Leaders have vowed to overhaul the country’s security apparatus after acknowledging that some intelligence units were aware of possible attacks before the Easter bombings.U.S. Ambassador Alaina Teplitz told reporters that “clearly there was some failure in the system,” but said the U.S. had no prior knowledge of a threat before the attacks, the worst violence in the South Asian island nation since its civil war ended a decade ago.Teplitz called that breakdown in communication “incredibly tragic.”Government statements about the attacks have been confused and sometimes contradictory, with police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara telling reporters Wednesday that there were nine suicide bombers — two more than officials said one day earlier.File Photo: Sri Lankan police officers clear the road as an ambulance drives through carrying injured of Church blasts in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, April 21, 2019. A Sri Lanka hospital spokesman said several blasts on Easter Sunday killed dozens of people. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)One of the additional suicide bombers was the wife of another bomber, Gunasekara said. The woman, two children and three policemen died in an explosion as authorities closed in on her late Sunday, hours after attacks were launched against three churches and three hotels. The ninth suicide bomber has not been identified, though two more suspects were killed in a later explosion on the outskirts of Colombo.Gunasekara said 60 people have been arrested so far. A team of FBI agents and U.S. military officials were helping in the investigation, Teplitz said.Officials say all of the main suicide bombers were Sri Lankan.“We are conducting investigations at the moment to see if there is any direct link to any international organizations,” Wijewardene said.The Islamic State group’s Aamaq news agency released an image it said showed the attackers’ leader standing amid seven others with covered faces. It provided no other evidence for its claim.The group, which has lost all the territory it once held in Iraq and Syria, has made a series of unsupported claims of responsibility for various attacks around the world.Sri Lankan authorities had earlier blamed a local extremist group, National Towheed Jamaar, whose leader, alternately named Mohammed Zahran or Zahran Hashmi, became known to Muslim leaders three years ago for his incendiary online speeches. On Wednesday, Wijewardene said the attackers had broken away from National Towheed Jamaar and another group, which he identified only as “JMI.”A priest conducts religious rituals during a mass burial for Easter Sunday bomb blast victims in Negombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, April 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)Teplitz declined to discuss whether U.S. officials knew about National Towheed Jamaar or its leader before the attack. “If we had heard something, we would have tried to do something about this,” Teplitz said.The country has been on heightened alert since the attacks, with police setting off a series of controlled explosions of suspicious objects. No more bombs were found Wednesday.On Tuesday, in an address to Parliament, Wijewardene said “weakness” within Sri Lanka’s security system had led to the failure to prevent the bombings.“By now it has been established that the intelligence units were aware of this attack and a group of responsible people were informed about the impending attack,” Wijewardene said. “However, this information has been circulated among only a few officials.”In a live address to the nation late Tuesday, President Maithripala Sirisena said he also was kept in the dark on the intelligence about the planned attacks and vowed to “take stern action” against officials who failed to share the information. He also pledged “a complete restructuring” of the security forces.Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Wijewardene also edged away from Tuesday comments that the bombings were retaliation for the March 15 mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, that killed 50 people. He told reporters Wednesday that the mosque attack may have been a motivation for the bombings, but that there was no direct evidence of that.An Australian white supremacist was arrested in the Christchurch shootings.While Sri Lanka’s recent history has been rife with ethnic and sectarian conflict, the Easter Sunday attacks came as a shock.Sri Lanka is dominated by Sinhalese Buddhists, but the country of 21 million also has a significant Tamil minority, most of whom are Hindu, Muslim or Christian.Tamil Tiger rebels were known for staging suicide bombings during their 26-year civil war for independence, but religion had little role in that fighting. The Tigers were crushed by the government in 2009. Anti-Muslim bigotry fed by Buddhist nationalists has swept the country since the war ended but Sri Lanka has no history of Islamic militancy. Its small Christian community has seen only scattered incidents of harassment.___Associated Press journalists Bharatha Mallawarachi and Jon Gambrell contributed to this report. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka’s president has asked for the resignations of the defense secretary and national police chief, a dramatic internal shake-up after security forces shrugged off intelligence reports warning of possible attacks before Easter bombings that killed over 350 people, the president’s office said Wednesday.It wasn’t immediately clear who would be replacing them, but President Maithripala Sirisena said during a televised speech Tuesday that he planned to change the head of the defense forces within 24 hours.The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which struck Christians worshipping in three churches and people at three luxury hotels. Authorities remain unsure of its involvement, though many suspect experienced foreign militants were advising, funding or guiding the attackers.Sri Lanka’s junior defense minister has blamed breakaway members of two obscure local extremist Muslim groups, and said many of the suicide bombers were highly educated and came from well-off families.“Their thinking is that Islam can be the only religion in this country,” Ruwan Wijewardene told reporters. “They are quite well-educated people,” he said, adding that at least one had a law degree and some may have studied in the UK and Australia.
BIG TROUT LAKE, Ont. — Officials say a mother and four children have died following a house fire in a northern Ontario First Nation.A spokesman for the chief and council of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation, located 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, Ont., says the blaze broke out on Thursday morning.Sam McKay says the victims were a single mother and four of her children.He says investigators have yet to arrive at the scene, so there’s no word on what caused the fire.McKay says the entire community is devastated by the loss.Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler of Nishnawbe Aski Nation says a team of crisis and support workers will be sent to the community, which is also known as Big Trout Lake.More coming.The Canadian Press
In response to the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and Vogue have partnered with luxury charity auction site Charitybuzz.com to launch FASHION FOR SANDY RELIEF, an online auction as a collective industry fundraiser to benefit those affected by the storm.Through an outpouring of support from the fashion community and friends including celebrities, designers, athletes and business icons, the CFDA and Vogue have secured nearly 150 once-in-a-lifetime experiences for the auction block just one week after launching on November 13.Current participants include Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Donna Karan, Vera Wang, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Gwyneth Paltrow, Heidi Klum, Victoria Beckham, David Yurman, Jerry Seinfeld, Steven Tyler, Maria Sharapova, Roger Federer and many more.Dozens of new experiences will be added daily at www.Charitybuzz.com/FashionforSandyRelief through December 5.“Sandy has hit us hard here at home,” said CFDA President Diane von Furstenberg. “It is devastating to see so many friends and neighbors affected. As we did for Haiti and Japan, our industry has come together to raise funds with Fashion for Sandy Relief.”All proceeds from the auction will benefit the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and other relief organizations in the tri-state area. Bidding is open internationally to supporters around the globe over 18 years of age.Entertainment and influencer auction highlights include:• Play a round of golf with Mayor Michael Bloomberg• Have Vanity Fair’s Graydon Carter as your waiter for dinner at the Beatrice Inn• Join Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader on the set of their upcoming film Skeleton Twins as a featured extra with a walk-on role• Visit the set of HBO’s Girls and meet the cast• Have lunch with Allison Williams, star of HBO’s Girls, at ABC Kitchen, plus three nights at the Thompson Hotel and a Sephora makeover• Meet Baz Luhrman and Catherine Martin at the premiere of The Great Gatsby with two VIP tickets plus two tickets to the after party• Meet Jerry Seinfeld at a NYC comedy club, where you will hang out with him backstage before he performs• Attend the film premiere and after party for Les Misérables in NYC on December 10• Take home a Mick Jagger signed guitar or score 2 front row tickets to see The Rolling Stones at the Barclays Center• Meet Anjelica Huston on the NYC set of NBC’s SMASH• Meet Steven Tyler and Joe Perry with VIP ticket to see Aerosmith at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas• Meet Celine Dion with 2 front row tickets to her show in Las VegasFashion auction highlights include:• Attend a fashion show with Anna Wintour and the Vogue editors, tour the Vogue offices, have lunch in the Condé Nast cafeteria and take home a Vogue goodie bag• A week long stay at Tommy Hilfiger’s Palm Beach estate on the island of Mustique• Enjoy lunch with Diane von Furstenberg plus a private tour of the DVF Headquarters• Meet Michael Kors backstage at his February Fashion Show, including a $10,000 shopping spree• Meet Victoria Beckham backstage at her February New York Fashion Week Show• A 4-night fantasy vacation at Donna Karan’s Estate on the Private island of Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos• Enjoy a modeling lesson with Coco Rocha in NYC• Meet Vera Wang backstage at her 2013 February Ready to Wear Show• A one week internship at DKNY in the PR department with DKNY PR Girl @DKNY• Makeup lessons from beauty guru Bobbi Brown• A fabulous Ralph Lauren experience in Paris with hotel and round-trip airfare• Get styled by Charlotte Ronson with 2 front row tickets to her runway show and after party• Meet Heidi Klum at the upcoming Project Runway finale show on February 8 in New York• Join Brian Atwood for a personal shopping experience at his Madison Avenue boutique• Lunch with Rachel Zoe and Rodger Berman at the Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills• Join Christian Louboutin for lunch plus receive a signed pair of men’s or women’s Louboutin shoes• Have lunch with Tory Burch in New York plus enjoy a Tory Burch Boutique shopping spree with a personal shopperCulinary auction highlights include:• Enjoy dinner with Gwyneth Paltrow and Mario Batali in New York• Appear on-air at HSN with celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, Cat Cora, Emeril Lagasse, Curtis Stone or Todd English• Dinner for two at The Lambs Club plus a private kitchen tour with Iron Chef Geoffrey Zacharian and two nights at the Chatwal HotelSports highlights include:• Meet Roger Federer with two tickets to the US Open plus take home a signed racquet• Meet Joe Girardi at Yankee Stadium with Legends seats to the Yankees vs. Orioles game• Meet Maria Sharapova at her all access pre-US Open Nike Event plus two tickets to the US Open and a signed tennis racquet• Have lunch with Tyson Chandler at the Knicks Practice Facility in Tarrytown, NY• Take home a signed Carmelo Anthony jersey and Jordan sneakers• Meet Jeff Gordon at the Daytona 500 with accommodations included• And much more!Charitybuzz.com raises funds for nonprofits around the globe through exclusive online charity auctions with the world’s most recognizable celebrities and luxury brands.
Paul McCartney has blogged at HuffingtonPost.co.uk about his life as a vegetarian.“Growing up in Liverpool, I would have thought of a vegetarian as a wimp,” he wrote. “We could be a prejudiced bunch at times but I’m not sure people would automatically think like that these days.“I’ve been a vegetarian for a long time now and over the years I’ve seen how the attitudes have changed around the world, so I’m not surprised when I see new research that shows more and more people are increasingly adopting ‘meat free eating’. Even 20 years ago, it could sometimes be difficult to find vegetarian options in good restaurants. Now it’s great to see more and more choice with some brilliant creative dishes in restaurants, cafés and supermarkets. There is definitely now an overall greater acceptance of being vegetarian.“People don’t just see it as an issue about kindness to animals. For us, at the time it was about that. One day I had an epiphany. I was taking animals’ lives. These days though, people are better educated about their diets and the health benefits of reducing meat intake but also and crucially the environmental impact that meat production has on our planet. The UN actually produced a report in 2006 (Livestock’s Long Shadow) outlining how the livestock industry was responsible for more harmful gases than the transport industry – they said the best thing you can do is reduce your meat intake. For this campaign some interesting research was produced, predicting a 50% rise in vegetarianism in the UK and the idea of ‘flexitarianism’ becoming more widespread as people become educated about the impact of meat eating on health and the environment. It’s becoming more and more clear that one of the most effective things any individual can do to help the environment is to eat less meat.“We launched a Meat Free Monday campaign in 2009 in order to encourage people to look at their diets and make a meaningful change by giving up meat just one day a week. It’s not a new idea; it’s something that is done in many places around the world. We thought Monday was a good day to do it as many people tend to overdo it at the weekend. People thought recycling was a bit weird at first but now it’s weird if you don’t recycle!”To read the full post, click here.Source:HuffingtonPost.co.uk
Here is your chance to Rock Out During a Back-to-School Shopping Spree with Kristen Bell.Rock Out During a Back-to-School Shopping Spree with Kristen Bellomaze.com is giving you the chance to win this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and all you have to do is donate to charity.What you can win: You and a guest will be flown out to LA, where you’ll meet Kristen at her real-life Good Place: Old Navy. Kristen will help you pick out some head-turning outfits, snap some awesome selfies and chat with you about anything and everything (but probably sloths). And since this is Kristen we’re talking about, she’s also going to lead you in an impromptu sing-along right in the store. Flights, hotel, $1,000 gift card for you and a $250 gift card for your guest are all included.All you need to do is visit omaze.com and donate to Old Navy’s ONward! partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs. Old Navy’s ONward! platform empowers the next generation with the real-world skills, training and jobs to make a difference in our communities and blaze a path forward to a brighter future. Their partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs focuses on programs and activities that promote service to community, leadership, workforce training and first job opportunities in meaningful and fun ways for thousands of youth across the country.The more you donate, the more chances you have to win.To find out more, click here.
What’s shooting in Ontario – as of MAR-17-17DGC (Director’s Guild of Canada) Hotlist – CLICK HERE (48 page PDF)OMDC (Ontario Media Development Corporation) MEDIA LIST – CLICK HERE (3-page PDF) Advertisement Advertisement Facebook ACTRA – CLICK HEREIATSE 873 – CLICK HERE LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Advertisement Login/Register With:
Twitter Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Record a track in the men’s room with nearly 50 of Canada’s most celebrated musicians? That is one for the history books.And history they made with Alan Doyle, Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo, Sarah McLachlan, Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies, Spirit Kids Barney and Dustin Bentall, Colin James, Craig Northey and The Odds, Shari Ulrich, Jim Byrnes, Kendel Carson, Daniel Lapp, Spirit of the West with Cory Tetford, Shehab Illyas and Kris MacFarlane and many more of Canada’s top musicians came together to cover Spirit of the West’s “Home for a Rest” in honour and support of frontman John Mann and his battle with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Performing and recording as part of a benefit in John’s honour at the Commodore Ballroom in November 2017, the resulting video and song sit at the helm of a GoFundMe campaign to assist the 55-year-old singer in his extensive care for the degenerative disease. One-hundred percent of the proceeds from the sales and streaming of the new release will go to the John Mann Trust Fund.“We got it in the can in the can.” – Alan Doyle“This song is a testament to the love that lives in the community of the Canadian Music Business,” explains Doyle, who spearheaded the recording.“I encourage everyone to enjoy and share this song that was made by so many people offering a hand to a friend who needs it. This is for John.”Doyle and audio engineer Peter Green created a makeshift sound studio in the Commodore’s second-floor men’s washroom, shuttling musicians in to record.“We did drape it nicely,” Doyle says. “We found a bunch of black drapes to put over the urinals and the like. We had Sarah McLachlan coming in there. I couldn’t ask Sarah to go to just any old men’s can to sing a song. We got it in the can in the can.”The outreach has received $35,000 so far.Industry peers beyond musicians are lending their support as well.“My very first gig as a lighting designer was Spirit of the West at the Empress six years ago,” Kyle Gilmar offers.“Thanks for letting the new guy have a shot.”Audio of the live performance was sent to radio this week. Listen out for it! Commodore cast with John Mann (far right)
Login/Register With: Advertisement Today we go BTS (behind the scenes) to shine the spotlight on Bryan Misener, Agent at The Characters Talent Agency.Bryan has been an agent for 16 years … representing principal talent for Film, Television and Stage.10 QUESTIONS WITH BRYAN MISENER. Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment 1. WHAT WAS YOUR JOURNEY TO BECOMING AN AGENT?I was an actor first, but not a good one. I started at The Characters as a receptionist, then an assistant, then finally promoted to being an agent.2. WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH BEING AN AGENT?It can be quite hectic, always seems to time constraints. It’s quite busy, but it can be a struggle to get your clients seen. When casting gets 500 submissions per role and only see 10 people, it can be difficult. You want actors to be fully committed, but they also have lives that get in the way. Lot of juggling.3. WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN NEW TALENT?Do they fit into the roster. Are they different enough from those I already rep. Do they have great potential? Are they professional? Are they a decent person? Is this someone I want to speak to regularly.4. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE THAT PERFORMERS MAKE WHEN SUBMITTING TO YOU FOR REPRESENTATION? (OR THE BIGGEST MISTAKE PERFORMERS MAKE IN THE TALENT/AGENT RELATIONSHIP)Spelling my name wrong. Sending a cover letter to the wrong agent. Not being prepared and professional. Not doing their homework on the type of agency we are.Once they are repped, the biggest mistakes are not being professional, ie; late for auditions, not being prepared, cancelling at the last minute, not letting us know about unavailability.5. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR TALENT TO HAVE A DEMO-REEL (WHEN SUBMITTING TO YOU FOR REPRESENTATION)?Pretty important to have something on tape. Even if it’s a scene from a class. We need to see how you look, sound, move on camera before we consider taking you on.6. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ASPIRING TALENT?Try to do as much as possible. School shows, community theatre, shoot scenes on your phone. Take scene study, audition technique, improv classes.7. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON PERFORMERS WHO PROMOTE THEMSELVES USING SOCIAL MEDIA? You have to be careful not to become a ‘personality’, unless that’s what you’re looking for.8. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION OF AN AGENT’S ROLE?That we wait for the phone to ring, rather than seeking work. That we are more concerned about money than a client’s career.9. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE CHANGE WITHIN THE CANADIAN ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY?Would be great to get Canadians into larger US projects that shoot here. Would be great if the media here spent as much time on Canadian talent as they do on US talent. Canadian networks are doing better at promoting Canadian shows, but need to do more.10. WE ALL HAVE MENTORS … THE PEOPLE WHO GIVE US HOPE, INSPIRATION AND THE DRIVE TO KEEP GOING … WHO ARE YOUR MENTORS AND WHY?Larry Goldhar, who started The Characters more than 45 years ago. He has a stellar reputation in the business, known for his integrity, honesty and professionalism. Agents from other agencies reach out to him for advice, as we all do. Now that he’s retired, Jennifer Goldhar is the new president, and she leads by example. Hard working, kind, relentless but the most diplomatic person. I try to emulate her..LINKSWEBSITE: http://thecharacters.comFACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/characterstalentTWITTER: https://twitter.com/CTA_SocialSEEKING REPRESENTATION?CLICK HERE FOR SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS(Please note – The Characters does NOT represent background talent) Advertisement Twitter
APTN National NewsWe’ve all heard about how climate-change is impacting the High Arctic.Ships will soon be sailing through the Northwest Passage and parts of the ice cap are melting.There are signs in other parts of Canada that climate is changing and it’s not for the better.Environmentalists are now concerned about the greening of northern Labrador.APTN National News reporter Ossie Michelin has this story.
APTN National NewsWinnipeg is known as the crime capital of Canada.So far this year there have been 31 homicides.Now a stabbing spree is causing alarm for some folks living in the inner city which is an area that has a high number of Aboriginal residents.APTN National News reporter Tiar Wilson has this story.
APTN National NewsThe pop band No Doubt has issued an apology to its fans.On the weekend, the band posted a new video that featured a cowboys and Indian theme.On social media sites, people panned it and No Doubt pulled the video.Lisa Charleyboy is an actress and active blogger in Toronto. She followed the whole thing and spoke to APTN National News about it via Skype.
APTN National NewsThe term “redskins” is no different than the N-word says an Ottawa man who has filed a human rights complaint to get a local football team to change its name.The complaint was filed by Ian Campeau with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal against the Nepean Redskins Football Club who for years has fought criticism over its name.“The players call each other ‘redskins’ on the field,” said Campeau, an Ojibway in a press release. “How are they going to differentiate the playing field from the school yard? What’s going to stop them from calling my daughter a redskin in the school yard? That’s as offensive as using the n-word.”Campeau, a member of the popular Indigenous DJ group A Tribe Called Red, is not seeking money but the name to be changed and the tribunal to force the club to do so.He has proposed a five-year period to phase in a new name and logo.Campeau said he reached out to the club but got no response.News of his complaint quickly spread on social media where Campeau defended his action.“It’s called systemic socially acceptable racial oppression. It’s marginalizing and stereotyping by race. It’s racist,” said Campeau in response to critics on Twitter.He has the support of the Assembly of First Nations, Native Women’s Association of Canada and Borden Ladner Gervais LLP has agreed to take his case pro bono.“Our preference always is to work together to reach respectful outcomes and it is unfortunate that this step must be taken as a last resort. It is time to banish the term ‘redskins,’” said National Chief Shawn Atleo in a release.
APTN National NewsIt was a big weekend for Gino Odjick who was back home in Maniwaki, Que.The community held a special ceremony for the former NHL enforcer.Odjick recently shocked his fans and the hockey world saying he may only have weeks to live.APTN’s Tim Fontaine has the story.
APTN National NewsA long-standing battle has come to an end.After spending decades fighting for the return of their land the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point finally have a reason to celebrate.APTN’s Delaney Windigo has this story.
Chris StewartAPTN National NewsConservationists and First Nation communities in Alberta are calling in the United Nations to help stop a proposed dam from destroying parts of the Wood Buffalo National Park.They’re already concerned about how 2 existing hydro dams in British Columbia are affecting the park.And they want this third project email@example.com
(Tiffany Morrison went missing June 18, 2006.)In a foreward written for the Quebec report, Mohawk, Mi’gmaq woman Melanie Morrison describes how police did not take her sister Tiffany’s disappearance seriously until the trail went cold.Her remains were found nearly four years later less than a kilometre from her home in Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Territory.“I hope that there is an immediate change in the way the police manage cases involving Indigenous people, both on and off the reserves, so that nothing delays the searches for missing or murdered people. Based on my own experience, there was an obvious disconnect,” wrote Morrison.Read More:12 years after Tiffany Morrison vanished, change has come to how police handle missing person casesThe final call for justice in the Quebec report demands the Quebec government establish an inquiry on children taken from Indigenous families in Quebec.During the November 2017 National MMIWG hearings in Mani-Utenam First Nation, it emerged that in the early 1970s, eight children from Pakuashipi, an Innu community on Quebec’s North Shore, disappeared after being admitted to the hospital in the nearby community of Blanc-Sablon.Agnes Poker testified that two of her children never came back from Blanc Sablon.“I would like to know where my two children are laid to rest,” said Poker in November 2017.“Every time I go to Blanc Sablon I go to the cemetery to try to find my children.”The 168 page Quebec report is divided into five chapters that also provide a socio-historical context for First Nations and Inuit in Quebec, as well as parts of testimonies that were delivered by survivors and families from the province.As it’s done for the rest of Canada, the National MMIWG Inquiry has also called on Quebec to put into place an action plan the implement the calls as well as create an independent body to oversee their firstname.lastname@example.org@aptn.ca Kathleen Martens in OttawaTom Fennario in MontrealAPTN NewsThe final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls proclaims a genocide, calls Canadians racist and apathetic, and demands change.“For many non-Indigenous people, it’s important to be ready to ‘unlearn’ some learned behaviours,” said Marion Buller, chief commissioner of the inquiry in the foreword of Reclaiming Power and Place.It concludes the disproportionate level of violence faced by Indigenous women and girls is “caused by state actions and inactions rooted in colonialism and colonial ideologies.”The report, with 231 recommendations or “calls for justice”, is to be accepted Monday morning by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the same place it was first announced – the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que., directly across the Ottawa River from Parliament Hill.The closing ceremony signals the end of two and a half years of public hearings – marked by delays and controversy – into the root causes of violence that persistently target Indigenous women and girls. And makes good on a Trudeau election promise.But the four commissioners want more: they insist the government enact their recommendations and call for a high-profile person to provide oversight.They said in a release, this “will inspire all Nations and Canadians to unite and build a safer Canada for Indigenous women.”A summary of the report released Friday said 2,300 witnesses provided more than 1,000 hours of testimony at 24 hearings. The budget was $92 million.But the commissioners call it “a Canadian genocide” because of how Indigenous women say they have been and continue to be viewed via myth, stereotype and the media: “Hyper-sexualization has created a perception that they’re always sexually available, which causes people to dismiss violence against them.”That blame-the-victim attitude infects most services they come in contact with, the report says, including policing, child welfare and the justice system.They inquiry admits it was unable to quantify the number of missing and murdered, which police put around 1,200 and advocates say is as high as 4,000.However, to help find out, the report calls for reform in policing.Not only should money be spent to bring Indigenous police services up to par and improve sexual assault investigations, but existing police work needs to be reviewed by a newly formed and transparent unit.Present officers should receive cultural training and poverty awareness, the report suggests, and more Indigenous officers should be hired.“Police recruits should go through a screening process for bias against different cultures,” the summary added.The report is divided into three main sections: Establishing A New Framework, Encountering Oppression, and Healing Families, Communities and Nations.On that last point, it calls for an immediate end to birth alerts – the controversial practice of child welfare workers seizing newborns from troubled mothers.The Trudeau government has been working to make child welfare more family friendly but, as yet, hasn’t tackled birth alerts.Meanwhile, the inquiry also released a Quebec-specific report because “the reality of violence against Indigenous women in Quebec is often overlooked.”No sector was overlooked.The report has advice for the federal government, the provinces and territories, as well as industries, institutions, services and partnerships.It also calls on all Canadians to help stamp out racism and sexism – not only against females – but 2SLGBTQQIA people.“Decolonize by learning the true history of Canada and Indigenous history in your local area,” it says. “Develop knowledge and read the final report.“Using what you have learned…become a strong ally…actively working to break down barriers and to support others in every relationship and encounter in which you participate.”APTN News will have coverage of the final ceremony on its Facebook page.In Quebec, inquiry recommendations call for changes (Pakuashipi community members testifying at the National MMIWG Inquiry hearing on November 29, 2017)In additional to its final report, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) has also released Quebec specific report.The inquiry says a separate report for Quebec was necessary because at a national level “The reality of violence against Indigenous women in Quebec is often overlooked” and “Quebec’s political and socio-historical context is different from the Canadian context.”The inquiry issued 21 “calls for justice” to Quebec institutions, government, and society as a whole.While some are shared with Canada, other calls are Quebec centric, including:The creation of an independent, civilian body to oversee the investigations of any conflicts that arise with Indigenous people and public services.Establish a crisis team for cases of missing Indigenous women and girls, including members of the 2SLGBTQQIA (Two spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual) community.Mandatory training created with Indigenous organizations on the realities of Indigenous Peoples.Victim services in all Indigenous communities and in urban areas.Provide Indigenous families with all information regarding children who have been apprehended following admission to any health centre.Many of the other recommendations concern Quebec police and justice institutions, they include:Appoint Indigenous representatives to the Quebec National Police School and the Independent Investigation Bureau to train all active police officers and police cadets on the socio-cultural realities of Indigenous people.Hold specialized English training sessions at the Quebec National Police School every year and offer specialized training on investigating to Indigenous police forces.Allow Indigenous communities in Quebec to elect an independent liaison officer tasked with supporting community members when their rights have been violated.
BEIJING, China – After a brief truce with China to co-operate on North Korea, President Donald Trump arrived in Beijing on Wednesday amid mounting U.S. trade complaints, with limited prospects for progress on market access, technology policy and other sore points.The strains between the world’s two biggest economies are fueling anxiety among global companies and advocates of free trade that they could retreat into protectionism, dragging down growth.Washington accuses Beijing of backsliding on market-opening promises, and Trump said last week that the U.S. trade deficit with China — $347 billion last year — is “so bad that it’s embarrassing.”“I don’t want to embarrass anybody four days before I land in China, but it’s horrible,” said Trump.His government has raised import duties on Chinese aluminum foil, stainless steel and plywood, and is investigating whether Beijing improperly pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.If they discuss trade during the two-day visit, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government is unlikely to offer enough “to appease U.S. negotiators,” said John Davies of BMI Research.That is likely to lead to “more protectionist measures on the part of the U.S.,” said Davies.While Trump is looking to boost sagging public approval ratings, the Chinese leader enters their meeting on a political high.The ruling Communist Party added Xi’s name to its constitution at a twice-a-decade congress last month, giving him status equal to Mao Zedong, founder of the communist government, and Deng Xiaoping, who launched economic reforms in 1979.At the congress, Xi promised to open the economy wider but affirmed plans to build up state-owned companies that dominate industries including finance, energy and telecoms. That, along with plans for government-led development of electric cars and other technology, makes foreign companies worry that Beijing is squeezing them out of promising fields.The chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, William Zarit, expressed concern that Trump appears to have done too little to prepare and said some companies worry his focus on trade in goods will mean he does too little about such “structural issues.” Zarit said those include limits on access to finance, health care and other industries.In contrast to “advance work” for previous presidential trips to Beijing, “there really hasn’t been much of that for this visit, which makes us a bit concerned that there may not be much discussion on the structural issues,” said Zarit, a former American diplomat.A senior administration official who briefed reporters in Washington denied that Trump hasn’t adequately prepared.“We’ve analyzed this probably more than most administrations,” said the official, who spoke on condition that he not be identified further.The official said Beijing has shifted to “moving away from market-based principles” and Washington wants movement toward a “market-oriented” system.That echoes complaints by foreign companies that despite a 2013 pledge by the ruling party to give market forces a “decisive role,” restrictions on them in some industries are increasing. That led to a 1.2 per cent fall in foreign investment in China in the first seven months of this year, breaking a series of annual double-digit gains.Business groups have warned that Beijing’s efforts to shield its fledgling competitors in electric cars, clean power and other fields are fueling a backlash against globalization.A possible U.S. response might be “closing down certain industry sectors that are now open to Chinese investment,” said Zarit. “I know we do not want to see any kind of a tit-for-tat, which could end up in a trade war.”For its part, Beijing is pressing Washington and the European Union to grant “market economy” status to its state-dominated system. That would make it harder for trading partners to bring anti-dumping and other cases against China.China says that when it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, it was promised that status would take effect last December. The United States, Europe and Japan reject that and say Beijing has yet to meet market-opening goals to qualify.Chinese economists argue their country isn’t to blame for U.S. problems. They say global companies benefit from low-cost Chinese labour and a growing consumer market.The loss of American factory jobs is due not to Chinese exports but to U.S. manufacturers moving to lower-wage countries, said Sun Lijian, an economist at Shanghai’s Fudan University.“In the end, it is U.S. companies that have gained large profits,” said Sun.Trump temporarily set aside trade complaints in April after meeting Xi for the first time in Florida and said he hoped Beijing would help discourage North Korea from pursuing nuclear weapons. They issued a “100-Day Plan” under which Beijing agreed to discuss expanding market access for electronic payments and financial services.Despite renewed criticism on trade, “the U.S. needs continued Chinese co-operation” over North Korea, economist Rajiv Biswas of IHS Markit said in an email.That means Trump will feel compelled to negotiate instead of using “blunt bilateral trade measures that could endanger the overall bilateral geopolitical relationship,” said Biswas.Potential options for a possible new package of immediate measures include raising Chinese ownership limits in fields including securities, in which foreign firms can own only 49 per cent of a venture, said Zarit.“If you raised it to 51 per cent, I think that would be progress,” he said.China criticized Trump’s order in September to investigate whether Beijing violates its free-trade commitments by pressing foreign companies to hand over technology in return for market access. They complained that Trump was jeopardizing the global system by launching the probe under U.S. law instead of the World Trade Organization.Few American companies have provided evidence for the investigation, possibly due to fear of Chinese retaliation.The U.S. Commerce Department also is investigating whether Chinese exports including metal tubing, industrial resin and polyester fiber benefit from improper subsidies.Trade is a smaller share of China’s economy than it was a decade ago and the U.S. market is losing importance for its exporters as sales to other developing markets grow. That blunts the potential impact of American tariffs or other sanctions, but the United States still accounts for about one-third of China’s trade surplus, and export industries employ millions of workers.“The U.S. does have leverage to realistically threaten to damage China’s economic prospects,” said BMI Research’s Davies.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. economy grew at a solid rate of 2.6 per cent in the final three months of last year, helped by the fastest consumer spending since the spring of 2016 and a big rebound in home construction.The fourth quarter advance in the gross domestic product, the country’s total output of goods and services, followed gains of just above 3 per cent in the second and third quarters, the Commerce Department reported Friday. The slowdown in the October-December period reflected a worsening trade deficit and less growth in inventory restocking by companies.For all of 2017, the economy grew 2.3 per cent. That is a significant improvement from a 1.5 per cent gain in 2016 but little changed from the modest 2.2 per cent average growth rate turned in since the Great Recession ended in June 2009.Economists are looking for even better growth this year, propelled by the $1.5 trillion tax cut that President Donald Trump pushed through Congress in December. The Trump administration contends that its economic program of tax cuts, deregulation and tougher enforcement of trade laws will lift economic growth to sustained rates of 3 per cent or better in coming years.Trump has said his tax plan will serve as “rocket fuel” for the economy by prompting Americans to spend more and businesses to step up investment.Economists, however, believe the growth spurt will be short-lived.“Deficit-financed tax cuts will provide some near-term juice to the economy but it will prove to be temporary because we are already at full employment and the Federal Reserve will respond by raising interest rates more aggressively,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.Michael Pearce, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said that the imports surge that widened the trade deficit reflected a pay-back from port disruptions caused by hurricanes in the third quarter. He forecast solid growth in coming quarters.“The U.S. economy had plenty of momentum even before the tax cuts take effect this year,” Pearce said.Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, interviewed on CNBC, described the modest slowdown in the fourth quarter as a short-term aberration.“We’re not concerned about any one quarter which could be revised up or down,” he said. “I think people now expect we’re getting to 3 per cent GDP.”Mnuchin said the administration was very happy with the initial reaction from U.S. companies to the new tax bill, which he said had already generated pay bonuses for more than 2.5 million Americans, amounting to “literally hundreds of billions of dollars of commitments.”The president, speaking Friday to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, also touted the benefits of the tax overhaul, saying, “America is open for business and we are competitive once again.”Trump said that because of the tax plan, which had reduced individual and corporate tax rates, Apple had announced it planned to bring $245 billion in overseas profits back to America.Zandi said he believed the tax cuts would add as much as 0.4 percentage points to growth this year, pushing total GDP to 2.9 per cent. He said growth would fall back to 2.2 per cent in 2019 as the impact of the tax cuts fades, then slow further to a tiny 1 per cent gain in 2020 as rising interest rates from the higher budget deficits and Fed rate hikes begin to drag growth.Friday’s GDP report showed that the fourth quarter growth was spurred by a 3.8 per cent surge in spending by consumers, who account for 70 per cent of economic activity. That was up from a 2.2 per cent rise in the third quarter and was the fastest quarterly advance since the spring of 2016.Business investment in new plants and equipment was also strong, rising at a 6.8 per cent rate in the fourth quarter. Spending on home construction surged at a rate of 11.6 per cent after two quarters of declines.The areas of strength were offset somewhat by a big increase in the country’s trade deficit, which subtracted 1.1 percentage points from growth, and a slowdown in business spending to restock their inventories, which trimmed growth by 0.7 percentage point.
VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – If you have any bottles of Stella Artois in your fridge, don’t drink it.The brewer has issued a voluntary recall of select packages containing 11.2-ounce bottles of its beer over concerns of broken glass.The recall applies to Stella Artois 6-packs, 12-packs, 18-packs, 24-packs, “Best of Belgium” multi-packs sold in the US and Canada. It also applies to Stella Artois Légère 6-packs and 12-packs sold in the US.“This recall impacts less than 1% of Stella Artois glass bottles sold in North America annually, and affected bottles will be far less than this,” says a news release from the brewer.The recall does not affect cans or draft.The company says a “glass packaging flaw” in some bottles may cause “a small piece” of glass to break off and possibly fall into the beer.This recall includes cases of Stella Artois with specific packaging dates. To check if your beer is affected, you should check codes that are found on the back label of the bottles and on the side of the cardboard cartons for multi-packs. The company says if you have a “Best of Belgium” multi-pack, you should check the Stella Artois bottle inside it.Click here to find out which codes are affectedIf you have bottles that is affected by this recall, the company says you will be reimbursed.
NEW YORK, N.Y. – The nation’s most powerful banker, JPMorgan Chase’s Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, caused a stir Wednesday when he said he would be able to beat President Donald Trump in an election.Dimon immediately walked backed those comments and said he isn’t running for the nation’s top office.Dimon, a brash Wall Street executive with a history of making off-the-cuff remarks, told reporters at an event at JPMorgan headquarters Wednesday that “I think I could beat Trump.”In the remarks, first reported by the business network CNBC, Dimon also said he is just as tough as Trump and smarter than the president. Further, Dimon made comments that his wealth was earned, and not given to him by his father, another jab at Trump.Shortly after the event ended, Dimon released a statement saying he shouldn’t have made the comments and indicating they were prompted by frustration over Washington gridlock on important issues.“I get frustrated because I want all sides to come together to help solve big problems,” Dimon said, adding that he’s not running for president.Dimon has a mixed relationship with President Trump. The banking executive fully supported President Trump’s corporate tax cuts that passed late last year, but has expressed frustration with the White House’s positions on immigration and trade.Dimon, 62, is chairman of the Business Roundtable, a powerful lobbying group that represents the CEOs of the nation’s largest corporations, and is often seen as a voice for American business.