first_imgNew Delhi: National Informatics Centre (NIC), which is a key organisation under Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology paid tribute to NIC’s founder director general to N Seshagiri on Monday. Present on the occasion, MoS for HRD, Communications& Electronics & IT Sanjay Dhotre praised Seshagiri for guiding NIC in becoming the IT arm of the government and providing global solutions for Digital India. Dhotre also lauded the role of NIC for transforming the government services through the use of its physical and the human network. Paying her tribute to Seshagiri, NIC’s DG Neeta Verma said e-governance is the outcome of his vision and its translation through the decades of the 80s and the 90s.last_img

first_imgNew Delhi: Delhi Police on Wednesday said that they have busted a gang of women pickpocketers who targeted metro. The investigating agency recovered two lakh rupees from the accused persons. Police identified the accused as Vinita (19), Naina (22), Gayatri (23), Anita (35) and Sunita (35). All lives in Anand Parbat area. They were nabbed near Shadipur Metro station. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Metro) Vikram K Porwal said that the gang first identifies the victim with bulging pockets or carrying bags standing on the Metro Stations or any other crowded places from where one can board a transport. “Thereafter, the gang surrounds the victim and picks the pocket or commits theft of the articles from the bag. They generally pickpocket for cash and steal the gold ornaments from bags of victims,” said DCP Porwal. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder Adding further, he said that in a recent case one Anil Kumar Aggarwal was carrying total cash of Rs 9,82,500. During the journey, he kept total cash inside the bag, however, while he checked the bag at DC building Barakhamba in his office, the bag was found intact and Rs 4, 32,500, were found missing out of the total amount. In this connection, an online E-FIR was registered on August 21. The accused were found involved in the crime.last_img read more

first_imgLondon: Twitter have reacted to calls for more to be done in preventing racist abuse of footballers on social media platforms by agreeing to meet with representatives of Manchester United they announced on Wednesday. United executives were keen for a meeting with Twitter after their French World Cup winning midfielder Paul Pogba was the victim of abuse following his penalty miss in Monday’s 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers. His team-mate Harry Maguire demanded that Twitter and Instagram be more proactive in stopping “pathetic trolls”. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhEngland women’s football manager Phil Neville said football players should boycott social media. Pogba was the third footballer to suffer racial abuse in a week for missing a penalty — the others being Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham and second tier side Reading’s Yakou Meite. “Over the next few weeks, Twitter representatives will meet with Manchester United, Kick It Out (anti-discrimination organisation within football) and any other civil society stakeholders interested in hearing about the proactive work Twitter is doing to address online racist abuse towards certain footballers in the UK,” Twitter said in a statement. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later”We have always maintained an open and healthy dialogue with our partners in this space, but we know we need to do more to protect our users. Racist behaviour has no place on our platform and we strongly condemn it. “To this end, we look forward to working more closely with our partners to develop shared solutions together. In the meantime, for Twitter’s part, we will continue to proactively monitor the conversation, and take aggressive enforcement action when content violates our Rules.” Twitter rules prohibit users from promoting violence against, threatening or harassing people on the basis of race, ethnicity or other protected groups. Since 2018, it has increased the number of accounts suspended for evading a previous ban on the service by 45% and tripled the number of accounts suspended within 24 hours after receiving a report.last_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: Amid clamour from the auto industry for a GST rate cut, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur on Friday asked players in the sector to also take up the matter with state finance ministers who are part of the GST Council, and assured all support from the Centre. Automobile and component manufacturers have been seeking GST cut on automobiles to 18 per cent from 28 per cent to help the sector come out of a prolonged slump that has resulted in job losses. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal”You are aware that any rate cut on GST needs to be approved first by the fitment committee then by the GST Council. I request all of you to also reach out to the state finance ministers who are part of the GST Council,” Thakur said while speaking here at the annual convention of the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association. He said the finance ministry has received multiple representations from car manufacturers, dealers and many of the stakeholders regarding the GST rate cut. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost”Various OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) are based out of various parts of the country. The issue is whether they (the manufacturers) taking these issues with their finance ministers or not,” Thakur later said while speaking to reporters on the sidelines. He said state finance ministers should be equally aware of the challenges faced by the OEMs or the automobile manufacturers. “Our humble request is to apprise them also so that whenever this issue is discussed in the GST Council meeting, everyone should have their view point,” he added. Thakur had reminded the gathering that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has already suggested in the last meeting that the Centre was open to take it to the GST Council for deliberation, and most of the decisions were unanimous in the previous GST Council meeting. The next GST Council meeting will be held on September 20 in Goa. Thakur said the government has already come out with slew of measures to address challenges faced by the auto industry. “So, that is the priority our government is giving to this industry,” he said. “Let me assure you we stand by you at this juncture and we will be there to listen to your challenges as we know you are going to play the most important role in making India a $5-trillion economy by 2024-25,” he said. The government will consider various measures including the scrappage policy and we are working closely on that as per demand of the industry, he said. “This industry is going to do well…. (instead of) looking at this as a challenge, we will take it as an opportunity and be among the top-three countries in automobiles in the world,” he said adding that the companies “can do it… whatever decisions we have to take, we will take.”last_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: Expressing her concern over the “grim” economic situation in the country, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday accused the BJP government at the Centre of misusing its mandate in the “most dangerous” fashion.While chairing a meeting of senior party leaders, Gandhi said that it’s not enough to be aggressive on social media as “democracy was at peril, and the mandate was being misused.” “We need to confront and combat the forces that appropriate Gandhiji, Sardar Patel, BR Ambedkar and misrepresent their true message for their nefarious ends. We must stand up fearlessly to fight on the streets, fight in villages, towns and cities. The Congress party must have an agitational agenda, and merely being active on social media is not enough,” Gandhi said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsExpressing her concern over the economic slowdown, Gandhi said, “The economic situation is very grim. Losses are mounting. General confidence has been shaken, and all that the government doing is indulging in unprecedented vendetta politics to divert attention from mounting losses.” With mega event for 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and ‘RSS-like Preraks’ on the agenda, Gandhi chaired the meeting of senior party leaders, the ‘first big meeting’ by the Congress interim president after taking charge. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayThe meeting was attended by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, AICC general secretaries and in-charges of various states, state government chiefs and CLP leaders, among others. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi was not present in the meeting. While Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Puducherry CM V Narayanasamy were present at the meeting, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Bhagel did not attend. However, senior MP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia was present in the meeting. At the meeting, the party decided to appoint ‘preraks’ or ‘motivators’ at the district level across the country to scale-up its mass contact programme. These preraks will work on the party agenda and look after party work much like the pracharaks in the RSS. This is a first of its kind of appointment within the Congress cadre.last_img read more

first_imgHALIFAX – Brittany Bernard and Paige Fitzpatrick arrived around midnight Saturday at the Toothy Moose, a downtown Halifax cabaret packed with college and university students revelling in the end of exams.“At that point we were pretty sober,” says Fitzpatrick, a 21-year-old student at the Nova Scotia Community College. “I met a gentleman and he offered to buy me a drink.”That’s when the evening took a perilous turn, ending hours later with both women admitted to a local hospital after they say they were drugged with an unidentified substance.The women — close friends since they were toddlers growing up in a Halifax-area suburb — say it could have been much worse.They reported the alleged crime to police and are sharing their story on social media to raise awareness about predators lurking at local clubs and bars, and the risks of accepting drinks from strangers.Their story comes after reports earlier this year of women claiming their drinks were spiked at Halifax bars, reportedly experiencing unexplained severe drunkenness, memory loss and blackouts.“I could have been raped or taken because I had no idea where I was or my surroundings,” Fitzpatrick says. “It’s scary how quickly it hit both of us and how long the effects lasted.”“You can never be too careful,” Bernard, 20, adds. “I thought I was being cautious but it only takes a second for someone to slip something into your drink.”The unknown man at the Argyle Street bar bought Fitzpatrick a tequila shot and a double vodka lime. He then knocked Bernard’s vodka cranberry out of her hand and offered to buy her a new one.She declined, but ending up finishing Fitzpatrick’s drink before they went to the dance floor.“It hit us instantly,” Fitzpatrick says. “We both lost control of our bodies and sort of face planted on the floor.”The hours that followed were a blur. They somehow stumbled to the washroom, where they describe being violently ill and at points losing consciousness.“I told a girl I thought we had been drugged, and I think she helped us tell the bouncer,” Bernard says. “And at some point, I called my mom.”The bouncer waited with them until Bernard’s mother arrived, who immediately took them to hospital.“My mom went in and got two wheelchairs and then wheeled Paige in first,” she says. “She was worse off and was admitted before me.”The hospital ran tests on both women, including electrocardiograms, and tested Fitzpatrick’s blood.“I don’t remember anything at the hospital,” Fitzpatrick says. “I just remember waking up in the hospital bed, with Brittany and her mom leaning over me.”Fitzpatrick says the doctors informed them they had been drugged, but that they couldn’t determine the substance.So-called date rape drugs, sometimes called roofies, include rohypnol, ketamine and gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB). They are rapidly absorbed and metabolized by the body, making it difficult to test for.A spokeswoman for Halifax police confirmed that they received a report that two women believed their drinks had been tampered with while at the Toothy Moose in the early hours of Sunday morning.“The investigating officer has sought out the video surveillance at the Toothy Moose and they’ll review that in hopes of capturing the event or the person who is possibly responsible for doing this,” Const. Carol McIsaac said.She said this is not a common occurrence in Halifax, but that it’s disconcerting whenever police receive a similar report.McIsaac said she couldn’t speculate as to what kind of drug it possibly is, and said they are often difficult to identify.“The side effect of most of those drugs is it lowers your inhibitions, it impacts your cognitive decision-making and it makes you sleepy,” she said. “We’ve had investigations in the past where what ends up happening is that the woman leaves with the person responsible for tampering with the drinks and then they’re reporting a sexual assault.”Bernard shared the harrowing story on Facebook, which has since been shared more than 5,000 times.Multiple people, both men and women, have commented on the story by sharing similar experiences at bars and clubs in Halifax.last_img read more

first_imgMONTREAL – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave a quick speech lauding his government’s new policy on how the Liberals raise money during his first fundraiser since the party put the new rules in place.Attendees paid up to $250 to hear the prime minister speak for 10 minutes and get a photo with him in a lobby of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.To fend off accusations the party was providing preferential access to Trudeau and his cabinet in exchange for dollars from wealthy donors in private homes, the party introduced a new policy it says makes raising cash more transparent.“I am very happy to see members of the press this evening,” Trudeau said early in his remarks, which drew subdued applause from the roughly 300-person crowd.“We are very happy to see (journalists) among us and thank you very much for being here,” he said, looking at reporters and raising his hands to give a conspicuous, single clap.The new system involves holding fundraisers featuring Trudeau or ministers only in public places, announcing them in advance, allowing the media to attend and disclosing the guest list within the following 45 days.Thursday’s event in Montreal was not the first of its kind under the new rules. Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr attended a fundraiser in Calgary at the end of April.“We are the first to adopt this practice,” Trudeau said, adding “we hope the other parties will quickly do the same thing in the spirit of openness and trust with Canadians.”Roughly 30 minutes before he took the stage, the Conservative party did some fundraising of its own.In an email sent to supporters, Stephen McCreary, director of digital operations for the party, said “the Liberals’ cash-for-access fundraising scheme is back.”“They’ll say their fundraisers are open to the ‘public,’ but the cost of admission ranges from $250 to $1,500 a head — just like before.”The email also boasted the party collected almost twice as much money as the Liberals have in the first three months of the year.Liberal party spokesman Braeden Caley said there was “a pause” on national fundraising events throughout the first quarter while the new standards for open and transparent fundraising events were being prepared.Some Liberals are pointing to that as one reason for lacklustre fundraising figures in the first three months of this year, when the Conservatives raised nearly twice as much money from a larger pool of contributors, even though they are in the midst of a leadership race that ought to be siphoning would-be donations to the party.“There’s a small connection,” spokesman Braeden Caley said when asked whether the lower profile played a role.There were registered lobbyists who signed up and paid to attend Thursday’s fundraiser, but the Liberal party said they were removed from the guest list.“Individuals who were registered to lobby the special guest were informed they would not be able to attend this event, in line with the party’s commitment regarding such checks in advance of ticketed fundraising events,” Caley wrote in an email Thursday.Caley confirmed fewer than five individuals who were registered to lobby the PMO had bought tickets.“No other party has made a similar (fundraising) commitment and we challenge them to do so,” Caley said.Soon, they might not have a choice.The Liberal government promised legislation that would require similar disclosure for events involving party leaders and leadership candidates.“It’s always possible to raise the bar and we will continue to work hard to make the government more transparent,” Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould said Thursday during question period.John O’Leary, her spokesman, said the government aims to introduce the legislation this spring.One Liberal source said the legislation will be essentially the same as the measures the party brought in, which would prevent the party having to once again change the way they are doing things.One significant difference, according to two Liberal sources, will likely be the lack of a requirement to open the events up to the media.The Conservatives and New Democrats say they do not plan on taking any lessons from the Liberals.“The reality is they weren’t able to follow their own set of rules the first time,” said Conservative MP Blaine Calkins.New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen said his skepticism stems from the fact the Liberals deserted their promise to change how Canadians vote. “I have very, very low trust with this government when it comes to democratic reform.”last_img read more

first_imgWASHINGTON – President Donald Trump appeared to threaten the former head of the FBI on Twitter on Friday, warning the just-fired James Comey not to leak to the media.The president tweeted: “Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”It’s unclear whether the president was alluding to actual secret recordings, or making a casual remark. The president’s opponents immediately found Nixonian parallels, making comparisons to the White House tapes that fuelled the Watergate scandal.The administration only fed the intrigue. Later in the day, a solemn-sounding spokesman repeatedly shrugged off questions about whether the White House does, in fact, secretly tape the president’s meetings.“I’ve talked to the president. The president has nothing further to add on that,” Sean Spicer told the daily briefing.Democrats asked to know more.A lawmaker, Raja Krishnamoorthi, sent a letter to the White House attorney with two questions:— Do secret recordings exist?— If so, could the White House please provide copies of the president’s conversations with Comey; conversations about the hiring or firing of Russia-friendly former general Michael Flynn and the meeting this week with Russia’s ambassador and foreign minister?The president’s threat came in a series of frustrated morning tweets that called the Russia investigations a witch-hunt, threatened to cancel White House press briefings, accused the media of conveying fake news and lamented that people were making a big deal out of the occasional erroneous statement from his staff.The morning rant came after media pointed out contradictions in his story of the Comey firing.A main one was the notion peddled by the White House that the firing was a response to a suggestion from the deputy attorney general — which Trump has said isn’t true. He’s said he wanted Comey gone and would have fired him regardless.Another point of contention was whether the president received an assurance from Comey he was not being investigated. Trump says so. But now stories are appearing in multiple news reports, with details of a Comey-Trump dinner that contradict that assertion.Hence the context for the president warning Comey to keep quiet.The president is entering a legally dangerous area, said Nick Ackerman, an assistant Watergate prosecutor and former assistant U.S. attorney for New York. He referred to multiple reports about the Comey-Trump dinner, purporting to reflect Comey’s version.“What we’re really talking about is the potential obstruction of justice of an ongoing investigation,” Ackerman told MSNBC.“He invites the head of the FBI over for dinner — which in itself is probably inappropriate if they’re going to be talking about the Russian investigation. Then to demand loyalty from him is completely over the top.”Another expert said the threatening tweet might be legal. That’s because the definition of blackmail in U.S. law is unclear, said Yale law professor Steven Duke.“Our extortion statutes are extremely vague, leaving room at least for an argument that almost any threat is extortion,” Duke said. “Trump could claim that he was only trying to motivate Comey to tell the truth and he was not seeking to induce Comey to do anything other than remaining silent or telling the truth.”Duke said the more interesting question is why Trump keeps piling one deception atop another: “Trump knows there are no tapes of his conversations with Comey; that’s why he can falsely claim that Comey assured him that he was not under investigation.”Meanwhile, Trump’s opponents are starting to search his money trail.Lawmakers are increasingly focusing on Trump’s business relationships. They have asked for documents from the Treasury Department’s foreign money-laundering unit. That same unit fined Trump’s Taj Mahal casino $10 million in 2015 for long-standing, repeated, violations of money-laundering reporting rules.On Friday, Trump’s lawyers announced he had only minor financial dealings with Russia over the last 10 years. Yet, just a little more than 10 years ago, as he was making his latest financial comeback, Trump did several real-estate deals with a Russian formerly convicted of money-laundering.That falls just outside the period covered by his lawyers’ statement.last_img read more

first_imgMONTREAL – Archeologists digging up the site of a pre-Confederation parliament in Montreal this summer came across plenty of items they expected to find hidden deep in the earth — and a few they didn’t.Digging began in late July at the Old Montreal site that housed the parliament of the United Province of Canada between 1844 and 1849, when it was burned to the ground.A handful of the 300,000 unique items plucked from the site in the last few months were put on display Tuesday by officials at Montreal’s history museum.Dishes, plates, bowls and cutlery likely used in the parliamentary restaurant were uncovered, as were oyster shells — the seafood apparently being a rich parliamentarian snack of the day.In addition, grooming items were also found — toiletries like a straight razor, a basin for washing and a pair of scissors.But the prize of this year’s digging were two stamps, which were used to authenticate official documents.“To find some unexpected things is at the heart of archeology,” said Louise Pothier, chief archeologist at Pointe-a-Calliere museum. “This summer, we found some very incredible artifacts.”One of the stamps, believed to be made of a copper alloy, was found in an area thought to house the clerk’s office and was inscribed with the words “legislative assembly Canada” in capital letters.The other was marked “legislative council library” and was located where historical documents suggest the library would have been. It was also near where charred books were found.“These are very precious items, very rare,” Pothier said. “They’re probably the only ones in Canadian collections.”The parliament was housed in a building known as St-Ann’s Market, which was rebuilt following the fire and then razed in 1901.After that, the site was used as a parking lot for several decades, enabling it to be preserved as a sort of time capsule.In all, about 50 per cent of the former building was excavated in 2017.The items from this summer will be added to the 500,000 items found in two previous digs dating back to 2010.Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre was on hand Tuesday after the city spent $6 million on the dig as part of its 375th-anniversary celebrations.“It’s great to know where we’re coming from and learn from the past,” Coderre said.Many of the items will take on added significance in the months to come, says Hendrik Van Gijseghem, the museum’s project manager.“We can expect more discoveries because there are a lot of artifacts that have been taken from the ground and waiting to be processed,” he said.“It’s often during cleaning and during inventory … we find things.”Work is expected to wrap up by mid-November with the site to be filled in with sand for future generations to explore.last_img read more

first_imgWASHINGTON – Donald Trump is being encouraged to stay strong in NAFTA negotiations by people who aren’t normally his allies.Sen. Bernie Sanders and other members of the anti-NAFTA left held a news conference Wednesday on Capitol Hill where they demanded that the president keep his promise to drastically overhaul the agreement.They held their event as negotiators from the three countries met in Washington.“We are here today to send a very loud and clear message to Donald Trump: for once in your life keep your promises,” said Sanders, a Vermont senator and former presidential contender.“We need to fundamentally rewrite NAFTA.”Sanders expressed support for hardball U.S. negotiating positions like increased Buy American protections, and he wants to go even farther than Trump and not just water down the investor-state dispute mechanism in Chapter 11 but end it entirely.He also wants Trump to go farther on labour standards and to end incentives to outsource jobs.Those disagreements on specifics illustrate that while Trump and the left share similar rhetoric about trade, some of their specific proposals veer in different directions, raising doubt about how many left-wingers Trump could hope to win over in a ratification vote for a trade deal.Speakers at Wednesday’s event didn’t actually call for the cancellation of NAFTA, just major changes.Lawmaker Rose DeLauro recalled having tears in her eyes the night the House of Representatives voted for NAFTA and she said the last quarter-century has proven that critics who said the deal would undermine American worker wages were right.Trade politics in the U.S. rarely hews to clear, predictable partisan lines.In 1994, it was mostly Republicans who helped Democratic president Bill Clinton get NAFTA ratified. Today, polls show Democratic voters are likelier to support NAFTA, but not their elected representatives, while it’s the opposite on the right, where Trump voters mostly oppose NAFTA but most Republican lawmakers support it.DeLauro rejects being painted as a protectionist or as anti-trade.“We are for trade,” said the Connecticut Democrat.“We want to work with the administration. We want to rewrite NAFTA.”Sanders says poorly designed trade deals are one of the factors that have hurt U.S. manufacturing communities in recent decades and led to greater inequality between haves and have-nots.“It devastates lives. And it devastates cities and towns,” Sanders said.“Trade is not the only explanation for that. But trade is an important part of the decline of the middle class America.”last_img read more

first_imgOTTAWA – Canadians are becoming less aware of how to safely handle and prepare food to avoid food-borne illness and food poisoning, according to government-backed research.The findings from the report, which cost the government $126,449, point to an overall deterioration over the past eight years in Canadians’ confidence that they can protect themselves and their families from food-borne illness and food poisoning.A majority of seniors and pregnant women in the survey didn’t consider themselves to be at any greater risk from food poisoning, even though they are.The pollsters recommend the government gently target public awareness campaigns at those groups, among others, about how to properly handle food “without undermining the public’s confidence in agriculture or the agri-food industry, or Canada’s food safety system, which is reasonably good.”The results of the survey are based on responses from 1,201 respondents through telephone interviews, and 1,613 people through an online panel. All work was done between Dec. 14, 2017 and Jan. 18, 2018.A spokesman for Health Canada said the department will update its safe food handling advertising campaign based on the research report, as well as information from other sources.The Liberals introduced new food safety rules last month, just a few weeks after the research report was delivered to Health Canada. The regulations will come into force early next year, and will require companies to keep detailed records about the path food takes from producer to consumer.Federal officials believe that being able to trace food to its source could speed up the pace of recalls.Consultations on the regulations are open until Sept. 7.The survey provided to Health Canada in early May will now become the benchmark by which the government can measure the effects of public awareness efforts in the coming years, but also provide insight into how attitudes have changed since 2010.Each year, about one in eight Canadians — or four million people — are affected by a food-borne illness like norovirus, salmonella or listeria, leading to about 11,500 hospitalizations and some 240 deaths.Many small things can be done to avoid problems, but the survey found a broad lack of knowledge about washing reusable shopping bags, rinsing poultry before cooking, as well as properly storing, defrosting and cooking meat and seafood.More pregnant women and parents of young children in 2018 than in 2010 defrost meat or poultry at room temperature rather than in the fridge.And seniors are more likely to view food as safe to consume past the best-before date, aren’t aware of the proper temperature to leave a fridge — between 2 C and 4 C — and tend to believe frozen, breaded chicken products just need to be reheated rather than cooked through.“The results of this survey also suggest an ‘out of sight … out-of-mind’ tendency among the public with regards to safe food handling in general, food-borne illness and listeria in particular,” the report says.“In the absence of sustained messaging related to food safety, it is likely that consumer vigilance may lapse, especially with respect to specific food safety practices that have not yet become normalized or habitualized.”If the federal government wanted to increase food safety awareness with seniors — defined in the survey as anyone 60 and over — it should focus on consequences, said Wanda Morris, vice-president of advocacy with CARP, formerly known as the Canadian Association of Retired Persons. She pointed to campaigns about falls that focus on the likelihood that not preventing them could lead seniors to live in long-term care homes.She suggested food safety authorities should try “tying in an awareness campaign of ‘do you want to save a few pennies and risk long-term care or death’. And the bigger fear is long-term care. In my experience people are more concerned with long-term care than they are about dying.”last_img read more

first_imgMAPLE RIDGE, B.C. – Several pipeline protesters were released from a British Columbia jail on Sunday, a few days before their weeklong sentences were set to end.Seven protesters in all were sentenced to a week in jail on Aug. 15, after pleading guilty to contempt charges in B.C. Supreme Court.Five who were released on Sunday issued a joint statement, saying they were imprisoned because of their opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.In the statement, the five women — who include anti-poverty activist and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson — said they are not criminals, but “political prisoners.”Swanson said in a phone interview that her four days spent at the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in Maple Ridge, B.C., had not deterred her in what she said is a fight against climate change.“I don’t know how anyone can look at the sky in Vancouver today and say global warming is not an issue,” said Swanson, in reference to the smoke and particulate matter from wildfires hazing the skies in southwestern B.C.“We need to do something, we need to stop the insanity.”From her perspective as an anti-poverty advocate, Swanson said the Trans Mountain pipeline ties the issues of homelessness, poverty and climate change together.“For all those billions and billions of dollars, governments could actually create jobs building renewable energy … Governments could end homelessness, they could put clean and safe water on Indigenous reserves.”In May, the federal government announced its intent to acquire Trans Mountain from Kinder Morgan Canada.According to recent documents filed with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission, the sale could cost as much as $1.9 billion more than the initial quote of $4.5 billion.The documents also suggest the project could take another 12 months to finish.More than 200 activists have been arrested for demonstrations against the Trans Mountain project since March.Those released on Sunday also included former B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Susan Lambert.last_img read more

first_imgOTTAWA — A Vancouver-based environment charity is readying itself to go back to court if — or they believe when — the federal government re-approves the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion next year.The Wilderness Committee returned $25,000 in participant funding to the National Energy Board last month citing the short timeline for the board’s new review on the marine impacts of the proposed expansion.Peter McCartney, climate campaigner for the committee, says the timelines are so short it underscores his belief the government is doing this just to fulfil the Federal Court of Appeal’s concerns with the original review, rather than to seriously reconsider the approval given to the project.“They’re going through the motions but they’ve already made up their mind,” he said. “I don’t know what confidence they’re trying to inspire in people to trust this review.”Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said many times the pipeline is going to be built. His government stepped in to buy it and build the expansion itself when political opposition left Kinder Morgan and its shareholders unwilling to continue. In an interview last week Trudeau said any decision to move forward again will be made as the review process is completed.“What’s at issue here is not just this pipeline,” he said. “It’s our capacity as a country to get our resources to market.”However, McCartney said the government’s actions suggest the Liberals are going to approve it again no matter what and he warned  they should expect another lawsuit as a result.“Absolutely there will be,” he said. “People are already talking about that.”The federal cabinet approved Trans Mountain in the fall of 2016. That approval was challenged by several environment groups and Indigenous communities who argued the original review didn’t properly consider impacts on marine life from the extra oil tankers required to carry more oil away from the marine terminal where the pipeline ends.Indigenous communities also felt their concerns had not been addressed as is required by the constitutional duty to consult them.The Federal Court of Appeal agreed and in August tore up the cabinet’s approval for the project, halting construction in its tracks.In response, the federal Liberals ordered a new round of Indigenous consultations and also asked the NEB to go back and do a more thorough look at marine impacts. There is no specific timeline for the Indigenous consultations but the government gave the NEB only until Feb. 22 to complete its work.The NEB’s original review did conclude that there would be negative impacts on marine life, including killer whales. But the board said marine impacts were outside its jurisdiction and, therefore, had no impact on its decision to approve the project.McCartney said the Feb. 22 deadline is just way too short for a thorough review. Accordingly, his organization withdrew from the review and returned the funding given to help it gather research to make its case.Conservative natural resources critic Shannon Stubbs said the fact that environment groups are already planning another lawsuit is proof of the energy industry’s contention that environmentalists don’t want proper consideration given to the project, but rather want to delay it enough to eventually kill it.  “They will just do everything to stop it.”Mia Rabson, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

first_imgNormally the reaction to a new addition to the royal family is quite predictable. When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s child enters the world this month, however, the British tabloids will have to grapple with the first hint of diversity in the royal bloodline. And if the coverage of the biracial couple’s romance, engagement and pregnancy have been any indication, it will lead to some very awkward questions and comments.Ebony-Renee Baker is a writer for FLARE.com and other publications. She’s also half Jamaican and half Filipino, and she knows firsthand how mixed-race children can be subject to stereotypes and fetishization. And that’s before being born into literally one of the whitest families on the planet. So how does a ravenous press, a history of colonization and a public that feels free to comment on the minutiae of every royal, never mind the newest baby, going to talk about the bundle of joy? We’ll find out any day now.GUEST: Ebony-Renee Baker, FLARE.comAudio Playerhttp://media.blubrry.com/thebigstory/s/radio.pmd.rogersdigitalmedia.com/podcasts/thebigstory/tbs_04082019.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on iTunes or Google Play.You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.last_img read more

first_imgOTTAWA — Conservative environment critic Ed Fast is slamming the federal government’s decision to give $12 million to help Loblaws stores make their refrigerators and freezers more energy-efficient.Fast says he is curious how many ordinary Canadians could just walk into the prime minister’s office and ask him to buy them a new fridge.Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announced the funds for Loblaws at a Loblaws Superstore in her Ottawa riding Monday, to cover one-quarter of the costs of retrofitting the refrigeration systems in 370 of the company’s supermarkets over the next three years.She says the greenhouse-gas emissions reduced through the project will cut Loblaws’ overall emissions by nearly a fourth and be the equivalent of taking 50,000 cars off the road.The funds come from a $450-million national challenge run by the government inviting companies to apply for money, with the winning bids selected based on which projects are expected to achieve the deepest emissions cuts.A spokeswoman for McKenna says small businesses can apply to a separate fund for help to cut their emissions and an announcement is coming soon on the carbon-tax rebates promised for them.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

first_imgLANGFORD, B.C. — British Columbia Premier John Horgan says Alberta may be the best place to boost refining capacity to increase a supply of fuel to the province.The price of gasoline has been rising in B.C. for the last month and the cost for a litre of gas in Metro Vancouver has been hovering around $1.70.Horgan says part of the problem is there’s too much demand and not enough supply, but adds that a 30-cent rise in gas prices in the last three months appears to be a result of gouging by oil companies.The premier says most refineries are close to the source of the product and because Alberta has more expertise, that may be the better location for new refining capacity.In 2014, B.C. newspaper mogul David Black had proposed a $13-billion oil refinery on B.C.’s northern coast, and Horgan says he encourages Black to bring the plan forward to go through the regulatory and environmental process.Metro Vancouver drivers pay over 50 cents a litre in taxes to the federal and provincial governments and for carbon and transit taxes. (CHNL) The Canadian Presslast_img read more

first_imgVANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – As the election campaign begins, the leaders of three of the main parties have a united target – Justin Trudeau. The leaders of the NDP, Conservatives and Greens launched their campaigns Wednesday with some choice words about Canada’s incumbent prime minister.At a campaign kickoff in London, Ontario, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh had a quick answer to a question this morning as he got off his campaign bus: “I’m ready.”Singh said four years ago, Trudeau charmed Canadians with pretty words and empty promises.“He didn’t really ask people or consult whether Canada could afford to buy a pipeline, and he spent $4.5 billion on a pipeline.”The election is on! #elxn43For too long, governments in Ottawa have made life easier for the rich & harder for everybody else – and over the next 40 days we’re going to show Canadians how we’ll make a difference in their lives – because we’re #InItForYou. pic.twitter.com/sOAf4Mtlir— Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) September 11, 2019Conservative leader Andrew Scheer didn’t wait for the writ to drop before attacking Trudeau again over the SNC-Lavalin affair, and as he launched his campaign in Quebec, he took another swing.“We have been telling Canadians and showing Canadians how Justin Trudeau has consistently misled them – he has lied,” Scheer said.It’s time for you to get ahead! And I’m launching our campaign for a new Conservative government that lives within its means and puts more money in your pocket so you can get ahead. WATCH: https://t.co/7RL8fG4EKO— Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) September 11, 2019And Green Party leader Elizabeth May was in Victoria, stressing trust in leadership.“When you know you’re voting for a candidate, a party, and a leader who has your back, who earns your trust, who never lets you down,” she said.Elizabeth May’s #elxn43 speech (thread): “This election is the most important in history.It’s time for every so-called leader to join us and accept the climate targets that are driven by science, not by politics. Driven by courage, not by fear.— Green Party Canada (@CanadianGreens) September 11, 2019Scheer is headed to the Toronto area on Wednesday night, while Trudeau is expected in Vancouver.The candidates have 40 days of campaigning ahead of them. The election takes place Oct. 21.last_img read more

first_imgRace to Erase MS has announced that multi Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Elton John will perform at the 20th Annual Race to Erase MS event, hosted by Nancy Davis, taking place on May 3rd, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.Also performing that evening will be multi-platinum singer-songwriter Taio Cruz.Elton John, one of the world’s most celebrated recording artists, has sold more than 250 million records in his four-decade career. He has won six Grammy Awards, four Brit Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Tony Award. In addition to being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, he was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1996 and received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in 1998.Over the course of the past two years, international pop star Taio Cruz has sold over 25 million singles and more than three million albums. Thanks to his Billboard Award-winning smash hits “Dynamite” and “Break Your Heart,” Taio is the first and only solo British male artist to have two consecutive No. 1 singles in the United States. He holds the distinction of being YouTube’s most viewed British artist of all time, with his music videos amassing over a billion combined views.The legendary, celebrity-filled gala has raised millions of dollars for Race to Erase MS and its Center Without Walls program. This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the event, and will honor Sharon Osbourne and Jack Osbourne with the “Medal of Hope” Award. Guests will be able to participate in a silent auction before enjoying a dinner gala featuring the live musical performances by Elton John and Taio Cruz. The evening will also include a one-of-a-kind live auction featuring fabulous vacation getaways and experiential packages.The evening is generously sponsored by Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Associated Television International and American Airlines.Race to Erase MS is dedicated to the treatment and ultimate cure for MS. Funding research is the core focus of the foundation and significant strides have been made to find the cause and cure of this debilitating disease. All funds raised support our Center Without Walls program, a unique collaboration of the world’s leading MS research scientists currently representing Harvard, Yale, Cedars Sinai, University of Southern California, Oregon Health Science University, UC San Francisco and Johns Hopkins. This nationwide collaboration of physicians, scientists and clinicians are on the cutting-edge of innovative research and therapeutic approaches to treat MS. It is the hope of the Race to Erase MS that in addition to combating MS through research in a clinical environment, awareness will be created by educating the public about this mysterious disease.last_img read more

first_imgThe tourists in Covent Garden will get an eyeful tomorrow morning, 23rd May, when Coronation Street star Helen Flanagan unveils her sexy new PETA campaign.In the ad, which was shot by top celebrity photographer Trevor Leighton, the newly-crowned ‘FHM Sexiest Woman in the UK’ appears with her naked body covered only in “reptile” paint next to the words “Exotic Skins Belong in the Jungle. Leave Wildlife out of Your Wardrobe”.Those wishing to be there for the launch of the campaign can catch a glimpse of Helen at the northeast corner of Covent Garden Piazza, opposite London Transport Museum, starting at 11:30.“Spring is the perfect time to clean the cruelty from our closets”, says Flanagan. “I know when people see PETA’s video, they won’t want anything to do with the exotic-skins industry and will join me in leaving wildlife out of their wardrobes.”Why do exotic skins make Flanagan’s skin crawl? As shown in PETA’s exposé of the exotic-skins trade, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, snakes, alligators and other exotic animals who are killed for their skins suffer immensely. They are commonly nailed to trees, bludgeoned with hammers and skinned alive, and it often takes hours for the animals to die, usually from shock or dehydration.For more information on how you can help Helen and PETA put an end to the mistreatment of animals, visit PETA.org.uk.last_img read more

first_imgFast and the Furious star Paul Walker had a heart of gold and has left behind a charity legacy matched by few.The 40-year-old was killed in a car accident on Saturday.“It is with a truly heavy heart that we must confirm that Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident while attending a charity event for Reach Out Worldwide,” his charity said in a statement. “He was a passenger in a friend’s car, in which both lost their lives. We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news.”Walker founded REACH OUT Worldwide in January 2010, following the Haiti earthquake. Its mission is simple: to offer help and hope to people affected by natural disasters.“Paul wasn’t someone who would just write a check and lend his name to an organization; he was the heart and soul of Reach Out WorldWide,” said JD Dorfman, Reach Out Worldwide. “Paul was the first one in and the last one out, he led by example and his hard work and dedication inspired everyone who had the privilege of working with him. He led one of the first teams into the hardest hit areas of Haiti and traveled to Chili to bring water, medical aid and hope after the Earthquake and Tsunami. He ran a chainsaw clearing debris and helping people get back into their homes during the hottest days after the tornadoes in Alabama… Some people play a hero, Paul was a hero. Paul was an honorable, hardworking, dedicated, respectful man with a humble spirit who shared his blessings with those who needed it most. It was an honor and a privilege to be able to work with, learn and look up to someone who walked the walk.”From his charity’s website: “Based in Santa Barbara, Calif., we are a dedicated network of trained volunteers who act as first responders in the United States and abroad. We strive to bring hope in bleak circumstances by providing aid when it’s needed most, in the first days after a devastating event occurs. Our philosophy is that by making a difference in an individual’s life, to that person, the world has been changed for the better. Our ultimate goal is to send a team to disaster areas within 48 to 72 hours after an event happens.”Paul Walker will be sadly missed in both the acting and philanthropy communities.Copyright ©2013Look to the Starslast_img read more