Didi Ke Bolo comes to the rescue of persons trapped in Ktaka

first_imgKolkata: The ‘Didi Ke Bolo’ (Tell Didi) helpline number launched by Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on July 29 has been instrumental in rescuing some persons who were trapped due to the Karnataka floods.The state Disaster Management department, after being informed of the problem by their family members through a call on the ‘Didi Ke Bolo’ helpline number, took up the matter with their counterparts in Karnataka and those who were marooned were rescued quickly and relocated to a safe place. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaSome days ago, the ‘Didi Ke Bolo’ helpline number got a call from a person in South 24-Parganas, who claimed that some members of his family were stuck in their residence at Kaida township, near Karwa city due to floods since the last 4 days, without any supplies. The caller had sought immediate relief from the government. He mentioned that his sister and brother in-law were in Karnataka affected by floods and there was no electricity and telephone connectivity. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayHe also added that the Quick Response Team and deputy commissioner of Kaida had failed to provide any information about their present location after he called on their mobile numbers. “As soon as I was informed of the distressed family, I along with my Principal Secretary took up the matter with our counterparts in Kaida and informed of the whereabouts of the family, as per description provided by the caller. After some hours, I was relieved to hear that the victims had been rescued by boats and had been ferried to a safe place,” said Javed Ahmed Khan, state minister for Disaster Management and Civil Defence. The department was also informed that 20 Bengali families who were stuck in the area have been rescued successfully. The caller who had called up the ‘Didi Ke Bolo’ number also gave the feedback that his family members have been evacuated safely and were doing well. The minister also informed that another 14 Bengali people who were stuck in Kadur Karnataka have also been rescued in a similar fashion on Sunday. It may be mentioned that of late there has been some curiosity among common people regarding the nature of suggestions and problems that have been coming on the ‘Didi Ke Bolo’ platform. The platform, which is being monitored by a team led by Prashant Kishor, has not shared individual cases, respecting the privacy of the callers/registrants. But after explicit permission from the caller in this case, the platform shared this serious issue that was resolved. Meanwhile, a video was posted by Howrah resident Jagannath Chakraborty on the Facebook page of ‘Didi Ke Bolo’, informing how the helpline has come to the rescue of a patient suffering from TB. Chakraborty had called on the helpline number after the patient was denied treatment in all hospitals and medicine shops also refused to provide medicine for the patient as he was unable to provide any proper address proof. “When I called the number I was advised to take him to Calcutta Medical College and contact the deputy superintendent of the hospital. I acted accordingly and the patient is now undergoing treatment at the hospital,” Chakraborty shared in his video.last_img read more

India may renegotiate LNG import contracts at appropriate time Oil Min

first_imgNew Delhi: India may look at renegotiating pricing of its long-term LNG import contracts at an “appropriate time” to help reflect falling rates of the spot market, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday. “We see that at an appropriate time,” he told reporters on sidelines of an industry event here. He was asked if the government is looking at renegotiating liquefied natural gas (LNG) contracts in view of fall in prices of the fuel available in spot or current market. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalIndia imports 8.5 million tonnes per annum of LNG from Qatar under two long-term contracts and has tied up 5.8 million tonnes a year supplies from the US. It also has a 2.5 million tonnes import contract with Gazprom of Russia and a 1.44 million tonnes deal with Gorgon project of Australia. While long-term LNG from Qatar comes for $8.5-9 per million British thermal unit, the same gas is available in the spot market for less than half the price. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostPradhan, however, said the long-term contracts have to be honoured. India has in the past used its status as Asia’s third-largest LNG buyer to renegotiate deals with Qatar, Australia, and Russia. In 2015, it renegotiated the price of the long-term deal to import 7.5 million tonnes per year of LNG from Qatar, helping save Rs 8,000 crore. In 2017, it got Exxon Mobil Corp to lower the price of Gorgon LNG and last year convinced Gazprom to lower rates too. Sources, however, said the price of LNG from these contracts still was significantly higher than spot prices and if the trend continues users may seek a review. Prabhat Singh, Managing Director of Petronet LNG Ltd – the firm which has long term LNG import contracts with Qatar and Australia, had on August 7 stated that price sensitivities of consumers will have to be respected. Earlier speaking at the event, Pradhan said as much as Rs 5 lakh crore is likely to be invested in the natural gas sector in the country to boost usage of the environment-friendly fuel. This investment will be in the expansion of city gas network, laying pipelines, setting up LNG import facilities and natural gas exploration, he said. LNG import terminal capacity in the country is likely to grow from 38.8 million tonnes per annum presently to 52.5 million tonnes in the next 3-4 years with new facilities coming up at Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh, Dhamra in Odisha, Jaigarh in Maharashtra and Chhara and Jafrabad terminals in Gujarat.last_img read more

Formidable cutoffs

first_imgIt was standard thinking of the yesteryears that a degree is one’s ticket to a job. But in these rapidly changing times, a degree is not necessarily a testimony of education, nor is it a certain means to get a job. Learning at higher levels is pursued largely as a social affair as those who enroll are the ones who can afford it, most others drop out. The economic aspect of learning at higher levels is increasingly being disconnected from its intended outcome. People applying for jobs are in proportion much greater than the number of jobs actually available. With colleges continually raising their standards of academic expectation with regard to entry-level marks, the quantum of excellence thus assessed is far greater than the avenues available to absorb them. University of Delhi releasing its 8th cut-off list only tells this story all over again. The nationally renowned Hindu college, for instance, pegs the score at 97.62 for Economics, one of the most sought-after courses at this university. For Hindu college, General category students who could not manage the overall minimum score of 97.62 per cent are ineligible to qualify for admission in the flagship institution. It is reported that 63.9 per cent seats are reserved for the economically weaker section and 52.2 per cent seats for Scheduled Tribes are still lying vacant. It goes without saying that for excellence to be displayed at a certain level, adequate preparations must be made at all levels preceding it so as to lend value to such systems. But quite the reverse actually happens. School education is still awaiting reforms and improvements and popular colleges are left with no choice but to keep up with their limited capacity by raising cut-offs to allow only the top-most scorers. Surely, making education learning-based and making learning relatable at all levels will effectively address the nagging problem of unemployment of contemporary times.last_img read more

India slams Pak for raising Kashmir during Speakers meet in Maldives

first_imgNEW DELHI: A heated exchange broke out between Indian and Pakistani representatives in Maldives Parliament on Sunday after the neighboring country’s delegation veered off topic during a debate on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to raise the issue of Kashmir. Addressing the 4th South Asian Speakers’ Summit, Pakistan deputy speaker Qasim Suri tried to use the platform to talk about the Kashmir situation following the abrogation of Article 370, which granted special status to the state. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’In a swift intervention, Rajya Sabha Deputy Speaker Harivansh Narayan Singh said that a country which perpetrated genocide in Bangladesh in 1971 and illegally occupied Azad Kashmir has no moral right to raise these issues internationally. “We strongly object to the raising of internal matters of India at this forum. We also reject the politicization of this forum by raising issues which are extraneous to the theme of this summit,” he said. Continuing his tirade amid strong protests from the Pakistani side, Singh said that Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) is neither a country nor a province yet it is being governed through a Prime Minister, President and a legislature. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KSingh added that the forum is only meant to discuss SDGs and the issues raised by Pakistan should not be part of the proceedings. The Indian delegation in the summit is led by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla. Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after India abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories. Pakistan has been trying to raise the issue at various international fora, but India has maintained that it is an internal matter.last_img read more

DU professor searched by Pune cops in Bhima Koregaon case

first_imgNoida: The Pune Police on Tuesday morning searched the home of a Delhi University professor in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case. Gautam Budhh Nagar’s Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Vaibhav Krishna confirmed this to IANS. The search was conducted by Pune police team headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police Bachchan Singh. “Pune police team searched the home of Delhi University professor Hany Babu this morning under the supervision of Assistant Commissioner of Police, Pune, Shivaji Pawar,” Vaibhav Krishna told IANS. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder Pune’s Assistant Commissioner of Police Shivaji Pawar said that the team has seized some electronic devices from Babu’s residence but no arrest has been made. Vaibhav Krishna said that the search operation was video recorded so that no problem arises later on. The 45-year old professor teaches English at Delhi University. The search was conducted on the basis of an offence registered at Vishrambaug police station in Pune with regard to Elgar Parishad, that took place on December 31, 2017, on the eve of 200th anniversary of Bhima-Koregaon battle. One person died in the caste-related violence on January 1, 2018. Ten activists were arrested in 2018 as part of the inquiry into the caste violence at Bhima Koregaon.last_img read more

World believes India not Pakistan on Kashmir issue Pak minister

first_imgIslamabad: In a major embarrassment for the Imran Khan government, his Interior Minister Brigadier (Retd) Ijaz Ahmed Shah has admitted that Pakistan has failed to garner support from the international community on the Kashmir issue, saying despite Islamabad’s efforts the world “rather believes India”. In an interview with Hum News channel on Thursday, Shah said Pakistan’s ruling elite had destroyed the nation. “We say that they (India) has clamped curfew, that there is no medicine, but people (world) don’t believe us, and rather believe India,” he said in response to a question on the situation in Kashmir. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USShah’s remarks came after Prime Minister Khan claimed that 58 countries had supported Pakistan over its stand on the Kashmir issue. Khan in his August 26 address to the nation said he will raise the Kashmir issue at every international forum, including at the UN General Assembly. Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after India abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution and ended the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, evoking strong reactions from Pakistan. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsIndia has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality. Shah also said Pakistan had spent millions on proscribed groups like Jamat ud Dawah (JuD) and should bring them into the mainstream. “We have spent millions of rupees on JuD. We need to demotivate the members of the proscribed organisation and bring them into the mainstream,” he said. Shah, who is considered as a powerful minister and is both close to Prime Minister Khan and the establishment, said the action has already started against such groups. Mumbai terror attack mastermind and chief of the banned JuD Hafiz Saeed is facing cases in the courts as part of the government’s decision to “control all jihadis” under the National Action Plan, he said.last_img read more

BC election outcome still murky two weeks after voters go to the

first_imgVICTORIA – The final count in British Columbia’s tight and inconclusive election will be known on Wednesday, but the possibility of a judicial recount means the actual outcome might not be known for weeks.The race between the Liberals and New Democrats in one key Vancouver Island riding swung back and forth on Tuesday.The latest ballot count in the hotly contested Courtenay-Comox riding showed a 101-vote lead for New Democrat Ronna-Rae Leonard over Liberal Jim Benninger. Earlier, Benninger was ahead by three votes after starting the day 13 behind.At stake is a one-seat Liberal majority if Benninger wins.But if Leonard wins, there could be a Liberal or NDP minority government with the support of the Green party in the 87-seat legislature.After the May 9 election, the Liberals had 43 seats, the NDP 41 and the Greens had three seats.On election night, Leonard was ahead by nine votes in Courtenay-Comox.“Where they stand now, it’s a possibility there will be a judicial recount,” said Elections BC spokesman Andrew Watson.Elections BC did a recount in Courtenay-Comox before it began counting absentee ballots. Almost 180,000 absentee votes are being tallied provincewide as part of the agency’s final count, which must be completed on Wednesday.An application for a judicial recount must be filed with the Supreme Court of British Columbia within six days of the final result being declared.“Within 72 hours after an application has been filed, the courts, if the application is approved, must set the date and time and the place for the judicial recount to occur and that must be set no later than eight days after that time,” said Watson.The results of the judicial recount are subject to an appeal to the B.C. Court of Appeal, he said. An appeal must be filed within two days of the judicial recount and the result of the appeal must be determined within 10 days.“Since 1995, when the Election Act came into force, there’s been four judicial recounts and none of them have gone to an appeal,” Watson said.The most recent judicial recount was after the 2013 election in Coquitlam-Maillardville riding, where 35 votes separated the Liberal and NDP candidates, which was less than 1/500 of the total ballots considered that triggers an automatic application from the district electoral officer for a judicial recount under the act.The final vote counting was still underway in several B.C. ridings. Liberal candidate Jas Johal was declared the winner in Richmond-Queensborough by a margin of 134 votes.As the counting continued, several groups opposed to the Site C hydroelectric dam and the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion called for a pact between the New Democrats and Greens, if the final results produce a minority government.A wide range of social, environmental and First Nations groups say the election result represents a chance for the two political movements to work together as a unified force.“We have a unique and historic moment in the history of B.C. to change the course of history,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of B.C. Chiefs.About 50 people were at the legislature to present an online petition signed by 25,000 people since the election.Carole James, a former NDP leader, and Sonia Furstenau, a newly elected member of the legislature for the Greens, accepted the petition asking the two parties to co-operate.James and Furstenau declined comment about negotiations that are underway between the two parties.“I’m not going to get into specifics,” said James. “We’re in discussions. I’m going to leave it at that.”NDP Leader John Horgan has said his party and the Greens share political similarities when it comes to introducing reforms to the electoral system and campaign financing. The two parties are also opposed to the Kinder Morgan pipeline project and the Site C dam.Green Leader Andrew Weaver has said there are more similarities between the Greens and NDP on major issues, but that didn’t preclude his party from working with the Liberals.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version referred to Rona-Rae Leonard’s last name as Rae Leonard.last_img read more

Scheer Lyme and lumber how federal politics touched Canadians this week

first_imgOTTAWA – It was an intense week of repudiation on Parliament Hill.U.S. President Donald Trump entrenched — with gusto, and to Canada’s consternation — his inward-looking approach to global affairs by stridently announcing his intention to pull out of the Paris accord to prevent climate change.Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard shattered the back-burner status of constitutional truce by launching national discussions meant to deal with his province’s long-standing concerns about being excluded from the Constitution.And Liberal hopes to address energy and the environment in tandem — by introducing carbon pricing while also approving the Kinder Morgan pipeline — were thrown into disarray by this week’s pact between the B.C. Greens and the NDP to wrest provincial power from Christy Clark’s Liberals.Amidst all the moving pieces, there were concrete developments in the dynamics of the House of Commons, in confronting Lyme disease and in dealing with the softwood lumber dispute with the United States.Here are three ways politics touched us this week:SCHEER MAKES HIS MARKThe new Conservative leader finally took up his post in the House of Commons this week, beginning to better define the political dynamic that will accompany voters into the next election.Andrew Scheer received a warm welcome from his caucus and even the other parties’ MPs as he took up the mantle of leader of the official Opposition.He then set down some markers that will undoubtedly return as key themes leading up to the next campaign. He highlighted familiar Conservative policies on balanced budgets and smaller government, and resurrected Stephen Harper’s focus on a “job-killing carbon tax.”And he added a flavour of his own, calling for a denial of funding to universities that stifle full freedom of speech by shouting down and drowning out unpopular views. He also cited “radical Islamic terrorism” — a politically loaded phrase — and the threat it poses as justification for his call to send Canada’s fighter jets back to the Middle East.LICKING LYME DISEASEAs tales of torrents of ticks swarmed through social media this week, federal Health Minister Jane Philpott announced the government’s intentions to improve research around Lyme disease.Ottawa will put $4 million towards a better understanding of the disease, setting up a network to improve diagnosis and treatment.Critics say the pace of government programs is no match for the pace of infected ticks and the complexities of the bacteria they carry.Lyme-carrying ticks can now be found in most provinces in Canada, and no longer just the southernmost points of Ontario. Experts predict the number of people affected by the disease will grow steadily, from 700 in 2015 to about 10,000 a year by 2020.Diagnosing and treating Lyme disease is often very tricky; it can sometimes take years to defeat the disease in a single person.LUMBERThe federal government is papering over the pain of its eternal softwood lumber dispute with the United States, putting up $867 million this week to boost the competitiveness of companies and give new skills to sideswiped workers.The supports are meant to partially make up for damages caused by the U.S. imposition of duties introduced in April on Canadian lumber sales into the United States.The package is just one of the ways the federal government is stickhandling through its increasingly antagonistic trade relationship with the United States.Ottawa is also threatening to end its talks to buy Super Hornet fighter jets from Boeing Co., now that the U.S.-based aerospace company is using the American legal system to challenge Canadian government support for rival Bombardier Inc.And on climate, Ottawa is finding common cause with the rest of the world in sticking steadfastly with the Paris accord to cut emissions while loudly proclaiming its disappointment with the Trump administration for pulling out of the pact.On NAFTA re-negotiations, however, the federal government is being careful not to make any loud, aggressive moves for now — preferring to watch quietly while Trump sorts out his position.last_img read more

GTA police help lost potbellied pig get home safe and sound

first_imgBURLINGTON, Ont. – A lost pet pig is home safe and sound thanks to a Toronto-area police officer who proved herself handy with a makeshift lasso.Two Halton regional police officers were called to a residential neighbourhood in Burlington, Ont., Thursday morning after a man came across a pot-bellied pig wandering in the street.Sgt. Rhonda Paxton said the man stayed with the pig until she and her partner arrived, keeping an eye on it as it moved off the road and into a yard.“When we arrived on scene it was eating shrubbery and nosing around in the dirt with its snout,” Paxton said.Paxton said her partner, Const. Renee Harnack, went to their car, grabbed a strap normally used to restrain to prisoners and fashioned a leash with it.“She was able to lasso the little pot-bellied pig so she had it secured,” said Paxton.Harnack said she’s used that trick with dogs in the past, but she had never encountered a loose pig before.After neighbours told the officers that the pig belongs to a woman who lives in a nearby home, Harnack tried to lead the animal across the road, she said.“It went a little bit, but it didn’t really want to walk, so I picked it up,” she said. “It was squealing very loud.”The pig’s owner was alerted by the noise and came outside.She told the officers her beloved pet pig’s name is Chanel, and said the animal was a year old, Paxton said.The owner was then able to pick up the pig in a way that didn’t make it squeal — one hand under its bottom and the other under its chest — and carry it home without issue, Paxton said.“I can say that in my 20 years, a call with a loose pig wandering around is a first,” said Paxton.“It’s always something different at work,” Harnack added.last_img read more

CanLit community celebrates success of The Handmaids Tale after Emmys

first_imgTORONTO – When Margaret Atwood took the stage with the team from “The Handmaid’s Tale” at the end of Sunday’s Emmy Awards, Mike Hamm cheered on the CanLit legend from his Halifax home while the Los Angeles audience gave her a standing ovation.The manager of Bookmark II bookstore in Halifax is a “huge” fan of the Toronto-based author and has recently seen a spike in sales of Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel that inspired the series that won eight Emmys, including best drama.“I think we’ll see a definite sales surge with the Emmy win,” Hamm said Monday in a phone interview.“I’ve been a lifelong fan. I’ve read everything that she’s written. They were thanking her from the stage and I was thinking, ‘Oh, she’s got to be in the audience,’ and it was very nice to see her get up on the stage with them.”Booksellers say it’s not unusual for an older novel to make such a huge comeback — “The Great Gatsby,” for instance, has surged to the top of bestseller lists with various adaptations — but it doesn’t often happen with a Canadian title.Many say “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which was on Hulu in the U.S. and is currently streaming on CraveTV after airing on Bravo in Canada, is relevant today because of its added resonance in the Trump era.With its look at a totalitarian theocracy that makes women property of the state, it speaks to current concerns about women’s rights, although Atwood has been quick to point out that the series was in production well before U.S. President Donald Trump was elected.“It shows us that books speak far beyond their moment in time,” celebrated Canadian author Madeleine Thien, who won last year’s Scotiabank Giller Prize, said Monday after announcing this year’s long list in St. John’s.“I feel like ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is so pertinent right now,” added fellow acclaimed Canadian novelist Lisa Moore.Atwood makes a brief cameo and was a consulting producer on the series, which was shot in Toronto and has been greenlit for a second season.Indigo Books and Music Inc. and publisher McClelland & Stewart first saw a spike in sales of “The Handmaid’s Tale” book after Trump was elected in November.“Since then, we’ve seen sales substantially up and it’s been our number one selling fiction title since April,” Krishna Nikhil, Indigo’s executive vice-president of print, said Monday in a statement.McClelland & Stewart said sales of the book have been “astonishing,” noting it’s shipped over 150,000 copies this year (that includes e-books and the two different print editions).“It’s been an unbelievably strong title all year and I expect that it will just continue to be selling very strongly as we move toward the second season of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and off the great news of the Emmy win,” said Jared Bland, publisher of McClelland & Stewart.Hamm said his store also first saw a surge in sales for “The Handmaid’s Tale” after the election, when they responded to readers’ requests for a display of books on totalitarianism.“If we have a popular book, we’ll reorder it weekly in the single digits. But with a book like this, it’s in the double digits every week,” he said.“People who have been fans of Atwood all their lives are coming in to buy a copy to re-read it even.”Sales of the book also took off at Ben McNally Books in Toronto when the series was announced.“We don’t sell a lot of copies of anything, so for us to sell more than five copies of a book in a week, it’s pretty unusual, and that’s been pretty consistent,” said store founder Ben McNally.“There are serious women’s rights issues afoot and a bunch of younger people who are really seizing this initiative here.”The 77-year-old Atwood will remain in the spotlight with the Sept. 25 CBC premiere of “Alias Grace,” an adaptation of her 1996 novel that profiles a convicted Canadian “murderess” and also speaks to how women are treated in society.“The book is a Heather’s Pick, and sales are already trending up,” said Nikhil.“We have a very beautiful television tie-in edition of ‘Alias Grace’ that we’ve put in the market and sales have been really strong so far,” said Bland, adding that he expects that trend to continue.last_img read more

As pot becomes legal parallels drawn to the waning days of alcohol

first_imgCOLEMAN, Alta. – A notorious 1922 police shooting in southwestern Alberta and the sensational trial that followed caused many to wonder whether enforcing alcohol prohibition was worth the trouble.Alberta’s move to outlaw drinking in 1916 was wildly unpopular in the Crowsnest Pass, a cluster of coal mining towns nestled in the Rocky Mountains not far from the B.C. boundary.The area became a hotbed of bootlegging and rum running, with prominent businessman Emilio Picariello — known also as “Emperor Pic” or the “Bottle King” —dominating the trade.But on Sept. 21, 1922, Picariello got word that his son was wounded in a police stop. That led to a deadly confrontation outside the Alberta Provincial Police barracks in downtown Coleman hours later.No one knows for sure whether Picariello or family friend Florence Lassandro fired the shot that killed Const. Stephen Lawson. Both were hanged the following spring — Lassandro the only woman in Alberta to meet that fate.“It gripped the nation,” said Fred Bradley, a Crowsnest Pass heritage advocate. “It would have been the 1920s version of the O.J. Simpson trial.”With provinces plotting out how they will manage the regulation and distribution of recreational marijuana once it becomes legal this summer, history buffs see some parallels to the waning days of alcohol prohibition in Canada.Every province had its own approach to battling booze in the early 20th century.And, like the way the federal government has approached the legalization of cannabis, the rules for ending prohibition of alcohol were up to each province.Booze flowed freely in British Columbia three years before Alberta, so rum running between the two provinces was rampant.For many in Alberta, the Lawson shooting underscored how difficult and dangerous it was to police prohibition, Bradley said.The province voted to repeal the policy six months after Picariello and Lassandro were executed. Booze sales were legal again in 1924.Other provinces, too, grew weary of the corruption and violence that came with prohibition. Nearly a century later, the Liberal government has said one of the main goals of legalizing marijuana has been to take organized crime out of the picture.“The end of prohibition was brought about because people began to recognize that the cure, as it were, was worse than the disease,” said Vancouver historian Daniel Francis.Prohibition had mostly ended in Canada by the end of the 1920s, but it lasted until 1933 in the United States.That presented a lucrative window of opportunity to supply the U.S. market.The distilling business founded by the now-prominent Bronfman family made a fortune. Fishermen in B.C. made good money transporting booze down the coast as a side business.“They saw an opportunity to make a few bucks,” said Francis. “Most of them were small-time businessmen. They weren’t big crooks.”When prohibition ended in the Unites States, the low-level rum runners mostly got out of the illicit trade and went back to their law-abiding lives, said Francis.“They had no regrets over what they’d done and no guilt that they had been engaging in criminal activity,” he said. “They saw themselves as a public service satisfying a quite understandable public need.”Some of the kingpins, meanwhile, went on to deal in harder drugs like heroin or cocaine. And some people who served booze on the sly during prohibition became legit vendors at hotels and restaurants.But Just because booze was legal didn’t mean it was a free-for all, said Dan Malleck, an associate professor of health sciences at Ontario’s Brock University who specializes in the history of drug and alcohol prohibition.At Ontario outlets, there were no displays of products on offer. A customer had to fill out a form, line up at a counter and hand a passport-like booklet to a clerk, who would note each purchase.Bottles were handed over concealed in brown paper bags.It was no fun, but people put up with it.“Most people were decent citizens who wanted to follow the rules,” Malleck said.There was a bit of a clean-up period while governments tried to nail down the right number of stores, product prices and authorized drinking locations.Provinces will have to find a similar balance once pot is legal, Malleck said, and its effectiveness will depend on how easily consumers can get what they want the legal way.“The black market always will exist,” said Malleck.“But after prohibition that black market in booze was a fraction of what it was.”last_img read more

Friend of man shot on Saskatchewan farm breaks down at photos of

first_imgBATTLEFORD, Sask. – A friend of an Indigenous man shot during an altercation on a Saskatchewan farm broke down in tears in court when forced to examine a photo of Colten Boushie’s body.“How come you have to have that body laying in front of that thing like that?” said an emotional Eric Meechance Wednesday when asked to look at a photo of the barrel of a .22 calibre rifle that was near Boushie’s body.Saskatchewan Chief Justice Martel Popescul asked Meechance if he needed a break. Twenty minutes later he was dismissed as a witness.Gerald Stanley, 56, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the August 2016 shooting death of Boushie. The 22-year-old, who was from the Red Pheasant First Nation, died from a single gunshot wound to the back of his head.Meechance, 22, testified that he, Boushie, Cassidy Cross, Kiora Wuttunee and Belinda Jackson had been drinking throughout the day and had been swimming in the South Saskatchewan River. He said they heard a leak in one of the tires when the SUV crossed a culvert.He said they continued driving and stopped at one farm where Cross broke the stock of .22 calibre rifle that was in the vehicle trying to smash the window of a truck. They later drove on to the Stanley farm near Biggar, Sask., and were on an all-terrain vehicle but took off when someone started yelling at them, he said.When Cross crashed into another vehicle in the yard, Meechance said they both got out of the SUV and started running.“Within seconds … I heard two shots and I swear that they were toward me because I could hear a whistling,” Meechance told court. “I heard two shots whistle by me.”Meechance said he heard the third shot when he was crossing the main road near the farm.“Did you see what happened with that third gunshot?” asked Crown prosecutor Bill Burge.“No,” Meechance said. “You get shot at, you hear a third gunshot, you’re not going to turn around and start looking.”Defence lawyer Scott Spencer asked him why the group didn’t tell police they had a gun in their vehicle, suggesting that was a “pretty serious piece of information that the police need.”“I had a gun ban,” Meechance said.Spencer suggested Meechance wasn’t upfront when he said they went to the Stanley farm because they needed help with a flat tire. Meechance and others were “motivated by theft” and didn’t tell the Boushie family the whole story, he suggested.“Don’t you think they deserved to know that you were out checking vehicles? That you had a gun in there, you were shooting a gun out of the vehicle,” asked Spencer. “Didn’t you think the family deserved to know the truth?”“It’s not like we went there in a stolen vehicle. Not like we went there and whipped out a gun or nothing,” Meechance said.Sheldon Stanley told court his father looked like he was going to be sick after the shooting.He said an SUV drove into the family’s farmyard. Shortly afterwards, he said he and his father heard an all-terrain vehicle start and thought it was being stolen. The pair ran toward the SUV as it tried to leave the farm and Sheldon Stanley went in the house to get his truck keys.He said he heard two gunshots while he was inside and a third when he came back out.“I turned as my father walked behind the back of the grey vehicle towards me with a gun in one hand and a magazine in the other. He turned and looked at me and looked like he was going to be sick,” Sheldon Stanley, 28, told court. “He said ‘I don’t know what happened. It just went off. I just wanted to scare them.’“It just went off.”After Boushie was shot, Sheldon Stanley said the two women in the back seat of the SUV were “obviously upset and yelling at us.” He said they pulled Boushie’s body out of the car and, along with him, a gun that was missing a stock.“It was laying between his legs and, as they pulled him, it came out with him.”He said the two young women also attacked his mother while they waited for police.“They had her on the ground and they were hitting her,” he said, adding he told them to get back in their vehicle. “They did stop and got back in their vehicle.”— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitterlast_img read more

Trumps Twitter tirades shadow Trudeaus talk on social media and politics

first_imgPARIS — Politicians working to harness the power of social media to connect with voters need to figure out how to do so positively in the face of leaders using those platforms to undermine democracy, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says.Without mentioning anyone by name at an event in Paris on Monday morning, Trudeau suggested there are politicians who are trying to use platforms like Twitter to foster polarization and controversy in the electorate.The medium is not without its benefits, Trudeau said, pointing to the ease of putting out a tweet of condolence or support being easier, more direct and resonating more with citizens than issuing a press statement carried by traditional media.That same ease and directness that Trudeau said can be used to build confidence in government and democratic institutions can just as easily be used by politicians trying to “make you angry or make you divided or make you hate your neighbour” — pitting one kind of social media politician against the other.“If it ends up in a screaming match between one side versus the other side, whoever is better at nasty is going to win,” Trudeau said at a Paris conference on the use of technology by governments.“If we actually think about it, it’s easier to push someone into being angry — it’s harder to pull them into being positive and earnest and involved.”The discussion was driven by U.S. President Donald Trump, who regularly uses Twitter to fire up his legions of followers and vent at his critics.Trudeau has been a target of Trump’s irate tweeting, particularly after the G7 meeting in Charlevoix, Que., over the prime minister’s comments on trade negotiations.When asked directly to comment about Trump’s Twitter usage, Trudeau suggested Trump is just being Trump.“I think it’s important that people are authentic and he’s certainly authentic,” Trudeau said.The comments came one day after Trudeau and other world leaders issued dire warnings about leaders calling themselves nationalists and the problems they pose for maintaining peace and the world order built in the aftermath of the world wars.Again, no names were mentioned, but the warnings seemed clearly aimed at Trump who has repeatedly professed his “American” nationalism.Trudeau suggested he doesn’t call out Trump by name in any criticism in order to keep the peace with Canada’s neighbour to the south.“One of the things that Canadians expect of me is to continue to stand up for Canadian values, for Canadian interests as I always do loudly and clearly sharing our perspectives on how to build a better world, while at the same time keeping a constructive relationship with our closest neighbour and largest trading partner — and that’s what I will continue to do,” he said.Trudeau also took time at the conference to tout his government’s progress on digitizing the way it delivers services.The prime minister has made the use of technology and data a priority in providing government programs to Canadians through digital channels alongside better, more up to date information to feed federal decisions.In September, the federal government launched its new “digital standards” to help public servants navigate their way towards what the Liberals call an “effective digital government.”But there have been hiccups along the way.A pilot project from Statistics Canada to scoop up anonymized and randomized banking transactions on 500,000 Canadians has faced steep criticism from opposition parties in the House of Commons.And internal documents obtained by The Canadian Press paint a clearer picture of detailed work underway to overcome the challenges the civil service faces in meeting the Liberals’ digital goals.Documents obtained under the Access to Information Act suggest challenges in how to handle vast amounts of disparate data, the funding needed to acquire or generate data to fill gaps, and “legal and cultural impediments to sharing and accessing data.”The prime minister travels later Monday to Singapore for a summit organized by a 10-nation bloc that will put his government’s trade diversification plans on display.Trudeau is on a 10-day trip across Europe and Asia that began Friday with a gathering of world leaders in France to mark a century since the end of the First World War.— Follow @jpress on Twitter.Jordan Press, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Huawei not only firm that could build Canadas eventual 5G networks Goodale

first_imgOTTAWA — Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says Chinese telecom giant Huawei isn’t the only company that can build Canadian next-generation wireless networks.Goodale’s remarks on Parliament Hill come after China’s ambassador to Canada warned last week of repercussions if the federal government bars the telecom company from supplying equipment for faster, more resilient communications systems than cellphone users have now.Chinese envoy Lu Shaye made the comments during his first media event since the RCMP arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on Dec. 1 at the request of the United States.Meng’s arrest has infuriated China, which has since detained two Canadians in moves that have pushed Canada-China diplomatic relations to a new low.Canadian security agencies are still reviewing the security and technical issues surrounding the potential involvement of Huawei and other companies in new 5G networks for smartphones and other wireless communication devices.When asked about the ongoing national-security review today, Goodale said there are other suppliers besides Huawei that can set up Canada’s 5G networks.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

John Travolta To Host Buzz Aldrins ShareSpace Foundation Launch Gala

first_imgJoin Buzz Aldrin, John Travolta and other American heroes on July 18, 2015 at Kennedy Space Center’s Apollo Saturn V Center in Florida for ShareSpace Foundation’s (SSF) Launch Gala!Anchored on the Apollo 11 anniversary, the black-tie affair will both celebrate the first moon landing and kick-off SSF’s initiative of exciting children for science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM).The evening will commence with transportation from a Cocoa Beach hotel onto NASA restricted property where you will enjoy a drive-by of the Vehicle Assembly Building, NASA working facilities and launch pads in the distance. Upon arrival at the award winning Apollo Saturn V Center, you will be greeted by your astronaut hosts and then whisked back into time, as you sip champagne and wander among Apollo program relics before enjoying exquisite cuisine under an Apollo Saturn V rocket and dining with American heroes! At the end of your meal, you will retire to the Lunar Theater to join Aldrin, Travolta and other astronauts as they reflect on the world’s first moon landing – Apollo 11, attesting to the personal and technical sides of the mission.The evening will conclude with a lavish spread of divine desserts and coffees and the close of a special Apollo 11 Memorabilia Silent Auction, only available to event attendees.At the end of the evening, as well as amazing memories, you will have contributed to Buzz Aldrin’s nonprofit ShareSpace Foundation which just recently re-launched with a mission of addressing science literacy by igniting children’s passion for STEAM through delivering hands-on activities, inspirational messages and innovation kits. ShareSpace provides children the opportunity to experience pivotal moments of discovery, leading to a life-long love for, and potentially a career in, STEAM.Tickets are limited and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.Secure Your Ticket Today!.Find out more here.last_img read more

Project Angel Food Celebrates 25 Years And Nine Million Meals Served

first_imgProject Angel Food celebrates its 25th Angel Awards Gala on Sat., August 22 at 6 p.m. at Taglyan Complex.The event will honor Entertainment Industry Foundation and Project Angel Food’s founder Marianne Williamson and founding team David Kessler, Ed Rada, Howard Rosenman and Freddie Weber for their many contributions to fulfilling the organization’s mission.Project Angel Food, which cooks and serves nutritious meals to Los Angeles residents battling critical illnesses, was founded by Marianne Williamson 25 years ago when the AIDS and HIV crisis emerged. Marianne and the founding team saw an urgent need to prepare and deliver nutritious meals for seriously ill individuals who were unable to shop and cook for themselves.“It’s wonderful to participate in Project Angel Food’s 25th Anniversary celebration – to both remember what was, and help them usher in a new chapter in the life of the organization,” says Marianne Williamson, Founder of Project Angel Food.Over the years, Project Angel Food has expanded its program to cook medically tailored meals for men and women who suffer from critical illnesses such as cancer, renal failure, congestive heart failure and diabetes. In 2010, the organization initiated its Urban Gardens program by turning donated land into community gardens to grow and harvest organic produce for inclusion in its meal preparation. As of today, Project Angel Food has served nine million meals and prepares 1,200 meals a day.Honoree recipient, the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), is a charitable organization that harnesses the collective power of the entertainment industry to raise awareness and funds for critical health, educational and social issues. The Entertainment Industry Foundation has been proud to help Project Angel Food accomplish their goals and mission. Actress and model, Eva Mendes will accept the angel award on behalf of EIF.“For nearly two decades, the Entertainment Industry Foundation has been honored to support Project Angel Food in its mission to provide essential nourishment to those battling critical illnesses, including people living with cancer. Many of EIF’s health initiatives over that same period have focused on advancing cancer research, to improve how the disease is treated. Supporting Project Angel Food has always been a wonderful complement to those efforts, enabling EIF to positively impact more than just one facet of patients’ journeys,” said EIF president and CEO Lisa Paulsen. “It is humbling for EIF to receive this honor, and a privilege to continue supporting Project Angel Food’s truly important work.”Project Angel Food has benefitted from the continued support by members of Hollywood and the entertainment and fashion industries over the years. Longtime supporter and actress Frances Fisher and Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette will present at the gala with a special performance by comedienne and actress from the hit TV show Glee, Jane Lynch.“The role that nonprofits play in our community is so important. Businesses must recognize this and demonstrate their support for organizations and their mission to better our local neighborhoods,” said longtime supporter Paul Marciano, co-founder of Guess? Inc.The Angel Awards Gala is the organization’s top fundraiser that enables them to feed and nourish the sick battling critical illnesses and in need of nutrition to survive. To learn more about the Awards Gala, to volunteer or to donate, please visit www.angelfood.org/angelawards2015.last_img read more

Julianne Hough Wants To Readdress Success

first_imgStrayer University has announced that actress, dancer and “Dancing With The Stars” judge Julianne Hough has joined its Readdress Success movement, which seeks to revise Merriam Webster’s current definition of success and which has drawn support from over 90,000 petition signers around the world since being launched in August.Video: Julianne Hough Redefines SuccessThe initiative stems from a nationwide survey conducted by Strayer University, which found 90 percent of Americans define success as more about happiness than about power, possessions or prestige. Based on these findings – which also indicate that six in ten Americans believe success means attaining personal goals, having good relationships and loving what you do for a living – Strayer University believes a more accurate definition of success should be expanded to “happiness derived from good relationships and the attainment of personal goals.”“We are thrilled that Strayer University’s Readdress Success movement is getting support from diverse influencers in education, business, entertainment and the public at large,” said Brian Jones, president of Strayer University. “This wide interest in our movement points to the robust and important dialogue that is happening across America today – that success means different things to different people and that there is no ‘one size fits all’ definition. Strayer University is proud to be a catalyst for this change, which has also inspired and motivated many of our students and employees.”Julianne Hough is an actress, dancer, producer and Emmy Award-winning choreographer. Currently a judge on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, she is also a previous two-time professional champion of the show. She has starred in such films as “Footloose,” “Rock of Ages” and “Safe Haven” and will be seen next in the comedy “Dirty Grandpa” with Robert De Niro and Zac Efron and starring in “Grease: Live!” broadcasting live on FOX on January 31.Hough is supporting the Readdress Success initiative through her social channels and personal blog, and has released an exclusive video that offers a behind the scenes look at the transformation of her personal definition of success through dance.“I used to define success in traditional terms of wealth and fame, just how it’s outlined in the dictionary,” explains Hough. “But as I’ve matured, I’ve realized that this definition is lacking and doesn’t match up with the things I feel make me a success. So I had to redefine what success meant to me by allowing my personal achievements and happiness to dictate its meaning. The funny thing is, since I changed my perspective, I feel more successful than ever in both my career and personal life.”To inspire widespread participation, Strayer University started a petition on Change.org that allows the public to show their support, share the initiative with their networks, and give back to a good cause. For every signature collected on the petition, Strayer University will donate 50 cents to charity partner Dress for Success, an international not-for-profit organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.Strayer University has also released a related series inspiring interviews with well-known celebrities and influencers across a wide spectrum of industries through Inc.com, along with emotionally touching video sketches and social experiments that have driven more than 6,700,000 YouTube views to date.To take part in Strayer University’s Readdress Success movement and to sign the petition to officially change the definition of the word ‘success,’ click here.last_img read more

Hal Holbrook To Perform Benefit Show in Santa Monica

first_imgHal Holbrook will present his legendary one-man show MARK TWAIN TONIGHT! at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California on February 11, 2016 as a benefit for The Actors Fund.In MARK TWAIN TONIGHT!, Hal Holbrook delivers one of the most acclaimed and enduring performances in the history of theater as he brings the wit and wisdom of the first great American author to life. Mr. Holbrook is the consummate, journeyman actor who has toured the world as Mark Twain for over sixty years, while brilliantly making his performance relevant to present day events. By using and honoring Mark Twain’s own words, it’s as though Twain were alive and orating today.The show was originally created in 1954 in a Greenwich Village nightclub, where Ed Sullivan saw him and first gave Holbrook national television exposure. Ten years later, Hal Holbrook in MARK TWAIN TONIGHT! ran on Broadway, winning Holbrook the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play, and aired on CBS Television before 30 million people. The New York Times stated, “Mr. Holbrook’s material is uproarious, his ability to hold an audience by acting is brilliant,” while The Washington Post declared, “The combination of Holbrook’s physical and vocal talents and the potency of Twain’s words is a mesmerizing thing to behold.”The honoree committee for this one night only Los Angeles performance includes Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta Jones and Joe Mantegna. The show will be produced by Alba Francesca and Joyce Cohen with Rich Costabile as production supervisor. The evening is generously sponsored by Sextant Wines and Devotion Vodka.TICKETING INFORMATIONTickets can be purchased at www.thebroadstage.com/mark_twain_tonight/ or by calling 310-434-3200.Tickets are $50 (students only), $100, $250 and $500. $500 tickets include a post-performance reception.Sponsorship packages are available beginning at $5,000 and include multiple press/branding opportunities as well as VIP tickets for the show. For more information, please contact Kathleen Cahill at 323-933-9244 or kcahill@actorsfund.org.ABOUT THE ACTORS FUNDThe Actors Fund is a national human services organization that helps everyone – performers and those behind the scenes – who works in performing arts and entertainment, helping more than 21,000 people directly each year, and hundreds of thousands online. Serving professionals in film, theatre, television, music, opera, radio and dance, The Fund’s programs include social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and employment and training services. With offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Actors Fund has – for nearly 133 years – been a safety net for those in need, crisis or transition. Visit www.actorsfund.org.last_img read more

Chelsea Clinton And Jessica Simpson Honored As Outstanding Mothers

first_imgOver the weekend, The National Mother’s Day Committee honored Chelsea Clinton, Jessica Simpson, Jan Singer and Artemis Patrick.The four exceptional women were recognized for balancing successful careers with the demands of motherhood at the 40th Annual Outstanding Mother Awards, held at the Pierre Hotel. The event raised more than $500,000, with proceeds benefiting Save the Children’s U.S. Programs. The awards were presented by Mistress of Ceremonies and Chief Content Officer of Hearst Magazines, Joanna Coles.During the event, the 2018 honorees shared insights on mastering a healthy balance between work and family, and what helped them to achieve their success:Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair, Clinton Foundation“I talk to [my children] as much as possible – about my day, what I did, why I did it and what’s happening in the world…Even though they’re still young, I think it’s important they grow up having that understanding, knowing how blessed and privileged they are, and sharing a sense of responsibility to do whatever we can to engage in the work of, as my grandmother would say, expanding the circle of blessings.”Jessica Simpson, Entertainer; Founder & CEO, Jessica Simpson Collection“One thing I have done (that I know is non-traditional) is always mix business and family! I’d rather have the people I love around me all the time – we share in our mutual successes, and we help each other through any bumps in the road with complete trust. And in the end, the relationships are what’s most important. I hope I can teach that to my children.”Jan Singer, Chief Executive Officer, Victoria’s Secret Lingerie“Accepting the fact that there is no perfect definition of balance is very freeing. As much as we all want the magic solution, I’m often reminded by those I admire that it’s much more about agility. The willingness to adapt to the situation, the moment and sometimes even the minute is what matters most. Having it all is possible. It just may not be that we have it all, all at the same time!”Artemis Patrick, Chief Merchandising Officer, Sephora“Always stick by your word. If I make a commitment to be there for an important event, I will not break that commitment to my daughter. And the same goes with work and my professional life. It’s important that my daughter sees that I may not always be able to be everywhere I want or am needed, but what’s most important is that I’m upfront about that and then I stick to commitments.”As part of its continued support of meaningful philanthropies dealing with issues affecting mothers, fathers and children, the National Father’s Day/Mother’s Day Council, Inc. has donated more than $30 million to date to deserving family-related charities nationwide.Proceeds of the 2018 awards luncheon were allocated to benefit Save the Children’s U.S. Programs, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to making lasting positive change in the lives of children living in poverty in the United States.last_img read more

The Toronto Monologue Slam – Sunday August 14th

first_imgAnd we’re back! Sunday, August 14th at the Round in Kensington. ‪#‎toslam‬ ‪#‎stayready‬ https://t.co/djlsC0QEbV LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement Twitterlast_img