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MONTREAL — Jurors hearing the case of a Montreal man accused in the killing of his ailing wife will have to weigh two possible verdicts.Quebec Superior Court Justice Helene Di Salvo told the eight-man, four-woman jury that they must find Michel Cadotte guilty — the only question is whether his crime was second-degree murder or manslaughter.The judge is giving final instructions to jurors today after which they will be sequestered until they reach a unanimous verdict.Cadotte is charged with second-degree murder in the February 2017 death of Jocelyne Lizotte, his wife of 19 years.Lizotte, 60, was suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s disease and was unable to care for herself. Cadotte had been told about a year before the slaying that his wife did not qualify for a medically assisted death because she couldn’t consent and was not considered to be at the end of her life.Di Salvo’s instructions come two years to the day after Lizotte was suffocated with a pillow in her long-term care bed.Cadotte’s lawyers argued that their client was in a depressed state of mind and unable to cope after watching Lizotte suffer for nine years.The Crown has countered that Cadotte understood the impact of his actions and intended to kill Lizotte when he held the pillow over her face.The Canadian Press
Five stories in the news for Tuesday, May 14———B.C. MONEY-LAUNDERING PROBE MUST BE FOCUSED: EXPERTA former attorney general who led a provincial public inquiry into missing and murdered women says the British Columbia government needs to set clear goals and a firm timeline if it launches an inquiry into money laundering. Wally Oppal says inquiries can be very valuable, adding that police now investigate missing women far differently than they did in the years when serial killer Robert Pickton was preying on vulnerable women. But before the government establishes an inquiry, it should ask itself what questions need to be answered and set a definite end date, otherwise they “can go on forever.” Calls for an inquiry have been mounting since a report last week estimated $7.4 billion was laundered in the province last year.———‘JEOPARDY!’ HOST ALEX TREBEK VISITS OTTAWACanadian “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek recently completed what he hopes will be his last chemotherapy treatment, he told the Royal Canadian Geographical Society Monday afternoon as he helped open the group’s new headquarters in Ottawa. Trebek, who is the society’s honorary president, announced in March that he has advanced pancreatic cancer. Trebek says he was disappointed all the Canadian NHL teams had been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs, before noting the country’s pro-sports championship hopes are still very much alive thanks to the Toronto Raptors. Later in the evening, Trebek fought back tears as he thanked the society for the outpouring of support he’s received since announcing his cancer diagnosis.———TORIES ACCUSE LIBERALS OF POLITICIZING TERRORThe federal Tories are accusing the Trudeau government of playing politics by stripping specific references to specific religious groups from its annual report on terrorism. Conservative public-safety critic Pierre Paul-Hus suggested to the House of Commons national-security committee Monday that the Liberals bowed to “pressure tactics” simply to avoid offending anyone. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the government removed the terms “Sikh,” “Sunni” and “Shia” from the report when referring to extremism to avoid conveying the impression that an entire religion or community is a threat to national security. He told the committee it was not a partisan issue but rather an effort to be accurate, precise and fair in conveying information about terrorist threats.———ONTARIO PLANS TO AXE ENHANCED LICENCESOntario is proposing to eliminate an enhanced driver’s licence that allows people to enter the United States at land and water border crossings without a passport. The driver’s licence option was introduced in 2009, when the U.S. required passports or other secure identification for anyone crossing into the country by land or sea, but it hasn’t had the anticipated uptake. British Columbia and Manitoba have enhanced driver’s licences, and Quebec used to, but phased out the program — other provinces rejected the idea because it was too costly or there wasn’t enough public interest. Ministry of Transportation spokesman Bob Nichols says about 60,000 people currently have the secure ID out of 10.2 million drivers in Ontario.———TORONTO SCHOOL BOARD GRAPPLES WITH BUDGET SHORTFALLCanada’s largest school board says it may have to eliminate jobs, some programs and end some student busing to address a multimillion-dollar funding gap created by provincial cuts. The Toronto District School Board’s education director laid out the proposals that could help eliminate a $67-million budget shortfall — $42 million caused by a cut from the Ontario government. John Malloy says the board could stop busing French immersion, cut some learning centre staff jobs, and administrator roles to find savings. The director called the budget process “very challenging” but says staff are not recommending substantial changes to special education funding, school safety, and equity and diversity programs.———ALSO IN THE NEWS:— The youth from Kingston, Ont., charged with terror-related offences is due to make an appearance in court via video conference.— Robert Andrew Leeming to appear in court on second-degree murder charges in the deaths of Calgary woman Jasmine Lovett and her toddler daughter.— Trial begins for Calgary police Const. Trevor Lindsay on a charge of aggravated assault. It’s alleged that he repeatedly punched a suspect and threw him into the pavement, causing a brain injury. The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The United Nations is urging Canada to help ease Mexico’s refugee burden by helping resettle some of the most vulnerable of its new arrivals, including women, children and LGBTQ people.Mexico is feeling the squeeze from an unprecedented exodus of people fleeing Central American countries and some of the worst violence from nations not at actually war is forcing families northward.“Our pitch to Canada is to do more,” said Mark Manly, the Mexico representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.Manly was in Ottawa earlier this month for meetings with the federal government to look for ways for Canada to help resettle more of the migrants that have arrived in Mexico.The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border, with President Donald Trump branding the caravans of migrants as being laced with violent criminals bent on destabilizing his country.Canada, Mexico and the U.S. are pushing to have their new version of the North American Free Trade Agreement ratified soon as Vice-President Mike Pence visits Ottawa this week to give that a renewed push.Asylum seekers reaching Mexico from Honduras, El Salvador and Venezuela caused a 103-per-cent spike in claims in 2018 over the previous years from almost to 15,000 to about 30,000, says the UNHCR.Manly said that many migrants have good settlement prospects in Mexico because of its growing economy and need for foreign labour, but women and girls fleeing gang violence as well as members of the transgender and gay communities need to be resettled elsewhere because they are not safe.The UNHCR wants to “take the pressure off Mexican authorities to take care of this kind of profile and resettle them to Canada,” Manly said.Criminal gangs are flourishing in Central America, he said. They extort money from the non-criminals, kill other gang members, and are constantly recruiting adolescent boys and girls.“Anyone who gets in the way is at severe risk, so entire families leave,” Manly explained. “That explains the demographic change.”Canada is already “doing a few things in terms of technical support for the Mexican asylum system, resettlement of people who face extreme protection risks in the region,” he added, including helping resettle LGBTQ applicants.“These are countries that are close by; they are countries with which Canada has close ties, Mexico being the most important of them.”A spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen was unable to provide statistics of how many Mexican asylum seekers Canada has received recently.But Lise Jolicoeur said Canada is a partner in the Rainbow Refugee Society which helps sponsor LGBTQ2 refugees from around the world. “In fact, this year we managed to sponsor 64 refugees (record-breaking),” she said in an email.The Ontario-based World Refugee Council released a report earlier this year that said the large-scale migration of Central American women, as well as unaccompanied children and adolescents, had become a major policy issue in the Western Hemisphere.“It is estimated that six out of 10 migrant women and girls are victims of sexual violence carried out by illicit actors, government authorities and intimate partners. However, most of what is known is anecdotal and there is an urgent need for a stronger evidence base in order to inform policy,” the report says.Lloyd Axworthy, the chair of the refugee council, toured Mexican refugee camps near the border city of Tijuana last year at the height of the caravan activity, and described the situation as dire and entrenched.Axworthy made “human security” a key tenet of Canadian foreign policy when he was the country’s top diplomat in the Liberal government from 1996 to 2000.“What it demonstrates is that as long as the conflicts take place and the violence going on, you’re going to have people trying to escape. And it’s going to be in our region,” he said in an interview.“We’ve been focusing on the NAFTA issue; well maybe there’s got to be some parallel discussion (on migration).”The long and occasionally bitter NAFTA renegotiation highlighted the differences on dealing with gender issues between the U.S. and its two continental partners.In the new deal’s chapter on labour rights, it calls on all three countries to “protect workers against employment discrimination on the basis of sex (including with regard to sexual harassment), pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity …”That paragraph also has a footnote that essentially gives the U.S. an out on that point, saying it need not take “any further action” to comply with that requirement. The footnote came after 40 U.S. members of Congress wrote Trump a letter in November 2018 objecting to sexual orientation and gender identity language in the trade deal.“A trade agreement is no place for the adoption of social policy,” their letter said. “It is especially inappropriate and insulting to our sovereignty to needlessly submit to social policies which the United States Congress has so far explicitly refused to accept.”Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — A Senate committee is launching an inquiry into the failed prosecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman.The Senate’s national defence committee has voted 7-5 on a motion from Conservative Sen. Jean-Guy Dagenais to examine the circumstances that led to the military’s second-in-command being suspended and charged with breach of trust.Norman’s two-year ordeal ended earlier this month when the charges were stayed.Conservatives, who allege Prime Minister Justin Trudeau politically interfered with the case, tried to get the House of Commons defence committee to initiate an investigation but the Liberals used their majority to block that effort.Conservatives had better luck Tuesday at the Senate committee, passing Dagenais’ motion with the support of independent Sen. Diane Griffin and unaffiliated Sen. David Richards.The motion calls on the committee to explore why the charges were laid and subsequently stayed, inviting Norman, Gen. Jonathan Vance, chief of defence staff, and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan to testify, along with any other witnesses it deems pertinent.The committee is to conduct its inquiry and report to the Senate by no later than June 20.Norman had been accused of leaking government secrets to Quebec’s Davie shipyard, supposedly to help it nail down a $700-million contract for a navy supply ship that had been approved by the previous Conservative government and which the new Liberal government decided to review in 2015 before eventually finalizing it.In staying the charges, Crown prosecutors told the judge that new evidence they’d received from Norman’s defence team had led them to conclude there was no reasonable chance of convicting him.Both the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and RCMP have insisted they acted independently and professionally, without any political interference.Dagenais said his motion wasn’t aimed at creating a political circus. Rather, he said it’s a chance for Norman to tell his side of the story after two years of having his reputation shredded in public.But independent Liberal Sen. Terry Mercer, who said Norman is a friend, predicted the committee inquiry will be a fishing expedition aimed at damaging the Liberals just months before this fall’s federal election.Mercer suggested the committee should also hear from officials in former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper’s office and his defence minister, Peter MacKay, who told Norman’s defence lawyers that they’d authorized the vice-admiral to stay in direct contact with Davie about the supply ship contract. He questioned why the Conservatives didn’t volunteer that information to the RCMP or prosecutors.“What bothers me about this, they knew this but they let Vice-Admiral Norman go through this for two years. You could have ended it by coming forward and saying, ‘Hold it guys, we asked him to do this, we directed him to do this, he did nothing wrong.’” A number of independent senators expressed concern that Norman may not want to face a grilling before a Senate committee after everything he’s been through. And even a Conservative senator who voted for the motion, Sen. Thomas McInnis, predicted Norman won’t accept the invitation or, if he does, will say very little because it might be injurious to a potential civil suit. .The Canadian Press
THOMPSON, Man. — A judge is expected to give a verdict today in the manslaughter trial of an RCMP officer in northern Manitoba who fired a dozen shots into a Jeep following a police chase.Crown prosecutors told the trial in Thompson that Const. Abram Letkeman made only wrong choices in the lead up to the shooting death of Steven Campbell in 2015.Court heard that 12 bullet casings were found at the scene and 39-year-old Campbell, who was drunk behind the wheel, was hit at least nine times.The defence argued that all police officers make mistakes and Letkeman thought his life was in danger because the Jeep was moving toward him.Campbell’s mother, Shirley Huber, says her family hopes the judge finds that the officer’s actions were dangerous and wrong.She says, no matter the verdict, her son’s death shows how important it is for police to have dashboard and body cameras, especially in northern communities.“There has to be a way to document what really happens on those stops and maybe it won’t happen again,” Huber said in a message online.“Maybe my son would still be alive.”Letkeman, 37, pleaded not guilty to six offences, including criminal negligence.The trial heard the officer saw the Jeep being driven erratically shortly after the bars in Thompson had closed.After a failed attempt at a traffic stop, the officer started to pursue the vehicle but did not communicate that to his supervisors.Letkeman testified that he hoped to end the chase by using his police car to bump the back of the Jeep, forcing it to rotate and stop. A use of force expert testified the move was against protocol and training, and was extremely risky.The Jeep ended up on a trail for all-terrain vehicles, where it lost control and stopped. The trial heard Letkeman’s vehicle then T-boned it.The officer testified he didn’t wait for backup and walked in front of the Jeep to do a high-risk takedown. He said the Jeep started moving toward him, so he was forced to fire.Campbell’s girlfriend, one of four passengers in the Jeep, was also shot and injured.A toxicology report showed Campbell had alcohol in his system and was almost 2 1/2 times the legal limit to drive. It also showed a small amount of cocaine.During closing arguments in June, the Crown argued that Letkeman stood in front of the vehicle and fired so that the Jeep couldn’t drive away, not because he was in danger.Prosecutor Christian Vanderhooft said nothing that Letkeman did on the night of the fatal shooting was reasonable.“Each opportunity where that should have been done, the wrong decision was made. Not just wrong — negligent.”The defence argued the officer shot his gun because he had to. Lawyer Lisa LaBossiere told the trial that every officer has made a mistake. She warned that convicting Letkeman would have “a chilling effect” on all police.Campbell’s mother said he shouldn’t have been driving if he was intoxicated, but the mistake wasn’t worth his life.Huber attended the trial and called it the hardest thing she has ever had to do. But she says she won’t be there for the verdict.She says her son was a caring father to his two kids and a kind and loving friend who would give anyone the shirt off his back.“I still miss the man he had grown up to be. A mother never gets over losing a child she carried,” she said. “I miss him every day and know I always will.”Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA (660 NEWS) — The Canadian government has launched an appeal after a court ruling in July regarding wines made on Israeli settlements in the West Bank.In July, the Federal Court ruled settlement wines labelled as ‘Product of Israel’ are “false, misleading and deceptive” as they are made on occupied Palestinian territories.After backlash from lobby groups, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has launched an appeal through Attorney General David Lametti, asking the Federal Court of Appeal to strike down the ruling.The case originally dates back to 2017, when Winnipeg-based Dr. David Kattenburg lodged a complaint against the CFIA about two wines produced in the West Bank, arguing the labels were false and in violation of consumer legislation.The Federal Court eventually agreed, adding that the labels “contravene the requirements” of consumer packaging laws and the Food and Drug Act.Now that an appeal is being launched, the lawyer who represented Dr. Kattenburg accuses the government of caving to lobbyist pressure.“It is facilitating the theft of Palestinian land,” Dimitri Lascaris said. “If somebody doesn’t want to buy a wine from an illegal Israeli settlement that constitutes a war crime, then they’re entitled to know where the wine came from so they can make a decision of conscience.”Lascaris said it was a robust decision and respectful of international laws.The international community considers the establishment of settlements on occupied land as illegal, violating a section of the Fourth Geneva Convention.Despite claims from Israel that they are not in violation of the Geneva Convention, organizations such as the United Nations Security Council and International Court of Justice say the rule does apply.Lascaris noted that even the Government of Canada recognizes the settlements are illegal.“It has openly acknowledged, and to this very day on the Global Affairs website, that the settlements are a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and a serious obstacle to peace,” he said.Part of the appeal focuses on freedom of expression on the part of the wine producers, but Lascaris also dismissed that point due to the government openly standing against the Boycott, Divestment, Sanction (BDS) movement.“They seem to want to squash our right to advocate on behalf of BDS by vilifying anybody who takes a stand that Israel should be subjected to peaceful economic sanctions just like any other human rights violator,” Lascaris said.In believing that lobby groups are pressuring the government, Lascaris is concerned this sets a dangerous precedent.“It raises serious questions about the integrity of this government and its commitment to a rules-based international order, which is something its very fond of claiming to have,” Lascaris added. “This is an affront to a rules-based international order.”Lascaris will fight against the appeal in court and expect other human rights groups such as Independent Jewish Voices Canada to jump on board.B’Nai Brith Canada also issued a statement after the appeal was filed, writing that they “welcome the Attorney-General’s move to appeal, which was the only reasonable option available to him in this case,” and will apply for intervener status.In response, the CFIA provided this statement to 660NEWS regarding the current appeal.“As a federal regulator, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency takes seriously its mandate to verify that food products and labels are truthful and not misleading. This is an important part of consumer protection.The Government of Canada carefully reviewed the Federal Court’s decision issued on July 29, 2019, and has decided to appeal the decision. The grounds are laid out in the Notice of Appeal.This includes two main reasons:First, the Federal Court ruled that the standard of review that applies to the Complaints and Appeal Office’s determination is reasonableness. However, the Government is of the view that the Court did not apply this standard. Instead, the court applied a stricter standard.Second, the Court found that CFIA’S Complaints and Appeals Office should have considered the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (freedom of expression) in determining whether “Product of Israel” met the regulatory requirement of including a “country of origin” on the label, but had failed to do so. The Government is of the view that the Complaints and Appeals Office considered and weighed relevant Charter values and the statutory and regulatory objectives in arriving at its decision.”
A new film highlights the global sustainability work of The Prince’s Charities, founded by the Prince of Wales.Video: Prince Charles And Global Sustainability“I have long been deeply concerned about the effect our modern, highly industrialised approach is having on nature’s capacity to sustain life on Earth,” said Prince Charles. “There is a growing set of alarming problems which, if not addressed with real urgency, will severely affect nature’s capacity to keep her life support systems running and thus guarantee the well-being of billions of people around the world.“It is worth bearing in mind that bodies like the UN have produced countless reports showing the damage we have so far been responsible for. In the last half century alone, not only have we depleted over a third of the world’s farmable soil, we have so intensified the way we produce food we are now using far more water than we did, even though there is less fresh water available.“In that same 50 years we have also burned down over a third of the world’s tropical rainforests and are still doing so – despite the fact that they are actually the lungs of the world. An area the size of a football pitch goes up in smoke every four seconds – that’s over 26,000 football pitches a day! As a result, we have destroyed more than 80,000 species on which, did we but know it, we depend for our long term health and welfare. Everything is interconnected.“Thus, because these forests produce billions of tonnes of rainwater every day, we now risk big consequences for our ability to grow all the food we will need to feed what will soon be a global population of nine billion people. And all of these problems are being compounded by climate change, an effect the experts ominously call “a threat multiplier.” For many years I have sought to highlight that this all adds up to something far more than an “environmental crisis.” We are fast engineering a global economic crisis.“This film demonstrates the work of those initiatives I have set up through which I aim to bring together leaders of organizations and government and those from the corporate world to share their knowledge and forge practical solutions. They range from trying to establish more sustainable fisheries and better ways of managing farming within tropical forests, to the creation of more sustainable approaches to food production and more local forms of food distribution, not to mention clever financial mechanisms that enable global corporations to do things differently for the good of the Earth and for their profits. This is the work of my International Sustainability Unit and of the British Asian Trust.“The film also profiles the Cambridge Programme for Sustainable Leadership, of which I have been patron for 20 years, and the work of a project I established in 2004, called Accounting for Sustainability. This works with the corporate world and within government to ensure we are not battling to meet the challenges of the 21st Century with the decision-making techniques and corporate reporting systems of the 20th Century. If we are to guarantee the well-being of our grandchildren and their grandchildren, then genuine sustainability has to become embedded in the DNA of business and government. As this film shows, without a resilient approach to business and economics, I am afraid we run the risk of bequeathing those who follow us something far worse.”Source:PrinceOfWales.gov.uk
Russell Brand has announced funding to develop abstinence based community support for people leaving drug and alcohol abstinence treatment.The Give it Up Fund, set up by Russell, and managed by Comic Relief, will make funding available to help people remain free of drug and alcohol use through helping to develop recovery communities in three pilot areas.The idea of recovery communities is to make sure that all the local services that someone needs to sustain abstinence are available and joined up. These include housing, finding a job, support with their health needs and a range of social activities and peer support. This fund will help ensure this happens so that people can make lasting changes to their lives.Russell Brand spoke at The Recovery Group UK (RGUK) and Give it Up’s conference ‘Creating Recovery’ on Thursday 16 January 2014 at the London Film Museum. The event, sponsored by RAPt, was aimed at health commissioners, those working in the drug and alcohol treatment system and police and crime commissioners.People leaving abstinence based rehabilitation and treatment programmes are more likely to stay off alcohol and drugs if they are part of a recovery community.Russell Brand said: “It’s integral that people entering a life of abstinence after the chaos of addiction have stability, support and a role to play in the wider community. With this fund we have the opportunity to perform a kind of social alchemy turning hapless (often smelly) junkies into helpful busy bodies, pottering about and contributing. It’s the sort of scheme that even the Daily Mail could support.”Langan’s Tea Rooms in Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire are the hub of the BAC O’Connor Centre’s Recovery Community. The Tea Rooms are run as a social enterprise that provides training, education and a safe environment for people in recovery to socialise in, join the football team or guitar club and have parties. They have provided 16 new jobs for people in the recovery community, where they gain valuable work experience as volunteers serving customers. All revenue is ploughed back into community services for people in recovery.Noreen Oliver MBE, Chief Executive of The BAC (Burton Addiction Centre) & O’Connor Centres, one of the UK’s recovery communities said: “Well over half the people we treat at our centres remain drug free after a year. This is because we have developed a recovery community, integrating individuals back into contributing to society, with on-going support.“When you look at the results, it is hard to understand why recovery communities are not being used more widely. They help people to become drug free in the long term and rebuild their lives. Social enterprises, like Langan’s Tea Rooms, can provide a fantastic model to help people to develop new skills so they can find work and tackle stigma through contact with new people. It also offers a safe space for relaxation.”The Give it Up funds will focus on sustaining abstinence based recovery. These three pilots will provide more evidence on ‘recovery communities’; how to develop them and what makes them effective. Comic Relief will also be awarding a number of small grants up to £5,000 to a range of groups run by people in recovery, and other organisations for projects which help people sustain recovery and address stigma.Gilly Green, Head of UK Grants at Comic Relief said: “Comic Relief has supported those facing addiction for many years. We’re looking forward to finding out more about the potential of recovery communities through these pilots and hearing more inspiring stories about how they can help people to recover from addiction.”
Singer Aaron Neville is inspiring people to fundraise for the Children’s Health Fund.“Children’s Health Fund does incredible work to bring health care to America’s most vulnerable kids. I know. I’ve seen it with my own eyes,” he wrote in an email to supporters of the Children’s Health Fund. “From one of the poorest communities in the Bronx to the devastated neighborhoods of the Gulf — including my own childhood neighborhood which is still struggling to recover from Katrina — their doctors are helping kids who otherwise would not get care. And they truly need our help.“Since I have suffered from asthma my whole life, I know how important access to quality health care is. That’s why I decided to make a difference by creating an online fundraiser for Children’s Health Fund. And you can, too! Simply visit the Children’s Health Fund website and start your own personal fundraiser.“Here are a few ideas to get you started:• Dedicate your next special occasion to kids in need and ask your friends and family to make a donation instead of buying a birthday, wedding or anniversary gift.• Give yourself some incentive to meet a personal goal — maybe run that marathon you’ve always wanted to and have your friends cheer you on by donating.• Raffle your talent or skills to anyone who donates.• Have some fun and make a dare — offer to change your hair color, grow a beard, or get a tattoo if you reach your goal!“What’s great is you can do it any way you want. Everyone’s fundraiser will be different, but the end result will be the same: more kids will get the health care they need. And that’s what counts.“So please join me and start your own fundraiser. Together, we can help make sure kids throughout America are able to grow up healthy and ready to succeed in life.”To find out how to start your own fundraiser, click here.
The National Mother’s Day Committee announced today that it will honor four distinguished women at the 38th Annual Outstanding Mother Awards.The annual luncheon ceremony, which will be held on May 5, 2016 at 12 p.m. at The Pierre Hotel, New York, recognizes women who balance highly successful careers with the daily demands and rewards of motherhood. For ticket and sponsorship information visit www.mothersdaycouncil.org or call 212-549-6421.Joanna Coles, Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan, Editorial Director of Hearst Magazines, and a 2015 Outstanding Mother Award Honoree, will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies and present this year’s awards to:• Sarah Jessica Parker, Actor, Producer and Businesswoman• Joy Mangano, Inventor, Entrepreneur and President, Ingenious Designs, LLC• Louise Camuto, Chief Creative Officer, Camuto Group• Gemma Lionello, Executive Vice President and General Merchandise Manager of Beauty, Nordstrom“Through their entrepreneurial spirit, noteworthy professional accomplishments and above all their unwavering commitment to family and philanthropy, these four women embody all that this award stands for,” said Laurie Dowley, Chairman of the National Mother’s Day Committee. “We are thrilled to celebrate these exceptional women as our 2016 Outstanding Mother Award Honorees.”As part of its continued support of meaningful philanthropies dealing with issues affecting mothers, fathers and children, the National Father’s Day/Mother’s Day Council, Inc. has donated nearly $30 million to date to deserving family-related charities nationwide.Proceeds of the 2016 awards luncheon will benefit Save the Children, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to making lasting positive change in the lives of children living in poverty in the United States.To purchase tickets or to sponsor the event, please contact the Mother’s Day Council office at 212-594-6421 or visit www.mothersdaycouncil.org.
THE 20th ANNUAL DESIGNCARE GALA is an annual fundraising event produced by actress Holly Robinson-Peete and her husband Rodney Peete through their nonprofit organization, The HollyRod Foundation (HRF), and benefits those with Parkinson’s disease and autism.What began 20 years ago as an intimate mixer, DesignCare has grown to become the most exclusive, celebrity charity events of the summer. The 2018 DesignCare Gala will celebrate their 20th anniversary at a Private Estate in Malibu, CA. Always a star-studded event, the evening will feature a silent auction, special musical performance by legendary soul-funk band Morris Day and the Time, as well as a Spring/Summer 2018 runway show from a soon-to-be announced designer.The Gala will honor Earvin “Magic” Johnson with the “HollyRod Humanitarian Award”, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr with the “Matthew T. Robinson, Jr. Award of Courage”, Microsoft with the “HollyRod Corporate Compassion Award”, Artist Stephen Wiltshire (British Architectural Artist with autism) with the “HollyRod Champion Award” and Lisa Ackerman with the “Karen E. Smith, Angel on a Path Award”.Event sponsors include American Airlines, Target, Cigna, Hallmark Channel, Outback Steakhouse & Wen by Chaz Dean.Hosted by actress/philanthropist Holly Robinson Peete (“Chicago Fire,” “21 Jump Street”, “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper”) and her husband Rodney Peete (retired NFL quarterback, Sports Host, “Meet the Peetes”), the event is always star-studded and well attended. Recent past guests include Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Longoria, Sugar Ray Leonard, Anthony Anderson, Kelly Rowland, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Stevie Wonder, Yara Shahidi, Leah Remini, Terry Crews, Arsenio Hall, Laila Ali, Regina King, Jussie Smollett, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Candace Cameron Bure, Lori Loughlin, Star Jones, Cheryl Burke, Tina Knowles, Regina King, Yvette Nicole Brown, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Nancy O’Dell, Shemar Moore, Garcelle Beauvais, Sanaa Lathan and Tracee Ellis Ross.WHEN: Saturday, July 14th, 2018Find out more here.
Prince’s Trust Ambassador Tim Peake was in Cardiff last month to help the Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning, Eluned Morgan, announce £7.2m of funding to encourage young people, especially girls, to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects at school.The astronaut joined the Minister at an event organised by The Prince’s Trust Cymru at Tramshed Tech, where they met young people involved in our STEM-related programmes. There, the Minister announced an investment of £7.2m, including £5.2m of European Union funding, for two similar projects which will help to ensure young people, particularly girls and young women, continue STEM studies at GCSE and beyond with the aim of pursuing STEM-related careers.Over the next four years, STEM Gogledd will work with 600 young people, 60% of whom will be female, to enrich and promote STEM subjects through a range of activities that complement the mainstream curriculum within schools across Gwynedd, Anglesey and Conwy.Technocamps 2 will work with 3,600 young people across West Wales, North Wales and the South Wales Valleys, two-thirds of whom will be female. It will target secondary schools which do not currently offer computer science as an option at GCSE, or where the subject is only recently available. The project will enable pupils in these schools to take part in workshops to build on their existing knowledge and enthusiasm for IT and computing.Announcing the funding, the Minister said: “It is a pleasure to be standing alongside Tim Peake today to announce such an important investment which will help to build the skills of our young people to help drive a the Welsh economy.Wales must become a STEM nation if we are to build a modern, dynamic, open economy that benefits everyone in Wales. Both the pace and nature of technological change is increasing dramatically and, to have the skilled workforce to capitalise on it, it is vital we have more young people who choose to study STEM subjects to a sufficiently high standard.“This is why I am grateful to organisations like The Prince’s Trust for their pioneering programmes and to role models, like Tim, who are influential in promoting the study of STEM subjects. Tim’s Principia mission inspired a generation and showed just how far, literally, science can take you.“We cannot just rely on people like Tim, though. We must all play our part in stimulating interest in these crucial subjects as a way of securing the next generation of STEM professionals in Wales. This is why I am so pleased to announce this £7.2m investment, £5.2m of it from the EU, for STEM Gogledd and Technocamps. This is a great example of EU funds helping to enthuse and excite young people, particularly girls, about the opportunities available to them.”Philip Jones, Director of The Prince’s Trust Cymru said:We are delighted that Tim Peake was able to join us and Welsh Government in promoting the importance of STEM to Welsh Education today. At The Prince’s Trust Cymru, we believe every young person should have the chance to succeed, and we believe Welsh Government’s latest commitment to STEM activities will help transform more young lives in Wales.
The Weeknd and model Bella Hadid have called it quits, according to sources.Page Six first caught wind that they were on the rocks back in September, but the couple denied it.“They broke up. He’s been seen out and about chatting up girls.” a source told us at the time. But Hadid was gushing over the “Starboy” singer at the Global Lyme Alliance Gala in October. Advertisement Facebook She explained how he had helped her get through her battle with Lyme disease. The Weeknd, however, did not attend the event.The couple started dating in 2015 and were constantly together on red carpets. His rep did not comment.BY CARLOS GREER Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter
Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: TORONTO, Canada – Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana announced today the launch of an adventure, role-playing, gaming app based on its original, hit animated action series, Mysticons. “Secrets of Gemina” is now available to download for free through the App Store and Google Play on iPhone, iPad and Android devices.The app allows players to guide the Mysticons – Arkayna, Em, Zarya and Piper – through a mesmerizing and engaging fantasy world as the fearless foursome take on a heroic quest to defeat evil and protect the realm. The app features a parallel storyline to the events in season one, as well as opportunities to level up characters, explore familiar locales from the series, and win battles to collect epic loot for in-game powerups, equipment upgrades, and action skills.“Mysticons is an action fantasy property that lends itself perfectly to the gaming industry,” said Pam Westman, Head, Nelvana Enterprises. “We’re proud to offer young audiences, especially girls, the opportunity to see themselves as the hero in a video game, as well as provide an additional platform to immerse themselves in the dynamic Mysticons world.” Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment The Mysticons toy line, by Playmates, and trading cards, by Topps, will add to the app playing experience, containing scannable codes that allow players to unlock special items within the game. Both Mysticonstoys and trading cards will be available soon.Mysticons tells the epic tale of four unexpected heroes who transform into legendary warriors and undertake a mythic quest to save the world. The series premiered in August on Nickelodeon in the U.S. and on Corus’ YTV and Teletoon in Canada and is currently the #1 animated series this fall* on YTV. The series has also surpassed 3 million views on its short form content on YouTube. Mysticons airs Sundays at 11 a.m. ET/PT on YTV.*Source: Numeris PPM Data, Total Canada, k2-11 AMA(000), FL’17 std (Aug28/17 – Oct15/17), YTV ranker based on 3+ airingsAbout MysticonsMysticons is an original animated action series, produced by Nelvana Limited, about four girls from different walks of life who are transformed into legendary warriors. After discovering a powerful mystical tome, the fearless foursome – Arkayna, Zarya, Em, and Piper – are drawn together by a prophecy to battle evil and protect the realm. With real relationships, distinct personalities and already strong, confident, smart, witty, and funny characters, Mysticons focuses on the representation of girls’ strength, power and courage on the television screen. Season one consists of 40 episodes.YouTube: www.youtube.com/mysticonsWebsite: www.mysticons.comFacebook: www.facebook.com/mysticonsTV Twitter: www.twitter.com/mysticonsTVInstagram: www.instagram.com/mysticonsAbout NelvanaNelvana is Canada’s premier animation company and a world-leading producer and distributor of children’s content. Nelvana has delighted audiences around the globe for more than 40 years with a vast library of more than 4,000 episodes from original, award-winning series like Babar and Franklin. Nelvana’s content is distributed in more than 160 countries worldwide and broadcast across Corus Entertainment’s suite of leading kids networks. Nelvana Enterprises, the global licensing and merchandising arm of Nelvana, manages the organization’s portfolio of in-house and third party brands with offices in Toronto and Paris. Nelvana Studio, with offices in Toronto and Montreal, employs more than 300 Canadian artists working with local and international producers to create premium children’s content for a global stage. For more information, visit www.nelvana.com.
Arrow‘s Thanksgiving episode will include a major ode to the Piano Man himself.When Cayden James (Michael Emerson) plans to wreak havoc on the holiday, he sets his sights on blowing up a concert venue. The concert in question? Billy Joel, who will appear in the hour via actual concert footage thanks to a request from executive producer Marc Guggenheim.“For the Thanksgiving episode of Arrow, we wanted Cayden James to threaten a major event at Star City,” Guggenheim says. “A variety of ideas were discussed, but when we settled on a rock concert, I knew it had to be Billy Joel.” Advertisement Twitter Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: READ MORE Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment
Kaling (left) poses with the film’s Vancouver-born director Nisha Ganatra at the premiere Friday. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/The Associated Press) British actress Emma Thompson stars in the comedy, playing a talk show host. (Steve Parsons/AFP/Getty Images) LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment The Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling comedy Late Night is already one of the biggest hits of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival with an acquisition price to match.Amazon Studios on Saturday purchased the U.S. distribution rights for $13 million US, a record for the festival.Late Night follows a veteran talk show host played by Thompson who’s facing declining ratings, possible cancellation and a reputation for not liking women. Kaling wrote the script and plays the “diversity hire” in the writer’s room who has no qualifications except an undying love for Thompson’s character, Katherine Newbury. But she helps shake things up for the show. “It’s really a movie about being a fan,” Kaling told The Associated Press. “I’ve been such a comedy nerd my whole life and I’ve always felt like on the outside looking in. I had no connections in the business, but I just loved comedy and … late-night talk shows. So the movie is just really a love letter for people who are fans of something and really want to be part of it, but don’t feel like they have any access.” Amazon’s acquisition of Late Night is the first major deal out of the 2019 festival, and one of the highest sums ever paid out of Sundance. The record-holder is Birth of a Nation, which went for $17.5 million for the worldwide rights. Late Night beat out Amazon’s $12 million deal for The Big Sick, which went on to become a box office hit, and Netflix’s $12.5 million for Mudbound.Kaling mined her own experiences in the business both as a boss and a newcomer, and those of others, to tell the story. Her character decides that she can’t remember the names of her writers and calls them by numbers one through eight. This, Kaling said, is based on “a very famous comedy person” whom she “will never name.”Kaling wrote the part of Katherine specifically for Thompson, whom she had yet to meet, which she called “one of the stupidest things you can do in comedy.”“I was this creep in my home writing fan fiction for Emma Thompson, who I did not know, hoping that she would read it,” Kaling said.THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Advertisement Login/Register With: The film, which also stars Reid Scott, Hugh Dancy, Amy Ryan and John Lithgow, premiered Friday night in Park City and immediately became a must-see. Lines stretched around the block for the second screening Saturday morning and no empty seats were left in the massive Eccles Theater, where the audience buzzed about its sale that had just been reported by the trade publication Deadline.Late Night is sleeker than your average Sundance movie and was originally to be made as a studio film, with Paul Feig directing. Delays left Feig unavailable, and Kaling moved on independently. Canadian Nisha Ganatra, who had directed an episode of The Mindy Project, eventually came on to direct. Twitter Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Mindy Kaling wrote and stars in the Sundance film Late Night, which received a record acquisition for a comedy. (Taylor Jewell/Invision/The Associated Press)
APTN National NewsA human rights tribunal hearing a case of alleged discrimination on First Nations children by the federal government heard Thursday from the person who filed the complaint and how the feds retaliated against her.As first reported by APTN National News in 2011, Cindy Blackstock alleged Aboriginal Affairs had been keeping a close eye on her, including posing as “friends” and having her accept them on her Facebook. They also followed her to conferences and looked into her Indian status records.Blackstock said she was also banned from a meeting with department officials.APTN National News reporter Annette Francis has more on Blackstock’s testimony.
By Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsOTTAWA–Former federal cabinet minister Peter Penashue’s campaign knew by at least mid-February it had run afoul of electoral donation laws, Elections Canada records show.Elections Canada rejected Penashue’s amended campaign return that month because it failed to identify returned corporate donations and made no reference to an $18,710 non-monetary contribution from an airline, according to a Feb. 12 letter from Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand. The letter was carbon copied to Penashue, who was intergovernmental affairs minister at the time.Mayrand’s letter raises questions around the timing of Penashue’s resignation.Penashue’s campaign returned a total of $46,560 in ineligible donations Elections Canada records show. At least 16 of the donations came from businesses. It is against election laws to accept corporate donations.“The information provided does not support the changes requested,” said Mayrand’s letter, which was addressed to Sandra Troster, Penashue’s new official agent. “In cases in which corporate cheques were received, corporate rather than individual names and addresses are required and no reference was made with respect to the reporting of the contributions of air travel services provided by Innu Mikun Limited Partnership and Provincial Airlines Limited. Consequently, authorization to correct the return is not granted.”Mayrand’s letter came in response to an amended electoral campaign return submitted to the elections watchdog on Dec. 19, 2012.Mayrand gave the campaign a deadline of March 4 to make the changes.The campaign did eventually submit a cheque for an $18,710.54 non-monetary donation from the airline for campaign travel during the last federal election, according to a copy of a March 4 dated cheque.Penashue resigned his post as intergovernmental affairs minister and his Labrador seat last Thursday. In his statement, Penashue claimed he was resigning after he and his campaign became “aware that there were ineligible donations accepted by the former official agent.” Penashue said he would run again in a byelection.Yet, according to Elections Canada records, his campaign had been trying to amend his electoral returns since at least mid-December.Penashue could not be immediately reached for comment.Fred Delorey, spokesperson for the Conservative party, would only say that the official agent “did not complete the amended return until recently.”firstname.lastname@example.org@JorgeBarrera
APTN National NewsEleven Yukoners have died while interacting with the RCMP.Those deaths have prompted a British Columbia woman to start a police watchdog group in Whitehorse.APTN’s Shirley McLean has this story.
APTN National NewsThe emotional inquiry into how Phoenix Sinclair died while in the care of Manitoba social workers is over.The five-year-old girl was murdered by her biological mother and mother’s boyfriend.But now the head of the inquiry is tasked with determining how that could happen under the noses of social workers who were supposed to protect her.APTN’s Ntawnis Piapot explains what happens next.