Watch the Game Highlights from Iowa Wolves vs. Memphis Hustle, 02/27/2021
Watch the Game Highlights from Iowa Wolves vs. Memphis Hustle, 02/27/2021
“It’s not the end result we were hoping for,” her uncle said. “But at least we ... can start the healing process.”
Queries about an indefinite delay in second doses of COVID-19 vaccines and why neither younger adults with disabilities nor front-line workers are up next in the queue for jabs dominated the first town hall on the province’s immunization plan. For an hour Tuesday evening, Manitoba’s health minister, top doctor, and two senior officials with the vaccine task force fielded questions from residents in rural and northern communities about the vaccine rollout via phone call. “The vaccine really is a path out of the pandemic,” said Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the vaccine task force, in her opening remarks. “We’ve reached 20 per cent of Manitobans and we still have a long way to go.” Throughout the telephone town hall, officials were repeatedly asked why the province is delaying follow-up shots. In response, Reimer explained the data supporting a delay in the second dose is “quite overwhelming,” given high rates of first shot effectiveness in protecting patients against severe outcomes — which she pegged to be between 70 per cent to a percentage in the late 80s — and the benefit to all Manitobans. She estimated those who’ve received only one shot will be able to get a top-up this summer. Johanu Botha, co-lead of the vaccine task force, reassured callers there will be widespread communication once second doses are available. Botha also responded Tuesday to a couple of rural residents who expressed disappointment that pop-up clinics in their regions were cancelled because of supply. He indicated Manitoba may have to prioritize super sites in the future because they are the most effective model to get the most jabs in arms. There currently five super sites, one in every health region, and pop-up clinics have been held in dozens of communities to date. When callers posed questions about who should be prioritized for vaccines now, Reimer said a team of epidemiologists, physicians and other experts are pouring over data to figure out how best to proceed. She also said the province is waiting on research before it hopefully resumes administering AstraZeneca vaccines to people under 55, considers mixing up different vaccines for second doses to increase effectiveness, and can potentially vaccinate youth. Near the end of the call, one individual asked the panel why they should bother to get a vaccine if life won’t return to normal. To that question, Dr. Brent Roussin offered a message of hope: “All pandemics end.” The province’s top doctor added, “Right now, yes, just because someone gets a single dose of vaccine, we can’t lift all public health orders, but going forward, that is absolutely in the plan. We need to be patient. We need to continue with these fundamentals a little bit longer, and I know people are tired of hearing that, but we’re looking at a really good summer if we can get many Manitobans vaccinated.” Earlier in the call, Roussin suggested herd immunity benefits will be evident when about 70 per cent of Manitobans get vaccinated. The province is hosting a town hall for Winnipeg residents on the same subject Thursday. Maggie Macintosh, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Free Press
Government of Canada officials will hold a technical briefing to provide an overview on the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines.
For the first time in Season 5, "Masked Singer" host Nick Cannon kicked off the show, after recovering from COVID-19. For Orca, it was time to exit.
Parents will have an opportunity to weigh in on how the province can improve local voice and engagement amid sweeping reforms to the K-12 public school system. Education Minister Cliff Cullen announced Tuesday plans to create a road map for implementing reforms with the public’s input via regional town halls, workshops with parent advisory councils and school leaders, and new advisory groups on everything from curriculum to inclusive education. The province is creating a parental engagement task force, which will be composed of MLAs and parents, as well as school and community leaders, to lead 15 virtual town halls and workshops. Cullen said he also plans to undertake a “teacher listening tour.” “A lot of the recommendations in the K-12 review were, I would say, goals. There was no road map in terms of how we achieve those goals,” Cullen said. “This really is about engaging with Manitobans now to determine what that road map looks like.” One month ago, the province released the final report of the K-12 commission, a list of lessons learned amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and both an action plan and the Education Modernization Act (Bill 64) to address the above two. The education department indicated public consultations would be held from April to June to pinpoint next steps. The department has collected feedback through an online survey, met with 30 stakeholder groups, and heard from 320 people who work in the education system and are interested in participating in the engagement process. Bill 64 proposes to replace Manitoba’s 37 English school boards with a provincial education authority made up of government appointees. The new centralized board is expected to oversee hundreds of public schools, each with its own new school community council, within 15 new regions. Cullen has touted the new school councils, which will be composed of volunteer parents, as part of a model that will empower caregivers. One local council executive from each of the new regions will serve on an advisory council to the minister and at least two of these representatives will be appointed to the centralized board — the only entity with real decision-making power. On Tuesday, the minister said the task force leading the upcoming forums will submit recommendations on the roles and responsibilities of school councils, in addition to resources required to support them and address potential roadblocks to participation. The province is also going to pilot these councils in a few schools to explore “best practices.” “I’m happy to hear that (Cullen) will be listening to teachers,” said Nathan Martindale, vice-president of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society, about the minister’s announcement about a teacher tour. “I’m sure our members will take him up on that and certainly voice their concerns.” The NDP education critic isn’t as optimistic the consultations will yield much change, given Bill 64 “doesn’t even reflect 10 per cent of what’s in the education review.” “This clearly is just another dodge-and-deflect strategy that won’t result in any real changes coming from this government,” said Nello Altomare. The province plans to publish its road map in September. Maggie Macintosh, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Free Press
The Houston Rockets are investigating a cyber attack that attempted to install ransomware on the basketball team's internal systems, and the organization is working closely with the FBI, team officials said. "Our internal security tools prevented ransomware from being installed except for a few systems that have not impacted our operations," the statement added.
A look at what’s happening around the majors Thursday: ___ REMEMBERING JACKIE All players, managers, coaches and umpires will wear No. 42 to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day, marking the anniversary of the date the Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Famer made his Major League Baseball debut and broke the sport’s colour barrier in 1947. A video produced by MLB Network titled “Thank You, Jackie” narrated by former star Curtis Granderson will present Robinson’s impact as a champion on and off the field and be shown at ballparks. Teams that are off Thursday will honour Robinson when they play Friday. Granderson is president of The Players Alliance, an organization of current and former MLB players advocating for Black representation in the sport. Jason Heyward, Jackie Bradley Jr. and David Price will be among the 100-plus players donating either all of part of their game-day salaries on Jackie Robinson Day to support The Players Alliance. BOSTON BRUISERS J.D. Martinez and the Red Sox try for their 10th straight win and a four-game sweep at Target Field. Boston has its longest winning streak since a 10-game run in 2018, a season that ended with a World Series title. Alex Verdugo got five hits in a doubleheader sweep Wednesday, sending the Twins to their fifth straight loss. Garrett Richards (0-1, 10.29) starts the wrapup for Boston against Michael Pineda (1-0, 1.64 ERA). ABSENT ASTROS Houston has put second baseman José Altuve, third baseman Alex Bregman, designated hitter Yordan Álvarez, catcher Martín Maldonado and infielder Robel Garcia on the injured list because of COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Astros general manager James Click said he couldn’t say if a player had tested positive for COVID-19 or been exposed to someone who had. There was no timetable for any of them to return. At one point during spring training, the Astros had to send eight pitchers home because of virus concerns. WHAT DOES IT TAKE? Jacob deGrom makes his third start of the season for the Mets, again hoping for a win. And some run support, too. The Mets ace is 0-1 this year despite allowing just one run in 14 innings, striking out 21 with two walks. This has become familiar territory for the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner -- despite deGrom’s 2.06 ERA in 78 starts since the start of the 2018 season, New York is only 36-42 with him on the mound in those games. DeGrom starts against Zach Eflin and the Phillies at Citi Field. DeGrom shut out Philadelphia for six innings in his first start of the year. STREAKING Bo Bichette has an 11-game hitting streak, tying his career best. He homered twice, including a game-ending drive, to lead Toronto over the Yankees on Wednesday. The Blue Jays now open a series at Kansas City. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
The latest report on Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions is out, and the bad news is in: emissions continue to trend upward. The 2021 National Inventory Report unveils in 2019, Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions grew year-over-year by approximately one megatonne of carbon dioxide equivalent, bringing the country’s annual total to 730 Mt. Canada’s oil and gas sector, followed by transportation, are the two areas that drove the largest rise in emissions, while those increases were somewhat offset by declines in other sectors (notably electricity and heavy industry). The federal government, in the report, suggests there are some successes to be celebrated. The first being that prior to the implementation of the Liberals’ 2017 climate strategy, 2019’s emissions were projected to be 764 Mt. “Emissions are still increasing, despite a lot of actions that have driven them down below where they would otherwise be. But that’s a story that gets harder and harder to explain every year,” said Andrew Leach, an energy economist and associate professor at the University of Alberta. The other success the federal government has put forward is GDP in Canada is growing at a faster rate than emissions. “As a result, the emissions intensity for the entire economy has declined by 37 per cent since 1990, and by 23 per cent since 2005,” the report reads. The transportation sector accounted for a quarter of Canadian emissions in 2019. The majority of emissions from the transportation sector are related to road transportation, both for personal and commercial purposes. Canada is reporting more cars and trucks on the road — a staggering increase of 42 per cent since 2005. While fewer kilometres are being driven per vehicle, the total number of kilometres driven continues to rise. The report says more diesel fuel and gasoline was purchased at the pump in 2019. The emissions increases are greater than the offsetting progress made by efficiency improvements in vehicles. Agricultural emissions remain flat, but emissions reductions are being slowed by the continued increase in the amount of nitrogen fertilizer being applied to crops. The amount of nitrogen fertilizer use in Canada has increased by 71 per cent since 2005. Canada has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent over 2005 levels by 2030. However, when compared with 2005 levels, only six provinces and territories have managed to lower emissions in that time, including Ontario and Quebec. Manitoba and Saskatchewan have experienced an increase of 10 per cent since 2005, Alberta was up 17 per cent, and Nunavut and Yukon in excess of 20 per cent. Manitoba Minister of Conservation and Climate Sarah Guillemard was happy to see some moderate year-over-year declines in the province’s emissions, despite the rise seen since 2005. “While I am pleased to see year-over-year reductions for the 2018-19 period, I will continue to pursue further initiatives to reduce carbon emissions in Manitoba into the future,” Guillemard said in an emailed statement Tuesday. The transportation and agricultural sectors remain the largest contributors to emissions in the province. “All emissions matter the same, right? One tonne in Manitoba is the same as one tonne in Alberta. So, I think from a national perspective, if we can find opportunities to reduce emissions cheaply — wherever we can find them — it lets us keep the high-value emissions,” Leach said. The next annual report will detail how COVID-19 impacted the country’s emissions. Sarah Lawrynuik, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Free Press
The outfielder was a star in Cuba before embarking on a journey that took him to Japan and St. Louis before joining the Rangers.
‘Cancel the Olympics’: fashion outcry as Canada brings back jean jackets for Tokyo
At a time of year when making the playoffs is usually his priority, J.T. Miller finds himself more concerned about the health and safety of his Vancouver Canucks teammates. Miller is one of the few Canucks lucky enough to avoid falling ill to a COVID-19 variant that has crippled the team and forced the postponement of seven games. With the number of infections dropping, the Canucks are scheduled to return to play with home games on Friday against the Edmonton Oilers and on Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. That begins a slate of 19 games in 30 days, ending May 16. "It's kind of frustrating for me," Miller told a teleconference on Wednesday. "We try to talk about the No. 1 priority being the players' health and their families' safety. It's almost impossible to achieve that with what they have asked us to do here on our return. "To come back and play is going to be very challenging and not very safe, it you're me. I'm sure there are other people who would agree with that." Making the playoffs was already going to be difficult for Vancouver, even before the virus spread through the team's dressing room. Knowing the health issues players are facing has put things in perspective for Miller. WATCH | Concerns intensify as Canucks' outbreak grows: "To think about the playoffs, when guys are still recovering from this and are expected to be ready to play, it's frustrating," he said. "This doesn't have to do with me not wanting to play or not believing in my team. It's an extreme scenario and dangerous to a lot of our players. I want to make sure our priorities are in the right spot." Heading into Wednesday night, the Canucks were 10 points out of the final playoff spot in the North Division. Difficult schedule awaits The team's gruelling schedule includes six sets of back-to-back games — beginning with six home games in nine days. "It's a crazy schedule when everyone is healthy," said forward Tanner Pearson, who also avoided contracting the virus but has been sidelined since March 17 with an injury. "Who knows how guys are going to react when they come back." Jim Benning, Vancouver's general manager, said the Canucks won't wave the white flag. Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning says a six-game stretch of home games will help the team as it returns to play on Friday after a lengthy absence due to a COVID-19 outbreak.(Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press) "I'm hoping we can win our share of games here so we can make it competitive going down the stretch," he said. "At some point, we might get some young guys in the lineup." Benning said the opening home stand will help. "Hopefully our guys get feeling better, their families get feeling better," he said. "Once we get out on the road, they have that peace of mind their families are doing well, and they can concentrate on hockey. In this season, with all the things you have to deal with, with COVID and stuff, it is what it is." Head coach Travis Green is one of the 22 players and four coaches made sick by the virus. His status is unclear." "He is feeling better every day," Benning said earlier this week. "Hopefully he is ready to go when we get back." As of Wednesday, the Canucks had seven players remaining on the NHL's COVID-19 protocol list. Minimal recovery time Dr. Brian Conway, medical director of the Vancouver Infectious Diseases Centre, said it can take a minimum of two weeks for a person to recover from COVID-19. This can extend to more than four weeks for people with more serious cases and those who have suffered an inflammation of the lungs or brain symptoms. "If you're an elite athlete ... you're away from the rink for two weeks and now you're back to your usual state of health, how much practice time and what do you need to get back into your normal, athletic competitive self?" he said. The Canucks last played on March 24. Forward Adam Gaudette was the first player to test positive for COVID-19, on March 30. He was traded to Chicago on Monday. Conway said he also has concerns about the Canucks' schedule. "If I was being a cautious doctor and a doctor that's advocating for my patients, I would say at most you're going to be able to play in half of those games, because you're basically not going to have the endurance to do all of those games," he said. Players who had significant cases of COVID-19 should only play every third day. Anyone feeling any reoccurrence of symptoms should be pulled from the lineup. J.T. Miller said he has skated a couple of times over the last few weeks. "My lungs are screaming and I'm definitely not in game shape," he said. "I can't imagine what these guys [who were sick] are going to have to go through. "I never thought I would be in this scenario. It's not ideal for anybody. We have a job to do, I guess."
"I was freaked out to do the show because it's a singing competition, you know? Yes, I do make my living as a singer, but I was terrified," the celebrity under the Orca mask tells EW.
The woman suing Yasiel Puig for sexual assault called his claims "demeaning and ridiculous."
Exporting Canadian electricity, jump-starting electric vehicle sales and consideration of carbon-based trade barriers are three of the key topics on the table between Canada and the United States as the two countries dig into bilateral climate-change policy co-ordination. Discussions between the two countries on climate change policy have been ongoing since the election of U.S. President Joe Biden in November. But Tuesday, Canada’s Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson met with U.S. climate envoy John Kerry and appeared in the virtual GLOBE Capital 2021 conference with American political consultant John Podesta. Podesta is a trusted Democratic consultant who served as White House chief of staff under former president Bill Clinton, and as a climate-policy adviser to former president Barack Obama. The meeting between Wilkinson and Kerry is a part of a continuing dialogue aimed at getting both countries to set more ambitious national commitments to lower greenhouse-gas emissions. The results are expected to be revealed at an international summit next week. The previous emissions targets were set ahead of the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015. International leaders and diplomats will be meeting in Scotland in the fall for another round of negotiations. Zero-emission vehicles are a focus of U.S.-Canada diplomacy. Wilkinson hinted that the phaseout of internal combustion engines is likely on the horizon in Canada as he hopes to “implement a 100 per cent ZEV sales target as soon as possible.” This will involve co-ordination across the vehicle supply chain on both sides of the border, he said, including involvement from the auto industry and auto workers’ unions. “There’s a lot of work that we can do together to keep those supply chains integrated, keep them here in North America, ensure that the electric vehicles of the future are built here with labour that’s in the United States and Canada. So I think that’s an exciting possibility,” Podesta said Tuesday. As a part of the GLOBE Capital conference, the Canadian Infrastructure Bank unveiled its latest project that will help to sell clean Canadian electricity in the United States. A total of $1.7 billion is being committed to the construction of the Lake Erie Connector Project that will see Ontario electricity exported into the American PJM Interconnection — the largest electricity market in North America, that services 13 states in the northeast from New Jersey to North Carolina. Of the funding, $655 million is being invested by the Canada Infrastructure Bank, and $1.05 billion is being fronted by private investors. “I think sometimes people look at the negative impacts of climate change, as opposed to looking at a trillion-dollar opportunity,” federal Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna said at the virtual announcement. The sale of Canadian power into the American grid, which has also been pursued in Manitoba, is a broader partnership opportunity that officials on both sides of the border are eager to pursue. The U.S. electricity market will need a significant amount of reworking if Biden’s goal of a carbon-free power grid is to be achieved by 2035. “I think there is a strong market in the United States for clean power from Canada, we need to work together on storage, and transmission to ensure that the grid is secure and reliable,” Podesta said. He added that while cross-border electricity sales are important, they aren’t a policy being pursued in isolation. For example, this week Biden announced significant investments in offshore wind. “I think there’s tremendous potential — probably in both countries — for a buildout of more offshore wind on both coasts.” Wilkinson said he hopes during pandemic recovery to see significant advancements for mature green energy, such as wind and solar, but also the advancement of power-generation sources that are newer on the scene in Canada, including tidal and geothermal. But continued investment in fossil fuel infrastructure should be avoided as both the U.S. and Canada aim to phase out heavy-carbon sources such as coal. “We need to ensure as we’re phasing out coal, which we have committed to do by regulation by 2030, that we’re not simply replacing that with natural gas-fired power plants that will exist in 2050, and a net-zero world,” Wilkinson said. As Canada and U.S. move forward with more stringent climate policies, additional trade policies will be needed to ensure cheaper, more carbon-intensive goods aren’t cutting into the North American market; a phenomenon known as carbon leakage. “The Europeans are moving forward with a carbon-border adjustment, as early as this summer. I think the United States and Canada need to be discussing that. Because quite frankly, we don’t want other countries taking advantage of our markets by undercutting through the ability to use emissions, in essence, as an advantage,” Podesta said. The EU trading block is expected to push such trade policy forward by the summer. More details about the potential rollout of such policies in North America will likely be unveiled at next week’s summit. Sarah Lawrynuik, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Free Press
The leader of Honduras' Private Business Council said Wednesday that businessmen will try to buy as many as 1.5 million doses of coronavirus vaccines to assist in government vaccination efforts. Council President Juan Carlos Sikaffy said the government had agreed to the plan, which would provide the vaccines at no cost to recipients and work through public health agencies. “For the first and I believe the only time in Latin America, the private sector is working actively to negotiate, identify and import vaccines,” Sikaffy said.
U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday named a liaison to Asian Americans, who are contending with rising violence, after facing pressure to ensure greater diversity among top administration officials. Biden picked onetime congressional aide Erika Moritsugu to spearhead outreach to the increasingly politically significant Asian American and Pacific Islander diaspora. In a statement, the White House said Moritsugu would be "a vital voice" to advance the administration's priorities.
Senior members of the royal family who hold military rank will attend Prince Philip's funeral in mourning dress instead
NEW YORK — Tony Award-winner Karen Olivo says she won’t return to “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” once it reopens, saying she's frustrated by the Broadway industry and especially the silence in the wake of revelations about the behaviour of producer Scott Rudin. “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” is not produced by Rudin but Olivo in an Instagram video posted Wednesday said she was not coming back to the hit show to make a stand about social justice. “Social justice is actually more important than being the sparkling diamond,” Olivo said. “Building a better industry for my students is more important than me putting money in my pockets.” The move comes a week after The Hollywood Reporter’s cover story on Rudin contained accounts of the Broadway and Hollywood heavyweight throwing glass bowls, staples and baked potatoes at former employees. “What I’m seeing in this space right now, with our industry, is that everybody is scared, and nobody is really doing a lot of the stuff that needs to be done. People aren’t speaking out.” Olivo said the silence was “unacceptable” and criticized the business model of Broadway, which she said put profit over people. “Let's put our money with people who value human life and respect human life. It's easy,” said Olivo, who won a Tony in 2009 in “West Side Story” landed a Tony nod this cycle for her work in “Moulin Rouge.” The Broadway show tweeted its support for Olivo, saying “We applaud and support Karen’s advocacy work to create a safe, diverse and equitable theatre industry for all.” The revelations in The Hollywood Reporter also prompted the performers’ unions SAG-AFTRA, Actors Equity and the American Federation of Musicians Local 802 to come together condemn illegal harassment and harassment that creates a toxic work environment for entertainment employees. Rudin, one of the most successful and powerful producers, with a heap of Oscars and Tonys to show for it, has long been known for torturous treatment of an ever-churning parade of assistants. Rudin, himself, hasn’t responded to the article or The Associated Press’ request for comment. ___ Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits Mark Kennedy, The Associated Press
Kristen Clarke informed Sen. John Cornyn that the line in the op-ed he'd dug up was satirical.
NEW YORK — Bernard Madoff, the infamous architect of an epic securities swindle that burned thousands of investors, outfoxed regulators and earned him a 150-year prison term, died behind bars early Wednesday. He was 82. Madoff's death at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina, was confirmed by his lawyer and the Bureau of Prisons. Last year, Madoff's lawyers unsuccessfully asked a court to release him from prison during the coronavirus pandemic, saying he suffered from end-stage renal disease and other chronic medical conditions. One of those lawyers, Brandon Sample, said on Wednesday it was believed Madoff died from natural causes related to his failing health. For decades, Madoff enjoyed an image as a self-made financial guru whose Midas touch defied market fluctuations. A former chairman of the Nasdaq stock market, he attracted a devoted legion of investment clients — from Florida retirees to celebrities such as film director Steven Spielberg, actor Kevin Bacon and Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax. But his investment advisory business was exposed in 2008 as a Ponzi scheme that wiped out people’s fortunes and ruined charities. He became so hated he wore a bulletproof vest to court. The fraud was believed to be the largest in Wall Street's history. Over the years, court-appointed trustees labouring to unwind the scheme have recovered more than $14 billion of an estimated $17.5 billion investors put into Madoff’s business. At the time of Madoff’s arrest, fake account statements were telling clients they had holdings worth $60 billion. Madoff pleaded guilty in March 2009 to securities fraud and other charges, saying he was “deeply sorry and ashamed.” After several months living under house arrest at his $7 million Manhattan penthouse apartment, he was led off to jail in handcuffs to scattered applause from angry investors in the courtroom. “He stole from the rich. He stole from the poor. He stole from the in between. He had no values,” former investor Tom Fitzmaurice told the judge at the sentencing. “He cheated his victims out of their money so he and his wife ... could live a life of luxury beyond belief.” Sample said in a statement that the financier had “lived with guilt and remorse for his crimes” up until his death. “Although the crimes Bernie was convicted of have come to define who he was — he was also a father and a husband. He was soft spoken and an intellectual. Bernie was by no means perfect. But no man is,” the lawyer said. U.S. District Judge Denny Chin sentenced Madoff to the maximum possible term. “Here, the message must be sent that Mr. Madoff’s crimes were extraordinarily evil and that this kind of irresponsible manipulation of the system is not merely a bloodless financial crime that takes place just on paper, but it is instead ... one that takes a staggering human toll,” Chin said. A judge issued a forfeiture order stripping Madoff of all his personal property, including real estate, investments, and $80 million in assets his wife, Ruth, had claimed were hers. The order left her with $2.5 million. The scandal also exacted a personal toll on the family: One of his sons, Mark, killed himself on the second anniversary of his father’s arrest in 2010. Madoff’s brother, Peter, who helped run the business, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2012, despite claims he was in the dark about his brother’s misdeeds. Madoff's other son, Andrew, died from cancer at age 48. Ruth is still living. Jerry Reisman, an attorney for about three dozen Madoff victims, said he’d spoken to several after Madoff's death. “Some of them are saying they’re enjoying this day,” he said. “No one sees this as a great loss. No one is going to mourn Bernie Madoff. They are happy they have survived him.” Madoff was born in 1938 in a lower-middle-class Jewish neighbourhood in Queens. In the financial world, the story of his rise to prominence — how he left for Wall Street with Peter in 1960 with a few thousand dollars saved from working as a lifeguard and installing sprinklers — became legend. “They were two struggling kids from Queens. They worked hard,” said Thomas Morling, who worked closely with the Madoff brothers in the mid-1980s setting up and running computers that made their firm a trusted leader in off-floor trading. “When Peter or Bernie said something that they were going to do, their word was their bond,” Morling said in a 2008 interview. In the 1980s, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities occupied three floors of a midtown Manhattan high-rise. There, with his brother and later two sons, he ran a legitimate business as middlemen between the buyers and sellers of stock. Madoff raised his profile by using the expertise to help launch Nasdaq, the first electronic stock exchange, and became so respected that he advised the Securities and Exchange Commission on the system. But what the SEC never found out was that, behind the scenes, in a separate office kept under lock and key, Madoff was secretly spinning a web of phantom wealth by using cash from new investors to pay returns to old ones. An old IBM computer cranked out monthly statements showing steady double-digit returns, even during market downturns. As of late 2008, the statements claimed investor accounts totalled $65 billion. The ugly truth: No securities were ever bought or sold. Madoff’s chief financial officer, Frank DiPascali, said in a guilty plea in 2009 that the statements detailing trades were “all fake." His clients, many Jews like Madoff and Jewish charities, said they didn’t know. Among them was Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, who recalled meeting Madoff years earlier at a dinner where they talked about history, education and Jewish philosophy — not money. Madoff “made a very good impression,” Wiesel said during a 2009 panel discussion on the scandal. Wiesel admitted that he bought into “a myth that he created around him that everything was so special, so unique, that it had to be secret.” Like many of his clients, Madoff and his wife enjoyed a lavish lifestyle. They had the Manhattan apartment, an $11 million estate in Palm Beach, Florida and a $4 million home on the tip of Long Island. There was yet another home in the south of France, private jets and a yacht. It all came crashing down in the winter of 2008 with a dramatic confession. In a meeting with his sons, he confided his business was “all just one big lie.” After the meeting, a lawyer for the family contacted regulators, who alerted the federal prosecutors and the FBI. Madoff was in a bathrobe when two FBI agents arrived at his door unannounced on a December morning. He invited them in, then confessed after being asked “if there’s an innocent explanation,” a criminal complaint said. Madoff responded: “There is no innocent explanation.” Madoff insisted he acted alone — something the FBI never believed. A trustee was appointed to recover funds — sometimes by suing hedge funds and other large investors who came out ahead. The effort is still ongoing, and to date has returned around 70% of lost funds to investors. More than 15,400 claims against Madoff were filed. At Madoff’s sentencing in 2009, wrathful former clients stood to demand the maximum punishment. Madoff himself spoke in a monotone for about 10 minutes. At various times, he referred to his monumental fraud as a “problem,” “an error of judgment” and “a tragic mistake.” He claimed he and his wife were tormented, saying she “cries herself to sleep every night, knowing all the pain and suffering I have caused.” “That’s something I live with, as well,” he said. Afterward, Ruth Madoff — often a target of victims’ scorn since her husband’s arrest — said she, too, had been misled by her high school sweetheart. “I am embarrassed and ashamed,” she said. “Like everyone else, I feel betrayed and confused. The man who committed this horrible fraud is not the man whom I have known for all these years.” About a dozen Madoff employees and associates were charged. Five went on trial in 2013. DiPascali was the prosecution's star witness. He recounted how just before the scheme was exposed, Madoff called him into his office. “He’d been staring out the window the all day,” DiPascali testified. “He turned to me and he said, crying, ‘I’m at the end of my rope. … Don’t you get it? The whole goddamn thing is a fraud.’” In the end, that fraud brought fresh meaning to “Ponzi scheme,” named after Charles Ponzi, who was convicted of mail fraud after bilking thousands of people out of a mere $10 million between 1919 and 1920. “Charles Ponzi is now a footnote,” said Anthony Sabino, a defence lawyer specializing in white collar criminal defence. “They’re now Madoff schemes.” Michael Balsamo And Tom Hays, The Associated Press