Stiffer rules needed on money spent by third parties in elections report

first_imgOTTAWA – A think tank report commissioned by Elections Canada is recommending some stiff new restrictions on money raised and spent by advocacy groups to influence the outcome of federal election campaigns.And the recommendations are being welcomed by the Trudeau government, which is promising legislation along these lines sometime this spring.In a bid to ensure foreign money is not involved in the Canadian political process, the Public Policy Forum report says only citizens who are eligible to vote should be allowed to make donations to parties, candidates or advocacy groups, known as third parties, that try to influence how people vote.Moreover, it says third parties should face the same restrictions on donations — an annual maximum of $1,575 per individual — as political parties.There is currently no cap on donations to third parties and they can accept unlimited amounts of money from businesses, unions and other organizations which are banned from contributing to political parties.The report further recommends that every cent a third party spends on electoral communications should be reported and limited — not just what they spend on advertising, which is all that’s currently regulated.And to enable effective tracking of their spending, the report says third parties should be required to open separate bank accounts, into which they would deposit all donations for electoral purposes and out of which they would pay for all election-related activities.The report also recommends that spending limits be applied to all political entities — parties, candidates and outside advocacy groups — six months prior to the launch of a federal election campaign, not just during the official election writ period.“Current limits only kick in after the campaigning horse has left the barn,” the report says, noting that the advent of fixed election dates has resulted in parties and groups ramping up their spending months before an election is called, taking advantage of the absence of regulation during the pre-writ period.The report is the result of a roundtable discussion involving academics, political strategists and journalists. It was hosted by the Public Policy Forum last October, at the behest of Elections Canada.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised legislation to regulate pre-writ spending by political parties and his government has indicated it’s planning to introduce legislation sometime this spring that would impose more stringent rules regarding money raised and spent by third parties.“One of our top priorities is strengthening and safeguarding Canada’s democratic institutions from foreign interference,” Nicky Cayer, a spokesperson for Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould, said in a statement Wednesday in response to the think tank report.“Canada has robust finance rules governing political fundraising from foreign actors, but our government will further strengthen and clarify these rules to ensure greater transparency around third party financing, close loopholes in the law, and ensure a stronger defence against foreign interference in our democratic process.”last_img read more

Soldout CJF Awards celebrates journalistic excellence Peter Mansbridge among presenters

first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: TORONTO, June 7, 2017 /CNW/ – In a year highlighting the news media’s critical role, The Canadian Journalism Foundation Awards (CJF) is proud to honour journalistic excellence across the country and abroad.The sold-out CJF Awards will be hosted by Canadian globetrotter Lyse Doucet, BBC’s chief international correspondent and senior presenter for BBC World TV and BBC World Service Radio. The annual event attracts more than 600 journalists, media executives, academics and business leaders. This year, it takes place this Thursday, June 8, in Toronto at the Fairmont Royal York.“It’s wonderful to have the support of media and business communities at a time when quality journalism is more critical than ever,” says CJF executive director Natalie Turvey. “We are thrilled to recognize the work, talent and enterprise of journalists—both recipients and nominees.” LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Peter Mansbridge, host of The National and chief correspondent of CBC News, will be among the presenters at the CJF Awards in Toronto on June 8. (CNW Group/Canadian Journalism Foundation) Advertisementcenter_img Facebook Advertisement Peter Mansbridge, host of The National and chief correspondent for CBC News, will present this year’s CJF Tribute to Jake Tapper, CNN’s chief Washington correspondent and daily anchor of The Lead with Jake Tapper, for upholding the highest standards of excellence and inspiring working journalists around the world. Tapper, known for his work on the 2016 U.S. election and his relentless questioning to combat spin and fake news, also hosts CNN’s Sunday morning show, State of the Union, where he interviews newsmakers on politics and policy.Another highlight of the evening will be the Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Jean Pelletier, currently senior director of television current affairs and documentaries for Radio-Canada, in recognition of an extraordinary career as a reporter, editor, producer and journalism trailblazer—in both print and broadcast. As La Presse‘s first permanent correspondent in Washington, D.C., Pelletier uncovered the story of the 1980 dramatic escape from Iran of six U.S. diplomats who were hidden by Canadian embassy staff during the Tehran hostage crisis.Winners will also be announced from shortlists for the CJF Innovation Award and the CJF Jackman Award for Excellence in Journalism in two categories: large and small media. (The shortlists are available at awards to be presented include the CJF-CBC Indigenous Journalism Fellowships, The Landsberg Award, the Greg Clark Award, the Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award, the Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University, the William Southam Journalism Fellowships and the Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy.This year’s media guests include: Gurdeep Ahluwalia, Doug Alexander, Peter Armstrong, Robert Benzie, Ian Brown, Piya Chattopadhyay, Christine Dobby, Dwight Drummond, Matt Galloway, Chantal Hébert, Carolyn Jarvis, Amber Kanwar, Tim Kiladze, Jacquie McNish, Anne-Marie Mediwake, Shree Paradkar, Grant Robertson, Craig Silverman, Anna Maria Tremontiand Paul Wells, among others.The CJF thanks presenting sponsor CN, along with the following organizations for their support of this event: BMO Financial Group, Labatt Breweries of Canada, Accenture, Medtronic, Scotiabank, Shaw Communications, Barrick Gold Corporation, Manulife, Rogers, Ivanhoé Cambridge, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, CTV News, Facebook Journalism Project, The Jackman Foundation, Thomson Reuters, Canadian Bankers Association, CIBC as well as Tom Kierans and Mary Janigan.Thank you also to The Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, Metro, National Post, Toronto Star, CNW, CPAC, The Canadian Press and Porter Airlines for their in-kind support.Executives and leaders from the following major media outlets, businesses and organizations will also be among those attending the event: Aimia, Blakes, Cassels and Graydon, Bloomberg News, Canadian Women’s Foundation, CBC, Radio-Canada, CNW, Fasken Martineau, Global Public Affairs, General Motors Canada, Google, H+K Strategies, Morneau Shepell, RBC, Shaw Communications, Sussex Strategy Group, TD Bank Group, Torys LLP, Twitter Canada and Weber Shandwick Canada.#CJFawardsAbout The Canadian Journalism FoundationEstablished in 1990, The Canadian Journalism Foundation promotes excellence in journalism by celebrating outstanding journalistic achievement. Our signature events include an annual awards program featuring a must-attend industry gala where Canada’s top newsmakers meet Canada’s top news people. Through J-Talks, our popular speakers’ series, we facilitate dialogue among journalists, business people, academics and students about the role of the media in Canadian society and the ongoing challenges for media in the digital era. The foundation also supports journalism fosters opportunities for journalism education, training and research. Twitterlast_img read more

Packed with Exclusive New and Returning Dramas Bravos Nationwide Freeview Begins April

first_imgBravo Freeview Programming Includes:THE HANDMAID’S TALE (Sunday, April 29 at 9 p.m. ET – Two-Episode Season 2 Premiere Event)The Emmy® and Golden Globe® award-winning drama series returns with a second season shaped by Offred’s pregnancy and her ongoing fight to free her future child from the dystopian horrors of Gilead. “Gilead is within you” is a favorite saying of Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd). In Season Two, Offred and all the characters will fight against – or succumb to – this dark truth.COLONY (Wednesday, May 2 at 10 p.m. ET – Season 2 Premiere)A thrilling sci-fi series set in Los Angeles in the very near future. After an alien invasion conquers earth, the remaining human inhabitants must decide whether to bow down to the demands of the invaders or risk their lives through rebellion.HARD SUN (Sunday, May 6 at 10:05 p.m. ET – Series Premiere)While investigating what appears to be the routine death of a computer hacker in London, partners and enemies, Charlie Hicks and Elaine Renko, inadvertently stumble upon proof that the world is facing certain destruction – in only five years. This is a terrifying reality that the secret state is urgently attempting to suppress. As Hicks and Renko find themselves pursued by ruthless and deadly Security Service operatives, they must use all their ingenuity to protect themselves and those that they love.CARTER (Tuesday, May 15 at 8 p.m. ET– Series Premiere)In the premiere episode, “Koji the Killer” (Tuesday, May 15 at 8 p.m. ET), Carter returns to his hometown of Bishop, Ontario after a public scandal in Los Angeles. His housekeeper-turned guardian of 30 years has been accused of murder, and Harley demands to be included in the investigation. Along the way, he discovers that he has a knack for real detective work and may not return to L.A. so quickly after all. Bravo continues to fuel its Top 10 status with the return of the critically acclaimed series THE HANDMAID’S TALE, with a two-episode premiere event Sunday, April 29 at 9 p.m. ET. Season 2 finds Offred (Elisabeth Moss) pregnant as she fights to free her future child from the dystopian horrors of Gilead. Catch up on Season 1 of THE HANDMAID’S TALE with two back-to-back episodes airing at 1 a.m. ET every day starting Monday, April 23 – Friday, April 27.As previously announced, all-new original series CARTER, starring Jerry O’Connell, lands on Bravo May 15 at 8 p.m. ET. Harley Carter (O’Connell) was living the dream. After moving to Hollywood from small-town Canada, he became a huge star as a detective on America’s #1 TV show. But years in the limelight and an endless blur of parties, premieres, and 16-hour workdays were starting to take a toll. It all bubbles over with a public showdown on a red carpet, prompting Harley to return to his hometown to reconnect with his roots. But as he tries to settle back into his old life, he finds himself in an odd new reality of playing a real-life detective with his childhood friends, no-nonsense police veteran Sam Shaw (Sydney Poitier Heartsong) and street-wise, coffee truck owner Dave Leigh (Kristian Bruun). Together, they’re solving crimes, with mixed results.Detective crime drama HARD SUN makes its exclusive Canadian series premiere Sunday, May 6 immediately following THE HANDMAID’S TALE. From creator of acclaimed British crime drama, LUTHER, the six-episode, pre-apocalyptic series follows partners and enemies, Charlie Hicks (Jim Sturgess, Across the Universe) and Elaine Renko (Agyness Deyn, Hail, Caesar!), who inadvertently stumble upon proof that the world is facing certain destruction – in only five years.Sci-fi thriller COLONY makes its Season 3 premiere on Wednesday, May 2 at 9 p.m. ET.  This season finds Will (Josh Holloway, LOST) and Katie Bowman (Sarah Wayne Callies, PRISON BREAK) continuing their fight to stay together as a family in the midst of a new world order and alien invasion.As well, Bravo continues to deliver new episodes of SUITS Season 7B on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET, culminating in the two-hour season finale (Wednesday April 25, at 9p.m. ET) that bids farewell to main characters Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) and Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle).Subscribers and non-subscribers can also sample Bravo programming online at and via the BravoGO app during the freeview period with participating TV providers.See below for premiere dates and descriptions for new and returning series. All dates are subject to change. Visit to confirm local broadcast times. About BravoBravo delivers compelling stories through clever and immersive programming to viewers across Canada. From high-profile dramas to blockbuster feature films, Bravo is home to award-winning entertainment. Bravo is a division of Bell Media, which is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. More information about Bravo is available at Social Media links Advertisement Facebook  Bravo on Facebook Bravo on Twitter Advertisementcenter_img TORONTO – Beginning April 24, Bravo is unlocking a nation-wide freeview showcasing its exclusive lineup of engaging, must-see dramas. High profile premieres rolling out during the freeview include Season 2 of the award-winning drama series, THE HANDMAID’S TALE, as well as crime drama HARD SUN, and Bravo’s newest original series, CARTER.The Bravo freeview is available on service providers across Canada including Bell, Bell Aliant, BellMTS, Rogers, Telus, Shaw, Shaw Direct, SaskTel, Cogeco, Videotron, and Eastlink. In addition, subscribers and non-subscribers alike can sample Bravo programming via the on demand menus on their set-top box with participating TV providers for the duration of the freeview.With a diverse lineup stacked with big-buzz series, including THE HANDMAID’S TALE which was the #1 series on Canadian Entertainment Specialty with overall viewers during the 2016/2017 broadcast year, Bravo continues to rank in the Top 10 Canadian Entertainment Specialty networks with overall viewers.  Bravo’s overall average audience this current broadcast year-to-date has increased by 4% with total viewers, and 14% with A18-34 viewers. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Advertisement Source : Numeris, M-Su 2a-2a, Current Broadcast Year-to-date = BY17/18-to-date (8/28/2017 to 4/1/2018) vs. same weeks last year. Login/Register With:last_img read more

First Nations across Manitoba gather to talk about tobacco

first_imgAPTN National NewsFirst Nations across Manitoba came together to talk about tobacco.They discussed life-threatening effects caused by smoking and the positive ways tobacco can be used instead.APTN’s Jaydon Flett has the story.last_img

HSBC reports net profit at $12.6B in 2018

LONDON — Europe’s biggest bank has reported its net profit jumped 30 per cent in 2018 from the previous year to $12.6 billion.The London-based bank, whose profit is mainly from Asia, said its revenue rose 5 per cent from a year earlier to $53.8 billion.Pre-tax profit rose 16 per cent to $19.9 billion, but lagged analysts’ estimates. For the fourth quarter, adjusted pre-tax profit was $3.4 billion, also below forecasts.Market corrections in late 2018 took a toll on HSBC and many other banks. Net profit in the October to December quarter was $1.5 billion.HSBC has been carrying out a corporate overhaul designed to boost profitability by focusing on its high-growth markets in Asia while shedding businesses and workers in other countries. Asia accounted for 89.5 per cent of pre-tax profit in 2018.The Associated Press read more

Brock student hits the international red carpet

A still from the film Foxfire featuring second-year dramatic arts student Katie Coseni.Katie Coseni’s first experience at the Toronto International Film Festival was not typical.Rather than chasing celebrities for autographs and crowding the edges of red carpets in hopes of catching a glimpse of movie stars, the second-year dramatic arts student found herself on the red carpet soaking up the limelight.Coseni plays one of the lead roles in the film Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang, which premiered at this year’s festival on Sept. 10.“It was mind-blowing,” Coseni says of the experience.Coseni on the red carpet a at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.“The whole thing was incredible,” she says. “But one thing that really stood out for me was standing on stage with all the other girls and the director and producers, and just looking out at the Ryerson Theatre and it was packed.”“I can still hear my family and friends who were there calling out my name and cheering and everything. It was a really weird experience.”Foxfire is the latest film from Palme d’Or winner Laurent Cantet and is an adaptation of the Joyce Carol Oates novel about a small-town girl gang from working-class families coming of age in upstate New York in the 1950s.Coseni’s long journey to the red carpet in Toronto all started when she responded to an open casting call in 2010.“A friend and I went to a drama camp when I was in middle school,” she says. “I guess we stayed on their mailing list and they sent out a flyer about this audition.”Promotional poster for Foxfire.At that first audition, Coseni waited six hours for a three-minute casting call. More than 10 callbacks later she was eventually informed that she landed the role of Maddy, one of the members of the gang who narrates the film in the form of a memoir.The movie was filmed primarily in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. over the course of more than three and a half months in summer 2011 and winter 2012.Coseni, whose only acting experience prior to landing the Foxfire gig was in high school theatrical productions, said this experience made her more aware of her acting abilities and the differences between acting for the stage and the screen.“A two-second scene on film can take up to eight hours to shoot,” she says. “It was really interesting because theatre acting and film acting are so completely different, they’re two very different things. As an actress, it has made me more aware of what I am capable of doing.”Coseni credits her fellow students and professors in the dramatic arts program at Brock for being extremely supportive of her foray into film. Students would share their notes with her when she missed classes and professors were accommodating when it came to handing in assignments.“Because I was going to school for drama and I was missing school because of a movie, they understood,” she said. “It’s a very supportive and friendly environment.”Coseni’s studies will briefly be put on hold again as she leaves this weekend for the San Sebastian International Film Festival in Spain where the film will once again be given the red carpet treatment.When asked about her future plans, Coseni envisions a combination of both worlds.“This is what I really want to get into, but I think first I need to get back into school a little bit and try to make sure that I don’t fail out,” she says with a laugh. “I hope that I can take what I’ve learned from being in this film and apply it to my schooling.”Coseni and her co-stars on the set of Foxfire. read more

Balanced attack helps Buckeyes outlast Western Carolina at St John Arena

Following a record 40-point performance from freshman Jared Sullinger in its last outing, No. 2-ranked Ohio State (8-0) featured a much more balanced attack Sunday afternoon, easily handling Western Carolina (4-8), 85-60. On a snowy Columbus day, OSU traveled just down the street from the Schottenstein Center to historic St. John Arena, the Buckeyes’ former home, and got off to a hot start on both ends of the court. “I thought today we came out and had a little more intensity to our defense,” said OSU coach Thad Matta. “Offensively, especially in the first half, we did a good job of sharing the ball. … I was pretty pleased with how guys played.” The Buckeyes garnered double-digit scoring from five players, including 17 from Sullinger, as the team shot 51.9 percent from the floor. OSU stormed out of the locker room, putting together an 18-4 run in the game’s first nine minutes. The Buckeyes would not relinquish their double-digit lead the rest of the afternoon. “I felt like a little bit early in the game we almost gave them too much respect,” said WCU coach Larry Hunter. “They came out and jumped right on us to their credit.” Paced by 12 first-half points from Sullinger and nine from junior guard William Buford, the Buckeyes took a 42-25 lead going into halftime. Defensively, OSU was just as dominant in the contest’s first stanza. The Buckeyes’ defense forced 14 first-half Catamount turnovers, which led to 14 OSU points. “Coach Matta said we needed to let them know we’re there on defense and try to push the turnovers,” Sullinger said. “The whole practice, the last couple practices have been about toughness, and I think we showed that today.” OSU opened the second half with another big run, this time an 18-8 surge, extending its lead to 27 points. Despite the Buckeyes’ overall dominance, the Catamounts held a distinct advantage over OSU on the glass as they outrebounded it 39-26. “We didn’t rebound at all tonight,” Sullinger said. “They were a real scrappy team and they’re going to be a good team by the end of the year and they outrebounded us just because they wanted it more.” Still, Matta said he was content with his team’s effort overall. The Buckeye coach was able to get all 11 of his available players on the court. “I think the more we can build our bench, the better off we will be,” Matta said. Buford, Deshaun Thomas and Dallas Lauderdale each contributed 13 points apiece, and Jon Diebler added another 10 of his own to OSU’s balanced scoring. After completing final exams Dec. 9, the Buckeyes will be out of class until Jan. 3. Sullinger said this period of time is of the utmost importance for the team. “Right now this is where players are made,” he said. “You can relax and just go clubbing and have a good time, or you can be in the gym, getting better and hitting the weights hard. “We really have a tough basketball team and I think we are going to be mentally tough to handle the obstacles that are going to come our way.” The Buckeyes will return to action Dec. 15 as they welcome Florida Gulf Coast University to the Schottenstein Center for a 6:30 p.m. tipoff. read more

Outstanding Ofsted rating is holding head teachers back and should be scrapped

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Credit:AFP/Getty “I think we can probably all agree on what failure looks like,” he said, but added that “doing your own thing, being a bit maverick” and  “being able to push some boundaries” could mark out a good leader.”From my point of view I would eliminate the outstanding grade,” he told education professionals, “I like the three levels of inadequate, requires improvement and good and, once you’re on good, you’re left to your own devices.” Currently, there are four grades awarded by Ofsted, the schools watchdog, after inspection; outstanding, good, requires improvement – which replaced ‘satisfactory’ in 2012 – and inadequate. The lastest figures show that 21 per cent of all schools are rated outstanding. Speaking at today’s conference, Amanda Spielman, the incoming chief inspector of Ofsted, reiterated her plans to review the ‘outstanding’ grade, following similar comments made in June. Ms Spielman told MPs earlier this year that she intended to have “discussions” over getting rid of the grade.”I’m quite uncomfortable about some of the effects you see it having in the system,” she told the Education Select Committee.Commenting today on the ‘outstanding rating’, Ms Spielman added: “There have been enough concerns expressed here today that I do recognise that our work on the impact of our inspections does need to include this, among other aspects. How it’s used, could be a key issue.”Mr Hobby said that Ofsted – the schools watchdog – should be focused on eliminating failure and should leave the top performing head teachers to be “free and innovative”.”A phrase I hear more often than I would like among school leaders is ‘I’m expecting Ofsted in the next year to 18 months, I’m not going to make any changes in my school until I’ve got that out of the way. I’m not going to take any risks, I’m just going to make sure I’ve got everything in place’.”That is pretty dreadful that people are putting their school development on hold because they are worried about what comes next,” he said.center_img Top performing schools should no longer be labelled ‘outstanding’ as the Ofsted grade is holding many head teachers back, the general secretary of a head teachers’ union has warned.Russell Hobby, head of the NAHT, called for the top grading to be “eliminated” as the “threat” of losing the ranking leads many head teachers to avoid taking risks and making changes within their schools.Speaking at an education conference run by the Education Policy Institute, Mr Hobby warned that it “can be as hard to recruit a new head to an outstanding school as it is to recruit a head to a school in special measures.”The only way is down,” he said.”The existence of an outstanding grade in practice appears to me to constrain the behaviour of some of those school leaders that should be most independent, autonomous and confident in their own judgements,” he continued.”I think once you’ve got to ‘good’, the state and Government should have far less to do with what you’re up to than before.” Pupils arrive at schoollast_img read more

Pretty women dont make good spies claimed John Le Carres reallife Smiley

first_imgCharlotte BinghamCredit:Rex Shutterstock Charlotte Bingham in 1966 John BinghamCredit:ANL/REX/Shutterstock  However she knew that guns were kept in the house, and was aware her father carried a sword-stick and knuckleduster, which he would let her try on. And an incident at Victoria Station made her suspect he was not all he seemed.“We were getting the train back to school in Sussex, and I saw him and ran towards him crying ‘Daddy, Daddy,’ and he shoved me aside and said ‘No, I’m not your father’“And my friend said, ‘But he is your father isn’t he?’ and I went a bit wobbly lipped. I thought maybe I was adopted but he was on a mission, you see.”It was not until she turned 18, that her father told her that he worked for MI5 and recruited her for the organisation. In an interview with The Sunday Times, his daughter, the author Charlotte Bingham, said her father was a master of camouflage who could vanish in any situation, and believed that women should be able to do the same.“My father always maintained that very pretty women didn’t become spies,” she said.“For his plants at communist headquarters and so on, he always used what he called the Miss Smiths of this world, plain women with excellent shorthand and typing.”Smiley himself was a direct contrast to most spy heroes. He was described by Le Carre as short, overweight and middle-aged, and frequently compared to a toad or a mole. Bingham was equally shabbily dressed, insisting on cheap suits, dingy mackintoshes and driving nondescript cars so that he would not stand out in any way. Although the austerity of his dress rankled, according to his daughter. Spy novels are littered with femme fatales who heartlessly deploy their womanly charms to coax state secrets from their lovers.But according to the real-life inspiration for John Le Carre’s George Smiley, it is plain women, with good shorthand, who make the best secret agents.Le Carre based his spy on John Bingham, 7th Baron Clanmorris, who had been the writer’s section head when he worked in MI5. “His idea of heaven would have been to be a Roman in a toga, with great gold armlets,” she said.Ms Bingham, who was married to the actor and writer Terence Brady until his death in 2016, said her childhood home in Kensington, west London, was always full of ‘spies, spooks and agents.’If people asked what her father did for a living, she had been told to say he was a crime writer or worked at the War Office. John Bingham Charlotte Bingham in 1966Credit:EDWARD WING/REX/Shutterstock  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “It’s about time you settled down to doing something serious, patriotic and worthwhile,” he told her. “You’re in danger of becoming a lightweight.”She worked for the security services for two and a half years until her novel Coronet Among the Weeds, made her a household name. Charlotte Binghamlast_img read more

Concerns for five aid workers taken away in Syria

first_imgFIVE STAFFERS OF the international aid organization Doctors Without Borders have been taken in for questioning in northern Syria.The five staffers were taken “allegedly for questioning” from a Doctors Without Borders house in northern Syria, and have been out of contact since Thursday evening, said Michael Goldfarb, a spokesman for the aid group. He did not say whether the missing staffers had been taken by government forces or rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar Assad, and refused to give further details out of concern for the missing workers’ safety.Karin Ekholm, a spokeswoman for the Swedish branch of the organisation, said those seized were Swedish, Danish, Swiss, Belgian and Peruvian nationals.The Danish branch confirmed a Dane was among those taken. They said: We are doing all we can to do re-establish contact with our colleagues.Rami Abdurrahman, the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said that members of the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant had stormed a hospital in the northwestern province of Latakia and taken all of its doctors to an unknown location. Others were taken from their homes by ISIL members, he added.Abdurrahman said it was not clear whether the Doctors Without Borders members were among those taken in Latakia.Wave of kidnappingsOpposition-held areas of northern and eastern Syria have seen a wave of kidnappings over the past six months that has targeted journalists, aid workers and activists. Al-Qaida-linked rebel factions are suspected of being behind many of the abductions.In October, several members of the International Committee of the Red Cross were briefly abducted in northwestern Syria. Many Syrian activists have fled the country after threats by ISIL and the killing of a number of citizen journalists.Clashes in north SyriaAlso yesterday activists reported heavy clashes between Syrian opposition fighters and ISIL members in the northern provinces of Aleppo and Idlib.More than 130,000 people have been killed so far in the war, now in its third year, according to the Observatory. The group closely monitors the violence in Syria through a network of activists across the country. The UN said in July that 100,000 Syrians have been killed, and has not updated that figure since.Millions of Syrians have been uprooted from their homes because of the fighting.The crisis began as an uprising against President Bashar Assad’s government but later turned into a civil war. Over the past years, clashes between rival opposition groups became common in rebel-held areas.The Observatory said yesterday’s fighting was concentrated in the city of Aleppo and the nearby town of Atareb. Fighting between rebel factions and ISIL, which has many foreign fighters in its ranks, has been common in areas under opposition control.The Aleppo Media Centre reported clashes between the ISIL and the Mujahedeen Army in rebel-held western parts of Aleppo.The killing of Hussein SuleimanTension has been rising between rebel groups and ISIL of late, especially after Tuesday’s killing of a senior rebel by the al-Qaida-linked group. The Observatory said the slain rebel, doctor Hussein Suleiman, was found dead after being shot several times and his ear was cut “with a sharp object.”The newly created Islamic Front, an umbrella group of powerful, mostly ultra-conservative Islamic fighters, issued a statement ordering ISIL to hand over Suleiman’s killers so they can stand trial. Clashes later erupted between the groups.A video released by activists showed dozens of people marching in Aleppo and chanting “Free Syrian Army forever, against ISIL and Assad.”The video appeared genuine and corresponded to other AP reporting of the events depicted.In Damascus, meanwhile, the Minister of Oil and Mineral Resources, Suleiman al-Abbas, said “terrorists” attacked a gas pipeline in the area of al-Baitaryeh outside Damascus, causing a massive fire and a power outage in the capital and southern Syria. He said terrorists also targeted a gas line that supplies the Banias Power Station in the area of al-Zara outside the central city of Homs.The government refers to those trying to topple Assad as terrorists.In pictures: Over 100,000 dead as Syria sees another year of violence>Explainer: What are Irish troops doing in Syria?>last_img read more

Experts Starbucks training a first step in confronting bias

first_imgStarbucks, trying to put to rest an outcry over the arrest of two black men at one of its stores, is closing more than 8,000 stores for an afternoon of anti-bias training, a strategy some believe can keep racism at bay.After the arrests in Philadelphia last month, the coffee chain’s leaders apologized and met with the two men, but also reached out to activists and experts in bias training to put together a curriculum for its 175,000 workers.That has put a spotlight on the little-known world of “unconscious bias training,” which is used by many corporations, police departments and other organizations to help address racism in the workplace. The training is typically designed to get people to open up about implicit biases and stereotypes in encountering people of color, gender or other identities.The Perception Institute, a consortium of researchers consulting with Starbucks, defines implicit bias as attitudes — positive or negative — or stereotypes someone has toward a person or group without being conscious of it. A common example, according to some of its studies, is a tendency for white people to unknowingly associate black people with criminal behavior.Many retailers including Walmart and Target said they already offer some racial bias training. Target says it plans to expand that training. Nordstrom has said it plans to enhance its training after issuing an apology to three black teenagers in Missouri who employees falsely accused of shoplifting.last_img read more

Sarri admits Zaha struggle

first_imgChelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has admitted his team struggled to cope with Wilfred Zaha during the team’s win against Crystal Palace on Sunday.The Blues defeated Roy Hodgson’s side 3-1 thanks to two goals from Alvaro Morata and one from Pedro Rodriguez, as Chelsea moved up to the second position on the Premier League table.Although the Côte d’Ivoire international failed to carry on with his penchant for scoring against the Blues, the winger was a constant source of worry for the Blues’ backline in the encounter.Sarri expressed his concern about his team leaving him space to attack, he was quick to point that playing against the former Manchester United winger is not an easy task.Sacchi explains Sarri, Conte, and Ancelotti Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Arrigo Sacchi talked about how Sarri has a tougher time at Juventus than Conte at Inter; while Ancelotti’s “blood is boiling” at Napoli.Arrigo Sacchi…“Because Zaha is very fast. Sometimes, I have to say that, especially in the first 20 minutes in the first half and the first 15 minutes of the second half, we were not in good positions under the ball line in the offensive phase,” Sarri admitted after the game, according to Goal.“We were in trouble because we gave them, and especially him, spaces to attack. So it’s not easy to run with Zaha in a long race.”Chelsea travel to Belarus on Thursday to face Bate Borisov in their fourth game of the UEFA Europa League, looking to maintain their perfect record in the competition this season.last_img read more

Ibrahimovic happy to see Modric end Duopoly

first_imgZlatan Ibrahimovic revealed he was delighted that Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric broke the duopoly held by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.The former Swedish international equally he was slightly surprised the Croatian received multiple individual honours in 2018.Modric was pivotal in Los Blancos third consecutive Champions League and also inspired Croatia’s run to the World Cup final.Those displays earned the former Spur’s man the Golden Ball at Russia 2018 and then the coveted Ballon d’Or that has been dominated by Messi and Ronaldo in the last decade.And former United striker Ibrahimovic, who came fourth in the 2013 Ballon d’Or back then with PSG was happy to see a different name in a different position win the award.“I think [Modric] is one of the most complete midfielders in the world,” Ibrahimovic revealed in a quote cited on FourFourTwo.“He has fantastic pace, he has a vision for the game that is amazing. The ball handling is amazing.Gerard Pique, Neymar, BarcelonaLa Liga Betting: Match-day 4 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Despite it being very early into La Liga season, both Barcelona and Real Madrid have had unprecedented starts to their campaigns. With this in…’Now we know it was Perez who was competing with Messi’Zlatan Ibrahimovic jokes Real Madrid chief was crucial to Ballon d’Or success of Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) December 8, 2018“I played against him at an early age, when he was a young player. Now he is an experienced player and I’m happy that he won the Ballon d’Or, the FIFA best player at the World Cup, all these things, because it’s not often that a player like that gets that credit.“Normally it’s a striker or somebody that has been ‘wow’. But this year, let’s say last year, was his year. I’m happy that he won.“Me and my mother being from Croatia, he’s Croatian, so I’m happy. It’s part of the blood.”last_img read more

Haitian Migrants Apprehended

first_img Related Items:#magneticmedianews Electricity Cost of Service Study among the big agenda items at September 11 Cabinet meeting ALERT # 2 ON POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE NINE ISSUED BY THE BAHAMAS DEPARTMENT OF METEOROLOGY THURSDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER, 2019 AT 9 PM EDT Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for youcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppCoral Harbour Base, Bahamas, December 24, 2016 –  A total of 99 Haitian migrants were taken to the Carmichael Road Detention Center after they were apprehended in the central Bahamas by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Saturday afternoon.  Patrol craft HMBS P- 49, under the command of Acting Sub Lieutenant Owen Sands, apprehended a 40-ft wooden sloop at 3:00 pm approximately 4 miles west of Hawksbill Rock, in the southern Exuma chain.   Defence Force Marines discovered the migrants –77 males and 22 females– onboard the sloop.   They arrived at the Coral Harbour Base early Christmas morning.The migrants were turned over to Immigration officials upon their arrival for further processing.  The Royal Bahamas Defence Force remains committed to protecting the territorial borders of The Bahamas. #MagneticMediaNews The Luxury of Grace Bay in Down Town Provolast_img read more

ASA Participates In First DOJUSDA Workshop on Agricultural Competition

first_imgThe American Soybean Association (ASA) participated in a panel discussion today on the competitive dynamics of the seed industry during a public workshop exploring competitive issues in agriculture hosted by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The panel explored the competitive implications for farmers of significant shifts in the seed industry during the past 20 years in terms of seed price, choice, patents and licensing, and innovation at a workshop held at the Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa.For soybeans, corn, cotton, and canola, farmers overwhelmingly have moved from using conventional seed varieties to seed with biotech-enhanced traits that help farmers better manage weeds and pests that reduce yields. Additionally, biotech-enhanced traits that improve the nutrition of crops or provide other consumer benefits are being introduced. Trait research and development increasingly has moved from numerous and diverse entities such as universities and independent seed companies toward major agriculture biotechnology firms that sell seed through their own brands or enter into license agreements with other seed companies. Patents covering the first commercially-valuable agriculture biotechnology traits will expire in the coming years, raising questions about how the marketplace will handle the approaching transition to seed containing generic versions of those traits.”Technology and continued innovation in the seed industry are vital to the future survival of farming as a viable career and to allowing farmers to feed a hungry world,” said ASA Vice President Ray Gaesser, a soybean producer from Corning, Iowa, and a Director and Past President of the Iowa Soybean Association. “ASA believes that intellectual property protection and rewarding innovation is critical to maintaining the growth and development of the soybean industry. Over 25 different biotech or new novel traits for soybeans are in the pipeline to be commercialized over the next decade due to strong intellectual property protection and adequate returns on investment to innovators.””While supporting innovation, ASA also supports competition in all sectors of U.S. agriculture in order to enhance efficiency and reduce costs to soybean producers,” Gaesser said. “As we have examined issues around seed industry innovation and competition, there is uncertainty in the marketplace surrounding the process to ensure that foreign registrations for biotech traits are maintained once they go off-patent and become generic, uncertainty on access to data packages for stacks containing patented traits, and uncertainty on the terms of licensing agreements and potential restrictions contained within those agreements. This uncertainty needs to be solved, or else soybean farmers fear that both innovation and competition may suffer.”ASA has expressed concerns arising from the approaching expiration of the first patents for agriculture biotechnology traits and the potential negative impact on soybean and soybean product exports in the event that foreign registrations of biotech traits are not maintained in countries that require them. Additionally, ASA has stated that it desires generic competition to flourish and seed prices to farmers to decline once the patents on patented traits expire.”The first commercial soybean trait patent to expire will be for Roundup Ready Soybeans® (RR1) in 2014, and patents on other soybean biotech traits will be expiring thereafter,” Gaesser said. “No industry, statutory or regulatory process currently is in place to facilitate the continued registration of ag biotech traits in key export markets after patent expiration. ASA favors an equitable industry-led approach to maintaining the registration of generic traits, or a statutory or regulatory approach if an equitable industry-led approach cannot be agreed upon. Such a process is essential in maintaining market access and competition as long as traces of a trait are identified in export shipments.”There are multiple implications of patent expiration for international trade, including uncertainty about the process to maintain registrations in foreign markets. Soybean producers have learned that once an ag biotech trait is commercialized, it will be detectable for many years after registration is discontinued. Additionally, seed companies and plant breeders interested in offering generic versions of a trait after patent expiration need to know the process and cost of maintaining foreign registrations if they are to dedicate the time, money, and germplasm necessary to bring high-yielding seed varieties to the marketplace.”ASA also supports enabling trait providers and seed companies to access and use, through agreements or other procedures that provide fair compensation, the data packages of a patented biotech trait for the purpose of preparing to register and commercialize seeds containing “stacks” of new biotech traits along with traits already commercialized,” said Gaesser. “ASA again supports and prefers a private sector approach to facilitate and govern this process. However, if an industry-led approach cannot be agreed upon, then a Federal government approach may be necessary to ensure that both innovation and competition are facilitated.””Finally, while license agreements are a common business practice and licensing in the seed industry has made new traits broadly available throughout the seed industry to farmers, it must be ensured that provisions in license agreements do not inhibit competition and continued innovation,” Gaesser concluded. “We need to support innovation, patent rights, and returns on investment, while allowing competition in both generic traits and new traits to thrive. Farmers and all of society benefit when we achieve this balance.”At the request of the DOJ and USDA, ASA submitted comments in December 2009 expressing specific interest in competition in the seed, rail and fertilizer industries.Four additional ag competitiveness workshops are scheduled during 2010 to discuss topics within the poultry, dairy and livestock industries, and to look at discrepancies between the prices received by farmers and the prices paid by consumers.last_img read more

ARREST LOG Wilmington Police Make 4 Arrests Issue 3 Summonses

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — According to Wilmington Police Logs, Wilmington Police issued the following arrests and summonses between January 31, 2019 and February 6, 2019.Thursday, January 31Avetis Chekmeyan (25, Watertown) was issued a summons for Possession of a Class B Drug; Possession To Distribute a Class D Drug; Possession Of More Than 2 oz. of Marijuana Outside Residence; and Possession Of a Class C Drug. (4:38am)Jose Estrada (18, Methuen) was arrested on a warrant. (2:28pm)Friday, February 1Sandra E. Calandrella (52, Woburn) was issued a summons for Operating A Motor Vehicle With Revoked Registration and Operating An Uninsured Motor Vehicle. (8:02am)Saturday, February 2NoneSunday, February 3NoneMonday, February 4Theodore C. Menounos (53, Winchester) was issued a summons for Operating A Motor Vehicle With A Revoked Registration. (5:09pm)Tuesday, February 5Anthony M. Deniso (23, Lowell) was arrested on a warrant. (9:17am)Jason Martines Vance (33, Dracut) was arrested on a warrant. (7:55pm)Wednesday, February 6Ashley E. Butler (34, Peabody) was arrested for OUI Liquor. (10:28pm)(DISCLAIMER: This information is public information.  An arrest does not constitute a conviction.  Any arrested person is innocent until proven guilty.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedARREST LOG: Wilmington Police Make 3 Arrests & Issue 4 SummonsesIn “Police Log”ARREST LOG: Wilmington Police Make 5 Arrests & Issue 4 SummonsesIn “Police Log”ARREST LOG: Wilmington Police Make 1 Arrest & Issue 2 SummonsesIn “Police Log”last_img read more

Dear Comrade Heres how Rana wished Vijay Deverakonda all the way from

first_imgActor Rana Daggubati has sent wishes to actor Vijay Deverakonda, all the way from the United States of America, ahead of Dear Comrade’s release. He recorded a short video to convey his wishes.Calling Vijay as Dear ‘Rowdy’ Comrade, Rana promised that he would be watching the film in the US on the first day of its release.Many of Rana’s fans commented on the video, asking if he is undergoing any surgery in the US. Rumours of Rana undergoing surgery have been doing rounds. The actor commented and asked his fans to stop believing the news.  InstagramVijay Deverakonda is not just an actor now, but also a trendsetter, an inspiration to many and one of the most popular and handsome figures in Indian cinema.His upcoming film Dear Comrade is all set for a release on July 26 and besides his fans, even actors from Telugu cinema and other industries are excited about the release of the film. Dear ComradeTwitterThere are many actors who are fans of Vijay, his attitude and swag. Many actors are recording videos and sending wishes to Vijay, wishing him and the team of Dear Comrade very good luck.last_img read more

WATCH Sunil Grover makes a comeback as Rinku Bhabhi in Bali

first_imgSunil Grover as Rinku Bhabhi (left)InstagramThere is no denial that Sunil Grover, who carved a niche for himself in small screen by playing the much-loved characters Gutthi, Dr Mashoor Gulati and Rinku Bhabhi in Comedy Knights With Kapil and The Kapil Sharma Show is a star with a massive fan following. Such is his popularity that when he quit Kapil’s show, fans were extremely upset. There were several efforts made by the channel, his colleagues and fans to make him return on show but Sunil stayed determined.But another chance for the fans to see Grover play Rinku Bhabhi yet again has arisen. Sunil recently got into the character of Rinku Bhabhi to entertain the guests at the wedding in Bali, Indonesia.In a video, which has now gone viral, Sunil, dressed as Rinku Bhabhi is seen crooning to his popular song, “mere husband mujhko pyaar nahi karte” and leaving the guests in splits. Thereafter, he asks one of the guests, “Rakhi apne husband ko kaise pyaar karte hain please bataye (Rakhi, please tell us how do you love your husband)”. The guest replies, “mujhe bahut sharam aati hai ( I am very shy)”, to which Sunil says, ‘bus yehi hai joh mujhe nahi aati…(This is the only thing which I don’t know)”.For the uninitiated, Sunil and Kapil Sharma got into a mid-air brawl in March 2017, post which the former left the show. Although the dust has settled down now and both are happy in their respective professional front, Kapil and Sunil are apparently not comfortable with each other’s presence but seem to be cordial on social media.  Meanwhile, Sunil recently revealed his inspiring journey, how harsh life was and how he managed to survive in Mumbai before ‘Gutthi’ happened to him through a post for social media blog Humans Of Bombay.The actor-comedian said that despite being good at acting, he would earn around Rs 500 a month during his initial year in Mumbai.”I was always good at acting & making people laugh. I remember in 12th grade I took part in a drama competition–the chief guest said that I shouldn’t participate, because it was unfair to the others! After I finished my masters in theatre, I came to Mumbai to act. But for the first year, I only partied. I lived in a posh area, using my savings & some money from home. I’d only earn around Rs.500 a month. But I thought I’d be successful soon,” he said.last_img read more

N Korea names delegates for interKorean talks

first_imgNorth Korea`s leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a New Year`s Day speech in this photo released by North Korea`s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on 1 January, 2018. Photo: ReutersNorth Korea has named its delegation for a rare high-level meeting with the South this week, the unification ministry in Seoul said Sunday, as Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe cautiously welcomed the talks.The two Koreas agreed Friday to hold their first official dialogue in more than two years and are expected to discuss the North’s participation in next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea.The North Korean delegation for Tuesday’s meeting in the border truce village of Panmunjom will be led by Ri Son-Gwon, head of the North’s agency handling inter-Korean affairs, the ministry said.Pyongyang informed the South that four other officials will accompany Ri, it added, including those in charge of sports.The tentative rapprochement comes after the North’s leader Kim Jong-Un warned in his New Year speech that he had a nuclear button on his desk, but also said Pyongyang could send a team to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.Seoul responded with an offer of talks and last week the hotline between the neighbours was restored after being suspended for almost two years.The message comes a day after South Korea suggested unification minister Cho Myoung-Gyon would lead its delegation for the upcoming talks.Kim said in his New Year speech that his country wished success for the Olympics, to be held from February 9-25, while Seoul and Washington have decided to delay their annual joint military drills — which always infuriate the North — until after the Games.The Japanese prime minister voiced cautious hopes for the talks but stressed that having a meeting for the sake of a meeting would be a waste.”The Olympics is a celebration of peace. I want to recognise that change,” Abe said in a recorded interview aired Sunday on national broadcaster NHK.His comments came as US President Donald Trump went a step further and said he was open to holding direct talks with Kim under certain conditions.The two Koreas have been separated by the world’s most heavily militarised border since the Korean War ended in a stalemate in 1953.In recent months, the North has held multiple missile launches and its sixth and most powerful nuclear test — purportedly of a hydrogen bomb — in violation of UN resolutions.Abe, who long has taken hawkish stance against the hermit state, said Japan must upgrade its defence capacity in the face of the North’s missile threats.He reiterated the importance of “maximising pressure” on Pyongyang in order to force Kim’s regime to change its policies and said North Korea had violated past agreements designed to stop its nuclear programmes, adding: “We cannot afford to be fooled again.”last_img

Shortlist for Sushila Devi Literature Award announced

first_imgThe Bhopal Literature Festival recently announced the shortlist of authors for the prestigious Sushila Devi Literature Award For ‘The Best Book Of Fiction Written By A Woman Author’, written in English and published in 2016 or 2017. Instituted by Ratanlal Foundation, the award will be held in partnership with the Bhopal Literature Festival. The award carries first prize of two lakh INR and two runners up awards of 25,000 INR each. The final award winner will be declared by the first week of January 2019. The winner will also be invited to the Bhopal Literature and Art Festival to be held in Bhopal, from January 12 – 14, 2019, to receive the award in a glittering ceremony. The literature festival will be inaugurated by the Union Tourism Minister, KJ KJ Alphons, on January 12, at Bharat Bhawan – the multi-cultural hub in Bhopal. The shortlist is (not in any order): Brothers (Manju Kapur, Penguin Viking) The Glass Bead Curtain (Lakshmi Kannan, Vitasta) The Untitled (Gayathri Prabhu, Fourth Estate/Harper Collins Publishers) Son of the Thundercloud (Easterine Kire, Speaking Tiger) Things to Leave Behind (Namita Gokhale, Penguin Viking)last_img read more