Tokyo: Japanese authorities on Wednesday directed more than 1 million residents in parts of the southern main island of Kyushu to evacuate to designated shelters as heavy rains batter the region, prompting fears of landslides and widespread flooding. The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said the directive was issued in three southern prefectures. Directives are stronger than advisories, but there are no penalties if people do not comply. Also Read – Turkey preparations for Syria offensive ‘completed’ Heavy rain has continued in southern Japan since Friday, killing an elderly woman in a mudslide in Kagoshima. The rain also has flooded dozens of homes. Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kotaro Nogami said 14,000 ground troops were standing by for emergency rescue and search operations if needed. He urged residents to use caution and try to evacuate early “to protect your lives” rather than waiting until the last minute. The agency said landslide warnings have been issued for parts of the three prefectures because rain is expected to intensify over the next few days. The Meteorological Agency says up to 35 centimeters (13 inches) more rain is expected through Thursday.
Lucknow:Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Thursday said that Janmashtami in Mathura should be celebrated like ‘Deepotsav’ in Ayodhya. Ramnavami in Ayodhya and Navratri in Vindhyachal should be celebrated the same way, he said in a meeting with the Braj Teerth Development Board here. “If you will be able to make this happen then all these events will be able to gain global recognition and tourists from all over the world will be attracted towards them. And this will boost the tourism in Uttar Pradesh,” the chief minister said. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! He said all the development projects should be completed within time, maintaining the quality and standard. “All the places related to Lord Krishna should be well lit and halogen lights should be replaced with LED lights. For environment conservation, plastic should be completely banned from these places,” Adityanath said. During the meeting, a discussion was also held for overall development of Vindhyachal on the lines of Kashi Vishwanath. Around two dozen projects are underway in the region and the chief minister has directed officers to complete them before November. UP Chief Secretary Anoop Chandra Pandey, vice president of the Braj Teerth Development Board Shailja Kant Mishra, ACS Tourism Awanish Awasthi and officers of other departments concerned were present in the meeting.
Kolkata: The Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) terrorist Ejaz Ahmed alias Ezazul, who was arrested on Monday from Bihar, is an expert in making Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).During interrogation police came to know that he had gone several training under the JMB leaders. Also, he was planning a bomb blast a Buddhist temple. He was brought to Kolkata on transit remand and produced at the Bankshall Court on Tuesday. Later, was remanded to police custody till September 10. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAccording to sources, Ahmed was recruited in JMB by Kausar also known as ‘Bomaru Mijan’, who was the prime accused of Khagragarh blast. Since recruitment Ahmed became one of the most efficient members of JMB and soon he gained capabilities of holding critical operations planned by the terrorist outfit. Police got hold of some codes using which he used to contact with other members of JMB and with Kausar before his arrest. Several more objects such as laptops, satellite phones and other documents were seized from Ahmed. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayAhmed was nabbed from Gaya in Bihar on Monday with the help of Bihar police and Intelligence Branch (IB) in Bihar. A few months ago, STF officials came to know that Ahmed was hiding somewhere in Bihar. However, Kolkata Police sought help from IB and Bihar Police to locate Ahmed. Approximately 20 days ago, Bihar IB informed STF about Ahmed’s location. After the information arrived, a special team was formed and members of the team were briefed accordingly. All the members were asked to carefully proceed in the case after reaching Bihar as arrest of Ahmed was essential in order to know their further plans. Following confirmation of Ahmed’s location and some other information, STF team approached Bihar Police for assistance. Details of Ahmed along with other information given by the Bihar Intelligence Branch was also provided to the police. Following that a team was formed by Bihar police which would assist the STF to nab Ahmed. Also, a plan was chalked out on how to raid the hideout. In order to confirm the success, a recce was done in and around the area where IB had located Ahmed. On Monday morning police personnel in plaint cloth surrounded the house where Ahmed was staying at Pathantoli village of Buniyadpur in Gaya.
New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday sought forgiveness from “anyone he had hurt through any of his statements or works” on the occasion of “Rashtriya Shamavani Parv” observed by the Jain community.On this day, followers of Jainism seek forgiveness or forgive. Addressing an event on the lawns of the Delhi Legislative Assembly, Kejriwal also said his government had been “following the path of dharma” and had been able to give good Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murdereducation to underprivileged children and affordable health care services to the poor with the help of the taxpayers’ money. “On the occasion of Shamavani Parv, I seek forgiveness from those who I have hurt knowingly or unknowingly through any of my statements or works… I hope you will find it in your heart to forgive me,” he said. Thanking taxpayers, Kejriwal said, “You people elected me. My government is following the path of dharma. With the help of the taxes paid by you, we have able to reduce electricity rates and provide free water supply to help the common man in these times of inflation.”
TORONTO – As a child growing up in Rwanda during the 1980s and ’90s, Claire Karekezi dreamed of becoming a doctor. But what she calls her “guiding star” has taken her far beyond that initial goal to join the ranks of what is perhaps medicine’s most demanding specialty.In early July, the 35-year-old will return home as the first and only female neurosurgeon in Rwanda, says Toronto Western Hospital, where she has spent the last year honing her skills in neuro-oncology and skull base surgery, specializing in the removal of brain tumours.Providing that service to brain cancer patients in a country with only one hospital-based MRI and few CT scanners will be a daunting task, but it’s one Karekezi is determined to overcome, just as she has all the challenges and sacrifices needed to fulfil her childhood dream.It was a childhood scarred by the 1994 genocide that killed an estimated 800,000 people in the African nation, a bloodbath that retired Canadian general Romeo Dallaire and his inadequately manned contingent of UN peacekeepers were powerless to prevent.“In 1994, I was 10 years old … so I experienced the genocide as a growing kid,” said Karekezi, who was living with her parents and two older siblings in Kigali, the capital. “Everyone had to get out, people were being killed on the roads.”She lost cousins and aunts in the massacre — a 100-day period she is loathe to speak about in any detail.“I always tell people that that’s what sort of made us who we are today as Rwandese people, because we grew up knowing that we cannot count on anyone but ourselves.“So this kind of spirit kept me going, to do whatever it takes to get where I want to go,” she says. “I keep pushing because the genocide happened, the whole world was watching and no one did anything. But we came through that, we are a strong nation, and we have very brave people who have managed to do impressive things now.”Karekezi can surely count herself among their number.After finishing high school in 2001, she was awarded a full government scholarship as an outstanding student to study medicine at the University of Rwanda in Butare, the city where she was born.In 2007, with a couple of years left until she graduated as a doctor, Karekezi applied and was accepted as an exchange student to study at the University of Linkoping in Sweden through the International Federation of Medical Students.“That time, my purpose was to go to Europe,” she admits, smiling coyly. It was her first time away from home.But it was July, and the only department in operation through the traditional summer-holiday period was neurosurgery, an area of medicine she’d never considered.“I knew nothing about neurosurgery, I had no training in brain anatomy,” Karekezi concedes, adding that she had planned to study radiology.But that guiding star must have had other notions.Serendipitously, she found herself taken under the wing of department head Dr. Jan Hillman, who led Karekezi to the operating room and had her scrub in to observe surgery on a patient with a brain tumour.“That was the first time I saw the brain,” she says. “I was amazed. I was like ‘This is the brain?’”Hillman became her first mentor, explaining and demonstrating to Karekezi the intricacies of the brain and encouraging his protege to embrace the complex specialty and eventually practise it in Rwanda, where at the time there was not a single neurosurgeon.“He saw this light in me,” she says of the Swedish doctor, calling him her “father in neurosurgery.”Back at home, she continued reading texts about neurosurgery on her own while finishing her medical degree. A month before graduation in 2009, she was accepted for a short neurosurgery program at Oxford University in the U.K.Determined to follow her new dream, she doggedly kept emailing the head of the Rabat Reference Center for Training Young African Neurosurgeons in Morocco, seeking a spot in the program that had been set up under the auspices of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies.She was finally accepted after securing government funding and moved to Morocco in 2011, spending the next five years immersed in learning the specialty. In her final year, she was named chief resident.“At the end, I was a neurosurgeon,” says Karekezi, who is fluent in French, English, Rwandan and Swahili, with some knowledge of Arabic from her time in Morocco.But that guiding star wasn’t done with her yet.In 2013, she had been given a Women in Neurosurgery award sponsored by Dr. Mark Bernstein, a neurosurgeon at Toronto Western Hospital, who holds the Greg Wilkins-Barrick Chair in International Surgery.Though they hadn’t met in person, Karekezi contacted Bernstein about applying for one of four annual fellowships at Toronto Western in neuro-oncology, also sponsored under the Wilkins-Barrick chair.Having heard about her through the Women in Neurosurgery award and from an African colleague who knew her, Bernstein decided “she would be a very worthy candidate” for the program.“It just seemed she had what it takes, she seemed to be sharp and very dedicated and committed,” he said. “She had been through a lot to get where she is, and that struck me as well.”So last July, Karekezi arrived in Toronto, ready to tackle the final stretch of what has been a 12-year journey.That odyssey has been one of sacrifice: years away from her family, moving from country to country, and putting relationships, marriage and motherhood on hold.Still, she is philosophical about what she has missed out on. “I need to carry the dream to the end — and then I can think about settling.”When she returns to Rwanda in July, Karekezi will take home not only her skills in neurosurgery, but also a mental blueprint learned in Toronto of how to more efficiently deliver services to patients, by smoothing the paths between surgeons, oncologists, radiation therapists and other care providers.Her next dream is to collaborate with her colleagues — there are four male neurosurgeons now practising in the country of 12 million people and a fifth is just finishing his training — to work towards developing such a multidisciplinary neuro-oncology centre.“I really respect what she’s done,” said Bernstein. “She’s looking to get to the moon and she’s going to get there.”So what is it that continues to drive Karekezi?“It’s passion, it’s dedication,” she says, simply. “It’s not about money — I’m living my dream and I love what I do.“This is something I can do. This is something I can bring back to Rwanda.”— Follow @SherylUbelacker on Twitter.
OTTAWA – It will be business as usual for Canada and Cuba despite a renewed hardening of relations between the communist island nation and the United States, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.Trudeau was asked about U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to restore some travel and economic restrictions on Cuba, partially turning back the clock on an easing of tensions embarked upon by Democratic predecessor Barack Obama.While noting that Canada has long taken a softer line with Cuba than U.S. governments, Trudeau said he doesn’t expect the renewed economic and travel restrictions would hurt Canadian business and tourism ties with Cuba.“We have tremendous respect and a constructive relationship with the United States, but in the matter of Cuba there’s always been a certain amount of disagreement,” Trudeau said during a joint news conference with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel.“The investments in Cuba by Canadian companies and business people, the opportunities for tourism, for trade and for mutual benefit in this relationship will certainly continue.“I don’t see anything new in the dynamic between Canada and Cuba other than a continued desire to work together for mutual benefit.”Trump complained during a speech in Miami earlier Friday that Cuba had secured far too many concessions from the Obama administration, and announced that penalties imposed on Cuba would remain so long as the Raul Castro government held political prisoners, abused dissidents and restricted freedom of expression.In a bid to increase pressure on Cuba’s government, Trump said individual “people-to-people” trips by Americans to Cuba, allowed by Obama for the first time in decades, would once again be prohibited.The U.S. government will also monitor other trips to ensure student travellers, for example, are pursuing a “full-time schedule of educational exchange activities.”But diplomatic ties would not be cut, with embassies in Havana and Washington remaining open. U.S. airlines and cruise ships would also still be allowed to carry passengers to and from Cuba.Trump said he wanted to ramp up pressure to create a “free Cuba,” predicting an end to communism in the country “in the very near future.”Trudeau said there have been no conversations with Cuban officials about what role Canada might play in helping to foster a better U.S.-Cuba relationship.The prime minister’s late father, Pierre Trudeau, caused an international stir in 1976 when he became the first NATO leader to visit Fidel Castro’s Cuba as the Cold War was raging, developing a close bond with Castro that lasted for decades.Fidel Castro was among Pierre Trudeau’s pallbearers at his funeral in 2000.There are dozens of Canadian businesses operating in Cuba, including banks, mining companies, a brewery and restaurant franchises.— with files from the Associated Press
REGINA – One of Canada’s most high-profile premiers who rose to national prominence for his down-to-earth style, sharp wit and, more recently, his willingness to lock horns with Ottawa is retiring from politics after a decade in office.Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall, who is 51, said he made the decision at the end of June after talking it over with his wife Tami.“I think renewal will be good for the province. I think renewal and a different perspective will be good for the government. I think renewal will be good for my party as well,” he said Thursday.“Whatever I do after this — and I currently have no leads or prospects — this job will be the honour of my working life.”Wall said he will stay on as premier and Swift Current member of the legislature until his successor is chosen in a leadership race.Wall and his Saskatchewan Party have won three consecutive provincial elections, taking more than half of the popular vote each time. The party, which formed 20 years ago out of an alliance of disaffected Tories and Liberals, swept 51 of 61 seats in 2016.Wall routinely places high in opinion polls ranking the country’s most popular premiers and his knack for the zinger soundbite has made him a national political figure.“I hesitate to use the term cult of personality, but certainly when you think of the Sask. Party today, you automatically go to Mr. Wall,” said University of Saskatchewan political scientist Charles Smith.“He is the face of the party.”His fierce opposition to Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton’s hostile takeover bid for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan in 2010 made him a folk hero of sorts. More recently, he has been an ardent champion of pipeline projects that would connect Canada’s crude oil to global markets.He has also clashed with Ottawa over the Liberal government’s plan to force provinces to put a price on carbon — pledging to fight the move in court if necessary.Despite their differences, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called working with Wall a privilege and praised him for his service.“Premier Wall has worked tirelessly to promote Canada and Canadian exports with our international trading partners,” he said in a statement Thursday. “His efforts will benefit the people of Saskatchewan for years to come.”Wall has faced headwinds at home in recent months, especially after this spring’s austerity budget.With a bottom line battered by low resource prices, the budget cut library and education funding, as well as grants to municipalities, although cash for libraries was later restored.It raised the provincial sales tax and added it to things that were previously exempt, such as children’s clothing and restaurant meals. The government also shut down the provincial bus company to help tackle a $1.3-billion deficit.In May, a Mainstreet Research poll suggested Wall’s party had dropped steeply in voter support and had fallen nine points behind the leaderless Opposition New Democrats. But in June, an Angus Reid poll had the Saskatchewan Party up by seven points across the province.University of Regina public policy professor Ken Rasmussen said Wall has benefited from a mixture of well-honed political instincts and the good fortune of booming resources in earlier years.“Aside from the real partisans, he will be seen as one of the great contemporary premiers of the province,” said Rasmussen.Potential leadership candidates include Energy and Resources Minister Dustin Duncan, Finance Minister Kevin Doherty and Tim McMillan — a former Saskatchewan cabinet minister who now leads the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers — as well as Justice Minister Gordon Wyant and Health Minister Jim Reiter.But Rasmussen said there’s no heir-apparent.“The rest of the people who are vying for his job will really seem ordinary in comparison,” said Rasmussen. “I think the Sask. Party’s in for a rough road ahead without him at the helm.”Wall’s retirement comes while the province’s Opposition New Democrats are in the throes of a leadership race of their own.Interim Leader Nicole Sarauer commended Wall for his dedication to public service and wished him well, but vowed to keep fighting his party.“Even with a new leader, this is still the same Sask. Party that is hurting our kids and loved ones with cuts to our schools and hospitals, making it harder for Saskatchewan families to make ends meet,” she said in a statement.Saskatchewan Party executive director Patrick Bundrock said a leadership convention is being organized, with a replacement to be chosen through a one-member, one-vote election. Its provincial council will meet within the next month to work out the details.“And until then, there’s still a lot of work to do,” Wall said.“This was such a difficult decision to make … but it is time.”— By Lauren Krugel in Calgary, with files from Jennifer Graham
VANCOUVER – British Columbia’s premier says his government is reviewing its options and standing up for its citizens when it comes to a trade war with Alberta.John Horgan says the province was already seeking new markets for B.C. wines in Asia before Alberta banned the products earlier this week.He says he’ll continue standing up for the province’s wine industry, including on a trip to Washington state next month where he’ll talk about increasing the market south of the border.The wine prohibition was the latest escalation of a dispute between the two provinces over the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has said her province imported about 17 million bottles of B.C. wine last year, with an estimated value of $70 million.Horgan says his government is also looking into whether there have been any violations of inter-provincial trade agreements, and will take action when appropriate.
TORONTO – A former Somali child refugee will have to wait two weeks to find out whether his deportation hearing will proceed, an adjudicator ruled Wednesday.At an immigration hearing in Toronto, a lawyer for Abdoul Abdi argued that the hearing should be put on hold pending the outcome of a judicial review of the case.A spokeswoman for the Immigration and Refugee Board said the decision maker, Mary Heyes, reserved her ruling until March 21.Abdi, 24, grew up in foster care in Nova Scotia but was never granted Canadian citizenship. He was detained by the Canada Border Services Agency after serving five years in prison for multiple offences, including aggravated assault, which made him subject to deportation.The hearing scheduled for Wednesday — to confirm the non-citizen was guilty of serious criminality that precludes his staying in Canada — came after a Federal Court judge rejected a bid to delay the deportation process.Andrew Brouwer, who represented Abdi at the hearing, said he hoped the government would do the right thing and either end the deportation action or allow the judicial review to be decided first.“Given that the (review) questions the legality of the decision that gives the immigration division jurisdiction, we’re saying, ‘Hold, off, let’s see whether this should even have been referred to you before you go and render any kind of decision’,” Brouwer said.A government representative opposed the postponement and urged Heyes to go ahead and issue a removal order, Brouwer said.The pending judicial review application — Federal Court granted leave on Tuesday and set a hearing for May 29 — seeks to challenge the government’s second decision to refer the matter for an admissibility hearing.The government’s previous decision was overturned by Federal Court in October 2017 and a new ruling, the one now subject to challenge, was made in January 2018.The judicial review application alleges the government’s second decision was procedurally unfair, unreasonably assessed relevant factors, and ignored Abdi’s international law and charter arguments — which extend from the fact the state was his parent and did not apply for citizenship on his behalf, said Abdi’s Nova Scotia lawyer, Benjamin Perryman.Supporters of Abdi, including his sister Fatuma Abdi, have pressed the Nova Scotia government to intervene on his behalf.“I think that it is really unfair of the government to deport my brother, all because the Department of Community Services failed both of us on getting our Canadian citizenship,” Fatuma Abdi said recently. “They are not taking responsibility for it and that angers me on his behalf.”Sociologist Robert Wright said there should be a review of the treatment of black children and immigrants in Nova Scotia’s child welfare system.Abdi, who was born in Saudi Arabia in 1993, lost his mother in a refugee camp when he was four and came to Canada with his sister and aunts at age six. He was taken into provincial care shortly after arriving in Canada.He was moved 31 times between foster homes. He lost his native language and developed behavioural problems that advocates say were not adequately treated. Those issues led to problems with the justice system and his non-citizenship put him at risk of deportation.
EDMONTON – Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is threatening to turn off the oil taps in a fight with British Columbia over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.Notley won’t say if she would cut off B.C. or the rest of Canada — or both — but says her government is ready to pass legislation to make it happen.“Our key focus is getting people’s attention on the matter,” Notley told a news conference Thursday prior to the speech from the throne to open the next session of the legislature.“We’re not interested in creating any kind of crisis in any way, shape or form. We’re going to be measured. We’re going to be careful.”The $7.4-billion pipeline expansion would triple the amount of Alberta crude going from Edmonton to ports and refineries in B.C.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government approved the Kinder Morgan project in 2016, but the pipeline has since faced permit fights and challenges from the B.C. government.Alberta has already imposed and pulled back on a ban of wine from B.C., but Notley said the government will not stand for further delays and harassment.She said the project is vital to Alberta and to the rest of Canada, and the country is forgoing thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in lost revenue due to pipeline bottlenecks.“There are many tools that we also have between our previous wine ban and this tool,” said Notley.“All we are doing is making sure that our tools are at the ready, because it is important for Albertans to understand that we are going to stand up to protect the interests of Albertans on this matter.”The announcement echoes action taken in 1980 by former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed in a showdown with the federal government.Lougheed announced phased cuts to oil flows amounting to 15 per cent over nine months as well as the cancellation of two large oilsands developments after Pierre Trudeau’s Liberals brought in the national energy program with its price controls, new taxes and revenue sharing.The two sides brokered a compromise after Lougheed turned off the taps.Opposition United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney has been pushing Notley for weeks to take a tougher stance with pipeline opponents, including revisiting Lougheed’s moves.Notley brought in a ban on B.C. wine in February after B.C. Premier John Horgan’s government announced it would not allow increased oil shipments through the province until it had reviewed oil spill safety.Notley lifted the ban on Feb. 22 after Horgan said his government would ask the courts to determine if B.C. has the authority to take the action it was planning.Notley and the federal government have stated that the law is clear and Ottawa alone has ultimate jurisdiction on interprovincial pipelines.
HALIFAX – A bill proposing changes to how Nova Scotia’s electoral map is drawn will proceed without amendments despite objections from Acadian groups.The Liberal majority on the legislature’s law amendments committee voted Thursday to proceed with the revised House of Assembly Act.Acadian groups had asked for the removal of a provision that would allow so-called “non-contiguous’” constituencies — ridings that are not connected geographically — and another that would allow a committee to determine the minimum and maximum number of electoral districts.The Acadian Federation of Nova Scotia is concerned Acadians could potentially be lumped into one riding and wants at minimum the restoration of the former protected ridings of Argyle, Clare and Richmond.The Liberals say they don’t want to restrict the options of an eventual electoral boundaries commission which will look at the province’s ridings.The proposed legislative changes follow a Nova Scotia Court of Appeal ruling released in January 2017 that found a 2012 boundary redrawing that eliminated three Acadian ridings violated the voter rights section of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.The province sought the advisory opinion on constitutional grounds following court action by the Acadian federation over the elimination of the protected ridings.Under the proposed legislation, the number of voters in each district would have to fall within a certain population range of plus or minus 25 per cent of the average.Exceptions would also be permitted based on geography as well as historical, cultural or linguistic factors, which is expected to give more of a say to black and Acadian minorities in elections.
An Ontario man says it only took minutes for him to lose his wife and young daughter in an apparent drowning at a resort northwest of Toronto this week.“Just 10 minutes and they are gone,” Yiting Gong of Markham, Ont., told CTV Toronto on Wednesday.Gong, his 34-year-old wife and their five-year-old daughter were on vacation at Mountain Springs Resort just west of Collingwood, Ont., when tragedy struck on Tuesday evening.Now the grieving father is questioning why the resort does not have anyone supervising the pool.“I don’t know why they don’t have a lifeguard.… They should have a lifeguard to save their life,” Gong told CTV Toronto.Jennifer Grant, a staff member at the resort, said there are clear signs indicating that the pool is unsupervised.Provincial police said the two victims were transported to an area hospital Tuesday evening, where they were pronounced dead.OPP Const. Martin Hachey said autopsies were being conducted on Wednesday, and the victims would be identified on Thursday.Although pool drownings certainly occur, Hachey said they are quite unusual. The investigation to determine the cause of the deaths is still ongoing.Barbara Byers, the Canadian Lifesaving Society’s public education director, said drownings can happen “in seconds and very quietly.”In Canada, 423 people died from drowning in 2015, the most recent year available, including 145 people in Ontario, she said.“There is less than one per cent of the drownings that happen in a public pool where a lifeguard is supervising,” said Byers.However, private backyard pools are the primary setting where children under five years old usually drown.
Alberta’s finance minister is putting a positive spin on the NDP government’s budget. He said Friday the province is on track to reduce its deficit by $1 billion this year.Joe Ceci said more oil revenue and higher than expected returns on income tax are the reason this year’s projected deficit has dropped to $7.8 billion.The numbers are part of the government’s first-quarter budget update.It shows overall spending remains stable at $56 billion, although an extra $2 million has been added to go toward a plebiscite on Calgary’s 2026 Olympic bid.The debt by the end of the 2018-19 fiscal year is projected to be just under $53 billion.The province has increased its projected return on the price for oil this year to US$61 a barrel from the US$59 forecast when the budget was tabled in March.Opposition leader Jason Kenney said Notley’s government is putting a glossy spin on massive debt.“Today’s quarterly update does nothing to change the fiscal train wreck of their budget which projects a $96 billion Alberta debt by 2023,” Kenney said.The fiscal update comes a day after a federal court overturned approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which the province says is critical to the Alberta and national economies.
MELFORT — The truck driver who caused the deadly Humboldt Broncos crash has been sentenced to eight years in prison.Here’s Sidhu driving away in custody after being sentenced to 8 years. #humboldt #HumboldtBroncos pic.twitter.com/EuFFIn5x8H— Courtney Theriault (@cspotweet) March 22, 2019Jaskirat Singh Sidhu of Calgary pleaded guilty earlier this year to 29 counts of dangerous driving.He stood quietly and looked ahead at the judge as his sentence was pronounced.READ MORE: Excerpts from the Humboldt Broncos victim impact statements submitted to courtJudge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Saskatchewan that she approached the sentence knowing “nothing can turn back the clock.”She also noted that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors, but added she had to consider the number of people who died or were severely injured and face life-long challenges.RELATED: Factors judge considered in sentencing of truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crashSidhu barrelled through a stop sign and into the path of the junior hockey team’s bus at a rural Saskatchewan intersection last April.Sixteen people were killed and 13 were injured.Cardinal said the collision could have been avoided had Sidhu been paying attention.She said — “Somehow we must stop this carnage on our highways.”The Crown wanted the 30-year-old Sidhu to be sent to prison for 10 years, while the defence said other cases suggested a range of one-and-a-half to four-and-a-half years.Cardinal began her decision by reading each victim’s name aloud.The judge said the hockey players who died were gifted athletes, while others on the bus were dreaming about families or had already started them.She said families have been torn apart because of the loss.Sidhu’s lawyers say he’s likely to face deportation to his home country of India after he serves time.RELATED: Trucker who caused Broncos crash likely to be deported after sentence: lawyerFollowing the sentence, the Humboldt Broncos issued this statement.WATCH: CityNews’ Kristen Fong talks to truck drivers following the sentencing
Special air quality statements remain in effect for High Level, Rainbow Lake, Fort Vermilion, Fairview, High Prairie and Manning as a result of smoke from wildfires. Individuals are advised to take precautions to reduce exposure and risk. https://t.co/c3Fd0F6DEJ #abwildfire— AHS North Zone (@AHS_NorthZone) May 26, 2019The shift in wind has also caused three air quality statements to be issued in northern Alberta communities.The Canadian Press HIGH LEVEL, Alta. — Crews battling an enormous wildfire just outside the small northern Alberta town of High Level are bracing for what could be a dangerous wind shift today.The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town, and has grown to just over 1,000 square kilometres.More than 360 firefighters, including many who have come from outside Alberta, are on the fire lines and also in High Level working to protect property and infrastructure. They are supported by at least 28 helicopters as well as various types of heavy equipment.How big is the #HighLevelFire? This video from the @YourAlberta shows from above. Latest size estimate is 105,200 hectares. Expecting more details on the conditions around 10:30. #abfire #yeg #wildfire #highlevel #abwx pic.twitter.com/NAgscbqqk6— Carly Robinson (@CarlyDRobinson) May 26, 2019The winds have been blowing the fire away from High Level, but a wind shift is pushing the flames back towards the town. High temperatures and a lack of any rain in the forecast are also likely to increase the fire threat.Officials have said the approximately 5,000 people who have been evacuated from the area should not expect to return until at least next week and that provincial emergency funds for their gas, food and other expenses should be available by Monday.Meanwhile, another northern Alberta community is facing a looming wildfire threat.An emergency alert has been issued for Trout Lake because of a blaze 14 kilometres southeast of the community that has covered more than 300 hectares.Residents of Trout Lake have been told they may need to leave on short notice.Applications for evacuation payments are open and Albertans who qualify will receive $1200 for each adult and $500 for each child.A voluntary evacuation is in place for Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement and areas north of High Level.
The Canadian Press OTTAWA — Canada has ratified an agreement that would prevent commercial fishing in the High Arctic for 16 years.The deal was initially signed last October by Canada and nine other governments but won’t be enforceable until all parties ratify the agreement. The governments that have signed the agreement include Norway, the United States, China, Iceland, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Denmark in respect to Greenland and the Faroe Islands, but it has been ratified only by Canada, the European Union, and the Russian Federation.The agreement applies to northern waters at least 200 nautical miles away from the shores of any coastal state, which amounts to 2.8 million square kilometres of ocean, about the size of the Mediterranean Sea.It also provides for the participation and inclusion of Arctic Indigenous Peoples and their communities, recognizing the critical value of their local knowledge in the conservation of the Arctic Ocean.No commercial fishing currently takes place in the High Arctic, but fish stocks are shifting and fishers and scientists have wondered what the northernmost seas on the planet hold.Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says Canada is leading the way to protect the oceans, combat illegal fishing and help protect the Arctic’s fragile ecosystems for future generations.
Victim Support in the UK has announced its new official ambassador, actress Brooke Kinsella MBE.The passionate anti knife crime campaigner will work with Victim Support over the next year to help promote our major campaigns and fundraising initiatives in the media and with partners.This week Brooke is calling on the public to help Victim Support meet growing demands on the national telephone helpline Supportline, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this week.Although crime has been going down overall for several years, more and more victims are reaching out for telephone and email support. So Brooke is asking the public to donate to help extend the Supportline service as well as urging Londoners to volunteer to take calls.Actress and knife crime campaigner Brooke Kinsella said: “I am proud to be Victim Support’s Ambassador.“The charity’s Supportline is helping more and more victims deal with the impact of crime. But as demand outstrips funding there is a risk that desperate people may be left without support.“Victim Support was there when I needed them. So I’m calling on the public to donate whatever they can to raise £80,000 or give their time, and make this essential lifeline available for everyone who needs it.”Chief Executive of Victim Support Javed Khan said: “I’m delighted to welcome Brooke as Victim Support’s Ambassador.“When Brooke and her family tragically lost her brother Ben in an unprovoked knife attack, we supported them, so I know how much value she places on the help that is given for victims.“I look forward to working with her to ensure that all victims’ needs are heard.”Supportline volunteers are trained to talk to victims of crime anonymously and in confidence. Supportline gives emotional support and practical information over the phone and by email, and puts people in touch with Victim Support’s local offices, who can give more intensive and face-to-face support where it is needed.After Ben Kinsella was tragically murdered In June 2008, his family set up the Ben Kinsella Trust in his name. The Ben Kinsella Knife Crime Awareness Exhibition is aimed at children and young people from 9 to 18. The exhibition educates young people on making positive life choices, the laws and consequences of knife crime, staying safe and aims to stop young people from ever carrying a knife.Source:victimsupport.org.uk
BTIG LLC, a global financial services firm specializing in institutional trading and related brokerage services, will host its 12th Commissions for Charity Day on Tuesday, May 13, 2014.The annual BTIG Commissions for Charity Day is a celebrity-filled event. During the day celebrity participants join BTIG traders in an effort to raise money for a variety of charities.BTIG pioneered its first Commissions for Charity Day in 2003 raising funds for three charities. Over the past eleven years, BTIG’s Commissions for Charity Day has grown into an international event, with BTIG US, London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia offices participating. More than $28 million in commission profits have been donated to hundreds of charitable organizations around the world since the inception of the event.Last year, BTIG donated over $4 million to more than 170 nonprofit organizations. While the charities supported are nominated by BTIG clients, the firm encourages clients to select child-focused charities. This year’s nominees include, among many others: • Project Sunshine • St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children • The First Tee of San Francisco • The Jackie Robinson Foundation • Year UpCelebrities that have participated in past Commissions for Charity Day events include: Michael J. Fox, Michael Strahan, Matt Dillon, Joe Girardi, Mariano Rivera, Mark Teixeira, Tom Coughlin, Rex Ryan and Eli Manning in New York City; Ronnie Lott, Joe Morgan, Marshawn Lynch and Vida Blue in San Francisco; Marcus Allen and Tony Gonzalez in Los Angeles; and Mike Gatting OBE, Chris Tarrant OBE, Brian Conley, Aled Jones MBE and Sinitta in London.“BTIG’s Commissions for Charity Day provides our clients and employees with a unique opportunity to work in collaboration with celebrity guests to affect meaningful change,” said Steven Starker, Co-Founder of BTIG. “The dedicated work of the charities that BTIG’s Commissions for Charity Day supports and of all those involved in Charity Day, re-inspires us with renewed enthusiasm for the event every year.”Source:BusinessWire.com
Spark Conversation & Promote Activity Around Increased ParticipationAsk citizens, national and community organizations, and the business community to assist in helping people in their communities register and vote. Ask volunteers to host voter registration events.Organize weekly online and offline efforts that speak to various communities across America.Organize a national week of action in September to promote registration and participation in communities and cities across America.When We All Vote is also partnering with and calling on corporate, educational, and civic institutions to be a part of the solution in fundamentally increasing voter participation in the United States.When We All Vote aims to create a culture where Americans want to and are expected to vote. And to turn research that shows that the main reason people don’t vote is because they think their vote doesn’t matter on its head. To learn more and sign up, go to WhenWeAllVote.org.Statements from When We All Vote Co-Chairs:Michelle Obama, Former First Lady of the United States“Voting is the only way to ensure that our values and priorities are represented in the halls of power. And it’s not enough to just vote for president every four years. We all have to vote in every single election: for mayor, governor, school board, state legislature and Congress. The leaders we elect to these offices help determine just about every aspect of our lives and our democracy. So the future of our families, our communities and our country belongs to those of us who show up, cast our votes, and make our voices heard.”Tom Hanks, Actor and Filmmaker“Voting is a small act that proves that we are a democracy— a government of the people and by the people. It’s up to each and every one of us to make sure our government doesn’t just represent a small some—not just the most powerful—but all of us. When we all vote, we are making strides toward a more perfect union.”Lin-Manuel Miranda, Composer, Lyricist, Playwright, and Actor“When each and every one of us votes, we make sure our government represents all of us. When we all vote, we are making strides toward a more perfect union. When we all vote, those who we elect pay attention.”Janelle Monáe, Singer-songwriter, and Actress“It’s gonna be our generation that corrects the mistakes of our past and creates a more inclusive future that works for us all. As voters, we are the ones that hold the power to make this dream a reality.”Chris Paul, NBA player for the Houston Rockets“Everyone’s vote matters and each vote represents a voice that needs to be heard. Voting gives us the power to create real change and change doesn’t happen if we remain silent. We need your voice to be heard by voting.”Faith Hill, Singer and producer“When we all vote we make a difference. A difference that can be felt all the way from Tennessee to the nation’s capital, and everywhere in between. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to make your voice heard.”Tim McGraw, Singer and actor“We make a difference in every single step along the path of our democracy. That first step begins when you register to vote. Then when you cast your ballot, you are standing up for what’s important to you. It’s up to all of us.”When We All Vote — a new national, nonpartisan not-for-profit — promises to bring together all willing citizens, organizations and institutions across America to spark a new conversation around the responsibilities we all share in shaping the promise of our democracy. Namely, the responsibility of registering and voting. When We All Vote’s Co-Chairs are some of America’s most trusted voices, including Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw. Because When We All Vote, we change the world. For up-to-date information, visit WhenWeAllVote.org. Make it Easy to Register Yourself to VoteAsk all eligible Americans to register and participate in the initiative.Through extensive social media and digital outreach, in partnership with Rock the Vote, provide people an easy-to-use website for people to register or request a registration form online.Provide potential new registrants information that removes barriers to the registration and voting process. When We All Vote — a new, nonpartisan, not-for-profit — was created recognizing three critical facts about electoral participation in our country: Our registration rates are low: In 2014, more than 1/5th (21.4 percent) of all American citizens who were eligible to register to vote were not registered. (The Pew Charitable Trusts, June 2017) Our participation rates, especially in midterm elections, are also low: In 2014, just a little over a third (36.4 percent) of eligible citizens voted, the lowest participation rate in midterms since World War II. (PBS, November 2014) Eligible unregistered voters are not asked to register or lack information about the registration process: According to a Pew 2017 study, more than 60 percent of adult citizens have never been asked to register to vote and a majority of adults say they never had an opportunity to register. (The Pew Charitable Trusts, June 2017)These numbers and the reasons behind them should alarm every American. No one organization can dramatically change those numbers alone. But every citizen can be part of the solution — and that’s why When We All Vote is calling on Americans to take responsibility and start a conversation by asking friends, family, and those in their own communities to register, and to show them how easy and important it is to vote in every race — from the school board, to the statehouse, to Congress, and the Presidency.When We All Vote is a national organization that will — online and in-person — reach into all 50 states to help people register and to vote. It aims to recruit American citizens, institutions, companies, and organizations to work in their communities to increase voter registration and participation. When We All Vote’s Co-Chairs are some of America’s most trusted voices, including Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monae, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw.Launched today, When We All Vote will start a conversation on the responsibilities that we all have in shaping our country’s future through the ballot box. When We All Vote will also: Recruit, Train, & Mobilize VolunteersRecruit volunteers to self-organize across the country to encourage people to register in their own communities.Provide training to volunteers on how they can best help their families and friends register themselves to vote.Share tools for volunteers to serve as ambassadors to encourage election participation.Promote offline organizing opportunities in their communities.
Twitter Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment About 10 years ago, Shawn Levy figured it wouldn’t bode well for his health or that of his family if he continued to direct movies at the feverish pace at which he had been churning them out. So the Montreal-born filmmaker decided he would start his own production company in Hollywood and search out properties for others to direct for a spell.But Levy continued to be a moviemaking machine for several years after setting up his 21 Laps production company. He has done a couple of Night at the Museums, Cheaper by the Dozens and Pink Panthers, as well as the Tina Fey-driven Date Night and This Is Where I Leave You, not to mention Big Fat Liar, Real Steel and The Internship. Apart from Fey, he has worked with Steve Carell, Steve Martin, Ricky Gervais, Robin Williams, Christopher Guest, Ben Stiller, Hugh Jackman, Mark Wahlberg, Jonah Hill, Will Ferrell, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn.A favourite filmmaker among actors, Levy is also considered to be among the most consistently bankable directors in the business. His films have grossed close to $2.5 billion. Levy did step back a tad from his frenetic directing pace, but if he had envisioned a more sedentary life on the production side, he was soon to learn that mastering his golf game would have to wait.As fate would have it, 21 Laps was behind the biggest TV/streaming hit of the year, Stranger Things. A no-name, low-budget sci-fi horror series created by the unknown Duffer brothers, it began streaming on Netflix in the summer, and a second season is in the works. Advertisement