Winnipeg Sun publishes racist comments calling Indigenous people cockroaches

first_imgAPTN National NewsJordan Houle was walking with his 19 year-old friend in a west-end neighbourhood in Winnipeg just after midnight Sunday when he and his friend were shot.Houle suffered a gunshot to the head and died. His friend is still in hospital with a stomach wound.Police say both shootings appear to be random and not gang-affiliated.Three years ago, Jordan Houle’s sister was found dead a week later in a Winnipeg creek. Her death remains unsolved.The Houle family told reporters they would not release a statement at the moment.But news of this weekend’s killing have spawned racist comments on the Winnipeg Sun website.Some of the posts say, “downtown Winnipeg is a cesspool” or “an urban reserve.”One post reads in part: “Oh wait he’s an Indian, I forgot they just breed with any FAS squaw…One less cockroach eating from the taxpayer trough is never a bad thing.”Despite comments like these, friends and family of Jordan Houle held a vigil in his memory Monday night in Winnipeg.last_img read more


Aamjiwnaang plans for roving blockades of Sarnia oil refineries

first_img(A trailer, debris and a smouldering fire was all that was left at the former site of the Sarnia blockade Thursday. APTN Photo) By Kenneth JacksonAPTN National NewsSarnia – When members of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation in Sarnia agreed to shut down their blockade of a CN Rail line Wednesday at midnight that was believed to be the end of it.But it’s not over.Saturday they will attempt to block traffic on the Blue Water Bridge that also serves as the US/Canada border access.And then they’re going to get strategic explains spokesman Ron Plain, who has been the face of the blockade almost from the beginning and as result is facing possible punishment from the Superior Court of Justice.“Now that the blockade is down there will be a Phase 2 and that will include roving blockades,” he said at his home in Sarnia Thursday.They intend to shut down access to selected factories here for up to days at a time in the area known as Chemical Valley.“In my vision of what can happen I’ll look at the research of a company, for example Imperial Oil. I will look globally at what Imperial Oil’s record is with Indigenous peoples, as well as their record of dealing with us here in Aamjiwnanng,” said Plain, as part of wide-ranging interview with APTN National News that will look at the intimate details of the nearly two-week blockade to be aired next week.He said he will use that research to determine how to proceed, but a site hasn’t been picked yet.“From that we will base a campaign against Imperial Oil saying this is what we want as we block you,” he said. “It may be a 12-hour blockade, a 24-hour blockade, 36-hour blockade.”That will be determined by an organizing committee that plans to meet soon and is expected to keep the city updated. Mayor Mike Bradley said he was aware of further action but was happy the blockade came to a peaceful conclusion, which was echoed by Sarnia police Chief Phil Nelson.The selected factory will also be notified in advance of any action said Plain.Plain said the blockade of a CN spur line was ended in a negotiated settlement with Sarnia police after an Ontario judge ordered it shut down Wednesday.Plain called it the first victory of the Idle No More movement.He said the blockade, which began Dec. 21, 2012, had proven its point and didn’t need to continue. Plain said they were already negotiating to have the blockade end on Saturday.The blockade was originally launched in support of hunger-striking Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s demand for a treaty meeting between Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Gov. Gen. David Johnston and First Nations leaders.Plain was found in contempt Wednesday of a court injunction ordering an end to the blockade. He was ordered by the court not to go near the site of the blockade unless it involved negotiating its end.Plain is scheduled to be in court Friday to learn what happens as a result of the comptempt of court order.“I have to go back to court tomorrow and find out whether anthing is going to come to me for being the spokesman for the campaign,” he said.The ending to the Aamjiwnaang blockade leaves only the Mi’kmaq from Listuguj First Nation still holding a rail blockade. The Mi’kmaq there have been blocking the railway at Pointe-a-la-Croix in Quebec since Dec. 28, 2012.More rail and highway blockades, however, are expected in the coming days and weeks.First Nations chiefs are planning to hold a national day of action on Jan. 16 which could see the beginning of indefinite blockades across the country.kjackson@aptn.ca@afixedaddresslast_img read more


APTN months away from determining whether enough interest to launch new US

first_imgAPTN National News WINNIPEG—Aboriginal Peoples Television Network will know in six to nine months whether it can launch a sister station in the United States, according to the network’s CEO.APTN CEO Jean Larose said the network has partnered with global consulting firm Castalia to determine whether there is enough interest among U.S. cable and satellite television service providers to carry the proposed channel.Larose said meetings with cable and satellite providers are ongoing, according to an email sent to APTN employees Wednesday morning.“APTN is quite excited at the possibility of launching a sister station in the US based on the programming and community focus of service in Canada. The initial response from Native American producers, organizations and artists has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive,” said Larose, in a statement provided to APTN National News. “However, we must first ensure that there will be sufficient revenues to fully cover the costs of such a channel and in order to determine this, we have partnered with Castalia to do this research on our behalf.”Larose said it could take between six to nine months to determine whether there is enough interest to launch the channel. APTN wants to first ensure that it has enough signed commitments for carriage before making the new channel a reality, he said.“We have no idea yet if there will be interest…to launch a service like ours in the States. However, the only way to find out is to start a public discussion,” said Larose in the email.news@aptn.ca@APTNNewslast_img read more


Advocates declare victory after BC predator declared dangerous offender

first_imgAPTN National NewsA man in British Columbia who preyed on vulnerable young women has been declared a dangerous offender.It’s considered a victory by advocates who say there will be one less predator on the streets.APTN’s Tina House has this story.last_img


Pressure mounts for governments to address medical crisis on Ontario First Nations

first_imgThe Canadian PressOTTAWA – Doctors dispatched to a northern Ontario reserve to treat children with skin conditions say remote communities are dealing with an ongoing medical crisis, the result of a shortage of medical services. Three physicians from the Weeneebayko Area Health Authority have written an open letter calling for more resources to deal with persistent problems at the Kashechewan First Nation and elsewhere. The letter, released by northern Ontario MP Charlie Angus, urges Canadians not to tolerate the level of health care access available in the area. The report echoes conclusions presented last spring by the federal auditor general, who found quality health care in remote First Nations communities is sorely lacking. The letter comes ahead of an expected meeting with Health Minister Jane Philpott, Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins and Nishnawbe Aski Nation leaders. Their dialogue is expected to focus on the public health emergency declared last month by NAN, a political organization representing northern Ontario First Nations. A spokesman for Philpott could not provide specific details but confirmed the meeting was scheduled for this week.last_img read more


Quebec Inquiry hears from Algonquin Nation about health care

first_imgTom FennarioAPTN NewsThe Algonquin Nation testified at the Quebec inquiry that is looking into the relationship between some state-run services and Indigenous peoples in the province.What has become a growing chorus of discontent, those that testified had few good words for the hospital in Val d’Or where the inquiry is taking place.tfennario@aptn.calast_img


Tight oil export pipeline capacity expected to persist as Energy East cancelled

first_imgCALGARY – It’s more vital than ever that three other pipelines to oil export markets proceed as planned in the wake of TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) shelving its Energy East pipeline on Thursday, says AltaCorp Capital analyst Dirk Lever.Lever says Canadian producers will have to transport any incremental new oil production over the next year or so using railcars, and the pipeline transportation system out of Western Canada will remain tight for years.“We already know the next incremental barrel of production has got to go by rail because the pipelines are effectively full,” he said Friday.In a report in July, RBC Capital Markets predicted oilsands production would grow by 900,000 barrels per day in the next five years thanks to startup of Suncor Energy Inc.’s (TSX:SU) 194,000-bpd Fort Hills mine and several smaller projects, including an 80,000-bpd expansion at Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.’s (TSX:CNQ) Horizon mine and upgrader.It pointed out that about three-quarters of the new bitumen production is not going to be upgraded, which means it will have to be diluted to create a product composed of 30 to 40 per cent lighter petroleum in order to flow in a pipeline. That will increase the demand for pipeline volumes beyond what is required for the heavy oil alone, it said.Opponents of pipeline projects who look at the oil forecasts and conclude they aren’t needed sometimes overlook the diluent component of shipping bitumen, said Tim McMillan, CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.“We will exceed our current and projected pipeline capacity by 2030 with (Energy East) gone … not just on a strategic level but by volume,” he said.Lever said Energy East could come off the shelf and be proposed again for regulatory approval if any of the other pipelines don’t go ahead or if market conditions change to encourage higher production growth.“Energy East was more than what was needed,” he said of the proposal to ship 1.1 million bpd from Alberta to New Brunswick.“Producers weren’t going to pay for that much excess capacity so I’m not surprised it fell to the wayside. If one of those (other pipelines) falls away, then Energy East would be needed.”He said the next capacity increase is expected to come with Enbridge Inc.’s (TSX:ENB) Line 3 pipeline replacement project, which is under construction in Canada and awaiting its last U.S. regulatory approvals in Minnesota. It is expected to add 370,000 bpd of capacity by early 2019.But that additional room will only just accommodate new output from oilsands expansions and the situation will remain tight until the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline to the West Coast proposed by Kinder Morgan is in service, expected to add 590,000 bpd by late 2019, Lever said. That project is being actively opposed in court by the B.C. government and other intervenors.TransCanada hasn’t yet approved its Keystone XL pipeline into the U.S. but Lever said its 830,000-bpd capacity would likely provide enough room for Canadian oil production growth until about 2030, when the industry expects Canadian production to reach five million barrels per day.Lever pointed out that having excess pipeline capacity is important because it gives producers options to supply different markets and offers the pipeline operators flexibility to schedule maintenance downtime.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.last_img read more


Brawny pickups futuristic SUVs star at Detroit auto show

first_imgDETROIT – It’s the year of the pickup truck at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit as General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Ford unveil new trucks in a fast-growing and highly competitive U.S. auto market.Fiat Chrysler will roll out a redesigned Ram truck, while GM’s Chevrolet brand is showing off the new Silverado. It’s the first time in at least 29 years that show organizers can remember two Detroit automakers unveiling new full-size trucks at the same Detroit event. Also, Ford is re-entering the small pickup market with a new version of the Ranger.It’s all happening in a U.S. auto market that’s shrinking but still expected to remain at healthy levels. Last year sales fell 2 per cent to 17.2 million, still near record highs. Analysts expect sales to be just under 17 million in 2018.Here are some of the vehicles being unveiled at the show, which opens to the public on Friday:FORD EDGEFord Motor Co. is introducing a high-performance version of its midsize Edge SUV this summer. The Edge ST is the first Ford SUV to be specially tuned by Ford’s performance team. It has a 2.7-litre, twin-turbocharged V6 engine that puts out 335 horsepower — nearly as much as the base model of the Porsche Cayenne — and 380 pound-feet of torque. That’s paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission; drivers can also manually shift using the wheel-mounted paddle shifters. All-wheel-drive comes standard, and there’s a specially tuned sport suspension.The Edge ST also has special design cues, including a wide mesh grille, 21-inch wheels and “performance blue” paint. The regular Edge also gets an update this summer, with a more efficient 2.0-litre four-cylinder that puts out 250 horsepower and new safety features, including “evasive steering assist,” which uses cameras and radar to detect slower-moving vehicles and helps the driver steer around them. Pricing on the Edge and Edge ST hasn’t yet been released.FORD MUSTANG BULLITTFord Motor Co. is making a special edition Mustang to commemorate the 50th anniversary of “Bullitt,” whose unforgettable car chase scene helped turn the sports car into an icon.The 2019 Mustang Bullitt — due out this summer — will have an upgraded 5.0-litre V8 engine that puts out 475 horsepower. It has a top speed of 163 miles per hour (262 kilometres per hour) and a manual transmission with a white cue-ball shift knob. It’s available in dark highland green, the colour “Bullitt” made famous. It’s also offered in black.This is the first Mustang Bullitt Ford has produced since 2008. Molly McQueen — granddaughter of “Bullitt” star Steve McQueen — introduced the 2019 Mustang Bullitt on Sunday at the Detroit auto show. She said McQueen had his pick of cars for the film, but chose a Mustang GT fastback because it was affordable so audiences could imagine driving it themselves.Ford didn’t say how much the special edition Bullitt will cost.VOLKSWAGEN JETTAVolkswagen’s redesigned Jetta offers more room — and a shot at redemption as the automaker tries to recover from a 2015 emissions-cheating scandal. Already considered roomy for a compact car, the German automaker says the 2019 Jetta “grows outside in every direction” — longer, wider and taller than previous models. VW also aims for a sportier look, with a large front grille, higher chrome quotient and LED lighting. The 1.4-litre engine remains, but the car has a new standard six-speed manual transmission. An eight-speed automatic transmission is optional on the base model. The Jetta’s revamped interior includes a new storage console large enough to fit a standard iPad.The car is among the first of two new models planned this year — and every year for the foreseeable future. Nearly all of the new models, including the Jetta, will come with a six-year, 72,000-mile warranty — double what it has been. The new Jetta goes on sale in the second quarter.MERCEDES G-CLASSMercedes’ boxy-looking G-Class SUV gets a facelift that the company says will boost performance both on and off the road.The company readily admits that its appearance hasn’t changed much in almost four decades. But the 2019 version gets numerous changes including 2 additional inches (5 additional centimetres) of length and 4.8 inches (12 centimetres) of width. That gives the SUV more leg, shoulder and elbow room in the front and rear seats.The G-Class gets a new independent front suspension as well as a new nine-speed automatic transmission. It’s still powered by a 4-litre V8 with 416 horsepower. It also gets new LED headlamps.The new G-Class will go on sale in the U.S. by late 2018, but no specific date was announced, nor pricing or fuel mileage.TOYOTA AVALONToyota has taken the wraps off its revamped Avalon, which features a longer, lower and wider exterior and a rear cabin extends another 7 inches (17.8 centimetres), yet overall height measurements have been trimmed by about an inch (2.5 centimetres).Toyota credits innovative stamping methods that have allowed for shaping complex surfaces, such as door handles designed to coincide with body lines. Inside, the automaker boasts of a “neater” steering wheel, with a smaller switch cluster, enlarged hand grips and cruise control now accessible on the right spoke.The touch screen can be “pinched” or “flicked” like a smartphone. The new Avalon also can connect with a smart watch or Amazon Alexa-enabled device, giving drivers the ability to remotely start the engines, lock or unlock doors or check fuel levels. The car has two new powertrains: a 3.5-litre V6 and 2.5-litre four-cylinder hybrid system. Toyota says both will provide more power with less gas consumption.The Michigan-designed Avalon will arrive in showrooms in late spring.last_img read more


Strong harvest and currency rates linked to farmers buying more new machinery

first_imgCALGARY – Western Canadian farmers are using proceeds from a good harvest last year to buy more new agricultural equipment after years of settling for used as prices of U.S.-made machinery rose due to the stronger American dollar.Both Cervus Equipment Corp. and Rocky Mountain Dealerships Inc. are reporting increased earnings thanks to higher profit margins and manufacturers’ incentive payments on sales of new equipment in 2017 versus 2016.Cervus CEO Graham Drake says the company expects strong sales of new equipment to continue in 2018 after sales leaped ahead by 20 per cent last year, driven by good harvests and “windows” of favourable currency exchange rates.He cited the improved outlook in announcing an increase in the quarterly dividend from seven to 10 cents per share.CEO Garrett Ganden says Rocky Mountain Dealerships is also banking on Canadian farmer optimism this year, noting continuing good prices on solid crop production and a harvest last fall that wasn’t hampered by late-season wet conditions as it was in 2016.Cervus reported revenue from new equipment sales rose 20 per cent to $447 million in 2017, while Rocky Mountain noted a 5.7 per cent increase to $436 million.Both companies are based in Calgary.Rocky Mountain, which sells Case IH and New Holland equipment, says it is Canada’s largest agriculture equipment dealer with 35 dealerships across the Prairies.Cervus, which sells John Deere machinery, has interests in 35 dealerships, 20 in Western Canada, nine in New Zealand and six in Australia.last_img read more


Telus reports Q3 profit revenue and wireless subscribers experience spike

first_imgTORONTO – Telus Corp. raised its dividend amid a 10 per cent increase in its third quarter profit and a surge in wireless subscribers.The Vancouver-based telecommunications brand said after making $447 million or 74 cents a share — up from $406 million or 68 cents a share a year ago — for the period ended Sept. 30, it will now make a quarterly payment to shareholders of 54.5 cents per share, an increase from 52.5 cents.Chief financial officer Doug French told The Canadian Press on Thursday that he considered the quarter “strong” because of the company’s wireless and wireline growth, which has come as Telus has been expanding its fibre network to western Canada.Telus saw its total customer growth rise to 187,000 and sales from its wireless unit increase by 2.2 per cent, reaching $1.5 billion.The quarter also brought a 31 per cent spike in new wireless, internet and television customers, which totalled 199,000 — 145,000 net new wireless customers, 36,000 high-speed internet subscribers and 18,000 television customers.“We have continued to see momentum in both wireline and wireless,” French said. “We have had a very, very consistent strategy…We continue to see good churn and good customer service, which helps on the front of net loading.”On top of wireless and wireline offerings, the company has been pouring resources into creating its 5G network and building small cell technology, which is needed to sustain the network.French said 5G likely won’t be a fully-fledged service offering until closer to 2020, but investing early will mean Telus will be able to transition more quickly to the 5G spectrum, when it is available.Telus is anticipating 5G will be a hit with consumers because the company is seeing demand for speed and capacity.“We are seeing data continue to grow and the demand for data continue to grow…We expect that to continue,” he said. “What 5G brings to the table is definitely more speed and less latency, so things will happen significantly faster.”French and other executives on the Telus earnings call noted that the company’s quarter also brought a spike in operating revenue, which totalled $3.77 billion and was up from $3.40 billion in the third quarter of 2017.Thomson Reuters Eikon showed that the company’s increase in profit beat analysts’ expectations, which predicted the company would report earning 70 cents per share instead of the 74 cents per share it revealed.The company also announced Thursday that Denise Pickett, American Express’s chief risk officer and president of global risk, banking and compliance, had joined Telus’s board.Companies in this story: (TSX:T)last_img read more


Scotiabank reports fourthquarter net income climbs to 227 billion

first_imgTORONTO — The Bank of Nova Scotia reported an increase in fourth-quarter net income compared with a year ago, but fell short of analyst expectations.Scotiabank earned $2.27 billion or $1.71 per diluted share for the three months ended Oct. 31, up from $2.07 billion or $1.64 per diluted share in net income during the same time last year.The result amounted to adjusted diluted earnings per share of $1.77 compared with $1.65 a year ago.Analysts on average had expected adjusted diluted earnings per share of $1.79 during the bank’s fourth quarter, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.The Toronto-based bank’s results were fuelled by its international banking division which saw quarterly net income rise more than 21 per cent to $804 million.For its full 2018 financial year, Scotiabank says it earned $8.72 billion or $6.82 per diluted share, compared with a profit of $8.24 billion or $6.49 per diluted share  in 2017. Companies in this story: (TSX:BNS)The Canadian Presslast_img read more


Most actively traded companies on the TSX

first_imgThe Canadian Press Companies reporting major news:TD Bank Group (TSX:TD). Down 12 cents to $73.48. TD Bank beat expectations as it reported a fourth-quarter profit of $2.96 billion, up from $2.71 billion in the same quarter a year ago. The profit amounted to $1.58 per diluted share for the three months ended Oct. 31, up from $1.42 per diluted share a year ago. On an adjusted basis, TD says it earned $1.63 per share for the quarter, up from an adjusted profit of $1.36 per share a year ago. Thomson Reuters Eikon says analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.62 per share.CIBC (TSX:CM). Down $3.73 or 3.2 per cent to $112.46. CIBC reported a higher fourth-quarter profit compared with a year ago, but fell shy of market expectations. The Toronto-based bank said Thursday the profit amounted to $1.27 billion or $2.80 per diluted share for the quarter ended Oct. 31, up from $1.16 billion or $2.59 per diluted share a year ago. On an adjusted basis, CIBC says it earned $3 per diluted share in the quarter, up from an adjusted profit of $2.81 per diluted share in the same quarter last year. Analysts on average had expected a profit of $3.04 for the quarter, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.Air Canada (TSX:AC). Up 41 cents to $28.65. The airline is cancelling its Hamilton-Montreal route amid sluggish sales from business travellers, announcing the move in a newspaper ad just one month after ramping up flights between the two cities. Direct flights will scale down to once daily from three as of Jan. 9, and stop completely after March 30. Air Canada Jazz, which provides regional service for the carrier, returned to Hamilton after an eight-year absence in May 2016, targeting business travellers looking for same-day return trips and recreational passengers hopscotching from Montreal to other destinations.Bonterra Energy Corp. (TSX:BNE). Down 82 cents or 9.9 per cent to $7.46. Bonterra is slashing its monthly dividend to a penny per share due to the drop in oil prices. The energy company says the new rate will apply to its November dividend, which is payable on Dec. 31. Bonterra had been paying a monthly dividend of 10 cents per share. The company says it is taking the steps to protect its balance sheet and prudently manage its debt, dividend and capital spending. Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Up four cents, or 1.88 per cent, to $2.17 on 13.1 million shares.Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Health care. Down 40 cents, or 5.06 per cent, to $7.51 on 9.3 million shares.Crescent Point Energy Corp. (TSX:CPG). Energy. Up four cents, or one per cent, to $4.03 on 8.4 million shares.Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA). Energy. Up 10 cents, or 1.09 per cent, to $9.25 on 6.4 million shares.ARC Resources Ltd. (TSX:ARX). Energy. Up 16 cents, or 1.78 per cent, to $9.15 on 6.1 million shares.Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSX:CNQ). Energy. Up $1.09, or 3.37 per cent, to $33.45 on 5.8 million shares.center_img Some of the most active companies traded Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,194.04, up 22.79 points).last_img read more


Smoky skies bulletin still in effect for Northeast BC today

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A special air quality statement that was issued by Environment Canada last Wednesday because of a large amount of smoke in the air remains in effect for all of Northeast B.C. today.Last week, officials with the Ministry of Environment said that at this point, it’s not entirely known where the smoke is coming from.Air quality meteorologist Ralph Adams said that the smoke isn’t coming from any local fires in Northeast B.C., but could possibly be coming from fires burning in the Yukon and Northwest Territories, and even as far away as Scandinavia and Siberia. “The view at the moment is that it’s likely coming from there. It’s likely that this smoke is coming from Eurasia, but at this point, there’s no agreement.” A map of the current fire danger rating in B.C. Photo by BC Wildfire Service. A map of the current fire danger rating in B.C. Photo by BC Wildfire Service. A map of all active wildfires on the BC Wildfire Service website shows that no new major fires have erupted in the B.C. Peace and Fort Nelson regions, where the fire danger rating is currently between very low and moderate.Of the fires that have started in Northeast B.C. recently, most are either in unpopulated areas or are less than ten hectares in size.People with pre-existing health conditions, the elderly, infants, children and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects.Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk. Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place that’s cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isn’t air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.Be air aware! Check your local weather forecasts and alerts so you know when to take extra care.For more information on current air quality, see: www.bcairquality.ca.Visit www.airhealth.ca for information on how to reduce your health risk and your personal contribution to pollution levels, as well as for current and forecast AQHI values.last_img read more


Three civilians injured in Pak shelling along LoC in JKs Pooch

first_imgJammu: Three civilians, including two women, were injured Friday when Pakistani troops targeted forward posts and civilians areas with mortars and small arms firing along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district, drawing strong retaliation from the Indian Army. With Pakistan using heavy weaponry and 120 mm mortar bombs targeting civilian areas, people have been advised to stay indoors, officials said. “At about 0830 hours, Pakistani Army initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by shelling with mortars and firing with small arms along the LoC in Swajian sector of Poonch,” PRO defence said. The Indian Army is effectively retaliating, he said. Three persons, including two women, identified as Tasveer Akhtar, 19, and Shabina Akhtar, 18, of Chapprian village, were injured in the Pakistani shelling and they have been hospitalised, officials said. A house of one Gani Mir suffered damages in Chapprian-Sawjian forward belt, they said. As Pakistani army often targets civilian areas, people of the Chapprian-Sawjian area are demanding construction of bunkers for their safety. We are living along the zero line near the border fencing but have no protective enclosures like bunkers, said Abdul Rashid of Chapprian village. Two persons were injured when Pakistani troops resorted to firing and shelling along the LoC in the forward area in Digwar sector of Poonch last Friday.last_img read more


Asarams son Narayan Sai held guilty in rape case

first_imgSurat: A sessions court here Friday convicted Narayan Sai, son of jailed self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, in a rape case filed against him by a former woman devotee in 2013. The sentence will be pronounced on April 30. Besides Sai (47), who is lodged at Lajpore Jail here since 2013, the court held four of his aides, including two women, guilty of various offences. Sai was convicted under IPC sections 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural offences), 323 (assault), 506-2 (criminal intimidation) and 120-B (conspiracy). Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra Singh Of the 11 accused, six were acquitted. Additional Sessions Judge P S Gadhvi will pronounce the quantum of punishment on April 30. The minimum punishment for rape is 10 years in jail, while the maximum punishment is life imprisonment. Sai’s aides–Dharmishtha alia Ganga, Bhavna alias Jamuna and Pavan alias Hanuman–were held guilty for being part of a conspiracy. Sai’s driver Rajkumar alias Ramesh Malhotra was held guilty under IPC section 212 (harbouring an offender). Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroad Ganga and Jamuna, also called “sadhika” (women disciples), were accused of putting the victim in illegal confinement and thrashing her at Sai’s behest. They were also accused of trying to brainwash her into agreeing to have a relationship with Sai. Hanuman, a loyal “sadhak” (disciple) of Sai, was accused of abetment, including taking the victim to Sai’s room. Surat Police had filed a 1,100-page charge sheet against Sai in 2014. In 2013, after Asaram was arrested for raping a girl in Rajasthan, two Surat-based women accused Asaram and his son of sexual exploitation. The elder sister accused Asaram of sexual assaults between 1997 and 2006 when she lived at his Ahmedabad ashram. The younger sister accused the godman’s son of sexual assaults when she lived at Asaram’s ashram in Jahangirpura area of Surat between 2002 and 2005. Sai was arrested from Delhi-Haryana border in December 2013. When he was in jail, Surat Police claimed to have unearthed Sai’s plans to bribe police officers, doctors and even judicial officers to weaken the case against him. Asaram, meanwhile, was convicted by a Jodhpur court for rape. The trial against him in the case filed by the Surat-based woman is going on at a Gandhinagar court.last_img read more


TIZI Initiative to Award 20 Moroccan Young Leaders for 2014

Casablanca- Tariq Ibn Ziyad Initiative (TIZI) will hold the second edition of the TIZI Leadership Day on May 24, at the Hassania School of Public Works (EHTP) in Casablanca, during which 20 new distinguished Moroccan leaders will be awarded the 2014 TIZI Award.The second edition of TIZI Leadership Day will be dedicated to fostering the culture of leadership in Morocco, as well as creating favorable conditions for the emergence of new leaders. The TIZI Awards, for its part, will unveil 20 new Moroccan leadership talents representing 5 different categories. Their names will be included in a directory that will be published afterwards.Other talented Moroccan leaders will represent arenas such as entrepreneurship and innovation, sports, arts, education and research, political action and media. “These leaders epitomize the talent, diversity and potential of Morocco,” said Mohamed Alami Berrada, Vice-President in charge of TIZI Leadership Institute. “This is to show recognition for their commitment and for their achievements and also to build a model to give hope to thousands of young people.”The event will be opened by former Minister of Commerce, Industry and ICT, Ahmed Reda Chami, who will highlight the challenges of leadership for an emerging country like Morocco.The event will also feature a round table that will bring together many celebrities around the theme, “Moroccan leaders, where are they? Who are they? What do they do?” The fields of leadership addressed during the round table will be sports, social action, arts, business and politics. These realms will be probed in an attempt to see if they create favorable conditions for the emergence of new Moroccan leaders.Tariq Ibn Ziyad Initiative, which has emanated from civil society and has been widely supported by Moroccan youth, principally aims at fostering political action, promoting leadership and providing training for young Moroccan leaders. read more


US Commandos Capture Suspected Ringleader in Benghazi Attack

Libya – US commandos have captured the suspected ringleader of the deadly 2012 attack on an American compound in Benghazi, in a raid hailed by the White House as a triumph for “justice.”Special forces, working with FBI agents, carried out Sunday’s operation and the suspect, Ahmed Abu Khatallah, was en route to the United States, where he will face criminal charges, officials said Tuesday.The raid represented a victory for President Barack Obama who has faced intense criticism over his administration’s handling of the September 11, 2012 Benghazi assault and its aftermath. “The United States has an unwavering commitment to bring to justice those responsible for harming Americans,” Obama said.“Since the deadly attacks on our facilities in Benghazi, I have made it a priority to find and bring to justice those responsible for the deaths of four brave Americans.”Attorney General Eric Holder said the raid showed “our nation’s memory is long and our reach is far.”There were no civilian casualties in the action and the suspect was in US custody at a “secure location outside of Libya,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said.All US troops and personnel taking part in the operation have “safely departed Libya,” he added.Top US diplomat John Kerry called the raid a “bold action” that served as reminder that there was no “impunity” for militants trying to harm America.The hours-long assault on US facilities in Benghazi in 2012, which also targeted a CIA outpost, killed the US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans.The attack shocked Washington and became a highly-charged political issue, raising questions about security at US missions. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton faced hostile questioning before lawmakers over the issue.Republican lawmakers alleged that the White House failed to respond decisively and then tried to hide some facts in the episode.The Obama administration has accused critics of politicizing a tragic event and that it has divulged all the details of the case.US federal prosecutors have charged Khatallah with murder, carrying a weapon and offering material support to “terrorism,” according to an indictment unsealed Tuesday.The charges reflect accounts from Libyan officials and witnesses who have singled out Khatallah as allegedly taking part in the assault that day.“We have made it clear, since that cowardly attack on our facilities, that we would go at any length to find, apprehend, bring to judgment, those who perpetrated it,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.“The capture of Ahmed Abu Khatallah is not the end of that effort but it marks an important milestone.”The State Department has identified Khatallah as a senior leader of Ansar al-Sharia, a Libyan Islamist group it brands a “terrorist” organization responsible for a spate of attacks and assassinations.After similar raids, the military has held suspects aboard naval ships before flying them to the United States to face legal charges.Senator Lindsey Graham indicated the suspect was being held on a ship and blasted the administration for not taking him to the US-run prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.He said in a tweet that he was “very pleased our Special Forces” captured Khatallah but he criticized the Obama administration for holding the suspect on a naval ship.Holding Khatallah “on a ship shows the haphazard approach which comes from not having rational detention & interrogation policies,” the senator wrote. read more


Heckler Interrupts Washington Cathedrals First Muslim Friday Prayer

Rabat – Friday’s prayer by Muslims held yesterday in the Washington National Cathedral provoked a backlash from conservative Christians.During the gathering of several hundred Muslim worshipers and other guests in the historic American church, a woman in the audience suddenly rose and began shouting against the decision to host Muslims in the church.unidentified womanThe unidentified woman shouted, “America was founded on Christian principles,” according to the the Washington Post. Addressing people attending the Friday prayer, the woman said, “We have built, and allowed you here in mosques across this country.”“Why can’t you worship in your mosque, and leave our churches alone?” she added.Security aides immediately pulled the angry woman out, and the service continued.In a Facebook post on Thursday, Rev. Franklin Graham, who heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, expressed his dissatisfaction with hosting Muslims in the church.However, the organizers said that the event, which was marked as a “powerful symbolic gesture,” was aimed at bringing Muslims and Christians worldwide together and promoting a better understanding and acceptance between communities of both faiths.In an open greeting, Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the cathedral, described the sounds of Arabic prayers “a beautiful sacred language in a beautiful sacred space,”Ebrahim Rasool, a Muslim scholar who is South Africa’s ambassador to the United States, said, “We come to this cathedral with sensitivity and humility but keenly aware that it is not a time for platitudes, because mischief is threatening the world.”Cathedral officials and local Muslim leaders emphasized the urgent need for religious tolerance and collaboration between the religious communities to erradciate extremism.For security measures, the organizers closed the gathering to the public and gave access only to selected members who were screened at the entrance of the cathedral. read more


Activists Call on Moroccan Govt to Make Amazigh New Year National

Rabat – Nekour Center for Culture and Freedom called on the head of the Moroccan Government to recognize the Amazigh New Year as a national holiday.The El Hoceima-based NGO said that all Moroccans must be given a day off in order to celebrate the Amazigh New Year.The NGO also said that the Amazigh culture and language have contributed in the enrichment of the Moroccan culture and identity, therefore it the Amazigh New Year should be recognized as a national holiday to all Moroccans. Known as “Yennayer”, Amazigh people across North Africa celebrate the new Amazigh New Year on January 12th.Yennayer is the first day of the agrarian calendar year used since ancient times by Amazigh people throughout North Africa. Even though this day has not yet been recognized officially in Morocco as a national holiday, most of Moroccans never miss this occasion to celebrate and exchange wishes and prayers during this day, which marks the beginning of a new Amazigh year.Although Amazigh New Year Event is celebrated by many Moroccans, every January 12, only few people do realize the symbolic and historical implications of this event.Under different names, Yennayer is celebrated by both Arab and Amazigh speaking communities. The Arab speaking community in old cities referred to this traditional event as “Haguza” or “Aam Alfilahi” (the Agrarian year). However, The Amazigh people, more precisely those dwelling in the south east of Morocco, call it “Id Suggas” (the night of the year). “Id Suggas” is a very traditional festivity on the Eve of the Amazigh New Year. read more


MoroccanEgyptian Crisis Provides Opportunity for Better Bilateral Ties FM

Rabat – The Moroccan-Egyptian crisis has provided an opportunity for building a better future for relations between the two countries, Moroccan Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar said Thursday in Rabat.This trend is illustrated by the visit of the Egyptian Foreign Minister to Morocco on January 15-16, which laid the foundations for a strong, strategic and renewed partnership, Mezouar said at a parliamentary meeting.In this regard, Mezouar recalled the position of Egypt, which has expressed its commitment to the kingdom’s territorial integrity, noting that all these efforts were crowned by the phone conversation between King Mohammed VI and Egyptian President Abdelfettah Al-Sissi. “Hostile parties to Morocco were seeking to exacerbate the Moroccan-Egyptian crisis,” Mezouar said, adding that these parties have used the same methods and tried to take advantage of the new situation in Egypt to seek new enemies of the kingdom’s territorial integrity. read more