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Indian American Cancer Scientist Suspended After Allegations of Inappropriate Conduct

first_imgAn Indian American said to be one of the world’s leading authorities on gene therapy and cancer, Inder Verma has been put on administrative leave on April 20 after allegations of “inappropriate conduct” against him came to light, PTI reported.The move against the 70-year-old scientist, who was working in Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California, was announced via email by the Institute board of trustees’ chair Dan Lewis. He sent the email to Salk employees on April 21 and the email was obtained by the Science Magazine. The case will go on trial next December. In Salk, Verma is a professor in the laboratory of genetics.The institute has so far, not commented on Verma’s suspension and hired The Rose Group, a San Diego-based international employment law and consulting firm, to look into the matter that was reported to the institute in February. The Rose Group started its probe into the matter in March, as per the report.“Recently, the institute became aware of allegations concerning Inder Verma. Consistent with Salk’s policies governing workplace conduct, the institute has undertaken a formal investigation that is being led by an independent outside party,” Lewis said in a statement, reported the Science Magazine.He added that the Board of Trustees met to determine an appropriate course of action for Verma. “Effective immediately, Dr. Verma has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation. He will not be performing scientific or administrative roles on behalf of the institute during this period,” Lewis was quoted as saying by the magazine.Verma, who has been with Salk since 1974, has denied the allegations. In a statement to the Science magazine through his attorney, he said, “I have never used my position at the Salk Institute to take advantage of others. I have also never engaged in any sort of intimate relationship with anyone affiliated with the Salk Institute.”This action against Verma, who is also on the boards of several Indian scientific institutes, has come four months after that the National Academy of Sciences asked Verma to step aside as editor-in-chief of its over-a century-old journal–Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), until the charges against him are cleared. It was previously edited by people who have won, or were in line to win the Nobel Prize,The allegations of inappropriate conduct saw public light through the Science magazine. According to the magazine report, last summer, three female Salk senior scientists filed a suit against the institute for gender discrimination, calling it an “old boys club” that had systematically impeded their careers because they were women. In the lawsuit, Verma was directly criticized for making it difficult for women to succeed, The Scientist reported.Verma, who earned his MSc in Biochemistry from the Lucknow University, said that the leave had stemmed from the lawsuits that Salk scientists filed in July last year, reported the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I believe that it is inappropriate for an individual in a position of authority to engage in any intimate relationship with a direct report or to use that position of authority to take advantage of others.” he was quoted as saying in the report. Related ItemsIndian Americanlast_img read more

American Gunman Who Killed Indian Techie Srinivas Kuchibhotla Admits to Hate Crime

first_imgAdam Purinton, the U.S. Navy veteran who is already serving life sentence for shooting Indian techie Srinivas Kuchibhotla last year, has pleaded guilty to hate crime and firearm charges, PTI reported.Purinton admitted on May 21 that he fatally shot Kuchibhotla in February 2017 after confronting him and his friend Alok Madasani at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, a suburb in Kansas City.Purinton is facing a maximum sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, which the prosecution and defense are jointly requesting. The sentencing is scheduled for July 2.“Hate crimes are acts of evil, and the Department of Justice has prioritized their zealous prosecution,” Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio was quoted as saying by the news agency.Panuccio pointed out that Purinton had set out on a murderous rampage with a clear premeditation to kill on the basis of race, color, religion, and national origin. “It was a hate crime, and he is being brought to justice. While we cannot ameliorate the irreparable harm to the victims and their families, we hope that securing this guilty plea brings them some measure of closure. And this prosecution sends a message across the nation: hate crimes will not be tolerated,” Panuccio said.A few weeks before the shooting, Indian technology professionals Kuchibhotla and Madasani, who was his colleague at the Garmin company, were at the Austins bar when Purinton spotted them. Purinton made a comment to another patron: “Did you see the terrorists on the patio?”The patron corrected him, saying they were from India and were not terrorists.Purinton approached then again on the day of the shooting — Feb. 22, 2017 — when the two friends were having an after-work drink at the Olathe bar, and confronted them.He demanded to know where they were from and went on to poke Kuchibhotla in chest, and called him a terrorist. “Get out of my country,” he shouted at them. This was when the bar patrons, including American citizen Ian Grillot, intervened. The patrons asked Purinton to leave and he was escorted from the bar by Grillot.Purinton then went home, changed clothes and got his 9-mm semi-automatic handgun. He came back to the bar, covered his face with a scarf to mask his identity, and fired eight shots at the two Indian men.Kuchibhotla was hit by at least four bullets while Madasani was shot in the leg. Kuchibhotla died from injuries sustained in the attack. When Purinton attempted to flee from the site of shooting, Grillot ran after him. Purinton shot him too, injuring him on his hand and chest. He then sought shelter in another bar in Clinton, Missouri, 112 km away from Olathe, where he called a friend and said he was on the run from police because he had shot “two Iranians.” He was arrested from that bar on Feb. 23.Purinton was charged with murder in Johnson County and with the hate crimes in federal court. He pleaded guilty in court in March to a charge of first-degree murder as well as two counts of attempted first-degree murder for wounding Madasani and Grillot. He was awarded life sentence by the Johnson County Judge earlier this month. Related Itemshate crimeKansasSrinivas Kuchibhotlalast_img read more

Qatar’s Exit Visa Reform by October End

first_imgQatar’s decision to reform its controversial exit visa system will come in to effect by the month end, a leading international trade union body official has said.Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) said on Oct.8  that the abolishment of Qatar’s controversial exit visa system will be implemented by the end of this month. She said this after meeting Qatar’s Prime minister and labor minister in capital Doha, reported AFP.The rich Gulf nation had announced that it would be amending its exit visa system to allow migrant workers to leave the country without informing their owners, in the first week of September. The amendment will help immigrant workers especially from India, Nepal and Bangladesh that are employed in Qatar.“We’ve seen significant progress, first of all we have seen the end of the exit visa law and that will be now implemented by the end of October,” she said the news agency. “Everybody’s aware that this is a big shift and that it will actually take a period of time but formally it will be implemented by the end of the month.”According to a news in the Gulf Times, during the meeting between Qatari Prime-minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani and Burrow, areas of co-operation between Qatar and ITUC were reviewed. They also reviewed the efforts Qatar government is putting in developing a system that protects the rights of the workers.Last month Qatar News Agency (QNA) said that only private companies will be able to make use of the reformed exit visa system. It quoted a senior official of Ministry of Interior (MoI) as saying that government/semi government agencies or the persona sponsorships will not come under this scheme.The Emir of Qatar, which is sprucing up its infrastructure before hosting the Soccer World Cup in 2022, had signed a new law to remove certain provisions that required all migrant workers to seek permission from their employers before leaving the country. This reform was announced in September first week, but the date of enforcement was not announced then.The QNA had said then that the law will allow immigrant workers to leave the country temporarily or permanently without any exit permit within the duration of their work contract. It will be applicable to those immigrant workers that are part of the country’s Labor Code.However, the reform still has certain limitations like it allows companies to submit the names of a maximum of five percent of its employees, for whom a “no objection certificate” will be needed before leaving the country because of the nature of their work.Since Qatar has been constantly facing criticism by human right groups because of its stringent labor laws, its reform announcements are being seen as an attempt to remove the negativity associated with its name. Qatar also announced to increase the minimum wages by the end of this year. Related Itemslast_img read more

Indian-Americans Urge India to Provide Direct Air India Flight From Atlanta

first_imgThe members of the Indian-American community have urged the Indian government to start providing direct flight services of Air India from Atlanta in the U.S. so that Indian community can get better connectivity with India from this part of the U.S.According to a PTI report, Georgia chapter of Federation of Indian-American Association put its request before Minister of State for External Affairs General (retired) V K Singh during his recent visit to the U.S. A memorandum in this regard was given to Singh on his visit.Singh was in the U.S. last month to inaugurate “Passport Seva” projects in New York, Washington DC, and Atlanta.Dr. Vasudev Patel, president of the association said that Singh has assured him of establishing direct flight services to India through Air Federation of Indian-American Association-Georgia India so that Indian community in Atlanta region could have convenience while traveling to India, the report added.Patel was quoted by the news agency as saying, “He (Singh) said this is a very good suggestion and felt that the Atlanta region certainly deserves this type of service. He promised to work on it with us.”Currently, Air India provides direct flights to India from Chicago, Los Angeles, Newark, New York, San Francisco, and Washington DC. People in Georgia are urging for direct flight services of Air India because direct flight between Atlanta and India will make this journey convenient and affordable for the travelers.Federation of Indian-American Association-Georgia is a representing body of around 200,000 Indian immigrants living in Georgia.Pic: Facebook@AirIndia Related Itemslast_img read more

BCCI appoints Rahul Johri as CEO

first_imgBCCI CEO Rahul Johri. Photo: Twitter/BCCI April 20, 2016 SHARE SHARE EMAIL RELATED Unanimous choice Anurag Thakur becomes youngest BCCI President BCCI CEO Rahul Johri. Photo: Twitter/BCCI cricket × HC allows BCCI to hold May 1 IPL match in Punecenter_img The Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) today appointed Rahul Johri as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).Rahul, who was last serving as Discovery Networks Asia Pacific’s Executive Vice-President and General Manager for South Asia, will take on his new role starting June 1 and will be reporting to the BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur, a statement from the Board said.He will be based at Mumbai office.Rahul brings with him immense experience and knowledge on Board and will be responsible for the smooth functioning of operations, stakeholder management and building robust strategies for further promoting the sport.Commenting on the appointment, BCCI President Shashank Manohar, said, “We are pleased to have Rahul with us and are sure his vast experience and knowledge will benefit the Board.His vision, guidance and support will contribute towards the successful working of the BCCI.”BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur said, “We welcome Rahul aboard and wish him luck for his new role at BCCI. In the past one year, BCCI has undertaken various initiatives aimed towards transforming the working of BCCI in order to make the functioning more robust. This endeavour is another initiative of the Board aimed in the same direction and will mark as one more milestone towards strengthening the professional working of the BCCI.”Commenting on his appointment, Rahul said, “I am honoured at the opportunity to serve millions of Indian cricket fans.It will be my utmost endeavour to contribute to the Indian cricket. I am thankful to the President and Honorary Secretary of the BCCI for bestowing such faith in me. I look forward to everyone’s support to fulfil this tremendous responsibility.”With over 20 plus years of experience in the media industry, Rahul was last associated with Discovery Networks for 15 years and for the past eight years was leading South Asia operations. Published on COMMENT null Rahul Johri takes charge as first ever BCCI CEO SHARE COMMENTSlast_img read more

Yu Mobiles to launch Yu Ace smartphone today, here’s everything you need to know about it

first_imgMicromax’s sub-brand Yu has been lying dormant ever since it launched Yu Yureka 2 in September last year. And now, the company is finally breaking its state of silence and gearing to launch a new smartphone in India on August 30.The news comes as the company shared a series of posters from its official handle hinting towards a possible launch. While not much is know about the Yu’s upcoming phone at the moment, from what we know so far, the phone will be called Yu Ace.One of the cryptic posters shared by the company on its official Twitter handle shows two battery-shaped hour glasses with the “F(ACE) OFF!” written above it. This could indicate that the Yu Ace packs a bigger battery. For reference, Yu Yureka 2 came with a 3,930mAh battery.The leaked renders of Yu Ace indicate that the phone could sport “Full-screen” display with a screen aspect-ratio of 18:9 and thin bezels. The leaked images show the absence of notch, which is a refreshing break from the smartphones launched this year.Reports indicate that Yu Ace could sport a 6-inch full HD display with a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. It is expected to feature a dual-rear camera setup along with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal memory. Besides this, the phone could come with Android 8.1 Oreo and be priced around Rs 15,000.Micromax’s sub-brand, Yu, was launched in India back in 2014. The first phone that the company released under its branding was Yu Yureka, which was followed by the launch of Yu Yureka 2 last year. At the time of launch, Yu Yureka 2 was exclusively available on Flipkart.advertisementALSO READ: Micromax sub-brand Yu teases a new phone in India, will launch on Aug 30As far as Yu Yureka is concerned, it features a 5.5-inch full-HD IPS display. It is powered by octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor and runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The phone comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage which can be expanded up to 128GB via a microSD. The phone sports a 16MP camera at the back with dual LED flash and an 8MP front-facing camera and it is priced at Rs 11,999.last_img read more


first_imgIowa’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director has announced his retirement.Mark Schouten says his last day at the department will be Thursday, May 31st.Schouten was appointed by Governor Terry Branstad in November of 2011 to serve as administrator of the then-Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division.He had previously served as the director of the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy and worked in the Iowa Attorney General’s Office for five years.Schouten also served as the Sioux County attorney and as a private practice attorney for 20 years.Joyce Flinn will serve as the department’s acting director beginning June 1st.last_img read more

Danny Cipriani: ‘It’s been the same story for six years, hasn’t it?’

first_imgDanny Cipriani features “I get it and I guess it’s nice the question is still being asked because I am playing half-decent, so I’ll keep trying to play half-decent.”Not for the first time, he is dealing in understatements. While it must be said Cipriani, at 31, is a Premiership veteran, you only have to look at how Lima Sopoaga is struggling to replace him at Wasps to see the grass is not always greener. Cipriani, however, is thriving in the West Country and victory against Exeter on Friday night would give Gloucester every chance of reaching the Champions Cup quarter-finals.He and Johan Ackermann do not appear the most obvious double act but the South African has not only built his team around Cipriani, he has given him the reins. It is instructive that whereas Jones has publicly explained he dropped Cipriani because he is, in effect, a player more suited to a highlights reel, the man himself cites leadership as the most obvious development in his game. Share on Pinterest England’s baffling decision to omit Danny Cipriani risks alienating fans Rugby union Share on LinkedIn Share on Messenger England’s dilemma: undermine Eddie Jones or risk scramble for a top coach … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. Whether we are up close or further away, the Guardian brings our readers a global perspective on the most critical issues of our lifetimes – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. We believe complex stories need context in order for us to truly understand them. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Since you’re here… England rugby union team Share on Facebook Topics The Breakdown: sign up and get our weekly rugby union email. Gloucester Support The Guardian If Danny Cipriani feels messed around by England he hides it well. You might expect confusion, resentment, even betrayal at how he again finds himself on the outside looking in after the briefest of comebacks over the summer but on a chilly afternoon in Gloucestershire there is nothing but positivity from the exiled fly-half.To recap, Cipriani made his first England start in 10 years in their first win in six matches in June but was discarded again for the autumn campaign. It followed his arrest in Jersey but Eddie Jones insisted his latest omission was based on form, all while Cipriani was tearing up trees with his new club, Gloucester. Read more Share via Email The clamour for Cipriani’s inclusion with England has subsided after a slight resurgence from the side last month and Owen Farrell’s move to fly-half but how he was discarded, not to mention the possibility of his talents never gracing the international stage again, does not sit well with his army of supporters.“That’s been the same story for six years though, hasn’t it?” Cipriani says. “And it hasn’t got to me for six years. I will still go out and do the best I can. It’s not been hard, because I have never taken any position for granted. So whether I played or not I never felt like I was definitely going to be in. You just try to show your character and resilience over time.“If I’m just thinking: ‘If I do this and get player of the month’ it becomes a little bit self-obsessed. That’s my philosophy and I’m enjoying that mindset rather than just trying to prove people wrong, because it can also be a battle of your ego – you’re fighting as opposed to being at peace.”To listen to Cipriani, you almost feel as if he does not understand what all the fuss is about. He recalls his first spell at Wasps when, as a precocious youngster, his impatience got the better of him, but now there is an acceptance of his fate.“Shaun [Edwards] would say you’ve got to ask specific questions,” he says. “So if I wasn’t getting picked I’d go to the coach – I went to Gats [Warren Gatland] or Geech [Ian McGeechan], and I’d say what do I need to do to get in this team? They’ll give you a list, you go and do it, you’re conscious of it, you make sure you do it in the game. If you get picked, great, that’s him staying true to his word and if he gives you other things to work on, you keep working on them.“If you’ve got two or three players in a position and they’re all playing well, sometimes you’ve got to go on a feeling and if you’re not on that coach’s feeling, you’ve got to accept it. It’s not like [England] had a bad autumn or anything like that. I thought some of the rugby they played was excellent. So you’ve just got to accept it. “At Wasps I was driving a team but it wasn’t necessarily what was wanted,” he says. “I was still trying to do it because I knew hopefully we’d get good results from it. [But] it is an overall leadership role [Gloucester] are very happy to push on towards me. I have learned a lot from a lot of great players and different leaders over time, so hopefully I am doing a fairly good job and my teammates would say that.”What of an England future? “I don’t know. Maybe, maybe. I hope so. I laugh because every question always comes back to the England environment and I get why it does but I’m just loving my time at Gloucester. I don’t sit at home worrying about it.“No matter what stage of your career you’re at, you want to be challenged, you want to get better and if you feel you’re doing that, you’re going to really enjoy the environment, because you can feel you’re incrementally getting better.” Read more Share on Twitter Share on WhatsApp Robert Kitson Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Trumps China tariffs to increase cost of Bible upsets religious groups

first_imgWashington: The trade war that Donald Trump has initiated with China by imposing massive tariffs on the Chinese products has upset one of his core support bases, the influential church community, that fears the US President’s import duties would increase the cost of the Bible in America. The US and China have been locked in a bruising trade war since Trump imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items from China in March last year, a move that sparked fears of a global trade war. Also Read – Merkel warns UK Brexit deal ‘unlikely’ without compromise: London Trump has already imposed 25 per cent tariffs on USD 250 billion in Chinese imports and China has retaliated with tariffs on US goods. In response, China imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars worth of American imports. The church community is up in arm against President Trump as his import duties on Chinese products will increase in the United States the cost of the holy Bible, which is significantly imported from China. According to Congressman Josh Harder, more than half of the Bibles produced in the world originate from China. Also Read – India, China should jointly uphold peace and stability, resolve disputes through dialogues: Chinese ambassador “The recently proposed tariffs on an additional USD 300 billion in Chinese goods, including printed materials, could have significant negative effects on our religious groups, churches, schools, ministries, and nonprofit organisations,” Harder said. “More than half of the Bibles printed in the world originate in China due to the unique paper and technologies required,” he said. Unless the Bibles are excluded from the tariffs, churches, religious schools and other organisations would be forced to pay more for the scripture, he said. “I don’t think the president planned to add an extra tax on Bibles, but that’s the practical effect these tariffs would have, and that would make connecting with scripture more difficult for our Christian communities,” Harder said. “We need all of these trade wars to end, but in the meantime, we can’t allow our congregations to become collateral damage,” he added, after he wrote a letter to Trump. The Congressman urged the President to exempt the Bibles printed in China from import duty. In the letter dated June 25, the Congressman from California expressed his concern regarding tariffs on printed books which would amount to a “Bible tax”. If printed books, including the Bibles, are not removed from the list of products that could be impacted by tariffs, consumers and religious groups will be forced to pay higher prices for their Bibles, Harder said. “While I do not believe this was an intended policy aim, the outcome would be harmful to our religious communities who rely on these sacred texts. I respectfully request that you reconsider the proposed tariffs for books and Bibles,” the Congressman said. Christian publishers and Bibles societies in the US depend on the capacity and expertise of printers in China to help supply the 20 million Bibles bought each year by Americans, said Stan Jantz, president of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. “A Bible tax would mean fewer Bibles at much higher prices would be available to people who depend on the Bible for their daily spiritual nourishment,” Jantz said. A 25 percent tariff imposed on Bibles would cause a hardship for many publishers, Jantz said. “There will be significant damage to Bible accessibility if Bibles and books are not excluded from the tariffs. Some believe such a tariff would place a practical limitation on religious freedom. For sure we know that competitive options for printing Bibles outside of China are limited, especially if the current average price of a Bible is to be maintained,” he said. According to Mark Schoenwald, president of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, the Trump administration was unaware of the potential negative impact these proposed tariffs would have on the publishing industry generally, and that it never intended to impose a “Bible Tax” on consumers and religious organisations. HarperCollins owns Thomas Nelson and Zondervan, two of the largest Bible producers in the United States. “If printed books, including the Bibles are not removed from the fourth list of products from China to be subject to tariffs and the tariffs go into effect, publishers will reduce investment in their businesses, consumers and religious organisations will face higher prices, and churches, schools, ministries, and nonprofit organisations will have fewer resources to educate others and connect them with the Holy Bible,” Schoenwald said in a statement. One of the most critical issues facing the book publishing industry is the strong possibility that a tariff of up to 25 per cent will be placed on goods imported from China, including books and the Bibles. As such Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) has expressed its concerns to the United States Trade Representative (USTR). Books and the Bibles should be exempted from the Chinese tariff, he argued in a testimony before the USTR this week. Schoenwald and ECPA board member Paul Hendrickson, general manager of Hendrickson Publishers also gave testimonies. The ECPA said a large number of Bibles well over 50 per cent – were printed in China. While there are some domestic Bible options available, the US printers comparable to China on price and quality do not have the capacity to meet the current demand. The same can be said for four-colour books printed in China.last_img read more

Optimism shines bright at upbeat Juno Awards show in Vancouver

first_imgVANCOUVER – It was a night of positivity and resilience at the Juno Awards as the stars of Canadian music focused on celebrating the upsides of life.Host Michael Buble set the tone early on Sunday night by announcing his wife’s third pregnancy — but other performers were quick to grab the tide of optimism during their own stage moments.“I just hope that we can all rise above negativity in our lives and just do what we believe in,” said Arcade Fire’s Win Butler as he accepted the band’s album award for “Everything Now.”“Speak your truth and don’t be afraid to just do whatever the hell you want.”Gord Downie’s brothers Mike and Patrick echoed an unbounded sense of resolve as they accepted a posthumous award for the singer, who died last October of brain cancer.“If we’ve learned anything from Gord it was the value of taking care of each other,” said Patrick.“This is Gord’s award. It’s artist of the year, but he was our man of a lifetime. I’d like to believe we’re all better artists and people because of him. We love you Gord and we’re all taking good care of each other.”An acoustic tribute to Downie was led by Sarah Harmer and Dallas Green, alongside Barenaked Ladies keyboardist Kevin Hearn, who performed “Bobcaygeon” as archival clips of the Tragically Hip frontman played behind them.It was Buble whose seemingly effortless charm kept the show on an upbeat track.Without fully addressing why he stepped aside from his Juno hosting duties last year, he acknowledged this was a comeback of sorts. He pulled out of the 2017 Junos after his son was diagnosed with cancer.Buble told the audience that after being “gone for a while” he wondered if he might have lost “whatever it is” that built his name.“But honestly after standing here for 40 seconds, I realize that I’m even better than I was before,” he added.Buble later joined Diana Krall for a charming duet of the Nat King Cole classic “L-O-V-E.”Daniel Caesar grabbed R&B/soul recording for his album “Freudian” while Jessie Reyez scored breakthrough artist. She offered an emotional acceptance speech reflecting on her sudden rise to fame.“It means so much to get this love out at home,” she said.Both performers reappeared later to duet on Reyez’s song “Figures.”There were a number of pseudo surprises throughout the show.The rappers behind the Canadian hit “Northern Touch” took it upon themselves to improvise a version of the song they were once denied performing on the Junos telecast 20 years ago.The Northern Touch All-Stars announced Tory Lanez as the winner of this year’s rap award, but when he wasn’t around to accept it, rapper Kardinal Offishall jumped in to ask the audience a question.“Don’t you all wish we had some more hip hop in here tonight?” he said.“I know this is going to mess up the Junos a little bit — but I don’t care. Do you want to do ‘Northern Touch’ right now?The group — which also includes rappers Red1, Misfit, Checkmate, Thrust and Choclair — then launched into a full version of “Northern Touch,” which appeared on the Rascalz 1998 album “Cash Crop.”Junos president Allan Reid acknowledged the moment was partly staged. He said the Junos organizers approached the rap group earlier in the afternoon with the idea.One of the night’s other big surprises wouldn’t have shocked gossip magazine readers.Recent tabloid speculation that Buble’s wife is pregnant became an official announcement on the show as the singer revealed actress Luisana Lopilato is expecting their third child.He told the audience it was the second time her pregnancy has been linked to the Junos. Five years ago when he hosted in Regina, she was expecting their first child.“Oops you did it again!” Buble said as the audience cheered the revelation.Grimes and Buffy St. Marie introduced pop artist Lights with an impassioned speech for gender equality led by the Indigenous folk singer.“It’s time for change, it’s time for women to be recognized for our accomplishments and our value to this industry,” St. Marie said with powerful delivery.“We need to build a foundation upon which we can support an environment that actually encourages success for women… because it’s not here yet.”Barenaked Ladies and former bandmate Steven Page were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.After singing a brief tune as they accepted their award, the band closed the broadcast by launching into some of their old hits, starting with “One Week.” It was the first time they’d performed with Page since he went solo nearly a decade ago.The group wasn’t alone on stage for long, as it evolved into an all-star tribute, with guests who spanned the music genres and fit comfortably with the band’s offbeat sense of humour.Jann Arden, Jim Cuddy and Nunavut band The Jerry Cans danced alongside members of the Northern Touch All-Stars as they all performed a sing-along to “If I Had $1,000,000,” which finished with balloons and fake million-dollar bills falling from the rafters.Page then pulled from one of the song’s most famous lines about Kraft Dinner to pose a question that’s lingered for years:“Come on, 30 years now, Kraft. Isn’t it time for a sponsorship?—Listen to a playlist of 2018 Juno Award nominees on Spotify: http://spoti.fi/2siaaUiFollow @dfriend on Twitterlast_img read more

Kalemi school doing big things in tiny community

first_imgAPTN National NewsThere’s a big school in a tiny community doing great things for its students.And this month the Kalemi Dene school in the Northwest Territories is being showcased on an international stage.APTN’s Iman Kassam reports.ikassam@aptn.calast_img

Benkirane Calls Recent PJD Shakeup an Earthquake

Rabat – Abdelilah Benkirane, former Head of Government and Secretary General of the Justice and Development (PJD), has spoken up about his party’s recent developments, saying, “What’s happened to the PJD as a political party is a massive earthquake.”At a party meeting Benkirane told PJD members of parliament, “The time to understand what happened has not yet come,” emphasized that the party still does not know “who paved the way for [the earthquake] and how it happened, and its consequences.”Benkirane, who was dismissed by King Mohammed VI last month for his failure to form a coalition and replaced by his colleague Saad Eddine Othmani, added that “all members of the PJD are responsible for any mistake made by me or Saad Eddine Othmani.” The former government head stressed the need for unity within the party.“We are a responsible political party,” he said. “We cannot absolutely play the role of the opposition. We are committed with our leaders and party.”Benkirane went on to add that party members should help Othmani’s government, the second coalition led by the PJD, in order to avoid any “immense stumbles” and he warned his partisan colleagues to be “vigilant.”Benkirane further noted that “the PJD has given hope to the Moroccan citizens,” calling on party MPs to take into account the interest of the people.Following his appointment as Head of Government succeeding his partisan colleague Abdelilah Benkirne, Othmani brought together a coalition government of six parties in a duration of nine days.In addition to the PJD, the coalition includes the National Rally of Independents (RNI), the Popular Movement (MP), the Constitutional Union (UC), the Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS) and the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP).The USFP, led by Idriss Lachgar, had previously been ruled out by Benkirane, who publically vowed that he would not include the USFP among the parties that will lead the government over the next five years.The inclusion of the USFP has caused an uproar among disagreeing PJD members, who took to social media to attack one another. read more

BCE profit slips but Manitoba Telecom deal boosts revenue

MONTREAL — BCE Inc. saw its second-quarter profit slip compared with a year ago while revenue was boosted by its acquisition of Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. earlier this year.The company says it earned a profit attributable to common shareholders of $762 million or 84 cents per share.That compared with a profit attributable to shareholders of $778 million or 89 cents per share a year ago.Operating revenue increased to nearly $5.7 billion for the three months ended June 30 compared with $5.34 billion in the same quarter last year.BCE attributed the decrease in its earnings to higher depreciation and amortization costs, higher interest expenses and lower other income.On an adjusted basis, the company said it earned $792 million or 88 cents per share, down from $824 million or 94 cents per share a year ago. read more

Deploring latest Middle East violence Annan reaffirms Road Map peace plan

“Such violence is especially untimely following the Aqaba Summit, where the parties made a commitment to implementing the Quartet’s Road Map,” said a statement issued by a spokesman for Mr. Annan, referring to a plan that calls for the Israelis and Palestinians to take a series of parallel and reciprocal steps over the next three years towards the vision of establishing two states living side by side in peace and security.”The Secretary-General calls on the parties not to allow violence, the aim of which is clearly to derail the peace process, to set the agenda,” the statement added. “He commends the two Prime Ministers for their recent expressions of determination to stay the course. The Secretary-General believes that the Road Map sets out the best path to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace that would ensure the security of the peoples of the Middle East.” read more

Jets McCown has sore thumb Darnold uncertain to practice

NEW YORK — Jets quarterback Josh McCown has a sore right thumb that coach Todd Bowles thinks won’t keep him out of practice.McCown banged his hand on a helmet, causing a cut during New York’s 27-13 loss to New England on Sunday. The 39-year-old veteran QB had a heavy wrap on his hand as he left the locker room.McCown made his second straight start in place of rookie Sam Darnold, who has been sidelined with a foot strain. Bowles says Monday that Darnold’s injury is improving, but adds that it’s too early to know whether he might practice Wednesday.Darnold has not played or participated in team drills since injuring his foot at Miami on Nov. 4. Davis Webb has served as McCown’s backup in New York’s past two games.The Jets, who have lost five straight games, play at Tennessee on Sunday.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFLDennis Waszak Jr., The Associated Press read more

Latin American mining potential to be noted downunder

first_imgThe Inaugural Paydirt Latin America DownUnder resources conference is being staged this week – Tuesday and Wednesday (May 22 and 23) in Sydney at the Sheraton on the Park, Elizabeth Street. Paydirt says “Australian juniors are starting to find recognition from investors as they unpick exploration opportunities in a region largely neglected in the past by ASX-listed companies.A decade ago, the ASX was a no-go zone for companies looking to raise money for projects in Latin America, stymied by misconceptions about stability, geopolitical risk and levels of development.“In 2012, the landscape is much changed. From fewer than 20 companies just four years ago, Latin America now plays host to more than 80 Australian miners and explorers. It has been a rapid rise and one that has coincided with a renewed interest in the region from the Australian Government with Austrade and DFAT expanding their representation there, including Special Resources Envoy Peter Beattie.“Latin America is an enticing destination geologically and is host to some of the world’s biggest mines and most prolific producers.“Chile is the world’s largest copper and second-largest molybdenum producer; Brazil is the world’s second-largest iron ore producer; Peru is the world’s eighth-largest gold producer and second-largest copper producer; Colombia has increasing coal reserves and production while Mexico is the world’s largest silver producer.“The region is home to some of the world’s biggest mining operations, including: copper mines such as Escondida (expected to produce 1.3 Mt/y copper from 2015) and Collahausi (450,000t copper produced in 2011), gold operations such as Laguna Norte and Yanacocha as well as Brazil’s Iron Quadrilateral.”Presenters will include Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson, Federal Foreign Affairs Minister, Sen. Bob Carr, Senior Latin American Ministers, XStrata Copper CEO Charlie Sartain, Austrade and Australia-Latin America Business Council Chair, Jose Blancolast_img read more