Chandigarh: A flood-like situation prevailed in many parts of Punjab and Haryana where the Indian Air Force on Monday rescued nine persons stuck in Karnal district due to sudden rise of water in the River Yamuna. While the Meteorological Department said no heavy rainfall was reported in most parts of the two states on Monday morning, the two states had received heavy rains during the past three days. Assisted by the Karnal Police, the Indian Air Force rescued nine persons including women and children who had got stuck in Karnal. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details The rescue operation was carried out by the IAF in the early hours of Monday despite adverse weather, Haryana’s Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Navdeep Singh Virk said. Keeping in view the alarming situation due to release of 2.4 lakh cusecs of water from Ropar headwork, Deputy Commissioner Jalandhar, Varinder Kumar Sharma has ordered the stationing of companies of National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF) at vulnerable points in Shahkot, Nakodar and Phillaur. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday The Deputy Commissioner, who along with senior police officials inspected the level of water at Phillaur bridge and at village Danewal in Shahkot, on Monday said that 50 expert swimmers and divers of NDRF have been stationed at Shahkot. 42 expert swimmers and divers of SDRF have been stationed at Nakodar Sub Division. The Jalandhar Deputy Commissioner said Army authorities have also been requested to station their columns at all these Sub Divisions in the district so that they could help the administration in case of any need. Rescue centres have been established in every Sub Division where requisite provisions of food and shelter have been made. Besides, medical teams have been deployed at all centres for providing medical assistance to the evacuees. Sharma had earlier asked the sub-divisional magistrates Phillaur, Nakodar and Shahkot to get 81 low-lying and flood-prone villages evacuated to save them from fury of floods. Jalandhar district authorities have asked people living near the swollen Sutlej River and low-lying areas to remain alert following the release of excess water from the Bhakra Dam. In the Yamuna River, water level had risen dangerously at the Hathni Kund barrage in Yamuna Nagar, Haryana on Sunday evening. Haryana’s Department of Revenue and Disaster Management issued a high flood warning on Sunday alerting deputy commissioners of Karnal, Panipat, Sonipat, Faridabad and Palwal. The Yamuna River discharge at 6 pm on Sunday was 8,28,072 cusecs, which is categorised as a “high flood” situation, officials said. There were reports that rain water had entered a village in Yamunanagar on Monday and people were being evacuated. All the deputy commissioners of the five Haryana districts have been requested to keep a close watch on the situation and keep their disaster management resources on high readiness to tackle any adverse situation. In Punjab, floods were reported from areas like Rupnagar, Fatehgarh Sahib and Pathankot. Authorities have also ordered closure of schools in Rupnagar on Monday. The Punjab government had on Friday issued a high alert in the state after a forecast of heavy rainfall in next 48 to 72 hours. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has directed all deputy commissioners in the state to monitor the situation closely. The chief minister himself is keeping close tabs on the situation, officials said. He has instructed field officers of revenue, drainage, health, food and animal husbandry departments to stay alert and prepared to handle any eventuality arising out of heavy rains.
Kolkata: The health condition of former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has improved on Sunday, with his chest X-ray showing signs of stability. It also showed the improvement of pneumonitis which Bhattacharjee had been suffering from. The press statement issued by the hospital on Sunday said that his hemoglobin level has risen to 10 gm/dl and the carbon dioxide levels have come down, giving a sense of relief to the doctors.A medical board of eight doctors was formed for the treatment of the former chief minister on Sunday morning. The press statement also stated that Bhattacharjee has been maintaining stability in all the vital parameters. He also took food, ice cream and tea orally on Sunday morning. BiPAP (non-invasive ventilation) was conducted on the patient for nearly six hours on Saturday night and the oxygen level has now increased in his body. He was fully conscious on Sunday and talked to the doctors and his family members. However, he will continue to need oxygen. Bhattacharjee, a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patient, was admitted to a private hospital in the city with multiple cardiac ailments on Friday.
TORONTO – Starting in October, all prescription opioids must carry a warning sticker about potential adverse effects and pharmacists will be required to provide information handouts to consumers about the potent narcotics, Health Canada announced Wednesday.It is the first time the federal government has issued regulations requiring a warning sticker and a patient handout for a medicine dispensed by a pharmacy.Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada’s chief medical adviser, said the yellow warning sticker will be applied to the container and state that the medication can cause dependence, addiction and overdose.The handout will include information about the signs of opioid overdose and potential side-effects, as well as warnings not to share the medication and to store it safely out of the reach of children.The new regulations also require pharmaceutical companies to develop and implement risk-management plans aimed at reducing the potential harms associated with the use of the drugs.“While much of the opioid crisis can be attributed to contaminated drugs that have been obtained illegally, prescription opioids have also contributed to this issue,” said Sharma, referring to an epidemic of overdose deaths in Canada.“We want patients to have ongoing conversations with their health-care providers and pharmacists about the risks and the benefits of prescription opioids,” she told a media briefing from Ottawa. “These stickers and handouts will help continue those conversations.”Sharma said the sticker will act as a red flag every time a consumer uses an opioid, a visual warning that the medication carries the potential for significant risk, backed up by the single-sheet information handout.“And the most important thing about that is this information will be consistent, so this information will be given with every opioid dispensed in Canada … previously we didn’t have a mechanism to ensure that that information was consistent across all provinces and territories.”However, the Canadian Pharmacists Association questions the use of the government-mandated stickers and handouts.“I think we have mixed feelings, and we actually expressed our mixed feelings to Health Canada last year,” said Phil Emberley, the organization’s director of professional affairs.“One of the functions of pharmacies and how pharmacists practice is that we like to individualize our communications to patients,” he said. “So rather than treating them all as one homogenous group … we often tailor our communications to the unique needs of patients, depending on their demographics, on what particular disorder they’re being treated for.“So we’re very leery about the use of general messaging that applies to everybody without considering the needs of individual patients.”For example, the warning label and patient-information sheet could be inappropriate for people taking opioids like methadone or Suboxone to manage an addiction to the drugs, Emberley cautioned.“To regularly tell that patient who’s in treatment that this is a drug that causes addiction, dependence and overdose, I’m not sure that that’s going to be in the best interest of optimizing their outcomes on the treatment program,” he said.The new regulations are part of Vanessa’s Law, named after Vanessa Young, who died in 2000 at age 15 as the result of taking a prescription drug. The law, passed in 2014, is aimed at protecting consumers from unsafe medications and reducing adverse reactions.Wednesday’s announcement marks the first time Ottawa has used the regulatory power of the legislation to place conditions on licences to sell medications, in this case the requirement that manufacturers of the powerful painkillers provide Health Canada with a risk-management plan, including the means of monitoring for adverse events related to the drugs once they are on the market.“Practically all of the opioids were actually approved at a time when we didn’t have risk-management plans, so this is a way to have manufacturers have the obligation that they put these plans in place and it also allows us to have consistency in our approach to the way these products are monitored once they’re on the market,” Sharma said.The plans must also contain measures to help minimize the risks to patients taking the drugs, such as training sessions about their risks and benefits for doctors and other practitioners.“If we find that somebody isn’t complying, our first step is to try to bring them into compliance, to work with the company to make sure that they’re doing that,” she said, noting that regulations allow for fines and penalties and even litigation for non-compliance.Prior to the passage of Vanessa’s Law, the Food and Drug Act allowed for a maximum fine of $5,000.“Now that’s gone up to millions per day.”— Follow @SherylUbelacker on Twitter.
SYDNEY, N.S. – A young aboriginal man who sexually assaulted a 16-year-old friend “exhibits great potential” despite a difficult upbringing and should not face a lengthy jail term, a Nova Scotia judge says.Judge James Chipman sentenced Davis Joseph Prosper to four months in jail in a decision the judge said took Prosper’s aboriginal status into account.“The case before me does not involve a position of trust or a child victim,” Chipman said in a Nova Scotia Supreme Court sentencing decision handed down June 16 in Sydney and released in written form Monday.“On the facts in context, I accept that Mr. Prosper’s actions were impulsive. He acted for his own sexual gratification at great expense to the victim. Having said this, he made no threats and there was no striking, choking or sexual intercourse.”Prosper, who is in his early 20s, assaulted the girl while she was texting her boyfriend in her bedroom on the Eskasoni First Nation in August 2015, according to the ruling.He tried to take off her shorts and sexually assaulted her underneath her clothing.The ruling said her boyfriend told Prosper, either by text or by phone, to leave the house.“What took place can hardly be regarded as a victimless crime. True damage was done and we can only all hope that the continuing passage of time will provide some relief and closure,” said Chipman.Crown attorney John MacDonald had sought a two-year jail term for what he called “a major or serious sex assault,” while defence lawyer Blair Kasouf suggested 90 days intermittently.“It appears to have been an impulsive, immature act. There were no threats, striking, choking or sexual intercourse,” Kasouf told the judge.Chipman said he was satisfied Prosper, who is currently unemployed and living with his uncle, took responsibility for his actions and expressed remorse.He quoted from Prosper’s pre-sentence report that said “he has experienced the adverse effects of the toxic social environment and poor socio-economic conditions that continue to impact the lives of aboriginal people since the time of colonization.”Prosper pleaded guilty.Along with the jail sentence, Chipman also sentenced Prosper to 18 months probation and, among other measures, banned him from owning firearms for 10 years, except “to hunt for sustenance.”“Given the circumstances of the crime, along with Mr. Prosper’s status … I am of the view that despite a difficult upbringing and poor socio-economic status, Mr. Prosper exhibits great potential. In these difficult circumstances, I have decided that a fit and proper sentence should not involve a lengthy period of incarceration as sought by the Crown,” Chipman said.
AJAX, Ont. – A police force in southern Ontario says two of its officers are facing numerous charges related to an alleged local drug ring.Durham Region police say the officers came under investigation as the force began looking into alleged activities at a bar in Ajax, Ont.Police say they began looking into allegations of drug transactions and excessive alcohol service at the Black Bear Bar and Grill in the summer of 2016, and eventually discovered that the two officers were connected to the bar’s owner.On Tuesday, police arrested the two officers along with three other people and laid numerous charges related to the alleged trafficking of marijuana and cocaine.Const. Husen Aswat, who has been with Durham Region police for nine years, is facing 19 charges including seven counts of breach of trust and four counts of trafficking in cocaine.Eight-year force veteran Const. Amandeep Thakur is facing four charges including two counts of breach of trust and possession of property obtained by crime. Both officers are currently suspended from duty.Three other men are facing a total of 23 charges between them. Police did not indicate whether the owner of the bar was included in those charged.Durham Region police said the investigation was conducted in collaboration with officers from Toronto. Chief Paul Martin said the officers’ alleged conduct was particularly troubling.“Obviously it’s very concerning and disappointing when we find ourselves investigating our own employees,” he said in a statement.When the force became aware of the possible involvement of its members, Martin said they conducted a “vigorous” investigation.“No one is above the law and every one of our employees is accountable for their actions,” he said. “I want to assure the community that this is not a reflection of our women and men who work so hard every day to uphold the law and keep our communities safe.”All five of the men charged have been held in custody for bail hearings.
ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – The personal information of more than two dozen students attending the University of the Fraser Valley in British Columbia has potentially been breached online.Spokesman Dave Pinton said the Abbotsford-based university and police are investigating suspicious email related to the disclosure of “limited personal information” of 29 students.The information involves names, emails, phone numbers, addresses, grade point average and in one case, limited financial information.Pinton said whoever sent an email to students on Monday a demanded $30,000 ransom.The university temporarily suspended access to some student and staff web systems and is working with the students and investigators, he said. The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of B.C. has also been notified.“UFV takes the security of our email and information systems very seriously,” he said, adding that the university is keeping students and staff updated on the availability of its online systems.Abbotsford police say they were contacted by the university on Monday about demands for money involving the students’ information.Const. Ian MacDonald said the incident has been deemed an extortion attempt and computer forensic experts within the department’s major crime unit are involved.The case appears similar to phone or email scams where fraudsters pretend to be police or government officials and demand the victim pay a fine or face detention, he said.Investigating scams can be a challenge, particularly online where perpetrators try to cover up their digital fingerprints or victims pay ransoms with Bitcoin or gift cards, MacDonald said.“From a policing standpoint we try to do as much as we can by way of prevention before people get separated from their money,” he said.
MOUNT PEARL, N.L. – A Newfoundland woman who was suffering from an advanced form of cancer when she won a $1.5-million lottery jackpot in November has died.Diane Elaine Bishop of Mount Pearl had Stage 4 breast cancer.An online obituary says the 51-year-old convenience store operator, who had two sons in their 20s, died Tuesday surrounded by her family.In October, Bishop told CBC she couldn’t afford to stop working at the store in Mount Pearl despite her diagnosis and a daily battle with joint pain, nausea and headaches.Strangers soon started to come forward to offer her financial support.When she won the lottery a month later, she said was responding to chemotherapy treatment.“This money wasn’t about going out and buying a new house or taking trips,” she said at the time. “This was about survival. I can survive now, and my kids can survive.”There was a growing list of online tributes to Bishop on Wednesday.“Her continuing public struggle to fight for government medical funding for all terminal patients everywhere, has been incredibly moving,” said one message on a funeral home site.“Being a single mother, running a business, fighting the good fight, keeping a beacon of positive light lit for all around her, and all the while dealing with a terminal illness … literally left me speechless and in awe.”Lynda Trelegan also expressed her condolences online, saying: “Diane was the most kind, thoughtful and courageous person that I had have ever met. She fought long and hard, and I pray that she is now at peace.”A funeral service is planned for Saturday at Barrett’s Funeral Home Chapel in St. John’s.
CALGARY – A Calgary Herald newspaper column on sexual misconduct accusations against U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh has prompted two women on Calgary city council to shun interview requests from the paper.In her Wednesday column headlined “Kavanaugh doesn’t deserve this. What happened in high school stays in high school,” Naomi Lakritz wrote that the #MeToo movement has created the equivalent of a Salem witch trial for Kavanaugh.The column triggered a backlash on social media, including Twitter announcements from councillors Jyoti Gondek and Druh Farrell that they would not accept interview requests from the paper until the editorial was retracted and an apology issued.In a statement to CTV Calgary, Herald editor-in-chief Lorne Motley says freedom of speech is important and the columnist’s role at a newspaper is to express an opinion.Three women have come forward since Kavanaugh’s nomination was announced with allegations that include sexual assault, indecent exposure and sexual misconduct.One of them — Christine Blasey Ford — testified before a U.S. Senate hearing Thursday that the nominee assaulted her in 1982, but Kavanaugh refuted the accusation when he later appeared before the panel.In her tweet, Gondek wrote that while she is not a “big newsmaker,” she will not be replying to interview requests from Calgary Herald journalists “until the editorial board recognizes the impact of their decision to minimize the gravity of high school sexual assault.”Farrell said in her posting that although the newspaper has some great writers, “I can’t stand by while sexual assault is trivialized. I stand with my colleague (Gondek) in support of women. I won’t be taking interview requests until they retract and apologize.”Other social media postings have called for the cancellation of Herald subscriptions, or the pulling of advertising.Early Thursday afternoon, Lakritz issued a statement to CTV Calgary saying she was not weighing in on whether Kavanaugh is guilty or not.“I obviously don’t have any knowledge of that. What I’m saying is that whatever someone allegedly did as a 15-year-old should not count against him when he’s a man of 53, decades removed from the teenager he once was. Were we all perfect angels at 15? I doubt it. Would we want something we may have done at 15 to affect our lives as mature adults at 40 or 50? Obviously not.”Lakritz said the councillors who have decided to boycott the paper’s reporters “are obviously sadly unaware of the principles of free speech.”The Herald said in its Friday edition that its editorial pages reflect a variety of opinions, with the goal of stirring debate.“We do believe in open debate, vigorous dialogue and free speech, including — of course — for those people who have been subjected to sexual assault and sexual misconduct. Those who stand up to their abusers and those who share their stories should be applauded, not shouted down. Their decisions to speak their truth are actions that merit consideration and respect.” (CTV Calgary, The Canadian Press)
VANCOUVER – On the heels of his narrow victory in Vancouver’s dramatic mayoral race, observers say Kennedy Stewart’s biggest challenge will be leading a council fractured across party lines as he tries to deliver on platform promises like increasing housing supply.The former NDP MP, who ran as an Independent, will lead 10 councillors divided across four parties with an even split between progressives and members of the right-leaning Non-Partisan Association.Vancouver is one of the few cities in Canada that operates on a party system.“We’re going to need a new civic engineer who knows how to build bridges and not walls,” said Andy Yan, director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University.That could mean making strategic compromises and more open dialogue in council chambers instead of behind caucus doors, he said.While Kennedy’s platform included a subway line extension and new approaches to fighting the opioid crisis, his primary campaign focus has been clear: Housing. Among his plans on the file are immediately hiring a renters’ advocate and increasing supply by 85,000 new units, including 25,000 non-profit rentals, over 10 years.Following his victory, Kennedy told reporters he wants the conversation to move beyond housing by the end of his four-year term. He said he’s confident he can do so by working with all members of council.“I’ve been talking with them all the way through, all the way through this race and I think there are ideas we share in common and we’re just going to have to go policy by policy and make sure we’re not alienating anyone. I’m confident we can do it,” Stewart told reporters following his victory speech.Patrick Smith, a political science and urban systems professor at Simon Fraser University, said the upcoming federal election will likely work in Stewart’s favour as the federal Liberals court votes and open the coffers for public projects.“He may be astute enough to be able to produce some initiatives on the housing front,” Smith said, adding that will require building alliances.Stewart edged out contender Ken Sim of the NPA to win the election with a lead of fewer than 1,000 votes in the race to replace outgoing Mayor Gregor Robertson, who did not run for re-election.Robertson’s party Vision Vancouver entered the race weak, with its mayoral candidate Ian Campbell bowing out days before the nomination deadline. It won no seats on council.Smith said it all but marks the end of the party after 10 years in power.“It’s the old adage, never say never in politics. But we’re going to say a very strong maybe,” Smith said.Meantime, the Green party saw significant gains, winning three of 10 councillor seats. Two of its candidates, incumbent Adriane Carr and Pete Fry, each won more votes than Stewart or Sim.“It’s in one way a Green sweep in Vancouver. I think it also reflects values. At the core of it, Vancouver still acknowledges the importance of sustainability,” he said, even if voters disagreed with Vision’s strategy for achieving it.Sim has not conceded the election, saying after results came in early Sunday morning that more votes needed to be counted and he would seek advice in the coming days.The NPA did not immediately respond to requests for comment Sunday afternoon.
HALIFAX – Crews have begun tearing into the mangled Boeing 747 cargo jet that overshot a Halifax runway last week, as gawkers marvelled at the huge wreck — and how close the plane came to breaching the airport’s fence and overrunning a public road.Dozens of people watched late Sunday afternoon as a backhoe dug into the midsection of the fuselage, which buckled when the empty SkyLease Cargo plane overshot the runway at Halifax Stanfield International Airport on Wednesday.“It’s quite a sight — it’s awful close to the road. If it hadn’t stopped where it did, it would be right where we’re parking right now,” said Jayme Newcombe, who came from Milford, N.S., with her partner Jamie Fillmore to show the mangled aircraft to their three-year-old son, Riley, who is fascinated by planes.“They’re very lucky to walk away from that for sure. A few more feet and they would have gone through some telephone poles and it could have been worse for them. Very lucky to end it the way they did,” said Fillmore.The four crew members suffered minor injuries and the plane was badly damaged when it slid 210 metres off the end of Runway 14 on Wednesday. Federal investigators said it touched down in rainy conditions while being buffeted by a crosswind with a potential tailwind.“I’m glad for the crew that it held together, that it basically stayed in roughly one piece — although not in a real healthy way for the plane,” said Oscar Lopez of Halifax, one of the many who braved near-freezing temperatures for a look. “It’s something with that crack in the middle … it’s quite a sight.”Flight KKE 4854, which had arrived from Chicago just after 5 a.m. Wednesday after a two-and-a-half hour flight, was to be loaded with live lobster destined for China.As it skidded down a slight, grassy embankment, the plane hit a large localizer antenna, its landing gear collapsed, two of its four engines were torn off and there was a small fire under the tail section — caused by one of the severed engines.The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said Saturday that it had released the site, and planned to examine recovered components at its Ottawa lab.Investigators planned to download and analyze data from the cockpit voice and flight data recorders, the TSB said. They planned to talk to witnesses, review control tower audio and radar data, and investigate weather and runway surface conditions as well as records for the aircraft and its pilots.It also said it would “examine the terrain at the end of the runway at Halifax/Stanfield Airport to determine what role it played in aircraft damage.”On Monday, Theresa Rath Spicer, director of public affairs, marketing and customer relations for the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, said the backhoe was used to prepare for the dismantling and removal of the aircraft.“First and foremost, safety and the environment remain our top priorities, and with respect to that, we are continuing to work to mitigate the environmental concerns caused by the fuel leak,” she said.“We’ve engaged an environmental consultant very early on in this process, and we’re working in concert with them as we monitor the situation on a 24/7 basis.”Rath Spicer said the impact of the fuel leak — classified by the TSB as “minimal” — has been contained to the immediate site area, and arrangements will be made to remove the impacted soil as soon as possible.She said the next step is to remove the fuel from the aircraft before dismantling the aircraft itself. The process is expected to take a number of days.She added that operations for the airport went back to normal on Friday.“We did see some delays, cancellations and even some early arriving flights on Saturday with the inclement weather, but we are pleased to report that at this time, our operation has normalized,” she said.Late Sunday afternoon, the massive plane remained within a few dozen metres of the fence as crews worked around it.The operator of a large backhoe would rip at the plane’s mid-section, get out to take a look, and then take another swipe. A smaller backhoe picked up nearby debris, including what appeared to be pieces of airport ground equipment, as people with rakes filled up drums with debris.“By the looks of the terrain at the end of the runway there, they must have had a real bumpy ride there, that last bit,” said Carl Gates, who drove from Dartmouth for a look with his wife, Lorraine.“It’s going to take quite a bit to get it out of there,” said Lorraine Gates.Jordan Reimer drove to the airport from the Annapolis Valley to have a look at the wreck with some friends. He said he had recently damaged his own light aircraft in a windstorm, and sympathized with the pilot.“A fun thing to see — it’s huge. Was worth the drive all the way out here, definitely,” he said. “I just feel really bad for the pilot. He did not have a good day.”
OTTAWA — Conservative MP David Yurdiga says people suffering from disabilities that worsen and ease aren’t treated fairly under Canadian law and he wants to change that.Yurdiga says he wants to see legislative and policy changes that would ensure those living with multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, arthritis, and other “episodic” disabilities are protected, can stay in the workforce and get better access to programs they need.Yurdiga’s wife Kathy was diagnosed with MS in 2004 and she says she still wakes up every day wondering whether she will be disabled.The Fort McMurray-Cold Lake MP says his family had a support system when his wife first had difficulty using her hands, including those who worked with her in their family business and their children.But Yurdiga says he’s heard from thousands of Canadians living with episodic disabilities who have been forced into disability systems that don’t allow them to work.Yurdiga introduced a motion in the House of Commons in early November that calls on the Commons’ human-resources committee to study the issue. The committee discussed the topic for the first time today. Yurdiga says that’s a first step but his goal is stronger laws.The Canadian Press
The bison bull was a long way from where he should have been — on provincial grazing lands in west-central Alberta instead of the rugged backcountry of Banff National Park.“We are considering destruction versus capture of this animal,” Parks Canada wildlife ecologist Jesse Whittington wrote 11 days after the bull, dubbed M05, crossed the park’s eastern boundary.Emails obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act detail how Parks Canada staff strived to bring MO5’s summer excursion to a happy conclusion, and how they carefully crafted their message when it did not turn out the way they’d hoped.A Parks Canada program to reintroduce bison to Banff reached a major milestone July 29 when more than 30 animals were released from a paddock into 1,200 square kilometres of Rocky Mountain wilderness. It was the first time in 140 years that bison roamed wild there.About a week later, two bulls — M05 and M19 — ventured out of the park independently.The agency committed to the Alberta government that it would take action if bison wandered too far. Public safety was a factor and there were also concerns about the animals coming into contact with cattle or damaging property.For days, staff were able to track the bulls’ movements using satellite data and signals from their collars.By Aug. 16, M05 was covering an average of 15 kilometres daily and could have reached private ranchland within a day.They tried coaxing it back into the park, but it didn’t work. Moving him was not an option because of a wildfire nearby. Fire crews were using all available large helicopters.Parks staff found M05 in a swamp and shot him. “That was a thankless and difficult job. I appreciate your willingness to do it,” Whittington wrote the two workers who killed the bull.M19 was still outside the park, but his location was not a concern at the time.Karsten Heuer, manager for the Banff Reintroduction Project, told colleagues it was important to get the tone right in a media release.“Minimize repetition and avoid use of government terms like ‘management action’ that make us sound a little cold-hearted.”Once the bull’s death did hit the news, the agency noted “overwhelmingly negative” reaction.“The CBC and CTV Calgary Facebook posts both garnered over 100 comments, over 100 ‘angry’ reactions and over or nearly 100 ‘sad’ reactions,” said a report that included a sampling of comments.“Parks Canada you screwed up royally. You don’t deserve bison roaming free in the park,” one said.Staff at the agency’s national office sent supportive messages to their Banff colleagues.“We just want to sympathize with you on the occasion of what must have been an agonizing decision,” said one note to Heuer.Parks officials were able to capture M19 three days after M05 was killed.He was tranquilized, hoisted away by helicopter and then trucked to Waterton Lakes National Park. He couldn’t return to the Banff herd, lest he wander off again and encourage others to follow.National office was not keen on publicizing a photo of M19 bundled up and suspended under the helicopter. It said it would “prefer having a picture of the bison (happy and healthy) in his new paddock.”“The picture below might be misinterpreted by the public, be shared out of context on social media etc.” In an interview, Bill Hunt, Banff’s resource conservation manager, recalled it being a tough time. That was especially true for those who killed M05 as they had spent 18 months caring for the animals before they were released.“Whether it’s dealing with bears or elk or cougars or wolves or bison, sometimes we have to make these difficult decisions,” Hunt said.The remaining herd — now numbering 34 — has mostly gathered around the spot where it was initially released. One bull seems to like being on his own the next valley over, but he’s still well within the reintroduction zone. A cow and two of her young dipped briefly across the boundary in October, but turned back.“Although it had some very serious challenges, overall we’re having a fantastic outcome here,” Hunt said. “Thirty-four healthy bison maintaining themselves over winter, which was our key concern, right in the heart of Banff.”Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press
The Globe reports that SNC-Lavalin repeatedly lobbied Justin Trudeau’s aides for a deal and Trudeau’s office leaned on Wilson-Raybould to make it happen.No such agreement was ever reached and Wilson-Raybould was moved to be minister of veterans affairs in a January cabinet shuffle.Meantime, Trudeau is denying the serious claims being levelled in the report.“At no time did I or my office direct the current or previous attorney general to make any particular decision in this matter,” he told reporters on Thursday.The Prime Minister repeats that the allegations in the Globe article are false. Says neither he, nor anyone in his office directed the Attorney General on this case. Was asked if there was any pressure or influence, as opposed to direction. Repeats his answer #cdnpoli— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) February 7, 2019Conservatives respondCalling the reports “disturbing”, Opposition leader Andrew Scheer says the prime minister needs to come clean immediately, and believes Trudeau’s answers today fall short of him doing so.“What’s perhaps even more shocking, however, is that the prime minister himself appears to have fired his own attorney general for refusing to bow to his demands,” Scheer said. “We’ve seen this elsewhere on the world stage when leaders dismiss their attorneys general for defying their orders.”Scheer adds “nothing short of full disclosure” will be accepted. When asked whether Scheer believes Trudeau’s claims that the allegations are false, the federal Conservative leader said “it obviously sounded like those words were written by a lawyer, not the prime minister’s own words.”Scheer says it sounds like Trudeau’s careful answer today was written by a lawyer #cdnpoli— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) February 7, 2019Scheer says his party will explore every option if Trudeau “continues to fail to be transparent with Canadians.”Former judge suggests criminal investigation may be warrantedIt hasn’t taken long for someone to suggest a criminal investigation needs to be done if these reports are true.A former judge who now teaches law at UBC — Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond — says, if nothing else, an investigation would restore public confidence in the justice ministry in the wake of the shocking report.“Minister Wilson-Raybould, not only is she an extremely competent individual, she was Canada’s first Indigenous attorney general, and I was concerned when she was moved from that position that there was something of a whisper campaign out of the centre of government that she was not competent or she was not a team player.”Turpel-Lafond believes Wilson-Raybould is a person of principle, which is why she’s expecting police to get involved.“Even just to restore public confidence. But I’m just very proud of her as a British Columbian, standing up for the values that are very important in our society which is doing the right thing and making sure the legal process, courts, and prosecutions do their job and keeping your nose out of them so that they can be protected to do their job.”Meantime, SNC-Lavalin says it has no comment on the reports.SNC Lavelin’s response to the allegations of pressure from the PMO on their case: “We have no comment on today’s Globe and Mail article” #cdnpoli— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) February 7, 2019 OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail says former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould disappointed the Prime Minister’s Office by refusing to help SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal prosecution.The Quebec engineering and construction giant has been facing legal trouble over allegations it paid millions of dollars in bribes to get government business in Libya, which would be a crime under Canadian law.As justice minister, Wilson-Raybould could have gotten involved in the case against the company by directing federal prosecutors to negotiate a “remediation agreement,” a way of undoing damage without admitting the company itself was at fault for things particular employees did.
OTTAWA — Canada’s export credit agency says it regrets a 2015 decision to lend US$41 million to a South African company owned by members of a family with ties to former president Jacob Zuma.Export Development Canada executive vice-president Carl Burlock says in the months and years that followed, the agency became increasingly concerned about the loan it provided to Westdawn Investments to backstop the sale of Bombardier aircraft. Over that time, Burlock says in a statement, allegations related to corruption and political interference were mounting against members of the Gupta family, which owns the company.He says EDC ended its business relationship with Westdawn in late 2017 and the company has responded by filing a lawsuit in the United Kingdom against the agency to contest the deal’s termination.Burlock says the agency’s decision to support the purchase was in line with its international commitments under the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and that it relied on the fact there were no formal charges or active investigations related to the allegations.Zuma resigned as South Africa’s president in 2018 after a near-decade-long tenure marked by persistent corruption allegations. The Canadian Press
When Linkin Park rose to fame from their breakthrough album, Hybrid Theory, they gained an immense following, who to this day, cherish the band for their nu metal and rap metal qualities.VIP Seats To MusiCares EventCredit/Copyright: Omaze.comToday, after collaborating with artists such as Jay-Z, selling over 50 million albums worldwide, and winning two Grammy Awards, the band is making themselves available to you. Omaze.com offering anyone – not just one – but two chances to kick it with the guys from Linkin Park. Read on to find out more.Omaze.com has partnered with Linkin Park and MusiCares to offer you and your readers a chance to win 2 front row VIP balcony tickets to the MusiCares Benefit Concert on May 30 in LA. The concert is honoring Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington and skateboarder, surfer and musician Tony Alva. Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda and Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Anthony Kiedis will be presenting with special performances by Chester Benningfield, Slash, and more surprise guests! One lucky entry and their guest will learn what it feels like to experience an historical event in person while helping people in need, only for $10. For more details on how to enter, visit HERE.Hang In Studio With Linkin ParkCredit/Copyright: Omaze.comFor private access to Linkin Park’s new music album, Omaze is offering anyone the chance to win VIP access to a live recording session and the chance to win a rare autographed poster or drum head, all for just $10. The winner and their guest will hear material that the band is working for their next album and kick with the guys between sets. And, as an added bonus, each entry to this experience also helps provide necessary services for children and their families recovering from Hurricane Sandy. You may enter HERE.
Almost one year ago, a horrific shooting rampage in Newtown, CT took the lives of 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School.This week, Kings Of Leon, Pearl Jam, Tim McGraw, Nick Offerman, Zachary Quinto and more have united with online charity auction site Charitybuzz to raise funds and awareness for Sandy Hook Promise, an organization founded by parents and spouses who lost loved ones in the tragic mass shooting.The national nonprofit led by community members works to honor all victims of Sandy Hook by preventing the causes of gun violence and helping the local community cope with the lasting effects of the tragedy. Find out more about the charity here.The Sandy Hook Promise online auction is open for bidding through Tuesday, December 17th at www.Charitybuzz.com/SandyHook.Auction highlights include: • Lunch with Nick Offerman on the set of Parks and Recreation in Los Angeles • A Fender Guitar signed by Pearl Jam and a copy of their set list from the concert • Meet Kings of Leon at their concert at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT • Enjoy a set visit to Modern Family in Los Angeles • Meet Zachary Quinto at a performance of The Glass Menagerie on Broadway, with two premium seats • Enjoy an exclusive tour of the Facebook Silicon Valley Campus • Enjoy a taping and cocktails at Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live! with Andy Cohen in NYC • A round of golf with Joe LaCava, caddy for Tiger Woods, at Newtown Country Club • Tickets to a taping of NBC’s The Voice season 6 in Los Angeles • A Taylor Guitar signed by Tim McGraw • and more!
Natalia Vodianova and the Naked Heart Foundation hosted the Backstage Gala at the English National Opera’s London Coliseum Theatre this week.Natalia Vodianova and Diana VishnevaGuests who joined host Natalia Vodianova, together with Antoine Arnault, were delighted to discover on arrival that they would be dining on stage, where they were treated to a rare glimpse of the acclaimed theatre, and backstage otherwise reserved for performers.Supermodel, and philanthropist Natalia Vodianova, who founded the Naked Heart Foundation 10 years ago, joined forces with one of today’s greatest dancers Diana Vishneva to host this unforgettable evening which saw some of the world’s greatest Ballet, and Opera talents perform a once in a lifetime show for just 200 privileged guests.Distinguished faces from the art world; Harry Blain, Gary Hume, Georgie Hopton and Sotheby’s Lord Dalmany were accompanied by young British talent; Pixie Lott, James Norton, Dynamo, and Lily Donaldson in their enjoyment of extraordinary, and intimate performances from world renowned violinist Maxim Vengerov, and Marcelino Sambe, as well as the world premiere of Zeitgeist by The Royal Ballet’s principal dancers Natalia Osipova and Edward Watson choreographed by Alastair Marriott of the Royal Ballet.Guests also had the opportunity to take part in a very special charity auction with all proceeds going to the Naked Heart Foundation, and Diana Vishneva’s Foundation, which supports emerging dance professionals. The 11 money-can’t-buy lots included; Original Diana Vishneva black and white prints by Patrick Demarchelier, a personalised Louis Vuitton case accompanied containing Diana’s own ballet slippers, an original Annie Leibovitz print of Natalia Vodianova, a Couture experience, and made to measure dress by Valentino, and Afternoon Tea, and a ballet class with Diana Vishneva. The pinnacle of the auction and the evening was the opportunity to take to the stage with Diana Vishneva with guests instead nominating Natalia, and donating generously to see her on stage with her co-host.The Naked Heart Foundation is fortunate to have been supported by some of the world’s most acclaimed artists, musicians and fashion designers, who have lent their time and talent to over the past 10 years to the invaluable work they do with children with special needs. Naked Heart Foundation events have become renowned for their unique and unexpected fundraising style uniting luxury, with giving. The efforts and support of all who attended the Backstage Gala raised £435,000 towards the Naked Heart Foundation’s and Diana Vishneva Foundation’s important missions.
The Elders today expressed shock and deep dismay over the latest incident of heavy civilian casualties in Yemen resulting from the Saudi-led aerial bombing campaign.They called on the United States and United Kingdom, the two permanent members of the UN Security Council who are the main supporters of the campaign, to take decisive steps to prevent further needless deaths.Over 140 people died and more than 500 were injured at a funeral hall in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital, when it came under repeated attack from the air on Saturday.Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General, said: “Over the past 18 months, civilians have borne the brunt of this bloody conflict. All too frequently, protected locations such as hospitals and civilian gatherings such as weddings and, now, even a funeral have found themselves under attack. This is simply unacceptable. As the principal supporters of the Saudi coalition, we believe the United States and United Kingdom have the main duty to ensure there is no recurrence.”Independent researchers estimate that over a third of coalition air strikes have hit civilian targets. The Houthi rebels and allied forces have frequently also been guilty of breaches of international humanitarian law during fighting.The Elders noted that the US is “reviewing” its support for the Saudi-led military campaign in the wake of the weekend’s attacks and that the UK’s Foreign Office has raised its own concerns with Riyadh, stating that there can be “no military solution” to the conflict. Washington and London must now use their considerable leverage with Saudi Arabia to push hard for an early ceasefire and resumed negotiations for a political solution.They also called for much greater international attention to be paid to the desperate plight of Yemen’s civilian population. According to the UN, over half of Yemen’s 27-million people are suffering from malnutrition and in need of humanitarian assistance.
Advertisement Director Jason Bourque, right, talks over a scene with Duane Howard. Photo David Dolsen Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Enid-Raye Adams’ dad was an addict for most of his adult life. And, like many people who love an addict, at a certain point Adams reached her own rock bottom with her dad’s addiction. She cut him out of her life.“I thought it was the right decision, and it might have been for a time,” recalls the Vancouver-based actress and producer in a recent interview. “I didn’t realize how much I would regret the decision I made to cut him out of my life until the day after he died [in his sleep, of natural causes].”That day after, Adams experienced what she describes now as a “moment of revelation: I realized instantly that I could have found the balance between my own wellness and staying connected to him, and I didn’t know until it was too late.”
NEW YORK, United Nations — “Orphan Black” star Tatiana Maslany is set to narrate an audiobook for a new instalment of the hit sci-fi drama series.A statement says the Regina native will voice “Orphan Black: The Next Chapter” for New York-based digital reading and audio platform Serial Box.The collaboration with Toronto-based Temple Street will be available later this summer for reading and listening. Author Malka Older will be the showrunner alongside Mishell Baker, Lindsay Smith, and Heli Kennedy as series writers.They’ll create weekly episodes, which are described as “the length of an average commute.”The first episode will be free.“These new Serial Box Originals are designed to fit into today’s fast-paced mobile lifestyle,” says a statement.“Users can switch between reading and listening with a simple click, picking up right where they left off in either format.”Serial Box also recently announced a deal with Marvel Entertainment to create original stories based on “Black Panther,” “Jessica Jones,” “Black Widow” and “Thor.”Maslany won an Emmy Award for playing multiple clones on “Orphan Black,” which ran for five seasons on Space and BBC America.The Canadian Press Advertisement Twitter Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Login/Register With:
LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitter Login/Register With: STEPHEN KING’S THE STAND FILMING IN VANCOUVER THIS FALL/WINTERA new 10-episode adaption of Stephen King’s The Stand from CBS All Access is filming in Vancouver this Fall/Winter.Filming dates: September 16th to March 11th.Working Title: Radio Nowhere. EVERYTHING WE KNOW ABOUT STEPHEN KING’S NEW THE STAND SERIES SO FARStephen King’s The Stand is heading back to the small screen — this time, with a 10-episode streaming series coming to CBS All Access.King’s 1978 novel is one of his most popular titles ever and centers on a group of survivors who have managed to make it through the catastrophic plague that cost the other 99 percent of the world their lives, but which must still contend with Randall Flagg a.k.a. the Dark Man.CBS All Access announced a straight-to-series order for The Stand in January 2019, which marks the first time the story has been adapted since 1994, when it debuted as a four-episode miniseries on ABC. The new take on The Stand has since begun to take shape, so to keep you up to speed with everything ahead for this eerie apocalyptic series, here’s a look at everything we know about The Stand so far. READ MORETHE STAND TV SERIES WILL START SHOOTING IN SEPTEMBERDetails on the latest TV adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand are still a mystery, but at least we now know production is set to begin in just a few months.It’s happening: The Stand is getting another TV adaptation, this time thanks to CBS All Access. Stephen King’s post-apocalyptic novel was adapted for the small screen back in 1994 as a four-part miniseries starring Molly Ringwald, Gary Sinise and Rob Lowe, among many others (like Stephen King, John Landis, and Sam Raimi). READ MORE Facebook Cast: James Marsden, Amber Heard, Whoopi Goldberg, Greg Kinnear , Odessa Young, Henry Zaga. READ MORE Advertisement Advertisement
Advertisement Advertisement LOS ANGELES, CA and TORONTO, ON – July 2, 2019 – IDW Entertainment, SEVEN24 Films, Space (soon to be CTV Sci-fi Channel), and SYFY announced today that “Wynonna Earp,” the award-winning series based on the IDW comic created by Beau Smith, has been greenlit to start production for its fourth season. With a major commitment from Bell Media’s Crave as a new production partner and streaming platform, production is slated to begin later this year. Season 4 is expected to debut in Summer 2020 on Space in Canada and SYFY in the US, with Seasons 1-3 streaming on Crave in the fall. Additionally, IDW Entertainment announced that Cineflix Studios has come aboard to co-produce, with Cineflix rights handling international sales for all four seasons of the series.Winner of the 2018 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show, “Wynonna Earp” follows the life of the great, great granddaughter (Melanie Scrofano, “Bad Blood”) of famous lawman Wyatt Earp. The action-packed supernatural sci-fi series stars Scrofano, Tim Rozon (“Schitt’s Creek”), Dominique Provost-Chalkley (“Avengers: Age of Ultron”) and Katherine Barrell (“Working Moms”).“We are absolutely thrilled that we get to make more ‘Wynonna Earp,’ and are grateful to our networks and partners for working hard to ensure we can,” said Emily Andras, Showrunner and Executive Producer. “This is an enormous testament to our passionate and fierce fans, the Earpers, who remind us every day how to fight like hell for the things you love with wit, ferocity and kindness.” Known for having one of the most active social media communities – from arranging fan conventions around the world to raising money for LGBTQ charities – “Wynonna Earp” has been praised for its “fierce and committed performances”*, and has received and been nominated for numerous awards including Canadian Screen Awards, GLAAD Media Awards, Directors Guild of Canada, Writers Guild of Canada and Alberta Film & Television Awards.“Crave is a service that is always on the lookout for content that makes an impact and resonates with a diverse audience,” said Justin Stockman, Vice-President, Premium SVOD and OTT, Bell Media. “We felt this show still had so much more to say to so many fans, so we put our money where our mouth is to help save this series.“Wynonna Earp’s return highlights the importance and value of the unwavering dedication and support of fans. We are thrilled to continue working with the incredible Emily Andras, the talented cast, and our expert production partners,” said Pat DiVittorio, Vice-President, Programming, CTV and Specialty. “We know Purgatory has many more stories to tell, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for Season 4.”SEVEN24’s Jordy Randall and Tom Cox, in addition to Cineflix’s Peter Emerson and Brett Burlock, serve as Executive Producers along with Todd Berger and Rick Jacobs..ABOUT IDW ENTERTAINMENTIDW Entertainment, a franchise studio division of IDW Media Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: IDWM), is charged with developing, financing, producing and distributing entertainment content ranging from series and features to interactive experiences and digital content from sister company IDW Publishing’s extensive IP catalog of comic books and graphic novels.Since launching in 2013, IDW Entertainment has successfully delivered three seasons of the critically-acclaimed “Wynonna Earp”, which debuted on SYFY in the U.S.; Spike TV in the UK and Australia; and Netflix Globally. The Company is also in production on a Netflix series adaptation of the popular comic book “Locke & Key”, by Joe Hill and show run by Carlton Cuse, slated to premiere in 2020. Additionally, IDW Entertainment has completed production on the Netflix Original series “V-Wars” set to premiere in 2019, starring Ian Somerhalder; and “October Faction” also slated to premiere in 2019.ABOUT SEVEN24 FILMSSEVEN24 Films is an independent film and television production company whose work has spanned over two decades. Executive Producers Tom Cox and Jordy Randall have produced dramatic series, mini-series, television movies and feature films garnering over one hundred industry awards and nominations. In addition to the People’s Choice Award winning series, Wynonna Earp, current projects include Fortunate Son, a political thriller for CBC and NBCU International, Dark Cargo, a noir thriller for YouTube Premium, JANN, the #1 new Comedy on CTV, and the hit family series Heartland, the longest running one-hour series in Canadian history, now in its thirteenth season for CBC and UPtv. Previous projects include Young Drunk Punk for Rogers and CBC, the Canadian Screen Award winner Borealis, the Gemini Award winning movie Mayerthorpe and Gemini Award winning Mini-Series Burn Up. Tom Cox and Jordy Randall were also co-producers on numerous high-profile feature films including the Academy Award nominated Brokeback Mountain, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Resurrecting the Champ.ABOUT SPACE (soon to be CTV Sci-fi Channel)Space is home to phenomenal programming including imaginative dramas, epic movies, engaging reality series. Named “Channel of the Year” in 2013 by Playback magazine, Space is also home to original series WYNONNA EARP, KILLJOYS, and the exclusive Canadian home for signature series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, DOCTOR WHO, KRYPTON, and CASTLE ROCK. Space content is always available on demand at Space.ca and on Space-branded On Demand channels through several of Canada’s TV Providers, and on Facebook, @SpaceChannel, and other social media platforms. Space is part of Bell Media, which is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company.ABOUT CRAVEDelivering more Emmy® Award-winning programming than any other service, Crave is Canada’s prestige entertainment offering, with HBO, SHOWTIME®, Starz, Hollywood-hit movies, a superior collection of kid’s movies and programs, and thousands of hours of acclaimed television series, specials, factual programming, and originals that can’t be found anywhere else. Crave is the exclusive home of HBO in Canada, delivering HBO’s current slate of signature dramatic and comedic programs, documentaries, films, and live specials, as well as titles from HBO’s extensive off-air library. Crave is also home to current SHOWTIME series and specials, and past SHOWTIME hits. Crave is available directly to all Canadians with access to the Internet at Crave.ca, via iOS and Android, and other platforms. It’s also available through participating television providers across six 24-hour High Definition linear and on demand channels. Crave is from Bell Media, Canada’s leading content company, providing Canada’s most-watched and most-acclaimed television programming on network, specialty, pay and digital platforms. Visit our website at Crave.ca.ABOUT CINEFLIX STUDIOSCineflix Studios creates scripted content for the US, Canada, and international markets. Partnering with top flight showrunners and third-party producers, Cineflix Studios brings creative, co-financing, and distribution expertise through Cineflix Rights to premium projects. Cineflix Studios co-financed and co-produced two seasons of the dramatic series Pure for WGNA/Hulu/Super Channel/CBC and the recently renewed break-out hit series Coroner for CBC/NBCU International Networks. 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APTN National NewsAn Akwesasne Mohawk man is on probation after occupying land in New York State.William Roger Jock, a member of an Akwesasne Longhouse, stands accused of stealing land.APTN National News reporter Danielle Rochette has this story.
APTN National NewsThere was a massive gathering of Idle No More supporters Wednesday.At one point there were so many who turned out the place hosting the meeting collapsed.But don’t worry, nobody was hurt.This is a story about the secret weapon Idle No More uses to organize.It’s a tool they used Wednesday to bring out thousands to a discussion about the future of the movement.APTN National News reporter Tim Fontaine has the story.
As we step further into 2018, business confidence in Alberta is the highest it’s been since the economic downturn hit.A new study by the Business Development Bank of Canada says investment will be strong in the coming months. BDC Chief Economist Pierre Cléroux said 2017 was a year of growth, and companies are looking to continue that recovery.“There’s a shift in the investment pattern. Businesses are investing more in technology, in employee training, than they are investing in equipment and buildings,” he said. But employee training doesn’t necessarily mean hiring.Cléroux said the minimum wage hike may mean less of a focus on labour. “As a business owner, you hire people, you invest in technology and that’s basically what you have to produce something. If the cost of labour is increasing, well, it’s an incentive to invest more in your capital, or technology,” he said. The BDC predicts Alberta, B.C. and Quebec will lead the country in terms of investment in 2018.
TRENTON, N.S. – Time appears to be running out to find a new operator for a former wind tower manufacturing plant in northeastern Nova Scotia developed with $56 million in provincial funding.In an interview Thursday following a tour of the former DSME Trenton plant, Business Minister Geoff MacLellan said the province would have to make a decision on what comes next by the end of this fiscal year if a buyer isn’t found.“We are coming to a point where we have to make a final decision on this,” said MacLellan.The minister said possible future steps could include finding buyers for the equipment, or in the worst case scenario, liquidating the plant’s assets.“The best case scenario for the Pictou County region and for the government and the province is to find a buyer that would operate this (plant) in its totality,” said MacLellan.However, he wouldn’t speculate on the likelihood of that possibility given the time remaining.“Obviously we are remaining hopeful,” he said, although he couldn’t give specifics on how many business entities had expressed interest in the plant.MacLellan said two years into the receivership process and near the end of a second round of bids, it’s costing the province $150,000 a month to keep the plant in operational shape.The first round of bids was abandoned in late 2016 after the province rejected three, including two of only $1.The plant closed in February 2016 after taxpayers had sunk $56.3 million into the facility. Operations wrapped up less than a month after the province said it wouldn’t put any more public money into a plant that had hoped to develop the capacity to produce 250 wind turbine towers and 200 blade sets per year.The previous NDP government announced in 2010 it had taken a 49 per cent equity stake in the firm, committed up to $59.4 million to the manufacturing plant and predicted 500 jobs would be created within three years.At the time of the closure, DSME told the province that it couldn’t start payment on $36 million in repayable loans.Former business minister Mark Furey said in November 2016 that he didn’t know whether there was an opportunity to recover “any of those losses.”MacLellan said nothing had changed since then.“There’s no conversations I’m having about recovering any of the loans or the investment that was made by the previous government,” he said.The province is the primary secured creditor for the plant.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — President Donald Trump abruptly cancelled a planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin as he headed to the Group of 20 Nations summit Thursday, citing Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian vessels as a source of tension in a relationship he has fostered in the face of criticism.Trump tweeted his decision from Air Force One shortly after his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, revealed he had lied to Congress to cover up that he was negotiating a real estate deal in Moscow on Trump’s behalf during the Republican presidential primary in 2016.The news ensured any meeting with Putin would spotlight the special counsel’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow during the campaign. Trump has denied any wrongdoing and on Thursday called Cohen a “weak person” looking for a reduced sentence.The last-minute move kicked off a global economic meeting expected to be dominated by Trump’s seat-of-his-pants diplomacy. The Putin meeting — a continuation of a controversial summit between the two in July — was just one of a series of high-stakes items on Trump’s agenda, which also includes talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping on how to ease a rising trade war.Although Trump had previously floated cancelling the meeting with Putin, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters he did not make the final decision until boarding the plane for Argentina and speaking with national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The Kremlin said it had not been formally notified of the decision, which came hours after Moscow said the meeting was on track.“I look forward to a meaningful Summit again as soon as this situation is resolved!” Trump tweeted from Air Force One.Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko praised Trump on Twitter, saying, “This is how great leaders act!”Sanders also said two of Trump’s planned bilateral meetings — with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in — had been cancelled. Trump will instead speak informally with those leaders at the conference. She did not offer any explanation for those changes to the schedule.The stakes for the sit-down between Putin and Trump were raised this week by Russia’s stepped-up aggression in the Kerch Strait, stemming from its years long occupation of Eastern Ukraine. Russia recently seized three Ukrainian vessels and crews. Russia said Ukraine didn’t have permission to pass between Russia’s mainland and the Crimean Peninsula. Ukraine insisted its vessels abided by maritime laws.Tensions had already been high over the war in Syria and allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential race. Trump has sought to improve the relationship with Putin, but was roundly criticized after the July summit in Helsinki for failing to publicly denounce Russia’s interference and appearing to accept Putin’s denials of such activity.While Trump’s statement was strongly worded, he has made similarly dramatic moves before only to walk them back. In the spring he cancelled a planned summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, only to revive the meeting a week later.The G-20 meeting in Buenos Aires comes amid growing economic uncertainty and global displeasure with Trump’s trade policy.The most pressing issue on Trump’s packed schedule of meetings is whether he can reach a detente with Xi over trade after months in which both sides have raised tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other’s goods, shaking financial markets and threatening the global economy. Without an agreement, the U.S. is set to increase the tariffs on January 1.Departing the White House Thursday, Trump said he was “very close” to a deal with China, but added, “I don’t know that I want to do it, because what we have right now is billions and billions of dollars coming in to the United States in the form of tariffs or taxes.”With China, experts said Trump likely wants to see something come out of the meeting.“I think it’s in President Trump’s interest to have this meeting be viewed as a success,” said David Dollar, a senior fellow in the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution. “The markets are looking for some kind of dialing down of the rhetoric, and in particular markets are hoping there will not be an escalation of U.S. tariffs on January 1. So there’s a foundation for some kind of agreement.”That approach leaves open the possibility for a preliminary or vague deal. Trump’s Singapore summit with Kim produced a vague agreement on denuclearization with few, if any, specifics. Since then progress between the two nations appears to have slowed, but Trump continues to hail the meeting as a historic breakthrough.Trump’s advisers have sought to manage expectations heading into the talks, though some have projected optimism.“If China will come to the table, or in this case the dinner table, with some new ideas and some new attitudes and some new co-operation, as the president said, there is a good possibility they could make a deal,” economic adviser Larry Kudlow said this week. “He’s open to it. So nothing is written in cement or stone.”On the ground for just two days, Trump is packing every moment with diplomacy, conducting bilateral meetings with numerous world leaders as well as group events.Trump’s visit will also put him in the same room as Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the first time since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The U.S. resident and prominent critic of the Saudi royal family was brutally killed last month upon entering the country’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, a plot that sparked a diplomatic row that cast the future of the U.S.-Saudi relationship into doubt.U.S. intelligence officials have concluded that the Saudi crown prince, known as MBS, must have at least known of the plot. Lawmakers in both parties have called on Trump to, at minimum, avoid the young heir apparent as punishment.But Trump publicly announced his decision to effectively give the prince a free pass in the name of “America First,” citing vastly exaggerated claims of Saudi military contracts and investments in the United States. The president also views Saudi Arabia as a vital counterbalance to Iranian influence in the Middle East.While no official sit-down is scheduled, Trump has kept the door open to a casual meeting.“I don’t know that he’s going to be there,” Trump said last week. “But if he is, I would.”The crown prince arrived in Argentina on Wednesday and on Tuesday White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, “I wouldn’t say that we’ve ruled out any interaction.”Taking office on an “America First” platform, Trump has long had an uneasy relationship with his position on the world stage and has largely eschewed taking on a moral leadership role. Instead he has tailored his portfolio to promote American interests and to sow disruption. He has slapped tariffs on the European Union and pulled the U.S. out of the landmark Paris Climate Accord and the Iran nuclear deal. Trump also has suggested he might be willing to pull the U.S. out of NATO if member counties don’t significantly boost their defence spending.Zeke Miller And Catherine Lucey, The Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A small town in southeast Alaska is planning to construct a new pier, aiming to boost tourism by allowing access for more cruise ships.KTVA-TV reports the city of Hoonah on Chichagof Island is partnering with Huna Totem Corporation and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings to build a pier at Icy Strait Point.Hoonah city administrator Dennis Gray says tourism is the main economic driver in the town of fewer than 800 people after the logging industry dwindled. The pier should allow more ships to reach the town west of Juneau.Officials say the new pier should be ready for the 2020 tourism season depending on if construction stays on schedule.___Information from: KTVA-TV, http://www.ktva.comThe Associated Press
“It makes me happy to call Fort St. John home when the community comes together,” said Moose FM Promotions Director Sydney Reid. “In just over 48 hours, we were able to not only raise the needed funds but surpass our goal. Thank you to everyone; whether you donated, started your own fundraising or shared the post on social media. Every action helped us reach our goal!”Video Playerhttp://energeticcity.mystagingwebsite.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/video-1532638568.mp4Media error: Format(s) not supported or source(s) not foundmejs.download-file: http://energeticcity.mystagingwebsite.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/video-1532638568.mp4?_=100:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Without the processor, Chloe is completely deaf and must rely on sign language. Kalas added that with her daughter going into grade one this year, a new cochlear implant is a must since it’s already difficult for someone who uses an implant to hear in a school environment.A new processor for the cochlear implant costs $11,130 while the cable and coil cost an additional $370. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The GoFundMe campaign raising money for a local 6-year-old deaf girl who lost the processor for her cochlear implant has reached its goal.The campaign started just after 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, and reached the $12,000 goal just after 1:00 this afternoon.The processor fell off when 6-year-old Chloe Kalas was bumped while playing in the park. Chloe’s mom Elizabeth and her husband searched the park seven different times but came up empty-handed.
Oct20 – Marigold Centre – Truro, NS 22 – Rebecca Cohn Auditorium – Halifax, NS 23 – Playhouse Theatre – Fredericton, NB 24 – Imperial Theatre – Saint John, NB 25 – Homburg Theatre – Charlottetown, PE 26 – Convocation Hall – Wolfville, NS 27 – Capitol Theatre – Moncton, NB 29 – Imperiale Bell – Quebec, QC 30 – Corona Theatre – Montreal, QC The below dates are with Andrew Hyatt: Nov1 – FirstOntario – St. Catharines, ON2 – Burlington Performing Arts Centre – Burlington, ON 3 – Rose Theatre – Brampton, ON 4 – Fraser Auditorium – Sudbury, ON 5 – Academy Theatre – Lindsay, ON 7 – Sanderson Centre for Performing Arts – Brantford, ON 8 – FirstOntario Arts Centre – Milton, ON 9 – The Grand Theatre – Kingston, ON 10 – River Run Centre – Guelph, ON 11 – Regent Theatre – Oshawa, ON 12 – Festival Hall – Pembroke, ON The below dates are with Tenille Arts: 15 – Club Regent – Winnipeg, MB 16 – Club Regent – Winnipeg, MB 17 – Casino Regina – Regina, SK 20 – Vic Juba Theatre – Lloydminster, SK 21 – Red Deer Memorial Centre – Red Deer, AB 22 – Douglas J Cardinal Performing Arts – Grande Prairie, AB 23 – Pomeroy Hotel & Conference Centre – Fort St. John, BC 24 – Quesnel + District SR Citizen Centre – Quesnel, BC 26 – Massey Theatre – New Westminster, BC 27 – Port Theatre – Nanaimo, BC 28 – Tidemark Theatre – Campbell River, BC 29 – Cowichan Performing Arts Centre – Duncan, BC 30 – Vernon Performing Arts Centre – Vernon, BC Dec1 – Charles Bailey Theatre – Trail, BC 2 – Key City Theatre – Cranbrook, BC Many of Brody’s songs were in fact written at his kitchen table, and the acoustic tour is meant to replicate that intimate setting that inspires his original works, “I want to give my fans a window into how my songs were written, how they sound in their rawest form, performed in an intimate theatre setting,” states Brody.The focus on compelling storytelling in country continues where the opening acts in each market are concerned. Acclaiming singer-songwriter Jessica Mitchell will join Brody on each of the East Coast dates, including Montreal, giving listeners a taste of her genre-bending sound with tracks on her recently released debut album, Heart of Glass. Country musician Andrew Hyatt, who recently released his second Top Ten hit, “Do It With You”, will join Brody on his dates in Ontario. SK native Tenille Arts who was recently featured on The Bachelor, will be involved in the dates in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, providing insight into the meaning behind the songs on her debut EP. THE FULL LIST OF TOUR DATES IS AS FOLLOWS: The below dates are with singer-songwriter Jessica Mitchell: Ticket OptionsGeneral Admission – Grab a seat and enjoy the show at the Pomeroy Hotel and Conference Centre – Tickets are $55 plus fees and taxes.VIP – Enjoy the show from the VIP section right in front of the stage. You’ll have a private bar and you’ll get access to the build your own nacho bar for the entire show – Tickets are $75 plus fees and taxes.Dean Brody VIP – Not only will you enjoy the show from the VIP section and all the features listed above, you’ll also get to meet Dean Brody, Question and Answer session with Dean and an exclusive merch item – This exclusive opportunity is limited and costs only $139.99 plus fees and taxes.About Dean BrodyFresh off of his second headline show at Budweiser Stage in Toronto on August 17, Brody is a 3-time winner of the CCMA Award for Songwriter of the Year in previous years, and is currently nominated for “8th Day”, from his sixth album, Beautiful Freakshow, which hit the #1 spot on the Nielsen BDS and Mediabase Canadian Country Airplay Charts earlier this year. Brody’s reputation for penning thoughtful, articulate, original narratives in music began back in 2009 with the release of “Brothers”, a touching song about a loved one leaving for the military, which resonated both north and south of the border. Celebrated songs such as “Trail in Life”, “Another Man’s Gold”, “Bounty”, have gone on to place Brody in a unique category all his own, rising beyond the conventional tracks that can be heard on mainstream radio in lyrical composition, and yet still retaining conventional success, with Brody recently landing his 22nd Top 10 hit at country radio, with “Good Goodbye.” His ballad “Time” released in 2016, laments on the passing of time, becoming especially poignant in a social media era with less one-on-one interaction with loved ones, earned critical acclaim and a great deal of recognition, showcasing Brody’s unique ability to make people think about their actions through his lyrics. Dean Brody Heads out on the Dirt Road Stories Tour Beginning October 20 on the East Coast with a stop in Fort St. John.Current CCMA Fan’s Choice, 2-time Juno Award-winning artist and celebrated songwriter, Dean Brody will be hitting the road this fall for the Dirt Road Stories Tour, with a stop in Fort St. John on Friday, November 23 at the Pomeroy Hotel and Conference Centre. Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. local time at Systems Sound Source or online at www.energetictickets.ca. Tickets start at only $55 plus fees and taxes. Plus there are VIP options for you to get up close and personal with Dean Brody, see below for all the details. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the show starting at 8 p.m.Make sure to join the Energetictickets.ca/newsletter before the end of the day today, for your chance to buy tickets before anyone else. You’ll get a special email early Thursday morning.
The project will employ the local labour force and Aboriginal companies as the procurement was done through an Aboriginal set-aside under the Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business.Public Services and Procurement Canada is committed to maintaining the integrity of its infrastructure to ensure the safety of Canadians.“Through this project, our government is making the Alaska Highway safer for the community while protecting the environment. The contract demonstrates our commitment to working with communities to create jobs and strengthen the local economy,” said Carla Qualtrough Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility FORT NELSON, B.C. – Industra-Liard Construction Ltd. of Surrey, British Columbia was awarded the contract for remediation work on the Alaska Highway in the area of Peterson Creek.The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, announced the awarding following what the government says was an open, fair and transparent bidding process.Through the contract, Industra-Liard Construction Ltd. will clean an abandoned portion of the old highway’s route and will remove non-functional infrastructure, such as culverts, road signs, guide rails and bridges that are no longer safe for the public and also prevents passage of fish in a nearby creek.
Mohali: With Kagiso Rabada’s yorker being the talk of the town, it will be interesting to see how the Delhi Capitals pacer counters the hard-hitting Kings XI Punjab batsmen when the two teams clash in an IPL match here on Monday. Rabada helped the Capitals defend the lowest total (10) in a Super Over in IPL history after the scores were tied at 185 in the allotted 20 overs each. Focus will now be on how the South African paceman would fare against the likes of Chris Gayle, Lokesh Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and David Miller. Both sides are riding high on confidence having won their respective matches on Saturday. In fact, both the teams’ opening batsmen were the architect of their victory. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhWhile Delhi’s Prithvi Shaw (55-ball 99) almost took the team home against Kolkata Knight Riders, Rahul (57-ball 71) finished the job for Punjab against Mumbai Indians. Playing on home turf, Rahul, who had failed in his first two matches, played a controlled innings while Gayle (40) and Mayank Agarwal (43) also chipped in with crucial runs to help Punjab comfortably chase down the 177-run target, set by Mumbai. Gayle was his usual self and batted in the manner only he can as 36 of his 40-run knock came in boundaries and sixes. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterRahul has the ability to steady the innings and play sheet anchor’s role and Gayle can puncture opposition camp’s plans to control the run flow, something that Delhi would be worried about. Punjab’s bowling is spearheaded by Mohammed Shami and with other key players such as Andrew Tye and Hardus Viljoen in their ranks, it may not be easy for the visiting batsmen. Moreover, Ravichandran Ashwin-led KXIP would also have the advantage of playing at home and they will look to exploit familiar conditions once again. Delhi though will be desperate to get the momentum going after winning a close game. Chasing 186 to win against KKR, Delhi were set up nicely by Shaw but they failed score six runs from the last over, taking the match to Super Over. However, Rabada’s sensational yorkers in all six balls restricted KKR to just seven runs while chasing 11. Delhi will be hoping not to let that advantage slip. Besides Shaw, Delhi also have the likes of Rishabh Pant, who played a superb knock of 78 to pile up a mammoth 213 against Mumbai Indians in the first match, Shikhar Dhawan, captain Shreyas Iyer and Colin Ingram. They would expect their batsmen come out all guns blazing against Punjab on Sunday.
Mir Afsar Ali has come up with an album ‘Awshomapto’ – a monologue by the poet/author, where he recollects his memories of different endeavours – all of which has a common ground of love.His memoirs of six different phases of life which he had gone through in his lifetime are recorded. The album was released on April 12 in Kolkata. In all the phases, he thinks his main strength – escape refuge – and in the end the place where it all kind of converges in one point is songs and verses by Rabindranath Tagore. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainHere we are connecting these six dots with six expressive Tagore songs in the project. List of songs (In exact order) Bhalobashi Bhalobashi (Koishorer Bhalobasha) Diosho Rojoni Ami Jeno Kar Ashae Ashae Thaki E Parobashe Iboshdo – Biroho (The distance in a relationship) Dekho Sokha Bhul Kore Bhalobeshona – (The labour of love) Chaya Ghonayeche Bonay Bonay(death separates) Megh Boleche Jabo The album stars following people: Male lead – Mir Afsar Ali (story teller) Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardFemale lead – Jayati Chakraborty (song) Composition and lyrics – Rabindra Nath Tagore Concept and music direction – Ashu Chakraborty Script – Rajib Chakraborty Hindusthan Records, the forerunner to The Indian Record Manufacturing Company Ltd (INRECO), began its journey in the early decades of 1900s. Being the oldest Indian music label in the country, it was evidently popular as the only Indian Music Company. Rabindranath Tagore recorded his first recording with ‘Hindusthan Records’ and encouraged his disciples to record as well. The music label has the top recording artists of the past hundred years including K L Saigal, S D Burman, Debabrata Biswas, Subinoy Roy, Pankaj Kumar Mullick, Amar Pal, Kanika Banerjee,Pannalal Bhattacharjee, Mohiner Ghoraguli, Abbasuddin, Gyan Prakash Ghosh, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Kanan Devi, Feroza Begum, Begum Akhtar, Mehdi Hassan, Ghulam Ali and other luminaries. As the format changed, the need of the hour was to take a strategic decision to diversify into the domain of emerging media and technology. INRECO was the first to get into the Digital Domain.
Los Angeles: Actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas, who has been named Beauty of the Year by People magazine, says she has realised that ‘looks arent everything. The actor, who got married to American singer-actor Nick Jonas, is one of the Beauties of the Year in People’s Beautiful Issue. Priyanka has also realised that “in the world we live in, the standard of beauty is not really real”. “And that’s something that we have done to ourselves,” people.com quoted her as saying. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: PriyankaLooking back at the time she started working in show business, Priyanka said: “I think I realised what all it takes to actually look the way we do on magazine covers and the work we do. “That’s when I realised looks aren’t everything, it’s the confidence with which you walk into a room, it’s the ability to do your job to the best of your capabilities.” Her own definition of wellness revolves around skincare. “The way that I take care of my skin is to make sure to moisturise every day,” said Priyanka, who made India proud by winning the Miss World crown in 2000. Also Read – Salman Khan remembers actor Vinod Khanna”I take off all my make-up before I go to bed, and it doesn’t have to be really difficult. I think hydration is extremely important, drinking as much water as you can. That is truly the elixir of life.” As for her future, the actor is focused on building her brand and plans to be an “extremely glamorous old lady, who will always have an opinion on everyone”. “I’ll be super fun and yeah, (mine) will be the house everyone will want to come to,” added the actor.
Kolkata: The Election Commission has served a show-cause notice each to the BJP district president of Nadia Mahadev Sarkar and Trinamool Congress MLA from Chakdah Ratna Ghosh Kar, for their derogatory remarks. Sarkar had made some derogatory remarks on Mahua Moitra, who is contesting the ongoing Lok Sabha elections on a Trinamool Congress ticket. The Commission has taken a strong objection to his remarks after watching the video where he was heard saying the words. Sarkar has been asked to clarify why he made such remarks about a candidate of his rival party. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe Commission had earlier sought a report from the District Magistrate of Nadia on April 17, regarding the statements made by Ghosh Kar. The Commission has now show-caused her after it found her statements highly derogatory in nature. The office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) has gone through the report submitted by the DM in this regard. The TMC MLA found herself at the centre of controversy after she made some objectionable remarks regarding the Central Force. It was alleged that during a closed door party meeting, she had appealed to the members of the party’s Mahila Morcha to “chase Central Forces away with broomsticks.” In another development, an FIR was lodged with the Hooghly police against Locket Chatterjee, who is contesting the election from Hooghly Lok Sabha constituency on BJP’s ticket. During a rally, Chatterjee had allegedly made some remarks which could have triggered communal tension in the area.
New Delhi: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu Wednesday met Congress President Rahul Gandhi and discussed plans to hold a meeting of Opposition parties on May 21, two days ahead of Lok Sabha results to chalk out a post-poll alliance. Naidu met Gandhi before heading out to West Bengal to attend public rallies in support of the ruling Trinamool Congress in the state, sources said. In a brief meeting, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief is believed to have discussed the voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) issue, voting percentage in the recently held five phase polling besides the Andhra Assembly election developments, the sources said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework The sources said Naidu and Gandhi also discussed the post-poll scenario and more or less agreed to call a meeting of Opposition parties on May 21. The Lok Sabha elections are being held in seven phases. So far, polling in five phases are over and the counting of votes will be on May 23. Naidu will be meeting West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee apart from attending her rallies on Wednesday and Thursday. The Andhra Pradesh CM was in Delhi to attend the Supreme Court hearing on a petition filed by the Opposition parties to review its judgment rejecting 50 per cent random physical verification of EVMs using VVPATs. The apex court dismissed the petition following which the parties again met the Election Commission to press their demand.
New York – A residential building in Manhattan exploded and collapsed on Wednesday, killing at least one person and injuring 17 others as a serious fire engulfed the area in thick smoke, officials said. The explosion struck a building at 116th Street and Park Avenue in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York, where witnesses said they were jolted awake by what sounded like an earthquake.Mainline train services in and out of Grand Central terminal were suspended as a result of the incident next to its tracks. Hundreds of police and firefighters were on site with emergency service vans and fire trucks, as a dense white column of smoke spewed into the sky next to the Metro-North railway line, an AFP reporter said.A spokesman for energy company Con Edison told local TV channel NY 1 that it got a call from the building alerting them to a possible gas leak at 9:13 am, shortly before the blast.Local residents also spoke of smelling gas in the area.But Con Edison stopped short of confirming that the explosion had been caused by a gas leak.“Obviously what we see is something that would be consistent (with a gas leak) but we can’t say at this point what caused (the explosion),” the spokesman told NY1.“It was an explosion and a building collapsed,” a spokesman for New York Police Department told AFP. Scores of firefighters were dispatched to the scene.Police told AFP one person was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital and that 17 other people had been injured.“The call came at 9:34 am (1334 GMT). It is a residential building. The New York Fire Department is in the process of extinguishing the fire,” another police spokesman added.The New York Fire Department told AFP that more than 168 fire fighters and 44 different units had responded to the explosion.Witness Robert Santiago told CBS that he was sleeping when all of a suddenly the explosion shook his bed and the floor.“It smells very bad out here. It smells like rubble,” he said.“I thought the world was coming to an end, an earthquake or something like that. Terrible,” he added.Another witness told CBS that “a lot of people” lived in the six-storey building, including one of her friends.“I’m scared, I’m scared. I came out to see the situation,” she told the channel from behind the security cordon at the scene.“I’m very scared. I’m shaking. I’m asthmatic and I’m not supposed to be here. I just came,” she added.Another witness who lived across the street told the channel that his relatives living further way also felt the blast.“I saw a lady running with no shoes on. It was crazy. It was like a war zone,” he said.“First of all I thought it was an earthquake. I got calls from my family who felt it too and that was all the way up town. Man, it was crazy,” he added.The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said Metro-North trains had been suspended indefinitely in and out of Grand Central because of the building explosion and collapse.“Southbound trains are being held at stations to await further instructions. Northbound trains are being held in Grand Central,” said an emergency notice published on its website.
Rabat – Government Chief Abdelilah Benkirane chaired, here Wednesday, the signing ceremony of the documents related to the investment contracts concerning the Safi thermal power plant at a total cost of 2.6 billion dollars (around 23 billion dirhams).The plant, the largest in Morocco, will provide an annual production covering around 25 percent of the national electricity demand by 2018, with an aggregate capacity of approximately 1,386 MW.This latest-generation plant, which is part of the national strategy to meet the growing electricity at the lowest cost and the environmental demand, is characterized by optimizing the environmental performance and efficiency high in comparison with conventional plants. It will enable a significant reduction in CO 2 and a reduction in costs associated with fuel. The plant will be built by the OEM South Korean Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co. The construction contract thereto, an amount of 1.8 billion U.S. dollars, was signed on August 9, 2013 between the manufacturer and the company SAFIEC.From the beginning of its construction, and throughout the period of its operation, the plant will contribute significantly to the dynamics of economic and social development of the Kingdom, and particularly that of the region of Safi and this, particularly in terms of job creation and use of the services of local SMEs.It will also allow the development of existing or under construction port, rail and power infrastructure, including the new port of Safi to house the coal dock that will supply the plant with coal and the construction works were initiated by King Mohammed VI in April 2013.The commercial operation of the plant will begin in 2017.
Rabat – King Mohammed VI, Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary, received and appointed, Thursday at the Royal Palace in Casablanca, the members of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary, said a statement by the Royal Office.They are, in accordance with the provisions of article 115 of the Constitution, Mustapha Fares, in his capacity as first president of the Court of Cassation, deputy chairman of the Council and members:Mohamed Abdennabaoui, in his capacity as attorney general of the King at the Court of Cassation, a position to which he was appointed by the King on April 3, 2017.Abdelaali El Aabboudi, in his capacity as president of the first chamber of the Court of Cassation. Idriss El Yazami, in his capacity as president of the National Council of Human RightsAbdelaziz Benzakour, in his capacity as mediator of the KingdomKing Mohammed VI also named:– The five members, appointed by the King to the Council in accordance with the Constitution. They are Ahmed Khamlichi, Ahmed Ghazali, Mohamed El Haloui, Mohamed Amine Benabdellah and Hind Ayoubi Idrissi.– The elected members representing the judges of the Courts of Appeal. They are El Hassan Atlas, Hassan Jaber, Yassin Makhli and Majda Daoudi.-The elected members representing the judges of the first instance Courts. They are Adil Nidam, Mohamed Jalal Moussaoui, Faisal Chaouki, Abdelkarim Al-Aazani, Hajiba El Boukhari and Aicha Ennaciri.The installation by the King of this constitutional institution takes place in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the Organic Law relating to the Supreme Council of the Judiciary.The place of justice in the national institutional structure has been strengthened and the judiciary has been elevated to full power, independent of the legislative and executive powers.Similarly, the prerogatives of the Council have been broadened, its diverse and plural composition has been guaranteed and its openness to its environment has been strengthened.During the audience, the deputy chairman of the Council and the members of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary were sworn in before King Mohammed VI.
Toronto – According to a new report from researchers at Georgia State University, terror attacks committed by Muslims in the US receive five times the media coverage than when the perpetrators are non-Muslim.The study covers all US-related terror attacks during the five-year period from 2011 to 2015. What it found was a 449 percent increase in media attention when the perpetrator was Muslim.The most high-profile of these attacks was the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. The report reveals that media coverage of the event accounted for a whopping 20 percent of the total US-related terror coverage for the five-year period covered in the study. When compared to media coverage of terror attacks perpetrated by non-Muslims, the results are undeniable. A 2012 attack on a Sikh temple which left six people dead and was carried out by a Caucasian man, received just 3.8 percent coverage. By the same token, the notorious Dylan Roof attack on an African-American church in South Carolina where nine people were murdered, received only 7.4 percent.Authors of the report are quick to point out that their data offers irrefutable proof that US President Donald Trump has been feeding the American public errant information when he claims that the media has been under-reporting Muslim terrorist attacks.“When President Trump asserted that the media does not cover some terrorist attacks enough, it turns out that he was correct,” they write. “However, his assertion that attacks by Muslim perpetrators received less coverage is unsubstantiated.”They add that “Regardless of other factors, attacks perpetrated by Muslims receive a disproportionate amount of media coverage. In the present data, Muslims perpetrated 12.4 per cent of the attacks yet received 41.4 per cent of the news coverage.”The report is equally quick to point out that all the non-Muslim attacks covered in the study meet accepted criteria to be classified a terror attack. The data suggests that the disproportionate coverage is creating an irrational fear of Muslims in American culture.“Whether the disproportionate coverage is a conscious decision on the part of journalists or not, this stereotyping reinforces cultural narratives about what and who should be feared,” the report says.“By covering terrorist attacks by Muslims dramatically more than other incidents, media frame this type of event as more prevalent. Based on these findings, it is no wonder that Americans are so fearful of radical Islamic terrorism. Reality shows, however, that these fears are misplaced,” the report conclude.
Rabat – The government appears to have taken back its decision to deny civil society a position in the National Anti-Corruption Commission, instead giving two Moroccan NGOs seats in the commission for a two-year term as full members.Having reviewed the executive text of the composition of the National Anti-Corruption Commission, the head of the commission, El Othmani said during a meeting of the Governing Council on September 21 that two seats will be reserved for the NGOs.“In principle, it is the most representative NGO in this field [anti-corruption] that will be given the seats. However, it will be up to the head of government, the president of the commission, to decide by decree,” reported Telquel. The executive draft setting out the hierarchy of power within the commission had sparked controversy, as it stated that NGOs would not have the status of full members.The director of Transparency Maroc, Fouad Zirari, said to the same source on June 5 that he had learned “by rumor” that civil society organiations would not be invited to the new National Anti-Corruption Commission.“We were involved in the preparation of the national anti-corruption strategy adopted two years ago, which would systematically be followed by the creation of an anti-corruption commission. We learned that the government has finally decided to create a commission alone, without the participation of NGOS and civil society,” said Zirari.The president claimed that “the government does not really have the will to fight against corruption, otherwise it would have integrated the civil society without which nothing could be possible in this fight. The commission would only become a is only a showcase to make a good impression on the international scene.”
Rabat – Morocco is seeing a strong downward trend in all forms of poverty rates, which have become statistically insignificant in urban areas.Financial poverty affects only 2 percent of people in urban areas and almost 9 percent in rural areas, says a report by the High Commission of Planning (HCP).With a decline rate of 9.4 percent per year, the overall population suffering from multidimensional poverty has decreased from 7.5 million in 2004 to 2.8 million in 2014, said the HCP in its report on multidimensional poverty in 2014, published on October 5. The impact of multidimensional poverty decreased from 25.0 percent to 8.2 percent between 2004-2014 at the national level. In urban areas, the rate of multidimensional poverty fell from 9.1 percent to 2 percent in urban areas, and from 44.6 percent to 17.7 percent in rural areas.Multidimensional poverty remains predominantly a rural phenomenon. By 2014, 85.4 percent of multidimensional poor people live in rural areas, compared with 80 percent in 2004.The phenomenon is a result ofseveral factors, notes the HCP, particularlyadult education, which alone accounts for 34 percent of poverty at the national level, while child illiteracymakes up21.3 percent.Overall, education gaps account for slightly more than half(55.3 percent)of multidimensional poverty.Deprivations in terms of access to basic social infrastructure account for 19.7 percent of multidimensional poverty: 14.1 percent for deprivations in terms of habitat conditions, and 10.9 percent in terms of health.In urban areas, 60.8 percent of multidimensional poverty is due to deficits in education,for adults at 36.8 percent and for children at 24 percent. Inequality in terms of health contributes 24.5 percent of poverty in urban poverty.Lack of educational deprivation (54.5 percent), access to basic social infrastructure (21.2 percent), and housing conditions (15.3 percent) are the major drivers of multidimensional poverty in rural areas.Poorest Regions in Morocco, Getting richBetween 2004 and 2014, the incidence of multidimensional poverty declined in all regions. The poorest regions in 2004 experienced the largest decline in poverty, namely the Marrakech-Safi regions, from 34 percent to 11.3 percent, Tangier-Tétouan-Al Hoceima, from 30.3 percent to 9.5 percent and Béni Mellal-Khénifra, from 31 percent to 13.4 percent.Though the trend saw a decline in terms of provinces between 2004 and 2014, it still varies greatly from province to another.Thisdecline wasover 80 percent in the provinces of Skhirate-Témara, Nouaceur, Aousserd, Mediouna, Casablanca, Essemara, Rabat, Boujdour, Laayoune and Oued-Ed-Dahab, between 80 percent and 50 percentin 59 provinces, and between 26 percent and 49.7 percentin the rest of the provinces, namely Boulemane, Jerada, Taounate, Azilal and Assa-Zaga.The distribution of poverty shows that 3.5 million people or 10.3 percent of the population have a single poverty, 2.3 million suffer from multidimensional poverty (6.8 percent) and 1.2 million from financial poverty (3.5 percent). Meanwhile, 463,000 people or 1.4 percent of the population, are victims of both multidimensional poverty and financial poverty.With these three indices, the rate of poverty in its financial and multidimensional forms accounts for 3.9 million people, representing an overall poverty rate of 11.7 percent nationally, 3.9 percent in cities and 23.7 percent in the countryside.
Rabat – In the wake of the corruption accusations surrounding Benyamin Netanyahu, several Israelis were arrested in what the police are calling “Case 4000.”Seven Israeli members of Netanyahu’s innermost circle were arrested less than a week ago on charges of bribing regulators, fraud, money laundering, corporate breach of trust, among other charges. This circle includes Shaul Elovitch, a close friend of the prime minister who runs an Israeli telecommunications giant named Bezeq Group.Nir Hefetz, Netanyahu’s former family spokesperson for many years also figures among the persons arrested, on suspicion of obstruction of justice and accepting bribes. A lawyer for Elovitch told CNN: “Shaul Elovitch vehemently denies the suspicions against him. We suggest that you be patient and do not rush to conclusions. We are certain that when things clear up, it will be possible to realize that he did not commit any offense.”However, several Israeli news outlets reported on Sunday that Netanyahu, who denied any wrongdoing, is not currently facing any charges, though he and his spouse are expected to be questioned,.On the other hand, at the annual Munich Security Conference attended by Netanyahu, he said “the arrests of members of his close circle revealed yet another futile investigation, a contrived bubble that will burst.”
The Canadian subsidiary of General Motors is trying to stop an auto workers union from airing a critical TV commercial during the Super Bowl.The 30-second ad calling the automaker greedy and “un-Canadian” is scheduled to broadcast on Canadian TV stations during Sunday’s game.GM announced plans in November to close its car factory in Oshawa, Ont., costing the jobs of about 2,600 blue-collar workers.The commercial accuses GM of continuing to expand in Mexico while leaving Canadians “out in the cold” and makes claims about the costs of a 2009 auto bailout.GM sent a cease-and-desist letter to Unifor giving it a Saturday deadline to stop using the ad.GM says in a statement that the ad is misleading and inaccurate.The Associated Press
Rabat – Morocco’s victory over Malawi has benefited the Atlas Lions. The team has gained a spot in this month’s FIFA ranking, up to 45th. With 1,425 points, the Atlas Lions rank fourth in Africa behind Tunisia (23), Senegal (25), and the Democratic Republic of Congo (40).Last month, the national football team dropped five spots to 46th. Coming first in the FIFA ranking, the 2018 World Cup champion, France, shares the lead with Belgium. France and Belgium have 1,729 points, followed by Brazil (3), Croatia (4), and Uruguay (5).To earn a better spot in the next FIFA ranking, the Moroccan team needs to score another win during the qualification games of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nationas (CAN). The Atlas Lions will play against Comoros on October 10 and Cameroon on November 17.
Rabat – The Moroccan delegation to the roundtable talks in Geneva most likely reiterated that only the autonomy proposal should be discussed. Polisario has certainly insisted that the referendum for independence should be included as an option. Mauritania is expected to be neutral and perhaps stated that the problem needs to be solved for the sake of a Maghreb Union.The Algerians have undoubtedly held their usual stance that Morocco should adhere to international legality and allow for a referendum which includes independence as an option.The UN envoy, Horst Kohler, told reporters that a peaceful solution to the conflict is possible.A solution is possible of course, but only if the current Algerian regime wants to end its financial, political, diplomatic, and military support of Polisario. Let’s not fool ourselves with these UN meetings. Forcing Algeria to be part of the roundtable will not bring an end to the conflict. As a matter of fact, Algeria had insisted before and after the roundtable that they attended only as observers. An observer is just that and is not under any pressure to contribute to a solution. That is a primary reason why these UN talks will never succeed. It is no secret that Polisario is simply a tool for Algeria to use when needed. Algeria has the last word in choosing if it should continue with the status quo or decide that it is time to work with Morocco on a peace plan. All signs indicate that Algeria is not interested in doing so. The refusal to reply to the Moroccan monarch’s proposal for peace is a clear sign that it is not how they see the solution to the conflict.Many believe that Algeria is simply stubborn and refuses to make peace. But that’ i not the case. The Western Sahara conflict is a raison d’etre for the current regime. If the conflict ends, the regime will be deprived of its livelihood, and it will no longer be able to sell the pretext to the Algerian people that they are arming themselves to the teeth to deter an invasion from the Moroccans. Read Also: Sahrawi Activist Questions Algeria’s Stand on the Western Sahara ConflictA solution will only come if the Algerian people are somehow able to change course and say loud and clear that they can no longer be governed by octogenarians from another era, put in place a democratically elected government, and not one created in the presidential palace run by none other than the brother of the very ill president of Algeria Abdelaziz Bouteflika.Read Also: Geneva Western Sahara Roundtable, New Formula for Business as UsualRight after the roundtable ended, Moroccan foreign minister Nasser Bourita already sensed that the Algerians are not contributing positively, which led him to stress that “it is not enough … a good atmosphere should be translated into a genuine will” to change the situation. “This momentum will have an end if there is no political will,” he warned.The next planned roundtable will be challenging for the Moroccans. It will have to advance beyond simple remarks and a fake friendly atmosphere. That is something the Algerians will not make any effort to accomplish, because they do not have to. Morocco should redouble its efforts to convince the international community that the only way towards ending this conflict is the direct involvement of Algeria in the political process. Without a clear definition of what the UN needs to achieve from the Geneva talks and what its parameters are, the talks will end up producing the same effects as the nine informal talks held under the auspices of the former UN personal envoy, Christopher Ross. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy.
Rabat – On Monday, King Mohammed VI visited several projects of the Rabat medina rehabilitation, part of a national plan to renovate and restore Morocco’s medinas (walled cities).The King visited the Bab Chellah and the souk Essabat streets in Rabat.The monarch also visited the restoration sites of El Mellah square and Sabbaghine street. According to Maghreb Arab Press (MAP), projects in the sites are 75 percent complete. Read Also: Morocco to Spend MAD 2.35 Billion to Restore Old MedinasThe King launched the renovation program in May 2018 to improve access to the old medina and enhance its attractiveness.The program also includes the development of the Tamejajet sports complex, improving the surroundings of medina walls, and street paving. In addition, the streets, alleys, and small squares will get addresses, and workers will install information markers.Other projects are also underway in Rabat, including an underground parking project at the Bab El Had entrance to the medina.Rabat has completed several projects, including development projects in Lagza street, the renovation of the wall around the Kasbah of the Oudayas, the revamping of El Marsa avenue, the development of community sport fields in Bab Chellah, the building of a shopping arcade, and the consolidation of the El Mellah cliff. Construction continues on other projects, including the restoration of the wall from Bab Laalou to Bab El Had.In addition to Rabat, the project also includes Sale, Meknes, Tetouan, Marrakech and Essaouira.In October, Morocco’s Minister of the Interior Abdelouafi Laftit announced an MAD 2.35 billion budget for the renovation programs.The Hassan II Fund for Economic and Social Development will contribute approximately 40 percent of the budget.
Rabat – The Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf said that Arab countries must remain united in the face of global challenges, at a meeting of the Arab League Executive Council on March 30 in Tunis.The threat posed by Iran is the biggest challenge for the Arabs, Saudi Arabia’s Al-Assaf said Friday.“One of the most dangerous forms of terrorism and extremism is what Iran’s… blatant interference in Arab affairs and its militias… the Revolutionary Guards in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen, who require us to work together,” he said. Al-Assaf also spoke about his county’s “balanced relations and contacts on the international scene.” Saudi Arabia “coordinates positions with Arab countries to positively influence the causes of the Arab world on the international stage,” the Saudi Press Agency quoted Al-Assaf as saying.Al-Assaf said that Saudi Arabia supports the Skhirat agreement, signed in December 2015. The agreement is “a road map for the political solution to the Libyan crisis”, he said.On March 26, King Salman received Marshal Khalifa Haftar on a two-day visit to Riyadh. Haftar had announced, in December 2017, the “end” of the Skhirat agreement which provided for the formation of the Government of National Unity. According to Haftar, “All the bodies stemming from this agreement lost their legitimacy.”On March 28, Rabat sent an indirect message to Riyadh about the situation in Libya.Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said that coordination between allies should be “two-way. It should not be on demand. It should cover all the important issues in the Middle East as in North Africa, like the Libyan crisis.”
PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh City Council is scheduled to take a final vote on a package of gun laws introduced after last year’s synagogue massacre.The legislation would place restrictions on military-style assault weapons like the AR-15 rifle that authorities say was used in the Oct. 27 rampage at Tree of Life Synagogue that killed 11 and wounded seven. It would also ban most uses of armour-piercing ammunition and high-capacity magazines, and allow the temporary seizure of guns from people who are determined to be a danger to themselves or others.The council gave tentative approve last week. A final vote is scheduled for Tuesday.Pennsylvania state law forbids municipalities from regulating guns, and pro-gun advocates say they’ll sue to block the laws from taking effect.The Associated Press
Rabat – If anything, the second leg CAF champion’s league final between Morocco’s Casablanca’s Wydad and Tunis’ Esperance at the Rades stadium in Tunisia was an unforgettably scandalous night.For those who were left utterly disappointed at the injustice Wydad of Casablanca suffered last Friday in Rabat, where does yesterday’s sabotage stand in comparison? How does one even start to recount the unfolding of what looked like a deliberate, planned footballing fiasco?At the kick off time, yesterday’s second leg confrontation between Tunisia’s Esperance de Tunis and Morocco’s Wydad de Casablanca, there was already a palpable sense of tension and frustration in the air. Nerves were high, even mercurial, on both sides—courtesy of a battle to emerge from the stained first leg, where an untold number of refereeing mistakes robbed the Moroccan side of a significant home victory. Both sides, in this sense, went in yesterday’s game to rise from the lingering bruises of that grandly controversial first leg.By the time yesterday’s game reached minute 60, however, it was clear that hearts would be broken and dreams shattered.As Bakari Gassama, the Gambian referee of the game, stubbornly refused to yield to Wydad’s rightful demands that VAR be consulted to deliberate on whether the goal that had just been ruled out was valid (it was), there was a feeling that here, too, all had been set up for Wydad to end up on the losing end.By all means, what happened yesterday was an emphatic stain on the honor, or respectability, of Africa’s most revered football contest for clubs. Or, as Wydad’s chairman put it, it was a “total shame for African football,” perhaps the most outrageous African Champions League final.To put it briefly into context: Esperance had been leading the game by 1-0, courtesy of a first half in which they were slightly superior. But like in the second half in Rabat, Wydad came back from the 15-minute respite more spirited, more driven.Like in Rabat, Wydad was more present and far more dominant in the second half, leaving their Tunisian hosts with the sole option of defending their goal advantage while playing on counters. And like in Rabat, Wydad pressed higher and scored the equalizer in the first minutes of the second half, at minute 49.But, somewhat unsurprisingly, like in Rabat, too, Wydad’s goal was ruled out. In that moment, it felt as though last week’s refereeing fiasco was after all a prelude to an even grander, vastly dishonorable show.After over an hour of deliberation, the game was stopped. Somehow, unexplainably, with nearly 30 minutes to go, the referee blew the final whistle, declaring the Tunisians the winners of the 2019 African champions League. It was brilliantly laughable, the result monstrously unjust to a Wydad squad which, given how they had been playing, could have won the game.Only after the game was it revealed that, actually, the referee rejected Wydad’s call to use VAR because the system was out of order. But the problem is that Wydad, according to their chairman, Said Naciri, did not know about VAR not being operational.“Why would we have asked for VAR to be used if we were informed that it was not operational in the first place?” Naciri insistently lamented in his post-match interview. While the decision to declare Esperance champions was unfair by all definitions of the word, the revelation that VAR was defective compounded the frustration, leaving space to suggestions the game had been rigged all along, skewed in Esperance’s favor.And no, this wasn’t some kind of one-off. It had little to do with those grotesquely disappointing moments when football can feel understandably painful, bearably unbearable. No, this was deliberate, offensively cunning, planned outrage. How can anyone explain that VAR was not functional on a night of the continental Champions League final? Was it deliberate? The answer, reports have it, is a resounding yes. In fact, this was hardly the first time that Esperance “deliberately broke VAR,” according to former CAF Secretary-General Amr Fahmy.“This is unfair,” Naciri lamented after CAF decided that Esperance were the victors. He said his club “will not keep silent” and “will file complaints with FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sports.” He called the match a “failure for African football” and a display of “refereeing massacre.”Putting aside the human propensity to sympathize with the indescribable pain of undeserved defeat, it is difficult to argue against the crux of Naciri’s point. The Wydad chairman was not only right in his assessment of the game as a disgrace and a dishonor to African football just days ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations.Though his outbursts—which were legitimate, anyway—reverberated with the biting, unforgettable aches of undeserved loss, Naciri was actually pointing to something many of us can sympathize with. When, twice in a row, and in the space of just one week, the same team is outrageously denied a fair chance to win a victory it would have deserved, pointing to conspiracy is perfectly warranted. This is no conspiracy theory.After the thoroughly disappointing first leg, it was almost unbelievable that the scene that unfolded before our eyes at the Rades stadium was actually happening. Even the Tunisian press, usually fiery and fervent when it comes to defending their teams, has conceded, somewhat in spite of themselves, that this was “shameful” and “scandalous” for the image of African football days ahead of the continental footballing showpiece.Perhaps the complaints in the Tunisian media are genuine. But they won’t soothe the Wydadi players and fans. The CAF board, meanwhile, has called for an urgent meeting to “discuss a controversial final.” Wydad fans can be pardoned if that “urgent meeting” comes across like a joke: little will come from the meeting.At this point, perhaps, the onus is on the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF). There will be calls among Moroccan fans that, like its Tunisian counterpart, the Moroccan federation should from now on show more aggressiveness and resolve in defending the interests of Moroccan teams at the continental level.Sending post-match letters, however damning and solemn their tone, will do little to reverse the blatant injustice that marred the experience of Moroccan clubs in this year’s CAF tournaments. (RS Berkane, another Moroccan team, was controversially beaten in the second leg of the CAF Cup final against Egypt’s Zamalek.)While FRMF should, as they have said they would, express their legitimate anger and frustration at the CAF board for such scandalous errors of judgment in the course of two season-defining games, they should really consider being more present in the behind-the-scenes, off-the-pitch battles which sometimes dictate much of what happens on the pitch.