Shortly after head coach Nick Nurse was ejected from the game, Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet was seen speaking to the team and he sheds light on what was said.
Shortly after head coach Nick Nurse was ejected from the game, Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet was seen speaking to the team and he sheds light on what was said.
VANCOUVER — Dentists, teachers and bus drivers are among the essential workers who hope to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in British Columbia, as a provincial committee decides who should be prioritized for the shot. BC Teachers' Federation president Teri Mooring said her members should be included in the plan expected to be released by the B.C. Immunization Committee around March 18. Education staff have had the second-highest number of COVID-19 claims accepted by WorkSafeBC, behind only health-care workers, and teachers have faced challenging conditions, Mooring said. "It's been a very difficult and stressful environment for teachers in B.C.," she said Friday. "Teachers have not, from the very start, been satisfied with the preventative measures that have been in place in classrooms. What we see is one of the most lax mask policies in all of Canada." The province does not require elementary students to wear masks, unlike in Ontario and high-risk areas of Quebec. B.C.'s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has said young children don't get as sick from COVID-19 or pass it on as well as others. Henry has said the immunization committee will use public health principles, vaccine science and an ethical framework to reach its decision on which essential workers and first responders should receive the AstraZeneca vaccine. Once the plan is finalized, the vaccine will be administered in a parallel program to the province's age-based strategy for the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a joint statement Friday that the newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine will become another tool in its program to accelerate the protection of more people in the province. The officials reported 634 new cases and four more fatalities, pushing the death toll to 1,380 in B.C. Four new cases were confirmed to be variants of concern, bringing the total to 250. The BC Dental Association said in a statement it would be "extremely pleased" if its members were included in the group to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot. Dentists and their teams cannot treat patients remotely, work in very close proximity to the mouth and often use aerosol-generating procedures, it said. The association also pointed out that dentists, dental hygienists and certified dental assistants are included in Henry's recent order to help administer the vaccines. "We would expect that any dentist choosing to participate in mass vaccination clinics would be required to have been vaccinated themselves prior to providing them," it said. Balbir Mann, president of Unifor Local 111, which represents Metro Vancouver bus drivers, said his members should receive the vaccine because they have been at risk throughout the pandemic. "When people get on the bus to pay their bus fare, they're literally a couple feet away. Our members, day to day, they're scared of the sneezes and coughs they have to deal with on a daily basis." Henry has suggested that workers in food processing plants will be prioritized because there have been a number of outbreaks in the facilities that have led to broader community transmission. James Donaldson, CEO of BC Food and Beverage, said his organization has been advocating for food production workers to receive priority access to vaccines since they became available. "Our industry is essential as it ensures the continuity of the food supply for people in B.C. and around the world," he said. Kim Novak, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Canada Local 1518, represents food plant workers including those at Grand River Foods in Abbotsford who recently grappled with a COVID-19 outbreak. "It's because of the nature of the work. People are working in close proximity. Even with enhanced (personal protective equipment), staggering breaks and other health and safety protocols that have been implemented, there is still a high level of exposure," she said. Novak's union also represents grocery store workers and she hopes they will be included in the plan for the vaccine. "In grocery stores in particular, there is a lot of exposure to different people in the public," she said. "That exposure not only is a risk for our members ... but also the public who interact with them." BC Trucking Association president Dave Earle, meanwhile, said his group represents both long-haul truckers and local drivers who return home every night. He wants to hear from the province about where the COVID-19 hot spots are in the transportation system. For example, in B.C., there are 300,000 people with a Class 1 licence allowing them to operate a semi-trailer truck, Earle said. "Not everybody with a Class 1 licence operates a heavy truck at the moment and many of those who do don't do it in an environment where they're at any greater risk than you and I just going about our daily lives," he said. In some European countries, people have been hesitant to receive the AstraZeneca shot because of fears it is less effective than the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization has also not recommended AstraZeneca for people over 65, while Health Canada has approved it for all adults. Henry sought on Thursday to assure essential workers that the AstraZeneca vaccine is extremely effective. The clinical trials for all three vaccines were done under different conditions and cannot be fairly compared, she said. The groups representing essential workers said Friday they hadn't heard any concerns about the AstraZeneca shot from members. Earle said his association takes guidance from public health officials and they've been abundantly clear. "Whatever you're offered, take it. Let's get out of this." This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. Laura Dhillon Kane, The Canadian Press
Kite, a Gilead Company (Nasdaq: GILD), today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted accelerated approval to Yescarta® (axicabtagene ciloleucel) for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL) after two or more lines of systemic therapy. The approval makes Yescarta the first chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy approved for patients with indolent follicular lymphoma, follows FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation and a priority review, and marks the third approved indication for a Kite cell therapy.
The first tweet ever is up for auction, or at least an NFT linked to it is.
Matt Hancock said the data meant the Government would press on with plans to lift the lockdown.
A go-to lender for U.S. electric cooperatives has $4 billion in exposure to the Texas market, where last month’s deep freeze slammed the finances of several co-ops hit with astronomically high gas and electric prices during the state’s grid blackout. The latest quarterly financial disclosure from the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) shows the Texas market accounts for 15% of the lender’s $27.1 billion in outstanding loans. Dulles, Virginia-based CFC has not had any loan defaults in its electric utility loan portfolio since fiscal 2013.
Follow live updates on the latest in US politics
Vancouver, British Columbia--(Newsfile Corp. - March 5, 2021) - Lions Bay Capital Inc. (TSXV: LBI) (the "Acquiror") announces that on March 4, 2021 it acquired ownership of an additional 1,000,000 common shares of Fidelity Minerals Corp. (TSXV: FMN) (the "Issuer") at a price of $0.12 per share on the open market for consideration of $120,000 (the "Acquisition").Prior to the Acquisition, the Acquiror owned an aggregate of 21,380,312 common shares of the Issuer, representing approximately ...
Retreating Himalayan glaciers can become hazardous but such dangers are not being monitored, experts say.
“Turntables” is not, as you might guess from its placement in the documentary “All In: The Fight for Democracy,” a song written to extol vinyl. It uses that film’s exploration of the historical and recent suppression of Black voters’ rights in Georgia as a launchpad to explore “what’s goin’ on” in a nation still not […]
A newly formed organization is encouraging Black people in Western and Northern Canada to run for office and get more involved in electoral politics. Throughout March, Black Voters Matter Canada will be hosting an event series offering opportunities for potential Black candidates to network, ask questions and learn about the process of running a campaign. The series will feature national chair of the Conservative Black Congress of Canada Tunde Obasan, NDP member of Parliament Matthew Green, Ontario representative to the Green Party of Canada Federal Council Adrian Currie and Liberal member of Parliament Greg Fergus. Juliet Bushi, a co-founder and organizer of Black Voters Matter Canada, hopes this event series will help lower some of the barriers to Black candidates running for office. Last year, Bushi herself ran a successful campaign for Regina Catholic School Division trustee, becoming the first Black woman elected to the role. She believes Saskatchewan politics would benefit from more Black candidates participating at every level. "Given that our population in Saskatchewan is increasing, we need better representation and equal voices at the table, especially given the current pandemic as well as the unending social inequalities that continue to plague our society," she said. For Petros Kusmu, also a Black Voters Matter co-founder and organizer, these conversations are particularly important right now, when there are murmurs of a possible snap federal election in the spring. Petros Kusmu is a co-founder and organizer of Black Voters Matter Canada.(Petros Kusmu) "We know, historically, [a snap election] doesn't bode well for parties having more diverse candidates," he said. "We have to work with parties to help them scout some of the best-qualified Black candidates in the West and in the North. "But we also have to engage with our communities and really start telling them … 'Hey, you're a pretty amazing person. You do a lot of great work in the community, You're a smart small-business owner. You're a brilliant teacher. You are the type of person that we think should be considering running for office.'" In the 2019 federal election, there were no Black candidates in Saskatoon or Regina. In fact, the Black Voters Matter Canada event series does not feature any speakers from Saskatchewan because, according to Kusmu, "we don't have any of our own that we can claim here." He says it's not just a matter of convincing more Black people to run — parties decide how much to support the candidates who do put their names forward. "I think the challenge you often see is that you'll get a lot of diverse candidates who are then placed in areas, or encouraged to run in areas, where there isn't a shot of winning," he said. Political engagement discouraged While Black Voters Matter Canada is focused on all forms of civic engagement, not just supporting Black candidates for office, Bushi says a lack of meaningful representation on campaigns and in office can do a lot to reduce participation and erode confidence from marginalized communities. "Oftentimes, politics — and especially campaign slogans — become redundant and quite boring for a lot of marginalized people, because it's the same thing over and over again," she said. "And once that election is done, they're gone with their promises. So people are discouraged to actually get interested and active and engaged in politics." Kusmu believes all Canadians would benefit from having more diverse political representation, and that Western Canada is particularly ready to see more Black people run for office and win seats. He points to Leslyn Lewis, who recently ran for the federal Conservative Party leadership, as an example. "She was so popular out in the Prairies and in Western Canada — which was a surprise, because she's from Ontario — that the Saskatchewan Conservatives threw their support behind her. "And there are so many more Dr. Leslyn Lewises and future potential Barack Obamas that are hidden gems here in the West and North." Kusmu hopes Black Voters Matter Canada will help cultivate "a larger growing garden of amazing Black leaders for Canadians to have the pleasure of picking from" as more Black candidates get the resources, information and support they need to throw their hat into the ring. "For Black folks who are thinking about running, I want to remind them that no one Black candidate is coming to save us," he said. "We are the ones we have been waiting for, in terms of who is going to be in office to help change things. It's not going to be the silver bullet, but it's going to be part of this transformation of having a more just and more equitable Canada at the end of the day."
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Friday that despite the strong job gains last month, Congress still needs to “go big” by passing President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion relief package to get millions of people back to work sooner. In an interview with the PBS NewsHour on Friday, Yellen said Biden's package should not be trimmed just because the February jobs report showed 379,000 new jobs had been created, the best showing since October. “It is a big package but I think we need to go big now, and we can afford to go big,” Yellen said.
Group write to ministers days before all students are to be allowed back in classrooms
Maia Chaka will become the first Black female on-field official in NFL history, the league announced on Friday. Chaka told ESPN she wants to inspire young girls both on and off the field. "It gives those girls an opportunity to see, 'OK, I can see my teacher works with people who don't look like her, and maybe it gives me an opportunity to work with people who don't look like me also,'" Chaka told ESPN.
Shohei Ohtani figured he’d be careful in his return to the mound after two injury-spoiled seasons. A few batters in, the Los Angeles Angels’ two-way sensation reached back for a little extra -- and brought back some of the buzz that surrounded his major league debut three years ago. Ohtani reached 100 mph with his fastball and showed off his signature splitter while striking out five over 1 2/3 innings in the Angels’ 7-3 win over the Oakland Athletics on Friday. The right-hander allowed a run, three hits and two walks, struggling to command his slider but showcasing the arm strength and stuff that allowed him to dominate in the majors before Tommy John surgery in 2018. “Since this was my first game, I wasn’t planning on letting it go in the beginning, especially early in counts,” Ohtani said via translator. “As the game went on, I felt better and I started throwing harder, but I think that led to me cutting the ball a couple times, so it’s something I have to work on.” The 26-year-old Japanese star stunned baseball with his two-way ability as a rookie in 2018, going 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA in 10 starts and hitting .285 with 22 homers as a designated hitter. He tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow during the season, though, and had Tommy John surgery that October. Ohtani stayed off the mound in 2019 yet thrived as a full-time designated hitter. But he faltered on both sides of the ball trying to resume his two-way role during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. He struggled in two starts on the mound and put his pitching on hold amid a right forearm/elbow strain. He slumped at the plate, too, hitting .190 with seven homers. The 2018 AL Rookie of the Year is off to a strong start this spring on both sides. He crushed a 468-foot homer over the batter’s eye at Tempe Diablo Stadium in a game Wednesday, then showed improved mechanics on the mound Friday. “It really starts with his delivery, I think it’s more clean and consistent,” manager Joe Maddon said. “I like his arm stroke better. It starts there and then he’s able to recapture the velocity he’s had in the past, and the really good break of his splitter. The big thing for his success is going to be repetition of delivery and knowing where his fastball is going consistently.” ANGELS 7, ATHLETICS 3 (7 INNINGS) James Kaprielian struck out three and worked two scoreless innings in the start for the A’s. Matt Olson hit his second home run of the spring. PHILLIES 3, PIRATES 0 Bryce Harper homered on his first swing of spring training, launching a opposite-field drive to left. He singled in his next at-bat and was done for the day. At 28 and starting the third season of a 13-year, $330 million contract, Harper is hoping there are bigger days ahead come October. The 2015 NL MVP has reached the playoffs four times, all with Washington, and never won a round. “I feel like we need to have a sense of urgency. This team isn’t going to last forever,” he said. “We can’t just keep saying, ‘Oh, next year, next year, next year.’ That’s not it." Chase Anderson, vying for the fifth spot in the Philadelphia rotation, struck out three in two perfect innings. Andrew McCutchen homered for the Phillies. Chad Kuhl made his second start for Pittsburgh, allowing two runs on three hits. RED SOX 6, RAYS 5 (7) Boston ace Eduardo Rodriguez pitched 2 2/3 innings in his first start since missing last season because of health concerns. The left-hander was 19-6 in 2019, then was sidelined by heart inflammation caused by COVID-19. Rodriguez struck out two and gave up one run and two hits. Michael Chavis hit his second home run for Boston. Mike Brosseau hit his second homer for Tampa Bay. Rays newcomer Rich Hill was roughed up in his first start, allowing four runs in the first inning. Rafael Devers drew a bases-loaded walk, Hunter Renfroe singled in a run and Marwin Gonzalez added an RBI double. YANKEES 1, TIGERS 1 Domingo Germán pitched two scoreless innings for New York in his first game since being banned in 2019 under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. He struck out four and allowed one hit, a double by Wilson Ramos. Germán spoke with his Yankees teammates last week and issued a public apology the next day. Gleyber Torres homered, DJ LeMahieu had two hits and a walk and Aaron Judge hit his second double. Matthew Boyd pitched two hitless innings for Detroit. Highly touted Spencer Torkelson went 0 for 3. DODGERS 7, ROYALS 5 Clayton Kershaw pitched two scoreless innings in his spring debut for Los Angeles. He gave up two hits, including a leadoff double to Whit Merrifield, and struck out two. Chris Taylor doubled off the base of the wall in left centre-field, then cleared it in the fifth inning for a grand slam. Brad Keller worked three innings in the start for the Royals and allowed a run on four hits and two walks. Michael Taylor hit a two-run home run. MARINERS 2, WHITE SOX 2 (7) AL MVP José Abreu grounded into a triple play with the bases loaded in the fifth inning. Facing Seattle reliever Domingo Tapia, Abreu hit a grounder to third base — the Mariners threw home for forceout, got Abreu at first and then nailed Tim Anderson trying to score from second base. Mariners starter Chris Flexen worked two innings in his return to the majors, striking out three. Flexen changed his training program while dominating hitters in Korea, dropping 50 pounds and adding confidence in his breaking ball. Five pitchers combined to check the White Sox on just five singles. Kyle Lewis singled and doubled and scored both runs and Ty France singled twice and drove in a run. MARLINS 1, ASTROS 0 (7) Left-hander Trevor Rogers, one of pitching-rich Miami’s top five mound prospects, didn’t allow a hit while striking out three of the six batters he faced in his first start. Jose Urquidy made his first start for Houston, allowing two hits and one run —on Brian Anderson’s homer — in two innings. Myles Straw tripled for one of the Astros’ two hits. Straw is batting .625 this spring as the replacement for departed centre fielder George Springer, who signed a free-agent deal with Toronto in the off-season. The Astros are minus eight pitchers because of coronavirus protocols. They're in no danger of running out of arms, however, with 39 pitchers in camp. BLUE JAYS 13, ORIOLES 4 (8) Hyun Jin Ryu made his first start for Toronto, yielding a solo home run to Pat Valaika and a walk in two innings with two strikeouts. Danny Jansen homered and singled, Randal Grichuk had a two-run double and prospect Josh Palacios homered, tripled and doubled, driving in five runs. Baltimore newcomer Matt Harvey yielded three runs on four hits in two innings. BRAVES 4, TWINS 0 (7) Kyle Wright fared much better in his second start for Atlanta, allowing one hit in three shutout innings with two strikeouts. He retired just four batters while giving up three runs in his first outing. Newcomer Matt Shoemaker retired all seven batters he faced in his first start for Minnesota, striking out two. Keon Broxton had two of the Twins’ three hits, including a double. INDIANS 10, CUBS 4 (7) Bobby Bradley, competing for Cleveland’s starting job at first base, hit a three-run homer. He dropped 35 pounds in the off-season, but it hasn’t affected his power. He’s homered twice this week. Eddie Rosario added three RBIs for the Indians, who scored four runs in the third off Craig Kimbrel. The Cubs lost for the first time in four games. Chicago’s Nico Hoerner homered in the second against Indians starter Triston McKenzie and added a single. Alec Mills worked two hitless innings in the start for the Cubs. BREWERS 12, ROCKIES 3 Corbin Burnes finished sixth in the NL Cy Young voting in 2020 and opened 2021 by striking out five of the seven batters he faced in a two-inning start. Jordan Zimmerman followed with two innings of work, allowing three runs on three hits. Derek Fisher and Nicholas Kahle homered for Milwaukee. Pitcher Austin Gomber, the lone major league player the Rockies received from St. Louis in the trade for Nolan Arenado, allowed a hit and struck out two in his two-inning start. Trevor Story hit a three-run homer for Colorado. ___ BRAVES BATTING ORDER Freddie Freeman’s first spring training game provided a preview of how the Atlanta lineup will be constructed to start the season. The NL MVP hit third behind Ronald Acuña Jr. and Ozzie Albies against the Minnesota Twins. The Braves had success with Freeman hitting second last year, when the DH was in place in the National League. Now that it appears certain this season won't include the universal DH, Freeman is back to third. He confirmed being told by manager Brian Snitker that will be the plan to open the season. “Putting me second with the pitcher hitting ninth, it just doesn’t really make sense for us,” Freeman said. Marcell Ozuna hit cleanup, followed by catcher Travis d’Arnaud. Freeman did not have a hit in two at-bats but said “I felt good. I swung at strikes. I got hitter’s counts. I hit the ball where it was pitched. All in all, it was a good day.” Freeman was given the OK to report about a week late to spring training after the addition of two baby boys to his family. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
Jimmy Graham swerved to avoid a disabled car on a Miami highway on Thursday, though both he and his dog were safe after the accident.
One of the largest bitcoin mining and blockchain technology companies in North America, Blockcap, Inc. ("Blockcap"), announced today its purchase of an additional 8,400 AvalonMiner 1246s. Acquired from top manufacturer Canaan, the large-scale purchase of these state-of-the-art machines brings the number of Blockcap-operated miners to be deployed by Q4 of this year to over 30,000.
ROLLING HILLS ESTATES, Calif. — Tiger Woods was unconscious in a mangled SUV after he crashed the vehicle in Southern California last week, according to a court document that also revealed a nearby resident and not a sheriff’s deputy was first on the scene. The witness, who lives near the accident scene in Rolling Hills Estates just outside Los Angeles, heard the crash and walked to the SUV, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Johann Schloegl wrote in the affidavit. The man told deputies that Woods had lost consciousness and did not respond to his questions. The first deputy, Carlos Gonzalez, arrived minutes later the morning of Feb. 23 and has said Woods appeared to be in shock but was conscious and able to answer basic questions. Woods suffered severe injuries to his right leg and cuts to his face. Woods told deputies — both at the wreckage and later at the hospital — that he did not know how the crash occurred and didn’t remember driving, according to the affidavit. The document was filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court as part of a statement of probable cause requesting that a search warrant be approved for the 2021 Genesis GV80 SUV’s data recorder, known as a black box. Schloegl requested data from Feb. 22 and Feb. 23. “I believe the data will explain how/why the collision occurred,” Schloegl wrote. Schloegl previously told USA Today that he did not seek a search warrant for Woods’ blood samples, which could be screened for drugs and alcohol. In 2017, Woods checked himself into a clinic for help dealing with prescription drug medication after a DUI charge in his home state of Florida. A judge approved the search warrant for the data recorder. Sheriff’s representatives have declined to say what they have found on it. “LASD is not releasing any further information at this time,” department spokesman Deputy Shawn Du Busky said in a statement Friday. “The traffic collision investigation is ongoing and traffic investigators continue to work to determine the cause of the collision.” Deputies did not consult with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office regarding any search warrants in the Woods investigation, according to DA spokesman Greg Risling. Experts say police can ask prosecutors if there is enough probable cause to seek a warrant, noting that it would be typical to do so in motor vehicle cases when there aren't immediate signs of impairment but a detective believes there is reason to obtain a blood sample. Rising declined further comment when asked whether LA prosecutors generally weigh in on such cases. Woods is from the Los Angeles area and was back home to host his PGA tournament, the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, which ended two days before the crash. He was driving an SUV loaned to him by the tournament when he struck a raised median around 7 a.m., crossed through two oncoming lanes and uprooted a tree. The crash occurred on a downhill stretch that police said is known for wrecks. Sheriff Alex Villanueva has said Woods was driving alone in good weather, there was no evidence of impairment, and the crash was “purely an accident.” However, depending on what is found on the data recorder, Woods could face a misdemeanour driving charge or a traffic citation. Dr. Andre Campbell, a trauma surgeon at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, said it’s not unusual for patients in major vehicle crashes to lose consciousness or experience memory lapses. “A lot of times people will tell you, ‘I don’t remember what happened,’ ” he said, adding the memory loss may never return. “This is a credit to modern engineering, really, that he’s alive,” said Campbell, who is not involved in Woods’ treatment and spoke generally about trauma patients. The crash injured Woods’ right leg, requiring a lengthy surgery to stabilize shattered tibia and fibula bones. A combination of screws and pins were used for injuries in the ankle and foot. It was the 10th surgery of his career and came two months after a fifth back surgery. Through it all, Woods has never gone an entire year without playing, dating back to his first PGA Tour event as a 16-year-old in high school. Stefanie Dazio, The Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Major League Baseball teams in California can welcomea limited number of fans back to ballparks on April 1 under new state rukes announced Friday that will also let Disneyland and other theme parks reopen for the first time in more than a year. The changes allow people to attend other outdoor sporting events and live performances in limited numbers that go into effect on baseball's opening day, when the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels and Oakland A's all have home games. The A's confirmed they will have fans in the stands. Disneyland officials did not say when the park would reopen. But when it does, only people who live in California can buy tickets. The same goes for MLB games and outdoor performances, as public health officials try to limit mixing while continuing to roll out coronavirus vaccinations. Indoor events such as NBA games and concerts are not included in the new rules announced by the adminstration of Gov. Gavin Newsom. The state is acting because the rates of new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are declining while the number of people receiving vaccines is increasing, said Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s top public health official. “Today’s announcement is focused on building in some of the compelling science about how the virus behaves, and how activities when done a certain way can reduce risk,” Ghaly said. California divides its counties into four colour-coded tiers based on the spread of the virus. The purple tier is the most restrictive, followed by red, orange and yellow. Attendance limits are based on what tier a county is in. Outdoor sports are limited to 100 people in the purple tier. The limits increase to 20% capacity in the red tier, 33% in the orange tier and 67% in the yellow tier. Teams and event organizers can only sell tickets regionally in the purple tier. In the other tiers, teams and organizers can sell tickets to anyone living in California. No concessions will be allowed in the purple tier, while in others, concession sales will only be available at seats. Enforcing the rules will be left to venues. Ghaly and Dee Dee Myers, director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, said organizers will have to sell tickets in advance and can cross-check to confirm hometowns to help with contact tracing if needed. Myers acknowledged that some people will try to beat the system, but she said officials hope people will respect the guidelines. The Oakland A’s announced rules that give a glimpse of what life will be like for fans during the pandemic. They will be seated in pods of two or four seats, and tickets will only be available on the MLB Ballpark app. Fans can order concessions on their phones and have them delivered to their seats. No tailgating is allowed, and teams will not accept cash inside the stadium. People who don’t have debit cards can purchase one with cash at a limited number of locations inside the venue. “We are excited to safely welcome fans back to our ballpark for the upcoming season,” A’s President Dave Kaval said. Theme parks can open in the red tier at 15% capacity and boost attendance limits as virus rates decrease. Again, only people who live in California can buy tickets. Indoor rides at outdoor parks will be allowed because they are typically short and can allow for proper spacing. “We can’t wait to welcome guests back and look forward to sharing an opening date soon,” Ken Potrock, president of Disneyland Resort, said in a statement. Disneyland employees have been furloughed or out of a job for nearly a year. Andrea Zinder, president of the local United Food and Commercial Workers Union that represents Disney workers, said employees are “excited to go back to work and provide Californians with a bit more magic in their lives." Disney fan Kenny King Jr.said he became an annual Disneyland passholder a decade ago and typically takes his family there five times a year. King, 38, and his family, who live in Pleasant Hill, last went to Disneyland in February 2020 for his birthday. He's excited to return with his 8-year-old daughter, who had just started enjoying rides such as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Space Mountain, and to take his 2-year-old son, who was mesmerized by the lights and sounds when he went to the park last year. “We’ll sit there at the house sometimes and we’ll be like man, I just miss Disneyland,” King said. He said he's confident Disney will take appropriate safety measures. “They’ve had plenty of time to game plan on that,” he said. Adam Beam And Kathleen Ronayne, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Democrats set aside one battle over boosting the minimum wage but promptly descended into another internal fight Friday as the party haltingly tried moving its $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill through the Senate. Hours after asserting they’d reached a deal between party moderates and progressives over renewing emergency jobless benefits, lawmakers said Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., was apparently ready to support a less generous Republican version. Work on the Senate floor ceased for over eight hours as Democrats sought a way to salvage their unemployment provision. Manchin is probably the chamber’s most conservative Democrat, and a kingmaker in a 50-50 Senate that leaves his party without a vote to spare. With Democrats’ slim majorities — they have a mere 10-vote House edge — the party needs his vote but can’t tilt too far centre without losing progressive support. The episode tossed fresh complications into the Democrats’ drive to give quick approval to a relief bill that is President Joe Biden’s top legislative goal. And while they still seemed likely to pass the package, the problem underscored the headaches confronting party leaders over the next two years as they try moving their agenda through Congress with such slender margins. “People in the country are hurting right now, with less than two weeks from enhanced unemployment checks being cut,” Biden said at the White House, referring to the March 14 end to the current round of emergency jobless benefits. He called his bill a “clearly necessary lifeline for getting the upper hand" against the pandemic. The relief legislation, aimed at battling the killer virus and nursing the staggered economy back to health, will provide direct payments of up to $1,400 to most Americans. There’s also money for COVID-19 vaccines and testing, aid to state and local governments, help for schools and the airline industry, tax breaks for lower-earners and families with children, and subsidies for health insurance. The package faces a solid wall of GOP opposition, and Republicans used the unemployment impasse to accuse Biden of refusing to seek compromise with them. “You could pick up the phone and end this right now," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said of Biden. The standoff and a host of eleventh-hour deals Democratic leaders were cutting with rank-and-file lawmakers reflected the delicate challenge of navigating the precariously divided chamber. The House version of the massive relief package provides $400 weekly emergency unemployment benefits — on top of regular state payments — through August. In a compromise with moderates revealed earlier Friday, Senate Democrats said that would be reduced to $300 weekly but extended until early October. The plan, sponsored by Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., would also reduce taxes on unemployment benefits. Later, lawmakers said Manchin was backing an alternative by Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, that would provide $300 weekly benefits until mid-July. “I don’t know where he is,” No. 2 Senate Democratic leader Richard Durbin of Illinois, said of Manchin’s latest stance on jobless benefits. Asked if Democrats could simply accept the GOP’s version, Durbin said: “We don’t want to. We want to get this wrapped up.” That was a nod to Democrats' need to move the overall relief bill once again through the House, which has a large numbers of liberals. It approved an initial version of the legislation last weekend, which the Senate has since changed. Manchin has been a leading voice among moderates trying to rein the relief bill’s costs. Democratic leaders were trying to reach some agreement with Manchin, and his office did not return requests for comment. “I feel bad for Joe Manchin. I hope the Geneva Convention applies to him,” No. 2 Senate GOP leader John Thune of South Dakota told reporters about the pressure on the West Virginian. Before the unemployment benefits drama began, senators voted 58-42 to kill a top progressive priority, a gradual increase in the current $7.25 hourly minimum wage to $15 over five years. Eight Democrats voted against the proposal, suggesting that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and other progressives vowing to continue the effort in coming months will face a difficult fight. But eight hours after that minimum wage roll call began, it still hadn’t been formally gaveled to a close as all Senate work ceased while Democrats struggled to resolve their unemployment benefits problem. The next step would be a mountain of amendments, mostly by GOP opponents, virtually all destined to fail but designed to force Democrats to take politically awkward votes. Republicans say the overall bill is a liberal spend-fest that ignores that growing numbers of vaccinations and signs of a stirring economy suggest that the twin crises are easing. “Our country is already set for a roaring recovery," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in part citing an unexpectedly strong report on job creation. “Democrats inherited a tide that was already turning.” Democrats reject that, citing the 10 million jobs the economy has lost during the pandemic and numerous people still struggling to buy food and pay rent. “If you just look at a big number you say, ‘Oh, everything's getting a little better,'" said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “It's not for the lower half of America. It's not." In an encouraging sign for Biden, a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 70% of Americans support his handling of the pandemic, including a noteworthy 44% of Republicans. Friday's gridlock over unemployment benefits gridlock wasn't the first delay. On Thursday Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., forced the chamber's clerks to read aloud the entire 628-page relief bill, an exhausting task that took staffers 10 hours and 44 minutes and ended shortly after 2 a.m. EST. Democrats made a host of other late changes to the bill, designed to nail down support. They ranged from extra money for food programs and federal subsidies for health care for workers who lose jobs to funds for rural health care and language assuring minimum amounts of money for smaller states. In another late bargain that satisfied moderates, Biden and Senate Democrats agreed Wednesday to make some higher earners ineligible for the direct checks to individuals. Alan Fram, The Associated Press