Bhopal: Five policemen were suspended after the family of a 25-year old man alleged that he was beaten to death by the security personnel in Bhopal, an official said on Wednesday.The car of the deceased, identified as Shivam Mishra, met with an accident in the wee hours of Wednesday in the bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor in Bairagarh area here, Inspector General, Bhopal Zone, Yogesh Deshmukh told PTI. On getting information about the incident, the police reached the spot and took Mishra and his friend to a hospital where the medical test revealed that he was drunk, he said. Mishra and his friend were then taken to Bairagarh police station where his condition deteriorated, he said. The police later took Mishra to a hospital where doctors declared him brought dead, Deshmukh said. “The family members are alleging that the man died after being beaten up by police personnel. These allegations are yet not confirmed. But, action has been taken against the policemen as the death occurred in their custody,” he said. “Five personnel, including Bairagarh police station in-charge Ajay Mishra, a sub-inspector, a havildar and two constables have been suspended. We have proposed a judicial probe into the matter,” Deshmukh said. Meanwhile, the deceased’s friend Govind Sharma, who was present with him at the time of the accident and later at the hospital and the police station, alleged that the police personnel beat up Mishra and him “without any reason”. “Our vehicle collided with the BRT railing. Nobody was injured in the accident, only our car was damaged,” Sharma, who is also admitted in hospital, told reporters. “We told the police that we needed medical assistance but instead of helping us, they beat us brutally,” he alleged. Mishra’s uncle Sanjay Bhargava also alleged that the deceased was severely beaten up by the police.
Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday said a reply would be submitted to the Bombay High Court which has sought a response from Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, and two other ministers in the state government on a plea challenging their appointment. The high court on Monday sought the response of Vikhe Pateil, the former leader of opposition in the state Assembly, NCP-turned Shiv Sena leader Jaydutt Kshirsagar, and RPI(A) leader Avinash Mahatekar who were recently appointed as ministers in the Fadnavis-led government. Also Read – Cong may promise farm loan waiver in Haryana “Let the respondents (ministers) also get a chance to object or respond to the petition,” the court said while posting the matter for further hearing after four weeks. Speaking on the issue in the state Assembly, Fadnavis said, “A response would be given to the high court after we receive thenotice. This is notice before admission. The High court did not find any urgency in the matter and hence, it has given four weeks to reply. Fadnavis was responding to Congress member Prithviraj Chavan, who demanded that the state advocate general be summoned in the Assembly to explain what advice he had given to the chief minister about the three ministers. Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: Shah Chavan cited the 91st constitutional amendment,which states that an MP or MLA shouldnot be made minister after he/she resigns from the membership of Parliament or Legislature. He said the member can be made minister only after getting elected again. Fadnavis said he had taken advice from legal experts and was ready to cite the Supreme Court’s directives to substantiate the appointment of Vikhe Patil, Kshirsagarand Mahatekar, who are not members of either of the two Houses in the state legislature, as ministers. Chavan demanded that the three ministers not be allowed to conduct official duties till the court gives directions in the case. To this, Fadnavis said the court has not prevented the three ministers from conducting their duties and hence, they cannot be barred from functioning as ministers. Meanwhile, reacting to NCP leader Ajit Pawar’s comments on the chief minister’s official bungalow ‘Varsha’ defaulting on water bills, Fadnavis said, “The payment was held back for a month when it came to notice that bills were getting repeated despite the payment.” “There was no default. It took a month to rectify the bills,” he added.
New Delhi: Yoga guru Ramdev’s dream ‘swadeshi’ messaging app ‘Kimbho’ that aimed to give Facebook-owned WhatsApp a run for its money but was taken down from app stores last year owing to privacy concerns is still ‘on hold’, say company executives. The Kimbho app, launched with much fanfare last year from the house of Patanjali Ayurved, promised features such as chat, multimedia, voice and video calling, video conferencing and collaboration. Also Read – Spotify rolls out Siri support, new Apple TV appKimbho is a Sanskrit word which means “how are you” or “what’s new’. The app disappeared from the Google Play Store and App Store after users raised security concerns. A trial version reappeared in August with Patanjali Ayurved promising a final version in couple of days. This version, however is yet to see the light of the day. Patanjali, however, appears not to have given up on it completely yet. According to Abhitab Saxena, Senior Vice President and Head of Information Technology at Patanjali, the Kimbho app is on hold for now. Also Read – New Instagram tool to help users spot phishing emails “Baba Ramdev Ji and Acharya Balkrishna ji will announce it at a press conference if anything comes up. As for now, the ‘Kimbho app’ is on hold,” Saxena told IANS. When asked about the recent status of the app and the future plans for Kimbho app, Saxena said that it is “confidential”. “We will provide an update if anything happens, only Balkrishna Ji can give a clear image about the app’s status and everything related to the Kimbho app,” he added. To run a messaging app like WhatsApp requires top-of-the-line IT infrastructure. According to Anoop Mishra, one of the nation’s leading social media experts, “you need a team of Open Source experts, Cloud and content delivery network (CDN) experts, data engineers, an in-house team of core developers, API developers, user interface (UI) developers, in-house testing team and user data simulation team”, to run an app like WhatsApp. “You also need an outsourced hacking team which keeps finding the loopholes in the existing system which was completely missing in ‘Kimbho’ which was a poorly-scripted app,” Mishra added. S.K. Tijarawala, the national spokesperson of Patanjali Ayurved, did not respond to the questions about the status of the app. To build and run a world-class messaging app requires a huge investment of time, tech expertise and money — and eventually needs 10 times more investment for handling servers, security issues and data breaches. Whether Patanjali would make a fresh attempt to launch the messaging app with full preparation is still not clear but the firm still appears hopeful as it has not yet admitted to shelving it completely.
Rome: A charity rescue vessel on Saturday brought 41 shipwrecked migrants into port in Lampedusa, the second boat to defy far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s bid to close Italian ports to them. Mediterranea’s Italian-flagged Alex was met by a strong police presence on the quayside but people were not allowed to disembark after spending two days with the rescued migrants and asylum seekers on the sailboat. “I do not authorise any landing for those who couldn’t care less about Italian laws and help the people smugglers,” populist deputy prime minister Salvini tweeted as night fell. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi JinpingSalvini last month issued a decree that would bring fines of up to 50,000 euros (USD 57,000) for the captain, owner and operator of a vessel “entering Italian territorial waters without authorisation”. After the Alex reached port, he said that he would raise the maximum fine to one million euros. Mediterranea tweeted back a request to disembark those rescued, saying it had sailed to “the only possible safe port for landing”, citing “intolerable hygiene conditions aboard”. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in Xinjiang”Shipwrecks and crew are exhausted… people rescued need to be cared for… this is a surreal situation and it is an unnecessary cruelty to prolong the wait.” Authorities on Lampedusa last week seized another rescue ship belonging to German aid group Sea-Watch after it forced its way into port with dozens of rescued migrants on board and arrested its captain, Carola Rackete. An Italian judge this week ordered her freed as she had been acting to save lives, a decision which sparked Salvini’s ire but may have encouraged the Alex crew. Two other investigations, on charges of helping people smugglers and resisting the authorities are still under way after Rackete forced her way past Italian customs vessels. A third rescue ship, German charity Sea-Eye’s vessel Alan Kurdi, carrying 65 shipwrecked migrants rescued off Libya had also arrived in international waters off Lampedusa. The group said late Saturday that it was heading for Malta. In Germany, more than 30,000 people demonstrated in cities around the country in solidarity with Rackete, including 8,000 in Berlin and 4,000 in Hamburg.
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday accused the Centre of not carrying out dredging in Farakka and other barrages for a long time, thereby causing food crisis in various parts of the state during heavy rains.While speaking in the Assembly, Banerjee said the Centre has not taken any positive steps in this regard, despite repeated pleas by the Bengal government. “There has been no dredging work in Farakka for years, as a result of which the water holding capacity of the barrage is getting reduced,” she said and blamed the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) for not undertaking dredging work in various dams and barrages. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersThe Chief Minister also pointed out that Jharkhand and Bihar governments discharge a huge amount of water during monsoon, as a result of which a vast portion of the state gets flooded. The matter has been raised with both the Bihar and Jharkhand governments, but no steps have been taken in this regard, Banerjee alleged. She also said that river Atrai has been drying up after the Bangladesh government set up a dam on it and criticised the role of the Centre in not taking up the issue with Bangladesh. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja”It is a bilateral issue. We have taken up the matter with the Prime Minister and External Affairs minister a number of times in this regard. Because of the dam, people from South Dinajpur district are suffering. However, the Centre has not taken up the issue despite our repeated requests,” Banerjee told the House, in response to an opposition MLA’s question in this regard. The Atrai river flows from Siliguri into Bangladesh, before flowing back into South Dinajpur. It may be mentioned here that the nearly 400 km long river has been a source of livelihood to thousands of fishermen and farmers in the region. Its flow has been affected severely by the dam in Bangladesh. Following the construction, the riverbed had started going dry in summer. The Chief Minister also said that various stretches in North Bengal also get flooded as Bhutan discharges water along the Sankosh River. “We are suffering only because a huge amount of water gets discharged from outside. Jharkhand and Bihar do not take any steps despite our requests to release water in lesser volume,” Banerjee added.
New Delhi: In a suspected case of honey trapping, a man was murdered in West Delhi’s Rajouri Garden area.Police claimed that they have arrested three persons including a woman in the case. Police claimed that the woman accused first took lift in the deceased’s car and then took him to an isolated place for extortion. The accused woman with her associates tried to rob him but when the deceased objected, he was stabbed and later died. According to police in the wee hours of July 14, patrolling staff noticed a Honda Amaze car in suspicious condition on Raghubir Nagar Ganda Nala Road 3-4 boys and one girl were sitting in the car. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic itemsThe alert staff immediately moved towards the car to check it and on seeing the police coming towards them, the driver started the car and fled towards Raghubir Nagar. Police further added that head constable Manjeet Singh and staff chased the car and after 1-1.5 km distance, they succeeded to stop the car and overpowered two persons Himanshu (22) and Deepak (24). Upon questioning about the fleeing, they did not give satisfactory reply as such, they were brought to the police station for further interrogation. Initially, they mislead the police but on sustained interrogation, they broke down. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderFurther on interrogation, they disclosed that on Sunday, a person, who was in a Honda Amaze car, was taken to Shivaji Enclave near gas godown by their female associate. They had robbed his Apple iPhone and bag near Gas Godown Shivaji Enclave and when the person resisted, they stabbed him and fled away. Later they lead the police party to the place of occurrence and a car was found parked near gas godown and a person was lying unconscious on both front seats in state of blood of pool with stab injuries on his right thigh in half-naked condition who has been identified as Bhupender Birdi (39), a resident of Paschim Vihar On inquiry from the family of the victim, it revealed that yesterday he left for an interview in MNC in Gurugram in the morning. He was shifted to DDU and declared brought dead. Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Monika Bharadwaj said two accused and their female associate has been arrested and robbed Apple iPhone has been recovered from their possession.
New Delhi: In a move aimed at effective implementation of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY), the government has invited suggestions from all the members of the parliament on the matter. While divulging the information, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told Lok Sabha on Wednesday that the government is working on making crop insurance more effective same.”Earlier also, there was PM Fasal Bima…today there is focus on PM Fasal Bima. But my Prime Minister and myself do not consider this PM Fasal Bima Yojna a complete scheme. Through you, I want to Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!tell the members that with regard to PM Fasal Bima Yojna, if they have some valuable suggestions they can give them to me in three-five days,” Tomar said. While replying to queries raised by members during the discussion on Demand for Grants under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Tomar said, “We are working on how can we make the crop insurance easier, more useful, more beneficial.” He further added that more funds were allocated under the PMFBY during the tenure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi than it was before 2014. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedStating that now more educated people were taking to farming, he said, “Technology was also being used for farming. As the government is committed to double the income of farmers, a big target and a road map has to be made to achieve the target.” Over 10 crore soil health cards have already been issued, he said, adding that work on allotting 9.82 crore cards in the second phase is underway. The government, he said, is working on zero-budget farming.
New Delhi: The National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill which seeks to replace the 63-year-old Medical Council of India (MCI) to reform the medical sector in India, was introduced in Lok Sabha on Monday. The Bill, introduced by Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, also seeks to repeal the Indian Medical Council Act 1956, stating that the Council set up under it was corrupt. It has been alleged that the process by which the MCI regulated medical colleges was flawed. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The new Bill has the provision for making national standards in medical education uniform by proposing that the final year MBBS exam be treated as an entrance test for PG and a screening test for students who graduated in medicine from foreign countries. This exam will be called the National Exit Test (NEXT). At present, different medical colleges have different MBBS exam patterns which means there is no surety of the quality of the medical graduate passing out of MBBS. The NMC proposal is to ensure a uniform national pattern for final year MBBS exam so that all medical graduates who get the licence to practise conform to uniform national standards and quality.
New Delhi: Over 3,000 temporary employees have lost jobs with the country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) due to the ongoing slump in the automobile industry, a top company executive has said. MSI Chairman R C Bhargava said contracts of the temporary workers were not renewed due to the slowdown while asserting that permanent workers have not been impacted. “This is a part of the business, when demand soars, more contract workers are hired and reduced in case of low demand,” he said while speaking to some leading private TV channels. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalBhargava was responding to a query on whether the current slump and production cuts have led to job cuts in Maruti. “Around 3,000 temporary workers have lost jobs with Maruti Suzuki,” he added. Reiterating that automobile sector creates job in the economy from sales, service, insurance, licensing, financing, accessories, drivers, petrol pumps, transportation – he cautioned, “fewer automobiles (sales) will impact jobs on a larger scale.” These are not even visualised. The impact is much higher, he added. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostWhen asked if the industry has hit the rock bottom in terms of sales in July, he said revival in the sense of positive growth will start from third or fourth quarter of this fiscal, partly because of the lower base effect. “Hopeful to see strong revival in FY 2021. By then transition to BS VI will be over,” he added. Commenting on expectations from the upcoming festival season, he said due to the good monsoon, rural sales may pick up. “If government makes an announcement and takes positive actions it should help improve the situation,” he said, however, it was up to the government to decide on GST rate cut and take the corrective action. “Personally we would like to see GST benefits linked to greener/cleaner cars…The government gave tax cut on EVs but hybrid should be given duty cut. There should be tax cut on CNG vehicles,” he added.
Coimbatore: Security has been tightened across Tamil Nadu following intelligence inputs that members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba had infiltrated into the state, police said on Friday. The reports suggested six members of the terror outfit infiltrated into the state by sea from Sri Lanka and moved to different cities, including Coimbatore, according to the police. Security has been stepped up at many places, including airports, railway stations, bus stands and places of worship across the state. An alert has been sounded, especially in coastal districts, to prevent any further possible intrusion, the police said. There has been tight patrolling across Coimbatore district. Vehicle checks have been intensified in the city and border areas, the police said. Though the identity or the nationality of the intruders were yet to be ascertained, sources said one person belonged to Pakistan.
New Delhi: India’s top grappler Bajrang Punia has been handed the top billing in the men’s 65kg freestyle category at the World Championships, slated to begin in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan from September 14. World number one Bajrang, who is in Russia for training ahead of the championships, had bagged a silver in the last edition and a bronze in 2013 in 60 kg. “Training abroad with foreign athletes has helped me grow as a wrestler. Sparring with some of the best names in Georgia, Russia and USA has made me more aware of my opponents,” said Bajrang. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”Besides, having my own team of coach, physio, trainer and sports science support staff has benefited me a lot and instilled a lot of confidence into me ahead of the World Championships.” Two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar remains India’s only gold medallist at the Worlds. He had climbed on top of the podium in the 2010 edition. United World Wrestling, the world governing body, organised a training camp for all the wrestlers in Nur Sultan to help them acclimatise to the conditions. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later”It is a very good initiative taken by UWW ahead of such a big event. All wrestlers will be eyeing Olympic berths at the World Championships this time and an acclimation camp can help them to be ready for the challenge,” said Punia. Maharashtra wrestler Rahul Aware has been handed second seed in 61 kg while reigning junior world champion Deepak Punia has been seeded fourth in the 86 kg. “My training has gone really well and I am excited to make my World Championships debut. “Winning a gold at the World Junior Championships last month has boosted my confidence level and I am eager to give my all,” said Deepak, who ended India’s 18-year-old medal drought at the Junior World Championships. Among women, India’s Seema Bisla has been seeded second in the 50 kg. A gold medal at Yasar Dogu Ranking Series has propelled her to number three in the world.
HUMBOLDT, Sask. – The Humboldt Broncos hockey club says a team will be ready to hit the ice in time for the 2018-19 Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League season.The club said in a news release Friday that it’s recruiting a head coach and general manager to replace Darcy Haugan.Haugan was one of 16 people killed April 6 when the team’s bus and a semi-trailer collided in rural Saskatchewan. Thirteen players were injured.“Darcy Haugan was selfless, inspirational and motivating, building up his players to be great ambassadors and role models both on the ice and in the community,” said team president Kevin Garinger.“He took our team to new heights. It will be incredibly difficult to find someone that can rise to his standards.”As the team recruits the next coach, 80 prospective players will be asked to an invite-only camp from May 25 to May 27 in Saskatoon. It’s not clear whether any of the injured players will return to the team for the upcoming season.The Broncos said season tickets will also go on sale soon.Anticipating high demand, team officials will make every effort to ensure current season-ticket holders get first right of refusal on their seats.The world rallied around the team following the crash. More than $15 million was raised in a GoFundMe campaign for the survivors and the families of those killed.People also showed support for the Broncos by putting hockey sticks on porches, wearing jerseys and memorial ribbons, and holding other fundraisers.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version spelled Darcy Haugan’s last name incorrectly.
LETHBRIDGE, Alta. – The father of an Alberta man who was killed almost two years ago described in court Monday finding his son’s lifeless body and his two-year-old granddaughter missing.Derek Saretzky, 24, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 69-year-old Hanne Meketech, as well as in the deaths of Terry Blanchette and his two-year-old daughter Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette.William Blanchette told Saretzky’s trial he last saw his granddaughter alive Sept. 13, 2015 when they spent the day together in Blairmore, Alta., while his son was at work.He told court he returned to his son’s home the following day and knocked on the door, yelling “anybody home?” No one answered, even though Terry Blanchette’s car was parked outside.He said he assumed they had gone out for a walk and went to a gas station to fill up. He told court he sent his son a text message and tried phoning him, but there was no response.He went back to his son’s home and let himself inside through an unlocked door. After noticing blood on the kitchen floor, he said he went into the bathroom and turned on the light.“That’s when I found Terry,” he told court.He said his son was lying on the floor, partially covered in a blanket, with a huge cut on his neck. There was no sign of his granddaughter so he said he called 911.An Amber Alert was issued that extended across Western Canada and into the United States, but Hailey was found dead a few days later.Court has already heard that Saretzky confessed to police that he killed Terry Blanchette and Hailey, as well as Meketech — whose body was found five days earlier in her mobile home in September 2015.The Crown has said Saretzky had inside knowledge of the deaths and provided details to police that only the killer would know. The prosecution also said Saretzky took officers to a remote area where the girl’s remains were found in a campsite firepit, along with a hatchet and a metal pot.Saretzky has pleaded not guilty to the murder charges, as well as to a charge of committing an indignity to the girl’s body.No motive has yet been suggested in any of the deaths.Police have said Saretzky and Blanchette were acquaintances, but have not elaborated on how the two men knew each other. The little girl’s mother has described Saretzky as an old friend whom she hadn’t spoken to in years.Under cross-examination, William Blanchette told court his son and his ex-wife shared custody of Hailey, normally for two weeks at a time. At the time of their deaths, he said his son had Hailey for about five weeks while his ex-wife was moving.His son and ex-wife got along when it came to Hailey but otherwise “they had their issues,” he told court.The trial continues Tuesday.(Lethbridge Herald)
Highlights from the news file for Wednesday, July 12———BANK OF CANADA HIKES INTEREST RATE TO 0.75 PER CENT: The Bank of Canada has hiked its benchmark interest rate to 0.75 per cent from 0.5 per cent, its first increase in nearly seven years, amid expectations of stronger economic growth this year. The Bank of Canada cut interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point twice in 2015 to help the economy deal with a plunge in oil prices, but governor Stephen Poloz said Wednesday that adjustment has been made. Canada’s five biggest banks are also boosting their prime lending rates by 25 basis points, following the rate hike. Royal Bank of Canada, the Bank of Montreal, TD Bank, Scotiabank and CIBC all announced Wednesday they are increasing their prime rates to 2.95 per cent from 2.7 per cent, effective Thursday. The prime lending rate is the rate that banks use to set interest rates for variable-rate mortgages and other loans.———INDIGENOUS FAMILIES WANT MORE RESIGNATIONS FROM INQUIRY: There were more calls Wednesday for major changes to the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women, including the resignation of all remaining commissioners. “We think that it would be in the best interests of the Indigenous women of Canada that the current commissioners be brave and resign — step down,” said Sandra Delaronde, co-chair of a coalition of Manitoba relatives of missing and murdered women. “The national inquiry, in its current form, is not hearing the voices, is not inviting the consultation … of the families and those that work on a daily basis with families.” Delaronde’s comments came one day after one of five inquiry commissioners, Marilyn Poitras, resigned saying she could not continue under the inquiry’s current structure. In recent weeks, the commission has also seen resignations from executive director Michele Moreau, director of operations Chantale Courcy and others. Delaronde says families don’t want the inquiry scrapped, but want several changes including a slate of new commissioners who are related to victims or who have worked closely with victims’ families and an Indigenous-led process that is less like a courtroom hearing.———KHADR FIGHTS BACK AT WIDOW’S EFFORT TO GET ASSETS: The widow of an American soldier killed in Afghanistan has failed to show there’s a real risk former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr is hiding his money as a way to avoid paying people he might owe, new court filings show. In urging Ontario Superior Court to dismiss a request for an injunction against Khadr, his lawyer argues Tabitha Speer and another former American soldier have not shown a strong case to back their demand for an urgent freeze on any money paid him by the federal government. “The scant evidence offered in support of this pleading consists of double and triple hearsay statements drawn from media reports and Wikipedia,” lawyer Nate Whitling writes in his factum ahead of Thursday’s court hearing. “The hearsay now relied upon by the applicants is so vague and unreliable as to be of zero probative value.” Speer, the widow of Sgt. Chris Speer, and Layne Morris, who was blinded in the 2002 firefight in which American forces captured the badly wounded 15-year-old Khadr, are trying to have a US$134.1-million wrongful-death judgment they won in Utah enforced in Canada.———TRUMP PRIVATELY RAGES AS RUSSIAN SCANDAL TOUCHES SON: The snowballing revelations about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer during last year’s presidential campaign have broadsided the White House, distracting from its agenda as aides grapple with a crisis involving the president’s family. The public has not laid eyes on the president since his return from Europe on Saturday. But in private, Trump has raged against the latest Russia development, with most of his ire directed at the media, not his son, according to people who have spoken to him in recent days. On Wednesday morning, Trump tweeted that his son was “open, transparent and innocent,” again referring to the investigation as “the greatest Witch Hunt in political history.” The president also questioned the sources of the media reporting on the story, despite the fact that his son personally released four pages of emails in which he communicates with an associate claiming to be arranging a meeting with a Russian government lawyer.———SLIGHT UPGRADE IN FORECAST FOR B.C. FIREFIGHTING: Fire officials in British Columbia say they’re relieved by a slight reprieve in the weather forecast that had been calling for strong winds where dozens of fires are burning. BC Wildfire Service chief information officer Kevin Skrepnek says an incoming system will bring lightning, but it is also expected to carry some rain. He says the overall pattern is for continuing hot, dry weather, but crews have taken advantage of calmer conditions to make progress on fire guards near Williams Lake, where 10,000 people remain on evacuation alert. Skrepnek says 12 new fires were sparked Tuesday, a fraction of the more than 100 that broke out daily over the weekend, for a total of 198 fires burning province-wide.———EX-BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT CONVICTION OF CORRUPTION: Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was convicted of corruption and money laundering on Wednesday. It’s the most high-profile conviction yet in a sweeping graft investigation that has jailed dozens of the Latin American country’s elite. Federal Judge Sergio Moro sentenced Silva to nine and half years in jail, but the former leader will remain free while an appeal is heard. The decision was widely expected, even by Silva’s own defence team, but is still stunning. The charismatic leader left office with sky-high popularity and is credited with pulling millions of Brazilians out of poverty and turning Latin America’s largest country into an important player on the world stage. The case is part of a massive corruption investigation centred on state-run oil giant Petrobras that has led to the conviction of dozens of business executives and politicians.———U.S. AGENCY SUSPENDS LARGE WHALE RESCUES: An American agency that responds to marine mammals in distress has halted its efforts to free large whales trapped in fishing gear following the recent death of a whale rescuer in New Brunswick. Chris Oliver, assistant administrator with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, extended condolences Wednesday to the family of Joe Howlett of Campobello Island. Howlett, who also worked as a lobster fisherman, was killed Monday after freeing a North Atlantic right whale that had been entangled in fishing gear near Shippagan, N.B. A close friend of Howlett’s said the 59-year-old veteran fisherman was hit by the whale just after it was cut free and started swimming away. “Because ensuring the safety of responders is of paramount importance, NOAA Fisheries is suspending all large whale entanglement response activities nationally until further notice, in order to review our own emergency response protocols,” Oliver said in a statement.———GROUP’S PLANS TO HONOUR DE GAULLE HIT SNAG: A Quebec nationalist group is accusing the City of Montreal of thwarting its plans to commemorate a now-iconic speech by former French president Charles de Gaulle. The Societe Saint-Jean-Baptiste says it wanted access to the balcony of city hall on July 24 to re-enact the moment when de Gaulle famously shouted “Vive le Quebec libre!” in 1967. Former Quebec premier Bernard Landry says he’s disappointed the city refused the group’s request to honour what he calls a turning point in the province’s independence movement. The organization intends to hold the event in front of city hall instead. The City of Montreal is organizing its own week-long exhibit to mark the 50-year anniversary of the famous speech. It’s also planning to open the balcony to the public for 30-minute guided tours on July 24.———CROSBY HINTS STANLEY CUP WILL RETURN TO HIS HOMETOWN: Hockey superstar Sidney Crosby is hinting that he will once again parade the Stanley Cup around his hometown in Nova Scotia. Speaking to reporters at his annual hockey camp in Cole Harbour, N.S., Crosby confirmed he will have the Cup on Aug. 6 and 7. He says his plans for the trophy have not been nailed down, but he noted there is an annual parade in Halifax on Aug. 7 — Crosby’s 30th birthday — and that seems like a “good fit.” Crosby says he wants as many people as possible to see the trophy. The Pittsburgh Penguins captain paraded professional hockey’s most prestigious trophy around his hometown of Cole Harbour twice before, in 2009 and 2016, drawing thousands of fans. Each player of the Cup-winning team gets brief custody of the trophy.———COLD WAR BUNKER COULD HOUSE BROADCAST ARCHIVE: It could give a whole new meaning to the term “buried treasure.” A national foundation wants to store millions of videos, films and other recordings 60 storeys underground in an old Norad bunker near North Bay, Ont., in an effort to preserve the vast electronic record of Canadian history. The Canadian Broadcast Museum Foundation is talking to federal officials about turning the mothballed complex into a secure repository for the country’s endangered audio-visual archive. The foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to preservation, is working with the CBC to document its analog collection dating from the 1930s — a move that will help smooth its eventual transfer to the foundation’s custody. Kealy Wilkinson, the foundation’s executive director, says the space needed to safeguard the CBC/Radio-Canada collections alone will be about one million cubic feet. The foundation is also aware of other significant collections held on a makeshift basis in institutions around the country.
LUBEC, Maine – A fishing-industry building on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places is half-submerged in waters near a Canadian island, and conservationists fear it could disintegrate before legal tangles are resolved.The Jan. 4 blizzard tore the brine shed from its mooring at McCurdy’s Smokehouse off Lubec, Maine, and it was blown to nearby Campobello Island in New Brunswick, the Bangor Daily News reported .The shed is among five buildings that comprise the last traditional smoked-herring facility in the U.S., and an organization called Lubec Landmarks has worked for almost 25 years to preserve it.Lubec Landmarks President Rachel Rubeor said legal tangles, including salvage rights claims by some Canadian citizens, could doom the building.“The bureaucratic nonsense is hampering us big time,” said Rubeor, who said vandals with chain saws are threatening to dismantle the building.A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, said the senator’s staff has worked to facilitate communication among organizations across all levels of government on both sides of the border “to help save and possibly preserve this historic landmark.”The shed’s remains, which include significant portions of its roof, flooring and fireplace plus some side walls, floated under the bridge between Lubec and the Canadian island.“It is just a miracle that it didn’t hit the bridge. It just sailed right through the pilings,” said Lubec Town Administrator Renee Gray.___Information from: Bangor Daily News, http://www.bangordailynews.com
Country superstar Shania Twain will proudly serve as the Grand Marshal of Opportunity Village’s Las Vegas Great Santa Run on Saturday, December 7, 2013. Marking the 5k’s ninth year, Twain will join thousands of Kris Kringles in Downtown Las Vegas for the nonprofit’s largest annual fundraiser.“It is an honor to partner with Opportunity Village on this incredible event,” said Twain, who currently headlines SHANIA: STILL THE ONE at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. “I love getting involved with the Las Vegas community and am excited to give back to such an amazing organization this holiday season.”As part of her Grand Marshal duties, Shania will welcome more than 10,000 Santa lookalikes and kick off the race alongside Opportunity Village’s “OVIP” clients. To encourage registration, Twain will head a Great Santa Run team for her fans to join, raising money for the wonderful, unique services provided by Opportunity Village. The following fundraising goals will lead to exclusive prizes, including: $50 – Official Team Shania T-Shirt $250 – Access to Team Shania VIP Tent with complimentary breakfast; Team Shania T-Shirt $500 – A pair of tickets to SHANIA:STILL THE ONE; access to Team Shania VIP Tent with complimentary breakfast; Team Shania T-Shirt $1,000 – A pair of VIP tickets to SHANIA:STILL THE ONE with VIP Meet and Greet after the show; access to Team Shania VIP Tent with complimentary breakfast; Team Shania T-ShirtSign up to be a part of Team Shania at the Great Santa Run here.“We are thrilled to have Ms. Twain involved in Las Vegas’ jolliest 5k,” said Linda Smith, Opportunity Village’s Chief Development Officer. “Her participation is a testament as to how far this run has come over the years, and we couldn’t be more excited to flood the streets of Downtown Las Vegas with Santas!”2013 will see the event’s return to Downtown Las Vegas, the original birthplace of the Great Santa Run. The race course will begin under the glowing overhead screens of Fremont Street Experience and continue throughout downtown, passing a number of landmarks and some of Las Vegas’ most captivating architecture. Participants can choose to run in the 5k or the one-mile Kris Kringle Jingle walk.Additionally, this year the Great Santa Run will fight to keep its reigning title of World Santa Challenge Champion. This friendly competition takes place between festive fun runs in cities across the globe, including Liverpool, Tasmania and Osaka, to see which race can accrue the most participants. During its nine year existence, the Las Vegas Great Santa Run has won the coveted award eight times.As in years past, the Great Santa Run will entertain with live performances, food, costume contests, celebrity appearances, and more, as local businesses join in on the fun in support of Opportunity Village.Pre-registration is open for the 2013 Great Santa Run at LasVegasSantaRun.org and costs $40 for individuals, $35 for team members (team pricing applies to groups of five or more) and $25 for children 12 and under; day-of registration is $50 for adults and $35 for children. The participation fee includes a five-piece Santa suit and gifts, with proceeds going to Opportunity Village.Opportunity Village is a not-for-profit organization that serves people in our community with significant intellectual disabilities, enriching their lives and the lives of the families who love them by providing meaningful work and life experiences. Recently voted by Las Vegas Review-Journal readers for “Best Community Organization,” for the second year in a row, Opportunity Village is Nevada’s largest employer of people with disabilities. Serving nearly 3,000 individuals annually, Opportunity Village provides its “OVIPs” with vocational training, employment, habilitation and social recreation programs and services to make their lives more productive and interesting.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and his wife Brittany are helping families affected by major flooding in Texas.The couple teamed up with Convoy of Hope and donated $50,000 to assist families as they recover from the flooding. Convoy of Hope has already distributed food, water and other much-needed supplies in Texas communities that flooded.“Convoy of Hope is an organization committed to helping people who are suffering,” says Brees. “As we’ve done in the past, we’re honored to help them reach families who need help.”The gift from the Brees’ also enabled Convoy of Hope to send multiple disaster response vehicles into the affected areas including a mobile command center, heavy equipment truck, refrigerated trailer loaded with relief supplies, two debris removal trailers, a debris removal van, a volunteer coordination trailer, equipment trailer and two field utility vehicles.Brees and The Brees Dream Foundation first partnered with Convoy of Hope after an EF-5 tornado slammed Joplin, Mo., in 2011. Since 2013, the organizations have continued to work together in recovery efforts following Superstorm Sandy.“We truly appreciate Drew and Brittany’s partnership,” says Hal Donaldson, president and co-founder of Convoy of Hope. “Their personal generosity and their work through The Brees Dream Foundation has given many people help and hope during desperate times.”
Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), the nation’s #1 advocate for kids and teens, launched their new Boys & Girls Clubs – Alumni & Friends Club to engage its estimated 16 million Club Alumni.Alongside Alumni & Friends Club spokesperson Shaquille O’Neal, numerous other celebrity ambassadors, hundreds of local Boys & Girls Clubs, corporate and media partners, BGCA is calling former Club members to join the movement in building great futures for the next generation.“Boys & Girls Clubs have impacted the future of multiple generations, with 54 percent of our Alumni saying that their Club saved their lives,” said Jim Clark, president & CEO of BGCA. “We want to reconnect with the millions of former Club kids and issue a call to action to come together as advocates and ambassadors for Clubs around the country, so that every kid in America has an open door to a great future.”It’s estimated that one out of every 16 Americans has been a Club kid at one point in their life. In an effort to reconnect, BGCA is leveraging the power of social media and rallying its celebrity alumni and friends as part of this effort with well-known supporters like Shaquille O’Neal, Jennifer Lopez, Usher, Evander Holyfield, Nick Cannon, Queen Latifah, Victor Cruz, Michael Phelps and others encouraging their social media fans and followers and the millions of Club Alumni to join.More than 45 of BGCA’s corporate supporters are also joining this effort long-term, with companies like Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Nestlé USA, Anthem Foundation, AT&T, Staples, Raytheon, Comcast NBCUniversal, Fox Sports, Bank of America among others engaging their combined millions of employees, as well as friends and followers on social media to join the Alumni & Friends Club and impact a kid’s life forever.“It is imperative for all Club Alumni to come together to support kids in this country,” said Larry Young, president and CEO of Dr Pepper Snapple Group. Larry and his wife Colette co-chair BGCA’s Alumni & Friends initiative. “My Boys & Girls Club was an important part of my childhood and also taught me the importance of giving back. I’m inviting all alum to join me to help build a great future for the next generation of leaders.”As part of the Alumni & Friends Club launch, BGCA is introducing a new PSA illustrating stories of celebrity and professional alumni, and how the Club equipped them with tools they needed to be successful adults. In a recent survey of Club Alumni, over a third (33 percent) reported that without the Club they would have dropped out of high school. Nearly 66 percent of Alumni reported that they became more committed to their education because of the Club and 64 percent said that the Club helped them improve their grades.BGCA’s aim is for the Alumni & Friends Club to be a network of youth advocates and Club supporters committed to giving back and helping Clubs serve more members, more often, to increase the impact on kids who need the Club’s support and guidance the most. For every new Alumni & Friends Club Member joining in September, a Club membership will be donated for a kid in need.Today, Boys & Girls Clubs serve nearly four million kids annually at more than 4,100 locations throughout the U.S. and worldwide at BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations as well as on Native lands. The organization’s vision is that all Club members graduate from high school with a plan for the future, demonstrating good character, citizenship, 21st century leadership skills and leading a healthy lifestyle. While BGCA’s reach is unparalleled, the crisis facing America’s kids remains paramount. In the U.S., every afternoon 11 million kids (one in five) leave school with no place to go, and they risk being unguided and unsafe.“We can build a better future for our nation’s kids,” said Clark. “Who better to do that than the millions of Club Alumni whose lives were forever changed at a Boys & Girls Club? We encourage everyone, whether you are alumnus or friend, to join us and be a Boys & Girls Club member for life.”For more information and to join the Alumni & Friends Club, go to bgcalum.org.
Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment “LETTERKENNY continues to be a leading performer in the CraveTV lineup, and so as we finalize Season 2 launch plans, we are delivering a Season 3 pick-up now to capitalize on the incredible momentum oozing from this amazing production team,” said Mike Cosentino, Senior Vice-President, CTV and Specialty.“LETTERKENNY is a distinctive and authentic, proudly original program that not only drives views, but also subscriber acquisition, making today’s announcement a great day for comedy fans everywhere,” said Tracey Pearce, President, Distribution and Pay, Bell Media.Season 1 of LETTERKENNY had the biggest debut of any series on CraveTV since the premium TV streaming service launched in 2014, with more CraveTV users watching LETTERKENNY than any other series or title on CraveTV. LETTERKENNY is based on the Internet sensation Letterkenny Problems, a series of shorts which have raked in more than 18 million views. Created and co-written by Jared Keeso of Bravo’s hit Canadian Screen Award-nominated original drama 19-2, LETTERKENNY is executive produced, directed, and co-written by Jacob Tierney (The Trotsky), who returns for Season 2.With just one season unveiled on CraveTV, LETTERKENNY has already garnered Texas-sized acclaim from critics and celebrities and inspired fan-generated videos, and memes. Below are just a few samples of fan praise, among them, mega-stars Jay Baruchel and Kevin Smith.! @LetterkennyProb is the funniest TV show that I’m not the lead of! @BaruchelNDG“You cross-fit?” “Well you can cross-f@ck off.” #LetterKenny is my new favorite anything ever. F@ck it’s hysterical!” @ThatKevinSmithFan-generated recreations:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iGbla24h-IOn super soft birthdays:LETTERKENNY revolves around the dustups Wayne (Keeso) and his buds get into with their small-town Ontario rivals. There’s The Hicks, the Skids, and the Hockey Players, who get at each other about the most mundane things, often ending with someone getting their ass kicked. LETTERKENNY is produced by New Metric Media (What Would Sal Do?), in partnership with DHX Media in association with Bell Media, with the participation of Canadian Media Fund, OMDC Tax Credits and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund. Jacob Tierney (The Trotsky) is executive producer, director, and co-writer. Patrick O’Sullivan and Mark Montefiore (Cas & Dylan) are executive producers for New Metric Media. Sarah Fowlie is Director, Independent Production, Comedy, Bell Media. Executive for Bell Media is Bill Lundy. Corrie Coe is Senior Vice-President, Independent Production, Bell Media. Tracey Pearce is President, Distribution and Pay, Bell Media. Randy Lennox is President, Broadcasting and Content, Bell Media. Twitter TORONTO (August 8, 2016) – As announced on Saturday during Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation’s event highlighting the year’s successful productions in Sudbury, CraveTV confirms that it has ordered a third season of LETTERKENNY. Season 1 has been battin’ a hundy p, so CraveTV’s keepin ‘er goin’ with another six-pack slated to begin production in 2017. This toe-curling announcement comes just weeks after production wrapped on Season 2, which is set to premiere on CraveTV later this year. The half-hour, small-town comedy is produced by New Metric Media in partnership with DHX Media, and shoots on location in and around Sudbury, ON. Season 1 is currently streaming on CraveTV.“Canadian comedy has always had a unique voice but LETTERKENNY stands apart,” said Corrie Coe, Senior Vice-President, Independent Production, Bell Media. “We’re excited to continue working with Jared, Jacob, the exceptionally talented cast, our tireless production partners New Metric Media, and of course the city of Sudbury, as LETTERKENNY heads back to the farm.” CraveTV on TwitterCraveTV on FacebookAbout Bell Media Independent ProductionBell Media has commissioned some of Canada’s most-watched and most-acclaimed original programming, working with the best Canadian independent producers in the country. Hit series commissioned by CTV include ratings success stories SAVING HOPE, MOTIVE, the record-breaking THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, MASTERCHEF CANADA, and the upcoming drama CARDINAL. Among the original scripted series on Bell Media pay, specialty, and streaming platforms are the internationally acclaimed ORPHAN BLACK, the smash-hit thriller BITTEN, Space’s most-watched original series KILLJOYS, Bravo’s most-watched original drama 19-2, award-winning dramedy SENSITIVE SKIN, CraveTV’s first original series LETTERKENNY, and Discovery’s upcoming drama FRONTIER. Discovery is also home to Bell Media’s hit factual series HIGHWAY THRU HELL, COLD WATER COWBOYS, and CANADA’S WORST DRIVER, among others.About New Metric MediaNew Metric Media is a film, television, and new media production company that works with top creative talent to produce outstanding film, television, and new media content to entertain the world over. New Metric Media’s past and present projects include the upcoming series WHAT WOULD SAL DO? and the feature film Cas & Dylan, directed by Jason Priestley and starring Academy Award®-winner Richard Dreyfuss and Golden Globe®-nominee Tatiana Maslany. For more information visit www.newmetricmedia.com.About DHX MediaDHX Media Ltd. (www.dhxmedia.com) is the world’s leading independent, pure-play kids’ content company. Owner of the world’s largest independent library of kids’ and family content, at more than 11,500 half-hours, DHX Media is recognized globally for such brands as Teletubbies, Yo Gabba Gabba!, Caillou, In the Night Garden, Inspector Gadget, Make It Pop, Slugterra and the multiple award-winning Degrassi franchise. DHX Media is comprised of four main business units: DHX Studios creates high-quality original entertainment at its Vancouver and Halifax animation studios, its Toronto live-action studio, and in working with top international producers; DHX Distribution is a major provider of content to the global market; DHX Television, home to the Family suite of channels, is dedicated to delivering best-in-class programming to Canadian families; and DHX Brands specializes in creating, building and managing high-profile global entertainment brands within the children’s and young-adult markets. DHX Media also owns the full-service international licensing agency, Copyright Promotions Licensing Group Ltd. (CPLG), which represents numerous entertainment, sport and design brands. DHX Media has offices in 15 cities worldwide, including Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Barcelona, Milan, Munich, Amsterdam and Beijing. The Company is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol DHXM, and on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols DHX.A and DHX.B.About CraveTVCreated for TV lovers and devoted to television, CraveTV is Canada’s premium TV streaming service, providing the most robust lineup of superior television content in the country. From TV’s most-acclaimed dramas and beloved comedies to documentaries, music, and factual programming, CraveTV features thousands of hours of premium non-kids TV programming, representing hundreds of unique titles including the entire off-air library of HBO’s iconic programming catalogue and hundreds of hours of acclaimed SHOWTIME series and specials. CraveTV is available directly to all Canadians with access to the Internet, as well as to customers of Eastlink, TELUS Optik TV, Bell Fibe TV, Bell Satellite TV, Bell Aliant FibreOP TV, Access Communications, Northwestel, SaskTel, Cable Cable, Hay Communications, Mitchell Seaforth Cable TV, Tuckersmith Communications, Wightman Telecom subscribers, NRTC Communications, WTC Communications, Tbaytel, Execulink Telecom, and VMedia. Available through traditional set-top boxes, mobile apps on iOS, Android, and Microsoft Windows 8.1, the web, Apple TV, Chromecast, and select Samsung Smart TVs, and CraveTV will soon be available via select game consoles. CraveTV is from Bell Media, Canada’s premier multi-media company with more than a decade of leadership delivering Canada’s most-watched and most-acclaimed television programming across the Pay, Specialty, Digital, and Network TV landscapes. For more on CraveTV, visit www.CraveTV.ca. 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Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement For rules and information – CLICK HERE Advertisement Facebook In celebration of Canada 150, Vancouver Asian Film Festival (VAFF) is launching the Canada 150 / China Scriptwriting Competition to better reflect Canada’s diversity across the country’s feature filmmaking landscape.The winner will receive a cash prize of CAD$10,000.Register and send in your pitch and script! Competition open to everyone. Login/Register With: Twitter