UTT3 Chennai Lions roar past Puneri Paltan

first_imgNew Delhi: Chennai Lions bounced back from their opening tie debacle to roar to their first win in Ultimate Table Tennis season three, overpowering Puneri Paltan 10-5 at the Thyagaraj Stadium here on Sunday. Germany’s Petrissa Solja and birthday boy Tiago Apolonia of Portugal were the cynosure of the Lions’ comprehensive win, setting up the momentum early on. Solja blanked Commonwealth Championship gold medal winner Ayhika Mukherjee 3-0 in the opening women’s singles, while Apolonia staved off a fighting Harmeet Desai of Puneri Paltan 2-1 to hand Lions the firm advantage (5-1) just two matches into the tie. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhSharath Kamal and Petrissa then eased past Desai and Sabine Winter 2-1 in the mixed doubles to seal the match in the Lions’ favour. Petrissa helped the Lions begin on a strong note, with a 3-0 win over Ayhika in an intensely fought women’s singles opening encounter. Although ranked 108 places below world number 26 Solja, Ayhika showed great composure and fighting spirit as she made her opponent sweat in the first game. Fresh from her CWG TT gold medal triumph on Odisha, Ayhika appeared confident and fired up. She raced to a 5-2 lead before Rio Olympic silver medallist Petrissa relied on her experience to pull level at 5-5. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterFrom there on, Petrissa showcased some deft touches and superb net play to take a handy 10-8 lead. Ayhika fought back hard and saved two game points before Petrissa finally pocketed the opening game on the golden point (11-10). The second game began in the same vein, with Petrissa being tested by her younger opponent, who was cheered wildly by the home crowd. Ayhika led 2-0 but thereafter lost her way. Petrissa opened up a huge lead at 10-5 and sealed the game at 11-6. The final game (11-8) too went Petrissa’s way, who survived some anxious moments to stave off a dangerous-looking Ayhika to hand the Lions the early advantage. The Lions consolidated on their lead when Apolonia came from a game down to defeat Desai 2-1 in the opening men’s singles match. Stretched by Desai in the opening game which he lost 8-11, thrice Olympian Apolonia showed exemplary agility and game reading to make a brilliant comeback. In the second game, Apolonia and Desai breathed down each other’s necks and were well poised at 5-5 and then at 9-9. Once again experience came to the fore, with Apolonia winning the game on golden point (11-10) to take it to the decider. Apolonia was in his element in the final game, often playing away from the table and taking advantage of his height to quell Desai’s challenge (11-7). The mixed doubles too went Lions’ way. Sharath-Petrissa had an easy run in the opening game, winning it 11-7 and kept up the good work throughout. They pocketed the following games 11-7 and 11-6 to hand the Lions the win as they now led 8-1 overall. Later, in the second men’s singles, Puneri Paltan’s Chuang Chih-Yuan beat Sharath Kamal 2-1 (11-5, 11-10, 3-11) in what was another gripping contest. Despite losing the first two games, Sharath showcased some delightful shots in the third to reel one point off Chuang. The day’s last match saw Puneri’s Sabine Winter defeat Madhurika Patkar 2-1 of the Lions in the second women’s singles match.last_img read more

Jabariya Jodi release pushed to August 9

first_imgMumbai: The release date of actors Sidharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra-starrer Jabariya Jodi has been postponed for the fourth time. The film will now hit screens on August 9. Jabariya Jodi was first scheduled to release on May 17 but was pushed to July 12 when Hrithik Roshan-starrer Super 30 released. It was then pushed again for August 2 release. Sources close to the makers of the film say that the decision was taken after considering that there are too many releases on August 2 and previously released films like JudgeMentall Hai Kya are enjoying a solid run. Adding to that, exhibitors across India came together and requested the makers to move ahead to August 9 to avoid clutter. Jabariya Jodi will now enjoy a solo release. Directed by Prashant Singh, Jabariya Jodi is based on ‘Pakadwa Vivah’ (forced marriage), which was once rampant in Bihar.last_img read more

Govt to amend MMDR Act to expedite exploration of coal

first_imgKolkata: The Centre is in the process of bringing an amendment to the MMDR Act to do away with the need of the state governments’ seeking prior approval for giving out mining leases, Coal Secretary Sumanta Chaudhuri said here on Wednesday. A bill for bringing the amendment to the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Act will be introduced in the next session of Parliament, he said. “The drafting of the bill for amendment of the MMDR Act is in the process and will be introduced in the next session of Parliament,” Chaudhuri said at a stakeholders’ consultation organised by the coal ministry and FICCI here. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja He said the allocation of coal blocks is within the domain of the Union goevrnment but the state governments do have a say. “The role of the state governments is limited in this regard. States are required to seek prior approval from the Centre. We are now in the process of amending this”, he said. According to him, this would expedite the process of coal exploration in the country. The government would go for forward auction in tranches during October and November this year for allotment of 46 coal blocks having a reserve potential of around 100 million tonnes. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway After the amendment of the MMDR Act, exploration of these 46 blocks would come to fruition in four to five years and this will reduce the quantum of coal imports into India, the Coal Ministry’s Joint secretary Ashis Upadhyaya. “Without the amendment of the Act, exploration from these blocks would have taken seven to eight years”, he added. Chaudhuri also said that entire mining approval plan would be digitalised as well. The basic premise of amending the Act is to revamp the system of getting clearances in the mining sector and this is one way to plug the gaps.last_img read more

There must be enough civility in public life for differing streams to

first_imgNew Delhi:Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that while there may be differences between individuals and organisations, there should be space in public life for “differing streams” to listen to each other’s point of view. Addressing the Manorama News Conclave in Kochi via a video link from here, Modi said that there should be continuous dialogue in society irrespective of differing views. “We need not have to agree on everything but there must be enough civility in public life for differing streams to be able to hear each other’s point of view. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details “Usually, it is believed that public figures prefer to be on forums whose thought process matches with the person’s own world view. Because there is a lot of comfort in being among such people. “Of course, I also cherish being among such surroundings but at the same time, I believe there must be a constant and continuous dialogue between individuals and organisations irrespective of one’s thought process,” he said. He also said that for many years, a culture was perpetrated in which aspiration became a bad word. He said doors opened depending on ones surname or contacts. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday “Success depended on whether you belonged to an Old Boy’s club. Big cities, big institutions & big families this is all that mattered,” the prime minister said. He said that the economic culture of “License Raj and Permit Raj struck at the heart of individual ambitions” but India was changing for the better. “This is an India where the surnames of the youth do not matter. What matters is their ability to make their own name,” he said.last_img read more

Free rides for women will cripple Delhi Metro SC

first_imgNew Delhi: A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra on Friday slammed the Delhi government’s proposal of allowing free rides to women in the Delhi Metro.The bench, which is monitoring the construction of the Metro’s fourth phase, said the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation(DMRC) would incur heavy operational losses, while facilities will suffer as a result of the Delhi government-proposed plan. Justice Mishra said: “You (Delhi government) will make travel free, and the Central government will have to pay for it.” Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsOn the Delhi government’s admission that it is not immediately implementing the proposal, the court replied that it would be implemented sooner or later. “They (Centre) will suffer with your policy…you (Delhi government) are aiming to destroy the metro”, Justice Mishra said, adding that the Delhi government plan cannot be implemented without Centre’s cooperation. Noting that losses on this count will run up to Rs 1,500 crore per annum, the bench said that, as a result, DMRC might not remain a profitable venture. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayThe court also told the Delhi government that it must spend public money properly and should refrain from giving free sops to people. The annual revenue for DMRC ranges between Rs 6,000 to Rs 7,000 crore. The court noted that if free sops are given, there would be a yearly direct loss to DMRC, incapacitating the Corporation from paring its long-term debt obligations on time, hampering its expansion and depreciating both facilities and maintenance. DMRC is the beneficiary of a soft loan from Japan. The court was informed that Delhi Metro has never run into losses, and it may not run into losses in future. Justice Mishra said that the Delhi government should, instead, be devising a strategy to keep costs down. The court noted that Delhi Metro and the Centre are not in complete agreement with the plan. DMRC has said Rs 1,566.64 crore was required annually to fund the fare exemption.last_img read more

Broncos tribute concert attracts thousands including star NHL players

first_imgSASKATOON – Canadian country singer Gord Bamford reached over after performing the song “Little Guy” and grabbed the hand of Carson Haugan, the son of late Humboldt Broncos coach Darcy Haugan.Carson, wearing a white Broncos jersey, was given a standing ovation by the crowd of over 10,000 that packed SaskTel Centre Friday night for a tribute concert to remember those killed in the April 6 bus crash.“That was a tough one for me,” Bamford said after finishing the song he wrote for his own son, Nash, who was also on stage.The Broncos were on their way to a Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoff game when their team bus and a tractor-trailer collided at an intersection.Sixteen people — including 10 players — were killed and another 13 people were injured.Chants of “Go Broncos Go” rang through the crowd as Broncos family members and current and former NHL players joined country star Dallas Smith on stage to end the night.Current NHL players such as Sean Monahan of the Calgary Flames and Brendan Gallagher of the Montreal Canadiens were in attendance. Four-time Olympic gold medallist Hayley Wickenheiser along with Paralympian Greg Westlake were also there.The group of hockey players laid sticks in front of a Broncos jersey prior to the concert and the display remained throughout the evening.“We’ve been through a storm in this province of Saskatchewan these last few weeks,” Premier Scott Moe said. “We were plunged into the darkness when this terrible incident took place.“And though there is still darkness, there is daylight on the horizon.”The Hunter Brothers from Saskatchewan sang the national anthem and later encouraged the crowd to sing along to “Amazing Grace.”Chad Brownlee played a rendition of Tom Cochrane’s “Big League.”A video message from surviving Broncos player Brayden Camrud was played before the performances began along with a message from Chris Joseph, whose son Jaxon died in the crash.The crowd, dressed in cowboy hats and boots along with hockey jerseys, also gave first responders in attendance a standing ovation.Brett Kissel, as well as fellow Juno winner Jess Moskaluke, played some of their biggest hits.On Thursday night, close to 50 current and former NHL players gave a standing ovation to families of the Broncos at a local hotel.Scott Thomas, whose son Evan died in the crash, didn’t expect to see such a big crowd.“You could see the pain in their faces, you could see the respect that they have for what we’re going through as parents, as hockey people,” Thomas said.“There’s just a lot of emotion in the room.”Just over a week ago, Thomas held a memorial service at SaskTel Centre for his son in his hometown.Thomas said his emotions hadn’t changed much since the memorial service.“It’s still raw, absolutely raw,” he said. “There’s still a void there that will probably be there for the rest of my life. But I know once everybody gets in there, the feeling of love is going to be the same.”Longtime Dallas Stars forward and Hall of Famer Mike Modano said that being with the families of the Broncos on Thursday night was really hard.“I think that was the first time a lot of those families had been together since the accident,” he said. “It was really heart wrenching to just kind of be there and put some names to the faces finally that we’ve heard about.”Humboldt resident Yvette Crane travelled to the concert and said that the Broncos helped the community a lot.“I used to go to their hockey games all the time and I just love ’em,” she said.Note: The Country Thunder Music Festival, which booked the evening’s musical acts, says money from the $65 concert tickets will also be donated to the families.— Follow @RyanBMcKenna on Twitter.last_img read more

PM says work to address opioids is a priority as Hamilton sees

first_imgHAMILTON – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told an Ontario city hard-hit by the national opioid crisis that situations like theirs were a top priority for his government, as a municipal official called for more concrete steps to address the root causes of addiction.New figures show the city of Hamilton saw 70 opioid-related deaths between January and October last year, with an additional five deaths classified as “probable” opioid-related fatalities. That compared to 41 confirmed opioid-related deaths for the same period in 2016.The city said its opioid-death rate for last year’s period was 78 per cent higher than the provincial rate. In 2016, it said its rate was 48 per cent higher than Ontario’s.Trudeau, who was in Hamilton Tuesday as part of a tour through some of Canada’s major steel-producing communities, said the government is taking action to try and curb the deadly trend.“We know that we have to address this. This is getting to be more and more of a problem,” he said after a tour of a steel plant in the city. “We have always put this at the top of our preoccupations as we deal with this public health crisis here in Hamilton and right across the country.”Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, medical officer of health for Hamilton, said Ottawa has already made many commendable moves to help curb overdose death rates that are surging across the country, but urged the government to look at the factors that lead to addiction in the first place.The recently released federal budget earmarked $231.4 million to tackle the problem across the country, with a large chunk dedicated to measures such as public health campaigns, data tracking and border security measures.Richardson said all those measures are necessary, but urged the government to look deeper.“There needs to be continued focus on what do we do to stop people from being in a position where they are finding drugs as a way of managing their physical and emotional pain,” Richardson said. “We do need that fundamental support from the get-go … around housing, around income support, around civil society that are really important pieces to underpin it all.”Richardson said she could not account for the specific reasons behind Hamilton’s unusually high opioid-related death rate, which she acknowledged was among the highest in the province.Last week the Ontario government reported 1,053 opioid-related deaths across the province from January to October 2017, compared to the 694 deaths recorded during the same time period the year before.Of the millions set aside in the federal budget, Ottawa has designated $150 million as emergency funding to be dispersed across all provinces and territories.The balance will go toward public education campaigns, better access to public health data and new equipment and tools to allow border agents to better detect dangerous opioids like fentanyl before they enter the country.The Ontario government has pledged to spend more than $222 million over three years to tackle the issue, with money earmarked to expand harm reduction services and hire more frontline staff. The province also said it has approved funding for seven supervised injection sites.Last week it also announced that naloxone nasal spray will be available in Ontario pharmacies by the end of the month at no charge, in addition to existing naloxone kits that include an injectable version of the drug meant as an emergency treatment for opioid overdoses.The Public Health Agency of Canada has projected opioids will claim more than 4,000 lives this year.last_img read more

Alberta gaystraight alliance law faces court challenge

first_imgEDMONTON – Alberta’s law banning schools from telling parents when their children join a gay-straight alliance faces its first legal challenge.A Court of Queen’s Bench judge in Medicine Hat, Alta., is to hear arguments Wednesday filed on behalf of 25 faith-based schools and others to put the law on hold pending a constitutional challenge.Education Minister David Eggen says he wants the issue cleared up as soon as possible, because legal wrangling leads to confusion and concern on the part of students.“Uncertainty created by a court case like this … seeks to counter a lot of the progress that we’ve made to create safe and caring environments for kids and I find that pretty disturbing,” Eggen said in an interview.The lawsuit was filed in April in response to a law passed by Premier Rachel Notley’s government late last year.Gay-straight alliances are peer support networks organized by students to help gay kids feel welcome and to prevent bullying or abuse.Leading the legal challenge is the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms. The group argues in court documents that keeping parents out of the loop violates multiple charter freedoms, including freedom of religion and expression.It also says gay-straight alliances are “ideological sex clubs” where graphic information on gay sex is available.The group also says the law has “stripped parents of the ability to know fully where their children are, who they are involved with, and what they may be encouraged to think or do.”Schools have until the end of June to file information to the government showing they are complying with the new legislation.The lawsuit asks the judge to put that order on hold pending the full airing of concerns over the law’s constitutionality.The government, in its legal filings, says the applicants have misstated the role of the alliances and adds that charter freedoms have not been infringed.“(The applicants) speculate that GSAs are clubs aimed at providing children with sexually explicit material and at making children vulnerable to being preyed upon,” says the government.“In fact, GSAs focus on creating a safe space where students can socialize, be themselves, make friends and help other students understand the importance of being respectful to LGBTQ people.”The peer groups have been the subject of heated political debate for years.Notley’s government made the change to the law last year after Opposition United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney said he believed parents, in cases where their children’s safety was at risk, should be told when they join a gay-straight alliance.Kenney has never explained how teachers should be able to effectively judge when a child’s safety is at risk.Advocates say children can tell their parents any time they want about being in a gay-straight alliance. They say even the possibility that parents could be told would keep kids from joining.The United Conservatives have a troubled relationship with GSAs. At the party’s founding convention last month, rank-and-file members clashed with Kenney after they voted in favour of having the party endorse the principle that parents always be told when their children join the group — no matter the circumstance.Kenney said he wouldn’t include that in the party platform, because it must reflect the needs and values of all Albertans.last_img read more

More human remains found at Toronto property linked to alleged serial killer

first_imgTORONTO – Investigators clung to the steep edge of a ravine on Thursday, some on their hands and knees, as they scraped through heaps of dirt and brush searching for more human remains near a home in mid-town Toronto where accused serial killer Bruce McArthur worked as a landscaper.Some remains were discovered at the property Wednesday afternoon, just hours after police resumed digging in the area for the first time in about five months, said Det. Sgt. Hank Idsinga.“We have work to do … linking them to the McArthur investigation, but I think geographically, where the remains were found, we’re not going to have much of an issue doing that,” Idsinga told reporters near the site where the remains were found.Just a few metres away, about 20 police and forensic workers used spades and trowels to scoop compost found in the ravine into large plastic buckets, hauling it down the hill to sieve-like tables where a pair of anthropologists sifted through the detritus.Investigators have previously found the remains of seven men hidden in large planters at the home. Idsinga said the remains recovered Wednesday could be from one or more of those men.McArthur, 66, has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of eight men with ties to Toronto’s gay village. The remains of only one of those men — Majeed Kayhan — have yet to be found.McArthur is alleged to have killed Kayhan, Selim Esen, Skandaraj Navaratnam, Andrew Kinsman, Dean Lisowick, Soroush Mahmudi, Abdulbasir Faizi and Kirushna Kanagaratnam.A handful of neighbours gathered in the parkette across from the property Thursday morning, watching police come and go.Song lyrics by U.S. band The Alternate Routes had been stencilled onto the home’s garage door.“We are one, we are how we treat each other when the day is done,” they read.Police have searched about 100 properties with links to McArthur’s landscaping business and cadaver dogs found few spots of interest but, after some “minor excavations,” nothing was found, he said.Several weeks ago, the dogs searched the ravine and found “multiple spots” of interest, Idsinga said.Some trees had to be cleared from the area and it took weeks to co-ordinate with the City of Toronto, which is responsible for the ravine, to “take environmental issues into consideration.”The search of the ravine is expected to continue for another week, Idsinga said.The remains have been sent to the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service for further examination, he added.The identification process could involved fingerprints, dental records or DNA analysis, he said, which would take “days, weeks or months.”News of more remains being found left one woman “gutted” as she continues the years-long search for her missing brother.Jonathan Riley left Meaford, Ont., to find short-term work in Toronto in 2013 and his family hasn’t heard from him since, his sister Judi Riley said.“When you have a missing person, there’s no closure, but you hang on to hope,” she said Thursday.“If he is a victim of McArthur…we don’t want closure in this way,” she said. “You’re suspended in disbelief because you don’t want this to be the ending for your sibling.”McArthur’s case is scheduled to return to court on July 23.— With a file from Olivia Bowden.last_img read more

Toronto mayor meets members of hiphop community to talk gun violence solutions

first_imgTORONTO – Mayor John Tory met with three prominent members of Toronto’s hip-hop community on Friday to discuss possible solutions for the recent spate of gun violence in the city.Filmmaker Director X posted a message on Instagram saying he joined rapper Kardinal Offishall and producer Taj Critchlow to start talks they hope will lead to “solutions both long and short term.”The music video and movie maker said it’s part of Tory’s outreach to a number of members of the local hip-hop community following a string of shootings that left three people dead and at least eight injured over the past week.“I want the youth to know that there are people who truly care about their well-being and their future,” the director wrote in his post.The meeting followed recent efforts by members of the hip-hop community to crowdsource feedback on social media from their Toronto fans about recent events.Kardinal has previously addressed the gun violence in his own social media posts, saying that a “lack of community funding and programming” has led to “desensitized youth with a lack of resources,” but he firmly denied it has anything to do with music.“This is about a need for leadership to increase, this is about many things — but this is not about a correlation between rap and violence. Not today. No thanks,” he wrote in a July 1 post on Instagram.A day earlier, two men associated with the local rap scene — 21-year-old Jahvante Smart, also known as Smoke Dawg, and 28-year-old Ernest Modekwe — had been killed in a shooting in the downtown area.Those men were among the 11 people that were shot over a week’s span beginning on June 29. In one of the shootings, four people were injured in Toronto’s Kensington Market neighbourhood with one of them dying in hospital.Kardinal expressed optimism about the initial meeting with Tory, noting that the mayor “read over every last comment.“Sometimes we look at our officials and politicians as being out of touch with marginalized communities, but I will say that he is very much aware of the large task that is at hand and was very receptive to a lot of our ideas that were put forth,” he posted.“Having lived in various neighbourhoods across the city, we were able to speak to him from the perspective of being residents but also as people of influence who wish to use our platforms to elevate the city and subsequently the country.”The rapper said he believes there is “no one solution” to the issue, but he explained to the mayor the “importance of an empathetic outlook” towards the community that brings people together, rather that isolates them.The meeting came as Tory also sat down with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Friday morning to discuss various issues, including gun violence. Tory has said all three levels of government must work together to address local gun crime.“While we know this is a complex problem and there is no single, quick fix, I know that the prime minister is as committed to finding solutions and keeping people safe as I am and as are the women and men of the Toronto Police Service,” the mayor said in a statement.“The Prime Minister pledged in our meeting to doing everything possible to get federal funding to our city as quickly as possible to help us increase our efforts to stop gun and gang violence.”Kardinal said he hopes his meeting was the first of several with Tory.“I am no social worker, professional educator or any of these amazing people that spend countless hours, days and years elevating our neighbourhoods — but I’m somebody ‘from the area’ who has deep roots in the community and who cares,” he added, encouraging others to continue to make suggestions and share their own experiences.Follow @dfriend on Twitter.last_img read more

New federal probe opens on PEI immigrants alleged to have used fake

first_imgA second federal probe is underway in Prince Edward Island alleging hundreds of people gained permanent residency in Canada by using local addresses where they didn’t live, under a provincial business immigration system that’s faced criticism for loose oversight.A search warrant from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) alleges 462 applicants to the provincial nominee program used Charlottetown homes belonging to two Chinese immigrants over the past four years as “addresses of convenience.”Lead investigator Lana Hicks says in the document, filed June 13, that she suspects the immigrants didn’t come to the Island and settle, contrary to the requirements of the provincial program.Rather, she alleged their immigration documents are collected and sent on to them, “at their real address elsewhere in Canada or back in China,” she writes.The allegations, which have not been proven in court, come just two months after two Charlottetown hoteliers were charged with aiding in immigration fraud, with the CBSA alleging 566 immigrants used the addresses of the siblings’ hotel and home.The siblings’ lawyer recently denied the allegations of misrepresentation in comments to reporters, and said they intend to plead not guilty.However, the latest allegations, if they lead to charges, would bring the total number of “address of convenience” cases to about 1,000 in the provincial nominee program (PNP), with all but a few of these immigrants gaining permanent residency in Canada.Permanent residents are immigrants who are not Canadian citizens, but they have been given permission to stay and work in Canada for five years before applying for renewal. They have most of the rights of citizens and can take advantage of social programs, but they can’t vote, seek public office, obtain a Canadian passport or hold jobs that require a security clearance.Under the P.E.I. program, the applicants provide the Island government with a $200,000 refundable deposit, and commit to invest $150,000 and manage a firm.After the deal is signed, the province nominates the investor to the federal Immigration Department as a permanent resident, which they usually receive in the mail before they fulfil the conditions of setting up a business and living on the Island.The province has already acknowledged that two-thirds of the PNP businesses in 2016-17, a total of 177 people, didn’t get the refundable deposit back, with the majority simply never opening a business.The June search warrant alleges that the 462 people giving the three Charlottetown addresses are “well beyond what would be expected for single dwelling homes,” and says the use of the addresses is “concerning and unreasonable.”“The numbers are indicative of what is known within Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and Canada Border Services Agency as an ‘address of convenience,’ which is created to facilitate immigration fraud,” writes Hicks.Hicks based her view that people weren’t living full-time at the homes partly on surveillance of the houses, and from “garbage grab” searches of documents thrown out from the homes.She says the immigrants’ statements that they intend to reside in Prince Edward Island are “the whole basis for their approval,” and notes that the province’s website and forms repeatedly state this requirement and expectation.The issue of false addresses has been arising in other provinces, say immigration lawyers.“It undermines the integrity and objective of the (provincial) programs. That’s why Islanders and all Canadians should be concerned,” said Betsy Kane, a veteran immigration lawyer in Ottawa.Last year, Chinese immigrants in Vancouver were sentenced to jail and fined for immigration fraud involving 1,600 immigrants for fraudulently helping them obtain permanent residency by measures that “included creating the fictitious appearance of Canadian residency.”The CBSA says that to date it can confirm 81 deportations from that case, with orders to remove 160 other people, with some appeals pending.Lee Cohen, an immigration lawyer who is representing the Charlottetown siblings in the earlier prosecution involving the owners of the Sherwood Motel, said in an email that he’s still reviewing his defence, and cautioned that there are problems with how the CBSA has proceeded.He says he suspects CBSA went “much too far … intimidating these accused with the huge posse of officers that raided their home on P.E.I. and mischaracterized their behaviour.”“It is too early for me to be more detailed.”A spokesman for Prince Edward Island’s Office of Immigration said it has changed its program to focus on ensuring its entrepreneur class applicants are qualified, rather than based on a “first-in, first-out” system.Andrew Sprague said since introducing the reforms this year, the numbers in the business immigration program have fallen.He said fraud is not tolerated, and the province welcomes the CBSA investigations.“It is a serious crime to lie on an application, lie in an interview with an immigration officer, or to submit false information or documents. It’s fraud, it’s a crime, and we understand there are significant reprisals,” he wrote in an email.“We do not want to see this type of alleged activity occur in our province and will take any measures possible to prevent it, including working closely with CBSA.”Federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, who was recently asked about the fraud case before the courts involving the two hoteliers, said his office is observing the cases, but declined to comment on whether Ottawa will require the Island to further alter its program.“This particular matter we’re looking at the investigation closely and following it,” he told reporters during a visit to the Island in July.Kane said immigrants who wouldn’t be able to gain access through other provincial or federal immigration programs with higher standards are finding their way in through P.E.I.“What you’re seeing is a gateway into the province (P.E.I.) to secure permanent residence,” she said.She said P.E.I. and Ottawa should end the practice of allowing permanent residency before demonstrating participants in provincial programs are complying with their conditions.“The answer to P.E.I. is instead of trying to create these business programs is to have people go and work there, and then after a year you can be nominated (for permanent residency),” Lorne Waldman, a Toronto-based immigration lawyer, said in an interview.Kane said a system that grants work permit visas and ensures immigrants comply with the conditions before gaining permanent residency would be preferable.“They should show they have opened the business … and have a going concern with one to two years of tax returns filed and then look at it (permanent residency),” she said, adding there are many international students and potential immigrants who would comply with such a system.In her search warrant application, Hicks says if immigrants succeed in creating a false impression of residency, they could use the address to apply for Canadian citizenship, “or obtain a status they do not qualify for, and all the privileges that go along with that.”The Canadian Press is choosing not to name the couple facing the allegations, as the CBSA investigation is ongoing.The husband was contacted by telephone but declined to comment, referring the matter to the couple’s lawyer, whose name he did not provide prior to hanging up. He did not return a follow up call, email and text seeking the lawyer’s name.“I can’t answer questions from you,” the man said during the telephone interview.He said that in comparison to the Sherwood Motel prosecution, the allegations against him are “totally different.”— Follow (at)mtuttoncporg on Twitter.last_img read more

Sherbrooke to consider holding Francophonie Games after New Brunswick pulls plug

first_imgSHERBROOKE, , Que. — After losing out to New Brunswick in the race to hold the 2021 Francophonie Games and then seeing the winner withdraw last week, Sherbrooke, Que. is contemplating a pinch-hitting role.Sherbrooke Mayor Steve Lussier, who had initially ruled out filling in as host over concerns about the cost, announced at a meeting Monday night that council will take another look.Lussier said the council has asked a committee to review the financial implications to ensure taxpayers are not left with a hefty bill. The quadrennial event brings together 3,000 athletes and artists from more than 50 member states that have French as a common language.In New Brunswick, where Moncton and Dieppe were going to share hosting duties, Premier Blaine Higgs blamed the province’s decision to withdraw on the growing cost and a lack of financial support from Ottawa. The province said the budget had ballooned to $130 million from an original bid of $17 million.Lussier said his city has been approached by the federal and provincial governments about staging the Games and will continue discussions.Marie-Claude Bibeau, the federal minister of international development and an MP in the Sherbrooke region, said Monday the federal government would support Sherbrooke if it decides to welcome the Games.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Manitoba childrens advocate to release report into slain Indigenous teen

first_imgSAGKEENG FIRST NATION, Man. — The Manitoba children’s advocate is to release a highly anticipated report today detailing the investigation into the death of a First Nations teen whose body was found in the Red River.Tina Fontaine, who was 15, left her home on the Sagkeeng First Nation to reconnect with her birth mother in Winnipeg in June 2014.Tina had interactions with child-welfare workers, police and the health system before her body was found wrapped in a duvet cover and weighed down by rocks that August.Her death renewed calls for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and inspired volunteer groups such as the Bear Clan Patrol, an Indigenous-led neighbourhood watch group.The report from children’s advocate Daphne Penrose is expected to detail Tina’s involvement with social workers, a hospital and police in the weeks before her death.Tina’s family members say while they will never get Tina back, they hope the report will make sure no other children fall through the cracks.“Every system failed her. It talks about that in the report,” said Thelma Favel, Tina’s great-aunt who raised her.Penrose delivered the report to Favel last week and she said she is happy with its recommendations.The advocate’s office said family and Sagkeeng community members asked for the report to be released on Tina’s reserve where there will be ceremonies to honour the teenager.Tina spent much of her childhood living with Favel at Sagkeeng. But she struggled to cope after her father, Eugene Fontaine, was beaten to death in 2011. Two men pleaded guilty to manslaughter and victim impact statements at their trial described how Tina drifted away from the people closest to her after his death.In 2014, the teenager went to Winnipeg to reconnect with her mother.Favel remembers Tina as kind, funny and healthy, weighing more than 100 pounds when she left for the city. Her body weighed 72 pounds when it was pulled from the river.During the second-degree murder trial for Raymond Cormier — the man acquitted last year in Tina’s death — court heard details about what happened in the weeks after she left the First Nation.The teenager was placed in a hotel by social workers. She spent time on the streets and was sexually exploited. She was also treated at a hospital, interacted with police and called 911.There were still many questions about what happened to the teenager after the trial. Favel said some of those answers can be found in the advocate’s report.“I’m just happy the way they wrote it, that they investigated and everything.”Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Mounties stolen auto found questions remain about officers missing handgun

first_imgCalgary police say they have found an unmarked RCMP vehicle that was stolen in the city this week, but there is no word on whether a loaded handgun that was inside it has been recovered.Officials say the 2018 Nissan Rogue belongs to a Mountie who was on duty when the gun, identification and badge, soft-body armour, pepper spray, handcuffs and baton were left inside the vehicle before the officer went into a building Tuesday night.The gun is described as a Smith and Wesson model.The officer placed the keys inside a bag that was then put in a locker, but a thief or thieves stole it and gained access to the SUV parked outside.Police located the abandoned vehicle Wednesday afternoon.They say no one has been arrested but have not said if the SUV’s contents have been recovered. (CTV Calgary)The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Kirk And Anne Douglas Feed The Homeless For Thanksgiving

first_imgThe homeless on Skid Row were treated to a special Thanksgiving meal courtesy of the Los Angeles Mission, Wells Fargo Bank and Chef Michael Voltaggio, chef/owner of ink. and ink.sack, on Wednesday. Thousands were served at the midday event, which featured recipes created by Chef Voltaggio.“This is the biggest meal of my life… literally,” said Voltaggio. “I’m nervous and all I want is to do a good job and make people smile with food.”Kirk and Anne Douglas, long time Mission benefactors, were the hosts for the event where they helped serve the meal. Earlier this year Mr. Douglas honored his wife with a $10-million donation to the Mission over the next 20 years. The Anne Douglas Center for Women at the Los Angeles Mission is named for Mrs. Douglas.“We should give thanks every day,” Kirk and Anne Douglas said in a statement. “But we look forward to Thanksgiving with our friends at the Los Angeles Mission and try to help those in need.”Among the stars joining Kirk Douglas at the event were Malin Akerman, Matt Bomer, Zachary Levi, Neil Patrick Harris, Bella Thorne, Blair Underwood, Bailey Chase, Mario, and Stephen Collins.The Mission was started as a soup kitchen for depression era men in 1936. Those who came to the Mission then would be very surprised at the quality of the food being served this Thanksgiving. The Mission still serves meals each day, and emergency shelter, but the primary work of the Mission in 2012 is helping men and women restore their lives and get back on their feet. Thousands have graduated from the program and gone on to life off of the streets. Many alumni were on hand Wednesday to volunteer.“We’ll serve more than half a million nutritious meals this year, none more important than the Thanksgiving meal,” said Herb Smith, President of the Los Angeles Mission. “That’s why we are so pleased that Chef Voltaggio has worked closely with our kitchen staff to create this very special meal. The message to our guests is ‘you are special, you are valuable and we care about you.’ It gives us a chance to build connections that can grow into relationships. And it is relationships that are necessary to help many chronic homeless make the decision to change their lifestyle and restore their lives.”Wells Fargo Bank sponsored the event for the 6th year, with a $50,000 donation to the Mission to support its services to the homeless. More than 200 Wells Fargo associates joined other volunteers to serve the meal, clean tables, and serve in countless ways during the event.“Wells Fargo is privileged to continue its support of the Los Angeles Mission’s efforts to provide food, shelter and services to those in need,” said Bryan Moeller, Wells Fargo’s director of Small Business Banking for L.A. Metro/Orange County. “In these difficult times it is imperative that corporate entities join together to lend a helping hand to build stronger communities through financial support and volunteerism.”The Mission’s Thanksgiving event is a huge undertaking with more than 500 staff and volunteers working for months to get everything planned and in place. Three thousand pounds of smoked turkey were prepared by the kitchen staff, along with Chef Voltaggio’s recipes for 700 pounds of a Corn and Maple Stuffing (recipe below), 80 gallons of Country-Style Turkey Sausage Gravy (recipe below), 800 pounds of vegetables for the Parmesan Spaghetti Squash Casserole, Ranch Stuffed Baked Potatoes, CranApple Chutney and 400 Pumpkin Pies with Milk and Cereal.The stuffing was prepared with the assistance of Los Angeles Trade-Tech College Culinary Club students.The meal was served on a closed portion of 5th Street in downtown Los Angeles, the heart of Skid Row. Tents for serving were set up, along with specially decorated tables and seating. Thousands of guests from the community were seated and served the meal by volunteers from the community, from the entertainment industry as well as local political leaders.The Los Angeles Christian Health Centers provided foot washing and examinations to nearly 400 of the day’s guests. In addition to getting their feet washed, physicians, nurses and other medical staff did examinations and minor procedures to relieve foot issues. Those with more serious problems were referred to the clinic for appointments. The clinic partners with the Mission for medical services for area residents.Numerous businesses and groups contributed to the event. U. S. Foods provided some of the elements of the meal, Landsberg Amcor provided the cutlery, plates and napkins, Tarps Plus provided and distributed 2,000 tarps, Icelandic Glacial Water provided bottled water for guests, Kimberly VoDang, Ms. America International 2011, provided and distributed 1,400 blankets, Morongo Band of Mission Indians provided turkeys, and PCL Construction made a financial donation.And for the 15th year students at Suzanne Middle School provided bags of candy that were distributed to the guests. The students collect left-over candy from Halloween, bag it into individual servings and the Mission hands it out at the event.“It is the great generosity of the people of the Los Angeles area, companies, individuals and groups that makes this event, and our work possible,” said Smith. “From the dollars donated by Wells Fargo, other companies and thousands of individuals, in kind gifts like food, cutlery, tarps, blankets and thousands of other items, to the talent of people like Michael Voltaggio, we are blessed every day. This ministry’s work would not be possible without the tremendous help we receive. I want to thank everyone who gave and served to make today possible.”last_img read more

eBay And Nate Berkus Partner For Charity

first_imgeBay has teamed up with famed interior designer and author Nate Berkus, to say goodbye to winter and hello to spring and encourage consumers to clear out, spring clean and sell on eBay.To inspire shoppers to rejuvenate and refresh to make room for the new, Berkus has spring cleaned his own home and will be hosting an exclusive auction to benefit The American Brain Tumor Association. Beginning on March 31, eBay will release close to 60 of his sought-after pieces. The auction will also include a video design chat in which the lucky enthusiast will get to ask Nate design questions, giving them access to his best advice to jump start their spring cleaning and home refresh this season.Discover hidden dollars in the homeOn average, the American consumer has thousands of dollars’ worth of goods sitting unused around the home. With a global community of 162 million active buyers, there is always an eBay shopper in search of the household items you no longer need from tech, to clothes to home decor and everything in between.“No one knows more about transforming the home than Nate Berkus. We’re excited to have him show consumers just how simple it is to spring clean and sell on the marketplace,” said Vincent Payen, head of consumer selling for eBay North America. “As people start de-cluttering their home, eBay offers simple and convenient ways to sell, whether it is listing yourself or letting eBay Valet, eBay’s professional selling service, do it for you in three simple steps.”Browse & bid for charityBeginning March 31 at 7pm EDT through April 10, shoppers can browse and bid on a range of decorative accessories, art, furniture and fashion items from Nate Berkus’ home. Coveted pieces will include Lanvin Parfums prints, Prada gloves, and rare antique textiles. The auction will also feature a video design chat, giving one lucky enthusiast the chance to receive home design and style advice from Berkus, just in time for the spring season. Through eBay for Charity, all sale proceeds will benefit The American Brain Tumor Association, an organization that advances the understanding and treatment of brain tumors with the goals of improving, extending and, ultimately, saving the lives of those impacted by one.eBay for Charity makes it easy for buyers to shop with purpose. Sellers can choose from 35,000 charities, enabling them to donate a portion of their sales to various philanthropic causes. To shop Nate Berkus’ charity auction, visit www.ebay.com/nate-berkus.“As a designer, I’m constantly refreshing my space, and looking for new inspiration for myself and my clients,” said Berkus. “Whether you’re in the process of moving or looking for a design reset, I hope to inspire others to spring clean their homes and show them how easy it is to make extra money by selling what they no longer need, or use on eBay. Once you’ve cleared that space, you’ll be able to add in things that you really love. People can shop my personal auction page which has a wide selection of decorative accessories, art, furniture and fashion from my own home, and the best part, it’s all for a good cause.”last_img read more

Stand Up To Cancer 2016 A Huge Success

first_imgThe Hollywood community once again united to support Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), which staged its fifth biennial one-hour special on Friday, Sept. 9 (8:00 – 9:00 PM ET/PT / 7:00 PM CT).(L-R) patient Mitch Carbon, actor Bradley Cooper and patient Emily Whitehead attend Stand Up To Cancer Credit/Copyright: Kevin Mazur/American Broadcasting Companies Inc via Getty ImagesAcademy Award-nominated actor and founder of the Bradley Charles Cooper Foundation, Bradley Cooper, served as executive producer along with renowned live, large-scale event producers Done + Dusted, in collaboration with the Stand Up To Cancer production team. Celine Dion attends Stand Up To CancerCredit/Copyright: Kevin Mazur/American Broadcasting Companies Inc via Getty ImagesAmong those taking part were Vice President Joe Biden, Odette Annable, Will Arnett, Mel B, Kathy Bates, Mayim Bialik, Matt Bomer, Jordana Brewster, Danielle Campbell, Marcia Cross, Brittany Daniel, Viola Davis, Shannen Doherty, Dave Franco, Josh Gad, Greg Grunberg, Tony Hale, Tom Hanks, Ken Jeong, Anna Kendrick, Sonequa Martin-Green, Jillian Michaels, Robert Patrick, Rob Riggle, Jacob Soboroff, Brenda Song, Karla Souza, Emma Stone, Eric Stonestreet, Alison Sweeney, Bree Turner, Kristen Wiig, Charlie Wilson, Rita Wilson, SU2C Co-Founder Katie Couric, and social media personalities Brandon Armstrong, Grace Helbig, Joey Graceffa, Justine Ezarik, Harry Hudson, Brittani Louise Taylor, My Nguyen, Andrea Russett, Gemma Stafford attended and participated in the inspiring live broadcast. In addition, celebrated recording artist Celine Dion performed a moving tribute in honor of all those standing up to cancer. Alessia Cara, Charlie Puth, and Gallant delivered a musical performance. The telecast included appearances by Ben Affleck, Dierks Bentley, Lena Dunham, Chris Evans, Zach Galifianakis, Jon Hamm, Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Eva Longoria, and Matthew McConaughey.Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks attend Stand Up To CancerCredit/Copyright: Kevin Mazur/American Broadcasting Companies Inc via Getty ImagesThe telecast broadcasted from The Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles. ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC, along with American Forces Network, ASPiRE, AUDIENCE Network, Bloomberg TV, Bravo, Comedy Central, Discovery Life, E! Entertainment, EPIX, ESPNEWS, FM, FS2, Fusion, FXM, Great American Country, HBO, HLN, ION Television, LMN, Logo, MLB Network, National Geographic, Pivot, RLTV, SHOWTIME, Smithsonian Channel, STARZ, STARZ ENCORE, TBS, Tr3s, VH1, and WGN America donated one hour of simultaneous commercial-free primetime for the telecast. For the first time, there was a Spanish version of the Stand Up To Cancer telecast airing nationally on Galavision, HBO Latino, STARZ ENCORE ESPAÑOL and Univision Deportes, and locally on Univision Puerto Rico. In addition, the show streamed live on SU2C’s Facebook page, Yahoo, SU2C’s YouTube page, MLB.com and in Spanish on Univision.com. USA Network aired the Stand Up To Cancer telecast on Friday, Sept. 9 at 11:00 PM – 12:00 AM ET/PT / 10:00 PM CT. The entire telecast will also become available to stream on Hulu beginning Saturday, Sept. 10.The first Canadian-inclusive SU2C telecast aired in 2014, and this year’s show once again aired across all four major English-language Canadian broadcasters: CBC, City, CTV, and Global. Additionally, Canadian services AMI, Bloomberg TV Canada, Blue Ant Media, CHCH, CHEK, Fight Network, Hollywood Suite, Joytv, NTV and TLN aired the telecast, the show streamed live on Yahoo Canada, and it will be available on-demand on shomi and TELUS Optik TV in Canada.last_img read more

Elton John AIDS Foundation Awards Nearly 35 Million In Grants During December

first_imgThe Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), a leader in the global effort to end AIDS, today announced it awarded nearly $3.5 million in grants to 57 organizations addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in critical and innovative ways in December.This brings the Foundation’s total grant investments for calendar year 2016 to nearly $8.6 million and builds on its ongoing support for organizations throughout the Americas and the Caribbean.“For nearly 25 years, the Elton John AIDS Foundation has been committed to aggressively confronting the HIV/AIDS epidemic where it exists,” said EJAF Founder Sir Elton John. “We are proud of this newest round of investments, in which we support work in over 50 locations, from vital medical services to creative cutting edge activism on some of the most pressing issues of our time.”The Elton John AIDS Foundation has four strategic goals for its grants: • Health and wellness: Ensuring everyone living with or at risk of contracting HIV is healthy, safe, and has unfettered access to high quality medical care and any other services they need to live fulfilling lives. • Rights: Ensuring people living with or at risk of HIV are treated fairly under the law. • Quality of life: Ensuring people living with, affected by, or at risk of HIV have a high quality of life. • Resilience: Ensuring the individuals and organizations working on EJAF’s grant-making priorities have the resources and training they need to support their missions efficiently and effectively.The grants made by the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 2016 include 27 first-time grants and over 100 renewal grants. The average size of an EJAF grant in 2016 was approximately $81,000, and nearly all of the renewed grantees have been funded for multiple years to achieve impact and lasting change. Highlights from the December 2016 grants include:• A new grant in southern Haiti supports crucially needed medical services for people with HIV/AIDS. This region was recently devastated by Hurricane Matthew and this grantee, the St. Boniface Foundation, has been at the forefront of the response to this disaster. Other international investments include two new grants providing HIV-related services in Mexico and an advocacy effort across Latin American countries in response to the Global Fund’s withdrawal from middle-income countries. • Twenty-five grants totaling $1,398,000 in investments support organizations in the southern U.S. working across EJAF’s grant-making priorities, as well as targeted investments to build up the response to HIV/AIDS in rural areas, including rural West Virginia, Texas, and Kentucky. • Fifteen grants totaling $783,000 provide services and advocacy supporting LGBT communities, including LGBT Community Centers in New York, Los Angeles, Memphis, TN, Jacksonville, FL, Birmingham, AL, and Philadelphia, PA. EJAF is also investing in efforts to mobilize LGBT individuals in Atlanta, GA, to become engaged as HIV/AIDS activists in their communities. A number of grants will support developing leadership skills in young LGBT people living with HIV. • Seven grants totaling $305,000 support organizations led by and serving transgender communities in Albuquerque, NM, San Juan, PR, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Bronx, NY. These programs help HIV-positive transgender people connect to medical treatment, train doctors and medical providers to increase sensitivity toward transgender people, and help transgender people facing injustice in the criminal justice system. • Three grants totaling $180,000 support programs providing legal counsel, medical care, and support services for people engaged in sex work. • Grants to ACT UP NY and SisterLove in Atlanta include campaigns to increase women’s access to PrEP, the once-per-day pill that reduces the risk of HIV infection. • Six grants totaling $170,000 support programs working with recently and formerly incarcerated HIV-positive people to help them rebuild their lives and remain on treatment after leaving prison or immigration detention. These programs, many led by LGBT people, also help organize the formerly or currently incarcerated to advocate for their health and rights. • Grants in North Carolina and Florida help launch the states’ first legal syringe exchange programs. • Ten grants totaling $520,000 address municipal- and state-level laws and policies affecting people living with HIV. One grant supports a national effort to address issues in the criminal justice system affecting LGBTQ and HIV positive people. EJAF is also funding organizations working to challenge discriminatory laws, including the HB2 “bathroom” law in North Carolina through the Gavin Grimm Supreme Court case.“Our grantees are on the front lines of the HIV epidemic,” said EJAF executive director Scott Campbell. “As one of the largest funders in the world dedicated to ending AIDS, we are committed to making real-time investments that address the latest trends in the epidemic, while also looking for solutions to address the real drivers of HIV – injustice, discrimination, inequality and intolerance.”A complete list and descriptions of all 57 December 2016 grants are posted at www.ejaf.org.last_img read more

Stars To Join Local Youth At WE Day Seattle To Celebrate Young

first_imgWE Day, a series of inspiring stadium-sized, life-changing events that take place around the world, announces the initial list of speakers, performers and presenters attending WE Day Seattle on April 21, 2017 at the KeyArena at the Seattle Center.Alongside partners, led by Co-Title Sponsors Microsoft and The Allstate Foundation, WE Day Seattle brings together 15,000 local change-makers, inspirational speakers and world-renowned performers to celebrate their commitment to taking action on social issues.Taking the stage this year is a cast of new faces and returning WE Day favorites, including Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll and Doug Baldwin of the Seattle Seahawks, Lily Collins, Allen Stone, Grace VanderWaal, Buzz Aldrin, Jordan Fisher, Skai Jackson, Yara Shahidi, Jenna Ortega, Jordan Smith and more.This star-studded lineup will join international activists and WE co-founders, Craig and Marc Kielburger, to share their passion for change and energize the crowd with unforgettable performances and motivational speeches to inspire another year of action.“Speaking on the WE Day stage and hearing the brave and inspiring stories of youth across America who are making a difference, has given me strength to speak publicly about my own story in my new book Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me” said Golden Globe nominated actress and author, Lily Collins. “I’m so excited to be back at WE Day Seattle surrounded by thousands of young people who encourage and support one another, embrace diversity and stand up for what they believe in with the goal of working together to make the world a better place.”Also announced today, WE Day is proud to welcome Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, actress and model Ciara as the newest co-chairs of WE Day Seattle. Russell and Ciara join the roster of WE Day Seattle co-chairs, including Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll, Executive VP, Worldwide Commercial Business, Microsoft, Judson Althoff and Founder, Jolene McCaw Family Foundation, Jolene McCaw helping to champion WE Day across the state. To celebrate their role as co-chair, Russell Wilson and Ciara will participate in the event next month to motivate youth in attendance. Wilson is founder of The Why Not You Foundation — dedicated to creating real and lasting change in the world by motivating, empowering and preparing today’s youth to be tomorrow’s leaders.“The youth at WE Day Seattle inspire us to continue to make an impact in the community — together we can change the world,” Russell Wilson and Ciara said. “They are truly leading the way towards positive changes by teaching us to support each other and to strive to make a difference every day. We are overjoyed to play an even bigger role in supporting WE Day Seattle and elevating today’s youth.”More than a one-day event, WE Day is connected to the free, yearlong educational program WE Schools. Providing schools and community groups with curriculum, educational resources and action campaigns, this program is designed to enhance a school’s existing social initiatives or spark new ones. WE Schools encourages students to further their curricular learning, develop life skills for success beyond the classroom and become change-makers. In the 2015/2016 school year schools and groups in Washington state improved their community through WE Schools by volunteering more than 600,000 hours and raising over $900,000 for causes like hunger, homelessness, bullying and the environment.“WE Day celebrates the amazing young people who have taken action at home and around the world, to create sustainable change for a better tomorrow,” said Craig Kielburger, co-founder of WE. “Standing in a stadium full of passionate youth will affirm your belief that real change can happen—and is happening every single day right here in Seattle and across the state. This past school year more than 650 schools and groups in Washington made an incredible impact in their own backyards and in communities around the world through their commitment and passion for change.”Chimacum High School has gone above and beyond to support the Seattle community. This past year its students partnered with a nearby “rival” school to collect over 2,000 pounds of food to donate to the Tri Area Food Bank. They are also supporting those in need by creating care packages—filled with essential hygiene items—and distributing the packages through a local coffee shop. Over the past five years, students have also raised over $5,300 for causes in Haiti, including healthcare, alternative income opportunities, water, food and education.You can’t buy a ticket to WE Day — students from across the country earn their way by the actions they take on one local and one global cause of their choice. WE Day is free of charge to students and teachers, thanks to the generous support of Microsoft and The Allstate Foundation. Microsoft is proud to empower young people — in Seattle and around the world — with the resources, skills, and inspiration they need to create a more inclusive world. The Allstate Foundation believes good starts young, and is committed to empowering America’s youth with the strength, confidence and leadership skills to step us as leaders and achieve success in their lives.This year, even more youth from across Seattle, Washington State and the U.S. will be able to experience the energy of WE Day Seattle. For the first time, WE Day will use the Microsoft Educator Community site to showcase live video messages to students and educators who cannot join the show in person. Following the live event there will be an hour-long highlight show available to stream or download.Anyone can find their place with WE and commit to making a change in the world. The first step is to take the WE Pledge at WE.org. By taking the pledge, participants are joining the WE Community and making a commitment to live WE every day. For every pledge made on WE.org, $10 will be donated to local and global programs.last_img read more

Some Showrunners Are Banning Rape as a Plot Device on Their Shows

first_img Twitter Login/Register With: Much writing has been dedicated to the problems with how rape is used to motivate characters in our favorite television shows, particularly Game of Sex and Violence. Generally, women get raped and men get motivated to grow as characters because of that rape.TV critic Maureen Ryan interviewed showrunners on the popular plot device for Variety, and it sounds like many of them are as sick of it as their viewers. Jeremy Slater is heading Fox’s TV revival of The Exorcist, and while looking through spec scripts for new writers, he encountered it again andagain:“One of my hard-and-fast rules when reading spec scripts was, the second that there was a rape that was used for shock value and that didn’t have any sort of narrative purpose, I threw the script aside. And I was shocked by the number that had that,” Slater said. “I would say out of those 200 scripts, there were probably 30 or 40 of them that opened with a rape or had a pretty savage rape at some point.”He shook his head and sighed. “It has become a plague on the industry.” Advertisement Advertisement Why so much sexual assault? Partly because of how frequently it is portrayed. Executive producer and showrunner of Lost Girl and Killjoys, Michelle Lovretta says, “It’s a fast-hitting combo of a lot of powerful inputs — titillation, taboo, character conflict, deep betrayal.”It’s also motivating to the male protagonist to take some ass-kicking revenge, and with the disparity in gender in the writer’s room, either there’s no women to speak up in defense of woman characters or they’re not heard:“It’s become shorthand for backstory and drama,” says an experienced female writer who didn’t want her name to be used. “Everyone knows rape is awful and an horrific violation, so it’s easy for an audience to grasp.”Adds another veteran female writer, “For male showrunners, sexual assault is always the go-to when looking for ‘traumatic backstory’ for a female character. You can be sure it will be brought up immediately, like it’s the obvious place to go when fleshing out a female character.”Some male showrunners, however, are listening. Bryan Fuller of American Gods made an official edict when he was working on Hannibal that there would be no sexual violence. Plenty of other kinds of violence, but no explicit rape scenes:“I personally think that it stains a story, in a way, in that it prevents you from being able to celebrate different aspects of sexuality,” Fuller says. “America as a country has a very fucked-up attitude regarding sex and sexuality, so there is something [troubling] about the punishing of characters for their sex and sexuality.”Fuller adds that as a gay man, his awareness of assault as a reality people face every day makes it difficult for him to explore in an episode in television as a full experience. He says, “It’s hard for me to evaluate as entertainment.”This conversation is happening around the same time as people are reassessing entertainment from the past that portrayed rape and violence towards women in ways that crossed the line between fiction and reality. Bernardo Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris included a “surprise” rape scene that left 19-year-old Maria Schneider feeling violated after filming. Shelley Duvall, who is still being exploited in the media, was reportedly tormented and abused on the set of The Shining by Stanley Kubrick. Tippi Hedren recently spoke out about being sexually harassed by Alfred Hitchcock on the set of The Birds. While practices may have improved behind the scenes (sometimes), what we see on screen has still not caught up.By Aimee Lutkin – Jezebel LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebooklast_img read more