Toronto fans had a number of farewells to make after the trade deadline, with Terence Davis, Matt Thomas and most significantly Norman Powell signing off as Raptors.
Toronto fans had a number of farewells to make after the trade deadline, with Terence Davis, Matt Thomas and most significantly Norman Powell signing off as Raptors.
The used car company is joining forces with the donut chain to sweeten the deal for consumers mulling a vehicle purchase.
In a normal year, the UK film biz would have woken up today with a sore head and a vague recollection of boogying into the early hours alongside celebrating BAFTA winners and commiserating BAFTA nominees. Instead, the vast majority of us were to be found on our sofas last night, watching a tight two-hour BBC […]
A survey by the Royal College of Nursing also revealed 1 in 18 agency nursing staff have not even been offered a single dose.
The impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have affected nearly everyone across the world. While some have felt the financial impacts of the virus, others have been struggling with the mental impacts as well. Isolation and uncertainty have impacted many from all walks of life. But one school teacher has found her outlet to help cope with the mental toll the pandemic has brought on. Chylisse Marchand, who is a teacher at Redvers School, has been creating and evolving her artistic skills through the ongoing pandemic. While it started off as sketching during Zoom meetings, it quickly evolved into more abstract forms of art. Marchand says she came from a family where art was always around them and is something she grew up with. She also says that she began doing art as a hobby after moving to Redvers. “Growing up my mom always told me I had a natural ability with art. Her mom, my grandma, was an artist and my dad’s brother was also an artist. So growing up I was always that kid that you could keep quiet by putting a pen or a pencil in front of her. Then through high school in small-town Gravelbourg, there wasn’t much for art there, so I just played around with it through high school. Then when I got into university I went into visual communications first, which is more of the graphic arts side of things and I found it wasn’t my thing. I switched and got an art major and a math minor in university,” said Marchand. “I didn’t really do much for art except for school stuff, but when I moved here to Redvers things were tough for me, and when it comes to anything mental health-wise and I need to check out of reality for a minute, the moment that I sit down with a pencil or marker or pen my mind is blank.” Pandemic restrictions started taking her art in a new direction. “Back when the pandemic first started, I started doing Facebook live posts for the school with art. When everything was shut down that was one thing I could do, so I would do little fun things that the students could copy. Then the parents and the kids would submit them. “Once everything started with COVID-19 I found that we would have to sit in different online meetings. And I’m one of those people that can’t sit there and watch and just focus, but if you give me a pen I can doodle. So I found myself in front of the computer fully listening but doodling at the same time.” Marchand explains that her first pandemic piece was used as an outlet to vent her frustrations with the pandemic. “One of my first pandemic pictures was a piece of art that could be a tattoo. So I pulled in all these different elements that showed where the pandemic was going like DNA and a stethoscope. I loved that piece, it’s one where you can sit down and cry as you do it but feel 100 times better once you do it.” She then began to explore new types of art. “I did a little bit of research on this type of art called neurographica. It’s this kind of art that you can meditate at the same time so it’s a way to lose your train of thought and just create art. I’ve turned my students towards this. They love the art of neurographica. Even the kids who were not natural artists were loving it because you’d start off with a shape and then you’d put some music on in the background and add more shapes. Then you would put some lines and then you’d colour the lines at every corner so that everything intertwines into one another and it’s just a super cool way of letting go.” Marchand’s art continued to evolve through the course of the pandemic. “I’m being a little bit braver now. I used to be much more of a controlled artist where I would have to make sure everything is done properly with things like my floral pieces. The same thing with watercolour, watercolour is so time-consuming but it’s beautiful. “Just recently I went to Michaels and I was looking at a lot of art that had gold added to it and interesting things like that, so I found some gold leaf and got Modge-Podge and I bought acrylic paints, which are new to me, so I just started playing around with that process and when I start on those ones I don’t even need a paintbrush, I just soak my canvas with water and let the paint drop and you can see how the colour moves.” She notes that abstract art has given her an opportunity to express herself without needing to strive for perfection. “I’ve definitely evolved and I’m trying new things. I’ve been loving the abstract lately for some weird reason. It has to be more about the process or the action of being able to let go and not concentrate on making something look perfect. Now it’s a lot more free-flowing.” Marchand encourages people who are struggling with the mental impacts of COVID-19 to pick up art and give it a try, noting that art does not need to be perfect to be good. “As an art teacher, I always say you don’t need to draw what you see, you draw what you feel. You can let it go, you don’t need to be a perfect artist who can directly reproduce something to become an artist. You can just let yourself go and have fun with it.” Marchand says that she intends on returning to university to get her master’s degree, saying she wants to eventually turn art therapy into her career. Spencer Kemp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator
Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said the Duke of Edinburgh had been a pioneer but had lived by different values to modern green campaigners.
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CAIRO — For Ramadan this year, Magdy Hafez has been longing to reclaim a cherished ritual: performing the nighttime group prayers called taraweeh at the mosque once again. Last year, the coronavirus upended the 68-year-old Egyptian’s routine of going to the mosque to perform those prayers, traditional during Islam’s holiest month. The pandemic had disrupted Islamic worship the world over, including in Egypt where mosques were closed to worshippers last Ramadan. “I have been going to the mosque for 40 years so it was definitely a very, very, difficult thing,” he said. “But our religion orders us to protect one another.” Still, “It’s a whole other feeling, and the spirituality in Ramadan is like nothing else.” Egypt has since allowed most mosques to reopen for Friday communal prayers and for this Ramadan it will let them hold taraweeh, also with precautions, including shortening its duration. Ramadan, which begins Tuesday in Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Oman, comes as much of the world has been hit by an intense new coronavirus wave. For many Muslims navigating restrictions, that means hopes of a better Ramadan than last year have been dashed with the surge in infection rates though regulations vary in different countries. A time for fasting, worship and charity, Ramadan is also when people typically congregate for prayers, gather around festive meals to break their daylong fast, throng cafes and exchange visits. Once again, some countries are imposing new restrictions. But concern is high that the month’s communal rituals could stoke a further surge. “The lack of adherence that happened last Ramadan, hasty lifting of the curfew imposed at the time and re-opening of places of congregations ... led to grave consequences that lasted for months,” said Ahmed Al-Mandhari, the World Health Organization’s regional director for the Eastern Mediterranean. “We have a lot of worries of a repeat of what had happened last Ramadan, especially since Ramadan coincides with another important holiday, which is Easter,” he said by email. Orthodox Christians mark Easter on May 2. In Pakistan, new case numbers grew from fewer than 800 a day at the start of the month last year to more than 6,000 a day a few weeks after Ramadan ended. Officials largely attributed the increase to Pakistanis flouting restrictions. After a dip, the country is back up to more than 5,000 new cases a day. Iran on Saturday began a 10-day lockdown amid a severe surge in infections that followed a two-week public holiday for Nowruz, the Persian New Year. Economic hardship also looms over the month for many. In war-torn Syria, Abed al-Yassin was concerned about what his iftar — the meal at sunset breaking the fast— will look like this year. “It will be difficult to even have fattoush,” al-Yassin said, referring to a salad that is a staple of the holy month in his country. He’s spending his second Ramadan in a tent settlement near the Turkish border after he was driven from his hometown last year during a Russian-backed government offensive that displaced hundreds of thousands. “Our main wish is to return to our homes,” said al-Yassin, who lives with his wife, three sons and daughter in a tent. He relies mostly on food aid, he said. Camp residents have recently received bags of lentils, pasta and bulgur and receive bread on daily basis. Lebanon is being squeezed by the worst economic and financial crisis in its modern history, exacerbated by the pandemic and a massive deadly explosion in Beirut in August. “We are going through a period when some people are fasting whether during Ramadan or not,” said Natalie Najm, an insurance broker. Even with her job, she can barely cover food costs, she said. “What about others who lost their jobs?” To prevent large gatherings in Ramadan, Saudi Arabia has forbidden mosques from serving iftar and suhoor, a meal just before the fast’s start at sunrise. Many Muslim religious leaders, including in Saudi Arabia, have tried to dispel concerns about getting the coronavirus vaccine in Ramadan, saying that doing so does not constitute breaking the fast. With new infections exceeding earlier peaks in India, Muslim scholars there have appealed to their communities to strictly follow restrictions and refrain from large gatherings, while asking volunteers and elders to look after the needy. Last year’s Ramadan in India was marred by rising Islamophobia following accusations that an initial surge in infections was tied to a three-day meeting of an Islamic missionary group, the Tablighi Jamaat, in New Delhi. In Pakistan, authorities are allowing mosques to remain open during Ramadan with rules in place that include barring worshippers over 50 years old and requiring masks. But given how rules were widely ignored last year there, doctors have been asking the government to close mosques. “We are very concerned about the gatherings,” Dr. Qaiser Sajjad, secretary general of the Pakistan Medical Association, said Sunday. He urged the government and Pakistan’s clerics to put together a better plan during Ramadan to stop the spread of the virus. “We must learn from the previous year,” he said. Sajjad is calling for a complete lockdown of the eastern city of Lahore. Afghanistan is leaving it up to worshippers to watch out for each other, keep their distance and stay away from the mosques if they are feeling ill. “Saving a human life is an obligation ... you can’t put the life of a human in danger or at risk at all,” said Sayed Mohammad Sherzadi, head of Hajj and religious affairs department for Kabul province. Malaysia has some movement restrictions in place and has declared a coronavirus emergency that suspended Parliament until August following spikes in infections. But it has lifted last year’s ban on taraweeh prayers and Ramadan bazaars, which sell food, drink and clothes, though strict measures will be in place. Back in Egypt, Nouh Elesawy, undersecretary for mosque affairs at the country’s Ministry of Endowments, had a message to the faithful ahead of the start of the month: “If you want the houses of God to remain open, adhere to the precautionary procedures and regulations.” Ramadan also typically has a distinct cultural and social flavour for many. In Egypt, giant billboards bearing the faces of celebrities advertise Ramadan television series, a favourite pastime for many. In bustling markets around Cairo’s Al-Sayeda Zainab Mosque, shoppers browsed stalls stacked with decorative Ramadan lanterns in vibrant colours, inspected the offerings and bargained for a deal. In another Cairo neighbourhood, people posed with a giant Ramadan lantern towering over one street and snapped photos. One Ramadan tradition in Egypt that remains a casualty of the virus for the second year is the “Tables of the Compassionate,” communal charity iftars where strangers would break bread together at free meals served on long tables on the street. The tables may be gone, but not the month’s spirit of giving. Neveen Hussein, 48, said colleagues brought her “Ramadan bags” filled with rice, oil, sugar and other staples to distribute to needy families. It’s an annual tradition, she said, rendered more urgent by a pandemic that has hurt the livelihoods of many of those already struggling. “This is a month of mercy,” she said. “God is generous, and this is a month of generosity.” ___ Gannon reported from Islamabad, and Mroue from Beirut. Associated Press reporters around the world contributed to this report. ___ Associated Press religion coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through The Conversation U.S. The AP is solely responsible for this content. Mariam Fam, Kathy Gannon And Bassem Mroue, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday nominated two critics of Trump-era immigration policies for key roles at the Department of Homeland Security. The nominations come as the Biden administration faces a rising number of people attempting to enter the country along the Southwest border. Biden named Tucson, Arizona Police Chief Chris Magnus to be commissioner of Customs and Border Protection. Immigration policy expert Ur Mendoza Jaddou has been nominated to be director of Citizenship and Immigration Services. Magnus publicly challenged the Trump administration's efforts to punish cities that refused to co-operate with tougher immigration enforcement policies, arguing that it damaged relations between law enforcement and migrant communities. Jaddou most recently was director of DHS Watch, which was broadly critical of the Trump administration's efforts to curtail both legal and illegal immigration. CBP’s responsibilities including patrolling the border while USCIS runs legal immigration services. Both positions require Senate confirmation and were run by acting leaders under former President Donald Trump, repeatedly drawing criticism from Congress. The number of migrants apprehended by the Border Patrol along the Southwest border has been rising for months. The Biden administration has continued to turn back adults under a public health order issued under Trump at the start of the pandemic. But the administration has been allowing unaccompanied children and some families to stay. Last month, the U.S. government picked up nearly 19,000 children travelling alone across the Mexican border in March, the largest monthly number ever recorded. The Associated Press
Michigan health care workers say staff camaraderie forged in last year’s chaos amid the coronavirus pandemic has started to fracture.
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Twitter Inc will open its first African office in Ghana, it said on Monday, as the social media company seeks to make inroads in some of the world's fastest-growing markets. Africa is under-tapped terrain for technology firms, with internet use per population at around 39% against a world average of 59% according to web analytics firm StatCounter, but that number grows every year thanks to expanding mobile broadband networks and affordable phones. "We must be more immersed in the rich and vibrant communities that drive the conversations taking place every day across the African continent," Twitter said in a statement.
Prosecutors say Adam Toledo, 13, had a gun when he was shot by a Chicago police officer. Video of the shooting is expected to be released this week.
The US tech giant is buying artificial intelligence firm Nuance, best known for developing Apple's Siri.
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A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at St. John Vianney Catholic Elementary School in Windsor. The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board made the announcement on Monday morning. In a news release, the board said public health officials made the declaration after receiving confirmation that of an additional case in one of two cohorts dismissed on April 6. The update has yet to be reflected on the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit's website as of Monday morning. "As per provincial direction, a school outbreak is declared if there are two or more cases in a school and if there is evidence that at least one case could have been infected in the school," the board said in a statement. According to the board's website, there are three cases of COVID-19 active within the school. The board said a COVID-19 variant of concern has been identified in the cohort. Those who may have been affected are being contacted by the health unit. The board said the rest of the school community is considered low risk and can continue attending as usual. Schools are currently on spring break. There are 22 active cases of COVID-19 within the Catholic board, its website shows. The public school board has seen 17 cases declared since the beginning of the month, according to its website. There are two other outbreaks active at other schools in the region — Centennial Central Public School and St. Peter Catholic School. Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health for the region, said Monday that Windsor-Essex is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases within schools, with many cohorts dismissed. "We are monitoring the cases in our schools to assess any changes in the local risk," he said at the health unit's daily briefing, adding that he'll provide an update if the risk changes or a switch to online learning becomes necessary.