USA pats great friend India for helping to enforce Iran oil curbs

first_imgWashington DC: The US is “highly gratified” by the cooperation from a “great friend” like India in enforcing the oil sanctions on Tehran, the White House said on Wednesday as the Trump administration slapped sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Tensions between the US and Iran have heightened after Washington last year withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal that aimed to curb Iranian nuclear activities. Washington has since reimposed crippling sanctions affecting the Iranian economy. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”We have been highly gratified by cooperation from a great friend and partner like India, and even less well-aligned countries such as China, in making the rather obvious choice that the United States would be the business partner of choice, not Iran,” a senior official told reporters during a conference call. India, which has galloping energy needs, went out of its way to co-operate with the US. India has brought down the import of oil from Iran to almost zero though the country has has historic and cultural ties with the Persian Gulf country. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsIndia stopped importing oil from Iran after American waivers granted to eight major buyers expired in May this year. Referring to an open source information, the US official, requesting anonymity, said Iranian export of oil for July was at 1,00,000 barrels per day, which is down considerably from the previous historic low of 7,81,000. The official credited the Trump administration for this and added that Iran has very little to offer in terms of being a trading partner. “The United States just continues to be appreciative, particularly of India’s cooperation, and continues to be very mindful of India’s legitimate energy needs,” the senior official said responding to a question on reports about talks between India and Iran on oil trade through their own currencies. “We are very happy as a major energy producer to contribute to what we see as an ample supply to the global market that can keep India amply supplied with energy,” said the official. A second senior administration official said that the US officials have been all over the world very carefully making sure that all of its partners and allies and companies around the world understand the consequences of violating the sanctions. The US has been very explicit about the need to ensure that the sanctionable activity has ceased, the official said. “We’re getting very important results there,” the second administration official added.last_img read more


Cops seek undertaking from Zomato customer

first_imgJabalpur (MP): The Jabalpur police in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday sought an undertaking from Zomato customer and local resident Amit Shukla that he would not spread religious hatred. Shukla had tweeted about cancelling an order placed on Zomato, a food agreegator firm, as the person who was assigned for delivering his order was a “non-Hindu”. “We took suo motu (on their own) action against Shukla,” Superintendent of Police (SP) Amit Singh said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’A notice was issued to Shukla demanding a written undertaking that he would not spread hatred which may disturb social and religious harmony, the officer said. The police has also put him under surveillance, he said. Shukla violated constitutional provisions where there is no place for any kind of untouchability and acts disturbing religious harmony, the SP said. The notice was issued under section 107 (security for keeping peace) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), he said. Under this provision, police or magistrate can ask a person to execute a bond if he or she is likely to commit any act that may breach “peace and public tranquility”. The matter was referred to Garha police station under whose limits Shukla’s address falls, the SP said. On Tuesday night, Shukla tweeted about cancelling his order as the designated rider (delivery person) of Zomato was “non-Hindu”.last_img read more


Displaced livestock shepherded to safety amid New Brunswick flooding

first_imgWhile residents of waterlogged New Brunswick are packing sandbags and leaving homes, Good Samaritans have come to the rescue of another group afflicted by the natural disaster: displaced farm animals.Livestock uprooted by the flood have been shepherded to the Fredericton Exhibition grounds, which currently houses just over 200 horses, cows, sheep, goats, and even zebu — a type of miniature bull.Charlie Miles, president of the Fredericton Horsemen’s Association, said in a phone interview that the flooded Saint John River is causing uninhabitable conditions for animals in lower-ground areas.“This time of year it’s absolutely freezing,” he said. “There are pieces of ice floating by, and you have your cows or animals standing up to their knees or shoulders, and it’s very, very hard on them because it’s cold.”Miles said he’s confident the exhibition grounds will act as a safe haven for the animals until flood waters recede, noting that they haven’t flooded since 1827.Farmers and volunteers brought the asylum-seeking animals to the grounds by trucks, trailers and barges. The last batch of animals arrived Friday.Some needed medical attention after their ordeal, Miles said.“We’ve had to have the provincial veterinarians in on several occasions to help these animals because they come in on the trucks and trailers and they’re so cold they’re shivering,” he said.“The horsemen here at the racetrack in Fredericton are providing them with blankets and coolers with things to warm them up to stop them from shaking.”The animals’ owners are working with about 15 volunteers to ensure the animals are fed, comfortable and cared for during their stay at the exhibition grounds.The grounds have plenty of room to house livestock of all shapes and sizes: for 190 years, they’ve hosted the New Brunswick Provincial Exhibition, an annual event showcasing local agriculture, farm animals and amusement park rides.Brent Dunphy, a local dairy farmer and board member of the Fredericton Exhibition, said the animals have adjusted well to their sudden relocation.He said he’s impressed by the outpouring of assistance from the community, saying a local 4-H club showed up Saturday to help clean up the cattle barn, and other organizations have stepped in with donations.“All the local businesses are donating food, and anything we need: forks, brooms, bale feeders,” he said. “It’s unbelievable, the amount of support that’s been given out here.”The ongoing floods were only made worse Friday and Saturday by heavy winds. Miles said he saw the fierce gusts knocking down power poles and whipping up waves a meter tall.He said it could take weeks before some of the animals are able to return home, since he expects some farms will need quite a bit of cleanup and repair after the extensive damage caused by water and wind.“It’s tearing up their fences, and moving the barns, and the water is hitting up against the screen doors and the first floors of their homes,” he said.last_img read more


Nova Scotia Conservatives promise no boondoggle law but offer few details

first_imgHALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s Tories are promising to introduce a “no-boondoggle guarantee” if they are elected in the May 30 provincial election.Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie says any time a government project exceeds its budget by more than 10 per cent, that would trigger an automatic internal audit, the results of which would be made public.“It’s a guarantee to the taxpayers of this province that when their tax money gets squandered that they’re going to know about it,” he said Friday at his campaign headquarters in Halifax, though he had few details to offer when asked how the new law would work.Baillie would not set a threshold when asked what level of government spending would be covered by the guarantee. And he said a Conservative government would work out the details later when asked if the new rules would come with any legislative teeth, like fines or other penalties.He was also unclear about who would conduct the audits, saying only they would be independent.“The main benefit is that it would be made public and everyone would know, and the premier and responsible ministers would be held accountable for the boondoggle itself,” he told a news conference. “There’s no greater cleaner than the light of day.”As an example, he pointed to the reconstruction of the schooner Bluenose II, which was plagued by cost-overruns and legal wrangling for years. In 2014, less than a year after the Liberals assumed power, Premier Stephen McNeil said the previous NDP government’s handling of the file resulted in a “boondoggle” that required a full review by the province’s auditor general.Baillie said such a review would be automatic under his no-boondoggle guarantee.“It’s a guarantee of accountability and transparency,” he said.Liberal Premier Stephen McNeil argued that the province’s projects are already “stage-gated,” a project management approach to keep project budgets and timelines in check.“You’re adding more bureaucracy on top of what is already taking place,” he said, noting that government projects are already accounted for.On the Bluenose II file, McNeil said his government knew “very quickly that the former government had put it in the wrong department and that the process had gotten out of control.”He said the schooner was moved back into the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, where projects are monitored closely.McNeil added that if Baillie is “looking for accountability,” he should start with the “$480 million hole in his budget.”As for other projects, Baillie cited the province’s decision to invest heavily in the private ferry service that links Nova Scotia with Maine.Last year, Baillie said the company running the service, Bay Ferries,”hosed” the government so badly it resulted in a “boondoggle.”Baillie’s latest campaign pledge was part of a package of reforms aimed at increasing accountability among the political parties and the government.He said the province also needs an independent office to oversee ethics of conflict of interest. That office would report to the legislature and not to the governing party, he said.One of his more unorthodox commitments is a plan to have all political parties submit their election platforms to independent audits prior to every election.He later confirmed that his party platform had not been audited, and he declined to subject it to an independent financial review now, saying there wasn’t enough time left in the campaign.Baillie also promised to introduce fixed election dates for the province, which is the only one in Canada that doesn’t already have them.“No more elections decided by the whim of the premier,” Baillie said, adding that McNeil spent tens of millions of dollars prior to calling the election, all the while claiming he was not motivated by a political agenda.“We had three years of cuts, then three months of record spending — that only increases the frustration that people are feeling.”As well, Baillie pledged his government would order a full review of provincial finances six months before each election to ensure no future government could go back on their promises by claiming they didn’t know the state of the province’s books.“That sorry excuse will be gone,” he said.last_img read more


Halifax men get four months for prison assault of accused killer Dennis

first_imgMIRAMICHI, N.B. – Two Halifax men have been sentenced to four months in jail for assaulting Dennis Oland in a New Brunswick prison last year.Convicted killer Cody Alexander Muise and Aaron Marriott, who was convicted in a 2008 drug shooting, attacked Oland at Atlantic Institution in Renous, N.B., on July 31 of last year.Both men pleaded guilty in September as their trial was set to begin.Oland, a Saint John, N.B., financial planner, was in jail after being convicted of second-degree murder in the 2011 bludgeoning of his multi-millionaire father, businessman Richard Oland. The conviction has since been overturned and Oland released on bail pending a new trial.On Thursday, the Crown and defence jointly recommended the four-month sentences for Marriott and Muise, who will serve the time concurrently to their current prison terms.“Although this is an assault on another inmate, all assaults are assaults and it is a criminal charge and will have sanctions,” provincial court Judge Natalie LeBlanc said Thursday.“In order for our institutions to work properly, inmates must obey and follow all the rules in relation to the peace officers but also in relation to one another. Therefore when people make choices to not follow the rules there will be consequences each and every time,” she said.Muise, 28, and Marriott, 27, will also each have to pay a $200 victim fine surcharge.In September, Crown prosecutor Melanie MacAulay told the court Muise and Marriott attacked Oland, 48, in the visitation area as he hosted two visitors.“Inmate Muise and inmate Marriott walked up to where they were. Mr. Oland would’ve been standing up at this point. Mr. Muise and Mr. Marriott would have both walked up to the table and began swinging at him, striking him in the head. He fell to the ground and they attempted to punch and kick him,” MacAulay said.“The visitors that were with Mr. Oland actually got up and got between the aggressors and the victim. Guards were also on the scene quickly and separated all subjects. Mr. Oland would have received facial injuries and was treated at the institution,” she said.Muise and Marriott both appeared Thursday by video link from prison. They were sentenced separately. Both wore blue prison garb as they sat behind a table in a small room at the Atlantic Institution.Oland was not present in court and did not give a victim impact statement.The Oland family founded Moosehead Breweries, whose executive chairman Derek Oland has been a steadfast supporter of his nephew Dennis Oland through his legal battle.Oland’s new trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 10, 2018, and court documents say it could go 65 days — the same length as the original trial.Muise was convicted of first-degree murder for killing Brandon Hatcher in December 2010 in a gun battle in suburban Halifax, and is serving a life sentence.Marriott was sentenced to 15 years for a 2008 drug shooting outside the IWK Health Centre in Halifax.last_img read more


Police receive dozens of tips after seeking help identifying suspected McArthur victim

first_imgToronto police say they’ve received dozens of tips since releasing a photo of a dead man believed to be a victim of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur.Investigators put out the photo on Monday, saying they were taking the rare step in hopes someone could help identify the person.Det. Sgt. Hank Idsinga said investigators are sifting through information they’ve received, but added that identifying the man could take weeks.“Short of a direct family member calling and saying ‘that’s so-and-so,’ we have to sort through the tips and use the process of elimination,” he told The Canadian Press on Tuesday. “Eventually we would pursue ‘possibles’ and hope that DNA or dental records would match up with found remains.”Police have said the man was dead when the picture was taken, but won’t say when or how they obtained the image.The head shot of a bearded middle-aged man with his eyes partially shut was released as police announced finding the remains of a seventh individual linked to McArthur. The 66-year-old landscaper is currently facing six first-degree murder charges in relation to men who disappeared from Toronto’s gay village or had ties to the city’s LGBTQ community.The investigation, which police have described as unprecedented in scope, has proceeded on multiple fronts, with investigators gathering evidence, searching multiple properties and examining hundreds of missing persons cases in search of potential links to McArthur.McArthur was arrested in January and charged with the murders of Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen, who went missing from Toronto’s gay village in 2017.Later that month, McArthur was charged with the first-degree murder of Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi, and Dean Lisowick. In February, he was also charged in the death of Skandaraj Navaratnam.Idsinga has said there was evidence pointing to a cause of death in at least some of the cases, but wouldn’t elaborate.Police have found seven sets of remains in planters recovered from a Toronto property where McArthur worked as a landscaper. So far, police have only identified three of the sets of remains recovered — those of Kinsman, 49, Mahmudi, 50, and Navaratnam, 40.McArthur’s next court hearing is set for March 14.last_img read more


National Capital Commission trying again on major Ottawa land development

first_imgOTTAWA — The government of Canada is once again trying to offload billions of dollars worth of Crown land next to Parliament Hill that has remained virtually empty since the 1960s.The National Capital Commission will issue a new call for proposals to develop the LeBreton Flats area of Ottawa after a former redevelopment plan, which featured a new arena for the Ottawa Senators, ended in failed mediation and lawsuits.The federal agency says a new vision for the 22-hectare site will be created that will include the potential for a new “major events centre” — but this centre might not include the Ottawa Senators.The NHL team’s owner, Eugene Melnyk, had joined with Trinity Group founder John Ruddy to come up with a $4.1-billion plan for the land that included a new hockey arena, but the partnership soured and finally ended last week without a settlement after weeks of mediation talks led by a retired judge.Both partners have since launched legal actions against one another, claiming over $1.7 billion in damages between them.National Capital Commission CEO Tobi Nussbaum said today the agency remains committed to developing LeBreton Flats, but this time the process will include a phased approach — beginning with certain parcels of land — and tighter timelines for negotiations. The Canadian Presslast_img read more


Man charged with seconddegree murder in deaths of Calgary woman toddler

first_imgCALGARY — A man suspected of killing a Calgary woman and her toddler daughter has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder.Robert Andrew Leeming, 34, appeared via video before a justice of the peace.Calgary police announced Monday that they had found remains believed to be those of Jasmine Lovett and 22-month-old Aliyah Sanderson.The bodies were discovered before dawn in a heavily wooded wilderness area in the Rocky Mountains west of Calgary.Police have said Lovett and Leeming were in a relationship that deteriorated, and that the motive was domestic in nature.Leeming, who is from the United Kingdom, has his next court appearance May 14.The Canadian Presslast_img read more


Environment groups say oil industry asks will lead to climate chaos

first_imgOTTAWA — Several of Canada’s leading environment groups say the list of election demands from Canada’s oil industry earlier this week are a direct attack on the future health and prosperity of Canadians.The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers issued a list of things it would like to see from federal parties in the fall campaign to help increase production of Canadian fossil fuels.Dale Marshall, national program manager at Environmental Defence, says if the world is going to stop global warming it has to retire fossil fuels, not produce more of them.Environmental Defence, the David Suzuki Foundation and Greenpeace Canada are among more than half a dozen organizations that issued a joint statement Wednesday urging political parties to reject the petroleum industry’s vision.Marshall says expanding fossil-fuel production as envisioned by the oil industry would lead to “climate chaos.”He says investing in clean and renewable energy that can be exported will result in the same economic benefits without the accompanying climate disasters.last_img read more


China inventing excuses to block shipments of Canadian canola Trudeau says

first_imgPARIS — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says China is “inventing excuses” to block imports of Canadian canola.Speaking at a press conference Friday with French President Emmanuel Macron, Trudeau used his toughest language yet over the Chinese government’s decision to reject Canadian canola on the grounds that inspectors have found pests in it.Trudeau calls the decision to block canola imports “unjustified” and part of a wider diplomatic row between the two countries.He suggests the Chinese might do something similar to block other Canadian exports.Canada-China relations have deteriorated since December, when the RCMP arrested Huawei senior executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver at the behest of the United States.China was outraged by Meng’s arrest and has since detained two Canadians on allegations of espionage and sentenced two other Canadians to death on drug-related convictions.“We know that China has been engaging in ways that aren’t necessarily aligned with our values around the world through various corporations and through various entities,” Trudeau said.“We are having significant political difficulties right now with China because of the two Canadians who have been arbitrarily detained and their unjustified decisions on canola, which is the best in the world and the cleanest in the world, and they’re inventing excuses around that to block canola and perhaps next steps as well.”Trudeau says the government continues to “engage in diplomatic measures” with China, but has yet to decide whether to seek a face-to-face meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at a G20 leaders’ meeting at the end of the month in Japan.Huawei is also at the centre of a decision the Liberals have yet to make about which companies will be allowed to supply technology for Canada’s next generation of wireless networks.Blocking Huawei from competing for the right to sell its products to companies building “5G” networks, as the United States and other Canadian allies have done, could further enrage the Chinese government.Trudeau says that decision will be made based on what gives Canadians access to the best technology while also keeping their data safe.“It’s not about politics. It’s very much about listening to the experts in Canada and elsewhere,” he said.The Canadian Presslast_img read more


Stars Support Roald Dahl Charity

first_imgLast Tuesday night, Tim Minchin, Quentin Blake and Heston Blumenthal joined Samantha Cameron at Number 10 Downing Street to celebrate the work of Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, helping to support seriously ill and disabled children around the UK.Tim Minchin, award-winning composer of smash hit West End production Matilda the Musical, said: “This marvellous charity believes that every child has the right to have the best life possible, however difficult and short that life might be.”He said, “The charity has a brilliant holistic approach, helping children with rare and severe disorders of the brain and blood, to have better health, a fuller life and a happier family.”Ongoing support and donations are crucial for the charity in its work, which was set up in 1991. The charity provides practical help by supporting families to assist with equipment purchases such as wheelchairs, supports grassroots projects, funds specialist paediatric neurological and haematological nurses, and provides grants for training and research.Special guests included the families helped by the charity such as Kharis and Edward. Kharis (13) and Edward (9) Botchway both have sickle cell and are patients of Phil Daly, a Roald Dahl haematology specialist children’s nurse at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington.Chief Executive, Richard Piper, said: “I’m delighted that we were able to host an event at Downing Street. Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity exists to fill gaps and those gaps are still enormous. For example we have received 16 enquiries in the last 12 months for our unique specialist nurses programme. But at the moment we only have the funds for one.”Visit roalddahlcharity.org to find out more.Source:RoaldDahlCharity.orglast_img read more


InnerCity Arts To Honor Cheryl Hines

first_imgInner-City Arts, a vibrant arts education campus and oasis of learning, achievement and creativity for underserved children in the heart of Skid Row, will host its 2013 Imagine Awards Gala, October 30, 2013 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.Honorees include award-winning artist Charles Arnoldi; photographer and former District Attorney Gil Garcetti; actress, producer and director Cheryl Hines; and design innovator/entrepreneur Ralph Pucci. Geoffrey Anenberg and Jay Mangel, Co-Chair; Board member Eric Schotz emcees and R&B legend Maxine Nightingale will perform.World-renowned artist, painter, sculptor and printmaker Charles Arnoldi will receive the Artistic Excellence Award. Arnoldi has had a long and distinguished career in the art world and has exhibited internationally.The Philanthropic Leadership Award will be presented to Gil Garcetti. Since becoming a published photographer in 2002, Garcetti has had numerous solo photographic exhibitions locally and around the world, many of which have benefitted significant causes. Garcetti spent 32 years as a prosecutor in Los Angeles, serving as District Attorney from 1992-2000. He is a producer on the hit TNT television series, “MAJOR CRIMES.”Actress, producer and director Cheryl Hines is the recipient of the Children’s Advocacy Award. She is noted for her work renovating and transforming underserved public schools in Los Angeles. Hines is currently starring in the hit ABC comedy series “SUBURGATORY.”The Creative Innovation Award will be presented to Ralph Pucci, a design innovator and entrepreneur who is internationally renowned for his visionary integration of art and design. Known for his unparalleled work in the mannequin industry, Pucci has contemporary design showrooms in numerous cities, including the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood.Founded in 1989, Inner-City Arts is a world-class arts campus in the heart of Los Angeles’ Skid Row. Under the guidance of professional teaching artists, Inner-City Arts’ students engage in a variety of visual and performing art forms in a real studio setting. Programs include core classes during the instructional day for K-8 students, afterschool and weekend workshops for teens, and professional development training for educators. Inner-City Arts partners with schools from high-need areas in and around downtown Los Angeles to provide a supportive environment for children to explore their creativity, and develop essential life skills.Tickets are $500. Visit www.inner-cityarts.org.last_img read more


Maksim Chmerkovskiy Dances For One Week One Cause

first_imgDon’t miss the chance to see your favorite dance stars up close and personal in SWAY: A Dance Trilogy!This all-star production is set to premiere on Thursday, December 3rd, 2015 at The Olympia Theater at Gusman Center in downtown Miami, FL during Art Basel week.Starring Maksim and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Tony Dovolani, Olympic gold medalist Meryl Davis, and special guests, SWAY presents the glamour and passion of ballroom and Latin dancing in a whole new way. The all-star cast will feature world-class celebrity dancers. Audiences can expect spectacular visuals, original choreography, a fusion of multiple dance styles, and incredible performances from Dance With Me professionals.This star-studded engagement of SWAY will feature five (5) stunning shows running from Thursday, December 3rd to Sunday, December 6th, a fundraising gala, golf tournament, and an educational dance camp — all to benefit One Week, One Cause, a weeklong fundraising effort to support Alfalit International’s work to end illiteracy around the world.SWAY offers a glimpse into the lives of Maksim, Tony, and Val off-screen, which comes to life onstage. SWAY is divided into three parts, each anchored by one of the stars of the show. SWAY whisks audiences through the timeless elegance of ballroom’s golden era, to modern dance fusion of today’s urban youth, climaxing with the heart pounding rhythms of the Latin night-club scene. The show also features innovative choreography from two of ballrooms’ emerging standout artists: Joao Tiago Fernandes and David Thomas Moore. The mesmerizing visuals, which allow for an interactive audience experience, are guaranteed to delight theatergoers. Dance With Me is excited to take live theatrical ballroom dancing to a brand new level.VIP ticket holders will get a chance to meet the stars at the exclusive pre-show meet and greet, and also attend Saturday night’s official after-party hosted by Maks, Tony, and Val. Tickets are now available to purchase online! To purchase tickets please visit www.swayshow.com.Alfalit’s inaugural golf tournament will be held on Saturday, Dec. 5 at Turnberry Isle Miami, an award-winning golf resort that has hosted the PGA and the LPGA on its two championship courses. Alfalit supporters will have the chance to play golf with SWAY stars Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Tony Dovolani and Henry Byalikov. The tournament schedule will include breakfast, 18 holes of golf and an awards luncheon.One Week, One Cause was conceived by Alfalit’s volunteer President, Joseph Milton, who also serves as CEO and President of J. Milton & Associates. Mr. Milton selected Ms. Alexia Echevarria, executive editor of Venue Magazine, and Roger Huxman, Founder of Huxman Financial Services, as event chairpersons. “We are thrilled to take Alfalit’s annual fundraising event to a whole new level this year. SWAY and the golf tournament are exciting additions to the weeklong events surrounding Art Basel. We are grateful that these amazing artists and athletes are coming to Miami and supporting Alfalit’s mission to deliver literacy, basic education and life-changing programs to the neediest populations around the world.”For sponsorship inquiries, please contact Todd Talbott, Director of Communications at 323-804-0521 or email at tbtalbott2009@aol.com.Founded in 1961, Alfalit International, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides literacy, basic education, pre-school, community development, health, disease (HIV/AIDS, Cholera, Malaria and TB) prevention, nutrition and job skills and vocational training programs. Alfalit currently serves 120,000 men, women and children in 24 countries throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Europe and the United States. The organization has been recognized at both the 2006 and 2007 White House Conferences on Global Literacy, and received honors as well as the First Price in Adult Literacy Programs from UNESCO. For more information, please visit www.alfalit.org.last_img read more


Hillary Clinton And Katy Perry Attend StarStudded UNICEF Snowflake Ball

first_imgOn November 29, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF hosted its 12th annual UNICEF Snowflake Ball at Cipriani Wall Street, celebrating UNICEF’s lifesaving work for children around the world and highlighting the organization’s 70th anniversary.Pamela Fiori, Hillary Clinton, Katy Perry, and Caryl Stern speak on stage during the 12th annual UNICEF Snowflake BallCredit/Copyright: Jason Kempin/Getty Images for UNICEFThe event honored GRAMMY Award-winning recording artist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Katy Perry and Philanthropist Moll Anderson. Presented by Mariner Investment Group LLC and Baccarat, the event raised more than $4 million for UNICEF’s work to put children first. The evening featured a special appearance by Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, who surprised Katy Perry – and the audience – and presented her with the Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award, along with Pamela Fiori, National Board Member of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and past Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award recipient.Hosted by Academy Award Winner Octavia Spencer, the event featured performances by Sara Bareilles and the cast of The Color Purple. The evening began with the lighting of the UNICEF Snowflake at 57th Street and Fifth Avenue, presented by UNICEF Snowflake Lighting Sponsor ALEX AND ANI | CHARITY BY DESIGN. Since The UNICEF Snowflake Ball began 12 years ago, the event has raised more than $31 million for UNICEF’s lifesaving programs for children.Sara Bareilles and Hillary Clinton attend the 12th annual UNICEF Snowflake BallCredit/Copyright: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for UNICEFGuests included Orlando Bloom, UNICEF Ambassador Tea Leoni, Allison Williams, Tamron Hall, Kyle Maclachlan, Tim Daly, Lawrence O’Donnell, Brooke Burke-Charvet & David Charvet, Maggie Q, Stephanie March, Erich Bergen, Patina Miller, Adam Kantor, Ali Krieger, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Meryl Davis and Ryan Serhant, among others.Katy Perry was honored with the 2016 Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award. Previous recipients of the award have included UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Danny Glover and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Harry Belafonte.Katy made her Capitol Records debut with 2008’s One of the Boys (which generated four hit singles: “I Kissed A Girl,” “Hot N Cold,” “Thinking of You” and “Waking Up In Vegas”), and cemented her status as a global superstar with the 2010 follow-up album, Teenage Dream. She headlined the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show, which set a record as the most-watched Super Bowl halftime show. Katy’s cumulative streams now exceed 10 billion worldwide and she is the most-followed person globally on Twitter.Aside from being one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, Katy is an active advocate of many philanthropic causes. In 2013, Katy was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador as a result of her commitment to improving the lives of children worldwide. From traveling to Viet Nam and Madagascar to highlight the needs of some of the world’s most vulnerable children, to recording PSAs about the importance of empowering girls and supporting adolescents living with HIV/AIDS, as well as raising awareness for UNICEF’s emergency relief efforts, Katy has used her powerful voice to advocate for children and support UNICEF’s mission to ensure every child’s right to health, education, equality and protection.At yesterday’s event, Katy said that “I’m humbled to receive the Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award tonight and celebrate 70 years of UNICEF’s lifesaving work for the children of the world. Audrey Hepburn remains a sparkling example in her career as well as her dedication to being a champion of children. Her life is an inspiration most of us will never match, but hopefully we can aspire to. I’m proud to carry on her shine and to use my voice to help bring attention for issues that affect the world’s most vulnerable children.”Moll Anderson was honored with the Spirit of Compassion Award. Previous recipients of the award include Quincy Jones, Chairman of Island Def Jam Music Group “LA” Reid, and UNICEF Ambassador Alyssa Milano.Moll is an accomplished author, television and radio host, interior designer, life stylist, and advocate for women and children globally. Moll’s career has been filled with many professional achievements, including winning an Emmy for her work as an entertainment reporter. She has been a regular contributor to The Doctors television show, and a guest co-host on FABLife, and she has appeared on numerous other television shows.Along with her professional work, Moll is a dedicated philanthropist, focusing her energy on many deserving causes. She commits her time and resources to improving the lives of women and children in her community and internationally through her work with such organizations as Habitat for Humanity and UNICEF.Moll noted her inspiration for becoming involved in UNICEF’s mission, saying “Why UNICEF? Everyone has been asking me that tonight. Why did I choose UNICEF? UNICEF chose me when I was a little girl. It was Audrey Hepburn. It was seeing Audrey, beautiful Audrey Hepburn on the news as a young woman.”UNICEF Ambassador Vern Yip designed the décor for this year’s UNICEF Snowflake Ball, featuring five colors representing themes inspired by prayer flags that correspond to key UNICEF ideals: blue for peace, red for love, white for health, yellow for joy and green for wisdom. Guests dined on a custom menu featuring collaboration by UNICEF Ambassador Marcus Samuelsson. A live auction hosted by Kate Chertavian featured VIP packages including a Paris Fashion Week experience, a Napa and San Francisco package, tickets and a backstage experience at Katy Perry’s next U.S. tour. The After Party was hosted by UNICEF Next Generation, with a special performance by The Dolls. The After Party was made possible by Presenting Sponsor Al-Monitor.Gillian Miniter and Desiree Gruber chaired the event with Project Chair Jaime Jiménez, Christine and George Stonbely as Snowflake Patrons, and Daria Daniel and Sterling McDavid served as the UNICEF Next Generation Chairs.last_img read more


Global Goals Awards Honor Five Champions Making The World A Better Place

first_imgThe 2017 Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards last week honored five outstanding activists for their efforts to create positive impact in people’s lives and accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).Priyanka Chopra speaks on stage at The Goalkeepers Global Goals AwardsCredit/Copyright: UNICEF/UN0123773/Getty ImagesThe winners included a medical student dedicating his life to reducing maternal and child mortality rates in rural areas of Tanzania; a fashion student who founded an organisation to support survivors of acid attacks; and a Colombian woman who helps former guerrillas reintegrate into society.Leaders from business, government and entertainment attended the ceremony, including UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors Priyanka Chopra and Muzoon Almellahan.The Goalkeepers Global Goal Awards – curated by UNICEF for the second year – are part of ongoing efforts to rally support for the Sustainable Development Goals, a set of 17 goals unanimously adopted by every country in the world in 2015 to help make the world more peaceful, equitable and healthy.Winners of the Global Goals Awards:Winner of the LEADERSHIP AWARDRIA SHARMA, 26, NEW DELHI – Ria Sharma, a fashion student at Leeds College of Arts, United Kingdom returned to India in the third year of her graduate programme to make a documentary on acid attack survivors. In the process of creating the documentary, she met several survivors and their stories touched her and inspired her to help. She founded Make Love Not Scars (MLNS), which is an organisation that actively supports survivors of acid attacks physically and mentally, and campaigns to raise awareness of the issue. Acid attacks against women especially have risen in recent years in India. They are particularly committed by men who wish to seek ‘revenge’ against women who refuse their advances or against wives who do not bring enough dowry.Winner of the INNOVATION AWARDMARIEME JAMME, SENEGAL/UK – Marieme grew up in Senegal and endured a difficult childhood that included being trafficked. She emerged from this to teach herself how to read and write at age 16. Today, she channels this experience to inspire youth, especially young girls through SpotOne Global Solutions, where as Chief Executive she encourages global investment in African IT infrastructure. She’s also the founder of the iamthecode movement, an effort to teach 1 million girls and women to code by 2030, and which addresses Sustainable Development Goals 4, 5, 8 and 9.Winner of the YOUNG GOALKEEPER AWARD LAURA ULLOA, 27, COLOMBIA – Laura Ulloa was just 11 years old when she was kidnapped and held captive by FARC for seven months. Her ordeal started in 1999 when she and her family were victims of one of the biggest mass kidnappings in Colombia. While she and her family were able to escape, others were not so fortunate. Two years later in 2001, members of the FARC-EP hijacked her school bus and took her as the sole hostage. After living this ordeal Laura has dedicated her life to helping former guerrillas get reintegrated into society. Through her work with the Colombian Agency for Reintegration, for the Security Council of the United Nations and as coordinator for Social Projects at the Corona Foundation in Colombia, Laura is changing lives.Winner of the LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND AWARDFELIX MANYOGOTE, 26, TANZANIA – Felix is a social entrepreneur and medical student dedicating his life to help others, especially those in vulnerable communities. After losing his Aunt while she was giving birth, due to prolonged labour accompanied by excessive bleeding, he focused his work on reducing maternal and child mortality rates in rural areas of Tanzania. Through his project MAMA AFYA (MAMA Delivery KIT) he provides free maternal and new born health services, distributes free clean delivery and new born kits and develops an effective line distribution so that women are connected irrespective of their location. Felix’s charisma, leadership and reliability has impacted the lives of more than 15,000 people. His project MAMA AFYA has managed to distribute 1,200 birth kits, saving the lives of more than 4,000 mothers and newborns.Winner of the HEALTHY NOT HUNGRY AWARDBERNARD COULIBALLY, 45, MALI – Bernard is the Deputy Prefect of Yorosso in the South of Mali who has focused his work on reducing child malnutrition rates in his community. This area was once known as critical in terms of malnutrition, but thanks to his dedication and commitment, severe acute malnutrition rates were reduced from 2.3% to 0.4 % from 2012 to 2016 and stunting levels by nearly half (from 27.8 % to 15.4%). Stead-fast progress has been made through his strong leadership and community ownership has translated into real results, making him a wonderful example of how political leaders can make a tangible difference for their people.The Awards dinner, in partnership with UNICEF, is part of the inaugural Goalkeepers Events in New York on 19 and 20 September, organized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. UNICEF is the official partner and curator of the 2017 Goalkeepers Global Goal Awards.17 SDG Advocates along with Melinda Gates and UN Young Leaders form the official judging panel to select the winners after a competitive application process.last_img read more


Holly RobinsonPeete To Honor Her Mother At The Actors Funds 2017 Looking

first_imgThe Actors Fund announced today that actress Holly Robinson-Peete will honor her mother, Dolores Robinson, with the Judy & Hilary Swank Award for Parenting at the 2017 Looking Ahead Awards on Tuesday, December 5 at 6pm at Taglyan Complex in Hollywood.Tickets are currently on sale at www.actorsfund.org/LookingAheadAwards.As previously announced, The 2017 Looking Ahead Awards will also honor Kellie Martin (The Looking Ahead Award For Education), Charlotte Rae (The Shirley Temple Award); the youth cast of NBC’s THIS IS US (The Elizabeth Taylor Award for Social Awareness) and the ensemble cast of Kathryn Bigelow’s film DETROIT (The Looking Ahead Award for Community Service).Hosted by Corbin Bleu, the fourth annual gala raises awareness and financial support for The Actors Fund’s Looking Ahead Program while shining the spotlight on performers who inspire the world by living the program’s five core values: education, community service, mentorship, social awareness and healthy parenting. The evening features exciting “blue carpet” arrivals, cocktail hour, gourmet dinner, live entertainment and the awards ceremony.The full list of honorees is as follows:Dolores RobinsonThe Judy & Hilary Swank Award for Parentingpresented by Holly Robinson-PeeteHonoring the parent of a former young performerKellie MartinThe Looking Ahead Award for EducationHonoring a former young performer who has made education a priority in their lifeLaz Alonso, Joseph David-Jones, Nathan Davis Jr., Kaitlyn Dever, Austin Hebert, Malcolm David Kelley, Jacob Latimore, Will Poulter, Algee Smith, Leon Thomas III, Samira Wiley and Tyler James Williams DETROITThe Looking Ahead Award for Community ServiceHonoring a former young performer (or cast) who exemplifies giving back to the communityCharlotte RaeThe Shirley Temple AwardHonoring an early pioneer for their legacy in paving the way for other young performersEris Baker, Parker Bates, Lonnie Chavis, Niles Fitch, Mackenzie Hancsicsak, Faithe Herman, Logan Shroyer and Hannah ZeileTHIS IS USThe Elizabeth Taylor Award for Social AwarenessHonoring a current young performer (or cast) who is raising awareness about an important societal issue through a current roleThe Looking Ahead Program was created in 2003 in partnership with SAG-AFTRA to work with youth between the ages of 9 and 18, helping them develop the values, skills and confidence they need to make successful transitions to fulfilling adult lives. Now serving more than 400 youths, families and alumni, the program aims to create a nurturing environment where young performers get support through individual, family and education counseling, leadership development, community service and social events. Looking Ahead is guided by an Advisory Committee of professionals in youth development and youth-related entertainment, which is co-chaired by actor, director and producer Fred Savage and freelance casting director and former head of casting at Nickelodeon Sharon Lieblein.The 2017 Looking Ahead Awards is generously sponsored by Disney Channel, Disney XD, Nickelodeon, SAG-AFTRA, The Osbrink Agency, Sextant Wines and Devotion Vodka.TICKETING INFORMATION:Individual tickets are $150 per person. Sponsorship packages are available beginning at $5,000 and include multiple press/branding opportunities as well as VIP tickets for The Looking Ahead Awards. To purchase tickets or inquire about sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.actorsfund.org/LookingAheadAwards.last_img read more


Stars Attend Point Honors New York

first_imgCelebrities and 400 guests experienced an inspiring evening at The Plaza last night, in support of Point Foundation (Point), the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students of merit.Ronan Farrow and Thomas RobertsCredit/Copyright: Dia Dipasupil/GettyThe annual Point Honors New York event raises funds for Point’s higher education scholarships, as well as mentoring and leadership programs.Influential journalist Ronan Farrow was presented with the Point Courage Award by MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts, himself a past Point honoree. The Point Courage Award recognizes those who have advocated for the future of the LGBTQ and allied community and believe investing in today’s potential will produce a brighter tomorrow. Farrow said:“Being a part of the LGBT community – which recognized that reporting I was doing early on and elevated it, and has been such a stalwart source of support through the sexual assault reporting I did involving survivors who felt equally invisible – that has been an incredible source of strength for me. LGBT people are some of the bravest and most potent change agents and leaders I have encountered, and the most forceful defenders of the vulnerable and voiceless, because they know what it’s like to be there.”Laura Benanti at Point HonorsCredit/Copyright: Dia Dipasupil/GettyActor and singer Laura Benanti was introduced by fellow Broadway star Celia Keenan Bolger, who presented Benanti with the Point Impact Award. The award recognizes an individual making a significant impact on improving the LGBTQ and allied community. Accepting the award, Benanti said:“Now, more than ever, we need organizations like the Point Foundation to support, protect, energize and mobilize those of us who were not born rich, cis, white men…Thank you again for this tremendous honor. I promise to do my best to make an impact for LGBT youth every day.”Actor and musician from FOX’s hit series, “Empire,” Jussie Smollett, performed a set of uplifting songs, while comedian Michelle Collins hosted the festive evening. Additional celebrity attendees included Jason Collins, Tamron Hall, Eileen Kelly, Andrew Kennan-Bolger, Don Lemon, Valerie Smaldone, and others.“The many generous sponsors and supporters Point is fortunate to call friends, all sincerely believe that the source of our nation’s strength and potential is its youth,” said Jorge Valencia, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Point Foundation. “Everyone joining us tonight, from our honorees to each audience member, is helping Point empower the next generation of leaders our world needs.”Sponsors for Point Honors Presenting: Wells FargoPremiere Sponsors: Cadillac, Hilton, HSBC, Janssen Infection DiseasesPrincipal Sponsors: Merrill Lynch, Time WarnerNational Media Sponsors: The Advocate and Pride.comLocal Media Sponsor: Gay City NewsFriend of Point: Winston Art Grouplast_img read more


SCENE HEARD TIFF16 Alisters party to help Haiti

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement TORONTO – One of the most moving events at TIFF each year is the Artists for Peace and Justice gala, which raises funds for health and education initiatives in Haiti.While celebrities often like to attach themselves to trendy causes, this is one organization where it’s clear that the A-listers involved (the likes of Susan Sarandon, Paul Haggis, Daniel Craig, Penelope Cruz, James Franco, Nicole Kidman) and the night’s honoree, Sean Penn, actually care. Most of them have visited Haiti on multiple occasions to volunteer in disadvantaged communities.This year’s gala was “festival fair” themed and was hosted at stunning Casa Loma, with performances by Arum Rae, Kayla Diamond and Maxwell. Also in attendance: The Tenors (the remaining three of them, anyway), fresh off the controversy that occurred this summer when Remigio Periera altered the lyrics to “Oh Canada” and held up a sign reading “All Lives Matter” at the MLB all-star game. Apparently the trio has had a hard time getting bookings in Canada since the incident. Login/Register With:center_img Facebook Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more


James Camerons Avatar sequel to be released in 2020

first_imgThe long-awaited sequel to the science fiction epic Avatar from famed Canadian director James Cameron will require a little more patience from fans — three-and-a-half years to be exact.According to the movie’s official Facebook page, the next Avatar film will open in theatres Dec. 18, 2020. It’s one of four upcoming films in the franchise.“Avatar takes flight as we begin concurrent production on four sequels,” the post reads alongside a birdseye photo of the crew involved in the project. Following the first sequel, the next one will be released a year later, on Dec. 17, 2021.The franchise will take a three-year break before returning to the screen with two more installments, on Dec. 20, 2024 and Dec. 19, 2025 respectively.Avatar was the first film to gross more than $2 billion US when it was released in 2009 and earned nearly $2.8 billion worldwide.The story is set in fictional Pandora, a resource-rich environment which future humans are trying to colonize. It’s inhabited by the blue-skinned humanoid species, Na’vi, under threat from the expansion.The original starred Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana and Sigourney Weaver.The first sequel had been expected in 2018 but Cameron, who was also behind the 1997 Oscar-winning film Titanic and sci-fi thrillers such as The Terminator and Aliens, said earlier this year that wasn’t going to happen.Cameron initially told the Toronto Star in March about the delay, but said the scripts were done for all four Avatar films. The director called it “an epic undertaking” “not unlike building the Three Gorges Dam.” Advertisement Twitter Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more


Fired ballet staffer Bruce Monk now at Ballet Victoria

first_img Login/Register With: Doucet told CBC in an email she was feeling “shock and disbelief, and fear for the women who were now working with him,” when she found out Monk was with the ballet.Monk, a renowned photographer, was the subject of a Winnipeg police investigation after multiple women came forward to the media and police alleging he took nude photos of them while they were dancers at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.Sarah Doucet told CBC in an email she was feeling ‘shock and disbelief,’ after seeing a photo of Monk on Ballet Victoria’s Facebook page. (Wally Santana/Associated Press)Police investigated but never charged Monk. At the time, Manitoba Justice said the Crown reviewed the case and recommended against charges because a conviction was unlikely. The Royal Winnipeg Ballet fired him in 2015. He declined an interview request through his lawyer for this story.READ MORE Twitter A Winnipeg ballet instructor who was fired after former students came forward accusing him of taking nude photos of them has been doing volunteer and contract work at a ballet company in B.C.Bruce Monk is living in Victoria, where CBC News has learned he actively volunteers and does contracts for Ballet Victoria.“I was shocked,” said Sarah Doucet, a former student of Monk’s who contacted the ballet earlier this year after seeing a photo of Monk on the company’s Facebook page. Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment center_img Advertisement Bruce Monk is living in Victoria, where CBC News has learned he actively volunteers and does contracts for Ballet Victoria. (CBC) Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more