ZAIB SHAIKH THE LITTLE MOSQUE ACTOR TURNED CONSUL GENERAL ON PROMOTING CANADA

first_imgThere will be nearly 6,000 miles between you and your wife. How will you manage it?We haven’t quite sorted that out yet. Our parents, kids and siblings are all here, and we want to stay connected to everybody. We’ll figure it out.Presumably you’ll be hosting a lot of parties. What is the residence like? And what kind of bubbly budget?The position comes with a residence with a pool, in Hancock Park, and I’m expected to host often. It’s about entertaining but also creating a place where Canadians can feel at home and showcasing what Canada has to offer.Dream CanCon party list, dead or alive: go!Michael J. Fox, Tanya Tagaq, Pierre Trudeau, Oscar Peterson, Roberta Bondar, Mary Pickford, Mike Lazaridis, the Popp Rok crew, Alice Munro, Linda Evangelista, Yousuf Karsh, Wayne Gretzky, Elijah McCoy, Ali Velshi, Sandra Oh, the Group of Seven and Lorne Michaels.How would you describe your personal approach to schmoozing?I’m uncomfortable with the word schmooze—it sounds so cynical and even a little schmarmy, which is not the vibe that I try to put across.You played Amaar on Little Mosque. Does your acting background come in handy at parties? Like, if you’re stuck talking to some horrible Hollywood gasbag, you can “act” interested?It helps to have experience in the industry and to know the lingo.Little Mosque was celebrated for showcasing this country’s diversity. Is that a competitive edge?Absolutely. I’d also say that it’s important to have people of diversity in these diplomatic positions—different colours, genders, sexual orientations and abilities—because it sends a signal that Canada values diversity.You’ve spent five years as Toronto’s first-ever film commissioner and director of entertainment industries. Are there any accomplishments you feel especially proud of?In 2016, the city broke the $2-billion mark for foreign production investment, and our team was instrumental in co-ordinating the NBA All-Star Game, Pan-Am Games, North American Indigenous Games and Invictus Games.Invictus Games! So you’re basically responsible for the royal wedding.Not quite, but Meghan and Harry appeared together in public in a major way for the first time during the Games while here.Do you have any desire to return to acting?I think it’s like riding a bike. Yeah, of course you do, if you like bikes. I want to get on that bike, and I hope I remember how to ride it. But I don’t yearn to get back in front of the camera, and I’m not wistful. I don’t feel I’m old enough or have done enough to feel wistful—or to say I’ve left it forever, either.Any plans to go shopping before the big move?Haha—I don’t think so. I’ve been a government employee for half a decade now. Shopping sprees were a part of my previous life.BY COURTNEY SHEA (TORONTO LIFE) | PHOTOGRAPHY BY ERIN LEYDON This interview has been edited for length and clarity. As the new consul general of Canada in L.A., you are our country’s representative for Southern California, Nevada and Arizona. What can you tell us about the gig?I’ll oversee foreign direct investment into Canada, and the reverse, too: promoting investment and trade for Canadians who want to do business in L.A. And it’s not just film. I’ll also be handling governmental relations relating to direct investment across all industries.Let’s hear your sales pitch.Canada has an amazing talent pool, both behind the scenes and in front of the cameras, great locations to film in, and then there’s our tax credit system. We also have major video game developers in Toronto and Montreal, and Netflix studios in Vancouver. Truthfully, I wouldn’t even call it a sales pitch. People already want to be here. My job is to be present, to stay connected.Your wife, Kirstine Stewart, a former top exec at CBC and Twitter, just announced that she is taking a position with the World Economic Forum in Geneva. Are you stealing her thunder?Haha—it’s been wild. We were in our kitchen deciding what to make for dinner. Her news was just out and we were absorbing that, and the phone rang. I picked up, and it was David MacNaughton, the ambassador to the U.S., and he offered me the job. Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement Facebooklast_img read more

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Investor group cancels deal to buy Weinstein Co

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – A group of investors pulled out of a deal to buy the beleaguered Weinstein Co. on Tuesday after discovering tens of millions of dollars in undisclosed debt, according to people familiar with the negotiations.Businesswoman Maria Contreras-Sweet, who has been leading the group of buyers along with billionaire investor Ron Burkle, said in a statement that “disappointing information about the viability of completing this transaction” had led her to call off the sale.She didn’t offer further details. But two people familiar with the proceedings said the buyers came across documents showing liabilities beyond the $225 million the buyers had been prepared to take on. One of the people said the documents showed $64 million in additional debt. Both people spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss private negotiations publicly.The Weinstein Co., which has produced and distributed Oscar winners such as “The King’s Speech” and “Silver Linings Playbook,” has been trying to stave off bankruptcy since sexual assault and harassment allegations emerged last fall against its co-founder, the Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Contreras-Sweet’s buyout offer had presented the best hope for avoiding that fate. But the deal was plunged into turmoil after New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against the studio last month.The announcement came just days after Contreras-Sweet and the Weinstein Co. revived the deal following arduous negotiations with Schneiderman. It marks the second time in two weeks that the sale has been called off. The first time, it was the Weinstein Co. that pulled out, announcing it would file for bankruptcy protection because the buyers had failed to live up to commitments. Talks to revive the deal resumed soon afterward.It was unclear if there is any chance of reviving the sale. One of the people close to the talks said, “the deal is dead.”In a statement Tuesday night, representatives from the Weinstein Co. said they were “disappointed” by the announcement.“Although we publicly predicted this outcome, the Board entered last week’s agreement in the hope and good faith that a transaction would save this Company and its employees,” the Weinstein Co.’s board of directors said. “The investors’ excuse that they learned new information about the Company’s financial condition is just that — an excuse.”The board said it would continue to determine if there were any “viable options” outside of bankruptcy. In the meantime, it said it was pursuing “an orderly bankruptcy process” to maximize the company’s value.Bankruptcy proceedings could also renew the interest of several major entertainment companies who had offered to buy assets of the company, including Lionsgate Entertainment and Miramax, the studio formerly led by Harvey Weinstein and his brother Bob. Contreras-Sweet, a former small business administrator in the Obama administration, said her group might also consider buying some assets out of bankruptcy.The Weinstein Co.’s most desirable asset is its 277-film library, which includes award-winning films from big-name directors like Quentin Tarantino and horror releases from its Dimension label. Its television production company also has some potentially valuable titles, including the long-running fashion show “Project Runway.”The Weinstein Co.’s unreleased films include the Thomas Edison tale “The Current War,” with Benedict Cumberbatch, and “Mary Magdalene,” starring Rooney Mara. The company has already shed some upcoming projects. After a bidding war last year, it sold the rights to “Paddington 2,” released in January, to Warner Bros. for about $15 million.Contreras-Sweet, who had no prior experience in the entertainment industry, edged out other bidders for the company with a proposal that would have kept the company mostly intact and its roughly 150 workers employed. She had pledged to transform the studio into a women-led venture with a female-majority board, of which she would be the chairwoman. Contreras-Sweet said she remains open to other ways of pursuing that goal.“I believe that our vision to create a women-led film studio is still the correct course of action,” Contreras-Sweet said. “To that end, we will consider acquiring assets that may become available in the event of bankruptcy proceedings, as well as other opportunities that may become available in the entertainment industry.”Schneiderman’s lawsuit, filed on behalf of the company’s employees, had thrown a wrench in the sale a day before it was set to be signed. The attorney general said he acted out of concerns that there were insufficient guarantees that Weinstein’s accusers would be compensated — and that executives who enabled the alleged misconduct would remain at the helm of the new company.During negotiations over the past three weeks, Schneiderman said the buyers and sellers had satisfied his demands of adequate compensation for the victims, protection for the employees and ensuring that those responsible for Weinstein’s alleged abuses would “not be unjustly rewarded.”“We’ll be disappointed if the parties cannot work out their differences and close the deal,” said Amy Spitalnick, a spokeswoman for Schneiderman’s office. “Our lawsuit against the Weinstein Company, Bob Weinstein, and Harvey Weinstein remains active and our investigation is ongoing.”last_img read more

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Las Vegas strike would have farreaching effect

first_imgLAS VEGAS, Nev. – What happens in Las Vegas could have a ripple effect across the country if 50,000 casino-hotel workers employed at more than 30 of the city’s world-famous resorts go on strike at any time starting next week.If members of the union that includes hotel and food workers don’t show up to work, it could cost the destination millions and lead to travel woes for anyone taking a vacation or business trip to Sin City. It could also send casinos looking for temporary workers amid low unemployment rates.Analysts declined Wednesday to weigh in on the financial impact that a strike could have on casino operators. But the casinos and hotels aren’t the only ones who would feel the squeeze; local and state governments stand to lose millions from the impact on tourism.The last time casino-hotel workers went on strike across Las Vegas, the job action lasted 67 days and cost workers and the city more than $1 million a day each in lost wages and revenues, not counting gambling losses. The price could be much higher this time if the two sides can’t reach agreements: The city has 90,000 more hotel rooms and gets an additional 29 million visitors a year.David Fiorenza, who teaches urban economics at Villanova University, said local and state governments will start to notice a hit to their sales tax revenue if the strike lingers. And if hotel stays decrease, there will be less revenue from the local hotel tax.Fiorenza doesn’t expect an immediate impact on the number of people visiting Las Vegas if a strike happens, but it will affect bookings if the strike lasts more than a few days.“People who already booked to go out there are not going to cancel,” he said.But the strike is a lingering worry for those still planning summer vacations.“What happens during the summer in Las Vegas is you get a lot of people who are travelling. They say ‘We are going to visit family in California, and then, we’ll go on a trip to Las Vegas,’” said Michael McCall, a Michigan State University professor of hospitality business. “This would deter them. That’s going to shut down everything.”The contracts of 50,000 members of the Culinary Union who work at 34 different casino-resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and downtown Las Vegas are set to expire at midnight May 31. Half of those workers cast ballots Tuesday, a majority of whom authorized a strike at any time starting June 1. Individual casino-operating companies and the union have failed to reach agreements through negotiations that began in February.Union officials say workers want to increase wages, protect job security against the increasing use of technology at hotel-casinos, and strengthen language against sexual harassment.MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment operate more than half the properties that would be affected by a strike. Both companies have said they expect to reach agreements with the union.However, Fiorenza said major casinos have contingency plans and he expects them to find ways to continue operating if a strike does happen, such as using managers in front-line jobs and bringing in workers from outside the area.Operators that have casino-hotels in other states likely have begun sending notices to some workers on those properties to draw them to Las Vegas temporarily, McCall said. It would be hard to hire short-term replacement workers locally because unemployment is low in Las Vegas.The last citywide strike was in 1984. As the strike deadline loomed, the agency responsible for promoting the destination responded by working up a $158,000 advertising campaign that included a chef saying “Las Vegas, we’re open and cooking,” and a showgirl saying “Las Vegas, we’re open with a lot to show you.”Statistics from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority show visitation did not decline overall that year, with about 12.8 million travelling to this desert oasis. The agency on Wednesday said it is monitoring the situation but would not say whether it expects visitation to decrease in the event of a strike.More than 42.2 million people visited the destination last year.Eric Brasure of Newark, Delaware, is planning a trip to Las Vegas to attend a Star Trek convention in the summer. He said he supports the union, and on Wednesday retweeted on his podcast’s account a list of the hotel-casinos that would be affected by the strike.“I fully intend to support the strike by not patronizing any casino where workers are striking,” Brasure said in a Twitter message.Before Tuesday, the union last voted for a strike in 2002 but reached a deal before employees walked out.___Associated Press journalist Annika Wolters in Phoenix and AP Business Writer Josh Funk in Omaha, Nebraska, contributed to this report.___Follow Regina Garcia Cano on Twitter at https://twitter.com/reginagarciakNOlast_img read more

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Moroccan Association to Launch Radio Station for Single Mothers

Rabat – The “100% Mamans” association, in partnership with the Italian organization, Soleterre, launched a community radio station called “Mèresenligne” (Mothers Online), dedicated to single mothers.The association, “100% Mamans,” which operates for the promotion of the rights of single mothers and their children, organized a conference for the presentation of its new online community radio station, “Mère enligne,” on Thursday, in Rabat.The project is part of the strategy of the European Union’s support program for the governmental plan for equality between men and women 2012-2016. It is financed by the European Union, in partnership with the Ministry of Family, Solidarity, Equality and Social Development, through the Social Development Agency. Attended by project partners and women’s rights associations, the conference provided an opportunity for single mothersto raise awareness of their exclusion from society and to make their demands visible among the public in an accessible manner.The single mothers’ association has been working for over 11 years in Tangier to improve the conditions of single mothers and their children, their social and professional reintegration to reduce the stigmas which surround them.“The radio project was a dream that we are now able make it come true. This is a new step for us to help single mothers better defend themselves and claim their rights, be it  as women or as single mothers,” said Coordinator of the association, Rhimou Hajoub, during the conference. read more

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Husky Newfoundland premier to sign deal for West White Rose platform sources

PLACENTIA, N.L. — Sources say Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Kathy Dunderdale will announce a deal today with Husky Energy to build a new offshore oil platform for the West White Rose Extension.A news conference is planned in Placentia, N.L., later Thursday.Sources not authorized to speak in advance of the news conference have confirmed that construction of a new wellhead platform supported by a concrete gravity structure will be announced.The structure is to be built at a dedicated graving or dry dock site in Argentia, N.L.The platform will be used to draw oil from the West White Rose Extension site about 350 kilometres east of St. John’s.Husky has estimated up to 81 million barrels of oil can be recovered from the site using subsea flow lines to the SeaRose production vessel.First oil is forecast for 2017.The signing of a related benefits deal with the province is expected to speed up filing of an adjusted development plan before construction starts next year. read more

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Vancouver and Toronto markets help drive home prices up 164 from a

OTTAWA — The Canadian Real Estate Association raised its outlook for home sales this year as the Vancouver and Toronto markets continued to charge ahead of expectations in contrast to other cities.CREA said Tuesday it had expected the market to cool this year with smaller price gains in B.C. and Ontario.“However, many of the defining themes among Canadian housing markets last year have persisted, and in some cases intensified, in early 2016,” it said in its updated forecast.CREA said it now expects sales this year to grow by 1.0 per cent compared with earlier expectations of a 1.1 per cent contraction.“Canadian resale housing market trends this year are expected to resemble those apparent in 2015, with very tight supply leading to strong price gains in British Columbia and Ontario — particularly in the Lower Mainland and in and around the Greater Toronto Area,” the forecast said.Millennials fleeing Vancouver for cities with more affordable housing, threatening city’s tech economyCanadian home prices rise in February, boosted by gains in Vancouver“Price gains in these regions are expected to continue to stand in sharp contrast to moderate price declines among housing markets whose prospects are closely tied to oil and other natural resource prices.”B.C. and Ontario are expected to drive the national average price up eight per cent to $478,100 in 2016, according to the forecast.The revised outlook came as CREA reported home sales in February were up 18.7 per cent from a year ago, driven by sales in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.Vancouver and Toronto also helped pump up the national average price for a home sold in February to $503,057. Excluding those two markets, the average price was $355,235, up 8.7 per cent.BMO chief economist Doug Porter said the national figures don’t mean much given the big differences between cities.“Talking about averages in Canada’s housing market is like saying the weighted average temperature between the fire on my gas stove and the ice in my freezer is a mildly warm 22 degrees — it’s meaningless,” Porter said in a research note.“The Canadian housing market remains a tale of three solitudes — the uber-strength in Vancouver and Toronto (and surrounding cities in both regions), ice-cold conditions in markets exposed to oil prices, and the just-right middle markets in almost every other region.”On a month-over-month basis, home sales in February were up 0.8 per cent from January. The increase compared came as a majority of the housing markets tracked posted a monthly drop in sales.Sales in the Greater Toronto Area as well as gains in B.C.’s Okanagan and Fraser Valley regions helped the overall sales rise despite lower sales in Edmonton, Greater Moncton and Montreal.The number of newly listed homes went up 0.5 per cent in February compared with January, helped by new listings in B.C.’s Lower Mainland as well as the York and Mississauga regions near Toronto and Hamilton-Burlington.The national sales-to-new listings ratio rose to 59.5 per cent in February, its highest point since November 2009, compared with 59.3 per cent the previous month.CREA says a ratio between 40 and 60 per cent is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions. read more

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UN set to begin relocating vulnerable Sudanese refugees in Chad

Led by vehicles from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 200 people will be transported tomorrow in five trucks and a bus on the three-hour journey to a new camp in Farchana, eastern Chad, 55 kilometres from the border. A second convoy of 200 people is set for Monday and similar transfers will be organized every other day for the next two weeks.Some 95,000 Sudanese have fled across the border to Chad since last March – 30,000 in December alone, fleeing the three Darfur provinces in western Sudan as civil war between the Sudanese Government and the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) continues to rage there. They have been living scattered along a 600-kilometre stretch of remote borderland in dozens of makeshift camps where they are still vulnerable to periodic incursions by militia from Sudan.The Farchana camp can hold 9,000 to 12,000 refugees and children will soon be able to start attending school there. On arrival, the refugees will be given food, such as sorghum, corn meal and oil, provided by the UN World Food Programme (WFP), while UNHCR will provide blankets, mattresses, jerry cans, kitchen sets, soap and hygiene items.The refugees’ livestock will be transferred separately, with one member of each family accompanying the cattle on the journey, which should take three days by foot. read more

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Widely expected donothing budget could worsen economy thinktank

by Maria Babbage, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 4, 2014 6:14 pm MDT Widely expected ‘do-nothing’ budget could worsen economy: think-tank OTTAWA – The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is predicting a “do-nothing” federal budget next week that the left-wing think-tank says could actually worsen the country’s struggling economy.In its annual alternative spending plan to be released Wednesday, the group is urging the government to abandon austerity measures, raise taxes and delay their deficit-killing deadline by a year in order to revive Canada’s sluggish economy, lower unemployment and reduce poverty.In the report, the centre says neither the economy nor the labour market are in as good health as the Tories have advertised, and Canadian corporations aren’t investing enough to get things going.It says harsh austerity measures that followed the stimulus spending during the recession have actually led to a much weaker and more prolonged economic recovery.Growth in household spending — leading to an “alarming” rise in household debt — has pushed things along, while governments and business firms have contributed almost nothing to economic growth since the fall of 2012.There’s “absolutely no need” to balance the federal books, the group says. The government has a more pressing responsibility to address problems in other sectors of the economy, rather than maintaining a “narrow-minded focus” on its own stable finances.And with interest rates so low, it’s a good time to keep borrowing, says David Macdonald, the centre’s chief economist.“The federal government is well-placed, it’s in good fiscal position in contrast to the provinces and in contrast to households to make a substantial dent into higher unemployment and growing inequality,” Macdonald said.“But this upcoming budget … it will likely be very focused on their own internal issues as opposed to a larger management of the Canadian economy.”On the other hand, the cost of borrowing won’t be inexpensive forever, said Alexandre Laurin, one of the co-authors of the alternative budget produced by the C.D. Howe Institute.“Yes, it’s cheap now, but there’s no guarantee it’s going to be cheap five years from now and we’re already into debt,” said Laurin, the institute’s associate director of research.“If we borrow now we’re going to have to pay it back in the future, no matter what, so that means more taxes to be paid in the future.”Both institutions agree, however, that the labour market is actually much weaker that the government lets on.The Tories often say Canada has the largest employment growth in the G7 countries, but unemployment rates don’t always come down because people have found jobs, Macdonald said.Once people abandon their search, they don’t count as “unemployed” for statistical purposes, he said. So the unemployment rate can decline because people are just giving up, rather than finding work.“Of the entire decline in the unemployment rate since it’s worst point in 2009, 20 per cent of that decline was due to people getting jobs, 80 per cent of that decline was due to people giving up work,” Macdonald said.“So this is the long-term trend. We’re seeing clear stagnation in the labour market.”The centre proposes a number of ways the government can help drive the economic recovery, such as restoring the corporate tax rate to 22 per cent and the small business rate to 15 per cent, spending the extra revenue on infrastructure and improved public services, which it says generates far more jobs and economic activity dollar-for-dollar than corporate tax cuts.The Tories should also hike taxes for wealthy Canadians and close loopholes, while increasing funding for public programs like public transit, post-secondary education and child care, it said.For example, Ottawa could introduce a new top income federal tax bracket of 35 per cent on incomes over $250,000 to generate about $2.5 billion in 2015. The current top rate is 29 per cent for taxable income over $136,270, which is below high income rates in the United States, the study said.It should also re-think some of its long-promised election goodies, such as income-splitting and increasing the room in tax-free savings accounts, which will not only cost the treasury billions of dollars a year, but “overwhelmingly” favour the wealthy, the report said.Laurin, however, said the federal government should remain focused on eliminating the deficit.“We see that as a favourable thing to do, something that would be beneficial to the economy,” he said.But the C.D. Howe Institute isn’t calling for drastic cuts in transfer payments, he added. Rather, it wants the government to focus on reining in the cost of public-sector employees, saying it could save $5.2 billion over two years by capping contributions to pensions, ending the banking of unused sick days and splitting the cost of post-retirement health benefits.It doesn’t have to have a negative impact on the economy, Laurin said. In fact, controlling compensation costs has the least impact on growth.Canada’s labour market still hasn’t caught up to where it was before the recession, he said. So in addition to cutting compensation costs, the government should also try to promote growth, such as getting rid of regional entrance requirements and benefit periods for employment insurance, which it argues provides incentives for people to stay in places where job prospects are poor.The federal government reacted by saying it intends to stay its fiscal course.A spokesman for Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said the government is focused on “a fiscally responsible plan and getting to balance in 2015.”Chisolm Pothier added in an email that the government won’t listen to calls for ”new job-killing taxes on businesses.” AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

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Making the LEAP to Brock

Tejal Saini is leaping right into her experience at Brock.The incoming Labour Studies student recently spent two days on campus, exploring her soon to be home away from home as part of LEAP — the most comprehensive of Brock’s transition programming.Saini got an in-depth look at university life, staying overnight in residence and familiarizing herself with the campus alongside eight other students.“My first impression of the University is that it’s smaller than others, but that’s what I liked most about it,” the Brampton resident said. “Classes are more personal and professors are approachable, which was reaffirmed for me when I attended LEAP.”Incoming Brock student Tejal Saini found a recent LEAP session beneficial to her coming September start at the University.LEAP is one of three summer transition programs “designed to help students feel confident and comfortable before they start classes in September,” said Megan Brown, Community Engagement Co-ordinator and programming leader.“We provide a small, intimate experience for incoming students to have an enhanced understanding of services on campus, while at the same time making close connections with their peers.”In addition to the overnight stay, the two-day program includes dinner and a scavenger hunt in downtown St. Catharines, a lesson on the using the local transit system and a community engagement initiative in the region.Students also get one-on-one time with campus leaders to answer any questions or concerns they may have, which, for Saini, was imperative to her future at Brock.“You can get a lot of information online but when you talk with someone who is more experienced, they give you more detailed insight into what you can expect,” she said.“There are many things that I’m looking forward to now that I know about all of these opportunities at Brock, like participating in leadership workshops and joining different clubs.”For now, Saini is counting down the days until she sets foot on campus again in the fall.  “I was very nervous about coming to a new school in a new city with so many new people, but after attending LEAP, it reaffirmed my decision about coming here in September. I’m really looking forward to it.”Spaces are still available for the following LEAP dates: July 22 to 23 and 29 to 30, and Aug. 9 and 17 (day only). For more information, visit brocku.ca/start or email studentlife@brocku.ca. read more

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Designer horses science rides to rescue in bid to save oldest horse

A new partnership between Stallion AI Services, Cogent UK and Twemlows Stud has led to the successful… But since the mechanisation of agriculture the breed has rapidly declined and they are now “critically endangered” with only around 70 breeding females left in the UK. The Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) has welcomed the discovery and hope it will be used to protect the 12 other rare native horse and vulnerable livestock breeds in the country. Suffolk Punch horses were once instrumental to Britain by ploughing our fields and pulling heavy artillery during the First World War.  Scientists have now found a way to manipulate their sperm to ensure Britain’s oldest native breed has a chance of survival. read more

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Varadkar Transport Department is no longer the downtown office for Aer Lingus

first_imgMINISTER FOR TRANSPORT Leo Varadkar has said he still has confidence in Aer Lingus’ Chief Executive Chris Mueller.Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Varadkar said that the threatened strike action due to take place over the June Bank holiday weekend is a “longstanding issue” and denied that it was sparked by the controversy over Mueller’s pension pot.He said Mueller was “an excellent CEO” who had turned the company around from a state-owned company that was “a drain” to a profitable company that is “profitable and pays a dividend to the state”.“He’s done a great job, that’s not to say he always gets it right,” said the minister.He admitted that there was pent-up anger present, but said that it was important that the staff and public understand that the Government does not have control over the company.“Aer Lingus has a lot of shareholders and the Government doesn’t control the company,” adding that big shareholders like Ryanair would have more control.Aviation policySpeaking about the new Draft Aviation Policy, Varadkar said it is proposed that airlines outside that of Europe and America should be able to stop off in Ireland without restrictions.He said the government was proposing “a more liberal approach” to airlines, as currently if you’re airline is from outside the EU or American there are restrictions that does not allow them to pick up passengers in Ireland and fly on.He said the liberalisation would allow non European airlines pick up passengers along the way and it would entice new airlines to use Ireland as a “secondary hub”.When asked would this new initiative damage Aer Lingus, by allowing more competition into the Irish market, Varadkar said:There used to be a time where the Department of Transport was the downtown office for the office of Aer Lingus – it’s not…He said what the government is trying to do is the best thing for Ireland and aviation in Ireland, saying that if it brings new routes and connections to airports like Dublin and Shannon, “we are going to welcome them”.Read: Here’s how much the threatened Aer Lingus strike is adding to travel costs>Read: Aer Lingus says cabin crew demands would lead to 32 extra holiday days>last_img read more

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Biodegradable Sneakers You Can Bury In The Garden

first_imgWhat do you do with old sneakers? You can’t really donate them, and tossing them seems like a waste. OAT Shoes is looking to solve that problem with a line of shoes that are completely biodegradable.The shoes aren’t quite commercially available yet, so there’s no details on pricing at this time. But they’re the result of around two years worth of research and, according to the creators, made from 100 percent biodegradable materials. “Bury them in garden, woods or compost and nature will gobble them right up!” the company’s site reads.AdChoices广告The current collection features a number of different sneakers in a range of colors, though unfortunately there are no details about when we can expect the shoes to be available or how much they’ll cost.Via Treehuggerlast_img read more

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The mental healthbased play thats literally being performed in a Croke Park

first_imgThe mental health-based play that’s literally being performed in a Croke Park dressing room Alan Bradley chats to The42 about ‘Grounds for Concern’. Aug 31st 2019, 8:01 AM IN RECENT YEARS, sport and mental health awareness have been inextricably linked.Traditionally seen as an aggressively macho environment, the dressing room is now the setting of a new play penned by Cavan-born performer Alan Bradley.‘Grounds for Concern,’ which focuses in particular on young Irish men and the challenges they often face in relation to their mental health, will premiere next month as part of the Dublin Fringe Festival. Directed by Elif Knight, the play is literally being performed in a Croke Park dressing room and is based on the real-life experiences of a number of GAA players.Countless athletes, including GAA stars Conor Cusack, Nicole Owens and Alan O’Mara among others, have helped raise awareness of mental health issues in recent years by speaking openly about their respective experiences with depression. So in some respects, ‘Grounds for Concern’ feels like a logical next step. Indeed, Bradley consulted a number of GAA players as research while writing the play.“I did talk to quite a few different players that have had their struggles with mental health to make sure it was authentic,” he tells The42. “I spoke to a doctor and got their point of view from that side. So it’s fictional, but there are lots of bits in it that are inspired by true things and real people’s stories.”It is not Bradley’s first foray into the subject area. He previously wrote, produced and acted in ‘Mandown,’ a short film about mental health.“That had me in the realm of working with the concept of mental health and young men, and I always wanted to do a stage production,” he explains. “The thing I find when you talk about this topic, you’re often speaking to people who are already converted or engaged with the subject matter.“I was trying to think of a way to reach people who wouldn’t necessarily come and see something like that. So that’s why I had the idea of staging it with a football player and staging it in a football changing room, to access those people who wouldn’t come normally. [Mental health issues are] a problem throughout Ireland in general. I don’t think it’s restricted to the GAA. I think it’s a big problem with young men. Suicide rates among young men are still astronomically high. Less of a stigma may be attached to it [in recent times], but I don’t think it’s any less of a problem. So we’re talking about it a bit more, but it’s still a big issue.”Recent figures support Bradley’s assertion. A report in The Irish Examiner last May noted how suicide rates in 2018 decreased only slightly from the previous year.“The CSO data shows that the number of people who died by suicide fell slightly from 392 in 2017 to 352,” it noted. “The suicide rate decreased for both men and women, but men remain four times more likely to take their own lives than women. The rate of suicide was 7.2 in 2018, down from 10.6 in 2013.” In recent years, a number of GAA stars such as former Cork hurler Conor Cusack, pictured above, have spoken openly about their mental health issues. Source: Neil Danton/INPHOBradley does not want to be perceived as presenting himself as an “authority” on the issue, but hopes his play can help facilitate open conversations about a subject that people are sometimes reluctant to discuss.“It is just about having open conversations and also being comfortable to talk about it, so it’s not something people are embarrassed to say [they have suffered from]. I think sometimes people are afraid to say they’ve struggled in case it colours your opinion of them.“So [it’s important] for us to be more open in that way, to not put people in a box once we’ve heard they’ve struggled.“I also want to show how these things can happen to very normal guys that we all know. It’s just an unfortunate series of events and maybe a natural disposition. This condition can happen so easily.” The 29-year-old, who divides his time between Dublin and London depending on his work situation, admits he is by no means a hardcore GAA fan, but feels the lack of a strong affinity for the sport was a strength rather than a weakness when it came to writing the play.“It’s funny, my brothers both play and my whole family’s very into GAA. I wasn’t as much. I was really bad at it. So I played up until U12s. But I think that’s actually aided me. I have a slightly outside view on it as well from a bit of a distance, which helps with the writing — I can observe a bit more.”  14,041 Views Share40 Tweet Email https://the42.ie/4789533 1 Comment By Paul Fennessycenter_img An image for ‘Grounds for Concern,’ Alan Bradley’s new play. Follow us: the42.ie Saturday 31 Aug 2019, 8:00 AM And Bradley insists performing a one-man 50-minute play within the unusual confines of a dressing room is not as taxing as it sounds.Having it in a dressing room in a way makes it easier. It becomes immersive and the audience almost become characters in the play. It’s almost easier than doing it on a stage where you are literally the one man on the stage. In many ways, different members of the audience become different characters for free. So that actually kind of helps from the one-man side of things. And it also makes it really intimate and engaging, because you’re there almost with the characters in real life, as opposed to sitting in the dark in the distance.“There’ll be moments where people might become actual characters that don’t have to do anything mad, but they just have to be a little bit more involved. There could be an audience member at the beginning who I decide is the character’s girlfriend. Maybe when she’s being spoken about, it might just be that you look in her direction, that kind of thing. So it’s just implied that it’s that character without them having to do anything.”He is also keen to emphasise that the play is not necessarily as unremittingly harsh as its subject matter might suggest.“When you have the whole area of mental health, it can be very heavy. And obviously, there are heavy moments in this play. But a lot of it is quite fun and light and hopefully engaging in a way that’s not just doom and gloom. You get to go on a real journey with a character and really see how someone’s mental health can play out. So if you’re interested in that, hopefully you’ll enjoy it.”‘Grounds for Concern’ will be showing in Croke Park Dressing Room 1 on 12, 13, 18 and 19 September at 7.30pm as part of the Dublin Fringe Festival. More details here.If you need to talk, contact for free:Pieta House 1800 247247 or email mary@pieta.ie – (available 24/7)Samaritans 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org (available 24/7)Aware 1800 804848 (depression, anxiety)Childline 1800 666666 (for under 18s, available 24/7)The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! An image for ‘Grounds for Concern,’ Alan Bradley’s new play. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URLlast_img read more

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High B Grade for 2015 High School CXC test takers

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:akierra missick, b grade, CSEC, high school, ministry of education Ministry of Education & Digicel team up for Learning Hub Recommended for you Education Minister touts new ICT platform for Public Schools Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 21 Aug 2015 – The Turks and Caicos this year recorded a higher CSEC national average and the Ministry of Education is delighting in the slight but increased cumulative performance of high-school students nationwide. There were 1,902 candidates; 685 males and 1,217 females who earned the high ‘B’ grade with 78.65% which topped 2014’s 76.39%. Education Minister, Deputy Premier, Akierra Misick said: “It is very important to my government that we continue to see year on year growth during our term, in order to set a standard that will continue upwards for years to come.” There was a 16.4% performance on Grade I passes; a 30.81% pass rate on Grade II and 30.97% in Grade III results. Candidates really shone in areas of business where there was a 98.59% pass rate; in Home Economic Management where there was a 98.31% pass rate; Physical Education, where the pass rate was 96.88% and Music and Clothing and Textiles where 100% of those taking the CSECs in those subjects, passed the test. Lowest performance was in Electrical and Electronics with only 36% passing; also concerning was 210 students who missed out on their examinations altogether; 79 boys and 131 girls. Ministry of Education introduces pilot programlast_img read more

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Island Printing is new graphic design player in the market

first_img Fulford confronts backlash, explains his stance on ‘treating’ Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 19 Oct 2015 – A new graphic design business is now opened in Providenciales and last week, there was an official welcome to introduce its services. Island Printing, owned by Mark and Ava Dayne Fulford is boasting full service printing for less and will even deliver clients’ orders. Among the jobs Island Printing can take care of are banners, brochures, business cards and t shirts. Island Printing and Graphics is located at Arch Plaza. Related Items:arch plaza, ava-dayne fulford, island printing, mark fulford Recommended for you Attorney calls on UWI to honor TCI leaders Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Fulford holds twin islands business breakfastlast_img read more

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Clark County could face 39M shortfall

first_imgClark County Budget Director Jim Dickman warned county commissioners Wednesday morning that revenues are not on target and, if the 2011-12 general fund isn’t revisited, the county’s on track to be short $3.9 million by the end of next year.Dickman said that housing and construction markets have continued to deteriorate, reducing revenue to the county.“The county is short on real estate excise taxes and we are barely meeting projections on sales tax,” he said. “We can keep the budget in balance if we start planning to confront the red flags right now.”The red flags include excise taxes charged on property sales, which are on track to be $1.2 million short by the end of 2012; and revenue from lodging taxes, the Sleep Country Amphitheater and the Clark County Event Center, which adds up to be an estimated $1.2 million short.In December, commissioners adopted a two-year total budget of $887.5 million. Of that total budget, the general fund, projected at $280 million for the next two years, has been cut by $62 million since the 2007-08 budget.By law, the county has to have a balanced budget.Approximately 70 percent of the total budget comes from federal and state sources and from fees and penalties tied to specific services; commissioners have some flexibility with the general fund.last_img read more

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New Coast Guard District 17 Commander Brings Arctic Experience

first_imgRear Adm. Tom Ostebo inspects the District 17 crew with Rear Adm. Dan Abel. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)With the buoy tender Sycamore as a backdrop and Coast Guardsmen and women in their dress blues, Rear Adm. Tom Ostebo turned over Coast Guard District 17 command to Rear Adm. Dan Abel on Thursday.Ostebo is known for his work in the Arctic, and Abel says he’s ready to continue what his predecessor started.Pacific Area commander, Vice Adm. Charles Ray, praised Ostebo’s leadership over the past three years.“Tom Ostebo has flown over, sailed across, walked the beaches more than any Coast Guardsman, I believe, in the history of this district,” Ray said.During Ostebo’s tenure, the Coast Guard launched seasonal operations in the Arctic, where shipping traffic is on the rise. When a winter storm prevented a fuel delivery to Nome in 2012, he sent the icebreaker Healy to clear a path for a Russian tanker. He also supervised the Coast Guard’s response to the grounding of the Shell drill rig Kulluk near Kodiak in early 2013.For these and other successes, Ostebo gave credit to the men and women under his command.Every day you protect the nation’s commerce, you protect Alaskans, and you protect America’s greatest maritime resources,” Ostebo said. “And you do it better than anyone else, with efficiency and skill.”Ostebo received a citation for exceptional meritorious service. He’s been nominated for a promotion to vice admiral and a post as the Coast Guard’s Deputy Commandant for Mission Support in Washington, D.C. The position is subject to Senate confirmation. Ostebo says it will allow him to continue focusing on the Coast Guard’s Arctic mission.He says there’s still a lot of work to be done in that part of the world.“It’s more than just exploration. It’s the maritime commerce piece,” Ostebo told reporters after the ceremony. “It’s what’s the Bering Strait is going to look like 10, 20 years from now? Will it look like the Straits of Hormuz or the Straits of Malacca? You know, one of these big international straits.”This will be Abel’s first tour in Alaska, but he says he’s no stranger to the Arctic. In his previous command in Boston, he supervised the International Ice Patrol. That’s the Coast Guard program established to monitor icebergs in the North Atlantic to avoid another Titanic.“We also supported Operation Nanook, which was practice mass rescue, environmental cleanup in the Arctic,” Abel said. “And the other thing we did, we supported the North Atlantic Coast Guard Forum to 17 nations that band together. Eight of those are the Arctic nations.”Abel says he plans to travel extensively in Alaska and work with local communities to learn as much as he can about the state’s unique needs.The far reaches at these high latitudes are going to be the challenge,” he said. “And I’m going to have to learn from the folks that’ve been standing watch a little longer than I.”Abel is already planning to visit Nome, where Mayor Denise Michels says marine traffic has increased so much that the port, which used to close in October, is now open into November.“Last year we had over 400 dockings in Nome,” Michels said. “Every year it’s more and more. We have more cruise ships this year.”Michels hopes Abel can visit in July, when vessel traffic is at its peak.“Safety is a concern, environmental issues is a concern,” she said. “The marine mammal migration through the Bering Strait, which is the choke point where we’re at, you know, it’s our front yard. So, to have him understand our concerns for subsistence, food security is going to be very important for his leadership for the next couple of years.”The Coast Guard’s 17th District is based in Juneau. The commander leads 2,500 active duty, reserve, civilian and auxiliary personnel statewide, and manages operations over more than 3.8 million square miles and more than 44,000 miles of coastline.last_img read more

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Rep Young wants earmarks back and hes not alone

first_imgAlaska Rep. Don Young. Photo: Liz Ruskin.The U.S. House is pondering whether to reinstate the use of earmarks, allowing lawmakers to again direct federal money to specific projects, usually in their home districts. One of the biggest proponents at a House Rules Committee hearing Wednesday was Alaska Congressman Don Young.Listen now“This to me is one of the crucial issues to this Congress, the next Congress and this House,” said Young.He and other earmark proponents say Congress functioned better with earmarks to foster compromise. They say when members get their projects in a spending bill, they have a stake in seeing that bill pass. Earmarks, they say, help prevent gridlock.Young says earmarks aren’t for the lawmaker; they’re projects requested by their constituents. (Usually, but not always.)“What are we here for if we can’t represent the people who are going to vote for us?” he asked.But to some, the carve-outs reek of pork-barrel spending. The poster child in 2005 was one of Young’s favorites, a $223 million earmark for the Gravina Island bridge, the so-called “bridge to nowhere.” After that became a national laughingstock, Republicans in Congress banned earmarks. (Young said Wednesday the bridge should’ve been built. “There’s never been a bridge anywhere that had anything on the other side until it’s built,” he said.)Young has complained for years that without the ability to make earmarks, Congress is ceding power and money to the administration and letting bureaucrats decide where it goes.Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland is with Young on this issue. But some of Young’s fellow Republicans are skeptical, including House Speaker Paul Ryan. Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., chairs a conservative faction in the House. He said bringing back earmarks would indicate to voters that they’d lost their way.“Effective conservatism requires the right policy, the right message and the right voice,” Walker said. It’s one of his catchphrases. Some lawmakers suggest allowing the practice again, but delaying the effective date until next year, so it doesn’t look like incumbents are trying to give themselves an election-year trophies.“I believe the sooner the better,” Young said. “I have always fought for this.”last_img read more

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Minister Kannababu says Rythudinotswavam is a historical event

first_imgKadapa: While describing Rythudinotswavam as a historical decision Agriculture Minister K.Kannababu has said government keen on performing Rythudinotswavam as official programme on 8th July on the occasion of late chief minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy every year. Addressing press conference here on Sunday the agriculture minister has said despite government has been facing financial hurdles but committed to implement all assurances given by chief minister during the 2019 electioneering in view of uplifting living standards of farming community in the state. Also Read – Telugu Day fete held at DPS Advertise With Us He said that government is keen on providing Minimum Support Price(MSP) to the ground nut farmers by spending Rs 337 crores. He said that presently the cost of ground nut is Rs 5,000 per quintal in the market, government has decided to pay Rs 1500 that is total Rs 6,500 per quintal per benefit of farmers. However the minister admitted that there was some financial hurdles witnessing in supplying seeds in current season, he alleged that because of previsions government diverted Rs 384 crores to other works leads prevailing such problem. Also Read – Second batch of banking course begins Advertise With Us He said that horticulture crops like Mango, Sweet Lemon, Lemon were dried up in large scale due to severe dry spell conditions prevailing this year. The minister has stressed need of coordination between Agriculture department and its allied departments for effective implementation of Rythu Barosa, Zero percent loans, free insurance etc schemes in the interest of improving living standards of farming community in the state. Kadapa MP Avinash Reddy alleged that previous state government should hold responsibility for farming community facing hurdles in various fronts. Government Chief Whip G. Srikantha Reddy, Kamalapuram MLA Ravindranath Reddy and others were present.last_img read more

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