ZERO DIVERSITY AMONG NOMINEES FOR QUEBEC TV VIEWERS CHOICE AWARDS

first_imgActress Sophie Prégent won best actress in a television series at the Gala Artis in 2009. Prégent, president of Quebec’s main artists union, said the homogeneity of the Artis nominees this year is “not a pleasant thing to see.” (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press) Login/Register With: Advertisement Viewers’ choice awards celebrating the most popular stars on Quebec television will be handed out next month, and all of the 70 stars nominated are white.In a province where roughly 15 per cent of the population is from visible minorities — rising to about 25 per cent in the Montreal area — the Artis gala reflects the lack of diversity among the most prominent people on Quebec television.Sophie Prégent, president of Quebec’s main artists union, said the homogeneity of the Artis nominees “makes my heart hurt. It’s not a pleasant thing to see.” LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook The issue of race and representation in the arts gained wide attention in Quebec last year after the Montreal International Jazz Festival cancelled a show about black slavery from renowned director, Robert Lepage.Activists protested the performances and accused Lepage and the show’s main performer, Betty Bonifassi — both of whom are white — of appropriating black culture.Prégent said Quebecers are becoming increasingly aware of the lack of representation in the province’s arts industry. Having more people of colour in leading, well-paid roles on the most popular shows “is the last step we have to climb,” she said.Reaching that goal will take more of an effort from production companies and the big broadcasters, she said.Quebecor Inc., a dominant player in the province’s cultural industry, is broadcasting this year’s Artis awards. The company did not return requests for comment.Giuseppe Valiante ~ The Canadian Presscenter_img Fabienne Colas is an actress and has founded a number of black film festivals across Canada, including the Montreal Black Film Festival. (Alain-Julien Godbout/Radio-Canada) It’s not as if there aren’t enough people of colour to choose from, she said, noting roughly 15 per cent of her 8,500 active members are second-generation immigrants. The number climbs to 25 per cent if third-generation immigrants are included, she added.There are many actors of colour on Quebec television, Prégent said, but there are very few in leading roles on the most popular shows. Therefore, she explained, those actors aren’t top of mind when Quebecers vote for their favourite stars.The Artis awards are based on the results of a multi-layered poll of 8,000 Quebecers, conducted twice a year by the Leger firm.At the end of November, about 2,000 Quebecers — half online and half by telephone — are asked to spontaneously list their favourite television star in 14 categories, including drama series, sports, news and variety shows.The firm calculates the top five choices and polls another 2,000 Quebecers, asking them to pick their favourites among the names chosen by the first group. Leger repeats the process with another 4,000 people at the end of January.Christian Bourque, Leger’s executive vice-president, said the nominees “tend to be the main characters of the most popular shows because they get the most visibility…. It’s more of a popularity contest.”Keeping up with the timesAnd that’s precisely the problem, said Jérôme Pruneau, head of Diversité artistique Montreal, a group trying to promote cultural diversity in the arts and culture scene in Quebec’s largest city. Through the arts, Quebecers are presented with an identity that is a “white, francophone fantasy,” he said.In the 1960s, when the Quebec nation was shedding its Catholic identity, the arts industry played a major role in the construction of its culture and in the protection of the French language, he said. Today, Pruneau added, the imagined Quebec culture hasn’t kept up with the times.“We have the impression that this is the only identity that represents us,” he said, “and it’s what we see unfortunately on our television shows, in the theatre, in our politics and in the public space — a little bit everywhere.”Haitian-born Quebec actress Fabienne Colas called Monday’s announcement of the Artis nominations “a sad day” for Quebec.“And especially since the majority of the nominees are from Montreal — our city, which is one of the most multi-ethnic in North America.”Her solution is for broadcasters to demand diversity quotas in shows broadcast on their networks.“When there are clear quotas, we have the urgency to find the talent,” she said. “When there aren’t any, we find all the reasons in the world not to integrate diversity.” Advertisement Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Algerians Moroccans to Play Volleyball Using International Border Fence as

Rabat – Moroccan and Algerian citizens are to face off in a volleyball game over the international border fence that separates the two countries on October 31.Fed up with the closed borders, despite the deeply rooted ties in the common Moroccan-Algerian history, Moroccan and Algerian youngsters have decided to take action, through sports.Moroccan and Algerian activists have created an event on FaceBook, calling on Moroccan and Algerian citizens to take part in a volleyball game across the Morocco-Algeria international border, using the fence that separates the two states as a net. Entitled “Volleyball Game Over the Algeria-Morocco Borders,” the event went viral. It has already received over 15,200 RSVPs, while more than 2,700 people have said they are going.The event is the brainchild of Morocco’s Tarik Nesh-Nash, director of a Moroccan IT development company. He told an Algerian media outlet that the event “aims to jump barriers and build bridges for harmonious dialogue.”“The volleyball match is another way to express the alliance between two peoples who share the same concerns and a common destiny,” he added.The Algerian-Moroccan border has remained closed since 1994, after Algeria was accused of involvement in a bombing that occurred in Marrakech in 1994. Since then, Morocco has imposed a visa requirement on Algerian citizens, and Algeria has retaliated by closing the border with its western neighbor.However, sports may get things back on track. Modern history is the greatest witness of this.  In 1971, two table tennis teams were behind the opening of a new page in the history of Sino-American relations.Named “ping-pong diplomacy’’ by international media, that event marked a thaw in U.S.–China relations. Hopefully, volleyball will dissipate the uncertainty around the diplomatic relations between Morocco and Algeria as well. read more

Competition bureau signs off on AgriumPotashCorp fertilizer merger

CALGARY — PotashCorp. (TSX:POT) and Agrium Inc. (TSX:AGU) say they have secured Canadian Competition Bureau approval of their friendly merger.The bureau says on its website it has issued a no-action letter to the parties after finding that the transaction would not lead to a substantial lessening or prevention of competition in Canada for products sold by both companies, including potash fertilizer, dry or liquid phosphate fertilizer and nitric acid.Last week, the companies said the merger is expected to close several months later than the previous target date due in part to authorities in China and India who want the divestment of certain minority interests owned by PotashCorp.It also still requires approvals in the United States.They have said that the merged companies can achieve $500 million of annual operating synergies. read more

Video Alumni of Distinction Awards gala

During the 2011-12 school year, the Brock University Alumni Association (BUAA) is celebrating its 35th anniversary of incorporation.As a special tribute to mark the occasion, the BUAA honoured thirty-five graduates at an awards gala at Amici’s Banquet Centre in Thorold on March 31, 2012.This distinguished group of alumni exemplify the spirit of Brock through their scholarly, creative, humanitarian and professional contributions to Canada and beyond.The MC for the evening was Rick Campanelli (BPhEd ‘94), co-host of ET Canada, and one of Canada’s most recognizable TV personalities. Campanelli is also a recipient of a 30 From the Past 30 Award – the original name for the Alumni of Distinction Awards when the BUAA celebrated its 30th anniversary in the 2006-07 school year.Video coverage from the gala can be seen embedded below. A photo album from the event can be viewed here.For a complete list of award recipients, including individual photos and bios, please click here. read more

Canadians living outside country may be surprised to learn they owe Ottawa

MONTREAL – Globalization is luring Canadians every year to work, travel or retire in low or tax-free countries with the mistaken belief that they can shed their tax obligations at home.But experts in the field say the only way to legally free yourself of Canadian income tax is to completely severe ties with the country and become a permanent resident elsewhere.Things like provincial health coverage, Canadian bank accounts, cars, membership in social clubs or a spouse and dependent children living in Canada affect your status as a non-resident in the government’s eyes.“You cannot reduce your tax burden if you are a Canadian resident working and living abroad,” says Allan Madan, a chartered accountant and tax expert in Toronto.Cleo Hamel, a senior tax analyst with H&R Block says many Canadians only realize their mistake years after departing the country. Many assume payment of Canadian taxes isn’t required if they live outside the country for a year.“Most people think about the actual move or they think about the life that they’re going to lead outside of the country, without actually thinking or researching if there are any tax implications,” she said from Calgary.Ex pats who maintain close ties with Canada must file tax forms annually and pay Canadian taxes on their worldwide income. Credit is given for any taxes paid the 93 countries that have tax treaties with Canada, to prevent double-taxation.Technology that allows electronic records to flow easily between governments is making it harder to get away with not paying taxes on worldwide income. Canadian law requires that the government be notified of transfers from foreign to Canadian bank accounts.The restrictions have prompted some Canadians to completely sever their Canadian ties.Madan says he’s been fielding a growing number of calls in the past couple of years, especially from middle-aged, high income executives seeking to relocate to tax-free or low tax zones in the Caribbean or the Middle East.“For the most part, that’s where their work is taking them, but they’re decision is heavily influenced by the tax situation,” he said in an interview from Toronto.Someone making $1 million a year abroad can save more than $450,000 in Canadian taxes by changing their residency from Ontario to a tax-free country like Saudi Arabia.The tax savings would be much less if they relocate to the United States or Europe where tax rates are similar to Canada.Michael Cadesky, an international tax specialist with Cadesky and Associates, says people are much more mobile these days because of globalization, EU laws that let their passport holders work without permits, and NAFTA that allows some professionals to work in the United States, Canada and Mexico.The Toronto tax expert said workers tend to relocate to countries where jobs are available in their industry, while retirees move to warmer climates or the U.S. Some leave to return to their country of birth.While tax savings influence the decision about becoming a non-resident of Canada, Cadesky said it is rarely the only factor and driving force.“The tax rates in Canada are sufficiently manageable, even though they’re high, particularly for people that have investment income,” he said.Canada Revenue Agency says about 20,000 people a year request a determination of residency, with 60 to 75 per cent coming from people leaving Canada.Cadesky said the easiest way to qualify in the 93 countries that have tax treaties with Canada is to establish a permanent residency in the new country. He said CRA tends to be “quite reasonable.”Cadesky warns there are many traps that can ensnare foreign workers who try to navigate through the process without the help of a tax professional.“It’s a horrible exercise if you try to do it yourself,” Cadesky said.He advises that workers being transferred by their company seek an allowance to spend on tax advice.Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter Canadians living outside country may be surprised to learn they owe Ottawa taxes AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 20, 2014 12:34 pm MDT read more

Kicking off Africa Week at Headquarters UN officials call for integrated peaceful

“The Africa we want is an integrated, peaceful and prosperous continent. It must be a place where employment opportunities are available for those who seek jobs, and where children go to bed with full bellies, rather than hunger pangs,” said General Assembly President Sam Kutesa at a panel discussion at UN Headquarters in New York.With a population of about 1.1 billion people, a combined GDP of over 2 trillion dollars, and impressive rates of economic growth, the continent continues to attract investment, added Mr. Kutesa, who has previously also served as Uganda’s Minister for Foreign Affairs. The rate of return on investment is higher in Africa than in any other developing region, and foreign direct investment inflows into the continent reached over $50 billion in 2013. Today’s high-level panel discussion held by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) focused on “The Africa We Want: Support of the United Nations System to the African Union’s Agenda 2063” – a development vision that is driven by Africa’s own citizens. The panel kicked off what has become informally known as “Africa Week” (13 to 17 October) at UN Headquarters, a series of high-level discussions and events held on the margins of the 193-member General Assembly’s annual consideration of the landmark New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), and other vital issues concerning for the continent. Joining Mr. Kutesa were Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy-Secretary-General; Maged Abdelaziz, UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa; and several representatives of the African Union (AU), including Smail Chergui, its Commissioner for Peace and Security and Anthony Mothae Maruping, Commissioner for Economic Affairs. They all pointed out Africa’s progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and developing a common vision for the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. In the past decade, Africa’s economies grew at a rate of 5.6 per cent on average, making it the world’s fastest growing region after East Asia.“To further accelerate this growth, African countries will need to modernize their agriculture, industrialize more, add value to their vast natural resources, innovate and create more employment opportunities especially for the youth,” said Mr. Kutesa. Addressing the challenge of inadequate infrastructure, especially energy, transportation and technology, remains critical. Access to healthcare and other basic social services is still low. And vocational training and skills development training remain inadequate. Mr. Kutesa commended the positive work of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) for its huge potential to link and open up Africa for trade and investment. “There are huge transformative projects for which we must mobilize financing. The support of the UN System, the international community and continued partnership with the African countries remains instrumental,” said Mr. Kutesa. Addressing the ECOSOC today, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson reiterated the UN’s commitment to work “hand in hand” with Africa on its most pressing challenges including assisting in the response to the current unprecedented Ebola outbreak in West Africa.The UN has, among other efforts, deployed its first-ever emergency health mission–the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) which is “working hard to make a different on the ground: treat the infected, preserve stability, prevent the spread of Ebola and ultimately defeat it.”The Deputy Secretary-General outlined other initiatives aimed at making a difference in Africa, specifically the Every Woman Every Child initiative which has already advanced women’s and children’s health in the region. On Energy, he said that leaders are coming together to scale up access to clean energy. And the Call to Action on Sanitation is catalysing action in providing access to toilets, which 2.5 billion people currently lack. Additionally, the Africa Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance will help ensure that increased productivity and food security go hand-in-hand with decreased carbon emissions for nearly 25 million farming households by 2025. On a regional level, the UN will continue to support the Economic Commission for Africa which is working closely with the AU to determine capacity development needs for the implementation of Agenda 2063. In the area of peace and security, Mr. Eliasson said that the UN continues to support capacity building and to develop joint policies under the several AU-UN initiatives. Here in New York, the UN continues to galvanise the support of the international community for several vulnerable countries, including Somalia, Mali and the Central African Republic (CAR). read more

Businessasusual not an option with future global food security in jeopardy cautions

According to FAO, without a push to invest in and reorganizing food systems, far too many people will remain hungry in 2030 – the year by which the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to eradicate chronic food insecurity and malnutrition.“Without additional efforts to promote pro-poor development, reduce inequalities and protect vulnerable people, more than 600 million people would still be undernourished in 2030,” the report noted.In fact, the current rate of progress would not even be enough to eradicate hunger by 2050, it added.Climate change will affect every aspect of food productionOn top of these challenges, climate change adds a new level of complexity. Its increasing impacts are leading to greater variability of precipitation and increasing the frequency of droughts and floods.RELATED: Drought drives food price spike in East Africa, UN warnsIn the midst of this multifaceted issue, the UN agency is advocating for a shift to more sustainable food systems that make more efficient use of land, water and other inputs, and for sharply reducing the use of fossil fuels in agriculture. In The Future of Food and Agriculture: Trends and Challenges report, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) highlights that while “very real and significant” progress in reducing hunger has been achieved over the past 30 years, these have often come at a heavy cost to nature.“Almost half of the forests that once covered the Earth are now gone. Groundwater sources are being depleted rapidly. Biodiversity has been deeply eroded,” noted the report.“[As a result,] planetary boundaries may well be surpassed, if current trends continue,” added FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, underlining the gravity of the situation.With global population estimated to reach 10 billion by 2050, world-wide demand for agricultural products could be pushed by as much as 50 per cent above current levels, intensifying pressures on already-strained natural resources.At the same time, the report argues, greater numbers of people will be eating fewer cereals and larger amounts of meat, fruits, vegetables and processed food – a result of an ongoing global dietary transition that will further add to those pressures, driving more deforestation, land degradation and greenhouse gas emissions. Empowering small-scale farmers and providing them better access to information, markets and technologies is key to ensuring future food security. Photo: FAO Reducing fossil fuel dependency will also help cut agricultural green-house gas emissions, conserve biodiversity, and reduce waste, it added.Furthermore, investments in agriculture and agri-food systems, as well as in research and development, are needed to sustainably boost food production and help producers better cope with water scarcity and other climate change impacts.The social dimension to food securityAlso in the report, FAO has called for preserving and enhancing livelihoods of small-scale and family farmers, and ensuring access to food for the most vulnerable.Amid the core challenge of having to produce more with less, it has underlined that the twin-track approach is needed to immediately tackle undernourishment, and that pro-poor investments in productive activities – especially agriculture and in rural economies – could sustainably increase income-earning opportunities of the poor.RELATED: UN agency urges support for small farmers to help them not just get by, but thrive and feed othersIn addition to boosting production and resilience, it is equally important to create food supply chains that better connect farmers in low- and middle-income countries to urban markets.“Major transformations in agricultural systems, rural economies and natural resource management will be needed if we are to meet the multiple challenges before us and realize the full potential of food and agriculture to ensure a secure and healthy future for all people and the entire planet,” read the report.“Business-as-usual” is not an option. read more

Police accused of wriggling at every single turn after having to release

first_imgWiltshire Police have been accused of “wriggling at every single turn” after they were forced to release the only two people arrested in connection with the Sir Edward Heath child abuse inquiry.The force has spent almost two years and more than £1 million probing claims against the former Prime Minister who died more than a decade ago.Earlier this week the only two people to be arrested during the inquiry were told they face no further action. He said: “These arrests were used by the police as a justification for the continuation of Operation Conifer and the implication was that they were in some way connected to Sir Edward Heath.”The police certainly did nothing to dispel that impression . Now that those people have been released without charge the police ought to make clear whether there was in fact any connection.” The police have been on a fishing trip with thisDr Richard Hoskins Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.center_img Dr Hoskins said some of the claims that had been made against Sir Edward, including allegations of ritualistic murder, were “clearly absurd”.Lincoln Seligman, who is the godson of Sir Edward Heath, said there was no evidence the arrests had anything to do with the former Prime Minister and called for the police to publish whatever findings they had. But a spokesman for Wiltshire Police insisted the investigation, called Operation Conifer, remained live and ongoing with numerous strands.Dr Richard Hoskins, a criminologist, who was called in by Wiltshire Police to review the inquiry, said he was now convinced there was not a shred of credible evidence against the late former Tory leader and called for it to be shut down.He told Radio 4’s Today programme: “Wiltshire Police are wriggling at every single turn here. Whenever part of their investigation falls down this is their fall back, saying there is another strand.”He added: “The police have been on a fishing trip with this. They quite outrageously, I think, stood outside Ted Heath’s home and called for people to come forward.”last_img read more

La météo pourrait compromettre le lancement dAtlantis

first_imgLa météo pourrait compromettre le lancement d’AtlantisLa navette américaine Atlantis doit décoller ce vendredi 8 juillet de la base de Cap Canaveral en Floride à 11h26 heure locale. Mais les conditions météorologiques encore incertaines pourraient compromettre le lancement de la navette. Près d’un million de personnes sont attendues ce vendredi autour de la base de Cap Canaveral pour l’ultime lancement d’Atlantis. Mais près de deux jours avant le décollage de la navette, la NASA s’inquiète des conditions météorologiques jugées trop incertaines pour confirmer l’évènement. “Les probabilités d’avoir des conditions météorologiques favorables pour lancer Atlantis vendredi à 15H26 GMT (11H26 locales) au milieu d’une fenêtre de tir de dix minutes, avec quatre membres d’équipage dont une femme, à destination de la Station spatiale internationale (ISS), sont de 40%” a indiqué lors d’un point presse la météorologue Kathy Winters, cité par l’AFP. Celle-ci a également précisé qu’un front pluvieux et de possibles orages isolés étaient attendus dans la région du Centre Spatial Kennedy, près de Cap Canaveral (Floride) au moment du lancement depuis le pas de tir 39A. À lire aussiSpaceX : un satellite d’Elon Musk manque d’entrer en collision avec un satellite de l’ESALes conditions météorologiques n’arrangent donc pas les affaires de la NASA. Comme le rapporte Le Nouvel Observateur, celle-ci doit en effet lancer Atlantis entre vendredi et dimanche, sinon elle devra attendre au moins jusqu’au 16 juillet pour reprogrammer le vol. Selon Radio Canada, actuellement, les probabilités d’avoir des conditions favorables pour le lancement sont de 60 % pour samedi et de 70 % pour dimanche. Quant aux préparatifs de lancement, “il n’y a aucun problème à signaler pour le moment”  a déclaré Jeremy Graeber, le directeur des essais de la NASA. C’est donc mardi, que le compte à rebours a officiellement commencé comme prévu à 17H00 GMT, un jour après l’arrivée des quatre astronautes, une femme et trois hommes, sur la base de Cap Canaveral.Le 6 juillet 2011 à 11:53 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Top Republican claims enough votes for Senate OK of tax bill

first_imgWASHINGTON — Republicans used a burst of eleventh-hour horse-trading Friday to edge a $1.4 trillion tax bill to the brink of Senate passage, as a party starved all year for a major legislative triumph took a giant step toward giving President Donald Trump one of his top priorities by Christmas.“We have the votes,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., declared after leaders swayed holdout senators by agreeing to fatten tax breaks for millions of businesses and let people deduct local property taxes.Party leaders hoped for Senate approval later Friday on a measure that focuses the bulk of its tax reductions on businesses and higher-earning individuals, gives more modest breaks to others and would be the boldest rewrite of the nation’s tax system since 1986.Republicans touted the package as one that would benefit people of all incomes and ignite the economy. Even an official projection of a $1 trillion, 10-year flood of deeper budget deficits couldn’t dissuade nearly all GOP senators from rallying behind the bill.“Obviously I’m kind of a dinosaur on the fiscal issues,” said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the only announced GOP opponent, who battled to keep the measure from worsening the government’s accumulated $20 trillion in IOUs.last_img read more

Corner Stone Laying Ceremony for Eliza Simons Primary School

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, May 19, 2017 – Grand Turk – The  Corner Stone Laying Ceremony for Eliza Simons Primary School New Block succeeded yesterday, Wednesday 17th May, despite some rainy resistance.The inclement weather challenged the celebration of the corner stone laying ceremony for the new state-of-the-art two-story school building, a $2.5 million addition to the school.  However, a significant number of government officials and patrons from the community were present to witness what the Minister of Education referred to as “celebrating the laying of blocks for the second in our series of infrastructure of modern schooling in the Turks and Caicos Islands”.The Minister of Education stated, “Today’s ceremony marks a turning point as we prepare to usher in an exciting new era for public education in the Turks and Caicos Islands.  This school will be more than just a building of bricks and mortar; this will be a place where people learn, teach and grow.  This 21st Century learning facility will be built with a focus on using technology to engage students in their learning and to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for the future”.The ceremony included a prayer by School Chaplin, Dr. Linda Williams, who is a past Director and Permanent Secretary of Education.   Remarks were also made by the Honourable Premier, Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson; H.E. Deputy Governor, Anya Williams; Minister of Infrastructure, the Honourable Goldray Ewing; Minister of Education, the Honourable Josephine Connolly and a Representative of Olympic Construction followed by each Government Official laying a brick in the corner of the school.The newly constructed school will foster the education of future generations.  The greatest inheritance to give a child is a high-quality education. Therefore, the Turks and Caicos Islands Government will continue to develop school infrastructure, providing students with a modern and positive learning environment which is part of their commitment to ensure that students meet their full potential.Press Release: TCIG#ElizaSimonsPrimary#cornerstonelayingceremony Related Items:#cornerstonelayingceremony, #ElizaSimonsPrimary Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

Trade unions lambast passage of wage bill in Lok Sabha

first_imgKapra: Trade unions held a round-table at CPI office in ECIL on Wednesday. They opposed the code on wage bill which was approved by Lok Sabha. They expressed anguish stating that they would suffer if the bill sails through in Rajya Sabha too. They called upon all unions’ leaders and activists to join a rally to be held from AICTU office to ECIL Circle on August 2.CITU Medchal president Ashok, general secretary J Chandrasekhar, committee member N Srinivas, AITUC Medchal president S Shankar, leaders Jai Chandra, Damodar Reddy, PV Ramana, TNTUC general secretary V Venkateshwara Rao, organising secretary GVVS Murthy, IFTU leaders P Shiva Babu and K Swamy were present.last_img

AL govt unwilling to catch MP Badi despite official reports of drug

first_img*This piece, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Shameem Reza and Toriqul Islam BadiRuling Awami League’s member of parliament from Cox’s Bazar Abdur Rahman Badi has been mentioned as patron of drug trade, in a list made, on the basis of reports by five state agencies.However, the government is unwilling to take action against him as, the home minister himself argued, ‘no proof’ for his involvement in drug trade is found. Rather, Badi’s position in the ruling party has been stronger in recent times, sources in the party said.Badi is the MP from Cox’s Bazar-4 comprising Ukhia and Teknaf upazilas in the country’s southeast part, which is considered a route for trade trafficking.“We haven’t got any witnesses that can confirm Badi as a drug dealer. Inclusion of name [in the list] is not everything. We must have proof at hand confirming that he is a criminal,” home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told Prothom Alo.Badi has been enlisted earlier as the number one drug dealer in the country, by the narcotics control department (DNC), which said, “Nothing could be done without his consent in this trade.”Even a home ministry report enlisted Badi as a top human trafficker. Cox’s Bazar drew global media attention in 2014-15 for illegal migration by boats through risky sea routes.He was once arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission.In such a context, more than one members of law enforcement agencies said the ongoing anti-drug drives may be questioned if the name of Badi is excluded from the list only for being an MP.On such matters, the home minister said, “The ACC released him as it didn’t get evidences. How will we then take action against him?”Asked on what basis people are being killed in ‘crossfire’ everyday, he said, “This is not crossfire. What is taking place is gunbattle. They [alleged drug traders] are opening fire on police whenever they are going to arrest them. Still we have arrested over 3,000 people.”Following abnormal rise in use of drugs in the country, the government has decided to take actions against the culprits, according to home ministry officials. A committee was also formed in this regard.Actions would be taken against those whose names would be confirmed in a unified list, the home minister said on Tuesday.The government earlier decided to publish the names but backtracked on the move.Prime minister Sheikh Hasina had asked the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) to take stern actions against drug use at the founding anniversary of the force on 3 May.Till Thursday, more than 50 people were killed in what the law enforcement authorities are consistently describing as gunfights after the the anti-narcotic drive began.“My duty is to conduct raids against drug traders, not against any person,” said RAB director general Benazir Ahmed.However, allegations have it that the kingpins of drug trade remains outside of the reach of law enforcement.“These godfathers remain far behind the curtain. Maybe they are 10-12 layers behind. We must not publish anything about them to reach them,” the prime minister’s political affairs adviser HT Imam said to the BBC on Wednesday.“They will be cautious and leave the country if we publish anything about them. RAB and some detectives are active and I think they will be able to arrest the kingpins,” he added.HT Imam observed that the real culprits are international players. “You cannot say that the real criminals are local.”Badi also holds top spot on the list of ‘yaba’ godfathers and traders for the past 10 years. Yaba is a widely used drug item that comes to the country mostly from Myanmar.But, suddenly in March this year, a state agency dropped his name from the list. The list also included names of Badi’s five brothers and one of his cousins and nephews. A total of 1,151 people of eight upazilas of Cox’s Bazar are also on the list.When reached for comments, MP Abdur Rahman Badi on Wednesday said, ‘If anyone can prove that I’ve even talked to any yaba trader, I’ll step down. Rather, I have been maintaining regular contact with the home minister about what can be done against drug abuse.”When asked why he was named as a patron of drug trade time and again, he called it a propaganda of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami.“Jamaat-e-Islami has stronghold in three of the four constituencies in Cox’s Bazar. I’ve kept hold of one of the seats. This kind of gossip has been made to prevent me from contesting in election from the constituency,” he claimed.The ruling party office bearers said Badi has already made his position stronger in the party. The top leaders of the party are now applauding him.At a 12 February rally in Cox’s Bazar, AL general secretary Obaidul Quader said there is no substitute of Badi in the constituency.Former MP from the constituency and upazila AL president Mohammad Ali, however, said Badi is doing the yaba trade in Teknaf with the help of 30-32 persons including his brothers and some public representatives.The AL leader added that it would not be possible to take any action against him as long as he is an MP since such action will hamper the government’s image.Former caretaker government adviser and human rights leader Sultana Kamal said, “If Badi’s name is on the list and he still claims himself as an innocent, he should then file a case against the government.”“The government itself is now seeking evidence against Badi. What evidences does the government have against those who are being killed in gunfights every day. The government should specify the way of getting evidence.”last_img read more

Its a Waterfront Life

first_imgWaterfront Partnership’s “It’s a Waterfront Life” campaign marks the start of the holiday season with festivities on Nov. 13 with the opening of the newly named PANDORA Ice Rink at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Throughout the season, special programs such as Costume Skates, Frozen Fridays, expanded Holiday Hours and Specials, and the Second Annual SkateFest, benefitting Special Olympics Maryland will be offered. For more information visit innerharboricerink.org.last_img

Could we be losing our cinematic heritage

first_imgEven as World Heritage is being celebrated today and Indian cinema will complete its journey of 100 years on 3 May this year, there is an unfortunate loss of invaluable cinematic heritage, including the first silent film as well as the first talkie.Cinema was introduced to India, as soon as it came about in the world, thanks to the Lumiere brothers from France who screened a series of silent shorts Arrival of a Train, Leaving the Factory etc at the Watson Hotel in Bombay (now Mumbai) on 7 July, 1896. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Once the toast of town, the hotel now known as Esplanade Mansions, and India’s oldest cast-iron building, is currently in shambles, its old sepia-toned images providing some consolation to heritage lovers.While Watson may still be standing, Coronation Theatre where India’s first silent feature film Raja Harishchandra on 3 May in 1913 and Majestic Cinema where it’s first talkie Alam Ara on 14 March, 1931, were screened, have met with much worse fate and have disappeared. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix‘I must say Coronation and Majestic were India’s history and should have been preserved as heritage for posterity but the love for cinema has been replaced today with pure business. And we anyway do not have a culture of archiving or preservation in our country,’ says P K Nair, founder and ex-director, NFAI.Nair’s life has been captured in a brilliant documentary Celluloid Man which talks about his marathon efforts in single-handedly building, one of the most enviable film archives in India. Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, who produced and directed this landmark film which releases in theatres on May 3 to coincide with the centenary, has said that over 1700 silent films were made in India of which only 9 or so have survived in the National Film Archives of India, thanks to Nair’s efforts.Nair, who retired from NFAI in 1991, by then had created a massive treasure trove of films and documentaries in black and white and in colour but after his retirement his carefully collected celluloid films and documentaries weren’t kept in the right conditions as needed, Dungarpur’s film points out.However, amidst all the pain of losing our historic treasure, it is Nair’s efforts only that bring some cheers amidst the gloomy scene on the cinematic heritage front.By 1991, NFAI had 12,000 films in its collection, out of which 9000 were in Indian languages, the majority being black and white. Included in the Indian category were films made by foreign studios in India or by Europeans living in India.The archive has rare silent films like Jamai Babu, Ashok Kumar and Devika Rani-starrer Achhut Kanya (1936), V Shantaram’s Duniya Na Mane (1937), second oldest Malayalam film Marthanda Varma’ (1933), and also opening fanfares and cards of production companies like Imperial Movietone, Wadia Movietone, Bombay Talkies, AVM Studios and Prabhat Studios, among other rarities.‘We also had some fine documentaries produced by Burmah Shell on various parts of India, but I don’t know what their current status is now,’ the 80-year-old.He also tells the story of the tragedy of Alam Ara and even some of its few reels left were lost forever as he says ‘filmmakers never cared for what they created’.last_img read more

VIDEO Case Keenum breaking down the Xs and Os of Minnesota Miracle

first_imgThe Minnesota Miracle was the NFL play of the year, and one of the most memorable single plays of all-time. The 61-yard game-winning touchdown pass from Case Keenum to Stefon Diggs launched the Vikings into the NFC Championship Game and was played on a loop for a week after it happened.Even though there was unquestionably some divine intervention on the play, it didn’t all happen by accident. In an awesome chalk talk session with some new Denver fans, Keenum broke out the whiteboard and ran through the x’s and o’s of “Gun Buffalo Right Key Left 7 Heaven” and the insanity of the aftermath. The fact 7 Heaven is in the playcall was probably a good sign.In the most barren part of the football year, this is a nice little fix. Watch Case run through the play of the year like you’re with him in the QB room.last_img read more

Move over Romeo in this new film Juliet finds love again with

first_imgGot a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . Bisexuality representation, vampires, and a Greek island: With A Kiss I Die has it all. In the movie, premiering on 28 August, the Juliet we all know and love has fangs, sucks blood and is bisexual. Is there anything more romantic than a sunset on a Greek island? Perhaps holding hands with a Shakespearean character. | Photo: With A Kiss I DieCongrats, Juliet: you’re bi!Derived from one of the most romanticized tragic tales of all times, With A Kiss I Die takes on a different angle and increases bisexuality visibility. Despite never truly forgetting her love for Romeo, Juliet develops sexual attraction and romantic feelings for someone of her same sex, which makes her a bisexual character.‘[It] was never about making an iconic character bisexual. I think it makes sense that someone living as long as she has would try to find love over the centuries through any means possible and, when it finally happens with another woman, that she’s open to it,’ said director Ronnie Khalil.He explained the biggest challenge was portraying a love story which was ‘genuine, regardless of gender’.Khalil also said he wanted to make sure ‘the relationship wasn’t seen as a “straight man’s stilted view” of a female same-sex relationship and to keep it honest, which is why we didn’t change anything in the script when it came to the romance’.We’re not sure how Shakespeare would feel about this, but we’re on board.Read more from Gay Star News:We need to talk about bi erasure in media: ever heard of the Unicorn Scale? Yes, this is definitely a lot to process for Shakespeare’s purists, but let’s look at the bright side. The tragedy of Romeo & Juliet has undergone several movie adaptations throughout the years – from Franco Zeffirelli’s classic film to Baz Luhrmann’s extravaganza –  but this will be the first time Verona’s heroin is a bisexual woman. Or a vampire, for all that matters.Ella Kweku and Paige Emerson in a scene. | Photo: With A Kiss I DieJuliet is a vampireTurned into a blood-sucking creature after her attempted suicide, Juliet is now a badass vampire who gave up on love. Portrayed by actress Ella Kweku, the character is still mourning the loss of her beloved Romeo, who died in her arms 800 years earlier.But even eternal loyalty has an expiration date. Juliet, in fact, meets Farryn (Paige Emerson), an American girl who makes her reconsider her life and death choices.Desperately in love, Juliet has to challenge societal norms and go against her family once again. Hopefully, it won’t end in a double suicide this time around.Watch the trailer below:[embedded content]Twilight meets Mamma Mia!Borrowing heavily from different cinematographic inspirations, director Ronnie Khalil sets this tale of love and violence on a Greek island. If it rings more than one bell, you’re not wrong.Two lovers belonging to different worlds falling in love in a dreamy Greek paradise is the hybrid between Twilight and Mamma Mia! we never knew we needed. Juliet learns to love again thanks to Veron, an American girl. | Photo: With A Kiss I Die GAYSTARNEWS- eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… LGBTI favorite Riverdale stole the show at last night’s Teen Choice AwardsNetflix’s Alex Strangelove was never ‘erasing bisexuality’Anna Kendrick on kissing Blake Lively: ‘It was a fun day’Read the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/romeo-juliet-movie-bisexual-vampire/last_img read more

Dont Jump to Conclusions Quite Yet

first_img According to Harvard’s State of the Nation’s Housing, when home prices are adjusted for inflation, they are still 9 to 16 percent below peak, depending on the measure used. Harvard uses an interactive map to show price changes in 951 markets across the country in 2000 and since the areas mid-2000 peak. The map covers about 85 percent of the nation’s population in Metropolitan Statistical Areas and 31 Metropolitan Divisions. An additional 9 percent of the population was studied in the 549 smaller Micropolitan Statistical Areas.There has been uneven growth over the U.S. with nominal home prices above their mid-2000s heights concentrated in the middle of the country, Pacific Northwest, and Texas. This accounts for 48 percent of all markets. In real dollars, prices reached their peaks in only 15 percent of all markets. Prices were above their peak in 10 percent of Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Metropolitan Divisions and topped their peak in 17 percent of the smaller micro areas. In one-third of all markets, real prices were still 20 percent below peak. This was seen in the places where the housing crisis was seen the most: Florida, large parts of the Southwest and Northeast, and parts of the Midwest.The report said this uneven growth has led to increasing differences amongst housing costs with the 200 inflation-adjusted median home values in the 10 most expensive metros being $350,000. This is, on average, three times higher than the median value of homes in the 10 least expensive metros. When taking a look at the increase between January 2000 and December 2016, real home values in the top 10 rose 64 percent to about $574,000 while the least expensive were about $113,000. This is a rise of 64 percent and 3 percent respectively.To view the full report, click here. Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Home price 2017-07-10 Brianna Gilpincenter_img July 10, 2017 522 Views Don’t Jump to Conclusions Quite Yetlast_img read more

Altisource Welcomes New VP Head of Valuations

first_img in Headlines, News, Technology Altisource Portfolio Solutions, a service provider for the real estate and mortgage industries, announced Thursday the addition of a new VP to grow the company’s valuations business and an expansion of its sales team.Phil Huff joined Altisource as VP and Head of Valuations as well as President and CEO of Springhouse, a full-service appraisal management company owned by Altisource. Springhouse is an indirect subsidiary of Altisource Portfolio Solutions.“Phil brings a deep expertise in technology, sales, marketing and business development strategy and an extensive real estate industry network,” said Joseph A. Davila, President of Servicer Solutions at Altisource. “His proven expertise and seasoned network will be a big factor to the success of our Valuation Services business.”Huff brings more than 25 years of experience in the realm of financial technology to his new role. Huff served as President and CEO of Platinum Data Solutions prior to its sale to Mercury Network in 2016 and was President and CEO of eLynx, which Black Knight Financial Services purchased in 2016.Altisource also announced the addition of George Paquette as Manager of Valuations.“We are excited to add George to our sales and business development team as we continue to grow our client base and product suite,” said John A. Vella, Chief Revenue Officer of Altisource.Paquette brings more than 15 years of experience as chief appraiser, compliance officer, and manager of review for national appraisal management companies and lenders to his new role. He also previously owned one of Orange County, California’s largest appraisal offices. September 21, 2017 604 Views Altisource Welcomes New VP, Head of Valuationscenter_img Altisource Appraisal Management Companies Springhouse Valuations 2017-09-21 Krista Franks Brock Sharelast_img read more

Related Traffic figures up for Air FranceFrances

first_img RelatedTraffic figures up for Air FranceFrance’s biggest airline is continuing to see success, particularly with passenger traffic to countries in Asia.New flights to Geneva launched by Air CanadaNew flights to Geneva launched by Air CanadaNew flights for Air France and DeltaTwo major airlines have joined forces to offer two new long-haul flights next year Passengers taking Air France flights this month will be able to keep up-to-date with all the news from the Olympic Games.Over the course of August, the airline – which offers flights from France to a number of international destinations – will screen ten-minute sports news bulletins on select routes.The updates will be produced exclusively for Air France by French company L’Equio TV and shown each morning, featuring highlights from the previous evening’s competitions and events.Passengers who do not speak French will still be able to enjoy the service, as the bulletins will be broadcast in both French and English.”Air France is the first airline to screen a sports news bulletin every morning. During the Olympic Games, our customers, two-thirds of whom are international, will be able to follow the performance of their favourite teams and sports,” said Patrick Roux, vice president of marketing at Air France.The Olympic news bulletin forms part of a wider plan by Air France to improve the entertainment programme offered to passengers on long-haul flights.Flights to Amman, Beirut, Damascus, Yerevan and Tel Aviv will all feature the sports update.The airline recorded a 1.8 per cent increase in passenger numbers last month, with flights to Asia, the Americas, and Africa and the Middle East proving particularly popular. ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Maplast_img read more