Whistler, B.C. (July 24, 2019): To support the voices of Indigenous Canadians, the Whistler Film Festival (WFF) has opened the call for applications for its seventh annual Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship. The four-day creative and business immersion experience will take place from December 4th to 8th during the Whistler Film Festival and Content Summit.The experience is open nationally for up to six emerging Indigenous Canadian film artists with short films, webisode projects or television pilots. The program is designed to advance Indigenous Canadian talent by focusing on strengthening and advancing short script projects by providing feedback from mentor filmmakers, broadcasters and industry leaders who are well-respected members of the Canadian film community.“The WFF Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship’s main focus is to support and highlight Indigenous stories and content creators from across Canada who are looking to advance their short form content from script to screen,” says Angela Heck, WFF’s Director of Industry Programming. “The fellowship plays an important role in helping storytellers and their projects advance past the development stage.” Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement Fellows will receive travel and accommodation support as well as an industry pass to attend the Whistler Film Festival and Content Summit. At the festival, they will gain firsthand insight into the world of narrative short form storytelling through panel discussions, workshops pitches, networking events, and screenings with filmmakers and industry experts.Short scripts in all genres can be submitted for consideration. Writers must be either First Nations, Métis or Inuit and hold Canadian citizenship. All rights remain with the filmmaker and WFF has no proprietary interest in any of the projects. The application deadline is September 3, 2019, and finalists and mentors will be announced in mid-October. Application details and information are available at whistlerfilmfestival.com.Whistler Film Festival gratefully acknowledges the generous support and commitment to the Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship sponsored by Canada Media Fund, Creative BC and Eagle Vision, and is supported by the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler..The Whistler Film Festival Society (WFF) is a cultural charitable organization dedicated to furthering the art of film by providing programs that focus on the discovery, development and promotion of new talent culminating with a must attend festival for artists, the industry and audiences in Whistler. WFF produces one of Canada’s leading film festivals and plays a leadership role in offering project development programs for Canadian artists. The 19th annual Whistler Film Festival returns December 4 to 8.SUGGESTED TWEET: #WFF opens applications for Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment
(Image: Human Rights Tribunal chair Shirish Chotalia. APTN/ file photo)APTN National NewsOTTAWA–The Federal Court issued a stinging rebuke to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Wednesday in a ruling overturning a decision to dismiss a discrimination complaint against the federal Aboriginal Affairs department over its funding to First Nations child and welfare services.Federal Court Judge Anne Mactavish ordered the tribunal to again hear the complaint, but with a different panel.Mactavish found that Conservative-appointed tribunal chair Shirish Chotalia committed a litany of errors when she decided to dismiss the complaint which was launched by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and the Assembly of First Nations.Mactavish found that the tribunal erred when it failed to provide its reasons for deciding the complaint could not proceed under the Canadian Human Rights Act. The judge also found that the tribunal erred when it found there was nothing to compare Aboriginal Affairs department’s handling of child and welfare services, despite the federal government’s own internal use of provincial standards as a benchmark.“The process that (the tribunal) followed in this case was not fair,” wrote Mactavish.The society and the AFN have argued that Aboriginal Affairs discriminates against First Nations children by failing to fund First Nations child welfare services at the same level as the provinces.Chotalia ruled on March 14, 2011, that First Nations on-reserve child welfare services could not be compared to provincial child welfare services. Her ruling handed a victory to the federal government which had been vigorously fighting the complaint.Amnesty International and the Chiefs of Ontario are also backing the complaint.Chotalia has been beset by troubles of her own. An internal investigation upheld claims of harassment leveled by tribunal employees against Chotalia.Aboriginal Affairs was also forced to launch its only internal probe after it emerged department officials were spying on Cindy Blackstock, the head of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society.
By Kenneth JacksonAPTN National NewsThe man accused of killing two Ottawa women and under investigation for the murders of two First Nation women claims to be First Nation himself.Marc Leduc, 56, has been asking for special services while in custody that First Nations receive while behind bars.He is particularly interested in smudging.Leduc was arrested Feb. 6 for the murders of two non-Aboriginal women Pamela Kosmack, 39, and Leanne Lawson, 23. Kosmack was found dead in June 2008 and Lawson September 2011.Leduc was already in custody facing sexual assault charges after it is alleged he broke in the home of a 19-year-old woman and assaulted her at knifepoint in November. The woman was able to wrestle the knife away and run for help.DNA collected from that crime scene matched samples retrieved from the crime scenes of Kosmack and Lawson.Leduc was put in the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre awaiting trial on the November incident. It was then that he requested to be given Aboriginal status inside the detention jail.He was never able to get it due to a backlog of requests as there are some 75 Aboriginals looked after by one person.Leduc has since been transferred to the Quinte Detention Centre in Napanee, Ont. because he can’t have any contact with Darrin Murch, the brother-in-law of Kosmack, who works as a guard at OCDC. Leduc was ordered by a judge Thursday to have no direct or in direct contact with Murch or his wife Cindy Murch, Kosmack’s younger sister.Due to hearing difficulties, Leduc has to attend every court hearing. That means he’ll have to be transported from Napanee to Ottawa for each appearance. It’s about 200 kilometres.New information has come to light that Kosmack knew Leduc. Kosmack’s family said they have learned Leduc grew up in the same Ritchie Street housing complex in Ottawa and he is said to have frequented the Britannia Pub in Ottawa’s west end where they both lived. Kosmack was also known to go to the same pub.He apparently had the nickname “Toonie” for Kosmack but so far the family has no idea why. They believe it may have something to do with her favourite meal being Kentucky Fried Chicken and their meal deal “Toonie Tuesday”.It’s one of the questions her family wanted answered.They gathered Saturday to remember Kosmack and celebrate the arrest of her alleged killer.Kosmack’s mother Gail Brown believes God finally answered her prayers.Police told the family they had “found their guy” two days before the arrest at Brown’s home. When she heard the words come out of a detective’s mouth she squeezed her daughter Cindy’s leg and leapt up and said “thank you, God!”Police told the family they expect Leduc in other unsolved murders too.Kelly Morrisseau was murdered in December 2006, while Jennifer Stewart was killed in August 2010. Both lived in Ottawa’s Vanier suburb and were First Nation. Their murderes remain unsolved.Leduc’s next court date is in March.email@example.comTwitter: @afixedaddress (Pam Kosmack’s family gathered Saturday to celebrate her life and the arrest of her alleged killer Marc Leduc last week. APTN photo)
APTN National NewsRecently, residents of a rough Winnipeg neighbourhood said that they are a community that cares about their women and girls.They want the violence to stop.APTN’s Ntawnis Piapot has the story for us.
Brandi MorinAPTN National News Hot on the heels of her Mrs. Universe crown this past weekend, Ashley Burnham is using her new fame to call on Aboriginal people to vote out the Conservative party and its leader Stephen Harper in the upcoming election.“It’s so crucial that we vote a new prime minister in, because we need a new prime minister,” said Burnham, from Enoch Cree Nation in Alberta. “I believe we need to fight for our rights and we need to vote.”Burnham, 25, won Mrs. Universe 2015 on Saturday in Minsk, Belarus, becoming the first Canadian and First Nations woman to win the title for married women.Winning has catapulted the actress and model into the national and international spotlight. She is using her voice to raise awareness of issues affecting Canada’s Indigenous people. “Now that I have this title people are actually listening to me, which is amazing because now I have a voice,” said Burnham.The top issue addressed in the Mrs. Universe competition was discussing ways to combat domestic violence. On the top of Burnham’s list is the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women. “I think that the murdered and missing subject is so crucial. It’s so sad. Say, for example, a Caucasian woman is missing in the news, it’s a big deal, but for First Nations women we are just pushed aside because there’s so many of us missing,” said Burnham. It’s issues like this and the adversarial relationship between the Conservative government and Canada’s Aboriginal people that are compelling Burnham to urge her fans to vote in the upcoming federal election. And she plans to speak out while traveling around the world as Mrs. Universe in the next year. “Other countries need to know what’s going on in ours. It feels like the government just does not care about us (First Nations),” she said. “This government is very controlling of our people and soon enough our rights might be taken away. And if I have that voice to bring awareness, I’m going to use it.”Burnham grew up in poverty between the two reserves of Maskwacis and Enoch in Alberta. She was sexually molested as a young child and knows first-hand about the cycle of abuse. Her mother Lisa Ground, also a beauty pageant title holder as Mrs. North America Globe, said the two are on a healing journey together and that sharing their story will help bring further awareness to MMIW.“When I was in an abusive relationship, when we got out we needed police protection, we had to escape… we’ve (Ashley and I) grown together and we’re overcoming the horrific things that have happened to both of us,” said Ground. She added that she’s cried many tears of joy since her daughter’s big win and that their lives now a day are filled with hope. “We are so excited for her, we cheered and we are still cheering, said the proud mom. Burnham has come a long way from growing up facing much adversity. After establishing a successful modeling career, then starring in APTN’s successful TV drama series Blackstone she also experienced racism and discrimination during her early years competing in beauty pageants. Overcoming those challenges has proved rewarding for Burnham.Burnham said she has received an outpouring of support from fans and credits her family and husband Ryan Burnham for helping to keep her grounded amidst the whirlwind of sudden mainstream success. She encourages anyone to follow their dreams no matter where they come from.“No matter what your background is or what you’ve been through in your life you can push yourself to reach the success that you dream of,” she said. “I think that you shouldn’t let fear hold you back and I believe that even though we’re First Nations we can succeed in any aspect of our lives, we can make it big time.”Ashley’s first official public appearance as Mrs. Universe will be at a MMIW fundraiser called Fashion Speaks in Kamloops, B.C. Sept. 16 along with her mother. firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK, N.Y. – The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local):6:55 a.m.It’s going to be a nervous opening on Wall Street, a day after the Dow Jones industrial average recorded its biggest fall, in percentage terms, since August 2011.Futures markets are turning cagey as the opening bell gets nearer, with Dow futures and the broader S&P futures, down a further 1 per cent and 0.6 per cent, respectively.Stock markets around the world, particularly on Wall Street, have tumbled this week as fears over prospective U.S. interest rate hikes combined with fears that markets were a bit frothy following a strong run over the past year that saw many indexes hit record highs.Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital in London, is worried about the role technology is playing in the rout. Algorithmic trading, which involves computers following a program, are, he said, “battering the key levels forcing the market lower each time.As a result, he reckons buyers are being caught out: “So far every time dip buyers come in they are being blown away — despite the fact that on a forward earnings basis stocks are looking more and more appealing.”___6:30 a.m.For many stock investors, the rout in markets is likely to have come as a bit of a shock or at least a timely reminder that share prices can go down as well as up.Throughout the history of financial markets, corrections whereby indexes lose 10 per cent of their value have been a regular and healthy phenomenon as they shake out some of the more speculative players and bring share prices back to their fundamental levels.Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA, notes that the rally over the last couple of years has been “very strong and without any corrections of note.”As a result, he thinks that it’s entirely possible that this has led to some “complacency,” with investors perhaps “getting a little ahead of themselves.”___6:15 a.m.In the Middle East, stocks were touched by the U.S. and Asian markets’ sell-off, though the losses were more limited.Dubai’s stock market closed 1.5 per cent lower and Abu Dhabi’s shed nearly 1 per cent on Tuesday in the region’s third day of trading for the week.In Saudi Arabia, the region’s biggest economy, the Tadawul stock exchange slipped 1.5 per cent while Qatar’s closed a little more than 2 per cent down.Meanwhile, in Egypt, one of the largest consumer markets in the region, the EGX30 was trading 2 per cent lower and the EGX50 was down 3 per cent.___5:45 a.m.The turmoil in global stock markets has echoes with what’s been going on with bitcoin, the hugely volatile virtual currency, which rose exponentially to around $20,000 last year before a precipitous slump.Many in the markets think assets like bitcoin are introducing a layer of uncertainty that has contributed to the retreat in stocks.On Monday, bitcoin slid from around $11,500 to below $7,000, while the Dow Jones industrial average fell by a record 1,175 points.According to James Hughes, chief market analyst at AXI Trader, the Dow Jones “was trying to do its best Bitcoin impression.”Bitcoin was under pressure again Tuesday, trading 5.9 per cent lower at $6,509.___5:05 a.m.There are signs of a reprieve in the global market sell-off.Futures markets are pointing to a steady opening on Wall Street, with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures down 0.2 per cent and up 0.4 per cent, respectively.Hopes that Tuesday won’t see a repeat of the previous day’s selling on Wall Street has helped European stock markets clamber off earlier lows. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 1.8 per cent, while Germany’s DAX was 1.9 per cent lower — both indexes are higher than where they started the session.Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, said it’s the “speed of the correction, not its size,” that has proven the “real shock, particularly to a market inured to low volatility.”___3:15 a.m.Stock markets in Europe have tumbled at the open following the routs on Wall Street and Asia and as investors fret that a healthy correction could turn into a protracted bear market.Minutes after the bell to signal the start of trading, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 2.5 per cent at 7,151, while the CAC 40 in France slid 3 per cent to 5,127. It was a similar story on Germany’s DAX, which was 3 per cent lower at 12,308.Investors around the world have taken fright at the prospect of a higher than anticipated increase in U.S. interest rates this year in the event rising wages stir inflation.Many in the markets had been anticipating some sort of correction following the steady gains over the past year or so, which have pushed some indexes, notably on Wall Street, to a series of record highs.___1:15 a.m.Shares are taking a beating in Asia after the biggest drop in the Dow Jones industrial average in six and a half years.Japan’s Nikkei 225 index plunged as much as 7.1 per cent but recovered some of those losses to close down 4.7 per cent at 21,610.24 on Tuesday.Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 4.1 per cent to 30,938.85 and the Kospi in South Korea lost 1.4 per cent to 2,458.06.Most other regional share benchmarks gave up between 2 per cent to 4 per cent. The dollar weakened to 108.81 Japanese yen.
PHILADELPHIA – Rashon Nelson initially brushed it off when the Starbucks manager told him he couldn’t use the restroom because he wasn’t a paying customer.He thought nothing of it when he and his childhood friend and business partner, Donte Robinson, were approached at their table and were asked if they needed help. The 23-year-old entrepreneurs declined, explaining they were just waiting for a business meeting.A few minutes later, they hardly noticed when the police came into the coffee shop — until officers started walking in their direction.“That’s when we knew she called the police on us,” Nelson told The Associated Press in the first interview by the two black men since video of their April 12 trespassing arrests touched off a furor around the U.S. over racial profiling or what has been dubbed “retail racism” or “shopping while black.”Nelson and Robinson were led away in handcuffs from the shop in the city’s well-to-do Rittenhouse Square neighbourhood in an incident recorded on a white customer’s cellphone.In the week since, the men have met with Starbucks’ apologetic CEO and have started pushing for lasting change at the coffee shop chain, including new policies on discrimination and ejecting customers.“We do want to make sure it doesn’t happen to anybody again,” Robinson said. “What if it wasn’t us sitting there? What if it was the kid that didn’t know somebody that knew somebody? Do they make it to jail? Do they die? What happens?”On Thursday, they also got an apology from Philadelphia police Commissioner Richard Ross, a black man who at first staunchly defended his officers’ handling of the encounter.“I should have said the officers acted within the scope of the law, and not that they didn’t do anything wrong,” Ross said. “Words are very important.”At a news conference, a sombre Ross said he “failed miserably” in addressing the arrests. He said that the issue of race is not lost on him and that he shouldn’t be the person making things worse.“Shame on me if, in any way, I’ve done that,” he said.He also said the police department did not have a policy for dealing for such situations but does now and it will be released soon.Nelson and Robinson said they went to the Starbucks to meet Andrew Yaffe, a white local businessman, over a potential real estate opportunity. Three officers showed up not long after. Nelson said they weren’t questioned but were told to leave immediately.Yaffe showed up as the men were being handcuffed and could be seen in the video demanding an explanation for the officers’ actions. Nelson and Robinson did not resist arrest.“When you know that you did nothing wrong, how do you really react to it?” Nelson said. “You can either be ignorant or you can show some type of sophistication and act like you have class. That was the choice we had.”It was not their first encounter with police. But neither had been arrested before, setting them apart from many of those they grew up with in their gritty southwest Philadelphia neighbourhood.Nelson and Robinson spent hours in a jail cell and were released after midnight, when the district attorney declined to prosecute them.Nelson said he wondered if he’d make it home alive.“Any time I’m encountered by cops, I can honestly say it’s a thought that runs through my mind,” Nelson said. “You never know what’s going to happen.”Starbucks has said the coffee shop where the arrests occurred has a policy that restrooms are for paying customers only, but the company has no overall policy. The men’s attorney, Stewart Cohen, said they were illegally profiled.The arrests prompted protests at the Starbucks and a national boycott. Kevin Johnson, CEO of the Seattle-based company, came to Philadelphia to meet with the men, called the arrests “reprehensible” and ordered more than 8,000 Starbucks stores closed on the afternoon of May 29 so that nearly 175,000 employees can receive training on unconscious bias. Starbucks has not identified the employee who called police.Robinson said that he appreciates the public support but that anger and boycotting Starbucks are not the solution.The men said they are looking for more lasting results and are in mediation with Starbucks to make changes, including the posting in stores of a customer bill of rights; the adoption of new policies on customer ejections and racial discrimination; and independent investigations of complaints.“You go from being someone who’s just trying to be an entrepreneur, having your own dreams and aspirations, and then this happens,” Nelson said. “How do you handle it? Do you stand up? Do you fight? Do you sit down and just watch everyone else fight for you? Do you let it slide, like we let everything else slide with injustice?”___Whack is The Associated Press’ national writer for race and ethnicity. Follow her work on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/emarvelous
TORONTO – Dozens of North American securities regulators, including have joined forces to investigate and warn investors about cryptocurrency-related schemes.Operation Cryptosweep includes more than 40 regulators in the U.S. and Canada, including the Ontario Securities Commissioner, which issued a release about the investigation Tuesday.“Operation Cryptosweep contributes to our ongoing efforts to raise awareness about potentially fraudulent activity involving cryptocurrency products,” Leslie Byberg, OSC executive director, said in a statement.The project resulted in nearly 70 inquiries and investigations, and 35 pending or completed enforcement actions related to initial coin offerings or cryptocurrencies since the beginning of the month, according to a statement the North American Securities Administrators Association released Monday.NASAA members are conducting additional investigations into possibly fraudulent conduct, it said, and those may result in more enforcement actions. NASAA president Joseph P Borg called the announced actions “just the tip of the iceberg.”“The persistently expanding exploitation of the crypto ecosystem by fraudsters is a significant threat to Main Street investors in the United States and Canada,” he said.“Cryptocrimminals need to know that state and provincial securities regulators are taking swift and effective action to protect investors from their schemes and scams.”A critical component of the operation is raising public awareness about the risks of initial coin offerings and crytocurrency-related investment products.Investors should always check whether they are dealing with a registered individual or firm and carefully consider risks associated with investing in the novel space, said Byberg. Warnings and alerts about schemes in the digital currency space can be found on the OSC’s website.The provincial securities commission recently warned Ontario investors about five firms — BTCReal, BitSerial, Hypercube Ventures LP, CabinCoin OU and BaapPay Inc. — that appear to be involved in schemes targeting them.The firms are not registered in Ontario to solicit investments or provide advice on investing in, buying or selling securities, the OSC said, but appear to be encouraging investors in the province to trade or invest in cryptocurrencies.The U.S. and Securities and Exchange Commission’s chairman Jay Clayton applauded the efforts to police fraud in the initial coin offering markets.NASAA’s announced actions “should be a strong warning to would-be fraudsters in this space that many sets of eyes are watching, and that regulators are co-ordinating on an international level to take strong actions to deter and stop fraud,” Clayton said.
OTTAWA – Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is hosting a pair of Mexican dignitaries who will hold key cabinet portfolios once their country’s incoming government take power.Freeland and International Trade Minister Jim Carr will sit down for bilateral meetings in Ottawa today with Mexico’s future foreign affairs minister Marcelo Ebrard and economy minister Graciela Marquez. The meetings come just a few weeks after Canada, Mexico and the United States agreed to an updated North American free trade pact.The agreement narrowly beat a deadline imposed by the U.S. Congress to get the deal fast-tracked and voted on by Dec. 1, ahead of Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s incoming government.The visiting Mexican officials, Ebrard and Marquez, will take on their ministerial roles once Lopez Obrador’s government takes office.Canada and Mexico are still dealing with stinging steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the Trump administration _ and both countries have responded by slapping the U.S. with retaliatory duties of their own.
OTTAWA — EBay is calling on the federal government to legislate an end to the Canada Post contract dispute, warning that quick action is needed to ensure retailers don’t lose out on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.The manager of the online sales giant’s Canadian and Latin American divisions says continued rotating strikes at Canada Post will result in significant losses for small and medium-sized businesses across the country.While those businesses have adapted as best they can to the strikes that began Oct. 22, Andrea Stairs says in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the adjustments retailers have made so far to avoid delivery disruptions are unsustainable.Meanwhile, Canada Post says it is now facing an unprecedented backlog of shipments, largely as a result of strikes at its major sorting plants in Vancouver and particularly Toronto.A spokesman for the Crown corporation says that, as of this morning, there were more than 260 trailers filled with parcels waiting to be unloaded at its Gateway processing plant in Toronto — and that number is expected to rise quickly.The prime minister warned last week that his government would look at all options to end the labour dispute if there is no significant progress in Canada Post’s contract talks with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.The Canadian Press
MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says the country loses $2.5 to $3.5 billion annually to fuel thieves who drill illegal taps into government pipelines.Lopez Obrador said Friday that “there still isn’t an exact figure” on the losses. The state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos company hasn’t given out new figures on pipeline taps since September. The last report indicated that 11,240 taps were found in the first nine months of 2018, or about 41 per day.The illicit fuel-theft industry involves drilling taps, bribing or threatening oil company employees, stealing tank trucks to carry the fuel and turf battles between rival gangs.That has caused a surge in the number of homicides in states like Guanajuato, where fuel theft is rampant.Lopez Obrador has promised stiffer punishments for the crime.The Associated Press
TORONTO — Postmedia Network Canada Corp. announced Thursday that Paul Godfrey is stepping down as CEO and will be succeeded by president and chief operating officer Andrew MacLeod.Godfrey, who has been Postmedia’s CEO since the company was founded in 2010, will stay on as executive chairman.MacLeod joined Postmedia in 2014 as chief commercial officer and was named chief operating officer in 2016. He became president in October 2017 and continues to hold that title as well as CEO.The announcements came as the owner of the National Post and other Canadian newspapers announced a $1.4 million net loss for the quarter ended. Nov. 30.Revenue for the Toronto-based publishing group fell to $171.3 million from just under $189 million a year earlier, when Postmedia reported a profit of $5.8 million with the assistance from gains on asset sales. Companies in this story: (TSX:PNC.A, TSX:PNC.B)The Canadian Press
TOKYO — Mitsubishi Motors CEO Osamu Masuko says the Japanese automaker’s board has met and discussed new allegations of wrongdoing by its former chairman, Carlos Ghosn.The allegations Friday regard a 7 million euro ($8 million) payment made to Ghosn last year by a 50-50 venture between Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., established in 2017 in Amsterdam.Masuko said only Ghosn, who headed Nissan for nearly 20 years, and some aides knew about the transaction, which was discovered during an investigation by Nissan and Mitsubishi.There have been no formal charges for the new allegations. Ghosn has been charged with breach of trust and falsifying financial reports in underreporting his income from Nissan.Masuko and Nissan Chief Hiroto Saikawa were directors at the joint venture called NMBV, along with Ghosn.The Associated Press
Jammu: Yasir Javaid Bhat, a teenage suspect arrested for throwing a grenade at the Jammu bus stand that left two people dead, confessed to interrogators on Friday that an overground worker of the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit paid him Rs 50,000. Besides the two killed, over 30 people were injured in the grenade attack on Thursday. The suspect, belonging to Kulgam district, was arrested from Toll Plaza at Nag rota outside Jammu city when he was trying to escape to the Kashmir Valley. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! Eyewitness accounts and CCTV footage helped the police to set up checkposts. If the Aadhaar card and school records of the suspect are correct, then his birth date is March 12, 2003, making him a juvenile under law. He is the eldest son of his parents and a student of Class 9. His father is a painter by profession. Informed sources said he was given Rs 50,000 and a grenade by Muzammil, an overground worker of the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit, to carry out the grenade attack. Interrogation of the suspect revealed that Hizb district commander Fayaz Bhat alias Umer originally gave the task of carrying out the grenade attack to Muzammil who failed to execute the task. Fayaz Bhat then told Muzammil to pass on the task to Yasir Javaid Bhat or ‘Chotu’.
Kolkata: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address two rallies – one at north Bengal’s Siliguri and other at Kolkata’s Brigade Parade Ground — on April 3 ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, a party leader said on Sunday. “His first public meeting will be in Siliguri at 1 p.m. and then he will attend a rally at Brigade Parade Ground at 3 p.m.,” BJP leader Mukul Roy told reporters. He said no political party had earlier shown the courage to organise a Brigade rally as well as a rally in North Bengal in one day. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ “We will successfully organise both the rallies in the time frame of just 10 days. People of north Bengal will come to Siliguri while supporters and activists will join the Brigade rally,” he said. Modi held three rallies in Bengal’s Thakurnagar, Durgapur and Jalpaiguri in February where he launched a scathing attack on the Mamata Banerjee government, blaming it for violence, corruption and extortion. Permission for party’s “Save Democracy” programme was denied by West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress and a planned rally at the iconic Brigade could not be organised earlier because it was initially part of the Save democracy programme, Roy said. The Bharatiya Janata Party holds two Lok Sabha seats in the state and hopes to win at least 22 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats. West Bengal will see seven-phased polling from April 11 to May 19.
New Delhi: After the successful anti-satellite missile test by India, concerns are being raised from some quarters, including the United States and the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), over creation of space debris.The United States on Thursday said it will continue to pursue its shared interests with India in space and technical cooperation, but expressed concern over the issue of space debris. “The issue of space debris is an important concern for the US government. We took note of Indian government statements that the test was designed to address space debris issues,” a State Department spokesperson said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’After the missile test on Wednesday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) here had sought to assuage such concerns stating that the test was done in the lower atmosphere to ensure there is no space debris. Incidentally, the United States was the first country to test ASAT. In September 1959, a High Virgo missile was launched by the US from B-58 aircraft targeting an Explorer satellite. However, it was unsuccessful, according to a paper presented by Anatoly Zak at the UNIDIR. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KA month later, a Bold Orion missile launched from a B-47 aircraft at an 11-kilometer altitude passed within four kilometers from the Explorer-6 satellite at an altitude of 251 kilometres. Further as latest as 2008, during Operation Burnt Frost, the US destroyed its own satellite, USA-193, with an SM-3 interceptor creating 174 pieces of trackable debris, plus non-trackable shards. In 2007, China destroyed its FengYun 1C weather satellite with an SC-19 missile, leaving behind space debris consisting of 3,280 pieces of trackable debris, as well as up to 32,000 pieces that are non-trackable. The UNIDIR too raised concern over the space debris. “Testing anti-satellite weapons in space can create damaging debris. Guidelines on testing these systems can prevent collateral damage and the escalation of tensions in outer space,” the UNIDIR tweeted with a video on the subject. Matthias Maurer, a European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut, said shooting down a satellite and voluntarily creating space debris is not a sign of being a responsible space power. “Shooting down a satellite to prove you’re a space power only shows that you’re not. No responsible space power contributes to creating voluntarily space debris! Space belongs to all mankind. Let’s use it for peaceful purposes and for the benefit of the people. @esa @dlr,” Maurer tweeted. On Wednesday, Daniel Porras, Space Security Fellow, UNIDIR, said conducting the tests at an altitude of 300 km does not augur well for satellites in the Low Earth Orbit . “It was not a good sign for LEO (low earth orbit)… which has telecommunication and earth observation satellites and also the International Space Station,” which cruises at a height of 400 km, he said. “The test was done at 300 km, so pretty low, meaning most of the debris will slowly come down. However, lots of objects near that altitude…. Not a good sign for all those LEO constellations. Also, if any debris damages other objects, India will be liable under the Liability Convention (if attribution is established),” Porras had tweeted. The MEA, in Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) released on Wednesday, said “whatever debris that is generated will decay and fall back onto the earth within weeks”.
Washington: Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, has said that imposing import tariffs won’t eliminate trade deficits and will cause “potentially self-inflicted wounds”. It is true that not everyone has benefited from global trade, that there are distortions in the trade system, and that the system needs to be reformed but “trade barriers are not the answer”, Xinhua news agency quoted her as saying at the 13th Annual Capital Markets Summit here on Tuesday. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal Lagarde said that the IMF, after analyzing the experience from 180 countries over the past six decades, found that trade integration “clearly boosts investment” “Conversely, trade barriers clearly damage investment and employment,” she added. Lagarde said the finding “is of particular relevance now” as ongoing trade tensions around the world could further damage investment “at a time when investment is already weak”. Citing a new IMF research, Lagarde said if tariffs on all goods traded between the US and China went up by 25 percentage points, that alone would reduce annual gross domestic product by up to 0.6 per cent in the US and by up to 1.5 per cent in China. “These are potentially self-inflicted wounds that should be avoided,” she said. “Nobody wins a trade war… That is why we need to work together to reduce trade barriers and modernize the global trade system so that we all win,” she added. Lagarde also called for “collective action to modernize the key functions of the World Trade Organization (WTO)”.
Kolkata: A Trinamool Congress activist was injured after being beaten up by some miscreants in Murshidabad. The district Trinamool Congress leaders have alleged that some Congress-backed goons were involved in the attack.The victim has been identified as Tuhin Sarkar. A resident of the Kalinagar area in Murshidabad, Sarkar was returning home on late Saturday evening when two motorcycle-borne miscreants stopped his way. They got down from the bike and started beating up the victim indiscriminately. The victim fell on the ground after receiving several blows. Hearing the screams of the victim, some local residents came to his rescue. The miscreants, however, had fled from the spot before the local people reached there. They rushed the victim to a nearby health centre. His condition is stated to be stable now. The incident has subsequently triggered a blame game between the local TMC and Congress leaders. TMC leaders alleged that Congress had engaged the miscreants to beat up Sarkar. However, Congress has refuted the allegation and termed the incident a result of infighting within TMC. Police have started a probe in this regard. They are conducting raids to nab the culprits.
Ahmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the voter ID (identity card) is more powerful than the IED (improvised explosive device) of terrorists.He was speaking after casting his vote during the single-phase polling for Lok Sabha in his home state Gujarat. After casting his vote, Modi walked some distance from the polling booth and interacted briefly with mediapersons. “Indian democracy presents an example before the world. While on one hand, an IED (improvised explosive device) is the weapon of terrorists, on the other hand, the voter ID (identity) is the weapon and power of democracy,” he said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”I am confident that the power of voter ID is much more than the IED and we should understand the importance of the voter ID card and come out to vote in large numbers,” he said. Modi said he feels fortunate to participate in “the great festival of democracy” in his home state Gujarat. “The third phase of polling is taking place today in the country. I am fortunate that I also got the proud moment to fulfil my duty by voting in my home state Gujarat and to have an active participation in this great festival of democracy,” he said. “By voting, I feel the same sense of purity that one gets after taking bath at the Kumbh mela,” he told reporters. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KUrging people to vote with full enthusiasm, he said, “The intelligence of Indian voters to understand whom to vote and whom not to vote is a matter of case study.” He also welcomed the active participation of young voters, born in the 21st century, who are exercising their franchise for the first time in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, and conveyed his best wishes to them. “This entire century belongs to those who are voting for the first time. They have to vote for the bright future of this century. Therefore, I would especially urge the new voters to commit to hundred per cent voting,” he said. “I am grateful to all the lovers of democracy who voted in large numbers in the first and second phases of the Lok Sabha elections,” he said.
Rabat – Moroccans are among the happiest and most optimistic people in the world for the year 2015, says the latest global barometer of confidence in the future released by WIN/Gallup International.According to the barometer, Morocco is the 5th most confident country in the world for 2015, right between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.The poll surveyed 64,000 respondents from 65 countries around the world between September and December 2014. In Morocco, the poll used a sample of 1,000 people aged between 18 and 65. 75% of the Moroccan respondents believe that 2015 will be better than 2014, 7% said the new year will be worse and 13% expect it to be similar to 2014.Economically, 70% of Moroccan respondents expressed their confidence in the kingdom’s economic prosperity in 2015. 17% think that the situation will remain the same, while 10% expect economic hardships looming in the horizon.In terms of happiness, 78% of Moroccan respondents said they are happy, 5% expressed their unhappiness, while 16% said they did not experience any of these feelings.“While the outlook for the global economy remains unpredictable, our happiness refuses to decline and remains high in the entire world,” says the President of WIN/ Gallup International Association.