Kristin Fisher reports from the White House with President Trump's reaction to the Supreme Court rulings on his financial and tax records.
Kristin Fisher reports from the White House with President Trump's reaction to the Supreme Court rulings on his financial and tax records.
WASHINGTON — The lead prosecutor for President Donald Trump's historic second impeachment began building his case for conviction at trial, asserting on Sunday that Trump's incitement of the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol was “the most dangerous crime" ever committed by a president against the United States. A Senate trial could begin as soon as this week, just as Democrat Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., did not say when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will send the single article of impeachment against Trump — for “incitement of insurrection” — to the Senate, which will trigger the beginning of the trial. But Raskin said “it should be coming up soon” as Pelosi organizes the formal transfer. The House voted to impeach Trump last Wednesday, one week after the violent insurrection that interrupted the official count of electoral votes, ransacked the Capitol and left Congress deeply shaken. Before the mob overpowered police and entered the building, Trump told them to “fight like hell” against the certification of Biden's election win. “We're going to be able to tell the story of this attack on America and all of the events that led up to it,” Raskin said. “This president set out to dismantle and overturn the election results from the 2020 presidential election. He was perfectly clear about that.” Democrats and the incoming administration are facing the challenge of reckoning with the Capitol attack at the same time that Biden takes office and tries to move the country forward. They say the Congress can do both, balancing a trial with confirmations of the new president's Cabinet and consideration of his legislative priorities. Raskin said Congress cannot establish a precedent where “we just want to let bygones be bygones” just because Trump has left office. Yet it's clear that Democrats do not want the Senate trial to dominate Biden's opening days. Pelosi on Friday said that Democrats intend to move quickly on Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID aid and economic recovery package to speed up vaccinations and send Americans relief, calling it “matter of complete urgency.” Ron Klain, Biden's incoming White House chief of staff, said he hopes Senate leaders, on a bipartisan basis, “find a way to move forward on all of their responsibilities. This impeachment trial is one of them, but getting people into the government and getting action on coronavirus is another one of those responsibilities.” It is unclear how many Senate Republicans — if any — would vote to convict Trump. Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is telling his caucus that their decision on whether to convict the outgoing president will be a “vote of conscience.” His stance, first reported by Business Insider, means the GOP leadership team will not work to hold senators in line one way or the other. McConnell is open to considering impeachment, but said he is undecided on how he would vote. He continues to hold great sway in his party, even though convening the trial this week could be among his last acts as majority leader as Democrats prepare to take control of the Senate with the seating of two new Democratic senators from Georgia. For Republican senators, the trial will be perhaps a final test of their loyalty to the defeated president and his legions of supporters in their states back home. It will force a further reevaluation of their relationship with Trump, who lost not only the White House but majority control of the Senate, and a broader discussion about the future of the Republican Party as he leaves office. Some GOP senators are already standing by Trump, despite their criticism of his behaviour. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the president's most loyal allies, said impeachment was a "bad, rushed, emotional move” that puts the presidency at risk and will cause further division. He said he hopes every Senate Republican rejects impeachment. “Please do not justify and legitimize what the House did,” Graham said. A handful of Republican senators have suggested they will consider conviction. Two of them, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, have said he should resign. Murkowski said the House responded “appropriately” with impeachment and she will consider the trial arguments. No president has ever been convicted in the Senate, and it would take a two-thirds vote against Trump, a high hurdle. But conviction is not out of the realm of possibility, especially as corporations and wealthy political donors distance themselves from Trump's brand of politics and the Republicans who stood by his attempts to overturn the election. Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney, was spotted at the White House Saturday and told ABC he was likely going to join Trump’s impeachment defence team. He suggested he would continue to spread baseless claims of election fraud on the Senate floor. Trump campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley moved to distance Trump from Giuliani’s comments, tweeting: “President Trump has not yet made a determination as to which lawyer or law firm will represent him for the disgraceful attack on our Constitution and democracy, known as the 'impeachment hoax.' We will keep you informed.” There was not widespread fraud in the election, as has been confirmed by a range of election officials and by William Barr, who stepped down as attorney general last month. Nearly all of the legal challenges put forth by Trump and his allies have been dismissed by judges. Trump is the only president to be twice impeached, and the first to be prosecuted as he leaves the White House, an ever-more-extraordinary end to his tenure. A precedent set by the Senate in the 1800s established that a trial can proceed even after a federal official leaves office. Trump was first impeached by the House in 2019 over his dealings with Ukraine, but the Senate voted last year to acquit. Ten Republicans joined all Democrats in the 232-197 impeachment vote on Wednesday, the most bipartisan modern presidential impeachment. When his second trial does begin, House impeachment managers say they will be making the case that Trump’s incendiary rhetoric hours before the attack on the Capitol was not isolated, but directly intended to interrupt the electoral count as part of his escalating campaign to overturn the November election. A Capitol Police officer died from injuries suffered in the attack, and police shot and killed a woman. Three other people died in what authorities said were medical emergencies. Raskin and Klain were on CNN's “State of the Union,” and Graham appeared on Fox News Channel's “Sunday Morning Futures.” ___ Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report. Lisa Mascaro And Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press
Lionel Messi lost his cool after another Barcelona collapse on Sunday, hitting an opponent away from the ball and being sent off for the first time while playing with the Catalan club in the team’s 3-2 loss to Athletic Bilbao in the final of the Spanish Super Cup. Iñaki Williams' goal in extra time gave Athletic the lead and a come-from-behind win. Barcelona had little chance of recovering when Messi swung his right arm toward the head of an Athletic player while trying to free himself. Messi was shown the red card following a video review. The card came in his 753rd appearance with Barcelona. He has been sent off twice with Argentina, including in his national team debut in 2005. The other red card with Argentine came in the 2019 Copa America. Messi could face a lengthy suspension for his ejection on Sunday. After Athletic scored in the 90th minute to seal a 2-2 draw and force extra time, Williams netted the title-clinching goal with a neat curling shot from just inside the area, with the ball hitting the far post before going into the top corner. “Because of what it meant for the team, this is the best goal of my career,” Williams said. The goal three minutes into extra time secured Athletic its third Super Cup title, and first since it beat Barcelona in the 2015 final. The Basque Country club also won the title in 1984. Barcelona was seeking its 15th Super Cup title, and third in the last five seasons. It was also looking to end its title drought after going without a trophy last season, something that hadn't happened since 2007-08. The team got off to a slow start this season and trails Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid in the Spanish league. Messi, who asked to leave Barcelona in the off-season but had his request denied, had been doubtful to play in the final because of an unspecified fitness issue that had caused coach Ronald Koeman to leave him out of the semifinal against Real Sociedad on Wednesday, when Barcelona prevailed in a penalty shootout. He helped set up Antoine Griezmann's first goal on Sunday but was far from his best throughout the match at the La Cartuja Stadium in Seville. Barcelona opened the scoring with a shot from the middle of the area by Griezmann in the 40th minute but Athletic equalized two minutes later with a close-range strike by Óscar de Marcos after a well-placed cross by Williams. Griezmann put Barcelona ahead with another shot from inside the area in the 77th but Athletic evened the match again with Asier Villalibre finding the net following a set piece in the 90th. Villalibre was the player hit by Messi in the final minutes as the players tangled together outside the area. The ball was already on the left side of the area when the incident happened. Athletic, which beat defending champion Real Madrid 2-1 in the other semifinal, had a 57th-minute goal disallowed by video review because of offside following a header by Raúl García, who had netted twice in the semifinal. The final was the third match in charge for Athletic coach Marcelino García Toral. His debut had been against Barcelona in a league game at home, when Messi scored twice to help the Catalan club recover from an early goal by Williams and secure a 3-2 victory. “The players deserve all the credit for this achievement,” the new coach said. “They defeated Real Madrid and Barcelona to be able to win this trophy.” Accompanying the Athletic squad in Seville was Aritz Aduriz, the club’s former striker who was forced to retire last season because of a hip injury. When Athletic defeated Barcelona in 2015, the Spanish Super Cup final was still played in two legs between the Spanish league and Copa del Rey winners. This year’s edition was moved to southern Spain after the coronavirus pandemic stopped it from being played in Saudi Arabia for a second straight season. The tournament’s revamped Final Four format includes the top two finishers in the Spanish league and the finalists of the Copa del Rey from the previous season. ___ 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
Two communities in the Northwest Territories' Dehcho region asked visitors to stay away as concern grew over a cluster of COVID-19 cases in Fort Liard. Fort Liard, which now has three confirmed cases of the disease, is under a containment order that effectively shuts down many activities in the hamlet, including all gatherings, until January 30. While territorial officials have said there is no exposure risk in Dehcho communities, leaders in Sambaa K’e and Jean Marie River said turning away visitors was necessary to protect residents, particularly Elders, from the threat of COVID-19. Jessica Jumbo, a youth counsellor and council member in Sambaa K’e, said chief and council had ruled out visitors and asked residents of the small community – home to fewer than 100 people – to isolate for at least two weeks when returning even from other parts of the N.W.T. Jumbo said only essential inbound traffic like mechanics, fuel trucks, and grocery deliveries would be permitted – with approval issued in advance. Sambaa K'e is only accessible by road in winter. Jumbo said that played a part in the decision. “The winter road season always has more traffic and transportation from those small communities that don’t get out, so we just wanted to tighten it up for extra protection – we can control it better,” she said. “We’re such a small community with so few Elders left, and it does seem to have a high death rate with the older people. That’s really who we’re protecting right now. “If something like that comes through any kind of small community, it could end up wiping out a whole generation. We lose more than just the family members.” Chief of the Jean Marie River First Nation Stanley Sanguez said a sign outside the community now states: “Due to COVID-19, no outside visitors.” Sanguez said stopping in the community for gas would, however, remain permissible for the time being. Those looking to do so will be monitored by staff to make sure they go nowhere else and leave after filling up. “We’re checking to make sure they’re only here for gas and then they’re out of here,” he said. Sanguez said he will work to ensure community members wear masks both within Jean Marie River and when they travel elsewhere for supplies and groceries. “When you go out to Fort Simpson or somewhere like Hay River, use your mask,” he said. “You’ve got to use your mask, keep wiping your hands down, and trying to wipe things down when you do things in your vehicle, especially if you do travel.” On Monday, Sanguez said, contact information will be added to the sign so people can reach community leaders with questions or concerns. Rumours on social media suggesting people in a range of N.W.T. communities had contracted COVID-19 were rejected by territorial leaders on Sunday. Minister Shane Thompson, MLA for the Nahendeh region that includes many Dehcho communities, said on Facebook there was "no exposure risk identified in Fort Simpson or Nahanni Butte in the course of the investigation at this time." Thompson urged people to follow pandemic health guidelines and promised updates if anything changes. He said there was no evidence to suggest anyone should be worried about having worked at or shopped in the same community stores as anyone with COVID-19. “The direction to everyone in the territory is to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, stay home if they’re feeling unwell, and contact their local health centre to get a COVID-19 test at the first sign of any illness,” Thompson wrote. At a news conference on Sunday, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola reiterated that message, saying the territorial government had a “good grasp” on close contacts from the three Fort Liard cases to date. “There is no scenario where there is an unidentified case in another community or an unidentified close contact in another community that hasn’t been made aware,” she said. Kandola said there are currently about 50 people isolating in connection with the three confirmed cases. Establishments in Fort Simpson ramped up cleaning protocols on the weekend, many of them closing for deep cleaning or changing their store hours. Muaz Hassan, owner of the village’s Unity Store, said masks were now mandatory inside the building. The Nahanni Inn is open for takeout only and asked residents to wear a mask when picking up orders. The Icebreaker Lounge will be closed until further notice. Pandaville will open on Tuesday for takeout only, with patrons required to wear a mask when coming to pick up orders. Beauty Mark Salon will be closed until further notice with appointments being rescheduled. Fort Simpson Beverages and Gardens, the village’s liquor shop, is keeping its regular hours and said it would continue its existing sanitizing and cleaning protocols. The village’s recreation centre will be closed until at least Monday, at which point staff will evaluate whether to reopen. The fitness centre will remain open due to a low number of users, though masks are now mandatory at all times within the facility. “Security cameras will be checked daily and users caught not wearing a mask will have their key fob suspended for one month,” Andre Bolduc, the village’s recreation coordinator, posted to Facebook. Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
East Ferris residents opposed to a rezoning application for a light industrial operation on MacPherson Drive can’t be blamed if they started to smile when first reading a municipal update Friday. Greg Kirton, manager of planning and economic development, wrote that Paige Engineering has withdrawn its applications. While still on the Planning and Advisory Committee agenda for Wednesday, the presentations for and against won't take place. “These files have been closed and will not proceed any further with the Planning Advisory Committee or Council,” he said, referring to the contentious issue that was set for a second public hearing. Numerous letters of opposition were gathered since the last meeting Dec. 16 and a new petition, urging the municipality to help the business find a better-suited location, is nearing 100 signatures. See: Industrial rezoning application deferred into 2021 See: New petition opposes industrial rezoning request See: Residents oppose industrial rezoning on MacPherson Drive The PAC deferred a decision until Paige Engineering figured out how a tractor-trailer could safely unload occasional deliveries at the 382 MacPherson property. Concerns about traffic and pedestrian safety were among those raised last month because the garage is situated at the beginning an ‘S’ curve on a rural road with little shoulder, no sidewalk and not much of a parking area. Other issues raised included the big gap between the existing Official Plan designation of agricultural to land for economic development and the rezoning from rural residential is a leap to light industrial. Paige Engineering wants to outfit trucks and equipment with explosive storage and delivery components it designs for mining and construction clients, both domestic and international. Most of the heavy fabrication work is contracted out before its delivered for assembly. No explosives are permitted on site, John Paige told the PAC. Looming subdivision plans east and west have the potential of adding more than 75 homes plus individual lot development, a pressure of change fuelling comments about the changing character of the area. The withdrawal of the applications would have been rare good news in the middle of a pandemic as the province endures another strict lockdown. The next paragraph wiped those smiles away. “However, Paige Engineering would like to make the committee aware of their intention to re-apply for a Temporary Use By-law under section 39 of the Planning Act,” Kirton wrote in his letter to the PAC, while also circulated to nearby residents and those who registered to speak and receive updates. “A Temporary Use By-Law is implemented in the same way as a Zoning By-Law Amendment under section 34 of the Planning Act; but is limited to a 3-year duration,” he said, noting the East Ferris Official Plan covers such things in section 9.17. “The intention of Paige Engineering Limited is that, if approved, they will use this 3-year temporary approval in order to explore permanent options elsewhere in the community.” Sylvie Hotte, who lives adjacent to the subject property, was not impressed with the change in tack, especially after spending most of the last month before and after the holidays organizing opposition twice already. Her first petition had more than 130 signatures but she was told it was not specific enough and it is unclear if the 'temporary use' application might require a third specific to it. Time will tell if letters of opposition gathered from residents might also need to reference the new application terms, even though fighting a three-year operation doesn’t change the chief concerns for Hotte. Traffic hazards and all other impacts will be the same, she said, and there is no certainty of another change of mind in three years. “This kind of ‘trust me’ and incremental approach is unacceptable,” she stated in her most recent communication to the municipality. Hotte said they are not being told important details, such as environmental protection plans, parking configuration, drainage, and water services, etc. because they are determined during the site plan control stage that doesn’t include public input. Hotte maintains it doesn’t make sense to cause so much disruption in so many lives when East Ferris is planning to develop a 22-acre industrial park on its Callander Bay Drive border. "The residents of this area are furious," she said Friday. "No industrial in our neighbourhood means 'No' ... it does not conform." Brian and Debbie Callahan, who live on the other side of MacPherson Drive, are among the residents who submitted letters of opposition. “We have lived across the street from this location for over 20 years and have come across several problems with traffic on this section of MacPherson Drive,” Callahans wrote. “When our children were younger, they were transported to school in North Bay by school bus. Due to traffic travelling towards Centennial Crescent, the school board deemed it unsafe to have the bus pick up our children at the end of our driveway due to a very sharp corner affecting the safe flow of traffic,” he wrote. “Instead, our children had to walk to Woodcliffe Road to catch the bus. Traffic does not slow coming around the sharp corner, posing unsafe conditions in front of our residence as well as the property in question.” The Callahan's said this kind of change to the Official Plan would give those considering investment in East Ferris a reason to reconsider because property owners don’t know what will be approved next. “We recently found out that a couple that we know from North Bay have been contemplating buying the property near the aforementioned property to build a permanent residence on. They changed their minds when they found out about the proposed Zoning By-law Amendment,” they said. Also worrisome to them was “continuous hammering and construction taking place at the property in question” in recent weeks. “The noise is very noticeable and annoying even though the doors to the building are closed,” their letter states. “The big problem is the prospect of having the doors open during the summer with manufacturing taking place inside. So much for a quiet residential area." 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
Toronto police say a male is dead after a shooting that took place in North York Sunday evening. Police say they were called to the area of Duncanwoods Drive and Finch Avenue West, east of Islington Avenue. A male victim was found shortly after suffering from gunshot wounds, police said. Police said life-saving measures were performed on the victim, but he was pronounced dead on scene. The homicide unit has since taken over the investigation. Police say they are looking for one suspect last seen wearing a mask and a red jacket, who ran into a ravine in the area.
WASHINGTON — Members of President Donald Trump’s failed presidential campaign played key roles in orchestrating the Washington rally that spawned a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol, according to an Associated Press review of records, undercutting claims the event was the brainchild of the president's grassroots supporters. A pro-Trump non-profit group called Women for America First hosted the “Save America Rally” on Jan. 6 at the Ellipse, an oval-shaped, federally owned patch of land near the White House. But an attachment to the National Park Service public gathering permit granted to the group lists more than half a dozen people in staff positions for the event who just weeks earlier had been paid thousands of dollars by Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign. Other staff scheduled to be “on site” during the demonstration have close ties to the White House. Since the siege, several of them have scrambled to distance themselves from the rally. The riot at the Capitol, incited by Trump’s comments before and during his speech at the Ellipse, has led to a reckoning unprecedented in American history. The president told the crowd to march to the Capitol and that “you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.” A week after the rally, Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives, becoming the first U.S. president ever to be impeached twice. But the political and legal fallout may stretch well beyond Trump, who will exit the White House on Wednesday before Democrat Joe Biden takes the oath of office. Trump had refused for nearly two months to accept his loss in the 2020 election to the former vice-president. Women for America First, which applied for and received the Park Service permit, did not respond to messages seeking comment about how the event was financed and about the Trump campaign’s involvement. The rally drew tens of thousands of people. In a statement, the president’s reelection campaign said it “did not organize, operate or finance the event.” No campaign staff members were involved in the organization or operation of the rally, according to the statement. It said that if any former employees or independent contractors for the campaign took part, “they did not do so at the direction of the Trump campaign.” At least one was working for the Trump campaign this month. Megan Powers was listed as one of two operations managers for the Jan. 6 event, and her LinkedIn profile says she was the Trump campaign's director of operations into January 2021. She did not respond to a message seeking comment. The AP’s review found at least three of the Trump campaign aides named on the permit rushed to obscure their connections to the demonstration. They deactivated or locked down their social media profiles, removed tweets that referenced the rally and blocked a reporter who asked questions. Caroline Wren, a veteran GOP fundraiser, is named as a “VIP Advisor” on an attachment to the permit that Women for America First provided to the agency. Between mid-March and mid-November, Donald J. Trump for President Inc. paid Wren $20,000 a month, according to Federal Election Commission records. During the campaign, she was a national finance consultant for Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee between the president’s reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee. Wren was involved in at least one call before the pro-Trump rally with members of several groups listed as rally participants to organize credentials for VIP attendees, according to Kimberly Fletcher, the president of one of those groups, Moms for America. Wren retweeted messages about the event ahead of time, but a cache of her account on Google shows at least eight of those tweets disappeared from her timeline. She apparently removed some herself, and others were sent from accounts that Twitter suspended. One of the messages Wren retweeted was from “Stop the Steal,” another group identified as a rally participant on a website promoting the event. The Jan. 2 message thanked Republican senators who said they would vote to overturn Biden’s election victory, including Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas. She also retweeted a Jan. 1 message from the president promoting the event, as well as promotional messages from one of the president’s son, Eric Trump, and Katrina Pierson, a Tea Party activist and a spokesperson for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Wren did not return messages seeking comment, and locked her Twitter account after the AP reached out to her last Monday to ask her about her involvement in the Trump rally and the tweets she had removed. Several days later, she blocked the AP reporter. Maggie Mulvaney, a niece of former top Trump aide Mick Mulvaney, is listed on the permit attachment as the “VIP Lead.” She worked as director of finance operations for the Trump campaign, according to her LinkedIn profile. FEC records show Maggie Mulvaney was earning $5,000 every two weeks from Trump’s reelection campaign, with the most recent payment reported on Nov. 13. Maggie Mulvaney had taken down her Twitter account as of last Monday, although it reappeared after an AP reporter asked her about the account’s removal. On Sunday, the same day the AP published this report, she blocked that AP reporter on Twitter. Maggie Mulvaney retweeted several messages on Jan. 6, including one from the president that urged support for the Capitol Police. Trump's Twitter account has been suspended, but the message could be seen in a cache of her Twitter account captured by Google. She also retweeted a message from her uncle, urging Trump to address the nation. Maggie Mulvaney did not respond to messages seeking comment. The insurrection at the Capitol prompted Mick Mulvaney to quit his position as Trump’s special envoy to Northern Ireland. He told CNBC a day after the assault that remaining in the post would prompt people to say “‘Oh yeah, you work for the guy who tried to overtake the government.’” The leaders of Women for America First aren’t new to politics. Amy Kremer, listed as the group’s president on records filed with Virginia’s state corporation commission, is “one of the founding mothers of the modern day tea party movement,” according to her website. Her daughter, Kylie Jane Kremer, is the organization’s treasurer, according to the records. The IRS granted Women for America First tax-exempt status as a social welfare organization a year ago, with the exemption retroactive to February 2019. The AP requested that the group provide any tax records it may have filed since then, but received no response. In a statement issued the same day rioters attacked the Capitol, Amy Kremer denounced the assault and said it was instigated after the rally by a “handful of bad actors,” while seeming to blame Democrats and news organizations for the riot. “Unfortunately, for months the left and the mainstream media told the American people that violence was an acceptable political tool,” she said. “They were wrong. It is not.” The AP reviewed social media posts, voter registrations, court files and other public records for more than 120 people either facing criminal charges related to the Jan. 6 unrest or who, going maskless during the pandemic, were later identified through photographs and videos taken during the melee. The review found the crowd was overwhelmingly made up of longtime Trump supporters, including Republican Party officials, GOP political donors, far-right militants, white supremacists, off-duty police, members of the military and adherents of the QAnon myth that the government is secretly controlled by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophile cannibals. Videos posted on social media in the days following the Capitol attack shows that thousands of people stormed the Capitol. A Capitol Police officer died after he was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher as rioters descended on the building and many other officers were injured. A woman from California was shot to death by Capitol Police and three other people died after medical emergencies during the chaos. Trump’s incendiary remarks at the Jan. 6 rally culminated a two-day series of events in Washington, organized by a coalition of the president’s supporters who echoed his baseless accusations that the election had been stolen from him. A website, MarchtoSaveAmerica.com, sprung up to promote the pro-Trump events and alerted followers, “At 1 PM, we protest at US Capitol.” The website has been deactivated. Another website, TrumpMarch.com shows a fist-raised Trump pictured on the front of a red, white and blue tour bus emblazoned with the words, “Powered by Women for America First.” The logo for the bedding company “My Pillow” is also prominent. Mike Lindell, the CEO of My Pillow, is an ardent Trump supporter who’s falsely claimed Trump didn’t lose the election to Biden and will serve another four-year term as president. “To demand transparency & protect election integrity,” the web page reads. Details of the “DC PROTEST” will be coming soon, it adds, and also lists a series of bus stops between Dec. 27 and Jan. 6 where Trump backers can “Join the caravan or show your support.” Kimberly Fletcher, the Moms for America president, said she wasn’t aware the Trump campaign had a role in the rally at the Ellipse until around New Year's Day. While she didn’t work directly with the campaign, Fletcher did notice a shift in who was involved in the rally and who would be speaking. “When I got there and I saw the size of the stage and everything, I’m like, ‘Wow, we couldn’t possibly have afforded that,’” she said. “It was a big stage. It was a very professional stage. I don’t know who was in the background or who put it together or anything.” In addition to the large stage, the rally on the Ellipse featured a sophisticated sound system and at least three Jumbotron-style screens projecting the president's image to the crowd. Videos posted online show Trump and his family in a nearby private tent watching the rally on several monitors as music blared in the background. Moms for America held a more modest “Save the Republic” rally on Jan. 5 near the U.S. Capitol, an event that drew about 500 people and cost between $13,000 to $14,000, according to Fletcher. Justin Caporale is listed on the Women for America First paperwork as the event’s project manager. He’s identified as a partner with Event Strategies Inc., a management and production company. Caporale, formerly a top aide to first lady Melania Trump, was on the Trump campaign payroll for most of 2020, according to the FEC records, and he most recently was being paid $7,500 every two weeks. Caporale didn’t respond to requests for comment. Tim Unes, the founder and president of Event Strategies, was the “stage manager” for the Jan. 6 rally, according to the permit paperwork. Unes has longstanding ties to Trump, a connection he highlights on his company’s website. Trump’s presidential campaign paid Event Strategies $1.3 million in 2020 for “audio visual services,” according to the campaign finance records. The company declined to comment for this story. Another person with close ties to the Trump administration, Hannah Salem, was the rally’s “operations manager for logistics and communications,” according to the permit paperwork. In 2017, she took a hiatus from the consulting firm she founded and spent three years as senior White House press aide, “executing the media strategy for President Trump’s most high-profile events,” according to her company bio and LinkedIn profile. Last week, within minutes of an AP reporter sending her a LinkedIn message asking about her involvement in and understanding of what happened on Jan. 6, Salem blocked the reporter and did not respond to questions. ___ Smith reported from Providence, Rhode Island. ___ Associated Press researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York and Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report. Richard Lardner And Michelle R. Smith, The Associated Press
VICTORIA — Using a jackhammer and other home repair tools to save a cat stuck in a tiny drainpipe ranks as the strangest rescue call one Victoria firefighter can recall responding to in his 20-year career. Capt. Tim Hanley said Sunday he and three other firefighters spent more than two hours using sledgehammers and a jackhammer to break through Victoria homeowner Emma Hutchinson's concrete basement floor to free Willow, a nine-month-old kitten. "It came in as a call about a kitten stuck in a pipe," said Hanley. "We didn't know what that entailed and when we got there the woman led us to her basement." He said Hutchinson called firefighters earlier in the week pleading for help after discovering her cat had somehow become stuck in a drainpipe with a 10-centimetre diameter in her basement. She said she knew her cat was stuck in the pipe because she used a portable drain camera and could see the feline, said Hanley. "We got the camera and slid it down and sure enough we could see the cat, but it wasn't making any sounds or anything," he said. Hanley said the firefighters attempted to break open the floor near the pipe, but the concrete appeared to be more than 15 centimetres thick. Luckily, Hutchinson had numerous home renovation tools available for the firefighters to use for the rescue, including a concrete cracking jackhammer, sledgehammers, shovels, buckets, drills and the drain scope, he said. The firefighters used Hutchinson's jackhammer and sledgehammers to break through the concrete floor and dig an area to expose the pipe where the cat was trapped more than a metre down, said Hanley. "As soon as we drilled a hole in the pipe I guess it let in enough light that the cat could see it and it started crying, making some sounds, so we knew it was in there still and knew it was alive," he said. "So I said, 'let's make a cut right here before it moves.' " Hutchinson was too distraught to watch the rescue effort from the basement, but when the cat was pulled from the pipe she was overcome with emotion, Hanley said. "When we got the cat out to her she was just so overjoyed with laughing and crying," he said. "She quickly had phoned a vet and before we we were even cleaned up and out of there, she jumped into her car and took off to the vet to get it looked at." Hutchinson described the rescue as a "miracle" and the efforts of the firefighters as "heroic." "My cat is very important to me," she said. "They were at it for a good couple of hours and they were going to get it out." Hutchinson said Willow was extremely dirty when rescued but was pronounced healthy after being treated for dehydration by a veterinarian. "This is my 20th year and, yes, that's probably the strangest (call) so far," Hanley said. Hanley said Hutchison told the firefighters she will be using her tools to repair the hole in her basement. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2021. Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press
Alberta reported 19 more deaths due to COVID-19 on Sunday, adding 750 new cases of the disease. As of Sunday's update, there were 12,234 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. There were 738 people in hospital with the disease, including 123 in the intensive care unit. Hospitalizations were down by 27 patients from Friday. Provincial labs completed 11,484 tests for the disease on Saturday, with a positivity rate of 6.5 per cent. Of the 19 deaths reported on Sunday, 11 were linked to outbreaks at continuing care facilities. One death was linked to an outbreak at Grey Nuns Community Hospital in Edmonton and another to an outbreak at Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton. The deaths occurred between Nov. 28 and Jan. 16. Since the pandemic began in March, there have been 116,837 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, including 1,436 deaths from the disease. Here is how the active cases break down among health zones, as reported on Sunday: Calgary zone: 4,610 cases Edmonton zone: 4,303 cases North zone: 1,704 cases Central zone: 1,182 cases South zone: 415 cases Unknown: 20 cases An additional 4,374 doses of the vaccine had been administered by the end of the day on Saturday, bringing the total administered doses to 85,935. The next in-person update from Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, will be on Monday.
It is all that is left of a programme, funded by some of the world’s biggest oil and chemical companies, that they said could solve a runaway ocean plastic waste crisis which is killing marine life - from plankton to whales - and clogging tropical beaches and coral reefs. The closure of Renew Oceans, which has not previously been reported, is a sign that an industry whose financial future is tied to the growth of plastic production is falling short of its targets to curb the resulting increase in waste, according to two environmental groups. The Alliance to End Plastic Waste, a Singapore-based nonprofit group set up two years ago by big oil and chemical companies, said on its website in November 2019 that its partnership with Renew Oceans would be expanded to the world’s most-polluted rivers and “ultimately could stop the flow of plastic into the planet’s ocean.”
The families victims who suffered Stalinist repression are still waiting for compensation 30 years after the collapse of the former Soviet UnionView on euronews
Search and rescue crews near 100 Mile House, B.C., are commending the actions of a 17-year-old who dug a snow cave to stay warm and safe after getting lost snowmobiling. The teen became separated from the three family members he was snowmobiling with in a popular designated area about an hour and half from 100 Mile House at around 4 p.m. PT on Saturday. He had driven his snowmobile down steep terrain but was unable to climb back out of the area to rejoin his family. Val Severin, search manager with South Cariboo Search and Rescue, said what happened next contributed to the teen being safely found and reunited with his family. 'He didn't panic' "His choices definitely were quite mature," she said. "He didn't panic and lose track of the situation. He understood just the right thing to do." After realizing he couldn't drive out of the area he was in, the teen, who search and rescue is not naming, parked his machine in an open and visible area, dug a snow cave and hunkered down with food and water to await rescue. Severin said digging a deep pit in the snow was the right thing to do. "His body heat would keep him warm and comfortable in there," she said. "He had food and water and was just set up for the night." Reunited with family within hours His family connected with other snowmobilers in the area and did a limited search for the missing teen, but after not finding him within two hours, they used the GPS systems they had with them to connect with SAR and ask for help. South Cariboo Search and Rescue volunteers were able to find the teen by about 10:30 p.m. and reunited him with his family at midnight. "He was quite calm and very, very thankful," Severin said. "Very appreciative of everybody's efforts and he couldn't stop thanking us enough." Servin said the incident is a good example of snowmobilers in the back country being prepared and having survival skills in case something goes wrong.
WASHINGTON — U.S. defence officials say they are worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, prompting the FBI to vet all of the 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington for the event. The massive undertaking reflects the extraordinary security concerns that have gripped Washington following the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump rioters. And it underscores fears that some of the very people assigned to protect the city over the next several days could present a threat to the incoming president and other VIPs in attendance. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told The Associated Press on Sunday that officials are conscious of the potential threat, and he warned commanders to be on the lookout for any problems within their ranks as the inauguration approaches. So far, however, he and other leaders say they have seen no evidence of any threats, and officials said the vetting hadn't flagged any issues. Lolita C. Baldor, The Associated Press
HONOLULU — Three shots behind with six holes to play, Kevin Na birdied three straight holes and finished with an up-and-down birdie from behind the 18th green for a 5-under 65 and a one-shot victory in the Sony Open. Na won for the fifth time in his PGA Tour career, and this one looked unlikely when he three-putted for bogey on the 12th hole at a time where there was no room for mistakes. He answered with birdie putts of 15, 10 and 6 feet, and the winning shot was out of the right rough on the par-5 closing hole at Waialae and ran just over the back of the green. He chipped to tap-in range for his last birdie. Na finished one shot ahead of Joaquin Niemann and Chris Kirk, and only one of them got a consolation prize. Abbotsford, B.C. native Nick Taylor finished in a three-way tie for 11th place at 17-under par. Taylor fired a 3-under 67 in his final round. Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., shot a 4-under 66 to end his tournament in a six-way tie for 19th place at 15-under. Brights Grove, Ont. native and 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir finished in a tie for 47th place. Niemann chipped in for birdie from 55 feet on the par-3 17th and got up-and-down with a long bunker shot on the 18th hole for a 66. Even so, he was runner-up for the second straight week in Hawaii. The 22-year-old from Chile was 45-under par in two events without a trophy to show for it. Kirk closed with his fourth straight round of 65 — that wasn't enough to win on a soft Waialae with no wind — and his tough pitch from below the 18th for birdie proved to be massive. Kirk stepped away from golf in May 2019 citing alcoholism and depression, a bold move that is paying off. He was given a medical extension to make up for lost time, and this was the final event for him to regain full status. Needing nearly 150 FedEx Cup points at the Sony Open, his tie for second was worth 245 points. As for Brendan Steele, it was another year of disappointment in paradise, this one more of a slow leak. Steele last year had a two-shot lead with two to play and wound up losing in a playoff. This time, he made an 18-foot eagle putt on the ninth hole to take a three-shot lead into the back nine. He three-putted the easy 10th hole from nearly 80 feet, and his game was so tentative the rest of the way that he didn't have a birdie chance inside 30 feet until the 17th hole. That was from 10 feet to tie for the lead, and he missed that. Steele also failed to birdie the 18th and closed with a 69. Na won for the fourth consecutive season, and he attributed the late surge to being happy at home with his wife and two children. He looked comfortable even when the Sony Open appeared to be slipping away. Once he made the 15-footer on the 13th hole, he started walking them in. “I knew there was a lot of birdie holes left,” Na said. “I was having fun out there.” Webb Simpson matched the low score of the final round with a 64 and tied for fourth along with Steele and Marc Leishman, shot shot 30 on the back nine. Na finished at 21-under 259 and is assured of returning to Hawaii for two weeks next year, starting with the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua. That course can be too big for him. Waialae proved to be a perfect fit. Doug Ferguson, The Associated Press
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 7:30 p.m. ET on Sunday Jan. 17, 2021. There are 708,619 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 708,619 confirmed cases (75,281 active, 615,324 resolved, 18,014 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 6,436 new cases Sunday from 70,499 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 9.1 per cent. The rate of active cases is 200.27 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 47,285 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 6,755. There were 149 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 1,001 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 143. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.38 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 47.92 per 100,000 people. There have been 16,557,083 tests completed. _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 396 confirmed cases (nine active, 383 resolved, four deaths). There was one new case Sunday from 204 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.49 per cent. The rate of active cases is 1.73 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there has been three new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 0.77 per 100,000 people. There have been 76,369 tests completed. _ Prince Edward Island: 104 confirmed cases (nine active, 95 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Sunday from 331 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. The rate of active cases is 5.73 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of two new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 86,220 tests completed. _ Nova Scotia: 1,558 confirmed cases (29 active, 1,464 resolved, 65 deaths). There were four new cases Sunday from 743 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.54 per cent. The rate of active cases is 2.99 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 30 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is four. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.69 per 100,000 people. There have been 195,810 tests completed. _ New Brunswick: 947 confirmed cases (293 active, 642 resolved, 12 deaths). There were 36 new cases Sunday from 874 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 4.1 per cent. The rate of active cases is 37.72 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 168 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 24. There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of three new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.06 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 1.54 per 100,000 people. There have been 128,277 tests completed. _ Quebec: 242,714 confirmed cases (20,651 active, 213,008 resolved, 9,055 deaths). There were 1,744 new cases Sunday from 9,270 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 19 per cent. The rate of active cases is 243.38 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 13,893 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,985. There were 50 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 369 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 53. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.62 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 106.72 per 100,000 people. There have been 2,656,534 tests completed. _ Ontario: 237,786 confirmed cases (28,893 active, 203,484 resolved, 5,409 deaths). There were 3,422 new cases Sunday from 58,215 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 5.9 per cent. The rate of active cases is 198.35 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 22,004 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 3,143. There were 69 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 380 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 54. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.37 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 37.13 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,633,584 tests completed. _ Manitoba: 27,511 confirmed cases (3,081 active, 23,661 resolved, 769 deaths). There were 189 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 224.98 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,194 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 171. There were eight new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 31 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.32 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 56.15 per 100,000 people. There have been 436,236 tests completed. _ Saskatchewan: 20,272 confirmed cases (4,121 active, 15,936 resolved, 215 deaths). There were 287 new cases Sunday from 862 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 33 per cent. The rate of active cases is 350.88 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,158 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 308. There were three new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 24 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is three. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.29 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 18.31 per 100,000 people. There have been 321,266 tests completed. _ Alberta: 116,837 confirmed cases (12,234 active, 103,167 resolved, 1,436 deaths). There were 750 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 279.87 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 5,385 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 769. There were 19 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 152 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 22. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.5 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 32.85 per 100,000 people. There have been 2,979,663 tests completed. _ British Columbia: 60,117 confirmed cases (5,955 active, 53,115 resolved, 1,047 deaths). There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 117.42 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,440 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 349. There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 42 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is six. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.12 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 20.65 per 100,000 people. There have been 1,021,911 tests completed. _ Yukon: 70 confirmed cases (two active, 67 resolved, one deaths). There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 4.9 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.45 per 100,000 people. There have been 6,256 tests completed. _ Northwest Territories: 28 confirmed cases (four active, 24 resolved, zero deaths). There were three new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 8.92 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of four new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 8,323 tests completed. _ Nunavut: 266 confirmed cases (zero active, 265 resolved, one deaths). There were zero new cases Sunday. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.58 per 100,000 people. There have been 6,558 tests completed. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Jan. 17, 2021. The Canadian Press
Global stock markets wavered on Monday as soaring COVID-19 cases offset investor hopes of a quick economic recovery, even after data showing that the Chinese economy rebounded faster-than-expected in the fourth quarter of 2020. European stocks as measured by the STOXX 600 index struggled for direction, last trading 0.1% higher as of 1446 GMT, after failed merger talks between French retailer Carrefour and Alimentation Couche-Tard pulled the gauge lower at the open.
KENOVA, W.Va. — Griffith & Feil Drug has been in business since 1892, a family-owned, small-town pharmacy. This isn't their first pandemic. More than a century after helping West Virginians confront the Spanish flu in 1918, the drugstore in Kenova, a community of about 3,000 people, is helping the state lead the nation in COVID-19 vaccine distribution. West Virginia has emerged as an unlikely success in the nation's otherwise chaotic vaccine rollout, largely because of the state's decision to reject a federal partnership with CVS and Walgreens and instead enlist mom-and-pop pharmacies to vaccinate residents against the virus that has killed over 395,000 Americans. More shots have gone into people’s arms per capita across West Virginia than in any other state, with at least 7.5% of the population receiving the first of two shots, according to federal data. West Virginia was the first in the nation to finish offering first doses to all long-term care centres before the end of December, and the state expects to give second doses at those facilities by the end of January. “Boy, have we noticed that. I think the West Virginia model is really one that we would love for a lot more states to adopt,” said John Beckner, a pharmacist who works at the Alexandria, Virginia-based National Community Pharmacists Association, which advocates for pharmacies across the country. It's early in the process, but that has not stopped Republican Gov. Jim Justice from proclaiming that the vaccine effort runs counter to preconceived notions about the Mountaineer State. “Little old West Virginia, that was thought of for hundreds of years, you know, as a place where maybe we were backward or dark or dingy,” Justice said last week. Instead, it turns out that “West Virginia has been the diamond in the rough,” Justice said on CBS’ "Face the Nation" on Sunday. Rather than relying on national chains, 250 local pharmacists set up clinics in rural communities. The fact that residents who may be wary of the vaccine seem to trust them makes a difference. “As my uncle always told me, these people aren’t your customers, they’re your friends and neighbours,” said Ric Griffith, the pharmacist at Griffith & Feil in Kenova, a town near the Kentucky state line. A chatty raconteur and former mayor of Kenova, he can recall generations of patrons frequenting the shop, which is almost unchanged since the 1950s, with a soda fountain and jukebox in the front and prescriptions in the back. Griffith, 71, began taking over the pharmacy from his father in the early 1990s and was elected to the House of Delegates as a Democrat last year. His daughter, Heidi Griffith Romero, 45, followed into the family business and is also administering shots. Holding a vaccination clinic at the town high school, he recalled his uncle telling him he lost four classmates to the 1918 flu pandemic, which killed more than 50 million people worldwide. “And it was a tragedy that I thought I would never be involved with,” he said, taking a break from giving vaccines to teachers aged 50 and over. When Mark Hayes, a middle school guidance counsellor in Kenova, walked up to receive his first dose, he spotted Griffith, who holds local celebrity status for hosting an extravagant annual Halloween pumpkin-carving party that attracts thousands. “I recognized him right away,” Hayes said. “‘The Pumpkin King? Are you giving me the shot?’” Kevin Roberts, a 59-year-old school bus driver in Kenova, said “it makes a difference” for a pharmacist he knows to administer the shots. “I hope that a lot of these skeptics change their mind,” he said. Officials also credit a 50-person command centre at the state’s National Guard headquarters in the capital of Charleston. Inside a cavernous hall, leaders of the vaccine operation and state health officials sit between plexiglass dividers to oversee shipments of the precious doses to five hubs. From there, deliveries go to drugstores and local health departments. CVS has so far declined to work with state officials on vaccinating people at its stores, but Walgreens is participating and has joined in to hold clinics at some nursing homes, officials said. The federal partnership involving both companies would have allowed Washington officials to dictate the terms of nursing home vaccinations, said Marty Wright, the head of the West Virginia Health Care Association, which represents health care companies. “If the state would've activated the federal plan, the state would've had zero control over the situation,” Wright said. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised West Virginia's efforts to vaccinate the elderly. “Expanding eligibility to all of the vulnerable is the fastest way to protect the vulnerable,” Azar said Tuesday at an Operation Warp Speed meeting. He also highlighted Connecticut as a bright spot in the vaccine rollout. Given West Virginia's success so far, leaders are now seeking more doses so they can open vaccinations for more groups. The Griffith & Feil store has had to decline shots for out-of-state customers who caught word of West Virginia's success. The governor recently lowered the age of eligibility for members of the general public to 70. The efforts have not been without errors. The Boone County Health Department was barred from distributing the vaccine last month after it mistakenly gave 44 people an antibody treatment instead of vaccines. The state began vaccinating school workers aged 50 or older less than two weeks ago. The governor wants in-person learning to resume at as many schools as possible by Tuesday, long before teachers will have received their second vaccine doses. As of Sunday, over 130,100 first doses have been administered, and 23,066 people have received both shots in the state with a population of about 1.78 million people. Nearly 55,800 of the first doses have gone to residents aged 65 and older. Mitchel Rothholz, who leads immunization policy at the American Pharmacists Association, said other governors would be wise to enlist local pharmacies. “Especially at a time when you have vaccine hesitancy and concerns in vaccine confidence, having access to a health care provider like a community pharmacist provides a comfort level to the patients and communities,” Rothholz added. ___ Associated Press Writer John Raby contributed to this report. Cuneyt Dil, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden plans to rescind a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline expansion on his first day in the White House, transition documents suggest.The documents, seen by The Canadian Press, feature a to-do list dated Wednesday that includes signing an executive order to revoke the construction permit granted by predecessor Donald Trump."Roll back Trump enviro actions via EO (including rescind Keystone XL pipeline permit)," the document reads. Other entries under the "Climate" heading include, "Rejoin the Paris Agreement" and "Announce date for U.S.-hosted Leaders' Climate Summit." Campaign officials promised in May that if elected, Biden would cancel the $8-billion cross-border project, but the timeline was never clear until now.Some advocates for the project took solace in the fact that Biden himself never reiterated the commitment during the rest of last year's campaign. Kirsten Hillman, Canada's ambassador to the U.S., continued to sing Keystone XL's virtues on Sunday. "The government of Canada continues to support the Keystone XL project and the benefits that it will bring to both Canada and the United States," she said in a statement."Not only has the project itself changed significantly since it was first proposed, but Canada’s oilsands production has also changed significantly. Per-barrel oilsands GHG emissions have dropped 31 per cent since 2000, and innovation will continue to drive progress."The federal government has beefed up its climate plan in an effort to exceed the current target for cutting greenhouse gases by 2030, and to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, Hillman said. Ever since May, Canadian officials have been advocating for a cross-border discussion on climate and energy that would make room for both building the project and reducing emissions at the same time. "Keystone XL fits within Canada’s climate plan," Hillman said, adding that it promises good union jobs in both countries "at a time when our economic recovery is a top priority.""Underpinned by a crucial and long-standing trade and security partnership, there is no better partner for the U.S. on climate action than Canada as we work together for green transition."The controversial, on-again, off-again pipeline expansion would ferry up to 830,000 additional barrels a day of diluted bitumen from Alberta's oilsands to refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Some 200 kilometres of pipe have already been installed, including over the Canada-U. S. border, and construction has begun on pump stations in Alberta and several U.S. states.Biden was vice-president in 2015 when President Barack Obama initially rejected Keystone XL for fear it would worsen climate change. Trump approved it again in 2019. The Biden campaign team appeared to slam the door on the expansion in May with an unequivocal statement committing the president-elect to "proudly" sign an order that would "stop it for good." But observers and experts alike held out hope, even after Biden named John Kerry — the climate hawk who as secretary of state recommended that Obama reject the permit — as a special presidential envoy on climate change. This report from The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2021. James McCarten, The Canadian Press
YAROSLAVL, Russia — Canada's Lewis Irving picked up the bronze medal at a World Cup aerials freestlye skiing competition Sunday. Irving, from Quebec City, finished third with a score of 120.36 points for the fourth podium finish of his World Cup career. Russians took the top two spots, with Maxim Burov (125.34 points) winning gold and Stanislav Nikitin (123.98 points) earning silver. Megan Nick of the United States won the women's event with 89.88 points. Alla Tsuper of Belarus (89.82) and Kaila Kuhn (87.25) rounded out the podium. Justine Ally of Lac-Superieur, Que., was the top Canadian in 12th. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2021. The Canadian Press
Ottawa is reporting 123 new cases of COVID-19 and one new death on Sunday. The city's seven-day average continues to drop, however, despite another single-day case total in the triple digits. Today's Ottawa update Ottawa Public Health (OPH) recorded 123 new cases of COVID-19 and one new death Sunday. The health authority also declared 134 more cases resolved. The city's death toll now sits at 403. The infection rate in Ottawa has risen to record levels since around Christmas, prompting OPH to declare the city is once again in a COVID-19 crisis. The current lockdown in eastern Ontario went into effect Dec. 26, and is now scheduled to last until Feb. 11. A provincial stay-at-home order is also in effect. Numbers to watch 85.6: The number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Ottawa residents, down from Saturday. 1.03: The average number of people infected by a single COVID-19 case, or R(t), has been in gradual decline this month but increased slightly since Saturday. OPH aims to keep the number below one. 4.1%: Ottawa's average test positivity percentage, down from 4.5 per cent. Across the region Another 22 cases were confirmed in western Quebec Sunday, as well as three new deaths. Quebec's lockdown lasts until Feb. 8. It includes an 8 p.m. curfew that went into effect last weekend. Seven new cases were recorded by Hastings Prince Edward Public Health.
Ce sont 19 nouveaux cas de COVID-19 qui s’ajoutent au bilan régional ce dimanche. Au total, depuis le début de la pandémie, ce sont 8 559 cas qui ont été déclarés dans la région. On répertorie quatre nouveaux décès liés au virus ce dimanche au Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. Le total depuis le début de la pandémie est de 244 décès. On retrouve actuellement 20 hospitalisations, dont six aux soins intensifs. Janick Emond, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Lac St-Jean