Fight to free Raif Badawi goes on five years after his imprisonment

first_imgMONTREAL – Raif Badawi’s supporters say they haven’t given up the fight to free him as they mark the five-year anniversary of his imprisonment.Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his criticism of Saudi clerics.His imprisonment has drawn widespread international condemnation and Amnesty International has accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of not doing enough to free him.Badawi is not a Canadian citizen but his wife and three children live in Sherbrooke, Que.Earlier in this month, Badawi’s children appealed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a video message, asking him to personally call Saudi Arabian authorities to ask for their father to be freed.Badawi’s spouse, Ensaf Haidar, has met with leaders in Canada and around the world while campaigning for his release.More than 200 rallies to protest Badawi’s imprisonment have been held in Quebec alone, including several this week.Earlier this week, a Parti Quebecois legislature member urged Premier Philippe Couillard’s administration to pressure the federal government, saying Trudeau campaigned on a promise to do everything he could to secure Badawi’s release.Global Affairs Canada has said the government has raised Badawi’s case at the highest levels and continues to call for clemency.But Amnesty International Canada says Ottawa has been far too passive when it comes to defending human rights.“It’s not a simple subject, it’s not a subject that will be solved tomorrow, but the country is reaping what it has sowed in the past years by not demonstrating leadership on the international scene when it comes to human rights,” spokeswoman Anne Sainte-Marie told The Canadian Press.After five years, Sainte-Marie said Badawi supporters are determined not to let his memory fade from public memory.“We have to remember that Raif didn’t go anything,” she said. “All he did was call for reflection, dialogue and exchange on societal issues that are completely legitimate.”last_img read more

Key facts about retiring Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall

first_imgREGINA – Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall announced Thursday he is retiring from politics after a decade in office. Here are a few key facts about the long-serving Saskatchewan politician:Age: 51Hometown and riding: Swift Current, Sask.Family: Wall and his wife Tami have a grown son, Colter, and two grown daughters, Megan and Faith. Colter has a budding country music career.Outside politics: Wall is a huge football fan and a booster of both the hometown Saskatchewan Roughriders and Oakland Raiders. He has done a segment called “Premier’s Picks” on Saskatchewan radio during Canadian Football League season. He’s also a classic car buff. Last year, he bought a white Cadillac convertible once owned by country music legend Waylon Jennings.Early career: In the 1980s, he worked in Ottawa in the office of Swift Current Tory MP Geoff Wilson. He returned to Saskatchewan and worked as a ministerial assistant in Grant Devine’s Progressive Conservative government. Wall was first elected as a member of the legislature in 1999, under the banner of the Saskatchewan party.As premier: Wall was first elected premier of Saskatchewan in November 2007. He won two more general elections with majority votes in 2011 and 2016.Notable moments: Wall has been a fierce critic of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax policy. He has also called for the suspension of the federal government’s plan to bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees and has been a passionate advocate for pipeline projects.Quote: “This meeting is not worth the CO2 emissions it took for environment ministers to get there.” — Wall’s statement after Trudeau’s surprise announcement of a carbon tax whilst environment ministers were in a climate change meeting.last_img read more

New Brunswick man charged with production of child pornography in United States

first_imgA 49-year-old New Brunswick man who allegedly travelled to Ohio to meet a teenage girl is facing a charge of production of child pornography in the United States.Joseph Haggerty of St. Stephen, N.B., was arrested last Thursday, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in northern Ohio.“This case is another stark reminder to parents that they need to know who their children are communicating with on social media and in real life,” acting U.S. Attorney David Sierleja said in the release.Officials said agents with Homeland Security Investigations in Austin, Texas, received a tip that Haggerty had been soliciting nude images from children.They said he was scheduled to fly from Toronto to Cleveland last Thursday, and upon his arrival, agents followed him to Linden Park in the suburb of Rocky River, where he allegedly met with a 17-year-old girl.The girl told agents she started talking to Haggerty on a messaging app last December and they subsequently engaged in hours-long Skype chats, in which the accused would allegedly direct her conduct, the release said.It said the girl told relatives she was going on a camping trip for the weekend, but actually planned to go to the Lakewood hotel with Haggerty.Homeland Security Investigations contacted the RCMP’S internet child exploitation unit, who executed a search warrant at Haggerty’s St. Stephen home and found nude images of the minor as well as evidence of an estimated five other potential victims, it said.“This defendant victimized at least one child and possibly many more,” Sierleja alleged of the accused.U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Mike Tobin said Haggerty remained in custody Friday after waiving his right to a detention hearing Monday.last_img read more

NS man facing deportation to Somalia to be released lawyer says

first_imgHALIFAX – The lawyer for a young man who has spent most of his life in Canada but is now facing deportation to Somalia says his client will soon be released from detention.Benjamin Perryman says the Immigration and Refugee Board has ordered Abdoul Abdi to be released from custody.Abdi was six years old when he arrived in Nova Scotia as a refugee from the war-torn, African country.He went to live with his aunt, who didn’t speak English, and was soon apprehended by the Nova Scotia government and put into foster care.Between the ages of eight and 19, Abdi was moved 31 times, separated from his sister and was never granted citizenship.His aunt’s efforts to regain custody were rejected, and attempts to file a citizenship application for the children was blocked.Abdi served five years in prison for multiple charges, including aggravated assault.Perryman said Abdi was given grossly inadequate care by the province as a foster child. He has said deporting him to Somalia — a country to which he has no ties and where he would be unable to care for his Canadian-born daughter — would be unfair.Abdi’s case has become a rallying point for advocates who say it was wrong for the province to fail to apply for citizenship on his behalf.Stephen McNeil, Nova Scotia’s premier, said last week that he has ordered the province’s Community Services Department to complete a review of any cases that would require supports similar to those needed by Abdi.The Canada Border Services Agency detained Abdi when he was released from prison earlier this month.Although a date is not finalized, Abdi, 24, will soon be released to a halfway house in the greater Toronto area.“He will likely be transferred to a halfway house tomorrow. Canada continues to pursue his deportation,” Perryman said in a tweet Monday.(Global News, The Canadian Press)last_img read more

Trump warns Congress not to interfere with NAFTA negotiations

first_imgWASHINGTON D.C., – U.S. President Donald Trump warned Congress on Saturday not to interfere with his plans for a new North American Free Trade Agreement, lest he cancel the deal entirely.On Twitter, the president threatened to “terminate NAFTA entirely” if Congress balks at ratifying a revamped NAFTA that could go forward without Canada’s involvement if ongoing negotiations fail.Trump notified Congress on Friday of his intent to sign a revamped deal in 90 days with Mexico — and Canada too, if Ottawa chooses to join in.But on Saturday, Trump said there was “no political necessity” to include Canada in a deal, and suggested he would scrap NAFTA entirely rather than allowing it to continue in its current form.“If we don’t make a fair deal for the U.S. after decades of abuse, Canada will be out,” he wrote.“Congress should not interfere with these negotiations or I will simply terminate NAFTA entirely and we will be far better off.”But simply pulling out of NAFTA may not be as clear-cut as the president suggested in his message, according to several trade experts.Congress must approve any rewrite of the deal and could refuse to endorse an agreement that excludes Canada.Moshe Lander, an economics professor at Concordia University, suggested Trump doesn’t have the authority to pull out of NAFTA “in the simple way he presents.”He said the United States would have to give six months notice to both Canada and Mexico if it intends to withdraw.And, while not all experts agree, he said he believes Trump would need congressional approval to end the agreement.“Because NAFTA was enacted through an act of Congress, Congress has to undo it,” he said in a phone interview.At this stage, he said it’s difficult to speculate on whether Congress will stand up to the president, especially since the contents of the deal have not yet been revealed.But Gilles LeVasseur, a business and law professor at the University of Ottawa, said Trump’s Saturday message reflects a certain nervousness that he might fail to win the support of a Congress that tends to be pro-trade.“Congress is more open to Canada than we expect, Republicans and Democrats,” he said.“Yes they want changes, yes they want improvements, but they don’t want to throw everything away.”Krzysztof Pelc, a political science professor at McGill University, said Trump is likely using the threat of excluding Canada to obtain more concessions in areas such as supply management and dispute resolution.“Congress’ refusal to ratify a deal without Canada in it weakens Trump’s hand, so to achieve his ends, he’s attempting to bully not only Canada, but the U.S. Congress as well,” he wrote in an email.Pelc said that Republican members of Congress as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are “dead set” against a bilateral deal with Mexico.However, he said the president could try to obtain ratification by “dangling the promise of letting Canada join later.”Talks between the two countries ended without an agreement on Friday as negotiators failed to reach an agreement to include Canada in the deal before notice was sent to Congress.In response to Trump’s latest message, the Canadian government stuck to the cautiously optimistic message that has become its standard response on the matter.“As we’ve said all week, we’re working toward a modernized NAFTA that is good for the middle class and people working hard to join it,” spokesman Adam Austen said in a statement.“With good will and flexibility on all sides, a win-win-win outcome is achievable.”Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard was more blunt, telling reporters that Trump is not a friend to Canada.“The United States are a great friend and ally of Canada, but clearly Mr. Trump is not,” he said while campaigning in Quebec City.“He is certainly not an ally and is not acting like an ally, and not just with Canada.”Trump took to Twitter again Saturday night, tweeting “We shouldn’t have to buy our friends with bad Trade Deals and Free Military Protection!”Talks to keep Canada in the trade bloc are to resume Wednesday as the two countries try to resolve thorny issues including Canada’s dairy market and U.S. efforts to shield drug companies from generic competition.last_img read more

Petroleum analyst optimistic for the price of oil after government moves

first_imgCALGARY (660 NEWS) – The markets are now open and we will soon see if the Alberta government’s actions to cut oil production in the province will help with the price of oil.On Sunday, Rachel Notley announced an 8.7 per cent cutback on production across the province.Dan McTeague is a petroleum analyst.He believes whether or not the government made this move, there would be job losses.“For many companies, this may not be the outcome that they wanted, but spreading around the pain seems to be the only thing you could do with an environment where doing nothing would only lead to further catastrophe.”While this was certainly not the government’s first choice of action, McTeague believes it is the right course of action.“I think jobs would be affected either way,” he said. “We have to look at the absolute carnage in jobs that have taken place up to now. I think it’s short-term pain for long-term gain.”He notes the short term success on the markets will also be heavily impacted by some global moves.He sees the thawing of the trade war between the U.S. and China as a major factor.“There is also a likelihood that OPEC will cut back dramatically on production along with Russia.”last_img read more

Orderly testifies victim in Alzheimers slaying required constant care

first_imgMONTREAL — An orderly who looked after Jocelyne Lizotte at a Montreal long-term care facility where she was being treated for Alzheimer’s disease testified Thursday her case was a difficult one.Maryse Gesse took the stand Thursday at the trial of Michel Cadotte, charged with second-degree murder in the death of his wife of 19 years. The Crown alleges he suffocated her with a pillow in her room in February 2017 because he was unable to handle her deteriorating health.Gesse described Cadotte as Lizotte’s spokesman — he was the one asking for things on her behalf because Lizotte was unable to communicate.Under cross-examination, Gesse said she was very familiar with the accused, who was frequently at Lizotte’s side. She said Cadotte did his wife’s laundry, had a hairdresser visit every month and had a television installed in her room so Lizotte could listen to music. He also made sure she had better quality lotions, soaps and shampoos.She testified that Cadotte, 57, had even trained to be an orderly in an effort to better take care of his ailing wife.Gesse told jurors Lizotte could not eat, get dressed or sit up without help. “It was a heavy case. We had to do everything for her,” she said. But Lizotte, 60, wasn’t the most difficult case, Gesse added, as she didn’t put up any resistance like other patients might.Gesse also confirmed that Lizotte spent much of her time restrained because she was often agitated and staff feared she’d fall. A physician testified on Wednesday Lizotte was on medication to treat extreme agitation.“That was her life,” Gesse said, demonstrating for jurors how the woman would rock back and forth in her chair, stopping briefly only when someone touched her. “She was always restrained, all the time, except for when she walked.”The trial is expected to last between six and seven weeks.Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Military continues sexmisconduct fight with new guide for members commanders

first_imgOTTAWA — The Canadian Forces have a new manual on how to respond to sexual misconduct, aiming to close many of the gaps identified in the military’s policies on abuse in its ranks.But some concerns remain unaddressed — including the “duty to report” regulation, which critics say discourages victims from seeking support if they aren’t ready or willing to begin a formal complaint.The information in the 100-page document was previously spread in many places, which a Defence Department assessment published in February cited as a big reason many service members were confused and uncertain about the issue.Some had only a vague understanding of what constituted inappropriate behaviour and what to do when an incident occurred, including how to support victims.The new manual, which was developed in consultation with the military’s sexual-misconduct response centre (a counselling-oriented agency outside the chain of command) and a group of outside experts, goes to great pains to address the latter question in particular.One of the first sections talks about how and why some people affected by sexual misconduct prefer to be called “victims,” others want to be referred to as “survivors,” and still others don’t like either identifier.It also spells out the roles, responsibilities and training available for every service member as well as the additional responsibilities that commanding officers have in supporting victims and investigating incidents.In a report last November, auditor general Michael Ferguson found many victims were not properly supported when they did speak up because of gaps in the services available and a lack of suitable training and policies.To that end, commanders are also being given a new handout to help them wrap their heads around how sexual-misconduct cases are to be treated step by step — with a reminder at every step to check in with victims.Those check-ins are not to be one-way updates, either, but opportunities to make sure each victim is getting the support needed and has input into how the case is handled.The sexual-misconduct response centre is also working on plans to provide case workers, or victim-liaison officers, to service members affected by sexual misconduct.But the “duty to report” regulation remains. It compels military members to report inappropriate or criminal behaviour, sexual or not, and begins a formal complaint process.Defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance has said the idea is to require anyone who learns of sexual misconduct to tell authorities so cases don’t get hidden, but the effect can be to drag them into the open against victims’ wishes. Ferguson and former Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps, who conducted an explosive analysis of the extent of sexual misconduct in the Forces in 2015, have criticized the policy as actually discouraging victims from coming forward.Vance has said the military is looking at ways to maintain the requirement while better protecting victims.Ferguson also warned that military police often failed to provide information to victims about supports they can use or give them updates on cases, and there were concerns about a lack of training for chaplains and military health-care providers to help victims.The federal victims’ ombudsman has also raised concerns about proposed legislation around victims’ rights in the military justice system, specifically that it does not require military police, prosecutors and others to inform victims that they have rights.Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

May says Greens will work with any party that has a serious

first_imgOTTAWA — With three months until Canadians vote in the next federal election, Green party leader Elizabeth May says her big hope for the final result is a minority government over which she can exert some influence.In fact, May thinks that influence could even get the Conservatives to drop their dyed-in-the-wool opposition to carbon taxes if it means the difference for them between governing or spending more time in opposition.“People change their minds when they see the dynamic of a way a Parliament is assembled and maybe think, ‘Killing carbon taxes isn’t such a good idea if the only way I get to be prime minister is by keeping them,’ ” May says.It would be unprecedented for the Greens to hold the balance of power at the federal level but it has happened provincially. In British Columbia, the Greens’ three seats are keeping NDP Leader John Horgan’s minority government in office. In New Brunswick, the minority Tory government can turn to either the Greens or the righter-wing People’s Alliance for support on confidence votes.In Prince Edward Island, the Greens formed the official Opposition after the spring vote, the best finish the party has ever had in a Canadian election.Federally, May says she could support a minority government of any party but only if that party is serious about acting to stop climate change.“We will negotiate with anyone, we will talk to everyone, but we won’t compromise on climate action,” she says.On a multi-city, pre-campaign tour of the country that began last winter, May was found last week bumping along rural roads in Ontario south of Barrie, Ont., driven around in a Tesla owned by a local party volunteer. She won’t call the events Green party rallies — they are “community matters” meetings, even though in almost the next breath she talks about how cool it is to be greeted by throngs of people waving Green signs and shouting “We love you, Elizabeth!”Those greetings are new to her, even though this is the fourth national campaign for the 65-year-old, who in 2011 became the first Green MP elected in Canada.She says this campaign feels very different, with a “groundswell” of support, and she is holding out hope this one won’t end with Green backing collapsing on voting day as Canadians turn to parties with better chances of winning.Nik Nanos, founder of Nanos Research, says that is always a risk, even though the Greens are polling better than ever.“The challenge for the Greens is that they might be a safe haven for disgruntled progressive Liberals and NDP voters,” he says. “If there is the chance of a Conservative win, Green support, even with the goodwill for the party and the leader, may swing back to the Liberals to block a Conservative win.”Nanos says the “best scenario” for May and the Green party is that Canadians don’t think anyone will form a majority and they want more Greens in the House of Commons.May doesn’t say it quite as directly.“I think it’s really important to communicate with Canadians how our democracy works and that a minority Parliament is the very best thing, if, and this is a big if, you have parties and MPs in Parliament who are committed to working together,” she says.And by “working together” she specifically means to slow climate change with policies that drastically reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, don’t build any more oil pipelines and replace fossil fuels with renewable energy as fast as possible.But even within her own party, there is a dispute erupting about how fast that can happen.The head of Quebec’s Green party, Alex Tyrrell, launched a petition about three weeks that has drawn signatures of provincial and federal Greens, including several whose names will be on the ballot for the party in October. That petition says May’s plan to continue to use Canadian oil for years, and even invest in upgraders so bitumen from Alberta’s oilsands can be turned into gasoline at Canadian refineries, is nowhere near the aggressive climate action needed.Tyrrell says he will still vote for the federal Greens this fall but he is disappointed in May’s position.May dismisses Tyrrell’s criticism entirely and denies any of the petition’s backers are running for the federal party — although she is wrong about that.Cass Romyn, who is the Green candidate in the Edmonton-area riding of Sturgeon River-Parkland, signed it. Romyn says not to read too much into the petition, though, saying the Greens are a true democracy and differences of opinion are not a bad thing.Romyn also says that with more Canadians feeling the heat of climate change in their own backyards, the growing interest in the Green party should not be surprising.Mia Rabson, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

BMW wins skirmish in 175M claim against Autoport over stored cars

first_imgTORONTO — BMW Canada has won a skirmish in its quest for $175 million in compensation from storage company Autoport for alleged damage to thousands of imported vehicles.In a ruling, Ontario’s Divisional Court ordered Autoport to foot the $10,000-a-day bill BMW says it’s been paying to preserve the vehicles as litigation evidence.The case arose after a brutal winter in February of 2015 during which, the German automaker alleges, 2,966 imported BMW and MINI models stored by Autoport in Halifax were unduly exposed to ice, water and salt. BMW argues the exposure created potential safety risks and recalled all the vehicles.In a July 2015 recall notice, Transport Canada warned of a serious safety risk. Corrosion, the agency said, could lead to sudden engine shutdowns, steering problems or fires. The recall affected 10 different BMW models — including higher end X7 and i8s from three different model years — and seven 2015 MINI models.BMW says it’s impossible to determine the extent of any damage without destructive tests, and, as a result, none of the vehicles could be made roadworthy and sold. The automaker wants to destroy all of them.The unproven suit, which alleges Autoport was negligent and breached its contract, seeks $175 million — the full value of the vehicles.Autoport denies any liability. It argues BMW’s claim is grossly exaggerated and the recall unreasonable. The storage company says none of 12 vehicles it has inspected showed any sign of damage, according to court documents.BMW argues its claim does not turn on proving any particular vehicle was damaged and says it doesn’t need the vehicles for the lawsuit. For its part, Autoport says it needs to examine the automobiles to mount a proper defence.It also wants to see the results of inspections BMW has done, saying it doesn’t know what specific investigations are required or whether examinations can be performed on only a small sample of the cars.The automaker says it has been spending about $10,000 a day — roughly $3.5 million a year — to keep the vehicles at three sites in Canada. It wants Autoport to foot the bill.The courts initially sided with BMW, but an appeal judge overturned the decision on the basis that the automaker, as plaintiff, was financially responsible for storing and preserving the litigation evidence. BMW appealed to Ontario’s Divisional Court.In agreeing with BMW, the Divisional Court panel said making Autoport pay for the storage gives it an economic incentive to preserve and test only as many automobiles as it actually needs for its defence.“Placing the financial burden on the plaintiff would give the defendant an economic incentive to delay its testing and exaggerate the number of vehicles to be preserved,” the panel said in its decision.“Autoport’s own experts can determine how many vehicles they need to preserve and test. Logic and the principle of proportionality suggest that it will be substantially fewer than the 2,500 vehicles currently in storage.”The appellate court ordered Autoport to pay for the storage to date. The company can also keep paying for the storage or take possession of the vehicles to do whatever tests it feels are needed, the court said.Colin Perkel, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Miranda Hart Unveils Comic Relief Statues

first_imgMiranda Hart has officially unveiled the first ever collection of Comic Relief Donation Statues, exhibited in London’s Goldsmiths’ Hall.Miranda Hart Poses With Comic Relief StatuesHonorary art expert Miranda was displayed in all her statuesque glory, accompanied by nine fellow larger-than-life statues of some of Comic Relief’s best loved funny faces and comedy supporters.These one of a kind, state of the art Statues were revealed at Goldsmiths’ Hall, the iconic institution for craft and industry, before they make their way across the UK to raise money for Red Nose Day.Miranda and friends will be popping up all over the UK from 12th February 2015. The public will be able to tap their card on the pocket of the Donation Statues to donate £1 to Comic Relief through the magic of Barclays contactless technology or via the Barclays Pingit app. Donors can even snap a celebrity selfie to share with friends using #RNDStatues.Miranda said: “Yes you’ve heard it right, I will be immortalised in statue form for Red Nose Day – my very own doppelgänger (good word) but obviously I am much more beautiful in real life… “The ten celebrities are just some of Britain’s best-loved comedians and comic characters who’ve donated their time and talent to help Comic Relief over the years and the public can keep an eye out for them in the following locations: Alan Partridge Steve Coogan – Norwich, intu Chapelfield Shopping Centre Billy Connolly – Glasgow, intu Braehead Shopping Centre David Walliams – London, Westfield Stratford City Dawn French – Buckinghamshire, intu Milton Keynes Shopping Centre Del Boy David Jason – Bristol, Cabot Circus Eddie and Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous (Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley) – 
London, Westfield White City John Bishop – Warrington, Golden Square Shopping Centre Lenny Henry – Dudley, intu Merry Hill Shopping Centre Miranda Hart – Exeter, Guildhall Shopping Centre Mr Bean (Rowan Atkinson) – Newcastle, intu Eldon Square Shopping Centre 
The Donation Statues are the invention of Comic Relief co-founder Richard Curtis, who has collaborated with many of the nation’s favourite comedy stars over the years.
Richard said: “Since the beginning of Comic Relief I’ve asked hundreds of exceptionally talented and generous comedians to do strange things to raise money and this might be the oddest request yet. Huge thanks to all ten who agreed to let us turn them into a statue. As well as perfect selfie opportunities, just a simple tap on the pocket with a contactless card will give a £1 donation to help incredibly vulnerable people in the UK and across Africa. We’ve come a long way in fundraising since 1988!”The money raised by Red Nose Day’s Donation Statues will be spent by Comic Relief in the UK, and across Africa, helping vulnerable and disadvantaged people to turn their lives around.For more information about the Red Nose Day Donation Statues and to find your nearest comedy great to donate, head to read more

Johnny Depp Visits Childrens Hospital In Australia Dressed As Captain Jack Sparrow

first_imgJohnny Depp and Stephen Graham took time out from filming the new Pirates Of The Caribbean film to visit a children’s hospital in Brisbane this week.Johnny Depp Visits Lady Cilento Children’s HospitalCredit/Copyright: Children’s Hospital Foundation via FacebookThe pair arrived at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital dressed in full costume as Captain Jack Sparrow and Scrum, and spent over three hours making a real difference to sick kids and their families in hospital!Captain Jack Sparrow Brings Joy To The Lady Cilento Children’s HospitalCredit/Copyright: Children’s Hospital Foundation via Facebooklast_img read more

Kenneth Cole Ending AIDS Is Within Reach

first_imgEnding AIDS means controlling the spread of HIV and lessening its impact on people’s lives, the Joint UN Programme fighting the epidemic (UNAIDS) has said, noting that the number of people on anti-retroviral treatment today has surpassed the number of new infections each year, and more countries are reporting that zero mother-to-child transmission of HIV is in sight.But in the latest episode of the UN Radio podcast series The Lid is On, newly-appointed UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador Kenneth Cole says that if “there isn’t a continuation of this initiative, we will see that reverse.”Rather than see an end of AIDS by 2030, “we could see AIDS back to its historical level of devastation,” he emphasized.A world renowned, New York-based fashion designer and businessman, Mr. Cole has been an influential voice in the global response to AIDS for more than 30 years. He has also been Chair of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) since 2005.The podcast features another long-time AIDS campaigner and activist, singer and songwriter Annie Lennox, who has been a UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador since 2010.Drawing on her own experience growing up in Burundi, UN Radio producer Jocelyne Sambira – who presents the podcast – said AIDS “was a death sentence when I was growing up.”To highlight the realities of living with HIV/AIDS in Africa today, she interviews Loyce Mataru of Zimbabwe, who had just lost her mother and son to the virus, when she found out she herself was HIV positive.She is now living a full and healthy life, and having once tried to commit suicide because of her status, she talks movingly about the stigma of living with HIV.last_img read more

Jane Seymour To Be Honored At 30th Annual Colleagues Spring Luncheon

first_imgThe 30TH Annual Colleagues Spring Luncheon will honor Jane Seymour with The Colleagues Champion of Children Award and Oscar de la Renta’s (ODLR) Co-Creative Directors Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia for their contribution to American design.Actor Joe Lando will be presenting Seymour with her award which honors her lasting impact on the lives of children. Paris Hilton and Nicky Hilton Rothschild will be presenting Kim & Garcia with their award to salute their continued contributions to American design, the world of fashion and recognize the House of Oscar De La Renta for their longstanding partnership with the Los Angeles Colleagues and their tradition of philanthropy through fashion. Kim and Garcia were an essential part of Oscars legacy and are now managing the future of one of the most revered international design houses and launching their own complex and utterly original design house at the same time.The luncheon will take place at 11:00 am on Tuesday, April 17th at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and will include a fashion show from Oscar de la Renta’s Fall 2018 collection designed by Kim and Garcia.Seymour joins an impressive list of prior Champion of Children Award recipients including former First Ladies Nancy Reagan, Betty Ford and Laura Bush and her two daughters Barbara Pierce Bush and Jenna Bush-Hager, Carol Burnett, Roma Downey, Princess Charlene of Monaco, James and Gloria Stewart, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Anjelica Huston and Robert Graham, California First Lady Maria Shriver, Annette Bening and Warren Beatty.Founded in 1950, The Colleagues, a 501c3 non-profit corporation, are a group of 65 active women and over 25 sustaining members who volunteer their time and expertise to support and raise funds for their sole beneficiary, the Children’s Institute, Inc. In their efforts to serve Los Angeles’ most vulnerable children harmed by community and family violence, abuse and neglect, the Colleagues have donated over $25 million to CII through their high-end resale and vintage clothing shop and their annual spring luncheon. In addition to direct services, CII reaches more children through professional training, research and other leadership activities working with more than 24,000 children and families each year. To learn more about the Colleagues and CII, please visit and luncheon is executive produced by Gary L. Pudney, and produced and directed by Tony-Award winning Scott H. Mauro for the fifth consecutive year. Colleagues member Anne Johnson is the Executive Chairman of the event. For tickets to The Colleagues Spring Luncheon please call 310-474-5377 or email read more

Sgt Stubby An American Hero is Saluted by Film Critics Nationwide as

first_imgAs pet lovers celebrate their furry friends throughout the month of April — National Pet Day, April 11; Kids and Pet Day, April 26; and National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day April 30 — critics from coast to coast have embraced the heartwarming, animated family tale Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero, based on the incredible, documented true story of a scrappy, little stray dog who became a celebrated hero on the battlefield during World War I.Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero opens nationwide on April 13As part of that month-long celebration of our beloved and faithful, furry friends, Fun Academy Motion Pictures has partnered with 90 national and regional animal organizations across all 50 states – including The Humane Society of the United States – to shine a light on the human-animal bond and the amazing things adopted animals can do when given a chance in life … and the true story of a little, stray dog who rose above and beyond the call of duty.“A portion of the box office is going to support animal rescue groups and such initiatives as purchasing protective vests for police dogs,” says award-winning documentarian, producer-director Richard Lanni. “Stubby’s story is the ultimate underdog story and critics and audiences are reacting to the film’s appeal, teaching kids our nation’s history in a family friendly way and our mission to shine a spotlight on animal rescue. Additionally, some of the lessons learned in WWI are making headlines again today, providing an age-appropriate platform for parents to discuss hard topics with their children.”In theaters now, Sgt. Stubby — starring Logan Lerman, Helena Bonham Carter and Gérard Depardieu — is being saluted by critics from coast to coast for its captivating storytelling and family friendly messaging.Well documented in history books, Sgt. Stubby tells the true “tail” of the unbreakable bond between a young Soldier and a stray dog who, for his valorous feats, is still recognized today as the first dog promoted to the rank of Sergeant in the U.S. Army, the most decorated dog in American history and is widely considered the forerunner to the U.S. Army’s working dog program.But before he was a hero, Stubby was homeless, unwanted, unwashed and unloved, scrounging for scraps on the streets of New Haven, Conn. in 1917—Until he was taken in by Private First Class Robert Conroy of the 102nd Infantry Regiment, 26th “Yankee” Division.In France, Stubby saw frontline action in four offensives and 17 battles. He found wounded Soldiers, saved an entire company by alerting the men to don gas masks and even caught a German spy. After the recapture of Château-Thierry, the women of the town made him an embroidered jacket that would serve as Stubby’s uniform and display his numerous awards throughout the rest of his career.His exploits made front-page news in the U.S. and earned him the rank of Sergeant, the first time an animal is recognized as having been promoted through combat. Returning home to a hero’s welcome, Stubby and Conroy toured the country leading victory parades and met three sitting U.S. presidents, among other honors.last_img read more

Where do I go to promote my new special BIG COUNTRY with

first_imgWhere do I go to promote my new special “BIG COUNTRY with Rudy Blair”? Login/Register With: Twitter Advertisement Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisementlast_img

ZoomerMedia takes a zig into live theatre

first_img Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisement They are working together on Late Night, a new play by Sandler set during the taping of a fictional Letterman-like talk show, being performed in the new Zoomer Live Theatre, a converted TV studio in Znaimer’s Liberty Village entertainment complex. During performances, the onstage cameras will be running, capturing the TV-show-within-a-stage-show for potential later airing on Znaimer’s VisionTV.Karen Knox, part of the four-person theatre team working on the project, calls it a “weird dual meta, meta, meta thing.” Sandler says it’s “an updated bizarro Noises Off happening on TV.” And for Znaimer, it’s “a theatre piece that looks like the real thing and then becomes the real thing,” the gauge for reality for him clearly being that which can be televised. Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment center_img The seeds for this encounter were sown a couple of years ago when Znaimer — co-founder of City TV and MuchMusic — started seeing shows on the indie theatre scene. “I became an admirer,” he explains. “Indie theatre’s very visual, very smart and clearly influenced by video in ways that previous generations hadn’t been.” Advertisement She’s an indie theatre darling, an effervescent 30-year-old writer and director who greets her interviewer with a hug even though we’ve never met before.He’s one of Toronto’s most influential media moguls, a senior presence in TV, music and radio whose current company, ZoomerMedia, focuses on entertainment for the 45-plus set.On the surface they may seem unlikely creative partners, but Kat Sandler and Moses Znaimer have found a common interest in making performances that cross back and forth between live and recorded media, and a belief in following their instincts. Advertisementlast_img read more

Shortlist announced for the 2017 RBC Charles Taylor Prize for Nonfiction

first_imgBy Chance Alone: A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz by Max Eisen (HarperCollins Canada)Pumpkinflowers: An Israeli Soldier’s Story by Matti Friedman (Signal/McClelland & Stewart)Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of Water Lilies by Ross King (Bond Street Books)Marconi: The Man Who Networked the World by Marc Raboy (Oxford University Press)This Is Not My Life: A Memoir of Love, Prison, and Other Complications by Diane Schoemperlen (HarperCollins Canada) Advertisement Facebook Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment The 2017 shortlist for the RBC Charles Taylor Prize was announced Wednesday morning at the Omni King Edward Hotel in Toronto.The $25,000 prize, named in honour of journalist and author Charles Taylor (Six Journeys: A Canadian Pattern, Radical Tories: The Conservative Tradition in Canada), will be awarded on Monday, March 6, 2017. Each of the remaining finalists will receive $2,000.The shortlist includes: Twitter Login/Register With:last_img read more

TrueCrime Documentary MOMMY DEAD AND DEAREST an Official Selection of the Hot

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Login/Register With: Following the murder of Dee Dee, a disturbing Facebook post led investigators to implicate her daughter Gypsy Rose in her mother’s death. It was discovered she had been the victim of her mother’s abuse via Munchausen by proxy syndrome since early childhood. MOMMY DEAD AND DEAREST unravels this complicated tale of a mother whose deception subjected her daughter to decades of unnecessary medical treatment – until she reached her tragic breaking point.From director Erin Lee Carr (HBO’s THOUGHT CRIMES: THE CASE OF THE CANNIBAL COP), the documentary features interrogation-room footage of Gypsy, her boyfriend, Nick Godejohn, and various family members, as well as intimate home videos and family photos, medical records, text messages, and courtroom video. In addition to candid interviews with Gypsy from prison, the film includes interviews with her father and stepmother, Rod and Kristy; Dee Dee’s father and stepmother, Claude and Laura; Dr. Bernardo Flasterstein, a pediatric neurologist who was one of the few to raise concerns about Dee Dee’s claims; Gypsy’s lawyer, Mike Stanfield; Greene County prosecutor Dan Patterson; Dr. Marc Feldman, an expert on Munchausen by proxy syndrome; and journalist Michelle Dean, who covered the story for BuzzFeed, among others.MOMMY DEAD AND DEAREST is produced by Andrew Rossi. Co-producers are Alison Byrne and Andrew Coffman. Editor is Andrew Coffman. Director of photography is Bryan Sarkinen. Music by Ian Hultquist. For HBO, senior producer is Sara Bernstein, and executive producer is Sheila Nevins.Social Media links Twitter TORONTO (April 28, 2017) – Fresh off rave reviews from its premiere at last month’s South by Southwest Conference and Festivals, and an upcoming official selection at the Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival, HBO Canada presents the television premiere of MOMMY DEAD AND DEAREST, a chilling and provocative true-crime murder story exploring one of psychology’s most controversial conditions, Munchausen by proxy syndrome.On June 15, 2015, Dee Dee Blanchard was found murdered in her Springfield, Missouri home, and her wheelchair-bound daughter, Gypsy Rose Blanchard, was reported missing. After Gypsy was tracked to Wisconsin and implicated in the murder, what started out as a grisly tale of matricide morphed into a bizarre story of deception and abuse. The 82-minute documentary premieres Monday, May 15 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HBO Canada, day-and-date with HBO in the U.S. This announcement follows yesterday’s news about The Movie Network’s upcoming slate of original documentary productions, also featured at Hot Docs. Advertisement @HBOCanada @HBOCanada Advertisement Facebook HBO Canada brings Canadians HBO’s current slate of signature dramatic and comedic programs, together with new and never-before-seen programming including comedy series, live specials, sporting events, behind-the-scenes content and titles from HBO’s extensive library – all in an uncut and commercial-free environment. HBO Canada is included with a subscription to The Movie Network, which is available across Canada through television service providers. HBO Canada is available in high definition on HBO Canada HD, and on HBO Canada OnDemand, a Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) service. Throughout Canada HBO Canada programming is accessible on TMN GO, as well as on demand and online where available by service provider. For more information, please visit HBO Canada is a multiplex channel of The Movie Network. The Movie Network is a division of Bell Media, which is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company.last_img read more

Katherine Heigl Joins Suits as Series Regular in Season 8

first_img Facebook Advertisement Emmy Award-winning and two-time Golden Globe-nominated actress Katherine Heigl (Grey’s Anatomy, Knocked Up) has been cast in a new series regular role for Season 8 of Suits!Set to premiere later this year, Heigl will star opposite Gabriel Macht (Harvey Specter) as Samantha Wheeler -– a talented new partner at Pearson Specter Litt who challenges the status quo and will either become the firm’s greatest ally … or most powerful enemy! Heigl joins the Suits ensemble alongside Macht, Sarah Rafferty (Donna Paulsen), Rick Hoffman (Louis Litt) and new series regular Dulé Hill (Alex Williams).“Joining Suits was the perfect organic way to not only collaborate with an EP I admire deeply, but to also become part of a show and cast that I am an immense fan of,” shared Heigl. “I have watched Suits from the very beginning and feel incredibly lucky to be the newest member of the Pearson Specter Litt family.” Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement READ MORE: Patrick J. Adams on Leaving Suits: Mike Ross Has Taught Me the Power of Believing in Myself“On behalf of the entire Suits team, I am extraordinarily excited to welcome Katherine Heigl into our family — I have always been a big fan of her work and was delighted to discover she was an avid Suits fan herself,” expressed Aaron Korsh, creator and executive producer of Suits. “I cannot wait to have her come play with our entire cast and crew. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Harvey, Louis, Donna, and Alex as the mysterious Samantha Wheeler is a direct threat to their status quo.  One thing is for sure — Samantha’s wit, charm, loyalty, strength, and vulnerability will all be put to the test as she muscles her way into the firm currently known as Pearson Specter Litt.”   Season 8 of Suits begins production this April in Toronto. Season 7 resumes this spring, with new episodes premiering on USA Wednesday, Mar. 28 at 9/8c!Count down to the Suits premiere with the official Louis Litt 2018 Calendar. Download and print your own to GET LITT UP in 2018! LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitterlast_img read more