TORONTO – Peter Mansbridge doesn’t want to make a fuss about leaving the anchor’s chair at CBC’s “The National.”Nearly a year after telling viewers he planned to retire from the public broadcaster’s flagship program, the 68-year-old newsman who defined an era at CBC News plans to sign-off for the final time with little fanfare.“Don’t expect much,” he said in a recent interview. “I’ve never wanted it to be about me, this program.”As Canada’s 150th celebration nears on Saturday, so does Mansbridge’s chosen date to say goodbye. The procession began Wednesday night when he delivered his final broadcast of “The National” at the CBC’s Toronto studio.Carole MacNeil helms Thursday’s show, which will pay tribute to Mansbridge’s 50-year career, including almost 30 years as “The National” anchor. He’ll then return to the newscast one last time on Friday from Ottawa, before leading the CBC’s Canada Day broadcast at Parliament Hill.“I’ve always taken most of the summer off anyway, so it seemed like a good exit point,” he said.On Wednesday, the CBC held a ceremony at its Toronto headquarters to rename one of the public atriums as Mansbridge Hall. The space is marked by a sprawling red and black image of the anchor deep in thought. Staff were served cupcakes with his likeness printed on an edible topper.Mansbridge’s storied journalism career was launched at 19 thanks to a stroke of luck. He was plucked from an airport cargo job in Churchill, Man., after a CBC Radio manager heard his broadcast-ready voice over an intercom system.Mansbridge was hired for a late-night spot on the local radio station and within a few years worked his way up to become a TV reporter. He moved to Ottawa as a parliamentary correspondent in 1976 and occasionally sat in for Knowlton Nash on “The National.” By 1988, Nash decided to step away from anchoring the broadcast to ensure Mansbridge didn’t leave the network for a job on a CBS morning show.In addition to interviewing world leaders like former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and then-U.S. president Barack Obama, Mansbridge was known for a calm, authoritative tone during monumental live news events including the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, the counting of votes for the 1995 Quebec referendum, and the funeral for Princess Diana.Throughout his time at the CBC, Mansbridge amassed little pieces of history — rocks, soil and other “sentimental” items from his travels. He’s kept pebbles from a visit to the Battle of Dieppe site in France, dirt from Vimy Ridge, and sand from the beaches at Normandy.“Some of them I put into a fireplace that (my wife) Cynthia and I built in our house in Stratford,” Mansbridge said.“Obviously I’ve got pictures — and lots of them — but this was a more tangible thing. I can reach out and touch a part of the Berlin Wall and the Great Wall of China.”His tenure was not without controversy, including criticism for a paid speech at a conference for petroleum producers. Others said his interviews with Canadian prime ministers, world leaders — and former embattled Toronto mayor Rob Ford — were too softball.When a refreshed version of “The National” debuts on Oct. 30 it will feature multiple anchors. Mansbridge’s advice?“You’ve got to ensure the people you choose have defined roles and they respect each other’s defined roles, or it can get awkward for everybody,” he said, adding that a dramatically changed format could turn off loyal viewers.“If you take them out of their comfort zone … there’s a risk,” Mansbridge said. “You have to be careful to be sure you’re not alienating your core audience while you’re trying to attract a new audience.”Mansbridge was happy to embrace experiments with new technologies. Earlier this year he began holding Facebook Live chats with viewers during commercial breaks on “The National” and dabbled in 360-degree VR technology by hosting a YouTube documentary inside the tunnels of Vimy.Asked what other changes he thinks “The National” should undergo, Mansbridge returns to an opinion he’s held for years: cut back on commercials.“It’s ridiculous we have to break for as much time as we do every night,” he said.“We say we have a one-hour program — it’s not an hour. You take the commercials out it’s (about 43 minutes). That’s unfortunate. It takes away time from what we could be doing with those kind of minutes.”Mansbridge isn’t leaving news entirely and has already spoken to the CBC about working on a “freelance” basis, although he remains cagey on exactly what that means. He’s expressed some interest in long-form documentary projects and has said in the past he’d like to lend more time to good-news features.“They’ve made a number of proposals to me,” he said of the network.“I’m going to take the summer to make a decision. It’ll be something totally different than everything I’ve ever done before. It’ll certainly be in the field of journalism but it won’t be daily and it won’t be an interview show.”He said the whole idea of retiring from “The National” was to work fewer hours each week. He’d like to keep that pledge.“Everybody — well, not everybody — but a lot of people want a piece of me now,” he said.“I’m going to resist that temptation.”Follow @dfriend on Twitter.
Toronto police say they have recovered the remains of at least six people in their investigation into alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur.Det. Sgt. Hank Idsinga says more charges are expected against McArthur, who is currently charged with first-degree murder in the presumed deaths of five men.Police say some of the body parts recovered belong to Andrew Kinsman, one of the men McArthur is accused of murdering.McArthur was arrested and charged Jan. 18 in the presumed deaths of Selim Esen, 44, and 49-year-old Kinsman who police said went missing from Toronto’s gay village last spring.McArthur was further charged in late January in the deaths of two missing men — Majeed Kayhan, 58, and Soroush Mahmudi, 50 _ as well as the death of Dean Lisowick, either 43 or 44, who had never been reported missing.
MONTREAL – Montreal police opened an internal investigation Monday after a widely shared video showed an officer pepper-spraying a black driver liberally in the face over alleged excessive honking.Several bystanders, including one who was filming the man’s arrest, were also sprayed during the same incident by another officer early Sunday morning with downtown streets heavily congested because of F1-related festivities.The investigation is into both officers.A short video of the incident was shared on Facebook and garnered a few hundred thousand views before being taken down.Ian Lafreniere, the head of communications for the Montreal police, said an internal affairs probe will examine what happened.“There’s a lack of information, so we’re not taking any chances,” Lafreniere said in an interview.On the video, the unidentified driver can be heard claiming racism and questioning why he’s being arrested for honking his horn.“For honking?,” he shouts in French as he is handcuffed and others in the video note he isn’t the only driver leaning on his horn.Mayor Valerie Plante said she found the images worrisome.“I spoke to the director of the police department this morning,” Plante tweeted Monday. “An investigation of the events has been triggered.”Lafreniere said the video itself is only part of the investigation and that a telephone number has been provided for witnesses or bystanders to call to speak with police.Police said officers told the driver several times to not honk his horn so crowds wouldn’t be revved up.They say he subsequently refused to provide his licence when asked to do so.The man’s car can also be seen in the video lurching forward, allegedly striking a police officer’s bicycle in its path before the arrest.Lafreniere said the situation quickly became quite tense and the officers involved in the arrest asked for “urgent backup” on two occasions.The incident took place just after midnight and came after authorities had previously shut down busy Sainte-Catherine Street twice because of rowdiness and security concerns.The Canadian Grand Prix tends to attract huge crowds to the city centre and Lafreniere said police handed out numerous tickets to drivers and even seized a vehicle.The driver was given two tickets worth $800 in fines for revving his engine and excessive honking. He also faces charges of obstructing police work and resisting arrest.
BURNABY, B.C. — Inside a sunlit co-operative housing complex in Burnaby, B.C., federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh knocked on doors of residents whose first languages included Croatian, Filipino and Spanish. Often, to their surprise, Singh greeted them or said goodbye in their mother tongue.The leader is staking his political future on a byelection in Burnaby South, an extremely diverse riding where nearly 55 per cent of residents were born outside Canada. But recent missteps by his former Liberal opponent, Karen Wang, highlight why politicians must be careful when discussing issues of identity.Singh said he learned to say, “Hello, how are you?” in about 40 languages because when he was young, someone unexpected greeted him in Punjabi and he appreciated it as a sign of respect.“I feel like it’s my way of saying, ‘I respect where you come from and your history, and who you are, and a part of what makes you, you. It says a lot without saying a lot. It just says, ‘I value you,’ ” he said while on his recent door-knocking campaign.The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday after she urged Chinese people to vote for her on social media platform WeChat. She contrasted herself, the “only” Chinese candidate, with Singh, who she described as “of Indian descent.”Wang held a tearful news conference a day after dropping out, in which she said a volunteer wrote the post and it’s common in Chinese culture to mention someone’s ethnicity. She said the Liberals asked her to resign, then wrote her apology, and she’s considering running as an Independent.The turmoil has sparked debate about how racial identity fits into Canadian politics. Some observers say parties have a long history of cynically appealing to the so-called “ethnic vote,” and Wang’s only fault might have been putting the strategy in writing. Others say her post crossed a line by pitting two groups against each other. Peter Julian, the New Democrat MP for nearby New Westminster-Burnaby, said his party’s approach is to consider how best to communicate with every community.“There are over 100 languages spoken in Burnaby South. It is a remarkably diverse riding. So, what we talk about is how best to reach out to all of those 100 communities, and make sure that we’re reflecting what the needs of the communities are,” he said.Wang’s post was not at all in that spirit, as she didn’t mention the needs of the community or the issues within it, said Julian.“She was just really trying to divide people in Burnaby South, and that’s why I think the reaction has been negative. People don’t want to see division. They want to feel in unity or in solidarity with their neighbours.”The Liberals swiftly condemned the post and said it wasn’t aligned with their values, adding they have long supported full and equal participation of all Canadians in democracy. Wang said the party did not have a strategy to capture Chinese-Canadian voters.Mario Canseco, president of Vancouver-based Research Co., said he conducted polling in 2015 on what “multicultural voters” in the Lower Mainland are looking in a political representative.“They’re motivated, more than anything, by the same things that any other voter would be motivated by — the party policies, the structures, the candidates. There were less than five per cent who said their main motivator for choosing a candidate is ethnicity,” he said.“So there’s not a lot of meat on those bones, in my view. But it’s still something that many politicians spend time doing. Everybody celebrates the Lunar New Year, they go to Vaisakhi. … But it’s not going to be the main motivator for those voters.”Both former premier Christy Clark and current Premier John Horgan created profiles on WeChat, a Chinese-language platform, during the last provincial election in 2017, said Guo Ding, a producer at OMNI BC Mandarin News.Wang’s post was offensive to Chinese-Canadians who have worked hard not to be seen only for their ethnicity, said Alden Habacon, a diversity and inclusion strategist in Vancouver.“They have value to bring as a creative person or a leader or a contributor that is more than just the Chinese person you see the first moment you see them,” he said.“For her to point that out right away kind of counters all that effort that a lot of Chinese-Canadians have made to push this idea that, ‘I’m legitimate. I’m legitimately Canadian and I have something to offer.’ “Still, others argue Wang is being held up to more scrutiny because of her ethnicity, particularly at a time of tension between China and Canada on the world stage.Other politicians have been able to bounce back from worse scandals, said diversity consultant Ajay Puri.Puri said he believed it would be easier for a white politician to win in the riding, even though it is nearly 40 per cent ethnically Chinese. Puri noted the last municipal election in Vancouver ended with a nearly all-white council despite the diversity of its residents.“It’s harder for (white politician) to fail. But it’s easier for a person of colour to fail because the scrutiny is that much harder on them.”— Follow @ellekane on Twitter.Laura Kane, The Canadian Press
The Viking Sky is a relatively new ship, delivered in 2017 to operator Viking Ocean Cruises.The ship was on a 12-day cruise along Norway’s coast before its scheduled arrival Tuesday in the British port of Tilbury, on the River Thames. The passengers were mostly an English-speaking mix of American, British, Canadian, New Zealand and Australian citizens.All the cruise ship passengers were expected to be flown out of Norway by Monday evening, police said.On Sunday, the operator said the Viking Sky’s next scheduled trip, to Scandinavia and Germany, which was to leave on Wednesday, has been cancelled but no other trip cancellations for the ship were foreseen yet.Calls to Viking Ocean Cruises on Monday were not immediately returned. COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Norwegian officials have opened an investigation into why a cruise ship carrying more than 1,370 people set sail along the country’s often wild western coast despite storm warnings, forcing a major evacuation by helicopter.One person is in critical but stable condition in an intensive care ward, hospital officials said, adding eight others are still hospitalized after the Viking Sky had engine problems off the Norwegian coast and issued a mayday on Saturday afternoon.The Viking Sky had left the northern city of Tromsoe and was headed for Stavanger in southern Norway when it ran into trouble.The ship anchored in heavy seas to avoid being dashed on the rocks in an area known for shipwrecks. Norwegian authorities then launched a daring rescue operation despite the high winds, eventually winching 479 passengers off the ship by helicopter in an operation that went on for hours Saturday night and into Sunday morning.RELATED: Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengersDag S. Liseth of Norway’s Accident Investigations Board said “the high risk which the ship, its passengers and crew were exposed to made us decide to investigate the incident.”After about half of the passengers were taken off, the captain made the decision Sunday to halt the evacuation. About 900 people were still on board when the ship limped into the port city of Molde on its own engines.Liseth said investigators were headed to Molde on Monday and declined to speculate as to why the Viking Sky captain had decided to sail to Stavanger in the first place despite the weather warning. He couldn’t immediately say how long the ship would remain in Molde.Yngve Skovly, of the police force in Moere and Romsdal district, where Molde sits, said there is no suspicion of a criminal offence but police have opened an investigation to find out why the ship had engine problems. That probe would be part of the one by the Accident Investigations Board.WATCH: Cruise ship evacuated after engine failure off Norway coast
LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — Police in southern Alberta are investigating after they say someone drove past a supervised drug consumption facility and fired paintballs at staff and clients.Investigators have released surveillance video of a white pickup truck that was recorded shortly after midnight on Saturday morning outside the site in Lethbridge.Jill Manning, the director of operations with the group that runs the site, says a staff member was hit multiple times in the throat, chest, torso and leg, causing bruising and cuts.Two clients were also hit, although Manning says no one was seriously injured.On Monday, there were protest rallies outside a Lethbridge city council meeting where councillors voted down a motion calling for the Alberta government to pull its funding for the consumption site.Manning says there have been several incidents since the meeting where the facility’s staff have been threatened, both in person and online.“This is the first physical assault, but certainly we’ve had verbal assaults. We’ve had staff filmed and provoked in arguments and then posted in social media. So we certainly have had growing concerns throughout the week,” Manning said.“Right now I’m a little shook.”Const. Ryan Darroch confirmed there were several victims of the paintball attack, although he couldn’t say for sure if the drug consumption site was the target.Darroch said the truck drove around the facility and wasn’t going fast. He said whoever fired the paintballs appeared to be shooting randomly at people.“There were several people we could tell from the video camera that had been struck, and several others that ducked behind cars and hid as the shots rang past them,” Darroch said.“It looked like the majority of the shots that were fired had missed.”Police say the suspect vehicle is white, newer model Dodge quad cab with a hard-top box cover, black rims and a “RAM” emblem across the back tailgate.They say they were unable to get a licence plate number.The site in Lethbridge has been open for about a year-and-a-half.People who crammed the council chamber’s public gallery for Monday’s meeting were scanned for weapons on their way in after the city manager said there were threats on social media.Coun. Blaine Hyggen, who brought forward the motion calling for the province to defund the facility, claimed there was drug use and drug dealing outside the site, saying he was opposed to enabling addicts to consume illegal drugs.Hyggen also claimed he’s heard users at the site get goodie bags and chocolates.Mayor Chris Spearman challenged Hyggen, saying his accusations couldn’t be backed up with fact, and the motion was defeated 6-3.The meeting came the same day the province’s United Conservative government announced a panel to examine the social and economic effects of safe consumption sites for drug users.Manning said the Lethbridge facility will likely beef up security. She said she believes it’s just a fringe group that’s responsible for the threats, and stressed they’re not representative of most people in the community, including those who oppose supervised drug consumption services.“I don’t know that people understand that what they may feel are benign comments on social media, that it helps whip up the fervour that is occurring in our community right now,” Manning said.“I would just really ask that people in Lethbridge be conscious of how they’re contributing to public discussions around this because things are escalating and we fear that things will get worse.”—By Rob Drinkwater in EdmontonThe Canadian Press
UNICEF ambassador for Serbia, five-time Grand Slam champion and world No. 2 Novak Djokovic of Serbia has entered the 2012 Necker Cup, the world’s most exclusive Pro-Am, to be held on Sir Richard Branson ’s private island Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands Dec. 9-13 .Amateurs can book a space in the Necker Cup Pro-Am by calling (001) 800.376.0975 or visiting www.neckercup.com. You can also win a place directly into the Necker Cup by winning the Life Time Necker Cup Challenge, to be run in eight markets across the US. In addition, you can register to play in the Rosewood Little Dix Bay Legends Tennis Camp at www.neckercup.com/legends, which will take place at the same time nearby at the world-renowned resort at Virgin Gorda and will be hosted by Grand Slam doubles winners, Bob and Mike Bryan.Each evening will end with a unique cocktail and dinner experience concluding with an “End of the World” awards dinner, party and auction on Dec. 12 at Rosewood Little Dix Bay where the Legends Tennis Camp participants will have a chance to meet with Sir Richard and mingle with the past and current tennis stars. One hundred percent of all donations from the auction will directly benefit the local BVI community, Virgin Unite, the National Tennis Foundation, Novak Djokovic Foundation and other ATP and WTA player charities.In addition to the tennis, Sir Richard will kick off a Virgin Unite Leadership Retreat where Necker Cup participants will get to learn from one of the world’s most successful business leaders.The Life Time Necker Cup Challenge registration continues with the first two of eight U.S. events scheduled beginning Oct. 12-14 .For more information on the Necker Cup call 800.376.0975 or visit the website at www.neckercup.com. Check the following sites for more information on Premier Tennis Travel, Life Time Fitness or Necker Island.Source:PR Newswire
Ed Sheeran and OneRepublic are among the acts confirmed for this year’s series of Teenage Cancer Trust gigs at the Royal Albert Hall in London.The full line up is as follows: • Monday 24 March – Ed Sheeran • Tuesday 25 March – An evening of comedy hosted by Jason Manford featuring John Bishop, Micky Flanagan, Patrick Kielty, Rob Beckett and Hal Cruttenden • Wednesday 26 March – Paolo Nutini • Thursday 27 March – OneRepublic • Saturday 29 March – The Cure – Three hour show • Sunday 30 March – Suede“This is our fourteenth year at the Royal Albert Hall for Teenage Cancer Trust and I’m very happy to be back after handing the reins to Noel Gallagher for a year,” said Teenage Cancer Trust patron and The Who legend, Roger Daltrey. “The money raised is invaluable in helping young people with cancer, and in return for the public’s hard earned cash we put on some very special shows.”Tickets go on sale on Friday – more info can be found here.
Staples and global pop music superstar Katy Perry continue to “Make Roar Happen” in Washington, D.C. today by announcing 55 local classroom projects have been funded as part of Staples’ $1 million donation to DonorsChoose.org.Staples fully funded the balance of every project that was on DonorsChoose.org in the Washington, D.C. community today. This $43,994 donation helped 47 teachers fulfill classroom needs and helped more than 3,900 students in the D.C. public school district. For example, Ms. Lee, a teacher at Francis L. Cardozo Education Campus, will receive test prep books and flashcards for her new AP Psychology class; and Ms. Rukavina, a teacher at Calvin Coolidge Senior High School, will now have classroom supplies, history books, and technology to project lessons from her laptop.“I’m glad to partner with Staples on my Prismatic World Tour to raise awareness and funds for DonorsChoose.org, and to remind my fans that a small gesture can have a huge impact on the very basic materials classrooms need for teachers to help students reach their full potential,” said Katy Perry.Staples and Katy Perry teamed up to “Make Roar Happen” and support teachers. Through the “Make Roar Happen” program, Katy Perry will help Staples raise awareness of how to help teachers with a $1 donation either in store or on Staples.com. As part of the program, Staples, the presenting sponsor of the North American leg of the Katy Perry Prismatic World Tour, donated $1 million to DonorsChoose.org, a charity which has helped fund more than 450,000 classroom projects for teachers and impacted more than 11 million students. $43,994 of that donation went to D.C. classrooms today.“We are so thrilled to have Katy Perry supporting ‘Make Roar Happen’ and look forward to working together with DonorsChoose.org to ensure teachers have the supplies they need,” said Alison Corcoran, senior vice president, North American stores and online marketing, Staples. “Our recent survey found almost three-quarters of parents with teens agree that teachers in their communities inspire their students so it’s imperative we support these everyday heroes.”Additionally, the survey revealed that 76% of parents of teen students believe that a lack of school supplies is a significant challenge for schools today. Most teachers spend an average of $408.71 of their own money each year to provide supplies and materials for their classrooms. Customers are invited to help ‘Make Roar Happen’ for local teachers by donating $1 to DonorsChoose.org at nearby Staples stores or online at www.staples.com/makeroarhappen. The proceeds will benefit teachers in the supporters’ communities and will help fund local classroom projects listed on DonorsChoose.org.“The tremendous support Staples and Katy Perry have provided to DonorsChoose.org through ‘Make Roar Happen’ has made a great difference in classrooms across the country,” said Charles Best, Founder and CEO, DonorsChoose.org. “We understand the financial hardships teachers in the Washington, D.C. area face when it comes to providing their classroom with the right resources. Thanks to Staples and Katy Perry, local teachers are able to get what they need and ‘Make Roar Happen’ in the classroom.”Win A Trip to Meet Katy PerryBeginning on June 25, fans will have a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles to meet Katy Perry and attend her concert on Sept. 19 at the Staples Center by entering the ‘Make Roar Happen’ Video Sweepstakes. Everyone is invited to create videos ‘Roaring’ about their educational goals, inspirational teachers or how education has positively affected their lives. To enter, upload your ‘Roar’ video at www.staples.com/makeroarhappen. Entries must be submitted before 11:59 PM ET on Sept. 3, and participants must be 18 years or older. Participants are encouraged to share their videos on their social channels using the hashtag #MakeRoarHappen. See official rules at www.staples.com/makeroarhappen.Win Tickets to see Katy Perry The Prismatic World Tour Presented by StaplesCustomers who spend $10 or more at any Staples store will receive a unique code(s) based on the total amount spent. Code(s) will be provided on their store receipt to enter online at Staples.com/MakeRoarHappen for a chance to win two tickets to a concert in the U.S. portion of the Katy Perry Prismatic World Tour Presented by Staples. To win tickets, participants must enter the code on their purchase receipt from June 1 to Sept. 25 at www.staples.com/makeroarhappen. See official rules at www.staples.com/makeroarhappen.Source:BusinessWire.com
Jay Leno, host of “The Tonight Show” for 22 years, will be the featured performer at “An Evening with a Legend,” sponsored by the UNT Health Science Center Foundation to benefit the University’s research, education and health care mission.Presented by Chase and J.P. Morgan, Leno will appear at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, at Fort Worth’s Bass Performance Hall. The Chairs for this year’s event are Pati and Bill Meadows.The benefit performance celebrates the time-honored partnership between UNT Health Science Center and the Fort Worth community.Leno, recently announced as the recipient of The Kennedy Center’s 2014 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, spent more than two decades behind the most revered desk in late-night comedy. He is a 15-time Emmy Award nominee, winning twice, including the 1995 Emmy for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series for “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”UNTHSC is an active educational, research and health care partner in Fort Worth, recently announcing a landmark partnership with JPS Health Network. It trains future doctors and other health care providers, engages in world-class biomedical research in many areas, and operates a world-renowned DNA crime lab that helps solve decades-old cold cases, identify missing persons and combat sex trafficking. UNTHSC also serves low-income children across the city through its Pediatric Mobile Clinic and operates a West Nile virus monitoring program with the city of Fort Worth.Ticket sales will begin later this summer and sponsorship package information will be available soon at www.eveningwithalegend.com.Source:PR Newswire
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom concluded a four-day visit to Liberia where he praised the efforts of Ebola-affected communities in combatting the deadly virus.Orlando Bloom meets with Sophia Vaye, a single mother, in the rented house where she and her five children live, in Tubmanburg in Bomi CountyCredit/Copyright: UNICEF/NYHQ2015-0458/Jallanzo“Everyone I met was determined to beat Ebola so that they can resume their normal lives,” said Bloom after meeting with religious and youth leaders in the capital Monrovia. “Communities have been at the center of the fight against Ebola and must continue to be supported because of their crucial role in getting to zero cases.”Orlando Bloom reads to students at Jene Wonde Central Public School, in Jene Wonde Township in Grand Cape Mount CountyCredit/Copyright: UNICEF/NYHQ2015-0458/JallanzoPeer educators have played an important role in the Ebola response, including adolescent girls and boys in the A-Life project in West Point, a poor and densely populated neighborhood in Monrovia. Meeting with Bloom, representatives of the group explained how their volunteers had reached more than 25,000 people to raise awareness on how their community members could avoid getting ill and stop the spread of the virus.At a primary school in a severely affected community on the border with Sierra Leone, Bloom observed the Ebola school safety protocols that were introduced when schools reopened after a seven-month shutdown. These protocols, introduced with UNICEF support to reduce the risk of transmission, include taking children’s temperatures when they arrive to school and making them wash their hands before entering the classroom.“Because of this outbreak, a million children in Liberia have had their school year cut in half,” said Bloom. “They’re excited to be back in the classroom but the precautions that every single one of them must follow every day are a reminder of the need to remain vigilant.”Across the sub-region the Ebola virus has infected more than 24,000 people – including over 5,000 children – and has killed nearly 10,000.Ebola cases have been declining in the sub-region, but the battle is far from over. While the fight continues, efforts to rebuild health, education and social protection systems are prioritized.Bloom, well known for roles in blockbuster films such as The Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean, became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in October 2009. Last year he traveled to Jordan to meet children and families impacted by the Syrian crisis.
Former tennis star Billie Jean King says that human rights and sports are a perfect fit.Billie Jean King, former world No.1 tennis player and advocate for gender equalityTennis legend and gender equality activist Billie Jean King has had a stellar career in sports, identifying the boundaries that divide people and tearing them down. She was the first woman athlete to win over $100,000 in prize money in 1971 and, 10 years later, the first professional athlete to be “outed” as gay. She remains a steadfast supporter of issues at the heart of the United Nations – fair play, tolerance and building “a world where we are all united; no borders.”Indeed, despite the hurdles that she encountered on and off the court, the idea of social inclusion has always formed the core of Ms. King’s personal and professional philosophy – a philosophy that brings sports and human rights issues together in an effort to harmonize understanding. The more we get to know each other, she says, the better chance the world has for peace.In an interview earlier this morning and ahead of the commemoration of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, held at UN Headquarters in New York, Ms. King, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights icon, told the UN News Centre that human rights and sports are, in fact, “a perfect fit” for each other.“The great thing about sports is that it really has no borders. It’s a way to connect with others from other cultures. It’s a way to develop,” she explained. “And it gives me a chance to have a platform, to speak out on what I feel is the right thing, about human rights.”Athletes, Ms. King continued, have a unique platform to bridge communication divides, establish themselves as role models, and lead by example. And, as individuals with such a global opportunity to influence, athletes also have a special responsibility to “try to help make a positive difference in this world.”“We have a platform that very few people have. If you’re at the top of your sport, you can do so much good in this world because so many people are exposed to you,” she added.In Ms. King’s personal and professional narrative, there was no greater platform than the 1973 tennis match against Bobby Riggs.Dubbed the “Battle of the Sexes,” it pitted her against a male counterpart in a widely televised tennis clash that helped redefine gender roles and level the playing field shared by both men and women.“Two months before the match I was a mess and I got less and less anxious as I got closer. I knew it was about social change. I knew it wasn’t a tennis match,” she admitted.“The Battle of the Sexes got so much attention not only in the United States but other places and people always ask me about it. The men that come up to me today say it changed how they raise their families, how they raise their daughters, and how they insist on equal rights for their boys and girls, for their children.”Until the early 1970s, Ms. King observed, gender quotas throughout the United States had severely impeded women’s access to athletics and higher education, limiting their growth and development and starving younger generations of girls of much-needed role models.“When I played Bobby Riggs, I knew I wanted to win that match to help change the hearts and minds of people,” she continued. “The great thing about that match is that it brought people together and also it awakened a lot of people to start thinking differently about women; that they deserve as much as men.”For Billie Jean King, women and girls had always been invisible, side-lined and underserved to the benefit of their male equals who, even in schools and at a young age, were always placed “up front and centre.”“Even at school, for instance, in the classroom, the teachers would always call on the boys. They just would,” she recalled. “So at a very young age I had an epiphany that I would spend the rest of my life fighting for equal rights and opportunities for everybody: men and women, boys and girls. And I knew that because of tennis I had a platform and I was one of the lucky ones.”Ms. King’s arrival at the United Nations comes at a propitious moment as the Organization shifts into overdrive ahead of this year’s roll-out of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda and a new global initiative to reduce gender inequality by 2030.“The UN has such a unique opportunity. Just the idea of the United Nations – it says it all. We’re all united, no borders,” Ms. King declared.“The UN is such a great influencer. The whole world is connected to it. The most important thing it does is bring people together – it allows for dialogue, for thinking how we can develop for the future, and how we can bring about peace.”Source:United Nations
The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced today that Team LeBron has selected After-School All-Stars Los Angeles and Team Stephen has selected Brotherhood Crusade, as the community-based organizations they will play for during the 67th NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 18 (8 p.m. ET) at Staples Center.As previously announced, the winning team will donate $350,000 and the losing team will donate $150,000 to their selected organization. Team captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry revealed their team’s selected community-based organization in videos shared on social media this morning.After-School All-Stars Los Angeles provides comprehensive out-of-school programming for more than 8,000 students in need across 52 schools while Brotherhood Crusade works to empower and support underserved youth in South Los Angeles through mentoring, education, health and wellness and leadership programs.
Facebook As it turns out, supernatural beings need therapy and someone to talk to about their problems just like regular humans. That’s the premise behind Canadian web series Inhuman Condition from KindaTV and Smokebomb (the same people that brought you Carmilla). Created by RJ Lackie and directed by Jared Pelletier, the series follows therapist Dr. Michelle Kessler (Torri Higginson) as she treats troubled supernatural patients from zombies to werewolves. Each episode follows Dr. Kessler’s attempts to reach out to her patients as they deal with their ‘powers’ and the effects they have on their lives.Like most web series, Inhuman Condition was shot on a very different schedule than most television series. “We shot 35 episodes in 5 days. I had just come off shooting This Life and I was in rehearsals for a play. It was a crazy time,” Higginson tells The TV Junkies. While the shoot may have been a bit of a whirlwind, one in which the star of This Life, who is also coming off a pivotal role as Commander Truffault in Season 2 of Dark Matter, jokingly recalls “I lost so many brain cells that week it was nuts,” turned out to be well worth it in the end. “I was deeply surprised at the product they got out,” says Higginson, before going on to say that she finds “the characters and politics of it are so engaging, layered, complex and smart.” Advertisement Twitter Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment
Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Pure, the purely Canadian CBC six-part mini-series that has earned the nickname Mennonite Breaking Bad wrapped up local production in Nova Scotia this week.Airing in January 2017 as part of CBC’s new prime-time lineup, Pure’s story revolves around newly elected Mennonite pastor Noah Funk as he infiltrates a “Menno mob” in an effort to bust up a powerful drug trafficking operation in the community.He winds up getting lured into the organization in order to protect his family, and tries to secretly gather evidence to dismantle it. Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement Rooted in realityCast members Ryan Robbins (Arrow, Continuum, The Killing) and Alex-Paxton Beesley (Murdoch Mysteries, Copper) say what drew them both to Pure, filmed in locations in and around Windsor and Dartmouth, is that the series is rooted in truth. Twitter
The Weeknd Advertisement The Weeknd has joined the OverActive Media Group ownership and will serve as global ambassador for the Canadian esports company.The Toronto R&B singer and producer, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, is now part of an ownership group whose principle investors include the Kimel family — including Michael Kimel, part-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins — and tech entrepreneur Sheldon Pollock.OverActive Media owns the Toronto Defiant of the Overwatch League. It also owns Splyce, a U.S. company that has a stable of international esports teams. “We are thrilled to be welcoming a global superstar like Abel to our investor family,” OverActive Media president and CEO Chris Overholt said in a statement Wednesday.“Abel’s standing in the music industry will provide our Toronto Defiant and Splyce brands the opportunity to reach more fans and engage new audiences.”OverActive Media also owns teams in the League of Legends European Championship, Call of Duty World League, Rocket League, StarCraft and Smite. The esports company is only one of five organizations in the world with permanent slots in both League of Legends and Overwatch League.“As a big esports fan, I am really excited to be involved in this project,” The Weeknd, a multiple Grammy and Juno Award-winner, said in a statement.“I am looking forward to collaborating with OverActive Media in unique and innovative ways.”OverActive said the singer will be an “important part of [its] brand-building efforts across Canada and around the world.”The Weeknd joins former mentor Drake in the ranks of global ambassadors in the Toronto sports arena. Drake serves that role with the Toronto Raptors, whose training centre is named after his OVO brand.The Weeknd, who is 29, boasts three straight No. 1 appearances on the Billboard 200 albums chart with My Dear Melancholy, Starboy and Beauty Behind the Madness.The Defiant (1-1) currently sit eighth in Stage 2 of the Overwatch League. The Toronto team finished third in Stage 1 with a 5-2 record. The Defiant face the Philadelphia Fusion on Friday.Neil Davidson ~ The Canadian Press Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Twitter Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment
APTN National NewsThe family of a young woman who went missing in Vancouver wants answers as to why her remains went undetected for more than a decade.Stephanie Pineault went missing in 1997.In 2003, her DNA was discovered on convicted killer Robert Pickton’s farm. But police said there wasn’t enough evidence to charge Pickton with her death.As it turns out, her remains were also found, but were kept in a police storage locker for more 11-years.APTN’s Tina House tells us what happened.
Tom Fennario APTN NewsThe National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls needs five months to “restructure,” if granted an extension and more federal funding, according to a Quebec women’s group.At a press conference in Montreal on Monday, Quebec Native Women Inc. (QNW) president Viviane Michel made it clear – it’s time for the national inquiry to tighten up.“We believe in this commission. We believe in the potential of the people who work in this commission, but it needs to be restructured,” she said.The QNW wants the federal Indigenous and Northern Affairs to hear its concerns before making a decision on the inquiry’s request for a two-year extension and $50 million more in funding.The QNW says that should the extension be granted, the inquiry should take those five months off from hearings to restructure.Michel said the QNW’s concerns are that the inquiry is not sharing legal documents with family members or providing the long-term support families need after testifying.“It’s very traumatizing to a family to relive this traumatic event,” she said. “It’s important for us … that these families are well surrounded with emotional and psychological aid.”A spokesperson for the national inquiry would not comment until the inquiry has had a chance to review the QNW’s requests.
Kam MacLeod (left) and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted for three homicides in B.C. (APTN file)The Canadian PressOntario Provincial Police say they are investigating “numerous” reports involving possible sightings of two young men believed to be those wanted in multiple murders in British Columbia.Vancouver researcher Leonard Dyck and Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese were found dead last month in northern B.C.OPP say the reports have come in from across the province, and investigators cannot confirm at this time whether any of the sightings are, in fact, of 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky and 19-year-old Kam McLeod.They say there have been no confirmed sightings of the pair in Ontario so far.Provincial police say they are working with RCMP and have assigned an investigative team to follow up on any tips related to the suspects.A manhunt spanning several provinces began last week after Schmegelsky and McLeod were named as suspects in three killings.Most recently, RCMP searched extensively in parts of northern Manitoba.Police warn the two men are considered dangerous and should not be approached.Read more: Bush survival could be difficult for B.C. homicide suspects, say Tataskweyak residents
VANCOUVER – Joanna Fletcher lives in a one-bedroom apartment on Vancouver’s east side with her 10-year-old son. The building has mice and mould, and her new landlord is threatening eviction.While she has plenty of reasons to leave, Fletcher says she’s fighting to stay for as long as possible because she can’t afford anything else in the area and leaving would mean disrupting her son’s school year.“It’s not just like I can pick up and go, there isn’t anything for me to go (to),” she said in a recent interview.Fletcher isn’t alone in feeling the impact of the housing affordability crisis affecting cities across the country.The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says average rents nationally went up last year by 2.7 per cent to $947 per month.Meanwhile, the availability of rentals is becoming increasingly limited. The CMHC says the overall vacancy rate for cities across the country was three per cent in 2017, down from 3.7 per cent in 2016.In its annual report on rental housing, the corporation said the demand for purpose-built rental is outpacing the growth in supply, while the rate of condominiums rented out also declined.Craig Jones, a PhD candidate in geography at the University of British Columbia, said the situation is largely the result of the federal government’s move away from building rental housing in the early 1990s, combined with the extreme profitability of building condominiums over rentals in the private sector.The government used to build thousands of units of rental housing annually, and the private sector does not appear to have filled the gap in the years since, Jones said.Although up to a third of condos are estimated to be rented out by owners, Jones said the rents are typically not as affordable as rental only properties and tenancies aren’t secure because owners can always choose to move back in, renovate or trigger other means of eviction.Statistics Canada reported last year that nearly a quarter of Canadians spent more than 30 per cent of their income on shelter costs, which is the marker for affordability.Jones said the statistics are a sign that many people live in precarious circumstances.“It’s taken us a long time to get here, it’s taken decades of ignoring the system,” he said, adding it would take a least 10 years of government commitments to resolve the problem. “That is something that is difficult to do because it’s expensive and it doesn’t show immediate results.”Fletcher is one of those people caught in the housing crisis.“I’m just sort of pretending it’s not happening in many ways. On certain days, I just keep it right off my radar, otherwise I’d lose it,” she said.She has lived in her Vancouver apartment for eight years and pays about $930 a month in rent, which included basic cable until February.Fletcher has multiple sclerosis and is unemployed but looking for work. She said she’s been looking for a two-bedroom home for years, but units are hard to come by. A suite that became available in the area was more than double what she pays in rent.Her building was recently sold to a company and Fletcher said the new landlord began approaching tenants in January offering to pay them three months’ rent if they move out by April. She was offered five months’ rent if she signed an agreement by mid-February.“It’s a drop in the bucket if I don’t have anywhere to live,” she said.Fletcher declined the offer and decided to wait for an eviction notice. She hopes that will be at least eight months away since a legal notice requires permits from the city to develop the property, which is a lengthy process to obtain. The city says it has not received applications for any development at the property.The landlord did not respond to requests for comment.A spokesman for the Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre in B.C. said evictions caused by renovations or redevelopment are among the most common problems tenants report.Andrew Sakamoto said the province’s Residential Tenancy Act should be changed to double the notice time for evictions to four months, and offer greater compensation to renters. Availability of housing may be a problem, but stronger laws that protect tenants could make a difference until supply catches up with demand, he said.“You need to have security of tenure and safe housing in order to thrive in other aspects of your life,” Sakamoto said. “I think we need to get away from this commodification of housing and see it for what it really should be, and that’s a basic right for all Canadians.”Dan Garrison, Vancouver’s assistant director of housing policy, said there is a lot of older housing stock that needs to be updated but the city has tougher rules than the province when it comes to redeveloping rental properties.“We know that renters in the city are certainly feeling vulnerable to development pressure,” Garrison said. “We are trying to strike a balance.”Landlords in Vancouver who evict their tenants are required to pay several months rent, assist in relocating them within the city, and pay for moving costs, he said. Developers would also have to give previous tenants the opportunity to move back into the new building at a discounted rate.Not all jurisdictions share these policies.In Toronto, Jillian Zeppa, 30, who works for a non-profit education organization, couch surfed with friends for six months after she was evicted from her one bedroom basement suite last fall.Zeppa said she had lived in the unit for 16 months when the landlord decided to move in herself, prompting her eviction.She disputed the notice with the province’s rental housing enforcement unit and was awarded $2,000 in compensation. But Zeppa said the cost of moving, storing her belongings, searching for a new home and the stress of the experience had her hoping she’d receive twice that amount.Her situation reflects a concerning trend, say housing advocates in Ontario.Geordie Dent, executive director of the Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations, said in nine of the last 10 years, the number one reason the agency received calls from tenants facing eviction was due to unpaid rent.But last year that changed with an “explosive” increase in landlords choosing to make use of the home themselves or by their family, he said.“Probably most of them are going to be in bad faith, meaning the landlord is not actually moving in, it’s just pushing tenants out to be able to jack up the rent,” Dent said.The Ontario government responded by bringing in new rules last September that require landlords to pay a tenant one month of rent in compensation. If the landlord advertises, rents, demolishes or converts the unit within a year — signalling they aren’t using it themselves — they could also face a fine of up to $25,000.In many cases, landlords want to get rid of their oldest tenants who pay the lowest rents, Dent said. Being able to charge higher rents for new tenants could be enough to cover the penalties, he added.Zeppa pays $1,050 per month. Finding a new place close to transit for the same rent with similar amenities, such as laundry in the building, proved to be impossible.“The golden rule of spending 30 per cent of your money on rent, I feel like is out the window because rent is going up but no one’s salary is going up,” said Zeppa.She moved into a new apartment on April 1 after months of searching. But at $1,300 a month, Zeppa said she has to make sacrifices.The new unit accounts for 45 per cent of her take home income and it is far enough from her office that she’ll have to spend an hour on transit, rather than walking or cycling.There are also other changes she is looking at to cover the extra cost of rent.“I’m either not going to travel or not going to make an RRSP contribution every year. One of them is going to have to be sacrificed, I realized, in the budget planning of it all. That doesn’t really feel right,” she said.While she’s confident her new home will be more stable, Zeppa said if she is evicted again, she’s more likely to consider other areas of the country to live and work.“This whole experience has allowed me to realize Toronto will not be a forever place for me,” she said.The federal government announced a national housing strategy last fall that commits $40 billion over 10 years to new units and upgrades of aging properties, including loans to encourage developers to build new housing geared toward modest- to middle-income families.The provinces and territories have agreed to fund a key piece of the housing strategy by spending billions to repair and build social housing units and create a new rental benefit. It adds about 50,000 units to the system and repairs 60,000 more, while promoting construction of mixed-income and mixed-use residential developments.Aled Ab Iorwerth, the deputy chief economist at the CMHC, said whether there is enough incentive for developers to construct purpose-built rental housing remains unclear.“I think there are a lot of incentives out there to build,” he said. “How exactly the market supplies that is a little bit conditional on their own decision.”— Follow @Givetash on Twitter.