TORONTO – A man who set up a private online forum devoted to trashing and sexually degrading a former friend had his criminal harassment conviction upheld on Wednesday.In its ruling, Ontario’s top court rejected an attempt by Darrin Sim to have the conviction quashed, saying the trial judge made no mistakes in finding him guilty.“By any standard, Sim’s conduct was morally reprehensible,” the Appeal Court said.Court records show that Sim and the woman, who cannot be identified, were friends for several years starting in 2001 when he was 29 years old. He developed unrequited romantic feelings toward her and both eventually married other people and started families, the records show.They later began emailing updates on their lives and, in 2009, he asked her for photographs of herself, which she sent.In November 2010, court heard, Sim set up a Yahoo group forum and recruited about 150 members. The topic of the online group focused on the “degradation” of the woman, court documents show. She knew nothing about it.Evidence was that Sim posted extensive biographical details and photos of the woman. He also wrote “false, degrading, vile, and grotesque sexualized commentary” about her, according to the court. He urged group members to post their own ugly comments, share crude sexual fantasies involving her, and to upload altered photographs of her in a sexually degrading way.The aim, he posted on the forum, was to make the woman look like the “little slut she is.”Someone alerted her in April 2013 to the group, which by that time had more than 1,500 members, court records indicate. Through a co-worker, she was able to gain full access to the site and gather screenshots that included multiple perverted and sexual message strings about her.Among photographs on the website was one from her wedding alongside a sexually lewd caption. Posted details included her name, age, weight, height, bra size, underwear size, hobbies, education, occupation, and the number of children she had.The woman was “shocked and frightened by what she saw,” the Appeal Court said. She went to police, who charged Sim with criminal harassment and publishing defamatory libel.In October last year, Ontario court Judge Mitch Hoffman convicted Sim of criminal harassment but acquitted him of the libel charge.“The accused’s threatening conduct towards the complainant was done while he was at least reckless as to whether she was harassed,” Hoffman said.On appeal, Sim argued no proof existed that he meant to threaten her.In dismissing the appeal, the higher court noted Sim’s conviction fell under a section of the Criminal Code that bars “threatening conduct directed at a person.” Sim’s notion that criminal harassment requires specific intent to “instill fear” simply doesn’t square with the law, the Appeal Court said.The key question is would a reasonable person feel threatened by the impugned conduct, not what the accused was thinking, the court said.“The objective assessment must consider the circumstances in which the conduct took place, and the effects that the conduct actually had on the complainant,” the Appeal Court said in upholding the guilty finding.
REGINA – Saskatchewan’s legislature resumed Monday with new leaders on both sides of the house, and a new Speaker to act as a referee in their debates.Premier Scott Moe told reporters on Monday he’s looking forward to getting used to colleagues in both his own government and the Opposition.“I think it’s a time for some degree of renewal here in the government,” Moe told reporters Monday.“I’m looking forward to the session and we’re looking forward to working not only with colleagues on the government side of the house but the Opposition side as well.”Moe became premier when he won the Saskatchewan Party leadership contest at the end of January, replacing Brad Wall, who has retired from politics.The Opposition NDP elected Ryan Meili as its new leader earlier this month.Mark Docherty, an MLA for Regina Coronation Park, beat out six other candidates and was elected as the new Speaker on Monday to replace Corey Tochor.Tochor resigned in January to challenge MP Brad Trost for the federal Conservative nomination in Saskatoon-University. Tochor succeeded on Saturday, and will need to resign at some point as the member for Saskatoon Eastview.Meili has called on Moe to seek a new mandate from voters sooner than the next fixed election date in November 2020, saying last week the government really doesn’t have a mandate.But Moe has said his government will continue working to fulfil the plan it laid out in 2016.A new budget is due soon, and Wall’s last austerity budget produced deep divisions — so deep that some of the cuts have been reversed or scaled back.Moe promised during his leadership campaign to hire 400 positions in the education sector, but also faces a shortage in revenues due to slumping oil and gas prices.“He’s now got this dance to do between what promises does he have to keep now, what promises can he delay and how much austerity is there going to be in this budget that’s coming in early April,” explained Tom McIntosh, professor of politics and international studies at the University of Regina.McIntosh said Moe has committed to balancing the budget by 2020, but that likely means deeper cuts will be necessary unless energy revenues improve.“If we get another budget like that (2016) one and there’s outrage and upset, I think it’s an indication Moe is going to go his two years, and that closer to the fixed date, he’ll hope things are looking better economically,” McIntosh said.“It strikes me that Scott Moe will not want to run on a real austerity program.”Meili told party members during the convention that elected him that he supports pharmacare, restoring a provincial bus service that was cut by the Saskatchewan Party and protecting the province’s Crown corporations.The Saskatchewan Party handily won three recent byelections in safer, rural seats, but McIntosh said Moe may use urban byelections to gauge whether he could go to the polls early.In addition to the byelection to replace Tochor in Saskatoon, a byelection may be needed in Regina Walsh Acres. The Saskatchewan Party’s Warren Steinley has announced his intention to seek the federal Conservative nomination in Regina-Lewvan, a seat currently held by Erin Weir of the NDP.“If the SaskParty holds those seats that might be a temptation for Moe to say look, maybe it’s not as bad in the cities as we thought. Maybe we’ll lose a few, but let’s go for it now rather than wait two more years,” McIntosh said.
Benedict Cumberbatch, Michelle Dockery, Tom Hardy, Gillian Anderson, Idris Elba, Eddie Redmayne, Anna Friel, Sheridan Smith and Steve Coogan have come together in an exclusive short film and set of photographs shot by renowned English photographer and film director Greg Williams to support Stand Up To Cancer which launches today (Monday 8 September).Video: Act Now. Save Lives. Stand Up To CancerDemonstrating the need for urgency in the fight against cancer, the short film (57secs) features each A- list star running towards the camera in a defiant stance. Cut with portraits of cancer patients who are also supporting the Stand Up To Cancer campaign, the film is bold, brave and moving and shows unity and collective defiance in the face of this devastating disease. The set of photographs accompanying the film also demonstrate the urgent message that we need to act now to accelerate new cancer treatments to UK patients and save more lives.Greg Williams said: “It’s been an honour to be involved in the Stand Up To Cancer campaign. I lost my mum to cancer, something I feel strongly that no one should ever have to experience. By making this film and collection of images, I’ve been able to help to bring Stand Up To Cancer’s vital work to the fore and help build momentum in the fight against cancer.”Idris Elba said: “Stand Up To Cancer is a brilliant campaign that will turn the tables on cancer, accelerate new treatments and ultimately save more lives. I know from personal experiences the devastating effect that cancer can have on people’s lives. My own father passed away from lung cancer in September 2013. It affected the whole family, turned our lives upside down and is truly something that we absolutely need to stop in the future. What we need to do this is funding, and that’s why it’s so important for people to do what they can to support Stand Up To Cancer and help beat cancer sooner.”Benedict Cumberbatch said: “I’m standing up to cancer because some of the real life heroes amongst us, scientists and researchers, need funding so they can continue their life saving work. Cures are within our grasp and we can’t slow down in our fight against this terrible disease. We can be the generation that really makes a difference, who wouldn’t want to be part of that?”Michelle Dockery said: “I’m very proud to be supporting Stand Up To Cancer and hope it will help raise the vital funds needed to get treatment to patients faster.”Gillian Anderson said: “The reason I’m supporting Stand Up To Cancer is that I truly believe that we can make a difference and beat this terrible disease. We all have the power to help change statistics and save lives, we just need to unite together, take control and make a stand. Survival rates have improved tremendously but we still need to do more. We need to let cancer know that it’s now payback time and we will do whatever is in our power to beat it.”Sheridan Smith said: “Cancer sadly affects so many of us which is why I’m supporting this amazing campaign to help raise funds for vital research. I really hope that by joining together as a united group to fight cancer one day, no-one’s family member or friend will have to lose their life to cancer.”Stand Up To Cancer is a joint national fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4 raising funds to accelerate new cancer treatments to patients and save more lives. People can join the frontline against cancer this autumn through fundraising, buying Stand Up To Cancer merchandise, and tuning into the live TV show on Channel 4 on Friday 17th October.
Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott says Canada, through forthcoming legislation co-developed with Inuit, Métis and First Nations, is aiming to put an end to “scooping children.” Justin Brake/APTN News.Justin BrakeAPTN NewsCanada will begin work with First Nations, Inuit and Métis to develop new child welfare legislation that Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott hopes will end the “scooping” of Indigenous children from their families.At an announcement on Parliament Hill Friday morning Philpott said the federal government will begin co-developing new legislation to address what it and others have called a “humanitarian crisis” in Canada.Upward of 40,000 Indigenous children are in state care in Canada – more than half of all children in care across the country. At the same time, Indigenous children make up just 7.7 per cent of the child population in Canada.“Every day in this country, on our watch, someone walks into a home, or perhaps a hospital room, where a First Nations or Inuit or Metis mother has given birth, and that baby, toddler or child is taken away from their family,” Philpott said in her opening remarks during the announcement.“They are taken away for the most part on the basis of something that is euphemistically called neglect, but in truth they are taken for reasons of economic poverty. Inadequate housing. Unresolved health issues,” she continued.“This is our modern day variation on the legacy of residential schools.”She said the new legislation “marks a turning point” for Canada and Indigenous peoples.“For a century now, based on discriminatory policies of government, we have been taking children away from their families. It started with residential schools, it continued in the Sixties Scoop, and still today children are being taken from their families.“This legislation marks a turning point to say no more — no more scooping children, no more ripping apart families, no more lost children who don’t know their language, their culture, their lineage.”Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) President Natan Obed, Métis National Council President Clément Chartier and Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde all welcomed the announcement.“It’s a new chapter for our children and families, a new chapter where we write the laws and policies that apply to our children,” Bellegarde said.“I look forward to action on closing the gap for First Nations children, to working towards systems that focuses on prevention as opposed to apprehension, working towards a system that respects First Nations language, laws and cultures.”Obed said the announcement marked “an immensely proud moment” for him as a political leader.“From the time that there has been Canada and the assertion of control over Inuit, there has been a disrespect for Inuit children’s rights,” he said.“This is ending. This is now going to be replaced with specific legislation that ensures that Inuit children and their rights are upheld.”“There has been a disrespect for Inuit children’s rights” by Canada, ITK President Natan Obed said Friday. “This is ending.” Justin Brake/APTN News.Obed added the legislative changes aren’t just owed to Indigenous peoples and children, but also “an obligation that Canada has to itself.“It is a measuring stick on how Canada is as a Nation within the world,” he said.Chartier said the coming legislation, which will be introduced in early 2019, “is big,” and will benefit his people the most.“For well over 100 years we have been ignored and marginalized, our rights repressed, our rights denied, our existence as a Nation of people denied,” he said.Chartier said he would like to see this legislation ushered in alongside the Indigenous rights framework the government is also working on in order to expedite the full recognition and implementation of Indigenous rights belonging to Métis people.Philpott said she has met with provincial and territorial Indigenous Relations or child and family services ministers, and that the provinces “are in various states of enthusiasm about what this will look like.“But I think there is overall a very positive spirit of recognizing the challenge that is there and a desire to do something different.”Philpott said most provinces have recently undertaken reviews of their own legislation and policies on Indigenous child welfare, and that she hopes the feds and Indigenous leaders can work with the provinces “to recognize the different circumstances” that exist in each jurisdiction.A news release from the government Friday morning explained the legislation is the result of 65 consultations with upward of 2,000 individuals from Indigenous governments, organizations, and grassroots groups, totalling nearly 2,000 individuals.Métis National Council President Clément Chartier said he would like to see the legislation developed and implemented quickly for the benefit of his people. Justin Brake/APTN News.“The message to the government was that legislation could help to protect the best interests of the child,” the release says, adding the approach to developing the legislation will be “broad-based” and “inclusive of all Indigenous peoples while respecting a distinctions-based approach.”The legislation will “affirm inherent Aboriginal and Treaty rights as well as affirm principles consistent with the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child,” the release says.The TRC’s fourth call to action compels the federal government “to enact Aboriginal child-welfare legislation that establishes national standards for Aboriginal child apprehension and custody cases.”Canada was also compelled by a 2016 Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling that the government’s First Nations Child and Family Services Program was discriminatory.Earlier this year an emergency meeting on child welfare was held with representatives from Indigenous governments and organizations, and grassroots people, from which Canada announced a plan that included the legislation.“A pillar of the legislation will be the right to self-determination of Indigenous peoples to freely determine their laws, policies and practices in relation to Indigenous child and family services,” Friday’s news release firstname.lastname@example.org@JustinBrakeNews
Mumbai: The BSE Sensex soared 537 points and the NSE Nifty reclaimed the 11,400 level Friday in a broad-based rally led by banking and auto stocks ahead of exit poll results, despite global headwinds. The 30-share BSE benchmark closed 537.29 points, or 1.44 per cent, higher at 37,930.77. It hit an intra-day high of 38,001.13 and a low of 37,415.36. Similarly, the broader Nifty rose 150.05 points, or 1.33 per cent, to settle at 11,407.15. During the day, it hit a high of 11,426.15 and a low of 11,259.85. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: Icra In the Sensex pack, Bajaj Finance and Bajaj Auto ended up to 6.09 per cent higher after posting strong quarterly numbers. Hero MotoCorp, Maruti, Kotak Bank, HDFC, HUL, M&M, HDFC Bank, ITC, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Coal India, SBI, IndusInd Bank and Asian Paints were also among the top gainers, rising up to 4.26 per cent. On the other hand, Yes Bank, Vedanta, Infosys, HCL Tech, Sun Pharma, TCS and NTPC ended up to 2.36 per cent lower. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysInvestors lapped up banking and auto stocks, boosting key indices, ahead of the exit poll results scheduled for Sunday. Broader indices followed the benchmarks, with the BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices settling in the green. While Japanese stocks ended higher, bourses in China and Korea ended in the red amid the US-China trade conflict. European equities too opened significantly lower. The Indian rupee depreciated by 16 paise to 70.20 against the US dollar intra-day. Global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.26 per cent higher at USD 72.81 per barrel.
More Canadians are willing to enter a bidding war and fight it out to secure a property, according to a home buying report released Wednesday by Bank of Montreal.[np_storybar title=”In Canada’s housing market here’s what $500 K buys: A lake in Edmonton … a condo in Toronto” link=”https://business.financialpost.com/2014/02/21/in-canadas-housing-market-heres-what-500-k-buys-a-lake-in-edmonton-a-condo-in-toronto/”%5DFrom four bedrooms in Windsor to one-bedroom in Vancouver, check out how far $500,000 goes in 8 major markets across Canada. Read on [/np_storybar]It says 34% of Canadians surveyed are willing to enter a bidding war when it’s time to buy a home, an increase of six points, or 21%, from a year ago.The survey, conducted by Pollara for BMO, suggests the appetite for competitive bids among major cities is the highest in Toronto, at 44%, and Vancouver, at 41%.On a provincial basis, prospective buyers in the Prairies and British Columbia are the most willing to compete on the price of a home, with a reading of 38% in both regions.The BMO survey also reports current homeowners say they visited an average of 9.5 homes before buying. While 49% said they were successful on their first bid, the figure drops to 42% among those who bought in the past five years — including 32% in Vancouver and 24% in Toronto.The survey results are based on random online interviews with 2,007 Canadians between Jan. 24 and Feb. 3. Of those, 1,051 were prospective homebuyers and the remainder were current homeowners.The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.
Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today called for reconciliation in Sri Lanka and an honorable settlement for the Tamil issue.He said this while addressing the Rajya Sabha after the Indian President had given a speech, the Indian Prime Minister’s office said. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid refused to spell out the Indian government’s stand on the upcoming UN rights panel vote on Sri Lanka but said it would take into consideration parliamentarians’ views on the issue.Not satisfied with the minister’s response, members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and AIADMK, DMK and MDMK walked out of the Lok Sabha where Khurshid was replying to a short duration discussion on the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils.The Congress Party said that Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has made it very clear that any reports that come of violation of human rights is something that needs to be condemned. The Prime Minister said India is willing to work with the Sri Lankan government to ensure that the Tamil people get a chance to lead a life of dignity as equal citizens. “There must be political reconciliation. The Sri Lankan Government must take initiatives to work with the Tamil leaders in Sri Lanka,” the Prime Minister said. Just yesterday the Indian Lok Sabha had a heated debate on the Sri Lankan issue with both opposition and government members exchanging views and raising concerns.The Indian opposition called on the Indian government to push for a political solution in Sri Lanka and urge the government to adress human rights concerns. Congress spokesperson Sandeep Dikshit said the Prime Minister and the External Affairs Ministry are constantly in touch with the Sri Lankan Government to ensure that rights of the Tamils enshrined both in their constitution and various agreements are followed through.
IN 1917, THE Member of Parliament for East Clare, William Redmond, died in the Battle of Messines in Belgium.In the ensuing by-election, a young whippersnapper by the name of Éamon de Valera gained a seat in parliament for the first time, and would go on to dominate Irish politics for the following century.However, little has been done to mark this milestone in Irish politics, and the current Labour TD for Clare Michael McNamara believes Redmond should be included in the programme of commemorations taking place as part of the Decade of Centenaries.“My request is that that a suitable opportunity be found over the next few years to commemorate the life, work and death of a distinguished and honourable man,” he said.The centenary of Eamon de Valera’s victory in East Clare in 1917 will rightly be commemorated but I also believe that some space should be afforded to his long forgotten predecessor.McNamara says that Redmond disliked British rule in Ireland, but fought in World War as he feared that Ireland would be quickly overrun by an invading Germany.“He believed that Protestants and Catholics serving together at the Front could act as a catalyst for reconciliation. He believed that the shared experience of the trenches was bringing Irishmen together and overcoming the differences between Unionists and Nationalists.”De Valera, who was 21 years younger than Redmond, did not fight in World War 1 and went on to take part in the 1916 Rising.Pics: Enda Kenny and David Cameron honour war dead in Belgium >Slideshow: Irish World War I recruitment posters >Ó Cuív: Historic differences shouldn’t stop Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael coalition debate >
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras says he is 100 percent certain that 2013 will be Greece’s last year of recession.The country’s economic downturn started in 2008 but speaking to the BBC’s Mark Lowen in Athens, Stournaras said Greeks had reason to be optimistic.“I feel sure, 100 percent certain that this will be the last year of Greece’s recession,” he said. “Towards the last quarter of 2013, we are going to have recovery.”The probability of Greece leaving the euro – Grexit – is now very small,” Stournaras added.“We have managed to turn the economy around. From the markets, there’s much more optimism. Deposits are coming back to banks, the government is paying its arrears to the private sector and there is a change in how Europe sees us. So all the leading indicators are positive. We are two-thirds of the way towards our target. So people can have hope.”Stournaras repeated previous comments that Greece was open to the idea of another debt reduction but remained tight-lipped about how this should happen.“I would welcome a reduction of the level of debt – but there are many ways to achieve that,” he said. “But it should happen in a way that minimises the loss to other parties.”Stournaras was also candid about the mistakes made by Greece and its lenders over the country’s fiscal adjustment program.“Greece was forced to cut too far, too fast,” he said. “In hindsight, we should have placed more emphasis on structural reform and privatisations at the start. But we can’t go back. There’s no point crying over spilt milk. The eurozone was not prepared for the crisis.”Stournaras also responded to a question about a possible British exit from the European Union by insisting that there should no scope for the country to renegotiate the terms of its EU membership.“It would be a grave mistake for Britain to leave the EU,” he said. “Britain belongs to Europe politically, financially and from a cultural point of view.”Source: Kathimerini
Une liste de médicaments mis sous surveillanceL’Agence française de sécurité sanitaire des produits de santé (Afssaps) a publié une liste sur laquelle figure les médicaments sous surveillance. Il s’agit là de mieux informer les patients et de transformer le système de contrôle actuel en un organisme plus indépendant et transparent.Conséquence de l’affaire du Mediator qui fait parler d’elle chaque jour depuis plusieurs semaines, l’Afssaps a publié une liste des “médicaments sous surveillance” (lien non disponible). Ainsi, 59 médicaments sont concernés parmi lesquels le Symbicort et le Champix, à l’origine d’une nouvelle polémique aux Etats-Unis (voir notre article).Chaque médicament qui se trouve sur la liste fait l’objet d’une procédure spéciale de suivi des effets indésirables ou voit sa balance bénéfices/risques remise en question. Des médicaments en tout genre figurent sur cette liste, comme une pilule du lendemain par exemple. De son côté, Bruno Toussaint, directeur de la rédaction de la revue médicale Prescrire, a déjà fait savoir que selon lui, de nombreux traitements devraient d’ores et déjà être retirés du marché. Sa revue recommande un affichage spécial sur les boîtes des produits dits “à risques” (voir notre article). Xavier Bertrand a de plus fait savoir il y a quelques jours que l’Afssaps devrait bientôt être financé par subvention d’Etat et non plus grâce aux industriels. Le 19 janvier 2011 à 15:29 • Emmanuel Perrin
Google+ Pinterest SPOILERS: 9/6 Impact TV Tapings from Las Vegas to air on Pursuit and Twitch Facebook SPOILERS: 9/5 Impact TV Tapings from Las Vegas to air on Pursuit and Twitch UFC has posted video following the main event of UFC 226 on Saturday night that saw current WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar make an appearance.As reported earlier, Lesnar showed up on camera at ringside shortly before the main event of UFC 226 that featured Stipe Miocic defend the UFC Heavyweight Championship against UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier in a champion vs. champion bout.Following his knockout win over Miocic in the first round, the new UFC Heavyweight Champion Cormier took the mic and immediately invited Lesnar inside the octagon hinting at a possible Heavyweight Championship fight between the two down the line.It’s been heavily rumored the last week that Lesnar was making plans to re-enter the USADA testing pool in order to make a return to mixed martial arts for the UFC this year. Last July, then UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones called out Lesnar after a win over Cormier. That fight never ended up coming to fruition after Jones tested positive under USADA shortly after the fight, forcing UFC to put the title back on Cormier.Either way, Lesnar’s days as the current WWE Universal Champion could be limited. His last appearance for the company took place overseas in Saudi Arabia at the Greatest Royal Rumble event getting another win over Roman Reigns following WrestleMania 34. Lesnar has not made an appearance on WWE television ever since, although the working idea was that he would be defending his title in some form at SummerSlam in August. Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter WhatsApp WWE reportedly planning to hold a draft for RAW and SmackDown this coming October
OLYMPIA — An early morning fire has heavily damaged a place of worship in Olympia that was targeted by arson earlier this year.The Olympia Fire Department said on Twitter that the blaze began at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses around 3:15 a.m. Tuesday.It’s the same place that was damaged in an early morning fire in March. Olympia Police released surveillance video of the arsonist in that fire hoping for leads but no arrests have been made in that case.KIRO-TV reports that a person of interest was taken into custody several blocks from Tuesday’s fire.No one was inside the church at the time.Authorities are investigating.
A reminder that emails are still needed to ensure that funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Pesticide Programs is funded at the levels required by law. At the American Soybean Association’s (ASA) request, Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) are leading an effort for the House’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget.Please visit the Soy Action Center to email your members of Congress. ISSUE BACKGROUND:OPP is authorized in the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA), which sets timelines for the EPA to review and register pesticides as well as collect fees from registrants for products.Before registrants are required to pay fees, Congress is supposed to meet a minimum appropriation of $128.3 million/year.However, in recent years the Appropriations Committee have waived that provision and funding has been below the levels set in law, around $120 million/year.Because of inadequate funding, staffing at OPP has decreased significantly which can cause delays in the review, registration, and renewal of products.In turn, that means that producers can’t get the crop protection tools they need or may need to wait another planting season for much-needed options to deal with pest and disease problems.ACTION NEEDED:ASA needs all affiliate members to use the Soy Action Center to email their members of Congress today and ask that lawmakers join Rep. Yoho’s appropriations request to fund OPP at the levels mandated by Congress.
A crowd of more than 400 were asked Sunday morning to “never forget” during a 9/11 tenth anniversary ceremony at the Vancouver Landing on the Columbia River.Veterans, firefighters, police officers and parents with children filled the amphitheater next to the Red Lion Hotel at the Quay.Presenters included Vancouver Fire Chief Joseph Molina, Vancouver Police Chief Cliff Cook and Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt.“The promise we made that day was to remember … to never forget,” Molina told the crowd.More details to come later Sunday.
State officials came to the aid of a bear with a can stuck on its head along the Alaska Highway.Download AudioWildlife Technician Bob Gingue approaches the bear after it’s been darted, preparing to remove the coffee can. (Photo courtesy of Jeff Wells, Alaska Department of Fish and Game)Tok Area Alaska Department of Fish and Game assistant biologist Jeff Wells said the agency and State Troopers were notified about the bear Monday morning by drivers who spotted in along Alcan about 15 miles outside town.”We started receiving calls that a black bear had a whole metal coffee can stuck around its head,” Wells said.Wells said the bear drew the attention of several drivers, in what he describes as a remote spot near the Taylor Highway turn off. He says the bear, a small adult male, had taken refuge under a tractor trailer when Fish and Game arrived on scene.”It was laying off the side of the road under a semi and we were able to dart it while it was laying under there,” Wells said. “We used some tin snips to open up the opening enough so we could slide it off its head.”Wells said the bear did not suffer any injuries, woke up and walked away after the can was removed and the tranquilizer had worn off. He describes the incident as very rare, adding it’s unclear where the empty metal coffee can came from, cautioning people not to leave out food containers which can attract bears. He also underscores the importance of leaving wildlife rescues up to professionals, noting that a concerned citizen reportedly tried to remove the can from the bear before fish and Game arrived on scene.
Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprnListen nowAlaska spent millions. So why is this historic building still a wreck?Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageThe Jesse Lee Home is a nearly century-old former children’s home and the birthplace of the Alaska state flag. The nonprofit Friends of the Jesse Lee Home had millions in grants and more than a decade to fix it up, but they now say time is running out. The problem, according to state officials, is that the group mismanaged state funds. Now the Jesse Lee Home is closer than ever to being demolished.Anchorage emergency rooms can’t handle number of patients needing psychiatric careLori Townsend, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageEmergency rooms in Anchorage hospitals cannot keep up with the numbers of patients needing psychiatric care. It’s a problem that’s pushing people experiencing acute mental crises into more traditional ER’s, overburdening staff, delaying care to other patients, and straining an already thin system.Anchorage organization to buy LIO building for $14MZachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageThe Anchorage Community Development Authority is moving to buy the building at 716 W. 4th Avenue for potential commercial clients.Railroad traffic still stalled as Talkeetna flooding recedesDan Bross, KUAC – FairbanksFlooding that halted Alaska Railroad trains north of Talkeetna Saturday, has receded, but train traffic remains shut down.Juneau’s child care providers concerned by proposed licensing changesAdelyn Baxter, KTOO – JuneauProposed regulations may make it harder for child care facilities statewide to do business. In Juneau, some daycare directors say the new rules would reduce capacity and worsen the shortage of affordable child care.Paul Schaughency And Martin Aure reflect on evacuating AttuZoe Sobel and Laura Kraegel, KUCB – UnalaskaToday, we hear from Martin Aure and U.S. Army veteran Paul Schaughency. Aure was sent to Seattle after the bombing of Dutch Harbor, and Schaughency spent parts of WWII on Adak.
New Delhi: India on Sunday rejected a US State Department report which made certain critical comments regarding the status of minorities here, saying it has “no locus standi” to “pronounce on the state of our citizens’ constitutionally protected rights”. In response to a query on the latest ‘Report on International Religious Freedom’ published by the State Department, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar underlined that India is a vibrant democracy where the fundamental rights of all its citizens, including minorities, are protected under the Constitution. Also Read – Charge sheet against AAP MLA Gulab Singh Advertise With Us “We see no locus standi for a foreign entity/government to pronounce on the state of our citizens’ constitutionally protected rights,” he said. Significantly, the report was released just ahead of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to India from June 25. “India is proud of its secular credentials, its status as the largest democracy and a pluralistic society with a longstanding commitment to tolerance and inclusion,” Kumar said. Also Read – JNU poll panel cancels Yogi’s nomination Advertise With Us “The Indian Constitution guarantees fundamental rights to all its citizens, including its minority communities,” the MEA spokesperson asserted. “It is widely acknowledged that India is a vibrant democracy where the Constitution provides protection of religious freedom, and where democratic governance and rule of law further promote and protect the fundamental rights.”
In the latest edition of Human Rights Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI), several Fortune Top-20 companies including General Motors, Apple Inc and Ford Motor Company scored a complete 100.The Human Rights Foundation releases an annual CEI report that gauges the state of the LGBT community and how they are treated in workplaces. It also measures the benefits, rights and corporates’ attention towards the community on an annual basis.”When it comes to LGBT equality, corporate America is a leader, not a follower. At every turn, from advocating for marriage equality to providing vital support for transgender employees, this country’s leading companies have asked, ‘what more can we do?,’ and they’ve worked tirelessly to achieve new progress. That kind of leadership changes countless lives around this country, and sets an important example to other companies around the globe,” Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Foundation said in a statement.What the Survey FoundWhile the senate is still debating an exclusive law for protection against discrimination for the LGBT community, the CEI report found that 89% of the Fortune 500 companies already have a “non-discrimination by sexual orientation” policy at work.Also, about a third of the Fortune 500 companies now offer healthcare cover and more than hundred of them have “adopted gender transition guidelines” and education programs that promote identity acceptance and definitions in the workplace.The WinnersThis year, a record 366 companies achieved a 100% rating on the CEI, compared to the 13 businesses that had achieved a full score 13 years back when the ratings debuted.Law firms, banking and financial institutions and retail and consumer product firms were the top sectors where LGBT is most accepted and respected.Below are the top 10 Fortune-1000 companies that scored a full 100:Chevron Corp.Apple Inc.General Motors Co.General Electric CoFord Motor Co.AT&T Inc.Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae)CVS Caremark Corp.McKesson Corp.Hewlett-Packard Co.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Sahara Group to deposit Rs 5,092 crore for its chief Subrata Roy’s bail by selling 13 of its properties. The court also said they may be granted more time if the group were unable to sell these properties by April 7. Meanwhile, the court also extended Roy’s parole till April 17.The SC also asked the Ghaziabad Development Authority to compensate the Sahara Group with Rs. 1,112 crore for acquiring 91 acres of the latter’s land. The money has to be deposited by the Ghaziabad Development Authority on behalf of Sahara. The next court hearing is on April 17.The Sahara Group also gave the SC a list of properties that it wishes to sell for repayment, which the court agreed to. The SC also ordered global real estate company MG Holdings to deposit Rs 750 crore to prove its bonafide for buying Sahara’s share in New York’s Plaza Hotel. MG Holdings told the court that it would pay $550 million for buying Sahara shares in Plaza Hotel.The apex court had earlier ordered that the group’s prime property worth Rs 39,000 crore at Aamby Valley in Pune be attached in an ongoing case against Roy.Roy was jailed on March 4, 2014, until he was granted a four-week custody parole on May 6, 2016, to perform his mother’s last rites. The apex court had earlier extended the Sahara chief’s parole till November 28, 2016, after he deposited Rs 200 crore with the SEBI in October.In August 2012, two companies of the Sahara Group were ordered by the SC to deposit over Rs 24,000 crore to SEBI. The money was collected from around three crore investors, who invested in their optionally fully convertible debentures (OFCDs) between 2008 and 2011, through issuance of certain bonds with 15 percent interest.Roy was sent to jail on March 4, 2014, after he failed to abide by the court’s order to pay a sum of Rs 10,000 crore. SEBI had said, earlier in February 2017, that the Sahara Group still has to pay Rs 14,779 crore towards principal.
Ashraf HossainAshraf Hossain is a living legend in Jessore’s Chaugacha upazila, helping the people in his area to avail the Right to Information (RTI) act. Ashraf approaches various departments of government organisations for information and provides this information to people who need assistance. Thus he tries to render government and private organisations accountable.Abdul Jabbar needed help from Ashraf Hossain. He is a day labourer of Boro Gobindapur in Jessore’s Chaugacha upazila. He cut his hand while on the job and rushed to hospital on Saturday. Jabbar’s brother called Ashraf and Ashraf called the Chaugacha health complex’s authorities.Ashraf’s call made the hospital authorities provide Jabbar their best treatment.Jabbar told Prothom Alo, “The doctor took time and care to stitch my hand. I would not get the best treatment if Ashraf uncle had not called them”.Ramzan Ali from the village Laskarpur has been facing inordinate delays in registering land at the upazila land office. Ashraf Hossain sent him to an official and the work was done within a few days.Ramzan said, “Without Ashraf’s help I would have faced more hassle”.Ashraf Hossain, 50, lives with his wife and two children in Jamlata village of the upazila. And eighth grade drop-out Ashraf, is a timber trader.Ashraf always protested against any irregularities, corruption, and unlawful activities around him since his childhood. Now he fights against the corrupt with proof. He even provides the proof and information to the media.Ashraf Hossain applies for necessary information to different government departments, using RTI. He asks for information if he hears of any irregularities or corruption.He complains to the information commission if any official refuses to provide him with the necessary information.Ashraf, so far, has submitted application 26 times to various government departments under the RTI act. He received 18 sets of information on time, four after approaching the information commission and four are being processed.Ashraf was harvesting rice with his son in the field near home when the Prothom Alo correspondent visited him.Ashraf said, a private development organisation MRDI arranged a training camp on the RTI act in it office at Shinghajhuli union parishad in 2015. The seven-day camp was organised by Manusher Jonno Foundation.”I came to know that according to the law every citizen has the right to any information from the authorities. After the training ended, I started to seek information from different departments of the government offices” he added. Ashraf said, Chaugacha upazila health complex, Chaugacha Upazila Education Office, Chaugacha Juba Unnayan Office and Shishu Niloy Foundation refused to provide him with information.Shishu Niloy Foundation did not even accept his application and an official even insulted him. He complained against the foundation and three government offices to the information commission.Ashraf said the officers apologised and provided him with the information he asked for later on.Now his applications are under process in Chaugacha Primary Education office, Dhuliani UP, the office of Jessore district civil surgeon and Chaugacha Rural Electrification office.According to Ashraf, the RTI act is a great initiative as it renders various organisations accountable. But he had been threatened too, while trying to avail information. His wife, Taslima Khatun said, “My husband helps people, I am happy about that. But sometimes he has to face threats to his life. I am worried about him” Ashraf’s initiative to ask for information is the talk of the town. Following his footsteps, Jahangir Alam, a Singapore migrant from Ujirpur village, Abu Kalam, Dablu Mia from Muktarpur and Nawab Ali from Fatehpur sought information from various offices under the RTI act.Sukumar Das, the acting president of TIB’s Shocheton Nagorik Committee in Jessore said, “This is certainly a positive initiative by Ashraf Ali. Being inspired, many others are seeking information from different offices.”Earlier, Ashraf applied for lists of free medicines provided by the government and the register book that contained the patient lists provided with the medicines from January to September on 26 August in 2015. He applied to the Jessore civil surgeon’s office on 7 October. They did not provide him with any information.Ashraf then complained to the information commission and the commission ordered them to provide him with the necessary information within 15 days.After that, the patients started to receive free medication and treatment at the Upazila Health Complex.A patient at the health complex, Shahar Banu said, “I have been admitted into the hospital for 10 days. I got all the medicines for free.”Ashraf applied to the Chaugacha upazila education officer for a copy of the student-list who get the stipend and government allocations in Garibpur primary school. There have been no irregularities in distribution of stipend since then. ASM Kabir Hossain, the senior information officer of Jessore district said, “Every citizen has the right to information from any department. Ashraf Hossain is seeking information using RTI act which is a very positive initiative”.Shaheen Anam, the executive director of Manusher Jonno Foundation, said the RTI act was introduced with the purpose to establish good governance. “We can achieve the goal if the public starts to use the act” he added.Shaheen again said, “It is sad that rural people are using the RTI act more than urban ones. We need to work on this to change the scene”.*The article originally published in Prothom Alo print edition has been rewritten in English by Farjana Liakat.