Mumbai: Newcomer Tara Sutaria, who has just made her Bollywood debut with “Student of the Year 2”, feels it is an “exciting” time for women in the film industry. “With the kind of projects being made and importance being given to actors, especially women, I consider myself blessed to enter into the industry at such a great time. “There’s a pool of roles for women now. They are given important and equal space in the films. I must say, it is an exciting time for women in Indian cinema,” Tara told IANS. Also Read – ‘Will be acting till I die’ Before her film debut, Tara has tried her hand at acting with TV shows like “Big Bada Boom” and “The Suite Life of Karan & Kabir”. But it was “Student of the Year 2” which brought the 23-year-old in spotlight. How has life changed for her after her first film? “A lot has been changed in my life. Earlier, I was not used to so much media attention. Now I am getting attention from so many people. So, it’s new for me, but I am loving it. It’s fun and flattering to see so much love being showered. People’s love will motivate me to do more hard work.” Tara will be next seen opposite actor Sidharth Malhotra in “Marjaavaan”.
Madrid: Among the rewards for the Champions League winners on Saturday will be silverware, status and history but the greatest prize awaiting Liverpool or Tottenham might be an end to the agonising wait. Combined, it has been 18 years — seven for Liverpool, 11 for Tottenham — since either lifted a trophy, despite huge strides made in recent years under the much-praised Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino. Klopp and Pochettino have been singled-out as two of Europe’s best coaches after crafting teams that reflect their personalities — Liverpool thrilling and fearless, Spurs brave and unrelenting. Also Read – We don’t ask for kind of tracks we get: Bowling coach ArunAnd while scepticism has greeted the perfection of Manchester City’s star-studded squad in England, approval has also followed Liverpool and Tottenham’s nurturing of youngsters. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Harry Winks came through the clubs’ youth systems while Andrew Robertson, Dele Alli and Kieran Trippier joined aged 24 or younger. All of them could start at the Wanda Metropolitano. But any admiration still comes with an asterisk. Liverpool’s last trophy was in 2012, a League Cup that remains their only success since they won the FA Cup in 2006. Also Read – Bastian Schweinsteiger announces retirement, could join Germany set-upAnd Tottenham’s barren spell goes further back to the League Cup in 2008, which was their first trophy since winning the same competition in 1999. Pochettino has tended to bristle at suggestions his team have a habit for coming close but failing to get over the line. When asked in January if the club needed a trophy, he said: “I don’t agree with that, it’s good for the ego. But in reality the most important thing is to build a team that is always going to be in the top four.” The expectations are higher at Liverpool, where Klopp’s vow to win something within four years of taking charge reaches its end-point this weekend. “It didn’t happen yet,” said Klopp in April. “How long it will take I have no clue.” Klopp’s also denied a personal need for silverware after having lost six cup finals in a row as coach, three of them with Liverpool. “I don’t think that way at all,” he said earlier this month. “In football if you want to win you have to accept that there are occasions when you also might lose.” The pressure on Liverpool may be more intense, not just because of their success-laden past but because of a craving for satisfaction after a season in which they amassed 96 points in the Premier League but still fell just short of champions City. They will be favourites, having beaten Tottenham home and away already this season and with their experience of last year’s final in Kiev. In the Spurs squad, only Toby Alderweireld has played on this stage, losing with Atletico Madrid in 2014. For a shot of belief, Pochettino might instead turn to Harry Kane, who has declared himself fit after recovering from an ankle injury. Kane has not played a competitive match since April 9 and Tottenham have survived without their star striker, even if a storming run in the Champions League belied a collapse in form domestically. If he is fit, Kane’s goal threat means he will start, most likely at the expense of Lucas Moura, despite the Brazilian’s dizzying hat-trick against Ajax in the semi-final. Liverpool’s own front man, Roberto Firmino, is also expected to play after sitting out the last three matches with a groin strain. Harder to predict will be Klopp’s selection in midfield, where he must choose three from James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum and Fabinho. Considerably more than the 32,000 ticket-holding fans were predicted to descend on Madrid, with police deploying “unprecedented security” around the final, involving drones to monitor behaviour and 4,700 personnel. When the Spanish capital was picked as host, there was an added lure for Real Madrid, who might have defended the title in their own city, and Atletico, who could have snatched it off them at their own home ground. Instead, after Barcelona crashed out, Spain were left with no European finalists for the only second time in 10 years.
Gurugram: Tackling city’s growing pollution and cleaning the rainwater drains to ensure that the city does not get flooded during rains will be the topmost priorities for the new Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) Commissioner Vinay Singh. The 2003 IAS officer on his second day in office on Monday held key meetings where he discussed the steps taken by the MCG to tackle the waste problems and also the progress in the cleaning of the rainwater drains.The foremost challenge for the new commissioner will be to deal with the monsoon rains which in the past has resulted in huge waterlogging. To deal with the problem the widening of the Badshahpur drain is expected to get over by the end of June. The new MCG commissioner also stated his objectives of increasing the coffers of the richest municipal body by increasing the collection of property taxes. Singh who was earlier the commissioner of Hissar division has now been entrusted with the responsibility of being the of new Municipal Corporation of Gurugram ( MCG) commissioner. Singh is the officer from IAS (2003) Haryana cadre. Besides being the MCG commissioner, Singh is also holding the responsibility of being the secretary of Haryana government’s forest department. He has earlier served as the deputy commissioner of Sonepat. Co-incidentally he was transferred to the senior post of commissioner in Hissar only. The MCG that was formed in 2008 quickly emerged as the richest municipal body of the state. Despite huge budget allocation, the civic body has not been able to tackle major challenges like bad quality of internal roads, poor waste segregation system and water woes that continue to irk the citizens.
New Delhi: A day after the two communities came face to face with each other over a minor scuffle on the parking issue, the situation eased on Tuesday and both parties agreed to instil peace in the area.The communal flare-up in Central Delhi’s Hauz Qazi is being quelled by the deployment of police force and the mediation by elders of both the communities but the area is facing a new challenge now, fighting rumours. Since, Sunday night when a man was assaulted by members of a different community over parking issue, rumours were spread that he was being lynched and has received fractures. Neither was true. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic items”We talked to one of the friends of the victim and we were told that he did not suffer any fracture. There were other minor injuries though. Secondly, wattsapp messages were circulated about temple eing burnt which is again false, vandalism has occurred though. Also, the rumours saying that some people entered Fatehpuri masjid and raised provocative slogans is also not true,” said Irtiza Qureshi, a local resident and Founder of NGO Marham. Fatehpuri Masjid Shahi Imam Mufti Muqarram has appealed to peole of both sides to maintain peace. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”Vandalism of the temple is matter of police inquiry, if the vandalism did happen it is the duty of the Muslims of the area to compensate the loss. The guilty should be brought to book. I appeal not to fall prey to rumours. It is better that the elders of the two communities sit togteher to ease the situation,” Mufti Mukarram, Shahi Imam of Fathehpuri masjid said. Meanwhile, police has arrested three in the case and is investigating the matter. Police teams are also keeping a check on rumours and trying to identify the people who are spreading rumours on the wattsapp groups. Harsh Vardhan visits the site, Sisodia appeals for peace “It is very unfortunate and painful. The kind of thing done to the temple is unforgivable. I have been told that Police is already in action, culprits will be arrested soon and punished. I appeal to the people to maintain harmony,” said Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare and BJP MP from Chandni Chowk, while visited Delhi’s Hauz Qazi. Meanwhile, Delhi’s Deputy CM has also appealed not to fall prey to rumours. “This is a test of our shared legacy, brotherhood, and mutual love. Some people are trying to give it a communal colour and spread hatred. I request all of you not to give heed to rumours and maintain peace and trust amongst each other. Delhi will win and hatred will lose, Jai Hind,” Sisodia tweeted.
NEW DELHI: The Delhi government has directed all schools in the national Capital to allow random checking by police personnel around their premises during the period of change of shift or closing of the school. The schools have also been asked to submit a report in this regard regarding the presence of police personnel or police van.The Task Force on Women Safety in Delhi has been holding meetings to ensure that actionable measures for women safety are taken. In one of the meetings, it was decided that Delhi Police should intensify random checking around schools, especially at the time of change of shift or closing of the school. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderIn a meeting held recently to review the progress on various action points relating to the recommendations of the Task Force, it was decided that all schools under the Directorate of Education (DoE) must ascertain as to whether these checkings are taking place or not, a senior DoE official said. It has accordingly been decided that all principals of government and private schools shall ascertain the presence of police personnel or mobile police van around school premises during the period of change of shift or closing of the school. Schools are also required to submit a report in this regard, the official added. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe DoE has also directed that in case of schools running in a double shift, principals of both the shifts of the school in consultation and coordination with each other shall depute two to three teachers for 15 minutes at the gate of school before the change of the shift and 15 minutes after closing. Similarly, in case of schools running in a single shift, heads of schools concerned shall depute two to three teachers for 15 minutes before the closing of the school and 15 minutes after closing. In June, the Dialogue and Development Commission constituted the Task Force for Women Safety in public transport in Delhi. The commission advises the Delhi government on key policy issues to ensure safety and improve the quality of commuting for women travellers on public transport in the national Capital. “The task force will conduct both off and on-ground reviews and monitor all existing schemes for women’s safety in Delhi, and will propose new plans for strengthening women’s safety in the Capital,” Jasmine Shah, Vice-Chairperson of the DDC, said.
DUBAI: A US agreement to set up a safe zone in northern Syria, a close ally of Iran, is “provocative and worrisome”, the Iranian foreign ministry was reported to have said by the semi-official Fars news agency. The United States and Turkey last week agreed to set up a joint operations centre for a proposed zone along Syria’s northeast border. “Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi … said the recent announcements and agreements by American officials about creating a safe zone in northern Syria are provocative and worrisome,” Fars reported.
The NCC Boys Mountaineering Expedition to Mt Hanuman Tibba in Himachal Pradesh was ‘flagged off’ on August 2019 by Lt Gen Rajeev Chopra, AVSM, Director General National Cadet Corps in Delhi. The team is led by Col Dhirendra Singh, and constitutes 3 Officers, 17 PI Staff and 20 NCC Boy Cadets from All India NCC Dtes. This is the 84th NCC Cadets Expedition ever since 1970. The team will be attempting to scale Mt Hanuman Tibba (5982m) by third week of September 2019. The DG NCC who flagged off the expedition team expressed his confidence that the team will scale the peak and keep the flag of NCC flying high. He was happy to see the cadets who are motivated to scale the mountain peak.
New Delhi: Sumit Deb has assumed charge as Director (Personnel) of NMDC Limited on September 1, 2019. Prior to this, he was Executive Director (Personnel & Administration) at NMDC and was heading functions of Personnel, Human Resource Development, Rajbhasha, Administration etc. He is a graduate in Mechanical Engineering from Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, Bhubaneshwar.
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is failing to deliver on his promise of a government that’s open by default, the federal information czar says.The law that’s intended to give Canadians access to government files is being used instead as a shield against transparency, information commissioner Suzanne Legault said in her annual report tabled Thursday.Legault said her investigations reveal the Access to Information Act is failing to foster accountability and trust.The act allows people who pay $5 to ask for everything from expense reports and audits to correspondence and briefing notes. Requests are supposed to be answered within 30 days and agencies must have legitimate reasons for taking longer.However, the system has been widely criticized as slow, antiquated and riddled with loopholes that allow agencies to withhold information rather than release it.A number of key institutions that possess valuable information for Canadians showed declines in performance, said Legault, an ombudsman for users of the law.In terms of timeliness, the RCMP, the Canada Revenue Agency, the Correctional Service and Global Affairs received F grades, while National Defence and Health Canada were branded with the even more serious Red Alert status.Legault’s report says she referred one case to the attorney general last month after uncovering apparent improper deletion of emails by an employee of Shared Services Canada.The latest federal budget contained no funding for transparency measures and there has been no direction from the head of the public service on increasing transparency, Legault said.Trudeau’s promises of making the government more open and accountable must be accompanied by action, she told a news conference. “I think he needs to do more. And I think he needs to make sure that the bureaucracy does more. It’s not enough to say it.”The Liberal government recently acknowledged it is delaying planned reforms to the 34-year-old law due to the complexities of the task — changes Legault maintains are essential and long overdue.The promised amendments include giving the information commissioner the power to order release of government records and ensuring the access law applies to the offices of the prime minister, cabinet members and administrative institutions that support Parliament and the courts.Treasury Board President Scott Brison said Thursday that reforms are coming, though he did not say exactly when. “We agree, actually, with the commissioner about the need to modernize the act.”New Democrat MP Daniel Blaikie, who sat on a Commons committee that recommended a sweeping overhaul of the law, said Thursday it’s clear what needs to be done. “It’s just a real disappointment for people who took the government at its word in terms of openness and transparency and all the rest.”Brison did take a first step last year, issuing a ministerial directive to enshrine the principle that federal agencies should be “open by default.”Legault said the move, on its own, is not sufficient.“If you want to truly change a whole culture in a very large bureaucracy, you’re going to have to make a concerted effort. There are going to have to be clear messages from the prime minister, the responsible ministers, the clerk of the Privy Council,” she said.“Sadly, champions for transparency are absent.”— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter
SAINT-HONORÉ, Qc – For Mayor Bruno Tremblay, the latest case of hateful graffiti in his Quebec town was the final straw.Sometime on Wednesday, “Ville Blanche” (‘White Town”) was written in red spray paint on the welcome sign in Saint-Honore, a few hundred kilometres north of Quebec City.It is the fifth such incident in the community since July 18.Tremblay said in an interview Thursday he decided to file a complaint with provincial police.“Yesterday (Wednesday) morning was the worst of the worst,” Tremblay said. “That’s mischief on public property and I said: ‘enough is enough’.”It all started in July when the Islamic association in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region announced it would revisit a plan to have a Muslim cemetery inside a Catholic burial ground in Saint-Honore.A few days later, someone attached a sign reading “Saguenay, Ville Blanche” (“Saguenay, White Town”) under one for the cemetery before it was removed by authorities.In another incident, a sign was posted near a local church stating there was a change of administration and that an Islamic cultural centre would open in its place.Tremblay said he thought the incidents would die down after the first one, but they continued in August.No citizens in the town of 6,000 have told him they were against the cemetery plan, Tremblay said.In any case, there’s a cemetery in place, so there’s nothing to be opposed to, he added.“Whether its someone who is Chinese, German or Arab, there’s already a cemetery there,” Tremblay said.“In 2017, we must be more open than this.”Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil told reporters at a Liberal caucus retreat in Val-d’Or, Que., that everyone was perturbed by the messages.“We denounce these acts with a lot of vigour,” Weil said. “I reiterate that this doesn’t reflect public opinion.”Tremblay said he complained in case police can tie the events in his town to others in the province.For its part, provincial police say they are investigating the most recent vandalism.— By Sidhartha Banerjee in Montreal.
TORONTO – From texting a local dealer to dropping into a neighbourhood dispensary or ordering online, Canada’s black market for recreational marijuana 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.“There’s a huge, complex system out there operating in the world that has been delivering excellent product to people at reasonable prices for 40 years now,” says Donald MacPherson, the executive director of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, an organization based out of Simon Fraser University that advocates for evidence-based policy-making and harm-reduction strategies.“It’s really the degree to which the regulated system can, over a period of years, encroach on as much of that pre-existing market as possible — that is the key question.”Talking to users quickly reveals three major strands that make up the current system, starting with the traditional approach: knowing a guy who knows a guy who gets you your pot. It’s familiar, it’s trusted, it feels safe.More recently, street-level dispensaries have offered a somewhat normal retail store-front experience, though some offer only delivery, but perhaps the biggest change has been in what appears to be a very Canadian phenomenon: the burst of website-based mail-order marijuana suppliers, or MOMs as they are known.A plethora of websites now feature different cannabis products along with prices and, in some cases, testimonials, contests, specials, and freebies. Most ask for proof of age in the form of an uploaded ID document — 18 or 19 is generally minimum — and payment takes place via Interac. The vacuum-packed product is shipped to the buyer via Canada Post or courier.Francois, 34, an IT professional in Quebec City, says he now buys exclusively online.“The convenience factor is what brought me there,” says Francois, who like other users interviewed for this article only wants his first name used. “It’s delivered to your doorstep. It’s super easy, it’s super discreet.”Marie-Helene, 26, a journalist in Montreal who smokes recreationally most evenings and weekends, says she doesn’t expect much will change for her post legalization. She plans to stick with buying from a guy she knows who sells medical grade weed. She trusts him, she says, and she enjoys the personal touch — he knows what strains she likes — and what she calls their “professional-business relationship.”“It doesn’t feel super shady,” she says. “It probably sounds silly (but) it’s the same thing as people who enjoy buying stuff in stores — because it’s customer experience.”Robert, 55, an IT professional based in St. Catharines, Ont., a recreational user for decades, says he now has a medical prescription and can avoid a black market he believes was tied to organized crime. The illegal market is doomed over time, he says, because every gram sold legally is a gram the black market won’t need to grow.“Most of my friends can’t wait to purchase legally and are quite jealous that I am currently able to do that,” Robert says. “Friends who have more libertarian leanings swear they will never buy from the Ontario government (but) I bet that changes. People are lazy and follow the path of least resistance, so if they can buy a couple grams in the same shopping plaza that they are grocery shopping, they are going to do that.”Statistics Canada data indicate about 12 per cent of Canadians aged 15 and older — or 3.6 million of us — reported in 2015 having used cannabis in the previous year, with 840,000 saying they used it most every day.Robert, however, says he thinks governments have hugely underestimated the prevalence of use and the Ontario government’s plan, for example, to start out with 40 retail outlets is laughable.“People don’t honestly answer surveys about sex and drugs, so nobody really understands how big the market will be,” Robert says. “I predict massive lines for legal weed next year.”Whether the black market shrinks and how quickly, observers say, will depend on what the legal market ends up looking like. It’s far from clear. Each province is charting its own course, with some tending toward maximum restrictions in terms of retail outlets, while others talk of stiff criminal sanctions for selling product to underage buyers or near schools.“These new laws are going to make the black market thrive,” says Chad, 40, who produces edible cannabis products in Toronto. “The black market is really vast. It’s really huge, right now, the competition.”The advent of dispensaries, he says, forced the black market to up its game in terms of quality and price. While the recent police crackdown on storefronts in Toronto has just pushed them underground, it has not dented what is a plentiful supply, he says. What Chad does believe is that many online sellers will go dark post-legalization.“Being online is just a way to get caught,” he says.The challenge facing federal and provincial governments, says MacPherson of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, is the fact that the current system is so large, diverse and filled with expertise — in other words, it is mature.Across Canada, hundreds if not thousands of small-scale growers along with some large grow-ops supply a seemingly ravenous consumer cohort that includes younger Canadians who have some of the highest usage rates in the world, according to various surveys.Canada’s police services, however, have expressed concern they won’t be ready to enforce the new laws by next summer. They told a Commons committee earlier this year that among other things, they would need more time to train officers and increase the ranks of those certified to do roadside drug-impaired driving testing.OPP Deputy Commissioner Rick Barnum warned that organized crime will flourish.“Policing will not be ready to go Aug. 1,” Barnum told the committee. “The damage that can be done between the time of new legislation and police officers ready to enforce the law in six months or a year can make it very, very hard to ever regain that foothold.”Enforcement is unlikely to make the illegal market go away, MacPherson says, but legalization does afford governments an opportunity to deploy policing resources elsewhere, and to make reliable public health information readily available as cannabis use becomes normalized in the way a glass of wine or beer already is.Most importantly, he says, displacing well entrenched networks now used for selling and buying good quality pot from people users know will require hassle-free access.“It’s a really interesting and complex thing that the government is trying to do,” MacPherson says. “It’s trying to take a very robust, complex pre-existing market and basically put it out of business by coming up with a better robust market.”
OSHAWA, Ont. – Police say a man was stabbed after intervening in a dispute over a dog in a community east of Toronto.Durham regional police say they responded to a report of a stabbing in Oshawa, Ont., on Tuesday afternoon and found a man with stab wounds.He was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.Police say the victim was “an innocent bystander” who was stabbed by a man when he intervened in a dispute over a dog.They say the accused fled the scene in a vehicle and was arrested later at a home in nearby Whitby, Ont.Police say a 24-year-old Whitby man is charged with aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and breach of recognizance.
KITCHENER, Ont. – A woman was killed and a man was airlifted to hospital after an explosion destroyed a home and started a fire in Kitchener, Ont., early Wednesday, authorities said as they worked to determine what had caused the blast.Residents on a quiet street said they heard a loud boom a little after 8 a.m. and soon saw flames and heavy smoke coming from the rubble of a house. Emergency crews who rushed to the scene found parts of the home’s roof on the ground and charred wood and other debris scattered in the area.“The house has been levelled,” Waterloo regional police spokeswoman Cherri Greeno told The Canadian Press.Police said they believed everyone thought to have been at the home had been accounted for. Authorities did not release the names of the woman killed or the man who was taken to hospital, but said the man was in critical condition.Mel Benoit, whose backyard is adjacent to the home, said he heard the blast and then saw two men coming out of the burning residence with an injured man.“The man was just burned all over,” said the 41-year-old. “I helped carry the man and put him on a lawn chair until EMS arrived.”The two men who had emerged from the shambles of the home said they had seen a woman inside but couldn’t go back into what was left of the residence because of the fire and thick black smoke, Benoit said.Louise Bulhman, who lives on the street where the explosion took place, said a couple lived in the home with their two dogs.“We knew the couple just by their faces and their dogs, and sometimes we said hello,” she said. “The one thing that I just can’t get out of my head is that I heard those men screaming that there was a woman still inside the house.”Bulhman said she had been woken up by the sound of the blast and saw flames and rubble when she looked out her window. She said she and her daugther later found one of the couple’s dogs outside what was left of the home and eventually handed the animal to the local humane society.Police said there was no immediate word on the cause of the blast, but noted that they’d be looking at all possibilities.“A house explosion like this obviously is cause for concern,” said deputy police Chief Kevin Chalk.“There could be a number of reasons for it — some of them would be criminal some would not be. All options are open at this point until we have a chance to get into the residence and do that examination.”By Wednesday evening a bulldozer had started sifting through the rubble on the street. The blast also shattered the windows of two nearby homes and blew the shingles off their roofs. Police said several other properties on the street were damaged by smoke.Sixteen homes in the area were evacuated as a precaution with residents expected to be displaced for at least two days, fire officials said. Police said the Red Cross is helping those affected.Fire Chief Jon Rehill said he estimates the damage to the home and others homes on the street to be worth “millions.”
HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s freedom of information law is becoming “an exercise in frustration,” the privacy commissioner said after the government partially rejected her recommendations on a report on a man’s jailhouse death.Commissioner Catherine Tully told the Justice Department it should provide The Canadian Press with most of an internal report into how 23-year-old Clayton Cromwell died from a methadone overdose at the Burnside jail in April 2014, other than names of prisoners and guards.The efforts to see the internal report — and what it says about the Cromwell’s death — extend back to December 2014, when The Canadian Press first applied for it.Tully said the province failed to provide evidence to back its assertions that releasing the report would harm law enforcement and the facility’s security, or that it would be “detrimental” to the custody of inmates.She said when the province applied sweeping exemptions to almost all of the report, they didn’t link their claims to specific passages, and “provided no evidence of (law enforcement) harm.”The commissioner says the province has told her it is now willing to release some of the documents, but will continue to apply exemptions that she has found aren’t backed with evidence. Tully added it’s still unclear how much of the document will be provided by Oct. 10, the deadline for The Canadian Press to appeal to the courts.She said the government argues “harm” frequently in its refusals of freedom of information requests, and when her reviews have noted the lack of evidence, the province then rejects her findings and repeats its general assertions.“It’s an exercise in frustration for the public bodies, for the public and of course for this office to go through this kind of analysis and have it for the most part rejected out of hand,” she said in an interview.She said the case also illustrates how the current system forces applicants to either abandon their effort or face the expense of a time-consuming appearance before a Nova Scotia Supreme Court justice, despite a review in their favour.However, Justice Minister Mark Furey responded that he feels his department is striking the proper middle ground between the public’s right to know and his protection of the institution’s safety.“I’ve given instructions within the department to review the original application and the information released with a lens to providing what additional information we can, conscious that we still have to protect the privacy of individuals and the safe functionality of the facility,” he said.He said the redacted document will be provided before Oct. 10.Opposition party critics say the case is the latest illustration of how the province’s information commissioner should be an independent officer of the legislature, and have the power to make binding recommendations.“It’s unfortunate. We have a family that’s been grieving since 2014 and can’t get information to comfort them … We have to go back to the promise the premier made in 2013 that he would make the privacy commissioner independent of the legislature,” said Karla MacFarlane, the member of the legislature for Pictou West.David Wilson, an NDP member of the legislature, said the government must give the privacy commissioner the power to compel the release of information.“You have to question whether is it time to look at the power of that office,” he said.Devin Maxwell, a lawyer representing Cromwell’s family, said the decision is disappointing.“You have to ask yourself, what are they trying to hide?” he said. “Anyone who follows the news knows there are serious problems in Nova Scotia correctional facilities and the public has the right to know.”Brian Hebert, a Halifax lawyer who has assisted citizens in court with their freedom of information case, said Nova Scotia has a relatively strong freedom of information act, but the review officer’s ability to enforce it is too weak.Hebert represented Ron Neufeld and Kathaleen Milan in their recent Nova Scotia Supreme Court victory to enforce another review by Tully the province rejected.It had recommended the release of documents about a salmon farm within 200 metres of their property.Neufeld and Milan won their decision with a ruling from a judge, but Hebert says he estimates his billing would have been about $15,000 to $20,000 if he hadn’t agreed to do the work for free.He is now faced with an attempt to recover costs from the province through the court proceedings.It’s generally not a solution for most citizens using the freedom of information act, he said.“Filing an action in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia is no easy process. You have to have the proper forms. The rules governing procedures are two or three inches thick,” he said in an interview.“Most people would probably not do it or have to get a lawyer to advise them.”His clients drafted their own appeal, and managed to find assistance from the Right to Know Coalition and the East Coast Environmental Association.“We won and the judge said it was almost a no brainer. There wasn’t much of a reason to hold this stuff back,” he said.Simply making an access to information request in Nova Scotia also has become more difficult in recent months.Nova Scotia’s Freedom of Information website was knocked out of service for more than 150 days after it was taken down over privacy concerns.It was recently resurrected, but new requests for government information normally withheld from the public are no longer being accepted through the website and will need to be filed in writing.Follow (at)mtuttoncporg on Twitter.
HALIFAX – A defence lawyer questioned a young Halifax woman Tuesday about her decision to sleep in a room with four British sailors in the barracks of a military base, and a kiss she gave one of the men.The complainant confirmed under cross examination by defence lawyer Ian Hutchison that she felt fearful at 12 Wing Shearwater near Halifax on April 9, 2015, after she lost her friend when they returned to the barracks from a beer run.She reiterated that despite feeling uncomfortable staying the night, she did not leave the barracks because she did not want to abandon her friend there.The young woman has testified in Nova Scotia Supreme Court that she decided to sleep in the room with four men next to a sailor because she had been hanging out there earlier, and it was the only room that was familiar to her.She has told the court she gave the sailor sleeping next to her a goodnight kiss, as if to say “thank you” for letting her sleep there, and when she awoke at least three men were performing sex acts on her.Hutchison appeared to suggest Tuesday that she could have slept in the hallway of the barracks, the lobby, or on the floor of barracks room rather than in the bed.“There was nothing stopping to you from sleeping in the hallway?” the lawyer asked.The complainant responded: “There’s 22 men who could attack me in the hallway,” likely referring to the number of men on the Royal Navy hockey team, who were in the Halifax area for a tournament.As the lawyer persisted with this line of questioning, the complainant became emotional.“You’re not going to feel safe no matter what you do. You’re surrounded by a group of men. You’re terrified. You’re doing everything you can to make the best of an absolutely crappy situation,” said the woman, whose identity is protected by a publication ban.“There’s dudes no matter where you go. There is not going to be anyone you know no matter where you go… If you’re in a barrack room with four men, stupid me thought I had some sense of security.”“I thought if I was going get raped it would be by one guy.”Darren Smalley, 38, is charged with sexual assault causing bodily harm and participating in a sexual assault involving one or more people at 12 Wing Shearwater. The complainant was at the barracks on the night in question because her friend had invited her on a double date after meeting a British sailor on Tinder.Hutchison also quizzed the woman about the kiss she gave the man in bed next to her, and suggested it was in fact “more than just a goodnight kiss.”“I would obviously disagree,” she said.“As an adult and a woman and someone who understands consent, (I am) fully capable of knowing if I did or did not have any intention that night of doing any further than kissing the man… I do know that my intention was not for anything more than that.”The complainant faced a flurry of questions covering an array of grounds, as she took the stand for a fifth day.Hutchison asked about her testimony that she had lost consciousness during the alleged sexual assault. She confirmed she does not have a history of losing consciousness, and confirmed she has consumed more alcohol than she did on night in question and was still coherent.The complainant was also asked bluntly if the sex acts she has testified about were taking place consensually.“No,” she replied sternly.The complainant finished her testimony. The trial resumes Wednesday morning with more Crown witnesses.The case once involved four accused, but charges against two other sailors were dropped, while charges against another man were stayed earlier in the trial because of illness.
OTTAWA — The federal government says diplomats visited former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig today for the second time since his arrest in China last month for allegedly endangering national security.A spokesman for Canada’s foreign ministry says Canada remains deeply concerned by what it calls China’s “arbitrary” detentions of Kovrig and fellow Canadian Michael Spavor, who was also arrested last month on similar allegations.Guillaume Berube says in a statement that Canada is demanding their immediate release, and will continue to push for more consular access.Canadian diplomats visited Spavor, an entrepreneur, for a second time earlier this week.The arrests of Kovrig and Spavor appear to be in retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Huawei senior executive Meng Wanzhou at the request of the United States.Meng’s arrest and her potential extradition to the U.S. has enraged China, which has demanded her release and has warned of serious consequences for Canada.The Canadian Press
CHARLOTTETOWN — A look at Dennis King, leader of Prince Edward Island’s Progressive Conservative party.Age: 47.Early years: Grew up in Georgetown, P.E.I.Education: Graduated from Montague Regional High School in 1990. Studied journalism in Ontario.Career: King worked for P.E.I. media outlets including the Eastern Graphic and the Guardian. He worked as a communications officer for the P.E.I. departments of Transportation and Development and Technology, and later served as director of communications to Premier Pat Binns. In 2007 he became director of communications and business development with the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of Prince Edward Island. In 2013, he started his own public relations and communications consulting business.Family: Married to Jana Hemphill. They have three children — Jacob, Camdyn and Callum. They operate Storybrook Stables, a horse farm in Brookfield, P.E.I.Quote: “Our job now is to come together for Islanders and offer a strong, viable, principled party for change in a political climate, ladies and gentlemen, that is ripe for change.” – After being chosen as party leader on Feb. 9, 2019.The Canadian Press
TORONTO — A British Columbia man accused of swimming naked in a shark tank at a Toronto aquarium is expected to plead guilty to mischief in that incident next month.David Weaver, of Nelson, B.C., was arrested and charged in October of last year, four days after the alleged incident.Police allege he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in downtown Toronto on Oct. 12, bought a ticket, then stripped naked and jumped into the facility’s shark tank.A large crowd was at the aquarium that night for a “jazz night” event and some in attendance took videos of the alleged incident.The videos, which surfaced on social media and attracted international attention, show a naked man swimming in the tank with sand tiger sharks, sawfish and moray eels.The man then starts to climb out of the tank before performing a back dive into the water. Officials have said the man then got out and got dressed but left behind a T-shirt and his jacket.The aquarium, meanwhile, has said security footage shows a man accompanied by a woman walking directly to the “dangerous lagoon” tank and, about half an hour later, taking his clothes off, hopping a barrier and going into the water.Police have said by the time they arrived at the aquarium, the man had fled. Weaver was arrested near Thunder Bay, Ont., during a vehicle stop. During a brief hearing Wednesday, court heard that Weaver would appear on Sept. 19 for a guilty plea in the Ripley’s incident.Police have also alleged that earlier on Oct. 12, Weaver assaulted a man outside Medieval Times, a show where actors playing knights joust and compete in a mock tournament. A window was also allegedly broken.Weaver was charged with assault and mischief in that earlier incident, which is now being dealt with separately by the court, and will face trial on those charges in late October.He returned to B.C. this spring after his bail conditions were relaxed, allowing him to resume his work as a fishing guide, his lawyer has said.Before then, Weaver had been required by the court to live with his mother in Burlington, Ont., and seek counselling for alcohol abuse and anger management. Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press
In this new video, HRH The Prince of Wales talks about his charitable work with education and young people.Video: Prince Charles and Education and Young People“One of the most important aspects of people’s lives I have been concerned with for very nearly 40 years is the encouragement and empowering of young people,” said Prince Charles. “I have always been fascinated by the meaning of the word “educate.” It does not mean to teach or train. It comes from the Latin “educere” and it means “to lead or draw out.”“This is an important principle and one that could be better acknowledged than it is, not least because, in my view, it is the key that unlocks so much potential. We all have immense capacity for imagination and innovation and it is this that I have sought to tap.“I must say, I have struggled at times to find as many ways as possible to help those young people who do not have the best start in life to overcome the barriers they face and to mine that fathomless human capacity for innovation.“Many young people lack confidence. They often suffer low self-esteem and I find that these are the biggest blocks of all. That is why so much of my work in this area has been dedicated to giving young people, especially those excluded by their circumstances from the mainstream, a strong sense of self-worth and a confidence in their ability so that they, rather than others, can put their lives on track.“It is my belief that a sense of self-worth and dignity form the bedrock of a cohesive, prosperous and supportive society. That is why I believe everyone should have the chance to contribute to the common good through their own endeavour.“Perhaps one of the better known initiatives in this field has been my Prince’s Trust, of which I am immensely proud. Through the efforts of a wonderful team of people at my Trust we have now enabled over 700,000 young people to find their way in life or to start their own businesses, many of which are now, themselves, employing many young people.“This film explores the work of the Trust, with examples from training programmes that are up and running at Dumfries House, in Ayrshire, along with my other charities that are working with young people on educational projects.“It explains the work of my Foundation for Children and the Arts, which gives children experience of a “wide range of arts activities, not just once, but on long term programmes so that they forge a firm bond with the arts organisations they are introduced to.“It also explores why I felt the need to establish my School of Traditional Arts which teaches and preserves those crafts and skills of the world’s sacred traditions that I felt were in grave danger of being forgotten and lost.“So, too, my Drawing School, which teaches the important arts of observing and drawing – something, I fear, which has been neglected in our education system.“And let us not forget those who are doing all of the educating – the teachers! This film also explores the work of my Teaching Institute which I set up to re-inspire in teachers a love of their subjects, simply to remind them why they first got into teaching. As you will see, my Prince’s Teaching Institute runs a range of programmes for teachers, both in and out of school.”
The world needs more love, according to international music producer and DJ David Guetta, who has partnered with the United Nations to raise money for aid relief in Typhoon Haiyan-stricken Philippines and other humanitarian needs, and who released his new music video last week.David Guetta (left) with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moonCredit/Copyright: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe“Music is a powerful way to connect and to bring people together,” said Mr. Guetta.Together with the UN and international aid organizations, he launched in New York a specially-produced video for his new track ‘One Voice’ in support of “The World Needs More___” campaign.“If we can make a change just by saying what the world needs now and raise money to help the UN – wow. That’s incredible,” Mr. Guetta noted.Launched on World Humanitarian Day, marked on 19 August, the campaign allows leading brands and individuals to sponsor a word.The music video was last week projected onto the exterior of the world body’s iconic New York Headquarters building at a special event that featured UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Mr. Guetta.Mr. Ban, who started last week with a visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, and who sees the divisions, atrocities and wars of the world, thanked Guetta for his “courage to change and create a new future for us all.”The new video for ‘One Voice’ can be seen on both Guetta’s Facebook page and the campaign website, where the video will be featured exclusively.Following the broadcast of the music video, the building was used as the backdrop for an interactive Twitter wall, becoming the canvas for tweets from around the globe.“When I play, people are as one on the dance floor. I want the same for the world. No matter how busy you are or where you are, we all share this planet and help each other. We should be as one.”The French musician has already sponsored ‘#love’ and each time the word is shared on Twitter or through the campaign website www.theworldneedsmore.org, it unlocks a dollar towards aid efforts in the world’s most underfunded crises – literally turning words of support into financial support.The campaign is a collaborative effort between the United Nations Foundation, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), and advertising agency Leo Burnett New York.By supporting a sponsored word through the double hashtag #theworldneedsmore #yourword, $1 will be donated to the efforts. In the United States only, individuals also have the options to contribute $10 by texting ‘ONEVOICE’ to 90999.Mr. Guetta said he hopes his fans – some 47 million followers on Facebook and 16 million on Twitter – can help raise the millions needed in the Philippines, “I created the video especially for this campaign, and use it to reach out to fans.”“I wanted to help, but I didn’t know how, so I went to the people that do,” he said about producing the music video for his new song. “Working with the UN, with the people who really are in charge, has been an inspiring and humbling experience.