Tag Archives: policy

Chauvin violated policy in pinning Floyd’s neck after he stopped resisting, police chief testifies

The Minneapolis police chief testified on Monday that now-fired officer Derek Chauvin violated departmental policy in pinning his knee on George Floyd’s neck and keeping him down after Floyd had stopped resisting and was in distress.

Continuing to kneel on Floyd’s neck once he was handcuffed behind his back and lying on his stomach was “in no way, shape or form” part of department policy or training, “and it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values,” Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said.

Arradondo, the city’s first Black chief, fired Chauvin and three other officers the day after Floyd’s death last May, and in June called it “murder.” At that time, the police chief said Floyd’s death was not due to a lack of training and that “Chauvin knew what he was doing.”

Chauvin, 45, is charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death on May 25. The white officer is accused of pinning his knee on the 46-year-old man’s neck for nine minutes, 29 seconds, as Floyd lay face-down in handcuffs outside a corner market, where had been accused of trying to pass a counterfeit $ 20 bill for a pack of cigarettes.

De-escalating should be ‘layered’ into use of force

Under questioning from prosecutor Matthew Frank, Arradondo said it’s the police department’s policy that officers should consider minimizing physical force during an arrest even while force is being used to restrain a suspect.

“The goal is to resolve the situation as safely as possible. So you want to always have de-escalation layered into those actions of using force.” the police chief said.


Assistant Minnesota Attorney General Matthew Frank speaks as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill discusses motions before the court on Monday in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. (Court TV/The Associated Press)

Chauvin, who had been on the force for 19 years, failed to follow his training in several respects, Arradondo said. He could tell from Floyd’s grimaces that Chauvin was using more than the maximum “light-to-moderate” pressure an officer is allowed to use on someone’s neck.

The officer did not relent in using force even as Floyd fell unconscious and he did not provide mandated first aid to a dying Floyd, Arradondo said.

“It’s contrary to our training to indefinitely place your knee on a prone, handcuffed individual for an indefinite period of time,” he said.

Arradondo’s testimony came after the emergency room doctor who pronounced Floyd dead testified that he theorized at the time that Floyd’s heart most likely stopped because of a lack of oxygen.

Dr. Bradford Langenfeld, who was a senior resident on duty that night at Hennepin County Medical Center and tried to resuscitate Floyd, earlier took the stand at the beginning of Week Two at Chauvin’s murder trial.

WATCH | ER doctor describes efforts to resuscitate George Floyd:

Dr. Bradford Langenfeld told the murder trial of a former Minneapolis police officer that paramedics found George Floyd without a pulse when they brought him to the ER. 1:59

Langenfeld said Floyd’s heart had stopped by the time he arrived at the hospital. The doctor said that he was not told of any efforts at the scene by bystanders or police to resuscitate Floyd but that paramedics told him they had tried for about 30 minutes.

Under questioning by prosecutor Jerry Blackwell, Langenfeld said that based on the information he had, death by asphyxiation was “more likely than the other possibilities.”

The defence argues that Chauvin did what he was trained to do and that Floyd’s use of illegal drugs and his underlying health conditions caused his death.

Chauvin lawyer Eric Nelson questioned Langenfeld about whether some drugs can cause hypoxia, or insufficient oxygen. The doctor acknowledged that fentanyl and methamphetamine, both of which were found in Floyd’s body, can do so.

The county medical examiner’s office ultimately classified Floyd’s death a homicide — that is, a death at the hands of someone else.

Opioid antidote of no use during cardiac arrest

The full report said Floyd died of “cardiopulmonary arrest, complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.” A summary report listed fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use under “other significant conditions” but not under “cause of death.”

Under cross-examination from Nelson, Langenfeld said Floyd’s carbon dioxide levels were more than twice has high as levels in healthy person, and he agreed that that could be attributed to a respiratory problem. But on questioning from the prosecutor, the doctor said the high levels were also consistent with cardiac arrest — the stopping of the heart.

Langenfeld also testified that neither he nor paramedics administered a drug that would reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. The doctor said giving Narcan once a patient is in cardiac arrest would provide no benefit.

The doctor also told the court that paramedics made no mention that Floyd may have suffered a drug overdose before he was brought to the hospital.

Floyd’s treatment by police was captured on widely seen bystander video that sparked protests that rocked Minneapolis and quickly spread to other U.S. cities and beyond and descended into violence in some cases.

WATCH | Knee on George Floyd’s neck ‘uncalled for,’ veteran officer says:

At the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, the officer with the most seniority on the Minneapolis Police Department said the use of force on George Floyd was ‘uncalled for’ and ‘totally unnecessary.’ 0:55

Langenfeld said that “any amount of time” a patient spends in cardiac arrest without immediate CPR decreases the chance of a good outcome. He said there is an approximately 10 per cent to 15 per cent decrease in survival for every minute that CPR is not administered.

The city of Minneapolis moved soon after Floyd’s death to ban police chokeholds and neck restraints. Arradondo and Mayor Jacob Frey also made several policy changes, including expanding requirements for reporting use-of-force incidents and documenting attempts to de-escalate situations.

Prosecutors have already called supervisory officers to build the case that Chauvin improperly restrained Floyd. A duty sergeant and a lieutenant who leads the homicide division both questioned Chauvin’s actions in pinning Floyd to the ground.

“Totally unnecessary,” Lt. Richard Zimmerman, the longest-tenured officer on the force, testified Friday. He said once Floyd was handcuffed, he saw “no reason for why the officers felt they were in danger, if that’s what they felt, and that’s what they would have to feel to be able to use that kind of force.”

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White House sends a message about foreign policy in announcing Biden call with Trudeau

In announcing a planned phone call on Friday between U.S. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the White House’s intended message was clear: Traditional allies are back in favour while despots, dictators and the killers of dissenters are on the outs.

The way press secretary Jen Psaki announced the scheduled call with Trudeau was revealing, as it came in response to a question that had nothing at all to do with Canada’s prime minister.

She was asked about Vladimir Putin. Specifically, she was asked when Biden would speak with the Russian leader. Psaki replied that it wasn’t an immediate priority.

“[Biden’s] first foreign leader call will be on Friday with Prime Minister Trudeau,” she said.

“I would expect his early calls will be with partners and allies. He feels it’s important to rebuild those relationships.”

U.S. plans to investigate Russia

Psaki elaborated on Putin in a separate news conference where she described Russia as “reckless” and “adversarial.” 

She said Biden has tasked the intelligence community with reporting on a variety of alleged Russian transgressions: cyberattacks on U.S. companies, interference in U.S. politics, the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and Russian-paid bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

Yet the goal of rebalancing relationships away from rivals toward like-minded countries has been tested already.

Some Canadians, notably Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, want trade retaliation against the U.S. following the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline on Day 1 of the new administration. The decision undermines Canada’s No. 1 export to the United States: oil.

WATCH | The National’s report on Keystone XL: 

Many officials are hoping for improved relations between Canada and the United States under President Joe Biden, but his executive order cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline dealt some of those hopes an early blow — especially in Alberta. 2:02

Biden’s foreign policy ambitions will keep being tested as international relationships undergo unwieldy twists on any given issue due to practical and political considerations. 

Here is what we already know about the Biden administration’s approach to other countries after its first couple of days in office.

The moves so far

The administration will release a report on suspected Saudi government involvement in the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, an issue the last administration showed little interest in pursuing.

It is also threatening to cancel support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

It is willing to consider new NATO expansion on Russia’s doorstep, into Georgia, and in fact is staunchly supportive of the international military alliance.


U.S. President Donald Trump, right, seen here in 2018 holding a chart of military hardware sales to Saudi Arabia, had a warm relationship with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, left. Biden will release a report on the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was last seen alive on Oct. 2, 2018, entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

And Biden has rejoined previous alliances the U.S. was either scheduled to exit (the World Health Organization) or had already left (the Paris climate accord).

These activities are intended to signal a dramatic change in foreign policy from Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, who frequently bashed the leaders of democracies and international institutions while simultaneously cultivating friendly relationships with non-democratic leaders in the Middle East, Russia and North Korea.

There will be contradictions in Biden’s approach — as there were in Trump’s. 

For example, while Trump often had kind words for dictators, he also sanctioned their countries on occasion, including Russia and China.


Biden, seen here with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2011, has demanded a series of intelligence reports on Putin’s actions against the U.S. (Alexander Natruskin/Reuters)

Also, don’t count on an ambitious foreign policy from Biden. Early on, the new administration will be busy juggling domestic crises, said Edward Alden, an expert on Canada-U.S. relations.

“I think we are going to see an approach to alliances that looks a lot like [Barack] Obama’s — engaged, respectful, but not overly ambitious,” said Alden, a senior fellow at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations.

“The United States has enormous problems at home, and those are going to take priority for some time.” 

Alden said he does expect some new international initiatives, such as more active co-operation on global vaccine distribution.

Biden wants changes on Canada-U.S. pandemic travel 

On COVID-19, Biden also wants to immediately connect with Canada and Mexico to establish new rules within 14 days for pandemic-related travel safety measures.   

Alden also expects an attempt to rework and revive the international nuclear deal with Iran, and establish greater co-ordination with other countries in confronting China.

For example, Biden has proposed a summit of democracies where countries can share ideas for countering autocracies. 

Biden’s nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, told his confirmation hearing this week that the last administration had a point in reorienting policy toward Beijing.

“President Trump was right in taking a tougher approach to China,” Blinken said. “The basic principle was the right one, and I think that’s actually helpful to our foreign policy.”

He got into a testy exchange at that hearing with Sen. Rand Paul, a libertarian-minded Republican who favours a hands-off approach on foreign affairs. 

When Blinken said he was open to expanding NATO membership to Russia’s neighbour Georgia, Paul called that a recipe for war with Russia.

Blinken argued the opposite is true. After years of Russian incursions in non-NATO Georgia and Ukraine, recent evidence suggests Russia is most belligerent with countries outside NATO’s shield, he said.

Keystone XL: The early irritant

Biden and Trudeau are expected to discuss new travel measures to control the spread of COVID-19, as well as Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline expansion that would run south from Alberta to Nebraska.

So far, Trudeau has shown little desire to escalate the pipeline issue. 

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, on the other hand, has demanded retaliatory action, and some trade experts say potential legal avenues do exist.

WATCH | Kenny on the fate of Keystone XL: 

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says the federal government ‘folded’ in response to U.S President Joe Biden’s decision to revoke the Keystone XL pipeline. 2:14

But they’re skeptical they will achieve much.

Eric Miller of the Rideau Potomac Strategy Group, a cross-border consulting firm specializing in trade and government affairs, said the best that pipeline-backers can hope for is to sue the U.S. government for financial compensation for the cancelled project.

He said the Alberta government and the project’s developer, TC Energy, can try suing under the investor-state dispute chapter in the old NAFTA, which will remain in effect for two more years for existing investments.

“[But] nothing is going to force the Biden administration to deliver the permit,” Miller said.

“One has to be clear that there is no world in which Joe Biden [retreats on this].”

Canada-U.S. trade lawyer Dan Ujczo said he doubts complaints from Canada will make a difference. He said the most politically effective argument for the pipeline would come from Americans — from the companies and unions that would have serviced the project.

The Ohio-based lawyer said challenges under U.S. laws, such as the Administrative Procedures Act, could potentially work, but he cautioned: “They’re high hurdles.”

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North Korea’s Kim threatens to expand nuclear program, citing ‘hostile’ U.S. policy

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un threatened to expand his nuclear arsenal and develop more sophisticated atomic weapons systems, saying the fate of relations with the United States depends on whether it abandons its hostile policy, state media reported Saturday.

Kim’s comments made Friday during a key meeting of the ruling party were seen as an effort to apply pressure on the incoming government of U.S. president-elect Joe Biden, who has called Kim a “thug” and has criticized his nuclear summitry with President Donald Trump.

The Korean Central News Agency said Saturday that Kim says the “key to establishing new relations between [North Korea] and the United States is whether the United States withdraws its hostile policy” from North Korea.

Kim says he won’t use his nukes unless “hostile forces” intend to use their nuclear weapons against North Korea first. But he says North Korea must further strengthen its military and nuclear capability as the danger of a U.S. invasion of North Korea increases.

Kim ordered officials to develop missiles with multiple warheads, underwater-launched nuclear missiles, spy satellites and nuclear-powered submarines.


A North Korean navy truck carries the a submarine-launched ballistic missile during a military parade in Pyongyang in April 2017. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

He said North Korea must also advance the precision attack capability on targets in the 15,000 kilometre-striking range, an apparent reference to the U.S. mainland, and develop the technology to manufacture smaller, lighter nuclear warheads to be mounted on long-range missiles more easily.

“Nothing would be more foolish and dangerous than not strengthening our might tirelessly and having an easygoing attitude at a time when we clearly see the enemy’s state-of-the-art weapons are being increased more than ever,” Kim said. “The reality is that we can achieve peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula when we constantly build up our national defence and suppress U.S. military threats.”

It’s unclear if North Korea is capable of developing such modern weapons systems. It is one of the world’s most cloistered countries, and estimates on the exact status of its nuclear and missile programs vary widely.

Kim’s comments came during the North’s ruling party congress that was convened for the first time in five years.


In this photo provided by the North Korean government, a ruling party congress is held in Pyongyang on Tuesday. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

It’s the Workers Party’s top decision-making body, and it is being held as Kim faces what appears to be the toughest moment of his nine-year rule due to the so-called triple blow to his already-fragile economy — pandemic-related border closings that have sharply reduced the North’s external trade, a spate of natural disasters last summer and U.S.-led sanctions.

During his opening-day speech at the congress, Kim called these difficulties the “worst-ever” and “unprecedented.” He also admitted his previous economic plans had failed and vowed to adopt a new five-year development plan.

Fractured diplomacy with Trump

Kim’s high-stakes nuclear diplomacy with President Donald Trump has remained stalled for nearly two years because of disputes over U.S.-led sanctions on the North.

When Kim abruptly entered talks with the U.S., he expressed his intent to negotiate not advancing nuclear arsenals in return for economic and political benefits. But as long as the diplomatic impasse prolongs, he’s openly pledged to expand the nuclear program that he calls a “powerful treasured sword” that can cope with U.S. hostility.

Some foreign experts say Kim from the beginning hadn’t any intention of fully relinquishing his bomb program and only attempted to use diplomacy with Trump as a way to weaken the sanctions and buy time to perfect his nuclear program.

WATCH | Biden says Trump’s approach to Kim like having a ‘good relationship with Hitler’:

The Democratic candidate criticized the president’s foreign policy approach to Kim Jong-un. 0:32

Months before his diplomacy with Trump began, Kim claimed to have acquired the ability to attack the American mainland with nuclear missiles following a torrid run of weapons tests in 2016-17.

But that run invited new rounds of crippling U.S.-led sanctions that impose a ban on key exports such as coal, seafood and textiles and a significant curtailing of oil imports. Kim’s state media have said those sanctions are “strangling and stifling our country” and are proof of U.S. hostility.

South Korea’s spy agency said Kim is worried about Biden who is unlikely to hold any direct meetings with him unless North Korea takes serious steps toward denuclearization.

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Newegg Changes Return Policy to Combat Scammers, Harm Customers

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Online retailers worldwide have been dealing with an unwanted influx of automated purchasing bots since early this fall. These online bots, which originated in sneaker-collecting sites, allow unethical individuals to snap up more of a given product than they would otherwise be able to purchase. Online distributors such as Newegg have no interest in seeing their own products resold on eBay for more money, and so the company has made a change to its refund policy that was intended to hurt botting. Unfortunately, it’s also hit regular customers, too.

Up until now, if you bought a bundle deal on Newegg, you could return part of the bundle. This voided the discounted price you originally received, but it also allowed you to receive a refund for the value of the product minus the value of the applied discount. In other words, if Newegg originally gave you a $ 25 discount on a $ 75 power supply in a GPU + PSU bundle, you’d get $ 50 back if you returned the PSU. The only reason you had to return the entire bundle is if the value of the returned item was smaller than the value of the discount.

Newegg’s old policy versus its new one. Image by Redditor HookEm2013.

Hot Hardware first wrote about this difference, so hat-tip to them for the news. Under the new policy, all items in a bundle must be returned in order for you to receive a refund. Note that you do not need to return all items if you need a replacement for a defective piece of merchandise — this change applies specifically to those seeking refunds.

How Does This Fight Scammers?

Newegg has begun bundling its high-end GPUs as a way of ensuring that actual customers buy them instead of scammers. If you have to buy a PSU / motherboard / CPU alongside a graphics card, it means you have to move two products, not just one. There may not be any particular demand for the second product, it’s annoying to have to deal with the additional inventory, and you have to provide additional packing material and boxes, especially if your bundle came in a single package. None of these deterrents are going to automatically stop scammers, but they make the entire process more uncertain and annoying.

At least, that appears to have been the hope.

It’s not clear how much of Newegg’s stock is being preferentially diverted to RTX bundles instead of card sales, since there was no available inventory for either when I visited. There’s an obvious potential downside to this push, however — if you force people to buy bundles in order to get their hands on a brand-new GPU, and you refuse to allow partial returns, yes, this does constitute a barrier to bots — but it also harms gamers who never wanted a new PSU / motherboard / CPU in the first place, and only took the bundled deal to avoid having to buy a card from a scalping service.

This problem does not seem to have a simple solution without baking some kind of identification / address confirmation into the purchase process, with all of the concerns about personal privacy that it entails. Forcing gamers to buy components they don’t need and can’t return is a lousy way to address the problem. It just so happens to also guarantee Newegg a little extra profit, and while we’re not implying that’s why the company took these steps, we doubt they’re crying over the bonus revenue.

There’s an intrinsic conflict of interest any time a company says “You have to buy X in order to buy Y,” and while bundling is scarcely illegal, it doesn’t engender warm feelings in every case.

Bundles are better than scalping, in that they at least offer some protection against getting fleeced. If I had to pick between paying a random scalper on eBay or Newegg the same amount of money, I’d pick Newegg. The search for a solution to this problem that doesn’t require further invasions of privacy and/or agreeing to pay more money than the manufacturer says you should have to pay goes on.

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Trump’s Supreme Court nominee to senators: Courts ‘should not try’ to make policy

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett will tell senators that courts “should not try” to make policy, leaving those decisions to the political branches of government, according to opening remarks for her confirmation hearing obtained Sunday by The Associated Press.

The Senate judiciary committee hearings, set to begin Monday as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the country, are taking place three weeks before election day and after millions of Americans have already voted. President Donald Trump nominated the federal appeals court judge soon after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Sept. 18.

“I have been nominated to fill Justice Ginsburg’s seat, but no one will ever take her place,” Barrett will tell the committee, according to her opening remarks.

Barrett says she has resolved to maintain the same perspective as her mentor, the late justice Antonin Scalia, who was “devoted to his family, resolute in his beliefs and fearless of criticism.”

She speaks extensively of her family in the statement and says she will never let the law define her identity or crowd out the rest of her life. She says a similar principle applies to the courts, which are “not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life.”

“The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the People,” she says. “The public should not expect courts to do so, and courts should not try.”

Hearings so close to election unprecedented

Republicans, who control the Senate, are moving at a breakneck pace to put the 48-year-old judge on the Supreme Court before the Nov. 3 election, in time to hear a high-profile challenge to the Affordable Care Act and any election-related challenges that may follow the voting.

Another reason for moving quickly: It’s unclear whether the election results would make it harder to confirm Barrett before the end of the year if Democrat Joe Biden were to win the White House and Democrats were to gain seats in the Senate.

The hearing is taking place less than a month after the death of Ginsburg gave Trump the chance to replace the liberal justice and entrench a conservative majority on the nine-member court. Barrett would be Trump’s third Supreme Court justice.

The country will get an extended look at Barrett over three days, beginning with her opening statement late Monday and hours of questioning on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Democrats have pressed in vain so far to delay the hearings, first because of the proximity to the election and now the coronavirus threat. No Supreme Court nominee has ever been confirmed so close to a presidential election.

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Fewer COVID-19 deaths in B.C. than Ontario long-term care credited to funding, policy

Quicker, more decisive action against COVID-19 in British Columbia is one of the reasons the province has suffered far fewer long-term care deaths than Ontario, a new study says.

The analysis published on Wednesday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal also points to less funding, more privatization and less co-ordination between homes and hospitals as factors that drove the spread of the novel coronavirus among Ontario’s most vulnerable.

One of the paper’s authors, Dr. Irfan Dhalla of St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto, said there’s already been a worrying rise in infections as parts of Ontario grapple with a second wave.

And despite lessons learned from the first wave of the pandemic, Dhalla said front-line workers say the province is still not adequately prepared for a new influx of long-term care cases.

“Long-term care has been somewhat neglected and somewhat underfunded across the country,” Dhalla said Wednesday, nevertheless commending B.C. for acting decisively to limit cases and deaths.

“All of these factors mean that when the pandemic hit, the chances of a better outcome — or a less worse outcome — in British Columbia, were more favourable.”

As of Sept. 10, Ontario reported 1,817 resident deaths from COVID-19, compared to 156 deaths in B.C. The number of cases among LTC residents in Ontario totaled nearly 6,000 compared to 466 in B.C.

This week, Ontario Premier Doug Ford pledged more measures to rein in COVID-19 at long-term care homes, including restrictions to visitors in provincial hot-spots starting Monday.

Ford also announced $ 540 million to help long-term care homes support staff, pay for renovations and bolster infection control.

But the Ontario Long Term Care Association, which represents home operators, has said homes are reeling from a staffing crisis and need more support.

Dhalla said B.C.’s system entered the pandemic with several advantages, including better co-ordination between long-term care, public health and hospitals, more money for long-term care, fewer shared rooms and more comprehensive inspections.

In 2018–2019, the researchers said the average combined funding per resident per day was higher in British Columbia ($ 222) than in Ontario ($ 203). Most of the funding was used to pay staff in both provinces. 

Long-term care residents were more likely to live in shared rooms in Ontario (63 per cent) than in B.C. (24 per cent).

B.C.’s Dr. Bonnie Henry acted decisively

Dhalla also credited B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry with quicker action to address staffing and infection prevention and control, as well as her ability to harness public support with clear, consistent messages.

“Bonnie Henry has received worldwide acclaim for her leadership, the compassion that she demonstrates from the podium, her willingness to act decisively,” said Dhalla.   

WATCH | COVID-19 outbreaks return in Ontario long-term care homes:

There are at least 46 confirmed outbreaks at Ontario long-term care homes as the province scrambles to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 from getting out of control. But after almost 1,900 deaths in long-term care homes since the pandemic began, some say the province should have been able to prevent these new outbreaks. 2:11

In contrast, Ontario’s health system was in a state of flux as regional health networks and several provincial agencies were merged into a single agency called Ontario Health, said the paper.

That saw the departure of several senior leaders who have yet to be replaced, and came amid budget cuts for Public Health Ontario and individual public health units.

Dhalla acknowledged that some Ontario regions and facilities did better than others because of quicker COVID-19 responses, “but that didn’t happen across the province.”

The researchers said that since residents of long-term care homes will always be vulnerable to infections, they recommended that governments:

  • Ensure clear, consistent communication.
  • Respond rapidly and proactively.
  • Ensure disparities between for-profit and non-profit homes do not affect quality of care.
  • Move to single rooms.
  • Ensure infection prevention and control teams can support LTC homes during outbreaks.
  • Consider organizational structures to support integration between LTC, public health and hospitals.

Even short delays in introducing precautions for LTC homes may have had a substantial effect on the burden of COVID-19 given the nature of exponential growth, the study’s authors said. 

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Princeton to remove former U.S. president Woodrow Wilson’s name from public policy school

The latest:

Princeton University has announced plans to remove the name of former president Woodrow Wilson from its public policy school because of his segregationist views, reversing a decision the Ivy League school in Princeton, N.J., made four years ago to keep the name.

University president Christopher Eisgruber said in a letter to the school community Saturday that the board of trustees had concluded that “Wilson’s racist views and policies make him an inappropriate namesake” for Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs and the residential college.

Eisgruber said the trustees decided in April 2016 on some changes to make the university “more inclusive and more honest about its history” but decided to retain Wilson’s name, but revisited the issue in light of the recent killings of George Floyd and others.

Floyd died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into his neck for several minutes even as he pleaded for air and stopped moving.

Wilson, governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913 and then the 28th U.S. president from 1913 to 1921, supported segregation and imposed it on several federal agencies not racially divided up to that point. He also barred Black students from Princeton while serving as university president and spoke approvingly of the Ku Klux Klan.

Earlier in the week, Monmouth University of New Jersey removed Wilson’s name from one of its most prominent buildings, citing efforts to increase diversity and inclusiveness. The superintendent of the Camden school district also announced plans to rename Woodrow Wilson High School, one of the district’s two high schools.


Woodrow Wilson is pictured in 1924. (The Associated Press)

“Wilson’s racism was significant and consequential even by the standards of his own time,” Eisgruber said.

The former president’s segregationist policies “make him an especially inappropriate namesake for a public policy school,” he said.

The trustees said they had taken what they called “this extraordinary step” because Wilson’s name was not appropriate “for a school whose scholars, students, and alumni must be firmly committed to combatting the scourge of racism in all its forms.”

The school will now be known as the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, he said. Princeton had already planned to close Wilson College and retire its name after opening two new residential colleges currently under construction but will change the name to First College immediately.

Eisgruber said the conclusions “may seem harsh to some” since Wilson is credited with having “remade Princeton, converting it from a sleepy college into a great research university,” and he went on to become president and receive a Nobel Prize.

But while Princeton honoured Wilson despite or perhaps even in ignorance of his views, that is part of the problem, Eisgruber said.

“Princeton is part of an America that has too often disregarded, ignored, or excused racism, allowing the persistence of systems that discriminate against Black people,” he said.


The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University is pictured in 2015. (Mel Evans/The Associated Press)

Four years ago, a 10-member committee gathered input from Wilson scholars and more than 600 submissions from alumni, faculty and the public before concluding that Wilson’s accomplishments merited commemoration, so long as his faults were also candidly recognized. The committee report also said using his name “implies no endorsement of views and actions that conflict with the values and aspirations of our times.”

Thousands call for justice in death of Black man put into chokehold

Thousands of demonstrators gathered outside a suburban Denver police building Saturday to call for justice in the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man put into a chokehold by police last year.

McClain’s death last August has prompted a handful of small protests over the last 10 months, but his case has garnered renewed attention amid the global outcry sparked when Floyd died.

Saturday’s demonstrations in Aurora were organized by the Denver chapter of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, the Denver Post reported. They began with a march and rally, which were expected to be followed by a youth-led protest and a violin vigil.


Demonstrators carry placards as they walk down Sable Boulevard during a rally and march over the death of 23-year-old Elijah McClain on Saturday in Aurora, Colo. McClain died in late August 2019 after he was stopped while walking to his apartment by three Aurora Police Department officers. (David Zalubowski/The Associated Press)

One protester, 25-year-old Franklin Williams, came to show support and make sure the fervour continues.

“This shouldn’t be a moment,” Williams said. “This should be a movement.”

Social media posts of the protests early Saturday afternoon showed crowds of people demonstrating peacefully while police forces stood by wearing tactical gear.

Some in the crowd chanted, “Why are you in riot gear? We don’t see no riot here.”

Marchers walked behind a banner reading, “Justice for Elijah McClain, murdered by Aurora police.”

Mississippi moves to remove Confederate battle emblem from state flag

Spectators at the Mississippi Capitol broke into applause Saturday as lawmakers took a big step toward erasing the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag, a symbol that has come under intensifying criticism in recent weeks amid nationwide protests against racial injustice.

“The eyes of the state, the nation and indeed the world are on this House,” the second-ranking office in the Mississippi House, Jason White, told his colleagues.


The gallery of the Mississippi Senate rise and applaud Saturday after the body passed a resolution that would allow lawmakers to change the state flag. (Rogelio V. Solis/The Associated Press)

The House and Senate voted by more than the required two-thirds majority to suspend legislative deadlines and file a bill to change the flag. That would allow debate on a bill as soon as Sunday.

Saturday’s vote was the big test, though, because of the margin. Only a simple majority is needed to pass a bill.

Republican Gov. Tate Reeves said Saturday for the first time that he would sign a bill to change the flag if the Republican-controlled legislature sends him one. He had previously said that he would not veto one — a more passive stance.

Alabama officer fired after posting image of protester in crosshairs

An Alabama police chief says one of his officers has been fired after posting a photo on social media that depicted a protester in the crosshairs of a rifle scope.

Former Officer Ryan Snow was fired Friday, Hoover police Chief Nick Derzis said.

The officer posted the image on Facebook Tuesday in response to an article about protesters at the Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta where Rayshard Brooks was killed, AL.com reported. Protesters torched the restaurant June 13, the night after police killed Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man, in the restaurant parking lot after he resisted arrest and fired a Taser while he was running away.

Snow admitted to posting the image, which also included the comment: “Exhale. Feel. Pause. Press steadily. That’s what’s next,” Derzis said.

“When I saw the post and the image, it sickened me,” Derzis said. “It certainly did not adhere to the standards expected of every officer who wears our uniform.

“This type of conduct will not be tolerated in our department and is not representative of the professionalism expected by all of our officers.”

Hoover is just south of Birmingham and home to about 86,000 residents.

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Facebook takes down Trump campaign posts, ads for violating organized hate policy

Facebook said on Thursday it took down posts and ads run by the re-election campaign of U.S. President Donald Trump for violating its policy against organized hate.

The ads showed a red inverted triangle with text asking Facebook users to sign a petition against Antifa, a loosely organized anti-fascist movement.

Trump and Attorney General William Barr have repeatedly singled out Antifa as a major instigator of recent unrest during nationwide anti-racism protests, with little evidence.

“Our policy prohibits using a banned hate group’s symbol to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol,” said a Facebook company spokesperson.

The symbol was used in Facebook ads run on pages belonging to Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence, as well as on ads and posts on the Team Trump page.


“Whether aware of the history or meaning, for the Trump campaign to use a symbol — one which is practically identical to that used by the Nazi regime to classify political prisoners in concentration camps — to attack his opponents is offensive and deeply troubling,” said Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, in a statement.

Tim Murtaugh, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, said in an email, “The inverted red triangle is a symbol used by Antifa, so it was included in an ad about Antifa.”

“We would note that Facebook still has an inverted red triangle emoji in use, which looks exactly the same, so it’s curious that they would target only this ad. The image is also not included in the Anti-Defamation League’s database of symbols of hate.”

A spokesperson for the ADL said its database was not one of historical Nazi symbols but of those “commonly used by modern extremists and white supremacists in the United States.”


He also said that there have been some Antifa who have used the red triangle but that it was not a particularly common symbol used by the group.

Mark Bray, a historian at Rutgers University and author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, said that the red triangle had been reclaimed by some leftist groups in the United Kingdom and Germany after the Second World War but that he had never come across any use of it by anti-fascists in the U.S.


An Auschwitz death camp survivor wears a sash bearing a red triangle denoting a political prisoner during a gathering to remember Holocaust victims in Oswiecim, Poland, in January 2005. (Associated Press)

A Reuters tally counted 88 versions of the ad using the symbol from the three Facebook pages. Ads from Trump’s page had gained at least 800,000 impressions, according to Facebook’s ad library.

Asked about the ads’ removal at a U.S. House intelligence committee hearing on Thursday, Facebook’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, said the company would be consistent in taking the same actions if the symbol appeared in other places on the platform.

Facebook has previously removed Trump campaign ads, including ones that violated the company’s policy against misinformation on the government’s census.

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‘Mark is wrong’: Facebook employees go public regarding site policy on political speech

Facebook employees critical of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s decision not to act on U.S. President Donald Trump’s inflammatory comments about protests across the United States went public on Twitter, praising the rival social media firm for acting and rebuking their own employer.

Many tech workers at companies including Facebook, Google and Amazon have actively pursued issues of social justice in recent years, urging their employers to take action and change policies.

Even so, the weekend criticism marked a rare case of high-level employees publicly taking their chief executive to task, with at least three of the seven critical posts seen by Reuters coming from people who identified themselves as senior managers.

“Mark is wrong, and I will endeavour in the loudest possible way to change his mind,” wrote Ryan Freitas, whose Twitter account identifies him as director of product design for Facebook’s News Feed. He added he had mobilized, “50+ likeminded folks” to lobby for internal change.


Jason Toff, identified as director of product management, wrote: “I work at Facebook and I am not proud of how we’re showing up. The majority of coworkers I’ve spoken to feel the same way. We are making our voice heard.”

A spokesperson said the company is open to employee feedback.

“We recognize the pain many of our people are feeling right now, especially our black community,” Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone wrote in a text, referring to company employees.

“We encourage employees to speak openly when they disagree with leadership. As we face additional difficult decisions around content ahead, we’ll continue seeking their honest feedback.”

‘Respect to Twitter’s integrity team’

Twitter affixed a warning label late last week to a tweet from Trump in which he had included the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” with respect to Minneapolis protests over the death of George Floyd, which had taken a violent turn. Twitter said the tweet violated its rules against glorifying violence but was being left up as a public service exception.

Facebook declined to take action on the same message, with Zuckerberg saying in a Facebook post on Friday that while he found the remarks “deeply offensive,” they did not violate company policy against incitements to violence and people should know if the government was planning to deploy state force.


This image from the Twitter account of U.S. President Donald Trump shows a tweet he posted on May 29 after protesters in Minneapolis torched a police station. The tweet drew a warning from Twitter for Trump’s rhetoric, with the social media giant saying he had ‘violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence.’ (Twitter/The Associated Press)

In the post, Zuckerberg, who last week took pains to distance his company from the fight between Twitter and Trump, also said Facebook had been in touch with the White House to explain its policies.

But some of the dissenting employees directly praised Twitter’s response.

“Respect to @Twitter’s integrity team for making the enforcement call,” wrote David Gillis, identified as a director of product design. In a long Twitter thread he said he understood the logic of Facebook’s decision, but: “I think it would have been right for us to make a ‘spirit of the policy’ exception that took more context into account.”


Jason Stirman, in research and development at Facebook, said Trump’s posts “clearly incite violence.”

“There isn’t a neutral position on racism.”

Andrew Crow, head of design for the Portal product, said he disagrees with Zuckerberg’s position and vowed to work to make change.

“Giving a platform to incite violence and spread disinformation is unacceptable, regardless who you are or if it’s newsworthy,” Crow wrote.

Toff was one of several Facebook employees who were organizing fundraisers for racial justice groups in Minnesota. Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post on Monday that the company would contribute an additional $ 10 million US to social justice causes.

Mail-in voting tweet got 1st warning

Twitter’s first warning for Trump last week said his claims on a post about mail-in ballots were false and had been debunked by fact-checkers.

The blue exclamation mark notification on May 26 prompted readers to “get the facts about mail-in ballots,” and directed them to a page with news articles and information about the claims aggregated by Twitter staffers. Trump, who has more than 80 million followers on Twitter, had claimed in tweets earlier in the day that mail-in ballots for the election in November would be “substantially fraudulent” and result in a “rigged election.”

“We have a different policy than, I think, Twitter on this,” Zuckerberg told Fox News in an interview recorded after Twitter’s decision and broadcast on May 28.

Tensions between social media platform Twitter and President Donald Trump escalated today… For the first time ever, Twitter added a warning to two of the president’s tweets saying he violated the platform’s rules of glorifying violence. In one of the tweets he said quote “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” referring to protests in Minneapolis right now. This move comes after Trump signed an executive order that could limit social media companies in how they police content. Ramona Pringle is Here and Now’s technology columnist. 7:33

Zuckerberg has said on more than one occasion that he doesn’t want Facebook to be the “arbiter of truth,” though Facebook announced last year that it would take action on some campaign posts encouraging voter suppression and spreading voter misinformation, which are the areas the Twitter fact-check concerned.

As well, Facebook has banned some accounts and groups related to the QAnon political conspiracy theory, as well as those violating the site’s terms by spreading coronavirus misinformation.

After Twitter’s action concerning the tweet on voting by mail, Trump signed an executive order challenging the liability protections from lawsuits for what is posted on their platforms, but it is unclear if the order would survive a likely court challenge.

Technology companies blasted the move, saying it would stifle innovation and speech on the internet. Even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has supported Trump most of the time with respect to economic policy, shared its objections.

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How the Trudeau government is failing the world’s most vulnerable despite its ‘feminist’ aid policy

This column is an opinion by Sakshi Shetty and Kassandra Neranjan. Shetty is a University of Toronto graduate, and a researcher on gender and global health who is working with social enterprises in Toronto. Neranjan is a BCL/JD candidate at the McGill Faculty of Law and a gender justice thought leader, conducting research and advocating on issues surrounding the rights of women and girls. For more information about CBC’s Opinion section, please see the FAQ.

On International Women’s Day, it’s critical to reflect upon the Canadian government’s failure to properly support some of the most marginalized people in our global society: stateless Rohingya women.

Since its launch in 2017, the Trudeau government has promoted its “Feminist International Assistance Policy,” aimed at supporting the economic, political, and social empowerment of women and girls. Yet despite providing aid funding, the government has displayed woefully inadequate action in the context of the Rohingya genocide and refugee crisis.

It has been two and a half years since 800,000 Rohingya fled genocide in Rakhine, Myanmar, at the hands of the state military. Today, tens of thousands of displaced Rohingya people remain stateless, traumatized, and rely on humanitarian aid to live in the world’s largest refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Many are barred from obtaining employment, and have limited mobility or educational opportunities within the camps.

And the Rohingya crisis is a gendered crisis – 60 per cent of the refugees are women and children. Human Rights Watch reports that rape was used as a systematic weapon of war against women by the Myanmar military to incite terror and drive Rohingya families into exile while their villages were destroyed.

Rohingya women and girls now face a new set of insecurities related to their safety and future in the Bangladesh refugee camps. Adolescent girls who do not have the opportunity to attend school or work are at risk of being forced into early child marriage or victimized by human trafficking. Facing severe security risks in the camps, women often stay in their small huts and engage in care work.

In researching the conditions Rohingya women and girls face in the refugee camps and how aid is being provided, we found that many individuals in the non-governmental organization (NGO) community view gender-based considerations to be non-essential. Some aid officials believe that factoring in notions of gender when implementing programs detracts from providing life-saving assistance for the overarching population.

Consequently, many current humanitarian aid projects fail to address the underlying physical and mental trauma that Rohingya women have faced due to military persecution and additional traumatization in refugee camps.


Young people sell goods on a bridge in a Rohingya refugee camp on Jan. 23 in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. (Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

The stark reality is that as a result of their age, gender, statelessness, and religion, Rohingya women and girls have faced extreme trauma and violence. Thus, when being supported by the international development community, it is crucial that considerations of gender are mainstreamed across all aid interventions. For instance, health care services are often extremely limited, and fail to address the systemic concerns of dehumanization, sexual violence, family planning and more. Rohingya women also resort to negative coping mechanisms and are drawn into exploitative labour practices when they lack proper education and employment opportunities in the camps.

One may argue that in a crisis situation there is a requirement to provide life-saving aid first. However, whether providing food, education or health care, catering to gender and providing life-saving aid must not be seen as incompatible.

Of particular concern, we believe, is the fact that some humanitarian organizations draft proposals that appear to be gender-sensitive, but in the long run, these gendered considerations are not implemented.

Lack of proper planning and oversight is at the root of the problem. Canada is the fifth-largest single country donor to the Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis in Bangladesh. Yet despite its “feminist” international assistance policy, Canada is failing to ensure that the millions it is investing in humanitarian aid effectively addresses the basic needs of women and girls.


Women wait for treatment outside a hospital in a Rohingya refugee camp on Jan. 23 in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. (Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

Fundamentally missing is Canada’s role in creating accountability mechanisms that ensure women and girls are centred in all the humanitarian assistance projects it collaborates in and funds. Without this oversight, these projects risk being unsustainable and inaccessible to Rohingya women who desperately need them.

And while Canada purports to champion a feminist strategy, it has also done little so far politically to support Rohingya women and girls.

In recent weeks, smaller states like Gambia and Maldives have filed accusations of genocide against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Although Canada has recognized the atrocities in Myanmar as constitutive of genocide, it has not engaged with any fervour to spearhead such accusations in the international sphere.

Gambia’s case allowed for provisional measures, taken last month, to prevent the genocide of the remaining Rohingya in Myanmar. The actions of the Maldivian and Gambian governments, and the ICJ’s approval of the probe, may allow the implementation of the UN Genocide Convention, which would catalyze criminal proceedings against Myanmar.

The International Court of Justice has ordered Myanmar to protect its Muslim Rohingya population from persecution and atrocities. 1:14

However, Myanmar’s compliance has now become a topic of concern. While the court has no enforcement power, any member of the United Nations, and thus Canada, can request action from the Security Council based on its rulings. Keeping in mind that Justin Trudeau recently toured Africa seeking UN votes for Canada to take a position on the Security Council, it would be interesting to see this same zeal applied to exploring how the Rohingya can be protected by the international community.

Canada, a founding author of The Responsibility to Protect, could defend the Rohingya from the risk of genocide by using this same doctrine, for example. It allows states to intervene in other countries to protect populations at risk of genocide.

Similarly, Canada could employ principles of non-refoulment entrenched in international law, which prevents states from displacing specific populations to regions where their safety is at risk — a real fear of many Rohingya women.

It is imperative that the concerns of Rohingya women and girls, and the daily realities they face, are acknowledged and used to shape the principles of forthcoming Canadian aid and foreign policy. Without these considerations and political action, Canada continues to be complicit in the ongoing repression of the Rohingya people.

The Trudeau government’s feminist policy will remain empty words until the mechanisms for humanitarian accountability and its international policies effectively empower the women and girls they claim to support.


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