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Prince Charles Visits Princes Trust Projects In London

first_imgThe Prince of Wales visited The Prince’s Trust projects in London this week as he embarked on a series of events highlighting his charity’s work.Prince of Wales with CEO of Marks and Spencer, Marc Bolland, and newly employed Prince’s Trust ‘Make your Mark’ participantsCredit/Copyright: www.princeofwales.gov.uk/His Royal Highness was greeted by the friendly face of Anthony McPartlin and when he took the escalator to the basement floor serving behind the deli counter was the other half of the TV double act Declan Donnelly.The Prince was visiting the store to learn how a group of young people have got to grips with the Make Your Mark four-week work placement scheme, a collaboration between M&S and the Trust.Behind the counter was Rebecca Blythe, 23, who moved from South Wales to London with her partner for a new start but found herself struggling to get a job.She said: “I’m glad I’ve done this, the four weeks have been a great success and I’ve made lots of new friends.”At a reception The Prince handed out certificates to all those who had taken part in the Make Your Mark course then M&S Chief Executive Marc Bolland told the group of young people they all had jobs causing some to burst into tears.Martina Milburn, Chief Executive of The Prince’s Trust who was part of the visit, said: “A frightening number of unemployed young people don’t have a support network in place, and they can often end up feeling hopeless and alone. But, with the right support we can help get these lives on track. We are incredibly grateful to Marks & Spencer for helping us to reach the most vulnerable young people offering them hope for the future.”Source:Prince’s Trustlast_img read more

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Seth Rogen Announces James Francos Bar Mitzvah

first_imgSeth Rogen and Lauren Miller Rogen’s Hilarity for Charity (HFC) today announced the theme of the fourth annual Hilarity for Charity Variety Show: James Franco’s Bar Mitzvah!HFC is a movement led by the couple to inspire change and raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease among the millennial generation.This year’s HFC Variety Show will take place on Saturday, October 17, 2015 at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles and will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. The flagship Los Angeles Variety Show is creating the next generation of Alzheimer’s advocates through evenings filled with music and comedy. Each year, the HFC Variety Show has a new theme and this year the organization is excited to throw James Franco his Bar Mitzvah.“Ever since I’ve known James, he’s been talking about wanting a Bar Mitzvah. We’re excited to see him finally become a man while also helping us raise awareness and funds for people living with Alzheimer’s and towards research that will lead to a cure,” said Rogen. “And in celebration we’ll also have a mohel and a live bris for James at the event. You don’t want to miss it.”Miller Rogen, whose mother was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 55, said, “Five million Americans are currently living with the disease and it is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., yet it is the least funded and the only one with no treatment whatsoever.” She continued, “I hope we’re able to capture the attention of more young people, and get the disease the type of funding it deserves.”Past shows have drawn some of Hollywood’s biggest names with performances and appearances by Paul Rudd, Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari, Sarah Silverman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruno Mars, Jack Black, Samuel L. Jackson, Nick Kroll and many more! In 2014 the Prom Night themed Variety Show raised nearly $1 million. The lineup for this year’s Variety Show will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets go on sale to the general public on August 11, 2015 at hilarityforcharity.org.last_img read more

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David Suzuki Talks Citizen Science

first_img“Canada’s Centre for Biodiversity Genomics at the University of Guelph has the genomes of more than 265 thousand named species identified with barcodes in its database,” says David Suzuki. “The cost to analyze a sample against this free public database is about $10.”There is a systematic inventorying of the world’s biodiversity taking place, says Suzuki, and citizen science is taking advantage of it. Take, for example, children in San Diego.In an effort to collect four thousand samples of local bug life, children in San Diego are borrowing genetic testing kits from libraries and, using the LifeScanner app, uploading their data for the city’s Barcode of Life project to identify all life on Earth. The goal is to provide insight into biodiversity and environmental health. Once the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics does the genetic sequencing, the children can see the genetic barcodes of the bugs they found and compare them to others.Another citizen science project is focused on fish identification to address the problem of mislabelled seafood. Working with SeaChoice, of which the David Suzuki Foundation is a member, and LifeScanner, some 300 Canadians “will get testing kits, buy seafood, collect data and images and return samples in a provided envelope,” says Suzuki. “Samples will be analyzed and coded, with results posted online.“With the help of citizen scientists, genetic testing can offer a powerful approach to righting environmental wrongs. The same approach could work in areas such as testing for antibiotics, pesticide and mercury residues and more.”Learn more about what Citizen Science is doing here.Copyright ©2017Look to the Starslast_img read more

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Hot Docs 2017 Award Winners Announced

first_imgEmerging Canadian Filmmaker AwardFrançois Jacob for A Moon of Nickel and Ice (Canada)Sponsored by Jameson First Shot, the award includes a $3,000 cash prize courtesy of Hot Docs.Screening Sunday, May 7 at 10:15 a.m. at Scotiabank Theatre 3.Best International Feature Documentary AwardThe Other Side of the Wall (D: Pau Ortiz; P: María Nova López, Emiliano Altuna, Tatiana García, Carlos Rossini; Spain)Sponsored by Panicaro Foundation, the award includes a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of Panicaro Foundation.Screening Sunday, May 7 at 1:00 p.m. at the Aga Khan Museum.Special Jury Prize – International Feature DocumentaryA Cambodian Spring (D&P: Chris Kelly; UK)Sponsored by A&E, the award includes a $5,000 cash prize courtesy of Hot Docs.Screening Sunday, May 7 at 6:15 p.m. at Toronto Centre for the Arts.Emerging International Filmmaker AwardEgil Håskjold Larsen for 69 Minutes of 86 Days (Norway)The award includes a $3,000 cash prize courtesy of Hot Docs.Screening Sunday, May 7 at 3:30 p.m. at the Aga Khan Museum.Best Mid-Length Documentary AwardDeath in the Terminal (D: Asaf Sudry, Tali Shemesh; P: Asaf Sudry, Tali Shemesh, Alma Har’el; Israel)The award includes a $3,000 cash prize courtesy of Hot Docs.In the Best Mid-Length Documentary category, the jury also acknowledged the film The Lives of Thérèse (D: Sébastien Lifshitz; P: Muriel Meynard; France), with an honourable mention.Best Short Documentary AwardSovdagari (D: Tamta Gabrichidze; P: Ilia Tavberidze; Georgia)The award includes a $3,000 cash prize courtesy of Hot Docs.Hot Docs is an Academy Award® qualifying festival for short documentaries and, as winner of the Best Short Documentary Award, Sovdagari will qualify for consideration in the Documentary Short Subject category of the annual Academy Awards without the standard theatrical run, provided it complies with Academy rules.In the Best Short Documentary category, the jury also acknowledged the film Volte (D: Monika Kotecka, Karolina Poryzała; P: Ewa Jastrzebska; Poland), with an honourable mention.Outstanding Achivement AwardPresented by the Hot Docs Board of Directors to Tony Palmer.Doc Mogul AwardPresented to Monique Simard, president and CEO of SODEC by the Hot Docs Board of Directors at a special awards luncheon on Monday, May 1.Don Haig AwardMontreal-based producer Daniel CrossThe award includes a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of the Don Haig Foundation and Telefilm Canada.Don Haig Award Pay It Forward PrizeToronto-based filmmaker Kalina BertinAs part of the award, the recipient can name an emerging female documentary filmmaker to receive a $5,000 cash prize, courtesy of Telefilm Canada, and professional development opportunities at the Hot Docs Festival to further her career path.Lindalee Tracey AwardThe award, honouring an emerging Canadian filmmaker with a passionate point of view, a strong sense of social justice and a sense of humour, was presented to Thyrone Tommy for his film Mariner. The recipient will receive a $5,000 cash prize courtesy of the Lindalee Tracey Fund, $5,000 in post-production services from Technicolor, and a beautiful hand-blown glass sculpture by Andrew Kuntz, specially commissioned to honour Lindalee.The feature and short length Audience Awards will be announced on Monday, May 8. The winner of the $50,000 Rogers Audience Award for Best Canadian Documentary will be announced on Sunday, May 7, at 7:00 p.m. followed by a free screening of the film.The Canadian Feature Documentary Jury: Claire Aguilar (Director, International Documentary Association), Ian Darling (filmmaker), Min Sook Lee (filmmaker)The International Feature Documentary Jury: Hubert Davis (filmmaker), Kyoko Miyake (filmmaker), Christine Vachon (filmmaker)The Mid-Length Jury: Maya Gallus (Hot Docs 2017 Focus On honouree), Eric Hynes (journalist, film critic and programmer), Nanfu Wang (filmmaker)The Shorts Jury: Mike Plante (filmmaker and festival programmer), Michelle Latimer (filmmaker, programmer, actor, activist), Anne Thompson (editor, Indiewire/founder, Thompson on Hollywood) Facebook Twitter Advertisement At the Hot Docs Awards Presentation, hosted by Garvia Bailey, host of Good Morning Toronto! on Jazz.FM91, 12 awards and $67,000 in cash and prizes were presented to Canadian and international filmmakers, including awards for Festival films in competition and those recognizing emerging and established filmmakers.Best Canadian Feature Documentary AwardUnarmed Verses (D: Charles Officer; P: Lea Marin; Canada)Sponsored by the Documentary Organization of Canada and Telefilm Canada, the award includes a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of Telefilm Canada.Screening Saturday, May 6 at 3:15 p.m. at TIFF Bell Lightbox 1.Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature DocumentaryResurrecting Hassan (D&P: Carlo Guillermo Proto; Canada, Chile)Sponsored by the Directors Guild of Canada and DGC Ontario, the award includes a $5,000 cash prize courtesy of Hot Docs. 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Fort McKay First Nation holding onto nature in the middle of the

first_img(A reclamation site outside Fort McKay First Nation with a Syncrude  plant in the background. Photo:Brandi Morin/APTN)Brandi Morin APTN National NewsFORT MCKAY FIRST NATION — When Melinda Stewart grew up in Fort McKay she used to fall asleep to the sounds of the frogs croaking outside.Now, Stewart puts her children to bed to the pre-recorded sounds of frogs and nature so that they don’t have to listen to the continuous booming from the nearby tailings ponds.“Now, my children, that’s what they’re used to, listening to cannons going off all night,” said Stewart.She fears that one day her children will become “textbook Aboriginals” because their homelands are disappearing. Tears well up in her eyes as she expresses her lament over the destruction of the environment caused by oil sands activity.“I think in 50 years, our children are going to learn from a textbook how to be native. When I take my children hunting or fishing, if there’s something nice, I tell them to take a picture because when we come back it might not be there…”Fort Mckay is completely surrounded by industrial development and it’s getting closer. So far, they’ve survived, but the long term effects of pollution and other contaminants haven’t yet been fully revealed.Governments and industry talk about reclamation, yet in the decades since oil extraction began, only 0.15 per cent of land has ever been reclaimed.Currently an area the size of Switzerland is being mined with ambitions to further expand production.Alvero Pinto, director of sustainability at Fort McKay said there’s no way the land can ever be reclaimed to its original state. He should know, he’s a mining engineer who once worked for some of the biggest mining companies in the world.Once during a meeting with industry representatives, one of the presenters boasted that industry can reclaim the land and put it back together better than it was before.“And I said, my friend, never make this statement especially to a First Nation because there is no way, nobody can reclaim the land or put back the environment in a better state than it was before,” said Pinto. The community finds some comfort, however in working with industry to incorporate traditional knowledge to reclamation plans. Elders offer advice in exchange for the hope that industry will take it into consideration during the restoring process.Despite all that’s been lost there is one last area of solace that the people of Fort McKay are holding onto. Moose Lake is a part of the reserve located approximately 50 km northwest of Fort McKay and is relatively untouched by industry.Moose Lake, is how people cope, said Dayle Hyde, Fort McKay education director.“It is a sanctuary. It feels like home, hasn’t changed much, and still looks the same as 100 years ago. When people talk about it they say it’s a good place. They heal when they go there.”It is considered sacred to the people of Fort Mckay, sheltered from the fast pace of the world. It’s a place to go to practice culture and traditions, a refuge of peace and quiet, connected to their ancestors. (Video of Moose Lake courtesy: Fort McKay First Nation)“It’s not just a place we want to go camping some weekends,” said Elder Clara Mercer.“Our people live there year round until their children become of age to go to school. Today Moose Lake is all we have left to teach our children and grandchildren our traditional way of life and culture…but industry is coming.”The area surrounding the lake is full of oil and dozens of oil companies are eager to get at it.In 2013, Fort McKay filed an appeal with the Albert Energy Regulator (AER) seeking environmental protection for Moose Lake over a planned site nearby. They requested a 20 km buffer zone be set up, however the AER sided with industry and gave the go ahead.But afterward the developer approached Fort McKay and offered a back deal, with business and financial opportunities, including an 8km buffer zone around the lake.Then, just this past March the Alberta Government signed a letter of intent promising to develop an access management plan for the area surrounding the lake.Despite industry closing in on Fort McKay, Hyde believes the people are still deeply connected to the land, water and animals.Some people have chosen to move away to avoid the environmental effects, but when industry does eventually leave, Fort McKay will still be there. Because it is still a beloved home to many.“I think Fort Mckay is here to stay. This has been happening for years now and we’re still here.We don’t know what’s going to be left but we’re going to deal with it. I think one of the biggest strengths of the people of Fort McKay is that despite the hardships and challenges we’ve faced, we continue to adapt and prevail,” said Hyde.Chief Jim Boucher believes one of the keys to the future is education, job opportunities and entrepreneurialism.“I think Fort McKay is going to be all over the world. We have teachers, police officers, good administrators. Our people are going to be strong and self-sufficient. I’m really optimistic for our community because we have so much potential and ability. It’s up to us to take that opportunity and make that happen.”But Elder Barb Faichney said survival is dependent on striking a balance between nature and industrial activity, however that balance is exceedingly out of proportion due to overdevelopment.“We will say it’s not worth it. But the oil companies will say, ‘yes it was worth it- we walked all over those Indians, but we made money,’” said Faichney.“It shouldn’t have to be like that.”bmorin@aptn.ca@songstress28last_img read more

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First Nation communities pinning hope on courts to block Site C dam

first_imgAPTN National NewsTreaty eight First Nations in northeast British Columbia are hoping that the Federal Court of Appeal will soon side with them.They say flooding agricultural lands in a pristine valley along the Peace River to make way for a new dam is a bad decision.APTN’s Tina House has the details.last_img

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US Federal Court judge denies Standing Rock Sioux Tribe request to stop

first_imgAPTN National NewsA U.S. Federal Court judge on Friday denied the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s request for an injunction to stop the four-state Dakota Access Pipeline.Thousands are gathered on the North Dakota side of the Standing Rock reservation in anticipation of the Friday ruling.It has become one of the largest gatherings of Native Americans in the U.S. over the past century.The Tribe has argued the pipeline threatens the tribe’s sole water source and will destroy burial grounds and sacred sites.-More to comelast_img read more

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Quebec finance minister announces personal income tax cuts

first_imgQUEBEC – Quebec’s finance minister announced personal income tax cuts and increased funds for health and education on Tuesday and immediately denied the moves had anything to do with next year’s provincial election.“We are announcing today further tax reductions because we started doing that already last year,” said Carlos Leitao. “This year we’re adding another $1 billion. And if we do it now, it’s because we can do it now.”The government says a family of two adults and two children that earns $88,000 a year will see a tax reduction of $1,200, which includes the abolition of a health fee as well as the introduction of money earmarked for school supplies.A single person who earns $44,000 will save an estimated $500.Asked specifically whether the tax cuts will help the Liberals win next October’s election, Leitao replied, “Eleven months in politics is a lifetime. Who knows what’s going to happen in the next 11 months.”“These tax cuts are intended to give the population some breathing space,” he said. “It is something we said we’d do.“Since Quebecers have the highest tax burden in Canada, and we can lighten their burden, then yes, (we’re doing it).”Opinion polls suggest the Liberals are locked in a tight battle with the right-leaning Coalition for Quebec’s Future, with the Parti Quebecois trailing in third place.Leitao has probably not stopped handing out the goodies. He will table the 2018-19 budget next March or April and will no doubt sprinkle a few others to woo voters.The measures announced Tuesday include $100 for families for each child so they can purchase school supplies, although the government will have no direct control over how the money is actually spent.It will be retroactive to this year and parents will receive a first cheque in January.Leitao also said the government will invest an additional $630 million in the health sector over the next six years and $212 million in education over the same period.Another measure will see the province invest $2.6 billion over six years in a bid to lift 100,000 people out of poverty.Details of the ambitious plan are expected to be made public by the end of the year.PQ finance critic Nicolas Marceau reacted to Leitao’s measures by stating that Premier Philippe Couillard “is taking Quebecers for idiots.”“He’s insulting their intelligence,” Marceau said.“Today we’re seeing the beginning of the Liberals’ election campaign — a campaign that is not financed by Liberal party funds but rather by Quebecers’ money. It is being financed by the major cuts we’ve suffered over the last three years.”last_img read more

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Nuns funds and guns the firearms debate on Wall Street

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Some of Wall Street’s heaviest hitters are stepping into the national debate on guns as investment firms ask firearms makers what they are doing about gun violence.The firms speak softly, but because they own trillions of dollars’ worth of stock, their voices travel far. And they’re now joining forces with some unusual allies, including smaller and untraditional investors. In this context, the investment fund BlackRock, which owns big stakes in three different gun makers, might end up working alongside a group of nuns.Sister Judith Byron, the director and co-ordinator of the Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment, says her group and BlackRock appear to have similar ideas when it comes to gun manufacturers and retailers. Following the killing of 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, funds like BlackRock started asking gun manufacturers what they are doing to reduce the risks of gun violence, and asking retailers how much they make from selling guns.Byron says her group, a coalition of religious communities and health care systems, invested in firearms makers a decade ago and has been working on gun safety issues for years. In the last few months the coalition introduced resolutions pushing American Outdoor Brands, Sturm Ruger and retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods to give reports to investors about the steps they are taking to reduce gun violence.“We’re hoping we can engage these big investors and encourage them to vote for our resolutions,” she says.Some larger investors have similar views. The biggest public pension funds in the U.S., CalPERS, recently refused to sell its investments in companies that sell assault rifles. It says that by remaining an investor, it’s been able to get those companies to make positive changes.The nuns aren’t protesters, and they don’t carry props or signs to disrupt board meetings, although they sometimes work alongside groups that use those tactics. Byron says some of the shareholder meetings she’s attended have been downright pleasant, with investors and board members thanking her for asking questions.Support from investment firms was crucial to the coalition’s big success last year when, after decades of work, it backed a successful resolution that required oil giant Exxon Mobil to disclose the effects climate change is having on its business.Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, said companies are often reluctant to risk any sales in order to do the responsible thing. But it does sometimes happen, as when CVS stores stopped selling cigarettes in 2014. He said activists deserve most of the credit for getting the funds to speak out.“BlackRock didn’t wake up one morning and say, ‘We are going to take a different approach to investing, it’s the right thing to do,’” he said. “It’s a reaction to the activists.”The top priority of firms like BlackRock, State Street and mutual fund company Vanguard is to make as much money as possible for their clients. But because they own so much stock, they can wield a lot of influence: They can support new directors who want to change the direction of the company and back proposals that change the way it operates.BlackRock is a major shareholder in gun makers Sturm Ruger, American Outdoor Brands, and Vista Outdoor Brands. About a week after the shooting in Parkland, BlackRock said it wanted to speak with the three firearms makers about their responses to the tragedy. The fund said it is looking into creating new investment funds for investors that exclude firearms makers and retailers, and if many funds and investors followed suit, that would affect the price of those stocks.In a letter to BlackRock, American Outdoor Brands said it supports steps that will promote gun safety while protecting the rights of firearm owners. The company said it backs measures including improved background checks and improved support for people with mental illnesses, but said it’s opposed to “politically motivated action” that won’t improve public safety. Sturm Ruger did not immediately respond to a request for comment.In other words, there are limits to the funds’ power. They aren’t choosy investors and won’t dump the gun makers no matter what they say. That’s because their main investment strategy to invest in huge numbers of companies, including every stock listed on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.According to Todd Rosenbluth, CFRA’s director of research into funds and exchange-traded funds, that means BlackRock and Vanguard don’t have that much leverage compared to activist investors or hedge funds. Those investors can have more dramatic effects on individual companies because they can buy up the stock, run for seats on the board themselves, or threaten to sell the shares if they don’t like the company’s choices.“They can use their wallet and sell the shares or they can pressure the companies and threaten to sell the shares if actions aren’t taken,” said Rosenbluth. So far, he said those investors aren’t really getting involved in the debate.Still, there have been changes: Dick’s, Walmart, Kroger and L. L. Bean have all said they will no longer sell guns to shoppers under the age of 21. Rosenbluth said that has more to do with the ongoing national debate about gun safety and regulations than anything the investment firms have said, and he believes laws will ultimately have a larger effect.But Byron, who also wants new gun laws, says she is encouraged by the response from corporate America.“We see companies taking leadership roles in environmental and social issues, which is encouraging,” said Byron, adding that as shareholders, “they’re our companies. We own them.”last_img read more

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Not me says Lighthizer as Freeland NAFTA negotiators grind forward

first_imgWASHINGTON – A bombshell claim of “resistance” to Donald Trump’s presidency inside the White House inserted itself Thursday into Canada’s painstaking march toward a deal on the North American Free Trade Agreement.Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland’s two hours of talks with her U.S. counterpart, trade czar Robert Lighthizer, barely registered in the American capital despite the high-stakes for the continent’s economy.As Trump fumed, and a full-scale hunt was launched the identity of the anonymous author of a New York Times op-ed piece, Lighthizer was drawn into the stranger-than-fiction drama, joining a series of Trump administration officials who publicly denied authorship and declared their loyalty to the president.“It does not reflect my views at all, and it does not reflect the views of anyone I know in the Administration. It is a complete and total fabrication,” Lighthizer said in a widely reported written statement.He joined Vice-President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, and others in issuing his disclaimer to being the Washington’s most famous anonymous Beltway politico since Deep Throat during the Watergate scandal.A block from the White House, where a furious Trump was Tweeting fire at the disloyalty from his inner circle, Freeland and Lighthizer pushed on with talks that cut to the core of North American prosperity.They issued fresh marching orders for their respective negotiating teams. Freeland maintained the same upbeat tone she has held since arriving in Washington this week to reboot talks with the Trump administration.“We really are confident, as we have been from the outset, that a deal which is good for Canada, good for the United States and good for Mexico is possible,” Freeland said, as she departed the office of the U.S. Trade Representative on her way to the Canadian Embassy.Freeland returned to Lighthizer’s office Thursday night for a 20-minute meeting that she said was constructive.“It was important to discuss a couple of issues face-to-face,” she said, without elaborating.But with the economic fate of workers and industries in three North American countries hanging in the balance, the New York Times piece sparked questions about how the fallout would affect the bump-and-grind of the NAFTA negotiations.Derek Burney, who was former prime minister Brian Mulroney’s chief of staff during the original 1988 Canada-U.S. free trade negotiations, said any direct impact was unlikely but Trump remained “the big wild card” in the negotiation.“We have to hope to catch him between tantrums to get a deal,” said Burney, who along with Mulroney has advised the current Trudeau government on how to negotiate with Trump.Trump is likely “feeling pressure on many fronts these days and may be frustrated to learn the limits to his authority on trade, hence his warning to Congress ‘not to interfere’,” said Burney, who became Canada’s U.S. ambassador after the original free trade deal.Canada and the U.S. need to present an agreed-upon text to the U.S. Congress by Oct. 1 in order to join the deal the Trump administration signed with Mexico.Trump is threatening to move ahead on a deal that excludes Canada, but he also needs a win on trade ahead of midterm elections in November that will test his ability to keep control of Congress.Flavio Volpe, the president of the Canada’s Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association, said he didn’t think the latest bombshell would directly affect the negotiators inside the room.“But it certainly underscores for all of us observing the talks that it’s not that easy to do this negotiation. It’s a compressed timeline with an ever-changing counterparty,” said Volpe, who was in Washington on Thursday for meetings with auto industry representatives on the possible impact of Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Canadian automobiles.Trump has already imposed hefty tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum, using a section of U.S. trade law that gives him executive authority to do that in the name of national security.Freeland reiterated her view Thursday that the fate of those tariffs was separate from the NAFTA talks, and she urged the administration to lift the “unjustified and illegal” action.During the day, she and Lighthizer pored over results from their front-line negotiators who held a long stretch of talks that started Wednesday night and finished in the early morning hours of Thursday.Freeland stuck to her mantra of not wanting to negotiate in public — an agreement struck with the tough-talking Lighthizer as an act of good faith.The two sides still have to resolve differences on three key issues: dairy, culture and the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism.The goal of this week’s talks is to reach a deal by Dec. 1 so Congress can give its approval to a revised three-country NAFTA before Mexico’s new president takes office.last_img read more

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GMs push into new technologies expected to boost peertopeer car sharing

first_imgTORONTO — General Motors signalled a major pivot towards new technologies and mobility platforms when it announced the closing of its Oshawa assembly plant, but it will be playing catch-up to start-ups that have pioneered in the field.One of the spaces it’s pushing into is peer-to-peer car sharing, which GM added to its Maven app in July in the U.S., as it tests out new models of transportation in an evolving market.“What we truly believe is as society progresses, shareable assets will be the most desirable to own,” Julia Steyn, vice-president of urban mobility and Maven at GM, said at a recent technology conference.“People don’t want anymore, to have the dream that their parents had, which is they don’t want half of their paycheque to go to housing and transportation. And so that’s just fundamentally what’s happening in the world.”Still in a pilot phase, the peer-to-peer platform allows GM customers to rent out their vehicles, offsetting some of the costs of ownership.“The wasted assets that the car represents when it sits there 95 per cent of the time, idle, is ridiculous. So you want to be able to monetize it,” Steyn said.Canadians don’t yet have the option of using Maven’s peer-to-peer sharing option and its more conventional service of renting company vehicles is only available in Toronto, but Steyn said the company plans to “aggressively grow in Canada.”When it does expand the service to Canada, it will find competition in Turo, which has been operating a peer-to-peer car sharing service in Canada for more than two years and in the U.S. for a decade.Turo, however, welcomes the news of Maven’s expansion plans.“It just shows that this type of car sharing model is becoming more mainstream,” said Cedric Mathieu, director of Turo Canada.“And I do think the more players in the space, the more people will hear about it, and the benefits of this model.”The model allows drivers to list any vehicle on the app, with a few restrictions on its age, mileage, and condition, and then rent it out along a similar idea to Airbnb.“The concept is simple, but the mission is pretty ambitious, because it’s really about putting the world’s billion-plus cars to better use,” said Mathieu.The company believes the platform solves many of the issues such as parking, variety and supply that have prevented other car-sharing efforts from delivering on the promise of the concept.The efficiency of the model and the technology behind it, has allowed for rapid growth, Mathieu said.  “You can grow this extremely fast. That I think really is shown by our numbers in Canada. In just two and a half years, we now have 16,000 cars listed, 4,000 cars available to book on a daily basis.”The company says that as of early November, cars listed on Turo had been shared for 3.2 million hours this year, or about 133,000 24-hour rentals, while car owners are earning an average of $600 a month. The revenue helps those who need to own a car offset the costs, while allowing those who can generally do without a car to get access to one when they need it at a potentially lower cost, said Mathieu.As the first-mover in Canada, Turo has also pushed to solve the insurance issue of renting out a personal vehicle for money.The company has partnered with Intact Insurance to provide a separate insurance product that only kicks in for rentals and is separate from the owner’s primary insurance. Intact has partnered with Uber on a similar model.The system is still evolving, so owners looking to rent their vehicles still need to check if their insurance allows the system, as do renters who might want to use their credit card insurance. Turo is also only available in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta because of insurance issues in other provinces, but both Intact and Turo are working to expand.But while the company has signed up thousands of people, experts don’t expect a quick shift away from ownership.Some estimates suggest that 20 per cent of mobility will move to shared mobility in the next couple of decades, said Shauna Brail, a director at the University of Toronto’s urban studies program.“It is a slow transition, but it is a really significant transition, and it’s one that absolutely impacts the bottom line of these established automotive firms, which is why they’re all involved in looking at new models and investing probably billions of dollars in a variety of new models.”As the market grows and companies fight for market share, the lines between each will blur, Brail said.  “We’re no longer looking at automotive firms and car rental agencies, and car sharing, we’re just looking at mobility.” Ian Bickis, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Illinois steel company announces 197M move to Indiana

first_imgGARY, Ind. — An Illinois steel company has finalized plans to move its operations to northwestern Indiana .The state of Indiana announced Wednesday that Alliance Steel plans to invest $19.7 million in Gary, about 25 miles (40 kilometres) from its plant in Bedford Park, Illinois. The company is beginning renovations in Gary in early 2019 and could be operational there by January 2020.Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb says it’s “an exciting step forward” for northwestern Indiana.Alliance Steel’s CEO Andy Gross says the region is “making all the right moves to recreate a very promising industrial area.”The company currently has about 100 workers and employment in Gary could reach 130 by 2023.The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Alliance Steel more than $2.7 million in conditional tax credits. Gary offered additional incentives.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Could Tesla price cuts mean demand is slowing

first_imgDETROIT — Tesla made about 9,300 more vehicles than it delivered last year, raising concerns among industry analysts that inventory is growing as demand for the company’s electric cars may be starting to wane.If demand falls, they say, the company will enter a new phase of its business. Like other automakers, Tesla will have to either cut production or reduce prices to raise sales. A drop in demand could also curtail the company’s earnings and jeopardize CEO Elon Musk’s promise to post sustained quarterly profits.On Wednesday, Tesla did cut prices, knocking $2,000 of each of its three models. The company said the cuts will help customers deal with the loss of a $7,500 federal tax credit, which was reduced to $3,750 this month for Tesla buyers and will gradually go to zero by the end of 2018.“They have for a long time had more demand than supply,” Gartner analyst Michael Ramsey said. “It’s becoming apparent that that dynamic is changing.”Tesla reported that it produced 254,530 cars and SUVs last year and delivered 245,240.The company’s deliveries for the full year matched Wall Street estimates, but its figures for the fourth quarter didn’t reach expectations. Tesla said it delivered 90,700 vehicles from October through December. Analysts polled by data provider FactSet expected 92,000.Jeff Schuster, a senior vice-president at the forecasting firm LMC Automotive, said demand for Tesla’s lower-priced Model 3 has been artificially high for the past six months as the company overcame production problems at its Fremont, California, factory.“You’ve had these inflated months because of delayed deliveries,” Schuster said. “We’re probably getting to that point where we’re getting to equilibrium and consumers aren’t necessarily waiting for vehicles.”Last year, Tesla reported that about 420,000 buyers had put down $1,000 deposits to join the Model 3 waiting list.LMC predicts that Tesla U.S. sales will rise in 2019 because it’s the first full year on the market for the Model 3. It anticipates sales to then fall by about 10,000 in 2020.Losing the tax credit will hit those who have been holding out for the $35,000 version of the Model 3, Schuster said. At present, Tesla is selling only versions that cost more than $45,000. Under federal law, buyers get the full tax credit until a manufacturer reaches 200,000 in sales since the start of 2010. Tesla hit 200,000 in July but the full credit continued for vehicles delivered by Dec. 31. It was cut in half on Jan. 1 and will go away by the end of the year.“You’ve had your early adopters, those early followers have already come in” to buy, Schuster said. “Now you’re trying to appeal to the mainstream market. I think that will have an impact on overall demand.”At the same time, inventory appears to be swelling. The company parked hundreds of cars at lots and Tesla stores all over the country at the end of last year, which could indicate excess stock. Tesla wouldn’t give inventory numbers but said it has lower stocks than its two biggest competitors, BMW and Mercedes.The Associated Press found one lot on the north side of Chicago where Tesla was storing dozens of vehicles in late December, and Mark Spiegel, a hedge fund manager who bets against Tesla stock, said other lots were full across the country.Tesla said it sometimes stores vehicles on lots as they’re being shipped to company dealerships across the nation. The lot in Chicago has fewer cars on it today, the company said. “Our inventory levels remain the smallest in the automotive industry,” the company said Wednesday.Tesla also says Model 3 sales should grow worldwide as it expands distribution and begins to offer leases. Deliveries in Europe and China will start in February, and a right-hand-drive version is coming later in the year, the company said.In addition, inventory dropped in the fourth quarter as Tesla “delivered a few thousand vehicles more than produced.”Tesla said it had about 3,000 vehicles in transit to customers at year’s end. But even with that number, Schuster said production still exceeded deliveries, which doesn’t fit Tesla’s business model of building cars when they are ordered by customers. Still, even at 9,300, Tesla’s inventory is smaller than other automakers that have to stock dealerships, Schuster said.Tom Krisher, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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India mauls Poland 100 in Azlan Shah Cup

first_imgIpoh (Malaysia): With their final berth already sealed, India toyed with Poland and thrashed them 10-0 in their final group stage game of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup here on Friday. With four wins and a draw, India lead the six-team league table with 13 points and a goal difference of +18. India will face South Korea in the final on Saturday. It was a one-sided battle from start to finish with India demonstrating their attacking prowess to the fullest. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhIndia were two goals to the good inside the first seven minutes. Vivek Prasad scored the first goal while Sumit converted Mandeep Singh’s pass to make it 2-0. The Indians were all over Poland as the 21st ranked team in the world failed to stave off their opponent’s repeated forays inside the circle. In the 18th minute, Varun Kumar’s flick saied into the net to make it 3-0 while Surender Kumar added the fourth a minute later. It was one way traffic all the way as Varun doubled his tally with Simranjeet also getting on the scoresheet in the 29th minute. At the end of the first period, Indians had raced to a 6-0 lead. The script was no different in the second, as India continued to dominate. Nilakanta scored India’s seventh goal after Sumit set him up inside the circle. Mandeep then struck back-to-back goals in the 50th and 51st minute while and Amit Rohidas found the back of the net in the 55th minute to round off a massive 10-0 victory.last_img read more

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Ayushmann Khurrana completes Article 15 shoot

first_imgMumbai: Ayushmann Khurrana on Tuesday wrapped up filming his upcoming movie, “Article 15” and the actor said the Anubhav Sinha directorial will be “the most relevant and important film” in Indian cinema. Touted as a hard-hitting investigative drama, “Article 15” will see Khurrana play a police officer for the first time. “Wrapped up a film which will become the most relevant and important film of Indian cinema. Thank you @anubhavsinha sir for giving me this gem and also writing the most real cop role ever. #Article15,” the actor wrote on Twitter. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka He also shared a 3D mini figure modelled on him in his cop avatar and thanked the cast and crew for it. The film is being called one of Sinha’s most ambitious projects till date and is the director’s first collaboration with the actor. “Article 15” also stars Isha Talwar, Manoj Pahwa, Sayani Gupta, Kumud Mishra, M Naser, Ashish Verma, Sushil Pandey, Subrajyoti Bharat and Zeeshan Ayub. Produced by Benaras Media Works, the film went on floors from March 1 in Lucknow.last_img read more

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Opposition scared indulging in scaremongering Modi

first_imgBhagalpur (Bihar): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched a scathing attack on the Congress-led opposition, asserting that the “mahamilavati gang” is scared that if he comes to power again, their “shops” of corruption and dynasty politics will shut down. Addressing an election rally here, Modi also said the opposition wants to strip the armed forces of their special powers, while the NDA government strives to give full liberty to jawans to deal with terrorists and Naxals. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details “The mahamilavati gang is actually afraid of something else though it may have other pretensions while scaremongering. They fear that if Modi comes to power again, their shops of corruption, dynasty politics and venal defence deals will shut down,” he said. The prime minister said his government has been making efforts to bolster the quota system introduced by Baba Saheb Ambedkar. “They are saying that if Modi comes to power again, elections would be done away with. All constitutional bodies will be under threat. And reservations will be done away with. “The fact remains, this ‘chowkidar’ of yours has been making all efforts to strengthen the quota system introduced by Baba Saheb Ambedkar,” Modi said. Bihar will witness a seven-phase polling for its 40 Lok Sabha seats.last_img read more

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EC bans Congress Chowkidaar Chor Hai ad

first_imgBhopal: The Election Commission in Madhya Pradesh has banned the ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ advertisement of the Congress party and ordered an end to its broadcast. The Joint Chief Election Officer on Wednesday issued a notice to all the state district officers saying that the media certification and inspection committee has cancelled the ad certification and it should be discontinued. The Bharatiya Janata Party had earlier complained to the Chief Election Officer saying that the ad was offensive and defamatory in nature. Chief Election Officer V.L. Kantarao has directed action against the Congress, besides issuing a notice to the party.last_img read more

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Binay Tamang vows to revive shut tea gardens

first_imgDarjeeling: Binay Tamang, former chairman of the Gokhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) and candidate for the forthcoming Assembly by-election from the Darjeeling constituency, has assured tobring relief to the tea garden workers by resolving various issues ailing the tea gardens in the Hills. “Out of the 87 tea gardens in the Hills around five are closed. With the relentless efforts of the Darjeeling Terai Dooars Plantation Labour Union and the intervention of the GTA we managed to reopen the Risheehat Tea Estate that had been closed for 13 days. The Kanchen View Tea Estate will also open from April 29,” said Tamang, who is at present on the campaign trail. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaIncidentally, a cease-work strike has been declared by the management at the Kanchen View Tea Estate located in Darjeeling town. Tamang further stated that after the Model Code of Conduct is lifted a Sri Lankan Tea Company will visit the closed gardens. The company has shown interest to run these closed gardens. “If things work out the no objection certificate will be provided to them to run the gardens. If it does not, we can have workers cooperatives to run these closed gardens. The matter has already been discussed with the state government. Things look very positive,” Tamang said. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayRegarding special relief for the tea garden workers who had not received wages during the 105-day bandh in 2017 in the Darjeeling Hills in the grip of political strife, Tamang stated that that a proposal had been given and the Bengal Government’s response is positive. “During the bandh, workers had missed out on wages for 73 days. A report had been prepared and sent to the state government. Altogether Rs. 108 crore is required to pay all the workers for the bandh period. Even if not the full 73 days, we want the government and the GTA to disburse a special relief for at least 50 to 60 days. It will be a big help for the workers and their families. The state is very positive about it,” Tamang said.last_img read more

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HC grants time to ED to file response on maintainability of Robert

first_imgNew Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday granted more time to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file an affidavit regarding the maintainability of Robert Vadra’s plea seeking quashing of a money laundering case in which he was questioned by the probe agency.A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Vinod Goel directed the ED to file the response within a week and listed the matter for further hearing on July 18. The court asked Vadra and his close aide Manoj Arora to file their rejoinder to the ED’s affidavit in two weeks thereafter. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghCentral government standing counsel Amit Mahajan, appearing for the ED, said the short affidavit was almost ready and they require some more time to file it. The court had earlier on March 25 asked the probe agency to file its response in the form of an affidavit regarding the maintainability of two separate but similar petitions by Vadra and Arora within two weeks. The ED had opposed Vadra’s plea, saying it was not maintainable as he “wilfully suppressed” material facts from the court. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadIt had contended that the plea of Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, was an abuse of process of law. When he feared that “law will catch him, he challenged the PMLA provisions”, it had added. The ED case relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property at 12, Bryanston Square, worth 1.9 million pounds. The property is allegedly owned by Vadra. Vadra has also sought that various provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, be declared unconstitutional. Vadra has sought in his plea that Sections 3, 17, 19, 24, 44 and 50 of the PMLA be declared ultra vires or unconstitutional.last_img read more

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Will not tolerate muscle flexing in state Mamata

first_imgBhatpara/Palta/Rajarhat: Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to tell lies about Bengal’s development and do a bit of homework before addressing election rallies.Without naming Arjun Singh, BJP nominee for the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat, Banerjee issued a stern warning and said she would not tolerate any kind of muscle flexing in the area. She addressed a mammoth rally at Bhatpara on Thursday afternoon. Later, she addressed two other meetings at Palta and Rajarhat respectively. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaBanerjee also added that in the past eight years, massive development has taken place in Bengal. Through various schemes, people from all walks of life have benefitted. Over 60 lakh girl students are getting the benefits of “Kanyashree” and around one crore students studying in state-run and aided schools are getting cycles free of cost under the “Sabuj Sathi” project. Around 8 crore people are getting rice at Rs 2 a kilogram under the “Khadya Sathi” scheme. The newly introduced “Swasthya Sathi” project will benefit around 8 crore people and the card will be issued in the name of the senior most woman member of the family as a part of women empowerment. “During Dr BC Roy’s time, development projects had been carried out but after that everything got stalled in Bengal. The Trinamool-led government has carried out massive development in infrastructure,” she said. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway”But there are people who come to Bengal just to defame the state. Modi comes here and spreads lies. He said the government does not allow Durga Puja or Saraswati Puja. More than one lakh Durga Pujas and more than a crore Saraswati Puja are organised in Bengal. He should do a little bit of homework before telling such blatant lies.” Criticising the Prime Minister, she said: “He is so shameless that he does horse trading and says 40 TMC MLAs are in touch with him. Not a single MLA will join him,” she said and alleged: “BJP had banned high-value notes to fill up its own coffers.”last_img read more

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