Viola Davis and the cast and director of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom looks back on the late Chadwick Boseman's final performance in a film.
Viola Davis and the cast and director of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom looks back on the late Chadwick Boseman's final performance in a film.
WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Antony Blinken as America’s top diplomat, tasked with carrying out President Joe Biden’s commitment to reverse the Trump administration’s “America First” doctrine that weakened international alliances. Senators voted 78-22 to approve Blinken, a longtime Biden confidant, as the nation’s 71st secretary of state, succeeding Mike Pompeo. The position is the most senior Cabinet position, with the secretary fourth in the line of presidential succession. Blinken, 58, served as deputy secretary of state and deputy national security adviser during the Obama administration. He has pledged to be a leading force in the administration’s bid to reframe the U.S. relationship with the rest of the world after four years in which President Donald Trump questioned longtime alliances. He is expected to start work on Wednesday after being sworn in, according to State Department officials. “American leadership still matters,” Blinken told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at his Jan. 19 confirmation hearing. “The reality is, the world simply does not organize itself. When we’re not engaged, when we’re not leading, then one of two things is likely to happen. Either some other country tries to take our place, but not in a way that’s likely to advance our interests and values, or maybe just as bad, no one does and then you have chaos.” Blinken vowed that the Biden administration would approach the world with both humility and confidence, saying “we have a great deal of work to do at home to enhance our standing abroad.” Despite promising renewed American leadership and an emphasis on shoring up strained ties with allies in Europe and Asia, Blinken told lawmakers that he agreed with many of Trump’s foreign policy initiatives. He backed the so-called Abraham Accords, which normalized relations between Israel and several Arab states, and a tough stance on China over human rights and its assertiveness in the South China Sea. He did, however, signal that the Biden administration is interested in bringing Iran back into compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal from which Trump withdrew in 2018. Trump's secretaries of state nominees met with significant opposition from Democrats. Trump’s first nominee for the job, former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, was approved by a 56 to 43 vote and served only 13 months before Trump fired him in tweet. His successor, Pompeo, was confirmed in a 57-42 vote. Opposition to Blinken centred on Iran policy and concerns among conservatives that he will abandon Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran. Blinken inherits a deeply demoralized and depleted career workforce at the State Department. Neither Tillerson nor Pompeo offered strong resistance to the Trump administration’s attempts to gut the agency, which were thwarted only by congressional intervention. Although the department escaped proposed cuts of more than 30% of its budget for three consecutive years, it has seen a significant number of departures from its senior and rising mid-level ranks, Many diplomats opted to retire or leave the foreign service given limited prospects for advancement under an administration that they believed didn't value their expertise. A graduate of Harvard University and Columbia Law School and a longtime Democratic foreign policy presence, Blinken has aligned himself with numerous former senior national security officials who have called for a major reinvestment in American diplomacy and renewed emphasis on global engagement. Blinken served on the National Security Council during the Clinton administration before becoming staff director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when Biden was chair of the panel. In the early years of the Obama administration, Blinken returned to the NSC and was then-Vice-President Biden’s national security adviser before he moved to the State Department to serve as deputy to Secretary of State John Kerry, who is now serving as special envoy for climate change. Matthew Lee, The Associated Press
Inspired by the natural, twisting patterns of a lobster shell, Australian researchers say they have found a way, using 3D printing technology, to improve the strength of concrete for use in complex architecture. Reinforced with steel fibres, the concrete becomes more durable when set in a pattern that copies a lobster shell, according to a new study from Melbourne's RMIT University. Rather than use a mould, the process involves depositing layers of concrete one on top of the other, directed from a computer program using 3D printing technology.
NEW YORK — Canadian author Souvankham Thammavongsa's “How to Pronounce Knife" is among this year's fiction finalists for the U.S.-based National Book Critics Circle prizes. The critics circle announced five nominees in each of six competitive categories Sunday, and seven finalists for an award for best first book. This year's nominees are the first under new leadership at the NBCC after many of its board members departed in 2020 amid a dispute over how to respond to the summer's Black Lives Matters protests. Among those stepping down was NBCC president Laurie Hertzel, senior books editor for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. She was replaced by David Varno, Publishers Weekly's fiction reviews editor. In the NBCC's fiction award category, Martin Amis was nominated for his autobiographical novel “Inside Story” and Randall Kenan, who died in 2020, for the story collection “If I Had Two Wings.” The other finalists were Maggie O’Farrell's “Hamnet,” Thammavongsa's “How to Pronounce Knife,” which won the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and Bryan Washington's “Memorial.” The Feminist Press, whose founder Florence Howe died last year, will receive a lifetime achievement award and has a nominee for criticism: Cristina Rivera Garza's, “Grieving: Dispatches from a Wounded Country.” New Republic critic Jo Livingston received a citation for Excellence in Reviewing. Winners will be announced March 25. Isabel Wilkerson's “Caste,” her widely read exploration of American racism; was a nonfiction finalist. The others were Walter Johnson's “The Broken Heart of America: St, Louis and the Violent History of the United States,” James Shapiro's “Shakespeare in a Divided America,” Sarah Smarsh's “She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs” and Tom Zoellner's “Island on Fire: The Revolt That Ended Slavery in the British Empire.” Biography nominees included “The Dead are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X," co-written by Tamara Payne and her father, the late journalist Les Payne, and winner last fall of the National Book Award. The other finalists were Amy Stanley's “Stranger in the Shogun’s City: A Japanese Woman and Her World,” Zachary D. Carter's “The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes," Heather Clark's “Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath” and Maggie Doherty's “The Equivalents: A Story of Art, Female Friendship, and Liberation in the 1960s.” In poetry, the nominees were Victoria Chang's “Obit,” Francine J. Harris' “Here Is The Sweet Hand,” Amaud Jamaul Johnson's “Imperial Liquor,” Chris Nealon's “The Shore” and Danez Smith's “Homie.” The autobiography finalists were Cathy Park Hong's “Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning,” Shayla Lawson's “This Is Major: Notes on Diana Ross, Dark Girls, and Being Dope,” Riva Lehrer's “Golem Girl,” Wayétu Moore's “The Dragons, The Giant, The Women” and Alia Volz's “Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco.” Beside's Garza's “Grieving,” criticism nominees were Vivian Gornick's “Unfinished Business: Notes of a Chronic Re-Reader,” Nicole Fleetwood's “Marking Time." Namwali Serpell's “Stranger Faces” and Wendy A. Woloson's “Crap: A History of Cheap Stuff in America.” Three of last year's most talked about first novels, Raven Leilani's “Lustre,” Megha Majumdar's “A Burning” and Douglas Stuart's “Shuggie Bain," are nominees for the John Leonard Prize for best first book, fiction or nonfiction. The other finalists are Kerri Arsenault's “Mill Town,” Karla Cornejo Villavicencio's “The Undocumented Americans,” Brandon Taylor's “Real Life” and “C Pam Zhang's ”How Much of These Hills Is Gold." The Leonard award is named for the late literary critic, who helped found the NBCC in 1974. Hillel Italie, The Associated Press
WHISTLER, B.C. — A cougar has attacked and severely mauled a man in British Columbia.A statement from the Environment Ministry, which oversees the Conservation Officer Service, says the 69-year-old victim is recovering in hospital from serious injuries to his face and hand.The attack occurred Monday near the man's property in the Soo Valley, about 150 kilometres north of Vancouver, between Whistler and Pemberton.The ministry says Whistler RCMP officers were first on the scene and shot and killed a cougar prowling nearby.Conservation officers with a specialized team that investigates predator attacks also responded.The ministry says those officers don't believe there is any ongoing risk to the public and further details could be released soon.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. The Canadian Press
LONDON — More than 100,000 people have died in the United Kingdom after contracting the coronavirus, a year into Europe's deadliest outbreak, figures from the government showed Tuesday. Britain is the fifth country in the world to record 100,000 virus-related deaths, after the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico, and by far the smallest. The U.S. has recorded more than 400,000 COVID-19 deaths, the world’s highest total, but its population of about 330 million is about five times Britain’s. The U.K. toll is more than twice as many people as were killed by German bombs in Britain in the 1940-41 Blitz, and 30,000 more than the total number of British civilians killed during the six years of World War II. The first confirmed British victim of the virus was Peter Attwood, an 84-year-old retiree who died on Jan. 30, 2020 — though the cause was not recorded as COVID-19 until months later. A year on, hundreds of thousands of Britons are grieving the loss of loved ones, and demanding an accounting for the terrible toll. In part, Britain has suffered because of longstanding factors such as high levels of conditions including obesity and heart disease, a large gap between rich and poor and London’s status as a global crossroads. But decisions during the pandemic also played a part. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government is accused by many scientists of waiting too long to impose a lockdown in March as infections were rising exponentially. Leading epidemiologists say acting a week sooner might have cut the death toll in half. As in other European countries, cases fell in the summer, then took off again. A more transmissible variant identified in southeast England helped push infections to new highs, and brought a new lockdown, even as a nationwide vaccination campaign began. Johnson — who spent a week in the hospital with the virus in April — has promised that a public inquiry will examine Britain’s handling of the pandemic, though he has not said when it will start. “Of course we will learn lessons in due course and of course there will be a time to reflect and to prepare for the next pandemic,” Johnson said last week. The official count records people who died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus. The real toll, as in other places, is likely higher, in part due to a lack of testing early in the pandemic. ___ Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak. The Associated Press
The Trudeau Liberals are eyeing changes to the law governing public service hiring to help make federal departments and agencies more diverse. They also plan to do further research on the makeup of the federal public service and say they will try to hire more senior leaders with varied backgrounds. Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos and his parliamentary secretary, Greg Fergus, spelled out the priorities Tuesday to foster greater diversity, inclusion and accessibility in the public service. The government says while there has been some progress for Black Canadians, Indigenous Peoples and others who face racial discrimination in the workplace, too many public servants continue to face obstacles. The Treasury Board Secretariat has begun discussions about the framework for recruitment in the public service and is specifically looking at "possible amendments" to the Public Service Employment Act. The act is intended to ensure federal hiring is fair, transparent and representative. 'Far from perfect,' union president says But Chris Aylward, national president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, said he hears complaints from members about how it works. "It sounds like everything is there," Aylward said Tuesday. "But in practical terms, the way that it's applied, the way that managers go about doing staffing — it's far, far from perfect." The examination of the Public Service Employment Act would complement Labour Minister Filomena Tassi's planned review of the Employment Equity Act, a law aimed at protecting workers from discrimination and other unfair treatment. The government recently released new data about the composition of the public service. Duclos and Fergus say the annual public service employee survey will help the government identify more precisely where gaps remain and what is needed to improve representation. The government plans to increase diversity through promotion and recruitment, including the introduction of the Mentorship Plus Program to allow departments to offer mentoring and sponsorship opportunities to high-potential employees who might currently face barriers. The government says that although progress will take time, the public service can be a model of inclusion for employers across the country and around the world. "In time, we will build a public service that is the true reflection of our pluralism and diversity," Duclos said in a statement. An anti-racist call to action Just last week, Privy Council Clerk Ian Shugart issued a call to action on racism, equity and inclusion in the public service, setting out federal expectations for current leaders. "We must encourage and support the voices that have long been marginalized in our organizations," Shugart wrote. "We must create opportunities where they have long been absent. We must take direct, practical actions to invoke change. This is a true test of leadership, and one we must meet head on. Now." The government also launched the Centre for Diversity and Inclusion, supported by a budget of $12 million, to create an ongoing discussion about change. "There is much to do before all public servants can feel they truly belong in a public service that values inclusiveness and differences," Fergus said. "Outlining these key areas of focus is a key step in taking concrete action."
BURLINGTON, Ont. — Police say two women have died and three people are injured following a multi-vehicle crash on the Queen Elizabeth Way in Burlington, Ont. Ontario Provincial Police say they were called shortly after 5:30 a.m. to the four-vehicle collision. They say it appears a Mitsubishi vehicle crossed from the westbound lanes into the eastbound ones and collided head on with an Acura. Police say the Mitsubishi was then hit by a truck, after which a fourth vehicle lost control and rolled into the centre median ditch. Investigators say two women in the Mitsubishi were killed and three others are being treated for minor injuries. They say it's unclear what caused the crash, and it will likely take at least five or six hours for the highway to reopen in the area. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. The Canadian Press
Ani Di Franco, "Revolutionary Love” (Righteous Babe Records) Pioneering folkie activist Ani Di Franco is a standout instrumentalist whose guitar could kill fascists. Alas, on “Revolutionary Love,” her six-string doesn’t play a major role — or many notes. Not that Di Franco has gone mellow. With characteristic passion on her first studio album since 2017, she makes the personal universal, and the political personal. Her title cut is a seven-minute pledge to propel social movements with love and forgiveness, the message underscored by a slow-burn soul groove. Elsewhere Di Franco quotes Michelle Obama, skewers an ex-president and calls for resilience in the wake of depressing news headlines. Such topics are mixed with couplets about personal pain and bliss, sometimes within the same song. The best of “Revolutionary Love” is very good. Di Franco's acoustic guitar is most prominent on “Metropolis,” and it's beautiful — a love ballad with shimmering reeds that evoke her description of “fog lifting off the bay.” The equally compelling “Chloroform” laments domestic dysfunction as a string quartet creates dissonance of its own. Elsewhere Di Franco blends elements of folk, jazz and R&B, and makes music suitable for a rally. She's at her most politically vociferous on “Do or Die,” singing about “Yankee Doodle Dandy” to a Latin beat. Di Francophiles will find it positively patriotic. Steven Wine, The Associated Press
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — People arrested during three nights of rioting sparked by the Netherlands' new coronavirus curfew will face swift prosecution, the Dutch justice minister said Tuesday as the nation faced its worst civil unrest in years. Minister Ferd Grapperhaus said rioters would be quickly brought before the courts by public prosecutors and will face possible prison terms if convicted. “They won't get away with it,” he told reporters in The Hague. The rioting, initially triggered by anger over the country's tough coronavirus lockdown, has been increasingly fueled by calls for rioting swirling on social media. The violence has stretched the police and led at times to the deployment of military police. Grapperhaus spoke after a third night of rioting hit towns and cities in the Netherlands, with the most serious clashes and looting of stores in the port city of Rotterdam and the southern cathedral city of Den Bosch. “If you rob people who are struggling, with the help of the government, to keep their head above water, it's totally scandalous,” Grapperhaus told reporters. He stressed that the 9 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. curfew is a necessary measure in the fight against the coronavirus. Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb posted a video message on Twitter, asking rioters: “Does it feel good to wake up with a bag full of stolen stuff next to you?” He also appealed to parents of the young rioters, asking: “Did you miss your son yesterday? Did you ask yourself where he was?” The municipality in Den Bosch designated large parts of the city as risk areas for Tuesday night, fearing a repeat of the violence. Residents in Den Bosch took to the streets Tuesday to help with the cleanup as the city’s mayor said he would investigate authorities’ response to the rioting. A total of 184 people were arrested in Monday night's unrest and police ticketed more than 1,700 for breaching the curfew, a fine of 95 euros ($115). Officers around the country also detained dozens suspected of inciting rioting through social media. Police said rioters threw stones, fireworks and Molotov cocktails at officers. “This criminal violence must stop,” Prime Minister Mark Rutte tweeted. “The riots have nothing to do with protesting or struggling for freedom,” he added. “We must win the battle against the virus together, because that's the only way of getting back our freedom.” The unrest began Saturday night — the first night of the curfew — when youths in the fishing village of Urk torched a coronavirus testing centre. It escalated significantly with violence in the southern city of Eindhoven and the capital, Amsterdam. Gerrit van der Burg, the most senior Dutch public prosecutor, said authorities are “committed to tracking down and prosecuting people who committed crimes. Count on it that they will be dealt with harshly.” The rate of new infections in Netherlands has been decreasing in recent weeks, but the government is keeping up the tough lockdown, citing the slow pace of the decline and fears of new, more transmissible virus variants. The country has registered more than 13,650 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. ___ Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic,https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Mike Corder, The Associated Press
The Medicine Hat Police Service has rolled out a new tool to use in the community. Every local police officer has been issued a communication card, which were created in conjunction with Saamis Immigration. Each card has a series of pictures to allow officers to communicate with people who may not speak English as their first language. Insp. Brent Secondiak says it isn’t overly common, but communication breakdowns can happen during routine traffic stops. “I know for sure one of the officers has already used the new communication card,” he said. “We identified a gap in what we were doing and what other services were doing in other communities. That’s how this started. “We developed this locally and we’re excited to have these in our hands.” Pictures on the card include a stop sign, red light, a speed limit indicator and others. In the centre of the card the officer can point to whether someone is being ticketed, warned or arrested. The card can be used to communicate further need for help from EMS or towing services. The back of the card aims to help the officer with what the best ways to communicate with people are in different situations, whether that is texting, writing, verbally or sign language. “This is a really cool idea and a neat card,” said Secondiak. “We managed to fit a lot on it.” Secondiak says it is a great tool for communicating with people who have trouble hearing. “This is a great initiative that was really easy to plan,” he said. “Every patrol officer will have one in their vehicle and can reference them when needed. “We’ve been working on this since around September, so it was nice that it came together pretty quickly.” Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News
Joe Biden could return to the path blazed by Barack Obama on Cuba, when two years of bilateral negotiations helped undo more than five decades of hostility.
An Australian gold mining company was arraigned on a slew of environmental charges in provincial court in Dartmouth, N.S., Tuesday morning. Atlantic Mining NS Inc. faces 32 charges under the province's Environment Act related to its gold mining operation in eastern Nova Scotia. Atlantic Mining NS Inc. is a subsidiary of St Barbara Limited, but is better known for its corporate name, Atlantic Gold Corp. The company is accused of "failing to comply with the conditions of an approval" and "releasing substances into the environment in amount, concentration or level in excess of approval level or regulations." The offences allegedly took place between February 2018 and May 2020. Most of the charges are related to the area of Mooseland and Moose River Gold Mines, where the company has an open pit gold mine. The other alleged offence locations named in the charging information are 15 Mile Stream, Jed Lake and Seloam Brook. The company was granted a request to adjourn the case until March 15, when it will enter a plea. Atlantic Gold plans to develop three more open pit gold mines on the Eastern Shore and truck the ore to a central processing facility at Mooseland where it operates the Touquoy mine. The company recently told investors it will proceed next with 15 Mile Stream and Beaver Dam locations. The startup date for its controversial Cochrane Hill site on the St. Marys River has been delayed by several years. There is uncertainty over whether the province will allow the company access to the water supply it wants to use at Cochrane Hill. There is some local opposition because of its proximity to the St. Marys River, home to a remaining Atlantic salmon population. MORE TOP STORIES
La pratique du vélo à pneus surdimensionnés (VPS) sera régularisée et encadrée sur les sentiers du boisé Fonrouge. À la suite de plusieurs discussions avec la Ville, l’OSBL Plein Air Chambly, fondé par Daniel Bordeleau, Jean-Claude Vaillant et Paul-Étienne Roy, a obtenu une entente pour la saison actuelle, mandatant ses bénévoles d’assurer l’entretien des sentiers de VPS, qui sont maintenant officiellement reconnus par la Ville de Chambly. Tout s’est fait assez vite puisque la formation Plein Air Chambly a été créée l’automne passé et que les démarches juridiques sont encore en cours. « C’est une initiative citoyenne qui est partie d’un désir de favoriser l’accessibilité aux loisirs de plein air à Chambly. On souhaite que ce ne soit pas un monosport », indique Paul-Étienne Roy. « On a approché la Ville pour savoir comment on pouvait mieux encadrer le fatbike. L’engouement pour ce sport est trop grand et réel pour que ça arrête, et on a vraiment de très beaux sites desquels profiter sur le territoire. C’est un luxe unique de pouvoir partir de chez soi en fatbike pour aller directement dans le boisé. » La mairesse, Alexandra Labbé, se dit également consciente de l’engouement de la population pour le vélo à pneus surdimensionnés, mais rappelle que le projet n’en est qu’à ses débuts et qu’il reste certaines questions à l’étude quant à la préservation de la biodiversité du parc nature, par exemple. « Jusqu’à tout récemment, c’était un terrain privé. On est maintenant en train d’en concrétiser l’achat pour que les sentiers appartiennent à la Municipalité et que l’on soit en mesure de les aménager selon nos besoins propres au plein air. On veut consulter les citoyens dans la réalisation du projet et on annoncera ses développements en temps et lieu », indique la mairesse. « On est vraiment contents de la réception de la Ville, tant du côté de son administration que du côté des conseillers municipaux, qui ont été très généreux, qui nous ont soutenus et ont cru en notre projet », ajoute M. Roy. Afin d’assurer une meilleure sécurité, l’OSBL demande que les amateurs de VPS signent le formulaire d’assurances publié en ligne. « On compte sur la bonne foi des participants. Notre but est vraiment de garder le tout accessible et gratuit pour que le terrain profite au plus grand nombre de citoyens. » D’autres informations quant aux avancées du projet suivront.Chloé-Anne Touma, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Journal de Chambly
A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by the family of an Ottawa man who suffered a fatal heart attack during an encounter with police. In a statement, the Ottawa Police Services Board says it has come to a "mutual agreement" with the family of Abdirahman Abdi, putting an end to the civil action. It says the details of the settlement are confidential and will not be released publicly. However, the board notes both sides agree "significant improvements" need to be made to how police respond to people experiencing mental health issues. The settlement comes months after an Ottawa police officer was acquitted of manslaughter and assault charges in connection with Abdi's death in July 2016. An Ontario judge ruled in October that he couldn't conclusively say the blows Abdi suffered during his arrest significantly contributed to his death. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. The Canadian Press
LOS ANGELES — Jane Fonda cemented herself into Hollywood allure as a chameleonlike actor and social activist, and now the Golden Globes will honour her illustrious career with its highest honour. Fonda will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award during the 78th annual awards ceremony on Feb. 28, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced Tuesday. A member of one of America's most distinguished acting families, Fonda has captivated and inspired fans along with critics in such films as “Klute” and “Coming Home.” Fonda, the daughter of Oscar winner Henry Fonda and sister of Peter Fonda, made an impact off-screen by creating organizations to support women’s equality and prevent teen pregnancy and improve adolescent health. She released a workout video in 1982 and was active on behalf of liberal political causes. In a statement, HFPA President Ali Sar applauded the Golden Globe winner’s decorated career and her “unrelenting activism.” “Her undeniable talent has gained her the highest level of recognition,” Sar said of Fonda. “While her professional life has taken many turns, her unwavering commitment to evoking change has remained.” The DeMille Award is given annually to an “individual who has made an incredible impact on the world of entertainment.” Past recipients include Tom Hanks, Jeff Bridges, Oprah Winfrey, Morgan Freeman, Meryl Streep, Barbra Streisand, Sidney Poitier and Lucille Ball. Nominations for the upcoming Globes show are scheduled to be announced Feb. 3. Fonda, 83, has been nominated for five Academy Awards and won two for the thriller “Klute” and the compassionate anti-war drama “Coming Home.” She had other prominent films including “The China Syndrome,” “The Electric Horseman” with Robert Redford, and “9 to 5” with Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton. She stars in the Netflix television series “Grace & Frankie.” Fonda gained notoriety in the the 1970s when she travelled to North Vietnam during the height of the anti-Vietnam War protests and posed for photos next to an anti-aircraft gun. She fell under hefty criticism for her decision — one she repeatedly apologized for — to pose in the photo that gave her the nickname “Hanoi Jane.” In 2014, Fonda was given a lifetime achievement award by the American Film Institute. She launched IndieCollect’s Jane Fonda Fund for Women Directors, an organization aimed to support the restoration of films helmed by women from around the world. Fonda was arrested at the U.S. Capitol while peacefully protesting climate change in 2019, an action dubbed Fire Drill Fridays. For her 80th birthday, Fonda raised $1 million for each her nonprofits, the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential and the Women’s Media Center. She also serves on the board of directors and made $1 million donation to Donor Direct Action, an organization that supports front-line women’s organizations to promote women’s equality. Fonda’s book, “What Can I Do? My Path from Climate Despair to Action,” released last year, details her personal journey with Fire Drill Fridays. Jonathan Landrum Jr., The Associated Press
While two-thirds of Canadians believe the new U.S. president's cancellation of a key permit for the Keystone XL pipeline expansion is bad for Alberta, most outside that province and Saskatchewan believe it's time to accept the decision and move on, a new poll suggests. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has called President Joe Biden's decision to effectively kill the $8 billion US project an insult from the United States to its biggest trading partner and wants Ottawa to slap sanctions against the U.S. However, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Angus Reid Institute, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must balance support for Alberta's economy against national public sentiment that is deeply divided along regional lines. The institute says its latest polling data found that 65 per cent of Canadians say Biden's decision is a "bad thing" for Alberta. At the same time, the majority of respondents in B.C., Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada feel it is time to accept the decision and focus instead on other issues affecting the Canada-U.S. relationship. "Despite majorities in each province recognizing the negative consequences the cancellation has for Alberta, and to a lesser extent, Canada as whole, the will to push back and try to reverse this decision is more milquetoast," said the institute's report. The poll found that three out of five Canadians are inclined to accept the pipeline's cancellation. In Quebec, 74 per cent of respondents are of that view. However, on the Prairies, a strong majority — 72 per cent in Alberta, and 67 per cent in Saskatchewan — would like to see the Biden White House undo the cancellation. People in Manitoba are split on the issue. Institute president Shachi Kurl says people in the rest of Canada feel there are other, more pressing issues. "And it's important to note this is not the issue that Canadians want to put first and foremost in terms of how they frame the next four years of Canada-U.S. relations," she said. The polling data also suggests that the Keystone XL issue is viewed through a different lens depending on where in the country respondents are from. Among Albertans, the poll found that 73 per cent see it more as an issue of jobs and the economy, while 27 per cent believe it should be seen as an issue related to climate change and the environment. In Quebec, 63 per cent view the issue more through the lens of the environment and climate change, versus 37 per cent that see it as a jobs and economy issue, the poll suggests. Political party allegiances also seemed to affect how respondents view the issue. "Given the strong support the federal Conservatives have in Alberta and Saskatchewan, it is unsurprising that four in five past Conservative voters would apply pressure to reauthorize Keystone XL. Roughly the same proportion of Liberal, NDP and Bloc Québécois supporters say the opposite," the report said. The view that the cancellation of Keystone XL will hurt Alberta's economy is highest among past Conservative Party of Canada voters, at 87 per cent, a concentration of whom are from Alberta, the poll suggests. By contrast, among past NDP voters, 52 per cent are of that view. The 1,897-kilometre pipeline, first proposed in 2005, would have carried 830,000 barrels of oilsands crude from Hardisty, Alta., to Nebraska, where it would then connect with the original Keystone that runs to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries. Emergency Keystone XL debate in Commons The House of Commons held an emergency debate Monday night regarding the scuttling of the pipeline project. Seamus O'Regan, Canada's natural resources minister, argued that while the loss of Keystone XL is a disappointment, the new U.S. administration represents an opportunity to work together with a government aligned with Canada's priorities on clean energy. Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole accused the government of not doing enough to advocate for the project that was creating thousands of good-paying jobs. "Canada has been dealt a serious blow…. These are Canadians, thousands of them, being totally forgotten and left behind by this government," he said. The Angus Reid Institute conducted its online survey from Jan. 20 to 24 among a representative randomized sample of 1,559 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. The institute says that for comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error is larger for subsamples by province in the methodology statement.
At 10 a.m. on Monday, Chatham-Kent’s first COVID-19 vaccine shipment was dropped off at public health to the surprise of the chief medical officer of health; hours later, vaccinations were underway at local long-term care facilities. Dr. David Colby, C-K’s chief medical officer of health, knew the shipman was coming sometime during the week, but did not have an exact time or date. Within the next four hours, the first shot was given at Riverview Gardens. By the end of the night, hundreds of doses were gone. “We had a team primed and ready to go so it didn’t stress us out at all. We were eager to get going and had all our ducks in a row,” Colby said. There were 750 long-term care (LTC) residents waiting for a vaccine and almost 400 were given out, according to Jeff Moco, spokesperson for CK Public Health. Moco added that public health was still trying to figure that out if there are any more doses left to give and will provide more details throughout the day. The Ministry of Health asked the local public health units not to divulge how many doses they received in their first shipments. LTC residents received doses of the Moderna vaccine after Pfizer announced there would be delays in shipments as it refits its factory in Belgium. Colby said although there are delays in vaccine shipments, he will not be reserving second doses and plans to use up the vaccines as they come in. The provincial government set a hard deadline of Feb. 5 to get the first vaccine dose in all its LTC residents. Colby said he would not comment on the ministry’s decision to have public health units keep the shipment numbers from the public. He had no comment as to why public health was only aware of the shipment once it arrived. “I’m just grateful to have gotten the vaccine,” he said. “It’s an epic and momentous occasion for Chatham-Kent to begin vaccinating its high-risk residents.” In late fall, C-K Public Health partnered with IPSOS on a local survey, asking 540 residents by phone how they felt about the vaccine. The survey was conducted before Moderna and Pfizer had been approved by Health Canada. The results found that only 33 per cent of the local population will “definitely” take a COVID-19 vaccine, while 21 per cent will “probably” follow suit. Seventeen per cent are likely to not get vaccinated. The remaining 29 per cent are undecided. Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff said he wanted to encourage everyone to get the vaccine when they have the opportunity to do so. “I’m just thrilled that we're getting some and let's get the party going here,” he said. It still remains unclear whether LTC homes will loosen visitor restrictions once all residents and staff have received their two doses of the vaccine, and whether or not staff will still have to get tested daily. Colby said these decisions lie with the province. Moco said CK Public Health is expecting a second supply next week. As of Tuesday morning, there were 28 COVID-19 recoveries reported with 18 new cases bringing the active total down to 93. Three individuals remain hospitalized and the death toll sits at five. Chatham-Kent continues to deal with three institutional outbreaks, four workplace and two congregate living outbreaks. Jenna Cocullo, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chatham Voice
That "smile" is totally contagious. How cute is this dog?!
It was a tough year here on Earth, but 2020 was a bright spot for space exploration. SpaceX sent its futuristic Starship to new heights, three countries launched Mars missions, and robots grabbed debris from the moon and an asteroid. Next year promises more, including a planned launch of the Hubble Space Telescope’s successor. Perhaps it's no surprise then that space themes are having a moment in home decor. When so many of us Earthlings are stuck at home because of the pandemic, space imagery can add a sense of adventure or whimsy to rooms, walls and ceilings. “I’ve done outer space, and starry skies," says New York interior designer Patrice Hoban. "My clients love using stars as a backdrop in nurseries. I’ve also worked with glow-paint to add an extra pop to kids rooms and home theatres.” She sticks tiny glow-in-the-dark stars to the ceiling; the light can last for hours. “It’s the closest thing I’ve found to being in a planetarium,” she says. Rachel Magana, senior visual designer at the sustainable furniture-rental company Fernish, picked up some cosmological decorating ideas from a colleague’s recent nursery project. “Base your colour palette around deep blue tones, then splash in bits of colour like yellow, white or red,” she says. “Or create your own galaxy wall,” she says. “Paint a blue wall, then use some watered-down white paint to splatter it with fine droplets. You may just create some new constellations.” She suggests adding fun, space-agey lamps, and vintage NASA posters. Outer space has inspired designers for decades. In the 1960s, the “space race” between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, along with the development of space age-y, synthetic materials, led to a surge in futuristic furniture like moulded plastic chairs and Sputnik-shaped lighting. These days, you can download artwork directly from NASA: https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/, or find it at retailers like Red Bubble, Etsy and Zazzle. Magana also suggests making a letter board with a space-themed quote like Neil Armstrong’s famous “One small step for man” phrase. Much of the astronomy-themed art in the marketplace would be striking in any room. There are lunar graphics on canvas at Target. Tempaper’s got constellation wallpapers, but if you can’t do wallpaper, consider Kenna Sato Designs’ constellation decals for walls or ceilings. Galaxy Lamps has a sphere that looks like a planetoid. Charge it up with the included USB and cycle through 16 colours with three lighting modes. There’s a moon version, too. And at Beautiful Halo, find a collection of rocket-ship ceiling fixtures. German designer Jan Kath has created a rug collection called Spacecrafted inspired by imagery of gas clouds and asteroid nebulae from the Hubble telescope. Studio Greytak, in Missoula, Montana, has designed a Jupiter lamp out of the mineral aragonite, depicting the whirling, turbulent gases of the planet. And there’s the Impact table, where a chunk of desert rose crystals is embedded with cast glass, as though a piece of asteroid had plunged into a pool. Zodiac wall decals and a Milky Way throw rug can be found at Project Nursery. There are hanging mobiles of the planets and of stars and clouds, at both Crate & Kids and Pottery Barn Kids. A glow-in-the-dark duvet cover printed with the solar system is also at PBK, but if you’re ready to really head to the stars, check out Snurk Living’s duvet set. The studio, owned by Dutch designers Peggy van Neer and Erik van Loo, has designed the set photoprinted with a life-size astronaut suit. Creating a night sky on the ceiling of a home theatre seems to be popular; Houzz has hundreds of examples for inspiration. Maydan Architects in Palo Alto, California, designed one for a recent project. “Our client’s grandfather was the owner of multiple movie theatres,” says Mary Maydan. “One of them had a retractable ceiling that enabled guests to experience the starry sky at night. When our client decided to build their home theatre, this installation was actually fulfilling a lifelong dream." The ceiling isn’t retractable, but has an eight-paneled fixture depicting the Milky Way and a shooting star. “It provides very soft light and was intended to be kept on during the screening of the movie and create a magical experience,” says Maydan. ___ Kim Cook writes AP's Right at Home column, which looks at themes in home decor and home products. Follow her at: www.kimcookhome.com Kim Cook, The Associated Press
Cet hiver, la MRC de La Vallée-du-Richelieu a lancé son atlas, un tout nouvel outil qu’elle décrit comme étant « convivial, promotionnel et pédagogique ». L’atlas regroupe les richesses du patrimoine paysager des 13 municipalités de la MRC, dont Chambly et Carignan. Des textes informatifs, des lignes du temps et des visuels de qualité propres aux sites les plus illustres y sont regroupés et présentés de sorte à favoriser une meilleure compréhension d’enjeux historiques, sociaux et géographiques. Celle-ci permettra d’émettre et de suivre des recommandations quant à la gestion du patrimoine. L’histoire derrière les paysages Dans le volet « temporel » de l’atlas, on suit la chronologie d’événements marquants ayant façonné nos villes à travers les siècles. On y aborde le déploiement de l’industrialisation sur les rives du Richelieu et la construction du canal Chambly, la colonisation aux abords du fort, l’avènement des industries du goudron et des scieries près des rivières et des cours d’eau de Chambly et de Carignan, les hauts et les bas de l’agriculture, les beaux-arts, la philosophie et plus encore. Une démarche en plusieurs étapes La MRC a lancé un appel d’offres à quelques firmes et regroupements spécialisés afin de procéder à des études sur les paysages de la région, qui ont mené à cette réalisation. C’est la firme Milieu qui a été retenue et qui a soulevé l’idée d’un atlas, permettant de présenter le territoire « de manière technique, mais aussi de manière artistique », amène François Senécal, coordonnateur à l’aménagement et mobilité. L’étude a été financée à 80 % par le Fonds d’appui au rayonnement des régions du ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation (MAMH). Bien que des citoyens et sociétés d’histoire aient été sollicités afin de mener à bien ce projet d’envergure, la Société d’histoire de la Seigneurie de Chambly espère toujours contribuer au projet. Le journal s’est entretenu avec René Fournier, son président. La société d’histoire « Je trouve que l’atlas est une excellente idée. J’espère que l’on va pouvoir collaborer, car je suis entouré de plusieurs historiens aguerris qui vont sûrement vouloir s’impliquer, mais dans le moment présent et avec la COVID-19, c’est compliqué. Je suis président depuis peu de temps, et avec les contraintes imposées par la pandémie, il nous est difficile de travailler efficacement. » Le local de la Société d’histoire faisant partie des bâtiments municipaux fermés, ce sont beaucoup d’archives qui ne peuvent être consultées à distance, puisqu’elles ne sont pas numérisées, et plusieurs réunions qui ne se déroulent pas dans les conditions auxquelles les membres sont habitués. Un mot des mairesses « On est bien contents de l’aboutissement, c’est très intéressant », confie la mairesse de Chambly, Alexandra Labbé. « C’est un bel outil qui nous servira pour toute la planification du territoire. Ça va alimenter notre prise de décision, notamment quant au développement de notre centre-ville. » Dans une vidéo promotionnelle diffusée en ligne, annonçant la disponibilité de l’atlas, la préfète de la MRC et mairesse de Beloeil, Diane Lavoie, explique que « pour le conseil des maires, c’était une démarche très importante. Ça fait partie de notre planification stratégique 2020-25, et en tant que préfète (...) je suis très fière de mon territoire (...) On voulait montrer nos beaux paysages. C’est aussi une question de protection de ces paysages. C’est de déterminer aussi notre identité paysagère, qui est très importante pour la MRC de La Vallée-du-Richelieu. » Une richesse à notre portée « À cause de la beauté qui nous entoure au quotidien (...) On ne s’en rend pas compte (...) l’atlas nous permettra de voir les éléments qui sont derrière chez nous. On a tout ça à proximité (...) et on (le) tient pour acquis », ajoute Évelyne D’Avignon, directrice générale et secrétaire-trésorière. Avec cet outil, la MRC espère mieux aiguiller les décisions qui y seront prises en matière d’aménagement du territoire, de développement économique et récréotouristique, puis de valorisation patrimoniale et culturelle. Il est possible de consulter l’atlas en tout temps sur le site de la MRC, à mrcvr.ca/atlas-des-paysages/.Chloé-Anne Touma, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Journal de Chambly