Kolkata Police cracks down on waste burning

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata Police have issued a circular stating that from now on, burning of waste will be treated as a crime as per the law and offenders may get arrested. The circular has come into effect from Wednesday. According to sources, keeping the massive change in the climate in mind, the state Environment department and Pollution Control Board (PCB) had urged the police department to take action against the offenders who would be found burning waste materials. After being notified by the Environment department, senior officials of Kolkata Police discussed the matter and decided to publish the circular. According to the circular, from July 3 burning of any waste such as garbage, plastic, wood, bio-waste, electronic equipments, domestic wastes, husk, household waste, recyclable and non recyclable wastes, will be against the law. If any person is found burning the same, he/she may get arrested and face a trial eventually.last_img read more

Parliament Updates Triple talaq bill clears Lok Sabha hurdle to face Rajya

first_imgNew Delhi: After a prolonged debate, Lok Sabha Thursday passed the contentious Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2019, commonly known as the Triple Talaq Bill with a majority of 303 votes. After members of Parliament raised questions primarily on the criminalisation of the bill, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “If we provide a provision of bail under the law, the husband can go scot-free when he says he hasn’t given triple talaq.” He further said the law is not about religion or garnering votes, it is for women empowerment. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details This is the first time that the bill was tabled in the 17th Lok Sabha by the BJP government after coming back to power. The triple talaq bill was tabled in the Lok Sabha by Prasad today. A heated debate took place between the Centre and the Opposition over the contentious bill. Calling the bill as “anti-Islam”, AIMIM Asaduddin Owaisi said introducing a law will not eradicate a social evil. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2019, which aims to criminalise instant triple talaq, was introduced by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, last month. Prasad had introduced a fresh bill in this regard to ban instant triple talaq in the Lok Sabha, saying it would help protect the rights of Muslim women. The bill seeks to replace the ordinance passed by the previous government in February after a similar bill could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha. (With inputs from Indian Express)last_img read more

Kevin Hart to headline Quibi series Action Scene

first_imgLos Angeles: Actor Kevin Hart is set to star in an action comedy series for upcoming streaming service Quibi. Titled “Action Scene”, the series is a collaboration between Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Network and the streamer, reported Variety. It follows a fictionalized version of Hart on a quest to land the action movie role of a lifetime. “After being rejected for the role, Kevin randomly encounters a leading A-List action movie star which inadvertently sets off a chain of events, causing Kevin to fight his way through a series of over-the-top action sequences with the help of some of Hollywood’s biggest action movie heroes,” the official plotline read. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka Hart, who is currently working on “Jumanji: The Next Level”, will also executive produce the series alongside Dave Becky. “I couldn’t be more excited to bring big action and even bigger laughs to a new audience through this partnership between Quibi and Laugh Out Loud,” he said. “Our teams are working together to create something truly unique and I can’t wait for viewers to see it all unfold,” he added. Jeff Clanagan, the actor’s business partner at Laugh Out Loud, will produce the project. Quibi, co-founded by Hollywood heavyweight Jeffrey Katzenberg and former HP CEO Meg Whitman, is set to launch next year. The streaming service has already lined-up an impressive slate of projects in collaboration with celebs like Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Lopez, Idris Elba, Chrissy Teigen, Lena Waithe, Don Cheadle, Tyra Banks and Lorne Michaels, among others.last_img read more

China blocking market access IT majors tell Goyal

first_imgNew Delhi: Indian IT majors like TCS, HCL and Infosys have raised concerns regarding market access issues and non-tariff barriers in China with Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, as they are creating hurdles for them to set up business in that country. During the discussions, the representatives of the companies informed the minister that India’s investments and business have not been able to grow in China due to various non-tariff barriers and challenges faced by Indian companies to set up their entity in China, said an official statement. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalOne of the major focus area of the discussion was market access issues as it creates hurdles for Indian companies to open their business in China. Chinese IT services market is the third largest in the world. The meeting held here on Wednesday was attended by senior managers of TCS, Satyam Venture Engineering, HCL, NIIT Tech, Infosys, Invento Robotics, Tech Mahindra and Wipro. Goyal asked the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and the senior managers of the companies to share specific data regarding non-tariff barriers being faced by them in China and other East Asian markets. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost”Government of India will give all support for the global growth of India’s flagship industry and will make all efforts to facilitate the IT service industry and for that it is ready to engage with China and also Japan and Korea”, Goyal said during the meeting. Sangeeta Godbole, DG of Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC) and President of NASSCOM, Debjani Ghosh, were also present during the discussions with Goyal. The focus of the meeting was also on exploring opportunities for IT companies to invest and grow their business in new markets like the Nordic countries, Eastern and Central Europe, Canada, Australia and Africa. India’s IT industry contributed 7.7 per cent to the country’s GDP in financial year 2016-17 and is expected to contribute 10 per cent of India’s GDP by 2025. According to IT industry body NASSCOM, the aggregated revenues of the sector stood at $160 billion in 2017. The United States account for two-third of India’s IT services exports. India’s IT and ITeS industry grew to $181 billion in 2018-19. Exports from the industry increased to $137 billion in fiscal year 2018-19 while domestic revenues (including hardware) advanced to $44 billion. The minister also asked the IT services companies to explore other markets and not be inhibited in operating in countries that are non-English speaking. He urged the top five Indian IT firms to create a corpus that will be spent on training manpower in languages like Mandarin, Japanese and Korean for accessing the markets in these countries. India is the largest exporter of IT services in the world and exports dominate the Indian IT industry and constitutes about 79 per cent of the total revenue of the industry.last_img read more

Detention of Yechury Raja at Srinagar airport antidemocratic CPIM

first_imgNew Delhi: The CPI(M) on Friday hit out at the government for detaining its general secretary Sitaram Yechury and CPI leader D Raja at Srinagar airport, saying it was an “anti-democratic” act, which showed the ruling BJP’s “authoritarian face”. The Left leaders had gone to Srinagar to meet CPI(M) MLA Md Tarigami and other party colleagues. “The politburo calls upon the people to protest this anti-democratic act of the BJP government,” the statement said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details “This shows the authoritarian face of the BJP government,” it added. Yechury and Raja had written to Satya Pal Malik on Thursday informing him of their visit and requesting him to facilitate their entry. “Both of us had written to the Jammu and Kashmir governor requesting him that there should be no hurdles for our visit… despite that we have been detained. I wanted to meet my ailing colleague and our comrades who are here,” Yechury told PTI. On Thursday, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad was detained and sent back to Delhi from the Srinagar airport.last_img read more

AAP to contest Maharashtra assembly elections

first_imgMumbai: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is gearing up to contest the upcoming Maharashtra assembly elections for the first time, a top party leader announced on Friday. “This is the AAP’s maiden foray in the state assembly election. Though the exact number of seats is yet to be finalized, we may tentatively target contesting around 60-70 constituencies where we have a good support base,” AAP national spokesperson Preeti Sharma-Menon told IANS. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP had contested all the 48 seats in the state but failed to win any in the wake of the BJP wave then. After the defeat, the party kept off the assembly elections that year and also the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in the state, both swept by the ruling NDA. The AAP has constituted a 11-member Campaign Committee headed by Ranga Rachure and solicited applications from probable candidates across the state. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K Explaining the decision, Sharma-Menon said that despite the electorate voting for change in the 2014 assembly polls, the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena government led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has proved “to be a colossal failure on all fronts”. “Once known as a progressive state, today it plagued with large-scale agrarian distress, farmland suicides, rising unemployment, poor law and order, growing crimes, widespread corruption, droughts, floods, economic slowdown,” she alleged. On the other hand, instead of holding the government accountable and ensuring respite to the suffering citizens, the Oppositon parties are in disarray and failed their basic constitutional obligations, said Sharma-Menon. “The AAP was born out of a mass anti-corruption movement which has demonstrated – through the work by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal – that clean politics and a new political culture can deliver and set new records of good governance. “Our revolutionary work in providing quality eduation, healthcare, cheapest electricity in the country, potable water for all, world-class public infrastructure and other achievements have received accolades from all over,” she said. Sharma-Menon assured that the AAP would aim to provide Maharashtra with a viable alternative and become the peoples’ voice in speaking truth to power.last_img read more

Decision on Chidambarams plea for protection from arrest next week

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday said it will pronounce on September 5 the order on plea of former Finance minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate.A bench of Justices R Banumathi and A S Bopanna also extended interim protection from arrest granted to Chidambaram till next Thursday. The former Union minister offered before the bench to remain in the custody of CBI till Monday. The court refused to comment on it after solicitor general Tushar Mehta said extension of remand can only be done before the CBI court. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsThe bench also directed the ED to place before it in a sealed cover the material which the probe agency wanted to produce for the court’s perusal. Chidambaram’s plea in the Apex Court has challenged the August 20 verdict of the Delhi High Court denying him anticipatory bail in the INX Media money laundering case lodged by the ED. ED told the Supreme Court that custodial interrogation of Chidambaram is needed as he is a man with “resources, intelligence and wherewithal” even as the former Finance minister asserted that his right to liberty cannot be curtailed by arresting him without any valid reason.last_img read more

Rupee slips 13 paise to 7184 against USD in early trade

first_imgMumbai: The rupee opened on a cautious note and fell 13 paise to 71.84 against the US dollar in early trade on Wednesday amid rising crude oil prices and unabated foreign fund outflows. At the Interbank Foreign Exchange, the rupee opened at 71.82 then fell to 71.84 against the US dollar, showing a decline of 13 paise over its previous closing. The Indian rupee on Monday had closed at 71.71 against the US dollar. Forex market was closed on Tuesday on account of Muharram. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal Forex traders said rising brent crude prices and foreign fund inflows weighed on the domestic currency. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.87 per cent to USD 62.92 per barrel. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital markets, pulling out Rs 188.08 crore on Monday, as per provisional data. Market participants however said positive opening in domestic equities added support to the local unit and restricted the downfall. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost Domestic bourses opened on a positive note on Wednesday with benchmark indices Sensex trading 133.04 points up at 37,278.49 and Nifty up 36.15 points at 11,039.20. The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, rose marginally by 0.01 per cent to 98.33. The 10-year government bond yield was at 6.61 per cent in morning trade. Meanwhile on the global front, US President Donald Trump has claimed that China had lost trillions of dollars and three-million jobs due the tariffs his administration had imposed against the country. Trump asserted that the United States was doing very well against China, adding that the Chinese wanted to negotiate a trade deal “very badly”. The top two economies of the world have been locked in a bitter trade war since last year, imposing tit-for-tat tariffs on goods worth billions of dollars. For the past 10 months, both the countries are negotiating a trade deal, but without any success.last_img read more

Canada given one year to sort out BC First Nations commercial fishery

first_imgVANCOUVER – A group of West Coast First Nations has won the right to harvest and sell fish commercially after a 12-year court battle.B.C. Supreme Court Justice Mary Humphries has ruled Fisheries and Oceans Canada has one year to establish a commercial fishery for the five First Nations collectivelly known as Nuu-chah-nulth.However, Nuu-chah-nulth president Judith Sayers says that if the government is serious about implementing their rights, it should let the bands begin fishing immediately.In the 400-page judgment, Humphries sets out the parameters for the Indigenous fisheries involving species including a variety of salmon, groundfish, crab, prawn and shellfish.Fisheres Minister Dominic LeBlanc says in a statement that he has directed his ministry to take immediate steps and review the Pacific salmon allocation policy, while collaborating with First Nations groups and stakeholders on new policy.Gord Johns, a Vancouver Island member of Parliament, says he’ll be in Ottawa next week to remind the government of its obligation.last_img read more

NAFTA energy clause draws criticism from Canadian voices on the right and

first_imgCALGARY – As NAFTA 2.0 negotiations begin, an old trade issue with a strange name has emerged to create unlikely allies across the political spectrum and staunch defenders in the oilpatch.The “proportionality clause” originally appeared in the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement of 1988 and became a major issue in that year’s federal election that returned Prime Minister Brian Mulroney to office. It was replicated six years later in the North American Free Trade Agreement (although Mexico won an exemption).The clause can be invoked if a government in Canada reduces U.S. access to Canadian oil, natural gas, coal, electricity and refined petroleum products without a corresponding reduction in domestic access to those products — in other words, the ratio of energy exports versus supply must remain consistent, or proportional.The left-leaning Council of Canadians says the clause erodes sovereignty and gives the U.S. too much control over Canadian energy production.The business-friendly Conference Board of Canada says the clause is an outdated restriction that isn’t needed in today’s energy-rich world and should be cast aside.“What happened with NAFTA is that Canadian oil and gas became North American oil and gas and we have very little control of it,” said Maude Barlow, honorary chair of the Council of Canadians, in an interview.“We feel very strongly this is a chance to reopen what should never have been signed in the first place.”She said the proportionality clause could allow the U.S. to prevent Canada from choking back oilsands production to meet its international environmental commitments, for instance, or to interfere if Canada tries to keep more oil and gas for domestic use during an energy shortage.Michael Burt, a director with the Conference Board, said the clause isn’t fair because it doesn’t cover Mexico, whose energy industry is being opened to private investment after decades of government ownership.“Evidence would suggest that it hasn’t really been a binding constraint at any point in the 25 years of NAFTA,” he added.“It’s not really adding any value and it’s taking away potential future flexibility in terms of policy responses, whether it’s to a crisis or to climate change mediation.”While the Canadian think-tanks oppose the clause in submissions to the federal government, the energy industry itself prefers it to an alternative that could include government meddling in energy markets.“It was put in there basically as a ‘good neighbour’ clause,” said Nick Schultz, vice-president and general counsel at the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, who was involved in free trade negotiations in the 1980s as an Ottawa trade lawyer.“It’s not the evil thing that people have long tried to characterize it as. It’s simply saying … treat your customers fairly.”He said the clause was created following global oil supply crises in the 1970s and the imposition of the National Energy Program in Canada in 1980. The NEP aimed to promote Canadian energy security by favouring domestic over export markets but was blamed for throwing Canada’s energy industry into a deep downturn.Schultz pointed out that proportionality protects energy consumers on both sides of the border — as more U.S. oil products and natural gas replace western Canadian and offshore supplies in Eastern Canada, it will protect Canadian importers from arbitrary U.S. export cuts.In U.S. President Donald Trump’s list of objectives for the NAFTA talks released in July, there’s no mention of proportionality. The one paragraph on energy policy lists general goals, including North American energy security and strong markets.The clause is receiving very little attention in the U.S., said Robert Holleyman, the CEO of trade consulting firm C&M International and a former U.S. trade negotiator in the Obama administration.But that doesn’t mean it’s not important, he said.“It ensures a certain level of North American market security because it ensures that U.S. dependence and reliance on Canada to supply some of our energy needs is largely predictable,” he said.“I suspect the U.S. will not want to give this up.”He said if Canada wants to drop the clause, it would likely have to offer substantial trade-offs in negotiations. The clause seems to be working and, therefore, should probably not be removed, he added.Canada’s position on proportionality is unclear. It wasn’t one of the priorities mentioned by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland in a statement Monday.Her office did not immediately respond to a request Tuesday to clarify Canada’s stance.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.last_img read more

Experts at international convention predict a safer future with selfdriving cars

first_imgMONTREAL – Experts attending an international convention on intelligent transport systems say the increasingly interconnected world is good news for motorists.Claude Arpin, a Bell Mobility product specialist, says it all comes down to providing access to real-time information.He cites as one example putting data on a car’s dashboard to allow a motorist to find a parking spot without having to drive all around the city.“Information is really going to be the key,” he said in an interview Wednesday, pointing to Montreal as an example of a smart city.“Montreal did something fantastic two years ago when they equipped their snowplows so the citizens can actually know when the plow is going to be on their roads. You’re getting information before your car is towed.”Arpin said that with the move toward self-driving vehicles, carmakers are asking mobile service providers what services and content can be provided inside their vehicles.“We’re talking about the future here,” he said at the Intelligent Transportation Systems World Congress.“If you’re not driving the car, you might as well read a book, watch a movie, do a video conference or even some office work.”Joanna Hazelden, a policy adviser with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, sees a number of benefits to autonomous vehicles.“Primarily it’s taking the human driver out of the equation,” she said in an interview at the convention.” Right now, humans cause the majority of accidents on roads, so take them out.“Machines will eventually be better drivers.”She added that autonomous vehicles will be a boon for people who have limited mobility.Hazelden said seven companies have already been testing their automated technology on the open roads of Ontario.“We’re the first and only province that allows autonomous vehicle testing,” she said.But if the experts are to be believed, don’t expect self-driving cars to take over anytime soon.Hazelden said it is going to happen, but only after a gradual process.The first step will be under certain conditions, including good weather conditions and driving at lower speeds.“So at first, you’ll be able to take control of the vehicle at any time,” she said.But eventually self-driving vehicles will be able to manage all types of conditions and do all the getting around.“There are debates as when exactly we all will be able to take our hands off the wheel and not drive,” she said. “It’s down the road.”In the meantime, one company that supplies traffic barrels to construction companies uses technology to try to make congestion problems less stressful.James Delamere, the president of Stinson-Owl Lite, a traffic management firm, says some of the big orange barrels also have traffic sensors inside them, which measure vehicle volume and speeds.“From that we can use analytics to send a message down to a sign on the side of the road that will tell the driver how long it will take to get downtown or some other point in between,” he said.“It’s all about giving the public information to reduce their level of frustration so they can understand what’s happening ahead.”Delamere said the average person sitting in his or her car doesn’t realize what’s going on behind the scenes.“We’re trying to make it better for everybody and the internet of things (and) cellular technology is really accelerating our ability to manage traffic,” he said.last_img read more

The Friday news briefing An ataglance survey of some top stories

first_imgHighlights from the news file for Friday, Nov. 3———LIBERALS MAKE SOME PROGRESS ON MEETING ELECTION PROMISES: This weekend marks two years since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet was sworn in. Letters he sent his ministers outlining their tasks provide a way of seeing how many campaign promises his government has met. The government has met promises like restoring the long-form census, welcoming 25,000 Syrian refugees and creating the Canada Child Benefit. Work on balancing the books continues.———UN REFUGEES CZAR LOOKS TO CANADA TO DO MORE: The UN High Commissioner for Refugees says Canada has good credentials on helping refugees, but hopes it can do more. Filippo Grandi said on Friday that Canada can enhance its reputation by ramping up resettlement programs to help share the burden with countries facing an influx of refugees needing a new home. He is due to meet federal officials on Monday.———RAE TO BRIEF PM ON CRISIS IN MYANMAR: Canada’s special envoy for the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar will brief Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on his findings at next week’s APEC summit in Vietnam. Bob Rae is touring a part of Bangadesh where 600,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar since a security crackdown have sought shelter. Rae is trying to arrange a meeting with Myanmar’s military leaders, who are being blamed for what some have called the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims.———CANADA SLAPS A HOST OF SANCTIONS ON DOZENS OF INDIVIDUALS: Canada has announced dozens of sanctions as it highlights corruption and rights abuses in Russia, Venezuela and South Sudan. Among those hit with sanctions, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. It’s the first use of a new law passed last month that allows for sanctions against individuals who the federal government holds responsible for, or complicit in, gross violations of human rights or acts of corruption.———MOST CANADIANS FALL BACK THIS WEEKEND: Canadians in most parts of the country will move back their clocks an hour, but there are signs many people across the continent are fed up with moving their timepieces ahead one hour in the spring — losing an hour of sleep — and then turning them back in the fall. For example, the Alberta legislature rejected proposed legislation saying the change would pose too many difficulties for businesses. For the most part, Saskatchewan residents have never changed their clocks.———THE CBC’S OVERHAULED FLAGSHIP NEWSCAST UNVEILED MONDAY: One of the new hosts of CBC’s The National says they hope to show how a late night national newscast can still be relevant to Canadians. Ian Hanomansing is sharing the anchor duties along with senior correspondent Adrienne Arsenault, “Power & Politics” host Rosemary Barton, and Vancouver local news host Andrew Chang. Hanomansing and Arsenault will be largely based in Toronto, Barton will remain in Ottawa, and Chang will be in Vancouver, but each will do field and feature reporting and may be in different cities from time to time, giving “The National” a different look every night.———ALBERTA’S PREMIER CALLS FOR REGULATORS TO CLEAR THE WAY FOR PIPELINE EXPANSION: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is calling on the National Energy Board to quickly remove roadblocks on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project in British Columbia. The City of Burnaby has not issued the permits to allow Kinder Morgan to expand its pipeline from Alberta. Notley is backing the company’s call for the NEB to act.———AMAZON BEEFING UP PRESENCE IN VANCOUVER: Amazon is opening another corporate office in Vancouver that will house an additional 1,000 workers. It’s not the highly sought-after second headquarters that has attracted the attention of communities and governments across North America. Amazon’s first Vancouver office was opened in 2015, which now employs more than 1,000 people, mostly software development engineers.———FIRST NATIONS GROUP DISAPPOINTED RCMP CLEARED IN SASKATCHEWAN CASE: The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations says First Nations representation is needed in reviews about how police deal with Indigenous peoples. The federation is expressing disappointment that RCMP officers have been cleared of mistreating the family of an Indigenous man who was shot to death on a Saskatchewan farm. The RCMP said the allegations couldn’t be supported. The family has accused police of being insensitive, searching the home of the victim’s mother without permission and asking her if she’d been drinking.———DATA DETAILS HOW CLINTON CAMPAIGN EMAILS WERE STOLEN: Thousands of lines of raw data associated with the theft of Hillary Clinton campaign emails show how the Russia-linked hackers dodged strict security measures to pull it off. Minute-by-minute logs gathered by cybersecurity company Secureworks and recently shared with The Associated Press tell the tale. It took the hackers just over a week of work to zero in on and penetrate the personal Gmail account of campaign chairman John Podesta.———last_img read more

Quebec special constables seek judgment to increase their ranks at courthouses

first_imgMONTREAL – The union representing Quebec’s special constables took the government to court Monday, seeking a judgment that would bolster their numbers across the province.Special constables have long argued that there are too few of them at the province’s courthouses, where they are increasingly being replaced by private security.They first filed the action against the province in June 2016, calling on the government to reverse that trend.A union representative said in an interview Monday that more constables would help put an end to situations like the shooting of a young man at the courthouse Maniwaki, Que., last week.Quebec’s bureau of independent investigations is probing the altercation between a special constable working alone at the Maniwaki courthouse and an 18-year-old man.The man was hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the head following the scuffle with the constable, part of which was caught on film.Franck Perales, president of the union, said it has been sounding the alarm since 2014 about a shortfall of constables, but their warnings have fallen on deaf ears.The union argues the province has opted for private security for financial reasons, but they lack experience and proper training.Perales said despite this, they routinely perform tasks that should fall to special constables.He said the presence of private security gives the false illusion of a secure environment, citing what happened in Maniwaki on Wednesday as a prime example.Last Friday, the government assured that in the wake of last week’s shooting, courthouses that previously only had one constable on duty would now have two.Perales called that move a step in the right direction.The union has two goals with the court challenge being heard in Quebec City this week by Superior Court Justice Jean-Francois Emond.They want to prove that the province’s Public Security and Justice Departments aren’t respecting their obligations by entrusting courthouse security more and more to private security firms instead of special constables who should perform the tasks.And they want the province to remedy the situation.The union alleges a lack of adequate staffing compromises the safety of employees, the public and constables themselves.last_img read more

Police lay two firstdegree murder charges in 1991 missing persons case

first_imgA police social media campaign launched to generate leads on cold cases in central Ontario bore fruit this week as a man was charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of two men who vanished in 1991, investigators said Wednesday.Ontario Provincial Police and the Barrie Police Service said Michael Guido Gerald Claes, of Elmvale, Ont., was charged Monday in the deaths of Grant Ayerst and Norman Whalley, and remains in custody.The two men, aged 21 and 36 respectively, were last seen leaving a hotel in Toronto on Sept. 11, 1991. Their remains have not been found.Police did not specify exactly what evidence led to the arrest of 49-year-old Claes, who they said grew up in Barrie, Ont., and was known to them for several years.But Det.-Insp. Gilles Depratto, the major case manager on the file, said in an interview that police wouldn’t have been able to make an arrest without information gleaned from the public in the wake of the social media campaign launched last year.“We can’t say specifically if one tip helped us come to the successful resolution, but we can say there was a lot of discussion in the public and there was a lot of people who provided us information,” he said.While the case is before the courts and there’s a long road ahead — complicated by the fact that the bodies of Ayerst and Whalley have not been found — Depratto said he’s confident the case will come to a successful conclusion.He noted that it was satisfying to be able to tell the families of Ayerst and Whalley that investigators believe they’ve arrested the alleged killer.“It’s the most important thing, because what we work for in homicides is to be able to bring some resolution in the family,” Depratto said.“They didn’t want to be disappointed again,” he added. “That was one main thing, that they’ve seen the investigation move forward at different times in the last 26 years, and they didn’t want to be disappointed.”The Ayerst family issued a written statement that thanked police for their efforts.“Early on in this tragedy we chose not to let the events surrounding Grant’s disappearance destroy our lives,” the family said. “Instead we chose to keep the good memories alive, hope to move us forward and always anticipated the day we would have some resolution to this tragedy which disrupted our lives over 26 years ago.”“Patience, karma and hope have paid off,” the family added.The disappearances of Ayerst and Whalley were among four cold cases profiled by the provincial and Barrie police forces last year as part of a project called the Simcoe County Case Files, prompting renewed interest and offering hope to the families of the alleged victims.As part of the project, police created a Facebook page where they profiled the cases in episodic videos that have now been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.They also wrapped a cube van with case information to direct viewers to the Facebook page and encourage tips. The van was strategically parked in various locations throughout the Greater Simcoe County area.The series of videos explains that Ayerst and Whalley arrived in Ontario from British Columbia in September 1991 “to carry out an illicit drug transaction,” and were never heard from again.The other cases part of the project included 17-year-old Cindy Halliday of Waverly, Ont., who was last seen hitchhiking near Midhurst, Ont., in 1992. Her remains were discovered months later, and questions still swirl around what happened to her.April Dobson, 40, was sitting on a friend’s porch in 2005 when she was shot to death, and the body of 30-year-old Jaimee Lee Miller was found in a wooded area in March 2016, five months after she was last seen.All of the cases included in the project are believed to be homicides.last_img read more

Quebec police watchdog probes death of man after he fled police on

first_imgGATINEAU, Que. – Quebec’s police watchdog has opened an investigation into the death of a 28-year-old man who was struck by a car after he allegedly fled police on foot in Gatineau, Que.The independent investigations bureau said a call was placed to police today regarding a man who was allegedly trying to break into vehicles in the parking lot of the Lac-Leamy casino.A lone officer arrived and spotted a man who fit the description of the suspect.The officer got out of his car and approached the suspect, who fled on foot.A chase ensued and the suspect was struck by a vehicle and died in hospital.The bureau says 10 of its investigators are analyzing the case with the help of provincial police.last_img

Officials considering rescuing ailing killer whale for medical treatment

first_imgVANCOUER, B.C. – Capturing and treating an extremely sick killer whale off the West Coast may be the next step in an attempt to nurse her back to health, say officials leading the operation in Canada and the United States.If the young killer whale known as J50 is stranded on a beach or separated from her family, officials say they are laying out steps that would involve capturing and treating her before returning the animal to the wild.Chris Yates of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the U.S. said the goal is for J50 to survive in the wild and contribute to the recovery of southern resident killer whales, which are an endangered species as only 75 remain.“We do not intend to intervene or capture J50 in a manner contrary to that objective or when there is a negative impact to her pod or the wild population,” he told a conference call with reporters on Wednesday.“We are preparing along with our partners to rescue J50 if she is ultimately separated from her family unit or stranded and rescuing her is the only alternative before us.”Officials don’t intend to intervene if she is with her pod, said Yates, the assistant regional administrator for protected resources with NOAA Fisheries.Andrew Thomson, regional director of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, said it’s a difficult situation.“A lot of logistical challenges to consider, ensuring everyone is prepared for what can happen. We are trying to be in the best prepared position should a rescue be required through separation or stranding.”The latest aerial photos of the whale show a noticeable loss of fat behind the head, which creates a ‘peanut head’ appearance.Veterinarian Joe Gaydos of the SeaDoc Society, a marine wildlife program at the University of California, Davis, saw J50 most recently and said she was in poor condition.“She was the thinnest killer whale I’ve ever seen. But at that same time, she was still keeping up with her brother. Her mother was in the area. She was like this little Energizer Bunny that just keeps going and going.”He said body fat in a whale provides insulation and food, and also helps the animals swim more efficiently by providing a torpedo shape.“So, she’s reached a point now where she’s working harder to move through the water than an animal in good condition. It’s a very sick animal right now.”She’s been given antibiotics twice, in August and September, but plans to give her a dewormer have not been successful. Officials are still hoping to administer a dose of dewormer.A hands-on medical intervention would include doing a hearing test, an endoscopy, blood work and ultrasound, among other things.Lynne Barre, the southern resident killer whale recovery co-ordinator for NOAA Fisheries, said should J50 be rescued and treated, one option would be rehabilitating her in a net pen for a period of time before she is reunited with her family.last_img read more

New federal Arctic policy focusses on human health environment infrastructure

first_imgThe Canadian Press The federal government has released its long-awaited policy on developing the Canadian Arctic.The lengthy document, released by the department of Crown-Indigenous Relations, proposes eight priorities, with health, infrastructure and economic development at the top.The policy is a departure from the tone of the previous Conservative government under Stephen Harper, which emphasized security concerns and threats to Canada’s Arctic sovereignty.The document has been expected since 2017 and is the product of extensive consultations with northern governments and First Nations.However, it comes weeks before the end of the current government’s mandate, leaving unasnswered the question of how its many goals will be reached.last_img

David Garrett To Perform For Save The Music Foundation Students

first_imgOn Friday, June 8th, Juilliard trained Decca recording artist and internationally recognized violinist David Garrett will visit PS 58 in Brooklyn, NY, the original VH1 Save The Music Foundation grant recipient school.Lucky students will have the opportunity to play for Garrett and Foundation Executives before hearing a history of the Foundation’s origins at their school. Soon after, David Garrett will share his own musical background while instructing a master class to the students and playing a few of his songs for the group. During this unique experience, engaged students will have the opportunity to learn alongside Garrett.Winning over audiences since the release of his self-titled debut album in June 2009, David Garrettcomes full circle with his new classical recording, Legacy, to be released June 5th on Decca (along with stand-alone concert DVD Legacy Live). Both represent David’s successful dual career, bridging his crossover repertoire with his classical career that began at age 9 when he played his first symphony concerts, to later signing a deal with the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon label at 14. Today, Garrett sells out concert halls around the world, and has had his own two successful U.S. PBS concert specials. His additional TV appearances have been on some of the biggest shows in America including “Dancing with the Stars” The Today Show, Good Morning America, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and among others. His road to the U.S. began when he fled Germany for New York City as a teen, and spontaneously auditioned and was accepted to the world famous Juilliard music school, studying under the legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman. Perlman said of Garrett, “He is a wonderful violinist with excellent technique and natural musicianship. He will always perform with artistry.” As a young student, Garrett also earned extra cash by moonlighting as a busboy and model, landing him in the pages of Vogue and the Fashion Week catwalks for Armani.The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child’s complete education. To date, the Foundation has raised $48 million for 1,800 public schools in over 100 cities, impacting the lives of more than 1.8 million students.Where:PS 58330 Smith StreetBrooklyn, NY 11231When:Friday, June 8th1:15PM-2:00PMlast_img read more

Jaime Pressly Supports Spark Of Love Toy Drive

first_imgThe Victorino Noval Foundation and actress Jaime Pressly will be hosting the 4th annual “Spark of Love Toy Drive” on December 15th.Victorino Noval Prepares for Holiday Party.The event is being held in conjunction with Southern California firefighters, who will be celebrating their 20th anniversary collecting toys for children. The toy drive will take place at Noval’s Beverly Hills estate, Villa Noval.Noval’s son, Franco said, “This really is just such a great family event. It’s just like MY THREE SONS plus one.”Victorino will be premiering his heartfelt REEL AID film, GOING BEYOND, which was directed by Andrew Lauer, with Jeremy Irons. The Reel Aid Organization is a 501c3 non-profit that produces promotional videos and marketing tools for other non-profits. Reel Aid has provided fundraising, outreach, and educational programs for a long list of charities.“I really liked working with Victorino when he helped executive produce GRIDIRON HEROES. I can never say no to him. We are making LITTLE CUBA together in Cuba. I have been there five times in the making of this film. We both share a deep admiration for the Cuban people,” said Lauer.Lauer is no stranger to producing films that bring attention to those in need, but who also possess a strong will and determination to survive. Some of these films include:THE TECHUAN PROJECT, about deaf children overcoming obstacles in rural Mexico and GRIDIRON HEROES, an emotionally triumphant story of a high school football player who, after being paralyzed in a game, came back against all odds to help others like him.Jaime, who unlike her MY NAME IS EARL character Joy Turner who battles against good karma, genuinely loves St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and has been active with the organization for years. “This year I thought since I was executive producing “Rouge Follies,” and it was around the holidays, why not team-up with St. Jude?” said Pressly.Jaime appreciated Noval’s participation, stating on Good Morning L.A., “Due to the economic climate, it was difficult to raise funds for this event. Thankfully, a man named Victorino Noval jumped on board to produce with us, and helped raise a large amount of money to cover the costs, making sure it all goes to the charity.”Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Giving Back Fund Presents 6th Annual Sports And Entertainment Philanthropy Summit

first_imgThe Giving Back Fund will host the 6th Annual Sports and Entertainment Philanthropy Summit in LA from July 25-27.This is your chance to hear from Olympic gold medalists such as Nadia Comaneci, Meryl Davis, Carl Lewis, Mark Spitz, Sebastian Coe and more.The Giving Back Fund periodically brings together the top leaders in the sports and entertainment philanthropy community through its Sports and Entertainment Philanthropy Summit. Executive directors, development directors, representatives from the sports leagues, entertainment agencies, and family members of philanthropic celebrities gather for for this event to learn from and interact with their peers and top experts from all areas of philanthropy. Topics include strategy, programming, marketing, fundraising, social media, special events, law and governance, sponsorship, cause-marketing and many other relevant topics.This year’s Summit will span three days commencing Saturday, July 25, at the JW Marriott at L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles as a part of the DOHA GOALS (Gathering Of All Leaders in Sport) Forum being held in conjunction with the Special Olympic World Games. Attendees of the GBF Summit will also receive complimentary registration at the exclusive invite-only DOHA GOALS Forum, making this particular Summit one not to be missed.The event will feature speakers such as Special Olympics chairman Timothy Shriver, former NBA star Jamal Mashburn and Conversation Farm founder John Duschinsky.For more info and registration, click here.last_img read more