N Korea releases Russian fishing boat says Moscow

first_imgSeoul: North Korea has released a Russian fishing boat with a crew of 15 Russians and two South Koreans after it was detained for violating entry regulations, the Russian embassy in Pyongyang said Sunday. The release comes nearly two weeks after North Korean border guards took control of the ship belonging to the Russian North-Eastern Fishing Company on July 17. The vessel, named Xiang Hai Lin 8, left the North Korean port of Wonsan late Saturday, the embassy said in a Facebook post. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”At 19:30, the vessel left the Wonsan port’s pier and headed to Sokcho (South Korea), where two South Korean crewmembers will come ashore,” it said. The embassy added it will continue to investigate the “circumstances” of the ship’s detention. South Korea’s unification ministry, which handles inter-Korean relations, welcomed the boat’s “safe return”, calling the release “positive from a humanitarian perspective”. The boat arrived in Sokcho on Sunday afternoon, the ministry said in a statement. The boat was fishing for crab and travelled from South Korea to the Sea of Japan when it was detained some 55 nautical miles (100 kilometres) from the North Korean border. Russian coast guards frequently detain North Korean fishermen in the Far East, many of whom use rudimentary wooden boats. Some of them are sentenced to prison.last_img read more

Rahul Gandhi urges Cong workers to help people in floodhit states

first_imgNew Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday expressed concern over the flood situation in some states and urged his party workers to help the affected people. “The flood situation in Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, Assam and Bihar is grim, with lakhs of citizens stranded or displaced. I request Congress Party workers in the affected states to do all they can to help those in need and pray that the flood waters soon subside,” he wrote on Twitter. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ “The people of Wayanad, my Lok Sabha constituency, are in my thoughts and prayers as they battle raging flood waters. I was to travel to Wayanad, but I’ve now been advised by officials that my presence will disrupt relief operations. I’m awaiting their OK to travel,” Gandhi said in another tweet. Nine people drowned on Thursday when a rescue boat capsized in flood-ravaged Sangli district of Western Maharashtra, while a ‘red alert’ was sounded in four districts of Kerala where heavy rains, gusty winds and widespread landslips wreaked havoc in several areas. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis conducted an aerial survey to review the flood situation in Sangli and Kolhapur, which are the worst hit following heavy rains in the area where the Krishna and Panchganga rivers are in spate. In Kerala, water level is rising in most of the rivers and dams across the state with Kannur, Wayanad, Idukki, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Kasaragod districts facing a flood-like situation.last_img read more

Fabelle unveils six chocolate flavours

first_imgIndia’s home-grown luxury chocolate brand, Fabelle Chocolates, commemorated India’s 73rd Independence Day with a limited edition chocolate range, unveiled at ITC Sonar. Fabelle pays tribute to India’s rich food culture and diverse tastes by identifying hero ingredients from across the country and pairing them with White, Milk, Dark and Ruby Chocolate.Fabelle divided the country into six zones and created six chocolate bars, each representing the flavours of a region, like, Northern Himalayan Region – Dark Chocolate smoked with Tea and Pink Himalayan Salt, Thar Desert – Ruby Chocolate with Toasted Sesame, Salted Peanuts and Toasted Amaranth, Gangetic Plains – Milk Chocolate with Jaggery powder and crunchy Puffed Rice, Central Plains – Dark Chocolate with Candied Orange Peel blended with Raisins, Deccan Plateau – White Chocolate with Coffee and Cardamom Powder effusion, Coastal Regions – Milk Chocolate with Desiccated Coconut powder and Candied Mango. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainAcross 6 cities, 600 such bars were handcrafted by Fabelle Master Chocolatiers in a larger-than-life 73 kg chocolate installation to commemorate the 73rd Independence Day. Each chocolate bar is priced at Rs 265 and to make the occasion sweeter, Fabelle Chocolates will be donating proceeds from the sale of these bars to Make-A-Wish Foundation of India, a non-profit organisation, which works towards supporting deserving children to lead a richer life by fulfilling their wishes. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardAnuj Rustagi, Chief Operating Officer – Chocolates, Coffee and New Categories – Food Division, ITC Limited said,”Fabelle’s endeavour, especially during celebratory occasions is to delight consumers with thematic and one of a kind chocolate experiences. We are extremely happy to see how Fabelle Master Chocolatiers bring to life a befitting tribute to the country’s rich legacy of indigenous tastes and flavours as we observe this historic celebration of Independence Day year-on-year.” Deepak Bhatia, Make-A-Wish Foundation shared, “Independence Day holds tremendous ground in the list of national celebrations since it reminds every Indian about the dawn of a new beginning. Make-A-Wish has granted over 334,000 wishes worldwide to some very deserving children.”last_img read more

NPTC plans 5000mw ultramega solar plant worth Rs 20000 crore

first_imgMumbai: National energy major NTPC is planning to set up an ultra-mega solar park in the Kutch region of Gujarat that will produce up to 5,000 mega watts and involve an investment of Rs 20,000 crore or more. “We are looking at setting up an ultra-mega solar park in the Kutch and also one in Rajasthan. In the Kutch, we are planning to produce 5,000 mw at an investment of around Rs 4 crore per mw, taking the total investment to Rs 20,000 crore. We are looking at two-three locations in the Kutch. We will invite others to invest as well,” NTPC chairman and managing director Gurdeep Singh told reporters here Monday. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalHe said, the company is also looking at Rajasthan for setting up an ultra mega solar park. “But the amount of energy that will be produced and the quantum of investment required will be decided after the location is finalised,” he added. Further, he said NTPC is also planning to tie up with municipalities to produce electricity from solid waste. “Since last year we have been running a pilot project in Banaras in UP that converts bio-waste into electricity. Now we are planning to do a similar project with the East Delhi Municipal Corporation to produce 20 mw a day and we will float the tender over the next 30 months. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost”However we are in more advanced stages of talks with the Surat civic body as we have available land and we are planning to award the contract soon,” he said. The company has a similar plan for Ladakh as well, Singh added. “We are keen to partner with more municipal bodies for waste management. Our only demand is that they must deliver waste to the plant,” he added. NTPC is also looking at good projects to acquire through the bankruptcy process. “At present there are not many good projects in NCLTs, we are looking at three projects, one hydro asset of 100 mw and two coal-based assets of 600 mw each. We are open to projects in hydro, coal and renewal as well,” he added.last_img read more

Probe complete into larger conspiracy against CJI report likely by midSept

first_imgNew Delhi: A Supreme Court-appointed one-man panel, holding inquiry into allegations of “larger conspiracy” to frame Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, has completed its task and is likely to submit the report by mid September.Sources said Tuesday that Justice A K Patnaik, a retired Supreme Court judge who was appointed by the apex court, examined advocate Utsav Singh Bains. Bains had made several allegations including fixing of benches in the Supreme Court. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”The affidavit filed by Bains and other documents were examined by the panel. Now, the panel will complete the report and submit it to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover by second week of September,” said a source. Justice Patnaik examined the lawyer from 11 am to 1 pm and his statement was recorded. “The lawyer (Bains) was examined Tuesday by the panel for roughly two hours. He had come to the office of Justice Patnaik,” the sources said. The top court had on April 25 constituted the panel to hold inquiry into the allegations of Bains and had asked the Directors of CBI and Intelligence Bureau (IB) as also the Delhi Police Commissioner to cooperate with Justice Patnaik as and when required by him. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KA special bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra had said that on the completion of inquiry, Justice Patnaik will file a report in a sealed cover before the court after which the matter will be heard again. It, however, had said the inquiry will not deal with the allegations of sexual harassment against the CJI, levelled by an ex-employee of the top court. On May 6, Gogoi had got the clean chit from the Supreme Court’s In-House Inquiry Committee which “found no substance” in the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him. The In-House Inquiry Committee was headed by Justice S A Bobde and comprised of two woman judges of the apex court — Justices Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee. The top court had earlier expressed anguish over the “systematic attack” on the judiciary and said time has come to tell the rich and powerful of this country that they are “playing with fire”. The court had observed this while hearing claims made by Bains that there was a “larger conspiracy” to frame the CJI.last_img read more

Google secretly sharing users data with advertisers Report

first_imgLondon: Google is allegedly relaying your personal information to advertisers via hidden web pages, allowing it to circumvent the European Union privacy regulations, new evidence submitted to Ireland’s Data Protection Commission has revealed. The Data Protection Commission began an investigation into Google’s practices in May after it received a complaint from privacy-focused browser maker Brave that Google was allegedly violating the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), CNET on Wednesday quoted a Financial Times report. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year Johnny Ryan, chief policy officer for Brave, submitted the new evidence, and discovered that Google allegedly used a tracker containing web browsing information, location and other data and sent it to advertising companies via webpages that “showed no content”. Ryan’s evidence showed that Google had “labelled him with an identifying tracker that it fed to third-party companies that logged on to a hidden web page”. Google responded, saying it doesn’t serve “personalized ads or send bid requests to bidders without user consent”. Also Read – New HP Pavilion x360 notebook with in-built Alexa in India According to the Data Protection Commission, the purpose of its inquiry “is to establish whether processing of personal data carried out at each stage of an advertising transaction is in compliance with the relevant provisions of the GDPR. “The GDPR principles of transparency and data minimisation, as well as Google’s retention practices, will also be examined,” it had said. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Wednesday directed Google to pay a record $170 million over YouTube’s child privacy violations. The settlement requires Google and YouTube to pay $136 million to the FTC and $34 million to New York for allegedly violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule. In a complaint filed against the companies, the FTC and New York Attorney General alleged that YouTube violated the COPPA Rule by collecting personal information — in the form of persistent identifiers that are used to track users across the Internet — from viewers of child-directed channels, without first notifying parents and getting their consent. YouTube earned millions of dollars by using the identifiers, commonly known as cookies, to deliver targeted ads to viewers of these channels, according to the complaint.last_img read more

NKDA hands over ID badges certificates to ecoambassadors

first_imgKolkata: New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) on Sunday handed over identity badges and certificates to 10 eco-ambassadors, who have been selected to create awareness among the people to conserve water and other environmental issues as part of the green city mission.”These eco-ambassadors will be trained and they will spread the awareness message about recycling waste, rainwater harvesting, rooftop farming and similar green initiatives,” said Debashis Sen, chairman of NKDA. The eco-ambassadors were handed over a prize money of Rs 1,000 each at a programme held in front of the replica of Taj Mahal in Eco Park. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaIt may be mentioned that the eco-ambassadors have been selected through a lottery that was held at Rabindra Tirtha recently. New Town is being developed as a solar city and a second solar canal-top project (1,000 KWp) is being conceived in collaboration with Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur, the first one being a 500 KWp unit near Eco Park. “We are also planning to become a Green, Clean and Tech City and so, we have decided to involve the citizens and to create awareness on what they can do at their individual levels like segregation and recycling, composting and rooftop/balcony farming, rainwater harvesting, etc.,” a senior NKDA official said. This is the first time when a state government agency will be training residents to create awareness on environment protection.last_img read more

Restricting copyright exceptions detrimental to education says student group

first_imgOTTAWA – Student and library associations are voicing their support for a section of the Copyright Act that allows materials to be used for educational purposes without infringing copyright.The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations told a House of Commons committee Tuesday that restrictions on the scope of that exception will hurt students and educators, especially if it leads to higher costs.Such costs are most commonly found in tariffs from copyright agreements.“Students, either directly through an ancillary fee or indirectly out of operations budgets pay these tariffs,” said Michael McDonald, executive director of the organization. “It is a cost they are expected to bear and one we do not believe is adequately considered.”The law is currently being reviewed by the Commons committee on industry, science and technology and is mandated to undergo such a review every five years. The Act was last amended in 2012 under Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, which expanded the scope of “fair dealing” to education, satire and parody.Under current legislation, short excerpts of work — typically 10 per cent of the text — can be reproduced without infringing copyright. That means a teacher in a classroom, for example, can photocopy several pages or a chapter from a written work for their students. The education exception also means students are able to reference typically copyrighted material in their course work.The alliance says increased tuition costs for students and limited resources available to teachers would have a chilling effect on education, preventing them from receiving instruction from diverse sources.Groups supporting publishers and authors are opposed to the law as it stands, because they believe that the fair dealing exception allows their work to be distributed without full compensation. The Union des écrivaines et des écrivains Québécois — a group comprising more than 1,000 writers — told the committee that the “loose wording” of the act means creators are becoming “an endangered species” stripped of their income.For Laurent Dubois, general manager of the union, the law is also a matter of principle.“It is important to remember that the concept of copyright includes the idea of economic rights,” Dubois told the committee. “It also includes the idea of moral rights, which confers the right on the creator to protect the way in which his or her work is used.”McDonald, for his part, does not dispute the idea that creators deserve proper compensation for their work.“This isn’t even a question, and it’s not something we are challenging,” he said.University of Ottawa law professor and intellectual property expert Michael Geist said that calls to restrict the fair dealing exception due to lack of compensation are mostly “unfounded.”Geist cited Statistics Canada data released last month which showed that while operating revenue for the Canadian book publishing industry dropped 0.6 per cent in 2016 compared to 2014, it still yielded an operating profit margin of 10.2 per cent.Students, he said, will bear the brunt of any changes as a result of the review.“If the committee were to establish new kinds of restrictions on the use of fair dealing, I think the impact would be enormous.”Copyright issues related to music, radio, television and film will also be examined by the committee.The review process for the act is expected to conclude by early 2019.last_img read more

Federal Court rejects attempt to block bee pesticide lawsuit

first_imgOTTAWA – A lawsuit that says a federal agency has consistently approved pesticides without enough information on their potential harmful effects has survived an attempt to get it thrown out of court.The Federal Court has denied applications from the federal government and four chemical companies to block the lawsuit involving so-called neonic pesticides filed by a group of environmental organizations.“We’re definitely very happy to see that outcome,” said Julia Croome, a lawyer for Ecojustice, which is handling the case for the environmental groups. “(The judge) turned this around quickly and we appreciate that.”In 2016, the groups filed a challenge to federal permits for a series of common pesticides using the chemicals clothianidin and thiamethoxam that some environmental groups say are suspected in large die-offs in bee populations.The David Suzuki Foundation, Friends of the Earth Canada, Ontario Nature and the Wilderness Committee allege in court documents that for more than a decade, Canada’s federal pesticide regulator has allowed neonicotinoids to be registered for use despite being uncertain about their risks.They say that since 2006, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency has expressed concerns about the safety of those products, which are among the most widely used pesticides in Canada. The registrations being challenged involve 31 different products from four different companies.A statement of claim asserts that in 79 cases, the agency requested more information and field studies on the products, then granted conditional registrations. Conditional registrations were repeatedly renewed although the agency has yet to receive any of the requested research, says the statement of claim.The groups argue that means the pesticides have been widely applied across the country for more than a decade without a true assessment of their risks.The federal government has not filed a statement of defence.None of the allegations in the statement of claim have been proven in court.In trying to get the case thrown out, the government argued the 79 cases were separate decisions, not a pattern of behaviour. It added that instead of seeking to have the registrations quashed by the court, the environmental groups should instead turn to the review process the regulator already has.Bees are crucial to agriculture. Published reports suggest about a third of the crops eaten by humans depend on insect pollination. Bees are responsible for about 80 per cent of that figure.Bees have been in serious decline across North America and Europe since about 2006. In Canada, the Canadian Honey Council reports that in 2013-14, beekeepers lost an average of about 25 per cent of their colonies. Ontario’s losses were 58 per cent.The average winter loss is about 15 per cent.Populations of wild bees are also falling rapidly. A recent American study found their numbers fell by about 23 per cent between 2008 and 2013.The University of Guelph’s Honeybee Research Centre blames a combination of disease, parasites, pesticides and habitat destruction.A major U.S. study earlier this year found neonics harmed domestic bees in some crops but not others. Research suggests the pesticides are much harder on wild bees than honeybees.Europe has imposed a moratorium on neonics. In 2015, the U.S. banned new uses for them. Ontario has announced plans to limit their application. Companies such as Ortho and Home Depot have announced they will phase them out.Still, they remain in wide use.The Conference Board of Canada, in a 2014 report prepared with support from the Grain Farmers of Ontario and CropLife Canada, estimated banning neonics would cost Ontario farmers $630 million a year.— By Bob Weber in Edmonton. Follow @row1960 on Twitter.last_img read more

Dog makes grim discovery of human foot in shoe on Vancouver Island

first_imgSOOKE, B.C. – Another human foot has been found on British Columbia’s coastline, the latest in more than a dozen such grim discoveries over the past decade.RCMP say a man was out for walk Thursday on the beach in Jordan River, about 30 kilometres northwest of Sooke on Vancouver Island, when his dog found the foot in a shoe with part of the leg attached.Mounties say the man contacted the Sooke detachment, which attended the scene along with a coroner, and the body part was seized and the area searched.The investigation has been turned over to the B.C. Coroners Service and spokesman Andy Watson says an early analysis suggests the remains are human.Watson says the coroner will work to determine the identity of the deceased, how the person died and whether it was accidental, a suicide or homicide.He says the foot is the 13th to wash up on B.C.’s coastline since 2007 and eight of the feet have been identified as belonging to six people, none of whom died by foul play.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the foot was found in Sooke and that 14 feet have washed ashore in the past decade and 10 have been identified as belonging to seven people.last_img read more

BC brings in speedlimit technology aimed at cutting crashes based on weather

first_imgCHILLIWACK, B.C. – New technology is being installed to allow for variable speed limits along two of British Columbia’s busiest stretches of highway in an effort to reduce crashes.The B.C. government says installation begins this week for a congestion-based speed limit system on a 24-kilometre section of Highway 1 through Chilliwack and Abbotsford.The area is notorious for a high number of rear-end crashes, and the government says the changes will allow for a lower speed limit to slow down traffic before it reaches a stop-and-go situation.The second system will be installed on Highway 3 between Hope and the junction at Highway 5, where the speed limit along a seven-kilometre stretch will be based on weather.The Transportation Ministry says it expects the variable limits to be operating by next summer, at an estimated cost of $25 million.It says in a news release that other jurisdictions outside of Canada have reported about a 10 per cent reduction in serious collisions in zones that include variable speed limits.last_img read more

Postal union to retailers Were as frustrated as you are about dispute

first_imgOTTAWA — The union representing striking Canada Post workers says there are positives in the Crown corporation’s latest contract offers.But the head of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers says the proposals issued yesterday don’t yet constitute finals offers that would put an end to rotating walkouts that are causing delivery delays across the country.Union national president Mike Palecek won’t say whether tentative deals can be reached before the Saturday deadline imposed by Canada Post.Palecek says the union needs concrete proposals for dealing with what he calls an “injury crisis” at Canada Post — and not just committees designed to punt worker health and safety concerns down the road.Rotating walkouts continued Thursday at processing plants in Montreal and Winnipeg, as well as at smaller locations in Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has warned his government will take unspecified action to end the rotating strikes if there is no significant progress in the negotiations.Canada Post said recent major shutdowns of parcel processing in Toronto and Vancouver have created a backlog of nearly 500 tractor-trailer loads of parcels and packages that need to be sorted. The backlog has caused substantial delivery delays.Online sales giant eBay has called on Trudeau to legislate an end to the labour dispute before the holiday shopping rush hits its first peak later this month with Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

I lost everything Winnipeg lap dance teacher shares story years later

first_imgChrystie Fitchner knows she made a stupid mistake, a one-minute mistake.And she feels she’s paid enough for it over the last eight years.The former Winnipeg high school teacher made headlines around the world for participating in a mock lap dance with a fellow teacher during a school pep rally in 2010. Cellphone videos of the dance posted online scored millions of hits and became fodder for talk shows and tabloids, including Howard Stern and TMZ.Fitchner lost her job, then her apartment and ended up living out of her car and sleeping on friends’ couches. She was repeatedly slut-shamed by strangers and told she should kill herself.“I definitely contemplated suicide a few times,” Fitchner told The Canadian Press. “I just wanted to be able to escape everything that was going on.“I feel like people thought, ‘Oh, she’ll just pick up and carry on and get a new job.’ It does not happen. I lost everything. I really, really did.”In her first media interview, the 41-year-old said she has lived outside Canada for several years and built a wonderful new life as a  firefighter’s wife and mother of two young girls. She gets occasional work as a substitute teacher, although uses her husband’s last name on the job.She fears the lap dance seen around the world will continue to hurt her life.She is unlikely to ever get a full-time teaching job again, she said. And, although she wants to, she will probably never return home to Manitoba.The daughter of a nurse and an NHL player turned teacher, Fitchner said she came from a good family with good values. She worked as a teacher in different Winnipeg schools over seven years — the last two at the city’s Churchill High School, where she taught gym and health and coached the girls volleyball team.During the February 2010 rally, she was paired with teacher Adeil Ahmed, who had recently joined the school on a short-term contract. The pair, dressed in football uniforms, were to compete against other costumed teachers in a dance-off in the school gym.They hadn’t prepared a routine, said Fitchner, and she was anxious about dancing in front of staff and students. She said it was Ahmed who suggested she sit in a chair while he danced around her.She agreed.What followed was a disaster. Ahmed straddled and grinded against Fitchner, then simulated performing oral sex on her. Students cheered and laughed. Fitchner said she got caught up in the moment and started to play a role, moving to the music in the chair and encouraging Ahmed with her hands.When the dance ended, Fitchner shook her head and cowered. “It’s in that moment I realized this wasn’t good. I was so embarrassed. And then my colleague stood up, with his hands raised up, as if this was the most glorious moment to be proud of.”There was outrage from parents and the public. The two teachers were suspended. Fitchner said she was forced to resign. Ahmed’s contract wasn’t renewed.She received most of the publicity. Her name was published and her face was plastered everywhere. A holiday photo of her in a bikini swiped from Facebook made the front page of one newspaper. It was next to a photo of Canada’s women’s hockey team winning gold at the Vancouver Olympics.Ahmed’s name later made the news but Fitchner believes the criticism and harassment targeted her.“The way I was treated as a female in this … there was so much inequality and so much shaming,” she said.“I felt like I had done a dance by myself or like a pole dance or something.”The Canadian Press was unable to locate Ahmed. Fitchner said she last heard he was teaching in Ontario but she hasn’t spoken to him since their last day at Churchill school.For all the backlash, Fitchner said, she also got support from some teachers and students who felt her punishment was too severe. Their words helped as she navigated months and years of depression and anxiety.She eventually landed some substitute teaching jobs in small communities outside Winnipeg, but was told she’d never work full-time as a teacher again. She said she couldn’t find any full-time work in any profession in the province.“That incident blackballed me.”Her family has brought her happiness, Fitchner said, but she’s missing a professional piece of her life. She still has anger and resentment. She hopes that will change one day.“I’m just a good person who made a mistake.”Chris Purdy, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Former SNC executive has obstruction charge dropped because of excessive delays

first_imgMONTREAL — A former SNC-Lavalin executive and his lawyer have had obstruction of justice charges against them stayed on the grounds that it took too long to bring the case to trial.The engineering company’s former executive vice-president Sami Bebawi and his lawyer, Constantine Kyres, were initially charged with obstruction in 2014.A stay of proceedings was issued in February 2018 after evidence was ruled inadmissible, but the charges were reinstated by direct indictment last May.The defendants invoked the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2016 Jordan decision, which set limits on how long a criminal cases can take, and a judge agreed today.Bebawi is still facing charges including fraud and bribery of a public official in relation to SNC-Lavalin’s dealings with the regime of the late Libyan dictator, Moammar Gadhafi.That case stems from the same Project Assistance investigation that led to charges against SNC-Lavalin. Those charges continue to fuel controversy in Ottawa following a report that the Prime Minister’s Office pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to help the company avoid criminal prosecution.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

NL government promises steps to control debt in election year throne speech

first_imgThe Canadian Press ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — With an election expected by the end of June, Newfoundland and Labrador’s government is promising a slow but steady balancing act to get the province’s finances back on track.The throne speech presented by Lt.-Gov. Judy Foote on Thursday touted the Liberal government’s reductions in debt since being elected in 2015.It also highlighted the province’s strong working relationship with the federal Liberals.Foote pointed to the recently reviewed Atlantic Accord, saying the $2.5 billion in federal money over 38 years will be spent wisely to reduce net debt and bring stability to the province.Her remarks also repeated plans for new medical facilities, including an acute regional care centre on the province’s west coast and two care homes in central Newfoundland.She suggested the projects will be financed through public-private partnerships.The speech touted the government’s long-term plans to expand the province’s mining and offshore resource industries and hinted at new legislation to protect domestic violence victims.last_img read more

Major parties rallying around telecom pricing issue as election nears

first_imgOTTAWA — Consumer advocates say a rare consensus is forming among the major political parties ahead of the federal election that Canadians need to be protected from gouging by the country’s big telecom companies.Even before the official campaigning begins for the Oct. 21 vote, all the major parties are pledging to find ways of curbing increases to telecom rates.The New Democrats laid out their plan for reducing wireless and internet-service rates in June, vowing to impose a price cap on monthly bills that they estimated will save households about $10 a month for each service.Recent media reports have indicated the Trudeau Liberals are preparing a campaign pledge to reduce cellphone and internet costs either through a cap on monthly bills or by requiring major service providers to offer mobile virtual-network operators wholesale access to their infrastructure.The Conservatives under Andrew Scheer have criticized the Liberals for being ineffective on the subject, but have not laid out their own plan to deal with a rising household cost.Industry players warn that attempts at rate-fixing could result in reduced investment in critical infrastructure, particularly as Canada heads toward development of 5G networks across the country.John Lawford with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre says if rates for internet, cellphone and other telecom services are a political football, that’s because the service providers have done nothing to take themselves off the radar of the political parties.Consumer watchdog organization OpenMedia says big telecom has been gouging people in Canada for far too long and change is long overdue. The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Federal election campaign begins today with leaders in Ontario Quebec and BC

first_imgOTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau kicks off his bid for re-election today, heading to Rideau Hall this morning to ask the Governor General to dissolve Parliament.With that will begin a 40-day campaign that will see Trudeau make the pitch to Canadians that he should be given a second term, while his opponents focus not just on why he shouldn’t, but why they should govern instead.Polls suggest the Liberals and Conservatives are running neck-and-neck, while the NDP and Greens are fighting for third.Rounding out the slate are the nascent People’s Party of Canada and the Bloc Quebecois, which is hoping to recapture its primacy in Quebec.Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer will his election effort at a morning event in Quebec, the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh is to kick off in Ontario and the Greens will begin in British Columbia.Later in the day, Trudeau will be in Vancouver for a campaign rally with former TV news anchor Tamara Taggart, who is running for the Liberals in the riding of Vancouver Kingsway.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Broadway Star Deborah Cox To Perform Akons No Labels Anthem

first_imgDeborah Cox will perform the patriotic “No Labels Anthem,” written and produced by Akon, at No Labels’ Meeting to Make America Work! on January 14 at the Marriott Marquis in New York City.No Labels is a grassroots movement of hundreds of thousands of Democrats, Republicans and independents committed to a new politics of problem solving.The Meeting to Make America Work! will feature Gov. Jon Huntsman (R-UT) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and an emerging group of congressional “problem solvers” talking with more than 1,300 citizens from across the country about how to build trust across the aisle. Newark Mayor Cory Booker will also be speaking at the event, along with many other notable business and political leaders.Cox, a multi-platinum selling and multi-talented entertainer, has conquered the R&B and pop charts, raking in six top-20 Billboard R&B singles, and an impressive 11 No. 1 hits on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart. Cox is currently starring on Broadway in a reimagined version of Frank Wildhorn ’s “Jekyll & Hyde” musical.Cox will be performing the No Labels Anthem at 12:30 p.m., eastern time.To find out how to purchase the No Labels Anthem, and to learn more, click here.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Beach Boys Make Commitment To Education Organization

first_imgBeach Boys lead singer, Mike Love, announced today the band will be making a year-long commitment to City Year, a national education-focused organization that unites young AmeriCorps members for a year of service in high-need public schools.Beginning in August and for one year, all Beach Boys concerts will highlight City Year through a special video tribute when performing “Be True to Your School.” Beach Boys fans will be encouraged to make a $10 donation to City Year by using their cell phones to text the word “SCHOOL” to 20222. In addition, City Year will have a booth and representatives at concerts which take place in communities where City Year serves. The Beach Boys have been selling out amphitheaters, concert venues and county fairs across the country. The current tour runs through November, but the band will be announcing new dates for 2014 in the coming weeks.“It’s so rewarding to be in a position to help young people find their way through City Year,” said Mike Love. “When I think back on early life before the Beach Boys, I remember those special people who encouraged me to discover my passion and follow my path. Too many kids lose their way, drop out of school, and never realize their true potential. Be True to Your School was a high school anthem in the early sixties, and for me, fifty years later it’s about inspiring our youth to reach for their dream. City Year makes that possible every day, and I’m grateful to shine a spotlight on their incredible work.”Love was City Year’s recipient of the ‘Seven Generations Award’ at its 2013 National Leadership Summit in May 2013. As one of the organizations highest honors, Mike was ‘jacketed’ in City Year’s signature red jacket worn by all 2,700 corps members.“Mike is a true champion of service and education,” said AnnMaura Connolly, EVP and Chief Strategy Officer of City Year. “He has a profound compassion for young people, and is committed to doing what he can to help them meet their potential. We are deeply grateful to Mike and The Beach Boys for their extraordinary commitment to supporting the work of City Year AmeriCorps members across the country through this exciting partnership.”As lead singer of the international sensation, The Beach Boys, Mike Love was the first artist to respond to President George H. W. Bush’s call for service as part of the Points of Light Foundation in 1990. Love began StarServe, “Students Taking Action and Responsibility to Serve,” the first Points of Light Initiative which enlisted high profile celebrities to inspire young people to serve their communities. StarServe distributed teachers guides, posters and recognition letters from celebrities to every school in the country — 169,000 at the time — to support teachers and students in creating innovative service projects in their communities.In addition to his leadership of service, Mike Love created the Love Foundation, which supports national environmental and educational initiatives. Love and his wife Jacquelyne co-founded the Lake Tahoe School, which combines cutting edge curriculum, state-of-the-art technology, and environmentally conscious education for students pre-K through eighth grade. Love’s charitable efforts also include joining a group of students from Cathedral Catholic High School led by Father Kelly who volunteered their labor of love, making much needed repairs to the Nazareth Orphanage in Tecate Mexico. After Hurricane Katrina, Love helped the American Red Cross raise $250,000 in just one hour for families affected by the storm. Alongside The Beach Boys, Mike Love partnered with Operation Smile during their critically acclaimed 50th Anniversary tour which benefited children worldwide. He recently performed a benefit concert for The Foundation for the Children of the California’s, which raised one million dollars to support the expansion of three new surgical suites. A longtime supporter of environmental causes, Love was among speakers at the Earth Summit in Rio De Janiero and Earth Day on the Mall in Washington, D.C.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Morgan Freeman Joins Stand Up To Cancer And Genentech In New PSA

first_imgStand Up To Cancer (SU2C) and Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, have collaborated on a new public service announcement (PSA) featuring Academy Award-winning actor and SU2C Ambassador Morgan Freeman, who also is an executive producer of The C Word, a powerful new cancer documentary.Video: :60 TV PSA – SUC2-Be The Breakthrough – Morgan FreemanThe PSA is part of a collaboration between SU2C and Genentech called Be The Breakthrough, a multi-faceted effort that celebrates the people behind progress in cancer: the patients who participate in clinical trials, the scientists and doctors who make medical advances and improve care, and the people who provide support to those living with cancer.While we have made significant progress, there is much left to do to fight cancer. The disease still affects 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women in the U.S. in their lifetime. The Be The Breakthrough PSA is designed to increase awareness of and educate about the critical importance of individual contributions, such as getting screened regularly and participating in clinical trials, to continue advancing progress against cancer.“I am honored to join Stand Up To Cancer and Genentech in this extremely important PSA campaign,” said Academy Award-winning actor Freeman. “As the executive producer of The C Word documentary, it’s important to me to help raise awareness of this disease and the progress being made. I hope through this PSA and also through The C Word that I can help change the way people view cancer.”The PSA will begin airing December 2016 and encourages the public to visit SU2C.org/breakthrough. The website will provide resources and tools for people who want to learn about screening tests and clinical trials that may be right for them.Freeman adds: “Even the smallest steps against cancer are breakthroughs and can lead to something extraordinary. Getting screened, participating in a clinical trial, caring for patients, teaching prevention or pursuing an uncharted area of research — these are all breakthroughs. Defeating cancer takes breakthroughs, and together we can all be the breakthrough.”In the PSA, Freeman, standing on a dramatically lit stage alongside cancer survivor Tonya Peat, delivers an inspiring and poetic monologue about what it means to “be the breakthrough.” Tonya represents all the brave survivors who fight tirelessly.The PSA was developed by the Creative Direction team of Nate Naylor and Chris Maiorino, and produced by the teams at Blacklist and Tendril, and Executive Produced by Madeline Marotto.In addition to Be The Breakthrough, Genentech is also a collaborator in Catalyst, a program that will use funding and materials from the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, diagnostic and medical devices industries to accelerate research on cancer prevention, detection and treatment.“We are grateful to Genentech for their continued dedication to Stand Up To Cancer’s research and their commitment to discovering science breakthroughs to help saves lives,” said Stand Up To Cancer Co-Founder Lisa Paulsen. “We are also grateful to Morgan Freeman for lending his voice to this campaign. His dedication to raising awareness for this disease through his participation in this PSA and through his documentary The C Word, makes him such a powerful ambassador.”“SU2C has made great progress against cancer by combining awareness, public education and cutting-edge research, which is why we’ve deepened our collaboration with them to include ‘Be The Breakthrough,’” said Troy Cox, Senior Vice President of BioOncology at Genentech. “We are excited to have Morgan Freeman bring his voice and advocacy to this public health initiative that empowers everyone to play a role in the fight against cancer.”last_img read more