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Shabana Azmi joins cast of Sheer Qorma

first_imgMumbai: Veteran actor Shabana Azmi has been roped in for Faraz Arif Ansari’s LGBTQ drama Sheer Qorma. She is looking forward to start working on it. Shabana will be seen as a mother in the film, which also stars Swara Bhasker and Divya Dutta. “Divya Dutta recommended the Sheer Qorma script to me. I was moved by it and met Faraz who came across as sincere, honest and deeply committed to the story. The bonus is working with Divya and Swara, so we reworked our dates and I said yes. We had the first workshop yesterday, and everything came together organically,” Shabana said. “I am looking forward to the shoot,” Shabana further added. Ansari is elated to have Shabana on board. “I had a wishlist of actors I want to work with – right from the time I was in school. Shabanaji’s name was always among the top three names of that list.” The film tries to understand the longing for love and acceptance that queer children feel.last_img read more

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Pak PM holds NSC meet amidst IndoPak tension

first_imgIslamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday chaired a meeting of the National Security Committee to hold consultations with the country’s top civil and military leadership over the sudden spike in tensions with India. Khan called the meeting after the army alleged that India used cluster bombs to target the civilian population in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The Indian Army on Saturday termed as “lies and deceit” Pakistan’s allegations that Indian troops used cluster bombs targeting civilians along the Line of Control. The NSC meeting was attended by Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and other top officials. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USIn a series of tweets, Khan said that it’s time for US President Donald Trump to mediate on the Kashmir issue. “President Trump offered to mediate on Kashmir. This is the time to do so as situation deteriorates there and along the LOC with new aggressive actions being taken” by Indian forces, he said, adding that this has the “potential to blow up into a regional crisis”. Last month, Trump had made a stunning claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked him to mediate on the vexed issue during their meeting in Japan, evoking a sharp reaction from India which denied Modi making any such request. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsIn another tweet, Khan said the people of Kashmir “must be allowed to exercise their right to self determination according to UN SC resolutions.” “The only road to peace & security in South Asia runs through a peaceful & just settlement of Kashmir,” he tweeted. He also alleged that India was using “cluster munitions” and asked the UN Security Council to take note of this. Khan also condemned alleged Indian attacks on the civilian population. Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that the political leadership of Pakistan needs to come on the same page and “send a message of unity and solidarity”. Also, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Sunday asked Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Secretary General Dr. Yousuf Ahmed Al-Othaimeen to take notice of the situation in Kashmir, state-run Radio Pakistan reported. Secretary General of OIC assured the Foreign Minister for taking notice on situation and to extend full cooperation. Earlier Sunday, chairing an emergency consultative meeting at the Foreign Office in Islamabad, Qureshi alleged that Indian “designs are an attempt to disrupt the regional peace.”last_img read more

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Liberating the Kashmir narrative

first_imgRemembering Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, ‘our party’s first national president who had attained martyrdom for this very demand of removing Article 370’, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, while replying to the debate on Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Bill in the Rajya Sabha, made a crucial point – he reminded everyone present that, ‘In every election manifesto since its founding in 1951 to 2019, my party has reiterated its demand and promise for removing Article 370.’ Also Read – A special kind of bondShah pointed out how since the Jana Sangh days when Syama Prasad Mookerjee had called for the abrogation of this Article – which was temporary in nature – to the present, when Narendra Modi displayed stoic determination to remove it, the stand has been consistent and unwavering. The Jana Sangh’s manifesto for the first general elections in 1951-52 spoke of the need to integrate Kashmir with Bharat ‘like other acceding states and not [be] given any special position’; this, it argued would ‘end the state of uncertainty about Kashmir’s future’. Dr Mookerjee clearly saw that with Article 370 in place, separatism and subversion by external elements would receive a headwind. Through the decades, that demand for abrogating 370 was repeatedly raised, discussed and debated by the party and its thousands of workers and leaders – down to 2019 when the promise was reiterated again. BJP’s Vision Document for the 2019 general election clearly spoke of the need to remove all obstacles that come in the way of development in Jammu & Kashmir and reiterated “our position since the time of Jana Sangh to the abrogation of Article 370.” Also Read – Insider threat managementWhen he launched the party’s campaign for the 2014 elections, in a rally in Jammu in December 2013, Narendra Modi had called for a debate on how Article 370 had prevented the state from achieving its full potential and prevented it from channelising its rich resources towards generating prosperity for its own people. He had argued that by harping ad nauseam on the need for a separate state, the leaders from the Valley had, in fact, only promoted and supported separatism without really working for the welfare of the people. Modi’s reiteration was a part of that long continuum and struggle, in which legions of Jana Sangh and RSS karyakartas, cadres and activists kept the debate alive. In 2019, in a little over two months after taking oath for the second time as Prime Minister, Modi kept his promise. BJP’s Vision Document of 2019 also spoke of the need to work to ‘provide adequate financial resources to all regions of the state’ which Article 370 prevented. The reasons for this demand for abrogation, since the days of the Jana Sangh and later, had to it a clear dimension of development. In one of his letters to Nehru, while discussing Article 370, Dr Mookerjee had pointed out how a sizeable section of Muslims in the state was also demanding that this article be repealed because they wanted greater integration with India. This dimension of development was something that was hardly ever focused upon. Those who wanted to continue their political and ideological monopoly over the people of Kashmir to ensure their prosperity at the cost of theirs – as Amit Shah caustically reminded the House, Article 370 has only benefited three families in the Valley while preventing the fruits of development from reaching the majority – have kept silent on this dimension of development. The large ‘NGO brigades’ that these political parties have spawned over the years to harangue, hector and badmouth India on the world stage and on multilateral platforms to peddle false narrative of human rights violations in Kashmir, have also tried to obfuscate this development dimension. In his reply, however, Shah resoundingly harped on it, he asked questions which the Congress, the communist parties and the Valley-centric parties should have attempted to answer long back. In this context too, Shah’s reply is historic, it brought forth the reality of Article 370 which was that it was actually detrimental for the people of the state. Shah spoke of how full political rights had not percolated to the people, for the last 70 years, with no Panchayat elections held, thus depriving forty thousand sarpanches – village headmen – from functioning. It was only now, after President’s rule, that elections were held and sarpanches were elected and have been actively pushing the development agenda. This rejuvenation of grassroots democracy in the state was in itself a major blow on separatism. He pointed out how education suffered in J&K since educational institutions from across India could not establish projects there, he spoke of how, since anti-corruption laws were not applicable to the state, the resources sent for its development from the Union government was invariably siphoned off at the altar of corruption, he argued how because of this restrictive Article 370, both poverty and corruption have had a field day in the state. Shah also spoke of how there was a shortage of doctors and quality healthcare in the state because doctors from across the country did not want to come here as they could not have full access to rights here due to the continuation of Article 370. Shah drove home the point of how with the removal of 370, the 10 per cent economic reservation arrangement would automatically apply to the state. More crucially, he also brought home the point that because of this disturbing Article, OBCs of the state have been deprived of reservations, and Dalits and tribals too were denied their share of political reservations. It was a discriminatory Article; it has discriminated against people of the state, he emphasised, and therefore, it had to go. “We want to embrace the youth of the Valley,” Shah reiterated, “We want to work to give them quality education and a promising future, we want to give them quality healthcare and opportunities for their livelihood, the development narrative has percolated across India, we want that narrative to spread all over Jammu & Kashmir, and for that to happen Article 370 needs to go,” Shah argued. Directly hitting at the high-priests and mullahs of separatism, who keep provoking and misleading the youth of the Valley, Shah pointed out how those who provoke violence and fan the fires of separatism in the minds of the youth of Kashmir have ensured that their own children are well ensconced in universities and schools in London and America. That is why these separatists are not worried. Shah hit out, “Since they have made comfortable arrangements for their children, but the youth of the Valley continue to suffer from illiteracy and lack of development due to the continuance of Article 370.” This development-deprivation dimension of the 370 narrative has always been smothered, especially by those who have a vested interest in perpetuating dynastic and exploitative politics of opportunism and fear in the Valley. But Modi and Shah have brought out the truth of how Article 370 has actually gnawed away at the foundations of the state and restrained the flow of growth, opportunity, equity and justice for its people. The process that began with Dr Mookerjee and intensified over the years has now reached the peak of culmination and realisation under PM Modi, who has emerged as the great unifier. The Kashmir narrative has finally been liberated from the asphyxiating stranglehold of subversion and untruth. (The author is Director, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

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CEC rules out return to ballot paper system

first_imgKolkata: Rejecting the demand of bringing back the ballot paper system of voting, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora on Friday said that there is no question of going back to the bygone era. “We are not going back to the era of ballot papers. The Honourable Supreme Court has more than once said that ballot paper is a thing of the past,” Arora, who is in the city to attend an event at an educational institute, told reporters. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, one of the most vocal critics of electronic voting machines (EVMs), herself gave a call to shun the voting machines and return to ballot papers during Trinamool Congress’ Martyrs’ Day rally on July 21. Recently, Maharashtra Navnirman Senachief Raj Thackeray met Banerjee and invited her for a massive campaign against using EVMs in Indian elections in which several opposition leaders, including UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, will be present.last_img read more

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Attempt to murder 2 held for plotting against landlord

first_imgNEW DELHI: Delhi Police has arrested two brothers for conspiring to frame landlord in an attempt to murder case in South East Delhi’s Amar Colony. The duo have been identified as Sumit Bhadana and Naveen Bhadana, both in their early twenties. One of them also inflicted a gun wound on himself to frame his landlord.On August 22 at about 5 pm, a PCR call regarding landlord has fired upon the caller and injured is going to the hospital, was received at Amar Colony. Police team immediately reached the spot and found some blood was lying on the floor and 2 fired cartridges were also found on the floor. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThereafter, police team reached at Safdarjung Hospital and met injured Sumit Bhadana, 22 years, a resident of Bhondsi, Gurugram. Injured sustained two gun shot wounds at his shoulder and thigh. Injured Sumit Bhadana stated that his landlord Varun Juneja fired upon him. A claim which the landlord denied and said that he is being framed as the injured is unable to pay 6 months rent which amounts to Rs 2.25 lakh. “During investigation, there was some contradiction in the statement of the injured regarding the sequence of events. So, the police team confronted the injured with evidences gathered which were contradicting to his version. In the meantime, sensing that he is in trouble, injured Sumit Bhadana escaped from the Safdarjung Hospital as LAMA (Leave Against Medical Advice), while his medical tests were being conducted. Police team tried to reach out to the injured but he was not available at his residence. Thereafter, police team gathered intelligence and apprehended injured from his sister’s house at Shastri Nagar,” said DCP South East Chinmoy Biswal. Around 10 days back, accused Sumit procured a pistol from his friend from Badshahpur, Rajasthan. After shooting at his arms, the accused Sumit called his brother Naveen and disclosed the whole incident to him. Sumit also gave his pistol to Naveen.last_img read more

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Karnataka Congress leader Shivakumar appears before ED again

first_imgNew Delhi: Former Karnataka Minister and senior Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar on Saturday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning for the second consecutive day in a money laundering case. Shivakumar was questioned for over five hours on Friday by the ED as he deposed before the agency in the evening. The Karnataka High Court on Friday rejected Shivakumar’s petition for interim protection from arrest by the financial probe agency. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ The ED had issued the summons on Thursday night, asking Shivakumar to appear before it on Friday afternoon over his alleged involvement in ‘hawala’ transactions in violation of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. According to ED sources, Shivakumar was questioned about an amount of Rs 8.59 crore seized during Income Tax department raids in August 2017. Shivakumar has been on the radar of the I-T department and the ED since demonetisation in 2016. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K The alleged money laundering came to light after I-T sleuths raided Shivakumar’s flat in New Delhi on August 2, 2017 which led to the seizure of unaccounted cash to the tune of Rs 8.59 crore without any evidence about its source. Cases were filed against him and four of his associates under Sections 277 and 278 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, and Sections 120(B), 193 and 199 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Shivakumar has accused Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa of indulging in vindictive politics by targeting him and other opposition leaders. Before appearing for questioning before the ED, Shivakumar said, “I am a law-abiding citizen, and I have legal options which I am exploring.” The Congress leader added that he will face the proceedings “legally, politically and socially”.last_img read more

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Take steps against those visiting pandals in inebriated state

first_imgKolkata: Puja committees across the city have requested Kolkata Police to act tough against those visiting the pandals in an inebriated state. They have also urged the cops to take measures against those who create unnecessary ruckus inside the pandals to click selfies.On Thursday evening, senior Kolkata Police officials including Kolkata Police Commissioner Anuj Sharma met various representatives of the Puja committees at Rabindra Sadan. During the interactive session, almost all the Puja committees requested the police to keep a strict vigil over people visiting the mandaps, especially at night. It has been observed on earlier instances that people visit the pandals in huge numbers after consuming alcohol and create pandemonium. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaRequests have been made to the police to prevent such people from entering the Puja pandals which would in turn result in running the whole process smoothly. This step will also prevent incidents like molestation or stalking of women. Several Puja committees also felt that steps should be taken to prevent people from taking selfies inside the pandals which can, at times, block the pandal-hoppers and give rise to unnecessary congestion inside the pandal premises. Sharma said: “Police will do everything to maintain the law and order situation and protect the citizens from any untoward incident. Regarding taking selfies, we will request people not to do so which can create problems for other pandal-hoppers. The message will be circulated through social media as well.” The police have also been requested to look into the parking issue and arrange the same near the Puja pandals.last_img read more

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Smallbudget indie flick Maudie becomes Atlantic Canadas hottest movie

first_imgHALIFAX – The small-budget biopic of folk artist Maud Lewis has become an unlikely Atlantic Canadian blockbuster.“Maudie” is the region’s No. 2 film, with a higher per-screen average last weekend than the top-grossing The Fate of the Furious, according to Mongrel Media, the film’s distributor.“‘Maudie’ had a weekend per-screen average of $7,239 in the Atlantic provinces,” Alison Zimmer, Mongrel’s theatrical sales co-ordinator, said Wednesday.“It definitely over-performed in Atlantic Canada.”The drama stars Oscar-nominated British actor Sally Hawkins as the reclusive Nova Scotia artist whose hands were riddled with arthritis, and American Ethan Hawke as her fish peddler husband, Everette.It opened in limited release on April 14, and is currently being shown on 30 screens, half in the Atlantic region. A total of 75 screens will play “Maudie” across Canada by this weekend, including theatres in Corner Brook, N.L., and Antigonish, Amherst and Truro, N.S.People have lined up around the block at some theatres, and at least one Halifax junior high school plans a field trip Thursday to see it.The success has exceeded initial expectations, said Zimmer, although she adds that she knew Maudie would be an East Coast hit — it is set in Nova Scotia and was filmed in Newfoundland.“Seven of the top 10 theatres were in Atlantic Canada this past weekend,” said Zimmer during an interview.The independent Fundy Cinema in Wolfville, N.S., planned two showings, but owner Noemi Volovics added two more after they entirely sold out.“‘Maudie’ has done very well for us,” Volovics said. “I would say probably more than half of the audience (are people who) never come to this theatre.”Aisling Walsh directed and Sherry White wrote the Canada-Ireland co-production. It has received critical acclaim at various festivals around the world and captured the Super Channel People’s Choice award at the Vancouver International Film Festival.Lewis, who lived in poverty for most of her life, sold her paintings from her home near Digby, N.S., for as little as $2 and $3. She died in 1970, but her paintings have since sold for up to $22,000.Two of her works were ordered by the White House during Richard Nixon’s presidency after Lewis achieved national attention through an article in the Star Weekly and was featured in a CBC TV documentary.Zimmer said they expect the film to be released in the United States, U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Australia and Japan later this year.A Halifax native, Zimmer said she understands why the film was so successful in the Atlantic provinces.“It’s a story of a Canadian female artist, which is something we don’t get the opportunity to see very often,” she said.“There’s a lot of pride.”last_img read more

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Young beluga whale struggling after relocation marine mammal group says

first_imgSAINT FABIEN, Que. – It is unclear whether a young whale flown from a New Brunswick river to Quebec is able to eat or has joined other belugas, a marine mammal group says.“The next few days will be critical,” Marie-Eve Muller of the Quebec City-based Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals said in a release Tuesday.The beluga, which is about two metres long, was released in Cacouna, Que., in the St. Lawrence Estuary last Thursday.The group says satellite tracking places the whale off Saint-Fabien, about 65 kilometres downstream from Cacouna. The area is “very close to the downstream limit” of waters frequented by belugas during the summer, it says.“At the time of the catch and when released, the veterinarians who accompanied the operation had issued a reserved prognostic,” Muller said.Signals received Monday night suggest the beluga spends a lot of time near the surface and that it may not be strong enough to swim against the current or even to stay in place.The group says weather conditions on Tuesday did not allow them to patrol the area and they are now waiting for the next satellite signals.The beluga strayed into New Brunswick’s Nepisiguit River weeks ago, and was removed in a complex operation that saw the endangered marine mammal travel by land, sea and air before being released.Animal rescuers had said the beluga could not live permanently in fresh water, and showed no signs of leaving the Nepisiguit on its own. They theorized it might have got lost while following fish.The whale had been coaxed into a net with the use of an acoustic deterrent device. The animal was then loaded into the back of a truck, and taken to the Bathurst, N.B., airport where it was then flown to Quebec in a small airplane.Once in Quebec there was another car trip before the whale was transferred to a boat to be set free.The population of the St. Lawrence belugas has been declining since the early 2000s and it’s believed there are fewer than 900 of them still in existence.They were placed on the endangered species list last fall.last_img read more

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Five stories in the news for today Oct 4

first_imgFive stories in the news for Wednesday, Oct. 4———EDMONTON ATTACK SUSPECT ORDERED TO LEAVE U.S.American authorities say a Somali refugee accused of attacking a police officer and running down four pedestrians in Edmonton was ordered removed from the country in 2011 by an immigration judge. They say Abdulahi Hasan Sharif was ordered sent back to Somalia on Sept. 22, 2011, but he didn’t report for departure on Jan. 24, 2012, and efforts to find him were not successful. Sharif faces 11 charges in connection with the Edmonton incident.———FOURTH CANADIAN CONFIRMED DEAD IN LAS VEGAS SHOOTINGAn Alberta model with two young sons and a restaurant employee about to be promoted to manager are among the four Canadians confirmed dead in Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas. Tara Roe was 34 and lived in Okotoks. Her family has issued a statement saying they were devastated by “this unthinkable tragedy.” Calla Medig, who grew up in Jasper, Alta., was also shot and killed in the attack. Medig had taken time Her boss at Moxie’s restaurant in west Edmonton says Medig was due to be promoted on Thursday.———PM TRUDEAU TO VISIT U.S. AND MEXICO.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will visit Washington and Mexico City next week amid early signs of turbulence in the NAFTA negotiations. He will meet with U.S. President Donald Trump, then with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. Canadian officials say the trip was not specifically designed around NAFTA and began with an invitation to a women-in-business summit in Washington, coupled with Trudeau’s long-standing plan to visit Mexico. But trade will come up, they said.———MORNEAU: CHANGES TO TAX PLAN REQUIREDFinance Minister Bill Morneau says changes will be necessary to the government’s contentious tax reforms. He says the government will review the feedback it received during a 75-day consultation period and will respond with changes to meets a goal of making sure the tax system is fair and encourages investment. The proposals have faced a flurry of complaints from tech entrepreneurs, to doctors, to tax professionals, to provincial leaders, to backbench Liberal MPs.———EX-PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON IN MONTREAL TODAYFormer U.S. president Bill Clinton continues his visit to Canada today with a stop in Montreal. He will take part in a conversation with former prime minister Jean Chretien on the state of the Canada-U.S. relationship sponsored by the Canadian American Business Council. Clinton was in Toronto on Tuesday night where he accepted an honorary doctorate from Nova Scotia’s St. Francis Xavier University.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Trial continues in Ottawa for Basil Borutski, charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of three women in 2015.— Criminal trial in Ottawa of Ali Omar Ader, charged in kidnapping of journalist Amanda Lindhout.— Sears Canada appears in a Toronto court to seek an extension for creditor protection and permission to close 11 more stores.— Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley is scheduled to release a draft plan on how the province plans to deal with legal marijuana.— The Manitoba legislature will reconvene following the summer break.— Nova Scotia Auditor General Michael Pickup holds a news conference to discuss his financial audit work.— Acadia University will raise the Grand Council Flag of the Mi’kmaq Nation where it will fly permanently above University Hall.— Sophie Gregoire Trudeau takes part in a discussion in Ottawa on gender inequality.— An Alberta couple who won the Sept. 22 $60-million LottoMax jackpot will be introduced to the public.last_img read more

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Wordflipping Victoria boy gets William Shatners support for invented word

first_imgVANCOUVER – When six-year-old Levi Budd saw the word stop on a sign, he created the word pots. Before long, he was imagining words backwards and coming up with rats from star and pets from step.The inquisitive word lover had just one question for his mom that day in January, when the two were in the car and he turned stop into pots: “What do we call a word that spells another word backwards?”His mom and dad, Jessy Friedenberg and Lucky Budd, discovered there’s no word defining such flipped words so Levi decided he better invent one: levidrome, which he told his parents explains why spit is tips and spoons are snoops.Lucky Budd said his son started reading at age three and by four knew that the word palindrome means a word reads the same spelled forward and backward, like racecar.Budd, a historian and author of nine books, has proposed levidrome, pronounced lev-ih-drome, to dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster.Merriam-Webster explained to Budd that a word must be in common use before it’s accepted though levidrome has already been added to its open-source dictionary of user-submitted words and the online Urban Dictionary.A YouTube video (http://bit.ly/2hPVYgu) Budd posted about five weeks ago to explain his son’s levidrome fixation has created buzz among students across the country and has also won support from actor and “Star Trek” veteran William Shatner, whose recent tweet had him appealing to the Oxford Dictionary to include Levi’s “exciting word.”Actress Patricia Arquette has also tweeted her support, saying: “Such a cool idea.”Budd said he’s thrilled that people are talking about words, and that’s the most gratifying part of the levidrome experience so far.“I’ve got schools in Ottawa, and schools in Toronto and Calgary and libraries all getting in touch with me with their boards of palindromes and levidromes. And that’s actually what it’s all about. It’s really exciting.”His aim is to model initiative to his son by taking action on an idea.“If you have a good idea, go for it. You never know what’s going to happen. Whether it makes it into the dictionary or not, at this point the journey of just doing it and how many people have found inspiration is just amazing.”Levi, who was celebrating the loss of his first tooth on Monday, loves reading to his four-year-old sister Emma, who’s more into gymnastics and dancing than words, Budd said.He said his son is an extrovert who aims to be an actor though he’s too young to be directly in the spotlight to discuss his love of levidromes and the excitement that it has generated.“Most days when we go to school Levi walks by a crosswalk and the principal of the school stands there with a stop sign welcoming the kids. She always says to him, ‘You got any good levidromes for me today?’ The other day he said, ‘Yeah, I got stressed and desserts. And drawer and reward.’”Levi’s self-esteem has been boosted by kids who are also having fun flipping words and spreading the word on levidrome, Budd said.“Today he came up with orb from bro. I guess he saw me write bro to somebody.”— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter.last_img read more

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Schools close as spring snow storm tracks toward Maritime provinces

first_imgHALIFAX – Schools are closing across the Maritime provinces as a spring snow storm tracks toward the region.Environment Canada says between 15 and 25 centimetres of snow is expected in P.E.I., northern Nova Scotia and eastern New Brunswick by Thursday evening.Meanwhile, southern and eastern parts of Nova Scotia can expect the snow to become mixed with rain and ice pellets.A slew of schools have been cancelled in P.E.I., Nova Scotia and New Brunswick ahead of the low pressure system’s arrival.The Confederation Bridge is also warning of possible travel disruptions due to high winds.Environment Canada is calling for up to 30 centimetres of snow in parts of Newfoundland.last_img read more

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Cheering for family Manitoba politician related to most of Iceland soccer team

first_imgWINNIPEG – A Manitoba politician has more than Icelandic heritage fuelling his fandom of the Nordic nation’s soccer team — he also has family ties.Len Isleifson, legislature member for Brandon East, says he is related to 22 of the team’s 23 players, as well as to its coach.Isleifson was born in Manitoba after his paternal grandfather immigrated to the province over a century ago. About 30,000 people of Icelandic decent live in the province, the largest concentration of Icelanders outside of the country’s capital.Isleifson says his 85-year-old dad, Robert, always had a keen interest in their ancestry and, after Iceland’s soccer team qualified last year for its first World Cup, had a genealogy company in Iceland trace his family’s roots to the team.“You figure you’re going to be related to someone along the line,” says Isleifson. “But it was pleasantly surprising to find out it was so many.”Iceland is a country of 337,000 and is the smallest participating in the World Cup. The team’s members range from Isleifson’s third to eighth cousins.Isleifson has bragged up his roots to the team in the legislature and, a few weeks ago, the consulate general of Iceland in Winnipeg delivered to Isleifson a blue jersey from the team. It’s a prized addition to the framed team shirt the backbencher already has on the wall of his office.Isleifson admits he’s not a lifelong soccer fan, but he has definitely been rooting for Iceland throughout the global soccer tournament playing out in Russia.In the end, he says, it’s not about whether the team wins or loses.“Sure, you want to keep winning so you can keep moving on. But just for them to make it this far — to even qualify — is a win,” he says.“I just want to see them play and the heart that they play with.”He believes what makes the team so special is that it’s not made up of professional athletes.“They’re everyday fishermen. The coach is a dentist. There’s farmers on the team. There’s one guy that has a gas station. They’re just everyday people playing a sport they love and excelling at it. I think it’s incredible.”Isleifson was home in Brandon when he watched Iceland’s triumphant tie with Argentina in its first match. During the team’s subsequent loss to Nigeria, Isleifson caught bits of the game on the TV in his office in between meetings.On Tuesday, when Iceland takes on Croatia, Isleifson has another busy day at work.“My schedule is booked solid, so I’m going to record the game and hopefully not spoil it by having anybody tell me what the score is,” he says, adding with a laugh, “probably impossible.”— By Chris Purdy in Edmontonlast_img read more

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Quebec judge once again suspends application of provinces facecovering law

first_imgMONTREAL – Quebec’s law banning people from covering their faces when receiving or giving a public service cannot enter into force until it goes through judicial review because of the irreparable harm it will cause Muslim women, a judge ruled Thursday.It is the second time since December a Quebec judge has suspended the controversial section of the province’s religious neutrality law, which is being challenged in court by a national Muslim group and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.Khalid Elgazzar, Vice-Chair of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, said the ruling by Quebec Superior Court Justice Marc-Andre Blanchard was “very strongly worded.”“It points out that (at first glance) the law violates the freedoms guaranteed by the Quebec and Canadian charters. In essence, it’s confirmation (the law) is a bad solution to a made-up problem,” Elgazzar said.Section 10 of Quebec’s law on religious neutrality, passed in October 2017, forces everyone to show their faces when receiving or giving a public service.Opposition parties argued the legislation didn’t go far enough to enshrine the concept of state secularism into law, while Muslim and civil rights groups said it targeted Muslim women who wear face veils.A judge suspended section 10 in December 2017 until the government published clear guidelines under which someone could apply for a religious accommodation to the rules.The Quebec government published the guidelines in May, which were to come into force on July 1.Blanchard ruled the guidelines are not clear enough, and confusion and uncertainty still exists regarding how the accommodation process will be applied.He said that at first glance, section 10 of the law violated the fundamental right to freedom of conscience and religion as guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Quebec charter.Moreover, the judge concluded “irreparable harm will be caused to Muslim women as of July 1, 2018, if the stay is not granted, and it is urgent to act.”He continued, “preserving the social status quo that has existed until today appears to better serve the public interest, since the harm to the public good in suspending section 10 of the Act appears to be minimal.”No date has been set to hear the constitutional challenge to the law brought by the council on Canadian Muslims and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.A request for comment to Quebec’s justice minister was not immediately returned.last_img read more

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Cirque du Soleils Saudi Arabia show difficult for founder Guy Laliberte

first_imgMONTREAL – In the light of recent geopolitical tensions in Saudi Arabia, Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte has expressed some discomfort with the troop’s performance in that country on Sept. 23.During a meeting with the press on Thursday to unveil details around his most recent project, Lune Rouge, the businessman was careful to point out that he no longer holds decision-making power in this company.“I’m a partner…but I do not make those decisions anymore,” said Laliberte. “Yes, it does something to me, but it’s not me who decides.”The Cirque show took place before the kingdom became the target of harsh criticism from members of the international community for the alleged murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.Nonetheless, the troupe’s performance, which took place on Saudi National Day, came in the midst of a diplomatic quarrel between Ottawa and Riyadh — which, among other things, provoked the expulsion of Canada’s ambassador by the kingdom.Laliberte was cautious when asked to comment, saying it was “difficult” because of the presence of “old friends” in the company whom he did not want to criticize.“I’m sure that in the current context Cirque must be uncomfortable because (the deal was reached) at a time when it seemed that things were going in the right direction (in Saudi Arabia),” he said. “At some point, do you make a decision to withdraw or not? It’s not my choice.”In 2015, Laliberte sold 60 per cent of his stake in Cirque du Soleil to U.S. investment firm TPG Capital and 20 per cent to Fosun Capital Group, a Chinese firm. The Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec secured a 10 per cent interest, the same amount that the founder retains.The businessman is always involved in “creative thinking” within the company, he said.Cirque du Soleil did not respond to emails sent by The Canadian Press on Thursday.last_img read more

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Abstaining from pot improves memory ability to learn in young users study

first_imgTORONTO – Researchers say a month of abstaining from cannabis leads to improved memory in adolescents and young adults who are regular users of weed.A study by Massachusetts General Hospital found young people who stopped using cannabis for 30 days had a better ability to learn compared to peers who continued to smoke, vape or ingest pot.Lead author Randi Schuster, director of neuropsychology at the Center for Addiction Medicine at the Boston hospital, says teens and young adults learn better when they are not using cannabis.She says the findings suggest that at least some of the cognitive deficits linked to at least once-a-week cannabis use are not permanent and improve quickly after a short period of abstinence.The research involved 88 subjects aged 16 to 25 who completed regular assessments of thinking and memory during the study period and also provided frequent urine tests to verify cannabis abstinence. The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.The authors note that adolescence and young adulthood are critical times for brain development, specifically for brain regions that are most susceptible to the effects of cannabis.“There are still a lot of open questions to be studied, including whether attention might improve and memory continues to improve with longer periods of cannabis abstinence,” says Schuster, adding that two larger follow-up trials will try to address those issues.last_img read more

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Over 2700 firearms collected in Toronto gun buyback

first_imgTORONTO (680 NEWS) – Toronto Police say they have collected more than 2,700 unwanted guns from residents through their buyback program.The three-week program offered people $200 for a long gun and $350 for a handgun.Police added it was the largest number of firearms collected through a gun buyback program in the city, with over 1,900 long guns handed in and over 800 handguns.The guns will be inspected to determine if they’ve been used in a crime, and people who hand them over to police will not face a charge for possessing or unsafely storing a firearm. All of the firearms will then be destroyed.The last buyback program occurred in 2008 when over 2,000 guns were turned in.At the beginning of the buyback, a Toronto Police inspector faced some lighthearted ridicule on social media for the age of some of the guns turned in so far.These are just some of the firearms turned in during the past 24 hrs as part of the #GunBuyBackTO to @TPS41Div alone. Call @TorontoPolice if you have a firearm(s) you no longer wish to have. pic.twitter.com/wqPSZFC24r— Paul MacIntyre (@InspMac) May 1, 2019While the guns may be old and the tweet attracted a large response, Insp. Paul MacIntyre replied saying it is still a positive step forward that they are no longer in people’s homes.Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said he was pleased with the amount of Torontonians who participated.“These guns can present a potential danger if they fall into the wrong hands,” he said. “Removing access to these guns, many of which are not securely stored, contributes to community safety.”The city funded the program with unanimous approval in council.Mayor John Tory said, “Every gun surrendered is one less gun in our community and one less gun potentially available to people who want to cause problems in our city.”Toronto recorded a record number of homicides last year, along with a major surge in gun-related crimes that saw police seize an unusually high number of handguns from city streets.Chief Saunders said in December that officers had recovered more than 500 handguns, 222 more than in 2017, and the number of homicides caused by shootings had gone up by nearly 30 per cent.last_img read more

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Suzanne DeLaurentiis To Host Charity PreEmmy Gifting Suite

first_imgSuzanne DeLaurentiis and Promethean Light Media will host a Pre-Emmy Gifting Suite to benefit VETS.

Suzanne DeLaurentiis Emmy InviteSuzanne DeLaurentiis and Promethean Light Media along with exclusive media partners Tamara Henry (Vanilla Fire Productions & GreenTwithTamara.TV), It’s So L.A. and Alegria Magazine will celebrate with Emmy Nominees and Presenters on September 22 at Paramount Studios in Hollywood from 10am-5pm.

Promethean Light Media (PLMedia) produces digital media projects for any business need, whether you’re looking to create a new branding strategy, market a new product or service, want to shoot a local commercial that will gain you increased visibility or are dreaming of something even bigger.PLMedia was established on the principle that any project can be extraordinary when its created by looking through the right lens. Their creative team will help you achieve the perfect marketing or branding effort through a collaborative process that takes your requirements and blasts them into the stratosphere in terms of the visual results. Their goal is simple: create and deliver services and products that exceed your expectations, amaze your customer audience and lead to lasting relationships.

Celebrities that visit the suite will spend a day being pampered with sponsor products and services including: skincare by New Image, VIP bags by Arbonne, makeup by Jentry Kelley, hairstyles by Kayla Lister, relaxing drinks by Zenify & Organo Gold, cocktails by Tequila Loca & O.N.E. Coconut Water, and all natural snacks by Andre Gordon of USANA. Other gifts include: Hint Water, Bubba Sweets award winning cupcakes, Threadless graphic t-shirts, Wired for Freedom jewelry, and Skineez Shapewear, among other sponsors. Pierre Garden Restaurant & Bar will cater French-Mediterranean food. Guests will have a chance to meet the vets and take photos with them at our exclusive photo studio by Jessica Turner & Bernard Hinson Photography.

All proceeds raised from this star-studded event will benefit the VETS.Copyright ©2012Look to the Starslast_img read more

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Ringo Starr And Celebrity Friends Sign Drumhead For Charity Auction

first_imgRingo Starr and some of his showbiz friends have signed a drumhead that is now being auctioned for charity.On January 20, 2014 David Lynch and his Foundation honored Ringo Starr with a Lifetime of Peace and Love Award and Tribute Concert.Take home this drumhead from the event held at the El Rey Theater in LA. The drumhead is signed by Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh, Toto’s Steve Lukather, Peter Frampton, The Head and the Heart, Ben Harper and Ark Life.You’ll also take home the following merchandise from the David Lynch Foundation: • Ringo’s Peace and Love poster • Ringo’s commemorative event program • David Lynch’s cosmic poster • Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch • Transcendence by Norman Rosenthal • Radio City DVD with Paul McCartney and Ringo • Certificate to learn Transcendental MeditationThe auction runs until April 29, and can be accesses via CharityBuzz.last_img read more

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Hangout With Prince Charles For The iwill Campaign

first_imgOn 20th November 2014, HRH The Prince of Wales will meet young people involved in social action across the UK via his first ever Google+ Hangout.This will mark the first anniversary of the #iwill campaign which he launched in 2013 with support from the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition.The #iwill campaign is run by Step Up To Serve, an independent charity set-up to coordinate all related activity.#iwill aims to make social action the norm for all 10-20 year olds in the UK by 2020. Youth social action is defined as ‘young people taking practical action in the service of others’, such as volunteering, fundraising or campaigning. #iwill also promotes the fact that social action not only benefits the young participants, but also strengthens their communities, creating a ‘double benefit’.The campaign is working across society to: spread the word about the benefits of youth social action; embed it in the lives of all 10-20 year olds; and create fresh opportunities for them to take part.Hosted by Alex Jones from the BBC’s One Show, the 30 minute Google+ Hangout will give The Prince of Wales an opportunity to talk publicly with a group of young people about their experiences of social action, with a focus on how they are using technology to help others.Since launching, Step Up To Serve and #iwill have helped secure significant new funding for youth social action, as well as support from over 100 business, education, faith and voluntary sector organisations. These include O2, Lloyds Bank, National Grid, Sky, the Cabinet Office, Ofsted, Duke of Edinburgh Awards, The Prince’s Trust, Scout Association and the Media Trust. All supporters have given pledges of support, which they are already delivering. The campaign also enjoys cross-party support.Joining The Prince of Wales and Alex Jones at Clarence House will be young #iwill Ambassador George Fielding, BEM, Helen Davies, Live Chat Moderator for YouthNet and Ronan Dunne, Chief Executive of O2. The four young people joining via the web from around the UK will be Jordan Caldwell from Northern Ireland, Hannah Palmer-Davis from the Isle of Wight, Devan Witter from Yorkshire and Sarah Shaikh from Surrey.George Fielding, BEM, #iwill Ambassador says: “I am greatly honoured to take part in the Google+ Hangout with The Prince of Wales. Social action is the foundation for the life I cherish today. The #iwill campaign presents an unparalleled opportunity for organisations, schools and businesses to encourage, promote and embed the benefits of social action. One thing is certain – the lives of both young people and those they are helping will be changed for the better as a result of their support.”Ronan Dunne, Chief Executive Officer, O2, added: “I’ve seen for myself how social action can help young people gain confidence, experience and skills – that’s why the #iwill campaign is so important. At O2 our Think Big programme provides funding, mentoring and digital skills training to young people running social action projects across the UK. I’m involved in the Google+ Hangout and anniversary events because I want to encourage more businesses to join the campaign. They can make a positive impact by supporting youth social action opportunities and helping young people achieve their potential and ambitions.”Google+ Hangouts allow live broadcasts in HD on Google+, YouTube and websites. Members of the public can join the #iwill Hangout on the 20th November at 1530 to listen and contribute their own comments by visiting The British Monarchy on Google+. The Google+ Hangout will also be streamed live on the The Royal Channel on YouTube.Source:www.princeofwales.gov.uklast_img read more

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