Child lifter lynchings continue in N Bengal

first_imgDarjeeling: The killing spree continues in NorthBengal on the suspicion of child lifters. On Sunday, a homeless person was beaten to death by a mob in the Alipurduar district. The incident occurred near Tasati Tea Estate in Alipurduar. Late in the evening on Sunday, a man was sighted approaching the football field in the tea estate. On suspicion of being a child lifter, the locals forcefully confined him and started beating him up. A police force was sent from Jateshwar police outpost. However, the force fell short in number in front of the mob. The mob subsequently attacked the police. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaA huge police contingent arrived later and resorted to baton charge, but could not quell the mob. The police also fired tear gas shells. Finally, they managed to rescue the victim and rushed him to Birpara Hospital, where he was declared brought dead. Superintendent of Police Nagendranath Tripathi said: “17 persons have been arrested in connection with the incident. The victim remains unidentified. He was a vagabond. The people arrested will be charged under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code. In Sunday’s incident sharp weapons were also used. We have started an investigation.” The SP further stated that awareness is also being spread regarding the issue. He appealed to the public that in case of any suspicion the administration or police should be informed. “We will verify the suspicion. Till now none of the victims rescued had anything to do with child lifting. They have been beaten up and in two cases killed, just on the basis of suspicion,” stated the SP.last_img read more

Calls for public inquiry into Saskatchewans over incarceration of Aboriginal people

first_imgOver the last few years, the former police chief of Prince Albert has been leading a charge within the ministry to “turn the ship around” as he puts it.“What we’re doing is going upstream to actually take people out of the system and get them services or connect them to what they actually need before they’re in the justice system,” he said, adding one area is developing a mental health strategy and plan.He said serious and violent offenders make up 50 per cent of re-contact in the justice system.“There are people that are in the system that need to be in system, you don’t forget about them, and they need different treatment in relation to it, but these people are responsible for up to 50 per cent of re-contact in the justice system. There are where you need those intense services,” said McFee. “We know over time, based on a two and half year study, that you can reduce recidivism by 30 to 40 per cent.”He said the province achieves this through programs, such as rehabilitative services and employment.McFee said the province has been working with First Nations, education, social services- just about everyone to change the approach.“It’s tied into the roots of marginalization. If you look at housing, poverty and additions they’re disproportionately represented in those environments … they’re disproportionately going to be a product on the back end as well, right?” he said.When asked about the high rate of Aboriginal people being labelled as dangerous offenders, McFee said he didn’t know the number but it wouldn’t surprise him because it’s close to the overall incarceration rate in the province.“Look at what feeds into the system and look at what comes out of it. If you don’t go upstream to alleviate what comes in how can you fix it down stream?” he said.Quigley agrees with addressing the issue up stream and doesn’t think a public inquiry would solve this.He said the disparities in resources provided to education and social services for First Nation communities is a crime.“That’s why when I say I don’t think the criminal justice system has many answers it’s because I think some things have been tried and don’t work. What we really need is a societal push for much, much greater socio-economic equality and in the process reduce, if not eliminate, the racism we have,” said Quigley.Not just a provincial problemCanada’s prison watchdog has been issuing reports critical of Canada’s correctional service for years.Howard Sapers has focused many reports about the over-representation of Aboriginal people in the prison system.He said in 2013, between March 2010 and January 2013, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta accounted for 39.1 per cent of all new federal inmate growth.Howard SapersMost of that was led by Aboriginal offenders who make up about 50 per cent of the population in prisons there.“We see an over-representation of Aboriginal Canadians coming in the federal penitentiaries and it’s not because of predisposed positions to commit more crime. It’s because the circumstances many Aboriginal Canadians are in, including the effects of colonization. We’re still dealing with the inter-generational trauma effects of the 60s Scoop, residential schools and so many other issues,” said Sapers. “All of that doesn’t excuse the criminal behavior. The point of the Supreme Court decisions, such as Gladue and Ipeelee, was to urge restraint on how we respond to that criminal behavior to try and counterbalance that history.”Gladue principles are ignored too often in courts across the country, including in custody, said Sapers.“It’s not that you just have over-representation of Aboriginals incarcerated. You also see over-representation of Aboriginals receiving longer sentences, you see an over-representation of Aboriginals versus non-Aboriginals be held in higher security levels, being held in custody longer before first release and being subject to more dangerous offender applications,” he said.Frederick Knife left gang before dangerous offender hearingSoon after Frederick Knife attacked a fellow gang member on the gang wing of the Saskatchewan pen, he told a correctional officer to take him off the wing.The officer laughed but Knife was persistent so he was moved, by request, into self-segregation.“He recounted that his young son asked him on the telephone, ‘When are you going to leave the gang and come home to me?’” reads his latest court decision. “He further commented that ‘seven years in jail makes a person think.’”He told the court he wanted to turn his life around.It appears he has, on the inside, but is trying to get out and back to his family.The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal heard his case in January and hasn’t released its decision yet, which is taking an “unusual” amount of time said Nolin.So, Knife waits – but no longer in segregation. He’s now back in the maximum security wing and staying out of trouble.In fact, his security risk has been dropped from maximum to medium. Nolin suspects CSC is waiting for his appeal decision before moving Knife.Update: Soon after publishing APTN received new data about dangerous offenders it had been requesting from the Correctional Service of Canada. The story was updated to reflect those statistics. “I think Aboriginal people are easy targets. They tend to be marginalized and tend to have limited resources. It’s just a perfect storm for people who don’t have the resources to stick up for themselves.” Michael Nolin “What we’re doing is going upstream to actually take people out of the system and get them services or connect them to what they actually need before they’re in the justice system.” Dale McFee, deputy minister of corrections and policing in Saskatchewancenter_img Nolin has taken part in six dangerous offender cases, five involved  Aboriginal people.“I think Aboriginal people are easy targets. They tend to be marginalized and tend to have limited resources,” said Nolin. “It’s just a perfect storm for people who don’t have the resources to stick up for themselves.”On top of these statistics, Nolin said he’s called expert witnesses from CSC who have testified only two per cent of all dangerous offenders have been released on parole compared to convicted murderers who get parole in four per cent of cases.“So you have less of a chance of getting out if you haven’t killed anybody under the dangerous offender legislation,” said Nolin.Dangerous offender designations are typically for violent and sex crimes, excluding murder, and classified into several categories according to the Criminal Code.The harshest is a DO designation with an indeterminate sentence with no chance of parole for seven years. A judge can also find an offender a DO, but with a determinate sentence, say for example four years in prison with LTO status upon release.They can also not find them to be a DO and issue a determinate sentence with a LTO tag, like in Knife’s case.Biased sentencing regimeSaskatoon defence lawyer James Scott has long believed Aboriginal people faced a bias in the judiciary and set out to prove it last year.Scott examined 484 cases from 1996 to 2014.He compared the sentences of Aboriginal offenders and then those handed to non-Aboriginal offenders for violent crimes other than murder.His review found a major discrepancy when it came to the length of prison time judges handed down for the same crimes.For violent crimes such as aggravated assault and armed robbery;Aboriginal offenders – 214 sentences totaled 51 years of incarceration.Non-Aboriginal offenders – 270 sentences totaled 29 years of incarceration.First Nation, Metis and Inuit offenders received, on average, double the time, and in some cases the sentencing rate was 10 times higher.For example, convictions for assault with a weapon saw Aboriginal offenders sentenced to 10 years in prison, while non-Aboriginal offenders were given a year.(Editor’s note: These numbers could be higher because Scott only counted cases where the offender was identified as Aboriginal. In many cases reviewed by APTN the offender was Aboriginal but the written decision didn’t specify)Download (PDF, Unknown)Scott’s full report can be read here: Reforming Saskatchewan’s Biased Sentencing RegimeIt could explain why Saskatchewan has one of the fastest growing Aboriginal inmate populations in the country.While Aboriginal people account for about 17 per cent of Saskatchewan’s population according to Statistics Canada, nearly 65 per cent of the inmates at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary were Aboriginal in 2013. The national average was 23 per cent“All of this is because of the inter-generational effects of colonization and residential schools. Historic trauma causes too many Aboriginal youths to end up in custody starting from their teenage years,” said Scott. “Therefore, Aboriginal (people) go untreated and end up with longer criminal records. The longer the record, the more the punishment.”Scott believes dangerous offender designations are directly tied to higher sentences.“Aboriginals are vastly overrepresented in dangerous offender applications and (this) overrepresentation accounts for a shocking discrepancy between the lengths of custodial sentences for Aboriginals compared to non-Aboriginals,” Scott wrote in his report.He points to statistics of Aboriginal offenders convicted of aggravated assault where 11 of the 16 cases involved dangerous offender applications. Of those 11, six were labelled a DO and the other five were classified as LTO.In the nine cases involving non-Aboriginal people, the Crown sought dangerous offender applications in only two cases and one was successful.Where the judge provided a sentence in their decision, Scott found Aboriginal people received, on average, 10 years of prison time compared to 3.5 years for non-Aboriginal. (In DO cases where the person gets an indeterminate sentence no length is given.)Out of the 87 dangerous offender and long term offender applications since 1997 reviewed by Scott only two were dismissed.“The Crown’s success rate … is remarkable,” said Scott.He is also calling for an inquiry.“I doubt there is going to be much reform without it,” said Scott. “It would help to just get the whole issue into people’s minds.”Incarceration rates started to climb after Second World WarIncarcerations rates in the prairies began to climb in the 1950s.Changes to federal policing may have played a role in the prairies according to the final report of Aboriginal Justice Inquiry of Manitoba in 1991.“We believe that policing agreements with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police play a part in this story because they introduced consistent enforcement of Canadian law to communities where, until that time, Aboriginal law still operated,” the report states.In 1999, retired Saskatoon lawyer Timothy Quigley gave expert testimony in the case of an Aboriginal man convicted of assault.Quigley testified that incarceration rates of Aboriginal people around 1950 were underrepresented in Saskatchewan jails but climbed thereafter to 68 per cent in provincial jails by 1991 and 54 per cent, federally, in 1990.“I think you have a number of factors. One is over-policing with the establishment of RCMP detachments in northern Saskatchewan. If you look at the end of the Second World War, and in the early 1950s, you would have had residential schools but you also would have had a generation or two of survivors of residential schools,” he told APTN, adding around the same time there was a “major urbanization” of Aboriginal people moving to cities who faced increased inequality.The last residential school in Canada closed in Saskatchewan in 1996.The schools operated for nearly a century, removing an estimated 150,000 children from their parents and putting them in schools sometimes hundreds of kilometres away.Many faced physical and sexual abuse at the hands of people representing varying religious denominations that ran the schools.In his 1989 paper, Locking Up Natives in Canada, British Columbia lawyer and professor Michael Jackson wrote in detail of the crisis around imprisoning Aboriginal people.“In Saskatchewan, prison has become for young native men, the promise of a just society which high school and college represent for the rest of us.Placed in a historical context, the person has become for many young native people the contemporary equivalent of what the Indian residential school represented to their parents,” he wrote.In 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized, but the devastating impact on generations of First Nation, Metis and Inuit people was well established.R. v. GladueThe problem in Saskatchewan appears to be a lack of knowledge of Canada’s history.And critics argue this results in the judiciary’s long history of failing to effectively apply Gladue principles at sentencing.Those principles were handed down by the Supreme Court of Canada in its historic ruling in R. v. Gladue, named after Aboriginal woman Jamie Gladue who appealed her manslaughter sentence in 1999.Supreme CourtThe high court didn’t change her sentence, instead, it issued some ground rules for lower courts to address the critical over-representation of Aboriginal people in the justice system.From that day onward, courts had to take into account what are commonly called Gladue principles:the unique systemic or background factors which may have played a part in bringing the particular Aboriginal offender before the courts;and the types of sentencing procedures and sanctions, which may be appropriate in the circumstances for the offender because of his or her particular Aboriginal heritage or connection.The SCC found the incarceration of Aboriginal people to be at crisis levels, but since that 1999 decision, rates have only gone up. The court made another ruling in 2012, R. v. Ipeelee, reinforcing the need for courts to take Gladue principles seriously.“Courts have, at times, been hesitant to take judicial notice of the systemic and background factors affecting Aboriginal people in Canadian society,” the Supreme Court said in Ipeelee. “To be clear, courts must take judicial notice of such matters as the history of colonialism, displacement, and residential schools and how that history continues to translate into lower educational attainment, lower incomes, higher unemployment, higher rates of substance abuse and suicide, and of course higher levels of incarceration for Aboriginal peoples.”Retired judge criticizes Saskatchewan judiciary – again Cunliffe Barnett, a retired judge from British Columbia, sparked controversy in Saskatchewan last September when he accused the courts there of ignoring Gladue principles at sentencing.Barnett has long kept an eye on how judges across Canada’s upheld the SCC’s Gladue ruling.He was struck with how poorly Saskatchewan’s judges followed the high court’s guidelines.A retired Saskatchewan Court of Appeal judge called Barnett’s comments unsubstantiated.But Barnett didn’t back down, instead he dug in and began poring over Court of Appeal cases. Of the 146 cases he reviewed, Barnett found no mention of Gladue in 100 of them. In 22 cases he couldn’t find any mention of the person being Aboriginal. He confirmed elsewhere that they were.Barnett was in Saskatchewan again this month to speak at a conference and was still critical of the bench.“In September last year I said that ‘many Saskatchewan judges have been reluctant to ever acknowledge the Gladue and Ipeelee decisions’. I said also that ‘in Saskatchewan many judges have been reluctant to disclose the fact that the person being sentenced is indeed an Aboriginal person’. I stand by those statements today,” said Barnett, who was a provincial court judge in B.C. from 1973 to 2006.Barnett believes it’s because judges in Saskatchewan are uneducated on the history of Aboriginal people.“There is a colonial history in Saskatchewan … I am confident that I am on solid ground when I say that this tragic history is not yet well understood by more than perhaps very few Saskatchewan judges,” he said.Is the situation changing?Critics see a recent case as maybe a small sign of things starting to change in Saskatchewan.Last month, the Court of Appeal overturned a dangerous offender designation for a First Nation man who successfully argued his Gladue principles were ignored at his dangerous offenders hearing.Mitchell Moise, 36, was labeled a dangerous offender in 2012.  He has a rap sheet of over 45 convictions for violent crimes.“Trial fairness requires Mr. Moise be given an opportunity to present evidence of aboriginal specific programming, services and supports which might assist in managing his behaviour in the community and reducing his risk to reoffend,” the court said in its decision.The panel of three judges found both the Crown and defence, as well as the judge, didn’t think Gladue principles could be considered at his dangerous offender hearing.“In this case, the sentencing judge’s error in failing to consider Gladue was compounded by the fact that both Crown and defence counsel believed Gladue considerations had no application,” said the court.Defence lawyer James Scott said in the last few months he’s started to see a small shift among the judiciary when it comes to Gladue principles and his hope is it continues nearly 16 years after the Supreme Court first ruled on the matter.“There is certainly more awareness. More people are getting involved and it does look like things have the beginning of improving,” he said.Michael Nolin agrees with Scott’s report on sentencing of Aboriginal people, but doesn’t share the same positive outlook when it comes to the province writing Gladue reports.“I got a pretty good idea that most Saskatchewan judges don’t know what a formal Gladue report is,” he said. “We know that in the defence bar that there is nobody in Saskatchewan qualified to do one which is surprising given the proportionate of representation of Aboriginal people out here. Multiple levels of courts don’t understand or care to follow Ipeelee or Gladue. They just provide lip-service.”In some provinces, the court learns about an Aboriginal offender’s past through a Gladue report. Along with a history lesson, it also tries to present options other than jail or prison at sentencing by providing community-based solutions, such as addiction treatment and counselling.Saskatchewan’s planThe province has recognized it has a problem with incarceration rates said Dale McFee, the deputy minister of corrections and policing in the Ministry of Justice.McFee has said in the past, and continues to believe, the province can’t arrest its way out of the problem.Dale McFee/Linkedin (Frederick Knife with his children in this undated photo from Facebook.)Kenneth JacksonAPTN National NewsFrederick Knife was 30 days away from his statutory release date on a manslaughter sentence in the Saskatchewan Penitentiary when he attacked an inmate he believed was going to kill him.The victim survived, but the Crown never wanted Knife to see the outside world again and tried to have him labeled a dangerous offender meaning he could be held indefinitely in 2013.Knife was 28-years-old and had two adult convictions on his record – the aggravated assault conviction for the prison attack and the other for manslaughter that put him in there when he was 19.The judge said Knife, a father of three and former member of the Indian Posse street gang, didn’t fit the criteria of a dangerous offender (DO) partly because he was too young and that he didn’t have a long enough criminal past as an adult.Instead, he was sentenced to eight years and was classified as a long-term offender (LTO). With time served, Knife had four years remaining. He is appealing the LTO designation that comes with a strict 10-year supervision order upon release from prison.But not every Aboriginal offender is, arguably, as lucky as Knife in the Prairie province.Along with locking up more Aboriginal people than just about any place in Canada, it also has one of the highest percentages of Aboriginal people designated as dangerous offenders.Aboriginal people make up 45 of the active 64 dangerous offenders in Saskatchewan, or 70 per cent according to the Correctional Service of Canada and data APTN National News retrieved from publicly available cases. The national average of Aboriginal dangerous offenders is about 29 per cent.Last year alone all six of the offender’s classified as dangerous offenders were Aboriginal people. In 2015, one person has been labeled a DO, and he’s Aboriginal.Only Manitoba has a higher rate of Aboriginal dangerous offenders as of March 2014 with nine of the 11 classified as Aboriginal according to CSC.Calls for an inquirySaskatchewan has a crisis few want to talk about and needs a full inquiry into its justice system said Saskatoon criminal defence lawyer Michael Nolin.“I would love to see an inquiry. I would love to see the province called on the carpet on this,” said Nolin, who is Metis and grew up outside North Battleford, Sask.“This is very near and dear to my heart and I have tried to get the issue raised to a higher profile.”If something doesn’t change, the province is going to need to start “building more prisons,” said Nolin.Michael Nolin/submittedlast_img read more

Riding Profile DesnethéMissinippiChurchill River

first_imgAPTN National NewsDesnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River is one of the largest ridings in Canada.It’s bigger than the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.There are more than 43,000 eligible voters in the riding and more than half are Metis or First Nation.The incumbent is Conservative Rob Clarke.As APTN’s Larissa Burnouf reports, the election is shaping into a bitter battleground between the Liberals and Conservatives.last_img

Correction EPARadiation Rollback story

first_imgWASHINGTON – In an early version of a story Oct. 2 about EPA regulation of radiation, The Associated Press reported erroneously in a headline that EPA says a little radiation may be good for you. As the story made clear, that assessment came from scientific outliers, including one quoted by EPA in a news release. The headline was changed in later versions of the story.A corrected version of the story is below:Experts say Trump’s EPA moving to loosen radiation limitsExperts say Trump’s EPA is moving to loosen radiation limitsBy ELLEN KNICKMEYERAssociated PressThe EPA is pursuing rule changes that experts say would weaken the way radiation exposure is regulated, turning to scientific outliers who argue that a bit of radiation damage is actually good for you — like a little bit of sunlight.The government’s current, decades-old guidance says that any exposure to harmful radiation is a cancer risk. And critics say the proposed change could lead to higher levels of exposure for workers at nuclear installations and oil and gas drilling sites, medical workers doing X-rays and CT scans, people living next to Superfund sites and any members of the public who one day might find themselves exposed to a radiation release.The Trump administration already has targeted a range of other regulations on toxins and pollutants, including coal power plant emissions and car exhaust, that it sees as costly and burdensome for businesses. Supporters of the EPA’s proposal argue the government’s current model that there is no safe level of radiation — the so-called linear no-threshold model — forces unnecessary spending for handling exposure in accidents, at nuclear plants, in medical centres and at other sites.At issue is Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule on transparency in science.EPA spokesman John Konkus said Tuesday: “The proposed regulation doesn’t talk about radiation or any particular chemicals. And as we indicated in our response, EPA’s policy is to continue to use the linear-no-threshold model for population-level radiation protection purposes which would not, under the proposed regulation that has not been finalized, trigger any change in that policy.”But in an April news release announcing the proposed rule the agency quoted Edward Calabrese, a toxicologist at the University of Massachusetts who has said weakening limits on radiation exposure would save billions of dollars and have a positive impact on human health.The proposed rule would require regulators to consider “various threshold models across the exposure range” when it comes to dangerous substances. While it doesn’t specify radiation, the release quotes Calabrese calling the proposal “a major scientific step forward” in assessing the risk of “chemicals and radiation.”Konkus said the release was written during the tenure of former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. He could not explain why Calabrese was quoted citing the impact on radiation levels if the agency does not believe there would be any.Calabrese was to be the lead witness at a congressional hearing Wednesday on the EPA proposal.Radiation is everywhere, from potassium in bananas to the microwaves popping our popcorn. Most of it is benign. But what’s of concern is the higher-energy, shorter-wave radiation, like X-rays, that can penetrate and disrupt living cells, sometimes causing cancer.As recently as this March, the EPA’s online guidelines for radiation effects advised: “Current science suggests there is some cancer risk from any exposure to radiation.”“Even exposures below 100 millisieverts” — an amount roughly equivalent to 25 chest X-rays or about 14 CT chest scans — “slightly increase the risk of getting cancer in the future,” the agency’s guidance said.But that online guidance — separate from the rule-change proposal — was edited in July to add a section emphasizing the low individual odds of cancer: “According to radiation safety experts, radiation exposures of … 100 millisieverts usually result in no harmful health effects, because radiation below these levels is a minor contributor to our overall cancer risk,” the revised policy says.Calabrese and his supporters argue that smaller exposures of cell-damaging radiation and other carcinogens can serve as stressors that activate the body’s repair mechanisms and can make people healthier. They compare it to physical exercise or sunlight.Mainstream scientific consensus on radiation is based on deceptive science, says Calabrese, who argued in a 2014 essay for “righting the past deceptions and correcting the ongoing errors in environmental regulation.”EPA spokesman Konkus said in an email that the proposed rule change is about “increasing transparency on assumptions” about how the body responds to different doses of dangerous substances and that the agency “acknowledges uncertainty regarding health effects at low doses” and supports more research on that.The radiation regulation is supported by Steven Milloy, a Trump transition team member for the EPA who is known for challenging widely accepted ideas about manmade climate change and the health risks of tobacco. He has been promoting Calabrese’s theory of healthy radiation on his blog.But Jan Beyea, a physicist whose work includes research with the National Academies of Science on the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant accident, said the EPA science proposal represents voices “generally dismissed by the great bulk of scientists.”The EPA proposal would lead to “increases in chemical and radiation exposures in the workplace, home and outdoor environment, including the vicinity of Superfund sites,” Beyea wrote.At the level the EPA website talks about, any one person’s risk of cancer from radiation exposure is perhaps 1 per cent, Beyea said.“The individual risk will likely be low, but not the cumulative social risk,” Beyea said.“If they even look at that — no, no, no,” said Terrie Barrie, a resident of Craig, Colorado, and an advocate for her husband and other workers at the now-closed Rocky Flats nuclear-weapons plant, where the U.S. government is compensating certain cancer victims regardless of their history of exposure.“There’s no reason not to protect people as much as possible,” said Barrie.U.S. agencies for decades have followed a policy that there is no threshold of radiation exposure that is risk-free.The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements reaffirmed that principle this year after a review of 29 public health studies on cancer rates among people exposed to low-dose radiation, via the U.S. atomic bombing of Japan in World War II, leak-prone Soviet nuclear installations, medical treatments and other sources.Twenty of the 29 studies directly support the principle that even low-dose exposures cause a significant increase in cancer rates, said Roy Shore, chief of research at the Radiation Effects Research Foundation, a joint project of the United States and Japan. Scientists found most of the other studies were inconclusive and decided one was flawed.None supported the theory there is some safe threshold for radiation, said Shore, who chaired the review.If there were a threshold that it’s safe to go below, “those who profess that would have to come up with some data,” Shore said in an interview.“Certainly the evidence did not point that way,” he said.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which regulates electronic devices that emit radiation, advises, broadly, that a single CT scan with a dose of 10 millisieverts may increase risks of a fatal cancer by about 1 chance in 2,000.Supporters of the proposal say it’s time to rethink radiation regulation.“Right now we spend an enormous effort trying to minimize low doses” at nuclear power plants, for example, said Brant Ulsh, a physicist with the California-based consulting firm M.H. Chew and Associates. “Instead, let’s spend the resources on minimizing the effect of a really big event.”last_img read more

An English Option for Morocco

Rabat – UK’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco, Karen Betts, today attended an informal ceremony at the Hay Nahda training centre at which she presented a collection of books to teachers on the Moroccan Baccalaureate – English Option programme.The UK Embassy gifted collections of fiction for students and reference books for the five schools participating in the programme.The ceremony was also attended by Mr Belqasmi the Secretary General of the Ministry for National Education, Fouad Chafiqi, Director of Curriculum and Gwyneth Gallen, Deputy Director of the British Council Morocco. The Ambassador told teachers that they were pioneering an innovative new approach to education in Morocco and that she applauded them for being so motivated and enthusiastic.“My mother was a teacher and that’s where I got my love for reading and passion for education. What you’re doing is so important for your students and the future of Morocco,” she added.The Ambassador told the teachers of maths, physics, science, IT and English that she always loved reading when she was younger and that she wished she had more time to read now.The Ambassador also paid tribute to the Ministry for launching the English Option Bac last year.  “It was a brave and brilliant decision, introducing these changes, gradually and in such a focussed approach. By introducing English as a language of instruction into the public system slowly and properly, I am sure you will succeed and that is exceptionally important for Morocco’s future.”Teachers from the five pilot schools were attending three days of workshops at Hay Nahda training centre organised and delivered by British Council trainers. The Ministry for National Education recently renewed its partnership with the British Council on the English Option Bac.This is year two of the programme which is being piloted in five schools in Casablanca, Rabat, Tangier and Tetouan. Teachers of maths, physics, science and IT are teaching up to 50% of their lessons in English. They follow the Moroccan syllabus, and students receive the remainder of their lessons in Arabic. British Council Morocco is supporting the teachers by providing language and pedagogical training; all the teachers on the programme are Moroccan and will be receiving face-to-face and online training from the British Council over coming months.Gwyneth Gallen, deputy Director of the British Council, Morocco: “The British Council is extremely happy to be working with the Ministry on the English Option Bac programme. Our collaboration is key to its success and we look forward to continuing to provide the support which is needed to train Moroccan teachers with new and innovative ways of teaching through English. Congratulations to the Ministry for taking the courageous and astute steps to introducing this new approach gradually.” read more

Update on the search for Dean Applied Health Sciences

The advisory committee is pleased to announce the names of the four short-listed candidates for the position of Dean, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences. Heather Carnahan, University of Toronto;Joanne MacLean, Brock University;Neil McCartney, McMaster University; andPaul McDonald, University of Waterloo.The candidates have been invited to Brock to meet with the advisory committee, senior administration, and faculty, staff and students. Each candidate will be making a public presentation to the Brock community on the following dates:McDonald on Thursday, March 31 at 2 p.m.;Carnahan on Thursday, March 10 at 1 p.m.;MacLean on Tuesday, March 22 at 2 p.m.; andMcCartney on Thursday; March 24 at 3 p.m. in Academic South 201.The first three presentations will be held in the E classroom (TH 253).The CVs of the applicants are available for review through the Office of the VP Academic or the Office of the Dean of Applied Health Sciences, and are also on reserve in the University Library.Members of the Brock community are encouraged to attend each of the presentations and are invited to make written submissions with respect to the suitability of each candidate for the position of Dean. Anonymous submissions will not be accepted. Submissions will be confidential to the advisory committee and will be destroyed on completion of the committee’s work.Please direct hard copy submissions to:Murray Knuttila, Chair of the Advisory Committee,Re: Dean, Faculty of Applied Heath SciencesElectronic submissions may be made by sending an email to AppliedHealthSciencesDeanSearch@brocku.caFor more information, contact Patrick Beard at (905-688-5550 x4082) or Murray Knuttila at (x4121).The deadline for submissions is Friday, April 8 at 4:30 p.m. read more

UN food agency supports peace effort in Philippines island of Mindanao

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is seeking donor funding for a $27-million programme to feed more than 2 million deprived people on the Philippines’ island of Mindanao in support of the Government’s effort to end the long-standing conflict there with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).“The World Food Programme looks forward to assisting the Government of the Philippines and the people of Mindanao in bringing food security, improved health and nutrition and other tangible benefits of peace to the communities hit by conflict,” WFP Regional Director for Asia Anthony Banbury said in a statement today. The one-year operation, carried out in cooperation with the Government of the Philippines in the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and adjacent provinces, will provide food aid, especially to families displaced by the violence, former combatants, poor women and children in a region where poverty, nutrition and education levels are far worse than anywhere else in the country.More than half of the islanders live on less than $0.60 per day, 30 per cent of children under five are stunted, a sign of chronic malnutrition, and just one third of children finish primary school. Last month the Japanese government announced the first major contribution of $1.2 million for the programme. “We are grateful for the support received for this critical operation from the Government of Japan, and we seek the support of other donors,” Mr. Banbury said. WFP has also received valuable assistance from Citigroup, a global financial services provider that has worked with WFP on past emergency operations. “Citigroup’s close management support has allowed our staff to focus immediately on the needs of the people of Mindanao,” said Coco Ushiyama, WFP’s Officer-in-Charge for the Mindanao operation. read more

Ban welcomes Australias decision to join second phase of Kyoto Protocol

“Addressing climate change is fundamental for achieving sustainable development,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement. “Urgent action is needed.”The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997, and entered into force in February 2005. Its major feature is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Mr. Ban praised Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard for her leadership, and called on all governments to take decisive steps against climate change at the upcoming Climate Change Conference, which will be held in the Qatari capital of Doha later this month. The Conference is expected to bring thousands of State representatives, international organizations and civil society members to discuss ways to cut global carbon emissions by the year 2020. During a conference in the South African city of Durban last year, 194 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), agreed on a package of decisions – known as the Durban Platform – which include the launch of a protocol or legal instrument that would apply to all members, a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, and the launch of the Green Climate Fund, which was created to help developing nations protect themselves from climate impacts and build their own sustainable futures.The UNFCCC sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change. During informal talks in Bangkok, the Thai capital, in September, countries also set specific objectives for the meeting in Doha, which include triggering a new phase of climate action and filling in the gaps in the international policy response to climate change. read more

Access to higher education doesnt always lead to lower unemployment – UN

The 9th edition of the ILO’s Key Indicators of the Labour Market, released Monday, said the educational level of the labour force is improving worldwide but access to a higher education is not leading to lower unemployment at the global level. “This reflects a mismatch between skilled persons and the number of available jobs matching their competencies and expectations, and unless addressed may work to put a limit on economic growth and development,” according to Rosina Gammarano, from the ILO Department of Statistics. According to the report, which is part of the broader ILO statistical database, all but two of 64 countries with available data have registered an increase in the share of the labour force with a tertiary education over the past 15 years. The biggest increases were seen in Canada, Luxembourg and Russia, it said. At the same time, the report said, there has been a drop in the share of labour market participants with only a primary-level education or less. But workers with secondary-level education do not automatically have a better chance of finding a job. “While they are less likely to be unemployed in most high-income economies, tertiary graduates in low- and lower-middle-income economies are actually more likely to be among the unemployed than workers with lower educational levels,” it said. The report also provides data on the share of youth who are not in education, employment or training, one of the proposed indicators that will be used for monitoring the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Other key findings: The median unemployment rate across 112 countries with comparable unemployment rate data increased from 6.4 per cent in 2007 to 7.2 per cent in 2014. The average worker in a high-income country currently produces 62 times the annual output of an average worker in a low-income economy and 10 times that of an average worker in a middle-income economy. However, middle-income economies have registered the fastest productivity growth over the past 15 years. Manufacturing employment in high-income economies has declined by 5.2 million since 2000, while it grew by 195 million in middle-income economies. As of 2015, 72 per cent of workers in the world are employed in middle-income economies, 20 per cent in high-income economies and 8 per cent in low-income countries. The number of working poor (living on less than $2 per person, per day) declined by 479 million between 2000 and 2015. Virtually all of the decline was in middle-income countries. The report includes the first-ever estimates of the size of the labour force (employed + unemployed) across different income classifications, making it possible to determine the percentage of workers throughout the world that are in high-income, low-income, lower-middle income and upper-middle income economies. read more

After loss to No 1 Virginia silver lining apparent for Ohio State

The No. 4 Ohio State men’s tennis team is looking to keep its undefeated record at home this season in tact when it hosts Notre Dame and LSU this weekend. The Buckeyes (10-2) head into the matchups coming off a trip to the semifinals in the International Tennis Association (ITA) Team Indoor Championship in Seattle, Wash. OSU secured shutout victories against two ranked opponents during the tournament run, beating both then-No. 13 California and then-No. 5 Pepperdine, 4-0, before falling to No. 1 Virginia, 4-3, in semifinal play. In the semifinal loss to the Cavaliers, OSU doubles tandems continued their 2013 win streak when the teams of junior Blaz Rola and redshirt sophomore Kevin Metka and redshirt senior Devin McCarthy and junior Ille Van Engelen won their matches, 8-4 and 8-6, respectively. In singles, after a 6-4, 6-2 victory from Rola, OSU forfeited its 2-0 lead as redshirt sophomore Hunter Callahan, redshirt freshman Chris Diaz and McCarthy all lost their individual matches. A win by senior Connor Smith tied the match 3-3 before the Cavaliers captured the winning point in a showdown featuring the top two players in the nation, Virginia’s Alex Domijan (No. 1) and OSU’s redshirt junior Peter Kobelt (No. 2). The scoreboard favored Domijan, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5. “We got the doubles point, and seemed to be off on the right foot,” said coach Ty Tucker. “Overall, the guys fought hard and played hard.” The close loss against the nation’s top team in Virginia gave the Buckeyes optimism for how the team will fare down the stretch. “We noticed that we have a pretty good team,” McCarthy said. “We have some guys who are stepping up. We obviously lost to the No. 1 team in the country, so just trying to build upon that and realizing that at the end of the year we could win a national title.” Van Engelen said the team knew they had the potential to knock off Virginia but fell short. “(The loss) is also perspective for the future, because they are the No. 1 team in the country and have amazing players, so if we can compete with them so closely now, that’s perfect,” Van Engelen said. Since both losses for the Buckeyes this season have taken place on the road, facing off against No. 25 Notre Dame and No. 24 LSU in Columbus should serve as an advantage for OSU, which has not lost at home in more than 150 matches. “The guys are comfortable here. We have two very good teams coming in, and we need to play good tennis,” said assistant coach Justin Kronauge. “After a tough loss, I think they are ready to get out there and put on a good show this weekend.” With only several matches before conference play kicks off, OSU players plan on keeping a high level of intensity on the court. “Especially since we are traveling to North Carolina right after (this weekend), it’s important to get back into the rhythm, win our matches and get back in the flow,” Van Engelen said. McCarthy credited Tucker for always telling the team to focus on “getting 10 percent better” and then seeing where the team is by the end of the season. “I think it’s kind of to this point where it’s ‘push through,’” McCarthy said. “You never know at the end of the season – we might win (a national title).” The matches against Notre Dame and LSU are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Both matches are set to begin at noon at the Varsity Tennis Center. read more

Scotland to unveil single market Brexit plan this week

first_imgThe country’s devolved nationalist government has said it wants to stay part of the EU when the rest of the UK leaves, and on Tuesday will put forward plans for remaining in the 500 million-consumer single market should that prove impossible.”In line with our commitments to explore all options to protect Scotland’s interests, we will set out compromise proposals which, while not conferring the full benefits of EU membership, would mitigate the Brexit damage,” said Michael Russell, the Scottish government’s minister for EU negotiations.”At the heart of our plan is a framework to keep Scotland’s place in the European Single Market.”Russell said such a plan faced “complexities” but a “hard Brexit” threatened 80,000 Scottish jobs over a decade.”That would be a national disaster for Scotland,” he said. “Brexit presents everyone with an unprecedented challenge, and with political goodwill on all sides and a willingness to cooperate, these proposals can effect a solution for Scotland.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The plans also will outline further “substantial” new powers that should be handed to the devolved parliament in Edinburgh post-Brexit.May has promised to work with the devolved Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments to achieve a unified negotiating strategy for Brexit, which risks straining the centuries-old union between England and Scotland.Scots rejected secession in a 2014 referendum but the ruling Scottish National Party has warned it might hold a second independence vote.”Our intention now is that these proposals can be discussed and agreed in a UK context and then form part of the UK government’s overall negotiating position when Article 50 is triggered,” Russell saidcenter_img Scotland will publish proposals this week for how it can remain in the European single market after Britain leaves the European Union in order to avoid the “national disaster” of a “hard Brexit”, the Scottish government said on Sunday.British Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the formal process of leaving the EU, by the end of March to kick off two years of exit talks.However, her plans for those negotiations have been shrouded in secrecy and businesses and investors fear Britain might seek a “hard Brexit” where controlling immigration takes priority over access to the European single market.While the United Kingdom as a whole voted to leave the EU in the June 23 referendum, Scotland strongly backed remaining in the bloc.last_img read more

14 things that really worried and delighted us about the Emmy awards

first_img1. Will Arnett’s tanHe is getting oranger and oranger. It’s been going on for so long that it can’t even be for an acting role, can it? Source: © O’Connor-Arroyo/AFF-USA.COM Source: AP/Press Association Images5. Will Arnett and Amy Poehler being at the same functionThey’re recently divorced. Do they speak? Did their friends have to pick sides? Pictured together in 2012. Sob. Also, the tan here is bad, but it’s not THAT bad. Source: Charles SykesApparently one Entertainment Tonight reporter asked Will Arnett on the red carpet how he and his wife prepared for the Emmys.Arnett replied:I don’t really have a significant other… She doesn’t exist. Sorry if you’ve just pulled a cringe muscle.It’s not all awful though. Crushable reports that the pair sat together backstage. Phew.6. Jeff Daniels winning Best ActorPeople were really perplexed and angry that The Cranston missed out. Source: newuser Source: AP/Press Association Images7. Merritt Wever’s acceptance speech Source: Onsugar8. Kevin Spacey’s tan, and his anger Source: AP/Press Association ImagesImagine how worried she must have been that it was going to fall down.4. Will Ferrell bringing his childrenUnfortunately Helen Mirren and Maggie Smith dropped out at the last second and they literally 45 minutes ago and I couldn’t find child care, ok? Source: AP/Press Association ImagesWe had a soccer game, there was a neighbor’s birthday party, a nut allergy, I didn’t have time to do my hair. It doesn’t matter, it’s great to be here. Source: newuser9. This weird pictureBit mean to make Lena Dunham stand on her own. And she’s not even in Homeland. From left: Lena Dunham, Damian Lewis, Helen McCrory, Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy Source: AP/Press Association Images10. This odd photobomber Source: Canada11. Aaron Paul’s vocal chords Source: AP/Press Association Images Source: AP/Press Association Images Source: AFF/EMPICS Entertainment12. Claire Danes’ slightly creepy photobomb Source: Canada13. Nathan Fillion and Sarah Silverman singing and dancingWhat other talents are they hiding from us? Source: Riri Fent14. Neil Patrick Harris’ stage acrobaticsThis could have gone horribly wrong Source: PerezhiltonAmy Poehler and Tina Fey should host everything until the end of time>The winners and losers at the 2013 Emmys> Source: AP/Press Association Images2. Jon Hamm’s beard While we’re at it, what’s the story with Alec Baldwin’s bronzer situation? Source: AP/Press Association ImagesMore specifically, the effect Jon Hamm’s beard had on the ladies.Steady on.3.  Claire Danes’ fake boblast_img read more

The 9 at 9 Monday

first_imgThe 9 at 9: Monday Here’s all the news you need to know this morning. Image: Shutterstock/Ekaterina Kondratova 10,836 Views EVERY MORNING brings you the headlines you need to know as you start your day.1. #DAFT: The average cost of renting a home in Ireland is now at an all time high of €1,366, while the number of homes available to rent is at an all time low. 2. #SEIZURE: Gardaí have seized cocaine and cannabis worth a combined total of €42,000 in an operation in Drogheda. 3. #RECORDS: New documents released to show how government and opposition TDs lobbied the National Transport Authority (NTA) to have the original Metrolink plans changed before the authority altered the route this year.4. #BREXIT: A poll released yesterday shows that Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in the UK has doubled its lead over other British parties in an opinion poll out today on the European Parliament elections. Support for the party is now on 34%.5. #BURKINA FASO: Gunmen killed a priest and five parishioners during Mass in an attack on a Catholic church in Dablo, northern Burkina Faso, security sources said yesterday. 6. #BAFTAS: Irish actress Fiona Shaw won a Best Supporting Actress award for her role in the BBC drama Killing Eve, while there were no wins for Channel 4s Derry Girls.7. #BANNED: A controversial US hate preacher has been banned from coming to Ireland by Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan. 8. #TRIBUTES: Tributes have been paid to Ralph Skóra, who died over the weekend following an apparent paragliding accident in the Wicklow Mountains. 9. #WEATHER: Warm weather and sunny skies are forecast for the country for most of the week, but showers are due to return next weekend. No Comments Share Tweet Email1 Image: Shutterstock/Ekaterina Kondratova Monday 13 May 2019, 8:54 AM Short URL By Cormac Fitzgerald May 13th 2019, 7:54 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

John Laird Redfaced Rove redleaning counties and rising boats

first_imgNotes, quotes and anecdotes while wondering if Karl Rove has called Ohio yet:Speaking of Karl Rove — Here’s some uplifting news for the disconsolate Republican strategist. Obama vs. Romney is still too close to call in one of America’s most beloved bottomlands. Right here in little ol’ Clark County, the presidential race remains undecided. As of Friday afternoon, President Obama led Mitt Romney by only about one-tenth of a percentage point: 91,770 votes to 91,524 votes, respectively.That might seem surprising in our supposedly red community, but if Obama holds on, it will mark the second time he’s carried Clark County, which favored Obama by six percentage points in 2008. Of course, none of this matters. Washington will vote for Obama in the Electoral College. Those 91,000-plus local votes for Romney are as useless as the 57 Clark County votes for Peta Lindsay of the Party of Socialism and Liberation.Then again, forget Obama — Actually, Clark County really is red, and here’s proof: Same-sex marriage passed statewide with 53.3 percent approval, but here it was rejected by 52.6 percent. Marijuana use was approved statewide by 53.3 percent but here it was opposed by 50.4 percent.More voters here supported two-thirds approval of tax increases (70.4 percent) than statewide (64.2). Same thing with charter schools, approved by 52.2 percent here, 50.7 statewide.Cascade Curtain remains as rigid as ever — What two things do the newly elected governor, attorney general, lieutenant governor, state auditor and state insurance commissioner have in common?(1) All are Democrats.(2) All five won without any of them carrying a single county in the eastern half of the state.One Portland view of Loot Rail Crime Train Being Shoved Down Our Throats (LRCTBSDOT) — Don’t expect Portland’s support of light rail on the Columbia River Crossing to wither in the near future. Willamette Week describes Portland Mayor-elect “Choo-Choo” Charlie Hales, who served on the City Council in the 1990s: “His most noted work in City Hall included support for light rail and the development of the streetcar.”last_img read more

Boat International Media Acquires ShowBoats International

first_imgLondon-based Boat International Media announced late last week that it will be expanding its presence in the superyachts sector with the acquisition of the monthly ShowBoats International, associated publications, events and Web sites from CurtCo Media LLC.Terms of the deal were not disclosed.Boat International USA, launched in 1997 and published 10 times a year, carries a circ of approximately 48,000, Boats International Media CEO Tony Harris told FOLIO:. Other Boat International Media titles include Boat International, Boat International Russia, Boat International Gulf, Mer & Bateaux, Meer & Yachten and Dockwalk.This acquisition will see Boat International Media merge Boat International USA with CurtCo’s ShowBoats International. The combination of these two titles will up the overall circulation to over 50,000, primarily in the United States, Harris added. “This deal gives us the leading brand serving the US superyacht market and greatly enhances our position as the leading media company serving the global superyacht industry,” said Harris in a release.Overall, the boating market has been one of the hardest-hit sectors over the past year. As Ed McKnew, owner of The Power Boat Guide, told FOLIO: just a few months ago, “The boating market is beat up.” However, Harris said he will continue to invest in the yachting print titles, upping the editorial page count by 50 percent to around 80-90 editorial pages among the 300-plus total issue pages. The upcoming issue will also merge Boat International USA and ShowBoats International. The company also expects to launch new events and Web businesses for the U.S. superyacht market in the near future. The annual subscription price will remain at $23.95.Three to four full-time CurtCo editorial staffers associated with ShowBoats International were laid off, said Harris. However, most of the CurtCo’s employees have been reemployed; additional changes include Boat International USA’s Rebecca Cahilly becoming editor of the combined title immediately and Gary De Sanctis, former ShowBoats International publisher, moving to CurtCo’s Robb Report team while acting as a consultant to transition the title to Boat International Media for six months.last_img read more

State Releases New Guidelines for Mercury and Fish

first_imgDownload AudioThe state epidemiology office has released a new mercury contamination risk determination for Alaska fish. The new guidelines basically increase the number of Alaskan fish that can be eaten safely and without restriction.Ali Hamade  Environmental Public Health Manager for the state, said Alaska fish has a lot going for it health-wise:The benefits are really huge in terms of nutrients and if you catch the fish yourself there’s the sport benefit, there’s the cultural benefit,” Hamade said. “…so we really hope that people continue to make good fish consumption choices.”In addition to the fish already on the unrestricted consumption list—including all types of Alaskan Salmon— the new guidelines determined that lingcod, certain rockfish and eight other fish species can be safely eaten by kids and women of child bearing age without restriction.last_img read more

Jogger Who Killed Mountain Lion with Bare Hands Gives Details of Horrific

first_imgLast week, a jogger in Colorado had has his run interrupted when he was attacked from behind by a mountain lion in Horsetooth Mountain Park near Fort Collins. Facing the life and death struggle, the man choked out and killed the big cat with his bare hands to save his own life.The identity of the jogger was previously unknown, but yesterday 31-year-old Travis Kauffman came forward as the man from the encounter and told the incredible story of how his leisurely run in the park quickly turned into a fight for his life with a wild animal intent on killing him.He sustained serious lacerations from the clawing and 17 stitches to the face.while the lion was trying to maul him, but it sure beats the alternative.last_img read more

Nominations for TICO Board of Directors close April 20

first_img TORONTO — TICO is reminding registrants that nominations for a position on its Board of Directors must be received by April 20.The position is open to a retail, wholesale or marketing group registrant for a three-year term. Those wishing to run for election should allow for sufficient time to obtain the required Criminal Record Check, which must be submitted with the Nomination Form by eh deadline date.All registrations have already been sent a nominations package. Nominations must be received at TICO no later than 5 p.m. ET on April 20.Results will be announced at TICO’s Annual General Meeting on June 26, to be held at the Corporate Event Centre in Mississauga, Ont.“Now that Bill 166, The Strengthening Protection for Consumers Act has received Royal Assent, there will be an extensive review of Ontario Regulation 26/05,” said Richard Smart, TICO President and CEO. “This brings an exciting time to join TICO’s dynamic Board of Directors to help shape consumer protection within the travel sector, while ensuring industry needs are addressed.”More news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaFor more information go to or email Nominations for TICO Board of Directors close April 20 Monday, April 16, 2018 Travelweek Group Posted bycenter_img Tags: TICO Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more