Arresting officers actions one shining moment in Toronto van attack

first_imgTORONTO – The president of Toronto’s police union said an officer’s actions in arresting a suspect in Monday’s deadly van attack without firing a single shot was “one shining moment” in an otherwise horrific day.Mike McCormack of the Toronto Police Association said the arrest, caught on videos that have been widely circulated on social media, has served as a glimmer of hope for a city caught in tragedy.“It’s one shining moment in an absolutely game-changing, abysmal, horrific day in the city of Toronto,” McCormack said in a phone interview Tuesday. “The one … positive to take-away from that day was his behaviour.”At a news conference Tuesday, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said he attributes the nonviolent resolution to de-escalation training.But Saunders, who said he had spoken with the officer, said the handling of the situation was “nothing short of remarkable.”Police sources identified the officer as Const. Ken Lam, with the force’s 32 Division.With the city still on edge following Monday’s incident, many social media users have hailed the officer as a paragon of restraint based on footage of his tense standoff with the alleged van driver. It happened not far from the stretch of Yonge Street where a van mounted a sidewalk and rammed into pedestrians, killing 10 and injuring 14.In one of the videos of the arrest, a man, asking to be killed, stands by a damaged white rental van and points a dark object towards the officer. The officer refuses to shoot and repeatedly yells for the man to get down.The suspect warns he has a gun in his pocket.“Shoot me in the head,” the man can be heard saying on the video.From a highrise window, another video appears to show the suspect walking backwards with his arms raised as the officer moves toward him.The suspect eventually goes to the ground and street-level footage shows the officer kneeling over him as he lies on the pavement.“It could have gone either way. Any time if that threat escalated, we could have had a different outcome,” McCormack said of the arrest.“He reacted to what he was seeing, what his training taught him, and we’re extremely proud of him. He may have prevented additional deaths.”McCormack said the officer was one of many first responders who ran towards the danger as the van mounted the sidewalk between Finch Avenue and Sheppard Avenue.Officers pushed pedestrians out of the van’s path, performed CPR and attended to “mangled” victims, said McCormack.Even for seasoned officers, he said, the carnage was among the worst they had ever witnessed.McCormack has been in touch with the officer, who he said is overwhelmed with emotion, but eager to get back on the streets.“He’s more concerned with the victims … than what he has done.”McCormack said that while the officer maintains his actions were “no big deal,” as the adrenaline fades, he will have to face the magnitude of what he’s gone through.“(There’s) this whole notion that police officers go out and shoot first and ask questions later,” he said. “Many times our officers are dealing with people in situations that’s resolved in a peaceful way.“It was demonstrated in an overwhelmingly clear fashion … what police officers are really about, and what they really do.”last_img read more

2017 Quebec tornado cluster among largest recorded in Canada researchers say

first_imgMONTREAL – A cluster of tornadoes that knocked down trees and tore the roof off a home in southern Quebec last June was one of the largest ever recorded in Canada, according to new research from Western University.The findings suggest the extreme storms are more common in the country than previously thought.As part of a pilot project to detect previously unreported tornadoes, Western researchers found that a record-setting 11 tornadoes touched down in Quebec on June 18, 2017, rather than the four that were previously recorded.That’s the most ever recorded in the province.To reach their conclusion, the team used aircraft to fly over areas that had produced weather ”super-cells,” then worked backwards using images of the damage to estimate the wind speeds, according to an engineering professor who worked on the study.“Basically, we think that the tree-fall pattern — the proportion of trees that go down and also the patterns of the trees — gives us an indication of how strong the tornado will have been,” Gregory Kopp said in a phone interview.Kopp said the most powerful tornado to hit southern Quebec that day was a 200 km/h twister that damaged a 30-kilometre swath near Ste-Anne-du-Lac, north of Montreal.“There was a house there that was completely destroyed, so the roof and the walls were sucked away, all the contents were hundreds of metres downwind,” he said.According to Environment Canada, about 60 tornadoes are observed in Canada each year, most of them in the Prairies and southern Ontario.But weather models suggest the true number is closer to 200, according to meteorologist Alexandre Parent.Parent said the federal agency usually depends on reports from observers on the ground in order to confirm a tornado, which means that those in remote areas can be missed.He said the study suggests tornadoes are much more common in Canada than experts previously believed.“There are many that last only a few minutes, or that measure only a few dozen or a few hundreds metres wide, so they’re touching very, very local sectors,” he said.Because Western’s study is new, Parent says it’s too soon to say how it could be used in the future.Kopp, however, believes the added information could help authorities better identify tornadoes as they form, thus improving the effectiveness of the early warning system.He said it could also lead more builders to adopt tornado-proof building standards, at a cost of only a few hundred dollars more per home.News of Quebec’s record-breaking June tornado cluster came as no surprise to one amateur storm chaser who has travelled across North America in the pursuit of the elusive storms.Jean-Francois Massicotte said he was looking at weather data that day and saw the most volatile conditions forming in areas that were too hard to chase.“We were seeing all these big thunderstorms up north that we just couldn’t reach, we couldn’t get to them, so I’m not surprised that somebody made a study and found there were many more tornadoes on that day,” said Massicotte, a member of a group of self-described “weather nerds” that calls itself Quebec Vortex.Massicotte, 34, says tornadoes move quickly, don’t last long and don’t always follow the roads, which makes them hard to catch.But that hasn’t stopped him from trying, by using weather models, satellite images, radar, and weather reports and then racing to likely sites in the hopes of getting lucky.“The most spectacular thing you notice is the clouds, how they’re all racing towards the point where it will form,” he said.While he’s come close a few times, he says his ultimate goal is to get close enough to get that perfect photo, looking straight up into a powerful storm.last_img read more

Conservative MP asks ethics watchdog to reconsider OKing Husky Energy hire

first_imgOTTAWA – Conservative MP Blaine Calkins wants the federal ethics watchdog to reconsider her decision to allow the former chief of staff to Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr to go work for a Calgary-based energy company.Janet Annesley, who left Parliament Hill early last month, is now senior vice-president of corporate affairs at Husky Energy.The Conflict of Interest Act says an ex-staffer at her level cannot work for a company with which she has had “direct and significant dealings” in the last year, but Husky says Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson told Annesley she was OK to take the job.Annesley, who has years of experience in communications and lobbying for the oil industry, is prevented from dealing with Natural Resources Canada during a one-year cooling off period.She is also barred from lobbying the federal government for five yearsHusky says both the company and Annesley understand the rules.In a letter to Dawson, Calkins notes the Husky website says Annesley will be in charge of “developing relationships,” including with governments.Calkins says Canadians would find it “difficult to believe” her job requirements would not involve violating the act and urged Dawson to look again.Husky says it has no further comment and a spokeswoman for Dawson says she will review the letter.last_img read more

Ousted Manitoba backbencher plans legal challenge for right to cross the floor

WINNIPEG – A Manitoba politician who was kicked out of the governing Progressive Conservative caucus says he’s planning a court challenge against a law that forbids him from joining another party’s caucus.Steven Fletcher, who was dumped by the Tories last Friday, said Tuesday a provincial law that forbids him — or any other Manitoba politician — from crossing the legislature floor is unconstitutional.“That goes against almost every tradition that exists for our parliamentary democratic systems,” Fletcher told The Canadian Press.“I’ve given instructions to my lawyer to file the necessary paperwork to have the law thrown out on a constitutional basis.”The law was brought in by the former NDP government in 2006 in response to a controversy that erupted when David Emerson left the federal Liberals, weeks after being elected, to join the Conservatives. Then-premier Gary Doer said the aim was to ensure voters’ wishes at the ballot box are respected.The Manitoba law stipulates that any legislature member who ceases to belong to a caucus must sit as an independent until the next election, or resign and run in a byelection under their new party banner.Fletcher, who served as a member of Parliament between 2004 and 2015 and was Canada’s first quadriplegic MP, said he believes there is no similar law elsewhere in the British Commonwealth.Fletcher was removed from the provincial Tory caucus after criticizing a proposed law that would create a new Crown agency to promote energy efficiency. He tied up two public hearings on the bill by asking questions late into the night.A spokesperson for Justice Minister Heather Stefanson would not say if the government will fight Fletcher’s planned legal action. There will be no formal response until legal documents are filed, press secretary Kalen Qually wrote in an email.“This is a law that was introduced by the previous government in 2006,” he said in a statement. “These types of laws should not supersede the important issues faced by our province.”Fletcher’s ability to join another caucus would not mean much to the Tories, who still have 39 of the 57 legislature seats. But if he were to join the Liberals, it would give the struggling party a fourth seat — enough for official party status and the funding that comes with it.Fletcher said he has no intention of joining another party and simply wants to fight the law on principle. However, he said he feels there are disgruntled members of all three parties and a new caucus could emerge if some were to band together.“They may exercise their ability to do what they’re allowed to do constitutionally, and they may do so simply because they want to be a better representative for their constituency.”Fletcher pointed to the rupture in the Canadian Alliance in 2001, when Deborah Grey, Chuck Strahl, Monte Solberg and others left the Stockwell Day-led party and formed the short-lived Democratic Representative Caucus. Most rejoined after Stephen Harper became leader.“Look at that group — Monte Solberg, Chuck Strahl. Some of the key people who turned out to be awesome public servants.”The Manitoba Liberals said Tuesday they have long considered the floor-crossing ban to be unconstitutional, but had no plans to talk to Fletcher about joining their team.“At this time, we are not considering him as a potential fourth (legislature member),” Liberal president Paul Brault said.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. Previous versions had the wrong day in para 2. read more

Thunder Bay Ont police chief found not guilty of obstruction and breach

first_imgTHUNDER BAY, Ont. – The police chief of Thunder Bay, Ont., has been found not guilty on charges of obstruction of justice and breach of trust.Justice Bonnie Warkentin issued her ruling on the charges against J.P. Levesque in a courtroom in the northwestern Ontario city on Thursday.The courtroom erupted in applause from Levesque’s family members and supporters after the verdict was read.Warkentin says the Crown did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that Levesque intended to interfere with a possible extortion investigation into Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs and acted within his discretion as chief of police.Provincial police first laid the charges against the 53-year-old police chief last May and he was soon placed on administrative suspension by the force’s police services board.During his six-day trial, which began last month, several witnesses testified that Levesque allegedly informed Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs that he was the focus of an extortion investigation by the RCMP.Hobbs, along with his wife, Marisa Hobbs, were charged with extortion and obstruction of justice last July.Levesque’s lawyers, Brian Gover and Frederick Schuman, argued Levesque’s decision was the best one based on the unique circumstances of the situation and that he acted within his discretion as chief of police. They also pointed to Levesque’s character as trustworthy and honest, based on testimony from several witnesses.Prosecutor Jason Nicol argued Levesque attempted to interfere with the investigation by tipping off Hobbs and that the relationship between the two was more than “just a professional relationship.”(CKPR)last_img read more

Canadian Blood Services says donations spiked after Humboldt Broncos bus crash

first_imgTORONTO – There’s been a national “spike” in donations of blood in the wake of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Saskatchewan that left 16 people dead and 13 others injured, the Canadian Blood Services said Thursday.Several cities in Western Canada have seen donation increases of about 25 per cent above their averages, including Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton, while at least one clinic in Saskatchewan had a 50 per cent increase, said spokesman Hailu Mulatu.“We have received so many requests from so many people and organizations reaching out to us about what they can do, interest in organizing a blood drive at their site or coming as a group to donate,” said Mulatu, adding donations were also up about 10 per cent in the Greater Toronto Area.“Overall we can say at the national level we have seen a spike.”On Wednesday, Luke Jackiw of the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health said the province had received thousands of requests for stickers that residents can apply to their health card to indicate they’d like to donate their organs.He said the phones were “ringing off the hook” and attributed the response to the story of 21-year-old defenceman Logan Boulet of Lethbridge, Alta., who was on life support after the crash until his organs could be donated.“There’s been an overwhelming number of calls … (from) individuals to register their intent to donate organs,” Jackiw said, but added that Saskatchewan does not have an organ donation registry — the stickers are used to convey a will to be a donor, but consent from family or a next-of-kin is still needed when end-of-life decisions are made.“The important thing you can do, as Logan did, is talk to your family and let them know what your wishes are.”Canadians have also opened their wallets to help support the families of the victims of last Friday’s crash, which occurred outside Tisdale, Sask.Over $10.2 million has been pledged to a GoFundMe campaign, which the crowdfunding website says is the largest ever in Canada.More than 120,000 donors in 65 countries have contributed to the campaign — ranked among the five most successful campaigns ever on the platform — with donations ranging from $5 to $50,000 coming from individuals, families, sports teams and multinational corporations.last_img read more

Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur back in court Oct 22

first_imgTORONTO – The case of a man accused of killing eight men with ties to Toronto’s gay village has been put over for several weeks.Bruce McArthur, a 66-year-old self-employed landscaper, faces eight counts of first-degree murder.The remains of seven men were recovered from planters at a property where McArthur had worked in the months following his arrest last January.Police later found the remains of the eighth alleged victim in a ravine behind the same property in midtown Toronto.McArthur appeared briefly by video Friday morning and is now expected to appear in person on Oct. 22.Lead detective Insp. Hank Idsinga has said he doesn’t believe there are any more alleged victims.last_img read more

Defence says Crown used false confession from man accused of murder in

first_imgVANCOUVER — A defence lawyer for a man on trial for the murder of a 12-year-old girl in British Columbia over 40 years ago says the Crown relied on a false confession and failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.Patrick Angly told jurors in closing arguments at the B.C. Supreme Court trial that undercover police provided and promised inducements to Garry Handlen during a sting operation in Ontario in 2014.Handlen has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Monica Jack in Merritt in 1978.Angly says undercover officers used a so-called Mr. Big operation that led to his client’s confession but the law recognizes that those targeted by such police practices can falsely confess to crimes.Angly says Handlen found friends and a family in the supposed crime group he joined and was faced with losing his job.However, the Crown has said Handlen had plenty of friends and work, and argued he was a suspicious person who even asked if he was being recorded before his alleged confession, which was captured by a hidden video camera.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

How do you teach girls its OK to kick ass

first_imgYou can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on iTunes or Google Play.You can also find it at The world is constantly telling young girls to stay quiet. Be pretty, but please… don’t speak your mind. It’s this message that turns girls from confident and unapologetic kids, too timid and self-doubting teenagers. Gemma Sheehan, a former MMA fighter, sees this first hand every day. She teaches girls not only how to physically defend themselves, but also how to build confidence and be assertive in life. She shares the problematic differences she sees between girls and boys, and how she helps girls build the kind of mental strength that she believes is missing from the women’s empowerment movement.HOST: Claire Brassard / GUEST: Gemma Sheehan, Former MMA fighter, founder of Girls Who Fight Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.last_img read more

Ontario alarmist over federal powers if carbon pricing law stands court hears

first_imgTORONTO — The federal government says Ontario is being “alarmist” in its fight against Ottawa’s carbon pricing law.It says there is no merit to the province’s claim that Ottawa will gain vast new powers.A provincial lawyer on Monday told Ontario’s top court the law is unconstitutional because it strays far into provincial powers.He said the federal government could be able to tell people when to drive or where to live if the law stands.Today, a lawyer for the federal government disputed that notion.She says Ottawa’s only aim is to curb dangerous climate-changing emissions, which do not respect provincial boundaries.In her submissions to the Ontario Court of Appeal, Sharlene Telles-Langdon stressed the urgency in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to stop global warming scientists say will be catastrophic. The provinces, she said, simply can’t do it on their own.“There is a gap in Canada’s ability as a nation to meet the challenge as it now faces,” Telles-Langdon told the five-justice panel. “The federal power is directed toward a national measure, one that cannot be adopted by the provinces. This act is on the right side of that line.”At issue is the validity of federal legislation that kicked in on April 1 and which imposes a charge on gasoline and other fossil fuels as well as on industrial polluters. The law applies in those provinces that have no carbon-pricing regime of their own that meets national standards.Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government under Premier Doug Ford has denounced the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act as an illegal tax grab that will force up the price of gasoline and heating fuel.Telles-Langdon, however, argued the act respects provincial jurisdiction and recognizes the validity of provincial systems in relation to local industry regulation.“It’s the same throughout Canada,” Telles-Langdon said. “What it does is ensure a national system.” The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Timing of Bank of Canadas next statement gives it potential to tinge

first_imgOTTAWA — Canadians last heard the Bank of Canada’s take on the economy in the early days of summer — and the timing of its next update has the potential to tinge political debate during the federal election campaign.Since the bank’s most-recent public comments in early July, there’s mounting evidence of a slowing global economy mostly due to the escalating U.S.-China trade war — including fresh Chinese tariffs Friday and new threats by U.S. President Donald Trump.The Bank of Canada’s most-recent message underlined the resilience of the domestic economy, and it appeared in no rush to move its policy even as other central banks were poised to lower rates to respond to the already dimming international outlook.Scotiabank chief economist Jean-Francois Perrault predicts the Bank of Canada will take out insurance against potential damage by cutting rates this fall — and perhaps as early as Sept. 4 — because external risks have intensified since July.Perrault says a rate reduction at the start of the federal election — or even the appearance of the bank tilting towards the possibility of a cut — could force political parties on the campaign trail to explain how they would react if things get worse.Former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page says Canada appears to be well-positioned to handle an economic downturn, but he expects political parties will be challenged to lay out how far they’d be willing to go to stimulate the economy, if necessary.Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz has been meeting this week with his global peers at the Fed’s policy conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Bill C69 becomes law UCP vows legal action

first_imgEDMONTON (660 NEWS) – It’s official, Bill C-69 has been proclaimed law in Canada.The bill which critics labelled the ‘No More Pipelines Act’ will change how major energy projects are reviewed and approved in Canada and has received heavy criticism from the oil and gas sector and several provincial governments.In a statement released Wednesday night, the UCP said “This is a dark day for Alberta and Canada as a whole. As we have said loudly and repeatedly, this act is an unconstitutional attack on Alberta and our vital economic interests.”The statement also said the government will take its fight to Ottawa and launch a constitutional challenge against C-69.In June the bill passed through the Senate with a vote of 164-56. The Senate had proposed nearly 200 amendments to the bill, the majority of which were rejected.READ MORE: Trudeau government to reject amendments to C69: report“I cannot believe that a Prime Minister would be prepared to push forward a bill that strikes at the heart of Canadian unity and at the same time the economy of Canada. That’s just unprecedented, that bill needs to die,” said Energy Minister Sonya Savage shortly after the bill passed.Premier Jason Kenney also spoke at that time, repeating his stance that Alberta is being treated unfairly.“Albertans cannot be expected to continue to pay the freight in the Canadian federation if the same federation continues to block our ability to develop and get a fair price for our resources.”Kenney repeated his stance that a referendum on equalization payments could come by October 2021.Right now, there’s no clear date to when the UCP will launch its legal challenge, especially with the Federal Election slated for October.Kenney hopes Canadians will elect a government that will immediately repeal Bill C-69. Do you agree with the provincial government challenging Bill C-69?NoYesVoteView Results Take Our Polllast_img read more

Earth Hour 2014 Is A Huge Success

first_imgThe entire world witnessed the Earth Hour phenomenon sweep across the planet in its eighth year as Earth Hour 2014 broke all records of mass participation across the world as hundreds of millions of people became everyday super-heroes for the planet.Earth Hour 2014Earth Hour 2014, proved the movement is now stronger than ever with the event observed in over 162 countries and over 7000 cities, creating magical lights off moments in every continent of the world. The symbolic hour has grown into the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, with beyond the hour activities and initiatives happening throughout the year.“It’s always extraordinary to see cities and landmarks involved in the ‘lights off event’, but the most exciting thing about Earth Hour this is year, is seeing the amount of projects and campaigns that are taking action beyond the hour. From crowdfunding to campaigns to protect The Great Barrier Reef or The Amazon, Earth Hour is harnessing the power of the crowd far beyond the hour”, said Andy Ridley, CEO and Co-Founder of Earth Hour.Last year alone saw thousands of Argentineans petition to pass a senate bill to protect a marine area 28 times the size of New York City and WWF-Uganda began the fight against the 6,000 hectares of deforestation that occurs in the country every month by creating the first ‘Earth Hour Forest’. In 2012, Russians also petitioned to get legislative change protecting the country’s seas from oil pollution and now are striving to protect an area of forest twice the size of France.These Earth Hour success stories illustrate the movement has become a global collaboration to show what can be achieved for the planet.Here is how Earth Hour was celebrated across the world in 2014Earth Hour began its journey setting off celebrations, in New Zealand, where community events were held all over the islands. Moving across to Fiji where islanders hit Earth Hour fever, and the country held a fundraising dinner, hosted by President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.The hour of inspiration went back to its humble beginnings where Earth Hour once again hit the shores of Australia bringing to light the plight of one of the greatest natural wonders on the planet – The Great Barrier Reef. This iconic wonder is under great threat due to climate change and the recently approved government decision to develop a mega coal and gas ports that would cause dredging and dumping of millions of tonnes of seabed and rock in its Marine Park.To drive action and support, a new documentary “Lights Out for the Reef” was screened across many famous locations including Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney, as well as engaging people around the world to add their voice and use their power to protect this iconic wonder.Continuing to the home of Earth Hour, Singapore celebrated the event empowering the crowd with the message that people are the true every day super-heroes of the planet. Using none other than Spider-Man to join the global flagship event, and the stars of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Jamie Foxx inspired a fired up crowd to take a stand to protect the planet.“To witness Earth Hour from Singapore, the home of this WWF organised event, makes a powerful impression on me,” said WWF Director General Designate, Dr. Marco Lambertini from Singapore. “To see people united in a single purpose of making our lifestyles less impactful on the planet, inspires me immensely. Right now, Earth Hour is moving across the globe, following the setting sun, sending billions of people around the world a message that each of us has the power to make a difference. Each of us can be a Superhero for the planet.”In China Earth Hour drew attention to the “Blue Sky,” and the need to reduce air pollution and smog. The public were encouraged to send in ideas in order to inspire change towards healthier air.The lights off event then swept across the east gaining momentum and switching off lights such as Lotus temple in New Delhi, and The Gateway of India in Mumbai. Earth Hour in India kicked off a year long educational project that will take place in 15,000 schools across the country, which will help to reduce carbon footprints by recording carbon output, whilst educating children on the value of efficient energy use.As participants across the United Arab Emirates were encouraged to make the switch to energy efficient lighting which has been an outcome driven focus in the lead up to the event, the worlds tallest building – the Burj Khalifa and Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque switched off.Showing that the movement reaches all corners of the globe, an event in front of the Khaju Bridge in Isfahan – Iran, will drive action and support about the plight of the famous Zayanderud River, where there has been no continuous water flow for the past few years due to climate change and other factors.WWF-Russia called on people around the world to help support field projects that are working to save five key species of animals in the region, including the critically endangered Amur Leopard. By a decision of the Presidential Administration, the Kremlin, the official residence of the Russian President, and Red Square turned off lights during Earth Hour for a second time.“Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin has also recorded a message from the International Space Station, reminding the world that whilst the planet looks amazing and beautiful from space, it also looks fragile and therefore people should do their part to protect it”.Earth Hour then made its way over to Africa as the Great Pyramids of Giza switched off in Cairo alongside other key landmarks in Egypt.As the lights of the majestic Table Mountain switched off in Cape Town the city also celebrated being awarded WWF’s Global Earth Hour Capital 2014, being recognised for its ambition and pioneering actions to combat climate change, in its effort to bolster quality of life for its citizens.Where East meets West, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque) in Istanbul switched off for Earth Hour for the first time, alongside the Hagia Sophia and Bosphorous Bridge that connects Europe and Asia.Lights out footage from famous European landmarks across Europe including the Acropolis in Greece, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and Brandenburg Gate featured on the offical instagram account generating hundreds of thousands of likes as Earth Hour further expands it’s digital presence.In the UK, a live stream event featuring Sophie Ellis-Bextor took place as lights went off across landmarks such Big Ben, tower bridge, London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliment and Westminster Abby.Moving onto the South Americian continent, just a day before Earth Hour, National Senator Ernesto Sanz submitted a bill into the Senate of Argentina. A massive crowd gathered at the Planetario Galileo Galilei in Buenos Aires, for Earth Hour celebrations in support of a law which aims to replace ignition water heater systems with efficient electric systems, to avoid the passive consumption of gas equivalent to powering 800,000 homes in the country for one year.One of the most iconic statues in the world, the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro switched off, as Victor Civita Square in São Paulo held the site of the official switch off event in Brazil. More than 142 cities across the country took part in Earth Hour.The momentum stretched out to the United States of America where some of the most well loved and historic landmarks did the big switch off from Times Square, UN Headquarters and Empire States Building in New York.Even the lights of the Las Vegas Strip plunged into darkness as Earth Hour finished it’s journey in the Americas finally wrapping up in Tahiti and the Cook Islands, the last places to celebrate Earth Hour, and some of the most vunerable places in the world due to sea level rise caused by climate change.In tandem with the crowd’s enthusiasm at events across the world has been Earth Hour’s massive digital presence. The recently launched Earth Hour Blue is a key example of global digital engagement. The revolutionary platform for the planet allows anyone in any country to use their voice or their dollar to take action and support projects of their choice across the globe, encouraging participants to use their favourite social platforms to engage in their favourite crowdfunding and crowdsourcing projects.As a newcomer to the crowdfunding scene, Earth Hour Blue has launched with WWF projects from Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, China, Nepal, India, Russia, Uganda, South Africa, Madagascar, Canada and Columbia which are now all live on the crowdfunding platform powered by Crowdonomic. The platform is already a success, Singapore having already raised enough money from its project to start new efforts to fight wildlife crime in Southeast Asia.last_img read more

Prince Harry Attends Film Screening For Charity

first_imgPrince Harry attended a 50th anniversary screening of ‘Zulu’ this week to celebrate the work of three charities which help wounded soldiers and children in Africa.Prince Harry meets Shenkin, regimental mascot of the 3rd Battalion, as he attends the 50th anniversary screening of ZuluCredit/Copyright:

Arriving at the Odeon in London’s Leicester Square, His Royal Highness told Suzannah Endfield Olivier, the daughter of the film’s director Cy Endfield that it is one of his favourite films: “I watch this film every single year before Christmas time. Maybe once. Maybe twice.”

The film, which has been digitally enhanced to mark the anniversary, dramatises the events at Rorke’s Drift where the British Army famously battled Zulu battalions in January 1879.

It tells the story of the 150 British soldiers, many sick and wounded, who took on 4,000 Zulu warriors – with their efforts earning 11 Victoria Crosses.

Ms Endfield Olivier said Prince Harry’s attendance at the film was ‘a validation’ of the re-release and the film’s success. The release will benefit Walking With The Wounded, Sentebale and The David Rattray Memorial Trust.Prince Harry has been heavily involved with Walking with the Wounded, taking part in the charity’s South Pole expedition last year and supporting two previous expeditions as a Patron.He is also a founding Patron of Sentebale, which helps vulnerable children in Lesotho who face extreme poverty and an HIV and Aids epidemic.The David Rattray Memorial Trust helps to educate and care for children at a number of schools in Kwa-Zulu Natal.The release of the film, which will include never-before-seen footage, has been organised by Ms Endfield Olivier.Prince Harry also met people associated with the film and charity representatives before settling in to watch the classic film.Source:www.princehenryofwales.orglast_img read more

Congress Moves To Help Lab Monkeys

first_imgCongress has taken action to put cruel psychological experiments on infant monkeys at the National Institutes of Health and other NIH experiments under the microscope, following pleas from Dr. Jane Goodall, Oscar-nominated actor James Cromwell, and TV icon Bob Barker.The House Appropriations Committee passed language — championed by California Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard — in its spending bill mandating that NIH undertake, with input from outside experts, a critical assessment of the agency’s ethical-review policies related to all experiments on monkeys and other primates.Unlike studies on humans and chimpanzees, NIH currently does not subject experiments on monkeys to formal ethical review or risk-benefit analysis. Last year, PETA exposed controversial experiments at NIH in which monkeys are bred to be prone to depression, taken from their mothers at birth to induce trauma, locked alone in small cages, and then subjected to years of experiments designed to measure the babies’ severe fear, depression, and anxiety.“I’ve had productive discussions with offices on both sides of the aisle about this issue, and I applaud Congress for acting to ensure more stringent and independent oversight of taxpayer-funded experiments on monkeys,” says Barker, who stars in a new TV spot calling for an end to the experiments.Cromwell adds, “I’m proud to have been involved with Rep. Roybal-Allard on this bipartisan effort to secure some much-needed ethical scrutiny of controversial experiments on vulnerable infant monkeys.” Cromwell co-hosted a congressional briefing on the cruelty of the experiments, their inapplicability to human health, and the superior non-animal research methods available to study mental illness.Other prominent figures who’ve teamed up with PETA to speak out against the experiments and call for reform include celebrity psychotherapist Dr. Jenn Berman, conservative strategist Mary Matalin, other members of Congress — including Reps. Sam Farr, Dina Titus and Eliot Engel – and more than 250,000 citizens.Source:PETAlast_img read more

Kesha Writes On Why We Must Do More To Ban Poaching

first_imgKesha has written a meaningful column for on why we must do more to ban poaching.“It’s time to end this perverted excuse for entertainment,” she wrote. “I was heartbroken along with so many Americans who are mourning the terrible killing of the lion Cecil by a man from Minnesota. As an animal lover, I have traveled to Africa to walk amongst and view these stunning creatures in their natural habitat — taking care not to disturb them while also enjoying their presence.“It angers me that U.S. law currently does not protect African lions, and these “trophies” can flow across the U.S. border in unlimited quantities from anywhere.“Populations of African lions in the wild have dwindled by almost 50% in only the last three decades. Even as lion populations plummet, hunters continue to kill them, and lion trophy imports to the United States are on the rise. This has to stop. Please join HSUS and HSI in urging U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to add the African lion to the endangered species list. Trophy hunting should be banned.”Read Kesha’s full column here.last_img read more

Emma Bunton Helps Pampers And UNICEF Celebrate A Decade Of Fighting Tetanus

first_imgAn estimated 500,000 newborn lives have been saved and 100 million women and their newborns protected from the deadly disease, maternal and newborn tetanus, thanks to a ten-year long partnership between Pampers and UNICEF that helped achieve this milestone.Video: Pampers UNICEF 10 Year AnniversaryThe partners marked the tenth anniversary of their work today by celebrating the contributions of their joint effort that has helped in the elimination of maternal and newborn tetanus in 17 countries, with the success of the ‘1 Pack = 1 Vaccine’ initiative.Long-standing spokesperson for the 1 Pack = 1 Vaccine campaign, Emma Bunton, united with Pampers and UNICEF during a global summit in New York to celebrate the progress for mothers and babies as a result of the partnership.At the event, Emma reflected on the decade-long initiative and invited everyone to mark the 10th anniversary by resolving to eliminate maternal and newborn tetanus entirely.“Working with the people who have been instrumental in the success of this partnership, and meeting some of the mothers and babies who have enjoyed better, healthier lives as a result of the initiative has been an unforgettable experience,” said former Spice Girl Emma Bunton.The 1 Pack = 1 Vaccine campaign has combined two components that are essential to defeating a disease like maternal and newborn tetanus: Raising funds, and raising profile.“The partnership between Pampers and UNICEF has resulted in much greater awareness of maternal and newborn tetanus.” said Yoka Brandt, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director. “It will take even more commitment and investment, but we can and must accelerate elimination efforts in the remaining 21 countries where the key challenge remains universal access to life saving interventions, including maternal and newborn tetanus vaccines.”And although much has already been achieved, there is more work to be done, as maternal and newborn tetanus still threatens the lives of 71 million women and their newborns.Sirma Umur, Pampers VP babycare E-IMEA says “We continue to partner with UNICEF to help protect the world’s babies against this deadly disease and invite everyone to join us in our 10th anniversary wish to eliminate maternal and newborn tetanus entirely.”Tetanus is caused by bacteria that live in soil. Newborns are often infected as a result of unhygienic birth practices, such as cutting the umbilical cord with un-sterile instruments or handling it with dirty hands. Once contracted, there is no real cure. Nearly all babies who contract tetanus die, unless they receive treatment.The true extent of the newborn tetanus death toll is not fully known, since the population at the highest risk of contracting the disease tends to live in rural areas with little or no access to health care services or education.Newborn tetanus can be prevented through a simple vaccination given to pregnant women and women of a child-bearing age, to protect both the woman and her unborn child during this vulnerable period. Following administration of the tetanus vaccine to a pregnant mother, the antibodies pass across the placenta to her foetus.World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF recommend three appropriately spaced doses of the tetanus vaccine in order to ensure long-lasting immunity. After two doses, a woman who is vaccinated before she gives birth will be protected against the disease for three years. After three doses she will be protected for five years, and in both cases, will share her protection with her baby for the first two months of lifelast_img read more

Zoe Saldana And Rachel Zoe To Take Part In Fifth Annual Moms

first_imgIn celebration of Mother’s Day, hundreds of advocates, experts and every day moms and dads will gather on May 4 in New York City to share ideas, exchange best practices and inspire action for a healthy planet and happy families.One of the most joyful moments in a parent’s life should be the moment when they hold their new baby for the first time. However, everyday 830 women die due to complications in pregnancy or childbirth. What’s more, every year, 16,000 children die before their fifth birthdays, mostly from preventable causes.Hosted by the United Nations Foundation and Johnson & Johnson, the fifth annual Moms +SocialGood is a one-day event where moms and their families are the focus of the conversation. The health and well-being of families around the world will unite hundreds of passionate experts and advocates to share ideas and inspire action to tackle some of the world’s most critical challenges for families.To date, speakers include: Zoe Saldana, Award-winning Actress Rachel Zoe, CEO, Rachel Zoe, Inc. Dr. Vanessa Kerry, CEO and Co-Founder, Seed Global Health Catalina Escobar, Founder, Juan Felipe Gomez Escobar Foundation, 2012 CNN Hero Kimberly Chandler, Journalist and Philanthropist The Harlem Gospel Choir Carolyn Miles, President and CEO, Save the Children Gwen Zwanziger, Flu Prevention AdvocateThere is no greater power than when families, from all backgrounds and geographies, come together for a healthier and more equal future for all. Moms +SocialGood will leverage the power of social media to connect these passionate experts, advocates and parents with others around the world, making it a truly global event.“If you care about healthier families and communities, join us and raise your voice with ours to highlight the global issues impacting the health of moms and children around the world, and how we can do our part to solve them” said Kathy Calvin, President & CEO, UN Foundation. “Thanks to our partner, Johnson & Johnson, you can hear from UN leaders, be inspired by young activists, and share your own ideas for improving the lives of women and children around the world.”The event, hosted at the AXA Event & Production Center, will be followed by Dads +SocialGood on June 13 at the Times Center in New York, and Families +SocialGood on June 15 in London.“Johnson & Johnson’s long-standing partnership with the UN Foundation is helping to make deep strides in improving the health of moms and children worldwide,” said Michael Sneed, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs, Johnson & Johnson. “Still, there is much work to be done. Our goal through the Global Mom’s Relay initiative is to inspire action that continues to improve the health and wellbeing of mothers and children everywhere. By leveraging the power of social media, we encourage moms, dads and families everywhere to join us in making a difference.”Moms +SocialGood will also kick off the Global Moms Relay, a digital storytelling and fundraising campaign. Launching in time for Mother’s Day, the Global Moms Relay celebrates the lifesaving work of Girl Up, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, UNFPA, Shot@Life and Nothing But Nets.The Global Moms Relay will begin just before Mother’s Day and run through Father’s Day, from May 3 to June 16. Featuring 25 voices including public figures, activists, nurses, artists, mothers, fathers and more, the relay asks participants to share a personal story answering the question, “What do you wish were true for every family, everywhere?” and then passes the baton to the next contributor. This one-of-a-kind digital relay encourages audiences to read the inspiring stories and share them with friends on social media networks. For each social media share, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 (per action up to $500,000) to help improve the health and wellbeing of moms and kids worldwide through Girl Up, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, UNFPA, Shot@Life and Nothing But Nets. Through the Donate a Photo mobile app, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 per photo, up to another $40,000 to Shot@Life, UNFPA, Girl Up, U.S. Fund for UNICEF and Nothing But Nets, bringing the total goal to $700,000.last_img read more

Bell Lets Talk keeps the conversation going on mental health

first_img Facebook Advertisement “Let’s get talking Canada! The reality is that mental illness affects all of us – 1 in 5 directly, and 5 in 5 of us in some way every day with the impact of the disease on our family, friends, neighbours and work colleagues,” said Olympic medallist Clara Hughes, the campaign’s national spokesperson.“But we can and we are making a difference. Start your own conversations today by talking about mental health with everyone you know, and join the millions of people in Canada and worldwide showing their support by making a call, sending a text or getting the word out on social media.“Together, we all sent almost 126 million messages of support on Bell Let’s Talk Day last year – and I know we can take our fight against the stigma even further this year!”Bell will donate five cents to Canadian mental health programs for each of these interactions you make today, at no extra cost to you:Every text message, mobile call and long distance call made by Bell Canada and Bell Aliant customersTwitter: Every tweet using #BellLetsTalk – which now includes a Bell Let’s Talk hashtag emojiFacebook: Every view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video on Every Instagram post using #BellLetsTalkSnapchat: Every use of the Bell Let’s Talk geofilter on SnapchatLast year, the 125,915,295 interactions on Bell Let’s Talk Day meant $6,295,764.75 in new Bell funding for Canadian mental health programs. #BellLetsTalk was the most used hashtag in the world on Bell Let’s Talk Day 2016 and the #1 Twitter hashtag in Canada for all of 2016; #mentalhealth was also in the top 10, a clear indication that Canadians are talking about mental health all year long. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Login/Register With: Advertisement Today is the seventh annual Bell Let’s Talk Day aimed at raising awareness and funds for mental health initiatives. It’s time to talk, text and join in on social media as Canadians everywhere share in the national conversation about mental health.Throughout the day Bell will donate 5¢ more towards mental health initiatives in Canada, by counting every text, call, tweet, Instagram post, Facebook video view and Snapchat geofilter.A press release from Bell said that by getting engaged, you’re not only offering support to the millions of Canadians living with mental illness, you’re also having a direct impact by driving Bell’s donations to mental health programs all year round.last_img read more

Lorde Iggy Azalea Imagine Dragons to perform at this years MMVAs

first_imgAdvertisement Lorde is headed to this year’s iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards — but whether her lamp will make an encore performance remains to be seen.The New Zealand-raised musician is among the first round of artists announced for the televised street party in Toronto on June 18.It marks Lorde’s second time at the MMVAs. Advertisement The singer created a viral moment at the event in 2014 when she prominently featured a floor lamp in her performance of hits “Team” and “Tennis Court.”The moment caught fire on social media and inspired the Twitter account “LordesLamp” in response to the unusual performance. Other artists slated to perform include Iggy Azalea, “Cake By the Ocean” singers DNCE, and Imagine Dragons, known for their massive hits “Radioactive” and “Demons.”Rounding out the first wave of performers is Toronto-based Jazz Cartier, fresh off his Juno Awards win for best rap recording, and Julia Michaels, whose single “Issues” is climbing the upper echelons of the Billboard Hot 100.The MMVAs will air on Much, CTV and stream through the iHeartRadio app. Nominees and a host for the awards show will be announced in May. Advertisementcenter_img Twitter Facebook Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more