Firefighters and homeowners are battling a wildfire in southwest Reno, Nevada, that is threatening some homes in dangerously high winds. (Nov. 17)
Firefighters and homeowners are battling a wildfire in southwest Reno, Nevada, that is threatening some homes in dangerously high winds. (Nov. 17)
WASHINGTON — It’s not just President-elect Joe Biden’s transition that’s under a microscope.President Donald Trump and his allies are harking back to his own transition four years ago to make a false argument that his own presidency was denied a fair chance for a clean launch. Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany laid out the case from the White House podium last week and the same idea has been floated by Trump's personal lawyer and his former director of national intelligence.The comparisons are part of a broader attempt by Trump and his team to undermine the legitimacy of Biden’s election and his right to an orderly transition by unspooling mistruths about both this election season and Trump’s treatment four years ago.“It’s worth remembering that this president was never given an orderly transition of power. His presidency was never accepted,” McEnany told reporters who questioned the Trump administration’s refusal to co-operate with the Biden transition.But the situations are far different.The day after her defeat in 2016, Democrat Hillary Clinton conceded.“Donald Trump is going to be our president,” she said. “We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”The next day, President Barack Obama, who had portrayed Trump as an existential threat to the nation, invited the president-elect to the White House and visited with him in the Oval Office. Obama's aides offered help to Trump's incoming staffers.“My number one priority in the coming two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our president-elect is successful,” Obama said.During his inaugural address, Trump thanked Obama and his wife, Michelle, “for their gracious aid throughout this transition” and called them “magnificent.”Trump’s team is not wrong that his own transition was chaotic, but the disarray in many ways was of his own doing.Trump fired the head of his transition, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and abandoned months of planning in favour of a Cabinet hiring process that at times resembled a reality show. His team ignored offers of help from the outgoing Obama administration.That's a far cry from the description issued by McEnany as pressure mounts for Trump to concede and for his administration to begin co-operating with Biden's transition team. Among other things, Biden is being denied access to the presidential daily intelligence briefing and to detailed briefings on the vaccine distribution plan as COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. eclipse 255,000.Trump has refused to concede, instead making baseless claims of electoral fraud and trying longshot legal challenges that risk undermining the nation’s democratic traditions.In 2016, despite his claims, Trump did receive standard co-operation during the transition.But Trump's team largely ignored advice from Obama staffers, leaving briefing books unopened and ignoring special iPads loaded with materials. The lack of preparation left aides clueless even about how to work the overhead intercom in the West Wing.A potential transition plan worked on for months by Christie was cast aside. He was dismissed from his post as part of a long-running feud with the president’s son-in-law and future senior White House adviser Jared Kushner.Some of Trump's hires were done on whim, as Cabinet candidates visited him in Trump Tower. The president-elect chose Michael Flynn for national security adviser after a recommendation from Trump’s children and despite Obama’s warnings. Flynn was out after less than a month in office.Christie, in his recent autobiography, wrote that 30 binders were discarded and that members of Trump's team “got rid of guidance that would have made their candidate an immensely more effective president” and “stole from the man they'd just helped elect the launch he so richly deserved.”McEnany and others have claimed that Trump was undermined by an FBI investigation that was opened in the summer of 2016 into possible election interference, a probe that was taken over by special counsel Robert Mueller the following May after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, in a news conference last week, claimed the FBI “made up the Russia collusion plot” that damaged Trump and “cost our country $40 million." Ric Grenell, Trump's former ambassador to Germany and acting director of national intelligence, has said that what Obama offered “was not a peaceful transition” because the FBI was already working to undermine Trump.After nearly two years, Mueller found insufficient evidence to charge anyone in the Trump campaign with conspiring with Russia to sway the election. Throughout his term, Trump has framed the investigation as part of a “witch hunt” meant to destroy his presidency and said it showed the federal bureaucracy was working against him.Obama had no role in directing the FBI’s investigation into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign or in impeding Trump’s transition to president. Though Obama was aware that his intelligence officials were investigating Russian interference, and had concerns about Trump and his background, the investigative decisions were made not by him but by his law enforcement and intelligence agencies.Since his loss to Biden, Trump has repeatedly challenged the fairness of the election with false claims about voting and he has looked for ways to block certification of the vote. The Trump administration has yet to formally acknowledge Biden’s victory, slowing the transition at a time when the nation is facing a confluence of economic and health crises.“The lack of the transition and co-operation is the most reckless and irresponsible thing he has ever done,” David Plouffe, a former senior Obama adviser, said in a recent interview. “We have an election in early November, the new president takes over in the third week of January. It’s no time at all, it’s over in the blink of an eye. The damage is severe.”___Follow Lemire on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@JonLemireJonathan Lemire, The Associated Press
More than 2,000 people have signed an online petition demanding that students at Dawson College not be forced to do in-person exams at the end of term.Most of the school's end-of-term tests will be done online, but a handful of science programs have decided to schedule on-site exams.The student union has come out in opposition to the plan, saying it puts students at risk, especially as COVID-19 cases in Montreal continue to rise."It is in a red zone, we cannot possibly go in school in the centre of this pandemic," said Kevin Contant-Holowatyj, chair of the Dawson Student Union.The union released a statement saying that student health should come first."Finals are already a stressful time for students, and we believe that having to be in a room with other students can augment the stress to many of the student population. While we understand that some students and faculty may be concerned with academic integrity, this cannot outweigh in any way the risk of contracting the virus," reads the statement.The petition, which has a goal of 2,500, had more than 2,100 virtual signatures as of Sunday evening.Dawson students also circulated a petition asking for online exams in the summer term, which only garnered 500 signatures.For its part, Dawson said the decision to hold some exams in-person was made to protect academic integrity, and was done in consultation with public health experts.It said the decision could be revisited if new health concerns come to light.
EDMONTON — A member of Jason Kenney's cabinet is backtracking on a comment that seemed to suggest Alberta was waiting for hospitals to reach their limit before tightening COVID-19 restrictions. The move comes amid mounting calls for the premier to impose tougher public health measures. Jason Luan, the associate minister of mental health and addictions, says he was wrong to suggest that anyone is waiting until the system reaches capacity. In an online town hall on Friday, he said that the province was waiting to see where hospital capacity and intensive care units "will be pushed to our limit, and then gradually reduce more activities that way."In a social media post on Sunday, he said the government is "making evidence-based decisions" based on expert advice from the top doctor "to avoid getting to that point."COVID-19 cases have been rising at an alarming rate for weeks in Alberta, but it still has no mandatory mask directive and bars and restaurants remain open for in-person service.Luan said Sunday that he is not a spokesperson or involved in any decision making around introducing new restrictions or increasing hospital capacity."I truly regret any confusion my statement has caused. My responsibility during this pandemic has been to ensure that mental health and addiction services are available for all Albertans," Luan wrote."I encourage all Albertans to follow the public health restrictions. Wear a mask. Avoid unnecessary contacts. Together, we can get through this."NDP Opposition Health Critic David Shepherd responded that if Luan's remarks on Friday weren't true, Kenney needs to say what the real thresholds for action are.Shepherd also rejected Luan's claim that he is not a spokesperson.“This is an unforgivable attempt to duck responsibility by a cabinet minister,” Shepherd said. “As the associate minister of health, Luan is absolutely a spokesperson and a decision maker and he gave Albertans false information about the government’s response to COVID-19.”Another member of Kenney's United Conservative caucus was also criticized in recent days for a flyer that was mailed to constituents last week claiming the worst of the pandemic was over.Alberta reported 1,584 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, the fourth straight day the province announced a record-breaking number of new cases, and more than 12,000 cases were active.In a statement on her Facebook page on Saturday, Miranda Rosin said the newsletter was sent to print in early fall when Alberta's active cases were still below 2,000.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 22, 2020.The Canadian Press
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Tim Melia stopped all three of San Jose's shootout attempts and Sporting Kansas City converted all of its tries to beat the Earthquakes on Sunday after they finished overtime tied at 3 in the Western Conference semifinals.Top-seeded Sporting advanced to face play No. 4 Minnesota or No. 5 Colorado.Gianluca Busio scored in the first minute of stoppage time to give Sporting Kansas City a 3-2 lead, but Chris Wondolowski scored about six minutes later, heading home a high cross to the far post by Cristian Espinoza to force extra time. It was just the second career playoff goal for Wondolowski, who has an MLS-record 166 goals in the regular season.In the shootout, Johnny Russell opened the tiebreaker with a goal, Melia stopped Oswaldo Alanís, and Ilie Sánchez connected for Sporting. Jackson Yueill was stopped, Khiry Shelton scored, and Melia stopped Espinoza to end it.Melia is 6-0 in shootouts. The 34-year old goalkeeper went into the match allowing goals on just 54% (14 of 26) of the penalty kicks he’s faced, the lowest percentage in MLS history.Kansas City's Roger Espinoza opened the scoring in the fourth minute. Carlos Fierro answered in the 22nd, and Shea Salinas scored in the 34th minute to give the Earthquakes a 2-1 lead.Sánchez put away a corner kick by Busio in the 47th minute. It was the 10th goal off a corner kick by Sporting Kansas City this season, most in MLS.The Associated Press
A Grade 10 student was seriously injured during an assault on school grounds this week, according to Edmonton police. The boy was on J. Percy Page High School grounds near the rear of the school when he was attacked at about 12:15 p.m. on Nov. 18, police said in a statement. A video posted to Twitter on Nov. 18 purports to show the assault. In it, a teen is seen crouched on the ground as three men stand around him. One of the men repeatedly and aggressively punches and kicks the youth who appears to be trying to shield his head. The user who posted the video did not respond to a request for an interview. Police say they received a report that the attackers were three young male adults who had been taunting students from a red Ford truck. Officers arrived at the school to investigate, and spoke to several witnesses. In a statement, Edmonton Public School Board spokesperson Anna Batchelor said the school contacted police upon becoming aware of the assault, and that it is continuing to work with police during the ongoing investigation. "We know this incident is upsetting and concerning for families. All students and staff have a right to feel safe when they are travelling to and from school. We are taking the incident very seriously and the school is working to support their community," Batchelor said. She added that, in the meantime, the school has increased outdoor supervision during break times.
LANSING, Mich. — President Donald Trump did not ask Michigan Republican lawmakers to “break the law” or “interfere” with the election during a meeting at the White House, a legislative leader said Sunday, a day before canvassers plan to meet about whether to certify Joe Biden's 154,000-vote victory in the battleground state.House Speaker Lee Chatfield was among seven GOP legislators who met with Trump for about an hour on Friday, amid his longshot efforts to block Biden's win.“There was this outrage that the president was going to ask us to break the law, he was going to ask us to interfere, and that just simply didn't happen,” he told Fox News of the highly unusual meeting. He did not elaborate on what was discussed, except to say the delegation asked for additional federal aid to help Michigan's coronavirus response.Michigan’s elections agency has recommended that the Nov. 3 results — including Biden's 2.8-percentage point victory — be certified by the Board of State Canvassers, which has two Democrats and two Republicans. The Republican National Committee and the state Republican Party want the board to adjourn for 14 days to investigate alleged irregularities in Wayne County, the state's largest and home to Detroit.Staff for the state elections bureau said that claimed irregularities, even if verified, would not significantly affect the outcome. The Michigan Democratic Party said the total number of Detroit votes implicated by imbalanced precincts — where the number of ballots does not equal the number of names on the pollbook — is at most 450, or “0.029% of the margin” separating Biden from Trump.“The certification process must not be manipulated to serve as some sort of retroactive referendum on the expressed will of the voters. That is simply not how democracy works,” chairwoman Lavora Barnes wrote to the board on Sunday.If the board does not confirm the results and the Michigan Supreme Court does not subsequently order it to do so, Chatfield said “now we have a constitutional crisis." He and other Republicans, however, have indicated that they would not undermine the voters' will.“Michigan election law clearly requires that the state’s electors must be those nominated by the party that received the most votes — not the Legislature,” says a stock email House Republicans are sending in response to people who contact their offices.Experts on Michigan election law have said the state board's authority is limited in scope and that it must certify the results now that all 83 counties have reported theirs to the state. There is concern, though, because Trump personally called the two Republicans on Wayne County's board last week and they said a day later that they were rescinding their previous vote — following an earlier deadlock — but it was too late.Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, a Republican who met with Trump, suggested in a Sunday tweet that the state canvassers might “take the full time allowed by law to perform their duties" instead of voting Monday and said “it's inappropriate for anyone to exert pressure on them."The deadline is Dec. 13, but that is five days after the federal “safe harbour” date — when Congress cannot challenge any electors named by that date in accordance with state law.There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. In fact, election officials from both political parties have stated publicly that the election went well and international observers confirmed that there were no serious irregularities.The issues Trump’s campaign and its allies have pointed to are typical in every election.Republican U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, Michigan's current longest-serving member of Congress, told CNN on Sunday that “the voters spoke" and the state had no razor-thin presidential race.“No one has come up with any evidence of fraud or abuse,” he said. He called the request to delay the certification “out of bounds.”The trip to the White House has come under heavy scrutiny. The lawmakers stayed at the luxury Trump International Hotel, and two of them were photographed with expensive drinks at the hotel bar after the meeting.Spokespeople for Shirkey and Chatfield said the legislators covered their expenses and that no taxpayer money was used. However, they did not say if the men paid for the trip themselves or if it was paid for in some other way such as by them tapping into their non-profit “administrative” accounts that can accept contributions from corporate or other donors.Finding out about who runs such lawmaker-connected organizations, who donates to them and what the money is spent on can be extremely difficult, according to a 2016 joint investigation by MLive and the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. Such accounts can be used to reimburse legislators for travel.___Follow David Eggert: https://twitter.com/DavidEggert00David Eggert, The Associated Press
VANCOUVER — A hearing continues today in the extradition case of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested at the Vancouver airport in 2018 at the request of American officials. B.C. Supreme Court heard last week the border officer who led Meng's immigration exam before her arrest doesn't believe RCMP asked him to collect the passcodes to her phones. Sowmith Katragadda told an evidence-gathering hearing he couldn't recall where the idea came from. The court has heard the passcodes were collected as part of the border exam process and shared with the Mounties by mistake, along with Meng's electronic devices. Meng is wanted in the United States on fraud charges based on allegations related to American sanctions against Iran that both she and Chinese tech giant Huawei deny. Her lawyers are collecting information they hope will support their allegation that Canadian officers improperly gathered evidence under the guise of a routine border exam. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 23, 2020. The Canadian Press
JANESVILLE, Wis. — U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, according to a statement from the Republican lawmaker, who represents Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district.The congressman said he began experiencing mild symptoms over the weekend and contacted his health care provider while at home in Janesville, Wisconsin.Steil said he spent all of last week working in Washington, D.C.“Following CDC guidelines, I am immediately quarantining and will continue serving the people of Southeast Wisconsin from my home in Janesville,” he said.Steil was first elected in 2018 and held on to his seat in November for Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district, which includes Kenosha and Racine counties and portions of Milwaukee, Rock, Walworth and Waukesha counties.The Associated Press
Alberta's associate minister of mental health and addictions said he misrepresented government policy in a town hall when he said the province was waiting for hospital capacity to be pushed to the limit before announcing further restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19."Our criteria is measured against our hospital capacity to handle ICUs and hospitalizations. So we're waiting to see where that threshold will be pushed to our limit and then gradually reduce more activities that way," Jason Luan said during the virtual town hall for his Calgary-Foothills constituency, in a video posted to social media. However, Luan said in a statement posted to Twitter on Sunday that his comments were inaccurate."Yes, hospital capacity is a critical consideration in any COVID-19 response … but I was incorrect in suggesting anyone is waiting until we are pushed to the limit," he wrote.Luan said the government is making evidence-based decisions, based on recommendations of public health officials, to avoid getting to that point. He said he regrets any confusion his statement caused and said he is not involved in making decisions around new restrictions or hospital capacity.Luan's comments come as Alberta hits new record high COVID-19 case numbers, with some of the fewest restrictions but highest infection rates in the country. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, had said Friday that the impact of the province's most recently introduced restrictions — put into place last Friday — would start to be seen this weekend. Instead, cases have continued to rise dramatically.On Sunday, the province saw 1,584 more people test positive, for a total of 12,195 active cases (both new records).That's more new cases than were reported in Ontario on Sunday, which has more than three times Alberta's population. Toronto and Peel region will introduce further restrictions Monday, including limiting retail to curbside pickup or delivering, closing indoor and outdoor dining, and prohibiting indoor gatherings. Alberta saw record hospitalizations as well with 319 people in hospital, 60 in intensive care (the province has 70 ICU beds for COVID-19 patients). A total of 471 Albertans have died.Opposition to seek emergency debateThe spiking cases and lack of new restrictions prompted a trending Twitter hashtag — WhereIsKenney — drawing attention to the fact Premier Jason Kenney, who is self isolating, hasn't made a public appearance by phone or video call in days. CBC News reached out to both the premier's office and health minister's office for comment Sunday, and did not receive a response. Alberta Health said Dr. Hinshaw would next be available to answer questions from media on Monday afternoon.Kenney had posted on social media Saturday asking Albertans to do their part and stay home if sick, wash their hands and wear a mask."As Dr. Hinshaw says, COVID-19 is deadly serious. Albertans, we can slow the spread and protect one another, but only if all of us together do the right things," he wrote. The Opposition said in an emailed release Sunday that it would be seeking an emergency debate Monday to call for action to slow the coronavirus' spread. "This is the greatest public health threat we have faced in our lives," said Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley in the release. "We have seen premiers across the country address the public in recent days and provide modelling and other information that makes it clear just how big of a threat COVID-19 is. In Alberta, we've seen nothing of the sort."Opposition Health Critic David Shepherd said that if Luan's remarks on Friday weren't true, Kenney needs to say what the real thresholds for action are.Shepherd also rejected Luan's claim that he is not a spokesperson."This is an unforgivable attempt to duck responsibility by a cabinet minister," Shepherd said. "As the associate minister of health, Luan is absolutely a spokesperson and a decision maker and he gave Albertans false information about the government's response to COVID-19."
The Dukling, a traditional Chinese junk boat frequently spotted around Hong Kong's picturesque Victoria Harbour, has readjusted its tour routes to survive the coronavirus pandemic, now mainly catering to locals. Its 12 staff serve mainly foreign tourists looking to see Hong Kong's glitzy skyline from a different angle. "This disease has had a massive impact on the entire planet and Hong Kong is really dependent on trade and tourism,” said Li, seated in the wooden boat.
A small Indigenous-run production company has teamed up with Disney, to shed light on Indigenous youth through a mini-documentary series. CEO Jacob Pratt, who is from a Saskatchewan First Nation, hopes to put a bigger spotlight on Indigenous representation in the entertainment industry. Brady Ratzlaff has the story.
PHILADELPHIA — As they frantically searched for ways to salvage President Donald Trump's failed reelection bid, his campaign pursued a dizzying game of legal hopscotch across six states that centred on the biggest prize of all: Pennsylvania.The strategy may have played well in front of television cameras and on talk radio to Trump's supporters. But it has proved a disaster in court, where judges uniformly rejected their claims of vote fraud and found the campaign's legal work amateurish.In a scathing ruling late Saturday, U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann — a Republican and Federalist Society member in central Pennsylvania — compared the campaign's legal arguments to “Frankenstein's Monster,” concluding that Trump's team offered only “speculative accusations," not proof of rampant corruption.The campaign on Sunday filed notice it would appeal the decision to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a day before the state's 67 counties are set to certify their results and send them to state officials. And they asked Sunday night for an expedited hearing Wednesday as they seek to amend the Pennsylvania lawsuit that Brann dismissed.Trump's efforts in Pennsylvania show how far he is willing to push baseless theories of widespread voter fraud, even as the legal doors close on his attempts to have courts do what voters would not do on Election Day and deliver him a second term.The effort is being led by Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer, who descended on the state the Saturday after the Nov. 3 election as the count dragged on and the president played golf. Summoning reporters to a scruffy, far-flung corner of Philadelphia on Nov. 7, he held forth at a site that would soon become legendary: Four Seasons Total Landscaping.The 11:30 a.m. news conference was doomed from the start.Only minutes earlier, news outlets had started calling the presidential contest for Democrat Joe Biden. The race was over.Just heating up was Trump’s plan to subvert the election through litigation and howls of fraud — the same tactic he had used to stave off losses in the business world. And it would soon spread far beyond Pennsylvania.“Some of the ballots looked suspicious,” Giuliani, 76, said of the vote count in Philadelphia as he stood behind a chain link fence, next to a sex shop. He maligned the city as being run by a “decrepit Democratic machine.”“Those mail-in ballots could have been written the day before, by the Democratic Party hacks that were all over the convention centre,” Giuliani said. He promised to file a new round of lawsuits. He rambled.“This is a very, very strong case,” he asserted.Justin Levitt, a Loyola Law School professor who specializes in election law, called the Trump lawsuits dangerous.“It is a sideshow, but it’s a harmful sideshow," Levitt said. “It’s a toxic sideshow. The continuing baseless, evidence-free claims of alternative facts are actually having an effect on a substantial number of Americans. They are creating the conditions for elections not to work in the future.”___Not a single court has found merit in the core legal claims, but that did not stop Trump's team from firing off nearly two dozen legal challenges to Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania, including an early morning suit on Election Day filed by a once-imprisoned lawyer.The president's lawyers fought the three-day grace period for mail-in ballots to arrive. They complained they weren't being let in to observe the vote count. They said Democratic counties unfairly let voters fix mistakes on their ballot envelopes. Everywhere they turned, they said, they sniffed fraud.“I felt insidious fraud going on,” Philadelphia poll watcher Lisette Tarragano said when Giuliani called her to the microphone at the landscaping company.In fact, a Republican runs the city's election board, and has said his office got death threats as Trump’s rants about the election intensified. No judges ever found any evidence of election fraud in Pennsylvania or any other state where the campaign sued — not in Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada or Georgia.Instead, Trump lawyers found themselves backpedaling when pressed in court for admissible evidence, or dropping out when they were accused of helping derail the democratic process.“I am asking you as a member of the bar of this court, are people representing the Donald J. Trump for president (campaign) … in that room?” U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond asked at an after-hours hearing on Nov. 5, when Republicans asked him to stop the vote count in Philadelphia over their alleged banishment.“There’s a nonzero number of people in the room,” lawyer Jerome Marcus replied.The count continued in Philadelphia. The Trump losses kept coming. By Friday, Nov. 6, when a state appeals court rejected a Republican complaint over provisional ballots and a Philadelphia judge refused to throw out 8,300 mail-in ballots they challenged, Biden was up by about 27,000 votes.Nationally, the race had not yet been called. But it was becoming clear that a Biden win in Pennsylvania, with its 20 electoral votes, was imminent.When it came, Trump quickly pivoted to litigation. It did not go well.A U.S. appeals court found Pennsylvania's three-day extension for mail-in ballots laudatory, given the disruption and mail delays cause by the pandemic. Judges in Michigan and Arizona, finding no evidence of fraud, refused to block the certification of county vote tallies. Law firms representing the campaign started to come under fire and withdrew.That left Giuliani, who had not argued a case in court for three decades, in charge of the effort to overturn the election.“You can say a lot at a driveway (news conference). ... When you go to court, you can't,” said lawyer Mark Aronchick, who represented election officials in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and elsewhere in several of the Pennsylvania suits. “I don’t really pay attention to the chatter until I see a legal brief.”___On Tuesday, Giuliani stepped into the courtroom. He was a late addition to the docket after election lawyers from Porter Wright Morris & Arthur had bowed out over the previous weekend. He had an entourage in tow, a show of force that had everything but a compelling legal argument.Giuliani asked Brann to hold up the certification of the state’s 6.8 million ballots over two Republican voters whose mail-in ballots were tossed over technical errors.“I sat dumbfounded listening,” said Aronchick, a seasoned trial lawyer.“We were ready to argue the one count. Instead, he treated us to an even more expanded version of his Total Landscaping press conference,” Aronchick said. “It didn’t bear any relationship to the actual case.”Giuliani, admired by some for his tough talk as Manhattan’s top prosecutor and his leadership as New York City’s mayor during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, struggled to answer even basic legal questions.But he waxed on about a supposed conspiracy to rig the state election.“The best description of this situation is widespread, nationwide voter fraud,” Giuliani argued. Under questioning, though, he acknowledged their complaint no longer included a fraud claim.And then, just as it had at Four Seasons, reality came crashing down on him, when news broke in the courtroom that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court had rejected the campaign's appeal over observer access in Philadelphia. It was one of the campaign's last remaining claims.Even the dissent was crushing.“The notion that presumptively valid ballots cast by the Pennsylvania electorate would be disregarded based on isolated procedural irregularities that have been redressed ... is misguided,” Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor wrote for the minority in the 5-2 decision.Brann, who sits in Williamsport, let the federal court hearing drag on past the dinner hour, and gave both sides time to file additional motions. The campaign filings were replete with typos, spelling mistakes and even an errant reference to a “Second Amendment Complaint” instead of a second amended complaint.The campaign took the opportunity to answer one of the more puzzling questions that its election challenge raised: It only wanted the presidential election results set aside, not votes on the same ballots for other offices. The briefs were filed by Giuliani and co-counsel Marc Scaringi, a local conservative talk radio host who, before he was hired, had questioned the point of the Trump litigation, saying “it will not reverse this election.”Aronchick balked at the campaign's core premise that local election workers — perhaps working for the Mafia, as Giuliani suggested — had plotted to spoil Trump's win.“You’re going to suggest part of them are in a conspiracy? How does that work?” Aronchick asked. “Who? Where? When? How?”Brann, in his ruling, said he expected the campaign to present formidable evidence of rampant corruption as it sought to nullify millions of votes. Instead, he said, the campaign presented “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations.”The 3rd Circuit, based in Philadelphia, may have already tipped its hand. In its Nov. 13 ruling, the appeals court called it "indisputable in our democratic process: that the lawfully cast vote of every citizen must count.”Biden's lead in the state has expanded to more than 80,000 votes.“Our system depends on the possibility that you might lose a fair contest. If that possibility doesn't exist, you don't have a democracy,” said Levitt, the law school professor. “There are countries that run like that. It just doesn't describe America.”___Follow Maryclaire Dale on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MaryclairedaleMaryclaire Dale, The Associated Press
As COVID-19 cases in New Brunswick rise, the province is only alerting residents to possible exposures in businesses if they can't trace all contacts.Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell said she's been fielding "many questions" about how public health alerts people about possible exposure to the coronavirus. She said in some cases, where an employee or a patron tests positive, the province would complete contact tracing without alerting the public at large."If we are confident that we haven't missed people, then we won't be issuing a public exposure notice," she said at a briefing Friday.But in cases where people were exposed in a wider area like an airplane or a large shopping mall, she said the province will post a potential exposure notice on its website, and ask people who have been at that establishment during a specific time frame to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms."We target our notification based on the likely opportunity of exposure," Russell said.Tighter restrictionsSaint John is seeing a surge in new cases of COVID-19, including 5 new cases on Sunday and 16 on Saturday. The city and Moncton have rolled back to the orange phase of recovery with tighter restrictions.Saint John has transitioned to the orange phase, meaning people must keep close contacts to their own household, but businesses can stay open. The province identified five businesses in the city where the public may have been exposed to the coronavirus.But there are at least eight more businesses that have posted about cases or possible exposures in their establishments, and closed on their own accord without a directive from officials: * Water Street Dinner Theatre. * Let's Hummus. * Callie's Pub. * Dooly's Parkway Mall. * Woodchuck's Axe Throwing. * The Boys and Girls Club of Saint John. * Vito's. * Fish and Brews Pub.Russell said while organizations and businesses will sometimes post about potential exposures, "the alerts that you need to be aware of are the ones that public health issues."Wayne Macfarlane, the owner of Cora's Breakfast and Lunch in Brunswick Square, said while the restaurant didn't post about exposure online, it was important for him to close the restaurant even though public health did not require it."It would be better to be safe," he said.He said a server at his restaurant tested positive and worked there Monday and Tuesday of last week. He said that employee was in contact with others who have been contacted by public health, but he felt it would be safer to close and wait for all his employees' tests — and his own — to come back before reopening."You've got a lot of people that get stressed out about it," he said. "We're trying to do out best to make sure things don't get out of hand."He said he provided public health with a list of restaurant visitors around the relevant time frame.Other businesses closing without potential exposuresSome Saint John businesses have closed, even though they were not the site of a potential exposure, nor were they ordered to close by the province.The Imperial Theatre has postponed all its shows for the next two weeks. Executive director Angela Campbell said the theatre wanted to close to be safe after hosting a telethon on Saturday."We just decided that it was easier at this point to reschedule the performance rather than try to reseat people or do multiple performances over so many days, especially in a time when everyone is being encouraged to reduce their contacts," she said.Campbell said the telethon was not open to the public and the theatre had 20 people coming through every hour.
Dale Woodard Lethbridge Herald The Southern Alberta Art Gallery Art Frenzy is going online. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 28th version of SAAG’s gala will be launched as a virtual event with bidding taking place nationwide. With 44 local and international artists featured this year, the online version launches tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. at www.artfrenzyauction.com. “Typically, the Frenzy would be a large in-person party,” said Kristy Trinier, executive director of the SAAG. “But we’re not doing that this year for safety reasons.” On Friday, there were opportunities to view the artwork gallery, but bidding on the artists’ works began Nov. 13. The Art Frenzy will kick into overdrive tonight when the final two hours go online. “Many of the artworks already have live bids and there is some competition happening already,” said Trinier. “It’s starting to amp up as it gets closer to the event. The virtual auction is probably similar to a Zoom that most people have experienced already. We really encourage people to celebrate arts and culture in the way they would like to, whether that’s dressing up the way they used to for art galas or their fanciest sweatpants. Whatever is the comfiest. Enjoy some champagne and watch online. “There will be DJ music and a program where bidding is live with programmed digital elements. People can tune in, bid live and join the competition and vie for the works.” In addition to the 44 artists, 16 gift packages will also be up for bidding tonight. Once people sign up online they will be sent the virtual gala link with all the instructions. With their ticket purchase, bidders will receive an Art Frenzy Auction Box filled with items such as a limited edition print to make the night feel like an at-home frenzy. The pandemic hitting in mid-March was cause for concern, said Trinier. However, the local support never wavered. “It has had an impact on the gallery and as a non-profit we’re just blown away by the support from the community,” said Trinier. “The artists, the businesses and all of our sponsors and partners have really come forward with a huge amount of generosity this year and we’re very grateful. “The gallery is over 40 years old and the art auction is a part of its history. Contemporary art, to us, means art made by artists of our time. The art auction is fantastic because it’s a way people can have art made by living artists in their homes and businesses. “This is a really incredible display of some of the talent in our region and artists who have had exhibitions at the SAAG. It’s our signature fundraiser. All the proceeds from the auctions supports the exhibitions, the public engagement programs, the artist talks and the youth classes. It’s an important part of our community support for the gallery.” Follow @DWoodardHerald on TwitterDale Woodard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Lethbridge Herald
In Parksville, B.C., over half of the Western red cedars in the existing canopy are dying. Now the city's parks department is looking for more resources to manage what's left. Over the last few decades, the Western red cedar, British Columbia's provincial tree, has struggled with drier climate conditions brought on by climate change, says Guy Martin, the parks and facilities manager for the city of Parksville."The lack of water sort of weakens the shallow rooted trees [after] a few summers of drought and slowly, the finer roots are lost and the tree loses its ability to uptick moisture and then they start, what I call, a spiral of decline, and they die from the top down," said Martin on CBC's All Points West. Martin says the Western red cedar, which is often found alongside coastal Douglas fir, is everywhere in the city within green spaces, parks, near streams and rivers, and in people's yards. He says about 50 per cent of those trees are compromised. "It becomes a safety issue, obviously," he said, referring to falling cedar trees. He says members of his department are often called to visually inspect the damaged trees and collect the debris that they leave behind. "It's a fairly big issue and what we've seen is that our budgets have been exponentially increasing as we get calls from the public ... and it's [taking away] from the core work we should be doing in our municipal parks department when it comes to urban forestry," he said. Martin's team has proposed a $150,000 grant over three years to specifically deal with the dying trees and replant other species to maintain the city's tree canopy. "It's more efficient and more effective and it's fiscally responsible on behalf of us to go in there and put our hands on it once rather than two or three times."Ultimately, Martin says his municipal team can only focus on the management of the situation as saving the cedars requires major climate interventions. "We've all heard [about] reducing our footprint and doing what we can to reduce our global warming effects," he said. "With any luck perhaps, something will be able to change that and we have a recourse back to what we should be seeing for our weather patterns."Listen to the interview on CBC's All Points West:
When Lake Babine Nation member Wyonna Batoche was being bounced around B.C.'s foster care system, she had no place to turn to find a warm welcome that reflected her culture.Now the 26-year-old works at a new youth services in downtown Prince George that provides 24/7 support to at-risk Indigenous and non-Indigenous people from ages eight to 29 — something that she could only dream of as a girl."I had lumps in my throat. I had a hard time trying not to cry," Batoche told CBC reporter Betsy Trumpener about the grand opening of Sk'ai Zeh Yah Youth Centre on Friday, Canada's National Child Day.Meaning "children of chiefs" in the Carrier language, Sk'ai Zeh Yah is operated by Carrier Sekani Family Services — affiliated with the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council — since early November. It offers after-school programs, Elder mentorship, employment counselling and activities that help Indigenous youth to reconnect with their cultural roots. After being removed from her parents at the age of nine, Batoche moved between different foster homes and group homes making it difficult to find a sense of belonging.Batoche says young people who may not have a safe place to stay can now find refuge in Sk'ai Zeh Yah."When they're eight years old, their dream is not to be on the streets," Batoche said. "We want to show them that you are valued, there are people who care about you, and we want to walk on your journey with you."The youth centre provides hot meals, warm showers and fresh clothing.Flint Keil, Sk'ai Zeh Yah's high-risk youth services manager, remembers a young man who came to the centre last week trembling from the cold, without a jacket and wearing wet socks."He sat there for a while, and we basically outfitted him with brand new socks. One of our staff members went to our clothing closet, grabbed a bunch of hoodies for him," Keil said.The man teared up after receiving the clothes. "The hoodie that was brought out just by coincidence had a logo on it, and the logo was the killer whale, which is…his grandfather's clan."Sk'ai Zeh Yah Youth Centre is funded mostly by Indigenous Services Canada. It currently doesn't have any rooms for young people to stay long-term, but is considering building housing units in the future. Tap the link below to listen to CBC reporter Betsy Trumpener's conversation with Wyonna Batoche and Flint Keil:Subscribe to Daybreak North on CBC Listen or your favourite podcast app, and connect with CBC Northern British Columbia on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan is resigning. Khan, who has led the party since 2017, will be accepting a new employment opportunity in law, the party said in a release emailed Sunday evening. Khan said it has been an honour to serve the party. "During my time as Alberta Liberal Leader, we were powerful advocates on significant issues including regulating Political Action Committees, remediating orphan wells, eliminating school segregation rooms, and addressing the 'red alerts' crisis with EMS," he said. "We pushed the provincial government to take action on these matters of concern to Albertans. We also raised awareness and grew support for Universal Basic Income, and the necessity of a sales tax. I was proud to advance these forward-thinking ideas to improve the lives of Albertans." Khan was born and raised in Calgary. He is the first openly gay leader of a major Alberta political party, and is a lawyer specializing in Indigenous rights and land-claims litigation In the 2019 election, Khan finished fourth in his riding of Calgary-Mountain View, with 5.6 per cent of the vote. The Liberals were once the province's official Opposition, but after a high of 32 seats in 1993, the party suffered from ups and downs until it fell to third-party status in the legislature in 2012 and elected only one member in 2015. The party thanked Khan, noting in the release he "developed bold new policies, modernized party operations and recruited a new generation of young Albertans to the Alberta Liberal Party." The party said its board of directors will meet soon to decide on next steps.
Dozens of activists constructed green "foam domes" for unhoused people at a demonstration outside Mayor John Tory's condo on Sunday to make the point that there is a housing crisis in Toronto.The event, part of National Housing Day, was held to draw attention to the plight of people living in encampments. Snow fell as the activists put together the insulated foam structures that will be distributed to people experiencing homelessness across the city.Organizers said volunteers built 14 insulated foam structures on Sunday. The event, on Bedford Road near Bloor Street West, also drew a handful of uniformed police officers from 53 Division.Lesley Wood, a member of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, told the activists that there is a city-wide movement to support unhoused people in Toronto, but that the city must do more now to prevent deaths this winter."It's cold here today and it's only starting to get colder. It's National Housing Day and it's the beginning of a second lockdown with this pandemic," Wood said in front of the condo at 1 Bedford Rd."People are going to die and there's no need for it. This is a rich city, these are rich buildings, this is a rich mayor. And people have a right to housing and they also have a right to survive."Wood said Toronto residents need to take care of each other as the pandemic continues."We need to make sure that people are survive together in the way that makes sense for them in this city," she said. "This city needs to step up."Wood urged the city to meet the demands of the Encampment Support Network, made up of groups of volunteers delivering essential supplies to people in encampments. The network wants the city to make an investment in "permanent, safe, dignified and affordable" housing, implement a moratorium on evictions, stop the criminalization of encampments, issue a moratorium on the clearing of encampments, and ensure all shelters and supportive housing are user-friendly and have overdose prevention and harm reduction services."People trying to survive is not a crime. People helping people to survive is not a crime. Nobody should be ticketed or harassed by police or security for living in a park," she said.After she spoke, Wood told CBC Toronto that the event was held outside the mayor's condo because activists believe he is not listening.Street pastor Doug Johnson Hatlem poked fun at the mayor, reading a passage from A Christmas Carol, a novella by Charles Dickens, to suggest that "Mayor Ebenezer John Scrooge McTory" needs to have a change of heart and make fighting poverty a priority."This mayor, who lives in this plush condo, has failed to use his emergency powers to stop evictions," Hatlem said.Don Peat, spokesperson for Tory, said in a statement on Sunday that the mayor and city have been "working non-stop" during the pandemic to help homeless people and provide safe housing options."Since the COVID-19 emergency began, the City and community organizations have helped more than 1,100 people move from encampments to safe indoor spaces. That work on safe housing is continuing and will continue because we are committed to helping people move from homelessness into safe, indoor housing," Peat said."This is on top of the more than 6,000 people the City works to shelter every night in a system that has been dramatically expanded in the last few years and further expanded across Toronto to respect physical distancing and other public health requirements to keep people safe," he added.Estimated 1,000 people living outside in TorontoAccording to the city, the foam domes are made of "rigid" polystyrene, a material considered highly flammable. The city said using the foam domes close to any flame or heat source is dangerous."Our Toronto Fire officials have been absolutely clear that these temporary structures featured at the protest today are not safe. Longstanding laws focused on public safety also preclude these kinds of temporary structures being located in public parks," Peat continued."The Mayor and City Council have been clear that all governments need to work together to provide more safe housing options, especially supportive housing, to tackle homelessness."According to the activists, the foam-based sleeping structures are outfitted with LED lights, air vents and a smoke and carbon monoxide detector. The activists said the foam domes are made with a fire retardant and are safer than highly flammable and freezing cold tents. Homeless advocates estimate that there are roughly 1,000 people living outside in Toronto, while the city estimates the number is closer to between 400 and 500 people.
Leslie Labobe said he had a "bit of a cough" a couple weeks ago, so he was relieved Saturday when he called the Lennox Island Health Centre and received his COVID-19 test result — negative.The centre held a one-day testing clinic on Friday. On it's Facebook page, it said there are no known cases of COVID-19 on Lennox Island, but encouraged residents to get tested out of precaution."It's a reassurance," Labobe said. He said he went "just for security reasons" because of the "devastation that's happening across the country" and around the world.77 active cases in N.B.New Brunswick reported 23 new cases on Saturday and six more on Sunday, bringing its active total to 77. Nova Scotia reported eight Saturday and now has 33 active cases.P.E.I. has one known active case.CBC P.E.I. reached out to the Lennox Island Health Centre to find out how many people were tested on Friday and whether there were any positive results, but have not yet heard back.Labobe said there was a lineup when he got tested.He said people in the community have been diligent about wearing masks and following other health measures requested by P.E.I.'s Chief Public Health Office.Concerned about mental healthHe said he is concerned, however, about the effect the pandemic has on mental health, especially with Christmas approaching and people not able to socialize as they normally would."I have a lot of friends that are going through a lot of mental health issues with anxiety and depression," he said. "And …we're social people and being isolated, especially if you live alone, you don't get that interaction with friends or family or the public."More from CBC P.E.I.
Four Canadian runners set personal-best times in an official 10,000-metre race on a cool Saturday night in Burnaby, B.C., led by Luc Bruchet, who was 49 ½ seconds shy of the Tokyo Olympic qualifying standard.The Vancouver resident's time of 28 minutes 17.33 seconds at Swangard Stadium is the fastest 10,000 on Canadian soil since Jeff Schiebler ran 28:07.06 at the 2001 world championships at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium."It's still a long way to the standard but I know I can give the 28-minute barrier a good crack in a bigger race," said Bruchet, who was 37th in the 5,000 in his 2016 Olympic debut at Rio. "It's still possible to get [on the Canadian team] on the ranking system. I'll be trying to run as fast as I can over the 5,000 and 10,000."Bruchet, 29, ranked 62nd and 123rd in the world across those distances before Saturday's event, the second in the Saturday Night Lights Endurance Series organized by B.C. Athletics.His 2019 season best of 13:30.36 in the 5,000 is a little more than 16 seconds above the 13:13.50 Olympic standard.'Nostalgic place to race'Finishing behind Bruchet on Saturday was Vancouver's Kieran Lumb (28:17.55), John Gay of Kelowna, B.C. (28:18.10) and 2016 Olympian Charles Philibert-Thiboutot, who led early on and clocked 28:45.42, three seconds off Alain Bordeleau's Quebec record."There were a couple of coaches but not another soul in the stands," said Bruchet, a three-time Canadian cross-country champion. "It felt pretty weird being in a large venue like Swangard [with a capacity of 5,000 to 7,500]. It was cool we had 20 to 25 fans along the back straight."For me it's a nostalgic place to race as the B.C. high school championships used to always occur there. With all the craziness in the world lately it felt awesome to run a real race."Lumb, Gay and Bruchet are confirmed for a third SNL race in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic on Dec. 5 at Swangard, complete with a timing crew and officials.Justin Kent, who qualified to represent Canada at the half marathon world championship in Poland before Athletics Canada withdrew its team days before the October race, did not compete Saturday. He is focused on preparing for his marathon debut in Arizona next month.Former University of British Columbia runner Theo Hunt ran 3 km as a time trial while Burnaby's Cam Proceviat paced the foursome through 3,000 metres.