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Massive fire destroys lobster pound in southern Nova Scotia

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Editor’s Note: The lobster pound in this story was originally described as a Mi’kmaw owned lobster pound. That is incorrect. Global News has removed that reference. 

An enormous fire completely destroyed a lobster pound being used by Mi’kmaw fishermen in Middle West Pubnico, N.S., early Saturday morning.

Jonathan LeBlanc, a member of the Eel Brook Fire Department, told Global News that several local fire departments were called to the scene around midnight. It took over four hours to contain the fire, with crews later turning to a cleanup mode.

No injuries were reported.

Read more:
Sipek’nekatik lobster traps sabotaged as week of violence, anger ends

LeBlanc said it was still too early to say if the fire was deliberately set, adding fire investigators would be on scene later in the morning.

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Reached early Saturday morning, Nova Scotia RCMP said they were unaware of the incident.

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The lobster pound is the same one that was swarmed, vandalized and ransacked by a large crowd of non-Indigenous commercial fishers and their supporters Tuesday night.

Mi’kmaw fisherman Jason Marr told Global News he and others were forced to take cover inside the lobster pound as the building’s windows were smashed out and Marr’s vehicle was damaged, he said.

“They vandalized (my van) and they were peeing on it, pouring things into the fuel tank, cutting electrical wires,” Marr said on Wednesday. He also claimed they smashed the windows of the van, and said he saw them kicking, punching and hitting it with objects.

Video taken on Tuesday night and posted on Facebook shows a damaged vehicle at the scene.

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Click to play video 'Mi’kmaw fishers have property vandalized, lobsters destroyed'



Mi’kmaw fishers have property vandalized, lobsters destroyed


Mi’kmaw fishers have property vandalized, lobsters destroyed

Marr alleges the non-Indigenous fishers threatened to “burn” his group out of the building if they didn’t leave and allow them to seize the lobster catch.

“I thought they were gonna kill me,” the Mi’kmaw fisherman said.

A similar incident happened at another lobster pound in New Edinburgh, N.S., earlier Tuesday, where the crowd removed and damaged video cameras then ransacked the lobster pound and storage facility where the lobster catch was to be housed.

Read more:
Trudeau calls for calm in lobster fishery dispute: ‘We need to find a solution’

Mi’kmaq lobster fishers in southwestern Nova Scotia are asserting that right in defence of the decision to set up licensed lobster fisheries for both feeding their communities and commercial sales in the area outside of the commercial lobster fishing season.

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For weeks, non-Indigenous lobster fishers have targeted the Indigenous fishers and fisheries. On Friday, the chief of the Sipekne’katik First Nation said between 150 and 200 lobster traps were lost after non-Indigenous commercial fishers cut lines and destroyed buoys.

While the 1999 Supreme Court of Canada Marshall decision affirmed treaty rights to fish or hunt for a “moderate livelihood,” it also allows Ottawa to set regulations in consultation with Indigenous communities and for the purpose of conservation.

The definition of a “moderate livelihood” has not been agreed upon between the Sipekne’katik and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. However, Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan and Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett said in a statement last month that the Mi’kmaq have a constitutionally protected treaty right to fish under the term.


Click to play video 'Trudeau calls for end to violence and solution in lobster dispute'



Trudeau calls for end to violence and solution in lobster dispute


Trudeau calls for end to violence and solution in lobster dispute

The Indigenous fishers have called on the RCMP and the federal government to intervene in the dispute, accusing the federal police force of not doing enough to protect the community.

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On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appealed for calm and said violence and harassment are not acceptable.

“This is a situation that is extremely disconcerting,” Trudeau said. “That’s why we’re calling for an end to the violence and harassment that’s happening. … I understand the concerns and the conflict going on right now but we need to find a solution.”

RCMP said in a statement issued earlier in the week they were working to “de-escalate the situation and disperse the group.”

Senators representing Nova Scotia issued a statement Friday condemning the violence and calling on the RCMP to “restore peace and order.” They also called on the federal government to “move rapidly, respectfully and appropriately” to address the Indigenous fishers’ concerns.


Click to play video 'Mi’kmaq sell lobster outside N.S. legislature'



Mi’kmaq sell lobster outside N.S. legislature


Mi’kmaq sell lobster outside N.S. legislature

Sipekne’katik First Nation Chief Mike Sack also released a statement Saturday saying that the fire “illustrates the need for greater police presence in the region… I do believe with the proper police presence, however, this could have been avoided.”

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“I am once again calling on Prime Minister Trudeau and the RCMP to dedicate the necessary resources to this region to protect everyone. I am extremely concerned that someone is going to hurt or worse,” Sack added.

According to Sack, the facility is owned by “a friend and ally of Sipeknek’katik, where one of our community members was barricaded and his catch destroyed last week.”

“This should never have happened and the people responsible should be brought to justice.”

Sack said he hopes to try and find some balance with the Commercial Fishery, DFO, the Province of NS and the RCMP.

“I say this with the utmost respect, we have been calling for dialogue and recognition of our rights for years and we appreciate every officer and every minute of their service in what has become a very dangerous environment for so many.”

—With files from Global’s Alexander Quon, Aya Al-Hakim and Amanda Connolly




© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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We thought Reagan was the devil – then came Trump. America, we’re rooting for you | Ronald Reagan

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Dear America,

HEY! How you guys doing? Longtime British Americanophile “reaching out” across the Atlantic. I’m here to heart you, USA. I’m like “hope the hurting stops soon” (strong-arm mid-tone emoji).

I guess you’re all making a list of The Worst Things Trump Did, then checking it twice because really, who’d believe it. And I know he’s primarily your monstrous problem. But even Brits are citizens of what we used to call “the free world”. Your president was once the leader of it. And one of the very worst things Trump’s done is to make Ronald Reagan look like an intellectual giant. Simply by comparison, Trump has humanised Reagan and elevated his memory to sainthood.

I’m currently researching the Gipper for a project and honestly, next to Trump he genuinely seems like … not the good guy, exactly? But definitely presidential. “Let’s make America great again” was Reagan’s slogan, of course. It was about “American values”, making America great in the world again. Trump’s slogan initially stood for rebuilding economic power. Now it’s shorthand for “let’s win the culture war I relentlessly inflame and sure, bring on an actual armed civil war if I lose the election”.

Of course, Trump’s humanity is at such undetectable levels he makes literally anyone else look like St Francis of Assisi. Infuriatingly, even deadweight predecessors like the Bush dynasty look competent. But Reagan? Along with millions of others in the 1980s, I was there at marches and demonstrations, noisily railing against hated neoliberal Raygun, his nuclear missiles, his utterly insane space force. Oh how we disdained him, this doddery warmonger, this huckleberry clown of a politician. It never occurred to us that 40 years on we’d be contemplating someone so much more clueless, so very much stupider, than Reagan.

None of my business, dear Americans, I know. You’re absolutely right. It’s not my country, it’s yours. You’re the ones pledging allegiance from sea to shining sea. I should butt out. And yet. All this used to be my business, back in the day when Potus was de facto leader of “the west” and led the forces of laissez-faire capitalism against the Evil Empire of Communism. “Ideology”, we used to call it. Man, we thought Reagan was the devil incarnate 40 years ago. Now the news is basically “Self-Satirising Human Cronut Yesterday On Twitter Said …”

As I write this letter of solidarity, I’m watching the televised presidential debate for election 1980, 40 years ago. Jimmy Carter the bruised defender, looking for a second term. Reagan the interloper, the disrupter, landing blow after blow on Carter – the failing economy, the Tehran hostages, the correct pronunciation of “nuclear”. Reagan was the older man but he sounded younger. What is frankly astonishing is the dignity of the debate itself. Here were political enemies – diametrically opposed on every issue – politely disagreeing, listening, yielding when time ran out. Basic human respect. And you stop and think – how is this normal, being nostalgic for normality itself?

Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan during a debate in 1980.
Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan during a debate in 1980. Photograph: The Ronald Reagan Presidential L/Reuters

Trump often invokes Ronald Reagan as an inspiration, and you can see how the analogy crosses his mind, like tumbleweed. Reagan too arrived at the White House from the world of entertainment. But Reagan had been governor of California for two terms. And president of a powerful union, the Screen Actors Guild. And served in the military. Reagan’s primary domestic objective of “getting government off the backs of the people” undoubtedly helped Trump the young shark-eyed entrepreneur – greedy to build, greedy for profit, greedy for tax credits.

Reagan consistently said that a free press was a prerequisite for a free country, and that it should hold presidents to account. Imagine that: a president inviting scrutiny. Trump dismisses any story he doesn’t like as “fake news” and deals only with Fox – his Pravda, his Tass. Unlike Trump, Reagan was self-aware enough to know his limitations. He surrounded himself with smart counsel and experts. Trump lives in a bubble of sycophancy.

Some of the stuff Trump’s pulling isn’t new, it’s just louder. You couldn’t imagine any of the other presidents not wanting America First. And like Trump, Reagan was an authoritarian who sent armed police in to break up civil protest. Reagan was indifferent to Aids; Trump is indifferent to Covid-19. More than 89,000 people died of Aids over seven years under Reagan administrations. Covid deaths in the US over seven months under Trump are 225,000 and rising …

In his foreign policy dealings, Reagan believed in statecraft, that ancient art of diplomacy now apparently lost in the murk of history. He saw his primary task as leading the world to peace and was prepared to sit down with cold war adversaries to thrash out a disarmament program. Does Trump even have a foreign policy, besides “screw you”? A resurrected Reagan would be aghast at Trump meeting Commie-In-Chief Kim Jong-un three times to discuss nuclear weapons with no tangible results.

Reagan’s statecraft did not hinge on whether the particular head of state “liked him”. Reagan’s preoccupation wasn’t self-aggrandisement. He sought world peace, and found gratification in good deeds. When his mind had gone, his memories lost, all knowledge of being President entirely faded, he remembered this: he had saved 77 people from drowning as a young lifeguard. That, in his shattered mind, was his legacy. In Trump’s bizarro world, drowners are losers.

Anyway, I’ll sign off. You have important stuff to do, like choosing a president. I wish you good luck; we’re all aware Kamala Harris is a result and a heartbeat from becoming America’s first female Potus. Things could be worse, no doubt. But they could also be better. The best to you and yours, my brothers and sisters.

I remain your most ardent admirer,

A Brit, Esq

Ian Martin is a comedy writer. His credits include Veep, The Death of Stalin, Avenue 5, The Thick of it and more

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Coronavirus live news: China reports highest infections in two months; US sees almost 500,000 cases in one week | World news

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UK’s second Covid wave likely to be deadlier than its first – report





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Questions whirl, justice stifled as immunity laws protect US nursing homes

By noon on 16 September, more than 100 people had gathered at the end of the long drive that leads to the Menlo Park Veterans’ Memorial Home in New Jersey. Eighteen-inch letters – red, white, and blue – spelling “THANK YOU HEROES” were pushed into the sod beneath a semi-permanent sign that reads “Now accepting job applications” and “SERVING THOSE WHO SERVED”.

Staff members – mostly Black, mostly female – stood to the right of a podium. To the left stood family members holding framed photos of their loved ones, former residents of Menlo Park who had died over the past several hellish months, either in the facility or in a nearby hospital.

Gary White, the no-nonsense, cigar-chewing commandant of the local Marine Corp League – an 80-year-old federal organization and advocacy group for Marine veterans – organized the event. White told the crowd that Menlo Park’s residents had, as service members, “given America a blank check payable up to and including their lives,” but that during the pandemic, “veterans died who never should have.” A week before the protest, White had received calls and emails from family members who were shocked by their loved one’s deaths, who had never even been told their father or grandfather was sick.

“They asked me to do something,” he said:









Mexico’s coronavirus cases pass 900,000





India nears 8m cases

















Macron to give televised address on Wednesday evening

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Ontario: Doug Ford refuses to demote caucus member photographed maskless | Canada

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Ontario’s premier, Doug Ford, has come under fire for refusing to demote a scofflaw member of his caucus who was photographed without a mask at a large indoor gathering – even as the regional government pleads with residents to follow public health rules during the pandemic.

Sam Oosterhoff, a parliamentary assistant to the province’s education minister, posted pictures online this weekend of a large group gathered in a banquet hall. None of the nearly 40 attendees were seen wearing masks or practicing physical distancing.

The photographs – and the evidence of a flagrant breach of the provincial government’s public health messaging – prompted outrage. Oosterhoff subsequently deleted the post and apologized for not wearing a mask. He also told reporters the event was in a region of Ontario where gatherings of up to 50 people indoors are still permitted. But health officials require masks and physical distancing while inside.

“He came out and apologized. Hey, guys, everyone makes mistakes,” Ford told reporters. “I’m a strong believer, you make a mistake, you go out and apologize and say it’s not going to happen again. I accept that.”

But a post late on Monday evening from the restaurant where the event was hosted told a different story.

“There was a group in last week, that has caused some concern,” Betty’s Restaurant wrote in a post on Facebook. “This group was reminded several times that they were required to wear masks when not seated at their table. Unfortunately they chose not to follow posted rules about wearing masks and distancing. We can remind guests but we cannot strong-arm them into following rules.”

The premier’s office reiterated its support for Oosterhoff on Tuesday.

But the photographs – and his support for Oosterhoff – put Ford in a difficult position as his government tries to tackle the second wave of the virus.

Canada’s most populous province logged more than 1,000 new cases in a single day on Sunday, and outbreaks are surging in long-term care homes, prompting fresh appeals for the public to follow health protocols.

Ford has admitted he is battling divisions within his government over how quickly to roll out new restrictions.

“I always say I gotta listen to the docs, I always will, and the science, but in saying that, I have to listen to the small business owners,” Ford said on Monday, adding he was trying to find a “happy balance”.

Opposition leader Andrew Horwath of the New Democratic party told reports on Monday that the premier’s messaging on public health measures has been “so inconsistent and so unclear” that Oosterhoff “literally posed for a photo where he violated public health guidelines”.

“So why is the premier’s own team challenging, and outright ignoring, his directions?”



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