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CMs walk for environment

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee participated in a walk titled “Save Green, Stay Clean” on Thursday to create awareness on environment.It started from Birla Planetarium and concluded at Nazrul Mancha. The Chief Minister has over and over again expressed her concern about the conservation of the environment. Speaking on the sidelines of the event, she said that the forest cover in Bengal has gone up to 19 percent from 2011’s 14 percent and added that the “Save Green, Stay Clean” movement would be observed on August 1 every year and programmes will be held up to the block level. Chief Secretary Malay De, Home Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay along with a host of dignitaries took part. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaEarlier, she took part in a rally from Birla Planetarium to Nazrul Mancha via AJC Bose Road, Shyamaprasad Mukherjee Road, Southern Avenue to reach the venue where a programme was held. It was attended by school and college students, representatives and people from all walks of life. Director General of Police Virendra, Kolkata Police Commissioner Anuj Sharma, Mayor Firhad Hakim, Aroop Biswas, the state Sports and Youth Affairs minister and state Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay also walked in the rally. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe programme was organised by the state Forest department. “Creating green and clean Bengal is our dream. If each one of us plants a sapling, then 10 crore saplings can be planted within a short time. Just as the “Safe Drive, Save Life” programme has successfully reduced the number of road accidents, sustained campaign to conserve nature will certainly create an impact on the people,” she maintained. “Our Chief Secretary and Kalyan Rudra, chairman, Pollution Control Board, have told me that a slew of measures have been taken and we are going to get its benefit within a year.” The state Health department has brought out an app providing information on snake bite. “Snakebite is a menace in several areas. Earlier, we were told that before a snake-bitten patient is taken to the hospital, one should tie the affected area tightly with a cloth but now the doctors are saying that two wooden planks should be placed around the affected portion and bandage should be done loosely. The app will help people to combat this menace,” she maintained. She also added that controlling air and noise pollution is very important. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has proposed to give electric ovens to the owners of roadside food stalls to replace the conventional coke ovens. She urged the cooperation from hawkers as well. Banerjee asked the police to control the sound of the sirens fitted on ambulances. “There are ambulances that blow the sirens producing horrific sound in turn. I have seen ambulances blowing the sirens even when they are not carrying patients. I urge the police to frame a policy in the matter and reduce the intensity of the sound.” Banerjee said saplings should be distributed among school and college students as part of the awareness campaign. “We must learn to respect Mother Nature and must remember that if we do not respect her, she will hit back violently. The way global warming is taking place and drinking water scarcity are going up, we are really scared and time has come when we all will have to fight to conserve nature.” She presented saplings to noted litterateur Abul Basar, Raj Chakraborty, film director, footballer Manas Bhattacharya among others.last_img read more

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India urges Pakistan to review downgrading of diplomatic ties says Article 370

first_imgNew Delhi: A day after Pakistan announced it was downgrading diplomatic relations with India over scrapping of Jammu-Kashmir’s special status, New Delhi Thursday expressed regret over the move and urged Islamabad to review its decision so that “normal channels for diplomatic communications are preserved.”Reiterating that developments pertaining to Article 370 are an internal matter, India said it was not surprised that developmental initiatives in Jammu and Kashmir are “negatively perceived” in Pakistan. “The Constitution of India was, is and will always be a sovereign matter. Seeking to interfere in that jurisdiction by invoking an alarmist vision of the region will never succeed,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Pakistan on Wednesday expelled the Indian envoy in Islamabad and announced a downgrade of its ties with India and suspension of bilateral trade, in response to the government’s decision to scrap the special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan also said it would not be sending its High Commissioner-designate to India. Calling out Islamabad, India said the reasons cited by the Imran Khan-led government are “not supported by facts.” “The intention behind these measures is obviously to present an alarming picture to the world of our bilateral ties,” it added. It also said that the recent decisions taken in Jammu and Kashmir are driven by a commitment to extend “developmental opportunities” to the state that it was earlier denied due to a temporary provision in the Constitution. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday On Wednesday, the Pakistan NCS called India’s move to revoke Article 370 as “unilateral and illegal” and Imran Khan directed the country’s armed forces to continue vigilance. Earlier, Khan also voiced apprehension that Pulwama-like attacks could follow the Centre’s move, which could even trigger a conventional war between Pakistan and India. Sources said the suspension of bilateral trade will have minimal impact since there is very little trade between the two countries. The official bilateral trade is worth $2 billion, although informal trade takes place via Dubai and other Middle-East countries and is estimated to be $6 billion.(With inputs from Indian Express)last_img read more

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No one killed Pehlu Khan

first_imgSacred Games Season 2…that’s all anyone wants to talk about this week, isn’t it? I’ll admit that the second season is more deftly executed than the first. More clarity and maturity in the direction skills as the story moves in and out of two narratives that run parallel. The scene that stayed with me (*spoiler alert*) is a scene where a Muslim youth is mercilessly and cruelly lynched by a mob that included a few minors. The inhuman behaviour of the mob fuelled by deep hatred is unwatchable. I salute the writer and filmmakers for making the audience sit uncomfortably through those painful couple of minutes. Lest you forget, lynching is an ugly occurrence in the Indian reality today. Also Read – A special kind of bondRemember that dairy farmer who was lynched by cow vigilantes in Alwar in April 2017? The video of the victim dressed in white salwar kurta being beaten to a pulp went viral. We squirmed while watching it, some made excuses for the governments (state and central) but the reality was that suchdastardly acts were taking place in India. Pehlu Khan, the dairy farmer’s only crime was to travel from his village, Nuh, in Haryana, to purchase cattle in order to increase milk production in time for Ramzan. He had the purchase receipts that he showed his perpetrators on the Delhi-Alwar highway but rage and hatred don’t listen to reason and rationale. Pehlu Khan succumbed to his injuries in hospital; a case was filed against nine people, including three minors. This week a lower court in Rajasthan acquitted all six accused adults on grounds of reasonable doubt. Also Read – Insider threat managementThe eyewitness video shot on a mobile phone was not enough, the court said, and the news channel sting where one of the accused is admitting to his role in the act was also not admissible. The man who recorded the viral video did not testify while another who had also made a video had turned hostile. Shockingly, the video was not sent for forensic analysis and therefore, could not be considered as evidence. The Rajasthan police and the prosecution both just did not seem to have their heart in the investigation. Two years was not long enough for the prosecution to get its act together and present a strong case. Shame! The Rajasthan government passed an anti-lynching law just last week but a new law alone can’t change the attitude of the administrators. Pehlu Khan’s case was ideal for both the state and central government to drive home a point – there would be no tolerance for perpetrators of lynching. Instead, quite the opposite has been communicated to prospective ‘lynchers’ – go ahead and take the law into your own hands, make videos of the brutality, make daring confessions also on video…but you will walk away scot-free. The wrath of the law will not strike, primarily because the authorities aren’t looking to set an example in the first place! While lynching can quite easily extend to non-religious matters, today where we stand, they can be viewed only as crimes of religious hate. Two months ago, the Indian government rubbished a US department report on religious freedom that stated “mob attacks by violent extremist Hindu groups against minority communities” continued in the country. The government said that India is proud of its “secular credentials” and remains “committed to tolerance”. The onus is on the government to walk the talk and instruct states to do the same. Only the fear of the law can curb the evil within. But a law is effective only if its implementation can stop incidents of lynching. Otherwise, these laws remain only the written word unfollowed in spirit. And we continue to fail the likes of Pehlu Khan and others who have added their names to the ever-lengthening list of lynching victims. (The writer is an author and media entrepreneur. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

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Politicians across the aisle pay last respects to exFM

first_imgNew Delhi: Several senior party workers, Cabinet and Union Ministers, Chief Ministers of other states, and people closely related to the party and Arun Jaitley, bid the former Finance Minister an emotional goodbye throughout the day on Sunday. In addition to Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar; Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das, and LJD leader Sharad Yadav were at the party headquarters to pay their last respects to Jaitley. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderBJP leaders Madhav Rao and Shivraj Singh Chauhan had earlier arrived at Jaitley’s Kailash Colony residence along with Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and an envoy from the UK, who said that many in Britain treasured Jaitley. Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal also paid their last respects at the residence. The former Andhra Pradesh CM and TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu was also at the residence along with Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla, who called Jaitley a great speaker and parliamentarian. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsUnion Ministers Amit Shah, Harsh Vardhan, Rajnath Singh and Piyush Goyal, Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das and Bharatiya Janata Party National Working President J P Nadda were among those who paid homage to the departed leader at the party headquarters. LJD leader Sharad Yadav, who had often locked horns with Jaitley in Parliament, was also at the party headquarters. Former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and a Bhutanese envoy from the embassy in Delhi also visited the party headquarters. The cremation was attended by Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Rajnath Singh, Prakash Javadekar, Smriti Irani, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. Also present were BJP veteran LK Advani as well as other party leaders including B S Yediyurappa, Gautam Gambhir, along with opposition leaders Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel, who said, “He (Jaitley) was one of the last few great parliamentarians in the country.”last_img read more

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88yearold woman arrested for selling drugs in West Delhi

first_imgNew Delhi: Since 1996, an 88-year-old woman has been selling drugs in the city. On Tuesday, she was nabbed with heroin in West Delhi’s Naraina area.The law enforcement agency said that the accused was previously involved in nine cases. Police identified the accused as Rajrani alias Topli, a resident of JJ Colony in Inder Puri. “The accused was first arrested in 1996. She used to sell drugs by taking advantage of her old age. She was arrested in 2018 also,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Monika Bharadwaj. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderAccording to police, on Tuesday, they received secret information that the accused would come to her house in Inder Puri around 3 pm after taking delivery of a narcotic substance from somewhere. “This information was further developed and the raiding team immediately rushed to Loha Mandi Naraina Flyover and laid a trap strategically by deploying the team members. At around 2:50 pm, the team spotted the accused lady and apprehended her,” police said. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsAfter following due procedure, her search was made and 16 grams of heroin was recovered from her possession. “Presently her family members are not involved in this illegal work,” the DCP said. An investigator told that they are investigating from where she was procuring drugs. “The woman told us that she did not know anything apart from selling drugs,” said an official added that the accused was confident that her age will help in dodging police. The investigator further said that the woman was selling drugs to everyone who came to her. “The accused had made her home as a spot from where people can procure drugs,” police added. Investigators further revealed that she was regularly selling drugs. A case under sections 21 of the NDPS Act was registered against the woman at Inderpuri police station. According to Delhi Police data, in 2018, as many as 493 cases were registered under NDPS act last year. More than 600 persons were arrested from various parts of the city. Delhi Police will soon extern more than 800 criminals from the city boundaries. police sources disclosed that 107 externment proposals were initiated against bootleggers and drug traffickers. Close surveillance is being kept on the movements of criminals and habitual offenders. According to the senior officer, they initiate externment proceedings to ensure that criminals are out of the area and are unable to create trouble.last_img read more

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Undertrial prisoners found with mobiles inserted in rectum

first_imgKolkata: State correctional administration department is concerned over a few recent incidents in which undertrial prisoners were found to have entered the correctional homes with China-made small mobile phones being inserted in their rectums.The correctional administration department has become more cautious while allowing the undertrial prisoners into various jails, after the incidents came to light. The department is examining if such incidents occurred due to the negligence of the wardens in the correctional homes. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe department came to know the matter after two undertrial prisoners in separate incidents entered presidency central correctional home with a China-made small mobile phone inside their rectum. The department suspects that the prisoners got the mobile phones during the process of being produced in court. Earlier, it was often alleged that the undertrial prisoners or the convicts got access to mobile phones inside the correctional homes. It was also alleged that in some cases the convicts established contacts with their associates outside giving them instructions. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayAccording to sources in the state correctional administration department, the checking processes will be made more stringent to stop such incidents. The department will also fix the responsibility on the staff members of the correctional homes if they are found guilty. “We are trying to identify how the undertrial prisoners entered into the correctional home with small size Chinese mobile phone inside their rectum. Steps would be taken if negligence is found on the part of any staff members of the correctional home,” a senior official of the department said. It may be mentioned that the department had recently shifted the Alipore Central Correctional Home to Baruipur for the security reasons for safety reasons. The 109-year-old Alipore Central correctional home closed down in February this year and all of its inmates were shifted to other correctional homes. The department has intensified the security system in all the correctional homes and checked the entry of various narcotic substances into the jails. The inmates often used to indulge in the consumption of these substances inside the jails evading the eyes of correctional home officials. But through the adoption of various stringent measures such incidents have been checked. The department has taken up a comprehensive programme to involve the inmates in various activities so that they can return to the mainstream of life. Various vocational trainings are being imparted among the jail inmates. In many correctional homes the inmates are already producing various handicrafts. Efforts have been taken by the department conduct computer literacy and many other programmes in the correctional homes.last_img read more

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NSA Doval says fully convinced most Kashmiris support removal of Art 370

first_imgNew Delhi: National Security Adviser Ajit Doval said on Saturday he is “fully convinced” that a majority of Kashmiris support the abrogation of Article 370, and affirmed that restrictions in Kashmir are aimed at preventing Pakistan from creating more mischief through proxies and terrorists.Article 370 “was not a special status. It was a special discrimination. With its abrogation we have brought Kashmiris on par with Indians,” he said. In a wide-ranging interaction with a select group of journalists, Doval said restrictions have anyway been eased progressively, and only 10 of the 199 police districts in Kashmir, Jammu and Laddakh now still have prohibitory orders, while land-line telephones have been restored fully in all three areas. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’On the political detentions, he said they are preventive in nature and very much allowed under the law, which means the government is answerable to courts and will have to pay a heavy penalty if it has done anything extra-judicial. “I am fully convinced that a majority of Kashmirs totally support the abrogation of Article 370,” Doval said. In the removal of Article 370, announced on August 5, “they (Kashmiris) see greater opportunities, a better future, more jobs for youths,” he said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”There is a vocal minority that opposes it. It appears to people that that is the voice of the people. That is not necessarily true,” he told the journalists, comprising Indian and foreign media. He said Pakistan is bent on creating trouble in Kashmir, and would very much like to see unrest in the valley, which would add grist to its anti-India propaganda. In a bid to achieve that aim, Pakistan has sent many terrorists into Kashmir with the intent of causing trouble, and to ensure that normalcy is not restored. “If anybody is interested in restoring normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir it is India,” he said. “We will not allow people to become victims of Pakistan’s machinations and its bullets sent across the border. We will do everything in power to protect the people,” he said. Questioned about the alleged human rights abuses by the Army, Doval pointed out that it is only the local police and central paramilitary forces that are deployed to maintain law and order. So, there is no question of atrocities by the Army, whose job is only to fight terrorists. He said according to intelligence reports some 230 terrorists were recorded in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, some of whom have sneaked across the border to create trouble, which includes intimidating traders and local populace to prevent them from going about their business. He cited the case of two Punjabi-speaking terrorists whose conversations with their Pakistani handlers were intercepted in which they were reprimanded for not doing their job properly, and warned that Pakistan would send them bangles if they didn’t do something quickly. Thereafter, the two men went to the residence of a prominent fruit merchant in Sopore, Hamidullah Rather, to intimidate him on Friday, Not finding him there at home, the terrorists shot and injured his 25-year-old son, Mohammad Irshad, in the thigh, and Irshad’s 2 1/2-year-old granddaughter Asma Jaan, who is critical, Doval said. She will be brought to New Delhi for treatment, he said.last_img read more

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Edmonton police officers wont be wearing uniforms for Pride parade

first_imgEDMONTON – Police officers will march in this year’s Edmonton Pride festival, but not in their uniforms.The Edmonton Pride Festival Society said it restricted police vehicles from participating, as well as lights and sirens in the 2017 parade after a similar move in Toronto.“Many pride organizations in other communities started talking with their marginalized members, trying to do more to include them in the conversation around Pride,” the society said in a news release. “In many communities, because police enforcement agencies were seen to make marginalized people feel unsafe, police were asked (or told) to step back and not be involved in Pride celebrations.”In 2017, Supt. Brad Doucette said the Edmonton Police Service had more work to do if the community wasn’t comfortable with a police presence.The service later met with the festival society to discuss what could be done to build bridges.As a result, both city police and Alberta RCMP have decided to walk in civilian clothing in this year’s parade.“We can highlight the individuals that are beyond the badge — the people who actually make up the Edmonton Police Service,” said Doucette. “We are individuals. We are parents, we’re grandparents, we’re siblings, we’re allies with the LGBTQ, we’re oftentimes parents of, or are members of the community itself and that gets lost with the uniform.”He said each of the 50 or so officers who participate will wear an individualized T-shirt.“We’re not putting any parameters about what any individual are going to put on their shirt,” he said. “We have people from the LGBTQ community in our service, so you may see people put that on there — that they’re gay, that they’re lesbian, that they’re married to a man or that they are the mother of a gay youth.”RCMP officers from the Edmonton area will also attend the parade out of uniform.“Participants will be wearing RCMP Pride T-shirts, as proud employees of the RCMP, in support of the LGBTQ2S+ community,” said Staff Sgt. Jeremie Landry of the RCMP.Clayton Hitchcock, who’s the community engagement committee chair for the Edmonton Pride Festival Society, said they are hopeful the initiative by the Edmonton Police Service and RCMP will help marginalized members of the community feel safer.“The members and officers who attend the parade and festival volunteer to be there,” he said. “They are often allies and members of the LGBTQ2S+ community.“Better connections between them and marginalized folks will help them bring about change within their organizations.”last_img read more

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Canada wont renegotiate Paris or keep it from G20 to placate Trump

first_imgOTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he did not ask German Chancellor Angela Merkel to consider keeping all mentions of the Paris climate change accord out of the upcoming G20 leaders meeting statement to placate U.S. President Donald Trump.German publication Der Spiegel had reported on a call between the two leaders last week, saying Trudeau wondered about the potential downside of striking mentions of the accord from the communique so as not to further provoke Trump.Merkel is hosting the G20 meeting in July.On Monday, Trudeau was pressed on his alleged comments by NDP leader Tom Mulcair.“No, I did not say that,” Trudeau said.The Prime Minister’s Office has made a request for a correction to the article, but they have not sought to clarify Trudeau’s remarks to Merkel, saying she knows where he stands on the matter.Mulcair was not placated by Trudeau’s denial, accusing him of being all style and no substance when it comes to climate change. He said unless Der Spiegel corrects the report, he chooses to believe their account over Trudeau’s.Thus far, the article has not been changed.Trump said earlier this month he intends to withdraw the U.S. from the agreement unless it can be renegotiated. On Monday, the United States refused to sign onto a pledge at a G7 environment ministers’ meeting calling the Paris climate accord the “irreversible” global tool to address climate change.The G7 environment ministers issued the final communique after their two-day meeting ended Monday, the first since the United States announced it was withdrawing from the pact.In a footnote to the communique, the U.S. said it wouldn’t join with the other six countries in reaffirming their Paris commitments, but said it was taking action on its own to reduce its carbon footprint.The U.S. did participate in other aspects of the 15-page statement on sustainable development and private sector financing of climate change adaptation.In a statement, Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said the communique and the meeting are proof the U.S. is “resetting the agenda” on the Paris agreement.“Today’s action of reaching consensus makes clear that the Paris Agreement is not the only mechanism by which environmental stewardship can be demonstrated,” he said.However, Canada’s environment minister, Catherine McKenna, said the meeting did the opposite.“Every country but the United States expressed their absolutely unwavering commitment to the swift and effective implementation of the Paris agreement,” she said in a conference call with reporters Monday.“We confirmed it is the global instrument for effectively and urgently tackling climate change. It was very sad to see the United States was relegated to a footnote on climate action.”Trump has said he would be open to renegotiating Paris, something most European G7 nations have already rejected. McKenna said she told Pruitt that Canada won’t support that either.“I also asked the United States to clarify its position that it wanted to renegotiate the Paris agreement,” McKenna said.“I made it clear that the Paris agreement is not open for renegotiation although we are in the phase of negotiating the rules.”The Paris agreement was signed by 195 nations in December 2015 to outline what the world needs to do to limit the increase in temperature of the planet to less than two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times.The participants now have to negotiate the rules for implementing Paris, including how each country will report their efforts and progress, what kind of monitoring there will be and what can be done to promote compliance.The agreement is non-binding. The U.S. will become the third country not to be part of Paris.Neither Syria nor Nicaragua signed the deal in 2015. Nicaragua held out because it felt the agreement did not go far enough. Syria couldn’t participate in the Paris negotiations because of sanctions against the government amid the ongoing civil war.last_img read more

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Urban rodeo bringing country and controversy to Montreals Old Port

first_imgMONTREAL – A four-day urban rodeo that is promising to bring a bit of the Wild West to Montreal’s Old Port is also expected to draw daily protests from groups denouncing the event as animal cruelty.The festival, which includes country music shows as well as traditional rodeo contests, aims to provide “an authentic and educational country-inspired experience,” according to the city.But it has also fuelled opposition from animal-rights activists, who say bronc riding and bull riding are cruel and stressful to animals.Two groups plan daily protests outside the site to criticize what they call the inherent cruelty of the events.“Rodeos put animals in very dangerous situations and use the animals’ discomfort to get them to buck and run around,” said Christina Vassilatos, one of the protest co-organizers.“Animals aren’t enjoying any of this.”She said the protests will be peaceful and are being organized in the memory of animals that have died during rodeos.The Montreal SPCA also opposes the rodeo, which began Thursday and ends Sunday and is part of the city’s 375th-anniversary celebrations. A petition the organization launched against the event earlier this summer has more than 26,000 signatures.“Rodeos subject animals to fear, stress, and undue risk of injury or even death, all in the name of so-called ‘entertainment,’” says a statement on the SPCA’s website.The general manager of the Festival Western de St-Tite, which is organizing the rodeo, said the animals are treated well and that a team of veterinarians will be on hand at all times to monitor their welfare.“This is an opportunity for everyone to see our best practices and come to understand the breadth of our sporting competitions,” Pascal Lefreniere said in a statement.“As in St-Tite, animals are treated with the best protocols in force. Their well-being remains a priority for our team.”A legal challenge to stop the Montreal rodeo was dropped in June after opponents of the event reached a deal with organizers to bring in further measures to ensure the well-being of the animals.As part of the deal, a veterinarian and a behavioural specialist will be able to examine the animals before and after each rodeo.The agreement also mandated the creation of a committee composed of government, rodeo and animal-welfare representatives to study the impact of rodeos on animal well-being.last_img read more

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Eight stories in the news for today Nov 9

first_imgEight stories in the news for Thursday, Nov. 9———PARENTAL LEAVE DETAILS SET TO BE UNVEILEDNew mothers and fathers poised to go on parental leave before the end of the year will be able to spread federal benefits over a longer period of time starting next month. The federal government will today unveil the details of its long-promised changes to parental leave rules that will allow eligible new parents to take up to 18 months of employment insurance benefits after the birth of a child.———HOSPITALS SOURCE OF MOST COMPLAINTS: WATCHDOGOntario’s Patient Ombudsman will deliver her first annual report today and it will outline how many patients, their families and caregivers fear reprisals if they file a complaint with her office. Christine Elliott’s report also says her office received about 2,000 complaints between 2016 and 2017 and the bulk of them — about 70 per cent — ere related to Ontario hospitals.———PM TRUDEAU SPENDING SECOND DAY IN VIETNAMIt’s another busy day for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on his Asian tour. In Vietnam today, his itinerary included a roundtable with business leaders in Ho Chi Minh City. The heavy lifting comes Friday in Da Nang where Trudeau will join other leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit where a key issue is the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. U.S. President Donald Trump has pulled the his country out of the pact and the remaining members are trying to keep it alive.———EX-OFFICER TO CONTINUE TESTIMONY AT BABCOCK TRIALA retired forensic officer is set to take the stand for a third day at the murder trial of two Ontario men accused of killing and incinerating a young Toronto woman. Jim Falconer spent much of Wednesday going over a massive haul of data retrieved from three computers seized by officers at Dellen Millard’s home. Both Millard and Mark Smich have pleaded not guilty in the death of Laura Babcock in 2012.———MILITARY VEHICLE REPAIR IS GROUP THERAPY FOR PTSD VETSA group of former Canadian Forces personnel are turning to tinkering with engines as a way to cope with the stress of leaving military life. About 20 individuals meet at The Military Museums in Calgary every week to work on decommissioned army vehicles. John Senior, the leader of the so-called Ghost Squadron, says hanging out with ex-military types is therapeutic and helps many having trouble with civilian life.———B.C. CLIMBER FINISHES GLOBAL MOUNTAIN TREKA young mountain climber from Vancouver has completed her goal of reaching the top of the tallest mountain on every continent. Liz Rose finished the feat this week when she climbed Mount Kosciuszko in Australia. About 400 people around the globe have successfully completed the so-called Seven Summits and at 26 years old, Rose is believed to be the youngest Canadian to finish.———WINNIPEG MAYOR WANTS EDMONTON ESKIMOS TO PICK A NEW NAMEWinnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman thinks the CFL Edmonton Eskimos should change their team name to something more inclusive. Bowman, who is Metis, said he respects the Edmonton CFL club but would prefer a different name. The Eskimos said in a statement that it uses the name with “pride and respect” but is listening to any and all concerns. The issue arises ahead Saturday’s CFL western semi-final between Eskimos and Blue Bombers.———STUDENTS CAPTURE PRIZE FOR CANCER-DETECTING DEVICEA group of four McMaster University students has won a $50,000 prize to develop their idea for a handheld device that detects skin cancer. The recent grads in electrical biomedical engineering at the Hamilton university earned the International James Dyson Award for their final year project, called The sKan. They say the non-invasive device can diagnose melanoma by monitoring the heat emissions of various cells.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Statistics Canada will release the new housing price index for September.— Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan takes part in events marking the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele.— Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame will hold an induction ceremony for Carol Huynh, Cindy Klassen, Lanny McDonald, Mike Weir, Simon Whitfield, the late Gaylord Powless, Dr. Charles Tator, the late Dr. Robert W. Jackson and The Edmonton Grads basketball team.last_img read more

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ACTRA says its expediting sexual harassment complaints processes

first_imgTORONTO – The union for Canada’s TV and film performers says it’s expediting its discipline processes for sexual harassment and assault complaints.At a panel discussion on sexual harassment hosted Friday by the organization behind the Toronto International Film Festival, ACTRA Toronto president Theresa Tova outlined a number of immediate steps the union is taking as it also works with other industry stakeholders on longer-term strategies.Among the immediate steps is a plan to “investigate and get things happening” on serious allegations of sexual misconduct within 48 hours, she said.ACTRA has also rebranded its after-hours, anonymous emergency reporting system as the Sexual Harassment and Emergency Hotline and is “plastering it everywhere,” encouraging members to call if they have had an experience they’d like to share.“It goes directly to a counsellor, a company that does this for us, and/or it goes straight to our executive director or our staff, and people are there with you, immediately,” Tova said in an interview.“Many, many, many are calling us now about situations they’ve never reported before, ever,” she said, adding they have “some cases that are now going forward.”Tova said ACTRA has also hired a lawyer — a human rights specialist who has worked in the industry — to be their in-house adviser and guide complainants on what their choices are, how they can proceed and what they can do.“That’s a big part of it — protecting our members going forward,” said Tova. “You just have to call us. We’re committed 100 per cent. We are there for you.”Having a hotline that results in immediate action is crucial given that victims of sexual harassment and assault have often had to work with their abusers while a complaint was investigated, noted actor/filmmaker Nicole Stamp, who moderated the panel chat.“In film time, if you get assaulted on Monday, you’re back on set on Tuesday and it might be a really intense day where you can’t call in sick,” said Stamp.“It’s more difficult than in many workplaces where you might be able to get a little bit of time away from the person that abused you. On a film set, you might be right back in with them the next day.”Friday’s talk also included representatives from the Directors Guild of Canada and the Canadian Media Producers Association, who met with ACTRA and other industry stakeholders last week about how to work together to end sexual harassment.Also on the panel were filmmakers Patricia Rozema and Melanie Chung, Alix Herber of the Labour and Employment Law Group, and producer Martin Katz of Prospero Pictures.Audience members included filmmakers Sarah Polley and Jennifer Baichwal.Many on the panel said the industry is at a “watershed moment” in which organizations are working together to change the entire culture. That includes having zero tolerance, ending complicity, achieving parity, diversifying the power structure, and creating a future in which abuse is less likely to happen.Stamp said she felt “it was a really productive discussion” in which the panellists were speaking candidly and “were comfortable being a little bit vulnerable in explaining some of the process.”“What I find really heartening about this discussion is the extent to which we’re all on the same page and we’re all adopting the same near-term, tangible tools and practices that can lead to real change on the issue,” said Marguerite Pigott, vice-president of outreach and strategic initiatives at the CMPA.“Canada will be the leader in anti-harassment,” added Tova.“We will announce it to the world. I’ve said to a few producers, ‘Are you afraid that you will lose business?’ and they go, ‘Absolutely not. We need to do this.’ I think we’ll gain business because people know when they come to Canada, you’re protected.”last_img read more

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Missing murdered Indigenous women and girls inquiry loses executive director

first_imgOTTAWA – The inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls has lost another executive director.The federally funded commission — plagued by many staffing changes throughout its tenure — says Debbie Reid has left the commission as executive director but it will not comment further, calling it a personnel matter.In a statement, the commission thanks Reid for her contributions.It says the inquiry’s work will not be disrupted during the transition that will see director of operations Calvin Wong act as interim executive director effective immediately.The commission says it has a “sacred responsibility” to the 597 families and survivors who have already entrusted their stories to the inquiry and the 600 others registered to do so.Reid, a former special adviser to the Assembly of First Nations, took the role of executive director in October, replacing Michele Moreau.Federal Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett responded to the latest departure in a statement, saying she’s worried the ongoing turnover at the commission will “distract from the work at hand.”However, while she says her department shares’ families concerns about difficulties at the commission, its independence is crucial and the government won’t be intervening.last_img read more

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More than 300000 collected for Quebec man paralyzed in mosque shooting

first_imgMONTREAL – Aymen Derbali, the father of three shot seven times and partly paralyzed in the Quebec City mosque shooting last year, says he’s not surprised at the generosity of people around the world who have donated to his fundraiser.More than $300,000 has so far been collected and organizers initially set a deadline for this Monday to raise $400,000 but have decided to extend it another two weeks in order to reach their goal.Witnesses who were at the mosque last January when a shooter killed six people and seriously injured five said Derbali tried to get the gunman’s attention in order to help others flee.The efforts cost him the use of his legs.Paralyzed from the waist down after receiving the seven bullets, Derbali and his family are still looking for a home better adapted to his disability and closer to the mosque where the tragedy occurred.The fundraiser’s goal is to help his family pay for a new place to live.Derbali said he started returning to the mosque for prayers in July.“Unless you have a medical issue you should go to the mosque to pray, especially on Fridays,” he said in an interview from a Quebec City rehabilitation centre.He said rather than causing him anxiety by being haunted by memories of the shooting, going to the mosque helps the psychological side of his recovery.“I have the capacity to go — I’m in a wheelchair, but I can still do it.”Derbali said his days are filled with physiotherapy and other exercises to help him recover, and he said he is looking to leave the centre by the summer.A significant portion of the money so far collected has come from the United States, something he said doesn’t surprise him.“The Americans are by nature pacifists,” he said. “There has been a lot of solidarity from around the world.”Amira Elghawaby, a volunteer with DawaNet, the Toronto-based organization that helped launch the fundraiser, expressed confidence the $400,000 goal will be reached.“(Derbali’s) story has been translated into many languages,” she said. “His story is a heroic tale and a lot of people around the world have been interested in it.“I don’t think it’s surprising a lot of donations are coming from the U.S. I think there is a heightened awareness there of anti-Muslim bigotry.”On Friday, Quebec City’s Muslim community began four days of commemorations for the Jan. 29, 2017, shooting.The mosque was scheduled to hold a special prayer Friday night that was to be open only to Muslims, although the event was to be broadcast online.On Saturday, the mosque is organizing an open house featuring widows of the victims as well as others touched by the tragedy.On Sunday evening, a spiritual rally will bring together members of the Muslim, Jewish and First Nations communities.The commemoration ends Monday evening — the anniversary of the shooting — when people are invited to bring flowers and candles to a vigil, which will take place outdoors close to the mosque.last_img read more

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Cops searched bag took goggles rare civil trial stemming from G20 to

first_imgTORONTO – A man whose swimming goggles were confiscated by officers following a search of his backpack on the eve of the turbulent G20 summit in Toronto in 2010 is expected to testify Monday at the start of a hearing into his lawsuit against the city’s police oversight board.Numerous legal actions, officer disciplinary hearings and criminal proceedings have flowed from the summit that saw indiscriminate mass arrests and detentions, but this may be the only such civil suit to actually go to trial, according to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.In his statement of claim initially filed in 2011, Luke Stewart, of Kitchener, Ont., argues police officers assaulted and wrongfully detained him, violating several of his constitutional rights. He wants Superior Court to award him $100,000 in damages.The defendant police services board denies any liability, claiming police were simply doing their jobs, and blames Stewart for any problems he encountered when he went to a downtown park carrying a backpack while planning to take part in a protest.In an incident captured on video, Stewart says he went to Allan Gardens on the Friday afternoon of the summit weekend in June 2010. He says several officers demanded to search his bag as a condition of entry into the park. When he refused and tried to get to the protest, he alleges the officers “assaulted and battered him,” illegally searched his bag, and confiscated his swimming goggles.“The plaintiff was unlawfully detained for 12 minutes,” his claim asserts. “The officers acted with malice and bad faith.”The statement of claim also alleges police, under orders from superiors, were planning to form a perimeter around the park with the aim of searching “every person with a bag” trying to enter the area. The plan and orders, the claim alleges, violated the charter.“Senior police officers … gave orders they knew were unlawful,” the claim asserts.In response, the police services board says officers were doing their best to preserve the peace and defend public property under provincial trespassing law. What they were doing at Allan Gardens was legal, the board says in its statement of defence.By its account, the board says officers told Stewart, who was in his mid-20s, that he could enter the park if he allowed them to inspect his bag or could refuse and leave.“Such examination was necessary to protect the safety of those persons within the park in the circumstances as they existed on that day,” the statement of defence asserts. “He loudly and rudely yelled at the police officers, expressing his displeasure.”Police said they confiscated the goggles “noting that the park did not contain a pool” and that goggles had been used at violent protests in the past for illegitimate purposes. Stewart said he was carrying them in case officers used “chemical weapons,” the board says.Any force used against him, the statement of defence says, was justified by the circumstances and did not amount to an assault or other breach of his rights.The civil liberties association is intervening in the case. The group argues it is an abuse of police power to seize personal property as a condition of entry to a public space. It also maintains that awarding damages would help hold police accountable for allegedly violating civil rights.Since the summit, a senior police officer has been found guilty of misconduct for ordering mass arrests that weekend. A lower ranking officer was convicted criminally, as were several protesters who smashed windows or otherwise ran amok.One official report branded the mass detentions and arrests that weekend as one of Canada’s worst violations of civil liberties.last_img read more

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BC government throne speech puts focus on housing child care affordability

first_imgVICTORIA – Premier John Horgan introduced a plan Tuesday to make life in British Columbia more affordable, but it was overshadowed by the unfolding dispute with the Alberta and federal governments over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.The pipeline issue dominated questions directed at Horgan moments after the New Democrat’s throne speech was delivered, outlining his government’s quest to make life affordable by investing in housing and child care.Horgan said he wanted to lower the temperature in the fight over the $7.4-billion expansion project. The dispute has already prompted Alberta to ban imports of B.C. wine and Ottawa to send bureaucrats to the West Coast for meetings with provincial government officials.“I believe all British Columbians want to see co-operative federalism, not coercive federalism,” Horgan said. “We are equal partners in this great country. And we, certainly on my watch, will continue to be co-operative equal partners in Canada.”He said B.C.’s desire to consult about how it can better prepare for a catastrophic event such as an oil spill has led to more discussions than he had anticipated after Alberta Premier Rachel Notley “dialled up” the dispute.“We’re going to continue to defend the interests of B.C. and we’re going to continue to co-operate with the federal government,” he said.Notley has called a news conference Wednesday to discuss the issue.Opposition Leader Andrew Wilkinson, making his first appearance in the B.C. legislature since being elected Liberal leader earlier this month, said the minority government is scaring off investors with its pipeline conflict.“What the B.C. government has done is throw a wrench into a federally approved project,” he said. “We’ve seen the consequences of this rather rash and poorly considered action that has now triggered a trade war with Alberta.”Five B.C. organizations, representing an array of businesses, issued an open letter to Horgan on Tuesday expressing their “deep concern” about the government’s opposition to the pipeline.“Failing to respect the rule of law and the largely federal jurisdiction over this project is not only deeply unfair to the stakeholders who respected the process, but also represents a fundamental departure from what it means for B.C. to be part of Canada,” the letter says.It was signed by the leaders of the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, the Business Council of British Columbia, and the BC Chamber of Commerce.Horgan said he will not let the pipeline issue deter his efforts to improve affordability in B.C.Tuesday’s throne speech said housing is the greatest challenge to affordability across the province.“Young families wait longer to have children, or give up their dreams of home ownership because they cannot afford to pay for both,” Lt. Gov. Judith Guichon said in reading the speech from the throne.“Businesses cannot grow when the skilled workers they need are shut out by the high cost of housing. Renters are afraid of eviction or unexpected rent increases that will force them to relocate when prices are sky high and vacancies hover at record lows.”The government is moving to address housing demand and stabilize B.C.’s out-of-control real estate and rental markets, Horgan said.Legislation will be introduced to crack down on tax fraud, tax evasion and money laundering in the provincial real estate market, he said.Plans are also in the works to ensure that people looking to profit from B.C.’s real estate market also contribute to housing solutions, Horgan said, adding that the changes are not aimed at homeowners who pay property taxes.“It’s money coming from outside of our economy that’s distorting the value of our property,” he said. “That’s what we want to discourage.”The speech said the results of real estate speculation are evident across B.C. with distorted markets, high prices and empty homes.Wilkinson said the speech provided few details about the government’s housing plans, other than confirm an election promise of building 114,000 homes within a decade and 1,700 this year.“At that rate, it will take 67 years to deliver on that promise.”Horgan said the government will also make the largest investment in child care in B.C.’s history.The move to affordable, quality care will include the government converting unlicensed spaces to licensed, regulated care, he said.“Safe, affordable, licensed child care will become B.C.’s standard, giving parents the peace of mind they need and quality care they can rely on,” Guichon said in reading the throne speech.The speech also said the government will pursue its innovation goals with plans to create 2,900 new technology related spaces at colleges and universities throughout B.C.last_img read more

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Canada must lead with values Morneau says as tensions persist with Saudi

first_imgOTTAWA – Finance Minister Bill Morneau doubled down Tuesday on Ottawa’s message that the federal government will continue to stand up for Canadian values even as it finds itself at the centre of an ongoing diplomatic tumult with Saudi Arabia.It’s important to propagate Canadian values around the world, and the Liberal government will continue to “enunciate” what it believes are the “appropriate ways of dealing with citizens,” Morneau told a news conference in Mississauga, Ont.Saudi Arabia has expelled Canada’s ambassador, declared a freeze on new trade and recalled thousands of students attending Canadian universities following a tweet last week from Global Affairs Canada that expressed concerns about the arrest of activists in the kingdom.Morneau’s comments reiterated the position expressed Monday by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, but did not directly address the larger question of what sort of lasting economic impact the dispute could have, including on Canada’s $15-billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia.“We’re going to stand with the values that we know are important to Canadians and Saudi Arabia will take the decisions that they will take,” he said, reiterating for business owners that Canada is doing well economically and must continue to remain competitive.“We are going to look at how we can ensure that we’re competitive broadly … we have very strong trading relationships around the world. This is something where we know we need to lead with our values.”Freeland said Monday in Vancouver that there was “nothing new or novel” about Canada’s long-standing position on human rights around the world, and that Ottawa is awaiting more details from the kingdom before responding further.Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department offered a tepid response to the sanctions that took pains to avoid taking sides, saying it is “aware” of Saudi Arabia’s actions and considers both countries to be “close partners” of the United States.The U.S. continues to support respect for freedoms and liberties, “including dissent and due process,” the department said on Twitter.While both countries are friends of the U.S., “both sides need to diplomatically resolve this together,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a media briefing later Tuesday.“This particular case regarding Canada — we have raised that with the government of Saudi Arabia. They’re friends, they’re partners, as is Canada as well.”The Global Affairs Canada tweet that triggered the spat said Canada is “gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia, including Samar Badawi.”It went on to “urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful human rights activists.”The Saudi foreign ministry singled out the words “immediately release,” calling the phrase “unfortunate, reprehensible, and unacceptable in relations between states.”“Any other attempt to interfere with our internal affairs from Canada, means that we are allowed to interfere in Canada’s internal affairs,” the ministry said.Independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders called Saudi Arabia’s decision an “outrageous move” on Twitter, saying, “The U.S. must be clear in condemning repression, especially when done by governments that receive our support.”Amnesty International said Samar Badawi, the sister of jailed blogger Raif Badawi, was recently detained along with Nassima al-Sada, another prominent female activist.According to State, the U.S. has asked Saudi Arabia for more information about the detentions, and to publicize details about the status of legal cases.The European Commission also struck a neutral tone in its response, saying it is seeking clarification about the arrest of activists, but avoided being drawn into the dispute between Riyadh and Canada.Asked Tuesday about the tensions, European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said “we have been seeking clarification from Saudi authorities” over the arrests since May.Kocijancic said the commission wants to understand the allegations against the activists and to ensure they receive a fair trial.On the diplomatic spat, Kocijancic said “we don’t comment on bilateral relations.” She said “we are in favour of a dialogue.”A number of countries in the region have defended Saudi Arabia.The Kingdom of Bahrain posted a statement on its website affirming its “full solidarity” with Saudi Arabia against “any external interference in its internal affairs or any side’s attempt to undermine the Saudi sovereignty.”Bahrain said it supports the measures by Saudi Arabia in response to statements made by Canada’s foreign affairs minister.Anwar Gargash, United Arab Emirates minister of state for foreign affairs, tweeted in Arabic that the UAE stands with Saudi Arabia in defending its sovereignty and its laws.— With files from The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Friends family and fans gather to remember artist Mary Pratt in St

first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Mary Pratt once said she didn’t think of anything as “ordinary.”“I think everything is complex and worthy of conjecture and worthy of a look, worthy of a close look,” she said in an interview with the National Gallery of Canada in 2015.Pratt’s unmatched talent for depicting the mysterious beauty in the detail of everyday things — her hyper-real paintings of jelly jars on the window sill, a bloody fish in the sink, salmon on crinkled tinfoil — captured the hearts and minds of art lovers across the country and around the world.It’s also a quality that friends, family and admirers recalled fondly at The Rooms, an art gallery and museum overlooking the St. John’s Harbour, as they paid tribute to the esteemed painter’s life on Saturday night.Pratt was born in Fredericton but considered Newfoundland and Labrador her adopted home, where she raised her children and produced much of the work she would become famous for. She died this month at the age of 83.Guests lined up to write their condolences for the artist, leaving messages such as, “You changed the way I see the light every morning.”It was Pratt’s piercing, honest eye for detail that longtime friend Adrienne Clarkson said made Pratt the first and only choice when it came time to commission her official portrait for Rideau Hall.“She was somebody who could look at something that everybody sees every day, and she could tell us what they actually mean,” Clarkson said.The former governor general of Canada called her friend of 45 years Canada’s “greatest woman painter since Emily Carr,” but also fondly remembered Pratt’s sense of humour and quest for understanding the mysteries of the universe.Clarkson shared an anecdote about reading the book of Job with Pratt as a “lenten exercise,” both of them musing over Chapter 28 and the words about mankind’s search for wisdom.It’s something Clarkson said both women searched for in their careers, in their own ways.Pratt’s artwork was known for compelling viewers to look closer, but the woman herself was remembered on Saturday as a captivating storyteller who could shift one’s way of thinking.Jonathan Shaughnessy, a curator at the National Gallery of Canada, recalled interviewing Pratt in 2015 and being struck by her perspective and “way of seeing” during their conversation.“I think really great artists can shift your way of thinking and seeing … through their words and through their work, and she was that kind of artist,” said Shaugnessy.Speaking with Shaugnessy and Mireille Eagan, curator of contemporary art at The Rooms, the discussion turned to Pratt’s legacy.Eagan once asked Pratt the same question, to which she responded, “Well, I suppose I’ll just be shuffled off with people who painted.”Shaugnessy and Eagan have a different perspective.Shaugnessy said young artists in Toronto perk up when he mentions Mary Pratt — she’s still admired for her realism, and he predicts her influence will only continue to grow as he sees young artists continue to move away from abstraction.For Eagan, Pratt was someone whose paintings appealed to everyone, by elevating domestic life to a status of high art and inviting newcomers into the gallery space.“We had people who had never been in a gallery before come in just to see Mary Pratt’s show, and they became art lovers,” said Eagan.“Her work is accessible but it’s not simple. She has that appeal.”The gathering at The Rooms in St. John’s was not insignificant. Pratt had a vital role in establishing the cultural space, which sparked debate in the community when it was first proposed.Architects Charles Henley and Philip Pratt were in attendance Saturday, and Henley noted that gatherings like Pratt’s memorial were exactly what they had envisioned for the space — a place where culture and community meet, and anyone is welcome.In a way, this is what Pratt’s artwork did. She once described the moment she discovered her love for art “as if all the windows and doors opened and there were images everywhere that just ground themselves into me, I just had to paint them.”On Saturday night it was evident that Pratt continued to open doors for others. Her series of four paintings “Dishcloth on Line” were on display, depicting a cloth catching fire across the four paintings. A young guest could be overheard expressing surprise that the images were paintings, not photographs.According to Eagan, these moments of connection, beckoning her audience to look closer, were a source of joy for Pratt, even if she was always humble about her impact.“She was always genuinely happy and surprised when people would come up to her, she would talk about housewives doing so, coming up and saying thank you so much,” said Eagan.“She was always a bit mystified, and to be honest I was always a bit mystified by that.”last_img read more

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SNCLavalin faces criminal probe over Montreal bridge contract documents reveal

first_imgMONTREAL — Court documents show that Quebec prosecutors are working with the RCMP on the possibility of new criminal charges against SNC-Lavalin tied to a contract to refurbish Montreal’s Jacques Cartier Bridge.In December, Quebec court approved a request by prosecutors to retain until June thousands of documents seized by the RCMP in connection with an investigation that drew on more than two dozen witnesses.If the provincial prosecution service pushes ahead with the four potential fraud charges outlined in court filings, the embattled engineering giant would face a legal battle on another front.In October, federal prosecutors told SNC-Lavalin they would not invite the company to negotiate a remediation agreement over fraud and corruption charges that stemmed from alleged dealings with the Libyan regime under Moammar Gadhafi between 2001 and 2011. SNC has filed for a judicial review of that decision.In court documents, the RCMP lays out a bribery scheme involving a $127-million Jacques Cartier Bridge contract in the early 2000s. Former federal official Michel Fournier pleaded guilty in 2017 to accepting more than $2.3 million in payments from SNC-Lavalin in connection with the project.SNC-Lavalin tells The Canadian Press it will continue to work with authorities, noting the court files involve employees and third parties no longer affiliated with the company. Allegations in the latest court documents have not been proven in court, and SNC-Lavalin has not been charged.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Quincy Jones And Elvis Costello Join Lineup For A Great Night In

first_imgQuincy Jones, Elvis Costello, Paul Shaffer and Jeffrey Wright are part of the lineup for the Jazz Foundation of America’s A Great Night In Harlem concert on May 17 at the Apollo Theater.Quincy Jones will pay homage to his mentor, legendary trumpeter Clark Terry who just turned 92 and introduce a memorial musical tribute for his dear friend Claude Nobs, the beloved Montreux Jazz Festival founder.For 24 years, the Jazz Foundation of America has been dedicated to saving the homes and lives of elder jazz and blues musicians in crisis. They now assist in nearly 6,000 cases a year, including hundreds of musicians and their families affected by Hurricane Sandy in the New York region as well as those still recovering from Katrina in New Orleans.Their Programs Include:•Preventing homelessness and evictions by paying rents and mortgages•Creating dignified work through our Agnes Varis Jazz in the Schools Program•Providing free medical care and operations through their partners at Englewood Hospital & Medical Center•Keeping the heat turned on and food on the table through their Musicians’ Emergency Fund“I cannot even imagine the world without jazz and the blues, and I cannot imagine turning our backs on the very people who gave their lives, their life experiences, and their music to us all these years, especially now when they need us most,” said Quincy Jones. “The Jazz Foundation is saving the music.”Find out more about the concert and foundation here.last_img read more

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