Toddler raped beheaded in Jharkhand

first_imgJamshedpur (Jharkhand): A three-year-old girl was allegedly raped and beheaded by two men after abducting her from a platform of the Tatanagar railway station in Jharkhand last week, police said on Wednesday.The torso of the girl, kept in a plastic bag, was recovered from a bush under Telco police station area, around 4 kilometre from the railway station on Tuesday night, they said. Three persons, including the two prime accused, were arrested in this connection. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Sniffer dogs were pressed into service to locate the head of the girl, Superintendent of Police (Railway) Ehtesham Waquarib said. The incident occurred on last Friday night when the girl was sleeping along with her mother and her male companion. Waquarib said the girl’s mother had left her husband in Purulia district of West Bengal with a man, one of the three arrested, and her child and were on the Tatanagar station platform that night. After her daughter disappeared, the woman lodged a complaint with the police saying that the man with whom she had fled might be involved in the incident. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KHe was forwarded to jail on Tuesday. His role in the incident is being investigated. The police officer said they got some inputs after watching the CCTV footage of the platform and identified the two main accused and arrested them. Waquarib said the two, who are in their 30s, confessed that they beheaded the girl after raping and strangulating the girl to death. On the basis of the lead provided by them, the police recovered the torso but the head was not found. The SP said the two accused were forwarded to 14 days judicial custody on Wednesday.last_img read more

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Sebi wants MFs to invest only in listed securities

first_imgNew Delhi: With an aim to safeguard mutual fund investors from high-risk assets, regulator Sebi wants fund houses to shift all their investments to listed or to-be-listed equity and debt securities in a phased manner and reduce their exposure to unrated debt instruments from 25 per cent to only 5 per cent. Exposure to risky debt securities has emerged as a major risk for the capital market investors, including those coming through the mutual fund space, and the regulator has been making efforts to enhance its regulatory safety net against such risks. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalTaking forward certain decisions approved by Sebi’s board earlier in June, the regulator has now finalised the draft amendments to the prudential norms for mutual fund schemes for investment in debt and money market instruments. Besides, some further amendments have been proposed for approval of Sebi’s board at its next meeting later this month, officials said. A key fresh proposal is to reduce the existing overall limit for investment of mutual fund schemes in unrated debt instruments, except those for which specific norms are separately provided, from 25 per cent to 5 per cent. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostFurther, the existing provision of the single issuer limit of 10 per cent for investment in unrated debt instruments has been proposed to be dispensed with, an official said. However, the official said these proposed limits may need to be reviewed periodically by Sebi after taking into account the market dynamics and participation of mutual funds in unrated debt securities from time to time. Among other decisions which have been in-principle already approved by the Sebi board and need to be incorporated in the amended regulations, the valuation of debt and money market instruments based on amortisation would be dispensed with and would shift completely to mark-to-market valuation with effect from April 1, 2020. Also, mutual funds would be permitted to accept upfront fees with disclosure of all such fees to valuation agencies and standard methodology for treatment of such fees would be issued by the industry body AMFI (Association of Mutual Funds in India) in consultation with Sebi. Under the new proposed prudential framework, mutual funds would invest only in listed or to-be-listed equity shares and debt securities (including commercial papers) and this would be implemented in a phased manner. Sebi would soon issue a circular on operational aspects of the proposal such as timelines, grandfathering of existing investments, exclusion of exposure in debt instruments such as interest rate swaps, etc. The existing regulations allow a mutual fund scheme to invest a maximum of 10 per cent of its net asset value in unrated debt instruments issued by a single issuer while the total investment in such instruments is capped at 25 per cent. However, pursuant to Sebi’s decision to allow mutual funds to invest only in listed securities, very limited number of instruments that are unrated would be eligible for investment by the mutual funds, as all listed debt instruments are mandatorily rated. After excluding debentures, government securities, interest rate swaps, interest rate futures, repo on G-Sec and T-bills, the mutual funds’ investments in unrated debt instruments are mostly in fixed deposits, bills re-discounting (BRDS), mutual fund units, repo on corporate bonds, units of REITs/InvITs (Real Estate and Infrastructure Investment Trusts), etc. However, Sebi already has separate investment norms for fixed deposits (FDs), mutual fund units, repo of corporate bonds and REITs/InvITs and the exposure to these instruments does not form part of the existing 25 per cent investment cap. Excluding all these instruments, the total exposure of mutual funds in the remaining unrated debt instruments is mostly in BRDS, amounting to about Rs 2,870 crore as on March 31, 2019. Besides, this investment is limited to just four mutual fund schemes and the average value of investments as percentage of the respective scheme’s asset under management was just about 3 per cent. As a result, Sebi is of the view that the existing limit of 25 per cent for investment in unrated debt instruments would be too high as the residual investment permitted in this category might be relevant only for few instruments including BRDS.last_img read more

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Queen Elizabeth approves British Parliament suspension

first_imgLondon: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has approved Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to suspend parliament, a statement from the official body of advisers to the Queen, known as the Privy Council, said on Wednesday. The statement confirmed that parliament would be suspended on a day between Sept. 9 and Sept. 12, until Oct. 14. “It is this day ordered by Her Majesty in Council that the Parliament be prorogued on a day no earlier than Monday the 9th day of September and no later than Thursday the 12th day of September 2019 to Monday the 14th day of October 2019,” the statement said. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USEarlier, Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday sought a suspension of Parliament until October 14 to present what he described as a new bold and ambitious legislative agenda, just two weeks before the Brexit deadline. Downing Street said Johnson had already spoken to Queen Elizabeth II to request an end to the current parliamentary session in its second sitting week next month, starting September 9. “Following the conclusion of the traditional party conference season, the second session of this Parliament will commence with a Queen’s Speech on Monday October 14, Downing Street said. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsJohnson briefed his Cabinet of the plan at a meeting earlier, highlighting the number one legislative priority as Brexit. If a new deal is forthcoming at the European Council in mid-October, he will then introduce a Withdrawal Agreement Bill and move at pace to secure its passage before October 31. I believe it is vital that Parliament is sitting both before and after European Council and if, as I hope, a deal with the EU is forthcoming, Parliament will then have the opportunity to pass the Withdrawal Agreement Bill required for ratification ahead of October 31, Johnson said in a statement. We must focus on crucial public priorities helping the NHS [National Health Service], fighting violent crime, investing in infrastructure and science and cutting the cost of living. We have made an important start funding for 20,000 extra police officers and new investment in our NHS but to deliver on the public’s priorities we require a new session and a Queen’s Speech, he added. Downing Street further elaborated that the decision to end the current parliamentary session, which is “the longest in close to 400 years and in recent months one of the least active”, will enable Johnson to put a fresh domestic programme in front of MPs for debate and scrutiny while also ensuring that there is good time before and after the European Council, scheduled for October 17 and 18 for Parliament to further consider Brexit issues. Crucial voting on legislation is likely to fall on October 21 and 22. Reacting to the Prime Minister’s move to suspend Parliament, UK House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said it “represents a constitutional outrage.”last_img read more

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SC sets Oct 18 deadline for completion of Ayodhya hearing judgement likely

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday set an October 18 deadline for conclusion of hearings in the protracted Ram-Janmabhoomi Babri Masjid land title dispute, a move that has raised the possibility of a verdict in the politically sensitive case in the middle of November. The target date for completion of arguments by both the Hindu and Muslim sides assumes significance as Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who is heading the five-judge Constitution bench hearing the case, is due to demit office on November 17. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details The apex court also said the parties to the dispute can amicably resolve the matter through mediation if they want to but told lawyers from both the sides that it wanted to conclude the day-to-day hearings by October 18 so that the judges get almost four weeks time to write the judgment. The Court on Tuesday asked the counsels for the Hindu and Muslim parties to inform it about a tentative “time schedule” for concluding their arguments. The Constitution bench, which also comprised Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer, also said it has received a letter from former apex court judge F M I Kalifulla, who was heading the three-member mediation panel, in which it was stated that some parties have written to him for resumption of the mediation process. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday “There is an ancillary issue. We have received a letter that some parties want to settle the matter by way of mediation,” the bench said, adding they may do so and the proceedings before the mediation panel can remain confidential. The bench said the day-to-day proceedings in the land dispute case have reached “an advanced stage” and will continue. The apex court on August 6 commenced day-to-day proceedings in the sensitive land dispute case as mediation proceedings initiated to find the amicable resolution had failed. The court had taken note of the report of the three-member panel, also comprising spiritual guru and founder of the Art of Living foundation Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate and renowned mediator Sriram Panchu, that mediation proceedings, which went on for about four months, did not result in any final settlement and it had to decide the matter pending before it. The court, which on March 8 referred the matter for mediation, had asked for in-camera proceedings to be completed within eight weeks, but later granted time till August 15 after the panel’s earlier report said the mediators were “optimistic” about an amicable solution. The top court fixed the seat for mediation process in Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, around 7 km from Ayodhya, and said adequate arrangements, including the venue of the mediation, place of stay of the mediators, their security, travel should be forthwith arranged by the state government. It had perused a report about the progress of mediation process till July 18 and said its contents will remain confidential. Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. On December 6, 1992, the Babri Masjid, constructed at the disputed site in the 16th century by Shia Muslim Mir Baqi, was demolished, sparking communal riots in the country.last_img read more

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BC daycare operator defends youngsters from attempted abduction

first_imgPRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Martial arts training might not be the first thing a daycare worker would list on a resume, but six youngsters in central British Columbia are safe because the operator of their pre-school used those skills this week.Chelsi Sabbe, the owner of a licensed daycare in Prince George, says she reacted Tuesday when a man allegedly tried to grab two children in her care.Sabbe said in an interview Thursday she was concerned when she saw a man approaching two children playing in a park. When a four-year-old boy was snatched, she began screaming and leaped on the man’s back to try to pull the child away.“I wasn’t letting him get away with one of those kids,” said Sabbe, whose father was a kickboxing and mixed martial arts instructor.“As a child I did judo and karate and kickboxing,” she added.Sabbe said she managed to free the boy and urged him and the other children to safety, but the man then grasped the arm of a second boy. He punched her as she rushed forward again, she said.Sabbe said she ordered the children, all under six, to take shelter in a nearby house.She said she pulled the man by the hair, kneed him in the face and then held him in a headlock until she was certain the children were safe.The fight caught the attention of a neighbour who called police.The RCMP said when they arrived a man fled through a baseball field where he was arrested.Shortly after the arrest, police received a report of an earlier abduction attempt just a few blocks away. A man had tried to grab a boy who was with his mother, but the woman managed to get her son back and returned home, police said.The suspect fit the same description of the man police had just arrested, they said in a news release on Tuesday.A 35-year-old man from Prince George has been charged with two counts of kidnapping, and one count each of assault and obstructing a peace officer.Sabbe brushed off her actions as something that just came naturally.“I love my daycare children like I love my own children and if somebody is trying to harm them and you are given no other (option), that is my own defence mechanism,” she said.“I got a few punches to the head and I’ve got bruises on my arm, but other than that, I’m OK.”She said she had to take a few days off to help with the investigation and other issues, but the children will be back in her care on Friday and there will be a revised safety plan.Sabbe will now carry her cellphone in a pouch around her waist after losing her mobile during the first scuffle.All of the children were unharmed and Sabbe said they are doing well.“They’ve got some stories I’m sure. I’m looking forward to seeing them all. I miss them.”— By Beth Leighton in Vancouverlast_img read more

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NDP prepares to name new face to lead federal party into next

first_imgOTTAWA – One of four NDP hopefuls could become the federal party’s new leader as early as Sunday. Here’s a look at those running for the party’s top job:Ontario legislature member Jagmeet SinghSingh, a 38-year-old turbaned Sikh, holds the provincial riding of Bramble—Gore—Malton. He was elected to the Ontario legislature in 2011 and served as his party’s deputy leader from 2015 up until his May decision to run for the federal leadership. Before entering political life, Singh worked as a criminal defence lawyer. He is also a mixed martial arts fighter and a fashion enthusiast. As part of a criminal justice platform, Singh has called for a federal ban on racial profiling. He says he knows first-hand what it’s like to be racially profiled during arbitrary street checks, often known as “carding.”Ontario MP Charlie AngusAngus, 54, has represented the federal riding of Timmins—James Bay since 2004. He has spent his political career advocating on social issues including workers’ rights, the need to improve education and services for Indigenous children and a national palliative care strategy. He also served as the national caucus chair for the NDP until he stepped aside to consider running for the leadership. He has called for the creation of a federal ombudsman who would have the legal authority to order government departments to comply with policies aimed at improving child welfare.Manitoba MP Niki AshtonAshton, 35, was first elected as the MP for her Churchill, Man., riding in 2008. Since then, she has served in various critic portfolios including Aboriginal affairs, status of women, post-secondary education and youth and jobs and employment. She is well-known for her advocacy on so-called “precarious work” and how it affects millennials. Ashton has also been vocal about the need to improve living conditions for northerners and Indigenous Peoples. She was born and raised in Thompson, Man. During the race, Ashton has put forward proposals including the need to expand the Canada Health Act to include dental care.Quebec MP Guy CaronCaron, a 49-year old former economist, worked for the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada before he launched his political career. He was elected in the Quebec riding of Rimouski-Neigette—Temiscouata—Les Basques in 2011. Caron has said he is well-positioned to rebuild support in his home province, where the NDP holds 16 seats. He has also pitched policies including a taxable supplement that would help Canadians whose income levels fall below a standard minimum threshold, determined in part by the size of their family and the city they live in. He says the idea is designed to complement existing provincial and federal social programs, not replace them.last_img read more

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Get ready for anything trade lawyer tells business community on NAFTA

first_imgOTTAWA – Growing uncertainty over the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement means companies need to brace themselves, including for the possibility that President Donald Trump walks away from a deal, a trade lawyer is warning the business community.“The first step is for companies to understand this is very real and that they need to start contingency planning,” said Dan Ujczo, an international trade lawyer specializing in Canada-U.S. matters.On the campaign trail last year, candidate Trump vowed to rip up NAFTA — the 23-year-old trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico — if he could not renegotiate a better deal.His recent reiterations of that threat, along with demands Canada and Mexico consider impossible, have forced everyone to take it more seriously.It remains to be seen whether Trump will in fact attempt to withdraw, how U.S. Congress would react, whether Mexico and Canada would still keep talking and what that would end up meaning, in real terms, for cross-border trade between the three countries.The U.S. business and agriculture community has been ramping up its efforts to convince Congress, which could use its legislative powers to make it harder for Trump to exit the agreement, that they are not on board with abandoning the deal.That outreach is important, Ujczo told businesses during an online presentation Friday, but it is also not too early to get ready for any outcome.There are some practical matters to consider, such as taking a look at the supply chain to determine how exposed a business would become if some of the tougher proposals, such as stricter rules of origin for the materials used in auto manufacturing, come to pass.That should include examining checking certificates of origin and maintaining scrupulous records, because both client companies and customs officials are likely to start applying greater scrutiny as they also get ready for the new way of doing things.“It’s time to really buckle down and take a look at that, because these proposals are going to heighten awareness throughout the supply chain and at the borders,” Ujczo, who is with the cross-border firm Dickinson Wright, in Columbus, Ohio, said during the presentation.The lawyer also had advice for companies thinking about outsourcing to Asia as a way to minimize the fallout from the NAFTA renegotiations.“Keep in mind NAFTA is not the only thing the Trump administration is doing. It’s targeting Asia,” said Ujczo, who noted the U.S. has been ramping up its trade enforcement activities all around the world. “The only way the Trump trade strategy works is as a one-two punch: tightening up North America, while also targeting goods coming in from overseas.”That raises the question of whether Canadian companies should think about packing up and moving south.Ujczo said that would not be the case for everyone, but if they have U.S. customers, it makes financial sense and the company was already thinking about moving there someday, it might not be a bad idea to speed up those plans.“It has to have some business rationale,” he said in an interview. “I would never recommend just setting up shop in the U.S. if you don’t have any other business going on there,” he said, but if it was already on the horizon: “It would accelerate that life cycle.”Brenda Swick, a Toronto-based international trade lawyer with Dickinson Wright who joined the presentation, was more cautious.“I think they should stay put where they are right now, but they should be looking at plan B,” she said in an interview.Swick said those back-up plans should include figuring out how a company would be effected if there was a new NAFTA, a bilateral agreement between Canada and the U.S., or no free trade agreement between the two countries at all.— Follow @smithjoanna on Twitterlast_img read more

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Alpine Canada apologizes to victims of former national ski coach Bertand Charest

first_imgMONTREAL – The chair of the board of Alpine Canada has apologized to the victims of a former national ski coach convicted of sexual assault.Martha Hall Findlay says the organization failed to support Bertrand Charest’s teenage victims when its leaders learned about his behaviour in 1998.Charest was sentenced on Friday to 12 years in prison for sexually assaulting teenage girls he trained.The offences took place both before and during Charest’s stint with Alpine Canada’s women’s development team between 1996 and 1998.The judge ripped into Alpine Canada in his ruling, saying the organization’s leaders closed their eyes to Charest’s actions and failed miserably in their duty to protect the young athletes.Findlay acknowledged in a statement that the organization put its own interests ahead of those of the victims at the time and thanked the women for coming forward.“Instead of being there for the athletes, instead of providing support when these activities were discovered, Alpine Canada put itself first, not the victims,” the statement read.“In doing so, Alpine Canada failed them. More than 20 years on, I want to say, personally and on behalf of Alpine Canada, that we are profoundly sorry.”Findlay said Alpine Canada has since changed its policies, procedures and attitudes to prevent similar situations from occurring.last_img read more

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A case can be built on circumstantial evidence experts discuss Cormier trial

first_imgLegal experts say a lack of physical evidence in the death of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine makes it difficult, but not impossible, for a jury to convict her accused killer in what has become a symbolic case for Indigenous women in Canada.Criminologist Steven Kohm at the University of Winnipeg says people have been found guilty without direct proof, even when the bodies of victims haven’t been found.“It is not a requirement that there be physical evidence of a crime in order for a conviction to be entered,” Kohm says.“A case can be built of circumstantial evidence. But there has to be … enough to remove any reasonable doubt on the part of the jurors.”Tina’s body, wrapped in a duvet cover, was pulled from the Red River in Winnipeg several days after she disappeared in August 2014.But the second-degree murder trial of Raymond Cormier has heard that the cause of the girl’s death could not be determined. No DNA was found linking Cormier to her body. And there were no witnesses to the alleged slaying.Tina was an exploited youth who had been living at a hotel in the care of social services when she was reported missing. Court heard that she had met Cormier, a methamphetamine and crack user, earlier that summer and he gave her drugs and had sex with her.The Crown has argued Cormier, 56, killed Tina because he feared he would be arrested for having sex with a minor. In audio recordings during an undercover police operation, Cormier said he would bet that Tina was killed because “I found out she was 15 years old.”The defence pointed out that there are too many holes in the case and Tina could have died of a drug overdose.The jury began it’s deliberations Wednesday afternoon.Kohm says the enormity of the case is likely to weigh on the minds of the jurors.Tina’s death shocked the country and led the Manitoba government to phase out the use of hotels for kids in government care. It also reignited calls for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.“I think she came to symbolize the larger struggle, the larger social problem or crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls,” Kohm says.Kohm says the jurors may also find themselves under pressure because of a recent, high-profile case in Saskatchewan.An apparently all-white jury acquitted a white farmer, Gerald Stanley, of second-degree murder in the 2016 shooting death of Colten Boushie, a 22-year-old Cree man.Court heard that Boushie’s friends were drinking and had tried to break into a truck on a neighbouring farm before they drove onto Stanley’s property. Stanley testified he fired warning shots and then his gun went off accidentally, striking Boushie in the head.The verdict sparked rallies across the country and the federal government spoke of the need to improve the jury process for Indigenous people.David Milward, an associate professor of law at the University of Manitoba, says he didn’t agree with the Stanley verdict. And he’s not sure yet if he can compare the Stanley and Cormier cases.Jurors tend to rely on an accused’s “confessionary” statements, he says, otherwise ignoring gaps in a trial.“He made several statements basically all but admitting that he actually did kill her,” Milward says of the undercover tapes in the Cormier case.If the jury acquits Cormier, Milward says he’s going to again question the jury process.“If you have Gerald Stanley not guilty and Raymond Cormier not guilty, like less than two weeks apart, I’m starting to think you have a real issue about jury nullification and substantive injustice.”last_img read more

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Defence chief wanted discreet meeting with suspended viceadmiral emails show

first_imgOTTAWA – Gen. Jonathan Vance tried to arrange a “discreet” meeting with suspended Vice-Admiral Mark Norman to discuss the future just weeks before Norman was charged by the RCMP, newly released emails show.Norman was initially open to the idea of sitting down with the chief of the defence staff in February, but the meeting did not happen and subsequent emails suggest it was Norman who called it off.The correspondence between the military’s top two officers was obtained through access-to-information legislation and comes amid expectations that Norman will be permanently shuffled out of his position as the military’s second-in-command.Appointed vice-chief of the defence staff in August 2016, Norman was suspended five months later and charged this past March with one count of breach of trust for allegedly leaking cabinet secrets to a Quebec shipyard.The veteran naval officer has denied any wrongdoing and has said he plans to fight the charge in court.Several other senior officers have served as the acting vice-chief of defence in Norman’s absence, but there have been questions inside and outside the Forces about the long-term impact of that arrangement.Canadian Army commander Lt.-Gen. Paul Wynnyk has been tapped to take over as the third acting vice-chief of defence since Norman’s suspension, but appears poised to instead replace Norman permanently this summer.Vance, who has been in regular email contact with Norman since the latter’s suspension, first broached the subject of a face-to-face meeting on Jan. 28, as the defence chief prepared for a trip to Japan.“I would like to sit down with you shortly after I get back,” Vance wrote. “Purpose would be to take stock, discuss future and address any matters you think we should (discuss) — essentially an update from our telephone call in June.”The defence chief added that his office would set up the meeting “such that it is discreet and dignified.”The two military officers continued to exchange emails about a sit-down at National Defence headquarters on Feb. 12 around 7 p.m., after most staff had gone home.“I will meet you in person at the VIP entrance and take you right to my office,” Vance wrote on Feb. 4.“Again, would plan on seeing how you are doing and how I can help, what you want me to think about going forward and discussion about the GOFO plot,” a reference to the detailed planning that goes into senior appointments in the military.But while Norman initially agreed, subsequent emails show that the meeting did not happen.Exactly why isn’t clear. Two days before the rendezvous, Norman sent Vance a message that was almost entirely redacted by access-to-information co-ordinators at the Department of National Defence.Most of Vance’s response is similarly blacked out, though he does add that he remains “fully available to you should you wish to meet, or even by phone.” Another message a few weeks later confirms the Feb. 12 meeting was cancelled.Vance’s office declined to discuss the defence chief’s request to meet with Norman, citing the ongoing court case. Norman’s lawyer, Marie Henein, did not respond to several requests for comment.Despite not meeting in person, the emails do show that the two military officers remained in contact even after Norman was charged by the RCMP, including through at least one phone call and two formal letters from Vance to his deputy.The letters, dated March 16 — the day of the phone call — and April 11, were withheld in their entirety.The RCMP’s case against Norman revolves around the newly elected Liberal government’s decision in November 2015 to reconsider a $700-million contract the Harper Conservatives had awarded to Quebec-based Davie Shipbuilding.The contract was to convert a civilian vessel, the MV Asterix, into a temporary resupply ship that would be leased for five years, with another five-year option, until permanent replacements could be built in Vancouver.While the plan to revisit the contract was supposed to remain secret, court documents released last year show the RCMP suspected Norman of being upset with the decision and worried the government would cancel the project.Norman was commander of the navy at the time and, according to the documents, allegedly worked with Davie to try to pressure the government to stick with the project.None of the allegations against Norman has been tested in court.The Liberals ultimately decided to proceed with the project; the MV Asterix is now being used by the navy while Davie is poised to provide several used icebreakers to the Canadian Coast Guard.— Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter.last_img read more

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New Brunswick cop killer posts profile on online matchmaking website

first_imgFREDERICTON – One of Canada’s most notorious killers — who murdered three RCMP officers and wounded two others — has taken to an online matchmaking website where he portrays himself as “a blue collar dude with a passion for music.”Justin Bourque — who is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 75 years for his 2014 shooting rampage in Moncton, N.B. — posted a profile Tuesday on Canadian Inmates Connect.“I am single and looking for someone to be with,” Bourque wrote on the profile, which lists his expected release date as 2089.The site aims to hook up lonesome convicts with potential companions on the outside.Melissa Fazzina, who runs the site, said many of the inmates are just looking for friendships and she hopes the connections can help make them better people.“I’ve seen how important this service is, just being able to connect people that are incarcerated with the outside world. It does a lot to change their lives for the better while they’re inside prison and often for when they’re coming out,” she said.Fazzina said she started the site a few years ago after seeing sites in the United States and realized there was nothing similar in Canada.Bourque, who is serving his sentence at the Atlantic Institution in Renous, N.B., killed constables Dave Ross, Fabrice Gevaudan and Doug Larche, and left constables Eric Dubois and Darlene Goguen injured.Bourque’s online profile says he likes television and movies, and is looking for women to correspond with.“So send me a letter and a photo or two and we’ll see where it goes from there,” he wrote.While the site is Internet based, inmates in Canadian jails and prisons have no Internet access. Anyone wishing to correspond with the inmates have to write and mail letters directly to the prison where they are being held.An agreed statement of facts, filed with the court during his trial, said Bourque’s actions were both “planned and deliberate” when he used a semi-automatic rifle to shoot the police officers in a Moncton neighbourhood.He had targeted police in the hopes of sparking an anti-government rebellion.A 28-hour manhunt for Bourque left much of Moncton paralyzed until his arrest.He pled guilty to the charges and was sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 75 years, the harshest sentence in Canada since the last executions in 1962.When contacted by The Canadian Press Friday for reaction to the matchmaking profile, RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Jullie Rogers-Marsh said: “This is not a matter for the RCMP to comment on.”The Correctional Service of Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Canadian Inmates Connect charges $35 per year to display the profile of an inmate.In 2015 it made news for posting the profile of Luka Rocco Magnotta, the convicted killer whose grisly crimes made headlines around the world. He’s serving a life sentence for the 2012 Montreal killing and dismemberment of university student Jun Lin.Magnotta’s profile said he was looking for a “prince charming.”Fazzina said she wants to help the inmates and give them hope through her service, but she also thinks about the victims.“I feel bad for these victims, and I’m sure they don’t want these guys to have any extra benefits to enjoy nice things like communicating with somebody on the outside. I understand that, however, I just believe that with everybody, their punishment is they are in prison,” she said.“Sometimes it’s easy for those of us on the outside to just want to keep punishing. Maybe that makes us feel better. Maybe by corresponding with people on the outside it can help them become better people.”last_img read more

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Fisheries minister meets with stakeholders to discuss right whale protections

first_imgHALIFAX – The federal fisheries minister met with fishermen, industry representatives and marine scientists Tuesday to discuss the impact of restrictions put in place to protect North Atlantic right whales and whether they may be needed for the coming fishing seasons.Jonathan Wilkinson sat down with dozens of stakeholders at a hotel in Dartmouth to discuss measures introduced earlier this year that were aimed at shielding the marine mammals against fishing gear entanglements and ship strikes — their greatest threats.Wilkinson told the group that as a result of the initiatives in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, not one whale died this summer from being hit by a ship or getting snarled in fishing line.But, he said he understood that the extensive fishery closures came with an economic cost to those who make their living from the gulf’s rich fishing grounds.“Some, including many in this room, told us that the 2018 measures went too far and we recognize very much that some of these measures have had a real and very difficult impact on livelihoods of many of your members,” he said.The measures were introduced after 17 right whales died last year — 12 of them in Canadian waters — prompting concerns that the population might be on the fast track toward extinction.Fishing areas were closed in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, speed limits were reduced for vessels and Fisheries increased surveillance of the area to look out for the whales.Wilkinson said he wanted to hear from the stakeholders about how to “strike the vital balance” between ensuring the critically endangered animals are protected, while maintaining lucrative fisheries.Members attending the half-day meeting included crab and lobster fishermen, fisheries unions, First Nations fishermen, provincial Fisheries departments and researchers from Dalhousie University and the Canadian Wildlife Federation.Some fishermen in the region said the so-called dynamic and static closures were heavy-handed and unnecessary at times when the whales didn’t appear to be in their fishing zones.But Wilkinson said the mitigation efforts also helped in negotiating the fisheries portion of the updated North American free trade pact, also known as the USMCA.“Our continuing ability to meet the requirements of the Marine Mammal (Protection Act) in the United States and thus to be able to continue to export freely to the U.S. will certainly be based on us achieving similar levels of success going forward,” he said.Jocelyn Lubczuk, a spokeswoman for the minister, said after the regional consultations and a scientific review process, Fisheries will brief the groups about the recommendations. The department “will then begin finalizing the measures that will help protect right whales in 2019,” she said in an email.last_img read more

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Man accused of smothering ailing wife with pillow says he knew it

first_imgThe Canadian Press MONTREAL — Michel Cadotte, on trial for second-degree murder in the death of his ailing wife, said Tuesday he fully understood what he was doing when he smothered her with a pillow.Under cross-examination by Crown prosecutor Genevieve Langlois, Cadotte, 57, said he knew what he was doing before, during and after the death of his wife, Jocelyne Lizotte.The defence stated during its opening statement to the jury last week that Cadotte was so depressed and sleep deprived at the time that “he didn’t have the freedom of choice” and that his state of mind does not support a conviction for murder.Cadotte testified Tuesday that he realized his actions would “cause the death” of Lizotte, 60, and that doing so was a crime.He admitted he understood the consequences of such a crime and added that he asked staff at the long-term care centre where Lizotte died to call 911, knowing it would lead to his arrest. He then waited for police in her room.Cadotte said Tuesday that on the day of the killing he was frustrated to see his wife was not receiving adequate care, which he said triggered the desire to end her life.Lizotte was found dead in her bed in a Montreal care centre on Feb. 20, 2017. Cadotte testified Monday that when he arrived to visit her that day, he was saddened and angry to find her hunched over in a geriatric chair with no head support. He said he cried for much of the visit as he tried to feed her.When she fell asleep, he said he moved her to her bed. It was as he was trying with difficulty to place a pillow under her head that he placed it over her face and suffocated her, he said. He maintained he could not stand to see her suffering.The defence plans to call a psychiatrist and a psychologist to testify Wednesday about Cadotte’s mental state at the time of the alleged crime.(Cogeco Nouvelles)last_img read more

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State of emergency cancelled evacuation order lifted amid wildfire near Prince George

first_imgFRASER LAKE (NEWS 1130) — The state of emergency and evacuation order for a community in central B.C. affected by wildfire have been lifted.An evacuation alert is still in effect for part of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako.Information Officer Molly Blower with the Prince George Fire Centre tells NEWS 1130 the fire  — 236 hectares in size and about five kilometers east of Fraser Lake — has now been downgraded to ‘held’ rather than ‘uncontrolled,’ and is 50 per cent contained.#BREAKING: The #BCWildfire evacuation order for the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako near Prince George has been lifted. BUT there’s still an evacuation alert in effect for one area (see map below). The fire is now 50% contained. @NEWS1130 pic.twitter.com/3lJBapBK30— Lauren Boothby (@laurby) May 13, 2019The blaze forced the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako to declare a state of emergency on Saturday, but it was revoked Sunday evening.Blower says five BC Wildfire firefighters will be patrolling the area overnight, and the more than 40 personnel that were fighting the flames today will return Monday morning, as well as a helicopter.RELATED: Growing wildfire in Northern B.C. believed to be human-causedShe describes the conditions as of Sunday evening.“The weather is still quite dry,” she says. “The winds have reduced, which resulted in the great progress made today.”District chair Gerry Thiessen told NEWS 1130 he was struck by just how early the wildfire season has started this year.“Well certainly the fire came up quite quickly. It started out small. With the wind it gathered momentum.”Thank you to everyone that has kept the people of the Fraser Lake/Lejac area in their thoughts and prayers during another wildfire event. Very thankful for the RDBN and the BC Wildfire Service for all their work today! pic.twitter.com/VGjx7MOvzg— Mayor Sarrah Storey (@northernstorey) May 12, 2019A number of communities around B.C. saw record-breaking temperatures over the last week, including Vanderhoof and Burns Lake — which are on either side of Fraser Lake.The area that was burning is described as being a mixture of both grass and timber.Despite some rain in the forecast on Tuesday for the region, Thiessen says “significant precipitation” is needed.“We’ve gone since almost Christmas — very early in January — since we’ve had significant snowfall. So we need to get moisture into the ground.”Thiessen is urging anyone who plans to be in the backcountry to take extra care due to the dry conditions.The wildfire is believed to be human-caused, but that is still under investigation.-With files from Renee Bernard, Adam Cooper, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Former Olympic skier sues Alpine Canada over sexual assaults of coach

first_imgVANCOUVER — A former Canadian Olympic ski team member has launched a proposed class-action lawsuit alleging Alpine Canada didn’t protect its female athletes from the sexual assaults of a former coach.Allison Forsyth alleges in a statement of claim filed in British Columbia Supreme Court that the national governing body for ski racing failed to property investigate the coaching history of Bertrand Charest and is vicariously liable for his sexual misconduct.Charest was convicted in a Quebec court on more than three dozen sex charges involving female athletes ranging in age between 12 and 18.He was sentenced to 12 years in prison, but his lawyers were in court this month appealing both his conviction and sentence and he remains free on bail while the court decides his fate.Forsyth’s lawsuit doesn’t name Charest as a defendant, instead it alleges Alpine Canada hired Charest as a coach for the national team from 1996 to 1998 when it was common knowledge in the ski racing community he engaged in sexualized conduct with female athletes.The allegations have not been proven in court and Alpine Canada says in a statement that it is reviewing the details of the lawsuit relating to events that occurred in the 1990s.“For the past 20 years, Alpine Canada has been working to ensure a safe environment for all athletes, and we are continually reviewing best practices with regards to athlete safety and security.”Another lawsuit was filed last year against Alpine Canada in Quebec by three other former female ski team members making similar allegations.Alpine Canada’s statement released Wednesday says it applauds the tremendous courage of Forsyth and other women in coming forward and speaking out.“Their determination and commitment to helping drive change is inspiring.”Forsyth’s lawsuit alleges Charest first sexually assaulted her in a bathroom, then told her she would be required to continue the sexual interactions if she wanted to succeed on the national team.“In January 1998, the plaintiff told Charest that their sexual interactions would stop and that she no longer wanted his sexualized attention,” the lawsuit says. “Charest told the plaintiff that her skiing career was over.”Forsyth, who is now 40, alleges in her lawsuit that she met with the then-president of Alpine Canada who told her that she would have to be careful about her allegations or the team would lose sponsors.“Alpine Canada implied that speaking publicly would threaten the plaintiff’s ski racing career,” the statement says.She began racing for the Canadian National Ski Team in 1998 at the age of 17. She skied for Canada in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games.“Despite her outward success as an Olympic and World Cup athlete, the plaintiff’s sexual abuse by Charest and abhorrent treatment by Alpine Canada continued to impact her psychological and physical health, which impacted her ability to compete.”She retired in 2008.A class-action lawsuit must first be approved by the B.C. Supreme Court. Forsyth is proposing that she would act as the representative plaintiff, but the action doesn’t say how many others might take part in the lawsuit.It alleges Alpine Canada failed in a series of actions to protect female athletes including by not warning them, not responding immediately to complaints and not addressing the suspicion of sexual interference.The lawsuit asks for damages for emotional, physical and psychological harm.It also asks for punitive and aggravated damages for “the selfish, high-handed and callous conduct of Alpine Canada.”Alpine Canada is liable for its own wrongdoing and is vicariously liable for Charest’s wrongdoing, it says.“Alpine Canada derived financial benefit, including retaining and attracting sponsorships, in silencing national team athletes and failing to take adequate, or any steps, to openly and publicly investigate Charest’s sexual abuse.”Terri Theodore , The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Former PM Harper offers help on trade but staying neutral in UK

first_imgFormer prime minister Stephen Harper says he’s willing to help the next British prime minister negotiate a divorce deal with the European Union — but he’s not taking sides in the race to decide who that is.Harper tweeted Saturday night that he’s “willing to assist whoever serves as the next leader of the UK Conservative Party on trade matters, should they wish.”But as the current chair of the International Democrat Union, an alliance of conservative-leaning political parties from across the globe, Harper says he must remain “neutral in all member party leadership races.”He was responding to a report in The Sunday Times newspaper that said British Conservative leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt had “drafted in two senior Canadian politicians” to help negotiate a Brexit deal.The Sunday Times reports that Hunt — one of just two remaining candidates to replace Theresa May as party leader and prime minister — has recruited Harper and former Conservative MP Rona Ambrose.Hunt tells the newspaper he’s intent on securing a so-called “Canada-plus” trade deal with the EU, based on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement primarily negotiated by Harper’s government.Neither Harper nor Ambrose immediately responded to a request for comment on Sunday.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Lone woman says fellow councillors shut her out when she pushes for

first_imgFREDERICTON — The only woman on Fredericton city council says she feels shut out when trying to advocate for change.Kate Rogers said Wednesday she has decided to speak out publicly because her private efforts weren’t working.“It’s a problem that there is such limited female representation on council. It really affects the decisions that we make, it affects how we make those decisions and how we converse over those decisions,” she said.“It’s not healthy to have a monoculture,” said Rogers, who is also executive director of the Fredericton Community Foundation.  Rogers was one of three women elected to city council seven years ago, but the only one to win election in 2016.The city often appoints members of the public to various committees, but Rogers said too often there are few or no women appointed. She said that when she asks why, she’s told there were no good women to appoint.“That has been frustrating,” she said.Rogers said it’s up to city hall to create a space where all feel welcome and where there is shared gender representation, but recently she’s feeling less and less a part of the team.“If I don’t speak out and just go along, everyone is perfectly friendly. But when I begin to really air my views and share my values about why we should move in a certain direction, that’s when I begin to feel excluded,” she said.Leanne Fitch, the city’s former police chief, offered support of Rogers on Twitter, saying “Accountability for misogyny @CityFredGov is long over due. I’ve seen it, felt it, experienced it.”Fitch added: “All levels of government have a fundamental responsibility to ensure diversity, respect, fairness and inclusion. Not only in political realms, but as politicians they set the tone for senior staff who carry out the work and influence workplaces.”Rogers said speaking to the media about the issue probably won’t help her, but she is hopeful it will result in greater public support for gender diversity at city hall.“For me …I don’t know that it could be a lot worse, to be honest. I’ve tried for seven years to try to do this in closed settings in our meetings, in private conversations, I’ve made a lot of effort without going public. We need to make changes, and the only way I see now is if the public puts pressure on council,” she said.Mayor Mike O’Brien did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Rogers said O’Brien has said to her that more women need to run for city council. She said for that to happen, City Hall has to become a more inviting space for women.The next council elections will be held in 2020, but Rogers said she has not decided if she will seek re-election.Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Ben Stiller Donates Premiere Tickets To Rotary Club Giving Gala Auction

first_imgBen Stiller has donated the chance to attend the red carpet premiere of his new film – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – to the Highland Park/Highwood Rotary Club for their Giving Gala Auction on April 21.“There are no words to describe our thanks to Mr. Stiller,” said Highland Park/Highwood Publicity Director Dawn LoCascio. “His generosity will truly change the lives of so many students who will be the recipients of the scholarships that are funded from the money we raise at the Giving Gala Auction.”Included in the auction lot are the chance to meet Stiller, two passes to the after party, as well as airfare, luxury accommodations and limousine service in New York City.More Information can be found here. Bids will be accepted until April 20 at dawnrotary@gmail.com. The winning bid will be announced and awarded at the gala.Source:The Patchlast_img read more

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Tim Allen To Be Honored By Midnight Mission

first_imgThe Midnight Mission is to honor Tim Allen at its annual Golden Heart Awards in May.From MidnightMission.org: “Please join us on Monday, May 6, for The Midnight Mission’s (TMM) Annual Golden Heart Award Gala. Each year, The Golden Heart Award is presented to those who have shown exceptional support, deep partnership and dedication to TMM and our purpose of providing a bridge to self-sufficiency for those in need.“This year, our Gala will be held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, beginning at 6 pm with a reception, followed by dinner, the awards presentation and entertainment.“We are pleased to be honoring Tim Allen, an American comedian, actor, voice-over artist and entertainer, known for his role in the sitcom Home Improvement. We will also be honoring Jason Sinay, a respected Los Angeles session musician, who has worked with many artists including Jerry Lee Lewis, Neil Diamond and The Dirty Knobs (with Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers).“We hope you will join us for this moving and awe-inspiring night of celebration!”For tickets and more information, click here.last_img read more

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Stars To Attend Global Lyme Alliances 4th Annual New York City Gala

first_imgGlobal Lyme Alliance (GLA), the leading 501c3 dedicated to conquering Lyme and other tick-borne diseases through research, education and awareness, will hold its 4th annual New York City Gala on October 11th at Cipriani 42nd Street.The event aims to raise Lyme disease awareness and research funds to improve diagnostics, treatments and ultimately find a cure for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.Erin Walker will serve as the evening’s honored guest. As a mother, equestrian, business owner, and wife of 2016 PGA Champion Jimmy Walker, she is an active advocate for Lyme disease awareness and research. Both Erin and Jimmy Walker have been affected by Lyme, which is a global epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 329,000 new cases are reported in the U.S. alone every year.“We are inspired by Erin and Jimmy’s stories,” said GLA CEO Scott Santarella, “and join them in their fight to not only find a cure for themselves, and the millions of others who are currently suffering from Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses. This year, Global Lyme Alliance celebrated surpassing $10 million in research grant funding, a milestone in our commitment to accurately diagnose, treat and cure this potentially incapacitating tick-borne disease. But tens of millions of more dollars are needed if we are to convert promising tests and therapies from the lab to the doctor’s office.”More than 700 individuals, including celebrities, business leaders, philanthropists and noteworthy scientists, are expected to attend the event. It will be hosted by Lori Stokes, co-host of FOX 5’s “Good Day New York.” Celebrated event planner Lawrence Scott is producing the evening including designing and donating the decor for the event. The Gala menu is inspired by Drew Nieporent of Myriad Restaurant Group, including Nobu. Sutton Foster, Broadway veteran and star of TV Land’s “Younger” will headline the program. Foster is a two-time Tony Award winner for her starring roles in “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and “Anything Goes.”The Co-Chairs for the event include Joseph Abboud, celebrated menswear designer and author; Charles Balducci, co-founder, Snyder/Balducci Group, Merrill Lynch; Chris Corrinet, senior VP, CBRE; Robert Kobre, vice chairman, Credit Suisse; Jarrod Nadel, chief product development officer, Tailored Brands, Inc.; Drew Nieporent, owner, Myriad Restaurant Group; Peter Norley, COO, Credit Suisse Securities; and Larry Scott, owner, Lawrence Scott Events.Honorary Event Chairs include: Jay McInerney, Jim Miller, Mary Beth Pfeiffer, Mike Schneider, Victor Slezak, and Marisol and Rob Thomas.Platinum Sponsors include: Big Apple Circus, Credit Suisse, Nancy and Bob Del Genio, David Nolan Foundation, Lawrence Scott Events, Tailored Brands, and Withersworldwide.The Global Lyme Alliance New York Gala will be held Thursday, October 11, 2018 from 6:30 p.m. until 11 p.m. at Cipriani 42nd Street, 110 East 42nd Street at Park Avenue. It features a cocktail reception, dinner and live auction. For more information, or to purchase tables or tickets, please contact Jennifer Kunin at 212-249-6188 or go to GLA.org/2018nygala.last_img read more

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