Some calling for Metis Nation president to resign

first_imgAPTN National NewsIn-fighting within the Metis Nation of Saskatchewan saw a rally outside of their offices Wednesday.They are outraged and calling for the president to resign over improper spending and the way the organization is managed.APTN’s Chris Stewart has the story.last_img

Court kept in the dark about role Justin Brake played during Muskrat

first_img(The front page of The Newfoundland and Labrador Independent. Its editor, Justin Brake was named in a court order to evict occupiers at Nalcor’s offices at Muskrat Falls)Trina RoacheAPTN National NewsThe lawyer for Justin Brake says the court was not made aware that he was a journalist at the time a judge expanded an injunction to include his name.Brake, a reporter, and editor for the Newfoundland and Labrador online publication The Independent, was covering the protests over the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project in Labrador.“From what I’ve seen so far,” said Geoff Budden, “Nalcor did not advise the court that Justin Brake was a working journalist. We say that was a failure to provide material fact. On the basis of that failure, we wish to challenge whether the order should ever have been issued.”Nalcor Energy, a Crown corporation in Newfoundland and Labrador, filed for an initial injunction in mid-October, as protests picked up and people blockaded the gates at Muskrat Falls.The main concern is how the dam will impact the health and way of life of Innu and Inuit who live downstream.On October 22, a group of land protectors cut the padlocks on the gate and marched into the Muskrat Falls site along the Lower Churchill River.Innu leader David Nuke on the phone inside Nalcor’s offices at Muskrat Falls. This is one of the many photos taken by Justin Brake while covering the occupation.Around 50 people occupied the main Nalcor building, Brake followed and spent the next four days reporting from inside the occupation, tweeting and going Live on Facebook.Innu elder Bart Jack was one of the people who occupied Muskrat falls camp. He called Brake’s coverage “very important” because “people were able to get the whole story from right where we were. We were able to give the atmosphere of the camp and how we were conducting ourselves.”Jack described the occupation as peaceful and emotional. Brake’s presence put eyes on what was unfolding in real time.“This is an example of how the underdog can get into the picture and say, ‘this is our fight,’” said Jack. “So we’re not going to give up because the opponent has all the elements in their favour to run over us.”The occupation effectively shut down the multi-billion dollar operation for five days. Nalcor was forced to send 700 workers home and in an affidavit submitted to the court, said the occupation cost the corporation $3-million a day.Nalcor went back to court and asked the judge to expand the injunction to include a list of 22 names and “any other persons unlawfully occupying the Project Site.”That’s when Justin Brake appeared on the list.“Nobody is suggesting journalists are outside the law,” said Budden. “But there’s a pretty high duty on a party seeking ex parte order to provide all material facts.”Journalist Justin Brake of The Independent.Budden said that’s relevant because the press has certain constitutional protections. The question remains on whether the judge would have included Brake’s name knowing he was working as a journalist.“It’s long been recognized in other contexts that a free and unrestrained press is a social good that should be promoted,” said Budden. “There are particular rights attached to press coverage that we believe the court must consider as they ultimately address Justin Brake’s situation.”In an email response, Nalcor Energy wrote, “Mr. Brake was treated in the same manner as all individuals who chose to enter the site and take up occupation at the camp. Mr. Brake’s profession and reporting was not a consideration.”Brake made a snap decision to follow the land protectors past the gate at Muskrat Falls and continue his coverage from inside the occupation.“There were a lot of really newsworthy and wonderful scenes that happened in there that I think changed the narrative of how we interpret this whole project on the outside and people’s whole struggles against it, and resistance to it,” said Brake in an interview with APTN National News.He said his coverage gave weight and perspective to the mainly Innu and Inuit, underrepresented in mainstream coverage. Brake pointed out that Call to Action number 84 of the Truth and Reconciliation Report is aimed at media.“To fairly and accurately report on Indigenous struggles and Indigenous issues,” said Brake. “And a lot of the people in there who are Inuit and Innu who were occupying that building say they don’t feel like they’ve had a voice at all.”Bart Jack agrees. He said the coverage shone a spotlight on the issues and concerns.“That plays a role a different role for people who are being oppressed,” said Jack. “We are facing the oppressor and they are doing everything to make our lives miserable. But here we are, still alive and doing what we can to survive.”Brake left the occupation when he found out his name was on the court injunction. He said he didn’t want to get arrested and not be able to cover the story at all.The case was on the docket this week at the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador in Goose Bay where 21 people who occupied the Muskrat site appeared to face contempt of court charges.It’s a civil charge and no one at this point is facing criminal charges. Most people a have a new court date, giving them time to seek legal advice.Brake is back home in Newfoundland. Budden, based in St. John’s, called into the courtroom Tuesday morning on his behalf.Brake has received support and backing from organizations like the Canadian Association of Journalists.“We want to know why a reporter’s name was not removed from the subpoena as soon as it became apparent that he was simply following a story and telling it to his readers,” said CAJ President Nick Taylor-Vaisey. “It’s imperative that reporters be allowed to work in the public interest, as is our constitutional right.”Brake’s next court date is December 7.The fight against Muskrat Falls isn’t over.Innu and Inuit land protectors in Labrador are planning to meet Tuesday evening to figure out next steps as word spread that Nalcor Energy is looking to flood the reservoir at Muskrat Falls as early as this weekend.A study by Harvard University predicts that trees and topsoil left in the reservoir can create high levels of methylmercury. As the naturally-occurring toxin flows downstream, it could contaminate traditional food sources.Indigenous groups in Labrador have called for Nalcor Energy to fully clear the reservoir before initial flooding.The Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and Indigenous leaders reached an agreement to set up an advisory committee, increase monitoring, and make scienced based decision. But that has not fully calmed concerns that important country foods like fish and seal could be poisoned.troache@aptn.calast_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

Air Canada adding more planes to Rouge for use on domestic routes

first_imgMONTREAL – Air Canada is looking to cut operating costs and defend against competition from upstart low-cost competitors by adding more planes to its Rouge fleet and flying them on regional routes within Canada.Narrow-body Rouge planes that operate at lower cost could replace smaller regional aircraft operated by airline partners like Jazz on some routes.For example, one of several flights per day on a popular route could be converted to an Airbus plane, industry analysts were told Friday.Rouge aircraft are also available to compete if necessary with ultra low-cost carriers like WestJet’s new Swoop subsidiary, Flair Airlines or Canada Jetlines.“We needed to have the capability of introducing a lower-cost competitive vehicle, both on offence and on defence,” Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu said during a conference call about its 2017 results.The increased use of Rouge planes domestically is permitted under changes to the collective agreement with pilots negotiated last year.Several more Rouge planes are being added this summer and once all Boeing 787s are delivered next year there will be no limit on the number or type of single-aisle planes that can be flown by Rouge.Ben Smith, president of passenger airlines at Air Canada, said Rouge Airbus A320s and 321s can be converted to high density single class cabins or possibly another airplane type such as the Boeing 737 Max.Rovinescu also told analysts that a joint venture with Air China expected to be concluded in the coming months would enable it to be more aggressive in the competitive Pacific market.The joint venture would expand the relationship beyond the use of lounges and codesharing as it faces pressures on flights to China and Hong Kong.“It certainly it should certainly be an assistance to us in competing more aggressively,” Rovinescu said.Meanwhile, Air Canada announced Friday a new $250-million cost-cutting plan to be implemented by the end of 2019. That follows the completion of a $500-million plan launched in 2009 that eventually netted about $575 million in savings.The new drive to cut costs comes as the Montreal-based airline looks to maintain margins despite the expected slowing down of its capacity growth with the arrival of its final new large planes.“We showed we can take costs out in bad times but we now need to show we can continue to have that cost discipline in good times,” Rovinescu told analysts.The cost savings are expected to come from procurement, maintenance, aircraft leases, internal engineering, overhead and simplified business processes, added chief financial officer Michael Rousseau.Chris Murray of AltaCorp Capital Inc. said the new drive for efficiency is important as Air Canada’s growth slows to about seven per cent in 2018 from nearly 12 per cent in 2017, with more reductions likely in subsequent years.He expects the savings to come from “behind the scenes stuff” that won’t be felt by passengers.Air Canada capped a strong 2017 by earning adjusted net income of $61 million, or 22 cents per share for the quarter — ahead of analyst estimates of 14 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters data.The airline’s operating revenue was $3.82 billion in the fourth quarter, up from $3.43 billion a year earlier and above the estimate of $3.75 billion.Net income was $8 million or two cents per share for the three months ended Dec. 31, which was an improvement over a 2016 fourth-quarter loss of $179 million but lower than expected.“Overall, we liked what we saw in the Q4 results,” wrote analyst Walter Spracklin of RBC Dominion Securities in a note to clients.For the full year, it earned $2.04 billion or $7.34 per share, up from $876 million or $3.10 per share in 2016. Adjusted profits also rose five cents per share to $4.11.Revenue grew 10.7 per cent to $16.2 billion as the airline carried a record 48.1 million passengers, up 7.3 per cent from the prior year.This included record revenues from cargo and Air Canada Vacations along with more than $1 billion in ancillary revenues from payments for checked baggage, seats, food and changed bookings.Strong demand and growing connecting traffic through its three hubs in Canada are expected to result in another good year in 2018, said Rovinescu, who added the performance is under appreciated by investors.Air Canada’s shares grew nearly 90 per cent last year and were up 2.3 per cent at $24.88 in midday trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:AC, TSX:WJA)last_img read more

Womens coworking space The Wing set to open first location in Canada

first_imgTORONTO – A co-working space for women that’s drawn the ardour of thousands of Instagrammers and the attention of celebs including Jennifer Lawrence and Lena Dunham is set to expand to Canada.The Wing, a New York-based networking and social club, said Tuesday that Toronto is among the six new locations joining its burgeoning pastel-hued chain.The female-focused company is part of a wave of modern sororities geared to female entrepreneurs, merging a fierce can-do motto with feminist ideals tailor-made for a generation of self-starters.It joins several other Canadian ventures that similarly put career women in their sightlines, including Toronto’s exclusive Verity Club and its luxury spa, the co-working and wellness space Shecosystem with its yoga classes and Madonna dance parties, and the pretty and perky penthouse space Make Lemonade. Other spaces include Montreal’s LORI hub, which stands for Ladies of Real Influence.“It’s important to have the space where we all feel comfortable and that this is ours, that we have ownership as well,” Rachel Kelly, Make Lemonade’s founder and owner, says of her inspiration.“If you start exploring a couple of the co-working spaces you’ll notice there is quite a male-dominated culture in a lot of these spaces and that presence is quite overpowering,” she adds.“Just the overall vibe — the bro vibe — is a big thing.”The Wing’s promotional material includes the taglines: “A home base for women on their way,” “Your throne away from home” and “Say goodbye to the old boys’ club.”It was founded by PR exec Audrey Gelman and business partner Lauren Kassan, and was inspired by the women’s social clubs of the early 20th century.It launched in Manhattan’s Flatiron district in October 2016, expanding to SoHo a year later. Then came a third spot in the DUMBO neighbourhood of Brooklyn in February, and a fourth heads to Washington D.C. this spring.All locations are created by an all-female design and architecture team and feature a menu of food, wine and cocktails created by female chefs, sommeliers and mixologists. There are also showers and lactation rooms.The Wing says its first Canadian outpost is slated to open in early 2019, the address yet to be determined.Other new locations include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Williamsburg (Brooklyn), and London.There certainly appears to be demand in Canada for such a venture.Twenty-two-year-old entrepreneur Kim Kirton says she joined Make Lemonade after souring on more traditional co-working spaces.“Sometimes I would feel uncomfortable just working, just the way people would kind of look at me,” says Kirton, who too often found professional networking opportunities devolve into social pitches.“(Men were) just coming up and usually asking, ‘Oh, what are your plans today?’ or, ‘What are you doing after work?’ versus ‘Oh, what do you do for work?’”Kirton doesn’t suggest she’s experienced any misconduct, stressing that her concerns were primarily focused on finding the best place to run her online wardrobe business, UnCo.“I have a startup here in the city and I’m trying to be like every other entrepreneur and trying to grow my business.”Although none of the members are men, Kelly says they’re certainly welcome to join Make Lemonade, as long as they adhere to an “inclusivity mandate” that bans “sexist, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, classist or otherwise discriminatory language.”Since launching last September, Kelly says she’s drawn 80 members in various fields including editing, food, publishing, law, fashion and tech. In addition to workspaces, she offers mentoring, workshops, and mixers.But some question whether women-targeted initiatives are the answer.Sarah Kaplan, director of the Institute for Gender + the Economy at the University of Toronto, worries they push women to the sidelines, instead of levelling the playing field.“I’m not a big fan, personally, of cloistered solutions,” she says.“I’m sure it will satisfy the needs of some people who feel like it’s just a more pleasant or safer or more conducive (place) to the kind of work that they want to do. But is this a huge market opportunity because women are so different from men? No. It’s just because the world of work is so gendered masculine that I think the only solution people can come up with is to cloister and I don’t think that’s the right solution.“I think we have to change the world of work. But that’s a bigger project.”Initiatives such as implicit-bias training and diversity workshops clearly have not fixed organizational culture, Kaplan adds.“You have to actually change your processes and practices, you have to change how you think about the work, not just for women but also for men,” she says, seeing the need for men to participate equally at home.She also says corporate and full-time positions must be more accommodating to workers — often women — who need greater flexibility because of family obligations. Many have left the workforce or opted for “Plan B” ventures that have given rise to spaces like The Wing.“They still want to make money and they still want to participate in the economy but they can’t,” says Kaplan, bemoaning a lack of supports such as onsite daycare and lactation rooms.As a young woman, Kirton suggests self-esteem can hold back women, too, admitting, “Outside of certain spaces I definitely feel my self-doubt a lot bigger.”“Men sometimes are a little bit more vocal in their capabilities … or have a high level of confidence. Whereas women, not so much, so I can see why it could be intimidating.”Kaplan doesn’t see the same issues, pointing instead to “a world that isn’t going to fund you.”“Women are plenty confident, it’s just that they’re beaten down,” she says.“We’ve moved beyond mentoring, we know that that’s just giving free advice. What you really need is sponsorship, you need people who are going to stick their neck out, who are going to put their money where their mouth is.”last_img read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

first_imgSome of the most active companies traded Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,269.27, up 11.37 points)Neovasc Inc. (TSX:NVC). Medical devices. Unchanged at 6.5 cents on 10.8 million shares.Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Healthcare. Up 11 cents, or 1.39 per cent, to $8.04 on 6.6 million shares.Trinidad Drilling Ltd. (TSX:TDG). Oil and gas. Up 12 cents, or 6.52 per cent, to $1.96 on 6.2 million shares.Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA). Oil and gas. Down one cent, or 0.07 per cent, to $14.72 on 5.6 million shares.Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX:CVE). Oil and gas. Down five cents, or 0.40 per cent, to $12.44 on 4.1 million shares.Shaw Communications Inc. (TSX:SJR.B). Telecommunications and media. Up $2.25, or 9.31 per cent, to $26.42 on 3.8 million shares. Strong operational performance by its main business units offset concerns about $417 million in restructuring-related costs booked in its second quarter. Shaw reported a $164-million loss, mostly because of a previously announced restructuring that will affect one-quarter of its workforce.Companies reporting major news:Second Cup Ltd. (TSX:SCU). Restaurants. Up 79 cents, or 28.73 per cent, to $3.54 on 1.4 million shares. The company wants to convert some of its coffee shops in western Canada into cannabis dispensaries and, when legal, pot lounges. It has signed an agreement with marijuana clinic operator National Access Cannabis to develop and operate a network of recreational pot stores. However, neither currently has a licence to sell marijuana, so the deal is contingent on approval from the government, as well as from franchisees and landlords.last_img read more

Starbucks citing environment is ditching plastic straws

first_imgSEATTLE – Starbucks, citing the environment threat to oceans, will ban plastic straws from all of its stores globally in less than two years.The company becomes the largest food and beverage company operating globally to do so.Starbucks said Monday that it is making available a strawless lid at 8,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada for certain drinks.Starbucks Coffee Co. estimates the switch will eliminate more than 1 billion plastic straws a year.The company’s announcement comes a week after it’s hometown, Seattle, banned single-use plastic straws and utensils at businesses that sell food or drinks in the city.Starbucks said cold beverages in which a straw is typically included make up 50 per cent of the drinks its sells, up from just 37 per cent five years ago.last_img

German billionaire family admits to links with Nazis

first_imgBerlin: More than 70 years after the end of World World II, one of Germany’s richest familiy has admitted to its dark links with Adolf Hitler’s regime. Spokesman of the Reimann family, Peter Harf, told Bild am Sonntag of plans to give 10 million euros (USD 11.3 million) to charity after learning of their elders’ support for the Nazis and their company’s use of forced labour during the war. “Reimann senior and Reimann junior were guilty. The two entrepreneurs have both passed away, they belonged actually in prison,” said Harf. Albert Reimann senior died in 1954 and his son in 1984. The company they left behind, JAB Holding, is today a behemoth that owns household brands ranging from Clearasil to Calgon. With wealth estimated at 33 billion euros, the Reimann family is believed to be Germany’s second richest. Harf said the family began digging into their dark past in the 2000s, and in 2014 decided to commission a historian to produce a thorough study into their ancestors’ ties to Nazism. The family plans to make public a full account when the book by the historian, Paul Erker of Munich University, is finished, said Harf. Quoting letters and archival documents, Bild am Sonntag said Reimann senior was a willing donor to Hitler’s SS as early as 1931. His company was in 1941 deemed a “crucial” firm in the war, as it produced items for the Wehrmacht and the armaments industry. In 1943, the company was using as many as 175 forced labourers, and employed a foreman who was known for his cruel treatment of the workers. Harf, who confirmed the conclusions drawn by the Bild report, said there had been no known efforts to provide any compensation to the forced labourers. “But we have since talked about what we can do now,” he said. “We want to do more and donate ten million euros to a suitable organisation.” Many of Germany’s biggest companies have over the decades confronted their Third Reich history.last_img read more

US oil giant Chevron to acquire Anadarko for 33 bn

first_imgNew York: US oil giant Chevron announced Friday it had agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of Anadarko in a stock and cash transaction valued at $33 billion, or $65 per share. Based on Chevron’s Thursday closing price, Anadarko shareholders will receive 0.39 shares of Chevron and USD16.25 in cash for each Anadarko share held, the company said in a statement. The total enterprise value of the transaction is USD50 billion. “The acquisition of Anadarko will significantly enhance Chevron’s already advantaged Upstream portfolio and further strengthen its leading positions in large, attractive shale, deepwater and natural gas resource basins,” the company said. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal”The combination of Anadarko’s premier, high-quality assets with our advantaged portfolio strengthens our leading position in the Permian, builds on our deepwater Gulf of Mexico capabilities and will grow our LNG business. “It creates attractive growth opportunities in areas that play to Chevron’s operational strengths and underscores our commitment to short-cycle, higher-return investments.” Anadarko Chairman and CEO Al Walker added: “The strategic combination of Chevron and Anadarko will form a stronger and better company with world-class assets, people and opportunities.” Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostThe deal is the oil industry’s largest since Royal Dutch Shell bought BG Group in 2016, and it sparked speculation that other shale producers are in play. Shares of Apache Corp, which also has extensive acreage in the Permian Basin, jumped 7 percent in premarket trading, while Pioneer Natural Resources Co rose 6 per cent. US crude oil production now surpasses 12 million barrels a day (bpd), and the nation is the third-largest producer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), the super-cooled fuel that is seeing record demand as a cheaper, cleaner alternative for countries that still rely heavily on coal for power generation. Chevron, which already has 2.3 million acres in the Permian Basin, said the deal to buy Anadarko would give the combined company a 75-mile (120-km)-wide corridor across the Permian’s Delaware basin, on the Texas-New Mexico border. Anadarko also has a Mozambique LNG project, part of one of the industry’s largest planned current investments. Chevron Chief Executive Michael Wirth will lead the combined company after the deal closes. Chevron will remain headquartered in San Ramon, California. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC is Chevron’s financial adviser, while Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is its legal adviser.last_img read more

Christian Michel seeks bail to celebrate Easter Delhi court reserves order

first_imgNew Delhi: A Delhi Court Thursday reserved its order on a plea of Christian Michel, the alleged middleman arrested in the AgustaWestland chopper scam, who had sought seven-day interim bail to celebrate Easter with family. Special Judge Arvind Kumar said he would pronounce order at 4pm after hearing argument of lawyers from both sides. Special public prosecutor DP Singh, appearing for CBI and ED, opposed Michel’s plea, saying India is a country of various festival thousands of prisoners are in jails and everyone has faith in religion so the accused can’t be allowed to go out of jail to celebrate festivals. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ He said Michel can participate in Easter in custody. The lawyer argued before the court that if Michel comes out on interim bail and makes statement outside, it can derail investigation. Michel’s lawyer argued that since the charge sheet has been filed, there is no point of tampering evidence. He said the accused is cooperating in the case and sought bail. “Being a Christian, he was not even allowed to offer a holy mass even during Christmas…,” said the application moved by the accused. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K “It is submitted that the week commencing form 14th April to 21st April is a holy week for Christians and 21st April is Easter which will be celebrated universally. The petitioner wishes to attend the holy mass on Easter day and would like to make offerings during the Easter day,” Michel has said in his plea. The Enforcement Directorate filed a supplementary charge sheet against Michel and others on April 4. He was arrested by ED on December 22 after his extradition from Dubai. He is among the three alleged middlemen being probed in the chopper scam by ED and Central Bureau of Investigation. Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa are the two others. The agency had told the court that Michel made 24.25 million euros and 1,60,96,245 pounds from the AgustaWestland deal. ED has told the court that it identified Michel’s properties purchased with proceeds of the crime. CBI has alleged that the deal, signed in Feb 2010 to supply VVIP choppers worth 556.262 million euros, caused an estimated loss of 398.21 million euros (about Rs 2,666 crore).last_img read more

HIDCO set to commemorate 158th birth anniversary of Tagore

first_imgKolkata: Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) will organise a programme to celebrate the 158th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore on Thursday, May 9.Apart from holding the main programme on May 9, HIDCO will also hold programmes on every Saturday and Sunday in May, except May 18 and 19. The State Information and Cultural Affairs department will organise a programme on Cathedral Road outside Rabindra Sadan. The programme He Antaratara will start at 7 am on May 9 at Rabindra Tirtha, when veteran Rabindra Sangeet exponents including Chitralekha Chowdhury, Dipak Rudra, Ashish Bhattacharya, Enakshi Chattopadhyay and Abhirup Guha Thakurata will perform to pay their respects to the bard. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe other singers who will be present at the event are Prabuddha Raha, Suman Panthi, Sayan Bandyopadhyay, Anindya Narayan Biswas, Chandrabali Rudra Dutta and Sinjini Acharya Majumdar among others. Well known elocutionist Pranati Thakur will recite excerpts from the poems of Tagore. Elocutionists Bijoylakshmi Barman, Sovanshundar Basu, Urmila Sen, Arumoy Bandyopadhyay and Soumitra Mitra among others will also recite excerpts from Tagore’s poems. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe evening programme will start at 5 pm, where a chorus song will be presented by Barasat Gitisudha. Rabindra Sangeet will be presented by Ankita Ghosh, Indrani Saha, Arpita Bandyopadhyay, Mandira Ghosh, Mahua Chakraborty, Sinjini Chakraborty and Sutapa Dutta Bhandari among others. Elocutionists including Srimanti Dasgupta, Partha Mukhopadhyay, Mahua Majumdar and Debashis Roy among others will also take part in the event. On May 11, Gitabitan Praktani consisting of the past pupils of Gitabitan will present a chorus directed by Chanda Sengupta. Ektara Pathsala will present a chorus recitation directed by Sovanshundar Basu and presented by Nristi Abritti Sanstha. At 6.15 pm, Thespians will present Tagore’s famous drama Bisarjan, which has been directed by Partha Mukhopadhyay. On May 25 at 5.45 pm, well known elocutionist Bratati Bandyopadhyay will present Nahi Samanya Nari, a chorus recitation directed by her. At 6 pm, Rabindra Sangeet exponents Aditi Gupta, Prabuddha Raha and Subhadeep Chakraborty will take part in a programme. This will be followed by a dance drama. Similar programmes will be held subsequently on May 26, June 1 and June 2 as well.last_img read more

Libya court indicts Kadhafi aides on 2011 uprising charges

first_imgTRIPOLI – A Libyan court indicted around 30 senior Moamer Kadhafi aides, including the dictator’s son Seif al-Islam, on Thursday for a raft of alleged offences during the 2011 revolt, prosecutors said.“The court ordered they stand trial on the main charges against them dealing with the repression of the 2011 revolt,” prosecutors’ office spokesman Seddik al-Sour said after the hearing.“The trial date will be set by the Tripoli criminal court,” Sour told a press conference. The charges pressed against the accused include murder, kidnapping, complicity in incitement to rape, plunder, sabotage, embezzlement of public funds and acts harmful to national unity.Only a dozen of the accused appeared in court, said a lawyer who was present at the hearing, held under tight security at a Tripoli court and prison building.Sour said the law did not require that the defendants all be in court to hear the indictment.The fact that “some of the defendants would have needed exceptional security measures to appear prompted the court to decide to notify them of its decision after the hearing”.“But the presence of all the accused will be obligatory at the trial hearings before the criminal court,” Sour added.last_img read more

Mikhail Kalashnikov a man whose invention killed millions

first_imgMohamed Ouhemou, Casablanca- The man whose invention has killed more people than nuclear weapons, HIV and many other diseases all together is dead. Mikhail Kalashnikov, famous for his invention, the fully automatic assault rifle, the AK-47, known also as the Kalashnikov, died Monday at age 94. Mikhail Kalashnikov was born on 10 November 1919 in western Siberia. In 1938, he was called up for service in the Soviet Red Army, where he took advantage of his designing skills and employed them to improve the effectiveness of weapons and equipment used by the Soviet tank regiments he served in. He started seriously considering designing an assault machine gun when one of his friends in the army asked him why he could not make a gun that matched the power and efficiency of the guns used by the Germans. In 1947 Mikhail Kalashnikov completed the design of his legendary weapon whose simplicity made it both reliable and easy to use and maintain, but, most importantly, cheap to manufacture. One can only admire his great invention.  Unlike its American counterpart the M16, which has always been criticized for being hard to maintain, the Kalashnikov can fire in all conditions, rain or shine, and it even if it gets wet or severely damaged, it will still fire. Hence when it was first distributed in 1963 to the American soldiers positioned in Vietnam, many soldiers refused to carry the weapon, saying that they would not put their lives into the hands of a children’s toy.  Later, the M16 was modified and all the plastic parts were reinforced with steel, for instance the plastic bullet magazine was reinforced with steel.Besides the  technical aspects as to which the Kalashnikov certainly stands superior, the Kalashnikov also has its romantic appeal. It is the weapon that liberated many African nations form colonial rule and put and end to colonial arrogance and military superiority. It seems that the Kalashnikov, when put in the hands of a well determined freedom fighter can achieve great miracles. Therefore it is employed by the armies of dozens of countries.  Mozambiquehas even incorporated it into its national flags.  Likewise for other national liberation movements such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, or the Irish National Liberation Army.American media has always tried to associate this weapon with terrorism and organized crime, and therefore it is rare to see any American action movies without having ugly and evil looking men carrying the Kalashnikov. Those ugly men are in most cases Arabs or Africans. While on the other side, you would see a group, of kind and good looking white fellows carrying the M-16, and getting rid of those evil men. The Kalashnikov, will always have its appeal and pertinence, though writing such as statement might seem callous, but the role of war above all is to kill as many as you can.Tough Mikhail Kalashnikov was honored by the government, he made almost no money from his invention. He is also said to have expressed his unhappiness about his invention, “It would have been better if I had designed a more useful and productive machine which farmers and workers could use,”he once said.Edited by Elisabeth Myers© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

Undercover Female Cops Patrol Marrakech to Combat Prostitution

Casablanca – The police in Marrakech, Morocco have adopted a controversial practice designed to put an end to prostitution in the southern city: Female policewomen in civilian clothes are currently patrolling the streets of the Red City hunting down nocturnal sex workers. More than 25 women were recently arrested in Marrakech for soliciting prostitution, according to daily Assabah’s Monday report. The arrestees were apprehended by a new corp of “undercover female cops” assigned to address prostitution in Marrakech, according to the same source.Police said the suspects were arrested for solicitation and drunkenness. The arrestees were subsequently brought before the public prosecutor before they were released on bail. Most of the arrestees were women from outside Marrakech, mainly from Agadir, Casablanca, Essaouira, and other Moroccan cities.According to Assabah, the new arrest campaign, which aims at combating prostitution, consists of sending female police officers in civilian clothes to the most popular streets in Marrakech, where there are more tourists than other areas in the city. Edited by Elisabeth Myers© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed read more

Marrakech Police Arrest Drug Gang Using Mission Impossible Tunnels

Rabat – Police in Marrakech arrested 13 people accused of using an abandoned network of underground tunnels to hide drugs and weapons. The tunnel network was dug out during the shooting of Tom Cruise’s blockbuster movie “Mission Impossible 5,” daily newspaper Al Massae reported.The drug gang members, aged between 20 and 30, were arrested last week in the city of Marrakech after showing “strong resistance”, added the newspaper.The same source said the authorities discovered that the aforementioned gang was using the network of abandoned tunnels already meant for the shooting of scenes from the movie Mission Impossible 5 featuring American actor Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt to hide drugs, stolen goods and white arms (knives) imported from outside the country. The weapons were used for “theft” and “robbery”. Besides Marrakech in which he closed a highway bypass section to leave space for the shooting of his film, Tom Cruise also shot scenes for the fifth installment of the Mission Impossible franchise in other Moroccan cities including, Casablanca and Rabat. read more

Princess Lalla Salma receives Chelsea Clinton in Marrakech

Marrakech – Princess Lalla Salma received, on Wednesday in Marrakech royal palace, Chelsea Clinton, vice-president of the Clinton Foundation, who came to pay a courtesy visit.Chelsea Clinton is taking part in Marrakech in the inaugural conference of the “Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Middle East & Africa” which kicked off this Wednesday with the attendance mainly of international figures, leaders of multinationals and civil society actors

IOM Hails Moroccos Humanitarian Treatment of Immigration Issue

Rabat – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Monday hailed Morocco’s the humanitarian treatment of the issue of immigration.During his meeting with Government Chief Abdelilah Benkirane, IOM Director General William Lacy Swing hailed the initiatives taken by Morocco, under the leadership of HM King Mohammed VI, in the humanitarian treatment of the issue of immigration through the regularization of hundreds of immigrants and the wise policy pursued by Morocco in this field, based on openness and human values, according to a statement of the Government Chief’s department.William Lacy Swing also expressed IOM readiness to grant all forms of support to Morocco in the field of migration, particularly at the technical level, IOM boasting 65 years of experience and mobilizing more 500 points worldwide.For his part, Benkirane highlighted Morocco’s commitment to the human values of tolerance and assistance, recalling the considerable efforts made by the Kingdom, alongside its partners, to support and accompany development efforts on the African continent and meet the economic and social conditions for stability in the source countries of migrants. read more

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