KMC plans to set up residential school for boys

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata Municipal Corporation is planning to set up a residential school for boys which will be the first of its kind in the city. This school will come up at Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya Sarani in Bhowanipore area in south Kolkata.The school will have facility to lodge students for a duration of 12 hours from 6.30 am to 6.30 in the evening. There will be facilities for their bath, breakfast lunch as well as tiffin in the evening, before they return home. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess Durga”There are a number of students in schools run by us whose parents leave for work early in the morning and return in the evening. After they leave these kids skip school and roam here and there. The parents will drop these kids in the school and we will take care of them through out the day. They will receive education as well as food and other facilities ,” said a senior official of the Education department of the civic body. The KMC will recruit non teaching staffs to take care of the kids after their school hours. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersThere are two schools located at Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya Sarani in Bhowanipore among which one school is entirely for boys. “KMC’s plan is to upgrade the boys school to residential facilities having a capacity to lodge 100 students,” the official added. A similar school with residential facilities for girls is being set up at Kashiswari Chatterjee Lane in ward 1 of the civic body. Work for the school has already started. KMC maintains a total of 257 primary schools in the city and the student strength is over 25,000. Most of the students studying in KMC schools hail from poor financial background. It may be mentioned that the infrastructure of KMC schools have witnessed a sea change, since it was taken over by the Trinamool Congress board in 2010. The Education department has introduced Hindi medium, Urdu Medium and English medium schools catering to the demand of the people in different localities in the city.last_img read more

Indias candidature for UNSC nonpermanent seat for twoyear term endorsed by Asia

first_imgUnited Nations: In a highly significant diplomatic win for India and testament to its global stature, India’s candidature for a non-permanent seat at the powerful UN Security Council for a two-year term has been unanimously endorsed by the Asia-Pacific group at the world body. Elections for five non-permanent members of the 15-nation Council for the 2021-22 term will be held around June next year. “A unanimous step. Asia-Pacific Group @UN unanimously endorses India’s candidature for a non-permanent seat of the Security Council for 2 year term in 2021/22. Thanks to all 55 members for their support,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin tweeted Tuesday. Also Read – Rajnath Singh arrives for Rafale handover ceremony in France A video message accompanying Akbaruddi’s tweet said “Asia-Pacific Group endorses India for Non-Permanent Seat of United Nations Security Council. 55 countries, 1 nominee – India for non-permanent seat of UN Security Council Term 2021-2022.” The video message thanked all the countries in the Asia Pacific group for endorsing India’s candidature. Among the 55 countries supporting India’s candidature are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, UAE and Vietnam. Also Read – Cosmology trio win Nobel Physics Prize Each year the 193-member General Assembly elects five non-permanent members for a two-year term at the UN high-table. The five permanent members of the Council are China, France, Russia, UK and the US. The 10 non-permanent seats are distributed on a regional basis : five for African and Asian States; one for Eastern European States; two for the Latin American and Caribbean States; and two for Western European and other States. Previously, India has been elected as a non-permanent member of the Council for the years 1950 1951, 1967 1968, 1972 1973, 1977 1978, 1984 1985, 1991 1992 and most recently in 2011 2012 under the leadership of former Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri. Early this month, Estonia, Niger, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Vietnam were elected to the Council for a two-year term beginning January 2020. St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the smallest nation ever to secure a seat. Currently the 10 non-permanent members are Belgium, Cote d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Germany, Indonesia, Kuwait, Peru, Poland and South Africa. India has been at the forefront of the years-long efforts to reform the Security Council saying it rightly deserves a place as a permanent member of the Council, which in its current form does not represent the geo-political realities of the 21st Century. India’s former Permanent Representative to the UN Asoke Kumar Mukerji had previously told PTI that the country will contest the elections for a non-permanent member seat of the Security Council for the 2021-2022 term.last_img read more

GST return filing remains less than desired GSTR3B compliance around 60 pc

first_imgNew Delhi: iTwo years after the landmark goods and services tax (GST) amalgamated 17 different central and state levies, returns filing under the new indirect tax regime continues to be wobbly with filings showing spikes every three months but continue to be less than desired, data analysis showed. Also, compliance in filing summary sales return GSTR-3B has not improved much since July 2017, as businesses continue to file it after the monthly due date, with compliance averaging at around 60 per cent. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep Analysis of data released by Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) showed that while on an average, 50 per cent of the registered taxpayers filed GSTR-3B within due date in July 2017, the number increased to around 85 per cent as on June 23, 2019. Similarly, 65 per cent of taxpayers filed within due date in July 2018, a total of 85 per cent of the eligible taxpayers have filed it as on June 23, 2019. Similar trend continued in April, with less than 60 per cent of eligible taxpayers filing returns within due date, and the total number of GSTR-3B filed increased to nearly 80 per cent as on June 23, 2019. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to Customs While businesses have to file GSTR-3B by the 20th day of the succeeding month, GSTR-1 has to be filed by the 10th day. According to GST laws, the fee for late filing of the returns is Rs 25 per day for Central GST (CGST) and an equal amount under State GST (SGST). However, those businesses who have to file returns but have ‘nil’ tax liability would have to pay a fine of Rs 10 under CGST law, and an equal amount under SGST law. An analysis of GSTR-1 filing trend showed that final sales return filed by businesses spiked every quarter, reflecting that composition scheme dealers and small businesses file their returns. However, there is still a huge divergence in the number of businesses who are eligible to file GSTR-1 and those who actually file it. The data showed that while a little over 1 crore businesses were eligible to file GSTR-1 as of March 2019, only a little over 65 lakh have actually filed it. Similarly for December 2018, while about 1 crore businesses were required to file GSTR-1, about 75 lakh have filed it till June 23, 2019. In the current financial year, while around 55 lakh businesses were eligible to file GSTR-1, about 25 lakh and 20 lakh businesses have filed the return in April and May, respectively. The new indirect tax regime was rolled out on July 1, 2017. From just 38.51 lakh businesses registered under GST then, the number has gone up to a whopping over 1.22 crore.last_img read more

Doctors security Health ministry forms committee

first_imgNew Delhi: The Union Health Ministry has formed a 10-member committee to examine the “pros and cons” of bringing central legislation against the assault on doctors on duty and violence in clinical establishments.Last month, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) had held a nationwide protest following an assault on doctors at the NRS Medical College in Kolkata and demanded the enactment of a central law to check violence on medical professionals in hospitals. The committee was constituted on July 5 to examine the “pros and cons of bringing out central legislation against the assault on doctors on duty and clinical establishments”, the Health Ministry said.last_img

iPhone 11 to support Apple Pencil Report

first_imgSan Francisco: The 2019 line-up of iPhones are expected to come with support for Apple Pencil — a wireless stylus pen from Apple, a new analyst note from Citi Analysts suggests. Rumours about Apple Pencil support for iPhones go back several years when CEO Tim Cook in an interview in 2016 had said, “If you’ve ever seen what can be created with that pencil on an iPad or an iPhone, it’s really unbelievable…”, news portal 9To5MAC reported on Wednesday. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year Earlier, ahead of the launch of the 2018 iPhones, there were multiple reports from Asian supply chain indicating the new devices would work with Apple’s stylus. In addition, the upcoming iPhone 11 line-up is expected to feature company’s new A13 chip, sport a new Taptic Engine and feature a lightning port for audio and charging. The iPhone-maker would launch three iPhone 11 models this year. The D43 (internal name) would replace the iPhone XS Max, the D42 (internal name) would replace the iPhone XS and the N104 (internal name) would replace the iPhone XR. According to the report, the new iPhone 11 models replacing the iPhone XS series would have a triple rear camera set-up at the back and all three sensors will be placed at the back. Known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had also earlier suggested that the upcoming iPhone models would be equipped with reverse wireless charging.last_img read more

End of an era as Montreals crumbling former racetrack to be demolished

first_imgMONTREAL – The abandoned Hippodrome de Montreal grandstand looks over a weed-choked field, a mountain of dirty snow covering the track where horses once thundered past on their way to the finish line.In the almost 10 years since the harness racing track closed, the structure has been quietly decaying as a series of municipal and provincial administrations have struggled to put a plan in place for the immense track of land northwest of Montreal’s downtown.Now, that era will likely come to an end in the coming days and weeks as the city moves forward with plans to demolish the clubhouse and decontaminate the 434,000 square-metre terrain.Before that, Montreal police and a team of social workers are expected to make a final scan to ensure no squatters remain.The demolition comes none too soon, according to Coun. Marvin Rotrand.Rotrand, who has represented the district since 1982, believes successive municipal administrations have wasted time in redeveloping the massive vacant terrain into family-friendly housing.“It’s a prime and choice site, and it’s really nonsense that it’s been allowed to remain vacant decade after decade,” Rotrand said.The track, known for most of its history as Blue Bonnets, opened in 1907 and closed in 2009.Various proposals have suggested placing anywhere between 3,000 and 8,000 condo units on the site, which is one of the largest parcels of undeveloped land that is relatively close to downtown and accessible by public transit.Community activists are also lobbying for up to 2,500 social housing units on the site.The demolition will be a sad moment for Sylvain Filion, a a four-time Canadian driver of the year who spent the first decades of his career at Blue Bonnets.Filion says his earliest memories include playing in the packed grandstands as a six-year-old as the standardbred horses flew by.“There used to be a huge crowd there for Sunday afternoon racing,” said Filion, who moved to the Toronto area after the track closed down.“You don’t see crowds like that at the races any more. The ambience was just incredible.”Filion, 49, remembers the camaraderie in the barn, the friendly competition and the excitement leading up to big events, such as the Prix d’Ete held every August.“I never thought they’d demolish that place,” he said. “At one point it was one of the biggest tracks in North America.”At one time, the busy track employed thousands of drivers, trainers, grooms and race officials.But by the 1990s, the industry was in decline.The city purchased the land in 1991 and sold it to the province seven years later.Since the closure, various municipal and provincial governments have negotiated for a plan to redevelop the site, which served as a temporary concert venue for Irish rock band U2 in 2011 and as a temporary snow dump this past winter.Last year, the province agreed to cede the land to the city in exchange for a share in the profits once the lot is parcelled out to developers for condo development.Despite the upcoming demolition, Rotrand says any future housing remains years away.“We’re now at the stage where we’re actually going to demolish, but doesn’t mean anything will happen imminently,” he said.last_img read more

Research suggests T Rex was covered in scales instead of feathers

first_imgEDMONTON – Research suggests Tyrannosaurus rex and some of its close relatives were covered in tiny scales and not feathers as many scientists previously thought.An international team of researchers, including University of Alberta paleontologists, studied fossilized skin from massive carnivorous lizards known as tyrannosaurids.Their ancestors, which were about the size of wolves or leopards, were coated in feathery fuzz, but somewhere along the way their descendants seem to have lost that attribute, said paleontologist Scott Persons, who contributed to the study.“What we see here is actually evidence of feathers evolving and then being lost — or at least greatly reduced in terms of their number — in this one lineage of dinosaurs, which is strange,” he said.A completely separate branch of the dinosaur family tree included an uninterrupted line of feathered carnivores, including the Velociraptor, that are related to today’s birds.Persons’ interest was piqued when his U of A colleague and mentor, renowned paleontologist Philip Currie, showed him a skin sample from a specimen found in Alberta.A team of U of A researchers got to work, but soon got wind of another group studying a different skin fossil.“Rather than competing with each other in a rush to see who could be the first to publish on it, we all pooled our resources and, as a result, we have a really cool study that talks about skin in multiple species of tyrannosaurids, which is pretty gosh darn cool.”The combined team included researchers from Canada, the United States and Australia.It’s rare to find fossilized dinosaur skin, but advances in preparation techniques are making discoveries more common. Often, a researcher won’t even know there is skin attached to a fossil until after it’s taken back to the lab.The scientists can’t say for certain why feathers went by the wayside in tyrannosaurids, but Persons said he suspects it has to do with the animals’ size, as the bigger you are, the harder it is to stay cool.He notes elephants and rhinos today have little in the way of hair.“You’re better off not being out in the savannah in the hot sun while wearing a down jacket.”Because the skin specimens were relatively small, it’s impossible to say whether the dinosaurs were entirely featherless, or if they had isolated patches on their bodies, such as a crest atop their heads.To know for sure, Persons said paleontologists would need to find a tyrannosaurid that had been completely mummified.“They’re probably buried somewhere out there and it’s really just a matter of time before we get lucky enough and uncover one.”The paper is to be published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters this month.— By Lauren Krugel in Calgarylast_img read more

Analyst Gregg Zaun fired from Sportsnet for inappropriate behaviour

first_imgTORONTO – Gregg Zaun has been fired from Sportsnet due to “inappropriate behaviour and comments” toward female employees.Rick Brace, President of Rogers Media, said in a statement Thursday that the company was terminating the contract of the MLB studio analyst effective immediately.“This week, we received complaints from multiple female employees at Sportsnet regarding inappropriate behaviour by Gregg Zaun in the workplace,” the statement said. “After investigating the matter, we decided to terminate his contract, effective immediately. This type of behaviour completely contradicts our standards and our core values. We believe in a professional workplace where all employees feel comfortable and respected. We are grateful to our employees who spoke with us and we will take every measure to protect their privacy.”The former Toronto Blue Jays catcher began a part-time broadcasting career with Sportsnet following the 2006 season. He initially signed a two-year deal as a MLB studio analyst with Sportsnet in 2011 and continued working with the network until his termination.Zaun, 46, played 16 major league seasons, including five years in Toronto from 2004-2008. He captured a World Series with the Florida Marlins in 1997.Zaun’s dismissal comes at a time when allegations of sexual harassment are widespread in the film industry, politics and the newsroom with prominent figures such as producer Harvey Weinstein and Today Show host Matt Lauer among those accused.Sportsnet.ca reported there were no allegations of physical or sexual assault.Zaun did not immediately return a request for comment. Longtime co-host Jamie Campbell told The Canadian Press in an email that he had no comment.The Blue Jays declined to comment directly on the matter late Thursday when contacted by The Canadian Press and referred media queries to Rogers Media.Zaun, who referred to himself as “the Manalyst,” was ridiculed over Twitter back in 2012 when he tweeted a disparaging comment about women in a Toronto nightclub.Zaun ruffled the feathers of some Blue Jays players over the years when he criticized their play. Former catcher J.P. Arencibia responded to Zaun and another former Sportsnet analyst, Dirk Hayhurst, by blasting both in a radio interview in 2013.Zaun criticized pitcher Marcus Stroman this April for being overly animated on the mound during a series against the Los Angeles Angels. The right-hander said on Twitter: “Outside opinions are irrelevant. Especially when they come from sources with zero credibility” when a fan tweeted at Stroman about Zaun’s comments.Zaun was one of the names mentioned in the Mitchell Report — the 2007 document that followed U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell’s 20-month investigation into performance-enhancing drug use in MLB. Zaun denied that he ever bought PED’s.Zaun was scheduled to speak a fundraiser for the University of the Fraser Valley baseball program in Abbotsford, B.C., in February, but organizers released a statement Thursday saying they were pulling him from the event.“In light of the allegations of inappropriate behaviour in the workplace against Zaun which led to his termination by Sportsnet today, UFV Baseball is seeking a new speaker for the event, which will proceed as scheduled,” the statement said.last_img read more

TVO host breaks silence says sexual harassment allegation 100 per cent false

first_imgTORONTO – A veteran journalist with Ontario’s public broadcaster fired back and denied a sexual harassment allegation made by a Toronto woman, calling the claim “complete fiction.”Steve Paikin, host of TVOntario’s flagship current events program “The Agenda,” broke his silence Tuesday with an extensive statement on Facebook, where he said he was “gobsmacked” by the allegation outlined to him in an email from his accuser over the weekend.“Even though I knew the allegations were 100 per cent false, I did what I suspected was the appropriate thing to do and immediately passed the email on to my superiors at TVO,” Paikin wrote. “I knew the charges were bogus, but I knew I owed it to my employer to be totally transparent about all of it.”Paikin said he spent two hours Sunday with TVO management and its lawyers “answering every imaginable question.”His comments come after TVO announced Monday that an independent third party will investigate the allegations, during which time Paikin will continue to host “The Agenda.”Paikin commended the broadcaster Tuesday for bringing in the investigator, adding that “I have no doubt that a thorough and fair analysis of the allegations and the parties involved will point to the truth.”Paikin and TVO have said the claims were mounted by former Toronto mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson, who Paikin said he has known professionally for more than a decade.In a post Friday on Thomson’s website Women’s Post, she wrote that a political talk show host, who she did not identify, “asked me if I would sleep with him” after attending a lunch at a Toronto restaurant in 2010. She said her assistant was present for the meeting.She said she “politely” declined his offer, then went to the washroom and called her campaign manager, who advised her to leave, which she said she did.Thomson has not responded to requests for comment from The Canadian Press.Before Paikin released his Facebook statement, Thomson tweeted Tuesday, “Women don’t come forward because they get attacked on social media. Did Paikin go public to scare other women from coming forward? Sad how easily he’s playing people.”The allegation comes amid a social justice movement under the #MeToo and Time’s Up banners, which has sparked an international conversation on sexual misconduct, harassment and assault.Paikin said the movement is “too important to be undermined by spurious allegations. The only good thing about this has been receiving the huge number of emails and phone calls from people who believe me and are prepared to say so publicly.”He said he wrote the statement independent of TVO and his lawyers, and that he has had trouble sleeping since the allegation was made.“You’ve defamed me Sarah. I have no idea why, but you have. And I simply can’t allow that to stand,” he wrote. “The quest to reclaim my reputation, which you’ve tried to destroy, begins now. I look forward to vindication.”Note to readers: This is a corrected story. Headlines in a previous version said Steve Paikin responded to sexual assault allegations. In fact, he is responding to a sexual harassment allegation.last_img read more

More than two dozen fringe parties vying for attention in Ontario election

first_imgTORONTO – Ontario’s election is all but down to two parties, if the polls are correct, but more than two dozen are actually competing, including those targeting the vegan vote, the anti-sex-ed vote and the no-vote vote.Beyond the usual Progressive Conservative, NDP and Liberal suspects exists a grab bag of minor and fringe parties, some of which can only hope to garner a few handfuls of votes but still gamely vie for voters’ attention as an alternative to the big three.The Trillium Party captured a few headlines last year after a controversial Progressive Conservative politician left that party and joined Trillium. It means they can claim a sitting member, though with the party not having enough seats for official party status in the legislature, Jack MacLaren technically sat as an independent.The party is against a carbon tax, against the Liberals’ sex-ed curriculum and wants the private sector involved in the sale of marijuana.Trillium Party president Bob Yaciuk said his party wants the votes of people who are disenchanted with the mainstream options.“I can almost say for certain that if you are planning on voting in the election then you’re probably not going to be voting for us. What we’re doing is we’re garnering our votes from the people who said it’s not worthwhile to vote,” he said.“People aren’t caring anymore and the question has to be: why don’t they care? It’s because they don’t believe their voice is being heard anymore.”Also looking for the disenfranchised vote is the None of the Above Direct Democracy Party. Among their star candidates are G20 protester Adam Nobody, whose complaint about a police officer’s conduct led to a criminal assault conviction for the officer, and a man who legally changed his name to Above Znoneofthe so he could appear last in an alphabetical list of candidates on a ballot.“I just think it’s great to have more options — part of a democracy,” Znoneofthe said of his party. “People have a really tough time making up their mind. They can decline their ballot or they can vote none of the above, thanks to the None of the Above party and myself.”He has run in several byelections as Above Znoneofthe and says this election will be the last before returning to his birth name — unless he wins.“I figured I’ve still got the name, so I’m going to take one last kick at the can with that name,” he said. “If that’s what happens after you run too many times — you turn into John Turmel — then no thanks.”Turmel holds the Guinness World Record for most elections contested. He has run more than 90 times.Joining Turmel’s Pauper Party of Ontario with parties running only two candidates — out of 124 ridings — are the Canadian Economic Party, the Go Vegan party, the Multicultural Party of Ontario, the Ontario Provincial Confederation of Regions Party, the Ontario Social Reform Party, the Party of Objective Truth and a Stop Climate Change Party.Other parties on some ballots include a party that bemoans the state of processed food and says cats know better than humans what is edible, a party that decries the notion of privilege and transgender rights, and one whose education platform calls for manners and courtesy in school and suggests mandatory uniforms in public schools.Associate political science professor Laura Stephenson said people support minor and fringe parties because they really believe in their platform, even if the party has no chance of winning. She distinguishes the Green party as a minor one, not fringe. They got nearly five per cent of the popular vote in 2014 and are running a full slate of candidates.Some parties are single-issue parties, and they attract people with a strong view on that topic, said the Western University professor.“If they can get that issue listened to, if they can make enough noise that one of the main party candidates, let’s say, picks up the issue itself, then maybe that’s the goal,” Stephenson said.That’s exactly the aim of Queenie Yu’s Stop the New Sex-Ed Agenda party.She ran as an independent in the 2016 Scarborough-Rouge River byelection and said her activism pushed then-leader Patrick Brown to clarify his stance on the sex-ed curriculum. She supported Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Tanya Granic Allen in that race, and said Granic Allen’s vocal opposition to the sex-ed curriculum forced all the candidates to take positions on it.“Our goal isn’t to win a seat at Queen’s Park, but to send a message to those who are at Queen’s Park and to influence them,” Yu said.last_img read more

Singh tries to rally his troops as the NDP struggles to gain

first_imgOTTAWA — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says many Canadians have told him they are struggling with uncertain employment, a lack of housing and expensive medication — problems he told the party’s most faithful Tuesday he believes his party can fix, despite depressed support in recent polls.Singh spoke to NDP staffers who gathered in Ottawa from across the country for the federal party’s annual staff forum.The NDP leader delivered a campaign-style speech, aimed at rallying the troops in the midst of the party’s ongoing struggle to gain traction.A recent Nanos survey suggested the NDP is at 14-per-cent support and that Singh is the preferred federal leader of only 5.7 per cent of voters surveyed. An Abacus survey released last month was not much rosier, placing the party at 16 per cent and Singh the choice for prime minister of 11 per cent of respondents.But Singh was upbeat in Ottawa Tuesday, saying he believes Canadians are in “a tough spot” and need New Democrats to step up for them.“Many Canadians feel like they voted for something and they didn’t get what they voted for,” he said. “I’m serving notice that good enough is not good enough. We deserve better, we need better and we’re going to achieve that together.”Singh asked the audience of mainly young adult staffers to work harder in their regions to help build party support. They reacted with polite applause.Teresa Wright, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Fortified Arctic infrastructure needed in face of climate change study

first_imgA detailed study of climate change and the North suggests the impact on roads and other infrastructure will be even more severe than anticipated.John Pomeroy of the University of Saskatchewan says projections in the newly published paper are the most precise ever made.He says they show significant threats to crucial links such as the Dempster Highway, the only road from southern Canada to the Arctic coast.The study predicts that by the end of the century, temperatures will have risen by six degrees, permafrost will retreat or disappear and flood-causing stream flows will almost double.Pomeroy says the findings show that any new infrastructure in the North will have to be reinforced and redesigned to withstand the impacts of climate change.Last year, the federal government promised $570 million over 10 years to build new roads and for other community projects.Pomeroy says his research group will soon release projections for other parts of Canada.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Game Of Thrones Natalia Tena Supports Survival International Campaign

first_imgGame of Thrones and Harry Potter star Natalia Tena has lent her support to a Survival International campaign to finally bring the killers of three Colombian Indian leaders to justice.Twenty-two years ago, in November 1990, Angel María Torres and two other leaders of Colombia’s Arhuaco tribe were kidnapped, tortured and killed. They were travelling from their home in Colombia’s northern Sierra Nevada region to the capital Bogotá when they were detained by the army. Shortly after their disappearance, their corpses were found with signs of severe torture.In a rare interview, Angel María Torres’s widow Dilia has spoken of the grief and despair of the last 22 years.‘My husband’s hair was gone and his fingers were missing (…) I have lost my husband and all hope of a life with my partner and family.’ Dilia Torres told Survival.The appeal is supported with a voice-over by Game of Thrones and Harry Potter star Natalia Tena.Following an international campaign by Survival, its supporters and the Arhuaco, the United Nations and the Colombian government upheld the army’s responsibility for the men’s death. However no-one has been punished for the crime.Colombia’s indigenous peoples are caught in the cross-fire of Colombia’s civil war, and attacks on them continue. In November, Arhuaco leader Rogelio Mejia was driving in a car with a Survival researcher when the vehicle was attacked by gunmen. Mejia escaped with three gunshot wounds, but the case remains unresolved.Natalia Tena said, ’Dilia’s story of the loss of her husband touched me deeply, which is why I am supporting Survival’s campaign against impunity for crimes against Colombia’s indigenous people.’Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said, ‘Rarely is there a more explicit and stomach-churning example of government-sponsored violence against tribal peoples. And yet there are those that continue to promulgate the lie that tribal peoples fare better when the state is imposed upon them. Arhuaco tribeswoman Dilia Torres would vehemently disagree.’Source:Survival Internationallast_img read more

Justin Long Joins DoSomethingorgs Personal Finance Campaign‏

first_imgThe No. 1 fear of young people? Paying for college. According to a poll by Young Money, more than three in four students feel they don’t know enough about personal finance.Video: Play Would You Rather w/ JUSTIN LONG (plus BLOOPERS)That’s why DoSomething.org and H&R Block Dollars & Sense are joining forces for the second year to help by giving teens personal finance tips through a hilarious campaign called “Would You Rather.”“Would You Rather” uses an interactive SMS text message experience that asks teens to choose between multiple penny-pinching situations. Since, on average, teens send more than 3,300 texts a month and text messages have a 99 percent open rate, it’s an effective medium to reach young people.Beginning January 28, teens can challenge their friends to the experience and engage in a conversation around crazy ways to save money. For example, participants will be asked, “Would you rather A) take a date to the drive thru; or B) pick your date up on your Razor scooter?” The experience is followed by action steps and tips to get teens thinking about and saving for their financial future.To help raise awareness of the issue and encourage young people to participate in the campaign, actor Justin Long recorded a public service announcement.“I love this campaign because the situations are hilarious and it makes me want to learn how to save some cash,” said Justin Long. “My favorite scenario: What would you rather do to save money? Only buy used underwear from a thrift shop or never wear underwear? Guess which one I picked…”Together, DoSomething.org and H&R Block are making an “adult” topic more accessible for young people.“Would You Rather’ provides a fun way for teens to interact with friends and think about the realities of their financial future at a young age,” said Kathy Collins, chief marketing officer at H&R Block. “We’re taking two topics many of us would rather avoid thinking about – saving and financial fitness – and making them relatable.”To participate in the campaign, teens can text “START” to 38383 or visit dosomething.org/wyr.last_img read more

Chris Paul Named Laureus Sport For Good Ambassador

first_imgLaureus Sport for Good Foundation USA, the leading non-profit organization that uses the positive power of sport to tackle society’s most pressing challenges, announced today it is joining forces with Los Angeles Clippers point guard and NBA All-Star Chris Paul and naming him its newest Ambassador.Paul joins an impressive list of both current and former sportspeople supporting and promoting the Laureus Sports for Good Foundation’s work around the world.Paul was in New Orleans today at the KIPP Central City Primary School to announce his induction into the growing Laureus family. Laureus USA has strong ties to the city of New Orleans via its partnership with Mercedes-Benz USA, where the two have teamed up to support safe afterschool programs benefitting more than 4,000 kids in the local community over the past two years. Paul is also back at the KIPP school revisiting the children that are part of his CP3 AfterSchool Zone program that he launched in 2010. The Afterschool Zone is a tailored multi-year program for K-4th grade students providing personalized afterschool experiences including sports, language lessons, homework help and more.The Laureus Ambassadors, along with the members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, support the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. The organization’s mission is to utilize the power of sport to address social problems through a global program of sports-related community development initiatives. Laureus USA works with numerous organizations around the country to help support initiatives that affect youth in their area such as accessing quality coaches, furthering education, and increasing physical activity.Based on his own successful childhood experiences with afterschool basketball and extracurricular programs, Paul knows first-hand that quality afterschool programs can be highly impactful on youth development. Paul wanted youth in New Orleans to experience those same opportunities that helped shape him to be who he is today.“I will never forget how much of my success today I owe to my family and the fact that they supported me as I grew up and continue to support me and my wife and children today. Most important of all, I’m thinking of my grandfather. He taught me the values that have made me who I am today. Not everyone is lucky enough to have that person and this is why I am so passionate about giving back to young people who might be in need of someone to guide them through tough times. It’s this kind of work I’m so excited about taking on as I become a Laureus Ambassador,” says Chris Paul.“It is an extraordinary honor to welcome world class athlete and fellow philanthropist Chris Paul to the Laureus family,” said Edwin Moses, Chairman of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA. “We are excited to join forces with Chris and work together to lead the charge for Sport for Development and help us spread the word about how the investment in quality sports based youth development programs can make an enormous impact in children’s’ lives. “For more information about Laureus USA, please visit www.laureususa.com.Source:BusinessWire.comlast_img read more

Stars Join ONE Campaign For Ebola Video

first_imgIn a new multi-media campaign launched today by The ONE Campaign, more than a dozen international artists are teaming up with healthcare workers from Liberia to demand world leaders do more – and quickly – to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and strengthen health systems so that future outbreaks can be quickly contained.ONE is releasing the video alongside an interactive Ebola Response Tracker, which shows how much money countries have pledged, how much has actually been disbursed, and how many health workers and other contributions have been sent to affected countries.The video features an international array of artists, including: African musicians Fally Ipupa, Angélique Kidjo, Femi Kuti, and Ice Prince; Irish rocker and ONE co-founder Bono; American and British stars Akon, Ben Affleck, Connie Britton, Matt Damon, Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman, Ellie Goulding, Danai Gurira, and Thandie Newton; German soccer star Per Mertesacker; French actor Vincent Cassel. Also appearing in the video are Liberian healthcare workers Dr. J Soka Moses and Louise Gaye.The world’s initial response to the Ebola outbreak was a failure — global leaders waited too long to act, and thousands have paid with their lives. The video, which is completely silent, highlights how the world waited for action to stamp out Ebola in West Africa, and how we cannot wait to invest in the health sector to prevent similar tragedies in the future.The video ends with a call to action for citizens to sign ONE’s petition demanding global leaders do what’s necessary to end the outbreak and strengthen basic health care systems in developing countries. Ebola is a global crisis and defeating it will take the combined efforts of government, business, relief groups and health care workers to bring it under control. ONE’s campaign is focused on ensuring governments do their part.Michael Elliott, President and CEO of ONE, said: “The initial response to the Ebola outbreak was too slow and too uncoordinated. Some countries have now stepped up to lead in a big way –with traditional donors like the US, UK, France and Germany all making meaningful contributions– but this is a global crisis and it demands a global response. While our first priority needs to be containing this outbreak, it is equally important that the world take steps now to invest in strengthening health systems so that future tragedies of this kind will be stopped in their tracks.”Angélique Kidjo, Grammy Award–winning singer-songwriter and activist from Benin, said: “When you don’t have enough doctors, nurses or hospital beds, it’s tough to stop a crisis like this Ebola outbreak. We need our friends around the world to come forward with all the help they can right now, so patients can be treated in a dignified way, and we can end this nightmare. Then we need to work together to rebuild and strengthen West Africa’s heath care systems to stop another crisis like this from happening again.”ONE’s “Ebola Response Tracker” has four main findings: 1. There is a significant discrepancy between money pledged and money disbursed on the ground. 2. No major donors have attached timelines to their contributions. Many are also unclear whether cash for the Ebola response is new money or simply funds repurposed from other foreign aid programs. 3. Accurate data on health care workers – the most critical part of the response – is very difficult to obtain. It’s also challenging to determine what kinds of personnel (i.e. epidemiologists, first responders, nurses) are required, pledged, or deployed in the field. 4. We can’t assess countries’ contributions based only on money or personnel. Countries such as the US are also contributing to the Ebola response with significant in-kind contributions such as military field hospitals, personnel, and equipment.The devastation caused by Ebola has begun to erase much of the recent progress Liberia Sierra Leone, and Guinea have made in lifting people out of extreme poverty. Nobody wants to see the clock turned back. We need every government to deliver the funding, resources and expertise needed to bring Ebola under control.You can watch the video here.Source:One.orglast_img read more

Shakira Launches World Baby Shower To Benefit UNICEF

Singer-songwriter and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Shakira, and FC Barcelona soccer star Gerard Piqué, are celebrating the imminent arrival of their second child by expanding upon their original concept of a ‘World Baby Shower’ to benefit UNICEF and vulnerable children around the world.
After the success of the UNICEF baby shower for their first son, Milan, Shakira and Gerard decided to create a shareable shower available for any and all expectant mothers in the hopes of giving a greater purpose to other baby showers and helping those babies and mothers who need it most.“Now that we are soon welcoming our second child we want to help other children around the world and also contribute to a long-lasting solution for getting children living in extreme poverty the supplies they need to survive,” said Shakira.“We also want other parents to feel compelled to do the same,” Shakira added. “With the explosion of social media, celebrities aren’t the only ones who have platforms that can reach mass audiences, and we want this movement to keep going long after our baby shower has ended, so we want to invite them to host their own baby showers with UNICEF as well.”Fans of the expectant couple will be invited to share in their event by visiting a special website featuring ‘Inspired Gifts’ that directly benefit UNICEF’s work for children in some of the poorest and remotest places on earth.In an exclusive post on her Facebook page, Shakira revealed the inspiration behind creating a platform where every expectant mother can help make an impact in saving and improving lives of children around the world.“Every woman who’s expecting has the power to use the blessing of her child’s imminent birth to save the lives of other, less fortunate children around the world. If every expectant mother having a baby shower decided to include among her gift registry some of these “inspired gifts” that UNICEF offers, we could collectively save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children all over the globe.”From the post, fans can use Facebook’s new call-to-action feature by clicking on ‘Donate’ to learn more and purchase an Inspired Gift for the baby shower.Among the 10 Inspired Gifts fans can purchase as part of the World Baby Shower are midwifery kits with medical equipment for safe delivery of 50 babies, measles and polio vaccines, blankets, and baby scales. Other gifts include a soccer ball – recognizing the power of sport and play in creating a happy, healthy childhood – and a storybook to nurture a love of reading and learning.Through Shakira’s Twitter profile, fans will also be able to purchase a special thank-you card from Shakira and Gerard. Every card bought will unlock funds for life-saving measles vaccines.Shakira and Gerard are urging other expectant parents to host their own virtual baby showers and engage their own families, friends, and followers to support UNICEF’s work for children. Just visit worldbabyshower.org.Baby showers are popular in many countries as a way of celebrating the pending or recent birth of a child by presenting gifts to the mother. The celebrity couple’s first virtual World Baby Shower to benefit UNICEF’s mission for children was held from 16 January to 15 February 2013, to mark the birth of their son, Milan. As a result, over 80,000 children were vaccinated against polio; nearly 4 tons of therapeutic food helped children suffering from malnutrition; and around 1,000 anti-malaria bed nets and nearly 200,000 oral rehydration salts sachets were distributed.The gifts from the World Baby Shower have the potential to save the life of a mother or a child. Despite great progress in reducing the child mortality rate, 6.3 million children under the age of five still die every year from largely preventable causes. Among these are 2.9 million newborns who die in the first month of life. And every day, millions of mothers give birth without adequate equipment, medicines or support services.UNICEF Inspired Gifts is an innovative programme that provides the public the opportunity to purchase actual lifesaving items that are shipped directly from either the UNICEF warehouse in Copenhagen or one of UNICEF’s many suppliers to one of over 150 countries or territories where UNICEF works. read more

Stars Issue a Call to Amnesty International in Open Letter

first_imgMore than 400 national and international women’s rights groups, including the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), human rights advocates, medical doctors, actors and directors, fashion designers, faith-based organizations and concerned individuals from over 30 countries signed an open letter to Amnesty International expressing their dismay at its policy proposal calling for the decriminalization of the sex industry.If passed at Amnesty’s International Council Meeting in Dublin from Aug. 7–11, this policy would in effect advocate the legalization of pimping, brothel owning and sex buying — the pillars of a $99 billion global sex industry.Within 24 hours of learning about Amnesty’s proposed policy, scores of Hollywood stars and prominent individuals began to join an international grassroots campaign urging Amnesty to stand with those exploited in the sex trade, who are mostly women, rather than with their exploiters. Among the signatories are Oscar-winning actress, Meryl Streep, chef and activist, Alice Waters, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Anna Quindlen, author, Hannah Pakula, poet and human rights activist, Rose Styron and 2008 Amnesty International Human Rights Award winner, Lydia Cacho. Others include: Angela Bassett, Emily Blunt, Jonathan Demme, Grace Hightower De Niro, Lena Dunham, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Jones, Kevin Kline, Lisa Kudrow, Kyra Sedgwick, Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Eve Ensler, Marcia Gay Harden, Carey Mulligan, Ali Wentworth and many more.The response to the open letter issued by CATW was so exceedingly positive that it is now a campaign on Change.org and is open for more signatures.As the letter states, campaigners firmly agree with Amnesty that those who are prostituted must not be criminalized or brutalized by law enforcement and governments. However, full decriminalization of the sex trade renders pimps “businesspeople” who sell vulnerable individuals, overwhelmingly with histories of poverty, discrimination, homelessness and sexual abuse, to buyers of sex with impunity.“I hope and believe that Amnesty will understand the parallels with other forms of economically compelled body invasion — for instance, the sale of organs,” added Gloria Steinem. “The millions who are prostituted experience trauma and shortened lives. Legalization keeps pimps, brothel keepers, and sex-slavers in freedom and riches. Criminalization puts the prostituted in prison. What works is the ‘third way,’ the Nordic model, which offers services and alternatives to prostituted people, and fines buyers and educates them to the realities of the global sex trade.”Extensive evidence shows the catastrophic effects of legalizing or decriminalizing pimping and brothels, demonstrated in Germany and the Netherlands, for example. With impunity for the commercial sexual exploitation of marginalized populations comes an increase in sex trafficking to satisfy the demand for prostitution. Studies and survivors’ testimonies demonstrate that the sex industry is predicated on dehumanization, degradation and gender violence that can cause life-long physical and psychological harm.“A vote calling for legalizing pimping would in effect support gender apartheid, in which some women in society can demand protection from rape, discrimination and sexual harassment, while others, the most vulnerable among us, are instead set aside for consumption by men and for the profit of their pimps,” said Taina Bien-Aimé, CATW’s executive director. “This is far from what Eleanor Roosevelt envisioned for the world when she penned the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”Source:CATWInternational.orglast_img read more

Real Housewives Lisa Vanderpump To Host Fundraiser For American Humane Association

first_imgOn Thursday, August 13th, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star and animal advocate Lisa Vanderpump will be hosting an exclusive fundraising luncheon at her newest restaurant, PUMP.The luncheon is sponsored by Vanderpump Pets, a luxury pet lifestyle brand owned and designed by the Vanderpump family. The private affair will help raise money and awareness for American Humane Association, which Lisa has worked with for several years through their annual American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards. Lisa aims to raise funds for a California-based Red Star Rescue truck to help rescue and shelter local pets affected by disasters and cruelty cases. American Humane Association’s Red Star program has saved millions of hurt, frightened animals since its founding in 1916.To begin the luncheon, guests will arrive on the pink carpet and enter into a pop-up showroom that will showcase the Vanderpump Pets Private Collection. In the showroom, guests will be able to view the never-before-seen Fall/Winter 2015 VP Pets Collection while sipping on LVP Sangria and munching on tasty delights. From there, guests will be directed to their assigned seats and served a special chef-inspired three-course lunch. A presentation about the Hero Dog Awards and Red Star Rescue Services will accompany the lunch along with a special presentation by Ms. Lisa Vanderpump herself. In addition, special celebrity guests will give out Vanderpump gift baskets that will include hundreds of dollars in gifts, coupons, and products. A fundraising hour with sangria and cocktails in the PUMP Garden will conclude the luncheon’s festivities.Vanderpump Pets and the entire Vanderpump family hope to raise awareness and significant charitable contributions for these important programs benefiting animals in California.Date:Thursday, August 13, 2015Location:8948 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069last_img read more

Mario Lopez Helps Hot Dog On A Stick Raise Funds For The

first_imgHot Dog on a Stick is 70 years old and to celebrate its platinum anniversary, is aiming to “Stomp Out Cancer” by raising $70,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).Mario Lopez Stomps Lemonade with Kylie, a Three Year Old Fighting CancerThe iconic pop culture brand recently kicked-off its fundraising efforts with a celebrity lemonade Stomp-A-Thon featuring Mario Lopez of Extra and Saved by the Bell fame. At the event, Mario learned to stomp lemonade with LLS’ honored patient heroes including three year old Kylie, who was diagnosed with Leukemia just two days before her second birthday. Leukemia is the most common form of childhood cancer, but thanks to the cutting-edge research funded by LLS, there continuous to be hope. Kylie was put into a clinical trial for her particular type of Leukemia and she has fought cancer with a smile. She has been in remission since November 2015, but will continue maintenance chemo therapy treatment over the next several years.Hot Dog on a Stick’s Stomp-A-Thon for LLS, held at its famous Muscle Beach location in Santa Monica, raised more than $15,000. The brand is calling on fans and friends to help reach the $70,000 goal. Donations can be made here. Another highlight of the day was Mario working in the famous beach stand making Hot Dog on a Stick’s famous stick items and serving customers.“Kylie is an amazing little fighter and one great lemonade stomper too!” said Katie Hiller, mother of LLS Honored Hero, Kylie. “Hot Dog on a Stick’s Stomp-A-Thon was an inspirational and uplifting event and their fundraising efforts will help children like Kylie stomp out cancer for years to come. Please consider donating to their campaign to make a difference in the lives of blood cancer patients and their families.”Kylie’s journey can be followed on her Facebook page.To find a Hot Dog on a Stick near you, visit www.hotdogonastick.com.last_img read more