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

Duchess Of Cambridge Celebrates 100 Years Of Cub Scouts

first_imgThe Duchess of Cambridge attended a special Cub Scout Pack meeting last week with Cubs from the Kings Lynn District to celebrate 100 years of Cubs.The Duchess Of Cambridge Helps Celebrate 100 Years Of Cub ScoutsCredit/Copyright: Royal.ukHer Royal Highness joined the Pack as they took part in games and activities themed around looking after yourself and others physically and emotionally.They then joined together to renew their Cub Scout promise and celebrate the Cub’s 100th anniversary with the lighting of 100 candles and a rendition of happy birthday.Cub Scouting was co-founded by Robert Baden-Powell and Vera Barclay on the 16th December 1916.Find out more about Cub Scouting here.Source:Royal.uklast_img

Country Rising Concert To Support Hurricane Relief

first_imgCountry Music’s biggest stars have rallied to announce plans for COUNTRY RISING, a benefit concert to support those in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and additional Caribbean islands who have been impacted by the recent hurricanes.The star-studded lineup at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 12 will include performances by Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Sam Hunt, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Chris Stapleton, George Strait and Carrie Underwood. Tickets and VIP packages for the event go on Ticketmaster.com.In light of the horrific tragedy in Las Vegas this week, and out of respect for victims, event organisers have postponed the on-sale date originally scheduled for this Friday.Additional artists and more details will be announced over the coming weeks at CountryRising.org.The Nashville music community has also stepped on board to offer services to support, with AEG and Live Nation teaming up as the official show promoters alongside VIP experience experts CID Entertainment, Bridgestone Arena and the Nashville Predators. Country Rising will benefit The Country Rising Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, which was established to support charitable initiatives to help victims of the September 2017 hurricanes — Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria. In the course of rebuilding lives disrupted by these devastating storms, there are immediate needs and there also will be long-term needs. This fund will strategically support both as they emerge.last_img read more

Pearl Jams Mike McCready to Be Honored at 2018 MusiCares Concert for

first_imgThe MusiCares Foundation, an affiliated charity of the Recording Academy with an outstanding four-star rating from Charity Navigator, announced today that the 2018 MusiCares Concert For Recovery will honor GRAMMY winner Mike McCready of Pearl Jam on Thursday, May 10, 2018 at The Showbox in Seattle (1426 1st Ave.).McCready will receive the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award in recognition of his significant dedication to and support of MusiCares and his commitment to helping others in the addiction recovery process. The Concert For Recovery will feature performances by Latin GRAMMY winner Barrett Martin, GRAMMY winner Slash, multi-GRAMMY winner Chad Smith; and artists Duff McKagan, Mike Ness, and Heart’s Nancy Wilson. The evening will close with a special performance by McCready and friends.The event, presented by Amazon Music, will benefit MusiCares, an affiliated charity of the Recording Academy with an outstanding four-star rating from Charity Navigator. MusiCares ensures music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical, and personal need and it provides members of the music community access to addiction recovery resources.Ticket Information:Tickets range from $250 for Highboy Individual Cabaret seating to $5,000 for Platinum Prime Cabaret floor seating for four. All tickets will include a buffet. For more information, contact Wynnie Wynn at wynniew@grammy.com or at 310.581.8659, or visit the ticket form here.Auction Information:In addition, a one-of-a-kind Nixon Chris Cornell Sentry timepiece that is touring to Nixon’s flagship retail locations in London and Paris in the spring of 2018, will be auctioned off live at the Concert For Recovery.“Recovery is a journey that you take each day, and mine has been affirming from a musical standpoint and a community perspective,” said McCready. “To be able to raise funds for MusiCares and the critical addiction recovery work they do for music people across the country all year long is humbling, and it speaks to the way we can come together to help those in need.”An active member in the music community, McCready has also been a member of Levee Walkers, Mad Season, the Rockfords, and Temple Of The Dog. Additionally, McCready plays with friends in Flight To Mars, a UFO tribute band that hosts charity events for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Camp Oasis program and the Jennifer Jaff Care Line. When not performing live, McCready scores TV and film projects which include Fat Kid Rules The World, “Fringe,” The Glamour & The Squalor, “Hawaii Five-O,” Horrible Bosses, “Shameless,” and We Bought A Zoo.In 2013, McCready founded HockeyTalkter Records, a small vinyl record label and media outlet specializing in limited edition seven-inch singles with releases from Star Anna, Brandi Carlile, Danny Newcomb, Stereo Embers, and Thunderpussy.The MusiCares Foundation offers health and human services and programs to members of the music community, including emergency financial assistance for basic living expenses such as rent, utilities, and car payments; medical expenses, including doctor, dentist and hospital bills; and treatment for HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, hepatitis C, and other critical illnesses. MusiCares offers nationwide educational workshops covering a variety of subjects, including financial, legal, medical, and substance abuse issues, and programs in collaboration with health care professionals that provide services such as flu shots, hearing tests and medical/dental screenings. MusiCares provides access to addiction recovery treatment and sober living resources for members of the music community. Staffed by qualified chemical dependency and intervention specialists, MusiCares offers Safe Harbor Room support, sponsored in part by the Bohemian Foundation, to provide a network to those in recovery while they are participating in the production of televised music shows and other major music events. MusiCares holds weekly addiction support groups for people to discuss how to best cope with the issues surrounding the recovery process. The MusiCares Sober Touring Network is a database of individuals across the United States who can take music people to recovery support meetings while on the road.last_img read more

Ian Somerhalder and Energy Upgrade California Have Some Good Clean Fun Promoting

first_imgOn Earth Day, April 22, Energy Upgrade California (EUC), a statewide initiative committed to helping Californians take action to save energy, teamed up with environmentalist and actor Ian Somerhalder to host a Cold Wash Party at a Los Angeles-area laundromat.Energy Upgrade California #BetterOff Cold Wash PartyThe Earth Day event is a part of EUC’s “Do Your Thing” campaign and was designed to raise awareness about small behaviors Californians can take to save energy and reduce demand on the energy grid. According to EUC, the demand for energy reaches its peak between the hours of 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. Shifting the time in which energy is used will help save electricity and also reduce the demand on the grid.The Cold Wash Parties were held in three locations in California – Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco, where attendees were invited to wash their clothes in cold water between the hours of 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. By shifting the time of day when they washed clothes and changing the washing machine’s setting to “cold,” attendees demonstrated one example of a smart energy management choice Californians can make in their everyday lives. Attendees received a night of music, cold drinks, swag and a free cold wash.“Saving energy can’t just be something we do on Earth Day. Our state (and world) would be better off if we focused on energy efficiency every day,” said Ian Somerhalder. “Washing clothes in cold water, effectively using 90 percent less energy, is just one way we can commit to a more sustainable future in California.”“Energy Upgrade California hosted these cold wash parties, not only to help bring an awareness to this direct call to action, but to help bring awareness to the overall issue of energy usage,” stated Commissioner Carla J. Peterman of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). “By encouraging people to take this small step (washing clothes in cold water not during peak energy use), we are hopefully encouraging other energy saving behaviors that will not only benefit residents themselves, but help other businesses and the state overall.”“I am excited I was able to participate in this Cold Wash Party, as well as represent this movement. However, there are other steps residents can take to be efficient in their energy use other than just washing clothes in cold water – such as turning off appliances when not in use or limiting all energy usage throughout the day,” stated Somerhalder.Energy Upgrade California supports California in its mission to double energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030. With the second lowest per capita electricity consumption rates in the country, California is known for “doing its thing” when it comes to energy efficiency. Sustainable energy practices benefit all California residents and businesses in a variety of ways, from reducing pollution, to slowing climate change, and creating a more prosperous state overall.Somerhalder participated in the Los Angeles Cold Wash Party, as part of the Energy Upgrade California “Do Your Thing” movement. This “Do Your Thing,” statewide movement taps into the pride, diversity and innovative spirit that makes California so special. It empowers every Californian with the tools and information to benefit themselves and the state through energy efficiency.For more information about Energy Upgrade California, the “Do Your Thing” movement, its mission and partners, please visit: www.EnergyUpgradeCA.org.last_img read more

Bold New SocialFirst Series SIDES Breaks Boundaries with New Voices and New

first_img Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement TORONTO – Do vending machines for the morning after pill promote risky sex? Do emojis make texting better, or worse? #Activism vs #Slacktivism? Bell Media Studios, in partnership with DAIS, ventures into uncharted territory tackling questions important to youth, with the brand-new, social media-first series SIDES*.The first series of its kind from a Canadian broadcaster, each episode streams live around the world on Twitter @Sides on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, featuring a rotating panel of six teen hosts exploring and debating topics important to them and the series’ social media audience.From political upheaval and leading news stories, to entertainment scandals and life advice, their dynamic and candid conversations allow viewers to listen, learn, and react using the hashtag #MySide. Fans worldwide can continue to engage with SIDES*, and watch clips and additional content 24/7 on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and Facebook. SIDES* has found early success with its first-ever live stream on October 11 reaching more than 45,000 viewers, with live viewership up by a massive 400% during last night’s episode. The new series has also garnered more than half a million impressions on additional clips and videos posted across all social media platforms throughout the week.Following the live broadcast, a one-hour episode of SIDES* joins Much’s revamped lineup of topical, millennial-focused programming on Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. TV episodes highlight the debates from that week’s social broadcast, while also incorporating what viewers had to say through tweets, comments, and videos posted using the #MySide hashtag. Each episode also includes host rants and other videos from the cast and guests on additional topics that are important to them.Meet the Cast!“An integral part of our approach with SIDES* is its social-first format, which allows us to engage with our viewers in an immediate way about the topics that matter most to them,” said Nanci MacLean, Vice-President and Head, Bell Media Studios. “With content being posted every day on the @SIDES social media channels, and the Much broadcast incorporating the conversations happening around each episode, the series is a living thing that our viewers can interact with and help shape from week to week.”“Young people across Canada are increasingly coming to platforms like Twitter for not just the conversation and commentary but also the range of live-streaming video content available,” says Michael Palombo, Head of Entertainment Partnerships, Twitter Canada. “A program like SIDES* is tailor-made for Twitter and we have no doubt the program will quickly find an audience amongst the millions of Canadians who use Twitter every day.”In Wednesday night’s episode, Much Studios creator Michael Rizzi joined the hosts to add his side to the conversation. Guests including Much and E! host Tyrone Edwards and TSN’s Cabral “Cabbie” Richards are set to make appearances in upcoming episodes. Past guests also include Instagram artist and author Maria Qamar. Ranging from light to heavy subjects, the hosts break down news stories, voice their opinions, discuss viewer feedback from social media, and share positive stories through a variety of segments including:Weekly Breakdowns: SIDES* brings viewers up to speed on some of the biggest stories of the week and the context around them.Okay/No Way: Each host chooses one story they were encouraged by and one they were discouraged by that week.Got Beef: A host explains who or what they’ve got beef with that week.The Upside: The positive stories of the week that caught the hosts’ attention.Onside/Offside: Using thumbs up and thumbs down props, hosts declare whether they think a common thing people do is acceptable or unacceptable.Adulting: Well-known adult guests answer questions about growing up and share insight into what they’ve learned.SIDES* is a Bell Media Studios production in partnership with DAIS. The series is executive produced by Michelle Crespi. Kate McKenna is Supervising Producer. Beth Maher is Executive Producer, Digital, Bell Media Studios. Nanci MacLean is Vice-President and Head, Bell Media Studios. Mike Cosentino is President, Content and Programming. Randy Lennox is President, Bell Media. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

TORONTO MEDIA ARTS CENTRES FEUD WITH CITY ON HOLD THANKS TO USE

first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: In the deep tunnel of the city’s intractable-seeming dispute with the Toronto Media Arts Centre over the group’s in-limbo space on Lisgar Street, there appeared on Wednesday an improbable glimmer of light: For those keeping score, Tuesday, June 5, was the make-or-break deadline for the city to either finally approve TMAC’s agreement of purchase and sale on the space — locked in a legal dispute since 2015 — or send them packing (in February, when the city agreed to allow TMAC interim occupancy, it specified in its terms that the sheriff would be dispatched, if necessary).Instead, something remarkable happened: In a joint statement, both the city and TMAC announced that they had extended the hard deadline with a mind, in the words of TMAC board chair Henry Faber, “to work together to ensure things will move forward as positively as possible.” Jennie Robinson Faber and Henry Faber of the Toronto Media Arts Centre are seen last year in front of contested turf: 36 Lisgar St., whose dedicated arts space they’ve gotten access to and, finally, started using. (STEVE RUSSELL / TORONTO STAR) Twittercenter_img Advertisement Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

Nunavut man says triple murder done in selfdefence

first_imgAPTN National NewsChris Bishop, the man convicted of killing three people and wounding two others with a semi-automatic rifle in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, has been granted an appeal.Bishop is scheduled to appear in Nunavut court on Sept. 25.Bishop was sentenced to life in prison in 2010 for the 2007 killings. During the trial, no defence witnesses were called to the stand.Bishop’s lawyer says that the victims were trying to break into his home and that he was justified in firing 30 bullets in his own defence.The three appeal judges will determine if there is enough evidence to justify a new trial.last_img