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I went to Costco for the first time. It was an overwhelming and awesome experience that still felt surprisingly safe during the pandemic.

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I walked into the Cherry Hill, New Jersey Costco with two friends, a newly minted membership card, and no idea what I was getting myself into. What I found was something akin to a bulk shopper’s promised land.

Costco
Me admiring sparkly things.



My first impression was just how warehouse-like the store appeared. The helpful greeter pointed me to the membership desk, where I picked up my new membership card.

Costco
The laptop and electronics section at Costco.



Sunscreen stood next to electronics, and jewelry was near the stove setups. On a Thursday night, the store wasn’t too empty or crowded as we made our way through.

Costco
There was a variety of televisions in the Costco warehouse.



One of the first stops was the jewelry counter, with bright lights sparkling off the surprisingly affordable diamonds.

Costco
Costco’s jewelry was surprisingly well-priced.



We then moved over to the clothes, where I snagged a pair of the brand’s leggings that some devotees have compared to Lululemon and my friend grabbed a Fila windbreaker. The assortment of comfortable, well-priced clothes impressed all three of us.

Costco during pandemic
Costco clothes range from leggings to button-downs to windbreakers.



One sleeper hit? The book section, which was somewhat random but had some good finds, including the buzzy “Such a Fun Age” by Kiley Reid for cheaper than I’ve ever seen it.

Costco during pandemic
Their book selection was surprisingly robust, particularly with cookbooks.



Moving toward the back of the store, we found the produce, meats, and cheeses. This is where our wallets really began to hurt.

Costco
The back grocery section of the store was particularly tempting.



We then moved over to the famed rotisserie chickens, which seemed to be restocked every 30 seconds by a Costco worker behind the heated shelves.

Costco
There were plenty of Costco’s famous $4.99 rotisserie chickens.



The produce section, which included its own refrigerated room, was sprawling – with a good bit of organic produce as well.

Costco during pandemic
There was a pile of brussels sprouts in the produce room.



The bakery was well-stocked, and – perhaps because it was the end of the day – bagels were buy one, get one free.

Costco during pandemic
A picture of us admiring the baked goods (friend for scale).



The famous sheet cakes were tucked by the bakery, which smelled appealing even through our masks.

Costco


The meats and seafoods, too, were impressive. They had oxtail, fresh salmon, lobster, and pretty much every cut of steak you could imagine. For a vegetarian who lives alone, bulk-buying meat was not on my list, but my friends picked up some pork belly for homemade ramen.

Costco
There was a number of lobster in the meat and seafood section to choose from.



Perhaps the best part of the experience, however, was the miracle that is the Costco cheese section. The sheer selection of fancy cheeses from all regions of the world – Halloumi to Camembert – and the fact that they weren’t as expensive as the downtown grocery stores made it one of the most memorable aisles.

Costco
My personal favorite was the cheese aisle.



The freezer section, too, beckoned. We’d heard talk of Costco’s nuggets, meant to taste similar to Chick-fil-A, and stowed some away in the cart.

Costco


And how can you pass up 72 pizza bagels? I was in heaven.

Costco
Yes, I furtively bought 72 pizza bagels.



The flower section was another hidden gem – with fresh, vibrant colors and a price tag significantly lower than any florist or other grocery store. A dozen roses came in at $17.99.

Costco
This was just some of the flower selection.



Toward the back of the store we found the staple products. In a canny bit of marketing used by most big-box stores, customers at my location were funneled through the high-priced, impulse-buy items on their way to pick up paper towels. Knowing that this was a psychological trick, however, didn’t make us any less susceptible to it.

Costco
You can stock up with bulk household items at the back of the store.



One under-praised aspect of Costco, at least in my research, is the medicine and pharmacy aisle. It was a great place to stock up on decently-priced and useful sundries, from Alka-Seltzer to Advil.

Costco


The checkout process was perhaps the most stressful of the whole experience: We weren’t quite sure where to stand, or which of the several lines we should go in. Workers herded customers in a way that felt like were were in line at a theme park. Everyone had carts that were just as full as ours. The customer in front of us had even bought a mattress.

Costco
A look into the employee-only section, which was marked by a big “STOP” sign.



Our last stop was the food court. None of us was hungry enough to eat, plus, a trip to Costco took a lot out of us. But there were plenty of patrons milling around, getting the chain’s signature hot dog and soda combo, or perhaps a pizza.

Costco
The food court is legendary for its low prices.



The food court looked straight out of a bowling alley in the 1950s – all Americana. But I suppose that’s ok, considering their prices match the era.

Costco food court Covid
The pizza deal is almost as famous as the hot dog and soda combo.



On our way out, I reflected on how safe everything felt for shopping during a pandemic: I never saw a customer with a sagging mask, and the sprawling warehouse meant no one got within six feet of us. All in all, Costco was an overwhelming and expensive experience, and I can’t wait to go back.

Costco
I was happy after a long evening of shopping.



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Green drive scales new peaks

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BEIJING, May 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — This is a news report from China Daily:

While city folk flock to zoos or animal parks for a glimpse of wildlife, the threats posed by predators such as snow leopards, wolves and brown bears are a daily fact of life for 41-year-old forest ranger Zhao Hongshang in the Qilian Mountains in northwestern China’s Qinghai province.

A herd of horses from a local farm gallop at the foot of the Qilian Mountains in Gansu province in May, 2020. [Photo by WANG CHAO FOR CHINA DAILY]

His base, Qiqing forest station, sits at an altitude of 2,900 meters and is the highest forest station in Qilian Mountain National Park-one of China’s first 10 pilot national parks.

Work on the parks started in 2015, with the aim of further protecting local ecosystems and wildlife.

In August 2018, a pack of wolves chased Zhao and his colleague Ma Xu for about 5 kilometers while they were patrolling the forest on a motorbike. The wolves sprang from a hill beside their route and followed the two rangers for more than 10 minutes, with the chase ending when a truck approached.

“We jumped off the motorbike and rushed into the truck,” Zhao said. “We were surrounded by 11 wolves. That was very scary. The driver hit the horn for a long time. We kept yelling at the wolves and finally scared them away.

“The experience was life-threatening, but sweet to me. I’ve been working as a forest ranger for nearly two decades. For me, nothing could be better than seeing the land I’ve protected become greener and home to more wildlife.”

The construction of the national park, part of China’s comprehensive strategy of improving the environment and achieving the goal of ecological civilization, has boosted animal populations and biodiversity in the Qilian Mountains, which lie on the border of Qinghai and Gansu provinces.

In August 2019, President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, stressed the importance of the ecological protection of the Qilian Mountains.

“The Qilian Mountains are a vital shield for ecological security in the western part of China,” he said. “This is a positioning in the national strategy.”

Xi made the remarks at a horse ranch during an inspection tour of Gansu, when he also expressed satisfaction with the effectiveness of nature conservation work in the area.

Severe threats

Qilian Mountain National Park covers 50,200 square kilometers-68 percent of which lie in Gansu-and features forest, grassland, desert and wetland landscapes.

Most of the 10 pilot parks have a core protected area and a general protected area. Regulation is stricter in the core protected areas, with commercial activities, such as tourism, banned and other forms of human activity kept to a minimum. That even applies to local residents, who are being relocated from the parks’ core protected areas.

The core protected area of Qilian Mountain National Park-27,500 sq km-accounts for 55 percent of its total area.

The mountains’ ecosystem faced severe threats from overgrazing, tourism, mining and commercial logging dating back to the 1980s. By the 1990s, their natural resources were overexploited by more than 500 mining enterprises and 150 hydropower stations, according to Gansu’s provincial government.

Thanks to the launch of the pilot national parks, the ecosystem of the Qilian Mountains has been recovering steadily, although threats to the mountains’ environment have not been completely eradicated.

Economic Information Daily, a newspaper affiliated with Xinhua News Agency, reported that large-scale illegal coal mining had continued to devastate the environment of the Qilian Mountains and reported that a company was suspected of making billions of yuan through illegal coal mining in the past 14 years.

The government of Haixi prefecture, where the mine is located, sent a special team to investigate the case and the Qinghai provincial government sent a special inspection team a day after it was reported.

Two senior officials in Haixi prefecture were removed from their posts for dereliction of supervision duty on illicit mining in Muli coal field in the Qilian Mountains, the provincial government announced at a news conference in 2020.

Liang Yanguo, a member of the Party committee of the prefecture, and Li Yongping, head of the Muli coal field management bureau, were removed from their posts and are under further investigation, according to the provincial discipline inspection commission.

Another three officials from local supervision departments in Haixi were also removed from office and put under investigation.

Since 2017, the central government has conducted two rounds of environmental inspections, including one in the Qilian Mountains.

Illegal mining and commercial logging in the mountains have been banned, and tours that could damage the environment have been suspended. Herdsmen have also been relocated from the core protected area of Qilian Mountain National Park.

Wang Hongbo, director of the park’s management office, said 114 mines were closed in 2018, with all facilities and buildings dismantled or removed, and 25 tours that posed threats to the ecosystem had been modified due to environmental concerns.

The improved environment has seen the revival of the population of some endangered species. Images of Tibetan donkeys, blue sheep and yellow Mongolian gazelle, animals not seen since the 1990s due to excessive hunting, have been captured by infrared cameras several times in recent years.

Zhao said rangers were four times as likely to encounter a blue eared pheasant now than 20 years ago, with the chances of seeing a blue sheep seven times greater.

With three other rangers, he safeguards wildlife in 427 sq km of forest. They patrol the region for 21 days a month and each covers more than 30,000 km a year-nearly three-quarters of the Earth’s circumference.

Preserving ecosystems

Other areas have also seen their ecosystems recover and have gained better protection thanks to China’s efforts to establish nature reserves.

When delivering a report at the opening of the 19th National Congress of the CPC in 2017, Xi said the country, as part of an effort to build a beautiful China, would develop a nature reserve system composed mainly of national parks.

That idea had its genesis in 2005, when Xi was the Party secretary of Zhejiang province. In August of that year, on a visit to Yucun, a village in Zhejiang’s Anji county, Xi praised the local government for stopping mining activities and closing cement factories to deal with a serious pollution problem.

During the visit, Xi put forward his famous development theory that “lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets”, which later became known as the “Two Mountains Theory”.

The green development philosophy is changing the country, with action plans to fight air, water and soil pollution introduced in recent years and its harshest-ever Environmental Protection Law rolled out.

Ecological civilization was also included in the CPC Constitution as a principle for development at the 18th CPC National Congress. It was the first time in the world that a ruling party had highlighted green development in its charter.

In June 2020, the State Council unveiled a guideline on nature reserves, with national parks as a major component, aimed at providing systemic protection for natural ecosystems, relics, scenery and biodiversity, and also safeguarding the country’s ecological security.

Xi has personally reviewed plans for four of the 10 pilot national parks, including those for Qilian Mountain National Park, according to Yang Weimin, deputy head of the Office of the Central Leading Group on Finance and Economic Affairs, and demanded that the integrity and original condition of the ecosystems be preserved.

“The aim is to give about 215,000 sq km of land back to nature, to give roughly 2 percent of China’s territory to giant pandas, Siberian tigers and Tibetan antelopes, and to give our future generations a larger area of pristine land,” Yang said at a news conference on the sidelines of the 19th CPC National Congress.

Thriving wild animals

The National Forestry and Grassland Administration said in 2019 that the construction of all 10 national parks will be completed on schedule, adding that some had already made significant achievements in ecological and wildlife protection.

In Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park, which spans the border of Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces, Siberian tigers and Amur leopards-two species listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List-have seen their populations increase in the past two years.

Zhang Shanning, deputy head of the park’s management bureau, said 10 Siberian tigers and six Amur leopards had been born in that time.

In Giant Panda National Park, which unites more than 80 fragmented habitats scattered in southwestern China’s Sichuan province and Shaanxi and Gansu provinces in the northwest, 319 cases of illegal use of forest land, 621 cases of commercial logging and 462 criminal cases of wildlife hunting and trading were subjected to prosecution or administrative punishment in 2019.

Improving livelihoods

Relocation of residents from the core protected areas of most national parks is speeding up.

Nearly 2,900 residents have been moved from the core protected area in Qilian Mountain National Park in Gansu province, Wang said.

They include herdsman Kang Yongsheng and his family, who were relocated in November 2017 along with other residents of Nangou village.

Wang said the government gave one herdsman from each family a job as a forest or grassland ranger in the national park. The job, together with government subsidies, pays 100,000 yuan($14,240) a year, equal to the amount they could earn from raising livestock.

Kang’s son and daughter-in-law now work as taxi drivers in Zhangye, Gansu, and the family’s living conditions have improved significantly thanks to its relocation.

Building on his decades in the company of wildlife, the mountains, grasslands and rivers, Kang said he loved working as a forest ranger.

“Now every time I see the soft clouds floating in the air, and deer and blue sheep drinking water quietly on the river bank, a strong feeling of peace and pride overwhelms me,” he said. “I guess it’s because of the love of the mountains, which I’ve taken as my home.”

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SOURCE China Daily

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PNM and AVANGRID Formally File New Mexico Stipulation with Additional Parties

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., May 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — PNM Resources, Inc. (NYSE: PNM) wholly-owned New Mexico subsidiary, Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM), and AVANGRID filed a revised stipulation with additional parties in its merger application before the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (NMPRC) today.

PNM Resources (PRNewsFoto/PNM Resources, Inc.) (PRNewsfoto/PNM Resources, Inc.)

Parties to the filed stipulation include: Attorney General of the State of New Mexico, Western Resource Advocates, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 611, Dine Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment, Nava Education Project, San Juan Citizens Alliance, To Nizhoni Ani, the Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy, Interwest Energy Alliance, Walmart, Inc., and Onward Energy Holdings, LLC.

The addition of several parties to the stipulation demonstrates a growing consensus around the benefits of the merger to customers, employees and communities across New Mexico.

If approved by the NMPRC, the agreement among the parties will bring over $270 million in benefits to New Mexico. The hearing examiner for the case has scheduled a procedural conference for parties on May 11.

Additional materials pertaining to the stipulation and PNM’s application for approval of the merger with the NMPRC are available at https://www.pnmresources.com/investors/rates-and-filings.aspx.

Background:
PNM Resources (NYSE: PNM) is an energy holding company based in Albuquerque, N.M., with 2020 consolidated operating revenues of $1.5 billion. Through its regulated utilities, PNM and TNMP, PNM Resources provides electricity to approximately 800,000 homes and businesses in New Mexico and Texas. PNM serves its customers with a diverse mix of generation and purchased power resources totaling 2.8 gigawatts of capacity, with a goal to achieve 100% emissions-free energy by 2040. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.PNMResources.com.

     

CONTACTS:

     Analysts

Media

     Lisa Goodman

Ray Sandoval

     (505) 241-2160                                

(505) 241-2782

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
Statements made in this news release for PNM Resources, Inc. (“PNMR”), Public Service Company of New Mexico (“PNM”), or Texas-New Mexico Power Company (“TNMP”) (collectively, the “Company”) that relate to future events or expectations, projections, estimates, intentions, goals, targets, and strategies are made pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Readers are cautioned that all forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and estimates. PNMR, PNM, and TNMP assume no obligation to update this information. Because actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, PNMR, PNM, and TNMP caution readers not to place undue reliance on these statements. PNMR’s, PNM’s, and TNMP’s business, financial condition, cash flow, and operating results are influenced by many factors, which are often beyond their control, that can cause actual results to differ from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Additionally, there are risks and uncertainties in connection with the proposed acquisition of us by AVANGRID which may adversely affect our business, future opportunities, employees and common stock, including without limitation, (i) the expected timing and likelihood of completion of the pending Merger, including the timing, receipt and terms and conditions of any required governmental and regulatory approvals of the pending Merger that could reduce anticipated benefits or cause the parties to abandon the transaction, (ii) the failure by AVANGRID to obtain the necessary financing arrangement set forth in commitment letter received in connection with the Merger, (iii) the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances that could give rise to the termination of the Merger Agreement, (iv) the risk that the parties may not be able to satisfy the conditions to the proposed Merger in a timely manner or at all, and (v) the risk that the proposed transaction could have an adverse effect on the ability of PNMR to retain and hire key personnel and maintain relationships with its customers and suppliers, and on its operating results and businesses generally. For a discussion of risk factors and other important factors affecting forward-looking statements, please see the Company’s Form 10-K, Form 10-Q filings and the information included in the Company’s Forms 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which factors are specifically incorporated by reference herein.          

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SOURCE PNM Resources, Inc.

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COVID-19 coverage dominates as National Newspaper Awards winners are announced – Globe and Mail’s Tom Cardoso named Journalist of the Year

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TORONTO, May 7, 2021 /CNW/ – Coverage of COVID-19, from first-person reporting and poignant photographs to in-depth investigations and bitingly satirical editorial cartoons, dominated as winners of the 2020 National Newspaper Awards were announced.

Nearly half of the 66 finalists were nominated for work that related in some way to the pandemic that dominated news coverage in 2020, and 10 of the 22 winning entries were for submissions entirely or mostly about COVID.

Entries dealing with the pandemic won in Beat Reporting, Business, Columns, Editorial Cartooning, Feature Photo, General News Photo, Long Feature, Project of the Year, Short Feature and the one new category this year, Sustained News Coverage.

Bucking the COVID-centric trend, Tom Cardoso of the Globe and Mail was named Journalist of the Year for an investigation that exposed systemic bias against Indigenous, Black and female prisoners in Canada’s corrections system.

Cardoso, who also won the George Brown Award for Investigations, was among 15 category winners considered for Journalist of the Year honours. He was selected by a panel comprising two former NNA winners and a former category judge, from among winning entries that had been submitted by one or two individuals.

Cardoso’s work was described by Journalist of the Year judges as resonating “like thunder” amid growing concerns about racial bias within the RCMP and other Canadian police forces. He obtained difficult-to-access data, created sophisticated programs to analyze it, and found compelling stories about the people reflected in the numbers.

Judges said Cardoso’s investigation proved beyond an iota of doubt that the standard evaluations used to determine the likelihood of prisoners being rehabilitated – and thus receiving access to useful programming and better conditions – are profoundly and systemically biased against individuals from racialized backgrounds. He also discovered that Corrections officials were aware of the situation, and had done nothing to rectify it.

Judges said his work revealed how Canada sometimes overlooks or condones injustice, and created an important foundation on which a correctional system that deals more constructively and equitably with those convicted of crime might be built.

Cardoso’s win in the Investigations category was one of 10 by the Globe and Mail. Other organizations winning multiple awards were La Presse and the Canadian Press with three each, and Le Devoir and the Toronto Star with two apiece. One of the Star’s two wins was shared with the Halifax Chronicle Herald (for Michael de Adder in the Editorial Cartooning category).

Geoffrey York of the Globe and Mail has his name on a winning entry for the fifth time in his career. York, who was a winner in two categories last year, was one of five Globe and Mail journalists who teamed up in 2020 to win the John Wesley Dafoe Award for Politics. Another member of that team, Paul Waldie, has now won four NNAs in his career.

Erin Anderssen of the Globe and Andrew Vaughan of the Canadian Press also won for the fourth time. Anderssen won the Bob Levin Award for Short Feature, and Vaughan won the Breaking News Photo category.

Leah Hennel of the Globe and Mail won her third NNA, this time in the Sports Photo category. Isabelle Hachey of La Presse (William Southam Award for Long Feature) won her second, as did Jacques Nadeau of Le Devoir (General News Photo) and André Picard of the Globe (Columns).

Several individuals took home top honours for the first time after being nominated previously. They include Michael de Adder (Editorial Cartooning), the Globe’s Johanna Schneller (Arts and Entertainment) and the Globe’s Nathan VanderKlippe (Norman Webster Award for International Reporting). Each came into this year’s competition having been a finalist four times previously. Ariane Lacoursière of La Presse, who won the E. Cora Hind Award for Beat Reporting, had been a finalist three previous times.

There were 66 finalists from 20 news organizations in 22 categories. Finalists and winners were selected by three-judge panels in each category from 926 entries submitted for work published in 2020.

This is the 72nd year for the awards program, and the 32nd under the current administrative structure. The awards were established by the Toronto Press Club in 1949 to encourage excellence and reward achievement in daily newspaper work in Canada. The competition is now open to newspapers, news agencies and online news sites approved for entry by the NNA Board of Governors.

Thanks to donations from sponsors, seven of the 22 category awards are named after important figures in the news industry. They are:

  • George Brown Award for Investigations (sponsored by the Globe and Mail)
  • John Wesley Dafoe Award for Politics (sponsored by Ron Stern)
  • E. Cora Hind Award for Beat Reporting (sponsored by the Nellie McClung Heritage Site)
  • Bob Levin Award for Short Feature (sponsored by the Globe and Mail)
  • Claude Ryan Award for Editorial Writing (sponsored by the Ryan family)
  • William Southam Award for Long Feature (sponsored by the Fisher, Bowen and Balfour families)
  • Norman Webster Award for International Reporting (sponsored by the Webster family)

A complete list of winners and finalists:

Arts and Entertainment
Winner: Johanna Schneller, Globe and Mail, for columns tackling the subject of gender identity and gender politics in the arts world.
Finalists: Améli Pineda, Le Devoir, for an investigation into accusations by nine women about assault or sexual misconduct by comedian Julien Lacroix; Jean Siag, La Presse, for articles about sexual abuse and misconduct in the circus industry.

E. Cora Hind Award for Beat Reporting
Winner: Ariane Lacoursière, La Presse, for her work covering health and in particular COVID-19.
Finalists: Aaron Derfel, Montreal Gazette, for his work on the health and COVID-19 beat; Leah Gerber, Waterloo Region Record, for her work on the environment beat, with a focus on the Grand River watershed.

Breaking News
Winner: The Canadian Press for coverage of the shocking killing rampage that left 22 people dead in Nova Scotia.
Finalists: The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star, both for coverage of the shooting down of a passenger jet in Iran that killed 176 people, including dozens of Canadians.

Breaking News Photo
Winner: Andrew Vaughan, Canadian Press, for a photo of the body of Gabriel Wortman, shot and killed by police at a gas station after he killed 22 people during a 13-hour rampage in Nova Scotia.
Finalists: Darryl Dyck, Canadian Press, for a photograph of two men clashing at a Black Lives Matter protest in Vancouver; Chris Young, Canadian Press, for a picture showing the anguish of a man as authorities broke up an encampment inhabited by homeless persons in downtown Toronto.

Business
Winners: Kenyon Wallace, Marco Chown Oved, Ed Tubb and Brendan Kennedy, Toronto Star, for uncovering the fact that death rates from COVID-19 were higher in for-profit homes than in other types of long-term care residences.
Finalists: Tom Blackwell, National Post, for a report connecting the dots between the demise of Nortel and the rise of Huawei; Kathryn Blaze Baum, Tavia Grant and Carrie Tait, Globe and Mail, for shining a light on how the health and safety of some workers in Canada’s food-supply chain were compromised during the pandemic.

Columns
Winner: André Picard, Globe and Mail
Finalists: Isabelle Hachey, La Presse; Richard Warnica, National Post

Editorial Cartooning
Winner: Michael de Adder, Halifax Chronicle Herald/Toronto Star
Finalists: Graeme MacKay, Hamilton Spectator; Bruce MacKinnon, Halifax Chronicle Herald

Claude Ryan Award for Editorial Writing
Winner: Ryan Stelter, Kenora Miner and News
Finalists: François Cardinal, La Presse; Heather Persson, Saskatoon StarPhoenix/Regina Leader-Post

Explanatory Work
Winner: Tristan Péloquin, La Presse, for concretely explaining the risks and pitfalls associated with artificial intelligence technologies such as facial recognition.
Finalists: Kate Allen, Rachel Mendleson, Jennifer Yang and Andrew Bailey, Toronto Star, for using graphics, maps and enterprising analysis to upend assumptions about how COVID-19’s first wave spread through Toronto; Kathy Tomlinson and Grant Robertson, Globe and Mail, for mining public health documents to ask a critical question in the early days of COVID-19: “How well did the Canadian government follow its own plans”?

Feature Photo
Winner: Nathan Denette, Canadian Press, for a photo of a woman hugging her mother through a plastic “hug glove” the woman created so the family could embrace despite COVID-19 restrictions.
Finalists: Steve Russell, Toronto Star, for an image of a couple dining on a restaurant patio despite heavy rainfall; Fred Thornhill, Canadian Press, for a picture of a paddleboarder out for an early-morning paddle on the Trent-Severn waterway.

General News Photo
Winner: Jacques Nadeau, Le Devoir, for a photograph of life in a Quebec long-term care facility during COVID-19, including a worker in a “hazmat” suit.
Finalists: Veronica Henri, Toronto Sun, for the poignant image of a mother in a long-term care facility reaching towards her daughter through a window during a separation caused by COVID-19; Carlos Osorio, Reuters, for a picture that cleverly demonstrated different approaches to COVID-19 in Canada and the U.S.: a Canadian tour boat at Niagara Falls was limited to just six passengers, while an American boat was packed.

Norman Webster Award for International Reporting
Winner: Nathan VanderKlippe, Globe and Mail, for coverage of repression in the Chinese region of Xianjiang.
Finalists: Tom Blackwell, National Post, for three stories that depicted Oregon’s unique role as an epicentre of human unrest and natural destruction during the U.S. election season; Mark MacKinnon, Globe and Mail, for reporting about how Vladimir Putin has changed Russia, eastern Europe and the entire world.

George Brown Award for Investigations
Winner: Tom Cardoso, Globe and Mail, for an investigation that uncovered systemic bias against Indigenous, Black and female prisoners in Canada’s corrections system.
Finalists: Rachel Mendleson and Wendy Gillis, Toronto Star, for delving deeply into how much physical force police officers use against Canadian citizens; Grant Robertson, Globe and Mail, for uncovering considerable evidence that the federal government was unprepared for COVID-19 because its Global Public Health Intelligence Network was no longer functional.

Local Reporting
Winner: The Saskatoon StarPhoenix for “Abandoned Saskatchewan,” an effort to come to grips with the profound metamorphosis of a province that is proud of its rural roots, yet increasingly urban.
Finalists: Karla Meza, Le Devoir, for reports exploring how COVID-19 was especially troublesome for asylum seekers looking to build a new life in Canada; Terry Pender, Waterloo Region Record, for a detailed look at how a member of a Second World War Nazi death squad avoided deportation despite overwhelming evidence, much of it kept hidden from the public.

William Southam Award for Long Feature
Winner: Isabelle Hachey, La Presse, for “Cinq jours en zone rouge,” a first-person account of working in a COVID hospital ward.
Finalists: Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal/Edmonton Sun, for a sombre meditation on receiving, and coming to accept, a diagnosis of inoperable cancer in a year when death seems to be all around; Jana G. Pruden, Globe and Mail, for an in-depth examination of how a case involving 13 counts of sexual assault played out in court, and what that said about how the justice system grapples with such cases.

John Wesley Dafoe Award for Politics
Winners: Bill Curry, Marieke Walsh, Paul Waldie, Geoffrey York and Jaren Kerr, Globe and Mail, for an in-depth look at the public policy questions raised by the WE scandal, and at the WE organization itself.
Finalists: Dan Fumano, Vancouver Sun, for reporting on troubling allegations of systemic racism in the Vancouver police force; Katia Gagnon, Kathleen Lévesque and Tristan Péloquin, La Presse, for a definitive portrait of “the man in shadows,” a businessman who is the Quebec Liberal party’s chief fundraiser and power broker.

Presentation/Design
Winners: Laura Blenkinsop, Jeremy Agius and Timothy Moore, Globe and Mail, for an interactive approach that helped bring readers close to the experience thousands of Mexican families have had searching for loved ones who disappeared since the start of Mexico’s “war on drugs” 15 years ago.
Finalists: Bob Bishop, Toronto Star, for a front-page design that cleverly used the 50 states of the U.S. to illustrate an election that was almost certainly not going to be decided by the time readers got their newspapers; A Globe and Mail team for an immersive experience showcasing photographs that document how Canada and its allies are bracing for an unknown future wrought by climate change in the Arctic.

Project of the Year
Winner: Le Devoir for its efforts to document and investigate how COVID-19 affected almost every facet of life in Quebec in 2020.
Finalists: Gabrielle Duchaine and Caroline Touzin, La Presse, for investigating the explosion of child pornography on the Internet, and discovering how predators exchanged advice online about using the pandemic to increase exploitation and abuse of minors; The Toronto Star for reinventing its newsroom to offer readers a lifeline of information and guidance to help them cope with the worst health disaster Canada has ever faced.

Bob Levin Award for Short Feature
Winner: Erin Anderssen, Globe and Mail, for her moving account of a long-term care worker who offered comfort to COVID-stricken residents so that they didn’t have to spend their last moments alone.
Finalists: Louise Dickson, Victoria Times Colonist, for a heartbreaking story about a mother’s unrelenting efforts to save her opioid-addicted son; Ben Waldman, Winnipeg Free Press, for turning a focus on one family’s attempt to salvage the hockey season into a look at efforts across the city and country to maintain touchstones in a world turned upside down by COVID-19.

Sports
Winner: Michael Doyle, Globe and Mail, for exposing sexual, psychological and physical abuse and manipulation of elite athletes by the most powerful person in Canadian track and field.
Finalists: Cathal Kelly, Globe and Mail, for columns about the Brier curling championship, soccer legend Maradona and the banality of athlete interviews; Melissa Martin, Winnipeg Free Press, for “First Nations Voices, Canada’s Game,” a behind-the-scenes look at APTN’s Hometown Hockey in Cree TV broadcast.

Sports Photo
Winner: Leah Hennel, Globe and Mail, for a picture of an Olympic water polo athlete training in a makeshift pool made from hay bales and tarps.
Finalists: Jacques Boissinot, Canadian Press, for the image of a freestyle skier tumbling to earth after a jump went wrong; Frank Gunn, Canadian Press, for his photo of a collision between a Toronto Maple Leafs player and a Carolina Hurricanes goaltender.

Sustained News Coverage
Winner: The Globe and Mail for its coverage of the devastation inside Canada’s long-term care homes from the spread of COVID-19.
Finalsts: Aaron Beswick, Halifax Chronicle Herald, for providing context and analysis of the violence that unfolded on the water and on land in response to the Mi’kmaw’s push to pursue a fishery that would provide a moderate livelihood, as required by Supreme Court rulings; La Presse for its coverage of the crisis that emerged in Quebec’s long-term care accommodation centres from the spread of COVID-19.

Nominated entries can be viewed at the NNA website at www.nna-ccj.ca. The link to the nominated entries can be found on the right side of the home page, just below the photo of the 2019 Journalist of the Year (Randy Richmond of the London Free Press).

Our thanks to Cision for sponsoring this announcement.

SOURCE National Newspaper Awards

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COVID-19 coverage dominates as National Newspaper Awards winners are announced – Globe and Mail’s Tom Cardoso named Journalist of the Year

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TORONTO, May 7, 2021 /CNW/ – Coverage of COVID-19, from first-person reporting and poignant photographs to in-depth investigations and bitingly satirical editorial cartoons, dominated as winners of the 2020 National Newspaper Awards were announced.

Nearly half of the 66 finalists were nominated for work that related in some way to the pandemic that dominated news coverage in 2020, and 10 of the 22 winning entries were for submissions entirely or mostly about COVID.

Entries dealing with the pandemic won in Beat Reporting, Business, Columns, Editorial Cartooning, Feature Photo, General News Photo, Long Feature, Project of the Year, Short Feature and the one new category this year, Sustained News Coverage.

Bucking the COVID-centric trend, Tom Cardoso of the Globe and Mail was named Journalist of the Year for an investigation that exposed systemic bias against Indigenous, Black and female prisoners in Canada’s corrections system.

Cardoso, who also won the George Brown Award for Investigations, was among 15 category winners considered for Journalist of the Year honours. He was selected by a panel comprising two former NNA winners and a former category judge, from among winning entries that had been submitted by one or two individuals.

Cardoso’s work was described by Journalist of the Year judges as resonating “like thunder” amid growing concerns about racial bias within the RCMP and other Canadian police forces. He obtained difficult-to-access data, created sophisticated programs to analyze it, and found compelling stories about the people reflected in the numbers.

Judges said Cardoso’s investigation proved beyond an iota of doubt that the standard evaluations used to determine the likelihood of prisoners being rehabilitated – and thus receiving access to useful programming and better conditions – are profoundly and systemically biased against individuals from racialized backgrounds. He also discovered that Corrections officials were aware of the situation, and had done nothing to rectify it.

Judges said his work revealed how Canada sometimes overlooks or condones injustice, and created an important foundation on which a correctional system that deals more constructively and equitably with those convicted of crime might be built.

Cardoso’s win in the Investigations category was one of 10 by the Globe and Mail. Other organizations winning multiple awards were La Presse and the Canadian Press with three each, and Le Devoir and the Toronto Star with two apiece. One of the Star’s two wins was shared with the Halifax Chronicle Herald (for Michael de Adder in the Editorial Cartooning category).

Geoffrey York of the Globe and Mail has his name on a winning entry for the fifth time in his career. York, who was a winner in two categories last year, was one of five Globe and Mail journalists who teamed up in 2020 to win the John Wesley Dafoe Award for Politics. Another member of that team, Paul Waldie, has now won four NNAs in his career.

Erin Anderssen of the Globe and Andrew Vaughan of the Canadian Press also won for the fourth time. Anderssen won the Bob Levin Award for Short Feature, and Vaughan won the Breaking News Photo category.

Leah Hennel of the Globe and Mail won her third NNA, this time in the Sports Photo category. Isabelle Hachey of La Presse (William Southam Award for Long Feature) won her second, as did Jacques Nadeau of Le Devoir (General News Photo) and André Picard of the Globe (Columns).

Several individuals took home top honours for the first time after being nominated previously. They include Michael de Adder (Editorial Cartooning), the Globe’s Johanna Schneller (Arts and Entertainment) and the Globe’s Nathan VanderKlippe (Norman Webster Award for International Reporting). Each came into this year’s competition having been a finalist four times previously. Ariane Lacoursière of La Presse, who won the E. Cora Hind Award for Beat Reporting, had been a finalist three previous times.

There were 66 finalists from 20 news organizations in 22 categories. Finalists and winners were selected by three-judge panels in each category from 926 entries submitted for work published in 2020.

This is the 72nd year for the awards program, and the 32nd under the current administrative structure. The awards were established by the Toronto Press Club in 1949 to encourage excellence and reward achievement in daily newspaper work in Canada. The competition is now open to newspapers, news agencies and online news sites approved for entry by the NNA Board of Governors.

Thanks to donations from sponsors, seven of the 22 category awards are named after important figures in the news industry. They are:

  • George Brown Award for Investigations (sponsored by the Globe and Mail)
  • John Wesley Dafoe Award for Politics (sponsored by Ron Stern)
  • E. Cora Hind Award for Beat Reporting (sponsored by the Nellie McClung Heritage Site)
  • Bob Levin Award for Short Feature (sponsored by the Globe and Mail)
  • Claude Ryan Award for Editorial Writing (sponsored by the Ryan family)
  • William Southam Award for Long Feature (sponsored by the Fisher, Bowen and Balfour families)
  • Norman Webster Award for International Reporting (sponsored by the Webster family)

A complete list of winners and finalists:

Arts and Entertainment
Winner: Johanna Schneller, Globe and Mail, for columns tackling the subject of gender identity and gender politics in the arts world.
Finalists: Améli Pineda, Le Devoir, for an investigation into accusations by nine women about assault or sexual misconduct by comedian Julien Lacroix; Jean Siag, La Presse, for articles about sexual abuse and misconduct in the circus industry.

E. Cora Hind Award for Beat Reporting
Winner: Ariane Lacoursière, La Presse, for her work covering health and in particular COVID-19.
Finalists: Aaron Derfel, Montreal Gazette, for his work on the health and COVID-19 beat; Leah Gerber, Waterloo Region Record, for her work on the environment beat, with a focus on the Grand River watershed.

Breaking News
Winner: The Canadian Press for coverage of the shocking killing rampage that left 22 people dead in Nova Scotia.
Finalists: The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star, both for coverage of the shooting down of a passenger jet in Iran that killed 176 people, including dozens of Canadians.

Breaking News Photo
Winner: Andrew Vaughan, Canadian Press, for a photo of the body of Gabriel Wortman, shot and killed by police at a gas station after he killed 22 people during a 13-hour rampage in Nova Scotia.
Finalists: Darryl Dyck, Canadian Press, for a photograph of two men clashing at a Black Lives Matter protest in Vancouver; Chris Young, Canadian Press, for a picture showing the anguish of a man as authorities broke up an encampment inhabited by homeless persons in downtown Toronto.

Business
Winners: Kenyon Wallace, Marco Chown Oved, Ed Tubb and Brendan Kennedy, Toronto Star, for uncovering the fact that death rates from COVID-19 were higher in for-profit homes than in other types of long-term care residences.
Finalists: Tom Blackwell, National Post, for a report connecting the dots between the demise of Nortel and the rise of Huawei; Kathryn Blaze Baum, Tavia Grant and Carrie Tait, Globe and Mail, for shining a light on how the health and safety of some workers in Canada’s food-supply chain were compromised during the pandemic.

Columns
Winner: André Picard, Globe and Mail
Finalists: Isabelle Hachey, La Presse; Richard Warnica, National Post

Editorial Cartooning
Winner: Michael de Adder, Halifax Chronicle Herald/Toronto Star
Finalists: Graeme MacKay, Hamilton Spectator; Bruce MacKinnon, Halifax Chronicle Herald

Claude Ryan Award for Editorial Writing
Winner: Ryan Stelter, Kenora Miner and News
Finalists: François Cardinal, La Presse; Heather Persson, Saskatoon StarPhoenix/Regina Leader-Post

Explanatory Work
Winner: Tristan Péloquin, La Presse, for concretely explaining the risks and pitfalls associated with artificial intelligence technologies such as facial recognition.
Finalists: Kate Allen, Rachel Mendleson, Jennifer Yang and Andrew Bailey, Toronto Star, for using graphics, maps and enterprising analysis to upend assumptions about how COVID-19’s first wave spread through Toronto; Kathy Tomlinson and Grant Robertson, Globe and Mail, for mining public health documents to ask a critical question in the early days of COVID-19: “How well did the Canadian government follow its own plans”?

Feature Photo
Winner: Nathan Denette, Canadian Press, for a photo of a woman hugging her mother through a plastic “hug glove” the woman created so the family could embrace despite COVID-19 restrictions.
Finalists: Steve Russell, Toronto Star, for an image of a couple dining on a restaurant patio despite heavy rainfall; Fred Thornhill, Canadian Press, for a picture of a paddleboarder out for an early-morning paddle on the Trent-Severn waterway.

General News Photo
Winner: Jacques Nadeau, Le Devoir, for a photograph of life in a Quebec long-term care facility during COVID-19, including a worker in a “hazmat” suit.
Finalists: Veronica Henri, Toronto Sun, for the poignant image of a mother in a long-term care facility reaching towards her daughter through a window during a separation caused by COVID-19; Carlos Osorio, Reuters, for a picture that cleverly demonstrated different approaches to COVID-19 in Canada and the U.S.: a Canadian tour boat at Niagara Falls was limited to just six passengers, while an American boat was packed.

Norman Webster Award for International Reporting
Winner: Nathan VanderKlippe, Globe and Mail, for coverage of repression in the Chinese region of Xianjiang.
Finalists: Tom Blackwell, National Post, for three stories that depicted Oregon’s unique role as an epicentre of human unrest and natural destruction during the U.S. election season; Mark MacKinnon, Globe and Mail, for reporting about how Vladimir Putin has changed Russia, eastern Europe and the entire world.

George Brown Award for Investigations
Winner: Tom Cardoso, Globe and Mail, for an investigation that uncovered systemic bias against Indigenous, Black and female prisoners in Canada’s corrections system.
Finalists: Rachel Mendleson and Wendy Gillis, Toronto Star, for delving deeply into how much physical force police officers use against Canadian citizens; Grant Robertson, Globe and Mail, for uncovering considerable evidence that the federal government was unprepared for COVID-19 because its Global Public Health Intelligence Network was no longer functional.

Local Reporting
Winner: The Saskatoon StarPhoenix for “Abandoned Saskatchewan,” an effort to come to grips with the profound metamorphosis of a province that is proud of its rural roots, yet increasingly urban.
Finalists: Karla Meza, Le Devoir, for reports exploring how COVID-19 was especially troublesome for asylum seekers looking to build a new life in Canada; Terry Pender, Waterloo Region Record, for a detailed look at how a member of a Second World War Nazi death squad avoided deportation despite overwhelming evidence, much of it kept hidden from the public.

William Southam Award for Long Feature
Winner: Isabelle Hachey, La Presse, for “Cinq jours en zone rouge,” a first-person account of working in a COVID hospital ward.
Finalists: Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal/Edmonton Sun, for a sombre meditation on receiving, and coming to accept, a diagnosis of inoperable cancer in a year when death seems to be all around; Jana G. Pruden, Globe and Mail, for an in-depth examination of how a case involving 13 counts of sexual assault played out in court, and what that said about how the justice system grapples with such cases.

John Wesley Dafoe Award for Politics
Winners: Bill Curry, Marieke Walsh, Paul Waldie, Geoffrey York and Jaren Kerr, Globe and Mail, for an in-depth look at the public policy questions raised by the WE scandal, and at the WE organization itself.
Finalists: Dan Fumano, Vancouver Sun, for reporting on troubling allegations of systemic racism in the Vancouver police force; Katia Gagnon, Kathleen Lévesque and Tristan Péloquin, La Presse, for a definitive portrait of “the man in shadows,” a businessman who is the Quebec Liberal party’s chief fundraiser and power broker.

Presentation/Design
Winners: Laura Blenkinsop, Jeremy Agius and Timothy Moore, Globe and Mail, for an interactive approach that helped bring readers close to the experience thousands of Mexican families have had searching for loved ones who disappeared since the start of Mexico’s “war on drugs” 15 years ago.
Finalists: Bob Bishop, Toronto Star, for a front-page design that cleverly used the 50 states of the U.S. to illustrate an election that was almost certainly not going to be decided by the time readers got their newspapers; A Globe and Mail team for an immersive experience showcasing photographs that document how Canada and its allies are bracing for an unknown future wrought by climate change in the Arctic.

Project of the Year
Winner: Le Devoir for its efforts to document and investigate how COVID-19 affected almost every facet of life in Quebec in 2020.
Finalists: Gabrielle Duchaine and Caroline Touzin, La Presse, for investigating the explosion of child pornography on the Internet, and discovering how predators exchanged advice online about using the pandemic to increase exploitation and abuse of minors; The Toronto Star for reinventing its newsroom to offer readers a lifeline of information and guidance to help them cope with the worst health disaster Canada has ever faced.

Bob Levin Award for Short Feature
Winner: Erin Anderssen, Globe and Mail, for her moving account of a long-term care worker who offered comfort to COVID-stricken residents so that they didn’t have to spend their last moments alone.
Finalists: Louise Dickson, Victoria Times Colonist, for a heartbreaking story about a mother’s unrelenting efforts to save her opioid-addicted son; Ben Waldman, Winnipeg Free Press, for turning a focus on one family’s attempt to salvage the hockey season into a look at efforts across the city and country to maintain touchstones in a world turned upside down by COVID-19.

Sports
Winner: Michael Doyle, Globe and Mail, for exposing sexual, psychological and physical abuse and manipulation of elite athletes by the most powerful person in Canadian track and field.
Finalists: Cathal Kelly, Globe and Mail, for columns about the Brier curling championship, soccer legend Maradona and the banality of athlete interviews; Melissa Martin, Winnipeg Free Press, for “First Nations Voices, Canada’s Game,” a behind-the-scenes look at APTN’s Hometown Hockey in Cree TV broadcast.

Sports Photo
Winner: Leah Hennel, Globe and Mail, for a picture of an Olympic water polo athlete training in a makeshift pool made from hay bales and tarps.
Finalists: Jacques Boissinot, Canadian Press, for the image of a freestyle skier tumbling to earth after a jump went wrong; Frank Gunn, Canadian Press, for his photo of a collision between a Toronto Maple Leafs player and a Carolina Hurricanes goaltender.

Sustained News Coverage
Winner: The Globe and Mail for its coverage of the devastation inside Canada’s long-term care homes from the spread of COVID-19.
Finalsts: Aaron Beswick, Halifax Chronicle Herald, for providing context and analysis of the violence that unfolded on the water and on land in response to the Mi’kmaw’s push to pursue a fishery that would provide a moderate livelihood, as required by Supreme Court rulings; La Presse for its coverage of the crisis that emerged in Quebec’s long-term care accommodation centres from the spread of COVID-19.

Nominated entries can be viewed at the NNA website at www.nna-ccj.ca. The link to the nominated entries can be found on the right side of the home page, just below the photo of the 2019 Journalist of the Year (Randy Richmond of the London Free Press).

Our thanks to Cision for sponsoring this announcement.

SOURCE National Newspaper Awards

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/covid-19-coverage-dominates-as-national-newspaper-awards-winners-are-announced-globe-and-mail-s-tom-cardoso-named-journalist-of-the-year-1030403958

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