first_imgPalghar: At least 50 passengers, most of them students of colleges, of a state transport bus were injured on Tuesday when it crashed into bushes after hitting a divider on Pivli-Wada route near Jambulpada village in Palghar district of Maharashtra, police said. The condition of at least two students is stated to be serious. The incident occurred around 7 am when the driver of the bus lost his control over the wheel while trying to save a girl who was crossing the road. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ “The bus jumped the lane, hit the divider, and landed on the other side of the road. It came to halt after crashing into bushes along the road,” said Wada police station Assistant Police Inspector, Govind Borade. He said the injured persons have been admitted to Wada rural hospital and the seriously injured to Thane civil hospital. The bus driver, identified as Vinayak Jadhav (27) has been arrested and booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for rash driving and Motor Vehicles Act.last_img read more

first_imgLondon: Australia coach Justin Langer says he won’t be surprised if wearing a neck guard on the helmet becomes mandatory in the future after star batsman Steve Smith was felled by a bouncer in the second Ashes Test against England at Lord’s. Smith was batting on 80 on the fourth day on Saturday when he was struck by a bouncer from fast bowler Jofra Archer, timed at 92.4 mph (148.7 kph) on the (unprotected) back of his neck. He fell prostrate on the ground for a while, took time to regather himself and was initially withdrawn by the team doctor Richard Saw for precautionary concussion testing. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhThere was widespread surprise when Smith re-emerged less than a hour later at the fall of Peter Siddle’s wicket but was finally out for 92 when he shouldered arms to a straight ball from Chris Woakes That dismissal denied Smith his third hundred in as many Ashes innings after he marked his comeback Test following a 12-month ball-tampering ban, with scores of 144 and 142 in Australia’s 251-run win at Edgbaston. Significantly, Smith was wearing a helmet without the additional stem guard neck protection introduced following the death of Phillip Hughes after his former Australia team-mate was hit by a bouncer in a 2014 domestic Sheffield Shield match in Sydney. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later”You never like seeing your players get hit like that, no doubt about that. It was obviously some pretty rough memories of a blow like that, so there’s no fun in it,” Langer said later. Asked whether he thought neck guards should be made mandatory for the players, Langer said, “It might be my error but I didn’t realise they weren’t mandatory until today. At the moment the players have a choice, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they become mandatory in the future.” The former Australia opener feels that Smith will have to wear a neck guard on his helmet in future whether he likes it or not. “I think Steve wrote in his book he just doesn’t like or feel comfortable (with a stem guard). He’s got all these idiosyncrasies everyone’s talking about — he doesn’t like having shoelaces he can see, doesn’t like his shoes being dirty, so it’s the same, it just doesn’t feel right,” the coach said. “I’m sure after today it will get talked about again, I know they came in after the tragedy of Hughesy. So I’m sure it will get talked about, and he might rethink it now after seeing what happened today, but you would have to ask him that.” Langer also revealed that Smith insisted on going back to bat after he retired following the blow on the back of his back, protesting that he needed to be given the chance to make a century at the home of cricket. The coach said Australia had not taken an undue risk in allowing Smith to resume his innings. “He had the concussion testing and passed all that and that’s why he came back out to bat. These are like my sons alright, so you’re never going to put them in harm’s way, even though you’re always in harm’s way with Test cricket.last_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh on Thursday approved a proposal to declare ocean energy as renewable energy. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has clarified to all stakeholders that energy produced using various forms of ocean energy, such as tidal, wave, ocean thermal energy conversion, shall be considered as renewable energy and shall be eligible for meeting non-solar renewable purchase obligations (RPO), a statement by the MNRE said. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThis step has been taken by the MNRE after some renewable energy developers sought clarification in this regard, according to the statement. Under the RPO, distribution companies (discoms) are required to have certain proportion of clean energy supplies. The proportion is fixed by state power regulators. The discoms can also buy renewable energy certificates in lieu of mandated clean energy supplies, from the developers or renewable power generators. Oceans cover 70 per cent of the earth’s surface and represent an enormous amount of energy in the form of wave, tidal, marine current and thermal gradient.last_img read more

first_imgIt is common for wildfires to occur in dry seasons, Brazil is no exception, nor is burning parts of forest a practice. But the flaming rain forests of Amazonia tell a grave story this time, one that has repercussions on the entire planet at large and its climate. In Brazil, forest fires are deliberately started in efforts to illegally deforest land for cattle ranching. Dry season only provides favourable conditions for the rapid spread of fire. These man-made fires in the world’s largest rainforest are of the intensity that the smokes have not only enveloped the region and blocked out sunlight but have even wafted thousands of miles away to the Atlantic coast. Amid concerns over this deliberate destruction of the environment that houses a biodiversity hotspot, there is also the question of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s policies for his largely anti-environment stance and the damaging impact it is showing. The rainforest has been ablaze for the past several days at an alarming rate for both governments and environmentalists alike across the world. Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research has reported that forest fires in the region have doubled since 2013 and have increased by 84 per cent compared to the same period last year. This year alone, there have been 72,843 fires and more than 9,500 of those have happened over the past few days. It is widely attributed to the Bolsonaro government’s anti-environment rhetoric that farmers are emboldened to organised a ‘fire day’ along BR-163, a highway that runs through the heart of the rainforest. With this as a method, the farmers also set ablaze forests to get the government’s attention to clear pastures for their livestock. The climate of that region is not extreme dry, the kind to make a fire break out on its own, but dry enough to spread fast after it is induced by humans, whether accidentally or deliberately. The Amazon fires, as a result, have taken on such a huge proportion that they are visible from space. NASA released images on August 11 showing the expanse of the spread of fires and reported that its satellites had detected heightened fire activity in July and August. There have been more than twice as many fires in Brazil this year as there were over the same period in 2013. French President Emmanuel Macron being vocal on the issue said the fires in the Amazon are an “international crisis” and called for this matter to be top on the agenda at the G7 summit. “Our house is burning. Literally,” He expressed through a tweet. Obviously, this prompted a furious response from the Brazilian leadership. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is a right-wing nationalist who bristles at the idea of foreign interference in the Brazilian Amazon, took exception to his French counterpart’s comments and responded by accusing Macron of using this matter for personal political mileage. He went on to say that calls to discuss the fires at G7 summit in Biarritz, in which Brazil is not participating, evoke “a misplaced colonialist mindset”. Also Read – A compounding difficultyThe Amazonian rainforest is a repository of rich biodiversity and is a vital carbon store that slows down the pace of global warming. It produces one-fifth of the world’s oxygen and about 20 per cent of its freshwater, as per a World Wide Fund for Nature estimate. It is also home to about three million species of plants and animals, and one million indigenous communities whose lives and homelands are under threat given the persistent encroachment by the Brazil government, local farmers, foreign corporations, and other governments with economic interests in the resource-rich region. Satellite data published by the INPE have shown an increase of 85 per cent this year in fires across Brazil, most of them in the Amazon region. Conservationists are together in holding Bolsonaro’s government responsible for Amazon’s plight, explaining that his policies have encouraged loggers and farmers to clear the land at the cost of the environment. The French President and host of the G7 summit of some of the world’s most advanced economies, has emphasised and reiterated that the health of the Amazon was a matter of international concern. The Brazilian President said in response that he was open to dialogue about the fires if it was “based on objective data and mutual respect”, but hit out at the calls for it to be discussed at the G7 summit. In a 2017 study, the University of Leeds found that carbon intake by the Amazon basin matches the emissions released by nations in the basin. The burning of forests, therefore, implies additional carbon emissions. Subsequent research suggests that further deforestation could lead to the Amazon’s transformation from the world’s largest rainforest to a savanna and this would reverse the region’s ecology, and in turn, making a near-irreversible impact on human lives in general. The rain produced by the Amazon travels through the region to the Andes mountain range. Moisture from the Atlantic falls on the rainforest, and eventually evaporates back into the atmosphere. It is established that Amazon rainforest has the ability to produce at least half of the rain it receives. This cycle is a delicate balance with impact on all the major parts of the world. There is a very urgent need to heed this balance. In a consolidated international effort, Norway and Germany have withdrawn funding for programmes that seek to stop deforestation in the Amazon and have accused Brazil of doing little to protect the forests. The example of burning Amazon explains in painful ways how the environment of a region does not belong exclusively to the region and that global climate demands combined efforts from nations.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: With ISRO saying that Chandrayaan-2 lander ‘Vikram’ is unbroken but lying tilted on the surface of the Moon after a hard landing very close to the scheduled touchdown site, space researchers and scientists in the city say there is still hope. Space reseacher Debi Prasad Duari told reporters here it is good news that ‘Vikram’ has been located and everyone is keenly waiting for detailed information. Putting the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter on its path was a remarkable feat, he said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaImages sent by the orbiter’s on-board camera showed that the lander is very close to the scheduled touchdown site. “So far we have heard it was not a case of soft landing. We do not know what is the condition inside the lander, but we know that ISRO scientists are making every bid to establish contact with it. “If different components of the lander can work as expected, if ISRO confirms that it remains unbroken and intact, that is a success in the true sense,” Duari, who is also director of M P Birla Planetarium, here said. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwaySpace scientist Sandip Chakraborty said bringing out of the rover ‘Pragyan’ from the lander and making it functional is crucial for the moon mission. “We should not give up hope (about the lander), let’s wait for more news,” he said. ‘Vikram’, which encases rover ‘Pragyan’ went out of contact during its final descent when it was just 2.1 km above the lunar surface in the early hours of September 7. Chandrayaan-2 comprises an orbiter, lander (Vikram) and rover (Pragyan).last_img read more

first_imgBrad Wall, who has served as premier of Saskatchewan for nearly a decade, has announced his retirement from politics. The leader of the province’s right-leaning Saskatchewan Party, Wall was notable for standing up for conservatism and sometimes clashing with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government as a result.Here’s a look at some notable moments of Wall’s decade-long career as premier:Criticizing Federal Carbon TaxWall has been one of the loudest critics of the federal directive for all provinces to institute either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system. Trudeau made the announcement in October 2016 while provincial environment ministers were in a climate change meeting, and Wall wasn’t happy about it.“This meeting is not worth the CO2 emissions it took for environment ministers to get there. The level of disrespect shown by the prime minister and his government today is stunning,” Wall said at the time.Wall said the tax would “kneecap” the struggling Canadian economy, and argued the focus should be on technological solutions for emissions like carbon capture and storage.He has since said he is willing to take the federal government to court over the issue.—Standing Against PotashCorp SaleWhen a foreign company tried to purchase Saskatchewan’s PotashCorp in 2010, Wall was vehemently opposed.He called for the Conservative federal government, led by Stephen Harper, to “stand up for Canada and defend Canada’s national strategic interests” by keeping Australian-based BHP Billiton from taking over the company.He pushed his case in a stirring speech at a Regina Chamber of Commerce luncheon in October 2010.“We say yes to the national interests of our country. We say yes to fulfilling the potential of our province and our nation. We say yes to controlling the resource and our future. We say yes to Canada’s century,” Wall implored. “That big hope and grand vision requires, on this occasion, a modicum of courage and one little word — no.”The deal was averted in the end, a move the Conference Board of Canada said saved the province from $2 billion in lost revenue over a decade.—Calling to Halt 25,000 Syrian RefugeesWall made waves by asking Trudeau to reconsider his plan to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees, citing security as a main concern.His comments came in November 2015, on the heels of a series of terrorist attacks that took place during a single day in Paris.Wall said the large number of refugee claims to be fast-tracked by the end of the year could undermine refugee screening.“Surely we do not want to be date-driven or numbers-driven in an endeavour that may affect the safety of our citizens and the security of our country,” said Wall.—A Stalwart Supporter of PipelinesThere was at least one thing about U.S. President Donald Trump that Wall could be pleased about: his support for pipelines.President Barack Obama rejected the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry hundreds of thousands of barrels of oilsands bitumen from Alberta to Texas. Trump overturned the decision, granting approval to the pipeline.Wall said the decision was a win for both countries and said it will bring over 2,000 jobs to Saskatchewan.Wall passionately defended pipelines as the safest way to transport oil throughout his time as premier.—“Disbelief” Over Khadr SettlementWall was one of many to chime in with disapproval over the Trudeau government’s reported $10.5-million settlement with former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr.“For Omar Khadr, there ought never be an offer to ‘settle’,” Wall said in a Facebook post.“Some things are worth the legal fight.”Khadr, a Canadian citizen, was 15-years-old when he was captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan. He spent 10 years in Guantanamo Bay after allegedly killing an American special forces soldier during a fierce firefight at a compound in Afghanistan in July 2002.—last_img read more

first_imgTORONTO – Home Capital Group Inc. (TSX:HCG) says it has eliminated 65 jobs from its workforce as part of a program to cut $15 million in annual costs.The Toronto-based alternative mortgage lender says after factoring in the latest job cuts, the company’s head count has been reduced by 10 per cent since the end of June.Home Capital said Monday it cut the 65 full-time positions from its operational, sales and underwriting division.In February 2017, the company announced an expense-savings initiative called Project Expo, which targeted annual cost savings of $15 million.Home Capital says Project Expo is largely complete and it expects to achieve its goal.However, the alternative mortgage lender says it is still facing elevated expenses after a run on deposits by customers in April, following allegations by regulators that it misled investors.last_img read more

first_imgOTTAWA – Alberta’s premier says she’s worried that marijuana legalization could drive up policing and court bills her province cannot afford to pay.The justice system is already overburdened and enforcing new pot-related measures could make things worse, Rachel Notley warned in an interview with The Canadian Press.Notley said she was surprised by the recent federal proposal to levy an excise tax on recreational marijuana once it becomes legal next July, with the provinces and territories receiving just half the revenue.Alberta and other provinces have already expressed displeasure about the sharing plan, saying they should get the bulk of the revenues to cover their costs. The issue will resurface at a meeting of federal, provincial and territorial finance ministers next month.It is not reasonable to make the provinces do most of “cost-based heavy lifting” on implementing the new cannabis regime “with only a portion of the taxation,” Notley said.The federal government says legalizing recreational use will help keep marijuana out of the hands of young people while denying profits to criminal organizations. But it acknowledges the need to train and equip police to better deal with the phenomenon of drugged driving.The Trudeau government has earmarked just over $274 million to support policing and border efforts associated with legalized pot, with some of the money to be made available to the provinces.There are still many unanswered questions, including around enforcement, Notley said.“The issue with enforcement is if we don’t get it right what we do is we drive up policing and court costs quite significantly,” she said.“The justice system is stretched, and so to inject something like this in without a clear understanding of how we’re going to prosecute those things that we’re being asked to enforce could really drive a lot of costs.”In response to Notley, Liberal MP Bill Blair said Wednesday that the advent of a new approach will also mean cost reductions.“We know that each year, tens of thousands of people are charged with simple possession of cannabis,” Blair said in an interview. “Those charges will come out of the criminal justice system.”Ottawa will closely monitor the cost impacts of legalization, said Blair, parliamentary secretary to the justice and health ministers.“I think there is a very real possibility of savings but we also know it requires investment in oversight and administration and, where appropriate, enforcement,” Blair said.“That’s part of the ongoing work that we’re doing with provinces, territories and municipalities to make sure funding is available.”At the same time, cannabis producers are seeking clarity on future regulations for the recreational pot regime, noting they need to make critical decisions now on everything from fonts to layout for future packages.The federal government released a nearly 70-page consultation document late Tuesday that shed more light on proposed regulations including strict limitations for colour, graphs and font size for products.Canopy Growth Corp. president Mark Zekulin said Wednesday his company is already preparing mock-ups for products ahead of marijuana’s legalization, adding that key details remain unknown. The lack of information means the company has to play a guessing game, he said.“If you had all the information now, you could prepare a jar, for example, with elements already pre-printed on it,” Zekulin said.“These are the choices that we will need to make and frankly we’ll still need to make them now, there will just be a lot of risk that we make the wrong choice.”In its consultation document, Health Canada also proposed mandatory health warnings similar to those on tobacco products.The document will be open to public input for 60 days.A Health Canada official said Wednesday the department is looking at creating standardized requirements for all packages and labels for cannabis products while it also allows the industry some space to provide consumer information as part of efforts to undercut the black market.The department’s goal is to publish an additional document by winter to summarize the key results of the consultations and provide details in areas including packaging and labelling, the official said.— Follow @JimBronskill and @kkirkup on Twitterlast_img read more

first_imgHALIFAX – Nova Scotia will eliminate the province’s seven English language school boards and remove principals and vice-principals from the teachers union as part of sweeping changes to the education system, the government announced Wednesday.Education Minister Zach Churchill said the Liberal government’s decision to adopt all 22 recommendations included in a report by consultant Avis Glaze will change the education system “for the better” and improve student success.The initial phase will see the province move on 11 recommendations, including the elimination of the elected boards.“Dr. Glaze has challenged us to take a hard look … and move forward in a way that is challenging and that is disruptive to the status quo,” said Churchill.He said the regional school boards will be replaced by a single appointed provincial advisory council, while the Acadian school board would remain intact, as recommended.Churchill said the details on dissolving the boards are still a work in progress and would have to wait until changes to the Education Act are tabled in the legislature.He said the intent is to have the new advisory council in place in time for the next school year in September. Churchill said there would be no layoff notices issued to central board staff, while cuts to the administrative structure of school boards would eventually occur through attrition.He said the change is needed to mend what’s become a fractured administrative system.“It has not allowed us to respond or adapt as quickly as we need to, to the changing and developing needs of our kids. By unifying that system operationally, I think that will give us a better opportunity to do that.”In a report released Tuesday, Glaze said Nova Scotia’s education system is not working as it should because of a “lack of clarity and coherence” and its administration should be aligned into a single model.Hank Middleton, president of the Nova Scotia School Boards Association, said while the boards realize change is needed, it shouldn’t be at the expense of the elected bodies.Middleton said the government is moving the province from “educational democracy to educational bureaucracy.”“This is a major change with long-term implications and no guarantee of saving any funding or giving people more voice,” he said. “It drives me crazy that in the province of Joseph Howe and responsible government we’re eliminating elected school boards.”However, Glaze’s report argues that the high number of acclaimed candidates and relatively low voter turnout make it difficult to argue school boards are “high-functioning models of local democracy.”Glaze said results from the October 2016 school board elections showed 63 per cent of candidates were acclaimed.“It would certainly be challenging to paint that as a portrait of a vibrant democracy in action,” she wrote.In recommendations that were dismissed by the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, Glaze also called for a provincial college of educators aimed at giving teachers more professional standing and improving public confidence in the education system.She also said principals and vice-principals should be moved into a new professional association to eliminate the “conflict of interest” that exists with both management and employees being in the same union.Churchill said the government has the authority to make that change.“But I don’t want that to be interpreted to mean that we are not going to be working with them (the union) through the transition,” said Churchill.The minister said the government would likely make up any “shortfall” in union dues so as not to put it at a financial disadvantage.Union president Liette Doucet called the government’s offer of transitional help “insulting” and said the union will consider what options are available to fight the proposed change.“The union will not sell its members — we are not going to take a bribe from this government,” Doucet said.last_img read more

first_imgBERLIN – A Russian-Canadian member of the protest group Pussy Riot is being treated in Berlin after falling severely ill, with fellow activists alleging he was poisoned.Pyotr Verzilov was flown to the German capital late Saturday.Verzilov was first hospitalized in Moscow on Tuesday and had remained in intensive care, Pussy Riot members said this week.Maria Alekhina, a member of the group, told The Associated Press that he regained consciousness Friday.Verzilov, his partner Veronika Nikulshina and two other Pussy Riot members served 15-day jail sentences for running onto field in Moscow where soccer’s World Cup final was being played in July.A spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says the ministry is monitoring the situation closely.“Canada is concerned by the situation of Canadian citizen Pyotr Verzilov,” Adam Austen said Sunday in an email.“Minister Freeland has spoken to his family. And officials stand ready to provide consular assistance to Mr. Verzilov and his family,” Austen said.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said consular officials are “engaged with this situation,” but that it was too early to draw conclusions about how Verzilov had fallen ill.A spokesman for the prime minister said Sunday that Trudeau’s position remained unchanged.last_img read more

first_imgTORONTO – Cases of seasonal influenza have already begun to show up in Canada, and public health officials say that means it’s time to get that jab in the arm — not only to prevent the flu for yourself but also to help avoid spreading the nasty respiratory bug to others.This year’s flu shot is expected to be much more effective than last season’s, which ended up being a poor match for the predominant circulating strain, known as A-H3N2, said Dr. Michelle Murti of Public Health Ontario.Murti said the 2018-2019 vaccine should be a better match, as the H3N2 component has been changed to reflect what’s predicted to be this season’s dominant type of that strain.The standard flu shot provides protection against H3N2, another A strain called H1N1, and two B strains — Victoria and Yamagata. The vaccine is intended for most adults, as well as children six months of age and older. For needle-adverse kids, parents can instead opt for immunization with FluMist, a nasal product that targets the same four strains.A high-dose shot is available for seniors aged 65-plus, who are often at higher risk for severe complications from influenza, which in some cases can be fatal.“Mostly what we’re concerned about is that H3N2 component. That’s the one that can be quite severe for seniors particularly,” said Murti.“The question is what kind of a season are we going to see this year? We’ve had two years in a row of H3N2 seasons. So I think some of the predictions around what we might be seeing this year is that we might be back to an H1N1 season.”That’s been the experience in Australia, as the Southern Hemisphere comes to the end of its influenza season.“They’ve had a predominantly H1N1 season — very, very mild,” she said, a massive change from the previous year, when Australia recorded more than 250,000 laboratory-confirmed cases and 1,255 deaths due to flu, up from about 90,000 cases and 464 fatalities in 2016, mostly driven by H3N2 infections.“We hope that we might follow them this year,” Murti said of this year’s experience Down Under. “We think that people do have a good amount of immunity against H3N2, which we’ve had for the last two seasons.”The 2017-18 season in Canada was a bit of an anomaly, surprising even some influenza experts. Not only was there a high number of cases of H3N2 starting in the fall, but there was a late winter-early spring surge of influenza B cases.Despite the hope that this country may duplicate Australia’s flu season, Murti said Canadians shouldn’t assume there’s no point in getting vaccinated.“We never know exactly what we’re going to get,” she said. “Was it milder in Australia because people also got vaccinated and they got vaccinated against H1N1?“So I think we can’t be complacent around trying to get the best protection we can. No matter what type of flu you get, it can be quite severe for many people and especially if you’re somebody who’s at risk for complications of influenza.”Complications include sinus and ear infections, pneumonia, and inflammation of the heart or brain, which can land an infected person in the hospital and in some cases even result in death.Those most vulnerable to complications include very young children, the elderly, people with underlying heart and respiratory conditions, and those with weakened immune systems.But there are always those who choose not to get vaccinated out of fear.For kids — and even some adults — with an aversion to needles, one pharmacy chain has come up with a way to help take the sting out of the flu shot.Whole Health Pharmacy Partners, a national network of independent pharmacies, has introduced a virtual reality program to provide a distraction while baring one’s arm for the dreaded jab.Participating pharmacies offer a list of 10 YouTube videos that can be accessed via the patient’s cellphone and viewed through virtual reality goggles provided by the stores.“The patient chooses whether they want to be immersed in a room full of puppies or they want to go into a diving experience with dolphins or space exploration or a beach in the Maldives,” said Saleema Bhaidani, director of pharmacy innovation and professional affairs for Whole Health.“The good thing about virtual reality is that you put this headset on them, they’re completely immersed, so they can’t see the needle,” she said.“So if you distract them from looking at (the needle), that can decrease the perception of pain quite dramatically.”Ontario, which began rolling out its publicly funded flu immunization program Oct. 22, is already receiving reports of influenza cases in some regions of the province and has recorded its first few outbreaks in long-term care facilities.In its latest FluWatch report ending the week of Oct. 20, the Public Health Agency of Canada says there was increasing influenza activity across the country, although the case numbers were at what’s called “interseasonal” levels, with H1N1 the most common circulating strain.But as the country moves closer to winter, Canadians can expect the sounds of sneezing and hacking to ratchet up as the annual flu fest gets fully underway, say public health physicians, who would like to see the number of Canadians laid low by the virus dramatically curtailed.And that means getting the flu shot, stressed Murti. “It’s the best protection you can have.”— Follow @SherylUbelacker on Twitter.last_img read more

first_imgOTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to shuffle his cabinet today to account for the sudden resignation of Nova Scotia MP Scott Brison from his post as Treasury Board president.The shuffle is expected to be a small one, affecting as few cabinet ministers as possible just months ahead of the fall federal election.Insiders confirm that Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott will take over for Brison, and Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan is also on the move.He has cancelled an event that was set to take place today in his home province of Newfoundland and Labrador.The prime minister also must elevate a legislator from Nova Scotia to cabinet to make up for the void Brison leaves.Political observers have speculated that person will likely be either Sean Fraser or Bernadette Jordan — possibly taking over for O’Regan at Veterans Affairs.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

first_imgOTTAWA — Canada’s director of public prosecutions is firing a new volley at SNC-Lavalin that could hobble the company’s ongoing legal fight for a special settlement agreement over alleged corruption in Libya.The prosecutor wants the Federal Court of Appeal to strike out a key element of the construction and engineering firm’s challenge of a ruling that went against the company.Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin faces corruption and fraud charges related to business deals in Libya from 2001 to 2011.The company unsuccessfully pressed the director of prosecutions to negotiate a “remediation agreement,” a legal means of holding an organization to account for wrongdoing without a formal finding of guilt.In a March ruling, a judge tossed out the firm’s plea for a judicial review of the 2018 decision.SNC-Lavalin is appealing the judge’s ruling, pointing to recent revelations from parliamentary committee testimony to bolster its arguments.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

first_imgGATINEAU, Que. — Police say a Quebec man who stole women’s clothing from clotheslines also left them a note with his contact details saying he was interested in buying their underwear or swimwear.A 28-year-old man was arrested Thursday in connection with at least six cases in Gatineau and police are asking anyone else who might have been a victim to come forward.Police say the suspect allegedly left a note on victims’ windshields or near their homes, saying he was interested in buying their underwear or swimwear and to contact him directly.The suspect allegedly said he was particularly interested in their underwear.Police say in some cases, the thefts took place from backyards in the middle of the night.The man is expected to appear in court on charges of criminal harassment, break-and-enter and theft.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

first_imgPeter Andre is calling on his fans to get creative, have fun and sign up as one of ’Pete’s Champions’ to raise money for Cancer Research UK’s Peter Andre Fund to beat cancer sooner.Peter Andre Encourages Fans To Raise Money For Pete’s ChampionsThe Peter Andre Fund launched after the Andre family lost Peter’s brother, Andrew, to kidney cancer in late 2012. Peter was flooded with offers of support from loyal fans and wanted to inspire them to raise funds for Cancer Research UK’s ‘Cancer Awareness Roadshow’ which takes information about cancer out to people in their own communities.Pete’s Champions Can Raise Money However They LikePete’s Champions is an initiative that encourages Peter’s fans and supporters to raise money in a variety of ways and share their fundraising activities with Peter and other Champions through social media.Peter Andre Hosts A Bake Sale For Pete’s ChampionsLaunched last year, #PetesChampions saw an army of supporters come together to fundraise and raise awareness of the importance of spotting cancer early. Money-can’t-buy giftsinspired hundreds of people to dance, don fancy-dress, host bake sales and Kung Fu kick their way to raising a whopping £100,000. This year, Peter is asking his fans to help him beat that amount by encouraging their colleagues, friends and family to be imaginative, get involved and raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK’s lifesaving work.Champions can do anything from sponsored runs to jumble sales, or give up something they love for a week. Gifts rewarded to Champions are: • Platinum Champion, over £5,000 raised – a private meet and greet with Peter, signed piece of merchandise, thank you video message from Peter, letter and Foundation wristband• Gold Champion, over £2,000 raised – a group meet and greet with Peter, signed piece of merchandise, thank you video message from Peter, letter and Foundation wristband• Silver Champion, over £500 raised – receives a thank you video message from Peter, signed piece of merchandise, letter and Foundation wristband• Bronze Champion, over £100 raised – receives a letter from Peter and one of his Foundation wristbandsPeter said: “Last year my wonderful Champions raised a phenomenal amount. This year we want to smash that total and I want to see how creative people can be in their fundraising. We’ve seen people dance, do three legged races, run marathons, bake cakes – you can do anything! All the money raised will help Cancer Research UK’s ‘Cancer Awareness Roadshow’ continue the amazing work they do, bringing information to people in their own communities that will educate them and help them spot cancer early.”On board Cancer Research UK’s ‘Cancer Awareness Roadshow’, members of the public can speak to Cancer Research UK’s trained cancer awareness nurses about prevention, screening and how to spot cancer early. Visitors will also be provided with information about health services in their local area and how to reduce their risk of the disease.Early diagnosis of cancer saves lives, so if people spot cancer early, before it’s had time to spread or grow too big, it’s nearly always easier to treat successfully. The nurses on board will encourage people to get checked by their doctor if they’re worried about any changes to their body, with the message ‘know your body, know what’s right for you’.For more information, or to sign up to become a Champion, please visit: peterandre.com/petes-champions. The deadline for fundraising is March 16th 2015.last_img read more

first_imgOver the past 18 months Animal Defenders International (ADI) has assisted the Government of Peru with enforcement of their national ban on wild animal circuses and illegal wildlife.Over 100 animals have been saved from entertainment and the illegal wildlife trade including lions, bears, a tiger, mountain lion, birds and dozens of monkeys.Next month, ADI will charter a huge cargo aircraft and fly 33 ex-circus lions – 24 from Peru and 9 from Colombia – home to Africa. The lions have led such tragic lives that it is not possible to release them into the wild; almost all have suffered from having their front toes cut off to remove their claws and many have had their teeth smashed. The lions will be taken care of for life at Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa.The airlift, the biggest of its kind ever, will cost $10,000 for each lion and ADI is calling for sponsorship for each of the 33 lions. Meet the lions here.James Bond actor Roger Moore has urged people to contribute to the fund, model Twiggy has donated and US TV legend Bob Barker’s DJ&T Foundation helped kick-start the search and rescue mission with a contribution.California’s Oakland Zoo, which has long campaigned against wild animals in circuses, has immediately pledged $10,000 for one lion’s airfare and hopes to raise enough in the Bay Area to help more lions.Colleen Kinzley, Director of Animal Care, Conservation & Research at Oakland Zoo said “We are so excited to support ADI in the transport of thirty-three rescued lions to sanctuary in Africa. Having spent their lives in terrible captive conditions, forced to perform, abused, and neglected they will finally have the opportunity to live out their lives with peace and dignity. Please donate whatever you can to help transport these majestic animals to their forever home.”Facebook Group Lion Lovers has also raised the airfare to get a lion home.Diane Miller, from Florida who runs Facebook Group Lion Lovers: “I started my own Facebook group Lion Lovers several years ago, my love for lions started by watching BBC’s Big Cat Diary and following the lions of the Maasai Mara. I had raised $1,000 for the Global March for Lions and was asked if I could raise funds for the ADI lions and I said I would give it a go never dreaming we would raise $26,000!”Lion Lovers 7,500 members followed each rescue and kept donating as each lion was rescued. The group shares stunning images of wild lions and over a dozen top wildlife photographers offered images for auction to help the battered Peruvian and Colombian lions home. The group adopted a male called Rey rescued with five other lions from a circus in the historic Andean town of Cuzco.Diane: “I actually flew to Peru in October and got to meet Jan and the ADI crew, and all the lions including Rey. It was an amazing experience, one I will never forget. So proud to be associated with this amazing organization, they are focused and get the job done!”ADI President Jan Creamer said, “After such sad, desperate lives, these lions deserve to live in peace under the African sun. It is a huge challenge, so we need all the support we can get – each lion’s ticket is $10,000 so there is room for everyone to pitch in and help get a lion home.”Two crowdfunding sites have taken up the cause this week:LoveAnimals.org has so far raised $500 of a $33,000 target towards the lion flightThe Animal Rescue Site on GreaterGood.com is seeking to raise $10,000 to fly one of the oldest lions called Leo the 6,900 miles from Peru to Africa – a donation of $7.25 gets Leo another 5 miles closer.ADI also has a range of sponsorship options available. A donation of $10,000 to cover a lion’s full airfare will be acknowledged with placement of 10 large logos (or a name or message) on a lion’s travel crate. For $100 someone can sign up for the “People’s Lion Ticket” and have their name alongside 99 others on a travel crate.Jan Creamer: “This is a way for people to show their support and be involved in this historic animal rescue. A dream ending is in sight for these lions and with every donation they are a step closer to a life back in the African bush where they belong.last_img read more

first_imgMeredith Corporation, the leading media and marketing company serving 100 million American women and 72 percent of U.S. millennial women, today announced that Natalie Morales, TODAY show News Anchor and Third-Hour Co-Host; Erica Hill, NBC News’ Anchor and National Correspondent; and Carolyn Manno, NBC Olympics Host, will host and run the 2016 MORE/SHAPE Women’s Half-Marathon and kick off one of the largest women’s-only half-marathons in the country.The race, held by Meredith’s SHAPE magazine in conjunction with the New York Road Runners (NYRR), will take place on Sunday, April 17, and draw 10,000 female runners and walkers of all ages, from around the world, to New York’s Central Park.Morales and Hill are returning for the second year, after hosting the 2015 MORE/SHAPE Women’s Half-Marathon and completing the race in an impressive 1:38:59 and 2:06:52, respectively.“We’re so excited to have Natalie, Erica and Carolyn join us for our 13th annual race,” says Elizabeth Goodman Artis, Editor-in-Chief of SHAPE. “Their positive energy, and passion for health and fitness make them the perfect race hosts, and our runners will be thrilled to run alongside them on race day.”Morales, Hill and Manno will be joined on race day by more than 30 TODAY and NBC Olympics staff members, running as on behalf of Team Run for TODAY and Team NBC Olympics.In addition, Jennifer Storms, Chief Marketing Officer of NBC Sports Group, will be honored as part of the first-ever Women Run the World Relay & Mentorship Program. The program celebrates the 13th anniversary of the 13.1-mile race by recognizing 13 notable female leaders and highlighting the importance of supporting, inspiring and empowering the next generation of women. Additional honorees include Sara Bareilles, Danielle Brooks and Padma Lakshmi.To watch the hosts kick off the partnership on TODAY, click here.Race sponsors include Danskin Now, Lane Bryant, Maui Jim and Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Co. CARE, a leading humanitarian organization that empowers women and girls around the globe, serves as the Charity Partner. Bloomingdale’s serves as the Retail Partner.On race day, supporters and spectators are invited to cheer on the runners along the course in Central Park, and visit the Race Day Festival at Naumburg Bandshell to enjoy live music, free samples, giveaways, fun activities and more. There will also be an awards ceremony following the race to celebrate the runners and Women Run the World honorees.To register for the 2016 MORE/SHAPE Women’s Half-Marathon, click here. For race details and additional information, click here.last_img read more

first_imgOn Thursday, October 27, Annie Lennox received The Lovie Person of the Year Award in recognition of her relentless use of social media to leverage her platform and outreach to create a better world for others.Gwendoline Christie, Presenter for Annie Lennox for Lovie Person of the YearThe Lovie Awards sighted Annie as an example that the Internet can be utilised as a highly effective tool to amplify messaging in terms of global advocacy and activism including her work supporting organisations such as Oxfam, Amnesty International, Comic Relief, Greenpeace, 46664, UNAIDS and The British Red Cross, among countless others, as well as promoting gender empowerment through the organisation she founded, The Circle.ngo, for which Gwendoline Christie supports as an Ambassador.Annie was unable to attend, but the award was presented and accepted on Lennox’s behalf by Game of Thrones actress, Gwendoline Christie, who read a speech prepared by Annie.“The Internet is one of the most powerful visionary inventions ever created – and I think one of the ways it truly works best is when we use it to connect, inform and inspire engagement towards positive social and political transformation,” she said in her speech. “As a performer, communicator, advocate for women and girls and Global Feminist, I am awed by the extraordinary potential of technology ­ which has given me the opportunity to evolve from the semi Luddite I once was, to the absolute Lovie I have now become!”last_img read more

first_imgOn Earth Day, April 22, Earth Day Network and March for Science will together host the March for Science Earth Day 2017 on the National Mall in Washington, DC.Starting at 8am ET, scientists, guest speakers, musical performers and others will come for a rally, teach-ins, and special programming. Together at 2pm, these concerned citizens will march to the Capitol to defend the vital role science plays in our world.“It is no coincidence that Earth Day, April 22, marks the March for Science and the first anniversary of the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement,” said Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network. “Since its inception, Earth Day has served as a day of action and mobilization. Without science, there would be no Earth Day, which is why Earth Day Network is partnering with March for Science for the Earth Day March for Science Rally and Teach-Ins on the National Mall.”“We’re excited for this event that brings together people from all walks of life to stand up for science together,” said Valorie Aquino, co-chair of the March for Science. “Through my work as a scientific researcher, I see how sound science and the relationship of science’s services to society are at risk. Science can improve and save lives, and that’s why scientists, doctors, mothers and fathers, teachers, students, and concerned folks around the globe feel compelled to act on April 22. So much is at stake.”Featured Guests Will Include: • Questlove (co-host) – Drummer, DJ, producer, culinary entrepreneur, New York Times best-selling author, multiple Grammy winner and member of The Roots – Questlove, is the unmistakable heartbeat of Philadelphia’s most influential hip-hop group. He is the Musical Director for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where his beloved Roots crew serves as house band. • Derek Muller (co-host)– Australian-Canadian science communicator, filmmaker and television presenter best known for creating the YouTube channel Veritasium • Jon Batiste and Stay Human (house band leader) – Batiste is music director and bandleader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert • James Balog – Founder, Extreme Ice Survey and Earth Vision Institute • Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha — A pediatrician and public health advocate in Flint, Michigan, whose findings about lead exposure in Flint’s children help expose the crisis there • Bill Nye – CEO of The Planetary Society, a partner organization of the march, and science educator • Cara Santa Maria – Award-winning journalist, science communicator, television personality, producer and podcaster (who will interview attendees on-site for live integration into the show) • Megan Smith – First female U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Assistant to the President under Barack Obama; previously a vice president at Google, Smith is also an award-winning entrepreneur and engineer • Lydia Villa-Komaroff – Co-founder of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), a march partner, and biologist who made critical contributions to producing insulin from bacteriaLeadership from the groups co-organizing the event, Earth Day Network and March For Science are available for interviews. For more information including updates on speakers, performers, and special guests, please visit earthday.org and marchforscience.com, and follow the hashtags #marchforscience and #EarthDay2017.last_img read more

first_imgADCOLOR, the premier organization celebrating and promoting professionals of color and diversity in the creative industries, will return to Los Angeles with their 11th Annual ADCOLOR Awards at The Loews Hotel Hollywood Hotel on Tuesday, September 19.The event will be hosted by Aisha Tyler, honorees include All-Star Award recipient Jesse Williams (Actor & Activist), Advocate Award recipient Wilson Cruz (“13 Reasons Why” Star and Activist), Catalyst Award recipient Elaine Welteroth (Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue), presenters include Lena Waithe (Actress, “Master of None), Laz Alonso (Actor, “The Mysteries of Laura”), Janet Mock (Author, “Surpassing Certainty”), with ADCOLOR Founder & President Tiffany R. Warren, and more.The ADCOLOR Award Nominees and Honorees are carefully selected from a large population of diverse influencers across the creative industries. The finalists are chosen by the individual’s representation of ADCOLOR’s motto, “Rise Up and Reach Back”. Those honored not only excel in their own careers, but also give back to the community and support their peers. Their goal is to create a network of diverse professionals to encourage and celebrate one another. Please click here for a list of all honorees and nominees.The event is generously presented Omnicom Group and GSD&M, with Diamond Sponsors ADWEEK, Apple, DIAGEO, Google and YouTube, and OATH: A Verizon Company; Platinum Sponsors Apple Music, Bing Ads, DAS Group of Companies, Edelman, and Facebook; Gold Sponors Squeaky and Wieden+Kennedy; Silver Sponsors 72andSunny, BBDO, BET, DigitasLBI, Pandora, and Twitter; Supporting Sponsors Anomaly, Beats by Dr. Dre, Bloomberg, CBS Entertainment Diversity, DDB Worldwide, Ogilvy, OmnicomMediaGroup, OWN, Publicis Groupe, Spotify, TBWA\, and TBWA\Media Arts Lab; Table Sponsors Deutsch, GTB, HBO, IPG, Neustar, and Procter & Gamble.WHEN: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 Media Check-In – 5:00 PMRed Carpet/Cocktail Reception – 5:30 PMAwards Presentation/Dinner – 7:00 PMWHERE: The Loews Hollywood Hotel1755 N Highland Ave.Los Angeles, CA 90028last_img read more