Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has granted a pre-arrest bail to a policeman accused of raping a woman colleague, noting it was a consensual act. A division bench of justices Indrajit Mahanty and A M Badar last week granted anticipatory bail to Navi Mumbai police’s crime branch Sub-Inspector Amit Shelar. Shelar had approached the HC in January this year after a sessions court rejected his anticipatory bail application. In November 2018, the woman, a constable attached with the Navi Mumbai police’s crime branch, lodged a complaint alleging Shelar had raped her in March last year after spiking her cold drink. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ The high court, in its order, observed that the complainant is a serving police constable and an adult married woman. “If the facts stated in the FIR and the text messages exchanged between the complainant and the accused person are considered, prima facie we are of the opinion that the case in hand is a case of consent,” the court said. “Prima facie, we are of the opinion that the act was consensual in nature,” the bench said in its order. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K “This is a case of a 31-year-old married woman, indulging in sexual relations with her colleague on several occasions without disclosing the fact to her husband,” the court said. It said the FIR was lodged after the complainant’s husband found the text messages exchanged between the sub-inspector and the complainant. In her complaint, the woman said the man had claimed to have recorded the incident and used that to allegedly rape her on multiple occasions thereafter. In his anticipatory bail plea filed in the HC, through advocate Tanveer Nizam, Shelar claimed he has been implicated in a false case and that he has never committed any crime. “This is a false FIR and the investigation was clearly motivated. The high court has accepted our arguments on the malafide of the complainant and has also held that this was a consensual relationship,” Nizam said.
Thiruvananthapuram: A red alert has been issued for three districts on Tuesday as extremely heavy rains are expected in central Kerala as the flood-hit northern parts were slowly limping back to normalcy and the toll climbed to 88. The red alert has been sounded in Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Idukki on Tuesday and in northern districts of Malappuram and Kozhikode on Wednesday, IMD sources said adding over 20 cms of rains are expected in these districts. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Due to the strengthening of low pressure in Bay of Bengal, extremely heavy rains are expected to lash the several parts of the state, Director of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Thiruvananthapuram, K Santosh said. According to the government update at 9 AM Tuesday, 88 people have lost their lives in the state since August 8 and the toll is likely to go up further as 40 were still missing. Over 2.52 lakh people have taken shelter in 1,332 relief camps across the state. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday ‘Orange alert’ has been issued in 6 districts-Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Palakkad, Thrissur and Malappuram- on Tuesday. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan toured the affected districts of Malappuram and Wayanad from where 41 deaths have been reported in a series of landslides on August 8. Addressing the flood-affected at a relief camp in Meppadi in Wayanad, Vijayan said, “the government is with you.. we need to overcome all difficulties and hardships together.” The government is now giving priority to the rescue measures, he said adding after which it would focus on the rehabilitation initiatives. “There are several people who have completely lost their houses and properties and suffered crop loss. Some more people, who have gone missing, are yet to be traced and efforts are on to find them,” he said. Accompanied by Revenue Minister, E Chandrasekharan and Chief Secretary, Tom Jose, the Chief Minister would also be visiting relief centres in Malappuram and hold discussions with people’s representatives and officials. In Malappuram, which was rocked by a series of landslips triggered by downpour at Kavalappara and Kottakunnu, the toll has climbed to 29, with 32 people still missing. Search operations are continuing in the area to retrieve the remains of the dead. In 185 camps in Malappuram, 45,377 people have been sheltered, the update stated. Twelve people have so far lost their lives and 7 are missing in neighbouring Wayanad district, which also witnessed a landslide at Puthumala in Meppadi. Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi had toured the affected areas and relief camps promising all help to the people. “It is a tragedy not only for Wayanad, but for Kerala and also some southern states. This is not only a Wayanad issue, this is a Kerala issue, this is a Karnataka issue.The Central government needs to pay attention and aggressively support the people of these states,” he had told reporters at Kalpetta after attending a review meeting with government officials on the flood situation on Monday. Over 35,000 people are in 196 relief camps in Wayanad district. Seventeen deaths have been reported from Kozhikode where over 43,000 people have shifted to 177 relief camps. At least 808 houses have been fully damaged and 8,459 partially in rain-related incidents. Holiday has been declared for educational institutions in five districts– Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Malappuram– on Tuesday and various university examinations have been postponed, authorities said. Meanwhile, the Railways on Tuesday said Hazrat Nizamuddin-Ernakulam Express, scheduled to leave Hazrat Nizamuddin, was cancelled and Nagercoil-Mangaluru Parasuram Express was rescheduled.
Mumbai: With an aim to uncover insider trading cases, regulator Sebi on Wednesday announced a new mechanism to reward informants with up to Rs 1 crore cash for any credible inside information through a specially created hotline and also proposed a possible amnesty or settlement for minor wrongdoings in return for cooperation in the probe. At a meeting held here, Sebi’s board approved a detailed set of rules for the new ‘Informant Mechanism’ under its Prohibition of Insider Trading (PIT) Regulations. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalHowever, these benefits would only be available to individuals and corporates, and professionals like auditors will not be able to use this route as they are duty-bound to report any wrongdoing. The Sebi regulation seeks to curb insider trading to protect the interest of investors at large and defines ‘insider trading’ as trading of securities while in possession of unpublished price-sensitive information. The insider trading is mainly carried out in a clandestine manner and the wrongdoers typically use proxies for communicating the relevant information and for executing the trades. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostAs any direct evidence of such communication is seldom available easily, the detection and prosecution of insider trading remains a challenge. Officials said it is imperative for Sebi to employ all legitimate means to detect insider trading and initiate action at the earliest to instill confidence among investors and ensure integrity of the market. But, Sebi faces several challenges in establishing links and procuring proof while probing insider trading cases, due to which investigation into such cases takes much longer time than in other cases of market manipulation. To strengthen its investigation and enforcement mechanism, the new mechanism will incentivise people having personal knowledge of insider trading cases and report the same to the watchdog. The new mechanism has been prepared after taking into account the feedback Sebi received on a public discussion paper floated in June. Under the proposed amendment to Sebi’s PIT Regulations, an informant would need to submit a Voluntary Information Disclosure Form (VIDF) detailing credible, complete and original information related to an act of insider trading, including communication of unpublished price-sensitive information or trading in violation of rules that has occurred, is occurring or is about to occur. It would be mandatory to disclose the source of information and attach an undertaking that it has not been sourced from a person employed with Sebi or any related regulator.
TORONTO – A somewhat beaten-up test model used in the development of Canada’s much vaunted but secretive Avro Arrow fighter jet has been found covered in zebra mussels upside down on the bottom of Lake Ontario, expedition leaders announced Friday.The tantalizing discovery of the model, between 30 and 60 metres underwater, is the first such find since the federal government killed the Arrow program in 1959, sparking a bitter debate about the demise of what was once considered one of the most advanced combat jets in the world.“It wasn’t just about finding something lost: For generations, the Arrow story has fascinated many of us and has become something dear to many Canadians,” said John Burzynski, CEO of Osisko Mining and expedition leader. “It lingers in the Canadian psyche as to what this could have been.”The find is especially significant because the aircraft themselves, along with almost everything associated in producing them, were ordered destroyed when the program was scrapped, throwing thousands of people out of work. In addition, everything about the jet and its development was classified.“This was all a secret program that nobody knew was going on when it was going on,” Burzynski said. “Unfortunately, a lot of the records are partial and spotty.”Explorers with the OEX Recovery Group spent two weeks spread out of the last several months searching for the free-flight models used as part of final design testing of the Arrow off Point Petre, south of Belleville, Ont., between 1955 and 1957.Using a remote operated vehicle and sonar imagery, they found booster rockets used to launch the models, enabling them to narrow the search area and leading to the discovery. Explorers believe the recovered Arrow free-flight model — one of nine believed to be in the lake — is one of the later versions.Photographs and video indicate the nose was bent or damaged on impact, said David Shea, with Kraken Sonar Systems. However, one of the characteristic triangular wings of the one-eighth scale model — about three metres long by two metres wide — is fully intact, and some of the paint appears to have survived, he said.The plan now, besides searching for the other eight models underwater, is to try to get divers down to remove some of the mussels and inspect the find more closely as part of plans to bring it to the surface.Expedition archeologist, Scarlett Janusas, said recovery will be delicate to ensure no further damage is done. The plan is to excavate around the model and build a cradle to get it to the surface, where it will have to be put into a container and kept wet.It will then require cleaning and stabilizing to ready it for display, either in the Canada Aviation Space Museum in Ottawa or National Air Force Museum in Trenton, Ont.The program to develop and build Canada’s first and only supersonic interceptor, just as the Cold War began roaring to life, was aimed at countering potential Soviet bomber attacks in North America’s Arctic.The reason the Conservative government of then-prime minister John Diefenbaker cancelled the Arrow — as attention turned toward defending against the emerging threat of an intercontinental missile strike — has been the subject of years of speculation.What’s clear is that the decision, branded by some as Canada’s worst research and development disaster — prompted many who worked on the program to head to the U.S., and ended the country’s military jet development ambitions.Burzynski refused to wade in the debate around the wisdom of a decision he said must have left the “bitter taste of defeat” in the mouths of those who had worked on the showcase program. But one thing, he said, is certain:“The Russians did not sneak into Lake Ontario and pick up the models back in the ’50s like a lot of people thought they did.”
DAWSON CITY, Yn – An ancient “monster” muskox skull has been uncovered by a miner working near Dawson City, Yukon.The Klondike Placer Miners’ Association said Stuart Schmidt was using heavy equipment at a site in western Yukon on Monday when he stumbled upon an intact skull of a North American helmeted muskox.The species is a distant relative of today’s tundra muskox and is extinct, the association said in a release.Schmidt said in the release that he saw something unusual sticking out of the gravel and decided to investigate.“I got off the ‘dozer and gave it a pull, thinking it was a fragment of bison horn but it did not budge so I pulled harder with both hands and out came a monster from the past,” he said.Grant Zazula, a paleontologist with the territorial government, said his jaw dropped when he got a photo of the skull.“He knew it was something special because we’ve worked with Stuart for years and he’s seen thousands and thousands of fossils before, bones of ice-age animals. And he knew this was something unique when he saw it,” Zazula said.Two of Zazula’s assistants now have the specimen and plans are underway to do carbon dating to determine the age of the fossil.“Because of the incredible preservation, it will give us the opportunity to do all kinds of other work, like genetic studies on this species,” he said.Helmeted muskox were hunted by early First Nations and went extinct about 11,000 years ago, Zazula said.The animals had giant battering rams on their heads, were twice the width of today’s muskox, stood about two feet taller and weighed around 450 kilograms. (CKRW, The Whitehorse Star)
HALIFAX – Nova Scotia pharmacies are now stocking free naloxone kits as part of the province’s strategy to battle opioid overdoses that currently claim nearly 60 lives a year in the province.The chief medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Strang, says stocking pharmacies with the antidote for opioid overdoses will save lives.Strang says anyone who uses prescription opioids or any illegal drug is at risk of overdose and should carry naloxone.Health officials say that as of this week, anyone can pick up a kit anonymously in more than 240 locations across the province.The program is part of an overall $1.1-million initiative announced in March that also distributed naloxone kits to police, provincial jails and harm reduction clinics in Sydney, Truro and Halifax.As well, the province funded community-based organizations that distribute needles and information to addicts.
OTTAWA – Trade and human rights are among the topics Prime Minister Justin Trudeau intends to raise during a visit to China next month.Trudeau’s office finalized details on Sunday of the trip, which will take place between Dec. 3 to Dec. 7.A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office says Trudeau will promote a progressive trade agenda and tourism initiatives.The Trudeau government has been wrestling in recent months with whether to launch talks on reaching a free trade agreement with China.Sunday’s statement made no mention of free trade and government officials have said no decision has been made on whether to pursue such negotiations.The government recently consulted with businesses, academics and civil society groups and a report of the talks warned that such a deal could kill Canadian jobs and make it difficult to compete with China’s lax labour and environmental standards.“A strong relationship with China is essential to creating jobs, strengthening the middle class, and growing the Canadian economy,” Trudeau said in Sunday’s statement. “I look forward to meeting again with China’s leaders to strengthen our relationship and set the stage for even greater trade and investment co-operation.”The statement also said Canada intends to continue frank dialogue with China on topics like human rights and good governance.Trudeau is to start his visit in Beijing where he is to meet a number of Chinese leaders including President Xi Jinping. He is scheduled to move on to the city of Guangzhou where he’ll give the keynote speech at a global business conference and meet with various business leaders about trade and investment.Trudeau made his first official visit to China last year.China is Canada’s second biggest trading partner. Canada’s exports to China totalled nearly $21 billion in merchandise last year.
LAHAINA, Hawaii – An Alberta politician who is vacationing in Hawaii says the minutes she spent believing a missile attack was imminent may have been the most afraid she’s ever been.Karen McPherson, who represents Calgary-Mackay-Nose Hill in the provincial legislature, said she was waiting to participate in a conference call on Saturday morning when an alert appeared on her phone stating there was an “inbound missile threat” headed for Hawaii.It told people to seek immediate shelter and that it wasn’t a drill.“I didn’t know I could move that fast. I grabbed my keys and made sure I had my phone. I’m here with a friend of mine so I yelled at her to get out of bed and to grab her phone and that we had to go right away,” said McPherson, who is staying in a condominium in Lahaina on the western side of Maui.“We headed downstairs— she was still in her pyjamas — and we got in the car and I headed toward the tsunami evacuation route, because that was the only thing I could think of to do in that moment.”But everybody she saw was acting normally. People were walking their dogs or jogging. And there were no sirens.McPherson said after driving about five miles she turned on the radio. There were no urgent announcements.She started to think it was possibly a mistake or that maybe her phone had a virus. She and her friend drove back to the condo, checked social media and found an NBC feed saying it had been a false alarm.Ten minutes later, she received an alert stating there was no missile. The earlier alert was an error, it said, and everything was OK.“I don’t believe that I have ever felt that afraid in my whole life. That was really, really frightening,” McPherson said.Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi told a news conference Saturday the error happened when someone hit the wrong button.Hawaii reintroduced Cold War-era warning siren tests last month amid the potential threat of missiles from North Korea.McPherson said during her moments of fear, she recalled feeling angry that political conditions in the world made the news plausible.“It wouldn’t be that unusual. It would be unexpected,” she said.McPherson said despite the scare, she’s not planning an early return to Canada.“It’s 26 degrees here,” she laughed. “I was talking to some friends that are on the island, too. They were talking about having an end-of-the-world party tonight.”—by Rob Drinkwater in Edmonton
TORONTO – A man found guilty for the violent sexual assault of a new mother has had his conviction quashed after Ontario’s top court on Monday agreed his lawyer had failed him at trial.In deciding a miscarriage of justice had occurred, the Court of Appeal said Ian Walendzewicz might have succeeded in undermining the complainant’s credibility if he had an effective lawyer — normally a difficult argument for an accused to make.Superior Court Justice Jane Ferguson, sitting without a jury, convicted Walendzewicz, of Cobourg, Ont., in February 2013 — a decade after the alleged attack. Evidence at trial, based on the complainant’s testimony, was that the man with whom she had an on and off relationship arrived drunk at her apartment on a night in October 2003.The woman alleged Walendzewicz punched her in the face and broke her nose, threatened to pour hot soup on her and her three-week-old baby, then raped her, court records show. She reported the alleged incident to police and went to hospital, where she completed a sexual assault questionnaire.One of the answers she gave on the form — entered into evidence by the prosecution with agreement from the defence — was that she’d had protected sex just two days before the alleged attack — an answer Walendzewicz’s lawyer failed to notice.Walendzewicz’s defence — he did not testify — turned on his argument that the woman had agreed to sex with him, but during her trial testimony, she was adamant she would never have done so that soon after giving birth.“Three weeks after having a baby you are not having sex,” the woman testified, according to a transcript. “You are supposed to be waiting at least six weeks. And trust me, the last thing on your mind after giving natural childbirth is sex.”Justice Ferguson accepted her testimony as truthful, and convicted the accused, then in his mid-30s, of sexual assault, assault causing bodily harm, and uttering threats.Walendzewicz’s appeal turned on the complainant’s answer on the hospital questionnaire.Because he had failed to notice her prior statement, Walendzewicz’s lawyer did not bring an application to cross-examine the woman on the answer, which might have exposed an apparent contradiction about her unwillingness to have sex.The lawyer did belatedly try to reference the questionnaire in closing arguments, but Ferguson ruled that out of bounds because he had failed to raise it earlier.For its part, the prosecution argued on appeal that the questionnaire did not prove the woman had agreed to sex two days before the alleged assault. The Crown asserted that cross-examining her about the questionnaire would only have elicited more evidence of his abuse of the woman.The Appeal Court rejected the prosecution arguments.“The complainant sought to corroborate her position she did not consent by offering the testimony (she gave),” the Appeal Court said. “This testimony while on the witness stand at trial was central to her credibility, which was the only live issue at trial.”The mere fact his defence made no attempt to try to undermine her credibility by challenging her over the questionnaire, the court said, was enough to show Walendzewicz had ineffective trial counsel.“We are satisfied that the appellant received ineffective representation at trial that undermines the reliability of the verdict and resulted in a miscarriage of justice,” the Appeal Court said.
WINNIPEG – Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says his Progressive Conservative government’s upcoming budget will cut income taxes and ambulance fees, while also moving the province further toward a balanced budget.And although the province will be getting more money from federal equalization payments and a new provincial carbon tax slated to take effect this year, Pallister says his efforts on fiscal restraint — including cuts to some services — are not over.“I think that maintaining fiscal discipline, balancing a budget … is a job that’s never done,” Pallister told The Canadian Press.“We have an obligation to maintain a responsible and strong government that makes Manitobans confident that their finances are going to be more stable … that their services are going to be safer, more secure. And that’s not a today challenge, and it’s over, and suddenly there’s good news coming out.”Last year, the Tories began tying tax brackets and the basic personal exemption — the amount of money people can earn before they start paying income tax — to the rate of inflation. Manitoba’s basic personal exemption is $9,271, the lowest rate west of Prince Edward Island.Pallister said the March 12 budget will raise the exemption faster than inflation as a step toward putting Manitoba’s exemption close to the national average. That was a promise in the 2016 election.The budget will also put up more health-care money so that ambulance fees can be further reduced, Pallister said. The Tories campaigned on a promise to halve the fees, which ranged up to $500, and have made some progress on that file.“We want Manitobans to get the care they need, especially when it’s an emergency,” Pallister said.The premier has some financial wiggle room as he tries to keep his promises and reduce Manitoba’s $779-million deficit. Equalization payments from Ottawa are set to jump $217 million this year. The carbon tax slated for later this year is expected to raise another $260 million annually.The province will also get a slice of tax revenue on marijuana once recreational cannabis is legalized.The Opposition New Democrats say Pallister could use some of the revenue “windfall” to reverse cuts to front-line services. Recent changes include a reduction in a subsidy for sleep-apnea patients, consolidation of emergency departments in Winnipeg and a 0.5 per cent public-school funding increase that the teachers union says falls far short of maintaining the status quo.“Pallister is more focused on budget cuts and the spreadsheets that he’s looking at than on the services that families in Manitoba rely on,” NDP Leader Wab Kinew said.Kinew pointed to a Conference Board of Canada report that said Manitoba’s economic growth is slowing, something he blames on the government’s spending restraint.Pallister said he has no choice but to keep a tight rein on spending because he inherited a series of deficits from the former NDP government that led to two international credit downgrades.He also said he is determined to cut certain taxes to bring Manitoba in line with other provinces.“Manitobans value health care but they also know that if taxes keep going up, they’re going to have less money to secure the finances of their family and that’s not a good thing.”
MARTINS POINT, N.S. — An American man who dedicated his life to finding treasure on Nova Scotia’s Oak Island was remembered Monday as a larger-than-life figure who became a pillar in the community he made home for more than 50 years.Roughly 120 people packed a small wood-panelled church in the coastal community of Martins Point for the funeral of Dan Blankenship.Blankenship, a U.S. Army veteran who became fixated on the Oak Island mystery, died March 17 at age 95.The service included a rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”“He enjoyed his life,” said Rev. Ron Barkhouse of St. Mark’s Anglican Church, where Blankenship would often attend services.“He had 95 years to do what he wanted to do.”Blankenship was a staple on “The Curse of Oak Island,” a reality TV series on the History channel set on the 57-hectare island on Nova Scotia’s south shore.David Eisnor, a longtime family friend, said during a eulogy that Blankenship was known around the world for being a treasure hunting legend, but he had many interests.Eisnor said his resume would also include “scuba diver, fisherman, armchair quarterback for his love of football, dancer and singer.”Blankenship became hooked on the story of Oak Island after reading a “Reader’s Digest” story in 1965 at his Florida home.Eisnor said at the time, Blankenship asked his wife Jane to read the piece, hoping it would also pique her interest.“She handed it back to him and said, ‘So what?’” said Eisnor, sparking a few laughs from the crowd.“Dan said to her, ‘Well number one, there’s treasure on Oak Island, and number two, I’m going to find it.’“It’s a statement like that, in a nutshell, that summed up Dan’s unbridled determination for everything that he did.”Blankenship co-owned the island with a group of investors, including brothers Rick and Marty Lagina, who are doing the major work on site now. Their search for treasure has been featured during the reality TV show’s six seasons.The Oak Island legend began in 1795 when curious teenage boys began digging at the site, thinking they might find a pirate’s buried treasure. Theories on who may have buried treasure on the island range from pirate Blackbeard to the Knights Templar.Aly Thomson, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Some MPs are warning the high-stress, high-stakes environment of politics coupled with relentless work schedules are one day going to kill someone.Winnipeg MP Kevin Lamoureux, who has been the Liberals’ deputy house leader since the last election, says he is particularly concerned about the marathon, overnight voting sessions that are one of the few ways opposition parties have to interfere with a majority government’s ability to pass legislation.Three such marathons took place in the last Parliament and Lamoureux says he thinks it’s only a matter of time before someone dies after being forced to stay awake for 30 hours or more.Outgoing MP Tony Clement, who was a high-ranking Conservative until he got caught emailing and texting explicit images of himself last fall, says nobody knows better than he does how the pressures of political life can contribute to making horrible personal decisions.For him it’s more than just all-night voting, it’s also the constant online bullying and harassment MPs now face that are driving depression and risking suicide and premature deaths.Both say if all-night voting is banned opposition parties have to be given new ways to stage protests.Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press
Five stories in the news for Wednesday, August 7———RCMP FIND ITEMS LINKED TO MURDER SUSPECTSRCMP in Manitoba have found several items linked to two suspects wanted for killings in British Columbia. Mounties would not disclose what the items are but said they were discovered on the shore of the Nelson River on Friday. Cpl. Julie Courchaine said the items are directly linked to the suspects. The search for Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, has focused on the remote area around the town of Gillam in northeastern Manitoba, since a burned-out Toyota RAV4 they were driving was found there July 22.———U.K. SHARES CONCERNS ON DETAINED CANADIANSForeign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and her British counterpart say they’re both concerned about two Canadians detained in China. Freeland says Britain has taken a strong and public stand on what she called a difficult issue while U.K. Secretary of Foreign Affairs Dominic Raab says his country shares Canada’s concerns on the matter. Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig have been detained in China since last December. Freeland says Canada’s relationship with China continues to be challenging, and the cases of the two detained Canadians are a top priority.———FEDS DETAIL $22M TO COMBAT CHILD PORNPublic Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says provincial and municipal police forces will receive $15 million to combat the exploitation of children online. The Liberal government committed about $22 million over three years to the cause in this year’s federal budget, and are detailing how the majority of the spending will go to local police internet child exploitation units. The rest of the money will go towards raising awareness, strengthening the judicial system and engaging with online companies to make sure their platforms do not host child pornography and related content. The announcement follows a meeting last month that Goodale attended with his counterparts from Canada’s Five Eyes intelligence allies — the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.———DUCEPPE, PARIZEAU CLAN MEMBERS VYING FOR BLOC RUNMembers of two of Quebec’s best-known sovereigntist clans are battling it out for a chance to represent the Bloc Quebecois in a Montreal riding in the upcoming federal election. Anne Duceppe, the cousin of former Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe, is facing the outgoing leader of the Communist Party of Quebec, Andre Parizeau, the nephew of former Quebec premier Jacques Parizeau. They are seeking to represent the Bloc in north-end Ahuntsic-Cartierville, where a nomination meeting is set for Aug. 17. The successful candidate will face off against Liberal Melanie Joly, who won the federal riding for the Liberals in 2015 with more than 46 per cent of the vote.———TURTLE LAYS EGGS IN N.S. GOLF COURSE BUNKERFor the second year in a row, a central Nova Scotia golf course is home to an unusual hazard after a resident snapping turtle laid eggs in a bunker. Debert Golf Course manager Mark Webb says the sand trap next to the seventh hole has been declared off limits after the turtle laid the eggs. Webb says the turtle nicknamed Shelley was rescued from the side of a road last year by a friend and brought to the course, where it has apparently found a home. The nine-hole course has several ponds that provide an ideal turtle habitat. Webb says that after a hatching last September, he was able to help three of the baby turtles make it safely to a pond on the course.———ALSO IN THE NEWS:— Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen holds a media availability to discuss newcomer settlement services across Canada.— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet with members of the International Association of Fire Fighters at the biennial Canadian Policy Conference and will deliver brief remarks.— Rural Economic Development Minister Bernadette Jordan and N.S. Fisheries Minister Keith Colwell make a joint announcement related to the Atlantic Fisheries Fund.— Federal Infrastructure Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne and Victoriaville Mayor Andre Bellavance take part in an infrastructure announcement to address the impact of drought.— Premier Jason Kenney will discuss the accomplishments of his government in its first 100 days in office and make an announcement regarding Indigenous people in Alberta.———The Canadian Press
Paul Simon recently wrote a column for USAToday.com calling on President Obama to give children the high priority they deserve.“President Obama has placed the plight and vulnerabilities of the nation’s children high on his second-term agenda,” wrote the legendary singer/songwriter in the column, which he penned with Irwin Redlener, co-founder of the Children’s Health Fund. “In his inaugural speech… the president called on the nation to care for the most vulnerable, and ensure that ‘all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, (Conn.), know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.’“Just five weeks earlier, speaking at a memorial for the children slain at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, the president said of caring for our children that, ’It’s our first job. If we don’t get it right, we don’t get anything right. That’s how, as a society, we will be judged.’“We couldn’t agree more. But, getting it right will require a real commitment of effort and resources to make sure that all of our children are not only safe from horrific violence, but also able to grow and thrive to their full potential.“There are many obstacles facing children living in poverty — and it’s not just lack of access to doctors. Homelessness, food insecurity, mental and emotional health disparities, educational inequities, transportation barriers, danger in our streets and too many substandard schools, have made it extremely difficult for poor children to achieve their potential.“Despite isolated pockets of improvement, the outlook for children in America today remains bleak. We’re already a decade into the 21st century and our wealthy, industrious nation has 17 million children living in poverty. More than 16 million U.S. children regularly go to bed hungry and less than half of disadvantaged eligible preschoolers have an opportunity to get into an early education program.“We all legitimately worry about leaving our children and grandchildren with astronomical debt. But if we worry about long-term consequences that may well undermine the nation’s ability to remain economically strong and globally influential; we should have similar concerns about allowing another generation of children to grow up poor, undereducated and unprepared to contribute fully to the American future.“If equality, opportunity and growth are values that will drive the agenda for Obama’s second term, then protecting, nurturing and inspiring all of our children will become one of the president’s most enduring legacies.”To read the full post, click here.
British comedian and actor Ricky Gervais, who stars in Muppets Most Wanted launching across Australia this week, is urging his Aussie fans to get active to support the End Cruel Cosmetics Bill.Ricky Gervais Supports Be Cruelty-Free Australia campaignCredit/Copyright: Humane Research AustraliaA renowned animal advocate, Ricky is speaking up on behalf of the Be Cruelty-Free Australia campaign. Co-ordinated by Humane Research Australia and Humane Society International, it is part of the largest campaign in the world to end animal testing for cosmetics such as lip stick and shampoo.Ricky will be tweeting for the campaign to encourage people to lobby their MPs, and has issued a striking photo in which he sports a temporary Be Cruelty-Free tattoo on his chest.The End Cruel Cosmetics Bill was introduced earlier this month by Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, and seeks to ban both cosmetics animal testing within Australia, as well as the import and sale of newly animal-tested cosmetics from abroad. This would mirror the historic ban in place across the 28 member countries of the European Union, the world’s largest cosmetics market.Ricky said: “I love all animals and I hate to see them suffer in any way. Rabbits and mice who have cosmetics dripped in their eyes or spread on their skin, are just as deserving of our compassion as the animals with whom we share our homes. Let’s end their suffering. I’m proud to support the Be Cruelty-Free Australia campaign and urge all Australians to get involved. Go online, tell Parliament to support the End Cruel Cosmetics Bill, let’s end cosmetics animal testing in Australia and the world.”Animal testing for cosmetics is still legal in Australia. Although often assumed to occur infrequently, there are no official statistics to show how often such tests are conducted here or how many animals are subjected to cosmetics suffering. Additionally, many of the cosmetics on sale in Australia’s shops will have been tested on animals in another country.Rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats are the species most often used in cosmetics testing. They have chemicals dripped in their eyes or force-fed to them in massive, lethal doses. The results are of questionable relevance to humans, and such tests are being surpassed by state-of-the-art non-animal test methods.Hannah Stuart, Be Cruelty-Free Australia’s Campaign Co-ordinator, said: “Ricky is a true champion for both animals and people, which is why we’re so thrilled to have his support. Testing cosmetics on animals is bad news for the animals but also bad news for consumers because these tests are so questionable scientifically. It’s time for them to be consigned to the history books where they belong and the End Cruel Cosmetics Bill is our chance to do that.”Click here to send an email to your Senator asking them to support the End Cruel Cosmetics Bill.
Forbes Media announced today new participants for the first-ever Under 30 Summit, which will bring together more than 1,000 young entrepreneurs and game changers from around the world.Speakers will include: • Nobel Peace Prize finalist Malala Yousafzai, the 17-year-old activist who was shot by Taliban militants afraid of her campaign for girls’ education. Her new charity, the Malala Fund, aims at fighting for girls’ education all over the world. She will discuss how she’s turning adversity into a global movement. • While in her twenties, Monica Lewinsky had her reputation instantaneously destroyed via the Internet. In the age of Twitter, YouTube and TMZ, that’s now a daily occurrence. She will discuss the culture of digital destruction and harassment. • Founder of Oculus VR, Palmer Luckey. At 21, he sold his company, which makes virtual reality headsets, to Facebook for a reported $2 billion. He will be discussing his unconventional path to success—and preview Oculus’ coming reality for virtual reality. • On Sunday, October 19, the Summit kicks off with the Under 30 Music Festival, produced in partnership with Global Citizen and AEG Live. Questlove will serve as the musical curator for the event, which will take place at the Piazza at Schmidt’s, and marry the best young acts in America with well-known musical mentors. He will also serve as a judge the Food Festival (see below) and DJ the Summit’s afterparty. • On Tuesday, October 21 (the Summit’s final night), 10 of the country’s best young chefs, including Jesse Schenker, Sam Gorenstein, Joseph “JJ” Johnson and Natasha Case, will headline the Under 30 Food Festival.These additions join a speaking roster that includes Lauren Bush Lauren, CEO, Creative Director and Cofounder of FEED; Pete Cashmore, Founder and CEO of Mashable; Neil Blumenthal, Cofounder of Warby Parker; and Josh Kushner, Managing Partner of Thrive Capital. Notable mentors, who will provide advice to budding entrepreneurs, include Jim Breyer, Partner at Accel Partners and a key early backer of Facebook; Steve Case, Founder of AOL; Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation; Josh Harris, Cofounder of Apollo Global Management; and Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group.The Under 30 Summit, which will take place October 19-22, 2014, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and other venues across Philadelphia, will feature a full agenda of panels, TED-style presentations and Shark Tank-style pitch contests.Forbes’ Under 30 Summit is an extension of Forbes magazine’s annual “30 Under 30” list – which features 30 game-changing entrepreneurs under 30, in 15 fields, as judged by some of the greatest minds in each category. Attendees of the summit will be culled from the past three years of this list, which has become one of the magazine’s most popular franchises. The third annual “30 Under 30” list generated more than 8 million page views online in just the first week of its publication in January 2014.For more details on the Under 30 Summit, please visit www.forbesunder30.com. On Twitter, follow @ForbesUnder30 and #Under30Summit and #GoingtoPhilly. To access Forbes magazine’s 2014 “30 Under 30” list, click here.
Tween star Bailee Madison, along with McKenna Grace and a host of other celebrities, CEOs, artists, corporations, and community leaders have just launched a holiday giving campaign for Starlight Children’s Foundation: #GIVEactually.Video: GIVEactuallyStarlight Children’s Foundation partners with experts to improve the life and health of kids and families all around the world, particularly those that are hospitalized or dealing with terminal illness. They fund critical needs expressed by more than 600 hospitals, specialty clinics and camps in the US that support more than 27 million pediatric visits every year. And they do this by funding and empowering other non-profits such as Ronald McDonald Houses, Covenant House, Shriners, and more. So, this holiday season, Starlight is encouraging giving that will benefit the causes it supports and other causes that further its universal mission to improve lives.
What do two panda cubs and two Fijian girls have to do with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals?If you answered “everything,” then you are on the right track, according to conclusions made by top United Nations officials.The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), or Global Goals, form part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was agreed and adopted by world leaders last year, and serve as a global plan for people, peace, prosperity and the planet. Of the 17 SDGs, Goal 13 is centred on taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, whereas Goal 15 focusses on protecting, restoring and promoting sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combating desertification, and halting biodiversity loss.In January this year, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) designated two pandas to officially become the first-ever Animal Ambassadors for the SDGs, flagging that the bears symbolize the plight of the world’s diminishing wildlife in the face of climate change and the loss of natural habitats. The pair, both males, had been born last year at the Chengdu Panda Base in China, just as world leaders gathered in New York to adopt the SDGs.After a global competition which saw thousands of submissions with proposed names from 116 countries, UNDP’s goodwill Ambassador Michelle Yeoh announced on Monday that the search for names had come to an end.“I’m pleased and proud to announce the names of our panda ambassadors are Qiqi – in English ‘beginning,’ and Diandian, which means ‘moment,’” she said at an event at the 7th Social Good Summit in New York. “Together, the names give the sense of the start of a journey – in this case, our journey together towards 2030 as we work towards achieving the Global Goals.”“Addressing biodiversity loss is one of the Sustainable Development Goals,” Ms. Yeoh added. “At UNDP, we hope that our twin panda Ambassadors will help inspire people to engage with the goals, and raise awareness of our efforts to promote sustainable development around the world.”Some days before this, two other little individuals – in this case, two little girls, aged 5 and 7 – stole the show at the opening of the 71st session of the General Assembly. The session’s President Peter Thomson, a Fijian diplomat, had invited his granddaughters Grace and Mirabel to the podium – and promised that he would work to create a better future for them, representing all future generations.“What kind of world will we have bequeathed them and all their brothers and sisters around the world, your own grandchildren and children, born and yet to be born?” Mr. Thomson asked.“Will it be a world,” he added, “where the projected loss of biodiversity on land and sea severely limits the possibilities of life, where atmospheric levels of CO2 have gone well beyond the 1.5 to 2 degree thresholds, thereby imperilling humanity’s place on this planet?”In his remarks at the opening, the Assembly President also said that “for integrity’s sake the 71st [GA session] must be the year we witness the wheels turning on the implementation of all 17 SDGs.”Climate change to the foreThe issue of climate change will come to the fore this week, during the 71st General Assembly’s General Debate, taking place at UN Headquarters in New York from 20 to 26 September. The event is the annual meeting of Heads of State and Government at the beginning of the General Assembly session.Leaders from all countries have been encouraged to deposit – at a special event on 21 September – their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which was adopted by 195 countries during the conference in Paris last December. The agreement sets out an integrated vision for the future and sets in motion the pathways to an economic and social transformation to achieve it.The more countries that deposit their instruments at Wednesday’s event in the General Assembly, the stronger the chances of the Paris Agreement coming into force early. The event is also seen as providing an opportunity for nations to publicly commit to joining or ratifying the agreement before the end of 2016.“The Paris Agreement marks a historic turning point in our common journey towards a secure and sustainable world,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said on the pact, adding that with 28 additional countries, representing 16 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, the agreement would cross the necessary threshold to enter into force.Source:United Nations
It’s not Rise of the Planet of the Apes or King Kong: it’s a new PETA US video, narrated by Andy Serkis, that shares the story of Louie, a chimpanzee who has apparently lived in isolation from his species at a roadside zoo in the US state of Michigan for six years – nearly all his life.Video: Caged Most of His Life-Louie the Chimpanzee Needs Your Help“Male chimpanzees like me usually stay with their families their entire lives, but I never even got to know mine”, says Serkis, as Louie, in the video. “Share my story, and tell the DeYoung Family Zoo to release me to an accredited sanctuary where I’ll finally be able to meet other chimpanzees and live the way I was meant to live. And please don’t support businesses that keep animals like me behind bars.”In an exclusive interview with PETA US, Serkis also reveals what made him take on the role of Louie: “I’ve obviously over the years become very connected to stories and the lives of the great apes in our world, and this story really blew my mind”, he says. “The fact [is] that here we have a chimpanzee shipped to a small family zoo, where he’s now kept in a cage, completely isolated, unable to socialize, living a very lonely and miserable existence, and it just broke my heart. It’s the same as treating a human being the same way – it really is.”Earlier this month, PETA US sent an official notice to the DeYoung Family Zoo – where Louie and a second chimpanzee, Tommy, are apparently being kept in isolation – warning the facility of its intent to sue under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which requires plaintiffs to inform potential defendants at least 60 days prior to legal action. In its letter, the group contends that denying highly social primates the opportunity to lead active, stimulating lives and engage in species-specific behaviour – as well as allowing visitors to yell and gawk at Louie – all constitute violations of the ESA, which makes it unlawful for chimpanzees to be harmed or harassed.PETA US – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – has offered to arrange for the transfer of both chimpanzees to an accredited sanctuary at no cost to the DeYoung Family Zoo.
Cradling his canine pal Owen, George Lopez stars in a new ad for PETA that proclaims, “Fixing Your Animals Is Chingón!”George Lopez PETA AdThe new campaign reminds families that failing to spay or neuter animal companions is loco, since “fixing” them is the only way to reduce the number of dogs and cats in animal shelters and on the streets.In an exclusive video Q&A with PETA, the Lopez star shares another key way to help homeless dogs and cats: adopting from animal shelters. “I found Owen in a shelter — who knows what would have happened to him if I hadn’t come along,” he says. “If you see the look on a face of a dog who’s in a shelter, and then look at them when they get rescued, just for that sheer joy of that look on their face that you’re responsible for, it’s a beautiful thing to see.”PETA — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” — notes that more than 6 million unwanted cats and dogs enter animal shelters every year in the U.S., and roughly half of them have to be euthanized because there simply aren’t enough good homes. Countless more suffer on the streets throughout the country.In addition to combating the homeless-animal overpopulation crisis, sterilizing animals makes them less likely to develop cancer of the reproductive system and — in the case of neutered males — less likely to roam or fight.Lopez will unveil his ad live at Sublime Restaurant & Bar in Fort Lauderdale this Sunday. He joins a long list of celebrities — including Kate del Castillo, Carla Morrison, Joaquin Phoenix, Alicia Silverstone, Casey Affleck, Eva Mendes, Alfonso Herrera, and Taraji P. Henson — who have teamed up with PETA to promote kindness to animals.