Serene scenic snowmobile ride through the snowy forest in French River, Ontario.
Serene scenic snowmobile ride through the snowy forest in French River, Ontario.
(NBC/The Associated Press, NBC/Reuters - image credit) Schitt's Creek won the Golden Globe for best television comedy on Sunday, shortly after star Catherine O'Hara captured the award for best actress for her portrayal of Moira Rose. Dan Levy — who co-created the show with his father, Eugene Levy — accepted the award remotely and paid homage to the Canadian cast and crew. "The incredible work you all did over these past six seasons have taken us to places we never thought possible, and we are so grateful to all of you for it," he said. "Thank you to the CBC and Pop TV for making the active choice to keep this show on the air and give it the time and space it needed to grow." The show topped fellow nominees Ted Lasso, The Great, The Flight Attendant and Emily in Paris. "This acknowledgement is a lovely vote of confidence in the messages Schitt's Creek has come to stand for: the idea that inclusion can bring about growth and love to a community," Dan Levy said. "In the spirit of inclusion, I hope that this time next year, the ceremony reflects the true breadth and diversity of the film and television being made today because there is so much more to be celebrated." Earlier, O'Hara thanked Eugene and Dan Levy for creating "an inspiring, funny, beautiful family love story in which they let me wear 100 wigs and speak like an alien." "Thank you CBC for making this show in Canada," she said. Eugene Levy, Dan Levy and Annie Murphy were each nominated for acting awards as well. Jason Sudeikis bested Eugene Levy for best actor in a television series for his role in Ted Lasso, John Boyega won the award for best supporting actor for his role in Small Axe over Dan Levy and Gillian Anderson's turn on The Crown earned her best supporting actress over Murphy. Schitt's Creek, which aired on CBC and Pop TV, ended its sixth and final season last April. The Ontario-shot show swept the comedy category at the Emmy Awards last fall. Nomadland wins 2 awards, Boseman honoured posthumously Nomadland won best drama film while its director, Chloé Zhao, became the first woman of Asian descent to win best director at the Golden Globes. The film follows a woman, played by Frances McDormand, who leaves her small town to join a group of wanderers in the American West. Accepting the best picture award, Zhao paid tribute to all those who have been on difficult journeys, quoting a line from the film: "We don't say goodbye, we say see you down the road." Meanwhile, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm won best movie, musical or comedy, while star Sacha Baron Cohen won best actor for his portrayal of the fictional journalist from Kazakhstan. In a major surprise, the Globe for best actress in a drama film went to Andra Day in The United States vs. Billie Holiday. Day played the legendary jazz and blues singer in the biopic directed by Lee Daniels. A tearful and overwhelmed Day spoke through tears as she said she was "in the presence of giants," naming her fellow nominees Viola Davis, Carey Mulligan, Vanessa Kirby and Frances McDormand. Six months after his death at age 43, Chadwick Boseman won the Golden Globe for best actor in a dramatic film for his final role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Boseman's widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, accepted the award for her late husband, saying "he would thank God, he would thank his parents, he would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices." Through tears, Ledward added: "I don't have his words, but we have to take all the moments to celebrate those we love." In the Netflix film, Boseman plays an ambitious trumpeter named Levee who aims to launch himself with his own updated version of the songs of Ma Rainey, the powerhouse blues singer played by Viola Davis. Boseman, who starred in the Marvel blockbuster "Black Panther," died in August after privately battling colon cancer for four years. Netflix, which came in with a commanding 42 nominations, won the top TV awards. The Crown, as expected, took best drama series, along with acting wins for Anderson, Josh O'Connor and Emma Corrin. O'Connor and Corrin portrayed Prince Charles and Princess Diana, respectively. The Queen's Gambit, another Netflix show, won best limited series or TV movie and star Anya Taylor-Joy won best actress in a limited series. Jodie Foster, meanwhile, won her first Golden Globe in nearly three decades. Foster won the Globe for best supporting actress in a film for her role in The Mauritanian. Jane Fonda accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award, praising the "community of storytellers" for their vital role in troubled times, and calling for greater diversity in Hollywood. The 83-year-old actor and activist, star of Barbarella, Klute, Coming Home, On Golden Pond and 9 to 5, received the Globes' version of a lifetime achievement award, one of the few honorees to accept a Globe in person in Beverly Hills. The DeMille award honours "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment." Previous winners include Walt Disney, Judy Garland, John Wayne, Sidney Poitier, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks and Fonda's father Henry Fonda. The Fondas become the first parent and child to both receive the DeMille award. Norman Lear accepted the Carol Burnett Award on Sunday at the Golden Globes for his storied career in television, saying he "could not feel more blessed." The 98-year-old still-working television legend, creator of All in the Family, The Jeffersons and One Day at a Time, is the third winner of the award that honours "outstanding contributions to television on or off the screen." Hosts on different coasts Earlier, co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler began the pandemic-era award show by delivering a split-screen opening from separate coasts. With Poehler at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., and Fey in New York's Rainbow Room, the two did an initial gag where Fey reached out through the screen and stroked Poehler's hair. Golden Globes hosts Tina Fey, left, and Amy Poehler, opened the show from New York and Beverly Hills, Calif., respectively. When attendees would normally be streaming down the red carpet on Sunday evening, many stars were instead posing virtually. Regina King, resplendent in a dazzling dress, stood before her yawning dog. Carey Mulligan, nominated for Promising Young Woman, said from a London hotel room that she was wearing heels for the first time in more than a year. Lee Isaac Chung, writer-director of the tender Korean-American family drama Minari (a movie the HFPA was criticized for ruling ineligible for its top award because of its non-English dialogue), accepted the award for best foreign language film while his young daughter embraced him. "She's the reason I made this film," said Chung. "Minari is about a family. It's a family trying to learn a language of its own. It goes deeper than any American language and any foreign language. It's a language of the heart. I'm trying to learn it myself and to pass it on," said Chung. Other awards included Pixar's Soul for best animated film; Rosumund Pike took best actress in a comedy or musical film for I Care a Lot; and Aaron Sorkin won for best screenplay for Trial of the Chicago 7. The film, a favourite to win best drama film at the Globes, was sold to Netflix by Paramount Pictures last summer due to the pandemic. "Netflix saved our lives," said Sorkin. Issues in lead-up to show On a night when the organization that gives out the Golden Globes is facing condemnation for having no Black voting members, the night's first award went to a Black actor, with Daniel Kaluuya winning best supporting actor in a film for his work in Judas and the Black Messiah. Kaluuya's acceptance speech could not be heard from his location at first, and he jokingly shouted, "You did me dirty!" once the audio was restored. Kaluuya didn't mention the issue directly in his acceptance, though he praised the man he played to win the award, Blank Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was was killed in an FBI raid in 1969. The Globes, normally a loose-and-boozy party that serves as the kickoff for Hollywood's awards season, has been beset with problems beyond the coronavirus leading up to this year's ceremony. They include a revelation in the Los Angeles Times that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which gives out the awards, has no Black voting members in the group. LISTEN | Why the Golden Globes' shady reputation persists: Fey took a shot at the organization in the show opening, explaining to the two small live audiences made up of first responders and essential workers that "the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is made up of around 90 no Black journalists." This year, none of the most acclaimed Black-led films — Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, One Night in Miami, Judas and the Black Messiah and Da 5 Bloods — were nominated for the Globes' best picture award. With the HFPA potentially fighting for its Hollywood life, Sunday's Globes were part apology tour. Within the first half hour of the NBC telecast, members of the press association also appeared on stage to pledge change. "We recognize we have our own work to do," said vice president Helen Hoehne. "We must have Black journalists in our organization."
YANGON, Myanmar — Security forces in Myanmar opened fire and made mass arrests Sunday as they sought to break up protests against the military’s seizure of power, and a U.N. human rights official said it had “credible information” that at least 18 people were killed and 30 were wounded. That would be the highest single-day death toll among protesters who are demanding that the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi be restored to power after being ousted by a Feb. 1 coup. About 1,000 people are believed to have been detained Sunday. “Deaths reportedly occurred as a result of live ammunition fired into crowds in Yangon, Dawei, Mandalay, Myeik, Bago and Pokokku,” the U.N. Human Rights Office said in a statement referring to several cities, adding that the forces also used tear gas, flash-bang grenades and stun grenades. An Associated Press journalist was taken into police custody on Saturday morning while providing news coverage of the protests. The journalist, Thein Zaw, remains in police custody. The AP called for his immediate release. “Independent journalists must be allowed to freely and safely report the news without fear of retribution. AP decries in the strongest terms the arbitrary detention of Thein Zaw,” said Ian Phillips, AP vice-president for international news. The Foreign Correspondents Club of Myanmar also condemned the arrest. The Democratic Voice of Burma reported that as of 5 p.m. in Myanmar, there had been 19 confirmed deaths in nine cities, with another 10 deaths unconfirmed. The independent media company broadcasts on satellite and digital terrestrial television, as well as online. DVB counted five deaths in Yangon and two in Mandalay, the largest and second-largest cities. It registered five deaths in Dawei, a much smaller city in southeastern Myanmar that has seen tens of thousands of protesters nearly every day since the coup. Witnesses said Sunday’s march was also large and people were determined not to be driven off the streets. Confirming the deaths of protesters has been difficult amid the chaos and general lack of news from official sources, especially in areas outside Yangon, Mandalay and the capital of Naypyitaw. But in many cases, photos and video circulated showed circumstances of the killings and gruesome photos of bodies. The independent Assistance Association of Political Prisoners reported it was aware that about 1,000 people were detained Sunday, of whom they were able to identify 270. That brought to 1,132 the total number of people the group has confirmed being arrested, charged or sentenced since the coup. Gunfire was reported almost as soon the protests began Sunday morning in Yangon, as police also fired tear gas and water cannons while trying to clear the streets. Photos of shell casings from live ammunition used in assault rifles were posted on social media. Initial reports on social media identified one young man believed to have been killed. His body was shown in photos and videos lying on a sidewalk until other protesters carried him away. In Dawei, local media reported at least three people were killed during a protest march, supported by photos and video. Photos on social media showed one wounded man in the care of medical personnel. Before Sunday, there had been eight confirmed reports of killings linked to the army’s takeover, according to the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the crackdown, calling the use of lethal force against peaceful protesters and arbitrary arrests “unacceptable,” and expressed serious concern at the increase in deaths and serious injuries, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. “The secretary-general urges the international community to come together and send a clear signal to the military that it must respect the will of the people of Myanmar as expressed through the election and stop the repression,” Dujarric said. U.S. officials including Secretary of State Antony Blinken also condemned the violence. White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan issued a statement saying the U.S. is “alarmed” by the violence and stands in solidarity with Myanmar people “who continue to bravely voice their aspirations for democracy, rule of law, and respect for human rights." Washington has imposed sanctions on Myanmar because of the coup, and Sullivan said it would “impose further costs on those responsible,” promising details “in the coming days.” The Feb. 1 coup reversed years of slow progress toward democracy after five decades of military rule. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party would have been installed for a second five-year term in office, but the army blocked Parliament from convening and detained her and President Win Myint, as well as other top members of Suu Kyi’s government. On Sunday morning, medical students marched in Yangon near the Hledan Center intersection, which has become the gathering point for protesters who then fan out to other parts of the city. Videos and photos showed protesters running as police charged at them, and residents setting up makeshift roadblocks to slow their advance. Some protesters managed to throw tear gas canisters back at police. Nearby, residents were pleading with police to release those they picked up from the street and shoved into police trucks to be taken away. Dozens or more were believed to be detained. “The world is watching the actions of the Myanmar military junta, and will hold them accountable,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for New York-based Human Rights Watch. “Live ammunition should not be used to control or disperse protests and lethal force can only be used to protect life or prevent serious injury.” Security forces began employing rougher tactics on Saturday, taking preemptive actions to break up protests and making scores, if not hundreds, of arrests. Greater numbers of soldiers also joined police. Many of those detained were taken to Insein Prison in Yangon’s northern outskirts, historically notorious for holding political prisoners. According to the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners, as of Saturday, 854 people had been arrested, charged or sentenced at one point in relation to the coup, and 771 were being detained or sought for arrest. The group said that while it had documented 75 new arrests, it understood that hundreds of other people were also picked up Saturday in Yangon and elsewhere. The Associated Press
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Spacewalking astronauts ventured out Sunday to install support frames for new, high-efficiency solar panels arriving at the International Space Station later this year. NASA's Kate Rubins and Victor Glover put the first set of mounting brackets and struts together, then bolted them into place next to the station's oldest and most degraded solar wings. But the work took longer than expected, and they barely got started on the second set before calling it quits. Rubins will finish the job during a second spacewalk later this week. The spacewalkers had to lug out the hundreds of pounds of mounting brackets and struts in 8-foot (2.5-meter) duffle-style bags. The equipment was so big and awkward that it had to be taken apart like furniture, just to get through the hatch. Some of the attachment locations required extra turns of the power drill and still weren't snug enough, as indicated by black lines. The astronauts had to use a ratchet wrench to deal with the more stubborn bolts, which slowed them down. At one point, they were two hours behind. “Whoever painted this black line painted outside the lines a little bit," Glover said at one particularly troublesome spot. “We’ll work on our kindergarten skills over here,” Mission Control replied, urging him to move on. With more people and experiments flying on the space station, more power will be needed to keep everything running, according to NASA. The six new solar panels — to be delivered in pairs by SpaceX over the coming year or so — should boost the station’s electrical capability by as much as 30%. Rubins and Glover tackled the struts for the first two solar panels, due to launch in June. Their spacewalk ended up lasting seven hours, a bit longer than planned. “Really appreciate your hard work. I know there were a lot of challenges,” Mission Control radioed. The eight solar panels up there now are 12 to 20 years old — most of them past their design lifetime and deteriorating. Each panel is 112 feet (34 metres) long by 39 feet (12 metres) wide. Tip to tip counting the centre framework, each pair stretches 240 feet (73 metres), longer than a Boeing 777's wingspan. Boeing is supplying the new roll-up panels, about half the size of the old ones but just as powerful thanks to the latest solar cell technology. They’ll be placed at an angle above the old ones, which will continue to operate. A prototype was tested at the space station in 2017. Rubins' helmet featured a new high-definition camera that provided stunning views, particularly those showing the vivid blue Earth 270 miles (435 kilometres) below. “Pretty fantastic," observed Mission Control. Sunday’s spacewalk was the third for infectious disease specialist Rubins and Navy pilot Glover — both of whom could end up flying to the moon. They’re among 18 astronauts newly assigned to NASA’s Artemis moon-landing program. The next moonwalkers will come from this group. Last week, Vice-President Kamala Harris put in a congratulatory call to Glover, the first African American astronaut to live full time at the space station. NASA released the video exchange Saturday. “The history making that you are doing, we are so proud of you,” Harris said. Like other firsts, Glover replied, it won't be the last. “We want to make sure that we can continue to do new things,” he said. Rubins will float back out Friday with Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi to wrap up the solar panel prep work, and to vent and relocate ammonia coolant hoses. Glover and Noguchi were among four astronauts arriving via SpaceX in November. Rubins launched from Kazakhstan in October alongside two Russians. They’re all scheduled to return to Earth this spring. ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content. Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press
TUCSON, Ariz. — Kevin Sutherland chipped in for the only birdie of the final round on No. 16 and had a tap-in for another on the next hole, shooting a 4-under 69 to overtake Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., in the Colorguard Classic on Sunday. Sutherland trailed by two to start the day and was down four after Weir birdied the par-5 eighth in blustery conditions at Tucson National. Sutherland cut Weir's lead in half with two birdies in his first three holes to start on the back nine and chipped in from short right of the 183-yard, par-3 16th. Sutherland tapped in on 17 after putting through the fringe on the par 5 and just missed another birdie on the difficult 18th to close out his second victory in his last three PGA Tour Champions starts and fifth overall. He finished at 15 under, two ahead of Weir, three up on Steve Stricker and Scott Parel. Calgary native Stephen Ames finished in a tie for 52nd place at 4-over par. Weir had bogeys on two of his final three holes to shoot an even-par 73. The 2003 Masters champion has twice been runner-up on the PGA Tour Champions since turning 50 last year. Phil Mickelson’s long-shot bid to win his first three PGA Tour Champions starts came to a screeching halt with a triple bogey on the par-4 ninth. He shot 73 to finish 11 shots back. Weir opened the second round with a birdie as gusting wind bent flagsticks at sharp angles. He followed with five straight pars and walked up to the green at the par-3 seventh as Rush's “Limelight” blared from one of the backyards lining Tucson National. The Canadian left-hander responded with a little inspiration of his own, chipping in for birdie from about 90 feet. A curling 15-foot birdie putt at the par-5 eighth gave him a four-shot lead over Sutherland. Sutherland, who won the Charles Schwab Championship in November in Phoenix, opened the back nine with a birdie and had another on the par-5 12th. The 56-year-old from Sacramento, California, stumbled when he couldn't get up and down from a bunker on the par-3 14th, but closed with a flourish as conditions worsened. Weir watched a slick 4-foot par putt slide by the hole after a nice bunker shot on No. 16 and missed a birdie putt from the fringe on No. 17 after a bunker shot ran through the back of the green. He three-putted to bogey the par-14 18th. Mickelson was the last amateur to win on the PGA Tour in Tucson 30 years ago, but couldn't conjure up the same magic in his return. Nine shots back entering the final round, he had three birdies and a bogey through the first eight holes before hitting his tee shot into the water on the par-4 ninth. He then hit into the greenside bunker and three-putted for a 7. Mickelson did avoid the mud on No. 15, at least. He hit two good tee shots in the opening two rounds and both found the pond on the dogleg of the par 5. Mickelson made a birdie after hitting his second shot out of the mud in the first round and salved par after another mud shot in the second. He avoided the pond altogether Sunday by hitting into the adjacent 17th fairway and ended up with par after missing a birdie putt of about 15 feet. John Marshall, The Associated Press
NEW YORK — With homebound nominees appearing by remote video and hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler on different sides of the country, a very socially distanced 78th Golden Globe Awards trudged on in the midst of the pandemic and amid a storm of criticism for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, with top awards going to “Nomadland,” “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” “The Crown” and “Schitt's Creek.” The night's top award, best picture drama, went to Chloé Zhao's elegiac road movie “Nomadland," a Western set across economic upheaval and personal grief. Zhao, the China-born filmmaker of, became the first woman of Asian descent to win best director. She’s only the second woman in the history of the Globes to win, and the first since Barbra Streisand won for “Yentl” in 1984. “'Nomadland at its core for me is a pilgrimage through grief and healing,” said Zhao, accepting the awards remotely. “For everyone who has gone through this difficult and beautiful journey at some point in their lives, this is for you." With a cancelled red carpet and stars giving speeches from the couch, Sunday's Globes had little of their typically frothy flavour. But they went on, nevertheless, with winners in sweats and dogs in laps, in a pandemic that has sapped nearly all the glamour out of Hollywood. Facing scant traditional studio competition, streaming services dominated the Globes like never before — even if the top award went to a familiar if renamed source: Searchlight Pictures, formerly the Fox specialty label of “12 Years a Slave” and “The Shape of Water” now owned by the Walt Disney Co. Amazon's “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” — one of the few nominated films shot partly during the pandemic — won best film, comedy or musical. Its star guerilla comedian, Sacha Baron Cohen, also won best actor in a comedy. Referring to Rudy Giuliani's infamous cameo, Cohen thanked “a fresh new talent who came from nowhere and turned out to be a comedy genius.” “I mean, who could get more laughs from one unzipping," said Cohen. Netflix, which came in with a commanding 42 nominations, won the top TV awards. “The Crown,” as expected, took best drama series, along with acting wins for Josh O’Connor (Prince Charles), Emma Corrin (Princess Diana) and Gillian Anderson (Margaret Thatcher). “The Queen's Gambit” won best limited series, and best actress in the category for Anya Taylor-Joy. “Schitt's Creek,” the Pop TV series that found a wider audience on Netflix, won best comedy series for its final season. Catherine O'Hara also took best actress in a comedy series. Chadwick Boseman, as expected, posthumously won best actor in a drama film for his final performance, in the August Wilson adaptation “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” — a Netflix release. Boseman’s wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, tearfully, emotionally accepted the award. “He would thank God. He would thank his parents. He would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices,” said Ledward. “He would say something beautiful, something inspiring.” Apple TV+ scored its first major award when a sweatshirt-clad Jason Sudeikis won best actor in a comedy series for the streamer's “Ted Lasso.” The NBC telecast began in split screen. Fey took the stage at New York's Rainbow Room while Poehler remained at the Globes' usual home at the Beverly Hilton. In their opening remarks, they managed their typically well-timed back-and-forth despite being almost 3,000 miles from each other. “I always knew my career would end with me wandering around the Rainbow Room pretending to talk to Amy," said Fey. “I just thought it would be later.” They appeared before masked attendees but no stars. Instead, the sparse tables — where Hollywood royalty are usually crammed together and plied with alcohol during the show — were occupied by “smoking-hot first responders and essential workers,” as Fey said. In a production nightmare but one that's become familiar during the pandemic, the night's first winner accepted his award while muted. Only after presenter Laura Dern apologized for the technical difficulties did Daniel Kaluuya, who won best supporting actor for his performance as Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in “Judas and the Black Messiah,” get his speech in. When he finally came through, he waged his finger at the camera and said, “You're doing me dirty!" Pandemic improvising was only part of the damage control for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which puts on the Globes. After The Los Angeles Times revealed that there are no Black members in the 87-person voting body of the HFPA, the press association came under mounting pressure to overhaul itself and better reflect the industry it holds sway in. This year, none of the most acclaimed Black-led films — “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “One Night in Miami,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Da 5 Bloods” — were nominated for the Globes’ best picture award. With the HFPA potentially fighting for its Hollywood life, Sunday's Globes were part apology tour. Fey and Poehler started in quickly on the issue. “Look, a lot of flashy garbage got nominated but that happens,” said Poehler. “That’s like their thing. But a number of Black actors and Black-led projects were overlooked.” Within the first half hour of the NBC telecast, members of the press association appeared on stage to pledge change. "We recognize we have our own work to do," said vice-president Helen Hoehne. “We must have Black journalists in our organization.” Whether those statements — along with a diverse group of winners — did enough to remedy anything remained unclear. The moment the show ended, Time's Up sent letters to both the HFPA and NBCUniveral demanding more than lip service. “The Globes are no longer golden. It’s time to act,” wrote Tina Tchen, the group's president. COVID-19 circumstances led to some award-show anomalies. Mark Ruffalo, appearing remotely, won best actor in a limited series for “I Know This Much Is True” with his kids celebrating behind him and his wife, Sunrise Coigney, sitting alongside. Lee Isaac Chung, writer-director of the tender Korean-American family drama “Minari" (a movie the HFPA was criticized for ruling ineligible for its top award because of its non-English dialogue), accepted the award for best foreign language film while his young daughter embraced him. “She's the reason I made this film,” said Chung. “'Minari' is about a family. It's a family trying to learn a language of its own. It goes deeper than any American language and any foreign language. It's a language of the heart," said Chung. “I'm trying to learn it myself and to pass it on." John Boyega, supporting actor winner for his performance in Steve McQueen's “Small Axe” anthology, raised his leg to show he was wearing track pants below his more elegant white jacket. Jodie Foster ("The Mauritanian") won one of the biggest surprise Globes, for best supporting actress in a film, while, sitting on the couch next her wife, Alexandra Hedison, and with her dog, Ziggy on her lap. Some speeches were pre-taped. The previously recorded speeches by Jon Batiste, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for the wining “Soul" score went without hiccup even though presenter Tracy Morgan first announced “Sal" as the winner. Even if speeches sometimes lacked drama without Hollywood gathered in one place, representation was a common refrain. Pointedly referring to the diversity of the HFPA, presenter and previous winner Sterling K. Brown began, “Thank you. It is great to be Black at the Golden Globes,” he said. “Back.” Jane Fonda, the Cecil B. DeMille Award honoree, spoke passionately about expanding the big tent of entertainment for all. “Art has always been not just in step in history but has lead the way,” said Fonda. “So let’s be leaders.” Other awards included Pixar's “Soul” for best animated film; Rosumund Pike took best actress in a comedy or musical film for “I Care a Lot"; Aaron Sorkin ("Trial of the Chicago 7") for best screenplay; and, in the night's biggest surprise, Andra Day ("The United States vs. Billie Holiday") for best actress in a drama, besting Carey Mulligan ("Promising Young Woman") and Frances McDormand ("Nomadland"). As showtime neared, the backlash over the HFPA threatened to overwhelm the Globes. Yet the Globes have persisted because of their popularity (the show ranks as the third most-watched award show, after the Oscars and Grammys), their profitability (NBC paid $60 million for broadcast rights in 2018) and because they serve as important marketing material for contending films and Oscar hopefuls. The Academy Awards will be held April 25. Jake Coyle, The Associated Press
Canada's COVID-19 hotspots showed diverging approaches to handling the crisis on Sunday, as Ontario and Prince Edward Island prepared for new lockdowns while Quebec entered a week of spring break complete with some activities meant to ease the monotony of life during a global pandemic.Prince Edward Island announced it was entering a 72-hour lockdown starting at midnight as the province struggled to contain an outbreak of COVID-19.The short-term public health order was announced as officials reported five new infections of the disease in a province that has seen few cases for most of the pandemic. The Island has now recorded 17 new infections over the past five days. Health officials identified two clusters of COVID-19 in the cities of Summerside and Charlottetown, and said it’s possible the island has community spread of the virus. The province has a total of just 132 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.The three-day lockdown requires residents to stay home as much as possible and will close all kindergarten to Grade 12 schools, with post-secondary education moving online only."We would rather go harder and stronger now than wait for an outbreak like we have seen in other provinces that could put us in an extended period of lockdown for weeks or even months," Premier Dennis King said late Sunday during a briefing with reporters.Ontario, meanwhile, passed the 300,000 case mark on Sunday as the government prepared to hit a so-called 'emergency brake' in two northern public health units grappling with surging case numbers.The Thunder Bay and Simcoe-Muskoka District health units will enter the lockdown phase of the province's pandemic response plan on Monday in order interrupt transmission of COVID-19 at a time when new variants are gaining steam.The province has also pushed back its spring break until April in an effort to limit community spread.Quebec, in contrast, has allowed movie theatres, pools and arenas to open with restrictions in place to give families something to do as the traditional winter break kicks off, even as most other health rules remain in place.The province opted to allow students and teachers the traditional March break, even though Premier Francois Legault has said he's worried about the week off and the threat posed by more contagious virus variants. Quebec's health minister said the situation in the province was stable on Sunday, with 737 new cases and nine additional deaths — even as confirmed cases linked to variants of concern jumped by more than 100 to 137.Most of the variant cases have been identified as the B.1.1.7 mutation first identified in the United Kingdom, including 84 in Montreal.Ontario, meanwhile, reported 1,062 new infections linked to the pandemic on Sunday as it became the first province to record more than 300,000 total cses of COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic.The country's chief public health officer urged Canadians on Sunday to continue following public health measures as a way of buying critical time as vaccine programs ramp up."Aiming to have the fewest interactions with the fewest number of people, for the shortest time, at the greatest distance possible is a simple rule that we can all apply to help limit the spread of COVID-19," Dr. Theresa Tam said in a statement.Canada's immunization program received a boost last week with the approval of a third COVID-19 vaccine, raising hopes that provinces will be able to inoculate their most vulnerable populations before the more contagious variants can fully take hold.Toronto announced Sunday that it was expanding the first phase of its COVID-19 vaccination drive to include residents experiencing homelessness, noting that they have a higher risk of serious health impacts due to COVID-19 and are vulnerable to transmission in congregate settings.Quebec, meanwhile, is set to begin vaccination of the general population on Monday, beginning with seniors 80 and over in the Montreal area, or 85 and over in the rest of the province.While some regions with extra doses began administering shots late last week, the pace of inoculation will ramp up on Monday when mass vaccination clinics in Montreal throw open their doors.Case counts were more stable elsewhere in the country. Manitoba reported just 50 new COVID-19 infections on Sunday and two new virus-related deaths, while Saskatchewan saw its overall tally climb by 181 but did not log any new deaths.Alberta reported three new virus-related deaths and 301 new infections, including 29 identified as variants of concern. In Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia logged three new cases while officials in Newfoundland and Labrador reported seven. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2021 Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
The U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad held discussions on Monday with a senior Afghan official in Kabul over ways to accelerate the peace process, before heading to Qatar, where negotiations with Taliban representatives are ongoing. U.S.-brokered peace talks between the Afghan government and the militant group began in September but progress has slowed and violence has risen, while there is also uncertainty over whether international forces will pull out troops by May as originally planned. The State Department said in a statement on Sunday that Khalilzad and his team were visiting Kabul and Qatar.
Southeast Saskatchewan is growing, according to Sask Health numbers, particularly Moosomin and its surrounding areas. Over the last 10 years Moosomin has grown by 14.6 per cent and by 32 per cent over the last 15 years—surrounding municipalities have also either stayed about the same or grown. This isn’t the case outside the region, with other rural communities seeing a decrease in size in the last decade. Moosomin and its surrounding area have the benefit of the mining industry playing an important role in growth, but Sask Chamber of Commerce CEO Steve McLellan says there’s more to it than that. “There are some certain natural assets that have been capitalized on—like the oil sector, like the potash sector—but even within Moosomin’s geographic area, not every community has grown,” he said. “My assessment would be quite simple, Moosomin looks like a great place to live, and it is a great place to live, and that’s drawn people who will drive outside of the community to work elsewhere. It’s got those basic amenities, it’s got a hospital, it’s got a nice downtown, it’s got restaurants, it’s got hotels out on the highway, and it’s got a positive attitude. It looks like a winner and that’s what people want, so if it looks like a community that’s going backwards with how it looks and how it feels, then people won’t want to live there and they won’t stay there. “Moosomin has got those amenities that will keep people in the neighbourhood, rather than driving all the way to Yorkton and commuting to the mines, or driving from Carlyle to the oil sector. Moosomin has people who say, ‘I want to live in this town, it’s got everything I need and looks like a winner, I’d be wise to live here.’ All of amenities make a difference. There are different things to look for in a town—younger people want to make sure there’s things to do, places for their kids to skate, good schools that aren’t falling apart and at risk of closing, and as they get older they want to make sure there’s a healthcare facility that will look after them. Everybody wants to know that there’s decent retail that will give me all the products that I need and at easy access. “I think we’re going to see places like Moosomin become even bigger and grow even faster as smaller towns who can’t fit that bill start to decrease in population,” he said. “The only exception will be smaller communities that are near a lake or something that has a draw like that, but I think Moosomin will always be a very popular and lively growing community.” McLellan also thinks publicizing the assets a town has plays a key role in attracting people from surrounding areas and building buzz about the community. “The reality of it is, not only do you have to have those things, but you have to tell people that you have them,” he said. “For example, the skate way that Moosomin has in town, I saw in an issue of the paper. Those things make a difference, that’s good exposure. Everyone that is relatively new to town and even those who have been around a while, when they’re on the phone or on a Zoom with someone living elsewhere and they say, ‘what did you do this week?’ and one person from another community says, ‘I’m bored as can be,’ and the Moosomin person says, ‘we went skate,’ or even if they didn’t go on it, they know about it because it’s been covered so well and they’ve got plans to use it. “Not every town has someone out there to let everybody know that they have these things. That’s a part of the responsibility, but also the opportunity of a community newspaper to make sure people know all these assets and keep remind them because you might not be a skater today, but in two weeks when you’re as bored as can be and want to get outside you’ll go downtown buy a pair of skates and figure out you love skating because you haven’t done it in thirty years. All those things are part of what keeps communities vibrant and keeps people in those communities.” Continuity in the community between the town council, economic development officer, rec department, business leaders, and everybody in-between is paramount for promoting growth and ensuring strong involvement says McLellan. “They need to get active,” he said. “Growth is not accidental and very seldom is it totally organic. It’s intentional, Moosomin’s economic development folks have been active to invite companies like Canalta to come to town. The town has worked very closely with the mines and the oil company to make sure what they need is available and that they feel welcome in the community. It’s absolutely an intentional outcome and if you’re not intentional, strategic, and co-ordinated in how you do that. “Whether it’s the rec board working with the economic development board or local chamber helping to identify new opportunities and celebrate new businesses, but it has to be a co-ordinated effort without it being overly organized. It’s got to be intentional and communities that are sitting on their heels saying, ‘jeez, poor us,’ they’ll continue to go down because nobody wants to be part of that attitude and it’s a long way often from a negative attitude to a positive growth rate—there’s a direct link between the two.” If a rural area is to thrive, McLellan believes it has everything to do with the collective positivity of the townspeople and he says that starts at the top with community leaders and it trickles down. “Even to the young person that works at the gas station, when someone drives through and they say, ‘welcome to Moosomin!’ or something that just shows the positive attitude, that matters,” he said. “If they’re driving across the country and they stop at 20 gas stations, which is the one they remember? Those sorts of goodwill assets are certainly useful and again, when you drive through it, it looks like a town you want to live in and that’s the attitude Moosomin projects. “It has potential with surrounding industries—there’s a lot of work that has made it so successful—but I think it will continue because of the collective will. Moosomin’s local chamber is very active, the economic development folks work well, and there’s good leadership at the municipal level and certainly the MLA, Steven Bonk, is a champion for the Moosomin area and the province. All of those things combined, like I say, there’s a direct line between a negative attitude and negative growth.” Something McLellan sees as a quick fix is help from the provincial and federal government. He believes if the change doesn’t start from within the community then assistance from outside of it won’t have a lasting impact. “It has to start with the communities,” he said. “The worst thing and the shortest term success would be a government grant that helped the community do something. It has to start internally and the only way for it to be sustainable is for it to be done that way. If the municipality puts money into it, then that’s great because it’s your own community. The province can’t give you a grant that creates a positive environment, they can give you a grant to help strategy, but it’s much better done if it’s done at the municipal level. “They can assist things, like making sure there’s a program to have a senior centre built where there’s community shared ownership or fundraising, they can make sure they’re very careful on determination of healthcare services and how those facilities are funded, and they can certainly have a bigger stake—as can the private sector—in things like infrastructure for internet. Those types of things make life in a smaller community different, not more challenging, but different if indeed things like access to internet or business or kids learning are harder to access in rural Saskatchewan—the province has a role in helping there, but I don’t think they have a direct role in making people more positive. “You need to want to come together as a community and when you do that, you don’t need a grant, you just need a group of committed individuals and great things will happen. All the provincial or federal government can give you is a temporary high,” he said. “It needs to be sustainable because otherwise you become a one hit wonder and people may say, ‘oh my gosh this is good, I’m going to move there,’ and then they get there and there’s no positivity. Even elected leadership can be ambassadors for it, but you need people who aren’t on council to help produce events and celebrate great things that are happening in the community. “Delegates can do that, they should recognize the good things Moosomin is doing and congratulate the town and expansion, and they do that through people like Steven Bonk. But other than that, I’d argue, it has got to be at the grassroots level for it to be sustainable because it’s not a short-term high you’re looking for.” Rob Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator
Japanese companies are ramping up the use of artificial intelligence and other advanced technology to reduce waste and cut costs in the pandemic, and looking to score some sustainability points along the way. Disposing of Japan's more than 6 million tonnes in food waste costs the world's No.3 economy some 2 trillion yen ($19 billion) a year, government data shows. With the highest food waste per capita in Asia, the Japanese government has enacted a new law to halve such costs from 2000 levels by 2030, pushing companies to find solutions.
At the regular Esterhazy Town Council meeting on Wednesday, a motion was passed to use the Sask Lotteries Grant of $1,500—if it meets the criteria—towards staffing and costs for a future hockey academy program through PJ Gillen School. The Good Spirit School Division is currently working on a proposal to run a hockey academy through the school at Dana Antal Arena. It would be a part of the curriculum. “It’s a proposal that’s been verbally submitted to us saying that they would like to do this,” said Acting Administrator Mike Thorley. “We want to review our current policy that we have for joint use of school facilities and town facilities.” The school currently uses the D.A. Mackenzie Aquatic Centre as part of a school swimming program and the rink for open skating. This program would be hockey specific. “I want to make sure the agreement we have in place can accommodate all kids,” said Councillor Randy Bot. “All kids can swim and it gives every kid the same opportunity. Hockey isn’t necessarily the same because it targets only certain kids, does this give every kid the same opportunity?” The proposal of entering into an agreement with the school is still in preliminary talks and there’s more to be sorted out about the details and how the program would run and be offered, but it would be a part of the school. “We need to look at this with the school because it’s not an extracurricular activity,” said Rec Director Brenda Redman. “It would be through the school.” “We need to take a look at the agreement and talk to a representative from the school to come up with an agreement together,” said Mayor Grant Forster. “We need to do more work and come back to this.” The council was in agreement that the next step is having Thorley and Redman talk with the school to figure out exactly what the agreement and program could look like before this goes further. “We’re going to review the entire agreement,” said Thorley. “It was back in 2014 when our community was a little bit more in co-ordinating baseball and other things in town so we did a lot more on the grounds of the school and we don’t do as much now. “When there was programs like volleyball that needed the gyms in the evening, that’s when the agreement was made, back in 2014. “We don’t use their facilities as much, but we’d also like to open those doors to make sure we have the option to do that and have a joint policy. We’ll review this and talk with the Good Spirit School Division so we can look at the entire agreement all together and make sure we can refine it.” Minor hockey and figure skating to continue With the recent announcement from Premier Scott Moe that the current Covid-19 restrictions will stay in place until at least February 19, Esterhazy minor hockey and figure skating plan to continue practicing within the current restrictions at Dana Antal Arena. “Minor hockey has said they will run until the end of February,” said Acting Administrator Mike Thorley. “Figure skating is hoping to run until the end of the season as best they can within the restrictions and they’ll try to make up sometime they’ve lost in some areas. “We also have a private user that’s looking to rent for the month of March and they would basically pick up minor hockeys times. So we can continue to keep the arena open until the end of March for sure.” Council remuneration A motion was passed by the council to adjust council remuneration to a monthly rate rather than by a per-meeting rate. Councillors will now receive a $600 per month remuneration with a $25 per month car allowance. The reason for this change is to allow more flexibility when it comes to sitting on committees. Now more councillors will have the opportunity to sit on different committees without a cost to the town. “We did an internal survey to see what costs were for councillor remuneration for the last eight years,” said Acting Administrator Mike Thorley. “Every time someone goes to a committee meeting they get paid around $88 and every time they come to a council meeting they get $200, so throughout the year depending on which committees you sit on, you get a certain amount of dollars. “We took the average of it all and felt comfortable with it. Now it allows us to move people around on committees and provides us more flexibility to add people or remove people from committees. It’s more flexible, cost-effective, and keeps everybody on the same page.” Yearly operating rates The council passed a motion to accept some yearly operating rates. They didn’t pass landfill operating rates and will return to it. Yearly custom rates will increase by 15 per cent, office miscellaneous rates won’t change, and there will be an increase to $30 for dog and cat licenses. “Yearly custom rates are if someone wants to rent our sander for an hour, those types of rates went up 15 per cent,” said Acting Administrator Mike Thorley. “Office rates are for things like photocopying, and with the pet licenses we’re hoping to put some of that money into things like the dog park. “Anyone that has paid the dog and cat licenses to date right now won’t be asked to pay more because this was passed after that point. We’re going to review the landfill because we’re looking at potentially putting a scale in it.” Golder Associates awarded tender The council passed a motion to award a tender of up to $20,000 to Golder Associates for a climate lens assessment at the water treatment plant. “Under our water treatment plant we have two stipulations that we have to complete as part of the funding,” said Acting Administrator Mike Thorley. “It’s a climate lens assessment that has to be completed for provincial and federal government regulations. Basically the governments say we need to do this because we’re doing work so our engineer put it out for tender and we received about eight of them. “We then did a pretty comprehensive evaluation and Golder Associates was the choice. So we’re spending up to $20,000 within a contingency of items.” Airport hangar lease The council passed a motion to enter into a three-year agreement to lease the airport hangar for $600 per year. “We have leases for up to three years and we have about four or five buildings we have leases on,” said Acting Administrator Mike Thorley. “We were recently informed the hangar was sold, and we don’t own the hangar, but we own the land it’s on so we lease the land to them. The new owner has engaged in a three-year lease with us.” Rob Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator
ORLANDO, Fla. — Jessica Korda opened the LPGA Tour season last month by winning the Tournament of Champions. On Sunday, it was Nelly's turn. Nelly Korda followed in big sister's footsteps with a three-shot victory that looked easier than it felt. She seized control with three birdies through six holes, closed with 12 pars and shot a 3-under 69 at Lake Nona to win the Gainbridge LPGA. “Yeah, Jess' win, I was like, ‘OK, I got to get one now,’" Korda said. “We were close that one year. She won in Thailand and I was leading in Singapore. But it's nice to get back-to-back Korda wins now.” More than just matching her sister, Korda won for the first time on American soil. The other three victories for 22-year-old Nelly were in Australia and twice in Taiwan. It also was the first time she won with her parents watching. Her father, Petr Korda, is a former Australian Open tennis champion. “I’ve had an amazing week and I made some clutch putts when I needed to and pulled it off,” Korda said. Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., finished in a tie for 16th place. Henderson ended her tournament with a 6-under 282. On the other side of the course, Annika Sorenstam wrapped up her return after more than 12 years of retirement with a par on the ninth hole for a 76, finishing last among the 74 players who made the cut. The 50-year-old Swede was making this one-time appearance because Lake Nona has been her home course for two decades. “I'm just thankful being here, playing here and being able to make the cut,” Sorenstam said. “I think I never gave up, even though it was not really going my way and I wasn't hitting as well as I should be to be out here. The purpose was to get some tournament rounds, and I did that.” She has said she plans to play the U.S. Senior Women's Open this summer and she'll need to get sharp, though Sorenstam said preparing for that would not include another LPGA event. “I have so much respect for these players,” she said. Sorenstam finished 29 shots behind Korda, who won by three over Lexi Thompson and Lydia Ko. Korda, who finished at 16-under 272, began the final round with a one-shot lead over rookie Patty Tavatanakit, the former UCLA star who fell back quickly and wound up with 74 to tie for fifth. There wasn't much drama on the final day. Korda made sure of that with a steady diet of pars and picking up enough birdies when she needed them. That doesn't mean it was easy. “Honestly, I did not play very good golf today, and I just stayed really solid,” Korda said. “I don’t even know what I did. It was definitely very stressful.” Ko, a former world No. 1 trying to end nearly three years without winning, had a 69. Thompson closed with a 68. Jin Young Ko, the current No. 1, took bogey on the par-5 second hole and dropped too many shots along the way to mount any sort of a rally. She shot 71 and finished fourth. ___ More AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo urged citizens of the West African state on Sunday to ignore conspiracy theories surrounding coronavirus vaccines ahead of the launch of its nationwide inoculation campaign against the virus on Tuesday. "Taking the vaccine will not alter your DNA, it will not embed a tracking device in your body, neither will it cause infertility in women or in men," he said. Ghana was the first country to receive vaccines as part of the global COVAX scheme aimed at providing poorer nations vaccines to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Taking the stage for the first time since leaving office, former President Donald Trump on Sunday called for Republican Party unity, even as he exacerbated intraparty divisions and trumpeted lies about the election in a speech that made clear he intends to remain a dominant political force. Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he has been hailed as a returning hero, Trump blasted his successor, President Joe Biden, and tried to cement his status as the party’s undisputed leader despite his loss in November. “Do you miss me yet?” Trump said after taking the stage, where his old rally soundtrack had been playing. “I stand before you today to declare that the incredible journey we begun together ... is far from being over." Though Trump has flirted with the the idea of creating a third party, he pledged Sunday to remain part of what he called “our beloved party." “I'm going to continue to fight right by your side. We're not starting new parties,” he said. “We have the Republican Party. It's going to be strong and united like never before.” The conference, held this year in Orlando instead of the Washington suburbs because of COVID-19 restrictions, has served as a tribute to Trump and Trumpism, complete with a golden statue in his likeness on display. Speakers, including many potential 2024 hopefuls, have argued the party must embrace the former president and his followers, even after the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. And they have repeated his unfounded claim that he lost the November election only because of mass voter fraud — an assertion that has been repeatedly rejected by judges, Republican state officials and Trump’s own administration. Still, Trump continued to repeat what Democrats have dubbed the “big lie," calling the election “rigged” and insisting that he won in November, even though he lost by more than 7 million votes. “As you know, they just lost the White House,” he said of Biden, rewriting history as he teased the prospect that he will run again in 2024. “I may even decide to beat them for a third time," he said. And he mocked those who have warned that such talk will damage the party. “If Republicans don’t get this and the other things I’m going to say, then you should, like the Supreme Court, be ashamed of yourselves," he said. The conference's annual unscientific straw poll of just over 1,000 attendees found that 97% approve of the job Trump did as president. But they were much more ambiguous about whether he should run again, with 68% saying he should. If the 2024 primary were held today and Trump were in the race, just 55% said they would vote for him, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at 21%. Without Trump in the field, DeSantis garnered 43% support, followed by 8% for South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and 7% each for former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. It is highly unusual for past American presidents to publicly criticize their successors so soon after leaving office. Ex-presidents typically step out of the spotlight for at least a while; Barack Obama was famously seen kitesurfing on vacation after he departed, while George W. Bush said he believed Obama “deserves my silence” and took up painting. Not Trump. He delivered a sharp rebuke of what he framed as the new administration's first month of failures, including Biden's approach to immigration and the border. “Joe Biden has had the most disastrous first month of any president in modern history,” Trump said. White House press secretary Jen Psaki brushed off the expected criticism. “We’ll see what he says, but our focus is certainly not on what President Trump is saying at CPAC," she told reporters. Aside from criticizing Biden, Trump used the speech to crown himself the future of the Republican Party, even as many leaders argue they must move in a new, less divisive direction after Republicans lost not only the White House but both chambers of Congress in the last elections. And he insisted the party was united, even as he called out by name Republicans who voted to impeach him for inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, including the No. 3 House Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, and lashed those he labels RINOs, “Republican in name only.” “We cannot have leaders who show more passion for condemning their fellow Americans than they have ever shown for standing up to Democrats, the media and the radicals who want to turn America into a socialist country," Trump said. On Friday, Trump began his vengeance campaign, endorsing Max Miller, a former aide who is seeking to oust Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, who voted in favour of Trump’s impeachment. Still, in his speech Sunday he insisted the only gulf in the party was “between a handful of Washington, D.C., establishment political hacks and everybody else, all over the country.” While he no longer has his social media megaphone after being barred from Twitter and Facebook, Trump has already been inching back into public life. He called into conservative news outlets after Rush Limbaugh's death and to wish Tiger Woods well after the pro golfer was injured in a car crash. He has also issued statements, including one blasting Mitch McConnell after the Senate Republican leader excoriated Trump for inciting the Capitol riot. McConnell has since said he would “absolutely” support Trump if he were the GOP nominee in 2024. At his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, Trump has been quietly meeting with aides and senior party leaders as he builds his post-presidential political operation. While he has already endorsed several pro-Trump candidates, aides have been working this past week to develop benchmarks for those seeking his endorsement to make sure the candidates are serious and have set up full-fledged political and fundraising organizations before he gets involved. They are also planning a new super PAC that could raise unlimited amounts of money, though one aide cautioned they were still deciding whether to create a new entity or repurpose an existing America First super PAC. Jill Colvin, The Associated Press
COVID-19 numbers for Alberta, reported on February 25: 132,432 people have been infected with the virus. The earliest known COVID-19 case in Alberta was detected in a blood sample collected on Feb. 24. The first case was announced on March 5. Of those cases, 126,074 people have recovered, or 95.2 per cent of all cases. 399 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the active total to 4,484. 280 people are in hospital, with 56 people in intensive care units. Privacy regulations means Alberta Health cannot release how many COVID-19 patients are being treated in local hospitals or health centres. Eight new deaths from COVID-19, totalling 1,874. The majority of people who have died from COVID-19 also had high blood pressure, dementia, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. 9,217 people were tested for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. To date, 3,387,829 tests for COVID-19 have been carried out on 1,813,521 people. 9,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the last 24 hours. 195,572 doses have been administered in total; 80,620 people are fully immunized with both doses. 106 adverse events following immunization have been reported to Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services. Adverse events are classified as any health problem following immunization. They are not necessarily caused by the vaccine. COVID-19 in Fort McMurray: Seven new active cases in the past 24 hours, bringing known active total to 40. The first case was reported in the city on March 19. Three new recoveries in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 1,711. Masks in public spaces become mandatory on Oct. 26, after 51 active COVID-19 cases were reported in the Wood Buffalo region. Alberta has since declared a province-wide mask order. Privacy regulations means Alberta Health cannot release how many COVID-19 patients are being treated in local hospitals or health centres. Three people have died from COVID-19 in Fort McMurray, with the last death reported on Dec. 24. The first death was reported Sept. 8. COVID-19 in rural areas and Wood Buffalo National Park: One new COVID-19 case in rural communities or Wood Buffalo National Park has been reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the active total to two cases. No new recovery in rural areas or Wood Buffalo National Park in the past 24 hours, keeping the total at 139. One recovered COVID-19 case is no longer being considered a local case. AHS has not confirmed which rural communities have active COVID-19 cases, only community leaders have. Masks in public spaces become mandatory on Oct. 26, after 51 active COVID-19 cases were reported in the Wood Buffalo region. Alberta has since declared a province-wide order. Privacy regulations means Alberta Health cannot release how many COVID-19 patients are being treated in local hospitals or health centres. There have been no deaths from COVID-19 in the RMWB’s rural areas. COVID-19 outbreaks at Wood Buffalo’s schools: Information on school outbreaks can be found online from Alberta Health Services. No school in Wood Buffalo has been ordered to close. An outbreak is declared when five people linked to a public site, such as a workplace, test positive for COVID-19. At continuing care centres and schools, the number is two. An outbreak is over when no new COVID-19 cases have been reported after 30 days. COVID-19 outbreaks at Wood Buffalo’s workplaces: Information on workplace outbreaks can be found online from Alberta Health Services. Canadian Natural’s Albian site. Canadian Natural’s Horizon site. Canadian Natural’s Kirby site. Imperial Oil’s Kearl Lake site. North American Construction Group. Suncor’s base plant. Suncor’s Fort Hills site. Syncrude’s Mildred Lake site. Syncrude’s Aurora site. YMCA Eagle Ridge child care. An outbreak is declared when five people linked to a public site, such as a workplace, test positive for COVID-19. At continuing care centres and schools, the number is two. An outbreak is over when no new COVID-19 cases have been reported after 30 days. Sarah Williscraft, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort McMurray Today
Oil prices were up on Monday on rising optimism about COVID-19 vaccinations, a U.S. economic stimulus package and growing factory activity in Europe despite coronavirus restrictions. Signs that Chinese oil demand is slowing kept prices from moving higher. Brent crude rose 51 cents, or 0.8%, at $64.93 a barrel by 11:29 a.m. EST (1629 GMT), and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude gained 28 cents, or 0.5%, to $61.78 a barrel.
NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on the surface of Mars on February 18, 2021 and it has already begun to send back jaw-dropping images of the surrounding area.
Member of the Moosomin Pee Wee Rangers got to meet a local hockey hero as they recorded introductions to two NHL games for Hockey Day in Canada. The players taking part in the event got to meet Edmonton Oilers Defenseman Ethan Bear from Ochapowace and ask him any questions they might have. Bear has started his NHL career with the Edmonton Oilers under head coach Dave Tippett, originally from Moosomin “That was amazing,” said #4, Devin Venaas. “I asked him what stick he was using.” Other players asked about Bear's favourite jersey. “We asked him lots of questions and my question was ‘what was his favourite jersey?’” Dane Thorn said. “He said his was the new ‘Reverse Retro’.” Some players were just excited to be there to enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience. “It was really cool, we even got to meet Ethan Bear. We recorded the whole conversation with Ethan Bear and we were recording our lines which was ‘welcome to Hockey Day in Canada’,” explained Luke Holman. Even those who are not Oilers fans enjoyed meeting Bear during their recording session. “It felt pretty good. It’s going to be pretty cool because not many kids get to do it in their lifetime.” Commented Kendry Lewis.“I’m more of a Pittsburgh kind of guy but it was still pretty cool for me.” New normal Despite all the changes due to COVID-19 restrictions, Moosomin Minor Hockey has worked to adapt to the new normal and keep the players on the ice while many other communities have been unable to do so. “Its been a very frustrating time just with all the changes and everything. We’ve had to pump up our board meetings quite frequently so that we can get things going. But obviously with no tournaments or games anymore, there was no money coming in,” explained Thorn, who is treasurer for Moosomin Minor Hockey. She explained that pandemic restrictions have made things difficult for everyone from parents to players and staff, but despite all this they have been able to manage. “It’s been challenging but it’s been really rewarding at the same time. I know a lot of people have expressed their gratitude towards us to keep it going, while there’s towns and cities who haven’t even set foot on the ice. It’s nice to say we’ve been able to accomplish that, keeping the kids on the ice.” While there has been less income brought in due to the pandemic, both the Town of Moosomin and Moosomin Minor Hockey have worked together to stay afloat. “We did have a small reserve that we did set aside, not necessarily thinking for a pandemic, but for an emergency. A lot of those funds were used to keep the ice going,” Thorn added. In addition to the small fund that was set aside to help in the case of an emergency, Thorn expressed her gratitude towards the town and the efforts they made to help through the restrictions caused by the pandemic. Before the COVID-19 pandemic had struck, the ice rates had gone up for the teams by a small margin. When the pandemic hit, however, Moosomin Minor Hockey asked to have the rates reduced to what they were before the increase in order to help alleviate some financial burden. The town didn’t do that—but instead cut ice rates in half. “We were just asking for that little bit that it went up and they gave us way more than that,” said Thorn. This reduction in costs allowed Moosomin Minor Hockey to continue operating and keep the kids on the ice, something that Thorn says is important to her, as her own children play. “That was a huge thing for us, with the town of Moosomin reducing our ice rates by 50%, it has really enabled us to keep these kids on the ice” Thorn explained. “If we had to pay the full ice rate we probably would have shut it down at the beginning to January.” Thorn thanked the town for their efforts and explained that they would not be able to keep the 200-odd players on the ice if it weren’t for this additional funding. Spencer Kemp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator
Students at McNaughton High School in Moosomin are being offered the opportunity to further their knowledge when it comes to financial literacy through the Financial Literacy 20 course being offered for the first time this semester. From loans to credit scores, teachers Paul Stillman and Tegan Matichuk are helping students in Grade 11 and 12 prepare for adult life. “It’s looking at how we can make our knowledge and understanding not just the mathematics side of finance, but more so moving into the decision making and goal-setting sides of finance,” Matichuk explained. “We’re looking to give kids a bit of a foundation into things like credit, and investing and saving, and even a little bit into the idea of renting versus owning.” She says the course is not just informing kids through a curriculum, but also answering the questions the students might have. She noted that the students have asked many questions about saving and long term financing for items such as vehicles and houses. “It’s not that it’s never been taught, but it’s hard for students to take the mathematics of finance, which has been taught since grade 9 where we calculated interest,” she explained. “The mathematics has always been taught, but we’re expanding that and looking into how it impacts your wellness and your lifestyle.” She added that in the course they not only just talk about the numbers involved when it comes to finances, but also how it might impact your mental health as well as ways to work around that impact. Matichuk noted a difference in questions being asked between the Grade 11 class and the Grade 12 class. She noted the Grade 12 class asking questions about the immediate future, about paying for college or university while the Grade 11 class focused more on questions regarding loans for vehicles or for houses. The course not only covers finances themselves, but also dips its toes into the potential careers based around financial jobs, according to Matichuk. “We’ve kind of sat down and did a bit of surveying with our students to see which areas and which modules they were wanting to learn the most about,” Matichuk explained. After having surveyed the class, the students expressed the most interest in investing and saving with budgeting being another large concern of theirs. Matichuk explained that thanks to the survey, they are more well prepared with what they need to teach their students. So far around 44 stu sdents have signed up for the course, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they have had to split the class in two with one half being taught by Matichuk and the other half being taught by Stillman. “We’ve divided for a couple of reasons. Because of our COVID protocols we’re keeping our Grade 11 students together and our Grade 12 students in Mr Stillman’s class,” Matichuk added. Despite being the same course, Matichuk notes that they are two completely different classes due to the difference in concerns between the Grade 11 class and the Grade 12 class. “It does give a different perspective, because Grade 12 are five months potentially from moving away from home, going to university, or joining the work-force full time,” she said. This is the first semester the Financial Literacy 20 course has been made available. Spencer Kemp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator
(Submitted by Leftovers YYC - image credit) A Calgary not-for-profit says it's looking for good "homes" for a large donation of bananas after they were donated late last week. Audra Stevenson, interim CEO with Leftovers Foundation, says seven pallets with more than 360 cases of bananas arrived on Friday, donated by an organization called FreshDirect. "On one side, we were like, yes, this is awesome," Stevenson said. "Everyone is going to be so excited to receive this. "And then on the other hand you just kind of go, OK, it's Friday afternoon — let's do as much as we can before end of day to make sure we can get this to as many people as possible." The Leftovers Foundation, which picks up excess food and delivers it to service agencies, has a pool of food recipients that it reaches out to when it receives donations. Leftovers Foundation says it has more than 150 cases of bananas that it is seeking to distribute before Tuesday. After receiving the bananas, the foundation was able to deliver a big chunk of the donation — but more than 150 cases still remain. Given the fact that the fruit is perishable, the organization anticipates it has until Tuesday to find homes for the rest. After Tuesday, the foundation will look for more creative ways to use the bananas. In the time of a pandemic, Stevenson said demand on food-serving agencies in the city is very high, and food waste remains a common problem. "Everybody is kind of guilty, sometimes, of the excess food waste," she said. "And so we're just happy to be a really easy solution to get that food to people who need it, because it can come from just a mistake in the ordering numbers, for all they know." Stevenson said the organization is open to receiving creative suggestions on what to do with the bananas moving forward.
(Enzo Zanatta/CBC - image credit) At least eight trees were spray-painted with racist graffiti in a park in Vancouver's Marpole neighbourhood on Saturday. The Vancouver Park Board said the trees were covered in swastikas and the slogan "White Power." In a statement, the Vancouver Park Board said it is "heartbroken and enraged" by the incident at Riverview Park. "The City of Vancouver and the park board condemn these abhorrent acts of racism in the strongest possible terms. We stand in solidarity with the Indigenous, Black, racialized and Jewish communities targeted by these messages," it read. "These messages are intended to create shock, fear and division." Some of the defaced trees are near a playground. It further expressed regret to anyone — including families and children accessing the nearby playground — who had to see the messages. "We acknowledge the park crews who are in the process of safely removing the hurtful graffiti. We also acknowledge this as an act of disrespect to the natural world on the Musqueam territory," it continued. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact 311.