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Major admin rejig in MP 15 DMs 34 IAS transferred

first_imgBhopal: Some 15 District Magistrates, 34 IAS Officers, 15 Superitendents of Police and 37 IPS officers have been transferred in a major reshuffle ordered by Chief Minister Kamal Nath in Madhya Pradesh soon after the Lok Sabha elections. Bhopal District Magistrate (DM) Sudam Khade has been transferred, but no replacement has been announced as yet. Yogesh Deshmukh has been appointed as the Director General of Police (DGP) of Bhopal, Jaideep Prasad as DGP (Rail) and Ashok Dauhre as DGP (Homeguard).last_img read more

Punjab Cabinet approves 994 posts for medical college

first_imgChandigarh: The Punjab Cabinet on Thursday approved the creation of 994 posts of teaching faculty, para-medical staff and multi-task workers for the upcoming Government Medical College in Mohali, with an intake capacity of 100 MBBS seats. The Cabinet, which was presided over by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh here, took the decision, which would pave the way for commencement of the college session from next year. The creation of the posts was in conformity with the minimum requirements laid down by the Medical Council of India for 100 MBBS seats, a government spokesperson told IANS. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoC He said a proposal for 168 posts of medical teaching faculty, 426 posts of paramedics and 400 posts of Class IV staff was earlier cleared by the Officers Committee headed by the Chief Secretary as well as by the Finance Department. The posts would be filled in a phased manner in five years. The creation of these new posts would entail an additional financial burden of Rs 25 crore in the first year, which would subsequently go up to Rs 41 crore in the fifth year. Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citations The state government had already made available 14.01 acres of land belonging to the District Hospital, Punjab Health Systems Corporation and State Health Training Institute besides additional land of 9.2 acres of gram panchayat of Jhujhar Nagar. This makes it a total of 23.21 acres for the establishment of the new medical institute (as per the norms, the minimum requirement for a new college with 100 seats is 20 acres). The funds for the college are to be shared between the Central and state governments in the ratio of 60:40.last_img read more

Journalist thrashed urinated upon by GRP men in UP

first_imgShamli (Uttar Pradesh): Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel thrashed a journalist who was covering a train derailment near Dhimanpura in the early hours of Wednesday. GRP personnel who were present on the spot, abused, kicked and beat up Amit Sharma of News 24. They snatched his camera. The journalist said that the cops refused to listen to him and continued to thrash him. “I was locked up, stripped and they urinated upon right into my mouth,” Sharma said. Also Read – IAF receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France Several scribes rushed to the police station on learning about the incident and put the video footage of cops beating up Amit Sharma on the social media. The journalists also contacted senior officials at the police headquarters. Station House Officer Rakesh Kumar and GRP constable Sunil Kumar have been suspended and a probe has been ordered into the incident. The journalist was later released. Shamli’s Senior Superintendent of Police Ajay Kumar Pandey said that the senior officials had been apprised of the incident which was “unfortunate” and strict action would be taken against the accused.last_img read more

Injured Dhawan ruled out of World Cup cover Pant drafted into India

first_imgSouthampton: Indian batsman Shikhar Dhawan was Wednesday ruled out of the ongoing World Cup and replaced by young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant after failing to make enough recovery in a fresh assessment of his thumb fracture. Dhawan, 33, picked up the injury on his left thumb during the June 9 clash against Australia in London and was initially ruled out of three games — against Pakistan (June 16), Afghanistan (June 22) and the West Indies (June 27). Also Read – IAF receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France”Shikhar Dhawan has fractured the base of the metacarpal (bone) of his left hand. His hand will remain in a cast till mid-July which rules him out of the ICC 2019 World Cup,” team’s administrative manager Sunil Subramanium told media persons. “We have written to the ICC requesting Rishabh Pant as a replacement,” he added. Pant comes in with an accumulated ODI experience of five matches but is considered a trump card owing to his fearless approach. He was part of the official standbys list along with Ambati Rayudu. Also Read – Cosmology trio win Nobel Physics PrizeDhawan was always running against time to be fit for the match against England, scheduled for June 30 in Birmingham. It is learnt that the swashbuckling opener, who played through pain to score a hundred against Australia, “had no chance” of recovering in time. “Dhawan was never going to be fit in time. However, the team management was reluctant to name a replacement. It was never on the same page with selectors who wanted to announce an official replacement right after his (Dhawan’s) diagnosis,” said a source privy to the developments. Pant was brought in as cover for Dhawan after the team management decided to wait on the senior opener’s recovery but an assessment of the injury this week did not throw up encouraging results. As a consequence, the 21-year-old Pant, whose omission from the original squad had kicked up a storm given his exceptional form in the past one year, has got the big break. Pant had scored impressive hundreds during the Test tours of England and Australia. He also enjoyed a good run in the IPL last month, scoring 488 runs with a strike rate of over 160.last_img read more

Lack of experience hurting SL cricket feel senior players

first_imgLeeds: Going into their last game of the World Cup against India, Sri Lanka have nothing to lose. They are already out of the competition and on the face of it, the game will be a dead rubber of sorts at the Headingley Cricket Stadium on Saturday. But for the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) this tournament has been another proof that transition needs to be done with fast if the island nation wants to get back to its glory days on the international stage. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football together During this edition of the World Cup, the few times when the Lankan fans got something to cheer about, it was due to the performances of old stalwarts — Lasith Malinga and Angelo Mathews. While Malinga dismissed Jos Buttler to win Lanka the game against England and throw the tournament wide open, Mathews bowled after 18 months to dismiss Nicholas Pooran and win Lanka their previous game. Not denying the performance of skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and lone centurion Avishka Fernando, but like Mathews pointed on the sidelines of training on Thursday, consistency has to be the key. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian Open “It has been a disappointing World Cup, unfortunately two games were rained out and you can’t control weather. We played well in patches, but not very well to make it to the semi-finals,” he pointed. Old warhorse, Malinga, was much more harsh with his words as he made it clear that the Lankan youngsters need to rise to the occasion and meet the challenges that lie ahead. “All the young players got a World Cup experience and will know how tough it is to play international cricket. They should work hard to play competitive cricket after the World Cup. “In international cricket, players need to understand how tough the level of competition is and the game against India will be another such opportunity for the young players. They have to learn about handling situations and they have to then work hard towards achieving goals. “The young fast bowlers need to work hard and be accurate, it is as simple as that. They have to work hard as we don’t have much talent because we don’t play competitive cricket like the premier league and the bowlers have to show skills and character. Without that you cannot succeed in international cricket,” he explained. “We are looking to do well and that is important. We must look to learn and show our skill. Cricket is simple and have to focus on basics and be accurate.” Skipper Karunaratne too, has been vocal about how the inexperienced batsmen letting the team down on a couple of occasions. “I think the batting is the main collapse, you know. We played like five matches, couldn’t get a hundred, only a couple of 50s in our team, so that was the only major thing (till Fernando scored a century). If you want to compete with the good sides, you definitely got to have a good batting line-up and you have to put runs on the board, so I think in this World Cup, the major part (problem) was the batting line-up,” he said. If Lanka are to get back to winning habits, the Lankan board surely needs its young players to rise to the challenge and make the world take note.last_img read more

Omar seeks CBI probe into fake orders on Kashmir circulating on social

first_imgSrinagar: National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Tuesday demanded a CBI inquiry into the “fake orders” that had surfaced on social media over the past few days, leading to speculation that the Centre might be moving to scrap Article 35-A of the Constitution, which provides special rights of residency and jobs to the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the state.”This is a very serious matter raised by the Governor. Fake orders were circulated under the signature of senior government officers. This is not something that can be dismissed with a simple sound byte. The CBI must be asked to investigate these fake orders & their origin,” Abdullah tweeted. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’He was reacting to Governor Satya Pal Malik’s assertion that the orders that have appeared on the social media were not valid. “A lot of rumours are spread here, do not pay any heed to them. Everything is fine, everything is normal,” Governor Malik said when asked about the slew of orders appearing on social media about the possibility of a prolonged law and order situation in Kashmir Valley. Malik said the orders which had appeared on the social media in recent days were not valid. “No order is valid. If someone sneezes in Lal Chowk, by the time the news reaches Governor’s house, it is projected as a bomb blast,” he added.last_img read more

Indigenous demonstrators erect teepee on Parliament Hill to protest Canada Day

first_imgOTTAWA – A large teepee erected by indigenous demonstrators to kick off a four-day Canada Day protest was standing in front of Parliament Hill early Thursday just hours after their initial attempt was thwarted by police.Police had blocked the group just inside the gates to Parliament Hill on Wednesday evening as demonstrators carried wooden poles on their shoulders to erect a teepee.Both sides had refused to budge and a spokeswoman at the scene said 10 people were briefly held in custody before being released. Demonstrators initially said about 15-20 people had been taken into custody.Candace Day Neveau, from a group called the Bawating Water Protectors that arrived in Ottawa from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., on Wednesday, said those arrested were ordered to stay away from Parliament Hill for six months.Videos posted on social media showed RCMP officers dragging away at least one person as others chanted “shame” and “let our people go!” Police had also erected a barricade to prevent anyone from going further up the Hill.However, Day Neveau later said demonstrators intended to carry through with their plan to erect a teepee. Photographs on social media early Thursday showed a large tan-coloured teepee had been erected inside a barricade in front of the Parliament buildings.Organizers say the demonstration marked the first day of a “reoccupation” ceremony to counter Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations because Indigenous Peoples have little reason to celebrate colonization.Jessica Bolduc, who was with the Sault Ste. Marie group, said they wanted to build a teepee on what is unceded Algonquin territory.Bolduc said it is also about recognizing there is much work to do before anyone can say Canada had achieved reconciliation.“I think Canada has one sort of view and way in which they engage with the world around them and then there is the Indigenous experience,” said Bolduc.“We talk about this smart and caring nation, but don’t acknowledge that those privileges aren’t afforded to indigenous peoples in the same way that they are to folks who have settled here, whether that was 200 years ago or to people who we are welcoming here today in a ceremony of becoming Canadian,” she said.The demonstration was being held across from the former Langevin Block, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had renamed as the Office of the Prime Minister and the Privy Council on June 21.He said the change reflected what he called the “deep pain”felt by indigenous communities over having the building named after Hector-Louis Langevin, a father of Confederation and an architect of the residential school system.last_img read more

Animal cruelty investigation underway into Ontario property overrun by cats

first_imgOntario’s animal welfare organization says a hoarding issue may have contributed to a situation at an abandoned rural property where local rescue groups say they’ve found dozens of cats, both dead and alive.The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it is in the midst of an animal cruelty probe, which began in December, involving a home and a barn in Beamsville, Ont., in the Niagara Region.No charges have been laid in the case but the OSPCA said it has been working with a woman who they said used to rent the home on the property.“It did appear to be a hoarding situation,” spokeswoman Alison Cross said Monday. “We were there, feeding animals, going back daily, addressing any concerns of animals that might have been appearing — they are roaming outside, so it’s not easy to find them all.”The woman who lived on the property may also have been collecting dead animals “from roadkill and other things,” and putting them in barrels that have been found at the site, Cross said.Local animal rescue organizations recently became involved in efforts to care for cats found alive on the property.Pam Huson, who runs the Beamsville 4Paw Rescue, said the animal control organization in the area asked her and several other rescue groups on July 19 for help dealing with the situation.“It was a nightmare,” she said, noting that cats had overrun the property.Huson said her organization saved about 70 cats from the site and another group, Project Save A Cat’s Life, said it rescued about 30 cats.The groups also found dozens of dead felines, Huson said.The dead cats were found inside the home near windows and doors, which were riddled with scratch marks, Huson said.“The stench was so awful that we were throwing up,” Huson said.The groups also found the bodies of dead cats inside rain barrels on the property, Huson said.“We followed the flies and the maggots and the birds and the stench and that led us to the barrels,” she said. “It was shocking.”In all, Huson said rescue groups have counted 153 dead cats and four dead dogs found on the property so far.The OSPCA said it was concerned that the rescue groups may have tampered with evidence in its investigation.“We recognize the passion behind the rescue groups wanting to help the animals, but when it comes to an investigation there is a process that has to be followed, or else you can jeopardize the investigation,” Cross said.She said the OSPCA was still waiting for evidence from the rescue groups on the number of cats, alive and dead, found at the site.Huson said, however, that she has offered all of her evidence from the property, from photographs to veterinary reports to her own accounts, to OSPCA investigators who handling the case.The cats that have been rescued from the property are doing well after being treated for a variety of illnesses and injuries, she said, and are healing in foster homes.“They’re happy, they’re cuddly,” she said. “After the long weekend, we’re going to have an adopt-a-thon.”last_img read more

August snowfall inspires surprise resignation along QuebecLabrador border

first_imgLABRADOR CITY, N.L. – The final day of August felt more like winter along the Quebec-Labrador border — it snowed.The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary tweeted photos of snow collecting along a highway in Labrador’s southwest corner near the Quebec border on Thursday night.The police force warned people to “slow down!” on the Trans-Labrador Highway because of slippery conditions.The photographs inspired a mix of shock and resignation on social media, including one Newfoundland woman who insisted they must be “fake news.”The rain and snow mixture was to end at about lunchtime Friday, but temperatures in Labrador West were forecast to remain unseasonably cool — only about 5 degrees.(VOCM, The Canadian Press)last_img read more

Manitoba government will change law banning floorcrossing avoid lawsuit

first_imgWINNIPEG – Manitoba’s justice minister says the government will eliminate a controversial ban on political floor-crossing and end a legal battle with an ousted former backbencher.Heather Stefanson said the Progressive Conservative government will act next month to remove a section of the Legislative Assembly Act that says anyone who leaves or is kicked out of one party’s caucus cannot join another. The law offers only two options — sit as an independent until the next election, or resign and run in a byelection under a new party banner.“We think it’s a bad law and it’s not in the spirit of parliamentary tradition,” Stefanson told The Canadian Press Tuesday.“We’re not going to spend … tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to defend a bill that should never have been introduced in the first place.”Former NDP premier Gary Doer brought in the provision in 2006, shortly after David Emerson was elected to the House of Commons as a Liberal and, within days, crossed the floor to the Conservatives.At the time, Doer said the law was needed to ensure voters’ wishes were respected.The law is being challenged by former federal cabinet minister and MLA Steven Fletcher, who was kicked out of the provincial Tory caucus in June after criticizing the government’s plan to set up a new Crown corporation to promote energy efficiency.Fletcher’s lawsuit, filed last month, alleges the law violates his rights of expression and association under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Fletcher said he has no intention of joining another party but is fighting the law on principle.Paul Thomas, professor emeritus of political studies at the University of Manitoba, said he always considered the law “a political gimmick” and a likely violation of the constitution.If the government lifts the ban on floor-crossing, he said it could tempt some disgruntled New Democrats — upset over the election of Wab Kinew as leader last Saturday — into joining another caucus or even forming their own splinter group.“You could have a kind of core, small group of New Democrat MLAs who would in some way distance themselves from the main caucus,” Thomas said.“They could split off in some way and sit as a group … and if they acquired a new name as a registered political party, they would qualify for the benefits that come with being an official party in the legislature.”Something similar happened in federal politics in 2001, when a handful of members of the Canadian Alliance caucus broke away from leader Stockwell Day and formed the short-lived Democratic Representative Caucus.In Manitoba, four legislature members are enough to qualify for official caucus status.The Opposition New Democrats have just emerged from a divisive leadership contest that saw Kinew, a political rookie, beat out former cabinet minister Steve Ashton. Kinew has been dogged by recently revealed details of assault charges he faced 14 years ago involving a former girlfriend, Tara Hart.Hart went public last week and said she was thrown across a living room. The charges were stayed in 2004 and Kinew has repeatedly denied the accusation.Thomas said Kinew was already opposed by some NDP members who consider him too new to the party to lead it, and controversy over the assault charges has added to the acrimony.“Mr. Kinew has a big challenge to bring unity and harmony within the party.”last_img read more

No 2 at Quebecs anticorruption unit quits over role in alleged share

first_imgMONTREAL – The second-in-command at Quebec’s anti-corruption unit stepped down Thursday amid allegations he recommended the purchase of shares in a company when he was working for the provincial police force.The head of the unit issued a statement to say Marcel Forget was quitting in order to preserve the organization’s reputation.Le Journal de Montreal reported that five police officers or ex-officers bought shares in a firm called Newtech in 1999 and 2000 through an intermediary of Forget’s or based directly on his recommendation.The newspaper said Forget, who was never charged, did not have a broker’s permit at the time.Newtech’s objective was to come up with what was considered a state-of-the-art braking system.In his role as Robert Lafreniere’s No. 2 at the anti-corruption unit, Forget was responsible for ensuring the integrity of companies wanting to be publicly listed.Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux hailed Forget’s decision as the right thing to do. Earlier in the day, Coiteux had called on him to step down.last_img read more

Different perspectives Prime minister adamant pipeline to BC will be built

first_imgREGINA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the dispute between Alberta and British Columbia over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion isn’t the first time provinces have disagreed on a project.Trudeau says there have been many times where provinces have taken what he calls “different perspectives” on a proposal.He says it’s important that the federal government show leadership to make sure the national interest is served.Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is threatening to expand a fight with B.C. over Kinder Morgan’s pipeline by reducing the amount of oil her province ships.The pipeline dispute began earlier this year when B.C. said it would not allow increased oil shipments until it could do more research on pipeline safety and spill response.Asked if Notley’s move will spur the federal government to get more aggressive on the project, Trudeau repeated that the pipeline will be built.last_img read more

In the news today Oct 9

first_imgFour stories in the news for Tuesday, Oct. 9___FLARE-UPS POSSIBLE AT IRVING REFINERYResidents of a Saint John, N.B., neighbourhood that was the scene of a massive oil refinery explosion have been warned of possible “flare-ups” as the facility restabilizes. The City of Saint John posted on social media Monday evening that emergency management officials remained on site to monitor the Irving Oil refinery as it came back online. An explosion at the facility Monday morning rocked a residential area on the east side of the historic port city, sending flames and black smoke into the sky but causing only minor injuries. A company official told reporters there had been a malfunction in the refinery’s diesel treating unit, where sulphur is removed from diesel fuel.___TRIAL OF BRITISH SAILOR CONTINUES TODAYThe trial of a British sailor accused in a gang rape at a Halifax-area military base continues today, after testimony from a young woman who described a harrowing scene of being virtually alone in barracks with dozens of men. She told Nova Scotia Supreme Court last week she felt “intense fear” as she frantically knocked on doors, calling out the name of a friend she had become separated from in the barracks at 12 Wing Shearwater. The woman said that’s when she realized she was effectively by herself in a building full of men. She came upon a raucous scene: hockey players scattered throughout a room, one naked lying face down on a bed. Darren Smalley, 38, is charged with sexual assault causing bodily harm and participating in a sexual assault involving one or more people in April 2015 in a case that once involved four accused.___HOMELESS B.C. FIRST NATION BUYS RESERVEThomas Smith says watching people leave their homes on British Columbia’s remote Turnour Island as a young boy is something he can’t forget even though it was more than 50 years ago. He says it’s been a long journey for members of the Tlowitsis First Nation who once lived off northern Vancouver Island. Smith says the nation bought a 257-hectare piece of rural, forested property eight kilometres south of Campbell River and plans are underway to build a community of up to 100 homes. He says the land cost $3.5 million and involved federal approval of the land as a new reserve. Smith says the first nation’s estimated 450 members have been living apart for decades, but the new village site, already named “a place to come home to,” will bring the Tlowitsis back together.___FEDS GIVEN AMBITIOUS PLAN FOR EI, DOCUMENTS SHOWThe Trudeau government has been given an ambitious plan for closing several gaps in the social-safety net for ill and unemployed Canadians that includes creating a new program to help those whose employment insurance or sickness benefits are about to run out. The plan is contained in a government-commissioned report and would represent a major step for a government that has previously tweaked parental and caregiver benefits, among other so-called special EI benefits, but has yet to touch the core of employment insurance — which experts say is in desperate need of reform. Specifically, the report recommended the government close gaps in the social safety net by creating a new program to catch those who exhaust sickness benefits but don’t qualify for a public disability pension.___ALSO IN THE NEWS:— Football player Jerome Messam is scheduled to appear in a Calgary court today on a voyeurism charge.— Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos will be in Chicoutimi, Que. discuss how the Government of Canada is improving the Canada Child Benefit.— The trial for Jennifer Clark and Jeromie Clark, who are charged with criminal negligence causing death and failure to provide the necessaries of life to their 14-month-old son.last_img read more

Court dismisses latest Oberlander effort to fight stripping of citizenship

first_imgTORONTO — A 95-year-old man who has had his citizenship revoked several times for lying about his membership in a Second World War Nazi death squad has lost yet another bid to have his case revisited.The Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the latest legal action from Helmut Oberlander, whose case dates back to the 1990s.Courts have repeatedly ruled that Oberlander’s Canadian citizenship should be revoked on the grounds that he lied about his participation in a Nazi squad responsible for the deaths of nearly 100,000 people, although there has never been any evidence that he took part in atrocities.The latest ruling had come from Federal Court Judge Michael Phelan last September, but Oberlander alleged the judge was biased because of previous involvement in the case and took the matter to the higher court.A three-judge panel with the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed Oberlander’s motion to have his case revisited in a written decision released Thursday.“There is a strong presumption that judges will comply with their solemn judicial oath to administer justice impartially,” the decision reads.“This presumption is not easily rebutted, particularly where the previous decision in question which forms the foundation of the bias allegation took place a decade ago, under a different legal regime, and on a different record.”In June 2017, the federal government revoked Oberlander’s Canadian citizenship for the fourth time since the mid 1990s. In doing so, the government maintained he was complicit in war crimes by belonging to Einsatzkommando 10a, known as Ek-10a.The Ukraine-born Oberlander, who came to Canada in 1954 and became a citizen in 1960, has long argued he was conscripted into the unit as a 17-year-old and risked execution had he tried to leave. He has insisted he acted as an interpreter and took no part in its savagery.Phelan was asked to rule on the government’s citizenship revocation decision in September 2018. He found it reasonable to strip Oberlander of his Canadian citizenship for misrepresenting his war-time activities when he immigrated.In reaching his conclusion, Phelan said a 2000 ruling from Federal Court Judge Andrew MacKay found Oberlander to have been aware of the unit’s brutality and complicit in its war crimes by acting as an interpreter.However, Oberlander’s lawyers Ronald Poulton and Barbara Jackman argued that Phelan misinterpreted MacKay’s decision and was in fact leaning on his own previous ruling from 2008 — one that was upended on appeal.“Justice Phelan sat in judgment on his own previous finding,” the lawyers argued.The Federal Court of Appeal said judges frequently need to revisit their own work, adding that the lengthy amount of time that had elapsed between Phelan’s two rulings was relevant.The judges also noted that Phelan had to rely on different legal procedures in his two rulings, since the Supreme Court had changed the test for war crimes complicity in 2013.“The Supreme Court changed the test … from participation or indirect complicity to complicity based on a knowing, significant, and voluntary contribution,” the decision reads. “The judicial review before Phelan in 2018 involved a different legal test than that which governed in 2008.”Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Social media giants ignore law dont take Canada seriously MPs

first_imgJoan Bryden, The Canadian Press OTTAWA — Politicians are increasingly concerned that social media giants have become so big, powerful and rich that they are effectively above the law — at least in a small country like Canada.Their concern was on display last week at a meeting of the House of Commons access to information, privacy and ethics committee, where Liberal MPs raked Google over the coals for its decision not to run any political ads during this fall’s federal election campaign, rather than comply with a new law that requires them keep an online ad registry.“Here’s my frustration,” Toronto Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith told Google Canada representatives Jason Kee and Colin McKay.“You have a company that makes billions of dollars and looks at … a small jurisdiction in Canada and says, ‘Your democracy doesn’t matter enough to us, we’re not going to participate.’ But if a big player decided to change the rules, I guarantee that you would follow those rules.“But we are too small for you. You are too big, you are too important and we are just not important enough for Google for you to take us seriously.”“I’d contest that observation,” responded McKay.He and Kee maintained the decision was strictly a technical one: Google engineers could not, in the short time frame required by the government, come up with a system that would reliably detect partisan and issue-oriented ads during the campaign and ensure they were all archived along with information identifying the source of the ads.Following the last U.S. presidential election, when a spotlight was shone on the use of social media to spread fake news, sow dissension and manipulate the election outcome, Kee said Google created a template for political ad registries that it used in last fall’s U.S. midterms and will deploy in India and the European Union. But he said it’s not compatible with the specific requirements of the Canadian law, about which he said Google was not consulted.Kee said Google will try to comply with the registry law by the next election in 2023.It was clear Liberals on the committee weren’t buying the explanation. It was equally clear their frustration with social media giants extends well beyond Google and the political ad registry.Quebec MP David Graham accused Google and Facebook of ignoring Canadian copyright law. And another Quebec Liberal, Frank Baylis, linked the ad registry and copyright issues, arguing that Google makes billions by posting ads on content it obtains for free because copyright law doesn’t apply to social media platforms.“The minute you start controlling these ads, you move from being a platform to proof positive you’re a publisher and once you’re a publisher, you’re subject to copyright and all that,” Baylis said, maintaining that’s the “real reason” Google has opted out of the political ad registry, not “this technical mumbo-jumbo” offered by the company.Kee said that was “not remotely” the case.Facebook has decided to comply with the ad registry law but the committee had another bone to pick with that company. It adopted unanimous motions to summon Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg to appear at the second meeting of the international grand committee on big data, privacy and democracy, which the Commons committee is hosting in Ottawa on May 28. The grand committee involves parliamentarians from Canada, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, France, Ireland, Latvia and Singapore.The summons came after the Facebook duo failed to respond to an invitation to appear. Zuckerberg has testified at a congressional committee in Washington following last year’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the personal data of some 87 million Facebook users was improperly shared with the political consultancy firm. But he refused to appear at the grand committee’s first meeting in the U.K. and has repeatedly ignored invitations to appear before the Canadian committee to discuss Facebook’s handling of Canadians’ private information.Federal privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien last month concluded that Facebook violated Canadian privacy laws by failing to ensure Cambridge Analytica got clear consent to use individuals’ personal information. He is going to court to force Facebook — which maintains Canadians were not affected by the scandal and that it has since made “dramatic improvements” to protect users’ privacy — to comply with privacy laws.In an interview, Erskine-Smith noted that social media giants fought against the European Union’s general data protection regulation, which imposed strict new rules for protecting individuals’ privacy and stiff fines for companies that fail to do so. But once the law went into effect, they complied with it because the EU, unlike Canada, “is a substantial jurisdiction that they can’t ignore.”More recently, he said the giants have professed to be in favour of stronger, government-imposed rules on privacy and the spread of hate and misinformation. And Karina Gould, Canada’s minister of democratic institutions, has been signalling that regulations are coming because she’s been disappointed by social media platforms’ efforts to self-regulate.But said Erskine-Smith: “The problem is, unless we have global co-operation in establishing those new rules, we’re still going to open the door to companies saying, selectively, ‘This jurisdiction is too small, the market isn’t large enough to warrant changing our rules so we’re just going to ignore it.’”Digital media expert Taylor Owen said that’s certainly true when it comes to regulation of political ads. But he said it will be more difficult to arrive at internationally co-ordinated regulations on harmful speech and competition, where laws are much more nationally specific.Still, Owen said there’s no reason why Canada alone could not beef up its laws, as other countries have done, to impose steep fines on social media giants that violate privacy laws or don’t go far enough to constrain disinformation and hateful content. And, judging by the markedly hostile tone MPs in the governing party have adopted lately, he thinks that’s coming soon.Whereas politicians initially embraced social media as a positive means to engage with voters, most western governments, including Canada’s, have come to a “radically different” view, said Owen, Beaverbrook chair in media ethics and communication at McGill University’s Max Bell school of public policy.“The tone and the attitude of government is fundamentally changing. There is no trust anymore,” he said.last_img read more

Canadian astronaut SaintJacques set to return after sixmonth space mission

first_imgLONGUEUIL, Que. — Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques is set to return to Earth late Monday as his six-month mission comes to an end.Speaking to reporters today from the International Space Station a final time before his return, Saint-Jacques says returning to gravity will take some getting used to, but he’s looking forward to seeing his wife and three children.Saint-Jacques’ first space mission, with NASA astronaut Anne McClain and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, began Dec. 3 when the trio arrived aboard a Soyuz capsule.Among his highlights in orbit was a six-and-a-half hour spacewalk on April 8 — the first Canadian to walk in space since David Williams in 2007.In May, he used the station’s Canadarm 2 for a “cosmic catch” of SpaceX Dragon cargo — the first time the feat was performed by a Canadian using the Canadian-built technology aboard the space station.Saint-Jacques has also performed numerous science experiments while aboard the station.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Quebec town is latest to consider letting kids play legally on streets

first_imgMONTREAL — There is a growing movement in Quebec to bring back the fun — by legalizing kids’ play in streets and alleyways.Municipalities across the province have begun experimenting with the not-so-novel idea of letting kids be kids without risking a fine.At Tuesday’s council meeting in Granby, about 80 kilometres east of Montreal, a notice of motion was introduced to make it legal for children to play in the streets.Quebec’s legislature tabled a motion in 2016 encouraging municipalities to adopt rules letting kids play legally on streets and alleyways in order to improve quality of life. Beloeil, about 30 kilometres east of Montreal, claims the title as the first municipality in Quebec to have dared to let its young people play legally on streets and alleyways.The initiative began after a Beloeil citizen complained to council that their kid could be fined for playing on the road.But Beloeil doesn’t just let children play anywhere.The town launched a pilot project called “Dans ma rue on joue” (In my street we play) in 2016 and eventually adopted a legal framework for street play.Beloeil citizens can suggest streets — that meet certain criteria — on which children can play legally.For instance, the chosen street can’t be a main artery or boulevard and must pass inspection by a city representative. The project also needs approval by two-thirds of the street’s resident owners.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Al Gore To Attend Bette Midlers Charity Hulaween

first_imgBette Midler will once again present a special Halloween event to benefit her New York Restoration Project (NYRP).Hulaween is NYRP’s annual masquerade ball with a Hawaiian twist in honor of Bette’s home state, attended by a star-studded crowd of nearly 1,000 costumed guests.The event features special guest Al Gore, a musical performance by Blondie, master of ceremonies Judy Gold, costume judge Michael Kors, an auction with Sotheby’s Hugh Hildesley to support the work of NYRP, and dinner created by celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.2012’s Hulaween will honor Amy Goldman Fowler and Cary Fowler with the annual “Wind Beneath My Wings” Leadership Award. The gala has a French theme and will feature a French menu, can-can dancers, and French-themed decor and costumes.Co-Chairs of the event include Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones.The event takes place at the Waldorf-Astoria, 301 Park Avenue, New York City on October 31. Find out more here.last_img read more

Michelle Obama And Former First Ladies Support Healing Garden At Childrens National

first_imgFirst Lady Michelle Obama and all five living former First Ladies have announced their support for a project to transform a gravel rooftop space at Children’s National Health System into a 7,200-square-foot healing garden.Currently in development, the garden will give patients and their families a healthy outdoor space where they can enjoy art, music, and inspiring views of Washington, DC. The garden will be dedicated to the First Ladies of the United States, and Mrs. Michelle Obama, Mrs. Laura Bush, Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mrs. Barbara Bush, Mrs. Nancy Reagan, and Mrs. Rosalynn Carter are serving as honorary chairs of the garden.“I’ve seen firsthand the strength and bravery of the children and families at Children’s National as they take on incredible challenges,” Mrs. Obama said. “The new healing garden will give children and families a place where they can find peace and comfort, while also contributing to their health.”Kurt D. Newman, MD, President and CEO, “Children’s National has been honored by our relationship with the First Ladies over the years, and their holiday visits have meant so much to children and their families. We are grateful that the First Lady and the former First Ladies are supporting this important project. It’s a fitting tribute to dedicate this inspiring space to them.”Visits by the First Ladies are a longstanding tradition at Children’s National. Over the years, many First Ladies have visited children in the hospital. First Lady Michelle Obama, Mrs. Laura Bush, Secretary Clinton, Mrs. Barbara Bush, Mrs. Reagan, and Mrs. Carter all have visited during the holiday season. Mrs. Obama has visited with her daughters Sasha and Malia, and the family dogs, Sunny and Bo. Mrs. Laura Bush debuted the popular “Barney-Cam” holiday video at the hospital and brought Barney on her annual visits. Secretary Clinton donated some of the proceeds of her book It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us to Children’s National. Mrs. Barbara Bush read Jan Brett’s The Wild Christmas Reindeer to patients. Mrs. Reagan visited Children’s National all eight years that she was First Lady. Mrs. Carter participated in the dedication of the current building in March 1977.The idea of creating a Healing Garden was inspired by a young patient whose last wish was to go outside — and by the heroic efforts of the Children’s National care team that made her wish come true. The garden will make it easier for sick children to safely go outdoors. The average stay for a child hospitalized at Children’s National is six days. Many children with serious illnesses need to stay several weeks or months.Children’s National is working to raise $5.53 million for the project, and $1.71 million has already been raised with the leadership of Heather and Andy Florance and the employees of Andy’s company, CoStar Group.Research shows that being exposed to natural elements facilitates healing and positively influences a child’s psychological, physiological, and social well-being. Dr. Newman said, “Even with the shortest stays, children greatly miss feeling the warmth of the sun, seeing the blue sky, and breathing fresh air. The healing garden will give children and their families a form of respite in a very difficult time, and will also contribute to healing.”For more information about the project, visit read more

Jamie Oliver Announces Jamies Sugar Rush

first_imgJamie Oliver announced this month that his Food Revolution Day Campaign (FRD) calling for legislation that gives every child the right to receive education about food, has reached over 1.6 million signatures and has reached every country in the world.The next target for FRD is to get “this vitally important issue taken up by the G20 to create a global conversation,” he says.Meanwhile, Oliver has launched another campaign, called Jamie’s Sugar Rush lobbying the UK government to introduce a sugar tax on all soft drinks that have sugar added.In a series of YouTubes, Oliver shows the personal tragedies of people who have required medical intervention due simply to the overconsumption of sugar in their daily diets. They highlight a six year old boy whose teeth are extracted due to rot from drinking sugary drinks, as well as a foot amputee, one of 7,000 per year in the UK, from diabetes. As well, there are video demos of how many teaspoons of sugar are hidden in what we drink, and what we eat in a normal breakfast, more than double the daily intake allowance.“[The sugar tax] has already been done in Mexico and France,” says Oliver in his press release, “with over $1 billion dollars being raised to support preventative and educational initiatives. The first evaluation of the tax is also indicating a marked reduction in consumption.”You can check out his videos here.Copyright ©2015Look to the Starslast_img read more