Anaheim (US): Actor Tom Holland has finally addressed the controversial decision to remove Spider-Man from the Marvel Cinematic Universe following a tussle between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures.Despite the rift between Disney and Sony, Holland on Saturday made an appearance at Disney’s ultimate fan event D23 Expo here to promote his Pixar movie “Onward”. He addressed the issue before leaving the stage.”Listen, it’s been a crazy week, but I want you to know, I am grateful from the bottom of my heart,” said the “Spider-Man: Far From Home” star, leading to a rapturous applause. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: PriyankaHe ended his brief remark by quoting Tony Stark’s iconic line from “Avengers: Endgame” — “And I love you 3,000”, signalling that he values his bond with the Marvel superheroes.Holland’s remarks come days after negotiations fell through between Disney, which owns Marvel, and Sony Pictures.The two studios have been sharing the brand “Spider-Man” across a plethora of films since 2015. As part of the previous agreement, Marvel had also been acting as producer of 2017 and 2019 standalone Sony “Spider-Man” movies. However, Disney and Sony broke the deal as they are “unable” to reach new terms for funding of future movies.Holland was introduced as Spider-Man in “Captain America: Civil War” in 2016. Iron Man’s popularity was used to bring back the “Spider-Man” franchise. Holland got his first solo movie with “Spider-Man: Homecoming” — which took the superhero back to school. He came back as the superhero with his second solo movie “Spider-Man: Far From Home” this year.
NEW DELHI: Metro train passengers in the country can now carry a heavier bag as the weight limit has been increased to 25 kg from 15 kg. According to rules notified by the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry on August 27, only one bag weighing up to 25 kg is allowed and baggage in the form of bundles will not not permitted on metro trains. The government has amended the Metro Railways (Carriage and Ticket) Rules, 2014. “No person shall, while travelling in metro railway, carry with him any goods other than one baggage containing personal belongings not exceeding 80 centimetres x 50 centimetres x 30 centimetres in size and 25 kilograms in gross weight, except with prior approval of the metro railway administration,” the notification stated. For dedicated metro trains for airports, the ministry has also allowed one bag weighing up to 32 kilograms. Baggage in form of bundles will also not be allowed on airport metro trains.
New Delhi: In a bid to end factionalism in the party ahead of assembly polls in Haryana, the Congress on Wednesday named Kumari Selja chief of its state unit and appointed former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda chairperson of the election management committee.Congress president Sonia Gandhi also appointed Hooda the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader, and by virtue of that leader of opposition in the state assembly, Congress general secretary in-charge of Haryana Ghulam Nabi Azad announced. He was addressing a press conference here with general secretary organisation K C Venugopal by his side. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Selja, 56, is a former Union minister and known for being close to Sonia Gandhi. While she takes Ashok Tanwar’s place as Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Hooda will replace CLP leader Kiran Choudhary. Tanwar, who finds himself out of favour, is known to be close to Rahul Gandhi. He had been state unit chief since 2014. The Hooda faction had been demanding a change in the Haryana Congress leadership ahead of the assembly polls in October this year. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KHis supporters wanted 71-year-old Hooda to be installed as the new Congress chief in Haryana. However, the party leadership was not inclined to do so and wanted to replace Tanwar, a Dalit, with a Dalit. Therefore, according to sources, the decision to finalise Rajya Sabha MP Selja. The party’s decision to give Hooda the responsibility of leading the election charge follows his August 18 ‘Maha Parivartan Rally’ in Rohtak when he declared that the Congress had “lost direction”. Asked about Hooda’s remarks and the factionalism plaguing the Haryana unit of the party, Azad said all that was in the past and a new beginning had been made with the appointments. Pressed further, Azad said Hooda had been given the responsibility now. If the party had lost direction, he can bring it on the right path, he said. On the delay in appointments, Azad said, “Better late than never.” “This (post of election management committee chief) is very important as in the next few days Haryana elections are likely to be announced,” Azad said. Azad also listed the various development works carried out in Haryana under Hooda’s tenure from 2005-2014. A lot of work was done for Dalits and farmers, he said. In terms of per capita income and investment, Haryana was number 1 under Hooda’s tenure, Azad said, adding that the state had became a hub of health, education and sports. “Considering all this, he (Hooda) has been given the job during elections. All senior leaders of the states will fight the BJP together,” he asserted. Azad hit out at the Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana, alleging that the state lagged behind on all counts, including law and order. “There have been various atrocities against Dalits in Haryana. I have full confidence that the entire team will fight together to defeat the BJP,” he said. During his rally in Rohtak, Hooda had given a warning to the Congress party for a leadership change, while supporting the Modi government’s move to scrap the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution. It was also being speculated that Hooda could quit the party.
Batala: Twenty-one people were killed while 27 injured in a blast at a firecracker factory in Batala of Gurdaspur district on Wednesday, an official said. Several people were feared trapped under the debris, police said, adding that the rescue operation was underway.The blast took place around 4 pm at the factory located in a residential area, Inspector General (Border Range) SPS Parmar said. Batala senior Medical Officer Sanjiv Bhalla said, “A total of 21 people have died in the blast.” Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsEarlier, Gurdaspur Deputy Commissioner Vipul Ujjwal said 19 people had died in the blast and 27 sustained injuries. Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident. The Additional Deputy Commissioner (Batala) had been asked to conduct the inquiry into the tragic incident, an official release said. Amarinder Singh also directed Rural Development and Panchayat Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa to immediately rush to the spot and oversee the relief and rescue operations. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayAn ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the kin of the each deceased and Rs 50,000 for the each of the seven severely injured, who were referred to the Amritsar medical college, was announced. The government also announced Rs 25,000 for those with minor injuries. Punjab CM directed both the civil and police administration to extend all possible help to the victims’ families in this hour of grief. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed for the rescue operation.
Darjeeling: “There is no threat to the heritage status accorded to the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways,” stated Sanjiv Rai, General Manager, North-east Frontier Railways, while talking to media persons following a two-day meeting with the UNESCO representatives in Darjeeling. The UNESCO representatives dubbed the meeting as a landmark one and added that it agreed on defining and agreeing on a buffer zone that is one of the most important components of conserving the world heritage railway. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja “It was a very fruitful meeting. Though the DHR has been enjoying the world heritage tag for the past 20 years, the boundary of the heritage had not been defined and hence protecting it was a challenging task. In this landmark meeting, the Railways agreed to the Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan (CCMP) team’s proposal of creating a buffer zone. The boundary discussion ended fruitfully in this meeting. The other stakeholders have to be proactive in the conservation and protection of this world heritage also. All the stakeholders including the local community need to come together for this,” stated Junhi Han, Chief, Culture Department and Programme Specialist, UNESCO, New Delhi. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway She appealed to all the stakeholders including the state government, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, the municipality, Forest department and the PWD to come together for this noble task. Commenting on the issue of land encroachment along the tracks, Junhi Han said: “There is no quick solution to this as people’s lives are involved. There has to be a long term plan which should involve the other stakeholders. However, it has to be ensured that no further encroachment takes place,” she remarked. She also stated that the Indian Railways is committed and open to understanding that this industrial heritage also includes the old buildings like staff quarters, printing press and workshops. “They accepted this and even assured us that redundant components could be transformed into museums and community centres,” stated Han. Echoing similar sentiments, Ravinder Kumar Verma, Divisional Railway Manager, Katihar Division, maintained: “Heritage is not the track alone. The Hill Cart Road on which the DHR runs is also part of the heritage. The buffer zone will maintain the scenic beauty along the route. Any construction in the buffer zone has to confirm with the heritage nature. Other stakeholders will have to see this. We will also take up the matter of encroachment with the state and the local authorities.” Regarding work on the DHR, Verma stated that the revamped Ghayabari and Sonda stations will become operational before the end of this month. “20 to 25 new coaches will be introduced soon. 20 km of sleepers will be changed.” Adding to this, the GM stated: “The joy ride services of the DHR has witnessed a surge of 50% passengers than previous years. Vistadome coaches have been introduced along with AC coaches.” In 1879, work first started on the DHR, then called the Darjeeling Steam Tramways. DHR was titled as a world heritage site by UNESCO on December 2, 1999.
New Delhi: A gang of unidentified thieves cleared an unguarded ATM in South Delhi’s Maidan Garhi area and fled away with the money.The robbers cut open the machine with a gas cutter before fleeing with the cash. Police have registered a case in this regard and investigation is going on. According to police, the incident came to light on 7.30 am on Sunday when they were alerted by a person regarding the robbery at the ATM. The police team reached the spot which was in Asola area of South Delhi. They found that ATM was opened and the CCTV was painted black. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”The accused spray painted the CCTV camera to blind it and then using a gas cutter broke open the machine and removed the cash,” police said. Deputy Commissioner of Police (south) Atul Thakur, elaborating more about the incident, stated that at the time of the incident, there was no guard present at the ATM. They have registered a case in this regard. Reports were coming that the accused fled with more than three lakh rupees. “We are yet to ascertain about the robbed money as the company has not informed us,” added DCP Thakur. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsAdding further, DCP South Delhi stated that they are scanning the CCTV cameras of the area to get clues regarding the incident. It seems that the gang may have performed a recce of the area around the machine before targeting it. It is being suspected that no customer came to withdraw money at the time, especially because it was late in the night and the shutter might have been downed by the gang. “The investigation is going from several angles,” said an officer, privy to the investigation. Senior officials inspected the spot and a team has been formed to nab the accused. “We have questioned a few people. Soon the case will be cracked,” police said.
Kevadiya (Guj)/New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned 69 on Tuesday and spent his birthday in his home state of Gujarat offering prayers to goddess Narmada at the Sardar Sarovar dam filled to capacity for the first time, visiting the Statue of Unity and sharing a meal with his nonagenarian mother.Modi, who was greeted by leaders across the political spectrum, also addressed a public rally in Kevadia where he lauded the vision of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, saying his government drew inspiration from the country’s former home minister for its decision last month on Jammu and Kashmir in an attempt to find solution to a decades-old problem. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’BJP chief and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, top Congress leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, BSP supremo Mayawati, chief ministers of West Bengal, Telangana, Odisha and Delhi–Mamata Banerjee, K Chandrasekhar Rao, Naveen Patnaik and Arvind Kejriwal respectively–were among others who greeted Modi on his birthday. Shah described Modi as a leader with strong willpower and a symbol of decisive leadership and hard work while Defence Minister Rajnath Singh hailed the prime minister’s “visionary leadership” and said it has helped India scale new heights of glory. On his 68th birthday last year, Modi was in his Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi and spent time with school children. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KA 569-kg ladoo was also unveiled at an event organised in Delhi by Sulabh International, a non-profit organisation, to mark Modi’s birthday as ‘Swachhta Diwas’ (Cleanliness Day). Modi met his mother Heeraben at her home in Gandhinagar after his public engagements. TV visuals showed the prime minister greeting his mother with folded hands to seek her blessings. Modi then sat down to have a birthday lunch with her. The TV images showed the mother and son enjoying what appeared to be a Gujarati thali.
OTTAWA – Adults in Canada will soon have easier access to e-cigarettes and vaping supplies — and be exposed to more ads promoting them — now that the federal Liberal government has passed legislation formally legalizing and regulating the practice.Once the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act receives royal assent in the coming days, it will prohibit the sale of vape products to minors, ban flavours aimed at young people and prohibit marketing that features testimonials, health claims or “lifestyle” themes.It also allows the legal manufacture, import and sale of vaping products both with and without nicotine, Health Canada said Wednesday. Other provisions will come into force 180 days after the bill becomes law to give manufacturers and importers time to comply.Manufacturers that want to market their products with therapeutic claims, such as for smoking cessation, will still require the agency’s blessing before their products can be imported, advertised or sold in Canada.Some experts cheered the vaping regulations, saying they give legitimacy to something that could prove a boon for smokers who are trying to quit. Others fear the restrictions could keep those very same people from exploring its potential as a less-harmful alternative to cigarettes.Where they agree, however, is that Canada continues to lack sufficient research into vaping and its potential effects.The law essentially treats vaping like smoking, with similar regulations, said David Sweanor, an adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa’s Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics.It prevents companies that make so-called “non-combustion” products from informing smokers about significantly less hazardous options, Sweanor said, and fails to adequately distinguish between the relative risks of cigarettes, and e-cigarettes and other alternatives.Canadian Medical Association president Dr. Laurent Marcoux welcomed the legislation for its restrictions on promoting and advertising vape products., but warned its still too soon to embrace it as a potential stop-smoking aid.“We’re very pleased. We’ve been working on this issue for so many years and it’s a public health issue and we are very glad to see it will not attract young people,” said Marcoux.“We know some people use it to quit smoking, but it’s not proved yet how it works. We need more research before we recommend it as a good thing. I think we should wait and be more cautious.”Lesley James, manager of health policy at the Heart and Stroke Foundation, said Canada needed a regulatory framework for e-cigarettes because “it’s been the wild west in Canada.”“We haven’t had any safety standards, and e-cigarettes with nicotine have been illegal, but they have been accessible,” she said, adding that the new legislation allows Canadians to try e-cigarettes as a “quit aid.”On the other hand, the marketing restrictions are “hugely important” and worth keeping an eye on, since other countries have stricter rules than Canada — and for good reason, James said.“These products are highly appealing to youth and we want to make sure that Canadian youth aren’t experimenting and taking up e-cigarettes any more than they are right now.”Big Tobacco, meanwhile, came out staunchly opposed to the legislation’s additional crackdown on cigarette packaging, since it prohibits outright any sort of promotional information and branding, including logos.Cigarette makers have the right to brand their products, said Eric Gagnon, the director of government relations at Imperial Tobacco Canada.And while the company supports the vaping regulations, manufacturers and retailers should be able to market directly to their customers, he added.“One of the challenges we’re facing is that most of the provinces are regulating vaping right now as tobacco … products are hidden from view,” Gagnon said.“With that mindset it becomes difficult to inform consumers of the benefits of using vaping products.”
WASHINGTON – Two of six Burundi teenagers who went missing after an international robotics competition in the United States have been seen crossing the border into Canada, U.S. authorities said Thursday.The search for the teens is ongoing, but police have no indication of foul play in their disappearance, said Aquita Brown, a spokeswoman for police in Washington, D.C.Canadian officials would not say if the two students reported to have been seen crossing the border — a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old — had made refugee claims.Canada Border Services Agency said in an email Thursday that it is not its practice to confirm or deny the entry of any person into Canada. The RCMP said it was not in a position to comment on the matter.American authorities tweeted missing person fliers Wednesday asking for help finding the six teens, who had last been seen in the U.S. at the FIRST Global Challenge around the time of Tuesday’s final matches. The missing team members include two 17-year-old girls and four male students ranging in age from 16 to 18.The competition in the U.S. capital, which is designed to encourage youths to pursue careers in math and science, attracted teams of teenagers from more than 150 nations. A squad of girls from Afghanistan drew the most attention after they were twice rejected for U.S. visas and President Donald Trump intervened.Organizers learned Tuesday night that the Burundi team’s mentor couldn’t find the six students who participated in the competition and FIRST Global president Joe Sestak made the initial call to police, a FIRST Global Challenge statement said.The mentor said the teens travelled from Burundi for the competition and have one-year visas, U.S. police reports say. The mentor said they disappeared after the competition, but he doesn’t know where they went. The reports say police tried to contact one missing teen’s uncle but got no response.The competition’s webpage about Team Burundi shows the six team members posing with a flag and says team members were selected from schools in Bujumbura, the capital city.Alastair Clarke, a Canadian immigration lawyer based out of Winnipeg, said one of the most common reasons asylum-seekers choose Canada over the U.S. is because of a “general fear of the Trump administration.”“I have heard it on numerous occasions that individuals have chosen Canada because they don’t feel that the U.S. government is supportive of refugees,” said Clarke, who has worked on several cases involving Burudi refugees claimants.He said many refugees claimants in the U.S. are detained while their asylum claims are in process and many have heard that they will receive more legal support and support from established communities in Canada.“I’ve had clients who have gone through the U.S. system and they have been detained for four, six, 12 or 18 months while their refugee claim is in process,” Clarke said. “This has been a huge detriment to their application — they have not had access to counsel, they have not had access to get proper documents.”Clarke added that Burundi — an East African nation of about 10 million people who speak the local Kirundi language and French — is on a list of countries at the Refugee Protection Division for expedited processing.Henry Chang, a Toronto-based lawyer for Blaney McMurtry, who is not involved in the situation, said the one-year visas issued to the students by the U.S. government mean they would likely fall under the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement.The agreement requires people to apply for asylum in the first country where they arrive, unless an immediate family member lives in the other country.The Canadian government has faced pressure to repeal the agreement, with many arguing it is the reason asylum-seekers have crossed the border on foot, to bypass border points so they could make their refugee claims once already in the country.“There is a clear perception … that Canada is more inclined to grant them refugee status if they come here,” Chang said. “That’s why you’ve seen this influx of people — who aren’t even illegal, they are in legal status — but they don’t think there is any hope for them in the U.S., so they make the trek across the border like everyone else is doing right now.”— With files from Daniela Germano at The Canadian PressNote to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version erroneously said the two Burundi teens would not fall under the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement because they were issued one-year visas in the U.S.
MONTREAL – Two more Quebec women have filed official complaints of sexual assault against Just For Laughs founder Gilbert Rozon.They are TV personality Penelope McQuade, 46, and actress Patricia Tulasne, 58.They are two of the 10 women who accused Rozon last week of sexual harassment or sexual assault.News of the police complaints comes a day after TV star Julie Snyder filed a similar complaint with authorities.McQuade’s agent, Julie Bergeron, said today there will be no other immediate comment because of the ongoing legal process. McQuade, 46, has previously said Rozon allegedly attacked her in 1997 when she was covering the Just For Laughs comedy festival.Rozon founded Just For Laughs in 1983 and was serving as president when he resigned last week as news of the allegations surfaced.He also stepped down as vice-president of the Montreal Chamber of Commerce and as head of the committee behind Montreal’s 375th-anniversary celebrations.
QUEBEC – A longtime Liberal member of the Quebec legislature stepped away from the party on Thursday following his arrest by the province’s anti-corruption unit.Guy Ouellette, 65, was arrested in connection with an investigation by the unit, known as UPAC, into an important information leak to the media last April, a government source told The Canadian Press.In a statement, the Liberals said Ouellette would step aside temporarily pending the outcome of proceedings involving the province’s director of criminal and penal prosecutions.Ouellette, a former organized crime investigator turned politician, has represented the riding of Chomedey, north of Montreal, since 2007.The anti-corruption unit explained it executed six warrants in an investigation targeting breach of trust and obstruction of justice.The unit said officers made an arrest “to secure evidence and to prevent the offences from continuing or recurring.”UPAC said it wouldn’t identify anyone implicated because no charges have yet been filed.Radio-Canada reported that UPAC investigators tricked Ouellette into a meeting by sending him a text from the phone of a retired police officer.Sources told the network the investigators seized the officer’s phone as part of the probe into the information leaks and contacted Ouellette, using the pretext the officer was getting ready to reveal what he knew to a local newspaper.Premier Philippe Couillard cancelled events in northern Quebec on Thursday to be at the legislature for a special caucus meeting and to attend question period.Couillard said Ouellette was right to step aside, but said he didn’t have any further details for the gaggle of reporters outside the Liberal meeting room.The premier said he was in a hotel room in Chibougamau on Wednesday when a staffer informed him of news of the arrest, which was first reported by Montreal La Presse.While Couillard hadn’t spoken to Ouellette directly as of Thursday morning, Liberal caucus chair Filomena Rotiroti said she was shaken when Ouellette told her he was withdrawing from caucus.“Guy has always been a team player and while light is shed on the matter, he took a decision to step aside,” Rotiroti said, standing alongside Couillard.Couillard said the shock extends to all political parties but added that Ouellette’s departure won’t destabilize his government.“It surprises us, it saddens us, but it doesn’t deviate us from the plan,” Couillard said.Ouellette’s arrest is allegedly linked to a UPAC probe called Machurer, which looked into suspected illegal financing within the Liberal party under former leader Jean Charest.UPAC has been investigating leaks from within its own organization.A leak last April revealed UPAC had been investigating the comings and goings of ex-premier Charest and Liberal fundraiser Marc Bibeau up until 2016.A news organization published emails dating from 2011 between Bibeau, Jean-Louis Dufresne, the former chief of staff to Premier Philippe Couillard, and Hugo d’Amour, a spokesperson for Charest. The emails showed the men discussed a contract to repair a Montreal-area bridge.Ouellette came out publicly in April to denounce the major information leak, which proved embarrassing to the Liberals.He said at the time he was “disgusted by the situation, disgusted by all these leaks, disgusted by all these conflicts of interest.”Ouellette was head of the legislature committee that recently held hearings into the leaks.The reactions from Quebec politicians were mostly measured.“I don’t know if there was an arrest or just questioning,” said Parti Quebecois public security critic Pascal Berube.“I saw the images that show police officers entering Mr. Ouellette’s residence in Quebec City.“Until I know what he’s accused of, I don’t want to speculate any further. I don’t want to condemn a fellow member.”Quebec solidaire member Amir Khadir expressed support for Ouellette, who he described as a possible whistleblower.“Guy Ouellette must know this morning that he has my respect and my support,” Khadir said. “I have no reason to doubt his integrity, his honesty.”UPAC should be focusing less on “hunting sources” and more on bringing down those responsible for the alleged illegal Liberal fundraising, Khadir added.
Six stories in the news for Monday, Dec. 4———TRUDEAU CONTINUES BUSY STATE VISIT TO CHINAJustin Trudeau began his four day state visit to China by telling a panel discussion in Beijing that global warming has been a boon to Canada’s wine industry. The prime minister visited the headquarters of China’s most popular social media company, Sina Weibo where he promoted Canada as a terrific tourist destination. Meanwhile, trade was expected to be the hot topic today at a meeting between Trudeau and China’s premier and also at a later meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.———FEDS WILLING TO REDUCE SHARE OF POT REVENUEOttawa appears willing to give the provinces and territories a bigger cut of the money it will collect from a federal tax on cannabis. The feds have proposed handing over half of the estimated $1-billion annual excise tax take once recreational pot is legalized next July. But The Canadian Press has learned that federal finance officials signalled a conditional willingness to increase that share during talks with their provincial and territorial counterparts. The condition is that the extra money be used to help municipalities cope with the impact of legalizing marijuana.———CANNABIS BLACK MARKET LIKELY TO LINGERFrom texting a local dealer to dropping into a neighbourhood dispensary or ordering online, Canada’s black market for recreational pot has seen significant changes in recent years and, no doubt, will see more as the country hurtles toward a new world of legalization next summer. What does seem clear, however, is that the illegal market is unlikely to disappear in a puff of smoke come legalization day.———HIV-POSITIVE PEOPLE SAY ONTARIO GOVERNMENT RULING ONLY FIRST STEPThe Ontario government has announced that HIV-positive people with low viral loads who have little chance of transmitting the disease can no longer be charged with a crime for not disclosing their medical status to a sexual partner. The move has generally been hailed as a positive step, but some advocates fear decriminalizing only people with low viral loads will divide the community into those who are fortunate enough to get the treatments they need, and those who aren’t.———TORONTO CONSIDERS NEW SHORT-TERM RENTAL RULESToronto politicians will be reviewing proposed rules for short-term rentals this week that could mean big changes for those who offer secondary residences for rent on home-sharing platforms like Airbnb. Among the regulations going before city council is one that would ban short-term rentals of homes that aren’t the landlord’s primary dwelling. Some tenants say the rule change is needed in a city grappling with high rents and low vacancy rates, while those who rent out secondary residences argue the new rules would mainly help hotel owners.———THE GROWING LEGEND OF VINCE COLEMANExactly one century after he died, mustachioed train dispatcher Vince Coleman’s status as the ultimate Halifax Explosion hero will be cemented Wednesday. Calgary lawyer Jim Coleman — Vince’s grandson — will deliver brief remarks during the city’s commemorative ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the blast that killed or wounded 11,000 people. The recognition of Vince Coleman is the culmination of his growing legend for his selfless act of saving a trainload of passengers at the cost of his own life.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne leads a trade mission in Vietnam with stops in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi— Ottawa press conference marking the 20th anniversary of the Ottawa Treaty banning landmines— The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls holds community hearings in Thunder Bay— The Canadian Tax Payers Federation launches a campaign opposing the federal government’s automatic tax hikes on alcohol— The National Energy Board hears oral submissions in Calgary on a motion from Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC regarding its expansion project— Halifax trial of Christopher Calvin Garnier, charged with murder in the death of off-duty Truro police officer Catherine Campbell
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Researchers probing the frigid depths of the Canadian Arctic got a rare glimpse of one of the oldest and most elusive creatures on Earth, providing valuable insight into just how many of the massive creatures are left.A small team of scientists from the Marine Institute in Newfoundland said they counted 142 individual Greenland sharks in five different areas off Nunavut, where they deployed a baited remote underwater camera.The data — including 258 hours of video footage of the slow-moving sharks — provides some of the first local abundance estimates of one of the largest and longest-lived marine species.“We had no baseline for how many sharks should be there, it’s all new information,” lead author Brynn Devine said from St. John’s.“They’re really fun to watch and maybe not quite as exciting as a great white shark that would be really vicious and attacking the camera, but it was really cool to see.”Greenland sharks can reach seven metres in length and are a top predator feeding primarily on bottom fish and seals. They can live up to at least 270 years and possibly up to 400 years.Devine says researchers have made a rough population estimate of between one to five sharks per square kilometre in most of the sampling regions, which were surveyed from July to September in 2015 and again in 2016. But, she cautions that the figures are from a limited number of camera deployments and more work is needed to come up with more accurate numbers.In Admiralty Inlet, the camera captured 18 individual sharks. The study says that the highest number of sharks seen per hour were in Arctic Bay and were lowest in Resolute. The other areas sampled included central Lancaster Sound, Southeast McDougall Sound and Scott Inlet.The peer-reviewed study on the Greenland shark was recently published in the journal Scientific Reports. Devine and her team travelled to the Arctic region on board a fishing vessel and deployed the camera in waters as deep as 800 metres.The soundless footage shows dappled grey sharks swimming slowly past the camera, along a dark, muddy bottom. One of the sharks — identified by distinct scars and markings — tries to take a bite out of the camera stake and stares directly into the camera before venturing away.Devine said the majority of the sharks they saw had not yet reached maturity as they appeared to be smaller than adults.But, she said so little is known about the species that the findings could be an important first step in getting a handle on the population size and range. What little is known about their numbers is taken from fisheries catches, when the sharks are caught as bycatch, and historical commercial exploitation.“There’s no information out there,” she said. “The species is just so poorly understood.”The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has listed Greenland sharks as near threatened, with the caveat that nothing is known about their density.The species used to be fished for liver oil until 1960, with “annual catch estimates in the early 20th century ranging from 32,000 to 150,000 sharks in Greenland and Norway,” according to the study. The sharks are still caught for human and sled-dog consumption.– By Alison Auld in Halifax
OTTAWA – Renegade Conservative MP Maxime Bernier declared open war on his own party Thursday, abruptly quitting the Tory caucus, announcing nascent plans for a new political movement and deriding his former leader and colleagues as “intellectually and morally corrupt.”With Conservative caucus members gathering in Halifax for a policy convention that was expected to bring the Bernier boil to a head, the controversial Quebec MP stayed behind instead, hosting a snap news conference that proved breathtaking in its defiance.“I am no longer a Conservative,” Bernier declared after reading a scathing diatribe against his party and its leader, Andrew Scheer — the Saskatchewan MP who narrowly edged Bernier out of the leadership job last year in a loss some have suggested he never got over.“I am now convinced that what we will get if Andrew Scheer becomes prime minister is just a more moderate version of the disastrous Trudeau government,” he said.“I have come to realize over the past year that this party is too intellectually and morally corrupt to be reformed.”The shock of Bernier’s rebellion was still reverberating on Parliament Hill when Scheer emerged in Halifax to return fire, accusing his former leadership rival of putting his own “personal profile” ahead of the goals of the party.“It’s obvious that this has been coming for a long time, and in retrospect he probably made this decision to help Justin Trudeau a long time ago,” Scheer said.“I always challenged him to put personal ambition aside and to concentrate on the common ground that all Conservatives can rally around … I always challenged him to work together as a team, as he claimed that he would.”Bernier said he plans to contact Elections Canada about the path towards creating a new party and will spend the next several weeks travelling the country to meet with people interested in joining his cause.He accused Scheer of being too focused on polls and focus groups, and afraid of being attacked by people on the left and in the media, to come up with policies that adhere to bedrock Conservative principles. And he rattled off a laundry list of grievances:— Scheer’s support for Trudeau’s decision to impose retaliatory tariffs against the United States;— The Conservative party’s ongoing support for supply management, the system that regulates the price of Canadian milk, eggs and poultry and a major sticking point in NAFTA talks;— The reinstatement of regional ministers to lead development agencies.Bernier’s decision to drop his bombshell with Conservatives gathering in Nova Scotia for a policy convention was no coincidence; he wanted to make a big splash, said one source close to the MP who spoke on condition of anonymity.Conservative caucus members likely knew something was up, since Bernier had stopped taking their calls in the days leading up to Thursday’s announcement, the source said.Bernier said the last Conservative member he spoke to was Scheer himself — an Aug. 14 conversation that prompted his decision to leave the party, after the Tory leader issued a statement denouncing Bernier’s recent tweets about the perils of “too much diversity.”“We had a very polite discussion,” Bernier said. “After that discussion, I realized that I don’t have any place in that party anymore.”“It does not represent them anymore. And it has nothing of substance to offer Canadians looking for a political alternative.”The news prompted a torrent of Conservative reaction on Twitter and elsewhere, with the prevailing sentiment a show of solidarity with the party and its leader.“It’s clear that Max never accepted the result of the leadership vote and seeks only to divide Conservatives,” wrote former prime minister Stephen Harper.“Today’s Conservative Party is a mainstream, democratic coalition that is ready to govern,” added Jason Kenney, leader of Alberta’s United Conservative Party.“One man’s ego must not risk the imperative of defeating the Trudeau government.”Others were less diplomatic.“You had every opportunity to stand in caucus to share your views and provide input,” tweeted B.C. MP Todd Doherty. “When given the opportunity — you stayed silent or blamed it on others around you. You’re Twitter tough … all bark no bite.”While a number of observers lamented the electoral consequences for the Conservatives of a split on the right of the political spectrum, others were more sanguine about Bernier’s departure.“He has disregarded the caucus and disregarded what Canadian conservatives want, which is a very positive vision for the future of the country,” said Ontario MP Tony Clement.“I think is actually liberating for us, because we have rid ourselves of a giant distraction who was saying things that are not mainstream, so I think this actually rebounds in our favour.”
OTTAWA — Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi is asking the National Energy Board to make sure Canada’s oil pipelines are being used as efficiently as possible.The market price for Alberta oil is rebounding today, a day after Premier Rachel Notley announced plans to cut production by almost nine per cent in January to deal with a glut of oil that can’t be moved to buyers, but the discount Canadian producers have to stomach compared to the price their U.S. counterparts get is still north of $30 a barrel.Sohi says he shares the Alberta government’s frustration about the oil-price crisis and has asked the NEB to report as soon as possible on the capacity of the existing pipelines in Canada, with a view to using them to move more oil and related products.Sohi says the status quo on Canadian oil shipping simply cannot continue.But the minister is defending his government’s record on pipelines and the oil industry, noting the recent $4.5-billion purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline in a bid to get it expanded despite political controversy. He said the federal government supports both the Keystone XL pipeline and the replacement of Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline.The government has not yet made a decision about whether it will contribute anything toward Alberta’s purchase of new rail cars so two more trains a day can transport crude from Alberta to refineries in Canada and the United States.The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The opioid crisis in Canada can be solved, according to a coalition of healthcare and patient groups.A report from the Coalition for Safe and Effective Pain Management suggests Canadians need more access to other pain management strategies, including psychological treatments and physiotherapy, to reduce reliance on addictive opioids.RELATED: Boys and Girls Clubs to get free supply of opioid overdose-reversing sprayThe report’s authors believe that better coverage of non-pharmacological pain treatments could reduce the use of opioids as a first-line treatment for non-cancer pain.It says that many who become dependent on the drugs were looking for pain relief and didn’t know about alternative pain-management methods, or weren’t able to access them because of limits to funding through public healthcare or insurance.The CSEPM is a coalition of health system experts, associations of health professionals, and patient organizations that share the objective of reducing opioid prescriptions.
More than 1,800 teens will descend on Atlanta March 21-24 for Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 46th National Keystone Conference, sponsored by the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens.The annual conference is one of the largest, most established youth leadership conferences in the country, and the most anticipated among Boys & Girls Club teens.Themed “ATL—All Teens Lead,” the National Keystone Conference will take place as teen leadership is needed now more than ever in the U.S. Statistics show that more than 1 in 4 students fails to graduate from high school each year; 1 in 3 kids is overweight or obese; and the teen unemployment rate is at a record high. To address these and other challenges, Keystone Conference participants will discuss solutions and develop action plans for addressing the most pressing issues facing youth in their local Clubs and communities.During the action-packed conference, teens will hear from a wide array of motivational speakers and entertainers, including musical performances by recording artist and actress Jordin Sparks; hip hop recording artist B.o.B; and pop group OMG Girlz. Motivational sessions will feature rap and hip hop pioneers Darryl McDaniels of Run DMC, Doug. E. Fresh and DJ Spinderella of Salt-n-Pepa; professional skateboarder Preston Pollard; and WWE wrestler and actress Eve Torres.Teens will also volunteer throughout metro Atlanta; participate in interactive workshops on everything from bullying prevention, financial literacy and college preparedness to robotics, golf and movie making; and make time for fun through various social activities.“Boys & Girls Clubs of America believes a critical step to ensuring success for teens is to actively engage them and empower them to lead through initiatives like the Keystone Conference,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “We are excited to partner with the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens on another memorable learning and motivational experience for Boys & Girls Club teens.”“The Taco Bell Foundation for Teens has supported the National Keystone Conference for more than 15 years, and we are proud of the positive impact this event has had on so many young lives,” said Regina Borda, managing director, Taco Bell Foundation for Teens. “It is our hope that by providing experiences like these, we can inspire and enable more teens across the country to achieve Mas, starting with high school graduation.”For more information about the National Keystone Conference, or to request press credentials, email Jetaun Adkins at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kinetra Joseph at email@example.com.Source:PR Newswire
A trip to space with Leonardo DiCaprio, a private performance by legendary rock icons Duran Duran, and a family portrait sitting with Annie Leibovitz: these were just a few of the items sold at amfAR’s most successful benefit event to date.Cinema Against AIDS XX on May 23 exceeded all expectations, raising nearly $25 million in a single night, helping amfAR in its continued fight against HIV/AIDS.amfAR has long been known for its global reach, but Cinema Against AIDS XX marked its first foray into outer space fundraising, with three seats aboard Virgin Galactic alongside Leonardo DiCaprio selling for a combined total of €3 million. This truly once in a lifetime opportunity, secured by amfAR Global Fundraising Ambassador Milutin Gatsby, raised more than any other single auction item ever seen at an amfAR benefit. Harvey Weinstein, a longtime chair of Cinema Against AIDS, helped to lead the live auction at the record-breaking charity event, held in conjunction with the Cannes International Film Festival on May 23 at the famed Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France.amfAR Global Fundraising Chairman Sharon Stone said in a statement, “Tonight in Cannes we’ve made AIDS history. We’ve made $25 million with the very people who seeded the pediatric AIDS fund. We’re grateful, and we’re grateful to that one little girl in Mississippi who was our first child cured. To you, we dedicate this evening, because you are the girl who’s taking us forward into the future, when this cure will be here not only for the 330,000 children who have AIDS, but the 34 million people who are living with AIDS. Tonight is for you. We love you. Our hope belongs to you.”Stone was a Chair of the event, along with Weinstein and amfAR Ambassadors Janet Jackson and Milla Jovovich, amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole, Jessica Chastain, Global Fundraising Ambassador Milutin Gatsby, Heidi Klum, Carine Roitfeld, Aram Shishmanian, Michel Litvak, Roberto and Eva Cavalli, Vincent Roberti, Remo Ruffini, and Boris Collardi, who were all in attendance.amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole and Harvey Weinstein took the stage together during the night to reflect on how much the Cinema Against AIDS event has grown since its inception at the Cannes film festival in 1993, largely due to the passionate support of the film, music, and fashion communities. At the end of the night, Cole and Weinstein announced the $25 million raised to the audience, and thanked everyone involved for bringing amfAR a step closer to curing AIDS.Guests included Nicole Kidman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Adrien Brody, Thom Browne, Rosario Dawson, Lily Donaldson, Goldie Hawn, Eva Herzigova, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Jeremy Irvine, Stacy Keibler, Karlie Kloss, Heidi Klum, Karolina Kurkova, Melanie Laurent, Annie Leibowitz, Olivia Palermo, Zachary Quinto, Aishwarya Rai, Jeremy Renner, Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Liberty Ross, Anja Rubik, Ludivine Sagnier, Kristin Scott Thomas, Irina Shayk, Joan Smalls, Audrey Tautou, Stefano Tonchi, Giambattista Valli, Stefanie Van Der Laan, Paz Vega, Dita Von Teese, Christoph Waltz, and Zhang Ziyi, among many others.Some of the highlights in a truly unforgettable evening included live performances by internationally renowned musical acts. Duran Duran, who have sold more than 100 million records throughout their storied career, had guests at Cinema Against AIDS dancing in the aisles. Joined by dozens of top models on stage, they played their cult classic “Girls on Film,” giving their only public performance of 2013. Dame Shirley Bassey made a special appearance to sing a number of her much loved and celebrated songs, including “Goldfinger,” and brought the house down with a commanding performance. Ellie Goulding, one of the UK’s most exciting singer-songwriters, opened the evening with a stripped-down acoustic rendition of “Lights.” Rounding out the line-up was American Music Awards winner Hot Chelle Rae, who performed their mega-smash hit “Tonight, Tonight.”“The Ultimate Gold Collection Fashion Show” was one of the most dynamic moments of the night. Curated by Carine Roitfeld, forty top models walked in the spectacular runway presentation of one-of-a-kind gold looks, accessorized with gold jewelry from emerging and established designers. The entire collection was auctioned off for a total of €1.2 million. The show was streamed live on LoveGold.com.The auction opened with an Academy Awards Weekend package that sold for 1.5 million euros. The lot included tickets to some of the most exclusive Hollywood awards season parties. Leonardo DiCaprio generously donated a pair of tickets to the upcoming premiere of Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street,” in which he stars. Heidi Klum offered the unbelievable addition of going along as the winner’s date. The package was so popular in the room that a second set of tickets went for €500,000, minus Ms. Klum.amfAR Global Fundraising Chairman Sharon Stone led an appeal that raised more than €1.25 million for amfAR’s Pediatric AIDS Initiative.A private, in-home performance by Duran Duran was another of the evening’s priceless auction items. This one-of-a-kind experience sold for €400,000.Goldie Hawn auctioned off a stay at Donna Karan’s Parrot Cay retreat and a pink gold and diamond Shamballa Jewels Royal Bracelet. The package sold for €200,000.Adrien Brody and Rosario Dawson auctioned a stunning motorcycle specially commissioned by Redemption Choppers as a tribute to the 20th edition of Cinema Against AIDS, which sold for €600,000.Zachary Quinto helped to sell a priceless opportunity to play soccer alongside Zinedine Zidane and take in a Real Madrid match with the world-famous footballer in his private box at Real Madrid Santiago Bernabou Stadium, which sold for €380,000.Other artworks in the auction included an Andy Warhol print of amfAR Founding International Chairman Dame Elizabeth Taylor, “Liz, 1964,” a Damien Hirst piece entitled “DL-Octopamine,” and an original plate portrait by Julian Schnabel.A rare bottle of 1893 Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection sold for €50,000 and was presented by Jeremy Irvine.Cinema Against AIDS XX featured an exhibition by iconic photographer Annie Leibovitz, who also donated coveted items to the live auction. Her Niagara Falls print sold for €320,000, and the chance to sit for a private family portrait with Leibovitz sold for €450,000.Longtime amfAR supporter Roberto Cavalli was responsible for the design and décor for the gala dinner. The famed Italian designer created a spectacular setting for the event, dressing every table and chair in his dazzling signature prints.Since amfAR’s late Founding International Chairman Dame Elizabeth Taylor hosted the first Cinema Against AIDS in 1993, the event has become the most coveted ticket in Cannes. Past events have been chaired by amfAR Global Fundraising Chairman Sharon Stone, President Bill Clinton, Demi Moore, Sir Elton John, and Madonna, among many others.Like the epidemic itself, AIDS research knows no borders. amfAR’s programs have had a global reach since 1986, when the Foundation began awarding international grants. Today, amfAR continues to fund HIV/AIDS researchers worldwide and works to translate their research into effective policy, prevention, and treatment programs around the globe.
On September 10, Musicians on Call NYC YPC held its annual Marquee Event featuring an intimate performance from Vanessa Carlton.The event raised over $5,400, enough to sponsor a hospital floor for one year where a Musicians On Call volunteer performs weekly.Vanessa performed songs from her upcoming album to be released next year and shared her own Musicians On Call volunteer experience. John McCauley from Deer Tick joined her on stage for a special surprise duet.Source:Musicians On Call
Actress Jordana Brewster has made a resolution to make No Kid Hungry a reality.“Since becoming a mom last year, my life has changed more than I could have ever imagined,” she wrote in a blog on the No Kid Hungry website. “On one hand, I have never loved anyone more in my life. On the other hand, I’ve never felt more worry or responsibility. I want more than anything for my son Julian to be happy and healthy, but I worry: what if I can’t make it happen? How do I protect and prepare Julian for the future?“Mothers and fathers ask themselves these questions every day. For some, the answers are easy to find. For others, just making sure their children have something on their plate is a daily challenge. This is unacceptable. No parent should have to worry that their child won’t have the nutrition she or he needs to thrive. No child should have to carry the burden and fear of hunger.“I believe that in a country like the United States, no child should go hungry. That’s why this January I made it my New Year’s resolution to support efforts to end childhood hunger in America.“This year, I’m asking my friends, family and followers to join me in my support of No Kid Hungry. Whether it’s through donations, volunteering, or raising our voices, each one of us has something to give in efforts to get food to the kids who need it most.“So in honor of a new year and new goals, I ask you to challenge yourself to do something to make a difference for children in need.”You can read the full blog post here.