North Korea fires several unidentified projectiles

first_imgSeoul: North Korea launched “multiple unidentified projectiles” on Wednesday, Seoul said, days after firing two ballistic missiles as a warning to the South over planned joint military drills with the United States. A “number of projectiles” were fired from the Wonsan area on the east coast at dawn, said an official with South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. “We can’t say at this point how far they flew and are analysing them while preparing for additional possible launches,” the official told AFP. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThere was no immediate statement from the nuclear-armed North on the launch, which came six days after leader Kim Jong Un personally supervised the firing of two missiles despite a meeting with US President Donald Trump last month. Pyongyang and Washington are engaged in a long-running diplomatic process over the North’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes that has seen three high-profile meetings between their leaders in the space of a year. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsThe North has defied years of isolation and sanctions to develop its arsenal and has not given up any of its weapons, while proving itself adept at dragging out negotiations. Kim and Trump agreed to resume nuclear talks during their impromptu June encounter in the Demilitarized Zone that divides the peninsula, but that working-level dialogue has yet to begin. Pyongyang has warned the talks could be derailed by Washington and Seoul’s refusal to scrap the annual manoeuvres between their forces. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not address the launch but said talks would “start before too long,” without giving details.last_img read more

Unnao rape victims 2nd aunt cremated

first_imgBarabanki (UP): The body of the Unnao rape survivor’s aunt, who was killed in an accident in Rae Bareli district, was consigned to flames in her village, about 70 kilometres from here on Thursday.Her mortal remains were brought to the village in the Subeha area here from Lucknow amid tight security. The last rites were performed by her son in the presence of her two daughters. The woman was a widow. As soon as the body arrived, the family members broke down and started crying inconsolably. Some of them cursed jailed BJP lawmaker Kuldeep Singh Sengar, holding him responsible for the woman’s death. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’With tears streaming down her eyes, one of the woman’s daughters told mediapersons that “the accident, in which my mother was killed, was orchestrated by the MLA (Sengar)”. “It is nothing but a well-planned murder,” she alleged. The daughter said her mother was staying with the rape victim for the last nine months and pursued the case in the court. “Though the loss of my mother could not be compensated, a job to my brother will ensure that the family earn a livelihood,” she said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KShe said “our only demand to Modi ji and Yogi ji” is that the family is adequately compensation. The rape victim’s another aunt, who was also killed in the truck-car collision in Rae Bareli on Sunday, was cremated on the banks of the Ganges in Unnao on Wednesday amid tight security arrangements. The rape victim’s uncle, who was granted a short-term bail to attend the last rites of his wife, was brought to the Ganga ghat from the Rae Bareli district jail to attend the ritual. A speeding truck had hit the car in which the Unnao rape victim was travelling in Rae Bareli, killing her two aunts and leaving her and a lawyer critically injured. The CBI has taken up the investigation into the incident after the family members alleged “conspiracy” behind it. The central investigating agency booked 10 people in the case, including Sengar who is already in jail, charged with the rape of the Unnao woman when she was a minor in 2017.last_img read more

A unique fashion show

first_imgA fashion show on hospitality industry was organised on August 9, 2019, at India Expo Centre & Mart, Greater Noida. In the show, models showcased different hospitality industry related dresses to be used by hotels. The categories were chef uniforms, receptionist, house keeping, security, to name a few. The highlight of the show was uniform of stewards and bar tenders. The event was held as part of second edition of IHE’19, in which master chefs from across the world are hosting culinary classes. The 4-day expo has received phenomenal response from the audience so far and is expected to attract more visitors on the last day.last_img read more

Four criminals nabbed after two separate encounters

first_imgGreater Noida: Four criminals were arrested by Gautam Buddh Nagar police in two separate gunfights from Dadri area of Greater Noida on Wednesday and Thursday night. Cops said that these accused were wanted in an armed robbery at a garment showroom in Dadri area, earlier in the week.According to police, the arrested accused were identified as Rajeev Sharma, Rahul Kashyap, Gaurav, all natives of Bulandshahr district and Lokesh alias Rocky of Dankaur area in Greater Noida. “All the accused were wanted in two sensational robbery incidents which occurred Dadri area. A reward of Rs 25, 000 each on their head was also declared on these criminals,” said police officials. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderKumar Ranvijay Singh, Superintendent of Police (rural), Gautam Buddh Nagar said that two criminals were arrested after an gun battle on Wednesday night while the other two criminals were arrested on Thursday night. “Acting on a tip-off about the movement of criminals, police intercepted these four accused travelling on two motorcycles near Shefali school in dadri area on Wednesday night. The criminals opened fire on police party and tried to flee. However, police had to retaliate and two criminals, identified as Rajiv and Rahul, were nabbed by police after a gunfight. The other two criminals managed to flee the spot, however, police interrogated the arrested accused who told us about the whereabouts of their accomplices. Later on Thursday night, police successfully nabbed Lokesh and Gaurav from near Bisahda flyover after a brief exchange of fire,” said Singh. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe officer further said that these criminals were wanted in two sensational robbery incident other than several cases of heinous crimes. “All these four criminals holds a long criminal history. The accused had shot at man and robbed him with his laptop and cash in Dadri area earlier in the months of April. Later the gang had also committed robbery at Cobb garments showroom in Dadri area on August 1,” added Singh. Police have recovered Rs 19,000 cash, three illegal country made pistols along with few cases of lives ammunition and two two-wheelers from the possession of the accused persons.last_img read more

Simon Pegg JK Simmons to star in My Only Sunshine

first_imgLos Angeles: Oscar winner JK Simmons and actor Simon Pegg will topline the indie movie “My Only Sunshine”. The movie, being touted as a “comedy/heist thriller”, will be directed by Mark Palansky from a script by JT Petty and K Reed Petty, reported Deadline. The story follows a passionately dysfunctional couple who orchestrate a bank robbery as an unconventional act of bloodthirsty marriage counselling. They try to make peace with the shocking mystery of their relationship throughout the violent hostage situation, discovered by a cop hostage negotiator who previously investigated a past related crime. The project is backed by Circle of Confusion and Patriot Pictures. Matt Smith, Lawrence Mattis and Michael Mendelsohn will produce, while Petty, Natalie Perrotta and Jim Steele will be serving as executive producers. “My Only Sunshine” will start production later this year.last_img read more

People left out of final NRC not to be detained MHA

first_imgNew Delhi: The Union Home Ministry on Monday said that those left out of the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam will not be detained, under any circumstances, till they “exhaust” all remedies available under law. Such people can appeal to the Foreign Tribunals within 120 days, it said, stressing that they will continue to enjoy all their rights as earlier, like any other citizens. “The affected persons will continue to enjoy rights like right to employment, education, property etc,” Home Ministry spokesperson Vasudha Gupta said in a tweet. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ In another tweeet, she said: “State government has also made necessary arrangements to provide legal aid to the needy people amongst those excluded from NRC final list, by providing all assistance through the District Legal Services Authorities (DLSA).” Saying that adequate judicial process is available for affected persons to appeal to Foreigners Tribunal within 120 days from August 31 this year, the ministry said that “to facilitate appeal, 200 new FTs to be functional from today (Monday), in addition to 100 already existing”. In the final NRC list released on Saturday, 30.1 million people were found eligible to be included, while more than 1.9 million were left out. The ones left out are mostly Bengali Hindu refugees who had come to Assam before 1971, or people who couldn’t furnish the necessary documents.last_img read more

Supreme Courts 2018 verdict diluting Dalit atrocity law to be reviewed by

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday referred its March 2018 verdict banning automatic arrests in Dalit atrocity cases to a bench of three judges. The top court’s ruling comes on a review petition filed by the centre last year. The top court had last year banned automatic arrests and registration of cases under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, triggering protests in parts of the country against dilution of the law that was designed to protect marginalised communities from abuse and discrimination. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details The March 2018 ruling of the court required approval of the Superintendent of Police to arrest those accused of an offence under this law. Besides, it required a deputy SP to conduct a preliminary inquiry to find out if prima facie, a case can be made under the law. The ruling BJP initially appeared to go along with the verdict but later recalibrated its stand in the face of widespread anger among Dalit groups and opposition parties targeting the ruling party as anti-Dalit. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday The Centre first filed a review petition in the Supreme Court but the court didn’t immediately stay its verdict. A few months later, the changes were cancelled by Parliament to restore the power of police to carry out immediate arrests in cases of atrocities and denial of anticipatory bail. The implementation of the 1989 SC/ST Act has been patchy. For instance, only 16 percent of people charged under the 1989 law were convicted in 2016. But it has been associated with the notion of power and dignity for the marginalised sections, who could file a case against members of the powerful upper caste.(Inputs from Hindustan Times)last_img read more

BCs First Nations leaders suspect high rate of overdose deaths

first_imgVANCOUVER – First Nations leaders in British Columbia say they suspect the deadly opioid fentanyl is having a disproportionate impact on their communities but they can’t get the numbers to prove it.Grand Chief Edward John of the First Nations Summit said he’s been asking the First Nations Health Authority and other provincial authorities for the data since last fall but nothing has yet been delivered.“I don’t even know how to feel, we need to have that information and we shouldn’t wait to act,” he said.Over 900 people died in the province from illicit overdoses last year. John said although he doesn’t know what proportion of those who died are indigenous, he knows plenty of families and communities that have fallen victim to the crisis.“All I hear is the anecdotal information from communities where funerals are taking place,” he said “People are dying needlessly.”The First Nations Health Authority said it’s working with the BC Coroners Service to develop an approach to collect the data that would identify deceased individuals as aboriginal.Current data collected by the agencies is based on self-identification and must first be compared against the B.C. Ministry of Health’s First Nation client file, which includes data from the federal government.“We want to ensure that any publicly released aboriginal specific data is as accurate as possible,” said Dr. Shannon McDonald, deputy chief medical officer for the First Nations Health Authority, in an email statement.“Once the data matching is completed and there’s greater confidence in the numbers, it will be available for release,” she said, adding that numbers may not be available for a few weeks at least.In the meantime, the health authority said it’s addressing the overdose crisis by educating the public about the harmful potential of opioids and distributing naloxone, the overdose-reversing drug.More than 70 First Nations health centres have received naloxone kits and the health authority said it held over 110 public training sessions on how to use the kits last year.Despite these efforts to get ahead of the crisis, the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council declared a state of emergency after seeing too many deaths in its communities. The council represents a collection of First Nations bands in the B.C. Interior.Tribal Chief Wayne Christian said in the days leading up to the declaration in March, five band members were buried in the span of a week.“Any death is an emergency,” he said. “The grief and loss, compounded by the intergenerational trauma, people just said we have got to do something about this, enough is enough.”Christian said the council is using the declaration to draw attention to the issue and educate people of all ages about addictions and drug use.More people seem to be aware of the crisis now, he said, but the history of residential schools and abuse still leave many vulnerable to addiction and other health issues.Terry Teegee, tribal chief of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council, said another problem rural and remote communities face is the proximity to health care services.He said the closest doctors for his people in the Takla Lake community are in Fort Saint James in north-central B.C., which he added is an area struggling to recruit and keep physicians. His people travel 5 1/2 hours to reach Prince George if they need a specialist, he said, or at times have to go even farther to Kamloops or Vancouver.“Just the distance is, I suppose, you could define it as a health detriment in terms of accessing proper health care,” Teegee said.There are 10 treatment programs with a total of 239 beds available to indigenous people in B.C. through the health authority, including one youth program. The health authority said some programs offer immediate treatment while others have a 10 to 12 week waiting list.If there is a shortfall for services, John said overdose data could help First Nations leaders advocate for better resources when it comes to health care and addictions treatment.Christian, who has worked with one of the addiction treatment programs, said even without data, there are many areas where health care can improve. He said there is a need for post-treatment services that prevent people from relapsing and for programs addressing the trauma that leads to addictions.“Addictions is a system. The person comes out of a family, and yeah you can treat the one individual, but it’s the whole family system that needs to be treated,” he said.Any data released can’t represent the effect overdose deaths are having on communities, he said.“The hard part for me, when people talk statistics … those numbers aren’t numbers to us, those are our relatives,” Christian said.— Follow @Givetash on Twitter.last_img read more

Girl sexually assaulted after being picked up by apparent cab driver in

first_imgHAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, N.L. – Police in Labrador say a girl was sexually assaulted after being picked up by a man believed to be driving a taxi cab.RCMP say a 63-year-old man faces multiple charges after the girl was offered a ride by a man driving a vehicle “believed to be a taxi cab” near an RBC branch in Happy Valley-Goose Bay at about 9:30 p.m. Friday.They say the girl — police would not give her age — was taken to a home and sexually assaulted.She left and reported the incident to police.The man, from Happy Valley-Goose Bay, has been charged with sexual assault, sexual interference, uttering threats and forcible confinement.Police would not confirm whether the accused man, who is to appear in local provincial court Aug. 2, is a cab driver.last_img read more

A primer on the case that led to landmark Supreme Court ruling

first_imgVANCOUVER – Barrett Jordan was arrested in December 2008 for his alleged involvement in a dial-a-dope operation in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland.Nine years later, he is at the centre of the Supreme Court of Canada’s attack on what it calls a “culture of delay and complacency” in the criminal justice system.In late 2008, the RCMP arrested Jordan and charged him and nine co-accused with 14 offences. Jordan remained in custody for two months but was eventually released on bail conditions, including strict house arrest.A preliminary inquiry was scheduled for May 2010, but the Crown realized that four days earmarked for the case would not be enough. Scheduling issues and court delays pushed the proceedings back by a year to make room for an additional five days.By the time the preliminary hearing had finished, it had been 2 1/2 years since Jordan’s initial arrest.It was around this time that Jordan was convicted of prior drug charges and sentenced to a 15-month conditional sentence.Jordan’s trial was scheduled to last six weeks starting in September 2012. A new prosecutor took over the file in July 2011 and contacted the defence, saying she believed the trial would only take two to three weeks and asked about earlier dates. Jordan’s lawyer did not respond.The trial began in September 2012 and Jordan was convicted in February 2013 on five drug-related offences, a little over four years after he was first arrested.Jordan’s lawyer argued for a stay of proceedings at the beginning of his client’s trial, but the judge dismissed the application. An appeal was similarly rejected.Both the trial and appellate judges said Jordan’s bail conditions were not excessive because he had been living under similar provisions imposed when he was given the conditional discharge on his other drug convictions.Jordan appealed to the Supreme Court, which struck down a decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal in July 2016.The Charter of Rights and Freedoms says someone charged with an offence has the right to be tried within a reasonable time.Under the new framework, an unreasonable delay would be presumed should proceedings exceed 18 months in provincial court, or 30 months in Superior Court.However, these benchmarks are not set in stone.The Crown could challenge the notion that a delay is unreasonable by demonstrating “exceptional circumstances,” which could include something unforeseen and beyond the Crown’s control, such as a sudden illness, or a case requiring extradition of an accused from another country.They might also arise in complex cases that involve disclosure of many documents, a large number of witnesses or a significant need for expert evidence.In addition, a delay may be unreasonable even if it falls below the newly prescribed time limits. However, the defence would have to establish that it took meaningful steps to expedite the proceedings and show the case lasted “markedly longer” than it should have.— Follow @gwomand on Twitterlast_img read more

Final 11 accused in big Mob bust in Quebec see charges stayed

first_imgMONTREAL – The last 11 people accused in a massive Quebec Mob bust dubbed Project Clemenza saw the charges against them stayed Monday at the request of the prosecution.A spokesperson for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada said a stay of proceedings was a discretionary decision by the Crown and was the only possible move.“The request for disclosure from the defence raised very complex issues and, despite all the efforts, the prosecution was not in a position to meet its disclosure obligations,” the agency said in an email.The accused were among those charged in a major police operation targeting organized crime between 2014 and 2016 that led to dozens of arrests.Prosecutor Andre Albert Morin told reporters the Crown asked for the stay after speaking to investigators in the RCMP-led case and concluding it wouldn’t be able to provide answers to pointed technical questions from the defence.At the time of the first wave of arrests, the RCMP proudly boasted about an investigative tactic that saw more than one million private PIN to PIN BlackBerry messages intercepted between 2010 and 2012 and analyzed.Morin said the accused are now free without any further court-ordered conditions.Technically, the prosecution has 12 months to refile charges according to the Criminal Code, but Morin wouldn’t say what he planned to do.In March, the federal Crown used its discretion in a similar fashion to have charges stayed against 36 people arrested in Clemenza.In that instance, a prosecutor told reporters that numerous factors played a part in the decision, including a recent Supreme Court ruling that set strict time limits for cases to get to trial.But Montreal La Presse reported the Crown’s decision was based on the quality of the evidence and the techniques used to gather it.One criminal attorney not connected to the current case says it could cause problems down the road.“If they want to use this investigative technique in the future to gather evidence to charge someone, the accused will still be allowed to obtain all the evidence against them,” said Walid Hijazi, a defence lawyer.“So it’s a delicate problem that the authorities will have to solve.”Clemenza was the biggest anti-Mafia police sweep by federal authorities since its takedown of the Rizzuto crime family during Operation Colisee in 2006.The suspects in question faced an array of charges, including trafficking, importation and production of drugs, and others related to weapons, arson and kidnapping.“Project Clemenza is now finished,” said Morin.— with files from Cogeco Nouvelleslast_img read more

Plane that crashed in Saskatchewan left long wreckage path across ground TSB

first_imgFOND DU LAC, Sask. – Investigators say a passenger plane that crashed in northern Saskatchewan left a path of wreckage almost a quarter of a kilometre long through trees and across the ground.All 25 people on board survived, some with serious injuries, when the twin-engine ATR42-320 went down close to the Fond du Lac air strip after taking off on Wednesday night.Previous reports have said there was no explosion or fire.The Transportation Safety Board says its team of investigators has recovered the plane’s flight data and cockpit voice recorders.West Wind Aviation has grounded its other ATR aircraft for the time being.The board says it will continue to gather more data in the coming days and weeks and interview witnesses to determine what happened.“Investigations are complex and we take the time needed to complete a thorough investigation,” the board said in a release Friday.“It is important not to draw conclusions or speculate as to causes at this time. There are often many factors that can contribute to an accident.”First Nations chiefs say the crash demonstrates the need for upgraded runways and all-season roads in remote communities.Fond du Lac Chief Louie Mercredi said his community has one of the shortest runways in northern Saskatchewan, even though the size of planes using the airstrip continue to grow.Mercredi said they could also use an all-season road so people would have a choice about whether they wanted to fly or drive.“We as leaders need to sit down with the province regarding all-season roads and upgrades to our runways,” Mercredi said.There is an ice road in the winter, but the chief said many people still fly.Chris Jobb, a vice-chief of the Prince Albert General Council, said similar concerns need to be addressed in other remote Saskatchewan communities such as Wollaston Lake and Hatchet Lake.— With files from CKBIlast_img read more

East Coast mops up after weather bomb floods roads batters buildings

first_imgHALIFAX – The weather bomb that went off in the Maritimes late Thursday and kept detonating early Friday left plenty of ugly fragments in Wade Woodbury’s backyard.As he emerged from his home along the eastern edge of Halifax Harbour, cane in hand, Woodbury surveyed the damage, then marvelled at powerful waves crashing over a massive rock wall only 12 metres from his back door, howling winds hurling salt spray in his eyes.“She was loud, very loud — like thunder,” said Woodbury, wearing a grey parka and a blue tuque as the temperature hovered around the freezing mark.A storm surge late Thursday breached the wall, shoving a collection of lawn furniture, garbage cans, firewood and the entire fire pit into a tangled heap.Woodbury, a resident of Eastern Passage for more than 20 years, said the winter storm kept him up most of the night as the electricity flickered on and off.“I got up and wandered around — not outdoors, mind you.”Work crews fanned out across the region Friday to deal with the mess left behind by hurricane-force winds, flooded coastal roads and downed power lines that left more than 280,000 utility customers in the dark — most of them in Nova Scotia, the province that endured the strongest winds.The brawniest gusts were recorded in Cape Breton, where a 170-kilometre-per-hour blast streaked through the rural area of Grand Etang, known for producing powerful winds.In the Halifax area, which weathered its share of power outages, siding was ripped off some homes, limbs were torn from trees and the roof was ripped from at least one home in Dartmouth.Dominic Fewer of Nova Scotia’s Emergency Management Office said some roads were washed out and others littered with rocks and debris caused by storm surge and heavy rains.Among the roads still closed Friday was the winding, narrow oceanside lane into a little enclave of five homes in Purcell’s Cove, across from Point Pleasant Park in Halifax harbour.“That’s the only road. We’re sitting here till we get dug out,” said Andrew Murphy, an accountant who was unable to get downtown. “There’s no way through that.”Usually, he and his neighbours just clean the mess up themselves, but this storm “flipped pieces of pavement the size of little cars,” he said.“I’ve lived here for 23 years, and at first the road would wash out once every three or four years. Now it does that three or four times a year. But this is probably the worst one we’ve had since hurricane Juan 14 years ago.”Videos posted to social media Thursday night showed waves from Halifax harbour crashing against the walls of a couple of waterfront restaurants. And as the harbour heaved, jets of spray shot up between the slats on the city’s boardwalk.Not far away, the storm surge moved the city’s Canada 150 sign installation from its boardwalk perch in front of a waterfront hotel, as a small crowd watched and cheered.Staff at nearby Salty’s restaurant and The Gahan House brew pub said they were able to keep the water out with the use of sandbags — an emergency measure adopted after hurricane Juan caused extensive damage in 2003.In New Brunswick, crews cleared away mounds of snow that began piling up when the slow-moving, low-pressure system moved into the province Thursday afternoon. The heaviest snowfall was recorded at Pokemouche, which was buried under 58 centimetres, while Big River nearby got 50 centimetres of snow. Fredericton reported 25 centimetres by early Friday.The president of NB Power said it will be late Saturday before all power is restored across the province. Gaetan Thomas says the number of customers affected by Thursday’s storm peaked at 19,000 Friday morning.“It took quite a while to get the snow removal into certain areas,” he said. “The conditions along the coast … you couldn’t see anything last night.”In Bathurst, where they were digging out from under 50 centimetres of snow, plows were still trying to clear driveways and parking lots well into Friday.“We got all that snow and freezing rain too,” said Roger Arseneault, who was working at the front desk at the Atlantic Host hotel. “It’s not safe to go on the roads. It’s still blowing hard out there and the visibility ain’t the best.”In Shelburne, along Nova Scotia’s southwestern shore, the wind tore off a big section of a community centre’s roof. As well, the town’s sturdy armoury — built from granite — was damaged by storm surge, as was the town wharf.One of the main roads along the waterfront, Dock Street, was submerged Thursday as the storm reached its peak. Though the water had receded by early Friday, a chunk of the sidewalk was missing and an assortment of flotsam was left behind.“We’re assessing the damage but it’s fairly significant,” said Shelburne Mayor Karen Mattatall. “There’s lots of debris. I can see anchors and lobster traps … It certainly seems to be some of the worst damage we’ve seen in a long time.”Pictures on Twitter showed scaffolding from the historic Lunenburg Academy laying in a heap on the ground as winds roared around it.Along Nova Scotia’s eastern shore, massive waves pounded the coast, including the Lawrencetown Beach area, famous as a surfing mecca.Surfer Tim Adham from Dartmouth, N.S., said the storm was “absolutely epic!”“We could hear the wind howling,” he said as he and some friends surveyed a section of the Lawrencetown Road that was blocked by rocks heaved ashore by the waves. “It’s always impressive. Makes you feel humble.”As for the surf, he said no surfer would risk such chaotic seas.“Insane,” Adham said. “Super dangerous. Death.”The storm also closed schools for a second consecutive day in parts of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and P.E.I., and was hampering air travel and ferry service in several areas.The number of Nova Scotia Power customers still in the dark had dropped to 31,000 by Friday evening, with power for most homes and businesses expected to be restored later in the night or Saturday in more remote areas.Jason Mew, acting executive director of Nova Scotia’s Emergency Management Office, said the full extent and cost of the damage to provincial infrastructure would not be known until early next week.— With files from Alison Auld and Rob Roberts in Halifax and Kevin Bissett in Fredericton.last_img read more

Court says insurer must pay NB diocese 33 million to cover abuse

first_imgFREDERICTON – An insurance company has been ordered by New Brunswick’s top court to pay over $3.3 million to a Catholic diocese to cover the cost of compensation for decades of sexual abuse by priests.The province’s Court of Appeal ruled that Aviva Insurance Company of Canada breached its contract when it denied coverage of claims resulting from a conciliation process set up by the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst.“The question on appeal is whether the diocese is entitled to damages for breach of contract in amounts that involve the costs of, and payments made through a conciliation process the diocese set up as a result of its insurer’s denial of coverage,” Justice Marc Richard said in a written ruling released Thursday.Richard says 83 victims participated in the conciliation process, with compensation paid to 50 people.Twenty-six priests were identified as having committed sexual abuse, he wrote, with 19 identified in the conciliation process and another seven in separate court actions.In a previous civil trial held in Moncton, a Court of Queen’s Bench judge ruled Aviva wasn’t responsible for covering the costs of the conciliation claims — a decision appealed by the church in a hearing last February in Fredericton.In his ruling, Richard points out that Aviva discontinued its own appeal in the case, leaving only a cross appeal to be argued. He said that left unchallenged the trial judge’s determination that the claims for sexual abuse were covered under policies that were not void for failure to disclose material risks and were not excluded in the intentional acts clause.He said in essence, Aviva accepts it had wrongfully denied the diocese when it sought coverage for the sexual abuse claims and that left a question whether the trial judge erred in concluding that the claims were not recoverable as damages because they didn’t involve payments for liability imposed by a court.“In my respectful view the judge did err in this regard by applying an incorrect test,” Richard wrote. “This was a claim for damages flowing from a breach of contract and not for indemnity under the policy.”Richard said allowing an insurer to escape liability because the insured settled a claim rather than seeking a court judgment would encourage companies to deny coverage in such cases.“Such conduct by insurers must be prevented,” he said.Richard said whether or not the settlement by the diocese was reasonable was the “threshold issue in this case.”The ruling said the diocese acted reasonably in instituting an alternative dispute resolution process that would allow for its financial survival, having been abandoned by the insurance company.The appeal ruling says the abuse of young people occurred from the late 1950s to the early 1980s.Retired Supreme Court of Canada Justice Michel Bastarache was retained to devise and implement a process aimed at resolving claims and to seek the forgiveness of the victims. Aviva declined to participate in the process.“By using the conciliation process the diocese kept its costs for that process to $4,284,000, which paled in comparison to the $15,000,000 paid by the Diocese of Antigonish, N.S., through claim-by-claim settlements. It was a decision designed to minimize costs, ensure there was enough money to pay victims, and avoid protracted litigation, all in the name of financial viability.”Richard said the diocese’s “broader obligations” would have been known to Aviva when it decided to insure the diocese, and he noted the company did not dispute the amounts being claimed or the reasonableness of the amounts being claimed as reimbursement.“For these reasons I would allow the appeal and set aside the trial judge’s decision on the question of Aviva’s liability to pay damages for breach of contract relating to claims resolved through the conciliation process.”The diocese paid conciliation process participants a total of $4,284,000 and another group of victims who opted not to participate were paid a total of $2,879,179.The diocese ultimately made a total claim for breach of contract totalling $3,358,264, which was the amount awarded by the Court of Appeal, with pre-judgment interest.last_img read more

Two rail companies appealing ministers order for handbrakes usage on stopped trains

first_imgCALGARY — Canada’s two biggest railways are appealing Transport Minister Marc Garneau’s order requiring them to immediately use handbrakes on all trains stopped on mountain slopes.Canadian Pacific and Canadian National Railway both say they will comply with the order during the appeal process.CP Rail CEO Keith Creel says the company is focused on safety, but the application of handbrakes introduces additional risks and will have unintended consequences.In a news release, he adds that safer options are available and “we must get this right.” Three C-P Rail employees were killed in early February after a Vancouver-bound train that was parked for two hours with its air brakes started moving on its own and sped up to well over the limit.Then 99 cars and two locomotives hurtled off the tracks.last_img read more

Prime Minister announces advisory committee aimed at promoting skilled trades

first_imgHALIFAX — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced the creation of a new advisory committee to help promote apprenticeships and skilled trades across Canada.Trudeau made the announcement today before a roundtable meeting focused on promoting trades for women at the Nova Scotia Community College in Dartmouth, N.S.The advisory committee is to lay the groundwork for a national campaign encouraging apprenticeships and promoting the skilled trades as a career.It will lead consultations, explore partnerships and provide advice to the federal minister of employment, workforce development and labour.Members named to the committee include Mandy Rennehan, founder and CEO of Freshco, Jamie McMillan, ironworker and founder of Kickass Careers, and Matt Wayland, executive assistant with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.The federal government announced $6 million over two years in the 2019 budget to create a national campaign to promote skilled trades to young people.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Montreal Gay Villages famous rainbow balls taken down and offered for sale

first_imgMONTREAL — A well-known piece of public art that hangs over Montreal’s Gay Village is being dismantled and sold off in pieces to the public.Known as “18 Shades of Gay,” the installation is made up of 180,000 multicoloured plastic balls strung in rows above Ste-Catherine street, evoking the rainbow LGBTQ flag.The village’s commercial development corporation says that after nine years on display, the landscape artist who designed the ball art wants it to come down to make way for another artist’s work.For $100, members of the public can obtain 54 of the balls in a single colour, plus everything they’ll need to string them up.Village Montreal says most of the proceeds will be used to finance the village’s next art installation, with the remaining 10 per cent going to three local LGBTQ community organizations.In return, purchasers have to agree to pick up their order themselves and refrain from any commercial or public use.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Classaction lawsuit alleges systemic abuse at defunct private Christian school

first_imgA group of former students are set to take the private Christian school they attended to court next week, alleging in a class-action lawsuit that they were subjected to psychological abuse designed to erode their sense of safety.The certified class action, which has spent more than a decade winding its way through the legal system, will see five plaintiffs represent former residential students who attended Grenville Christian College in Brockville, Ont., between 1973 and 1997.“The conduct of the defendants … was calculated to produce harm and did, in fact, produce physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual harms,” the students’ statement of claim reads. “The defendants fostered an atmosphere of fear, intimidation, anxiety and suspicion.”The plaintiffs are suing the school and the estates of two of its former headmasters — Charles Farnsworth, who died in 2015, and J. Alastair Haig, who died in 2009 — along with some family members who also worked at the school for $200 million in damages for allegedly breaching their duty to take care of the students.The students allege they were cut off from communicating with their families, kept under constant surveillance and subjected to “exorcisms” and so-called “light sessions.”“Students were forced to confess sins, real or imagined, as the individual defendants and other staff members challenged and/or screamed at the students,” the statement of claim says. “Students were compelled to confess imagined sins and to betray other students.” Several students also alleged they were beaten with wooden paddles. The allegations have not been proven in court.The students were permanently affected by their treatment at the school, the court document said. Many of them still have poor self-esteem and difficulty trusting people.“For the plaintiffs and many of the class members, it’s about holding the school to account and making the public aware of child abuse to the view of preventing similar things in the future,” said Loretta Merritt, one of the lawyers representing the students.In its statement of defence, lawyers for the school said students weren’t cut off from their families and denied the allegations of exorcism and light sessions, saying that while some students were occasionally subjected to “corporal punishment in the form of a paddle,” it was only for the most serious breaches.The statement of defence says most students had a great experience at Grenville, which shut down in 2007.“Most certainly there would have been students over the years who experienced unhappiness from time to time at Grenville or who felt anxious or perceived that they were suffering humiliation. These, however, are ordinary human feelings,” the statement reads.“They were not the product of any negligent or deliberate infliction of mental suffering on the part of the plaintiffs.” Geoffrey Adair, a lawyer for the defendants, said the difference between students’ experiences is practically irreconcilable.“Some people present a picture of Grenville as a very rigid, harsh, abusive culture. Others think Grenville was an amazingly positive experience,” he said. “A court is going to have to decide which vision, if you will, or which view, is the fact and which is fiction.”The statement of defence also notes the amount of time that had elapsed since the alleged abuse.At the time that the lawsuit was initially filed in 2008, there was a time limit on reporting allegations of child abuse. Eight years later, while the case was inching forward in the legal system, Ontario changed its laws to eliminate the limit in those cases.But Adair notes that the amount of time that’s passed does still have an effect on the case — some things, such as corporal punishment, were more acceptable forty years ago than they are now.The courts, he noted, must look at the standards at the time.The initial class action also named the Anglican Diocese of Ontario as a defendant, because Farnsworth and Haig were ordained Anglican ministers and the school presented itself as Anglican.The diocese argued that in spite of those facts, the school was not officially affiliated with the religious institution, and the case against it was dropped.The trial is set to begin Monday if no settlement is reached by then.Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Brian Wilson And Jeff Beck Headline Chicagos School Rocks Concert

first_imgLegendary Grammy Award winners and music icons Brian Wilson and Jeff Beck will perform at the 7th annual School Rocks benefit concert on Tuesday, October 29th, 2013, at Chicago’s House of Blues.100% of the proceeds will provide scholarships and community support to inner-city students at San Miguel School Chicago.Ticket holders to the limited-seating event will be treated to sets from headliners Brian Wilson (co-founder The Beach Boys) and Jeff Beck (Yardbirds), joined by Al Jardine and David Marks for an evening of historic musical collaboration. DJ A.T. will kick off the evening.Brian Wilson co-created “Surfer Girl,” “I Get Around,” “California Girls,” and “Fun Fun Fun” on his way to nine consecutive gold albums. He co-wrote, arranged, produced and performed more than two dozen Top 40 hits.Jeff Beck ranks in the top 5 guitarists in Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.” He has won seven Grammys, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice: once as a member of the Yardbirds and as a solo artist.Tickets for the School Rocks benefit concert are $300 and available at or 773.890.0233.Since 2007, School Rocks benefit concerts have raised $2.5 million for student scholarships. While 97% of San Miguel students live at or below the U.S. poverty rate, their high school graduation rate is 92%.School Rocks Celebrity co-chairs include Larry Wert, President/Broadcast Media, Tribune Company, Howard Tullman, Chairman, Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, Chicago rock legends JY Young, Styx; Bun E. Carlos, Cheap Trick; and Jim Peterik, the Ides of March and Survivor. Also Jimy Sohns and John Roberts, The Shadows of Knight; James Fairs and Jim Pilster, The Cryan’ Shames; Mimi Betinis, John Pazdan and Mick Rain, Pezband; Brad Elvis and Chloe Orwell, The Handcuffs; Mike and Katie Redmond, The Redmonds; and Jim McCarty, Yardbirds. The committee chair is Kevin Allodi, CEO of Philo Broadcasting, Inc.San Miguel School Chicago provides an innovative and accessible educational experience for children from inner-city families, so that they can complete high school with the skills, support and self-awareness to make the next productive choice in life. For information, please visit Newswirelast_img read more

Shaquille ONeal To Host SHAQaCLAUS Event Today

first_imgFormer Los Angeles Lakers Center, NBA legend, and philanthropist Shaquille O’Neal will host SHAQ-a-CLAUS on Monday, December 23 at the Boys & Girls Club of Venice.As part of his longstanding dedication to advocating for youth development, the former All-Star has arranged for more than 300 kids to experience the ultimate holiday carnival amid “snowfall” in sunny California.“Every kid deserves a memorable holiday season,” said the four-time NBA champion. “The Boys & Girls Club of Venice serves as a home away from home for young people who need encouragement. Although there are no chimneys involved, SHAQ-a-CLAUS is definitely coming to town.”Dating back to 1992, SHAQ-a-CLAUS has showered thousands of at-risk youths with gifts during the holiday season. O’Neal, who is a Boys & Girls Club alumnus, continues his long tradition of helping those in need.An estimated 350 pre-registered Boys & Girls Club of Venice members will receive a JAKKS toy from Shaq-a-Claus, shoes from Crocs, support from Feed The Children, and lunch courtesy of Panda Express. Shaq has even paid to have the party dusted with snow.“Shaquille O’Neal’s support for the Boys & Girls Club of Venice means the world to the kids who come through our doors each day,” said Monique Brandon, Executive Director of the Club. “We salute his extraordinary generosity and applaud him for coming back to Los Angeles to spread hope and cheer.”The Boys & Girls Club of Venice delivers exciting youth development programs in academic success, healthy lifestyles and good character and citizenship to more than 4,000 youths annually. The Club appreciates the sponsors for their generosity and support of SHAQ-a-CLAUS.Event registration has reached capacity and is now closed.last_img read more