Harper met Bruce Carsons former escort lover at 24 Sussex party

first_imgBy Kenneth Jackson and Jorge BarreraATPN National NewsBruce Carson took his former fiancee Barbara Lynn Khan to meet Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the grounds of his official residence during a going away party for the prime minister’s outgoing chief of staff Ian Brodie.Khan told APTN that she found Harper “approachable” and “friendly” during a conversation.A Conservative Party spokesperson confirmed Monday that Khan visited the grounds of 24 Sussex during the June 2008 garden party.Khan was deported to Canada from the U.S in 2006 on a felony conviction stemming from her part in running an escort agency in Charlotte, North Carolina.“I can confirm that (Khan) was at Mr. Brodie’s farewell party at 24 Sussex,” said Conservative Party spokesperson Alykhan Velshi, in an email. “That’s the only time we are aware of that she visited 24 Sussex.”Khan said her conversation with Harper dispelled in her mind the caricature of the prime minister often portrayed in the media.“I was surprised because Harper is portrayed as being cold and indifferent, which I did not see a hint of that evening,” said Khan.“Mrs. (Laureen) Harper was genuinely warm and an incredibly gracious hostess…Everyone attending was pleasant and the evening was an experience I will always remember.”Carson, a former senior adviser to the prime minister, is currently the focus of an RCMP investigation triggered by a request from the Prime Minister’s Office.Carson met Khan by chance on an Ottawa street shortly after she came back to Canada and was working as an escort. Their relationship ended last year after about four years.The PMO made the written request to the RCMP after an official met with APTN reporters investigating Carson’s lobbying activities for an Ottawa-based water filtration company. The company was seeking to sell its product to First Nations communities hard hit by dirty water.The company, H2O Pros which later formed H2O Global Group to deal with potential contracts, also had a financial agreement with Michele McPherson, a former Ottawa escort who Carson said was his fiancee.Carson met McPherson in March 2010 and Khan in 2006.APTN obtained emails written by Carson where he promoted the company to Indian Affairs officials. Carson also claimed to have inside government knowledge in the emails.Brodie was Harper’s chief of staff until he left the post on July 1, 2008.In an email to APTN, Brodie said he remembered Carson at the party, but not Khan.“I remember Bruce was there, but otherwise, can’t help,” said Brodie.The PMO referred questions about Khan’s presence at 24 Sussex to the Conservative Party.The PMO, however, continues to refuse comment on whether Carson, who had only Secret-level clearance, had access to Top Secret information on Afghanistan and on Canadian allies involved in the war.Quoting an anonymous source, the Toronto Star reported last week that Carson had access to Top Secret information after he was handed the Afghanistan file.“We don’t comment on security matters,” said the PMO in an emailed statement.Brodie told APTN he doubted Carson had access to Top Secret files, which were handled separately and securely.The Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Department of National Defence and Foreign Affairs all referred questions on the matter to the Privy Council Office (PCO).A PCO spokesman said there would be no comment on current or former employees.Harper has faced questions throughout the election campaign over how Carson could have obtained security clearance with five criminal convictions on his record and two bankruptcies.Harper has said he was only aware of Carson’s two criminal convictions in the 1980s, not the three convictions in 1990 uncovered by The Canadian Press.Harper said he would not have hired Carson is he knew the full extent of his criminal record.Carson, who told APTN he was a close friend of Harper, said he disclosed everything during the security clearance process, which was handled by mid-level PCO officials.kennethbrianjackson@gmail.comjbarrera@aptn.calast_img read more

Senate probes Metis identity

first_imgAPTN National NewsWhat identifies a person as Metis?And what rights are they entitled to in Canada?That’s what the Senate committee on Aboriginal peoples is trying to find out.The Senators have just begun their tour of Western and Northern Metis communities.APTN National News reporter Meagan Fiddler has this story.last_img

Algonquin sisters to stay with nonAboriginal foster family Ontario Court of Appeal

first_imgKenneth JacksonAPTN National NewsAn Algonquin grandmother learned Tuesday she won’t be getting custody back of her two granddaughters after the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled the children should stay with their non-Aboriginal foster family where they are “thriving.”The grandmother was supported by the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan to have the children, under 10 years old, returned to her care after the Children’s Aid Society removed them about five years ago on July 24, 2009 in the  Ottawa, Ont. area.They’ve been with their foster family for almost all of that time and the court found removing them may cause undue harm.“The children are doing well in school and are happy and comfortable with the (foster family). By all accounts, they are thriving,” the appeal court said its ruling.It’s illegal for APTN National News to name the children under care of CAS, or their grandmother.The CAS removed the kids from their grandmother because she allowed unsupervised visits with their mother, who they say was an alcoholic. They also determined the grandmother wasn’t capable to care for the kids because she was overwhelmed over a failed relationship at the time.When “protection workers” apprehended the children one sister was found alone in a home with her mother.“The residence was in a state of disarray. There were soiled dishes on the counters and dirty clothes throughout. It was cluttered and chaotic,” the court said.The little girl was sitting on bare mattress, alone in the dark, with her knees pulled up to her chest.She was rocking back and forth crying.Her mother, who wasn’t allowed unsupervised visits, was the only person there.A three-month custodial apprehension was put in place to allow for the grandmother to “stabilize her life” that went uncontested.Multiple times CAS approached Algonquins of Pikwakanagan to find a suitable First Nations home, but none could be found.The sisters were placed with their current foster family in March 2010.A first custody trial kept the children with the foster parents.In 2012, the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan found a suitable home for the girls.A second trial was ordered.Between the first and second trial the grandmother was assaulted twice and her house seriously damaged by fire. When first responders arrived she admitted she’d been “heavily drinking.”After the second trial, that also kept the children with the foster parents, the grandmother was allowed visits.She’s been sober since February and promised the court the sister’s mother wouldn’t be allowed unsupervised visits; after all she is in jail according to the ruling.Experts testified at the second trial that the sisters identify their foster family as their parents.Chief Kirby Whiteduck testified then too.Whiteduck said removing Aboriginal children from their “communities leads to alcoholism, violence, suicide, anger and resentment.”The court heard the foster family has made efforts to show the girls their Aboriginal culture.The grandmother and band believed the trial judge was in error by not taking into account the girl’s Aboriginal culture, but the appeal court disagreed.“He was aware of the need to consider the least disruptive placement having regard to these considerations,” the ruling states. “That the children are thriving confirms the wisdom of the trial judge’s decision.”The grandmother is still allowed visits and the foster family is not looking to adopt the children.“The children are doing well with the (foster family) and want to continue a relationship with their grandmother.  The CAS is currently facilitating access and should continue to do so. Adoption is not contemplated, so access is always subject to status review,” the ruling states.kjackson@aptn.calast_img read more

Hunter Tootoos office refuses to address allegations of inappropriate relationship

first_imgAPTN National News OTTAWA -A spokesperson for Nunavut MP Hunter Tootoo refused to talk about new allegations the former fisheries minister had an inappropriate relationship with a staffer.“We gave extensive interviews yesterday (Wednesday) and that is all the comment we will have,” the spokesperson said Thursday.The comment comes after the Globe and Mail cited anonymous sources on the alleged affair.Tootoo abruptly quit both his cabinet post and the Liberal caucus late in May to seek treatment for an alcohol problem. But the muted response of the Prime Minister’s Office fueled speculation that there was more to the story.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office isn’t commenting either.In a statement Thursday, the PMO refused to say if it was aware of the allegations when Tootoo resigned at the end of May, repeating its best wishes for Tootoo and that he won’t be rejoining the Liberal caucus any time soon.Tootoo, who is now sitting as an Independent, met with constituents in Iqaluit on Wednesday prior to a news conference at his office.He said he needed to seek help for an alcohol problem, and that he was dealing with “deeply personal and private issues.”“It was completely my decision, to leave cabinet and leave caucus,” he said. “I knew I didn’t want to have any distractions, other than to devote my energy and focus on my healing, and getting better.”His resignation came directly following the Liberal national convention in Winnipeg.Many speculated that there was an incident at that convention which led to his resignation.“I know there’s lots of rumours out there, and the fact of the matter is that I came to the realization that the disease of alcoholism, as a progressive disease, was affecting me in a way that I myself wasn’t happy with, and that I realized that I needed to do something and I needed help. Like anyone dealing with any addiction, you don’t really realize that until it becomes too much for you,” said Tootoo.The way Trudeau handled Tootoo’s resignation was also a topic of interest. Contrary to how Trudeau handled Tootoo’s departure, in December 2015, Liberal MP – Seamus O’Regan – left his work on Parliament Hill to seek addictions treatment, but didn’t leave caucus and was sent off with well-wishes from Trudeau.– with files from The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Indigenous protesters in Washington declare Trans Mountain wont be built

first_imgCedar George-Parker at a rally in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy: Amanda Mason/GreenpeaceThe Canadian PressCedar George-Parker remembers the moment he decided to devote his life to defending Indigenous people and their traditional territories.It was the one-year anniversary of a shooting at his high school that killed four of his classmates in Marysville, Wash.“I dropped to my knees and I said, ‘I’m going to make a change in the world,’ ” he recalled.George-Parker is among the Indigenous protesters in Washington state promising to fight the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.Activists call the project the Standing Rock of the north, comparing it to the fierce Standing Rock Sioux protests that stalled the Dakota Access Pipeline for months.The Trans Mountain expansion, recently bought by Canada for $4.5 billion, doesn’t only affect Canadian waters or land. The project will increase tanker traffic seven-fold in the Salish Sea, which borders British Columbia and Washington, and Kinder Morgan has noted the expansion potential of a connected 111-kilometre pipeline that runs from B.C.’s Fraser Valley to Washington refineries.Many Indigenous activists trace their roots to both sides of the border.George-Parker’s father is from North Vancouver’s Tsleil-Waututh Nation and his mother is from Washington’s Tulalip Tribes.He travels to B.C. often and in April disrupted a speech by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Vancouver.“Our people never had borders,” he said. “We still try not to let borders separate us.”The 2014 shooting at Marysville Pilchuck High School deeply affected George-Parker, now 21.He found it outrageous that governments subsidize big business while underfunding education and counselling for young people.Canada’s purchase of Trans Mountain is the latest example of wasted government money, he said.Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has criticized Trudeau’s government for buying the pipeline project, calling it a “major step backward” in the climate change fight.Even though Inslee opposes the expansion, some protesters in his state don’t feel supported.Police arrested Janene Hampton in January and charged her with criminal trespassing after she and several other Indigenous women camped on the state capitol lawn to protest resource projects including Trans Mountain.Hampton also camped at the Standing Rock protest for months. She joined the movement against pipelines to protect the water, said Hampton, a member of the Colville Okanagan Tribe, which has traditional territories spanning B.C.’s southern Interior to northeast Washington.“One of the big fights for us as Aboriginal people is the whales,” she said, adding they use sonar, and existing vessel noise has already disrupted their communication.Canada’s $1.5-billion oceans protection plan include $7.2 million to increase the use of technologies that monitor underwater noise. It has also announced other steps to support the recovery of the endangered southern resident killer whale population, which lives in B.C. and Washington waters.The Canadian government often touts its oceans protection plan as “world-leading,” but as recently as May 2017, officials in Washington raised questions about Canada’s preparedness for an oil spill.Washington required Kinder Morgan to conduct a worst-case scenario exercise. The company simulated a spill of 3,024 barrels of heavy synthetic crude oil in the Sumas River, which runs from B.C.’s Fraser Valley to Whatcom County, Wash.In a report following the exercise, state ecology department staff wrote that Kinder Morgan brought together a skilled spill management team including staff from U.S., Canadian, B.C. and Washington government agencies. But the report also said non-floating oil tactics planned on the Washington side were not planned on the B.C. side, and Canada did not discuss the type of equipment it would use to clean up a major spill.The exercise was conducted to meet U.S. regulatory requirements and was not focused on the Canadian response, said James Stevenson, a spokesman for the National Energy Board. A joint U.S.-Canadian plan to respond to cross-border spills exists but was not activated during the May 2017 exercise, he said.Canada’s purchase of the project includes the Puget Sound pipeline, a 111-kilometre line that diverts from the existing Trans Mountain pipeline in B.C. and carries oil to four Washington refineries.Environmental groups now fear an expansion to the Puget Sound line, citing 2017 financial disclosure documents in which Kinder Morgan touted the potential for increasing capacity.“That is definitely a big concern,” said Rebecca Ponzio, campaign director for Stand Up to Oil, a coalition of U.S. groups that oppose new oil terminals and coastal exports.Canada’s Department of Finance did not directly answer a question about whether it would consider expanding the Washington line, but it said it planned to follow Kinder Morgan’s 2018 construction schedule for the expansion of the pipeline in B.C. and Alberta.Trans Mountain, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, said market conditions dictate how much crude oil is transported through the Puget Sound pipeline. While the line could be expanded, the company expects the majority of the expansion capacity from the Trans Mountain project will be for export from a marine terminal in Burnaby, B.C.But protesters won’t allow construction on the expansion to proceed without a fight.“That pipeline will never go through,” said Paul Wagner, a member of the Saanich First Nation who lives in Redmond, Wash., and goes by the traditional name Cheoketen.“The people are rising up.”news@aptn.ca@aptnnewslast_img read more

Enbridge offers 114 billion in stock to investors in four affiliate companies

first_imgCALGARY – A U.S. agency’s move to kill off a tax loophole enjoyed by certain Enbridge Inc. pipeline subsidiaries in the United States has prompted the company to launch an $11.4-billion initiative to buy back those entities and fold them into a simplified corporate structure.And the Calgary-based company is not alone.Its announcement Thursday coincided with news that American pipeline operators The Williams Cos. and Cheniere Energy Inc. have launched similar multibillion-dollar offers to use their shares to buy out partners in their master limited partnerships (MLPs).MLPs are tax-exempt corporate structures in the United States that pay their profits to investors in dividend-style distributions.In 2016, a U.S. Appeals Court ruled that energy regulators were allowing these companies to benefit from a “double recovery” of taxes, prompting a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission decision in March to end the tax breaks.Enbridge said the decision hurts its subsidiaries by cutting their distributable cash flow. It also has weakened their credit worthiness and ability to raise money from investors, a process that fuels “drop-downs” of assets from Enbridge Inc. in return for cash to support its growth.“Having all of our core assets under one roof will further surface the value of these highly strategic and irreplaceable systems, which should attract a premium valuation,” Enbridge CEO Al Monaco told analysts on a conference call Thursday.He added the moves will be good for credit ratings and funding arrangements because 100 per cent of the cash flow generated by the assets would be “kept in the family and not paid out in third-party distributions.”Analyst Gavin MacFarlane, a vice-president at Moody’s Investors Service, agreed that the Enbridge move is “credit positive” although it doesn’t address all concerns about the company’s complicated debt structure.“Clearly, this type of transaction would be a big first step toward simplifying the organizational structure of the company,” he said.“It doesn’t address the structural subordination of Enbridge Inc. creditors but on the call they indicated they will look at different ways of addressing some elements of the capital structure around the time of completion.”Moody’s downgraded its Enbridge credit rating last year after the company’s $37-billion takeover of U.S.-based Spectra Energy inflated its debt.Earlier this month, TC PipeLines LP, a U.S. pipeline partnership 25 per cent owned by Calgary-based TransCanada Corp., said it would slash distributions to unitholders by 35 per cent due to the FERC move to kill the tax break. It said it is also considering a corporate reorganization.TransCanada filed a request in April for clarification and, potentially, a re-hearing on how the FERC’s proposed changes will affect entities that don’t have typical MLP ownership structures. A spokesman said Thursday there was no update on the situation.If the series of transactions unfold as anticipated, investors in all the Enbridge companies and limited partnerships will exchange their shares for shares in Enbridge Inc., one of North America’s largest energy infrastructure companies.Enbridge is proposing separate all-share offers with the boards of Spectra Energy Partners, L.P., Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P., Enbridge Energy Management, L.L.C. and Enbridge Income Fund Holdings Inc., offering them company shares worth a total of roughly $11.4 billion based on current stock prices.Only Enbridge Energy Partners and Spectra Energy Partners are MLPs but Enbridge said the FERC ruling has negatively affected all four.While Enbridge is the leading investor in each of the businesses, which are considered “sponsored vehicles,” each has a board with a duty to get the best possible deal for other stakeholders.Monaco said Enbridge believes that its proposal will benefit other investors as well by providing them with a direct equity stake in the main company, but acknowledged that it’s possible not all of the transactions will be accepted.“If for some reason we can’t proceed with one of them, because we can’t come to an agreement, then obviously we’ll have to think about other things,” he said.The plan, if accepted on the proposed terms, will have a neutral impact on Enbridge’s current three-year financial guidance and result in a positive impact after 2020, it said Thursday.Monaco said the company is aiming to complete the transactions by the fourth quarter of 2018.Earlier this month, the company announced more than $3 billion in asset sales in a pair of deals including a $1.75-billion agreement to sell a 49 per cent stake in a group of renewable power assets to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.In a separate deal, Enbridge said it will sell Midcoast Operating LP to an affiliate of private equity firm ArcLight Capital Partners LLC for about $1.44 billion.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:ENB), (TSX: ENF).last_img read more

Tim Hortons tests food delivery in 3 cities kids menu and loyalty

first_imgSome Canadians craving a doughnut or double-double but strapped for time can now have Tim Hortons food brought to them as the national chain started testing delivery this week.It’s one of several concepts the coffee-and-doughnut chain, working to overcome an onslaught of negative publicity, is trying out in an effort to remain relevant to Canadian consumers.The coffee-and-doughnut chain launched food delivery with Skip The Dishes, a food delivery app, through 148 restaurants in three cities — Vancouver, Ottawa and Edmonton — Monday.“I think we came in with a mindset that we have to listen to our guests and adapt to their changing needs,” said Alex Macedo, president of Tim Hortons.Macedo, who started in the role less than a year ago, said a slew of new hires, including Duncan Fulton, the chief corporate officer of Tim Hortons parent company Restaurant Brands International, is the reason for the brand’s productivity lately.The company hopes to expand the delivery test beyond those select cities in the coming months, said Fulton, who admits he lives his life on apps like Skip the Dishes, Uber Eats and DoorDash — as do many Tim Hortons customers.Delivery, he said, is something the eatery obviously needs to be doing.It’s not the only company to feel that way. Cineplex announced late last month it started offering concession stand snack delivery via Uber Eats to movie-watchers in 60 communities in Ontario, Alberta, B.C. and Quebec.But Tim Hortons is relying on more than just delivery to garner more enthusiasm for its brand. Another change that just made sense is all-day breakfast, Macedo said.“We’re a breakfast brand and a coffee shop that also sells lunch and dinner,” he said.About 50 restaurants are now serving breakfast any time and if the test produces good results, Tim Hortons will roll out the extended first meal hours nationally before the end of the summer.Its all-day breakfast pilot follows the national roll-out of breakfast any time by rivals McDonald’s Canada and A&W last year.In September, Tim Hortons plans to trial two more changes: a kids menu and a loyalty program.It’s too early for the company to announce what items will grace the kids options, but customers shouldn’t expect items like chicken fingers or burgers.“There’s still a lot of other kids menu items out there … that not everybody’s embracing that could be very unique to Tim Hortons,” said Fulton, who said he thinks about what his two kids would like to eat.The loyalty program will start as a card with basic phone functionality, said Macedo, and will eventually be integrated into the company’s recently launched app that allows customers to order and pay in advance.All the changes come as the company attempts to strengthen relations with its franchisees. Continued public spats between the chain’s parent company RBI and unsanctioned franchisee group The Great White North Franchisee Association over alleged mismanagement resulted in several lawsuits.Some Ontario franchisees’ decisions to cut back employee benefits and paid breaks after the province’s higher minimum wage kicked in further marred the company’s image, with some regulars participating in a boycott and nationwide protests.The brand’s reputation took a big hit on two reputational surveys this year, falling dozens of spots on each one.Macedo and Fulton both acknowledged some things in the past could have been handled better, but said management has changed how it communicates with franchisees in an effort to bolster that relationship and is working with them to implement all these changes smoothly.“I think it’s just going to be a matter of time to prove out that this is a new day,” said Fulton, “and there’s a very sincere interest in working collaboratively with all the franchisees.”— Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:QSR, TSX:CGX)last_img read more

Energy agency Global oil supply jumps sending prices lower

first_imgFRANKFURT — The International Energy Agency says global oil supplies are growing rapidly as Saudi Arabia, the United States and Russia pump oil at a record rate in response to the higher prices stoked by renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran.Producers heeded warnings that U.S. sanctions could mean loss of Iranian oil to the market and thus lead to higher prices. But although President Donald Trump imposed sanctions Nov. 5, he issued six-month waivers for some of Iran’s biggest oil customers. That helped send prices lower.The IEA said Wednesday in its monthly report that October output rose by 2.6 million barrels a day to 100.7 million barrels, helping send prices for Brent crude sharply lower to around $70 per barrel from a four-year high above $86 per barrel in early October.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Stricter advertising rules by Health Canada to reduce youth vaping

first_imgOTTAWA, ONT – Vaping in Canada has evolved rapidly and emerging evidence that the uptake of vaping by youth has Health Canada taking action.The Government is addressing the trend of youth and vaping with a proposal for additional advertising restrictions and a new public education campaign targeted at young people, announced Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health.“I am deeply concerned about recent reports that youth vaping is on the rise. This includes stories coming out of schools across Canada, and emerging data suggesting that young Canadians are taking up vaping at an alarming rate. I am hearing from parents, educators and the health care community that they share my concerns about youth vaping. We cannot allow these products to threaten the hard-earned gains we’ve made in tobacco control. The proposed regulatory measures and our public awareness campaign will drive home the message: if you don’t smoke, don’t vape.” said The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor Minister of Health Canada has a strong regulatory framework for vaping products in place through the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act, which prohibits advertising that appeals to youth. To further this, Health Canada has published a Notice of Intent outlining the Department’s plans for new advertising rules. The proposed rules would restrict where advertisements could be displayed to limit their visibility to young people. They would also require health warning messages on permitted advertisements, and would restrict the display of vaping products at points of sale.The Notice of Intent initiates a 45-day consultation period. Health Canada will consider the comments received through this consultation in the drafting of new proposed regulations. All Canadians are encouraged to provide their feedback on proposals to protect youth and non-smokers from the harms and risks associated with vaping products.As well as the Notice of Intent, Health Canada will post in March 2019 another consultation document seeking comments on further measures being considered to address and reverse the recent trends of youth vaping. Some of these additional measures could include examining the role of flavours, nicotine concentration and product design in making vaping products appealing to youth and non-smokers.Minister Petitpas Taylor has also engaged her provincial and territorial colleagues to further support federal efforts to address youth vaping. Health Canada continues to support the need to discourage youth and non-smokers from vaping while urging smokers to quit.This week is the official launch of the Government of Canada’s public education campaign raising awareness, particularly among youth, of the harms and risks of vaping. The campaign invites youth to consider the consequences of vaping and equips parents and other trusted adults with tools and resources to support conversations with teenagers about the health risks of vaping. The campaign will continue through 2019last_img read more

knowyourstatus on National HIV testing day

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Council of the city of Fort St. John has proclaimed June 23rd to the 30th, 2019, Sexual Health Week and knowing your sexual health status is important.Thursday, June 27th, 2019 join at The Healing Place, 10045-100th Avenue from 10 am to 2 pm on National HIV testing day to be tested for HIV, HCV and Syphilis.Breaking down the stigma of testing is the single largest barrier to people knowing their status. Hosted by Positive Living North, The Women’s Resource Society and the Healthy FSJ coalition, the community is welcomed to participate, ask questions and be tested.On the same day, a community BBQ will take place at the green space on 100th Street and 100th Avenue from 11.30am to 1 pm with a community health fair.Knowing your sexual health status is important to know, statistics show, 1 in 5 people in Canada living with HIV are unaware they have it and that they account for 75% of new infections.last_img read more

Child protection committees set up in over 40000 villages

first_imgKolkata: In a significant move to counter the challenges posed by various social evils against children, the Bengal government has set up child protection committees (CPC) in more than 40,000 villages across the state.One of the main objectives of the initiative taken by the Mamata Banerjee government is to ensure that there is a mechanism in place at the grassroot level, so that the children are protected from being abused. “We have so far been able to set up CPCs at 40,000 villages across the state and are in the process of starting 18,000 more CPCs in other villages as well. We have a plan to set up CPCs at all blocks and village levels to ensure that there is not a single incident of child abuse. These CPCs will monitor the villages to create a protective environment for children,” said Shashi Panja, minister of state for Women and Child Development and Social Welfare. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellers”Every child is special and we need to ensure that a child’s voice is heard. Our department is committed to ensure that a child does not become a victim of abuse or atrocities under any circumstance. The primary job of the CPCs would be to evolve a mechanism for ensuring child protection,” she added. It may be mentioned here that India is home to the largest child population in the world and more than 40 percent of Indian children are vulnerable. They are subject to abuse, exploitation, deprivation and neglect. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaTo fight all sorts of social evils, an Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) has been introduced in the state to create and spread awareness among people, so that children can be provided a safe environment. The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) in the state plays a pivotal role in ensuring welfare and rehabilitation of children who are in need of care and protection, while the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) is supposed to bring the children into mainstream life after they indulge in any unlawful practice. One of the serious menaces in the society is child trafficking. To check such incidents, the state government has also introduced a plan of action to combat human trafficking. The CPCs, with the help of child welfare police officers, conduct surveillance to prevent trafficking of children.last_img read more

JNU sedition Delhi court grants govt time till Jul 23 to decide

first_imgNew Delhi: A Delhi court on Monday granted the government here time till July 23 for deciding on grant of sanction to prosecute former JNU student’s union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others in the 2016 JNU sedition case. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat granted specific time to the Delhi government which had earlier told the court that it will take over a month to decide whether to grant sanction to prosecute Kumar and others in the case. On January 14 this year, the police had filed a charge sheet in the court against Kumar, saying he was leading a procession and supported seditious slogans raised on the JNU campus during an event on February 9, 2016.last_img read more

Prashant Kishor rubbishes Rabri Devis merger claim

first_imgPatna: Poll strategist Prashant Kishor Saturday dismissed Rabri Devi’s claim of he as an emissary of Nitish Kumar meeting her husband Lalu Prasad with a proposal to merge JD(U) and RJD which should declare its prime ministerial candidate ahead of the polls and dared RJD president to tell the media what transpired during their talks.Kishor, who is the national vice-president of the Janata Dal (United), also came down heavily on Prasad for making “false claims” and quipped “those convicted or facing charges of abuse of public office and misappropriation of funds are claiming to be the custodians of truth”. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’He threw a challenge to the RJD supremo to sit with him before the media and tell everybody what transpired during their meeting and “who offered what”. “Whenever @laluprasadrjd ji wants, he should sit with me before the media as it would let everybody know what transpired between me and him and who gave an offer to whom,” Kishor said in a tweet. Rabri Devi on Friday dropped a bombshell claiming that Kishor had met Prasad with the proposal that the RJD and Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) merge and the new entity thus formed declare its prime ministerial candidate ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KIf Kishor denies having met Prasad with such a proposal, he is speaking a “blatant lie”, she said. “I got infuriated and asked him to go away as I had no trust left in Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar following his betrayal,” the RJD national vice-president, who is also the leader of the opposition in the state legislative council, said. Earlier, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav has said that many times people on behalf of Nitish Kumar met him as well approached Congress with reconciliation proposals. Rabri Devi’s revelation coming close on heels of Prasad in his recently-published autobiography claiming that Kishor had met him as an emissary of Nitish Kumar with the proposal that the chief minister’s party be re-inducted into the Grand Alliance has stirred the political pot in Bihar.last_img read more

These are worst days for country Mehbooba Mufti on remarks of Pragya

first_imgSrinagar: “These are the worst days for the country”, said former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday, reacting to remarks on former Anti-Terrorist Squad chief Hemant Karkare by Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, the BJP candidate from Bhopal and an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case. “I think these are the worst days for our country that you are giving such a choice of candidates to the people who use such language against a martyr like Hemant Karkare,” Mehbooba told reporters here. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Thakur on Friday said Karkare died during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks as she had cursed him for treating her badly. Karkare, along with two other senior police officers, was killed while fighting terrorists during the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai in November 2008. The BJP on Wednesday had fielded Thakur from the Bhopal parliamentary seat, where she is set to have a direct contest with Congress heavyweight and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KOut on bail, Pragya has been discharged by a court on charges under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in the case, but is still facing trial under other criminal provisions, including the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Mehbooba asked the BJP what the party wanted to convey to the people of the country by fielding a candidate like Thakur. “What do you want to convey to the people by fielding in the elections a lady against whom there is a charge sheet and such grave charges and who was in jail? That whatever the lady stands for, the BJP stands for those things?” the PDP president said. She also termed as a “huge setback” the suspension of the cross-LoC trade between India and Pakistan.last_img read more

Costs of poor communication

first_imgI am 34 years old housewife. My husband is heading a reputed company. He doesn’t approve my association with his colleagues and friends. I feel lonely. What should I do?Mrs. T. Puri, New Delhi I strongly suggest you to do something on your own. Learn some skill or spend time nurturing some hobby. Your problem of passing time will be solved and you will feel independent too. This will also expand your world and you will meet more and more people, make new friends. When you have your own group your husband should not have any problem. May be he is not comfortable and you should respect his feelings. Go ahead, spend your life your way and don’t feel neglected or hurt. You have all the liberty to choose your path of happiness and friends. Also Read – Feel what you fear I am 42 and divorced. My husband left me for another woman. I am very scared to get into a new relationship. Now it is just hard to trust. How to come out from this terrible situation. Name withheld Blaming the men of the universe for a single person is really not justified. Now you will have to help yourself by deciding what you want in your partner. Your previous experience itself will help you a lot. For getting into another relationship, I would advise to keep both your eyes and mind open. It may be a good idea to visit a counselor and discuss the whole thing before taking any decision. That would help you in rescuing from the unnecessary burden of betrayal and help you move ahead positively. Also Read – HomecomingI want to be a good public speaker. But I feel very nervous when I have to talk in front of unknown people. Please guide. Rani Kumari, Noida If you are afraid to speak in public, don’t feel bad, you are not alone. Over 40 per cent of the adult population is. In fact, fear of speaking in public is one of the highest ranked fear that all people have. Don’t panic. If you take some time to plan it out, you’ll do ok. Preparation is the key. If you know what you are talking about, you won’t feel as nervous or flustered. Try to anticipate what questions others may have and be ready with an answer. Once you’ve done this, practice out loud somewhere by yourself if possible at first, then in front of a friend or coworker later if it’s important. Try to relax. Breathe deeply. Don’t say anything about being nervous to your audience.You may do better than you expect. Try not to speak too fast, semi slow and clear is the way to go. Keep things simple and to the point. Public speaking is a valuable tool you can learn and use throughout your life. The more you practice it and gain confidence the better you will get. Good luck! We are married for 7 months. It was an arranged marriage and I fear my wife is in a relationship. She isn’t accepting this and continues to be in touch with the guy. Should I allow her doing what she is doing or should I withdraw myself from the marriage before it gets dirty? Name withheld Sometimes we imagine things to be true only because we feel it is. The reality could be far away from the imagination. I suggest, you be a friend to her and ask her what she expects you to do in the given situation. Explain your fear, express your insecurity to her and give her a chance to express her point. You both need to be great friends for the marriage to work. With time the bond should become stronger and she should know that you understand and love her. Don’t suspect her and make it worse. Let her know that you respect her decision and would support her. I strongly believe, she wouldn’t let you down. Best wishes for a peaceful life ahead. (Send your questions to roopshashotm@gmail.com)last_img read more

Air Arabia Maroc to Launch Two NaplesCasablanca Weekly Flights

Rome  –  Low cost airline, Air Arabia Maroc, announced that it will be operating two weekly flights linking Casablanca to Naples as of March 30.The launch of this air route aims at meeting the growing demand by Italian tourists and the Moroccans living in Italy, the airline said.Air Arabia Maroc was established in April 2009, has its main hub in Casablanca Mohammed V Airport where it links to several airports in Morocco, Spain, Portugal and Italy.

Crowd Lashes Out at Young Moroccan Girl for Wearing Shorts During

Rabat- Two days after the trial of two women in Agadir over charges of “gross ardency” for wearing skirts, a crowd gathered around a young girl in a popular market in Safi for wearing shorts.A video footage posted on YouTube on Wednesday shows a young girl being harassed by a group of passersby in a popular market in Safi over wearing shorts. The video went viral on social media.The girl was walking through the market with her mother, when dozens of passersby gathered around her and started harassing her. In the video, the attackers are heard shouting at her “Allahuma Inna Hada Mounkar,” (“O God! This is evil!”).The girl and her mother reacted to the harsh criticism. “That is my daughter. It’s none of your business,” the mother is heard saying.The man recording the video is heard saying, “Look at her! She is walking in the street with her mother while naked… look how many passersby protest against this act!”This comes two days after two Moroccan women were acquitted of indecency charges after they were arrested in Agadir because their outfit was deemed “inappropriate.”This comes two days after two Moroccan women were acquitted of indecency charges after they were arrested in Agadir because their outfit was deemed “inappropriate.”The case sparked a nationwide outcry. Hundreds of Moroccans took to the streets in three sit-ins held in Agadir, Casablanca and Rabat on July 6 in protest of the arrest, calling it an “attack on personal freedom.”Two Facebook pages were created in support of the two young women. On both pages, many Moroccan women sharde pictures of themselves wearing minis-skirts with the hash tag “mettre une robe n’est pas un crime” (“wearing a skirt is not crime”).© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission. read more

Tablet Market Shrinks in Middle East and Africa

Rabat- The Middle East and Africa (MEA) has seen a decline in sales of tablets, reported the latest ‘Middle East and Africa Quarterly Tablet Tracker’ from International Data Corporation (IDC).The region’s tablet market shrink 13.3% in Q2 of 2015 in comparison to Q2 of the previous year.The latest data shows that the overall market totaled 3.52 million units for the quarter, with Middle East shipments declining 18.8% year on year. In contrast, Africa performed much better, with shipments increasing 2.0% over the same period“Market saturation continues to inhibit the growth of tablets in Middle Eastern countries, while poor consumer sentiment caused by the effects of low crude oil prices is compounding the issue,” says Fouad Rafiq Charakla, senior research manager for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC. “In light of these circumstances, the commercial sector – spurred by some large-scale education deals – holds the key to driving growth in the region’s tablet market over the coming quarters.”Samsung continued to lead the tablet market in Q2 2016 with 20.8% share. Yet, the company has seen a decline in shipments by 35.3%, according to IT Africa.Lenovo remained in second place with 12.9%, and has suffered a 15.1% decline in shipments. Huawei leaped above Apple to rank third in the market after its shipments increased 179.3% year on year to give it 10.0% share. Apple followed closely behind in fourth place with 9.3% share, having seen its shipments decline 28.1%.In the last five years, mobile phone and tablets have become integral for Moroccans who rely on them to communicate and navigate the web.But some experts say there is a trend away from tablets. “Tablets have traditionally been used for content consumption rather than content creation, and as consumers have gradually transitioned to bigger smartphones, the majority of content consumption activities have shifted in the same direction and away from tablets,” says Nakul Dogra, a senior research analyst for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC. read more

Rwandas FM Says Time Has Come For Morocco to Return to

Rabat – Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo believes “the time has come” for Morocco to return to the African Union, which the kingdom left over thirty years ago to protest the admission of the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) as a member.The minister’s statement came during King Mohammed VI’s first full day in Kigali as part of a tour to Rwanda, Tanzania and Ethiopia. These three East African countries that have historically sided with the Algeria-backed SADR.“Morocco has been absent since 1984…For us, the time has come for Morocco to join its brothers and sisters again,” Mushikiwabo said to reporters. The Moroccan monarch chaired the signing of 19 bilateral agreements with Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Wednesday regarding a variety of sectors: tourism, pharmaceuticals, banking and more.“Our Rwandan friends support us,” Moroccan Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar said, reflecting on the economic nature of the new agreements.“It is the overwhelming majority of African countries which support and applaud the return of Morocco in its corporate family.”Morocco officially filed a request to re-enter the African Union in September. Morocco’s move was has been supported by 28 countries, which submitted a motion to the organization, and called for the freezing Polisario’s membership in the AU.The king’s current tour will defend his country’s position to be reinstated in the pan-African organization and reinvigorate Rabat’s diplomatic ties to East Africa – a region that has been dominated by Algeria, which backs the separatist Polisario Front.King Mohammed VI previously said Morocco’s return to the AU – which requires approval through a vote within the union’s commission – did not mean the country backtracked on its territorial claims in the Western Sahara.Analysts believe Morocco’s return to the African Union will enable it to fight the Polisario and Algeria from within and thwart all their schemes to undermine Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara. read more