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‘Out for long time’: Trump tweets as US shutdown sets new record | News

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A partial government shutdown in the United States over President Donald Trump’s demand for $5.7bn to build a wall along the US-Mexico border has entered a record 22nd day.

Trump, holed up in the White House with Congress adjourned for the weekend, warned of a much lengthier impasse and blamed the Democrats as Saturday marked the longest shuttering of federal agencies in the US history.

“We will be out for a long time unless the Democrats come back from their ‘vacations’ and get back to work,” he tweeted.

Democrats say Trump shut the government in a “temper tantrum” by refusing to sign a bipartisan funding legislation last year that did not include money for his wall.

The closure, which began on December 22, broke a decades-old record by a 1995-1996 shutdown under former President Bill Clinton that lasted 21 days.

Federal workers affected missed their first paycheques on Friday, heightening concerns about mounting financial pressures on employees, including air traffic controllers and airport security officials who continue to work without pay.

Concerns over pay, depression 

Roughly 800,000 federal workers did not receive paycheques that would have gone out on Friday. Some have resorted to selling their possessions or posting appeals on online fundraising sites to help pay their bills.

Miami international airport in Florida said it will close one of its terminals over the next several days due to a possible shortage of security screeners, who have been calling in sick at twice the normal rate.






No pay for workers as Trump about to set new shutdown record

A union that represents thousands of air traffic controllers sued the federal aviation administration on Friday, saying it had violated federal wage law by failing to pay workers. It is at least the third lawsuit filed by unions on behalf of unpaid workers.

The head of the US Secret Service, which is responsible for protecting Trump, has warned employees that financial stress can lead to depression and anxiety.

“Keep an eye out for warning signs of trouble,” Director R D “Tex” Alles wrote in a memo seen by the Reuters news agency.

The transportation security administration, responsible for airport security screening, said its rate of unscheduled absences rose to 5.6 percent on Saturday from 3.3 percent a year ago but that security standards have not been compromised.

To support workforce, authorities said they were processing pay for employees who worked on the first day of the shutdown and announced $500 bonuses for uniformed screening officers.

Trump is considering a possible national emergency declaration that would end the shutdown and allow him to obtain his wall funding by circumventing Congress. But on Friday, he said he would not take such a step “right now”.

‘Tell them to get it done!’

Trump also urged his 57.2 million Twitter followers to contact Democratic lawmakers and “Tell them to get it done!”

Democrats, who say the wall is an ineffective, outdated answer to a complex problem, have passed several bills in the House of Representatives to reopen the government without funding for Trump’s barrier.

But the legislation has been ignored by the Republican-controlled Senate.

Trump originally pledged Mexico would pay for the wall, which he says is needed to stem the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs. But Mexico has refused.

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25 Best Senators’ Memories From 25 Years at Canadian Tire Centre

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There is a special birthday in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata this weekend.

Canadian Tire Centre turns 25. Its doors first opened on Jan. 15, 1996, for a Bryan Adams concert. The Senators played their first game in their new arena on Jan. 17, 1996, when they lost to the visiting Montreal Canadiens.

I’ve spent a great deal of my life has at that arena. I don’t know how many Sens games I have been to there — I would ballpark it somewhere between 600 and 700. But I thought it would be fun to look back and share my 25 most memorable moments at the arena. I am not counting numerous concerts as great moments in the building — I often joke that the four best concerts I have ever seen there are Garth Brooks, Garth Brooks, Garth Brooks and Garth Brooks. I am not counting the 2009 World Juniors either. I am sticking entirely to the Sens.

25. Paul MacClone

Mike Watson was just sitting in his company seats, minding his own business, watching the Ottawa Senators take on the Florida Panthers on a January night during the 2012-13 season. The casual discussion among reporters after the game was how he broke Twitter.

Watson’s friends had told him that he looked like then-Senators’ head coach Paul MacLean. When he got face time on the new high-definition scoreboard, in the front row and directly behind the coach, the crowd buzzed and cheered.

Senators coach Paul MacLean had a doppelganger behind the bench.

The shot of Watson behind the bench spread quickly on social media. Surely, everyone thought, he must have been planted in that seat. He wasn’t. The last time he had sat in those seats, Cory Clouston was the coach, and no one noticed him.

As the season went on, the MacLean doppelganger became a local celebrity and was somewhat of a mascot during Ottawa’s playoff run.

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With spare parts and derring-do, Ottawa’s own Rocketman reinvents skating

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An Ottawa man is turning heads on frozen stretches of the Ottawa River with a homemade device he jokingly refers to as his “jetpack.”

In reality, Brydon Gibson’s gas-powered, propeller-driven invention is more Rona than NASA.

“I got my hands on some weed whacker motors and I figured strapping one on my back and making skating a little bit lazier would [be] a good idea,” said Gibson, 24.

He bolted a 38-centimetre propeller to a wooden frame, fashioned a throttle out of a brake handle and cable salvaged from a 10-speed bike, then added padded straps cut from a dollar store backpack. He laced up his skates, and suddenly Gibson was zipping along at speeds reaching 40 km/h. 

“I was actually getting a little scared at one point because I was going a little too fast,” the inventor admitted.

There are no brakes, but there is kill switch to cut the power “when something goes wrong,” said Gibson. “It’s actually a little finicky.”

This is not the first iteration of Gibson’s invention. As a teen, he built an electric propulsion device in his parents’ basement, though it never got to the testing phase.

“Ever since I was a kid … I’ve been taking apart things I found on the side of the road, making a mess of my parents basement, spreading electronics everywhere,” he said.

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‘It is frustrating’: U.S-educated nurse from Ottawa hits barriers to getting licensed in Ontario

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Before she accepted a swimming scholarship to attend Boston’s Northeastern University, Ottawa’s Rachael Geiger made sure it had the kind of nursing program she wanted. The school’s baccalaureate nursing program offered a fifth year of co-operative placement after four years of study — something Geiger thought would leave her well prepared for a career as a nurse when she returned home after university.

But it hasn’t worked out that way.

Two and a half years after graduating summa cum laude from Northeastern, the 25-year-old is unable to work as a registered nurse in Ontario.

Geiger said she was initially surprised, especially since she wrote the same licensing exam in Massachusetts as is written in Ontario, the NCLEX-RN exam. She is licensed to practise in Massachusetts and Illinois.

“I never thought it would be such a challenge.”

She and her family are frustrated at how difficult it has been for her to get registered to be able to practise in Ontario. That frustration is heightened by the fact that nurses have seldom been in such high demand in Canada and around the world as the COVID-19 pandemic strains health systems and shortages loom. Local hospitals are among those trying to recruit nurses. The Canadian Nurses Association has been warning that Canada will experience extreme shortages in coming years.

“It is frustrating to sit and see all the news about nursing shortages and not be able to help,” said Geiger.

Doris Grinspun, chief executive officer of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, the professional association that represents registered nurses, nurse practitioners and nursing students in the province, said she was “more than surprised” to hear of the difficulty Geiger has had.

But Grinspun, who initially studied nursing in Israel and then the U.S. before becoming one of the country’s nursing leaders, said the system of allowing foreign trained nurses to work in Ontario is unnecessarily slow and complicated and leads many valuable nurses to simply give up or find another career. Grinspun herself challenged the system when she first came to work in Ontario.

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