a moment. In the world of potatoes, for instance, baby potatoes are especially popular, including Dutch yellow, ruby gold, red, mixed fingerlings and gemstone. He calls parsnips “the new carrot.” Parsnips are related to both carrots and parsley, and look much like a large, pale carrot with a squattier base. The flavour, when cooked, is like a sweeter carrot, and parsnips can be used in pretty much any recipe that calls for carrots, when you want a heightened level of sweetness. They are common in traditional Jewish chicken noodle soup, and can be mashed with potatoes or on their own, as well as roasted. Kohlrabi has also become trendy, Schueller says. It looks a bit like a UFO with a bunch of stems sticking out willy nilly, in shades of pale green to purplish, with a pale interior. Kohlrabi can be eaten cooked or raw; raw, it's flavour and texture are reminiscent of peeled broccoli stems, with a bit of peppery radish thrown in. Radishes are popular not just for their spicy flavour but for the visual pop they give to salads and other dishes. The watermelon radish continues to trend, Schueller says, for its dramatic look: green on the outside, hot pink on the inside. And multi-colored carrots are gaining traction because of how beautiful they look on a plate, in hues of purple, red, orange and yellows often combined in a bunch. They can be used just as regular orange carrots are; try them cut lengthwise and simply roasted with olive oil and salt, perhaps served with a condiment or dressing like tapenade or pesto vinaigrette. Celery root, horseradish, sweet potatoes and shallots are other root vegetables Scheuller sees gaining in popularity because of their use by restaurant chefs. Some tips on root vegetables: STORAGE Different root vegetables have slightly different preferences, but in general, store them in a cool, dark place with ventilation. Carrots, celeriac, parsnips, turnips and radishes do well in the fridge, preferably in the crisper drawer. Store onions separately from other root vegetables, as they emit gases that will accelerate the spoiling of other vegetables, especially potatoes. Alan Spaulding, who sells vegetables at the Union Square Farmers’ Market in New York City, says he keeps most of his root vegetables in the fridge. If he runs out of space, he stores them in the coolest, darkest place in his apartment. Remove any fresh greens from the tops of root vegetables before storing them. Wrap the greens in a damp paper towel and store in the fridge; use them as you would use any cooking greens, like kale or spinach. Spaulding offers this tip for reviving carrots that have softened: Place them in a bowl of cold water in the fridge overnight, “and they will firm right up.” SELECTION Choose root vegetables that are hard, without blemishes or signs of decay. They should have firm roots and feel heavy for their size. COOKING As with any vegetable, the best and most common methods for cooking root vegetables are steaming, sauteing, baking, roasting, braising and grilling. Most root vegetables need to have their tough outer skin removed before cooking, especially because they sometimes have a waxy coating added to slow down spoilage. Use a vegetable peeler or a sharp paring knife. Some vegetables, such as carrots and Jerusalem artichokes, may just need a good scrub to remove dirt and any unwanted bits and bobs from the skin. Most root vegetables are best diced, sliced or cubed before cooking, to speed things up and, in the case of roasting, to get those nice caramelized surfaces. Root vegetables also can be added to soups, stews and casseroles. For casseroles, you might want to cook them at least partially first since they may take a little longer to become tender than the other ingredients. Root vegetables are inexpensive, nutritious, readily available and flavourful. So while we await the season of asparagus and strawberries, dig deep and make them part of your diet. Root Vegetable Recipes: Spicy Roasted Root Vegetable Soup with Parmesan Croutons Roasted Winter Vegetables with Sriracha Honey Glaze Mediterranean Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Vegetables Parsnip and Golden Beet Soup Sweet Potato Spoonbread ___ Katie Workman has written two cookbooks focused on easy, family-friendly cooking, “Dinner Solved!” and “The Mom 100 Cookbook.” She blogs at http://www.themom100.com/about-katie-workman. She can be reached at Katie@themom100.com. Katie Workman, The Associated Press
January 19 is National Popcorn day! This snack food is ubiquitous to many forms of entertainment, like movies (of course!), sporting events, midways, and outdoor festivals, to name a few. Popcorn is one of those snack foods that seems to be a huge hit with just about everybody, although people might have some very different preferences in the types of popcorn flavours that they enjoy. Some love the sweeter side of things such as caramel or toffee-coated popcorn, some like to keep it simple with butter and salt, and some are much more adventurous. Give the Chicago mix a try, a mixture of caramel corn and cheddar cheese flavoured popcorn (it might sound strange, but try it. Seriously!). Or satisfy a more “refined” palette by tossing your popcorn with truffle oil and parmesan cheese. Contrary to what various cartoon characters have taught us over the years, not every type of corn will “pop” in the way that produces popcorn. There is only one variety of corn that “pops” this way, Zea Mays Everta. However, there are around 100 strains of this type with different characteristics. What makes the Zea Mays Everta variety so unique? The crucial aspects are an extremely rigid and almost nonporous outer shell on the kernel and a bit of water with soft granules of starch on the inside. As the popcorn kernel is heated to the right temperature, the water trapped inside turns to steam and the granules of starch gelatinize. As the kernel continues to get hotter, the pressure within it builds until it finally bursts and essentially turns inside out. The gelatinized starch rapidly expands when this happens, then cools and solidifies almost instantly to form the “popped” corn we know and love. Popcorn has been around for a long time; archeologists have found popcorn remnants that were about 3,600 years old. You can celebrate National popcorn by enjoying your favourite popcorn snacks. Make some popcorn balls, have a movie marathon complete with hot buttered popcorn, or even try making some popcorn crafts for something different. Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette
THREE RIVERS – The relationship between community tax rates and levels of municipal service was a common thread during Three Rivers' preliminary budget discussions. "I think if you have a service you have to be expected to pay for it," deputy mayor Debbie Johnston said. Councillors started assessing their priorities for the municipality's 2021-22 operating budget during a special meeting in Georgetown on Jan. 18. Jill Walsh, Three Rivers' chief administrative officer, hopes that it'll be finalized and approved during council's regular meeting in March. Among the items discussed were hiring and a planning technician. The planning department currently has two planners on staff because one is on indefinite sick leave. With the development season incoming and Three Rivers' official plan tentatively being completed later this year, a more hands-on technician would help relieve the workload and put the municipality on par with municipalities of similar populations, the department's Danielle Herring said. "For us to provide the planning services properly and efficiently, I think we need this position." As well, Three Rivers' staff suggested hiring an economic development officer. This position has been budgeted for in the past but was never filled, Walsh said in a followup interview with The Guardian. Also discussed was the desire to provide the same level of snow maintenance on Georgetown's sidewalks as is provided in Montague. Currently, Georgetown's sidewalks are not salted, partly because the one along Main Street is in poor condition. "We eventually want to get toward a standardization of services," Walsh said. The topic was brought up during last year's budget discussions – the decision would likely result in a roughly four-cent tax increase for Georgetown because Three Rivers would need to purchase a new salting machine, buy more salt for it and hire someone to operate it. Under community beautification, Coun. Cindy MacLean suggested increasing this budget line so more seasonal decorations can be installed across communities like Georgetown and Cardigan, not just for Montague. In terms of RCMP policing, the staff is suggesting that Three Rivers retain its current contract by paying for just one officer to be on hand in the region, alongside the Montague detachment's staff sergeant. Council had further discussions during a closed council session, namely to go over the staff salaries budget line. Twitter.com/dnlbrown95 Daniel Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Guardian
As President Donald Trump entered the final year of his term last January, the U.S. recorded its first confirmed case of COVID-19. Not to worry, Trump insisted, his administration had the virus “totally under control.” Now, in his final hours in office, after a year of presidential denials of reality and responsibility, the pandemic’s U.S. death toll has eclipsed 400,000. And the loss of lives is accelerating. “This is just one step on an ominous path of fatalities,” said Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University and one of many public health experts who contend the Trump administration’s handling of the crisis led to thousands of avoidable deaths. “Everything about how it’s been managed has been infused with incompetence and dishonesty, and we’re paying a heavy price,” he said. The 400,000-death toll, reported Tuesday by Johns Hopkins University, is greater than the population of New Orleans, Cleveland or Tampa, Florida. It's nearly equal to the number of American lives lost annually to strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, flu and pneumonia combined. With more than 4,000 deaths recorded on some recent days — the most since the pandemic began — the toll by week's end will probably surpass the number of Americans killed in World War II. “We need to follow the science and the 400,000th death is shameful,” said Cliff Daniels, chief strategy officer for Methodist Hospital of Southern California, near Los Angeles. With its morgue full, the hospital has parked a refrigerated truck outside to hold the bodies of COVID-19 victims until funeral homes can retrieve them. “It’s so incredibly, unimaginably sad that so many people have died that could have been avoided,” he said. The U.S. accounts for nearly 1 of every 5 virus deaths reported worldwide, far more than any other country despite its great wealth and medical resources. The coronavirus would almost certainly have posed a grave crisis for any president given its rapid spread and power to kill, experts on public health and government said. But Trump seemed to invest as much in battling public perceptions as he did in fighting the virus itself, repeatedly downplaying the threat and rejecting scientific expertise while fanning conflicts ignited by the outbreak. As president he was singularly positioned to counsel Americans. Instead, he used his pulpit to spout theories — refuted by doctors — that taking unproven medicines or even injecting household disinfectant might save people from the virus. The White House defended the administration this week. “We grieve every single life lost to this pandemic, and thanks to the president’s leadership, Operation Warp Speed has led to the development of multiple safe and effective vaccines in record time, something many said would never happen,” said White House spokesman Judd Deere. With deaths spiraling in the New York City area last spring, Trump declared “war” on the virus. But he was slow to invoke the Defence Production Act to secure desperately needed medical equipment. Then he sought to avoid responsibility for shortfalls, saying that the federal government was “merely a backup” for governors and legislatures. “I think it is the first time in history that a president has declared a war and we have experienced a true national crisis and then dumped responsibility for it on the states,” said Drew Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health care policy think-tank . When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tried to issue guidelines for reopening in May, Trump administration officials held them up and watered them down. As the months passed, Trump claimed he was smarter than the scientists and belittled experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top authority on infectious diseases. “Why would you bench the CDC, the greatest fighting force of infectious disease in the world? Why would you call Tony Fauci a disaster?” asked Dr. Howard Markel, a medical historian at the University of Michigan. “It just doesn’t make sense.” As governors came under pressure to reopen state economies, Trump pushed them to move faster, asserting falsely that the virus was fading. “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” he tweeted in April as angry protesters gathered at the state capitol to oppose the Democratic governor’s stay-at-home restrictions. “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” In Republican-led states like Arizona that allowed businesses to reopen, hospitals and morgues filled with virus victims. “It led to the tragically sharp partisan divide we’ve seen in the country on COVID, and that has fundamental implications for where we are now, because it means the Biden administration can’t start over," Altman said. “They can’t put the genie back in the bottle.” In early October, when Trump himself contracted COVID-19, he ignored safety protocols, ordering up a motorcade so he could wave to supporters outside his hospital. Once released, he appeared on the White House balcony to take off his mask for the cameras, making light of health officials' pleas for people to cover their faces. “We’re rounding the corner,” Trump said of the battle with the virus during a debate with Joe Biden in late October. “It’s going away.” It isn’t. U.S. deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 100,000 in late May, then tripled by mid-December. Experts at the University of Washington project deaths will reach nearly 567,000 by May 1. More than 120,000 patients with the virus are in the hospital in the U.S., according to the COVID Tracking Project, twice the number who filled wards during previous peaks. On a single day last week, the U.S. recorded more than 4,400 deaths. While vaccine research funded by the administration as part of Warp Speed has proved successful, the campaign trumpeted by the White House to rapidly distribute and administer millions of shots has fallen well short of the early goals officials set. “Young people are dying, young people who have their whole lives ahead of them,” said Mawata Kamara, a nurse at California’s San Leandro Hospital who is furious over the surging COVID-19 cases that have overwhelmed health care workers. “We could have done so much more.” Many voters considered the federal government’s response to the pandemic a key factor in their vote: 39% said it was the single most important factor, and they overwhelmingly backed Biden over Trump, according to AP VoteCast. But millions of others stood with him. “Here you have a pandemic," said Eric Dezenhall, a Washington crisis management consultant, "yet you have a massive per cent of the population that doesn’t believe it exists.” Adam Geller And Janie Har, The Associated Press
Steve Fortin and his family survived a harrowing COVID-19 infection and he wants to share it with everyone “because it may save a life.” Fortin, a trucker and musician, said he and his wife started to notice mild symptoms Dec. 22, three days after exposure. “Sniffles, slight cough, and a dry, sore nose,” he wrote, but they weren’t sure if it was sinus problems or a cold. “Here is our mistake, we should have immediately been tested,” Fortin said, adding they were being careful in case they were infected that they wouldn’t spread it. “We are new to the area so we didn't really go anywhere to spread it but I did go to work and went to the store but wore a mask and sanitized regularly and kept a safe distance at all times,” he said. By New Year’s Eve, he and his wife “became terribly ill” with the full laundry list of symptoms. “We couldn’t get off the couch the pain was so bad, fevers and chills almost unbearable,” he wrote, with “stomach ache and diarrhea with no appetite at all. “My wife was vomiting and I was lucky enough not to vomit,” Fortin wrote. “Then we got the call, a friend of ours who works in the medical field tested posted for COVID-19. “Immediately we called the North Bay COVID centre for testing and our results came back positive as well. “My wife, kids, and myself all had COVID-19,” he said, explaining the children had no symptoms. “They didn’t even know they had it but my wife and I were very ill. “Public Health and I back-tracked all our steps to make sure we didn’t come into contact with anyone. They called my work and had employees that were around me tested and thank God they were all negative,” Fortin said. See: Some provinces see positive signs in COVID fight See: Two new COVID cases “My stupidity could have made a lot of people sick. I became so ill I should have been hospitalized but was afraid that I may never see my kids again,” he said. A Public Health nurse called to check and suggested they be hospitalized for treatment and to be more comfortable, he added. “I had every symptom possible and by the second week it started to affect my lungs, nose, and bronchial tube,” Fortin said. “It burned to breathe. One night, I woke up and asked my wife to talk to me because I was sure it may be our last conversation.” Things started to improve after being sick for three weeks and the Fortin family cases were considered resolved Sunday. “I feel much better but still a little weak,” he said, adding praise for the support they received. “As sick as we were, our neighbors were amazing with support and help. My closest neighbor Marcel did our grocery shopping and his wife made our family an amazing meat pie,” he said. “Neighbors were calling to check on us and to offer their help and I must say thank you so much to them” for being there in their time of need. “Sturgeon Falls is the most amazing community we have ever lived in and thank you for accepting us and making us feel so welcomed,” he wrote. He suggests people be diligent and follow Public Health advice: “If you show any cold or flu symptoms don't assume it is. Go get tested, it’s easy, painless, and fast. “Always keep your mask on and practice safe distancing in public. It’s so easy to spread this virus. When you go through a drive-thru or use a debit machine, sanitize immediately before they hand your stuff to you. “When grocery shopping, ask if your cart was sprayed before you use it and if not clean it yourself or request it to be and the most important thing when you’re around friends or family you don't live with, WEAR YOUR MASK. “I made one mistake and almost lost my life so I feel very lucky to be here and just want to help this amazing community in any way I can. Thank you,” he wrote. Dave Dale is a Local Journalism Reporter with BayToday.ca. LJI is funded by the Government of Canada. Dave Dale, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca
Pour comprendre la vision occidentale sur l’islam, un retour sur notre histoire commune s’impose.
Richmond’s Chimo Community Services is encouraging people to bundle up and help raise funds for their fifth annual Coldest Night of the Year event. Money raised will support people experiencing homelessness, hurt and hunger. The family-friendly walk is completely virtual this year and will take place from Feb. 6 to 20. People can walk alone, or with members of their bubbles, throughout the community—while joining together with thousands of other participants in 149 cities across Canada. The Richmond event will see people walking outdoors on a self-designed route of two or five kilometres. Participants who raise over $150, or youth participants who raise over $75, will receive a unique toque to stay warm during their walk. Chimo is hoping to raise $25,000 to support their services. An anticipated 100 walkers and 16 teams are expected to brave the cold weather. The local lead sponsor is Vancity Richmond, as well as other sponsors Turning Point Recovery and Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Chimo has been serving Richmond for 48 years, and funds raised during the Coldest Night of the Year event will benefit clients during a time of year known historically for low levels of giving. Participants can register for Chimo’s Coldest Night of the Year at cnoy.org/register Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel
GEORGETOWN – Holland College's president recalls a time when he struggled to find a job because for every job there was a surplus of workers trying to get it. "I can tell you without any degree of uncertainty that that is not the case anymore," Alexander (Sandy) MacDonald said. These days, industries such as early childhood care, resident care and correctional policing need workers, but either there aren't enough available or there are barriers keeping people from attaining the necessary skills, he said. "I can't think of a single industry on P.E.I. that isn't short on labour." MacDonald is hopeful that the college's new strategic plan will help to counter this with its four guiding principles, which he outlined during a presentation at Kings Playhouse in Georgetown on Jan. 12. The principles are innovative and flexible programming, support and inclusion, environmental leadership and corporate innovation. "Our budget (will be) framed around these four things," he said. The college has already adapted some of its programs around the first principle. Last year, the college's early childhood care program partnered with workplaces so students could start the program and learn the basics, then jump into work while still enrolled in the two-year program. Similarly, students pursuing a Red Seal apprenticeship would normally have to take time off work to attend the college's programming, which could be a deterrent for students who have to prioritize a steady income. Moving forward, Red Seal students will be able to continue working while taking part in virtual education. "(Now) they're earning and learning at the same time," MacDonald said. "It's not that there's anything new in the content, it's just in how we deliver it." As well, the college's bioscience program has partnered with UPEI via a joint program that mixes the college's expertise in applied learning with the university's focus on theory. In addition, an entry-level cook position was added to the college's culinary program as many restaurants don't need a fully-trained chef, MacDonald said. The second principle is about better supporting the college's diverse student base, such as people of ethnicity, people with learning disabilities or people with past traumas or addictions. About $300,000 has been set aside toward one day constructing a student support centre. "We have four counsellors now," MacDonald said. "We probably should have eight." The third principle pertains to responding responsibly to the impacts of climate change, such as by reviewing all programs to see about using greener techniques or by reassessing the possibility of including a transit pass in student union fees. As well, the college recently submitted a report to government outlining a potential centre that would act as a headquarters for P.E.I.'s 24 watershed groups, MacDonald said. The fourth principle, which involves the intent to invest in effective partnerships, opportunities and technologies, has proven challenging. That’s because it requires the college to change or restructure how it operates, such as by framing its budget around the four principals. "Because we want to make sure we're spending every nickel as efficiently as possible," he said. Twitter.com/dnlbrown95 Daniel Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Guardian
Specific details about workplace outbreaks of COVID-19 are not made public in most of Canada. Toronto is starting to make the information available, arguing that transparency increases accountability, but others wonder whether ‘naming and shaming’ does more harm than good.
BANGUI, Central African Republic — Armed groups stood on the outskirts of Bangassou on Tuesday, raising fears of further clashes in the southern city a day after two U.N. peacekeepers were killed in a nearby ambush blamed on rebels. Tensions are high in Central African Republic after other coalition rebels attempted a rare attack on the capital of Bangui last week in the aftermath of President Faustin Archange Touadera's reelection on Dec. 27. Now residents of Bangassou say rebel fighters from the northeast of Central African Republic have begun arriving in the same area where only days earlier other rebels had left after controlling the city for more than a month. Abacar Sabone, a spokesman for the rebel coalition known as the Coalition of Patriots for Change, says his fighters consider Bangassou to be strategically important. “It is from this city that Touadera is bringing in mercenaries," he alleged of the town located 750 kilometres (310 miles) from the capital on the border with Congo. The Rev. Jean-Noel Kinazounga at the Cathedral of St. Pierre Claver said there was an uneasy calm Tuesday in Bangassou, where residents remained fearful of more violence. “We are afraid to go to the field or even join our parents on the other side of the river because of the return in force and the armed men,” said Angeline Koundro, a 40-year-old resident. Rebel fighters had first seized control of Bangassou in early December, looting shops and plunging the city into crisis. Local officials say some residents drown while attempting to flee across the river to neighbouring Congo. The rebel forces finally withdrew from the town last week but now other fighters have recently come into the area from the country's north, residents say. Those arriving rebels are being blamed for Monday's attack that killed two U.N. peacekeepers. A peacekeeper from Gabon and another from Morocco were killed about 17 kilometres (about 11 miles) outside the embattled city, according to Vladimir Monteiro, the spokesman for the U.N. mission known as MINUSCA. The rebels' attempted attack on the capital last week marked the most serious threat to Bangui since 2013, when a coalition of predominantly Muslim rebels known as Seleka overthrew President Francois Bozize after long claiming marginalization. Later that year, militia fighters known as the anti-Balaka launched their own assault on Bangui in an attempt to overthrow Michel Djotodia's rebel-led government. Eventually the anti-Balaka began attacking Muslim civilians too, beating people to death in the streets, destroying mosques and forcing tens of thousands of Muslims to flee Bangui in 2014. The rebel president Djotodia eventually stepped aside amid international pressure and an interim government organized democratic elections, which Touadera won in 2016. While he won reelection in December with 53% of the vote, he continues to face political opposition from forces linked to ex-president Bozize, who was disqualified from taking part in the recent presidential vote. ___ Associated Press writer Krista Larson in Dakar, Senegal, contributed to this report. Jean Fernand Koena, The Associated Press
VICTORIA — British Columbia's representative for children and youth says she has heard harrowing stories from those who were involuntarily hospitalized for a mental illness without access to legal advice. Jennifer Charlesworth has released a report with input from youth who say they were restrained, medicated and secluded against their will. Charlesworth is calling on the B.C. government to amend the Mental Health Act to allow youth to have access to a legal advocate while they're in care. She says that while the Health Ministry believes Indigenous youth are overrepresented when it comes to being detained in hospital, it lacks data on how many youth are being affected. Charlesworth says that's troubling because young people are being retraumatized when what they need is care that is culturally appropriate. She says over a decade, the number of children held under the Mental Health Act has increased an alarming 162 per cent, bringing into question the voluntary system of care and treatment. The province paused legislation last July to amend the act after Charlesworth and some First Nations groups said youth worried about being detained would fear asking for help. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2021. The Canadian Press
After four years, U.S. President Donald Trump will be leaving office as President-elect Joe Biden is sworn into the position on Jan. 20, 2021. The weeks leading up to Trump’s departure have been tumultuous, with a siege on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, five federal executions, and 143 presidential pardons, just to name a few pivotal moments.Trump began the day by speaking to a crowd at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland before boarding Air Force One. He is traveling to his golf club, Mar-a-Lago, in Florida, and will not be attending Biden’s inauguration ceremony in Washington, D.C.Supporters of the 45th U.S. President gathered in West Palm Beach, Fla. to greet Trump’s motorcade when it arrived in the city.For all the latest on the U.S. inauguration, click this link for live updates.
TORONTO — A Canadian neonatal intensive care nurse who spoke at an anti-lockdown rally in Washington, D.C., has been fired, her employer said on Tuesday.The London Health Sciences Centre in London, Ont., confirmed its termination of Kristen Nagle, who had been suspended since November after attending a similar rally in the city.Nagle was one of two Canadian nurses who drew attention for speaking in Washington on Jan. 6. before supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol, leading to five deaths.In a statement, the London hospital said it suspended Nagle without pay in November for actions "not aligned" with its values and then began an internal investigation. That investigation was now complete, the hospital said."While we are not able to address the specifics of the investigation, we can confirm that the nurse has been terminated with cause," the statement said. "Safeguarding the health of our patients and their families, staff and physicians is of the utmost importance and remains our top priority."Nagle, a 14-year registered nurse, could not immediately be reached for comment.A petition calling for Nagle to be allowed to continue practising as a registered nurse garnered the 1,500 signatures it aimed to collect by noon on Thursday before now pushing to reach 2,500. "People are attacking this human who has an impeccable patient/nurse relationship," the petition states. "She has never brought any harm to them, nor would she ever put herself in a position to cause harm."Among other things, the petition states Nagle took no part in the Capitol protests and was only in D.C. because a summit organized by a group called Global Frontline Nurses had been moved from Florida to the American capital. It also says she has self-quarantined as required. "There are countless nurses who understand that something is not right with the system right now and are terrified from speaking out for fear of getting fired or have their licenses stripped," the petition states.Those signing the online petition called Nagle's fight one of free speech. "Freedom of speech is imperative in a democratic society," said one signatory, identified as Amanda Nafziger. The College of Nurses of Ontario has previously said it was investigating both Nagle and Sarah Choujounian, a registered practical nurse since 2004. The college said it could not provide details and had no further comment on Tuesday.Nagle and Choujounian both spoke at the Jan. 6 rally organized by Global Frontline Nurses, which maintains "fraud is rampant" regarding the COVID-19 crisis inside and outside hospitals.At the summit, Nagle said nurses were being threatened for speaking out or holding contrary views. She slammed policies she said isolate new mothers at a critical time."We are sharing truth with you whatever the cost may be,'' Nagle said. "Nurses, it is our time to rise."Choujounian had spent most of her career at a north Toronto nursing home until last year, has publicly decried COVID-19 vaccines as "experimental" and "unsafe." The founder of a group called Nurses Against Lockdowns, she has called the vaccine promotion and use a "crime against humanity."Global Frontline Nurses has called on nurses to come forward ahead of a news conference on Jan. 21.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2021. Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus eclipsed 400,000 on Tuesday in the waning hours in office for President Donald Trump, whose handling of the crisis has been judged by public health experts a singular failure. The running total of lives lost, as compiled by Johns Hopkins University, is nearly equal to the number of Americans killed in World II. It is about the population of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Tampa, Florida; or New Orleans. It is equivalent to the sea of humanity that was at Woodstock in 1969. It is just short of the estimated 409,000 Americans who died in 2019 of strokes, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, flu and pneumonia combined. And the virus isn't finished with the U.S. by any means, even with the arrival of the vaccines that could finally vanquish the outbreak: A widely cited model by the University of Washington projects the death toll will reach nearly 567,000 by May 1. While the Trump administration has been credited with Operation Warp Speed, the crash program to develop and distribute coronavirus vaccines, Trump has repeatedly downplayed the threat, mocked masks, railed against lockdowns, promoted unproven and unsafe treatments, undercut scientific experts and expressed scant compassion for the victims. Even his own bout with COVID-19 seemed to leave him unchanged. The White House defended the administration. “We grieve every single life lost to this pandemic, and thanks to the president’s leadership, Operation Warp Speed has led to the development of multiple safe and effective vaccines in record time, something many said would never happen," said White House spokesman Judd Deere. President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Wednesday. The nation reached the 400,000 milestone in just under a year. The first known deaths from the virus in the U.S. were in early February 2020, both of them in Santa Clara County, California. While the count is based on figures supplied by government agencies around the world, the real death toll is believed to be significantly higher, in part because of inadequate testing and cases inaccurately attributed to other causes early on. It took four months to reach the first 100,000 dead. It took just over a month to go from 300,000 to 400,000. The Associated Press
More people are going to be recruited as fisheries officers over the next couple of years because of an increasing number of retirements. DFO is predicting about 100 people will need to be hired in the next two years alone. Glen Gillespie, the acting area chief for conservation and enforcement in P.E.I., calls it "one of the best jobs in the world." "You're outdoors, you're dealing with the public, dealing with fishers and stakeholders. You're in the community promoting compliance of regulations and there's a tangible result that you see as a fishery officer in your work." The training involves 16 weeks in the classroom, including nine at the RCMP training facility in Regina. After that, the first 30 months are taken up with on-the-job training, with a starting salary of around $53,000. More from CBC P.E.I.