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Neil Young Pledges 100000 To Blue Dot Movement

first_imgNeil Young has pledged $100,000 to David Suzuki’s Blue Dot Movement.The Blue Dot, explains environmentalist David Suzuki, is planet Earth as seen from outer space. Since September 2014, Suzuki has been crossing Canada promoting a constitutional amendment to enshrine the right to a healthy environment into Canada’s constitution.Musician Neil Young is an earnest supporter. “The Blue Dot Movement,” said Young at a media event last month, “gives people who care about the Earth and the way they live a platform. That is a legal platform that is possible to use as a tool when taking on the aggression of the multinational corporations in their quest for more cash.”Suzuki says the Movement would join over 110 other countries that have such guarantees in their constitutions. So far 90 municipalities in Canada are endorsing the right to a healthy environment, representing one in five Canadians. Suzuki says that seven premiers representing over half of the Canadian population are needed to endorse the initiative before he can go to the federal government.“We’re going to give $100,000 to the Blue Dot Movement today from our proceeds of this concert,” said Young, “because I strongly believe in this, as do the people who play with me and sing with me and work with me on this. We are all united on this idea, so we back it.”Copyright ©2015Look to the Starslast_img read more

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Sharon Osbourne Urges Thomas Cook To Stop Selling Tickets To SeaWorld

first_imgOver 20,000 people have joined PETA in calling on Thomas Cook to stop promoting and selling tickets to SeaWorld – and now, television icon Sharon Osbourne is among them.Last month, The X Factor judge has sent a letter on PETA’s behalf calling on the travel provider to remove the notoriously cruel amusement park from its promotions, writing, “Orcas at SeaWorld never get a holiday. Day in and day out, they’re forced to live in barren, grotesquely small enclosures with no means of escape.”She goes on to explain that in nature, orcas travel up to 100 miles a day – but at SeaWorld, they have no choice but to swim in circles in tiny tanks where they’re unable to play at will, choose their own mates, or engage in any other natural kinds of behaviour. The frustrated animals gnaw on the sides of their tanks until their teeth break, and they commonly attack human trainers and one another.“No travel provider should line its pockets at the expense of the animals held in SeaWorld’s watery prisons,” Osbourne concludes. “Please follow the lead of other providers, such as Responsible Travel and STA Travel, by severing ties with the marine abusement park. Until you do, when it comes to booking with Thomas Cook, it’s a no from me.”Osbourne’s letter is the latest salvo in PETA’s campaign against the travel provider. In recent weeks, PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – has organised protests outside 80 Thomas Cook branches across the UK and unfurled a giant banner proclaiming, “Thomas Cook: SeaWorld Kills” outside the company’s London headquarters.last_img read more

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Michael Coleman Artistic director of Vancouver arts school steps down after sexual

first_imgMichael Coleman is no longer involved with SchoolCreative: Institute for the Arts or GO Studios. He has sold his ownership interest in both companies, according to a statement from the institute. (Karolina Turek) LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Actor Michael Coleman Exits Arts School Role Amid Sexual Harassment ClaimsThe ‘Once Upon a Time’ actor stepped down from the SchoolCreative: Institute for the Arts in Vancouver after multiple sexual allegations emerged.Michael Coleman, who played the dwarf character Happy on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, has stepped down from a Vancouver arts school he co-owned amid sexual harassment allegations.Scott Gamble, admissions director at the SchoolCreative: Institute for the Arts in Vancouver, in a statement said Coleman is no longer the artistic director at the school after he “voluntarily agreed” to sell his ownership stake and step down. READ MOREArtistic director of Vancouver art school steps down, but claims allegations are ‘unfounded’Local actor Michael Coleman is stepping down as artistic director of a Vancouver art school, but he says his decision has nothing to do with “unfounded” allegations of sexual harassment.“Due to an ongoing shareholders dispute for the past several months — a dispute that has nothing to do with recent unfounded allegations — I have chosen to sell my shares of SchoolCreative,” Coleman said in a statement.In another statement, Scott Gamble, admissions director for SchoolCreative: Institute of the Arts, said the allegations against Coleman did not involve any students at the school and predate his involvement with SchoolCreative.  READ MORE Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisementcenter_img Advertisement Advertisement A Vancouver-based actor well known for his role as “Happy” the dwarf in the hit TV series Once Upon A Time has stepped down from the private arts institute he co-owned after an allegation of sexual harassment dating back to 2009 emerged.Officials with SchoolCreative: Institute of the Arts issued a statement to CBC News saying that the allegation against Michael Coleman does not involve any students of the school and predates his involvement with SchoolCreative. No other details about the alleged incident were revealed.In a statement to CBC News, Coleman called the allegation “unfounded” and said he stepped down because of a shareholder dispute. He said because the school’s investigation was not completed, he did not have an opportunity to respond to the complaint. READ MORE Twitterlast_img read more

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first_img Login/Register With: Here’s a nice clear shot at this kick ass poster that will undoubtedly pull in audiences everywhere when it opens on Friday August 17th.On top all that, for anyone in the Toronto area we’ve got a pair of tickets to give to you for the Opening Night extravaganza AND we can give you designated seating nice and close with the cast and crew, some of whom like Eric Roberts and Tamara Podemski who will be there in person to attend the screening!Your chance to win simply couldn’t be easier, e-mail us at with your full name, ‘Never Saw It Coming’ in the subject header and the answer to the following question.  With a whopping 513 on screen credits to his name, no one can ever accuse Eric Roberts of not being one of the hardest working men in show business, even when he got nominated for a Golden Globe in his feature debut back in 1978.  Give us the name of that movie.The contest is open to all residents of Toronto, one entry per household and it will run until Tuesday August 14th at 11:59AM.  The winner will be informed via e-mail after the contest has closed.By IN THE SEATS Advertisement Advertisement Any and all publishers worth their salt, no matter what the medium want to be able to say that you saw it at their site…first.There’s just not that many exclusives in a business like this that are genuinely available in a business like this…and we’ve got two of ’em.In what can only be described as a double shot of “wow”; we not ONLY have the exclusive first look at the new poster for the brand new Canadian Thriller Never Saw It Coming; based on the book and screenplay by Linwood Barclay, directed by Gail Harvey and starring  the likes of Emily Hampshire, Katie Boland, Tamara Podemski and Eric Roberts. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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Curb provincial power over army says exsenior bureaucrat

first_img(photo: Canadian troops battle with Kahnawake Mohawks during Oka crisis. Archive)By Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsOTTAWA-The federal government should dilute the existing and unbridled power held by provinces to call in the military during times of domestic turmoil, says a former Indian Affairs deputy minister who held the post during the Oka crisis.Under existing legislation, Ottawa plays no official role in a direct provincial request for military aid under the National Defence Act, or in the military’s response to that request. The federal government, however, would cover all the costs for such an event.The provincial power to call in the army dates back to Confederation, but the federal government assumed full responsibility for the cost under former prime minister Brian Mulroney’s government.Harry Swain, who was Indian Affairs deputy minister from 1987 to 1992, said it is time to bring the federal government into any decision involving the intervention of the Canadian Forces in a domestic situation.“There is no role in that for the federal leadership to say ‘gosh, maybe we should try to do this way or that way or find a compromise or to have a handle on expenses,’” said Swain, in an interview with APTN National News while promoting his new book, Oka, a political crisis and its legacy. “A system in which there are maybe two keys to the kingdom may have some appeal.”Quebec has been the only province to use its power to trigger a military intervention when faced with a conflict with First Nations since 1988, when the Mulroney government replaced the War Measures Act with the Emergencies Act, limiting Ottawa’s powers to call in the troops.The military became involved in the high-profile 1995 Gustafson Lake armed stand-off in British Columbia after the province sent a request asking the federal government for support.There were some calls for a military intervention during the Six Nations conflict in Caledonia, Ont., in 2006, but Ontario never invoked its powers.The military, however, was on site gathering intelligence and preparing contingency plans “for a possible, yet improbable, domestic operation,” according a draft chapter written by military historian Timothy Winegard for a soon to be published book on conflicts between First Nations and the state called, Blockades or Breakthoughs?: Aboriginal Peoples Confront the Canadian State, 1968-2010.Swain said Ontario made a wise choice, but, with the existence of pressure points between First Nations and the state across the country, it may be time to reign in provincial powers over the military before disaster strikes.A crisis currently looms in B.C. if Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s federal cabinet approves the construction of a gold and copper mine in the province’s remote interior.The Taseko Mines Ltd. project would lead to the draining of a lake sacred to the Tsilhqot’in people.The Tsilhqot’in have vowed to stop the project with their lives.Under the National Defence Act, a province can send a direct request of Aid to Civil Power to the military. This type of request would go around the prime minister and the minister of national defence, straight to the military’s chief of defence staff. It is then solely up to the military to decide how to respond to such a request.There are no official mechanisms allowing for federal government involvement in this scenario.In such a crisis situation, the political relationship between a prime minister and a premier can have a major impact on the outcome and resolution, said Swain.“As it is, the affair in 1990 worked well because the relationship between (former prime minister Brian) Mulroney and (former Quebec premier Robert) Bourassa worked very well,” said Swain.Swain said Bourassa and Mulroney faced different scenarios as the Oka crisis unfolded.“Mr. Bourrassa was reacting cautiously and carefully to an inflamed public opinion in Quebec, which was very decidedly anti-Mohawk at the time and there were an awful lot of people calling for quite violent solutions,” said Swain.“The dilemma for Mr. Mulroney was that this sentiment was not shared across the country. There was more sympathy for the Indian cause elsewhere.”Swain said there is too much at stake when situations such as these arise to have Ottawa frozen out of the decision-making process.“The armed forces are not just a national institution, but a unique one. A great deal of the country’s reputation and honour rests with their behaviour and it has to be exemplary,” said Swain. “You really want a mechanism for more hands on the tiller before you do something like that.”Renowned McGill University military historian Desmond Morton has written extensively on the subject. Morton said a move to dilute provincial powers on the military would mean altering one of the compromises of Confederation.Morton said the power to call in the military has already been extensively curtailed since the days when mayors and magistrates called in the troops in “literally hundreds of cases,” including to quell labour unrest.“The Constitution acknowledges co-ordinate powers for the maintenance of public orders. To transform that responsibility exclusively to a federal government, even if it owns the Canadian Forces in its responsibility for “militia and defence,” would be quite a significant amendment at a time when such interventions have been relatively few and, outside the First Nations communities affected, not perceptibly very controversial,” said Morton in an email.Morton, however, says it may be time for the provinces to foot the bill.“If you have a responsibility, even for law and order, you should, in my view, pay your bill,” said MortonAccording to Winegard, the federal government would be involved unofficially whenever the military is called.“There is nothing to say that the chief of defence staff can’t talk to the minister of national defence or the prime minister. It would be career suicide for them not to,” said Winegard, who also agrees provinces should pick up the tab.In its 1991 report on the Oka crisis, the Commons Aboriginal affairs committee recommended a review of the portion of the National Defence Act that grants provinces the power to call in the military, “in light of concerns about the need for stronger review mechanisms and additional reporting requirements respecting the use of the armed forces as an aid to a civil power.”The review never occurred.As it stands, “short of a nuclear attack,” the domestic deployment of the Canadian military occurs under three main categories, according to Winegard.The federal government can call in the military when it faces specific situations where existing laws fail.These include scenarios that threaten Canada’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, according to Winegard, who wrote about the issue in a book on the 1990 crisis called,  Oka: A convergence of cultures and the Canadian Forces.The federal government can also call in the military for non-combat operations like narcotic traffic surveillance, fisheries issues or dealing with natural disasters like the recent clean up of Newfoundland and Labrador following Hurricane Igor.The military was also called in under this provision to aid authorities sent in to quell Akwesasne after its 1990 civil war, which preceded the Oka crisis, and to support the RCMP in Gustafsen Lake.The third category includes the provincial power to call in the military.jbarrera@aptn.calast_img read more

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Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt loses riding

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe Stephen Harper government’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt has gone down to electoral defeat in his New Brunswick, swept away in a red wave washing over the Atlantic Canada region on Monday evening.As the votes came in early Monday evening, Valcourt was barely hanging on to third place in his riding of Madawaska-Restigouche in northwestern New Brunswick, leading to a quick projection of his loss.Valcourt was beat by Liberal candidate Rene Arseneault.Valcourt was controversial during his time as Aboriginal Affairs minister. Appointed to the post in February 2013, Valcourt was minister when the Idle No More movement burst onto the national scene.Valcourt ended his term as minister facing a court challenge from several First Nations over his First Nation Transparency Act, which forces bands to post their financial information online.He also presided over the unraveling of the First Nation Control of First Nation Education Act, an education bill that died on the order paper after the majority of chiefs opposed it becoming read more

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Displaced Papaschase Band officially sworn in at Edmonton Ceremony

first_img(Papachase Chief and Council at Edmonton city hall. Photo courtesty: Theresa Wynn)Brandi Morin APTN National NewsThe chief of the Papaschase Band based in Edmonton, Alta., said he is happy with the progress the band has been making to be officially recognized.In April, the Papaschase Chief and council were officially sworn in in a public ceremony attended by officials from all three levels of government.Chief Calvin Bruneau told APTN National News in an interview last July that Edmonton sits on stolen “Indian land,” and what happened to the band in the past had been lost in the city’s consciousness, even though its descendants are alive and well today.“The government wants it forgotten, but it’s always been kept alive in families,” said Bruneau in that interview. “We are asserting our own sovereignty and saying we never surrendered the lands.”His said his ancestors lived in what is now the Rossdale Flats and River Valley area in Edmonton and were designated a reserve of approximately 60 square miles upon signing Treaty 6.The reserve stretched across the North Saskatchewan River and into what is now Edmonton’s south side. As the area began to grow settlers became uncomfortable with living so close to an Indian band and sent petitions to Ottawa to have them removed.But the swearing in ceremony held on April 23 marked the first time the band held an inauguration.“It felt very special,” said Bruneau, who has been working toward gaining recognition by the federal government since 2011.“We’re making progress for one. We’re getting recognition. That’s what drives me. There’s still unfinished business. We still want to file a claim with the feds and we might be able to reopen the former court case. The big thing is, is getting the recognition. Because under Canada’s policy you need to be a recognized band. That’s why I’m pushing hard now to get our band recognized. This has been going on for a long time, we’d like to see something to get done. I want to see this happen and to succeed,” he said.Edmonton Strathcona NDP MP Linda Duncan attended the ceremony and said she admires Bruneau’s determination and now it’s up to the Liberal government to give them “the time of day.”“They (Liberals) profess that it’s their number one priority (new relationship with Indigenous in Canada.) As you’re aware they have a huge backlog on comprehensive claims…add the Papaschase to that list. Let’s hope they give expedited attention, these aren’t new issues,” said Duncan.She went on to refer to the recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling that stated Métis and Non-Status “Indians” as referred to in the Constitution are indeed “Indians”.“The Court ruling is confirmed that the Federal government is responsible for Métis people and for urban non-status Indian people. I think we’re (Edmonton) now the highest Aboriginal population in Canada and a very young population- so we need to be addressing those needs.”In a written statement,  City of Edmonton Ward 6 Councillor Scott Mckeen who attended the ceremony said that although it has no direct responsibilities for the Indian Act or Status and Title it supports the Papaschase in their efforts to find a “sense of belonging.”Edmonton supported efforts of the Papaschase in the creation of the Papaschase Cree Nation Society, the traditional burial grounds and the Fort Edmonton Cemetery in Rossdale Flats where upwards of 200 ancestors are buried.The city also announced a historical research study into the Treaty No. 6 Adhesion which includes Papaschase.“The research project’s objective is to provide information regarding the impact that adhering to Treaty No. 6 at Fort Edmonton had on the band, and Chief Papachase’s contribution to the process. This project also has the potential to explore members understanding of this history which will help tell the story of the Papaschase and the Treaty adhesion into the future,” said McKeen.Bruneau said the people coming forward with requests to register with the band have ballooned in the past year with some coming from the west in B.C. and some as far away East as Toronto and New York.He estimates the total Papaschase population could be as high as 20,000. Currently the band has approximately 1,000 registered members, he said.First term councillor Murray Mackinnon said he was disconnected from his Indigenous culture and embarked on a journey to reconnect when he discovered he was a Papaschase descendant about a year ago.“I was very displaced. It (my culture) was not on my radar scope at all. I was mocked as a kid. For being dark…” said Mackinnon, who ended up meeting Bruneau’s mother at a prayer meeting and became intrigued with the plight of the Papaschase that she shared with him.“It’s been really interesting. And finding out whether my heart was engaged or not with the First Nations people… But it really ignited a passion in me.”MacKinnon was sworn in along with five other counsellors. He said it was Bruneau and his strong vision that ultimately drew him in to help the Papaschase people to work to gain back their territory.“Calvin is so unique. It’s amazing when you hear the story of what the Papaschase are doing- It’s ‘you guys are not looking for a handout, you’re looking for a handup,’” said MacKinnon.Bruneau said feedback has been positive.“I’m hearing from our people they like what we’re doing but we have to start getting things done.”Alberta Indigenous Relations Minister Richard Feehan expressed support on behalf of the province,“I recently met with representatives from the Papaschase community to learn more about their history. I am always open to listening and learning from them about their journey towards formal recognition. I look forward to following with interest the Papaschase people’s ongoing and future conversations with the federal government,” he said in a statement.Bruneau said he wrote a letter to federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett in March asking for help in getting Papaschase recognized, but hasn’t heard any response.APTN tried reaching out to Bennett’s office for comment but didn’t receive a response at press time.Initially it was harder to be a Chief amongst other Treaty leaders said Bruneau,“I still have to knock on doors and I still have to meet with Chiefs. I tried to get resolution at a Treaties 1-11 meeting. They (Chiefs) weren’t willing to look at it (it was to recognize unrecognized bands).”But despite the setbacks those relationships are now improving.“We took the course to going where we’ve been going and that support has been growing,” he ended.bmorin@aptn.calast_img read more

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Tax changes antirich rhetoric have already inspired big fish to leave Manley

first_imgOTTAWA – A big Canadian player has quietly picked up his chips and is heading for the exit amid the tumult over the Trudeau government’s controversial tax proposals.A business owner has informed John Manley, the head of an organization representing Canada’s largest corporations, that he has moved billions of dollars outside the country since the Liberals formally proposed their tax changes in mid-July.The government’s proposals to eliminate several tax incentives have awakened a broad array of vocal opponents — from the small business community, to farmers, to tax planners, to professionals like doctors and lawyers. Some backbench Liberal MPs have also publicly expressed their concerns.In the background, the Liberals’ proposed tax reforms are also seen as a threat by a much-smaller, more-silent group of Canadians: wealthy leaders of big business.Manley, a former Liberal finance minister in the Chretien government, said the elements of the government’s plan to tighten rules on passive investment portfolios and the transfer of family businesses have created worries for some members of his organization, the Business Council of Canada.The financial concerns have been compounded by the government’s accompanying messages that Manley believes have “vilified” higher-income Canadians.Many of his members, he added, have been taken aback by rhetoric that they see as pitting the middle class against the wealthy.“I don’t get it at all — I thought that one of the successes of Prime Minister (Justin) Trudeau was that he was the unifier, he was bringing people together,” said Manley, who noted the broader economy would eventually feel the sting of losing too many big job creators.“There’s lots of journeymen hockey players in the NHL, but you still want to have some (Connor) McDavids and (Wayne) Gretzkys and people that are stars.”Manley pointed to one example where a successful business owner has decided to leave Canada with “billions of dollars.”On the advice of tax professionals, he said the individual decided to move the money primarily because of the impacts the reforms could have on his family through changes related to estate planning. Keeping the business in the family would result in a big tax hit.There’s a notion that other big players could soon head for the exits, Manley said.“You won’t know about it because they’re not going to buy ads or report it — they’ll just go.”Manley’s group is calling on the government to hold off on the proposed changes for now to allow for a broader review of the tax system that examines additional goals like making the entire structure less complex.Failing that, he would like to see the feds fix any unintended consequences from the current plan on the table.Finance Minister Bill Morneau first released the three-part tax reform plan in the middle of the summer.He argues that the tax system unfairly encourages wealthy Canadians to incorporate, so they can get a better tax rate than middle-income earners. The government insists the changes would level the playing field, although many disagree.The package includes restrictions on the ability of business owners to reduce their tax rate by sprinkling their income to family members in lower tax brackets, even if those family members do not contribute to the company.Morneau also proposed limits on the use of private corporations to make passive investments that are unrelated to the company. Another change would limit business owners’ ability to convert regular income of a corporation into capital gains, which are typically taxed at a lower rate.The government gave Canadians a 75-day consultation period, ending Oct. 2, to weigh in on the proposals. Morneau insists the government will listen to concerns before it tables legislation and that he expects some of the feedback will lead to changes.If the government’s proposals are introduced as is, University of Calgary tax expert Jack Mintz says there are plenty of options to get around the changes — and he warns they wouldn’t be good for Canada.The reforms are aimed at private Canadian corporations, so Mintz said owners could change their citizenship, or partner with a foreigner or a public corporation to avoid paying more. He said they could also strip some of their firm’s assets while leaving the company itself in Canada.For example, countries like the United Kingdom offer attractive tax incentives for business people looking to move to its shores from abroad, Mintz said.Since Morneau’s tax announcement, Mintz said he knows one big business owner who has taken action and another who is considering it.In these scenarios, he said Canada could not only lose tax revenue but the business leaders themselves, who create jobs and play constructive roles in their communities.“It’s a major blow to the country in a number of ways,” Mintz said.The president of a national small- and medium-sized business federation, which has been one of the most outspoken critics of the tax proposals, said many of his members have been receiving calls from business development organizations in the United States to offer them incentives to move across the border.“There’s all sorts of business immigration programs that are out there encouraging entrepreneurs to pick up and leave,” said Dan Kelly of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.“Canada has to watch out because business owners in lots of areas can be quite mobile.”Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitterlast_img read more

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ESPN eliminating 150 production tech jobs in latest cuts

first_imgBRISTOL, Conn. – ESPN is eliminating 150 production and technical employees as the sports broadcasting giant continues to shift its focus to a more digital future.The company says the layoffs, which were announced Wednesday morning in a memo to employees, don’t include on-air talent and will have a minimal impact on the network’s signature SportsCenter news program.“The majority of the jobs eliminated are in studio production, digital content, and technology and they generally reflect decisions to do less in certain instances and re-direct resources,” ESPN president John Skipper wrote in memo. “We will continue to invest in ways which will best position us to serve the modern sports fan and support the success of our business.”The 38-year-old network has been squeezed by rising fees to broadcast live events. ESPN also has lost about 10 million subscribers during the past six years, based on estimates by Nielsen Media Research.The company says it will grow its business in several key areas, including the planned launch early next year of “ESPN+”, an app-based service that will allow viewers to purchase sporting events a la carte.ESPN is opening a new studio in New York, which will serve as home base for a new show featuring personalities Mike Greenberg, Michelle Beadle and Jalen Rose. Another new daily show will feature Bomani Jones and Pablo Torre, the network said.The company said it plans to streamline and merge its news-gathering operation across all formats and evolve the SportsCenter show. That includes a new 3- to 5-minute digital version that launched this month on Snapchat. It’s also working on the 2019 launch of the ACC Network.The sports broadcaster has about 8,000 employees worldwide. ESPN laid off 100 employees in April, including some on-air personalities. That followed about 300 job cuts in 2015.last_img read more

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Star Wars passes Beauty and the Beast as top 2017 earner

first_imgLOS ANGELES, Calif. – On the last day of the calendar year, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” has surpassed “Beauty and the Beast” as the top grossing film in North America in 2017. It also topped the charts for the weekend for the third time, but just barely — Dwayne Johnson’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” is close on its tail.According to studio estimates on Sunday, “The Last Jedi” will add $52.4 million over the weekend bringing its domestic total to $517.1 million. “Beauty and the Beast,” also a Disney release, netted out with $504 million for the year.With the weekend’s earnings, “The Last Jedi” will also cross the $1 billion mark globally — even before it opens in China on Jan. 5.But “Star Wars” is facing some hefty competition still, from the likes of The Rock, Jack Black and Kevin Hart, whose “Jumanji” sequel took in $50.6 million in its second weekend in theatres to take second place. The Columbia Pictures film has earned a stunning $169.8 million to date and could even reach $300 million domestically by the end of its run.The acapella franchise “Pitch Perfect 3” took third place in weekend two, with $17.8 million, bringing its total to $64.3 million — still less than what “Pitch Perfect 2” earned on its opening weekend alone in May 2015 ($69.2 million).Another musical, “The Greatest Showman,” with Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum, came in fourth place with $15.3 million after adding 310 screens. The animated kids film “Ferdinand” took fifth with $11.7 million.In its first weekend in theatres after debuting on Christmas Day, Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World” took in $5.5 million, bringing its total to $12.6 million. The film got some added recognition when Scott replaced Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer and reshot portions of the film only 6 weeks before it was set to hit theatres. But the hype of the impressive feat hasn’t translated into big earnings.Another adult-targeted film, Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing,” is struggling in theatres, taking in $4.6 million in its second weekend in theatres. The Matt Damon-starrer has earned only $17.1 million to date against a $68 million production budget.In limited release, Aaron Sorkin’s “Molly’s Game,” starring Jessica Chastain, earned $2.33 million. The film about the “poker princess” Molly Bloom expands on Jan. 5. And Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread” earned $220,000 from four theatres over the weekend after its Christmas opening. Starring Daniel Day-Lewis as a designer, “Phantom Thread” has grossed $531,000 to date.“As end of year marketplaces go, this is a great time to be a moviegoer,” said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst for comScore. “There are so many movies out there, the only trick is how do you see all of them.”The year as a whole will surpass $11 billion again, with comScore projecting $11.12 billion, which is down 2.3 per cent from last year’s record-breaking grosses ($11.4 billion), and almost on par with 2015’s $11.14 billion.“We actually had a really great end of year surge,” Dergarabedian said. “‘Star Wars’ adding about a half billion dollars didn’t hurt. But ‘Star Wars’ didn’t do this alone. It’s not just about the big movies at the top, it’s also about the smaller movies that provided a really great foundation. Every dollar counts.”Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to comScore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.1.”Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” $52.4 million.2.”Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” $50.6 million.3.”Pitch Perfect 3,” $17.8 million.4.”The Greatest Showman,” $15.3 million.5.”Ferdinand,” $11.7 million.6.”Coco,” $6.6 million.7.”All the Money in the World,” $5.5 million.8.”Darkest Hour,” $5.3 million.9.”Downsizing,” $4.6 million.10.”Father Figures,” $3.7 million.___Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.___Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter at: read more

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SP ups economic risk rating for banking sector amid mortgage fraud worries

first_imgTORONTO – S&P Global Ratings says it expects more evidence of Canadian residential mortgage fraud could emerge amid high household debt and home prices.The ratings agency raised its economic risk rating for the Canadian banking sector to three from two on a 10-point scale.The increase did not result in a change to any of the bank ratings.S&P says it believes that high house prices and household debt relative to household disposable income increase incentives for fraud such as overstating income in order to meet a lender’s qualifying criteria.It pointed to the scandal at Home Capital Group as an example of problems in the Canadian market. S&P also noted that Laurentian Bank found problems with some of its mortgages.Laurentian has said that its problems largely involved loans which were misflagged and that it has not found any evidence of wilful wrongdoing.Companies in this story: (TSX:HCG, TSX:LB)last_img read more

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Yes canned soup may be fueling North Koreas air force

first_imgPYONGYANG, North Korea – Is North Korea’s air force selling canned soup and taxi rides to upgrade its runways and airstrips?Amid the toughest sanctions ever against the North and its nuclear weapons program, there are some compelling reasons to believe the answer may well be yes. The story of how — and why — offers some insight into how North Korea’s economy functions under Kim Jong Un.There’s a fine line between North Korea’s military and its private sector. To augment the already huge share of the country’s limited national resources earmarked for defence, North Korean military units control everything from restaurants to farms to the flagship airline.Air Koryo is far more than just an airline.Over the past several years, it has also become one of the country’s most recognizable consumer brands.With only a dozen or so active-use aircraft operating on limited routes to China and the Russian Far East, it’s hard to imagine it’s ever been much of a money-maker for Pyongyang in the conventional, ticket-sales sort of way. But it is a symbol of national prestige and serves as a key lifeline to the outside world, transporting people and loads and loads of precious — and often not-very-closely-scrutinized — cargo.Air Koryo runs at least one gas station and car wash in Pyongyang, has its own fleet of taxis and operates several retail shops, including a boutique at the airport. At the relatively upscale Potonggang Department Store in central Pyongyang, whole aisles are devoted to Air Koryo brand products, from crates of liquor to row after row of Coke-like sodas and a half dozen varieties of canned goods, including pheasant soup and peaches.The airline’s moves mirror broader shifts in the North Korean economy, which is still socialist and technically centrally controlled, but under Kim has shifted rapidly toward capitalist-style entrepreneurialism.At the grassroots level, street vendors and small, bazaar-style markets are common. Higher up, state-run enterprises are adapting to become more productive and profitable — quite possibly because the regime, pinched by sanctions and shrinking trade possibilities, can’t afford to prop them up anymore.It’s not just Air Koryo: Naegohyang, a major producer of cigarettes including the luxury “7.27” brand reportedly favoured by Kim himself, has begun pushing its own line of sporting goods. They’re sold alongside Nike, Adidas and other pricey imports at its flagship stores near Pyongyang’s diplomatic quarter and in the exclusive Scientists’ Street district, a neighbourhood built to reward the country’s scientists and technicians.Air Koryo got a big boost with Kim’s decision to completely overhaul the Pyongyang Sunan International Airport, which opened a shiny new terminal in 2015. The next year, Air Koryo started its taxi service. The Air Koryo soft drink line was launched in 2016. A gas station and car wash followed in 2017.It’s impossible to say how profitable those initiatives have been. But the swelling variety of the goods and their ready availability in the capital and elsewhere, is undeniable.The appearance of a subsidiary company, Korea Hanggong Trading, at recent trade fairs suggests Air Koryo may be considering an export business, something of a stretch in the current political climate and sanctions aimed at cutting off the North’s ability to fund its nuclear program.Curtis Melvin, a researcher at the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University and editor of the North Korean Economy Watch blog, describes the airline as a “wholly owned subsidiary” of the air force, which is using its consumer goods business to help finance reconstruction of its own infrastructure, including runway renovations and new revetments at remote highway airfields.Selling Air Koryo-labelled products made by military factories can help the air force boost revenues outside of its official budget allocations, Melvin said.A new headquarters for Air Koryo has been built near the international airport, he noted.“For many years, North Korea has tried to turn its subsidy-dependent state-owned enterprises into profitable operations that pay ‘taxes,’” he said in an email to The Associated Press. “Maybe Air Koryo’s time has simply come.”Air Koryo’s connection to the military is not immediately obvious and is often overlooked.But according to a 2014 United Nations Panel of Experts’ report, the airline, all airports and airfields in North Korea are controlled by the Korean People’s Air Force through its Civil Aviation Bureau. The report added that the airline’s personnel are believed to be members of the air force and “all in-country maintenance is conducted by air force engineering staff.”That makes it a natural target for sanctions, another incentive for diversification.Though Washington-backed efforts to blacklist the airline entirely have failed, the U.S. Treasury Department in 2016 slapped sanctions on Air Koryo for doing a fly-over during a 2013 military parade and for transporting spare parts used in Scud-B missile systems, among other things.The listing does not ban Americans from flying on Air Koryo, but restricts them from doing other kinds of business with it.The U.N., meanwhile, has warned that “considering the control over and use by the air force of Air Koryo’s aircraft,” member states could be in violation of its arms embargo on the North should they engage with the airline in anything from financial transactions to technical training.___Eric Talmadge is the AP’s Pyongyang bureau chief. 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North American stock markets head higher in latemorning trading Loonie down

first_imgThe Canadian Press Index and currency in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X) TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index was higher in late-morning trading, boosted by gains in the consumer staples sector as well as in financial and industrial stocks.The S&P/TSX composite index was up 69.40 points at 14,797.68.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 110.23 points at 24,533.49. The S&P 500 index was up 19.11 points at 2,656.83, while the Nasdaq composite was up 63.96 points at 7,084.48.The Canadian dollar traded for 74.54 cents US compared with an average of 74.62 cents US on Monday.The January crude contract was up US$1.17 at US$52.17 per barrel and the January natural gas contract was down 15.6 cents at US$4.39 per mmBTU.The February gold contract was up 30 cents at US$1,249.70 an ounce and the March copper contract was up 4.85 cents at US$2.77 a pound.last_img read more

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Avalanche Canada receives 25 Million to Promote Avalanche Safety

first_imgREVELSTOKE, B.C. – Winter backcountry recreationists recently received some good news from Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau at his fall economic statement, presented in Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov 21, including a one-time endowment of $25 million to Avalanche Canada.“We are very grateful for this funding, and especially for the recognition that public avalanche safety is worthy of support,” said Gilles Valade, Executive Director of Avalanche Canada. “The federal government has made a significant commitment to this cause. We hope the provinces involved in avalanche safety are able to follow this lead.”With winter backcountry use in Canada continuing to grow and not being affected by the massive increase in usage, the average number of avalanche fatalities in Canada has declined and stabilized over the past 14 years. The programs and services Avalanche Canada provides is an invaluable “safety net” for winter tourism in mountainous regions. “Avalanche Canada has world-leading programs and we are pleased that we are now starting to be funded as world leaders,” adds Valade. “We are grateful to Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government for leading the way. We look forward to working with the provinces to ensure this funding announcement is the beginning of long-term sustainability for public avalanche safety.”Avalanche Canada is non-profit and non-government; it was established in 2004 to be the national public avalanche safety organization. Avalanche Canada:Provides daily public avalanche forecasts for many of the mountainous regions of western Canada. In terms of area, this is the largest avalanche forecasting program in the world by far.Develops and coordinates public avalanche safety education.Delivers youth awareness and training seminars.Creates and delivers avalanche safety programs for specific user groups.Contributes to snow safety research.last_img read more

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Peace Holdings Inc – Seniors Housing Focus Group

first_imgFB Event Page CLICK HERE The ‘Continuum of Seniors Housing Presentation’ PDF shares Peace Holdings Inc, initial plans to develop a housing facility for Seniors. Points of interest covered in the presentation are, the plan and proposed location of development, the reasons and concerns why the project is needed and the information gathering needed to know the type and style of residence which would be best suited to the area and for the Seniors needs.The public’s feedback is encouraged for the company, in order to continue with their planning people can participate by filling out the ‘Design Consultation Survey.’The focus group will take place at the Seniors Centre at 10908 100th StreetJanuary 23rd, 2019 6 pm – 9 pmJanuary 24th, 2019 6 pm – 9 pmJanuary 25th, 8:30 am – 11:30 amTo register for this event CLICK HERE To view the Continuum of Seniors Housing Presentation CLICK HERETo participate in the Design Consultation Survey CLICK HERE  FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Seniors Housing Focus Group is a free public event for those interested in the proposed Peace Holdings Seniors Housing Development in Fort St John.This event is being hosted by Ron Brar and Terry Collier at the Seniors Centre in FSJ.The presentation is an opportunity to receive feedback from the community as the hosts of the event express ‘your opinion matters to us, and to our project vision.’last_img read more

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No coercive steps till Mar 25 against Pak woman asked to leave the country: HC

first_imgNew Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the Centre to not take coercive steps, till March 25, against a Pakistani woman who has been asked by the government to leave the country in view of adverse security reports against her.The interim order by a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A J Bhambani came on the woman’s husband’s appeal against a single-judge decision upholding the government’s direction. Issuing the interim order, the bench observed that the confidential security report, based on which action was taken against the woman, “does not inspire confidence”. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!The court also directed the Centre to file its response to the plea and listed it for further hearing on March 25. “Till the next date of hearing no coercive action be taken against the petitioner’s wife. She shall report to the nearest police station on every alternate day and she shall not be kept waiting there for more than one hour,” the bench said. It observed the long-term visa held by the woman since 2007 did not appear to be cancelled till date. To this, central government standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia, appearing for the Ministry of Home Affairs, said once she was asked to leave the country, it amounted to cancellation of her visa. Ahluwalia also argued that grant and cancellation of a visa was a sovereign right and the woman had no right under the Constitution to approach the court, seeking permission to be allowed to stay here. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedHowever, the bench said, “Nothing can be done arbitrarily”. The woman’s husband, Mohd Javed, in his appeal has challenged the single judge’s Feb 28 order upholding the Centre’s Feb 7 notice asking her to leave the country within 15 days by Feb 22. The single judge had given the woman two weeks to leave the country, saying that under the principles of law she has no right to stay here. The 37-year-old woman had come to India in 2005 after marrying an Indian man. She has been residing in Delhi with her husband and two sons aged 11 and 5 years. According to her husband’s plea, she has a long-term visa valid till 2020 which has not been cancelled, but she has been asked to leave the country. The single judge in his order had also said that the bench was unable to accept the woman’s contention that the government’s notice was arbitrary.last_img read more

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Mamata lashes out at BJP for denying ticket to Advani, says saffron party doesn’t respect elderly leaders

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday slammed the BJP at the Centre, over denial of ticket to their veteran leader Lal Krishna Advani in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and said that the saffron party does not respect elderly leaders.”Senior leaders must not be ignored as old is gold. I feel sad for Advani ji. He is a senior man. Advani ji and Vajpayee ji are stalwarts of the BJP. But he has been left out. I feel very sad for this because if you cannot honour senior persons, you should not be disgraceful,” she told reporters at the state secretariat Nabanna. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaIt may be mentioned that BJP has not fielded Lal Krishna Advani and has replaced him with party President Amit Shah in the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat. “In my political life I have seen many senior leaders and I cannot ignore any of them. For Advani ji, this might have been his last chance. I am feeling bad. Sometimes, I used to talk to him. I met him several times in the Parliament and at his residence as well,” Banerjee maintained. According to the Chief Minister, the BJP veteran is a mentor. “They have become so big that they have forgotten the old days. Everybody will be old one day,” she said, adding that it is her personal opinion that the move by BJP is an insult to the veteran Parliamentarian. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayShe later said that she would like to talk to him and convey her feelings to him, if the situation permits. Banerjee also referred to the decision of releasing the biopic PM Narendra Modi just ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in the country, as a “clearly politically motivated one”. “It is better if I do not say anything. If somebody wants to release a film in his favour, let him do it. But if it is done just ahead of the election then the motive is very clear,” she said. “I think all my political party friends (Opposition parties) have already complained. There have been complaints against all the political pictures which have come out, be it the Accidental Prime Minister or this biopic. I think we must fight the battle politically,” the Chief Minister added.last_img read more

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‘I am very possessive about the character’

first_imgAtleast once in the lifetime, every actor wishes to play a character that would bring out the best in him/her and change the audiences’ perception. In case of Shefali Shah, something like this happened when she signed the character of ‘Vartika Chaturvedi’ for Netflix web show ‘Delhi crime’.In a dialogue with Millennium Post, the actor shares her experience of working in the show, her character and how web shows are ruling the entertainment space. Read on… Also Read – An income drop can harm brain Is the show inspired from a real incident. If yes, to what extent has it been fictionalised? This show is the fictitious version of the 2012 incident (Nirbhaya rape case). The show revolves around the investigation which followed, so there was no fiction in the story. But on the creative end of the writer and director, they must have explored certain creative liberties. Who do you think would have been the ideal fit for the role other than you? Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardHonestly…I cannot imagine anyone playing ‘Vartika Chaturvedi’, I don’t even want to. This has happened for the first time in my career that I am so possessive for my character. How did you come across this project, what made you say yes to the role? Well, I never go and ask for work. Even for this role, Richie approached me and shared his interest to direct a show on the 2012 incident. He said that he wanted me to play Vartika. At that time I was not sure, so I just asked for the script and told him that I will read it and let him know. But the last thing I remember is that I read the whole script in one hour and called him to inform that I am on board. As it is a real character and a real story, what all preparations were needed. Was it totally the director who helped you get under the skin of it, or was it you who made it happen? The primary source of preparation was obviously Richie. He gave me all the research about the character. I even met the officer. But I believe when you are playing a real character – it is majorly the observation and your instinct towards their personality. From action to cut, I used to forget who I was and just be Vartika Chaturvedi for that time. It is not a one time process, it is ongoing. You keep improvising it while working on the show, in different scenes. With the emergence of OTT platforms and so many web shows being made, do you believe the opportunities for an actor have increased? Definitely. I guess with the emergence of OTT platforms, there are so many stories and a plethora of characters to play. Also, I feel that web shows and their success is beyond the box office spectrum. How have things changed for the audience? I think people today are inclined towards something that is well made. And particularly talking about the web, I think it has so much to offer and comparatively a larger reach than films – you can watch anything and everything being made across the world sitting at home.last_img read more

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SC seeks credible evidence against Ex-Kolkata top cop

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the CBI to produce evidence to its satisfaction to revoke an earlier order barring custodial interrogation of former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in the Saradha scam. The court said the Central Bureau of Investigation has to prove before the court that Kumar has a role to play in either suppression or disappearance of the evidence in the case. It also sought direct evidence from the CBI on Kumar’s involvement, especially the data on laptop, mobile phones, or diaries which allegedly contained information on payments made to influential people in ensuring destruction of evidence. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi saying affidavit was not enough, said: “Give us, show us from records that this person is involved.. On what basis? You can give us evidence tomorrow. “We want you to satisfy us that he had a role to play in disappearance and suppression of evidence.” The court directed the CBI to submit an affidavit with all the details in the court by Wednesday.last_img read more

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