Unfortunate are those who were caught in the webbing of fraud builder groups and have to endure the price of embezzlement that these builder groups and their directors/owners inflicted upon them. It is strange how a handful of people capitalised on the idea to fool thousands right under everyone’s noses. It is to the credit of authorities to have unravelled the chain of events for the public to take note of how these builder groups have brought down people’s trust, and the economy somewhere in their pursuit for wealth. Now reeling under the judicial hammer, their incapacity to cough up their dues–money siphoned from buyers–has obviously pushed the state, the judiciary and homebuyers in a state of utter chaos. But the Judiciary has to play its role as the guardian of justice and it is the sight of Supreme Courts delivering justice which relieves the distressed homebuyers. In an equation, the story of these builder groups is no more than a theft of public money but the impact it had on the public was beyond just a theft. It was a severe fraud where homebuyers’ biggest share of financial strength was siphoned off in the lieu of providing a dream home to those uninformed buyers. They did not steal just money, they stole fortunes and people have been waiting ever since. Stories behind several complaints against these real-estate giants such as Amrapali and Unitech Ltd sum up to gross injustice and public cheating on a massive scale–something the SC ought to come down very hard for upon culprits. When the Supreme Court, Tuesday noon, finally delivered its verdict on the Amrapali Groups’ future, it felt a fraction of justice. SC cancelled the RERA registration of the Group besides appointing the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) to complete pending projects. The hammering did not cease. The Apex Court directed ED to investigate Amrapali Group officials and directors over money laundering. While the authorities will ensure that Amrapali Group coughs up all dues, the situation still leaves homebuyers in distress. An investment of a greater part of their fortunes into under-construction projects in pursuit to own a home that was never made is an investment of nearly a decade yielding absolutely nothing and simultaneously, impinging the investee with a financial crunch and a judicial battle–for their own money. The SC bench vested the rights of all projects seized by Amrapali with Senior Advocate R Venkatrami once its lease stands cancelled. SC will allow Venkatrami to enter into third-party negotiations in a bid to recover dues through the sale of these properties. Subsequently, ED filed a case of money laundering against Amrapali Group and its promoters who have allegedly failed to provide possession of flats to over 42,000 prospective buyers as per Noida and the Greater Noida Authorities. Amrapali Group’s fall, however, is not justice. The Court’s persistence in bringing assistance to complete pending projects is the road to justice. Providing homebuyers with complete refund or possession of their flats, even if terribly late is justice. Supreme Court finds itself in the position over not just Amrapali but Unitech’s matter as well. SC on July 9 had observed in the Unitech matter that the government should involve a third-party like state-funded NBCC to complete the projects. On the macro front, it is the Centre who has to initiate restoration of these losses induced by directors/owners of these defunct building groups. NBCC also has to divide its attention and work on successful and timely completion of all the pending properties as homebuyers have no alternative but to stay positive about getting their fortunes back. Also Read – A compounding difficultyWhile the Amrapali matter will be tabled again on August 9, ED has the job to lay the groundwork of recovering money from all personnel who have benefitted from the homebuyers’ money siphoned through these projects; the recovered money is to be used for completing the pending work. Thought the Supreme Court will now ensure the completion of these projects, it remains a fact that real-estate, through the demeaning picture painted by these tainted building groups, has sucked out both the money and trust off the middle-class segment who had hoped for better living houses. While largely curtailed to Delhi-NCR, there are several reeling under the same adversity in other cities as well and this is when only Tier-1 cities had the opportunity to have high-rise apartments and affordable luxurious homes. Supreme Court’s pursuit for justice also brings the question of ensuring state-involvement in construction of ambitious projects since the acts of the culprit groups only cite a pattern which robbed thousands surmounting to million. Regulations, however, remain the best tools to curtail the scope of corruption on the builders’ part and tightening a grip on those to prevent anyone from fooling others will have to be the norm if real-estate has to be protected from gold-hawks.
New Delhi: Britain’s Cairn Energy PLC, which gave India its biggest onshore oil discovery and a gas find that opened the KG basin, is keen to reinvest in the country if a retrospective tax issue it is facing is resolved, its chief executive said. Cairn, which in early 1990s grew the Ravva oil and gas field in the Krishna Godavari basin in the Bay of Bengal and then went on to find the country’s biggest onland oil discovery in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, was in 2014 slapped with a tax demand of Rs 10,247 crore over an internal business reorganisation it did of its India business years back. The tax department confiscated its dividend income, stopped tax refund and sold its shares to recover the tax demand which was raised using the 2012 retrospective tax legislation.
colombo: New Zealand will be hoping to add to Sri Lanka’s poor record at their own Oval ground and level the series in the second and final Test starting Thursday. Unlike the spinner’s paradise at Galle and the batting haven that is the SSC, the Oval — the only ground in Asia where Don Bradman played — favours seam bowlers. Sri Lanka have been often exposed here by quality seam bowlers and one up in the two-match series, they will have New Zealand’s Trent Boult and Tim Southee — and possibly Neil Wagner — to contend with. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhIn the last 10 years, Sri Lanka have played seven games at The Oval and lost five, including once to New Zealand. In that game seven years ago, Southee claimed eight wickets while Boult finished with seven. “We have some fond memories from last time, and we managed to win that,” New Zealand wicketkeeper B.J. Watling said at a pre-match media briefing on Wednesday. “The boys like to talk about their wickets and there’s a few stunning catches from memory as well. Having good memories is always good, but it is a new game, a new day, and we need to be switched on,” Watling added. Left-arm quick Wagner claimed nine wickets in New Zealand’s last Test match and was unlucky to miss out in Galle as conditions heavily favoured spin.
Shahjahanpur (UP): At least 17 people, including three children, were killed and four injured when a speeding truck rammed into two vehicles before overturning on one of them in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur district on Tuesday morning, police said.The accident occurred at the Jamka crossing on National Highway 24 near Shahjahanpur town, 170 km northwest of Lucknow, Superintendent of Police (City) Dinesh Tripathi said. It was a series of collisions, police recounted. The speeding truck first hit a tempo and then a van, which fell into a ditch. The truck then overturned and fell on the van, trapping those inside it. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The impact was so powerful that 16 people, including three children aged between 6-12, died instantly. A woman died of her injuries on the way to a hospital, the officer said. A crane was sent from Shahjahanpur to lift the mangled truck and retrieve the bodies. The truck driver fled the spot, while the helper has been nabbed, the SP said. The tempo was ferrying passengers from Bartara, while the van was carrying passengers from Shahjahanpur. The injured were admitted to a local hospital and the bodies have been sent for post-mortem, the SP said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe deceased have been identified as Aman (6), Alia (8), Arshit (12), Azim (26), Balram (40), Vinod (40), Ram Kishore (48) and Budha Lal (46), the officer said, adding that efforts were on to identify the remaining victims. Bareilly division commissioner Ranvir Prasad said a magisterial inquiry would be conducted to ascertain if the accident was a result of the truck driver’s laxity or any problem in the vehicle. He said it would also be probed if the vehicles ferrying passengers had valid permit. Prasad and Deputy Inspector General Rajesh Kumar Pandey visited the accident site and also the hospital to enquire about the health of the injured. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed condolence over the deaths. He has directed officials to extend proper medical care to the injured and ensure ex-gratia payment as per the rules to the next of kin of the deceased, an official said.
New Delhi: Paralympic silver-medallist Deepa Malik on Thursday became the first Indian woman para-athlete and the oldest to be conferred the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award but training commitments kept co-awardee Bajrang Punia away from the ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan here. Malik, who won a silver medal in the shot put F53 category in the 2016 Rio Paralympics, was joint winner of the top honour with Asian and Commonwealth Games champion Punia, who is in Russia to prepare for the upcoming World Championships in Kazakhstan. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhMalik became only the second para-athlete after double Paralympic gold-medallist javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia, who received the recognition in 2017, to have won the prestigious award. At 49, she also became the oldest athlete ever to have claimed the honour. World Championships bronze-medallist shuttler B Sai Praneeth, woman cricketer Poonam Yadav, Asian Games gold-winner heptathlete Swapna Barman, footballer Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, two-time world silver-medallist boxer Sonia Lather, Asian Games silver-medallist equestrian Fouaad Mirza, motorsports ace Gaurav Gill and Kabaddi captain Ajay Thakur were among the 19 sportspersons who received the Arjuna Award from President Ram Nath Kovind here. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterMalik became fourth-time lucky as she was ignored for the award for the past three years, leading her to question and criticise the decision. Prominent absentees from the event apart from Punia, were cricketer Ravindra Jadeja, Asian Games gold-medallist shot-putter Tejinder Pal Singh Toor, and silver-winner quartermiler Mohammed Anas, all of who were picked for the Arjuna award this year. Jadeja is currently on national duty with the Indian Test team in the Caribbean, while Toor and Anas are competing in the national inter-state athletics meet in Lucknow right now. The National Sports Awards are given on August 29 every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand. “I am very happy. This whole journey has been more about changing the attitude of people towards disability and the hidden potential in people with disability,” Malik said. “I think the award is going to be a huge inspiration to women athletes in disability. It took 70 years for independent India to win medal in Paralympic,” she added. While the Khel Ratna award carries a prize purse of Rs 7.5 lakh, the Arjuna awardees are given Rs 5 lakh each along with citations. Besides the Khel Ratna and Arjuna awards, the President also gave away Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand awards to coaches, the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure awards, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy and Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar. List of Awardees: Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award: Deepa Malik (para-athletics), Bajrang Punia (wrestling) Arjuna Awards: Ravindra Jadeja (cricket), Mohammed Anas Yahiya (athletics), Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (football), Sonia Lather (boxing), Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (hockey), S Bhaskaran (bodybuilding), Ajay Thakur (kabaddi), Anjum Moudgil (shooting), B Sai Praneeth (badminton), Tajinder Pal Singh Toor (athletics), Pramod Bhagat (para sports-badminton), Harmeet Rajul Desai (table tennis), Pooja Dhanda (wrestling), Fouaad Mirza (equestrian), Simran Singh Shergill (polo), Poonam Yadav (cricket), Swapna Burman (athletics), Sundar Singh Gurjar (para sports-athletics) and Gaurav Singh Gill (motorsports). Dronacharya Award (regular category): Mohinder Singh Dhillon (athletics), Sandeep Gupta (table tennis) and Vimal Kumar (badminton). Dronacharya Award (lifetime category): Sanjay Bhardwaj (cricket), Rambir Singh Khokar (kabaddi) and Mezban Patel (hockey). Dhyan Chand Award: Manoj Kumar (wrestling), C Lalremsanga (archery), Arup Basak (table tennis), Nitten Kirrtane (tennis) and Manuel Fredricks (hockey).
NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. – A man who underwent a psychotic break and murdered his three children as they lay asleep in their beds does not pose enough of a threat to the public to be labelled high risk, a British Columbia Supreme Court judge has found.Justice Martha Devlin said Thursday that while Allan Schoenborn continues to struggle with serious anger management issues, the deaths of his children relate to his mental health problems, which have lessened since he started treatment while in custody following his conviction in 2010.“Without his mental disorder, Mr. Schoenborn would not have committed these abhorrent acts,” Devlin said.“Because his mental disorder is in remission, there is no basis on which to conclude that Mr. Schoenborn is highly likely to cause grave physical and psychological harm.”Devlin buttressed her ruling with references to Schoenborn’s current mental condition and the opinions of psychiatric experts, all of which she said point to the low likelihood of a relapse.A designation of high-risk accused would have barred Schoenborn from escorted outings into the community and would have extended the time between his review board hearings from one to three years.Schoenborn killed his 10-year-old daughter Kaitlynne and sons, Max and Cordon, aged eight and five, in the family’s home in Merritt in April 2008. He was eventually found not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder.The murder trial heard Schoenborn was experiencing psychosis at the time of the killings and believed he was saving his children from sexual and physical abuse, though no evidence suggested this was the case.Stacy Galt, a cousin of Schoenborn’s ex-wife, buried her face in her hands and sobbed as Devlin read her judgment.Speaking outside court, Galt questioned the decision.“If Allan won’t be high-risk designation then who will qualify for high-risk designation?” she said, her hands and voice shaking as she cried.“Our fear is real. What he did was heinous. And he shouldn’t be able to walk the streets. He should be in care for the rest of his life.”Mike Clarke, Schoenborn’s former brother-in-law, read a statement written by his sister, Darcie Clarke.In it, Schoenborn’s ex-wife described the judge’s decision as “shameful” and “disappointing,” and said the justice system had failed her and her family.Schoenborn’s lawyer, Rishi Gill, said the decision should not be considered a victory for his client.Schoenborn is being properly managed in a psychiatric facility, his psychosis is under control and he doesn’t fit the definition for a high risk accused person, Gill said.“The question that was decided today was strictly about, ‘Is Mr. Schoenborn the type of risk that needs the high-risk designation,’ ” he said.“At no point has Mr. Schoenborn’s team either applied for release or has he been given release, and that’s not going to change. Until he shows a certain amount of improvement there is no danger for him being released.”Schoenborn’s case gained notoriety after former prime minister Stephen Harper singled him out when he introduced a law creating the high-risk designation for mentally ill offenders in 2013. The designation has yet to be successfully applied.Alisia Adams, a spokeswoman for B.C. Prosecution Service, says the Crown will need some time before deciding whether to file an appeal.— Follow @gwomand on TwitterNote to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version contained an incorrect spelling for Justice Martha Devlin.
FREDERICTON – Taxpayers were left on the hook for close to $70 million while top executives of the failing Atcon group of companies were spending money on luxury items including vacation property in Aruba, New Brunswick’s auditor general says.“A company that is in such severe financial crisis, coming to the province looking for funding, you just wouldn’t expect to see such extravagance,” Kim MacPherson said Tuesday.She says a $50-million loan given to Atcon in 2010 by the former Liberal government of Shawn Graham was never going to be enough to save the Miramichi-based construction and manufacturing company from eventual failure.MacPherson released her second report into the failure Tuesday, with an attempt to answer where the money went.She said that while most of the nearly $70 million the province had given the company starting in 1993 went to business-related activities, more than $700,000 of personal expenses went through company accounts.MacPherson said those purchases included a vacation property in Aruba, jewelry, luxury car leases, RRSP contributions and personal income tax payments.She said the company was also leasing a corporate jet with operational costs of $8.2 million from 2008 to 2010.“Overall, our analysis showed the company had a growing amount of debt, insufficient working capital, and a severe cash shortage,” she said.Atcon declared bankruptcy in 2010, just nine months after receiving $50 million in new loans.In a report released in 2015, MacPherson said the government provided the loans to Atcon despite advice to the contrary from senior government staff.She said the government also gave up its security on the loan.“We consider cabinet’s decision to release the province’s security as the critical failure in the Atcon file. Cabinet ministers interviewed, in our view, offered no clear explanation for their decision,” MacPherson said.She said the province was only able to recover $2.8 million of $63.4 million it was owed by Atcon, but would have gotten up to $19 million more if it had not given up its security.In comparison, the Bank of Nova Scotia recovered $77.2 million of the $99.2 million it was owned by Atcon.MacPherson said she interviewed six members of the current Liberal government who were cabinet ministers in 2010 and none had an adequate explanation for giving up the security.MacPherson is critical of Opportunities New Brunswick — a provincial Crown corporation intended to attract companies to the province and help existing ones grow.She said ONB said it had implemented most of the 19 recommendations from her first report on Atcon, but in reality has only implemented four.Progressive Conservative Leader Blaine Higgs said Tuesday that ONB’s CEO, Stephen Lund, should be fired as a result.“The premier should take accountability for this and Stephen Lund should lose his job over this. He should be fired,” Higgs said.Lund side-stepped the firing suggestion at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.“Two and a half years in we’ve got a great track record. We’ve done great things. We’ve attracted companies and have worked with hundreds of companies across the province. We’ve done a lot of work internally. We have the best team I believe in the country today. We have strong policies and procedures in place and we will continue to be better at what we do,” he said.Roger Melanson, president of the Treasury Board, said Tuesday the government has full confidence in Opportunities New Brunswick.Melanson said with all the knowledge the government has now, and two volumes from the auditor general, the previous government’s decision to give money to Atcon was a mistake.“We’ve learned from this. We’ve absolutely learned from this,” Melanson said.Higgs said he thinks the government was just trying to delay the collapse of Atcon so that it didn’t become an election issue in the fall of 2010. The Liberals still lost that vote.In February 2013, the conflict of interest commissioner concluded that Graham was in a conflict at the time the loan guarantees were provided because his father was a director of Vanerply, a Swedish subsidiary of Atcon.Graham was fined $3,500.He later resigned his seat in the legislature.
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Police say a suspect wanted in connection with the beating of an autistic man in Mississauga, Ont., has turned himself in.They say 25-year-old Ronjot Singh Dhami of no fixed address was charged with one count of aggravated assault on Monday.Dhami’s lawyer had said last week that his client is innocent but planned to turn himself in.Peel regional police say a 29-year-old man with autism was sitting at the bottom of a stairwell at the Mississauga Square One bus terminal on March 13 when three men allegedly began punching and kicking him.Police had previously charged Parmvir Singh Chahil, 21, with aggravated assault in relation to the incident.Officers say they also charged a 44-year-old Windsor woman and an 18-year-old Windsor man with accessory after the fact in connection with the case.They’re also looking for a third suspect in the case — a man who may go by the name of Jason.
MONTREAL – U.S. authorities are seeking to extradite a former Uber driver from San Francisco who was being investigated on rape charges before vanishing and then emerging in Montreal earlier this summer.Court documents filed last month in Montreal say Mohamed Ben Azaza is wanted in California after failing to show up for a meeting in early March with detectives investigating the case.The Tunisian-born Ben Azaza, 38, was being investigated for an alleged sexual assault involving an intoxicated 19-year-old passenger in October 2017.Prosecutors say Ben Azaza picked up the alleged victim from a party and had non-consensual sexual intercourse with her before she woke up in his bed the next day.In a police interview, Ben Azaza denied having sex with the woman. He said she had requested permission to sleep in his car and that he later let her inside his home for breakfast and to call someone to pick her up.He also told authorities he was no longer working for Uber and agreed to meet investigating officers to provide a DNA swab.He did not appear as planned last March 8 and, as detectives could not reach him later, a warrant was issued on a rape charge in late June.The court filing seeking his extradition notes the penalty upon conviction is a minimum of three years imprisonment.The accused has been detained since early July, when Montreal police arrested him after noting an outstanding warrant when he filed a complaint about the theft of his identification papers.U.S. authorities believe Ben Azaza is an imminent flight risk and that extradition is necessary because Canada may send him to Tunisia, which has no extradition treaty with the United States.Ben Azaza is currently detained and faces an extradition hearing in Quebec Superior Court on Sept. 21.Canadian authorities, including the federal Justice Department, declined comment on Tuesday.
HALIFAX – A British sailor on trial for allegedly sexually assaulting a Halifax woman has been hospitalized, delaying proceedings in Nova Scotia Supreme Court yet again.Darren Smalley and Simon Radford are charged with sexual assault causing bodily harm and participating in a sexual assault involving one or more people in the Warrior Block accommodations at CFB Shearwater in April 2015.The trial was scheduled to continue Friday, but Radford’s lawyer David Bright informed Justice Patrick Duncan that his client was in hospital.“He’s anticipating a surgery — today, tomorrow — it depends entirely on the medical people,” said Bright.“Following that, there will be an in-house requirement for antibiotics and that sort of thing. The concern, I guess, is septicemia of the wound and they’re being very, very cautious.”Bright added: “He’s anxious to get back and get underway.”The case was adjourned until Monday. It’s not clear yet whether Radford will be well enough to continue at that time.The commencement of the trial had been delayed on Tuesday because Radford was in hospital. Bright had told the court his client was injured in the United Kingdom and suffered a torn artery.The trial has only heard from one witness, a military police officer who investigated the alleged incident.Sgt. Tyler Bruce-Hayes told the court Thursday that a number of electronic devices were seized from the barracks after a search warrant was obtained.Bruce-Hayes said videos and photos were extracted from those devices. He identified Radford, 34, as the man in one short video clip that was played in court.“A male has no clothes on lying on his stomach on the bed being massaged by Mr. Radford,” said Bruce-Hayes when asked to describe what was happening in the clip.Laughter can be heard throughout the video, as an unidentified naked man is shown being massaged on the back of his legs before the camera moves in close to the man’s buttocks.Smalley, 38, appeared unable to hold back laughter as the video was played loudly on multiple monitors in the courtroom.Bruce-Hayes did not elaborate on how or if the video relates to the alleged sexual assault.The court also saw video surveillance of a beer store drive-thru from 11:55 p.m. on April 9, 2015, showing an attendant putting several cases of beer in the trunk of a white van.Bruce-Hayes said the complainant and a friend who was with her that night had both told him during their interviews that they rode in a white minivan to pick up beer.Also Thursday, the sergeant reviewed a number of photos of items that were seized as part of the investigation, including photos showing a bra and underwear the complainant was wearing during the alleged sexual assault.He identified photos of biological samples that were taken during an examination of the woman by a nurse at a Halifax hospital in the early hours of April 11, 2015.Bruce-Hayes told the court Wednesday that he interviewed the complainant — whose identity is protected by a publication ban — for about two hours following the examination, and that she appeared upset.The accused, members of the Royal Navy, were participating in a naval hockey tournament in Halifax at the time of the alleged sexual assault.The complainant is expected to testify at the judge-alone trial, which will last roughly six weeks.Crown lawyer Eric Taylor has said he will call about 12 witnesses.Both Smalley and Radford are not in custody, but are under strict bail conditions.The Crown had originally charged four men, but charges against two of the sailors were dropped.Follow (at)AlyThomson on Twitter.
IQALUIT, Nunavut – A Nunavut politician wants the territory to review how it investigates violence complaints against the RCMP in light of recently released documents and videos.Adam Arreak Lightstone, a member of the legislature from Iqaluit, says he’ll use the legislative sitting that begins Tuesday to demand Nunavut reconsider its police oversight.“It’s really important to ensure there’s accountability in the investigation process,” he said. “There’s a reason why most jurisdictions in Canada have a civilian oversight body to prevent police from investigating police.”The Ottawa and Calgary police forces currently investigate complaints against Nunavut RCMP.Lightstone’s concern stems from documents detailing complaints about RCMP use of force. Obtained by freelance reporter Thomas Rohner under freedom-of-information legislation, they included a 2015 letter from the territory’s legal-aid service to then-justice minister Paul Okalik.“The Department of Justice has requested that the Legal Services Board document and share concerns … relating to the allegation that instances of excessive use of force by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police appear to be on the rise in Nunavut,” it said.The letter, citing client confidentiality, does not include specifics.Signed by board chairwoman Madeleine Redfern, it refers to “a recent trend of hearing of and witnessing visible injuries to our clients.”A separate letter said the board had information on 30 cases of excessive use of force.The documents include cellblock video of RCMP officers striking and pepper-spraying an Inuit in custody.The letter said Nunavut legal-aid lawyers had begun notifying the RCMP Public Complaints Commission as well as filing civil suits.“For every client that is prepared to proceed with formal civil action seeking damages for the harm suffered … there are five clients who advise that they have no interest in pursuing civil relief due to fear of possible recrimination,” the letter said.In a recent email, Redfern said concerns persist.“I did recommend to (a legislature committee) that the RCMP receive cultural orientation and training, including on the use of force … I also did recommend that the standing committee consider a recommendation that (Nunavut) undertake research and a review of an appropriate RCMP oversight body.”Redfern said there were 27 civil cases filed between 2014 and 2017.Chief Supt. Michael Jeffrey, Nunavut RCMP’s commanding officer, said Mounties responded to 27,000 calls and held 7,500 people in custody last year. The force received 13 complaints between 2016 and 2018, he said.“We really strive for there not to be any complaints at all,” he said. “However, it’s just part of policing. There will be times mistakes may happen or the public may perceive there was excessive force.”He said the RCMP try to prepare officers for Arctic policing. Members posted to remote locations are encouraged to become part of the community to make people feel more comfortable.Jeffrey said both civilian- and police-led investigations are independent. He said it’s up to the government to decide if a civilian body would inspire more public confidence.“The RCMP would comply fully with either.”Lightstone said he understands Nunavut RCMP have a tough job.“They do their job very well and they do keep our communities safe. The RCMP definitely have their hands full in our territory.”But he points out that Nunavut and the Northwest Territories are the only places in Canada that don’t have civilian oversight. Yukon contracts with the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, an independent police watchdog.“I think that’s something that would work within our territory,” he said.Such oversight was debated in the Nunavut legislature in 2015. A committee has been studying it since 2016.“The Department of Justice completed a cross-jurisdictional scan comparing all models of policing oversight across Canada and is reviewing the viability of these options,” said spokeswoman Matilda Madekufamba.Lightstone said he has solid support from many of his fellow MLAs — especially after they saw the cellblock footage.“They were all just as shocked as I was. They’re all in agreement with me.”— By Bob Weber in Edmonton. Follow @row1960 on Twitter
YELLOWKNIFE — Police say a 32-year-old man has died following a house fire in Yellowknife.RCMP in the Northwest Territories say they were called to the burning home shortly after 8 p.m. on Friday.They say the man was found inside and taken to hospital, where he died.Police say a 28-year-old woman and two children were able to leave the home, they don’t have any information about their well-being.Mounties say they’re investigating the blaze along with the Northwest Territories Office of the Fire Marshal and the Coroner Service.The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press CALGARY — The leader of Alberta’s United Conservatives is promising a referendum on equalization if there’s no major progress on market-opening pipelines.Jason Kenney says if he becomes premier the matter would be put to voters on Oct. 18, 2021 — the same date as the next municipal elections in Alberta.The federal equalization program is meant to even out fiscal disparities between so called “have” and “have-not” provinces.Despite its economic doldrums, Alberta remains a “have” province.Kenney says Albertans can no longer tolerate other governments benefiting from Alberta resources while doing everything they can to block development.He is also vowing to take Ottawa to court if a contentious federal bill on resource project reviews becomes law and to block energy shipments to any province that block pipelines.
OTTAWA — A short chronology of Canada’s participation in the 1944 D-Day invasion of Normandy:May 1943: Allies make final decision to invade. Initial invasion date May 1, 1944, then June 4, 1944.Summer of 1943: Canadians train for assault in Scotland and England.June 1, 1944: Invasion ships begin loading along England’s south coast.June 3: Soldiers aboard the ships. Some ships sail.Dawn, June 4: Weather forecast of continuing low cloud, coastal fog and rain forces 24-hour delay in invasion. Vessels recalled.Dawn, June 5: Decision to go ahead with invasion. Convoys sail for Normandy.Evening, June 5: Invasion fleet approaches Normandy beaches.11:30 p.m., June 5: Aerial attacks begin.Midnight: Three airborne divisions drop on east and west flanks of invasion beaches. Includes 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion.June 6 about 5 a.m.: Naval bombardment of beach defences begins.5:30 a.m.: First Canadian assault vessels leave ships for shore.6:30 a.m.: First Americans land at beaches.7:25 a.m.: First British land.About 7:45 a.m.: First Canadians land.10:30 a.m.: First assault waves ashore.Noon: Juno Beach secure.12:45 p.m.: Maj. Rod Keller (Canadian commanding officer) goes ashore.Advance continues until nightfall.The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Containers of Canadian trash that festered in the Philippines for years are set to arrive home just in time to celebrate the country’s 152nd birthday.The Anna Maersk is scheduled to dock at the Port of Vancouver, with the containers aboard, on Saturday, June 29 at 10 a.m.The arrival will bring nearly to a close the garbage saga that led to a diplomatic dispute with the Philippines and drew attention to the growing global problem of plastic waste.One hundred and three containers of garbage from Canada arrived in the Philippines falsely labelled as plastics for recycling in 2013 and 2014.President Rodrigo Duterte recalled the Philippine ambassador and consuls general last month after Canada missed his deadline to take back the garbage by May 15.The 69 containers that are left of the original shipment eventually left the Philippines on June 1.The Canadian Press
HALIFAX — It will likely be weeks before it’s known what killed a North Atlantic right whale whose badly decomposed carcass was found this month off Long Island, N.Y.Phillip Hamilton, a research scientist at Boston’s New England Aquarium, wasn’t involved in the necropsy carried out on the whale but says it often takes up to a month or two to get lab results.Hamilton does have extensive knowledge of the whale named “Snake Eyes,” which he had been watching for over 30 years.He says the 40-year-old whale was last seen alive entangled in fishing gear in Canadian waters in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.However, Hamilton says there was no rope found on the carcass, so it is possible the whale was killed by a ship strike.So far this year, there have been eight right whale deaths confirmed in Canadian waters out of an endangered population numbering only about 400 animals. Twenty-nine right whales have died in North American waters since 2017.This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Sept. 30, 2019.The Canadian Press
Actress and activist Amber Valletta joins the International Fund For Animal Welfare at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival in Monterey, California, September 26 – 28 to raise awareness of entangled whales in California.“It is upsetting to imagine such a magnificent creature with ropes and other marine debris wrapped around its body,” said Ms. Valletta, an IFAW Honorary Board member. “It can cause life-threatening injuries to whales and can often be dangerous for their rescuers as well.”Boaters and other ocean users are urged to call the toll free entangled whale hotline, 1- 877-SOS-WHALe, to report the exact location of an entangled whale. The information is immediately routed to the California Whale Entanglement Team (W.E.T.) – an organized crew of local and regional marine mammal professionals and volunteers that have received special training to respond to large whale entanglements along the state’s coastline.“Whale entanglement is considered one of the leading threats for all large whale species,” said Patrick Ramage, IFAW Whale Program Director. “And it places the animal at risk of drowning, starvation or infection. Quickly summoning expert help provides the best opportunity for the entrapped whale’s survival.”Under the jurisdiction of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), W.E.T.’s highly-skilled teams of marine biologists, veterinarians, mariners, and other volunteers use specialized equipment, including satellite radio buoys when appropriate, in their attempts to free the entangled mammals.To reinforce W.E.T.‘s response to whale entanglements, IFAW has equipped the group with a full supply of disentanglement tools, along with a portable trailer – W.E.T. on Wheels – to transport the gear needed to rescue entangled whales in crises. NOAA, Monterey-based Marine Life Studies and the Fluke Foundation have also contributed to W.E.T.’s efforts.Most of the large whale species that inhabit the waters off the California coast are listed as endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Act. The loss of only a few animals can have an impact on certain whale populations making it difficult for the species to recover.“California’s whales – and all of the world’s whales – should be protected,” added Ms. Valletta. “IFAW works globally to address the increasing entanglements and other urgent threats whales face. I’m proud to join them in this important work.”In the three years that the whale hotline has been active, 38 entangled whales were reported. Twenty whales were reported as entangled off the central California counties of Mendocino, Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco and Monterey.Complimentary stickers and other items promoting the whale entanglement hotline will be available at the IFAW booth at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival at the Portola Hotel in Monterey, and in retail shops throughout the Monterey Bay Peninsula.PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1nT3t)Source:PR Newswire
On Sunday, December 2nd, The Trevor Project honored international super star Katy Perry with the Trevor Hero Award and Audi of America with the Trevor 2020 Award at “Trevor Live” in Los Angeles.Katy Perry Honored At Trevor LiveCredit/Copyright: JC Olvera/WireimageAs performers and special guests arrived for Trevor Live, hundreds of thousands of people tuned in online for a special live stream of the red carpet, hosted by WhatsTrending.com. Co-hosts Shira Lazar and Tyler Oakley interviewed dozens of talented supporters of The Trevor Project and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth for a 2-hour live red carpet arrivals show, sponsored by Toyota Financial Services. This high-profile annual event benefits the life-saving, life-affirming work of The Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ teens and young adults.“Trevor Live,” directed by Adam Shankman, featured performances by Sara Bareilles, Laura Benanti, Betty Buckley, Kristin Chenoweth, Darren Criss, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Barrett Foa, Anna Kendrick, Matthew Morrison, Dermot Mulroney, Kayla Radomski, Andrew Rannells, Naya Rivera, Kyle Robinson, Jessica Sanchez, Ryan Teddar, with celebrity Voice of God, Amy Poehler.“Trevor Live” featured special appearances by Christa B. Allen, Justin Bartha, Chris Colfer, Whitney Cummings, Derek Hough, Sarah Hyland, Rashida Jones, Jason Kennedy, Ricki Lake, Samuel Larsen, Jane Lynch, Ashley Madekwe, Gabriel Mann, Joel McHale, Kevin McHale, Pauley Parrette, Connor Paolo, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Brittany Snow, Jenna Ushkowitz, Bebe Wood, and celebrity guest DJ Samantha Ronson!“I am so proud to be honored by The Trevor Project as a Trevor Hero,” said Katy Perry, Trevor Hero Award honoree. “I hope all LGBTQ youth know that they are as valuable as anyone else, that they are amazing and unique, and make the world a more vibrant place. Trevor’s life-saving, life-affirming work helps youth find the future they deserve. I want every young person to choose to have a tomorrow and to dream for the future.”Perry continued, “And if they don’t get to hear it enough, I hope they know that they can pick up the phone to call the Trevor Lifeline, or log on and talk to someone on TrevorChat. It’s okay to ask for help. You are worth it. Make a pledge to yourself to get help if you need it, because we need you in our lives.”“The Trevor Project is proud to have honored Katy Perry with the Trevor Hero Award and Audi with the Trevor 2020 Award. And thank you to Adam Shankman for again lending his talent as director of Trevor Live, and all the incredible talented performers and presenters who made the event memorable,” said Abbe Land, Executive Director & CEO of The Trevor Project. “Trevor Live is where entertainment and cultural change align to send a message to young lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth that they deserve a bright future, and it starts the moment you reach out to The Trevor Project.”“On behalf of Audi of America, I would like to sincerely thank The Trevor Project for this recognition,” said Michael Patrick, Media and Entertainment Communications manager at Audi upon acceptance of the Trevor 2020 Award. “Audi is grateful to be able to help encourage LGBTQ youth to take pride in themselves and the communities that support them. Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders, and being a true leader means being unique and being authentic.”The Trevor Hero Award honors Katy Perry for empowering youth and increasing visibility and understanding of the LGBTQ community. The Trevor 2020 Award recognizes long-time Trevor supporter Audi of America as a progressive organization that supports the LGBTQ community. The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people under 24. Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its free and confidential lifeline, in-school workshops, educational materials, online resources and advocacy. Honored by the White House as a Champion of Change, The Trevor Project is a leader and innovator in suicide prevention.
Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora joined Bill Clinton and Kobe and Vanessa Bryant at the grand opening of STEP UP ON VINE on Monday.Richie Sambora joined President Bill Clinton and Kobe and Vanessa Bryant at the grand opening of STEP UP ON VINE on Monday, January 14, 2013 in Los Angeles.Credit/Copyright: Press Here PublicityRichie performed songs from his new solo album Aftermath of the Lowdown (out now) at the event, which was hosted by Bill Clinton and Kobe Bryant and served as the grand opening of Step Up On Vine – a supportive housing project in Hollywood to fight chronic homelessness.The Step Up On Vine charity gala was made possible by The Clinton Global Initiative in partnership with The Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation.
Grammy Award-winning artist Enrique Iglesias received a sweet pre-Valentine’s Day surprise from Save the Children last week, just before he finished a pair of recent concerts.Carlos Carrazana surprises Enrique Iglesias with valentines from kids in Save the Children’s Filipino programsCredit/Copyright: Susan WarnerThe global nonprofit presented the pop star with handmade valentines from children in Typhoon Haiyan-affected communities in the Philippines to show appreciation for the #Hearts4Kids project for kids in crises.Teaming up with Save the Children last fall, Iglesias launched a #Hearts4Kids T-shirt to support the non-profit’s Children’s Emergency Fund, which allows Save the Children to pre-position lifesaving supplies before an emergency hits, respond immediately to a crisis, and do whatever it takes to protect the lives of children and create a sense of normalcy. All net proceeds from the purchase of a #Hearts4Kids T-shirt, or $12, goes to the fund.“Disasters like Typhoon Haiyan can take a tremendous toll on children. Yet, when given the proper care and support from their families and communities, children can pick up the pieces in their lives and move forward,” said Carlos Carrazana, COO of Save the Children.“That is why the fund is so valuable. It allows Save the Children to prepare communities and help children to better weather the next storm.”The design of the T-shirt was inspired by the heart Iglesias drew on his bloodstained T-shirt after injuring his hand on a drone during his concert in Tijuana, Mexico last year. Iglesias’ fans are able to snatch up a special shirt at certain concert venues, or can purchase the shirt with a few clicks online at www.enriqueiglesias.com.Iglesias’ #Hearts4kids partnership with Save the Children has brought in $25,000 to date for kids in crises, including funds raised from T-shirt sales and contributions from Iglesias and his fans.Representatives from the nonprofit gave Iglesias his special Valentine’s thank you right before his concert tonight.“I am honored to receive these hopeful messages from children in the Philippines,” said Enrique Iglesias, whose mother hails from The Philippines, upon receiving the valentines from Save the Children. “My fans have embraced this project in more ways than I could have imagined, and their generosity is going to make a big difference for kids in crises.”Save the Children is responding to 50 humanitarian emergencies worldwide, including the Nepal earthquake, the conflict in Syria and the migrant crisis in Europe. In 2014, the agency directly reached nearly 6 million children through its humanitarian response work.