Global News Washington bureau chief Jackson Proskow provides the latest developments in the second Trump impeachment process.
Global News Washington bureau chief Jackson Proskow provides the latest developments in the second Trump impeachment process.
From a global perspective, there was nothing unique about the recent raid on the U.S. Capitol. Both Republican and Democratic administrations have backed military coups around the world for decades.
Plans to transform Brampton from a sprawling suburb into a modern, transit city took a significant step forward in December. The release last month of a business case by provincial agency Metrolinx for a bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor along Queen Street offers a glimpse of the city’s exciting future. The lengthy document provides broad ideas for design, cost and justification of the potentially game-changing route. The street is already one of Brampton’s busiest for transit ridership, something a BRT would only increase. Boarding figures for Brampton Transit from fall 2018 show more than 20,000 daily riders on its express route alone. The corridor carries essential workers to and from the job, also ferrying students who live in Brampton to York University. Shoppers use it to reach the Bramalea City Centre and development planned for the corridor holds the promise of completely reshaping what has been an eyesore for decades. City Hall has positioned Queen Street as the road where Brampton meets the future. In 2018, the City of Brampton undertook a major soul-searching project by hiring Vancouver-based urban planner Larry Beasley to supervise the creation of its 2040 Vision. The document, which included input from some 13,000 residents, laid out how Brampton would look in the future if it embraced density, transit and smart growth. It suggested Queen Street could be the heart of that transformation. Density could bring more than just housing, Beasley and his team of visionaries promised. An inspired plan would bring culture and vibrant public life to the sprawling streetscape. Its aging strip malls and cracked sidewalks, devoid of pedestrians, would give way to the new suburbia of the GTA. “The strong westerly and easterly urban anchors for central Queen Street, Downtown and Bramalea, set up the best potential in Brampton to create its own grand boulevard and to host a ‘boulevard lifestyle’ where everything is immediately at hand,” the Vision states. Higher order transit plays a key part in this plan, allowing for sidewalks to be expanded, pushing out cars and integrating people into their surroundings. Instead of vast tracts of potholed parking lots that act as urban barriers, literally forcing residents away from all the spaces in between (driving from one plaza to the next to shop or dine) rapid transit lines fill in all the gaps with rich commercial offerings, boutiques, cafes and intimate sidewalk culture. Dense housing along these corridors acts as the catalyst, as cars are replaced by transit and sprawl is filled in by human activity. The Queen Street Corridor plan aims to support future rapid transit expansion. The City of Brampton took its first step toward the future in 2010 when it introduced Zum services along the route. Zum buses are express vehicles with occasional lane skips, but not fully fledged rapid transit. The total length of the area Metrolinx has considered for its initial investigation of a BRT corridor is 18.5 kilometres through Brampton and a further 5.5 kilometres in Vaughan. Transforming parts of the Queen Street corridor from its current state of barren, industrial and suburban roadways into a dense downtown will have its challenges. In Brampton, 83 percent of residents arrive at work by car, while 14 percent travel by transit. The city’s public transit use is roughly in line with provincial averages, but a rapid transit corridor could see it begin to fulfill its aspirations of shedding its car-dominated suburban past, when developers literally designed areas such as Bramalea, Canada’s first fully planned, post-war satellite community, built by Bramalea Consolidated Developments when the car was king. To transform Queen Street from its role as a commuter thoroughfare for vehicles into a boulevard lined with teeming patios and urban cyclists, its current use by commercial transportation and logistics companies will need to be rethought. Between 8 and 12 percent of the corridor’s traffic is currently medium or heavy trucks. “The relationship between density and higher order transit service is symbiotic,” Brampton Ward 1 and 5 Councillor Rowena Santos told The Pointer through a City spokesperson. “Having sufficient ridership is key to the viability of a rapid transit service, and an efficient and effective mobility solution – such as rapid transit – supports the 2040 Vision for the Queen Street corridor as a higher density mixed use urban boulevard. This type of project goes a long way to cut down on the need for personal automobiles and it accelerates the establishment of healthy and vibrant 20-minute walkable neighbourhoods.” Santos has been Brampton Council’s loudest advocate for smart, active transportation and put words into action when she brought forward a successful motion in 2019 to stop a planned road widening of Williams Parkway, arguing that it did not fit with the 2040 Vision and the goal of getting people out of their cars. Along the Queen Street corridor, roughly half of all trips are made by students. The transit ridership is younger than average and offers potential to grow further in the future, according to Metrolinx. “There is a large market that can be considered ‘untapped’; i.e. who would be likely to take advantage of transit but have not yet adopted regular transit usage,” the report states. The Metrolinx business case proposes several scenarios for how to bring a bus rapid transit route to Queen Street. One suggests a single trunk route BRT corridor for the full length, while two other options involve splitting the route into two sections. The document concludes that combining different options to have several priority buses run along Queen Street on an uninterrupted trunk route would be the best outcome. Metrolinx has made high-level cost calculations, with a proposed construction year of 2023. If the project were to go ahead on schedule, the transit agency expects it to be operational by 2026. Depending on how the project is constructed, the costs would vary. One suggested scenario would see existing traffic lanes converted into separate, painted bus lanes for between $3 million and $5.1 million per kilometre. That option, Metrolinx estimates, would cost roughly $93 million in total. An alternative possibility would be to widen Queen Street for most of its length — estimated at between $15.7 and $26.4 million per kilometre and totalling just over $481 million. With construction potentially just three years away, few answers are available as to who will pay for the infrastructure. Following a theme for the City, Brampton doesn’t seem to have a funding plan. Mayor Patrick Brown has effectively frozen all funding options by the City for major infrastructure projects and other features highlighted in the 2040 Vision, which he has claimed to support. The three straight years of tax freezes he pushed through make it difficult to realize the aspirations of the forward thinking planning document. To the south, Mississauga is more prepared for its rapid transit vision. The City has submitted a federal funding application for its Dundas Street BRT route and added a share of the costs to its 10-year capital plan. The project itself was studied by the City in a 2018 master plan and is now in the midst of an environmental study, the cost of which is being shared by Metrolinx. By comparison, Brampton is kilometres behind. “High level capital and operating costs are provided in the Initial Business Case (IBC), and governance structures are discussed; however, final decisions on funding models have not been made at this time,” Santos said, when asked about the Queen Street BRT. A Metrolinx spokesperson said the preliminary design phase had funding and that “a governance structure is being established between Metrolinx, the City of Brampton and other stakeholders to oversee the preliminary design, preliminary design business case (PDBC), and Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) phase.” Like so many projects floated in Brampton, the Queen Street corridor oozes potential. In many ways, it shines through as a possible turning point which could begin to steer Brampton toward a denser, greener and more urban future. But, despite its standout potential, the usual problems raise their heads. Questions about funding have been met with unknowns from City Hall while the mayor has failed to take any leadership on key projects to move Brampton into the future. If construction is to begin on the project by 2023, to deliver rapid transit by 2026, funding will need to be secured — or at least earmarked — in the next two years. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @isaaccallan Tel: 647 561-4879 COVID-19 is impacting all Canadians. At a time when vital public information is needed by everyone, The Pointer has taken down our paywall on all stories relating to the pandemic and those of public interest to ensure every resident of Brampton and Mississauga has access to the facts. For those who are able, we encourage you to consider a subscription. This will help us report on important public interest issues the community needs to know about now more than ever. You can register for a 30-day free trial HERE. Thereafter, The Pointer will charge $10 a month and you can cancel any time right on the website. Thank you. Isaac Callan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Pointer
Gathering restrictions in Alberta have prompted funeral homes to offer friends and families more options to remember loved ones. Live streams and video recording of funeral services weren't popular options for grieving families before and some funeral directors say the service may be here to stay. On Jan. 8, the family of Donna Burkoholder held her funeral service near Tofield, Alta. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, only 10 people could attend in person. It made for a tough decision for the family. "How do you pick which family can come to a family member's funeral? So we didn't have my children or my little brother's children," said Lorne Burkholder, Donna's son. "That's going to be the loneliest moment ever you're going through." Working with family members, community members, and the funeral home, the family held a service with 10 people beside the casket outside Salem Mennonite Church. A minister led the services, while nearly 100 vehicles lined the parking lot and neighbouring road. Those in the vehicles listened to the service as it was streamed over an FM transmitter. Their presence meant a lot to the family; Lorne Burkholder described it as a touching moment that made him feel like he was surrounded by people who loved his mother. "You just feel the love and the support," he said. "You're going through a hard moment and when you're mourning and they're showing their support and their love to you, they're caring and they and they want to honour my mom." Video of the service was posted on Weber Funeral Home's website along with Burkholder's obituary. It's an example of one of the many ways funeral homes have helped families to reach more people during the pandemic. Some have offered options for live video streaming, video production services, and even encouraged family members to record funeral services themselves. Through most of December and January, only 10 people were allowed to attend a funeral in person, though on Monday the province raised that number to 20. Funeral receptions are still not allowed. Tyler Weber, president of the Alberta Funeral Service Association, said some funeral homes in the province could help with video requests prior to the pandemic, but with strict gathering restrictions it was necessary to offer the option to families had to decide who could attend the service in person. "That was extremely heartbreaking to see as a funeral director and for families to have to endure throughout this time," he said. While Weber doesn't expect to drive-by funeral services to become a permanent fixture after the pandemic ends, he does see interest for video recordings or live streams to continue to be a part of funeral services, though he still expects attendees to prioritize being there in person. "There's no substitute for being present. For actually physically being there and to have the ability to actually look someone in the eye and give them your condolences," he said. There's no camera good enough to replace that." More comfortable At Parkland Memorial Funeral Home in Edmonton, video streaming or recording requests were only made once or twice per month. Now it's happening for every second or third funeral. Parkland president Kirstie Smolyk said he idea of live streaming a funeral service wasn't something grieving families were interested in and it may have not seemed appropriate for some. "I think people have been reacting to the changes of using live streams," she said. "I would say people were uneasy about live streaming funerals before, but now, because we haven't had a choice, people are certainly becoming more comfortable with it and I think that's a very good thing." She, like Weber, also expects that service to continue to be offered in the long term.
LONDON — Britain’s Glastonbury music festival has fallen victim to the coronavirus pandemic for the second year in a row. Organizers Michael Eavis and Emily Eavis said Thursday that “In spite of our efforts to move heaven & earth, it has become clear that we simply will not be able to make the Festival happen this year.” “We are so sorry to let you all down,” they said in a statement. They said everyone who had put down a deposit on tickets for the 2020 festival, which also was cancelled, would be able to attend in 2022. The festival has been held almost annually since 1970, drawing up to 150,000 people to the Eavis’ Worthy Farm in southwest England. Last year’s 50th anniversary event, which had been due to feature Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, the Pet Shop Boys and Paul McCartney, was cancelled in March as the virus began to sweep the U.K. Father and daughter Michael and Emily Eavis thanked fans “for your incredible continued support and let’s look forward to better times ahead.” The Associated Press
THE LATEST: Health officials have called off their regular Thursday briefing to hold a Friday-morning news conference instead. 564 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 more deaths were reported Thursday afternoon. There are currently 4,450 active cases of the coronavirus in B.C. 309 people are in hospital, with 68 in the ICU. 104,901 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., including 1,680 second doses. There is new community cluster in and around Williams Lake. There are no new outbreaks in the health-care system, but six have been declared over. On Thursday, B.C. health officials announced 564 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 more deaths. In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix put the number of hospitalized patients at 309 people, 68 of whom are in intensive care. Hospitalizations are now at their lowest level since Nov. 28 A total of 1,119 people in B.C. have lost their lives to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Henry and Dix said a new community cluster has been detected in and around Williams Lake. There are no new outbreaks in the health-care system, and six outbreaks have been declared over. So far, 104,901 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., including 1,680 second doses. Health officials cancelled their regular COVID-19 briefing Thursday as they prepared to update the province's strategy for immunization against the virus, and the daily update was provided in a written statement instead. Henry and Dix will join a news conference Friday with Premier John Horgan and Dr. Penny Ballem, who is leading B.C.'s COVID-19 immunization rollout. The four are expected to comment on the next steps in the immunization program that has been complicated by a hiccup in vaccine supply from Pfizer-BioNTech. Nearly 31,000 doses of vaccine the province expected by Jan. 29 could be curtailed due to production issues. READ MORE: What's happening elsewhere in Canada As of 7 p.m. PT on Wednesday, Canada had reported 724,670 cases of COVID-19, and 18,462 total deaths. A total of 68,413 cases are considered active. What are the symptoms of COVID-19? Common symptoms include: Fever. Cough. Tiredness. Shortness of breath. Loss of taste or smell. Headache. But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia. What should I do if I feel sick? Use the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of cold or flu, even if they're mild. People with severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, difficulty waking up or other extreme symptoms should call 911. What can I do to protect myself? Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean. Keep your distance from people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Wear a mask in indoor public spaces. More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.
Des représentants syndicaux de l’aluminium et de l’industrie forestière du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean s’inquiètent du « recul majeur » que représente pour les travailleurs le projet de loi 59, qui vise à moderniser le régime de santé et de sécurité du travail. Ils appellent au rejet du projet de loi dans sa forme actuelle. Le président du Syndicat national des employés de l’aluminium d’Arvida (SNEAA), Donat Pearson, qui représente 1200 travailleurs de Rio Tinto au Saguenay, et David Leblond, représentant national Unifor de nombreux travailleurs de l’industrie forestière au Lac-Saint-Jean, ajoutent leur voix à celle de différents organismes qui craignent les impacts de ce projet de loi. Le projet de loi 59, qui est à l’étape des consultations en commission parlementaire cette semaine, doit apporter des modifications aux processus de prévention dans les milieux de travail et de réparation des travailleurs qui subissent des lésions professionnelles. Les deux représentants affiliés à la Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ) voient dans ce projet de loi des pertes importantes pour les travailleurs, plutôt que la modernisation demandée et attendue depuis longtemps par le milieu. La FTQ présentait d’ailleurs son mémoire mercredi devant les élus en commission parlementaire. « On va en sabrant, en donnant plus de pouvoirs aux employeurs, et il y en a qui sont malheureusement des fois plus malveillants que d’autres », a déploré Donat Pearson en entrevue. Il dit s’inquiéter pour l’ensemble des travailleurs, qu’ils soient syndiqués ou non. Les deux représentants syndicaux voient le projet de loi comme une atteinte aux efforts de prévention et de concertation en matière de santé et de sécurité déployés dans les usines et scieries de la région. « On parle de prévention, puis au niveau de la réparation, c’est un peu le même principe, c’est un recul majeur, a laissé tomber pour sa part David Leblond, lorsque contacté par Le Quotidien. On a déjà de la difficulté avec le système en place. » Rencontre avec la ministre Laforest Le SNEAA a rencontré récemment la ministre responsable de la région et députée de Chicoutimi, Andrée Laforest, afin de faire valoir leurs revendications. « On est inquiet et ce qu’on demande au gouvernement, c’est de ne pas adopter le projet de loi », a exposé Donat Pearson, qui juge que d’importantes modifications doivent être apportées. « L’impact est ultra négatif. On est opposé à ça 100% », a insisté celui qui rencontre jeudi le député de Jonquière, Sylvain Gaudreault, dans le même dossier. Interpellé sur le sujet, le cabinet de la ministre Laforest a indiqué que l’élue se montrait « sensible » aux enjeux soulevés et qu’elle prenait « bonne note » des arguments présentés. Des actions concertées ont également été menées cette semaine auprès des bureaux des députés régionaux, a indiqué de son côté David Leblond, qui appelle également au rejet du projet de loi dans sa forme actuelle. Comités de santé et sécurité Les représentants insistent tous deux sur l’impact qu’aurait le projet de loi sur les comités de santé et de sécurité présents dans chacune des usines de Rio Tinto ou de Produits forestiers Résolu (PFR). Le projet de loi permettrait à un employeur de ne former qu’un seul comité de santé et de sécurité pour une partie ou l’ensemble de ses établissements, peut-on lire dans le projet de loi. La fréquence des réunions pourrait aussi être diminuée. Le désir de simplifier la gestion diminuera l’attention portée sur des dossiers uniques à chaque milieu, soulève Donat Pearson. « Souvent dans les petits comités, on va traiter des dossiers locaux. Des enjeux liés à l’hygiène, qui vont être spécifiques à l’Usine Vaudreuil, et ne se font pas ailleurs », donne-t-il en exemple. Rio Tinto n’a toutefois pas démontré d’intentions en ce sens jusqu’à présent, précise-t-il. David Leblond estime que les comités de santé et de sécurité sont ainsi « attaqués de front ». Celui qui représente les travailleurs de PFR au Lac-Saint-Jean craint par exemple une perte de représentation au sein d’un comité qui pourrait être régional ou interrégional. Les critères qui rendraient plus difficile la reconnaissance d’une surdité professionnelle, une lésion courante pour les travailleurs industriels, inquiètent aussi les deux représentants dans le projet de loi. Ils citent également la possibilité pour l’employeur de choisir un médecin traitant dans certains dossiers, au lieu de devoir se tourner vers un médecin de la Santé publique.Myriam Gauthier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
A 42-year-old woman has been fined under the Saskatchewan Public Health Act for breaching COVID-19 public health orders last week. Just after 6 a.m. on Jan. 14, Regina police said they received a complaint of a woman, who had tested positive for the virus, not obeying her isolation order and inviting guests into her home. When officers arrived at the woman's house in the 800 block of Elphinstone Street, police said they found another person there, who was asked to leave. After confirming the 42-year-old was COVID-positive and her isolation order was valid, police, in consultation with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, fined her on Wednesday. Regina police said this is the 11th such ticket they have issued in the city.
On Tuesday night, on the eve of President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Mania Darbani’s mother called her from Iran. She was ecstatic that Biden would soon repeal the Trump administration’s so-called "Muslim ban" that barred people from a number of mostly Muslim-majority nations, including Iran, from coming to the United States. "It means I can get to you very soon," Maryam Taghdissi Jani, who is applying for an immigrant visa, told Darbani, a 36-year-old receptionist who lives with her husband in Los Angeles.
A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, our understanding of how and why the coronavirus spreads continues to change, especially as new variants emerge around the world. While you may have spent much of last March wiping down your groceries, research has since shown that the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is primarily spread through respiratory droplets, not surface transmission. Like many respiratory viruses, the coronavirus spreads more effectively in the winter, with studies showing that prolonged, indoor contact in settings with poor ventilation are more likely to cause transmission. But what do we know about how the virus spreads outdoors in winter? Michael Brauer, a professor at the University of British Columbia School of Population and Public Health, said it's a difficult, dynamic question to answer — one that would need to take into account temperature, humidity, wind direction and more. "The physics is pretty complicated," he said. "When transmission does happen outdoors, it's very likely that it's people not wearing masks and standing close together." What are droplets? Brauer explained when you exhale you're humidifying the air around you, releasing breath at body temperature, 37 C. Your breath is saturated with water and if you're carrying the coronavirus — whether you're symptomatic or not — you're exhaling microscopic virus particles coated in a layer of water. What makes masks an effective tool against transmission is that they block these droplets from entering the air in the first place — though they're less effective at protecting you from someone else's droplets. Why does humidity make a difference? Once droplets exit your body, their size changes depending on the conditions of the air around you, Brauer says. Humidity combined with temperature affects the way droplets react, with droplets becoming smaller the less humid the conditions. A smaller droplet is likelier to hang in the air for a longer amount of time, while a larger one will sink to the ground, making it less likely to reach another person. "There are no hard and fast rules. Everything is very dynamic. There's wind direction [for example]. But in general, the smaller those droplets are — so they tend to evaporate or dry out — they'll remain in the air longer," he said. That's why it's possible that varying winter conditions in some parts of Canada may affect how the virus spreads outdoors, he added. "In the east when it's cold and very dry, then you do get in a situation where those droplets could become smaller and could remain airborne for longer. I'm not convinced that would be the case here in Vancouver. Those droplets could basically remain the same size, which means they're not going to last in the air for that long," he said. Brauer said there's also some evidence to suggest that if a droplet is on a surface, it won't be as infectious in warm temperatures or high humidity. Still, he said a recent study shows that out of 7,000 cases of coronavirus transmission, just five occurred outdoors. The vast majority of transmission happens indoors, which is why respiratory viruses spread more rapidly in the winter, when people are less likely to be gathering outside. What about ventilation and movement? The role that ventilation and wind play is much better understood. "A two-metre distance is generally protective. If you're two metres away and it's very, very calm air, that's less protective than if you're two metres away if there's a lot of wind," said Brauer. "If you're within two metres and you have a gust of wind, you may be perfectly safe." Exercise also creates its own ventilation, making it safer to have a conversation while moving than when standing still. "When people are moving, that's going to be safer in general, just because you're getting more air flow — and so that's just like having ventilation, you're creating your own micro-wind," said Brauer. Are outdoor activities safe? Brauer said another factor to take into account is that the combination of exercise and cold temperatures make people more likely to cough, which expels more droplets. Heavy breathing caused by exercise also makes you more likely to exhale and inhale droplets. But he said no one should be discouraged from exercising outdoors — most outdoor activities are safe, and it's usually the events leading up to exercise that are more likely to allow for transmission. "Certainly, activities where you're close to people — that's where you need to be concerned. Skiing itself wouldn't be a particular concern, but waiting in line might be," he said. "Even when you're outdoors and together with people, keeping that two-metre distance is good advice. But I don't think it's absolutely necessary to wear a mask every moment you're outside if you're not in close contact with people."
BERLIN — Germany is seeing a promising decline in new coronavirus infections, but must take "very seriously” the risk posed by a more contagious variant and will have to be cautious whenever it starts easing its lockdown, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday. Merkel and Germany’s 16 state governors on Tuesday decided to extend the country’s lockdown by two weeks until Feb. 14 and tighten some measures, for example requiring surgical masks — rather than just fabric face coverings — in shops and on public transportation. On Thursday, Germany’s disease control centre said that 20,398 new cases were reported over the past 24 hours, nearly 5,000 fewer than a week ago. The number of new cases per 100,000 residents over seven days stood at 119, the lowest since the beginning of November — though still well above the level of 50 the government is targeting. There were 1,013 more deaths, bringing Germany’s total so far to 49,783. The new variant, which has been detected in Germany and many other European countries, isn't yet dominant there, but “we must take the danger from this mutation very seriously,” Merkel told reporters. “We must slow the spread of this mutation as far as possible, and that means ... we must not wait until the danger is more tangible here,” she said. “Then it would be too late to prevent a third wave of the pandemic, and possibly an even heavier one than before. We can still prevent this.” Merkel said that Germany won't be able to open up everything at once whenever the lockdown ends, declaring that schools must open first. “We must be very careful that we do not see what happens in many countries: they do a hard lockdown, they open, they open too much, and then they have the result that they are back in exponential growth very quickly,” she said. She pointed to Britain's experience in December, when the new variant took hold. The Associated Press
When Diogo Dalot signed for Manchester United, the excitement was mixed with regret at missing out on the chance to play with Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The veteran striker had departed for what appeared to be a career swan song at the Los Angeles Galaxy just before a teenage Dalot arrived at Old Trafford three years ago. “It was a little bit of a sad moment for me,” Dalot recalls in an interview with The Associated Press. “When you play football, you always want to play with the best players and, of course, Zlatan was a reference.” The opportunity had been missed, or so the Portuguese defender wrongly assumed. As the right back struggled for game time in Manchester, a loan move was needed at the start of this season. Now the 21-year-old Dalot is at the heart of the defence of an AC Milan side which has been propelled to the top of the Italian league by the 39-year-old Ibrahimovic. With 12 goals in eight league games, the Swede’s enduring quality is undisputed — and inspirational for a teammate giving his career a lift in Italy. “He’s very demanding on ourselves,” Dalot said in a video call from Milan. “He’s always one of the first to come in to training ground. So these kind of things help us to see that maybe we need to be as professional as him because, if you want to win as much as he won, you need to be doing this for a long time. “And this is a very good way to see how you want be a success in football, how you want to be in 10 years or in 15 years. And it’s been a very good surprise to work with him.” Surprising because Dalot had not envisaged leaving United — even temporarily — so soon after being acclaimed as the “best young fullback in Europe” when Jose Mourinho brought him to United from Porto in 2018. “It was one of the sentences that I keep with me until this day,” Dalot said. “Coming from him was even more special because we all know that is a fantastic coach, one of the best ever, and it gave me a little bit more responsibility.” A change in manager produced a change in circumstances and Dalot fell down the pecking order under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Ibrahimovic is helping Dalot believe in himself again and improve his game. “He can give you the confidence when he thinks you need (it),” Dalot said. That sometimes means being brutally honest. “'You’re not doing good enough to be at this level'” Dalot says Ibrahimovic will tell players in training or games. "Coming from him we need to listen.” Especially about what it takes to win titles, something Milan has not done in Serie A since Ibrahimovic lifted the trophy in 2011 before eventually moving on to PSG, United and the LA Galaxy. Almost halfway through the season, a resurgent Milan enjoys a three-point lead over city rival Inter and has an unexpected 10-point advantage on Juventus, which has slumped to fifth after eight successive titles. “It will be more special (winning the title), not just because of beating Juve or Inter ... but to put Milan back on the top again, winning titles after so many years,” Dalot said. “We like this kind of pressure. We like to have people down there pushing us and paying attention to us to see, ‘OK, if you lose, we are there.’ So we like these kind of challenges.” Dalot’s focus is on the Serie A prize. But there will be some uncertainty when the season-long loan expires whether he returns to United or secures a longer stay with Stefano Pioli’s Milan. United is also going strongly this season, sitting top of the Premier League and looking to end its own title drought stretching back to 2013. “I am completely focused on what is going on here,” Dalot said. “When I go home and I can rest, I can see Manchester games, Porto games and be happy with them, because they are winning and they are doing fantastic.” Dalot is delighted to be back on the field regularly again, playing 15 times since October and being a key part of a defence that has not conceded in four of the last five games. “I’m a confident person. I know my qualities. I know what I can do, but then if you don’t play that’s not enough," Dalot said. "Feeling the grass again, feeling the games again, winning games and playing 90 minutes ... it’s been fantastic.” ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Rob Harris, The Associated Press
MADRID — A regional election in Catalonia, initially set for next month, remains up in the air after a court took a preliminary decision Thursday against a 3-month delay ordered by the northeastern Spanish region’s government due to the surge of COVID-19. The Catalonia High Court said that, pending a final decision on the matter before Feb. 8, the election should preventively be kept for Feb. 14 instead of pushing it back to May 30. The court said arguments for its initial decision would be published Friday. The timing leaves little choice to half a dozen political parties divided along the lines of left and right, but also between support or opposition for the region's independence, other than to begin preparations for the vote. The regional Catalan government, in the hands of a separatist coalition, had argued that a delay was needed as the peak of hospital admissions in the current surge in infections would be reached just days before the planned election date. All political parties in the regional vote had agreed to the postponement except for the regional Socialists, whose candidate has the best chances of winning the vote in mid-February according to a Thursday poll by CIS, Spain’s official polling institute. The leading candidate is Salvador Illa, currently serving as the country’s health minister and in charge of the pandemic response. His candidacy was announced in late December. Catalonia's Socialist Party, which is the regional chapter of the main partner in the national ruling centre-left coalition, has not been in power in Catalonia since 2006. The CIS poll predicted the Socialists could win up to 35 seats in the 135-seat regional parliament, above the possible 33 lawmakers projected for the Republican Left pro-independence party. Illa was the preferred choice as regional chief for 22% of those quizzed, twice the popularity of his nearest competitor, Laura Borràs, of the pro-independence Together for Catalonia party, which is currently in power with the Republican Left. The centre quizzed 4,106 people by telephone between Jan. 2 and Jan-15. The poll has a margin of error of 1.6 percentage points. As elsewhere in Spain, virus contagion has surged sharply in recent weeks in the powerful northeastern region, whose capital is Barcelona. With 2,844 COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of Thursday — 621 of them in intensive care — regional authorities expect ICUs to reach a maximum expanded capacity of 900 beds occupied by coronavirus patients in the coming weeks. The region’s political situation is still heavily dominated by the jailing in 2019 of nine political figures for their role in a secession push two years earlier. The separatist movement, which is supported by roughly half the region’s 7.5 million residents, wants to create a republic in the wealthy northeast corner of Spain. Aritz Parra And CiaráN Giles, The Associated Press
TC Energy Corp will eliminate more than 1,000 construction jobs in coming weeks and halt work on the Keystone XL oil pipeline after U.S. President Joe Biden revoked the project's presidential permit, the company said in an email to employees. Biden's decision to cancel the permit is seen as the project's death knell, after more than a decade of legal battles and shifting fortunes based on who held office in the White House. "I believe this will send a concerning signal to infrastructure developers that resonates far beyond our project and will stifle innovation for a practical transition towards sustainable energy," said KXL President Richard Prior in the email, sent on Wednesday and seen by Reuters.
ORANGEVILLE, Ont. — A senior staff member at an Ontario hospital has retired after a relative was vaccinated against COVID-19 at a clinic intended for health-care workers. Headwaters Health Care Centre in Orangeville, Ont., has apologized for what it’s calling an isolated incident on Jan. 14. The centre won’t name the individual beyond the title “staff director,” citing privacy reasons. The CEO says the employee's relative was at the hospital for another reason and was vaccinated during a break in scheduled appointments. Kim Delahunt calls it one person's “failure in sound decision-making,” and that health-care leaders must be held to a higher standard. Delahunt says the individual decided to retire after the incident, adding that the hospital is “deeply sorry.” This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
Researchers have said around 52,000 deaths in Europe could be prevented each year if emissions are cut to WHO guidelines. View on euronews
Timmins' Indigenous Advisory Committee is moving ahead with taking Indigenous relations training. At the virtual committee meeting Wednesday, members voted in favour of taking training offered by Bob Joseph, the author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act and the founder of Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. The committee’s interim chair Kristin Murray said it’s more of a self-guided training that can be entered in groups of up to 30 people and that can be completed at an individual pace. The previously suggested training, The San’yas: Indigenous Cultural Safety (ICS) Training Program, was off the table because some elements of the training weren’t always offered, Murray said. “Not all of our staff could jump on board and get that training at once, which was the downside,” said Murray. During the committee’s last meeting in December, members agreed to take a training program before deciding whether they want to recommend the training for city employees. “There’s racism in the city. Even before we do all this training ourselves, we have to try get out there and try to educate the public,” committee member Irene Camillo said during Wednesday’s meeting. Stacey Vincent Cress of Waubetek Business Development Corporation, who attended the meeting as a guest, said taking online training shouldn’t be “a tick box exercise”. “Something is better than nothing," he said. "However, if we’re going to have some Indigenous awareness and competency training … if you’re going to train 500 members of the community plus the committee, plus the general population, you need to be able to sit and speak with some people on some of the issues that you can’t get from a computer program.” Murray noted the discussions about taking the training have been going on for two years, and there has also been a discussion about taking localized training. “But that’s going to take time. By the time we put these things together, it will be years, it will be after our term as a committee,” she said. “Some of these training opportunities are not click-through, you have to be able to engage.” If approved by council, this will be the first cultural awareness training for city employees since the Ontario Human Rights Commission's visit to Timmins in 2018. Murray said the hope would be to have the members complete the training by the next committee meeting in March. Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com
Indonesian authorities said on Thursday the search for victims of a plane crash that killed all 62 people on board had been halted, but the hunt would continue for the Sriwijaya Air jet's cockpit voice recorder (CVR). "Search operations have been closed, but we will continue to search for the CVR," said Bagus Puruhito, who heads the country's search and rescue agency. Divers last week retrieved from the seabed the other so-called black box, the flight data recorder, of the 26-year-old Boeing Co 737-500 jet.
WASHINGTON — Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, lowering claims to 900,000, still a historically high level that points to further job cuts in a raging pandemic. The Labor Department's report Thursday underscored that President Joe Biden has inherited an economy that faltered this winter as virus cases spiked, cold weather restricted dining and federal rescue aid expired. The government said that 5.1 million Americans are continuing to receive state jobless benefits, down from 5.2 million in the previous week. That signals that fewer people who are out of work are finding jobs. New viral infections have begun to slow after months of relentless increases, though they remain high and are averaging about 200,000 a day. The number of deaths in the United States from the pandemic that erupted 10 months ago has surpassed 400,000. Economists say one factor that likely increased jobless claims in the past two weeks is a government financial aid package that was signed into law in late December. Among other things, it provided a $300-a-week federal unemployment benefit on top of regular state jobless aid. The new benefit, which runs through mid-March, may be encouraging more Americans to apply for jobless benefits. Once vaccines become more widely distributed, economists expect growth to accelerate in the second half of the year as Americans unleash pent-up demand for travel, dining out and visiting movie theatres and concert halls. Such spending should, in theory, boost hiring and start to regain the nearly 10 million jobs lost to the pandemic. But for now, the economy is losing ground. Retail sales have fallen for three straight months. Restrictions on restaurants, bars and some stores, along with a reluctance of most Americans to shop, travel and eat out, have led to sharp spending cutbacks. Revenue at restaurants and bars plunged 21% in 2020. Christopher Rugaber, The Associated Press
The Liberal bus rolled into Grand Falls-Windsor on Wednesday as the leadup to the 2021 provincial election kept moving. In the shadow of that bus and flanked by Grand Falls-Windsor-Buchans candidate Debbie Ball and Exploits candidate Rodney Mercer, Liberal Leader Andrew Furey unveiled another part of the Liberal party’s campaign platform. In particular, the Liberals pledged to provide feminine hygiene products in schools at no cost. “There is good evidence that young women will miss school because they don’t have access to feminine care products,” said Furey. “One in seven Canadian young women, or non-binary individuals, will miss school because they do not have access to feminine care products. “That is simply not good enough and this Liberal government intends to make sure that is not a barrier to young women and non-binary individuals from reaching their full potential. That is the commitment we’ve made today.” Before making the announcement, the Liberals consulted with local women’s organizations, and hope this will alleviate the access problems that exist around these products. The move to provide free feminine hygiene products was a part of a larger commitment to work with various community groups, educators and students to improve the health curriculum in the province. Furey said the cost of having these products available in schools would be found within the health-care budget. “The cost will be found within the health-care budget, but the cost of not having them is young women and non-binary individuals missing school is far greater than the cost accrued to the system for this,” he said. Terri Lynn Burry said Wednesday's announcement is an important one for young women in the province. “I think it is amazing and I think it should be done,” said Burry, program director for the Youth 2000 Centre in Grand Falls-Windsor. “We would definitely look at it for the centre.” In her work, Burry is often asked for hygiene products by the girls and families who use the centre. There are times when families can’t afford them and instead go without them, and that’s why the centre has products on hand, she said. Burry said it can be embarrassing for girls to ask for products if they don’t have any on hand, and they often find it difficult. “It is something that should be readily available. It is something that is a necessity and if it was readily available there wouldn’t be such a stigma attached to it sometimes, especially for young children,” she said. “It is new to them and it is embarrassing for some of them.” During the stop, the premier was asked about some health-care issues that pertain to residents in central Newfoundland. Namely, he was questioned about where his government stands with issues such as returning 24-hour emergency services to the hospital in Botwood, as well as supporting the Lionel Kelland Hospice in Grand Falls-Windsor. In both instances, he maintained the government is working toward solutions for both. “We’re aware of the issues and we’re committed to building on the commitments of the past,” said Furey. Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice
Hugo Paiz says he's gotten the run around, been laughed at, and spent countless hours worrying about his finances, during his nearly year-long dispute with Enmax over his January, 2020 bill which saw his electricity charges spike from a typical $80 per month to $1,527.28. Paiz says he, his wife and his daughter tried calling and emailing Enmax repeatedly to try to convince them it made a mistake — only to be continually pressured to pay up. Then this week Paiz's daughter reached out to CBC News in desperation and within about a day of CBC intervening, the company admitted it made a mistake. Now, Paiz hopes his story will help others avoid the same anxiety and stress he and his family experienced for months. "For me, coronavirus, it wasn't that bad the whole year, it was worse what they've been doing to me because you can see the papers, message and letters doing everything they can to make me to pay the bills, which I never use," said Hugo Paiz, 61, from his home in southeast Calgary. His daughter broke down in tears talking about the toll the ordeal has taken on her parents. "It's been tough because it's weighed on them, you know. My dad doesn't want to cry, my mother doesn't want to cry, but I can tell they're hurting," said Talia Paiz, Hugo's daughter. Enmax told CBC News their investigation discovered the meter was being misread and the family had been overcharged. "This was a case of human error by one of our readers of the meter, and it was due to the age and the weathering visual condition, condition of the front of Mr. Paiz's meter," said Corry Poole, vice-president of customer service at Enmax. But Paiz's daughter says while the company's acknowledgement brings relief, it doesn't take away what her mother and father went through trying to resolve the billing error. "Their words will never, ever fix what was already said to him and the mistreatment they did him," said Talia Paiz. 'No one would listen' Hugo Paiz lives with his wife and their 18-year-old son in a duplex in Penbrooke Meadows in southeast Calgary. Originally from Guatemala, he's been renting the same home for 13 years after moving from Toronto. The couple both work — he at a bottling facility, she at a potato chip manufacturing plant, while their son goes to school. They have four other children, including Talia, who live on their own. Hugo says he remembers opening his Enmax bill last year and going into shock when he read the total — a whopping $2044.95. "I almost fall with a heart attack the day I see the bill," said Paiz. He says he immediately went line by line to figure out why his bill was so high when he noticed a charge of more than $1,500 for his electricity. His bill includes gas, electricity, water, wastewater, storm water as well as garbage and recycling fees. He says he called Enmax representatives to explain that there was no way the three of them could have used that much electricity in one month. He says his family keeps a tight budget and are cognizant of turning lights off. The only extra draw they have on their electricity, he says, is a fish tank. But instead of any real solutions, he says he got patched from person to person. Paiz says one representative told him to hire an electrician to locate the problem, and so his landlord did. CBC News spoke to the landlord and the electrician. The electrician says he inspected the home and didn't find any problems, but says he did notice the meter reading on Paiz's bill didn't match what he was reading — rather it was much higher. The electrician then wrote a letter on Paiz's behalf to give to Enmax — which was shared with CBC News — but Paiz's daughter says Enmax said it didn't want to see it. "The first thing I got was laugh, someone started laughing and saying that because it was a third party and everything they weren't going to accept it," said Talia Paiz. "It's just no one would listen." Enmax calls it a 'learning opportunity' In the meantime, the company continued to request the money. Paiz ended up paying an extra $160 on his bills for three months for a total of $480. The family was also forced to pay a $425 deposit. The family says it kept asking Enmax to come to their house and check their meter to see if there was something wrong with it, but nobody did. However, after being contacted by CBC News, Enmax sent someone to check the meter and discovered the problem. The meter was working fine, but it had weathered and was being misread by the meter reader. Enmax then swapped the meter for a digital one. CBC News asked Enmax about the Paiz family's allegations of being mistreated over the phone. With respect to the laughter and the refusal to take the electrician's letter which said it appeared the meter was being misread, Poole, the vice-president of customer service at Enmax, says it's unfortunate the person refused it because any information is helpful in an investigation. "It was a complex issue. I can see when I review the account that many people were involved in trying to resolve this for the customer, but it certainly took too long and much longer than what we strive for and so we're using this as a learning opportunity here at Enmax," she said. 'Should have been fixed in a week' Hugo Paiz says the company has now apologized for the way he was treated and told him this problem "should have been resolved in a week" based on an initial email the family sent that contained a photo of their electricity meter after they got the bill. At the time, the company's email response said the photo only backed up the company's claims, but Poole now says it appears the company representative didn't take a close enough look at the photo to see that the meter had been weathered and had obscured dials. "Unfortunately, that is one of our learning opportunities there around the visual inspection of ... the photo of the meter when it comes in and what to look for and that's definitely something we've learned from here," said Poole. The company has also told Paiz it is working on resolving the bill and refunding both the overpayment and the deposit with interest. Paiz hopes the company does learn from his situation and creates a better system for customers who are disputing an overcharge so they are not forced to either go to the media or to court. "Start investigating the cases right away, don't let the people suffer years and years, months and months before they start putting any attention," said Paiz. For those who are having trouble with their utility bill there is another option. People can contact the Utilities Consumer Advocate. It issued the following statement in regards to this story: If Albertans have exhausted all known avenues to resolve a dispute with their electricity or natural gas provider, the mediation officers from Utilities Consumer Advocate (UCA) are available to contact the utility provider to advocate on the consumer's behalf. Mediation officers are knowledgeable about utility regulations, including terms and conditions, and can help steer the focus of a dispute toward problem solving. Mediation outcomes vary depending on the nature of the complaint, but can result in identifying and correcting previously unknown issues, establishing payment arrangements, or reducing incorrect billing. UCA Mediation services are available to small business, farm and residential utility consumers. Interpretation services are also available. Albertans with questions or concerns about their utility bill can contact the UCA at 310-4822 or visit ucahelps.alberta.ca for more information about the resources and services they provide.