OTTAWA – The Trudeau government sought to defuse weeks of outrage by ordering officials to adopt a more critical eye before approving funds and services for the family member of veterans — particularly relatives convicted of serious crimes.Yet it wasn’t immediately clear what impact the order will have on the case of Christopher Garnier, the Halifax man convicted last year of killing an off-duty police officer whose receipt of financial assistance for PTSD treatment from Veterans Affairs Canada has sparked widespread anger.A Halifax court heard last month that Veterans Affairs Canada was covering the cost of Garnier’s psychologist because his father was a veteran who has also been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.The revelation that taxpayers were footing the bill for Garnier’s treatment has sparked widespread condemnation, and Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan promised last month to look into how and why the decision was made.On Tuesday, he told the House he had reviewed the findings and was directing official “to ensure that services received by a family member of a veteran are related to the veterans’ service and where they are not, that they be reviewed by a senior official.“I am directing the department to immediately address its policy on providing treatment to family members under extenuating circumstances,” he added, “such as conviction of such a serious crime.”The minister also said benefits will not be provided to a veteran’s family member who is incarcerated in a federal facility; responsibility for the provision of such services rests with Correctional Services Canada.But when it came to Garnier’s benefits, O’Regan repeatedly cited privacy considerations for refusing to discuss the case while indicating the order would not be retroactive.“The policy is to provide scrutiny with all future decisions,” O’Regan said outside the Commons. “All future decisions will now have an elevated level of scrutiny when we are dealing particularly with extenuating circumstances like this.”Liberals subsequently voted down a symbolic Conservative motion demanding an immediate end to the provision of Veterans Affairs benefits to Garnier, who never served in uniform.The minister also sidestepped a reporter’s questions about whether the new policy would prevent similar situations in the future if the department deemed the relative of a veteran should get benefits.“I’m not going to get into hypotheticals,” O’Regan said.Conservatives appeared unimpressed with the move. During a heated question period — and on social media — several Tory MPs demanded the government take immediate action by stripping Garnier of his current benefits.Garnier, 30, was convicted in December of murdering 36-year-old Catherine Campbell, an off-duty Truro police officer and dumping her body in a compost bin, and his lawyer had argued his client’s mental illness was brought on by the murder.His conviction carries an automatic life sentence, but a Nova Scotia Supreme Court justice ruled last month that he would be able to apply for parole after serving 13 1/2 years — less 699 days for time served.The Halifax man has since appealed his sentence, calling it “manifestly excessive.” He had also earlier appealed his conviction, in part because he says police interview tactics elicited a false confession.— Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter.
OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada says a reporter must give the RCMP material he gathered for stories about an accused terrorist.The decision is likely to be seen as a defeat for media that could leave them vulnerable to serving as investigative arms of the police.In 2014, Vice Media reporter Ben Makuch wrote three articles about the involvement of Farah Shirdon, formerly of Calgary, with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Exchanges between Makuch and Shirdon through a text-messaging service were crucial to the stories.The RCMP obtained a production order under the Criminal Code that directed Vice Media and Makuch to hand over documents and data related to communications with Shirdon.Makuch brought an application to quash the production order, but it was dismissed — a decision upheld by the Ontario Court of Appeal and now the Supreme Court.More comingThe Canadian Press
The Canadian Press CALGARY — The owner of the transport truck involved in the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash has admitted he did not follow provincial and federal safety rules.A lawyer for Sukhmander Singh of Adesh Deol Trucking pleaded guilty on his behalf in a Calgary court this morning to five charges.They included failing to maintain time logs for drivers, neglecting to ensure his drivers complied with safety regulations, and having more than one daily log for any day.He also pleaded guilty to not having or following a written safety program.Court documents showed the offences occurred between Jan. 1 and March 31 — prior to the fatal crash on April 6.Sixteen people were killed and 13 were injured in rural Saskatchewan when the Broncos junior hockey team bus and a semi owned by Singh collided at an intersection.The driver, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, was sentenced on Friday to eight years in prison on 29 dangerous driving charges.Court heard during his sentencing hearing that Sidhu was an inexperienced driver who had been on the road for only three weeks.He had worked with another driver for two weeks and had been on his own for just a few days before he missed a stop sign and drove into the path of the bus.
CHICAGO — A global team of experts next week will begin reviewing how the Boeing 737 Max’s flight control system was approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.The FAA says experts from nine international civil aviation authorities, including Transport Canada, have confirmed participation in a technical review promised by the agency.Former U.S. National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Chris Hart will lead the group, which also will have experts from the FAA and NASA. They will look at the plane’s automated system including the way it interacts with pilots. The group will meet Tuesday and is expected to finish in 90 days.The Boeing jetliner has been grounded around the world since mid-March after two crashes killed 346 people. Investigators are focusing on anti-stall software that pushed the planes’ noses down based on erroneous sensor readings.In a statement Friday, the FAA said aviation authorities from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to help with the work, called a Joint Authorities Technical Review.The group will evaluate the automated flight control design and determine whether it complies with regulations. It also will decide if changes need to be made in the FAA’s approval process.Chicago-based Boeing is working on a software fix to the planes’ anti-stall system, known by its acronym, MCAS. In both an October crash off the coast of Indonesia and a March crash in Ethiopia, a faulty sensor reading triggered MCAS and pushed the plane’s nose down, and pilots were unable to recover.Pilots at U.S. airlines complained that they didn’t even know about MCAS until after the October crash. They then received computer training that described the system and how to respond when something goes wrong with it.On Wednesday, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said the company completed its last test flight of updated flight-control software. Muilenburg said test pilots flew 120 flights totalling 203 hours with the new software. The company is expected to conduct a crucial certification flight with an FAA test pilot on board soon, possibly next week.“We are making steady progress toward certification” and returning the Max to service, Muilenburg said as he stood in front of a Max jet at Boeing Field in Seattle.Muilenburg said he went on a test flight that day and saw the updated software “operating as designed across a range of flight conditions.”In the U.S., United Airlines has removed its 14 Max jets from the schedule until early July, while American, with 24, and Southwest, with 34, are not counting on the planes until August.It could take longer before foreign airlines can use their Max jets. Regulators outside the U.S. once relied on the FAA’s judgment in such matters but have indicated plans to conduct their own reviews this time.Foreign countries may impose additional requirements, delaying the use of the Max by their carriers.For example, FAA experts concluded in a draft report that while pilots need training on the anti-stall system, they do not need additional time in flight simulators. Canada’s transportation minister said this week, however, that he wants simulator training for Max pilots. Air Canada has 24 Max jets, while Sunwing has four.WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13, but Boeing has suspended all future deliveries.The Associated Press
OTTAWA — The Canadian Army is receiving a new commander as the military tries to turn the page on years upheaval caused by the failed prosecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman.Cannons boomed and soldiers marched as Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre took the reins of the army in a ceremony on Parliament Hill today, overseen by defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance and attended by many of the Canadian Forces’s top brass.It was just two months ago that Eyre was appointed the military’s chief human resources officer, a position that has taken on added significance as the Forces seeks to improve the lives of average military personnel while addressing racism and other scourges.Eyre takes over as army commander from Lt.-Gen. Jean-Marc Lanthier, who himself was installed as vice-chief of the defence staff only last month following the surprise resignation of Lt.-Gen. Paul Wynnyk.Wynnyk linked his decision to leave the Forces to an aborted attempt to reinstate Norman as the military’s second-in-command before Norman reached a confidential settlement with the government and announced his plan to retire.One more change-of-command ceremony will be held on Thursday to install Vice-Admiral Haydn Edmundson as Eyre’s successor as chief of military personnel, after which military officials will be hoping for a return to normalcy after several years of instability at the top.The Canadian Press
Stepping up to serve the community is why two political leaders chose to go above and beyond to touch the lives of desperate people in downtown L.A. This is also the reason that these two men were honored by the Los Angeles Mission in its third annual Legacy of Vision Gala at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.Los Angeles Mission 2014 Legacy of Vision Award Honorees Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Congressman David DreierCredit/Copyright: Los Angeles MissionTuesday’s event focused on the Mission’s services to homeless families and veterans through vital programs designed to remake and restore their lives.This year’s honorees were former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and former U. S. Congressman David Dreier. They received the Anne Douglas Award, presented each year to individuals who have made significant contributions to the community. The award is named for Mrs. Anne Douglas, the creative force and benefactor behind the Anne Douglas Center for Women at the Los Angeles a Mission and the wife of actor Kirk Douglas.“The Los Angeles Mission has worked with both of our honorees for years,” said Herb Smith, President of the Mission. “They have supported the work of the Mission both publicly and behind the scenes. The public sees them at our holiday events not only serving meals but also washing the feet of people who are astonished when they realize who is helping them. What we also appreciate is their support and wise counsel behind the scenes along with their dedication to far-reaching goals of getting life restoring services to our city’s homeless.”“What initially made me come down to the Mission was hearing about how it was having an actual impact on the lives of people. I wanted to see if that could possibly be true. I saw for myself that it actually was true,” says Villaraigosa. “What kept me coming back to the Los Angeles Mission was the impact the Mission had on me and on my life. I never expected that serving in the humblest way: washing the feet of the homeless would move me to tears. Presenting me with a whole new dimension of how giving to others can change your own life.”“The Los Angeles Mission is a very special place,” said Dreier. “I’m honored to have had a quarter century long affiliation as a member of the foundation Board. My friends Anne and Kirk (Douglas) continue to be my model. My hope is to replicate their work as our fellow Angelenos strive to become productive members of society.”Miguel A. Núñez Jr., known for his numerous roles in films and television, hosted the evening¹s festivities. Núñez has also appeared in “Juwanna Mann,” produced “School Dance”, and written, produced and appeared in “Belle’s” on TV One.Steve Amerson, “America¹s Tenor” provided entertainment for the evening. He is a renowned recording artist and concert musician whose voice is recognizable from more than 160 films and television programs. In his 20-year career Amerson has recorded 17 albums, had more than 100 compositions published by Word Music and other publishing companies, and performed for many Christian events including the Billy Graham Crusades. Sixteen of his albums were produced for Amerson Music Ministries, a label he established as a nonprofit organization.Sponsors for the event include the John W. Carson Foundation, the Goldwin Foundation, Wells Fargo Bank, City National Bank, the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Charity and others.Los Angeles Mission was established in 1936 as a soup kitchen and Christian outreach to homeless men on Skid Row. During the depression years, many homeless and unemployed men struggled on the streets of cities across America. It was during the days of burgeoning bread lines and no food stamps. Soup kitchens, often supported by religious and civic groups, were established to feed the needy. The Los Angeles Mission was begun for just this reason.Several decades later, in the mid 1980’s, it was clear the Mission organization had outgrown its original Los Angeles Street building. The Mission saw the need to expand and purchased vacant property at the corner of 5th and Wall Street. The present Mission facility was built there and was dedicated in 1992 to serve an ever-increasing homeless population.With that new facility, the Mission was the first in Lost Angeles to establish a dedicated women¹s center The Anne Douglas Center for Women a long-term residential rehabilitation facility endowed by Kirk and Anne Douglas. It was a tour of the old Mission by the Douglases which spurred Anne’s interest in creating a safe place for women. Her passion to help the women opened both minds and doors. The result? A women’s facility was endowed and constructed through her efforts. Named for Anne, it opened in February of 1992.For more than 78 years, the Los Angeles Mission has served homeless and hurting men and women of downtown Los Angeles, providing emergency services such as shelter, food and clothing. In addition, the Los Angeles Mission also offers long-term residential rehabilitation programs, including education, job training, transitional housing and counseling.
AARP has announced a plethora of additional presenters and honorees for their Movies For Grownups Awards.Legendary performer Bette Midler, Award-winning actor Mark Ruffalo, Academy Award-winning actress Jane Fonda, actress Rachel McAdams, Academy Award-winning actor Lou Gossett Jr, the original Apollo Creed, Carl Weathers, up-and-coming director Ryan Coogler, Joy Mangano herself and Boston Globe reporter Ben Bradlee Jr. will join host Kathy Griffin to celebrate 2015’s standout filmmakers, actors, actresses and movies with unique relevance for the 50-plus audience.The awards will raise funds for AARP Foundation, AARP’s affiliated charity, which works in communities across the nation to help struggling older adults meet their basic need for nutritious food, safe and affordable housing, adequate income, and strong, sustaining social bonds.Sponsored by AARP Credit Cards from Chase, proceeds from this year’s Movies for Grownups event will support AARP Foundation’s work in the Los Angeles area to create and advance effective solutions to help struggling people 50 and older secure the essentials.“In addition to honoring outstanding performances and filmmaking, AARP’s Movies for Grownups Awards underscore the tremendous appetite for great movies that exists in the 50-plus market,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins. “We’ve seen that the 50-plus audience, as one of the nation’s fastest growing demographics, supports creative endeavors that speak to it.”“It’s inspiring that these talented performers and artists are helping to draw attention to the cause of senior poverty,” said Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president of AARP Foundation. “Poverty remains a persistent and often invisible problem among older adults, with almost 10 percent of people 65 and older living below the poverty line. We are deeply heartened to have the support of these artists and the Movies for Grownups Awards to increase awareness of this important issue.”Also attending the awards show on Feb. 8 in Los Angeles are Michael Douglas (Career Achievement Award), Catherine Zeta Jones, Lily Tomlin (Best Actress-Grandma), Bryan Cranston (Best Actor-Trumbo), Diane Ladd (Best Supporting Actress-Joy), Tom McCarthy (Best Picture- Spotlight), Mark Ruffalo (Best Picture- Spotlight), Ridley Scott (Best Director-The Martian), David O. Russell (Best Screenwriter-Joy), Nancy Meyers (Best Comedy-The Intern), Morgan Freeman (Best Grownup Love Story-5 Flights Up), Patricia Clarkson (Best Buddy Picture-Learning to Drive), Irwin Winkler (Best Intergenerational-Creed), Phylicia Rashad (Best Intergenerational-Creed), Bill Pohlad (Best Time Capsule-Love & Mercy), Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera (Best Movie for Grownups Who Refuse to Grow Up-Inside Out) and committee members Sherry Lansing, Rob Friedman, Ed Begley Jr., June Squibb, Robert Forster, Ed Asner, Sid and Nancy Hult Ganis, and Ken Scherer.
Refugees fleeing conflict and persecution are entitled to protection, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said this week, expressing concern at decisions around the world that have undermined the integrity of the international refugee protection regime.“Refugees fleeing conflict and persecution are finding more and more borders closed and increasingly restricted access to the protection they need and are entitled to receive, according to international refugee law,” Mr. Guterres said in a statement.The UN chief made a particular mention of Ethiopia, the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, that, he noted “for decades has been keeping its borders open to hundreds of thousands of refugees from its neighbours, many times in dramatic security situations.”Further stating that countries have the right and the obligation, to responsibly manage their borders to avoid infiltration by members of terrorist organizations, Mr. Guterres cautioned that this cannot be based on any form of discrimination related to religion, ethnicity or nationality, noting that doing so “is against the fundamental principles and values on which our societies are based.”He also warned that it could “trigger widespread anxiety and anger that may facilitate the propaganda of the very terrorist organizations we all want to fight against” and that “blind measures, not based on solid intelligence, tend to be ineffective as they risk being bypassed by what are today sophisticated global terrorist movements.”At the start of the regular noon-briefing at UN Headquarters, Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said Mr. Guterres is currently on his way back to New York from the African Union Summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, and he had had the opportunity to express his disagreement with the United States Executive Order on refugees.The statement follows the US President’s signing last Friday of an Executive Order that, among things, suspends the US refugee programme for 120 days and, according to the media, bars entry of refugees from several mostly Muslim countries, including Syria, until further notice.
Oscar-winning director, actor and filmmaker Ben Affleck joins Oscar–winning Pixar Animation Studios’ filmmakers Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera in receiving special honors at the 1st Annual AUTFEST International Film Festival presented by The Autism Society on April 22-23, 2017 at the AMC Orange 30 in Orange, CA.The announcement was made by Matthew Asner, VP of Development for The Autism Society.Said Scott Badesch, President of Autism Society of America: “The first Annual AutFest International Film Festival is a perfect opportunity for us to celebrate the role film is now playing in autism awareness. We are proud to honor outstanding filmmakers Ben Affleck, Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera, for their cinematic portrayals of the complexity of human emotions, as we can see with our two spotlighted films The Accountant and Inside Out.”Celebrating autism awareness “from spectrum to screen,” AutFest is the first film festival solely dedicated to an autism audience and filmmakers. Its mission is to further advance the well-being of all with an autism diagnosis, as well as to educate the nation about autism and the important need to fully respect and value each person with autism. AutFest wishes to celebrate films that promote autism awareness and support autistic filmmakers and artists that have chosen film as their profession.“For more than eight years we’ve been honored to partner with the Autism Society through our regular screenings of AMC Sensory Friendly Films, which allows families with special needs to see films in a welcoming environment,” said Nikkole Denson-Randolph, Vice President, Alternative & Special Content, AMC Theatres. “We’re thrilled to continue that partnership by serving as the host of this important, impactful event.”A number of special awards will be handed out at a special ceremony at the conclusion of AutFest including Best Film, Best Director, Best Documentary, Best Actor, Best Actress as well as an Audience Award. A Best Autistic Filmmaker Award will be presented to an autistic filmmaker.AutFest is also inviting student graphic designers to create a festival poster that depicts the festival’s theme “from spectrum to screen.” Winning posters will be used as the festival’s official poster as well as for official materials such as t-shirts and postcards. The contest is hosted by We Are Lions, a marketplace for products created and designed by individuals with disabilities. More details about the poster contest can be found hereAutFest Honorary Committee Members include seven-time Emmy winner and autism advocate Ed Asner, actress Kristen Bell (House of Lies), actor Dax Shepard (CHIPS), Emmy-winning actress comedian Sarah Silverman, Golden Globe-nominated actor Matthew Modine (Stranger Things), Emmy-nominated actor Gary Cole (Veep), Autism Speaks co-founder Bob Wright, The Suzanne Wright Foundation president Liz Feld, Warner Bros. president and CCO Peter Roth and Autism Society’s VP of Development Matt Asner.
Today, Farm Sanctuary, America’s leading farm animal protection organization, announces that Mckenna Grace, star of “Gifted,” Netflix’s “The Haunting Of Hill House,” and “I, Tonya,” is their 2017 Adopt a Turkey Project spokesperson.Mckenna Grace Stands Up for TurkeysFollowing in the footsteps of Alec Baldwin and Ellen DeGeneres, she will speak out for turkeys, who are some of the most abused animals on Earth.Video: Mckenna Grace Stands Up for Turkeys: “I Would Rather Love Them Than Eat Them”In an adorable new video shot at Farm Sanctuary’s shelter for rescued farm animals in Acton, CA, Mckenna, surrounded by her feathered friends, informs viewers that turkeys are smart, social, curious, playful, and enjoy being petted and cuddled, just like a dog or a cat. She also acknowledges a sad reality: that although turkeys can live up to ten years, most only live to be a few months old.“Turkeys make awesome friends,” says Grace. “They are so sweet and they all have different personalities. That’s why I would rather love them than eat them. Sadly, 46 million turkeys are killed at Thanksgiving and never get a chance at a good life. That’s nothing to be thankful for. So this year, do our turkey friends a favor and keep them off your plate. Join me and be a part of Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt a Turkey Project!”Since 1986, Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt a Turkey Project has turned the tables on the traditional Thanksgiving celebration by inspiring people to commemorate turkeys as guests of honor around our tables, instead of upon them. The project has saved hundreds of turkeys from cruelty while inspiring countless individuals to sponsor a turkey who resides at one of Farm Sanctuary’s three shelters in New York and California. For a one-time donation of $30, turkey sponsors receive a special adoption certificate with a color photo and fun facts about their new feathered friend — perfect for displaying on your holiday table!To learn more information about the Adopt a Turkey Project, visit adoptaturkey.com.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham, President of Chile Michelle Bachelet, singer, songwriter and actress Pink, actress Millie Bobby Brown, singers, songwriters and musicians Chloe x Halle, legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and FCB and FCB Foundation are among the many stars, leaders and organizations lending their voices to children for World Children’s Day, UNICEF has announced.“It’s a fun day with a serious point. A day for children by children to help save children’s lives, fight for their rights and help them fulfill their potential,” said Justin Forsyth, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director.The day, set for November 20, marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the mobilization of the first World Children’s Day. Children from around the world will ‘take over’ key roles in media, politics, business, sport and entertainment to help save children’s lives, fight for their rights and fulfil their potential.13-year-old British star of hit series Stranger Things 2 Millie Bobby Brown, who is backing the initiative, said: “I am so excited for the first ever global celebration of World Children’s Day on November 20th with UNICEF. It’s our day, everyone! A day for us to raise our voices and unite. So let’s do it – in our schools, with our friends, with our families!”Below is a calendar of key events:Tuesday, November 14:Spanish footballer and New York City FC captain David Villa will be put through his paces in a training session led by children from his New York DV7 Soccer Academy.Wednesday, November 15:Children from around the world will take over singer, songwriter and actress P!nk’s latest smash hit What about us with a brand new music video cover of the song. French music group and UNICEF Ambassadors Kids United, PS22 Chorus and a group of child musicians and dancers have recorded their own version of the track for children, by children.P!nk said: “This World Children’s Day, I am teaming up with UNICEF to remind the world that children and young people’s voices matter and that their perspectives must be included in the decisions that will shape their future. I am excited to lend What About Us to a global kids take over on November 20 as we celebrate the power of kids around the world speaking out about the issues that affect them.”Saturday, November 18:All Blacks rugby stars Ryan Crotty, Kane Hames and Jeffery Toomaga-Allen will team up to hold a special one-off training session with children, sharing skills and practising game moves.Actors and philanthropists Debora-lee Furness and Hugh Jackman are supporting the fundraising efforts for World Children’s Day through #Workout for Water – taking place in gyms in over 100 countries. Instructors and gym goers can participate to help children and their families access safe water, healthcare and food in some of the world’s poorest nations. Click here.Monday, November 20:World Children’s Day event at the United Nations, New York. UNICEF will bring together high-profile supporters, influencers and special guests alongside children who represent some of the world’s most vulnerable children to speak out to the international community on issues that matter to them. Singers, songwriters and musicians Chloe x Halle will debut a specially penned track to mark the day. Isabela Moner from Transformers: The Last Knight and Nickelodeon, Logan actress Dafne Keen, Jaden Michael, star of Wonderstruck; Zari, star of the local Afghan version of Sesame Street; and Sherrie Westin, Executive Vice President of Global Impact, Sesame Workshop will all join UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and 150 children in a take-over of United Nations Headquarters.Blue carpet photo call from 09.00am – 09:45am ET in the United Nation’s East Foyer. Media should arrive at 08:30am.World Children’s Day event at the Palais des Nations, Geneva. In Geneva, around 200 children and young people will ‘take over’ the Palais des Nations, with the participation of the Director-General of the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG) Mr. Michael Møller. The French youth music group and UNICEF Ambassadors, Kids United, will perform their version of P!nk’s smash hit What About Us, in an event organized entirely by young people.UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham will release a short film in which he quizzes children about their views of the world. During the heartwarming film, Beckham is seen in conversation with five children asking a series of questions such as what changes they would like to see for children in the future and what rules they would give grown-ups.The film was recorded in New York with children aged 6-10 years-old: Smith (6), Jenna (7), Fiona (7), Jayla (8) and Royce (10).Beckham said: “This World Children’s Day we are handing over the reins to children, encouraging them to speak out for each other. One important lesson from my travels with UNICEF is that we need to listen to children about the world they want to live in. On November 20th children will unite to discuss what matters most to them such as violence, bullying, education and demand a better future for every child.”In Spain, the mighty FC Barcelona football pitch, home of UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Leo Messi, will be taken over by 24 children aged 9 and 10 years-old who will be put through their paces in a practice session with Coach Ernesto Valverde, before being joined by the players for the game handshake. Children will also storm the boardroom and take over the roles of President and Vice President at the Club’s Board of Directors. Over at Fundació FC Barcelona, children will take over key roles.In India, 22 special child athletes aged 13-18 years-old will take over the cricket field and play with legendary cricketer and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Sachin Tendulkar and UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth. At the event, 14 year old Raseel Arora will also unveil a unique idea ‘cricket scoreboard’ idea that recognizes girls’ achievements in India.In Copenhagen, South Korean actor and long-serving national UNICEF Ambassador Ahn Sung-ki will help children take over the work of the world’s largest humanitarian supply warehouse.In Accra, 10 children from eight African countries will tell the world about the Africa they want during a series of TED Talk-style events called Africa Dialogues. The event will be streamed live, and recordings of the 5-10 minute talks by the children will be disseminated on digital platforms. The children come from Burkina Faso, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Gambia. Click here.Around the world, leaders across levels of government will support World Children’s Day, including Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, Taoiseach of Ireland (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar, President of France Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister of Jordan Hani Al-Mulki, President of Chile Michelle Bachelet and with support from the United States Conference of Mayors, mayors from across the U.S. will participate.More than 50 organizations globally will turn over roles to children including LEGO, Qantas and H&M Foundation. For example, to celebrate children’s right to play, children will take over the roles of Chairman of the LEGO Foundation Thomas Kirk Kristiansen, and Chief Marketing Officer of the LEGO Group Julia Goldin. The children will spend the day directing a team of advertising creatives at LEGO House and LEGO offices in the making of a LEGO stop-motion advert on the power of play to be released early January 2018.In schools around the world, children will also take over classrooms and assemblies to raise their voices and fundraise in solidarity with the world’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable children.
Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook “An upsetting dystopian future has emerged where women no longer have a say. However, we say be bold and speak your mind in this exclusive Brave Red Maiden costume featuring a red mini dress, a matching cloak with an attached hood, and a white bonnet headpiece. (Pantyhose not included.)”The reaction was swift from some online critics.I can’t decide if this misses the point of The Handmaid’s Tale, or encapsulates it completely. https://t.co/nSDeKpJN8T— Petra Starke ?? (@petstarr) September 21, 2018“I can’t decide if this misses the point of The Handmaid’s Tale, or encapsulates it completely,” wrote one Twitter user.Wait. Is this…sexy handmaid? This is so far from the point I can’t even.— Noncompliant (@_noncompliant_) September 20, 2018“Wait. Is this … sexy handmaid? This is so far from the point I can’t even,” said another user.WTF WHO THIUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA I JUST WANNA TALK https://t.co/DsHBarTujG— Kozmik Warlock ?? (@kozmos92) September 21, 2018“WTF (what the f—) who (thought) this was a good idea …,” added one more person.However, there were many other people who came to the defence of Yandy, arguing that there was nothing wrong with the outfit.“There are sexy Handmaid’s Tale outfits for Halloween and tbh (to be honest) I love them,” one defender of the costume wrote. “They are everything Gilead would have hated and that’s perfect in a way I appreciate.”Atwood chimed in Friday morning when asked by a Twitter user if she could put a stop to the costume’s sales.No, I can’t put a stop to it..@MGM or @HandmaidsOnHulu might say something; but, after appearing at so many protests, the outfit is out of the box by now. Not sure this version will sell many, however. Who exactly would wear it, and on what occasions? Anyway the shoes are wrong. https://t.co/18HeMONM9t— Margaret E. Atwood (@MargaretAtwood) September 21, 2018“No, I can’t put a stop to it,” she wrote in response. “@MGM or @HandmaidsOnHulu might say something; but, after appearing at so many protests, the outfit is out of the box by now. Not sure this version will sell many, however. Who exactly would wear it, and on what occasions? Anyway the shoes are wrong.”Yandy released a statement early Friday morning after receiving a barrage of online backlash.“Over the last few hours, it has become obvious that our Yandy Brave Red Maiden Costume is being seen as a symbol of women’s oppression, rather than an expression of women’s empowerment. This is unfortunate, as it was not our intention on any level. Our initial inspiration to create the piece was through witnessing its use in recent months as a powerful protest image.“Given the sincere, heartfelt response, supported by numerous personal stories we’ve received, we are removing the costume from our site.”pic.twitter.com/0w5NQS438g— Yandy.com (@Yandy) September 21, 2018But there’s good news for fans of sexy Halloween costumes: the site is advertising over 1,900 other party getups for Oct. 31. Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement There’s one less sexy costume for Halloween this year.The Brave Red Maiden costume, initially for sale through the online retail site Yandy.com, was removed following an outcry on social media Thursday, due to its glamourization of the fertile female slave characters from Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel and current TV show The Handmaid’s Tale.Yandy, which prides itself on encouraging its customers to “own your sexy”, provided this description of the outfit: Twitter
Facebook Advertisement NWA versus Ice Cube. Biggie versus Tupac. Nas versus Jay Z. Nicki Minaj versus Remy Ma.Rivalries and beefs are a longstanding tradition in hip hop, from b-boys and b-girls battling it out in dance to rappers trading lyrical barbs, live or via diss tracks. But fans taking an artistic battle from a performance space into the real world is rare and surprising, according to hip-hop writer A. Harmony.“Battle rap is a fixture in hip hop. It’s considered a sport. It’s considered a form of entertainment and a chance for MCs to really showcase their skills. It’s a part of the music industry. It’s a part of the music culture,” explained Harmony, hip hop contributor to Exclaim Magazine. Advertisement But a full-on brawl ensued at a Pusha T concert in Toronto on Tuesday, after some audience members apparently tossed drinks onstage at the American rapper — who has been embroiled in an on-again, off-again beef with hometown favourite Drake — mid-performance. Briefly retaking the stage, the Virginia rapper seemed to accuse Drake of being behind the slight. The concert was closed down shortly after. Later, a concertgoer turned up at a nearby hospital with stab wounds, according to police.Note: strong language and violence in following videoThe drinks being tossed might have been something “between concertgoers that got out of hand,” said Harmony. It might also have been the result of fans “who decided to take this form of entertainment and turn it into something it wasn’t.”In recent years, there has been a noticeable rise in young music fans lashing out at rivals for perceived slights to their idols, whether its Beliebers rallying behind Justin Bieber or the BeyHive lashing out in support of Beyoncé.“We have seen instances of super fans kind of crossing the line,” Harmony noted, citing an instance this July when Nicki Minaj fans waged a brutal campaign against a Canadian freelance writer who offered a negative critique of the rapper’s music.Different kind of connectionToday’s fans aren’t like those of previous generations. They feel a different, closer connection to their idols thanks to social media — and that goes for rap aficionados as well, according to Emmanuel Tabi, a hip-hop fan and University of Toronto PhD candidate examining cultural production and its intersection with education and activism. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Rap beefs are a longstanding hip hop tradition. But have some fans taken the feud between Pusha T and Drake too far? (Getty Images) Login/Register With: Twitter
APTN National NewsFour First Nations in Ontario are involved in a human rights complaint against the federal government. They say that the current method of funding aboriginal education discriminates unfairly against larger First Nations, and are seeking a decision by the Canadian Human Rights Commission.Ottawa attempted to have the case thrown out, saying that it doesn’t fall within the jurisdiction of the CHRC, but a federal court decided that the CHRC can indeed handle the complaint.Michael Hutchinson sits down with Patrick Macklem, a law professor at the University of Toronto and spokesperson for the four First Nations, to talk about the complaint and its implications.UPDATED: The original version of this story incorrectly named the Ontario Human Rights Commission as the human rights body handling the complaint. The complaint is being handled by the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
APTN National NewsAfter nearly four years the commission charged with investigating abuse at Indian residential schools for Indigenous peoples ended Sunday.The Truth and Reconciliation Commission concluded public hearings in Edmonton after visiting over 300 communities.The TRC heard from thousands of victims who recounted stories of cruelty and abuse while forced to attend the church-run schools.APTN’s Keith Laboucan was there.
APTN National NewsThe 14th annual Manitoba First Nations science fair kicked-off in Winnipeg.It’s hoped the event will increase awareness and interest in science and get students thinking about science-related careers.APTN’s Matt Thordarson has this story.
Annette FrancisAPTN NewsWhen Kristin Murray threw her hat in for the Timmins’ municipal election, she didn’t expect that she would win the campaign for a councillor position of ward 5.But last Monday that’s exactly what happened during election night.“As the polls were dropping, cuz you could see them there were thirteen polls total and initially I was always in the top two, so I wasn’t sure if I was going to stay there, so I was excited but didn’t wanna get my hopes up and then as the eighth poll dropped, I noticed I was in first place and then as the thirteenth one went in I was like ‘oh my gosh, I topped the polls,’” said Murray.Murray, who is originally from Chapleau Cree First Nation, said two separate incidents involving the Timmins police which resulted in the deaths of Joey Knapaysweet and Agnes Sutherland made it clear that she had to run.She said she’ll remain true to her campaign promises.“I’m hoping to accomplish a more connected community, I think that there’s so much diversity within our city and that hasn’t been something we focus on really, an engaged community so that’s obviously my number one goal.”Cory Robin is a Cree contender in the same ward as Murray, he ran a close race, but fell two votes short.“We watched each poll come in and at first I was losing for a bit and then i was winning by about five votes as half of them came in and then that last poll came in and I was down by two points,” said Robin.Robin has asked for a recount, which will take place in the council chambers tomorrow., “we’re gonna be looking at the rejected ballots just to make sure they were properly rejected.”Murray will take over her new position in December.firstname.lastname@example.org@aptnafrancis
VANCOUVER – As Canadian cities continue to wage a regulatory crack down on online home-rental platforms, Airbnb maintains it’s open to regulation provided new rules don’t penalize casual users and recognize not every host runs a full-fledged business.Vancouver and Toronto are both weighing imposing a number of restrictions on users, while Quebec, the first province to regulate the industry, may revamp its law in the near future.“There are still a lot of misperceptions about what homesharing is all about,” said Alex Dagg, Airbnb’s director of Canadian public policy, warning about unintended consequences from rushed regulations.“That’s the concern — that you come up with something that you think makes sense. And without understanding really what your community is looking like and how they’re using the platform and how they’re benefiting from it, you can really design something that isn’t helpful.”Many homeowners or tenants use the platform to rent out a portion of or their entire home to earn some extra cash. Airbnb’s critics include the hotel industry that says hosts face less stringent regulations and don’t have to pay the same taxes, as well as those saying it has created additional housing problems in cities with low vacancy rates and high home ownership costs.Dagg is in Vancouver to argue the American company’s case in front of a city council holding public hearings into a proposed home-sharing bylaw. If approved, it would take effect in April and require hosts to have a licence that costs $49 each year and to only rent out their primary residence.The city argues limiting short-term rentals to primary residences will protect existing long-term rental housing and potentially add new units to a heated rental market.In Oct. 2016, metro Vancouver’s vacancy rate was 0.7 per cent, according to the CMHC’s most recent figures. Meanwhile, the benchmark price for a property in the Vancouver area was $1,037,300 in September, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.Dagg wants the city to consider allowing Airbnb rentals in some circumstances where a person’s primary residence is outside Vancouver. For example, if someone has a primary residence on Vancouver Island where they live on weekends but owns an apartment in Vancouver for work during the week, she said they should be allowed to continue renting that space on Saturdays and Sundays.“It’s complicated,” she said, and the system requires carefully thought out regulations.In Quebec, the provincial government has imposed numerous restrictions and Dagg said the company understands the provincial tourism minister will make some amendments this fall.“It’s really designed in a way for much more professional operators,” said Dagg, while not reflecting a large, casual homesharing community. The law requires anyone renting a property via Airbnb and other online platforms for no more than 31 consecutive days to hold a permit and pay a hotel tax.Toronto, another market grappling with high rents and housing prices, recently wrapped public consultations on its proposed home-sharing regulations.The city wants to allow people to rent their principal residence for no more than 28 consecutive days. It will also require hosts to register with Toronto at a cost of $40 to $150 annually. In November, the city will hold committee meetings to vote on the regulations and, if passed, the regulations will head to council in early December.On Wednesday, Airbnb announced an arrangement with Neptune Waterpark Condos in Toronto that will allow residents to rent their primary residence in the building using Airbnb and receive a portion of the profit. It’s the first building in Canada to join the company’s so-called friendly buildings program, which had only operated in the States up to now.The system could help ease some condo boards’ concerns about security if units are rented to travellers as it gives management access to a guest registry. Dagg said there’s “no reason” a similar set-up couldn’t work in Vancouver.But she believes it’s too early to say whether Vancouver will side with the home-sharing industry and its proponents, or stick to its proposed bylaw. The public hearing is scheduled to continue Thursday.Regardless, she said, it’s important to keep monitoring regulations once they’re in place.“We’ll obviously continue to work with the city.”Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.