Jordan Molina, also known as TutoDraw, shows off his incredible drawing skills while creating this realistic 3D zebra illusion. Check it out!
Jordan Molina, also known as TutoDraw, shows off his incredible drawing skills while creating this realistic 3D zebra illusion. Check it out!
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.
A weekly entertainment series was recently launched by Gonez Media Inc. to feature national news coverage focused on serving Canadians from diverse backgrounds. The Brandon Gonez Show began airing 20-minute episodes at 8 p.m. eastern standard time featuring national issues on YouTube every Sunday, which began on Jan. 17. “This has never been done in this country before, and I’m so excited to have such a strong team who’ve put their blood, sweat, and tears into building The Brandon Gonez Show,” said Gonez, host of the show in a recent press release. “But most importantly, I am excited for people to finally have a show where they see themselves reflected, laugh, and get the news and entertainment they need. I am so humbled to see the support from my fellow Canadians.” Gonez, along with his partners Moët Hennessy, Uber and Seneca College, remain optimistic the nation may benefit from feel-good news coverage about ongoing discourse that reflects what’s happening in Canada in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, and ongoing discourse about race and racism. Gonez hails from Toronto and has experience working for CP24 and CTV as a reporter. “We have had tremendous interest from national and global brands; the excitement around this groundbreaking show has been rewarding to witness,” said Dakota Rae, vice president of sales, partnerships and operations at Gonez Media Inc., in a recent press release. “Partners who have signed on for season one of The Brandon Gonez Show will get a pulse of the people and exclusive insight into what topics Canadians find important. The show will be a massive success and become a staple in Canadian culture.” His first season features 10 episodes, and Gonez welcomes all ages and backgrounds. The host’s goal is to provide news coverage that you can consume with open and honest dialogue. To learn more about the show, please visit: brandongonezshow.com or follow #TheBGShow on Instagram, Twitter or TikTok. Breanne Massey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Columbia Valley Pioneer
Brent Secondiak is no stranger to jumping into freezing cold water for a good cause. For as many years as it has been running in Medicine Hat, Secondiak and his Medicine Hat Police colleagues have taken part in the Polar Plunge. The event is simple: jump into cold water and raise money for Special Olympics Alberta. The plunge has once again been altered this year due to COVID-19, and it has gone virtual. Those wishing to participate can raise funds digitally through the Special Olympics Alberta website. Then they can participate in a solo plunge, whether it is pouring cold water on their head, safely wading into the river or rolling around in snow. The Plunge will take place on March 13, when Secondiak will take a quick dip in the South Saskatchewan River. “It’s going to be cold, but it will be worth it,” he said. “I’ll have a few people out with me just to make sure everything is safe. “This is a really great cause that I really believe in.” Those raising money can choose to help out local athletes. “There’s a number of fantastic athletes in our city,” said Secondiak. “I do this every year and this is a cause that’s near and dear to me.” Those wishing to contribute can go to http://www.specialolympics.ca/albertapolarplunge Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News
(ANNews) - The First Nations Health Managers Association (FNHMA) Weekly Virtual Town Hall is a podcast that features speakers from different organizations who provide credible and reliable information, resources, and updates about what their organizations are doing to combat COVID-19. Dr. Brenda Restoule, Chief Executive Officer of the First Peoples’ Wellness Circle, appeared on the Jan. 14, podcast and began her talk by saying, “Today I thought I would spend some time talking about the fact that we have been in this pandemic for ten months.” She mentioned how she recently had conversations “about just how much our workforce and our leaders are doing and how tired and exhausting it’s become. Ten months of this – we are concerned about the wellness of our workforce.” As for tiredness and fatigue, Dr. Restoule said, “We know that our workforce has been working so hard. Our leaders have been working so hard. They are doing more, doing it differently, sometimes they’re doing different things than they did before, or they’re just having to do their work in different ways – whether that’s virtually, at a distance.” “And they are forever being asked to think about how to do it differently. And it’s always changing!” “Burnout is what we consider to be a reaction to a prolonged and chronic job stress… it’s characterized by things like exhaustion; starting to maybe hate your job or dread going to work cause there’s so much to do and not enough time; and feeling like you’re not capable or not satisfied with your work. Burnout is a really big thing.” She also mentioned how that fatigue and burnout is not only happening at work, as most people are now working from home. “This is happening to us in our homes. We’re worried about our families, about our parents and other homes, our community members and other friends. So it can also be associated with things in our life.” She then went on to speak about a few different kinds of fatigue that are common. Such as compassion fatigue, which is essentially, “the cost of caring;” pandemic fatigue: which is when people are “less likely to want to follow” restrictions; and COVID fatigue, “the uncertainty and chaos of COVID has really forced us to make additional choices about our lifestyle, our safety in very uncertain times. With more impactful consequences if we don’t make the right decisions.” Some signs of fatigue are restlessness, irritability, lack of motivation, difficulty with concentration, withdrawing from socializing with others, and physical symptoms such as headaches and stomach pains. Here are some of Dr. Restoule’s tips for fatigue: Take care of yourself. Practice Mindfulness and meditation. Choose activities that make it easy to follow the public health measures, including creating habits such as applying hand sanitizer or grabbing a mask and appreciating these habits. Focus on things that you can do differently. “Maybe it’s about eating a little bit healthier or getting outside for a walk.” Reach out for support and find ways to make social connections. Take notice of whether you’re experiencing fatigue. Most importantly, practice self-compassion. “It’s okay if you slip up once in a while and you can’t make a decision. These are hard times… Take a COVID break. Turn things off, don’t listen for a little bit, and recognize that you can only do so much.” “I’m going to end by saying: have resiliency. We have teachings about being interconnected like trees and teachings about hibernation from the bear. We are much like the trees - our roots our interconnected to each other, we hold each other up, we protect each other.” Tune in to the FNHMA Town Hall Sessions every Thursday at 1 pm EST on Alberta Native News Facebook page or at ihtoday.ca. Jacob Cardinal is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter for Alberta Native News. Jacob Cardinal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Alberta Native News
Commentators across the political spectrum spread anti-Islamic rhetoric, insisting that Islam is intrinsically violent and that Muslims are terrorists. But studies show these claims are unfounded.
BRUSSELS — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called Thursday on the United States and Russia to extend a major nuclear arms agreement before it expires in less than two weeks, and to later broaden the pact to include more weapons and China. The New START treaty, signed in 2010 by U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, expires on Feb. 5. It limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers. It permits sweeping on-site inspections to verify compliance. “We should not end up in a situation with no limitation on nuclear warheads, and New START will expire within days,” Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov signalled on Monday that Moscow is ready to move quickly to keep the pact alive, and U.S. President Joe Biden, who was Vice-President when it was signed, has also spoken in favour of preserving it. But Stoltenberg also underlined that “an extension of the New START is not the end, it’s the beginning of our efforts to further strengthen arms control.” “We need to look at ways to include more weapons systems, systems not covered by the New START, but also to include China because China is now heavily modernizing their nuclear weapons, and not only modernizing but expanding their nuclear capabilities,” he said. Arms control advocates warn that the treaty’s expiry would remove checks on U.S. and Russian nuclear forces, striking a blow to global stability. Canada and European allies in NATO are also concerned about the slow demise of non-proliferation agreements. In 2019, the U.S. and Russia both withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which was signed in 1987 and banned land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometres (310 to 3,410 miles). Last week, Russia also declared that it would follow the U.S. lead and pull out of the Open Skies Treaty that allows surveillance flights over military facilities to help build trust and transparency between Russia and the West. The Associated Press
A natural day-use recreation area near Evergreen Park will be enhanced to better accommodate pedestrians, on-leash dogs, cyclists and equestrians. County of Grande Prairie council approved a management plan for the 99-acre area, christened Evergreen Ridge Recreation Area, during its regular meeting last week. “Over the past year, people have been outdoors, recreating more,” said county reeve Leanne Beaupre. “This (provides) another opportunity for people to get out and enjoy our natural backyards.” Evergreen Ridge Recreation Area is located northeast of Evergreen Park and north of the Peace Area Riding for the Disabled Society (PARDS). It is also near approximately a half-dozen residences in Pine Valley South subdivision to the south, she said. Local people sometimes refer to the area as the “dog park” before the county named it Evergreen Ridge due to its proximity to Evergreen Park, according to administration. The area is Crown land and is leased to the county under a 2018 agreement with Alberta Environment. The natural trail network and sandy dunes are already used by pedestrians and dog-owners and PARDS members use trails as well, Beaupre said. The county means to maintain Evergreen Ridge as a “low-impact” recreational resource. It is not, said Beaupre, part of Evergreen Park. Alberta Environment and Parks requested a management plan be developed. Beaupre added a plan can prevent conflicts between responsible users and others using the area for unpermitted fires or illegal dumping. According to county communications, the plan as approved by council proposes infrastructure improvements to begin this spring. The improvements include new signage and the addition of an information kiosk, as well as fencing around the area’s eastern boundary. The kiosk will be unstaffed and will include more signage, and the information may include trail directions, Beaupre said. The signage may also provide information about local animal species, as well as communicate pets must be kept on leashes, according to the plan. Local wildlife includes mule deer, elk, moose, black bears, coyotes and smaller mammals, but due to heavy human use large animals aren’t common in the area, according to administration. The parking lot is mainly sand, and the county may grade it and perhaps add a culvert as part of the improvements, according to the plan. Funds of under $5,000 for Evergreen Ridge in the 2021 budget are expected, according to county parks and recreation. Evergreen Ridge does not allow overnight stays, off-highway vehicles or unleashed pets, according to the county. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News
A former NDP candidate for Corner Brook says he wants a leadership review by the provincial NDP. Graham Downey-Sutton, who announced on Jan. 15 he would step down as the NDP nominee for the district, released a video on social media on Tuesday citing ongoing family issues as well as concerns over provincial NDP Leader Alison Coffin and the provincial campaign director for the NDP, Mat Whynott. Downey-Sutton told SaltWire Network he didn’t feel there was a lot of support from Coffin for a PET scanner or the hospital generally in Corner Brook, and when he had tried to get more support, he wasn’t happy with the response. “Essentially all they did was put out a social media statement that (Coffin) had been born in the Corner Brook Hospital, that her mother had worked there and that she was an unequivocal supporter of the hospital and the PET scanner,” he said. “That was fine, but people had questions about a statement she made in the past about the future of the hospital and they were asking me about it. Here I was trying my best to support this, and people were wondering if the leader even supported a hospital being there.” Downey-Sutton has been active on the PET scanner issue, organizing a petition and leading a rally in October. The scanner was promised by former premier Dwight Ball in 2014, and whether or not the region would get one has been a topic of contention in recent weeks. The issue is key for Downey-Sutton, a cancer survivor, who said it’s a critical piece of equipment for the region and what he perceives as lack of support from Coffin on it led to him losing confidence in her. Downey-Sutton said he wants a leadership review to go ahead at this year’s convention, and he isn’t the only person with concerns. He said he also had issues with Whynott, a former Nova Scotia NDP MLA who has been hired as the provincial campaign director by the Newfoundland and Labrador NDP. Downey-Sutton said he felt uncomfortable with some of the advice Whynot gave him and didn’t think it was appropriate how elected members deferred to him, and that Whynott doesn’t understand the issues facing the province. “Nothing against Nova Scotians, my father is a Nova Scotian. I think it’s a great place, but Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia are two very different provinces with two very unique sets of problems,” he said. “We have an elected executive doing whatever he says and that just seems undemocratic to me.” Downey-Sutton said he was told not to bring up issues such as social and environmental justice because they don’t get votes, issues he feels are core to the NDP. SaltWire spoke to Coffin about the video, who said that while she hadn’t seen it, she understood Downey-Sutton had withdrawn as a candidate due to family issues. “I have a great deal of respect for giving people time to do that,” she said. “As for the rest, he voiced his opinions for sure and he knows how to reach me if he wants to discuss the rest of it a little further.” When asked about the comments regarding Whynott, Coffin said it was his job to direct the campaign, which would involve things like giving advice to candidates. “He’s making sure we’re all aligned on the same messaging, making sure the candidates are well supported. He’s doing his job. I don’t know what more there is to say about that.” Evan Careen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram
The chief of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation says that the territory's vulnerable people have been vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and he is optimistic the rest of the community will receive the vaccine as soon as possible. Chief Ted Williams said the First Nation has worked closely with the local health unit to prioritize the vaccine rollout. “Our long-term-care staff and residents … have been inoculated already because they are highly vulnerable. We are waiting patiently for our director of health and social services, who sits with the Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit, as plans are made to receive the vaccine here. But that’s going to be some time off,” he said. The chief said that vulnerable residents received their first of two shots last week. He added that he has not heard a lot of frustration or impatience expressed by other community members, as they wait for the vaccine to be made available across the territory. “There is a pecking order as they have indicated. We are patient with that. We know that (health officials) are out there, doing the very best that they can,” Williams said. “Our health director is working very closely with them. We have input and we have instant information.” Rama First Nation has had five COVID cases in total since the pandemic began, none in more than two months, the chief said. He added that all five residents have since recovered. So far, the new provincial restrictions are not causing any new undue stress or hardship on his members, Williams said. “When they talk about the hours of business, we have had that in place for several months. In that regard we are ahead of them. We communicate frequently with our own community. There are provincial guidelines that we follow but there are also guidelines imposed by the leadership here and everyone in our community is co-operating very well,” the chief said. “I’m very thankful that members of our community are adhering to the call to say safe, wear your mask, keep social distancing and stay away from anyone who is not a part of your household.” Williams said that he also hasn’t heard a lot of talk about some Indigenous people being reluctant to get the vaccine, at least in part, because of the troubling history of their treatment by the health care system. “We understand the big picture. Of course there is a time and a place in which we have discussion and dialogue to assist each other in overcoming the challenges that are placed on Indigenous communities. The way you get around that is to have good dialogue with your neighbours and your (health care) partners,” the chief said. “We are all in this together. My focus right now has to be on COVID and working hard with my colleagues on council, with my staff and with my community. I can’t be worried about anything other than that.” Dr. Charles Gardner, medical officer of health with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, said he understands the mistrust some First Nations people have toward the health-care system, adding no one will be forced to take the vaccine. “I sympathize with their concerns and I acknowledge the history,” Gardner said. “I think it is really important that we work with leadership in the Indigenous community about what we wish to do and why. They can be communicators on this. Others in the community, including elders, can be leaders on this. But in the end, it is a personal decision.” John McFadden, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
A Nigerian court threw out two blasphemy convictions on Thursday that had caused an international outcry, freeing a teenager from a 10-year prison sentence and ordering a new trial for a man sentenced to death. The two had been convicted in August by a sharia court in Nigeria's northern, mainly Muslim state of Kano. Teenager Omar Farouq was accused of making blasphemous comments during an argument, while Yahaya Aminu Sharif was accused of having shared a blasphemous message on WhatsApp.
WASHINGTON — The Democratic-controlled Congress is moving quickly to install retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as President Joe Biden’s secretary of defence, brushing aside concerns about his retirement inside the seven-year window that safeguards civilian leadership of the military. The House is voting Thursday on a waiver that would exempt Austin from the seven-year rule. All signs point to quick action in the Senate after that, putting Austin on track to be confirmed as secretary by week's end. Austin, a 41-year veteran of the Army, has promised to surround himself with qualified civilians and include them in policy decisions. He said he has spent nearly his entire life committed to the principle of civilian control over the military. While the waiver is expected to be approved, the vote puts Democrats in an awkward position. Many of them opposed a similar waiver in 2017 for Jim Mattis, former President Donald Trump's first secretary of defence. Austin, who would be the first Black secretary of defence, said he understands why some have questioned the wisdom of putting a recently retired general in charge of the Defence Department. Much of his focus this week, including in his remarks at his Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, has been on persuading members of Congress that although he has been out of uniform for less than five years, he sees himself as a civilian, not a general. Some aspects of his policy priorities are less clear. He emphasized on Tuesday that he will follow Biden’s lead in giving renewed attention to dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. “I will quickly review the department’s contributions to coronavirus relief efforts, ensuring we are doing everything we can — and then some — to help distribute vaccines across the country and to vaccinate our troops and preserve readiness,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee. Under questioning by senators, Austin pledged to address white supremacy and violent extremism in the ranks of the military — problems that received relatively little public attention from his immediate predecessor, Mark Esper. Austin promised to “rid our ranks of racists,” and said he takes the problem personally. “The Defence Department’s job is to keep America safe from our enemies,” he said. “But we can’t do that if some of those enemies lie within our own ranks.” Austin said he will insist that the leaders of every military service know that extremist behaviour in their ranks is unacceptable. “This is not something we can be passive on,” he said. “This is something I think we have to be active on, and we have to lean into it and make sure that we’re doing the right things to create the right climate.” He offered glimpses of other policy priorities, indicating that he embraces the view among many in Congress that China is the “pacing challenge,” or the leading national security problem for the U.S. The Middle East was the main focus for Austin during much of his 41-year Army career, particularly when he reached senior officer ranks. He served several tours of duty as a commander in Iraq, including as the top commander in 2010-11. An aspect of the defence secretary’s job that is unfamiliar to most who take the job is the far-flung and complex network of nuclear forces that are central to U.S. defence strategy. As a career Army officer, Austin had little reason to learn the intricacies of nuclear policy, since the Army has no nuclear weapons. He told his confirmation hearing that he would bone up on this topic before committing to any change in the nuclear policies set by the Trump administration, including its pursuit of nuclear modernization. Austin, a 1975 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, served in 2012 as the first Black vice chief of staff of the Army. A year later he assumed command of Central Command, where he fashioned and began implementing a strategy for rolling back the Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He describes himself as the son of a postal worker and a homemaker from Thomasville, Georgia, who will speak his mind to Congress and to Biden. Robert Burns And Andrew Taylor, The Associated Press
TIRANA, Albania — Albania on Thursday expelled a Russian diplomat for allegedly not respecting the country’s virus lockdown rules. An Albanian foreign ministry statement declared Alexey Krivosheev “person non grata,” asking him to leave the country within 72 hours. The ministry said that since April last year there were continuous violations from the diplomat. It said Albanian authorities first contacted the ambassador but the diplomat still persisted in breaking pandemic restrictions. “A repeated challenging of the protective rules and steps on the pandemic, and disregarding of the concern of the Albanian state institutions related to that, cannot be justified and tolerated any more,” the statement said. The ministry did not provide details on the alleged violations, or give the post of the diplomat. Albania has set an overnight curfew, mandatory use of masks indoor and outdoors and social distancing. “We hope that such a decision ... at such a very challenging time for the globe, will be well understood from the Russian side as a necessary step to protect the health and security" of everyone in Albania, the ministry statement added. Albania resumed diplomatic ties with Moscow in 1991, 30 years after the country's then-communist regime severed previously close relations with Russia. The Associated Press
CALGARY — Vancouver-based Eldorado Gold Corp. says it has struck a deal to buy the shares of Quebec exploration company QMX Gold Corp. it doesn't already own in a cash-and-shares transaction worth $132 million or 30 cents per share. Eldorado owns about 17 per cent of the QMX shares, purchased for six cents each in a private placement at the end of 2019. It's offering 7.5 cents in cash and 0.01523 of an Eldorado share for the rest. CEO George Burns says the deal opens up expansion opportunities for Eldorado within its operating footprint as QMX's lands are located adjacent to its Lamaque underground gold mine at Val-d'Or, Que. In a note to investors, National Bank analyst Mike Parkin says the deal would expand Eldorado's Abitibi footprint and supports a "hub-and-spoke" production model with a central processing facility. Shares in QMX rose by as much as 35 per cent or 7.5 cents to 29 cents on Thursday as Eldorado shares fell by as much as five per cent or 75 cents to $14.02. Shareholders in QMX are to vote on the proposed deal in March. “This transaction expands our position in the Abitibi camp and is consistent with our strategy of pursuing growth at Lamaque in Quebec, a high-quality jurisdiction,” said Burns. “QMX’s highly prospective land package is ideally located immediately adjacent to our current Lamaque operation and associated exploration projects in the heart of the Val d’Or gold district." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Month Date, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:ELD, TSXV:QMX) The Canadian Press
German researchers have enabled mice paralyzed after spinal cord injuries to walk again, re-establishing a neural link hitherto considered irreparable in mammals by using a designer protein injected into the brain. Spinal cord injuries in humans, often caused by sports or traffic accidents, leave them paralyzed because not all of the nerve fibers that carry information between muscles and the brain are able to grow back. But the researchers from Ruhr University Bochum managed to stimulate the paralyzed mice's nerve cells to regenerate using a designer protein.
Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting one new case of COVID-19, an employee of a Marine Atlantic vessel flagged by officials this week as a possible risk for spreading the virus to crew members and passengers. The MV Blue Puttees, which operates between North Sydney, N.S., and Port aux Basques, N.L., was temporarily pulled out of service for contact tracing Wednesday, after a crew member tested positive for COVID-19. The new case, the second Marine Atlantic employee this week to contract the virus, is a man in his 60s in the Central Health region. The Department of Health says the man is isolating and contract tracing is underway. The department also says it's sharing contact tracing information with authorities in Nova Scotia and advising Marine Atlantic. Health officials would not provide details on the new case, instead deferring to the ferry operator. A spokesperson for Marine Atlantic told CBC the man was part of the same shift as the previously infected employee. Marine Atlantic is adding a boat to the route, with the MV Atlantic Vision entering the schedule departing North Sydney early Thursday evening. The spokesperson said the Blue Puttees is still sidelined. "We will continue to monitor this situation and make any additional operational adjustments as required," the spokesperson said in a statement. Officials are asking passengers who travelled on the Blue Puttees to or from North Sydney or Port aux Basques between Dec. 29 and Jan. 16 to arrange COVID-19 testing. With no new recoveries since Wednesday's update, the province has six active cases, with one person in hospital. In all, 384 people have recovered from the virus, and 77,273 people have been tested. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
In another bid to separate his team from the governing Liberals, PC Party Leader Ches Crosbie promised Thursday to elevate honesty and integrity in government to the highest standard in the country if his party is elected in the Feb. 13 provincial election. Crosbie made the pledge Thursday during a glitchy virtual news conference from Marystown, in which his speech about government corruption was corrupted by technical problems. But a clean video recording posted later to the party's Facebook page showed Crosbie on the attack against the governing Liberals and its leader, Andrew Furey. Crosbie said Liberal "corruption, scandal, and cronyism" are barriers to job growth in the province and he would ensure government hiring is based on merit. In a telephone interview, Crosbie said there's a perception that individuals and companies are hired based on their political connections, and not their qualifications or experience. "That must stop," he said. Asked for proof, Crosbie said, "Everybody has stories about it." He said a PC government would "root out corruption and bring ethics and accountability to government" by implementing the "strongest anti-corruption legislation in Canada." Crosbie said a PC government would order a review of the code of conduct for members of the House of Assembly and adopt what he called "honesty in politics" legislation. "That will provide penalties and sanctions if I don't do what I said I was going to do. That will serve to restore confidence in truth-telling by politicians when they make promises," he said. To make his point, Crosbie criticized the Liberals for their handling of the PET scanner controversy in Corner Brook. With accusations mounting that the Liberals had broken a promise to install the advanced imaging technology at the new Corner Brook hospital, Furey and the Liberals announced they would put $2 million into a trust account to be used for a scanner at some point in the future. "Imagine that politicians, cabinet ministers would feel the need to put money in trust because they know the public doesn't trust them," Crosbie said. Any member of a cabinet that he leads will be forced to step away from their duties if they become the subject of an investigation, he added. The PCs have been hounding the Liberals about such a situation involving Burgeo-La Poile MHA Andrew Parsons. The RCMP in Nova Scotia are investigating whether former justice minister Parsons, the province's attorney general, played a role in the decision to charge former RNC officer Joe Smyth with obstruction of justice over his handling of a traffic stop in 2017. Parsons has denied any involvement, and his position is supported by RNC Chief Joe Boland and the director of public prosecutions. As such, Furey refused to remove Parsons from his inner circle. Crosbie said it was the wrong decision. "The fact he remains in cabinet while under investigation by the police and the premier is content to keep him there is on a level with what happens in banana republics," he said. The PC leader said erasing any perception of corruption is essential to encouraging investment in the province, and helping revive the economy. CBC News has requested comment from the Liberal Party. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
According to the government of Alberta COVID-19 website updates as of January 19, 2021, there are 22 new cases of the novel coronavirus in Cardston County- which brings the county to 109 active cases. To compare, during the same time span there have only been 11 new cases in all of Lethbridge, and only one new case in Lethbridge County. The government of Alberta website does not break down the locations of the cases further. The County of Cardston covers a large area of over 3,000 square kilometres of land, which includes 11 hamlets, 2 towns, 2 villages, many Hutterite colonies, and the Kainai Blood Tribe. According to the government of Alberta website there are 16, 459 people living within these boundaries. While no other detailed records could be found on other municipal websites about where each of these cases are across the county, the blood tribe website specifies that 78 cases are currently found on the kainai reserve, leaving 30 elsewhere in the area. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief medical officer of health, stated Tuesday night that the vaccine had begun to be administered. She says “we started with long-term care and designated supportive living facilities because residents in these locations are the most at risk.” Statistics show that two out of every three Albertans who have died from COVID-19 live in these settings, which is why Albertans over the age of 75 will be candidates to receive the vaccine during one the next batch arrives. According to the Alberta regional dashboard website, approximately 3% of residents in the county fall into this age category and 6% of town residents. Elizabeth Thompson-Christensen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temple City Star
This pet raccoon wearing Pikachu pajamas chows down on some yummy treats alongside his owner. Cuteness overload!
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris showcased American designers at their inauguration Wednesday, and Harris gave a nod to women's suffrage, Shirley Chisholm and her beloved sorority in pearls and purple. Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush also donned hues of purple. Harris has cited Chisholm, a Democrat from New York, as an inspiration for her career. Chisholm was the first Black woman elected to Congress and the first Black major-party candidate to run for U.S. president. Pearls had a strong fashion showing, in line with a social media campaign that had inauguration watchers donning strands in support and celebration of Harris. Nobody in attendance did them quite like Jennifer Lopez — from earrings to bracelets — as she sang “This Land is Your Land" in head-to-toe white Chanel. Rep. Barbara Lee, a California Democrat, wore a pearl necklace owned by Chisholm herself. It was a gift from Chisholm's goddaughter. “Because of Shirley Chisholm, I am,” Lee, who is Black, posted on Twitter. “Because of Shirley Chisholm, Vice-President Harris is.” The pearls Harris wore, by Wilfredo Rosado, were also a symbol of unity with her sisters in Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first African American Greek-letter sorority, said Rachel Torgerson, fashion features director for Cosmopolitan. The sorority's founders are referred to as the “Twenty Pearls.” Every new member receives a badge adorned with 20 pearls. Harris attended Howard University, one of the nation's historically Black colleges and universities. “There’s no doubt that every part of her look today celebrates who she is, where she came from and where she hopes to lead the country. Every piece was carefully considered and packed with meaning,” Torgerson said. Like Harris, Rosado is the child of immigrants. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders drew fashion praise on social media for his cozy, comfortable inauguration wear: His signature beige parka and a pair of knit patterned mittens. The look earned him his own inauguration Bobblehead to mark his viral fashion moment. It's now on pre-sale for $25 at the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s online store. Jill Biden wore an ocean blue wool tweed coat over a dress by American designer Alexandra O’Neill of the Markarian label. The new first lady's matching coat and dress included a velvet collar and cuffs on the coat, and a chiffon bodice and scalloped skirt on the dress. The neckline of the dress is embellished with Swarovski pearls and crystals. The same crystals adorn the coat. The outfit was handcrafted in New York City. Aides said Harris was dressed in Christopher John Rogers and Sergio Hudson. Both are Black designers, Rogers from Louisiana and Hudson from South Carolina. Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff, wore a Ralph Lauren suit. Michelle Obama, a fashion icon, drew praise from fans on social media for her belted pantsuit in plum, also by Hudson. Joe Biden wore a navy blue suit and overcoat by Ralph Lauren. It was a change from Brooks Brothers, the oldest U.S. clothier at 202. The brand has outfitted 41 of the 46 American presidents, including Barack Obama during his inauguration in 2009. Brooks Brothers fell on hard financial times last year, when it filed for bankruptcy reorganization and announced a planned sale. Ralph Lauren has a history of nonpartisan dressing, including moments with Michelle Obama and outgoing first lady Melania Trump. Joe Biden wore Polo shirts, emblazoned with the label’s pony and polo player logo, to take both of his COVID-19 vaccinations on television. Véronique Hyland, fashion features director for Elle magazine, noted the wins for young American designers. “They chose a diverse group of talents — Christopher John Rogers, Pyer Moss’ Kerby Jean-Raymond, Markarian’s Alexandra O’Neill and Jonathan Cohen — to be a part of this historic moment," she said. “It made for a meaningful statement at this particular time, when all small businesses, including fashion businesses, are in need of support and spotlighting.” Harris’ choice to wear pieces by Black designers “felt particularly significant in light of her triply historic title as the first female, Black and Asian American vice-president of our country,” Hyland added. As for the colour purple, it was a symbol of unity and bipartisanship. Republican Red and Democratic blue make purple. “If there’s a message to be taken from today’s inauguration fashion, it’s that those who attended are signalling faith in unity and bipartisanship, as well as restoring truth and trust,” Torgerson said. Hillary Clinton confirmed she wore “purple with a purpose,” telling The Associated Press: “I want to just send a bit of a symbolic message that we need to come together.” Lady Gaga went for red and let her pin do the talking. She sang the national anthem in a lavish custom Schiaparelli gown designed by Daniel Roseberry with a full red skirt and a navy coat adorned with a humongous gold dove holding an olive branch. Garth Brooks went another way: country. He performed “Amazing Grace” holding his black cowboy hat and dressed in blue denim jeans paired with a black suit jacket and shirt. Another inauguration fashion star on Twitter was Nikolas Ajagu, the husband of Harris' niece, Meena Harris. Sharp-eyed sneakerheads noted his ultra-rare and pricey Air Dior Jordan 1 shoes. The Dior 1s, a collaboration between Dior and Jordan, debuted last year and retail for $2,000. They're reportedly going for up to $7,000 on some sneaker resell sites. Harris' stepdaughter, Ella Emhoff, schooled some of the older folks in her embellished Shetland Miu Miu coat in a pied de poule pattern with a large brown button at the neck and a pointed collar. “To put it quite plainly, over the last four years we’ve been starved for fashion choices from the White House that are thoughtful and intentional for the sake of the greater good," said Nikki Ogunnaike, digital director for Harper’s Bazaar. ____ This story was first published on January 20, 2021. It was updated on January 21, 2021, to correct the fact that Meena Harris is Vice-President Kamala Harris’ niece, not her sister. Leanne Italie, The Associated Press
Pileated woodpeckers are the largest species of woodpecker in North America. They would be second to the ivory billed woodpecker, although sadly, it is now believed to be extinct. The pileated is a giant bird that feed on insects burrowed into rotting trees and logs. It uses its keen sense of hearing to detect grubs and beets beneath the wood. Once it locates its prey, it hammers with its powerful beak to uncover and devour the insects. They actually play a vital role in the health of many forests, keeping the population of destructive insects in check. A pileated woodpecker can be heard for miles as it beats loudly on hollow trees to announce its presence and dominance to other woodpeckers. They are territorial and this display is meant to keep rivals from entering their feeding or breeding area. A pileated woodpecker grows to an incredible 49cm in height (19inches). It is a heavy bird, weighing up to 300g (2/3 lb). They are also known to eat fruits and berries, including the berries of the poison ivy plant. They will also eat ants in large quantities when the colonies are found in dead trees. The nest of the pileated is constructed by hammering out large holes in dead trees. The male makes a nest and this attracts a female where they will work together to raise their young. The nests are not used twice and the large cavities often become a shelter for other birds and woodland animals, such as owls. This also plays a beneficial role in the health of forests. Pileated woodpeckers are a welcome sight at back yard bird feeders such as this one. They love suet cakes that are filled with nuts and seeds. Their large size and bright plumage make them a delightful sight for bird enthusiasts and photographers. This videographer placed a GoPro camera on a pole right beside the suet feeder in his back yard and he was fortunate enough to capture this large male paying a visit. Providing food for local birds can make a great difference to their survival, especially when harsh conditions make it more difficult to find food.