Brazeau takes another cyberswipe at AFN

first_imgAPTN National NewsOTTAWA–Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau has taken to cyberspace again for another run at the Assembly of First Nations.In a Facebook posting from his Blackberry this morning, Brazeau called on AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo and his organization’s national executive to disclose their salaries.“If national Chief Shawn Atleo says he believes in greater accountability, why doesn’t he and the AFN national executive publicly disclose their salaries, travel and expenses for the public to see and set the example for everyone to follow,” said Brazeau on his personal Facebook page.Brazeau said he would not comment on the issue until the AFN’s executive and other, unspecified Aboriginal organizations, released their salaries.Atleo’s salary however, is already posted on the AFN’s web page.Atleo made $136,5000 last year, slightly more than Brazeau’s basic Senator salary of $132,300 a year.“The Assembly of First Nations believes strongly in the accountability relationship between governments and their citizens,” said an AFN spokeswoman in an emailed statement.The AFN has an executive of 10 regional chiefs, but their “director’s fees” are not public.Brazeau issued his call a day after the release of chief’s salaries across the country by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.The list, obtained under the Access to Information Act, revealed that 30 chiefs made more money than provincial premiers in 2008-2009.Nine of the chiefs listed, whose names were not revealed, made over $150,000 a year and the top earner made $247,000.Brazeau posted a YouTube video last month calling for the government to review its funding to the AFN, arguing the organization provided no services.last_img read more

People in High Arctic without SIN

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe Bible says, let he who is without sin cast the first stone.If that’s the case, the High Arctic should start filling up with flying rocks any day now.In these remote Nunavut communities, you can’t get your “SIN” card unless you’re able to travel.APTN National News reporter Kent Driscoll has this story.last_img

Aboriginal Affairs playing politics with funding minister sitting on proposals worth millions

first_imgBy Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsThe federal Aboriginal Affairs department is playing politics with millions of dollars’ worth of project funding for First Nation organizations, according to chiefs on the Assembly of First Nations executive who are planning a national counter-attack to Ottawa’s tactics.Aboriginal Affairs has approved only $888,720 out of $7.1 million worth of projects submitted by the Assembly of First Nations this year, APTN National News has learned. Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt is also still sitting on 14 proposals from the AFN, months after the department’s own notification deadline passed for responding to proposals from First Nations organizations.The same scenario is playing out in other First Nation organizations and the AFN is preparing to launch a national strategy to counter the department, according to a widely distributed email from the AFN to officials with First Nation organizations.Chiefs on the AFN executive decided to develop the strategy during a meeting on Oct. 3. The executive came up with a draft of three “key messages” forming the core of the strategy. The messages focus on the department’s own words and timeline around project funding.The department told First Nation organizations they would all be informed of the status of their projects by April 1 if they submitted their proposals by Feb. 21. The project funding was supposed to offset part of the department’s deep cuts to the core funding of First Nations organizations. The department blew its deadline by several months.“The federal government’s promise that project funding would be available to off-set core funding cuts has not been kept,” says one of the AFN’s draft key messages, according to the Oct. 10 email, obtained by APTN National News. “The federal government has not kept its promise to respond to all funding proposals by April 1 and has politicized approval process, despite their assurances of transparency and accountability.”The AFN said in the email that the department has already rejected 16 proposals out of a total of 34 submissions. The department has only approved four proposals and the AFN is still waiting on responses to 14 proposals.The department rejected the AFN’s proposals on murdered and missing Indigenous women, treaties, comprehensive claims, specific claims, housing, trade, energy, emergency management and infrastructure. The department has only approved projects on economic development, connectivity, additions to reserves and social-assisted living. Valcourt has the final sign-off on all the project proposals, according to an Aug. 21 letter from the AFN’s CEO Peter Dinsdale to deputy minister Coleen Swords, previously obtained by APTN National News.The department said last November it set aside $20 million for project funding. Former deputy minister Michael Wernick said at the time that the department would only fund projects that “align with department priorities and yield concrete results.”Wernick is now deputy clerk of the Office of the Privy Council, which is essentially the nerve centre of the federal bureaucracy and the prime minister’s department.Valcourt’s office did not return a request for comment.The AFN is trying to compile the status of project proposals from other organizations to press their case with Valcourt and the public, the email said.“It will be through solidarity with Aboriginal representative organizations that we will be stronger,” said the email.There is a widespread belief the department is playing hardball on project funding as a result of the AFN’s rejection of the Harper government’s proposed bill for First Nation education.jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

Washington state is allied with BC on Trans Mountain pipeline governor

first_imgVANCOUVER – The governor of Washington says his state is “allied” with British Columbia in questioning whether the Trans Mountain pipeline should be expanded.The project poses a threat to waters off the West Coast, which Washington residents view as a treasure, and the state is looking at marine safety laws that would help mitigate the impact of a tanker spill, Gov. Jay Inslee said Friday at a meeting with B.C. Premier John Horgan and officials from Oregon and California.“We are hopeful that the premier’s efforts to allow the voices of his citizens to be listened to will be successful, because it is very much in common with our citizens,” Inslee said, adding that residents in his state recently rejected proposals for both coal and oil ports.Inslee commended British Columbia for leadership on climate protection. But he said Trans Mountain may be a federal policy that “shoots Canada in the foot” and reverses some of the work the province has done.Alberta and B.C. have been locked in a battle over the future of Kinder Morgan’s $7.4-billion plan to triple the capacity of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which runs from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C.Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna acknowledged Friday there are differences over the pipeline, but she said it was approved by Ottawa after extensive reviews and it will be built.“We did that review by increasing engagement with communities, by meaningful consultation with Indigenous Peoples, by looking at the science and the evidence and also looking at the project in the context of our climate plan, and we approved that project,” she said in Victoria.“The project was also approved by the previous B.C. government and we think the project should go ahead.”B.C. is asking the courts to determine if it has jurisdiction to limit how much diluted bitumen can flow through pipelines in the province.The members of the Pacific Coast Collaborative met in Vancouver on Friday to mark its 10th anniversary and agreed to add drug overdoses and trade to the list of issues considered vital to the four jurisdictions.The forum was created in 2008 to encourage joint action on matters like climate change and the environment but the group also wants to confront what Inslee calls the “scourge of substance-use disorders.”A news release from the premier’s office says they are also committed to ending the stigma and discrimination associated with addiction and substance-use disorders.Later on Friday, Horgan announced B.C. will contribute $300,000 towards a study with Washington state on the potential for a high-speed rail line connecting Vancouver, Seattle, Portland and other cities beyond. Washington has approved funding of up to US$1.2 million towards the new study.B.C. says the service could cut travel times between Vancouver and Seattle to about 60 minutes from three hours.Collaboration throughout the Pacific region is particularly important in the current political climate, said Matt Rodriquez, California’s secretary of environmental protection.“To be candid, for those of us in the United States, there’s an absence of leadership in the federal government right now and so it’s incumbent on us to work together and step up and show what we can do between our various governments,” he said.Inslee said that collaboration is evident in the group’s approach to climate change.“On the West Coast, we know that climate change is not a hoax,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what foolishness comes out of the White House. Leaders on the West Coast are united in understanding science in the commitment to clean waters and clean air.”The group is a physical representation of governments working together across borders on critical issues, Horgan said.“I believe we’re demonstrating to North America the commonalities that we have despite artificial boundaries,” he said.“The 49th parallel exists on maps and on globes, but we’ve demonstrated today … that working together, the people who populate this spectacular region have a common purpose. And that is to ensure that our environment is protected so our economy can flourish.”Horgan said his U.S. counterparts understand the urgent need to protect a shared environment and to slow climate change across a region that is home to 55 million people and represents the world’s fifth-largest economy.(Companies in this story: TSX: KML)last_img read more

Deadpool 2′ ends Avengers boxoffice reign rakes in 125M

first_imgLOS ANGELES, Calif. – Deadpool and his foul-mouthed crew of misfits and malcontents have taken down the Avengers.Fox’s “Deadpool 2” brought in $125 million this weekend, giving it the second-highest opening ever for an R-rated movie and ending the three-week reign of Disney’s “Avengers: Infinity War” at the top of the North American box office, according to studio estimates Sunday.“Deadpool 2,” with Ryan Reynolds returning as the title character and co-writing this time, fell somewhat short of the $130 million the studio predicted and the $132.4 million that its predecessor earned two years ago.Analysts and the studio said the difference can be attributed to the first film opening on a holiday weekend, and could easily be made up with Memorial Day coming, despite the looming competition from “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”“I think with a holiday on our second weekend we’ll catch ‘Deadpool’ if not exceed it,” said Chris Aronson, distribution chief for 20th Century Fox.The film grossed $176.3 million internationally and opened better overseas than the first, especially finding audiences in Latin America.The Avengers are hardly hurting. Disney and Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War” brought in an estimated $29 million in North America for a four-week take of $595 million domestically and $1.2 billion overseas. It’s now the fifth highest grossing film of all time worldwide.In a whole different corner of the cinematic universe, “Book Club” was third with a $12.5 million weekend that exceeded expectations.It was a successful piece of counter-programming for Paramount, which used the modestly budgeted comedy starring Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton and Candice Bergen to find older audiences and women while “Deadpool 2” dwelled overwhelmingly on young men.“There are definitely audiences out there for whom superhero movies are not their cup of tea,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore.“Deadpool 2” follows the proudly foul formula of the first, mixing the usual superhero set pieces with gore, gross-out jokes, 80s power ballads and frequent fourth-wall violations.The box office of the second film suggests that formula can become a long-term franchise, and builds its possibilities with the addition of antihero teammates from Marvel Comics for the title character, including Josh Brolin’s Cable and Zazie Beetz’s Domino.“The source material is so vast and rich that I don’t think there’s any question that it just opens the door for more,” Aronson said.Along with the earnings and acclaim for last year’s R-rated “Logan,” Fox has made itself the early leader in the burgeoning subgenre.“The R-rating may be restrictive in terms of the audience make-up, but it’s certainly not restrictive in the creative freedom it offers, so when movies like these hit, they can hit big,” Dergarabedian said. “There is a place for the R rating. In the superhero genre it offers endless and really cool possibilities.”“Deadpool 2” next faces off with “Solo,” but the two films along with the still-earning “Avengers” ought to make for a major Memorial Day for the industry.“This marketplace is big enough for all these films,” Dergarabedian said.Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.1. “Deadpool 2,” $125 million ($176.3 million international).2.”Avengers: Infinity War,” $28.6 million ($84.4 million international).3. “Book Club,” $12.5 million.4. “Life of the Party,” $7.7 million ($1.3 million international).5. “Breaking In,” $6.4 million ($300,000 international).6. “Show Dogs,” $6 million.7. “Overboard,” $4.7 million ($4.1 million international).8. “A Quiet Place,” $4 million ($18.8 million international).9. “Rampage,” $1.5 million ($4.4 million international).10. “I Feel Pretty,” $1.2 million ($1.7 million international).___Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theatres (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:1. “Deadpool 2,” $176.3 million.2.”Avengers: Infinity War,” $84.4 million.3. “How Long Will I Love U,” $36.3 million.4. “A Quiet Place,” $18.8 million.5. “Rampage,” $4.4 million.6. “Peter Rabbit,” $4.1 million.7. “Overboard,” $4.1 million.8. “Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare,” $3.4 million.9. “Burning,” $2.3 million.10. “Sherlock Gnomes,” $2 million.___Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.___This story has been corrected to show that “Deadpool 2” earned $176.3 million internationally, not worldwide.___Follow Andrew Dalton on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton .last_img read more

Tentative deal reached with unionized shipbuilders working on navy vessels

first_imgHALIFAX – The union at the Halifax shipyard building the next generation of Royal Canadian Navy vessels says it has a tentative agreement with Irving Shipbuilding.Both the union and the company said no details will be released until Halifax Shipyard employees have a chance to view it and vote on it.Unifor gave 48-hour strike notice last week, but talks resumed before a Saturday deadline for the walkout.Last week, the union said a strong majority of 850 members had rejected an earlier tentative contract.Unifor’s lead negotiator had said tensions were high, and the issues were not just about economics, but rather were tied to disagreements over the number of discipline cases at the shipyard and the use of foreign workers.The company confirmed a new tentative agreement has been reached, but declined further comment.The shipyard has said it is planning to build up to six Arctic and offshore patrol ships and 15 Canadian surface combatants over the next 25 years, referring to the projects as “the backbone of the Royal Canadian Navy.”last_img read more

The Latest Data breach within Marriotts hotel empire

first_imgBETHESDA, Md. — The Latest on a security breach inside Marriott’s worldwide hotel empire that has compromised the information of as many as 500 million guests (all times local):11:05 a.m.The New York Attorney General is opening investigation into a Marriott data breach that may have affected 500 million guests.In an early tweet Friday, Attorney General Barbara Underwood said residents need to know that their personal information is safe.Marriott says that unauthorized access to data at former Starwood hotels, which Marriott acquired two years ago, has been taking place since 2014.The affected hotel brands include W Hotels, St. Regis, Sheraton, Westin, Element, Aloft, The Luxury Collection, Le Méridien and Four Points. Starwood branded timeshare properties are also included.None of the Marriott-branded chains are threatened.The Associated Presslast_img read more

North American stock markets push higher in latemorning trading loonie up

first_imgTORONTO — The financial, industrial and energy sectors helped Canada’s main stock index push higher in late-morning trading, while U.S. markets also charged higher.The S&P/TSX composite index was up 68.41 points at 15,279.63.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 232.91 points at 24,603.01. The S&P 500 index was up 28.86 points at 2,664.82, while the Nasdaq composite was up 79.79 points at 7,164.25.The Canadian dollar traded at 75.51 cents US compared with an average of 75.22 cents US on Thursday following a pick up in the annual inflation rate in December to two per cent, topping expectations for a reading of 1.7 per cent.The March crude contract up US$1.69 at US$54.05 per barrel and the February natural gas contract was down 12.6 cents at US$3.29 per mmBTU.The February gold contract was down US$9.60 at US$1,282.70 an ounce and the March copper contract was up 3.15 cents at US$2.71 a pound. The Canadian Press Index and currency in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)last_img read more

Beaverlodge RCMP seek public assistance in locating missing male

first_imgUPDATE – Augustt “Sean” Rowe has been located safe. Beaverlodge RCMP would like to thank the media and public for their assistance.BEAVERLODGE, A.B. – The Beaverlodge RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance in locating 29-year-old Augustt “Sean” Rowe.According to RCMP, Rowe was last seen at his home in Hythe on the night of July 4 at 10:00 p.m. He is believed to be driving a white 2010 Ford Ranger with an Alberta license plate number ZZM 794.Rowe is described as:Metis6’2″, 180 lbBrown hair, grey/blue eyesWearing jeans, likely a black hoodie and short black leather bootsIf you have any information about Rowe’s whereabouts, you are being asked to call the Beaverlodge RCMP at 780-354-2485 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.last_img read more

Site C Construction Schedule for September 30th – October 13th 2019

first_imgOld Fort Road  Traffic delays due to the construction of a chain-up area.  Near Gate A to the dam site, drivers may encounter loose gravel and increased commercial traffic. Gravel sections have also developed near 85th Avenue.  Overnight deliveries of penstock pipes along Old Fort Road will result in rolling road closures and traffic delays. Deliveries will occur every one or two weeks.  Due to equipment delivery, there may be occasional short road closures along Old Fort Road from Tahltan Road to Gate B. Highway 29: Construction-related equipment will travel along Highway 29. Learn more at drivebc.ca. Other areas: Trucks with heavy loads will be accessing the dam site and other project areas, using public and resource roads. Equipment  Heavy machinery will be in the transmission line corridor. Please stay clear of the work areas.  Helicopters and commercial drones may be used to support investigative and construction works. Noise and vibration  Some noise and vibration may occur near the dam site and work areas, including the quarries. Other  During noxious weed inventories, crews will travel through areas to capture data. Areas, where herbicide has been applied, will be signposted.  Please stay clear of active in-river work areas along the Peace and Moberly rivers. These areas are identified with signage and markings. Conveyor system testing continues.  Work will use heavy machinery, resulting in noise, dust and vibration. Typical work hours are 7 am to 7 pm, seven days a week. Road sweeping and dust suppression will occur. Highway 29 Construction at Cache Creek East embankment continues. This includes vegetation removal, excavation of existing soils, placement and grading of granular materials and site drainage. Noxious weed inventory and treatment may occur along Highway 29 and in Wuthrich, Portage Mountain, and West Pine quarries. Cache Creek West construction continues. This includes grading, road construction, and drainage work. Archaeological studies will take place at Farrell Creek and Dry Creek. Portage Mountain Quarry operations will continue. This includes haul road capping, rip rap and road material production, sorting and stockpiling. Upgrades may occur to the Portage Mountain access road. Visit our website for more Highway 29 schedules, maps and construction updates. Reservoir area  Forestry and access road data collection and site investigations continue.  Clearing activities continue on islands in the Peace River, east of Halfway River. Boaters are asked to stay clear of the work area.  Clearing on the south banks of the eastern reservoir continues. Helicopters will be used.  Archaeological investigations may occur in support of reservoir access road design and construction. Transmission works  Transmission line construction will continue. This includes construction of stringing sites, helical pile foundation installation, and tower assembly. Work will continue on the western portion of the transmission line and will access the Peace Canyon and Peace Hill, Trapper Main, Boucher Lake and Medicine Woman road areas.  Maintenance work will continue on roads that provide access to the transmission corridor.  Clearing activities will occur on the western portion of the transmission line. This includes hand-falling and hauling logs to local mills. Wood waste will be chipped, mulched, spread as coarse woody debris or hauled off-site.  Road construction will continue in various locations on the transmission line right-of-way. This includes but is not limited to the Peace Canyon and Peace Hill, Trapper Main, Boucher Lake and Medicine Woman road areas. Other areas New: Geotechnical drilling to install groundwater monitors has begun in Hudson’s Hope.  Work is occurring downstream of the dam site for the Peace River side channel enhancements.  Aggregate and riprap production will continue in West Pine Quarry. We will transport material by rail to the dam site and by truck to Highway 29. WHAT TO EXPECT Work will take place during the day, night, and on the weekend until the project is completed. During this time, residents can expect: Traffic – please use caution and obey safety signage  FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The following outlines the construction details for the Site C project for September 30th – October 13th, 2019.Dam site area – north bank and south bank Construction continues on a chain-up area for project vehicles on Old Fort Road, near the Gate B entrance to Site C.  Pavement patching along Old Fort Road is nearing substantial completion.  Noxious weed inventory and treatment will occur in the main civil works area, on the banks of the Peace River.  Large sections of penstock pipe will be transported along Old Fort Road. This requires occasional overnight rolling closures, with short delays to traffic. Check our website for upcoming deliveries.  Construction of a wash station to limit the migration of invasive species continues.  Contractors will continue to mobilize equipment and materials to the site. This includes deliveries by rail and road.  Contractors are continuing construction and operations in their work areas: main civil works, generating station and spillways civil works, turbines and generators, and substation. Activities include drilling, blasting, crushing, earthmoving, tunnelling, concrete placement, and road maintenance. Tower and mobile cranes will be used.  Excavation, including in-river excavation, will progress on both banks of the Peace River.  Construction activities will continue. This could include drilling, blasting, crushing, earthmoving, tunnelling, concrete placement, and road maintenance. 85th Avenue Conveyor last_img read more

Rajasekharan gets rousing welcome

first_imgThiruvananthapuram: Former Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan was on Tuesday given a rousing reception by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Sangh Parivar workers when he arrived here. The BJP is most likely to pit Rajasekharan against Congress’ Shashi Tharoor in the Lok Sabha polls here. After calling on top BJP leaders in Delhi, the 66-year-old arrived here to a noisy welcome by party leaders who gave Rajasekharan a ride in an open jeep through the capital’s streets. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! RSS strongman Rajasekharan was made the BJP President in 2015 and then appointed the Governor. The BJP has never won a Lok Sabha seat from Kerala and it hopes Rajasekharan will open the account. Although the BJP has not named any candidate, Rajasekharan said he was confident of winning the Lok Sabha battle. “People in Kerala have been cheated by the traditional rivals (Congress and Left) and they desire a change.” In the last Lok Sabha K.J. Alphons was nominated a member of the Rajya Sabha and given the cabinet berth as Minister of State for Tourism. In 2009, on Tharoor’s first outing, he won the polls with a margin of close to one lakh votes. In 2014, the Congress’ margin fell to around 15,000 votes. BJP’s Rajagopal finished a close second while the CPI was far behind. In 2016, Rajasekharan put up a close fight but finished second in Vatiyurkavu Assembly seat.last_img read more

Xi to visit Italy France as Rome joins New Silk Road

first_imgBeijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping will travel to Italy, Monaco and France this week, the foreign ministry said Monday, with Rome expected to join his global trade infrastructure programme despite reservations in other European countries. Xi will pay state visits from March 21 to March 26, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in a statement, without providing more details about his itinerary. An Italian official said last week that Rome would sign a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Beijing to officially support Xi’s massive 1 trillion Belt and Road initiative, also known as the New Silk Road.last_img read more

BMC makes sewer treatment mandatory for new complexes

first_imgKolkata: Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has made construction of Sewer Treatment Plant (STP) mandatory in new housing complexes. No building plan without the provision for STP will be cleared. The decision was taken at a meeting held at BMC recently. BMC has taken up a major plan to install drainage system in vast areas surrounding Baguiati-Kestopur, spreading over wards 1-28. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 330 crore and a private consultancy firm has been engaged to prepare the scheme. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe open drains in the areas situated under wards 1 to 28 will be covered with concrete slabs, whereas the construction of the underground drainage system is likely to begin after monsoon. Vast areas surrounding Baguiati began to develop from the early 1990s, during the Left Front regime. Thousands of apartments subsequently came up in Baguiati, Teghoria and its neighbourhood. Rajarhat-Gopalpur Municipality, which was once a den of CPI(M), did not bother to stop illegal constructions. The water bodies between Ultadanga and Kolkata Airport, covering a distance of 7.5 km, were filled up to make room for apartments. The North 24-Parganas district administration had identified 123 illegal buildings but no action had been taken against them. The buildings came up without any underground drainage system. The Left Front did not take any steps in this regard and during monsoon the drains overflowed, causing great inconvenience to the residents.last_img read more

It was emotional goodbye for Maisie

first_imgLos Angeles: Actor Maisie Williams says she got really emotional while wrapping up the hugely popular show ‘Game of Thrones’. What was your wrap day like? “I just said a few things about how the industry has been really difficult but coming back to the show has always been worth it and that everyone was like a family to us,” Williams said in a statement. “Everyone was pretty emotional by that point, having watched everyone wrap,” added the actor, who essays Arya Stark in the fantasy series. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: PriyankaThe last season will premiere internationally on April 14. On the final season, Williams said: “I just think in these final seasons all of the women have started to really come into their own. One, that’s been not very predictable. Two, it just makes a lot of sense. When you read into the show and you read into their storylines and how people have been playing the game, the five women on top have really deserved to be there. That was something that we had hoped for but the fact that the show is really going that way is just so powerful, unlike lots of other shows.” What has it been like saying goodbye to the show that has made your career? “It is actually just been really lovely. For Sophie (Turner) and I it was our first gig, really exciting but the established actors have always been really lovely. It will be interesting to see how we stay in touch.”last_img read more

Keeping classical dance alive

first_imgTo popularise classical dance among the present-day audience, a festival named ‘Nritya Darpan’ will be organised at the India Habitat Centre on April 14. It was initiated by one of the leading Kuchipudi dance exponent Meenu Thakur.Dancers who would be performing in the festival besides Meenu Thakur (Kuchipudi), include Raipur-based Odissi danseuse Purnashree Raut, Bharatanatyam danseuse Rashmi Aggarwal from Bengaluru and Odissi exponent Vani Madhav from Gurgaon, NCR. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainHighlight of the festival would be Simhanandini Natyam in Kuchipudi style performed by the Meenu Thakur. Simhanandini is a unique art where the dancer sketches a lion, the ‘Simhavahanam’ or the mount of the Mother Goddess Durga, while dancing on a white cloth spread over red coloured powder. Guru Voleti Rangamani, who has trained dancers from South India in this rare dance item, would be the special invitee at the festival. Nritya Darpan seeks to explore the path less travelled and as the name suggests is a reflection of dance. Other performances of the evening include an excerpt from the Geeta Govindam by Purnashree Raut in Odissi style, Varnam by Rashmi Aggarwal in Bharatanatyam and Bhajami Vindyavasini in Odissi style by Vani Madhav. The event will start at 6:45 pm and is a must visit.last_img read more

Worlds first malaria vaccine launched in Africa

first_imgGeneva: The world’s first malaria vaccine has been launched in Malawi after concerted efforts of over 30 years to protect children from the deadly disease that claims over 435,000 lives globally every year. The World Health Organization (WHO) welcomed the Government of Malawi’s landmark pilot programme. The launch of the first and only malaria vaccine, known as RTS,S, makes Malawi the first of three countries in Africa where it will be made available to children up to 2 years of age. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USGhana and Kenya will introduce the vaccine in the coming weeks, WHO said in a statement. Malaria remains one of the world’s leading killers, claiming the life of one child every two minutes. Most of these deaths are in Africa, where more than 250,000 children die from the disease every year. WHO estimates that India accounts for 89 per cent malaria cases in South-East Asia. According to National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), 1,090,724 cases and 331 deaths due to malaria were reported during 2016 in the country. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsChildren under five are at greatest risk of its life-threatening complications. Worldwide, malaria kills 435 000 people a year, most of them children. “We have seen tremendous gains from bed nets and other measures to control malaria in the last 15 years, but progress has stalled and even reversed in some areas,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “We need new solutions to get the malaria response back on track, and this vaccine gives us a promising tool to get there. The malaria vaccine has the potential to save tens of thousands of children’s lives,” Ghebreyesus said in a statement. Thirty years in the making, RTS,S is the first, and to date the only, vaccine that has demonstrated it can significantly reduce malaria in children. In clinical trials, the vaccine was found to prevent approximately four in 10 malaria cases, including three in 10 cases of life-threatening severe malaria. “Malaria is a constant threat in the African communities where this vaccine will be given. The poorest children suffer the most and are at highest risk of death,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “We know the power of vaccines to prevent killer diseases and reach children, including those who may not have immediate access to the doctors, nurses and health facilities they need to save them when severe illness comes,” Moeti said. “This is a day to celebrate as we begin to learn more about what this tool can do to change the trajectory of malaria through childhood vaccination,” she added. The pilot programme is designed to generate evidence and experience to inform WHO policy recommendations on the broader use of the RTS,S malaria vaccine. It will look at reductions in child deaths; vaccine uptake, including whether parents bring their children on time for the four required doses; and vaccine safety in the context of routine use. The vaccine is a complementary malaria control tool — to be added to the core package of WHO-recommended measures for malaria prevention, including the routine use of insecticide-treated bed nets, indoor spraying with insecticides, and the timely use of malaria testing and treatment. The WHO-coordinated pilot programme is a collaborative effort with ministries of health in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi and a range of in-country and international partners, including PATH, a non-profit organization, and GSK, the vaccine developer and manufacturer, which is donating up to 10 million vaccine doses for this pilot. “We look forward to the start of vaccination in Ghana, and then Kenya later this year. A vaccine for malaria is among many innovations needed to bring an end to this disease, and we proudly stand with all countries and our many partners in progressing towards a malaria-free world,” said Steve Davis, President and CEO of PATH. The malaria vaccine pilot aims to reach about 360,000 children per year across the three countries. Ministries of health will determine where the vaccine will be given.last_img read more

Amid water shortage MCG to levy fines on those wasting water

first_imgGurugram: The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) has announced action against those who are found wasting water. Officials said in an attempt to stop people from wasting water, the department has decided to levy fines on violators.For residential units, the maximum limit for the fine would be Rs 1,000, while for commercial units it will be Rs 5,000. When asked as to what would they consider as water wastage, an official said, “Wasting water while washing cars, turning a blind eye to overflowing of water, misusing water for gardening among others, are a few of the categories that the department would consider while taking action.” In residential units, a defaulter will be charged Rs 500 for the first time and Rs 1,000 if he repeats it. In commercial units, for the first time, the defaulters will be charged Rs 2,000 for the first time and Rs 5,000 if he/she repeats it. “To curb the practice of extravagant use and wastage of water and to meet the increasing demand apropos the supply and consumption, a person or institution found wasting water by way of car washing, overflowing wilfully and negligently misusing/wasting of water, will be put under the ambit of action mentioned under Section 180 and 181 of Haryana Municipal Corporation Act, 1994,” the MCG order states. “If a person or institution does not mend his or their ways and continues to wastewater, the water connection of such person or institution may be disconnected,” the order further states.last_img read more

Denigrating democracy

first_imgThe AAP-BJP pamphlet imbroglio transformed into a defamation war with both parties denigrating each other over an issue largely blemishes the democratic polity of India. While it may be hard to ascertain who is responsible for this condemnable act, parties to the controversy are clearly embroiled in a heated dispute when elections are knocking on the door. Campaigning got an ugly twist when Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was slapped during AAP’s roadshow. Incidents like these leave a disappointing remark on society’s part. And, while that somehow enraged a dispute between BJP and AAP, the pamphlet incident only aggravates it. AAP’s accusation on BJP was natural and so was BJP retaliation. Political parties often indulge in ugly public spats, denigrating the other, sometimes severely. Take Rahul and Modi for instance. Both have left no stone unturned to denigrate the other throughout elections. And, in their witty ways, they have ensured that their words find the audience. Proxy war of words outlines the difference of opinion but it does not have to be unfair and severe. It can be a simple statement of thoughts and that would suffice. It does not have to transform into a daily soap from Indian Television where drama is the viewer-centric element necessary to keep the viewership intact while simultaneously entertaining them. Political campaigning with the right words, where one does not necessarily denigrate the other, is feasible and ethical. A candidate’s show of strength through promises for the country, thoughts over development, remedies to adversities and solutions to gaps is essentially an effective form of campaigning. That is, after all, what society wants to hear before they provide their mandate. Mentioning Rahul Gandhi’s father was nowhere relevant to the current situation and neither was Rahul’s remark of ‘Chowkidar chor hai’ which attracted legal attention. The two stalwarts of the two biggest parties of the nation have definitely set a precedent, if not done by those before them. A precedent of public denigration at the cost of retaliatory action attracting criticism as a byproduct and yielding public consonance, which in all likelihood is linked to an assured mandate. Nowhere has thought been spared whether their actions may deteriorate the democratic polity of the nation. Stooping low to procure advantage, and that too on the biggest platform where millions can hear, has been a historic low for democracy in this country. One wonders if campaigning for your party invariably means denigrating others’ for the underlying objective then seems to eliminate choices and remain as a solitary option for consideration. How is that a competition then? Democracy envisages a healthy competition between parties which comprise the very people and a representative government of people. Also Read – A strong standpointWhile no restraints have been exercised by candidates, EC also has been a quiet cat. MCC violations have been more or less like spelling mistakes, that too in non-language papers. While MCC enjoys a wide purview with Constitutional powers as vested in the Election Commission, it is not reckoned as a deterrent. If it had been so, we would have not been treated to so many MCC violations and pertinent sub-judice instances of same. And while we had to cope with verbal violations across communal lines and hate crimes, slanders entered the fray. There was no reason for slandering any candidate yet Atishi’s reputation was damaged through the pamphlet incident when it is a matter of pride that we have more and more women entering the political fray. Instead of appreciating her candidature, vested interests have made attempts to damage her rep. And for what? Does damaging her image through sexist remarks help reduce her popularity? That has been the ambition because there is no other explanation for such a cowardice move. It also apprises the nation of how women are treated in the political fray. While this incident reinvigorates Atishi’s resolve to enter politics and change things as the most optimistic takeaway from such a miserable incident, it also asks people whether they approve of this sort of behaviour irrespective of the perpetrator. After all, sidelining the mind that stooped so low to think of this act, it is the people who aided in facilitating the act and more who laughed while the majority who kept silent. Collectively, they gave Atishi the most miserable welcome while an apprehensive Gambhir threw the defamation card to safeguard himself while declaring that he’d withdraw his candidature should his involvement be proven. Democracy has witnessed ugly spats and all in pursuit of appeasing people to be voted to power. Such a mindset is not familiar to people’s government; it rests more on personal whims.last_img read more

Two Moroccan women elected 2014 Young Global Leaders of Davos Forum

first_imgGeneva – Mayor of Marrakech Fatima Zahra Mansouri and Moroccan-German reporter Souad Mekhennet were elected 2014 Young Global Leaders (YGLs), an initiative by the world economic forum of Davos.They are among 214 YGLs who were honored, including 109 women, from 66 countries across 7 regions, and equally represent the public and private sector.The Forum of Young Global Leaders is a unique, multi-stakeholder community of more than 900 exceptional young leaders. Bold, brave, action-oriented and entrepreneurial, these individuals commit both their time and talent to make the world a better place.last_img read more