Is Parsi Theater on the Verge of Extinction?

first_imgIn September, a period play centered on the theme of persecution of Jews by the Romans, played to packed audiences in Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh. The play titled Yahudi ki Ladki, was performed as a class presentation by students of the Madhya Pradesh School of Drama. Elsewhere in Karachi, Pakistan, earlier this year, a rendition of the same musical epic was staged at the National Academy of Performing Arts. The adaptation ran for repeat showings on popular demand.Yahudi Ki Ladki, written by eminent Urdu playwright Aga Hashr Kashmiri in the mid-19th century, belongs to the Parsi theater genre, which marked the golden era of drama in India. Today more than a century and a Partition later, the play continues to rivet audiences on both sides of the border.Mahesh Dattani: “Parsi theater lives on in Bollywood. The ‘masala’ film probably owes its origin to Parsi theater. Melodrama with music and dance was perfected as a formula by the Parsi theater.” Photo: The Class ActThis despite the fact that Parsi theater is dwindling both in form and presentation across India even though theater as an art form is getting a renewed and corporatized facelift.Parsi theater is a term used to describe a form of hugely influential theater staged in India between 1850 until pre-independence by the Parsi community. The stories told on stage were often drawn from Parsi culture and folklores. The medium was so popular that it is said to have even inspired the beginning of talkies in Hindi cinema in the late 1930s.Prominent Indian director and playwright Mahesh Dattani remembers the impressive run of Parsi theater until the mid-eighties.He recalls: “During the mid-eighties I would visit Bombay with my father on the pretext of assisting him in his business. The evenings were my own, so I would catch plays. The most popular name in commercial English theater at that time was Adi Marzbaan. My very first Parsi play was The Farrukh of Finchley with Ronnie Screwvala in it. Ronnie, Burjor and Ruby Patel, Sam Kerawala, Hosi Vasunia, were the names that appeared regularly in the theater advertisements.”THE HISTORYParsi theater, which first emerged in Bombay, was later also shown across India first in English and then expanded into many languages, including Gujarati, Hindi and Urdu. It was instrumental in bringing Shakespearean adaptations for the first time in India.The Parsis, an eminent business community in the 18th century, took great pride in creative expressions of their communal bonds and practices and this was often staged through performances.According to historical records, the first Parsi play to be staged in India was Roostam and Sohrab in 1853 by the Parsi Natak Mandali. As its popularity grew, the theatrical presentation became grand, incorporating song, music, humor, stagecraft and all the finer sensibilities of stage shows.The success of Parsi theater led to the development of regional theater in India, notably Marathi, Gujarati and Hindi theater. The art form also paved the way for cinema and, according to playwrights, the influence of early Parsi theater is still evident in contemporary Bollywood movies. Parsi theater suffered a setback after independence, but soon saw a revival in the 1950s. For more than a century Parsi theater ruled the roost, with proscenium style stages as well as setting up of nanny services outside the playhouses for families to enjoy the event uninterrupted.Responsive WordPress YouTube Gallery PluginWordPress Gallery Free VersionSajeel ParekhPhoto: The Class ActTHE DECLINEHowever as other popular modes of entertainment gained momentum, Parsi theater began losing its steam. Dattani rues the gradual decline of Parsi theater: “The development of Gujarati and Marathi theater in Mumbai perhaps saw the decline of the Parsi theater. The Parsis as a community are dwindling and so did the audience for Parsi theater.”But it is still influential, Dattani says: “Parsi theater lives on in Bollywood. The masala film probably owes its origin to Parsi theater. Melodrama with music and dance was perfected as a formula by the Parsi theater.”However, with most Parsi performers now aging and few young performers stepping up, the days of Parsi theater are numbered. Last year, at a literary festival organized by Gujarat University, Yazdi Karanjia, a veteran Parsi theater artist, said: “Today the youth aspire for Broadway, which is not wrong, but Parsi theater represents a slice of Parsi life and has remained an integral part of Parsi life across the globe.” The veteran now runs the Yazdi Karanjia Group, which performs original Parsi theatrical performances across the globe.The declining Parsi population is contributing to the genre’s woes. In 2013, the Indian government initiated the Jiyo Parsi Scheme, an ambitious plan to halt the sharp decline in the Parsi population. The $2 million scheme assisted Parsi couples with fertility treatments and education. Currently, there are just 60,000 Parsis in India and the rate of death each year far exceeds the birth rate.While some young Parsis are trying to revive the theater scene, the population numbers are one of the biggest constraints. Meherzad Patel, one of the younger theater directors, is credited with bringing back the zest and flavor of original Parsi Theater with such productions as The Buckingham Secret and The Class Act. On the low visibility of this famed theater form, Patel says: “Stories get staged on what you see in real life. If the people in the country or the world don’t exist, how can you write a story on them? The population of Parsis is decreasing and there is very little to write on them.”Dattani says some notable efforts are being made: “Meher Marfatia, a photographer, has done an incredible service by bringing out a coffee table book of photographs of Parsi plays. The book titled Laughter in the House is an important document. Recently, it inspired the Parsi theater community to come together and do a review of their comedies bringing back senior actors who had, not so long ago, won the hearts of thousands of theater fans.”He also credits Patel’s work for reviving Parsi theater: “When I saw his play A Class Act a few years ago it reminded me immediately of the style, humor and content of the Parsi theatrer of the 20th century. Recently his plays, such as The Buckhingham Secret, are refreshingly original and yet rooted in the Parsi style.”Patel said he was inspired to bring back the essence of the original Parsi theater because the quality of the form was declining: “I saw a Parsi play which was really taking the community to the dogs. It inspired me to jump into this line of work and do my part.”Dattani adds: “The Parsis as a race are dwindling. Considering their small numbers, their contribution to the growth of modern India both commercially and artistically is hugely impressive. Hence it is important to document this art form.”  Related ItemsIndiaParsiTheaterlast_img read more

Security beefed up in Punjab

first_imgSecurity was beefed up in parts of Punjab on Sunday, a day after Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda follower Mahinderpal Bittu, a key accused in the “2015 Bargari sacrilege incident” was murdered at Patiala’s high security Nabha prison.Tension prevailed in Faridkot’s Kotkapura, the home town of Bittu, as several followers of Dera Sacha Sauda started gathering after his body was brought and kept at the ‘Naam Charcha Ghar’ (congregation place) of the Dera (sect). Dera members refused to cremate the body until, what they termed ‘real culprits’’ behind the incident were identified and punished.Bittu’s son Parminder also alleged that his father has been killed under a conspiracy, which should be probed.Harcharan Singh, a member of Dera’s committee, said “We want all sacrileges-related cases against Bittu be dropped and a judicial inquiry into the murder incident to identify real culprits.”Bittu (49), who was attacked by other inmates Gursewak Singh and Maninder Singh on Saturday was rushed to Civil Hospital at Nabha, where he was declared brought dead. Both assailants were produced before a local court in Patiala and were sent to police remand for four days.Flag marchesTo prevent any untoward incident, paramilitary forces along with the State police were deployed in Kotkapura. Police conducted flag marches in Faridkot and neighbouring Moga districts.“Adequate number of police and paramilitary forces have been deployed in Kotkapura and other parts to ensure that law and order is maintained,” said M.S. Chhina, Inspector General of Police, Ferozepur Range.Opposition parties hit out at the State government over deteriorating law and order situation.Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ordered an inquiry into the fatal assault.Probe ordered into murder in Punjab prisonPunjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday ordered an inquiry into the fatal assault on the main accused in the “Bargari sacrilege” incident at the New Nabha prison, warning of stringent punishment for the assailants.An initial probe revealed that accused Mahinderpal Bittu, 49, died after he was attacked by two inmates. He was rushed to a hospital at Nabha, where he was declared brought dead, said an official spokesperson.ADGP Prisons Rohit Chaudhary will head the fact-finding committee, which has been asked to submit the report within three days.last_img read more

Chinese lawmakers stress solemnity of national anthem

first_imgBy K J M VarmaBeijing, Jun 24 (PTI) Chinas lawmakers today deliberated a draft law on the national anthem, stipulating that it should be played during major diplomatic and sports events.Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of Chinas National Peoples Congress (NPC), joined the deliberation.A draft was submitted to the NPC Standing Committee for the first reading at the start of its bi-monthly session, which runs until Tuesday.Legislating for the national anthem will be conducive to enhancing citizens patriotism and upholding national dignity, said Huang Qifan, vice chairman of the NPC Financial and Economic Affairs Committee.The national anthem should be played or sung at the opening sessions and closing sessions of the NPC and local peoples congresses at all levels, and that of national committee and local committees of Chinese Peoples Political Consultative Conference, constitutional oath ceremonies, as well as flag raising ceremonies, major celebrations, awards ceremonies, commemorations and national memorial day events held by governments at all levels.Important diplomatic activities, major sports activities and other proper events should also play the national anthem, the draft said.Zheng Gongcheng, a member of the NPC Standing Committee, said that opening and graduation ceremonies at schools should be added to the clause.The national anthem should be included in music textbooks for first-grade students at primary schools, according to the draft.Su Hui, another member of the committee, suggested that the song should be an important part of kindergarten education.According to the draft, those who maliciously modify the lyrics or play or sing the national anthem in a distorted or disrespectful way may face detention for up to 15 days.advertisementSun Zhijun, a member of the committee, suggested that cases of gross violation shall be investigated for criminal responsibility, as the similar clause has been listed in the countrys national flag law and national emblem law. PTI KJV KJlast_img read more

Deborah, Savanur win gold in Saksham Pedal Delhi

first_imgNew Delhi, Oct 7 (PTI) Deborah Herold and Shreedhar Savanur Sunday won the gold medals on offer in the elite women’s 40km and men’s 50km competitions respectively, at Saksham Pedal Delhi, India’s Premier Cyclothon. Both were criterium races at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Rounding off the elite men’s podium were Manjeet Singh and Krishna Nakaodi while Sonali Chanu and Swasti Singh finished with silver and bronze respectively in the women’s elite race. To mark the occasion, Cycling Federation of India’s secretary general Onkar Singh said, “The 2018 edition had a strong field of the best 160 elite cyclists in the country and continues to showcase the quality of competitive cycling in India. Both M1 and F1 are deserving Champions in the criterium race. I would also like to thank PCRA & DO IT Sports for driving the sport of cycling via a fantastic platform like Saksham Pedal Delhi.” PTI AHlast_img read more

Timeless Mary eclipses all; brightest star of India’s 2018 boxing story

first_imgBy Poonam Mehra New Delhi, Dec 25 (PTI) She has been a defining force in Indian boxing for well over a decade but the timeless M C Mary Kom managed to surpass even herself, obliterating everyone and everything else along the way in a tumultuous year for the sport. She turned 36 the day an unprecedented sixth world title became hers in front of adoring home fans. But it wouldn’t be wrong to call Mary Kom ageless for she was around when women’s boxing took baby-steps towards going mainstream and she is around when the sport gears up for an Olympic expansion in 2020. That, of course, is subject to the under-fire International Boxing Association (AIBA) saving the sport from Olympic exclusion in the face of mounting IOC criticism of its administrators, particularly the alleged criminal antecedents of its President Gafur Rakhimov. “Mary Kom is amazing, there is no other way to describe her. Performing at that level, beating younger girls, it is quite remarkable,” Indian Boxing’s High Performance Director Santiago Nieva told PTI, trying to sum up the legend of Mary Kom. This is not to say that nothing else happened in Indian boxing. There were quite a few medals to celebrate, a prominent one being Amit Panghal’s Asian Games gold. What made it remarkable was that he defeated reigning Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov in the final. In a breakthrough year for him, Amit (49kg) also won a silver at the Commonwealth Games. Then there was the discovery of a new star in Gaurav Solanki (52kg) after his rather unexpected gold medals at the CWG and the prestigious Chemistry Cup in Germany.advertisement The two Army men were also top finishers at the inaugural India Open in Delhi, the biggest ever prize money tournament hosted by the country with a winners’ purse of over Rs 1.5 lakh. “It has been a very positive year for Indian boxing. We are a country which expects medals but I think a bigger measure of success is the performance and on that count, we did well,” said Nieva “We discovered new faces like Gaurav and that speaks volumes about India’s boxing strength,” he added. But that wasn’t enough to shift the spotlight away from Mary Kom, whose year started with a gold (India Open) and ended with a gold (the world championships). These were two of the four yellow metals she picked up in all, including the CWG top honours. In between, there was also a silver at a prestigious European tournament in Bulgaria. Plus there was the small matter of being an active Parliamentarian with a decent attendance record in the Rajya Sabha. But her feats, however remarkable, can’t really cover up for the lack of depth in Indian women’s boxing. She was India’s sole gold-winner in three exclusively women competitions this year and when the team travelled without her for the Asian Games, it drew a blank in Jakarta. She is gunning for an Olympic gold come 2020 but given that the Manipuri would have to compete in 51kg, instead of her preferred 48kg category, it remains to be seen how her body holds up for the qualifiers next year. But the fact that she still remains India’s best bet for a gold at any major competition doesn’t paint a particularly inspiring picture of the state of women’s boxing in the country. In the men’s circuit, India registered an unprecedented eight medals at the Commonwealth Games — including two gold won by Gaurav and Vikas Krishan (75kg). But there was an inexplicable dip in the Asian Games with Amit’s gold, along with Vikas’ bronze, saving the team the blushes. “We expected to do a lot better in the Asian Games but we didn’t win as many medals as we would have liked. We are nonetheless on the right path,” asserted Nieva. A brand new selection policy came into force at the beginning of the year and it caused quite an upheaval. For the first time ever, the traditional route of selection via trials was done away with and in came a points system. Boxers were rated based on their performances in the national camp and tournaments of varying points value which ultimately decided the spots in CWG as well as the Asiad teams. Trials were held but only for categories in which the coaches and selectors felt the points difference was minimal and the call too close to take. As expected, omissions caused heartbreaks which led to outbursts on why the change was introduced. It remains to be seen how the new system’s implementation pans out when the stakes go higher next year with the Olympic qualifiers lined up.advertisement Internationally, boxing’s very future as an Olympic sport hung in balance owing to Rakhimov’s re-election as AIBA President. The IOC has stopped boxing’s funding and is demanding better administration in AIBA. Repeated warnings have gone out but Rakhimov has so far refused to step aside despite his name being there in a US Treasury Department list of people with links to organised crime. But the IOC has promised to protect the interests of the boxers, keeping alive Olympic hopes in all corners of the world. In the professional circuit, Vijender Singh signed up with the legendary Bob Arum and will be making US debut next year after an unbeaten run in England and India. However, he was not seen in action through the year. Joining him in the circuit was Vikas, who also signed up with Arum. Arum is a hall of famer in international boxing and has managed the likes of Oscar de la Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr. among others. PTI PM ATATlast_img read more

ERNST SAYS “OBAMACARE” REPEAL WON’T HAPPEN QUICKLY

first_imgSenator Joni Ernst says she’s “thrilled” by victories across the country by her fellow Republicans — and she predicts quick action in the Republican-led congress next year on “ObamaCare issues” and tax reform.Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/JONI.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC………on our plate.” :09Ernst is cautioning against being too optimistic about an immediate repeal of the health care law, however.Republicans have won just 51 seats in the U.S. Senate.At least nine senate democrats would have to join Republicans next year to cut off debate and hold a vote on legislation.Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/JONI2.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……….a pathway.” :27In addition, If the law were immediately repealed, as many as 200-thousand Iowans could become uninsured.More than 45-thousand Iowans are getting “ObamaCare” subsidies to buy private insurance and over 150-thousand other low-income Iowans are now covered by government-paid Medicaid because of the law.Some Republican bills to “repeal and replace ObamaCare” have outlined a two-year transition period and Ernst suggests that’s a proper path.Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/JONI3.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC…….really important.” :09In October, after premium increases in the “ObamaCare” exchanges were announced, Ernst said those “rising costs once again prove the Affordable Care Act is anything but affordable.”last_img read more

22 days agoBelgium goalkeeper coach Lemmens urges Real Madrid to rethink Courtois treatment

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Belgium goalkeeper coach Lemmens urges Real Madrid to rethink Courtois treatmentby Carlos Volcano22 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBelgium goalkeeper coach Erwin Lemmens has urged Real Madrid to rethink their management of Thibaut Courtois.Courtois was substituted at half-time in Tuesday’s 2-2 Champions League draw against Club Brugge, with Madrid 2-0 down at the time.The 27-year-old was arguably at fault for Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis’ ninth-minute opener and was again beaten by the Brugge striker later in the half.Comparing his compatriot’s woes at the Santiago Bernabeu to David de Gea’s form slump with Manchester United, Lemmens told Radio MARCA: “They have to treat him differently.”He’s a special boy and it’s unusual that he’s always at the highest level with Belgium, but there he suffers with De Gea syndrome.”If the Bernabeu whistles then you have to look at the team as a whole.”He’s a great goalkeeper and he’ll try to make Real Madrid happy again.” last_img read more

Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul fail after India collapse to heavy defeat in New Zealand

first_img India Today Web Desk ThiruvananthapuramJanuary 31, 2019UPDATED: January 31, 2019 15:23 IST Rishabh Pant fell for 7 while KL Rahul was dismissed for a duck in India A’s vs England Lions (AP Photo)HIGHLIGHTSIndia ‘A’ were bowled out for 121 against England Lions in ThiruvananthapuramIndian national team were dismissed for just 92 against New Zealand in HamiltonIndia lost to New Zealand by 8 wickets, their worst margin of defeat in terms of ballsThe last last day of the first month of 2019 has not been kind to Indian batsmen or Indian batting in general. The Indian national team were bowled out for their lowest total in ODIs in New Zealand as Trent Boult wrecked havoc in Hamilton. Back home, in Thiruvananthapuram, India ‘A’ were dismissed for 121 by the England Lions on Wednesday.KL Rahul was bowled by Lewis Gregory for a golden duck, as his return to cricket after the Koffee with Karan controversy took another hit.Rahul’s opening partner, Himmat Singh, was dismissed for a paltry 3 runs as skipper Ankit Bawne was too sent back for a duck.Rishabh Pant, who was too was returning to cricket, after a rathr successful tour of Australia, was sent back for just 7 runs from 14 balls by Jamie Overton.If not for some resistance offered by Siddhesh Lad, India were staring down the barrel. All-rounders Deepak Hooda tried to stay put at the crease but it was fellow all-rounder Axar Patel who made fighting 23.Of the Chahar brothers, Deepak made a run-a-ball 21 while Rahul could only mister up eight runs.Young pace sensation Avesh Khan was unbeaten on 6 as India were bowled out by the all-round English bowling performance.Incidentally it was the pair of Rahul and Pant who had seen India through to a comfortable 6-wicket win in the 4th unofficial ODI on Tuesday.Ben Duckett, with an unbeaten 70, was the star of the tense chase from England Lions as they got home in the 31st over with 1 wicket to spare.advertisementRahul and Deepak Chahar picked up 3 wickets each as Axar Patel took two.But it wasn’t enough to restrict the England Lions as they ended the five-match unofficial ODI series at 1-4 with a consolation win.A thumping 8-wicket win for New Zealand in the 4th ODI. Series 3-1 with one final ODI left to play #NZvIND pic.twitter.com/quqQzhUDJaBCCI (@BCCI) January 31, 2019In Hamilton, Rohit Sharma-led Team India succumbed to their seventh lowest ODI total and lowest ever in New Zealand. It was also India’s second lowest total in ODIs against New Zealand, having somehow managed to surpass the 88 scored at Dambulla.Indian middle oder batsmen, Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik were dismissed by Colin de Grandhomme for ducks, as Rohit made 7, debutant Shubman Gill made 9 and Kedar Yadav scored 1.Only four Indian batsmen — Shikhar Dhawan (13), Hardik Pandya (16), Kuldeep Yadav (15) and Yuzvendra Chahal (18 not out) — posted double digit scores.While chasing, New Zealand completed the formalities in 14.4 overs with eight wickets in hand. India, in turn, suffered their heaviest defeat while defending a total as the the hosts won with 212 balls to spare.Also Read | Rohit Sharma on 4th ODI defeat: One of our worst batting performances in a long timeAlso Read | Shubman Gill was nervous on debut but he has a future with India: Sunil GavaskarFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Tags :Follow Rishabh PantFollow KL RahulFollow India A vs England LionsFollow India AFollow England LionsFollow India vs New ZealandFollow IndiaFollow New Zealand Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul fail after India collapse to heavy defeat in New ZealandRishabh Pant fell for 7 while KL Rahul was dismissed for a duck in India A’s match England Lions. Earlier in a day the Indian national team crashed to 92 all out in the 4th ODI against New Zealand in Hamilton.advertisementlast_img read more

Naomi Osaka comes back from behind to beat Ashleigh Barty in China Open final

first_img Reuters BeijingOctober 6, 2019UPDATED: October 6, 2019 19:16 IST AP PhotoJapan’s Naomi Osaka fought back from a set down to beat Australian world number one Ash Barty 3-6 6-3 6-2 in the final of the China Open in Beijing on Sunday.It was world number four Osaka’s second title in the Asian swing after clinching the Pan Pacific Open in Japan last month and she is yet to lose a match since her fourth-round exit at the U.S. Open, extending her run to 10 victories.In a battle between two of the year’s Grand Slam champions, Australian Open winner Osaka broke the reigning French Open champion Barty three times and dropped serve only once in the one-hour-50-minute encounter.It was Osaka’s second win over a fellow Grand Slam champion at the tournament after she beat U.S. Open winner Bianca Andreescu in another three-setter in the quarter-finals.The opening set went with serve until Osaka made three double faults in one game to give Barty a 4-2 lead, after which the Australian served out the set, saving a break point along the way.”Basically I was telling myself to keep fighting even though my attitude was really trash – ‘this is a final, I’m really privileged to be here in the first place, so keep fighting!'” Osaka said.”I feel like I wasn’t that calm here (at the tournament). I threw my racket, like, once every match. I really wanted to win here, I felt like I had something to prove.”You missed the moment where @Naomi_Osaka_ clinched it? Worry no more, here it is again 🙂 pic.twitter.com/m1ibqsrrbmadvertisement China Open (@ChinaOpen) October 6, 2019The Japanese turned the tables in the second set when she broke back to take a 4-2 lead. At 30-all, she unleashed a backhand return to bring up a fourth break point and then forced Barty to hit her forehand long.Osaka did not concede a single break point in the second set and took it into the decider after closing out on her serve.She then upped the tempo right from the opening game of the third set with long baseline rallies which forced Barty into making mistakes, earning the fourth seed a break of serve.A poor service game from Barty when she was down 4-2 in the third saw her broken to love as Osaka won eight points in a row to take a 5-2 lead and serve for the title.Barty managed to save one match point in the final game but Osaka took to the baseline again to out-rally her opponent, wrapping up the encounter and levelling their head-to-head record at 2-2.For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byrohan sen Tags :Follow Naomi OsakaFollow China OpenFollow Ashleigh Barty Next Naomi Osaka comes back from behind to beat Ashleigh Barty in China Open finalNaomi Osaka bounced back from a set down to cruise through the final sets, defeating the Australian top seed Ashleigh Barty 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.advertisementlast_img read more

AntiG7 activists plan full day of protest in Quebec City comedy show

first_imgQUEBEC CITY, Que. – Anti-G7 activists are planning a full day of protests in Quebec City today, including a large march through the streets of the historic old quarter as well as a nighttime show featuring popular comedians.Members of the African diaspora in Canada are hoping to grab some attention around 10 a.m. with a protest outside Quebec’s legislature denouncing the invitation to the G7 of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, whom they accuse of war crimes.Activists are holding what they call an “alternative G7” outside the legislature beginning around noon, which will be followed by a large protest march that will include members of labour unions and at least one Quebec provincial politician, Amir Khadir from the left-wing Quebec solidaire.Since Thursday, anti-G7 protesters have taken to the streets in a series of public stunts and actions, but their largely peaceful demonstrations have contrasted in grandeur with the millions of dollars spent on security for the summit.The two-day meeting is nowhere near the protests, taking place about 120 kilometres to the northeast of Quebec City in the Charlevoix region.At most, a few hundred people took part in the largest march so far, held Thursday night, which ended peacefully and with three people arrested.The following day, a tense standoff between protesters and police on a road leading to the summit site of La Malbaie in the early morning also ended calmly.Police chased small pockets of activists through the streets of Quebec City for the rest of the day on Friday, but aside from a few pieces of furniture set on fire in the street, the demonstrations were calm.Quebec City police said four men and two women were arrested Friday for participating in an illegal protest and for disrupting the work of an officer.The protest actions are scheduled to culminate today with a comedy show at a community centre that will include popular performers Fred Dube and Guillaume Wagner.last_img read more

Mother on hook after son crashes rented minivan damage waiver invalid judge

first_imgTORONTO — A woman who rented a minivan is on the hook for thousands of dollars after her son, who had a suspended licence, got behind the wheel and crashed, an Ontario judge has ruled.The Superior Court ruled that Tricia Richards must cover the costs of replacing the vehicle — said to be a write-off — even though she had bought optional insurance coverage at the time of rental.In his decision, Justice Russell Raikes said it was clear that Enterprise Rent-A-Car had not given her son Christopher permission to drive, and the damage waiver she had purchased did not apply.“The agreement expressly says that the waiver is invalidated if someone other than the renter or additional authorized driver operated the vehicle without the owner’s written consent,” Raikes wrote in his ruling. “Once Christopher got behind the wheel of the van and put it in gear, the waiver was invalidated. That is so whether he had Ms. Richards’ permission or not.”Richards had rented the 2017 Dodge Caravan at the Calgary international airport in April 2017 with a view to returning it in Winnipeg. She was the only driver listed on the rental contract. She also bought the optional collision damage waiver, which covers damage for which a renter would have to pay.Days later, with her son at the wheel, the vehicle left the highway and rolled. Enterprise sought $35,311 in replacement costs from her after deciding it would cost more than $82,000 to repair the vehicle.Richards disputed the claim. She argued she had been driving but that, after stopping for gas, she returned to the minivan and found her son behind the wheel. She said she got into the passenger seat and tried to dissuade him from driving, but was tired and gave up when he insisted.“I had absolutely no control of the situation and was wary that my safety was involved if I did anything further to frustrate him,” she said in submissions.She also said she had no idea his licence had been suspended, which led to charges against him after the crash.Raikes, however, said it was irrelevant whether or not Richards had given her son permission to drive. What was clear, he said, is that the rental company had not done so. Raikes sided with the plaintiff.The judge did refuse to order Richards to pay the $35,311 Enterprise was demanding. The rental company, he said, had provided no solid evidence to substantiate the amount claimed beyond providing one repair estimate and one estimate of the value of the minivan.“The information being provided is opinion evidence,” Raikes said. “There is no meaningful way to cross-examine and challenge the authors.”How much Richards should pay Enterprise should be decided at a trial by another judge, who will also rule on how much she owes to cover the company’s legal costs, Raikes said.Colin Perkel, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Madonna Names Katy Perry As January Guest Curator For Art For Freedom‏

first_imgMadonna has confirmed Katy Perry as the first guest curator for Art for Freedom in 2014 for the month of January.Madonna Names Katy Perry As Guest Curator for Art for FreedomKaty will collaborate with Madonna to select daily submissions to be showcased on artforfreedom.com. Since launching in September 2013, Art for Freedom has received over 3,000 submissions globally via artforfreedom.com and its social media platforms.“Art can change the world, but first it needs to be seen and heard‎,” said Madonna. “Katy Perry and I are asking you to be that voice and show us how you define freedom in 2014. This will be a year of monumental changes for human rights, and we want you to be a part of that change. Let us hear from you.”“I am so fortunate to have the freedom to express myself through music,” said Katy Perry. “Now I’m calling all of my incredibly creative KatyCats to use their talent to show Madonna and me how they express their freedom. I believe that 2014 can be a year of great social change. Together we can all stand up for Human Rights. Join the conversation, and let your art be your voice.”As part of the Art For Freedom initiative, Katy Perry will work with Madonna to select one artist during the month of January whose creative expression demonstrates a unique view of the fight for human rights. Madonna will then award a $10,000 grant to a nonprofit organization of the winning artist’s choice. All projects must be focused on the values of Art For Freedom. David Blaine served as Art for Freedom’s guest curator for the month of December.Launched in September 2013, Art For Freedom is a global digital initiative, led by Madonna in partnership with VICE Media, designed to fuel free speech – to respond, address and protest persecution and discrimination around the world. It is an online public art project encouraging people to express their personal meaning of freedom and revolution, in the form of video, music, poetry, and photography. Public submissions become part of the Art For Freedom website: contributors can join the project by uploading original artwork or tagging original posts #artforfreedom. The project was launched with the film secretprojectrevolution, co-directed by Madonna and Steven Klein.last_img read more

Enbridge moving towards putting an old pipeline back into service in the

first_imgCharlotte Morritt-JacobsAPTN NewsEnbridge has plans to put back into operation a pipeline that has been shut down since 2016.Line 21 was closed because it sat on the unstable ground by a riverbed.Now some people are worried about putting the pipeline back into commission.cmorrittjacobs@aptn.ca@aptncharlottelast_img

Charlie Hebdo Blame Unaffiliated Muslims for Terrorism Attacks

Rabat – French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo’s latest controversial editorial places blame for the Paris and Brussels terrorist attacks on the complicity of unaffiliated Muslims. Just over a week after attacks in Brussels killed 35, the newspaper is making attempts to answer how we ended up in the situation we find ourselves in today. The newspaper, which was targeted by terrorist attacks last year, claims “The attacks are merely the visible part of a very large iceberg. They are the last phase of a process of cowing and silencing, long in motion and on the widest possible scale”.The newspaper’s latest editorial, “How Did We End Up Here?”, has been regarded by many as an extreme categorization of an entire community; being compared to Trump’s rhetoric and Nazi logic. The editorial initially suggested potential reasons for the attacks, such as widespread Islamism, unemployment and police ineptness. All of that before introducing fictional characters, such as a woman wearing a hijab and a local baker, to illustrate that there is no such thing as an innocent muslim. “Terrorism was fomented”, the editorial claims. It also suggests innocent people died due to the public’s fear of being treated as an Islamophobe or  racist, in addition to the innocent actions of a bearded man in a deli and religious scholar, Tariq Ramadan. The terrorists’ role “is simply to provide the end of a philosophical line already begun”, it added; suggesting that every unaffiliated Muslim contributes to the rest of the “iceberg” and to extremist terrorist actions. In essence, that every living, breathing, practicing Muslim is contributing to terrorism in their own way.Charlie Hebdo concluded: “From the bakery that forbids you to eat what you like, to the woman who forbids you to admit that you are troubled by her veil, we are submerged in guilt for permitting ourselves such thoughts. And that is where and when fear has started its sapping, undermining work. And the way is marked for all that will follow.” The editorial is consistent in making similar comments throughout, suggesting the issue is not that the public isn’t Islamophobic but that they are not Islamophobic enough.So how did we end up here, in a place where a newspaper awarded for “courageous freedom of expression” at PEN American Center’s literary gala, asks the right questions but doesn’t have the appropriate answers? The anger is understandable, after the death of colleagues and friends, but to stimulate such bigotry and prejudice is considered unacceptable by many. “What catharsis does this give you?”, is just one example of recent Twitter reactions to the editorial.Nigerian-American writer, Teju Cole, was also quick to give an extensive response to the editorial. His reasoned criticism of the editorial included “The people of Charlie finally step away from the mask of ‘it’s satire and you don’t get it’ to state clearly that Muslims, all of them, no matter how integrated, are the enemy.” Charlie seems to want to defend “the wish to discriminate freely against Muslims without having to be called out on it”, and somehow portends to characterize the whole exercise as brave and truth-speaking. “This is precisely the logic also of the masses who praise Trump for his ‘honesty’—as though only ugliness could be honest, as though moral incontinence were any more noble than physical incontinence,” Cole states.Photograph: Marc Piasecki/Getty Images read more

Security Council hears criticism over inaction and paralysis in Darfur crisis

In its resolution 1593 (2005), the Council asked the Hague-based Court to investigate war crimes in Darfur, and in 2009, ICC judges issued arrest warrants against Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir and other top officials for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Darfur.“The time has come for this Council and States Parties to seriously devise strategies for arresting those alleged to be responsible for these crimes,” Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told the 15-member body during her office’s latest briefing on the conflict between the Government and various armed groups which led to the deaths hundreds of thousands of people and displaced two million more since it first erupted in early 2003.“This is the only way to stop the seemingly endless suffering of the Darfur victims,” she said, calling it a “serious indictment on this Council and on States Parties” that Mr. Bashir and others have been able to show “blatant disregard” for the Council’s resolutions and travel to various countries without fear of arrest.“The situation in Darfur continues to deteriorate and the plight of Darfur victims continues to go from bad to worse,” she stressed noting that this year alone 460,000 people have been newly displaced, with the numbers of people killed, abducted and displaced growing each year. “This Council’s silence even when notified of clear failures and/or violations by UN Member States of their obligations to comply with this Council’s resolutions only serves to add insult to the plight of Darfur’s victims.”Giving an overview of alleged crimes which continue to be committed and “cry out for full investigations,” Ms. Bensouda cited allegations of Defence Ministry attacks targeting civilians as well as attacks by rebel movements; criminal acts against displaced persons and abductions of, and attacks on humanitarian aid workers and peacekeepers. She also noted aerial bombardments and “the pervasive and corrosive effect of organized sexual and gender-based violence” on women and girls, which remains seriously under-reported.Ms. Bensouda said Resolution 1593 represented hope for Darfur’s victims: “hope that there would be an end for their suffering; hope that there would be accountability for crimes and that justice would not only be done but would be seen to be done; and above all, hope that lasting peace and security would return to Darfur.“That hope was strengthened even further when this Council mandated my Office to report on progress every six months to enable the Council to remain actively seized of their plight. Sadly, with each report provided by my Office to the Council, the hopes of the victims of Darfur have faded. With this eighteenth report, it would be an understatement to say that all hope is lost.”She noted that the 10-year conflict has cost UN and humanitarian aid organizations more than $10.5 billion and led to the deaths of 47 aid workers, with many more injured and abducted, and with attacks on peacekeepers appearing to become the norm, with a record number of 57 killings. “In spite of the frustrations, challenges and obstacles, my Office’s determination to carry out the mandate given to it by Resolution 1593 has not and will not waver,” she stressed.But, she added, “Without stronger action by this Council and States Parties, the situation in the Sudan is unlikely to improve.” read more

Final call for United Way donations

Brock University is looking for one final boost in donations for its 2016 United Way campaign.Fundraising efforts have yielded 97 per cent of the University’s $145,000 goal in support of United Way St. Catharines and District.Donations will still be accepted until end of day Friday.For more information or to make a contribution, visit brocku.ca/united-way.

Robot creates its own spray foam body then starts walking

first_imgA team at the University of Pennsylvania is experimenting with something called foam synthesis, the process of creating solid foam “body parts” from a compact spray package. It could create a new generation of self-forming robots.Students and researchers working out of the Modular Robotics Laboratory at the university looked at the fact that traditional robotics development was problem based. Meaning you had a group of experts eyeball a task to be done, then work with engineers to create a robot for that specific purpose.Development like that is static, and the robot is used just for that purpose and nothing else. What about situations where you cannot predict what problems need to be overcome? This is where the foam synthesis enters in, and the team’s creation of the Foambot .Without going into the deep technical speak that the team uses to explain the Foambot, it is a pretty simple thing to understand. Basically, there are 4 (or more) modules, plus a parent robot armed with spray foam. The operator can assess what shape the robot needs to be to fit the task and then use the foam spray to create the appropriately-shaped parts around each module. As the foam builds up it hardens, allowing for the creation of limbs that are connected to each other in a makeshift foam body. Combine that process with movement, and you have a robot that can change shape and then travel over or through different terrain and obstacles.The clever bit isn’t just the use of foam to create structures, though. The robot has software on board that analyses how the modules are positioned and where the joints are. It then uses that information to figure out how to make it move efficiently.This method allows the ultimate in flexibility since the robot can be designed on the fly, making it useful for the situation the operator is in. The video below shows the team creating both a four legged robot, and a worm/snake out of the hardened foam.More at University of Penn Modlab, via New Scientistlast_img read more

Internet au sommet de lEverest

first_imgInternet au sommet de l’EverestGrâce à un nouveau réseau de téléphonie à haut débit installé dans la région népalaise de l’Everest, les alpinistes vont pouvoir passer des appels vidéo et surfer sur Internet depuis le sommet le plus haut du monde. La station télécoms de technologie 3G se trouve à une altitude de 5.200 mètres. Elle a été installée par Ncell, une filiale du géant suédois de la téléphonie TeliaSonera.Son directeur au Nepal a annoncé aujourd’hui avoir “réussi à passer l’appel en vidéo le plus haut du monde depuis le camp de base du mont Everest. La couverture du réseau va atteindre [son] sommet”. Celui-ci se trouve à 8.848 mètres d’altitude. Jusqu’à présent il dépendait d’une couverture téléphonique par satellite aléatoire et coûteuse, installée par China Mobile en 2007.Au total, huit stations 3G ont été installées dans la région, dont quatre seront alimentées à l’énergie solaire. Elles permettront aux alpinistes de rester en contact avec leurs organisateurs d’expédition et leur famille. Ces installations seront également utiles en cas d’accident.Environ 3.000 personnes ont gravi le sommet de l’Everest depuis la première ascension en 1953. Le 29 octobre 2010 à 17:14 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

99 Restaurant To Host Fundraiser For Wilmington Farmers Market On June 18

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA – Looking for an excuse to eat out?The Wilmington Farmers Market Association is holding a “Dining For A Cause” Fundraiser at the 99 Restaurant (144 Lowell Street) on Monday, June 18, 2018, from 4pm to 11pm.Bring the flyer below and 15% of your bill will be donated to the Farmers Market.  Applies to both dine-on AND take-out orders.  (No coupons, discounts or promotions are accepted during the fundraiser.)At the restaurant, Farmers Market organizers will also be raffling off a gift basket that includes some goodies, products from its vendors, and gift certificates to local restaurants and farmers market vendors. Tickets will be $2 each or 3 for $5.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWHS Local Heroes Club To Hold Fundraiser To Benefit Veterans At 99 Restaurant On Sept. 11In “Community”99 Restaurant To Host Fundraiser For Cops With Kids For Cancer On June 5In “Community”99 Restaurant To Host Fundraiser For Northside PAC On May 29In “Community”last_img read more