Rick Famuyiwa to direct Kevin Harts Uptown Saturday Night remake

first_imgLos Angele: Filmmaker Rick Famuyiwa has been announced as the director of “Uptown Saturday Night” remake. Actor-comedian Kevin Hart will headline the project, which hails from Warner Bros stable, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris has penned the most recent draft of the script and he will also produce the movie. A remake of 1974 film of the same name, the film’s story follows two friends as they barely navigate the criminal underworld in order to retrieve a winning lottery ticket stolen during a robbery. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka The original was directed by Sidney Poitier, who also starred in it along with Bill Cosby, Harry Belafonte and Calvin Lockhart. Actor Will Smith and his Overbrook Entertainment partner James Lassiter are producing. Famuyiwa, who has films such as “Dope” and “Confirmation” to his directing credits, most recently directed an episode of the highly anticipated “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian” for Disney+.last_img read more

Dravid has no conflict of interest case says CoA

first_imgMumbai: The Committee of Administrators (CoA) on Tuesday cleared Rahul Dravid’s appointment as Head of Cricket at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), ruling that there is “no conflict of interest” case against the former India captain. Lt General Ravi Thogde, the new member of the CoA, said the ball is now in BCCI Ombudsman-cum-ethics officer DK Jain’s court. “There is no conflict on Rahul’s case. He has got a notice and we have cleared his appointment. We had seen no conflict, but if the Ombudsman finds any conflict, we will give our response to the Ombudsman stating why we found no conflict,” Thogde said after a CoA meeting here. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”After that he (Ombudsman) has to consider. It’s a process and it will continue.” Dravid, one of the most respected figures in Indian cricket, found himself embroiled in a conflict of interest case after his appointment at NCA since he is an employee of India Cements which owns the Chennai Super Kings franchise in the IPL. Dravid, who was in Mumbai prior to Tuesday’s CoA meeting, has sent his reply to Jain but it could not be ascertained if he has resigned from his post. While appointing him, the CoA had made it clear that Dravid will have to relinquish his post as vice-president of India Cements or be on leave until he completes his tenure. Dravid did not resign, instead, he sought leave without pay from India Cements, prompting MPCA life member Sanjeev Gupta to persist with his complaint against Dravid. Thogde said the NCA needs to be of international standard under Dravid. “There are a few things that needs to be done at the NCA. There are shortage of grounds and staffs, including coaches. There has to be continuity.”last_img read more

My govt set new standards to work towards development of Chhattisgarh says

first_imgNew Delhi: Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has decided to make ‘nawa Chhattisgarh’ with new standards of development. Baghel on Sunday said questions will be raised about the government’s way of working when a large population in state was malnourished, uneducated and homeless despite the state being rich in minerals and natural resources.Baghel was speaking at a function organised at India International Centre on “Changing Chhattisgarh under new leadership”.The CM said standard that “increases per capita income on one hand and poverty on the other cannot be accepted”. “When my government came into power, new standards were set with a clear vision of working towards the development of the state,” he said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The CM added that his government’s priority include Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, farmers, villagers, women, small businessmen, youths and new generation, who will “take over the country and the state in future”. Questioning the previous government, the CM said Chhattisgarh leads the country in production of steel, cement, tin and aluminum and yet 37.60 per cent children under the age of five in the state are malnourished and 41.50 per cent women in the age group of 15-49 years are suffering from anaemia. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KHe said the reason behind the debacle of the previous government was people’s anger on their situation for the last 15 years. He said in a span of just seven months, his government has created an environment of trust among the people of Chhattisgarh, adding that his government has taken concrete steps towards lowering poverty and uplifting people’s standard of living. Former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran was among the dignitaries present at the function.last_img read more

AITAITF concall over IndoPak Davis Cup tie cancelled again

first_imgKolkata: The teleconference between the All India Tennis Association (AITA) and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) regarding the former’s security concerns about playing the Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group 1 tie against Pakistan in Islamabad next month has been cancelled, tennis icon Mahesh Bhupathi said. The all-important meeting, which was postponed to Tuesday from Monday and was supposed to start from 7 pm, has now been called off. “It was cancelled. I just heard from AITA,” India’s non-playing captain Bhupathi said. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhAsked if there has been a next date allocated, he said: “Nope”. Bhupathi was to be part of the conference call which would further decide on the next course of action as to whether the much-talked about tie will be shifted to another venue or not. India were all set to go to Pakistan before relations between the two countries deteriorated further in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. The scrapping has turned the state into two Union Territories — Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. Pakistan’s diplomatic ties with India took a beating post the turn of events. ITF has previously turned down India’s security concerns to finally settle for a discussion on the matter.last_img read more

Denmark stunned as US President scraps visit over Greenland snub

first_imgCopenhagen: Denmark was left stunned Wednesday by Donald Trump’s decision to postpone a state visit after the government told the US president its autonomous territory Greenland was not for sale. The Danish Royal House expressed “surprise” at Trump’s cancellation while commentators accused Trump of acting like a “colonial overlord”. “Based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”The Prime Minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct.” His comments came two days after Frederiksen had rejected the president’s proposal to possibly buy Greenland as “absurd”. The decision confirms just how interested he was in purchasing Greenland, an idea initially dismissed as a joke by some, but which the White House later insisted had a serious purpose because of its strategic location. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsThe territory has been essential to US defence since World War II. Prime Minister Frederiksen was due to hold a press conference at 1300 GMT on Wednesday. The postponement has sparked strong reactions in Denmark. “Reality transcends imagination… this man is unpredictable,” said Morten Ostergaard of the Social Liberal Party, which is part of the ruling coalition. “For no reason, Trump assumes that (an autonomous) part of our country is for sale. Then insultingly cancels visit that everybody was preparing for,” tweeted Rasmus Jarlov, a member of the opposition Conservative Party. “Are parts of the US for sale? Alaska? Please show more respect.” Marc Jacobsen, a Greenland specialist at the University of Copenhagen, said Trump was acting like “an ignorant colonial overlord”. “Trump’s idea of purchasing Greenland is absurd, and it is absurd that he is now cancelling his state visit to Denmark when he knows that there is no chance Greenland will become the 51st state of America,” he told AFP. Meanwhile, former US ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford wrote on Twitter: “He asks for an invitation from a great friend and ally. The Queen obliges invites him for a state visit. He declares the visit contingent on the great friend selling part of its territory to him This. Is. Not. Normal.” Nonetheless, conservative daily Jyllands-Posten wrote that Trump’s actions ultimately benefitted Denmark, highlighting Greenland’s geopolitical value. “Mette Frederiksen has been given the opportunity to emphasise that Greenland’s big affairs are in fact decided in Copenhagen… strengthening Denmark’s position in this great strategic game at stake over the Arctic,” it said.last_img read more

FPIs net sellers for second straight month pull out Rs 5920 cr

first_imgNew Delhi: Foreign investors pulled out a net amount of Rs 5,920 crore from the Indian capital markets in August even as the government rolled back enhanced surcharge on FPIs last week.The withdrawal from the capital markets (both equity and debt) in August is “contrary to the expectation” since the Centre last week announced revocation of enhanced super-rich tax on foreign and domestic equity investors imposed in the Budget, said Himanshu Srivastava, senior analyst manager research at Morningstar. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalAccording to the latest depositories data, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) withdrew a net amount of Rs 17,592.28 crore from equities and pumped in a net sum of Rs 11,672.26 crore in the debt segment, translating into a total net outflow of Rs 5,920.02 crore during August 1 – 30.In July, overseas investors had pulled out a net amount of Rs 2,985.88 crore from the capital markets.Prior to the announcement of enhanced super-rich tax in the Union Budget for 2019-20 in July, FPIs were net buyers for five consecutive months. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostFPIs had infused a net Rs 10,384.54 crore in June, Rs 9,031.15 crore in May, Rs 16,093 crore in April, Rs 45,981 crore in March and Rs 11,182 crore in February into the Indian capital markets.”Concerns over slowing domestic economy, volatility in the global markets and increased fears of global recession due to escalating trade war tension between US and China overshadowed the positive move of withdrawal of surcharge,” Srivastava added.last_img read more

BJPs Ladakh MP puts conditions before mega solar power project

first_imgLeh: Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, the BJP MP representing Ladakh Lok Sabha constituency, has welcomed the Rs 50,000-crore mega solar power project in the region, but made it clear that it can go ahead if jobs are reserved for the locals and can work on a land lease model.Protecting the fragile ecology of Ladakh is of paramount importance, Namgyal said, adding the investor should also devote a part of the earnings as royalty for the locals. Following the Centre’s moves to abrogate Article 370 and create a separate Union Territory of Ladakh, there has been media report of a Rs 50,000-crore solar power project coming up in the region. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”Investments are essential to come from outside, I welcome those. But there are a few conditions – we can’t give the land in your name, you will have to take it on lease and a portion of the jobs will have to be reserved for the local youth. “And whatever you earn from here, a part of it will have to be given to the council fund as royalty for ground development,” he said. The developmental model should be keeping in mind the fragile ecology of the region. We are not going to allow you otherwise, he made it clear. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe need is to tread on a “middle path” between the development and the local interests, such that both the Ladakhis as well as rest of India benefit, he said. “It’s not that we are closing ourselves, nor do we want anybody to exploit Ladakh,” he stressed. Namgyal said Ladakh always possessed huge potential to develop solar energy and credited the Narendra Modi government for trying to tap the potential. The young lawmaker said Ladakh should not be looked at as an infertile piece of land alone, pointing to the region being an important tourist destination, rich in rare medicinal plants and also a repository of glaciers. The Rs 50,000-crore project is touted as the single biggest investment in the space. A recent media report said sites have been identified for the grid-connected project.last_img read more

Millennials more likely to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies poll

first_imgA new survey suggests millennials are leading a gradual resurgence of interest when it comes to attending Remembrance Day ceremonies.The poll conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Historica Canada found that 29 per cent of respondents plan to attend a ceremony to honour fallen soldiers on Nov. 11, up three per cent from last year and marking a return to recent highs established in 2015.But the online survey suggests Canadians between 18 and 34 are the ones most likely to pay their respects in person.The poll found 37 per cent of millennial respondents planned to attend a ceremony, well ahead of the 29 per cent of baby boomers over age 55 who were surveyed.Just 23 per cent of survey participants aged between 35 and 54, classed as members of generation X, expressed an intention of going to an official ceremony.Historica Canada says the surge in interest in attending Remembrance Day ceremonies may be the result of increased efforts to share veterans’ stories in schools and other public spaces, exposing younger generations to real-life accounts of time in combatcalast_img read more

MPs move to keep religious protections in Criminal Code cleanup efforts

first_imgOTTAWA – Disrupting a religious service is likely to remain a crime, since MPs on the House of Commons justice committee have agreed to change a controversial part of proposed legislation aimed at modernizing the Criminal Code.This spring, the Liberal government moved to rid the Criminal Code of sections that are redundant or obsolete, including those which involve challenging someone to a duel or fraudulently pretending to practice witchcraft.One of the changes proposed in Bill C-51 would have removed Section 176, which makes it a crime to use threat or force to obstruct a clergyman or minister from celebrating a worship service or carrying out any other duty related to his job.That came under heavy criticism from a number of major religious groups, including the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and B’nai Brith Canada, who urged MPs on the committee to keep that section in the Code.The MPs also voted Wednesday to update the language so that it is gender neutral and refers to all religious and spiritual officiants, instead of just Christian clergy.Liberal MP Anthony Housefather, who chairs the committee, said even though the section is rarely used, it is not without merit.“It allowed many religious groups to feel recognized within the Criminal Code, to feel that their services had a special recognition and protection and we didn’t see the value in removing it,” Housefather said Thursday.“I do think in Canada today, with the number of incidents that happen at churches, synagogues and mosques, with whatever is going on right now across the country, the last thing I want any religious group to feel is they have less protection than they did before,” he said.Faisal Mirza, the chair of the Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association, made that point when he appeared before the committee.“We cannot be blind that the current climate of increased incidents of hate, specifically at places of worship, supports that religious leaders may be in need of more, not less, focused protection,” Mirza said last month.Mirza also said that while other areas of criminal law can address the deadly shooting a Quebec City mosque in January, it is important to remember that the attack happened months after someone left a pig’s head at the door of the same mosque.Rob Nicholson, the Conservative justice critic, said he was thinking about Section 176 when watching news of Sunday’s massacre at a church in Texas.“It certainly is not the time to be doing it,” Nicholson said of removing religious protections.Nicholson said he received about 900 emails on the issue last weekend and believes that played a role in bringing the Liberals around.David Taylor, a spokesman for Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, said the government will carefully consider the amendments.last_img read more

Four staff fired at Edmonton prison over alleged bullying

first_imgEDMONTON – The Correctional Service of Canada has fired four workers at Edmonton Institution following allegations of harassment, intimidation and bullying.A news release says Edmonton police are also looking into possible criminal activity at the maximum-security prison.Several staff were suspended last September, when the Correctional Service contracted investigators to look into the allegations.The release says additional investigations are ongoing and there will be other disciplinary hearings.The department also announced the appointment of a new regional deputy commissioner for the Prairies, France Gratton, and a new warden at Edmonton Institution, Gary Sears.Commissioner Don Head says employee misconduct will not be tolerated and his office is determined to improve workplace conditions.last_img read more

BC mayor apologizes for repeating urban myth about teens fatal overdose

first_imgLIONS BAY, B.C. – A politician in British Columbia is apologizing for spreading a false story about a teenage boy who supposedly died from a drug overdose.Lions Bay Mayor Karl Buhr said in a council meeting last month that his 14-year-old son’s friend dropped dead after inhaling “vape juice” laced with the highly potent opioid fentanyl.Buhr said in an interview on Tuesday that he’s since been informed much of the story was an urban myth.“Unfortunately, I reported an incorrect rumour,” he said.The mayor for the village located midway between Vancouver and Whistler said he originally shared the story with his council colleagues to illustrate that the provincial opioid overdose crisis is getting closer to home.The BC Coroners Service released data last week showing that 1,422 people across the province died from illicit drug overdoses last year.Buhr said he wanted his colleagues to think about what, if anything, council could do about the issue.Now he’s apologizing publicly for recounting the tall tale and says doing so probably hurt his reputation.“It probably has damaged my credibility,” Buhr said. “I don’t think people look to me as their mayor to be the all-seeing, all-knowing national trend-setter. I deliver things that people care about — new water pipes, low taxes, stuff like that. I am a small-town, local politician.”He added that he doesn’t want the incident detracting from the issue of fatal drug overdoses.“I don’t want my ham-fistedness to detract from the real message, which is: these things are everywhere,” Buhr said.“This particular incident wasn’t as reported, but there are 10 stories like this a day and they are real, so what are we doing about it?”Several teens in Lions Bay have died from overdoses over the past few years, Buhr said, adding that he’s spoken with many people who believe the idyllic village is isolated from the problem.“I think a lot of people are in denial. I still hear a lot of people saying ‘That’s never going to happen here.’ That gets my goat.”last_img read more

Millard had means motive and opportunity to kill his father Crown alleges

first_imgTORONTO – A Toronto man killed his aviation executive father to access millions in inheritance, prosecutors alleged at the trial of the twice-convicted murderer on Monday, while the defence argued the death was a simple case of suicide.The assertions were presented in closing arguments at the first-degree murder trial of Dellen Millard, 32, who has pleaded not guilty to killing his father, 71-year-old Wayne Millard.The older Millard died on Nov. 29, 2012. Court has heard he was found with a bullet lodged in his brain after being shot through his left eye. The coroner and police initially concluded he died by suicide.“Wayne Millard did not kill himself,” Crown lawyer Jill Cameron said. “Dellen Millard carried about a calculated plan to murder his father and cover it up.”Wayne Millard had a $10-million plan to transform the family’s aviation business, Millardair, into a maintenance shop for passenger jets, the judge-alone trial heard. He told many people he was creating the business for his son.“Wayne Millard was spending the family money creating a legacy for Dellen Millard that he didn’t want,” Cameron said.Shortly after Wayne Millard died, his son — a co-owner of Millardair — fired all employees and returned a crucial license from the federal government to operate the company, the Crown said.“(Dellen Millard) now had money, power, freedom and control,” Cameron said.Dellen Millard’s defence lawyer argued, however, that Wayne Millard was depressed, an alcoholic and “drowning” underneath the stress of the business, echoing what his client told police shortly after his father died.“There is an overwhelming body of evidence that points to suicide,” Ravin Pillay said.“It was a suicide then, it is a suicide now.”The Crown said Dellen Millard’s plan to murder his father crystallized on Nov. 1, 2012, when the family aviation business received a maintenance, repair and overhaul certificate from Transport Canada.“The plan was hatched as soon as that licence came through for a business he didn’t want,” Cameron said. “Money was being funnelled out, his inheritance being spent.”That’s the same day the younger Millard bought a second cellphone, the Crown said.Court has heard that phone was used to call a cab from the home of Millard’s friend, Mark Smich, in Oakville, Ont., early on Nov. 29, 2012. Records show that phone was at the home Millard shared with his father at about 1 a.m. that day, and then back at Smich’s house at 6 a.m.Pillay countered that there was no proof that Millard was travelling with that phone and that it wouldn’t make sense to use a phone that was still registered in his name, if this was, in fact, murder.Millard left behind his main phone and a credit card so Smich and his girlfriend could buy pizza, the Crown alleged. Cameron said it was all a ruse to create a false alibi.The coroner put Wayne Millard’s death between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m., court heard.The Crown said Wayne Millard was not suicidal, but hopeful for the future, and had made plans for the day after he had been found dead, as well as plans to teach his girlfriend how to fly.“Everything was coming up Wayne,” Cameron said.She also said Wayne Millard couldn’t have physically shot himself in the face because of his position in his bed, where he was found lying on his side with a revolver nearby.Pillay said it’s impossible to reconstruct the moment of shooting with any certainty.The judge-alone trial has heard Dellen Millard bought the revolver found next to his father’s body from a gun dealer, and that his DNA was found on the weapon.Pillay said the DNA on the gun could have simply come from his client buying it.Ultimately, Pillay concluded, suicide is a complex issue and, in this case, misunderstood by the Crown.“With years of untreated depression compounded by decades of alcohol abuse, Wayne Millard was driven to a final impulsive act,” he said.Wayne Millard’s entire life was devoted to his son, Pillay said. And when Dellen Millard told his father that he was a failure and the reason behind the company’s financial troubles, Wayne Millard broke down.“That must have been very painful,” Pillay said.Millard is currently serving two life sentences for the deaths of Toronto woman Laura Babcock and Hamilton man Tim Bosma.The judge said she may have a verdict by July 19, but the decision may come in September due to her caseload.last_img read more

Lethbridge hockey player out of intensive care able to communicate

first_imgLETHBRIDGE, Alta. – An Alberta player with the Western Hockey League who was seriously burned while hanging out at a backyard firepit is out of intensive care.Family of Ryan Vandervlis say the Lethbridge Hurricanes player is fully alert and has been transferred to a Calgary hospital’s burn unit.He is able to whisper and communicate through texts.The 20-year-old centre with the elite major junior team suffered burns to half his body last month.He was with a group of young men who had gathered around a firepit as part of a pre-wedding celebration when a substance was placed in the fire.Vandervlis has so far had five surgeries and will need more, but his family says he is expected to make a full recovery.Two others were also burned but have since been released from hospital.last_img

US pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers competitive advantage

first_imgWASHINGTON – An American cannabis producer is warning President Donald Trump that Canada is poised to dominate the North American marijuana industry unless the United States takes steps to eliminate barriers to financing and market capital south of the border.A full-page ad in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, framed as a plea to the White House and its most prominent occupant, warns the U.S. is rapidly losing its competitive advantage to Canada, where recreational pot becomes legal at midnight.“The cannabis industry is legal in 31 states, yet most domestic companies do not have access to traditional banking or institutional financing,” reads the ad, signed by Derek Peterson, the chairman and CEO of California-based Terra Tech Corp.“As a result, many U.S. companies are being forced to move to the Canadian public markets to access capital and build their businesses.”The ad also warns that Canadian firms have tapped into U.S. investor interest in order to raise and spend money in order to acquire American cannabis assets.“Regrettably, this will put what should be one of our homeland’s greatest economic drivers in foreign control.”As of Wednesday, Canada will be the first G7 member to greenlight legal recreational pot — a move Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has justified as an effort to better protect young people from the drug’s effects and eliminate the influence of organized crime.In an interview, Peterson admitted to having mixed feelings about the momentous paradigm shift that’s scheduled to begin north of the border when the Trudeau government’s promise to legalize recreational pot finally becomes a reality.“It’s a double-edged sword,” he said. “I’m afraid of the economic impacts right now if we don’t do anything, but at the same time, (Canada) really triggered and ignited the national discussion.“I literally would categorize that as the single most pivotal point in our own path towards legalization, that they took the initiative to do it.”The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law. Sending product across state lines is impossible, as is the ability for companies to obtain financing from major banks.Federal statutes aimed at curtailing the cocaine trade in the 1980s remain on the books, making it impossible for companies like Terra Tech to deduct routine business expenses and capital equipment like computers and payroll costs against their taxes, Peterson said.Producers have to rely on smaller financial institutions like credit unions for financing, while the major players in the world of institutional capital have been flocking to back Canadian rivals, he added.The result is what Peterson called a “federal illegality tax” that extends across the spectrum of a U.S. producer’s operations and swallows profit margins whole.“The reality is, like it or hate it, you guys are getting a first-mover advantage,” he said of the Canadian industry.“We’re sitting here with no access to banking, getting our credit cards shut off, having all these crazy headwinds due to the dichotomy between state and federal law, and you guys took the first-mover advantage from the federal perspective and you’re reaping the rewards of it.”The solution, Peterson writes, is for the U.S. government to allow states to enact their own cannabis regulations “so that we can fairly compete and protect our domestic industry before it’s too late.”The federal philosophy on recreational pot in the U.S. has been fraught with confusion since Trump was elected in 2016.Despite campaigning on a promise to leave the issue up to individual states, the White House appeared to reverse course earlier this year by rescinding the so-called Cole memorandum, an Obama-era edict that prevented federal interference with those states where recreational cannabis is legal. Trump has since insisted, however, that the federal law would not be enforced in those jurisdictions.Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican congressman from California, has since said he has been assured that Trump plans to proceed with reforming federal marijuana laws as they pertain to medicinal pot once next month’s midterm elections are over.“The global cannabis boom, for raising money in Canada, has just been absolutely incredible,” said Anthony Durkacz, majority owner of First Republic Capital and a director of cannabis producer FSD Pharma, based in Cobourg, Ont.But Durkacz said the growth in the Canadian industry thus far could prove to be only the tip of the iceberg if Trump follows Peterson’s advice and starts lowering barriers to the production and sale of marijuana — something he considers an inevitability.“Canada is a very, very small country — economically we are tiny. There’s more money in Manhattan alone than all of Canada, by multiples,” he said.“For us, where the good times and the bullish market will continue is if America legalizes cannabis.”last_img read more

NATO told Russian election meddling evolving threat that must be met

first_imgHALIFAX — A NATO draft report says the problem of Russian meddling in democratic elections continues to evolve and alliance members must be ready to meet the threat.U.S. Democratic congresswoman Susan Davis told NATO’s science and technology committee meeting in Halifax that Russian interference continued in the early stages of the recent mid-term elections in her country, although not on the scale seen during the 2016 presidential election.Davis says technology companies shut down hundreds of fake accounts aiming to disrupt the elections.She says some of the accounts identified and deleted were also Iranian and the U.S. government now believes other states including China are emulating Russia’s tactics.Giorgi Kandelaki of the associate Georgian delegation told the committee that he was the victim of a Russian inspired disinformation campaign that popped up on Facebook news feeds.Kandelaki says his experience taught him that the Russians are still “a step ahead of us”, and he added that so far the threat response has been largely through “conferences and seminars.”The report was presented as part of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly meeting in Halifax.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

New federal food guide may be out of reach for most Canadians

first_imgThe fruit-and-vegetable-heavy fare touted in the new federal food guide may be too expensive — or perhaps just not enticing enough — to easily form the basis of most Canadians’ diets, a new report suggests.Researchers at Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph found over 52 per cent of consumers surveyed said they face barriers in adopting the guide’s recommendations.More than 26 per cent of people cited affordability, with others blaming taste preferences, lack of free time, dietary and cultural restrictions and a lack of availability in their area.The survey generally found a lack of reliance on Canada’s Food Guide for advice, though 74 per cent of respondents were aware of its 2019 upgrade.The guide ranked as the sixth most popular source of nutrition information among respondents, following friends and family, social media, magazines and cookbooks.“I would say that many Canadians are struggling with the concept of how the food guide, the plate they see on the pamphlet, connects with their own reality and frankly, Canadian agriculture,” said Sylvain Charlebois, a food researcher at Dalhousie and lead author on the report.“It’s great to celebrate this ideal but if it’s out of reach, if many Canadians feel it’s out of reach, how good is it?”Using a series of test plates, researchers found that switching from the 2007 food guide to the 2019 upgrade would save an average Canadian family of four 6.8 per cent on annual food costs.But that number is not predicted to stay stable.The report cautioned that Canadians’ rapidly changing diets, fluctuating food costs and availability of produce could make the new recommendations less affordable over the next few years.The number of vegans, vegetarians and “flexitarians” — people consciously eating less meat — is on the rise in Canada, now totalling at around 6.5 million people, a group roughly the same size as the population of the Greater Toronto Area.The report detailed how fruit and vegetable prices are increasing faster than the price of meats.If the trend continues as more people cut meat from their diets and turn to plant-based proteins, demand for and price of fruits and vegetables could increase further. That could price people out of the food guide’s suggested diet.While a lot can change in the world economy over two years, Charlebois said the projections spell trouble for future food security in Canada, where most produce is imported and prices fluctuate.“Over time, we do believe that there’s going to be an increasing number of Canadian households that will become food insecure, if they are to follow the new food guide,” Charlebois said.Health Canada said the department welcomes the researchers’ study and is currently reviewing it.It said Canadians had complained they had trouble following the recommended servings and sizes in the previous guide, and that the cost of food was considered in the revision.“This is why the new Food Guide is less prescriptive — talking about proportions rather than portions — and its recommendations can be adapted to different dietary preferences,” it said in a statement.It also noted the guide is just one of many components of approaching healthy eating.“The findings of the study could potentially help inform our efforts to promote broad awareness and use of the Food Guide among Canadians,” it said.Charlebois said the science-based guide should be reviewed more frequently, drawing from the expertise of economists, sociologists and historians to better reflect the realities people face when building their diets.Working with the agriculture sector is also important, Charlebois said, in order to assess whether Canada’s production capacity lines up with what the food guide recommends people eat.last_img read more

Canadian peacekeepers evacuated injured French counterterror troops in Mali

first_imgOTTAWA — Canadian peacekeepers were called upon to evacuate several wounded French soldiers in Mali earlier this month after their patrol was ambushed while hunting for militants along the border with Niger.The previously unreported incident marks the first time the Canadians have been asked to help non-United Nations forces in Mali, where the French have been conducting counter-insurgency operations since 2014.Canada has eight helicopters and 250 military personnel in Mali, where they have been providing emergency medical evacuations and transporting troops and equipment across a large swath of the remote African country.The Canadians have conducted seven other medical evacuations since August, all of which involved injured UN troops and workers.In an interview with The Canadian Press, the commander of Canada’s task force in Mali said the UN and France have agreed to help each other in extreme circumstances and that his peacekeepers did their jobs by helping save lives.“I wouldn’t want people to presume or assume that we’re supporting counter-terrorism efforts,” said Col. Travis Morehen. “But it’s really at this point about saving allied lives.”News of the French evacuation comes as the federal government is contemplating a formal UN request to extend its peacekeeping mission in Mali, which is currently set to end at the end of July.France has about 3,000 heavily armed soldiers in Mali and the surrounding region hunting militants linked to al-Qaida, the Islamic State and other extremist groups through what is known as Operation Barkhane.While Operation Barkhane has been credited with keeping the numerous Islamic extremist groups in Mali off balance, it has also been accused in some corners of contributing to instability in the region.According to media reports, a French patrol was operating near Mali’s border with Niger on March 10 when they were ambushed by a vehicle packed with explosives and a group of militants on motorcycles.Fifteen French soldiers were reportedly injured, two seriously, before the militants fled.The Canadians first learned about the attack when a French officer at the Operation Barkhane camp in Gao called while it was still happening and indicated an emergency medical evacuation might be required, said Morehen.The French counter-terror mission operates largely independently from the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, but Morehen says there is a good working relationship between the two.That includes the French providing air-traffic control services to the UN around Gao, the northern Malian city that is home to several military bases, including one belonging to Barkhane and another where the Canadians are located.The French also boast a more capable hospital than the UN, Morehen said, which is why the Canadians often end up bringing any wounded peacekeepers that they pick up in the field to the Barkhane camp.“So our pilots go over there and make sure that we have our flying procedures correct and we have a technical arrangement with them as well for medical support,” Morehen said.“There’s lots of sharing between us, which is all blessed by our governments.”Three Canadian helicopters were quickly deployed with approval from the UN mission commander in Bamako, Morehen said, and arrived at the scene about two hours later, at which point the fighting was over.Because of the distance, the two smaller Griffon escorts were redirected to a nearby town to refuel while the larger Chinook, which is configured like a flying hospital, continued back to Gao alone with the injured French soldiers.“It does increase the risk,” he said, “but we balanced it against the need to get those wounded back to medical facilities as soon as possible.”While he agreed that it was “the right thing to do,” Walter Dorn, an expert on peacekeeping at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto, said the evacuation nonetheless risked linking the UN and French missions in some minds.“The risk is that we are associated with Barkhane and we then become subject to more attacks and the line between peacekeepers and counter-insurgency fighters is blurred,” Dorn said.Morehen pushed back against such suggestions, insisting the evacuation was an extremely rare circumstance and that anyone who wants to target the UN — which has suffered dozens of casualties in Mali — will do so no matter what.“The people that want to do people harm here, they’ve already got it formulated in their mind,” he said. “I don’t see how fathomable it is that we would be targeted because we gave a medevac to French forces.”— Follow @leeberthiaume on TwitterLee Berthiaume, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

McClintic court application to review prison transfer discontinued in Alberta

first_imgEDMONTON — Lawyers for a woman convicted of killing eight-year-old Tori Stafford say they have withdrawn an application for a review of their client’s move from a healing lodge back to prison.Calgary lawyers Kelsey Sitar and Sarah Rankin say in an email that the application on behalf of Terri-Lynn McClintic was discontinued last week and is no longer active.However, the application still went before an Edmonton judge, who ruled Monday that a review of McClintic’s transfer is warranted, but additional papers needed to be filed.McClintic’s lawyers did not say if they intend to renew the application in Alberta or another jurisdiction after Monday’s decision.McClintic and her boyfriend, Michael Rafferty, are serving life sentences for the first-degree murder of Tori, who was abducted while walking home from school in Woodstock, Ont. in 2009.She was repeatedly raped and bludgeoned with a hammer.The couple made headlines last year when Rafferty was transferred to a medium-security prison and McClintic was moved to a minimum-security healing lodge.After public outcry, and outrage from Tori’s family, McClintic was moved to the Edmonton Institution for Women from the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge near Maple Creek, Sask.Court documents say she has since been transferred to Grand Valley Institution for Women near Kitchener, Ont., which is a minimum-medium security facility.Justice John Henderson wrote in his decision Monday that McClintic “no longer has any connection to Alberta and its courts.”“It is unclear as to what basis an Alberta court has jurisdiction,” he said.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Giving Back Fund To Host Annual Philanthropy Summit

first_imgThe Giving Back Fund, a national nonprofit organization that provides philanthropic consulting and management to professional athletes, entertainers, other high-profile individuals, and corporations, will hold their fifth annual Sports and Entertainment Philanthropy Summit in New York on May 6 and May 7.The Summit will focus exclusively on sports and entertainment philanthropy, providing practical advice and expertise targeted to Executive Directors, Development Directors, pro teams’ Community Relations personnel, celebrities’ families and friends, and others who are currently advising celebrity-associated charities.Speakers include: Todd Jacobson, Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility at the National Basketball Association (NBA); Lois Backon, Executive Director of Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase; Robin Bronk, CEO at the Creative Coalition; Sheila Kelly, Vice President of Development at the Michael J. Fox Foundation, and Peter Wilderotter, President and Chief Executive Officer at the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.The Summit will present world-renowned experts in the areas of cause-marketing and sponsorship success, board development and governance, fundraising, public relations, and legal issues, with a special emphasis on the unique challenges and opportunities associated with celebrity charities. The Summit is also an excellent opportunity to network with decision makers for athlete and celebrity associated charities.Stephanie Sandler, Senior Vice President of The Giving Back Fund said, ” Those of us who are working in the field of sports and entertainment philanthropy rarely have the opportunity to spend any concentrated time with our colleagues. So much can be learned from each others’ successes and challenges, some of which are very unique to celebrity philanthropy.”Sponsors for the Summit include Annual Registration Management, Britton Gallagher, Witt/Kieffer, JP Morgan, and UPrinting.comFor more information on the Summit or to register, please visit www.GivingBack.org.last_img read more

Katy Perry And Staples Make Roar Happen For Teachers

first_imgStaples, Inc. is teaming up with global pop music superstar Katy Perry to “Make Roar Happen” and celebrate and support teachers during the back-to-school season.Katy Perry poses with students and teachers from local LA elementary schools at the Staples Make Roar Happen press conferenceCredit/Copyright: Matt Sayles/Invision for Staples/AP ImagesStaples is building on its long history of supporting teachers, students, and education by donating $1 million to DonorsChoose.org, a charity that has helped fund more than 450,000 classroom projects for teachers and impacted more than 11 million students.To encourage teachers, parents and students around the country to ‘Make Roar Happen’ Staples will become the presenting sponsor of the North American leg of Katy Perry’s Prismatic World Tour, which resumes on June 22 in Raleigh, N.C.“‘Make Roar Happen’ with Katy Perry builds on Staples’ commitment to teachers in a new and engaging way,” said Alison Corcoran, senior vice president, North American stores and online marketing, Staples. “With music that inspires people worldwide, Katy Perry is a powerful voice to encourage people to ‘Roar’ and recognize teachers for their impact both inside and outside the classroom. Our $1 million donation will help teachers supply their classrooms just in time for back to school.”“I’m glad to partner with Staples on my Prismatic World Tour to raise awareness and funds for DonorsChoose.org, and to remind my fans that a small gesture can make a large impact on the very basic materials classrooms need for teachers to help students reach their full potential,” said Katy Perry.A recent Staples survey revealed that 75% of parents of teen students believe a lack of school supplies is a significant challenge for schools today. Most teachers spend an average of $408.71 of their own money each year to provide supplies and materials for their classrooms. Staples’ customers are invited to ‘Make Roar Happen’ and help their local teachers by donating $1 to DonorsChoose.org at their local Staples store or online at www.staples.com/makeroarhappen. Donations will be used to fund classroom projects in the community where the donation was made.“We so appreciate the tremendous support from Staples, its loyal customers, and Katy Perry, helping teachers and students across the country,” said Charles Best, Founder and CEO, DonorsChoose.org. “The hard work and dedication teachers provide should not come at their own expense. The ‘Make Roar Happen’ campaign is an incredible vehicle to help fulfill the classroom dreams of teachers and students.”Win A Trip to Meet Katy PerryBeginning on June 25, fans will have a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles to meet Katy Perry and attend her concert on Sept. 19 at the Staples Center by entering the ‘Make Roar Happen’ Video Sweepstakes. Everyone is invited to create videos ‘Roaring’ about their educational goals, inspirational teachers, or how education has positively affected their lives. To enter, upload your ‘Roar’ video at Staples.com/MakeRoarHappen. Entries must be submitted before 11:59 PM ET on Sept. 3, and participants must be 18 years or older. Participants are encouraged to share their videos on their social channels using the hashtag #MakeRoarHappen. See official rules at Staples.com/MakeRoarHappen.Win Tickets to see Katy Perry The Prismatic World Tour Presented by StaplesCustomers who spend $10 or more at any Staples store will receive a unique code(s) based on the total amount spent. Code(s) will be provided on their store receipt to enter online at Staples.com/MakeRoarHappen for a chance to win two tickets to a concert in the U.S. portion of the Katy Perry Prismatic World Tour Presented by Staples. To win tickets, participants must enter the code on their purchase receipt from June 1 to Sept. 25 at Staples.com/MakeRoarHappen. See official rules at Staples.com/MakeRoarHappen.last_img read more