New Delhi: A 76-year-old man was crushed under the train in Welcome metro station on Monday morning. Police said that deceased was undergoing treatment for depression. He left a suicide note in the drawing-room of his house, and as per the note, he committed suicide on his own and nobody was responsible for it. The deceased was identified as Khairaiti Lal who lived in Panchsheel Garden. Police said that they received a PCR call at 7:13 am that a person had come on track at Welcome metro station. On reaching the spot, the deceased wearing black lower white shirt was found under the metro train on platform number two. “Later, he was brought on to the platform in dead condition. He was crushed under the train and his head got severed,” police said. The investigating agency further said that Rs 1,620 were found in his body.
Georgetown (Guyana): While the first ODI between India and West Indies ended on a dull note as it got abandoned due to persistent rain, cricket fans in Guyana were provided with some moments by skipper Virat Kohli which they must have cherished. Only 13 overs could be bowled before the first ODI of the three-match rubber was called off due at the Providence Stadium here on Thursday. However, during those 13 overs, fans who were present at the stadium and those watching on the television sets, were treated to watch some dancing moves from Kohli, who was otherwise left frustrated by the start-stop rain. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh After the first break when the umpires called the players to the field, Kohli did not let his mood to be dampened by rain and was seen dancing several times on the tunes of the DJ. While, the Indian skipper danced with his teammates on several occasions, he even managed to rope in Chris Gayle, his former Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) teammate. BCCI took to Twitter to post the pictures of Kohli and Gayle. Earlier, the start of the series opener was delayed by 90 minutes due to morning showers and was reduced to 43-overs a side before rain once again played a spoilsport and after two interruptions in the play the match was abandoned. India, who had a clean sweep over Windies in the T20Is, will now look to continue their dominance when the two teams meet in the second ODI at the Port of Spain on Sunday.
Kolkata: Two separate incidents of disruption in Metro services occurred on Saturday, leading to inconvenience for the passengers. The first incident took place in Netaji Bhavan at around 3.45 pm, when a Kavi Subhas bound rake developed technical snag. A door of the Metro rake did not open at the station, triggering panic among the commuters. The rake was halted at the station and the passengers were asked to deboard. Metro staff members posted at the station rushed to the spot, along with Railway Protection Force (RPF) jawans. After the passengers were evacuated, the empty rake was taken to the car shed. Metro Railway officials did not take any risk, keeping in mind the recent incident in which a middle-aged man was killed after falling from a running train inside the tunnel between Park Street and Maidan stations. In the second incident, another Kavi Subhas bound rake was halted at Jatin Das Park station after two doors of a coach remained shut owing to some technical problems. All the passengers travelling in the rake were eventually evacuated to avoid any untoward incident.
Noida: It was a strange sight for the morning walkers at Noida stadium on Monday morning when they spotted a 28-year-old youth hanging from a tree near gate number two of the stadium. Cops said that the deceased had committed suicide by hanging himself under mental depression.According to police, the deceased has been identified as Rahul Chaudhary, a native of Bulandshahr and lived at a rented house in Nithari area of Noida. Rajeev Kumar Singh, Circle Officer-II, Gautam Buddh Nagar said that police have recovered a suicide note from one of the pockets of deceased in which he has written that he committed suicide under mental depression. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”Police received information through a phone call around 8:30 am and a team rushed to the spot. Police found body of the young man hanging from the tree and he was taken into custody. Police recovered a suicide note from his pocket in which he mentioned how he lost his job and took to borrowing money from more than one persons, who had now started asking for the money to be returned. He has also named at least three persons in the note who have been pressurizing him to pay back their money,” said Singh. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchings”Police sent the body for postmortem and informed the family members of deceased. As of now we have not received any complaint into the matter and will take actions if a complaint is received,” added Singh. Meanwhile in yet another incident, a 45-year-old man was also found hanging from the ceiling fan inside his house in Chhalera area under sector 39 police station of Noida on Monday. Police officials said that the deceased had been working at a private company in Sector 8 of Noida. “The man committed suicide as he was upset over being jobless. We are yet to receive any complaint into the matter,” said police.
FBI agents are still reeling from Director James Comey’s unceremonious dismissal, their surprise at the manner of his ouster coupled with questions about who will next lead the bureau.Many agents working in field offices across the country learned Tuesday about their director’s firing in much the same way he did: from news reports that flashed on television screens and buzzed on phones.They privately described a day afterward spent processing the news, swapping praise about their former boss, and grappling with angst that Comey wasn’t given a chance to notify employees. Many saw him as a strong and supportive leader even if some believed he at times set the bureau on the wrong path. And many did not want to see him go, especially in the midst of the bureau’s investigation into whether President Donald Trump’s campaign had ties to Russia’s meddling in the election.White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that “countless” FBI employees had lost faith in Comey’s leadership. But the president of the FBI Agents Association, Thomas O’Connor, said he was known to be responsive to their concerns, and he called the firing a “gut punch.”As part of the backup for the firing, the White House released a memo by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that blasted Comey’s handling of the probe into Hillary Clinton’s emails, namely his announcement that Clinton should not be charged before reopening the investigation days before voters went to the polls. That placed FBI agents in an uncomfortable position of having their historically apolitical work thrust into the centre of a national election.Retired FBI assistant director Ron Hosko said some agents believed Comey went too far.“There are those voices inside, but I think he still enjoyed broad support and great respect by the workforce,” Hosko said.In New York, where Comey once headed the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan, agents were told stories about the former director, including how he used to call agents’ cellphones to congratulate them after finishing big cases, said a current official. Most current employees spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of restrictions about interactions with the media.Across the FBI’s field offices, Comey was known for a plainspoken speaking style, peppering prepared remarks with avuncular advice, life lessons and humour. His casual demeanour – he’d regularly appear without a suit coat at freewheeling meetings with reporters, dabbled with Twitter and joked often about the toll the job had taken on his imposing height – served for many agents as a welcome change from the bureau’s historically buttoned-up culture.At speaking appearances, he’d urge young agents to relish their lives outside the FBI, demanding that they take time to tend to their families – and to sleep. He’d say how he strove to be sensitive to the feelings of subordinates, aware that cross words or a bored look during a conversation could “hurt them in ways that would last.”A farewell letter from Comey that circulated among friends and colleagues said he does not plan to dwell on the decision to fire him or on “the way it was executed.”He said in the letter that though he’ll be fine, he will miss the FBI and its mission “deeply.” Comey said that “in times of turbulence, the American people should see the FBI as a rock of competence, honesty, and independence.’He also said “it’s very hard to leave a group of people who are committed only to doing the right thing.”The letter was posted online by CNN Wednesday night. A person who had seen the note confirmed to The Associated Press that the online version was authentic.Andrew Arena, a former special agent in charge, said current FBI employees he spoke with as news of Comey’s ouster spread worried about the future of the bureau.“Where are we going, and what’s our direction, and are we going to be politicized?” Arena said. “Uncertainty is not a good thing.”As Justice Department leaders interviewed four candidates for the role of interim FBI director, some were anxious about whom Trump would select as Comey’s permanent replacement. Jack Eckenrode, a former special agent in charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia division, said the administration “will be hard-pressed to find someone who possesses his unique combination of personal qualities as well as his respect for the rule of law.”Associated Press Writers Jake Pearson in New York, Denise Lavoie in Boston, Michael Balsamo in Los Angeles, Amy Forliti in Minneapolis and Michael Melia in Hartford, Conn., contributed to this report.
OTTAWA – The meeting Wednesday had the look of a feel-good visit between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and honorary Canadian citizen Aung San Suu Kyi, the civilian leader of Myanmar, also known as Burma.But a major international human rights watchdog and groups representing Burmese refugees in Canada called on Trudeau to push Suu Kyi to allow an independent international investigation into allegations of widespread human rights abuses against the Muslim ethnic Rohingya minority in the western state of Rakhine.Suu Kyi’s government has so far resisted those calls, which came from a special UN commission chaired by former secretary general Kofi Annan.Farida Deif, Canada director for Human Rights Watch, urged Trudeau to use the meeting with Suu Kyi on Parliament Hill to specifically push her to accept the UN call.“The prime minister should make clear that Myanmar’s full co-operation with this independent and impartial investigation is expected by Myanmar’s international donors and friends,” said Deif.Trudeau made no mention of the Rohingya situation during a brief public photo-op with Suu Kyi as the two exchanged pleasantries in his office. But during their meeting, Trudeau encouraged her to work with the UN, said his spokesman.“We have some way to go before we become a working, democratic, federal nation such as yours, but I’m sure we’ll get there,” Suu Kyi told Trudeau.She is a one-time political prisoner, democracy champion and Nobel Laureate who won a landslide election victory in late 2015.While Trudeau’s office said he did raise the investigation during the meeting, he didn’t attach any strings. His office said Canada was giving Myanmar an additional $8.8 million in humanitarian assistance to promote “peace and stability” programs, including human rights.Deif said Canada should view the Rohingya situation as “an important test of the Myanmar government’s commitment to uphold the rule of law and to work constructively with the international community to establish the facts, identify perpetrators and deter future human rights abuses by all sides.”Trudeau’s spokesman said the prime minister planned to use the meeting to “advocate for further reforms in Myanmar, especially those that support ethnic and religious minorities, women, and young people — including the situation of the Rohingya.”The prime minister also offered Suu Kyi Canada’s condolences for the loss of a military plane from Myanmar, which disappeared Wednesday while carrying more than 100 passengers and crew.The Karen Community of Canada, which represents ethnic Karen refugees, also urged Trudeau to press for an independent UN investigation in Myanmar.The group said in an open letter to Trudeau it didn’t want the visit to be a “feel-good celebration” that will ignore “human rights abuses in Burma’s ethnic areas, which Aung San Suu Kyi’s government has done virtually nothing to alleviate.”The Rohingya situation has dulled much of the lustre of Suu Kyi’s successful entry into democratic politics in what was once one of South Asia’s most repressive military regimes. She spent 15 years in detention in Myanmar before her National League for Democracy won the election after five decades of military rule in her poor, but resource-rich country.Former Conservative foreign affairs minister John Baird travelled to Myanmar in 2012 to present Suu Kyi with honorary Canadian citizenship and support her and the democratic reforms that were taking root then.Canada has since re-established diplomatic relations with Myanmar and wants to forge new business links with a country the World Bank has described as possessing “fertile lands, significant untapped agricultural potential and a rich endowment of natural resources.”But in its letter to Trudeau, the Karen community urged the government to reign in its enthusiasm for exploiting opportunities in Myanmar’s oil and gas sector because that has human rights implications.
TORONTO – The Toronto Islands, a popular summer destination for both city residents and tourists, are set to reopen to the public on Monday after a nearly three-month closure due to historic flooding.Heavy rains in the spring caused water levels in Lake Ontario to rise to record highs, closing the cluster of islands to visitors as trees fell over, roads were washed out and carp spawned in large, muddy puddles.Island businesses — which rely on the busy summer season for a large portion of their revenue — suffered losses as their flow of customers slowed to a trickle, residents who lived on the islands stacked sandbags in an effort to keep their homes dry and industrial pumps worked to remove water from waterlogged areas of the community.The islands were supposed to reopen on June 30 but persistent rain and high water levels kept them closed.With Monday’s opening date now in sight island residents and businesses said they were happy the community will be able to benefit from tourism again.But many residents say they’ll also miss having the island all to themselves.“It was, at points, surreal,” said Shane Kearney, an island resident, who said that an entire generation of islanders have never had the island to themselves like this.“It was beautiful. You could go for bike rides and not see one person in the middle of a sunny afternoon on a Saturday.”As of Thursday morning, the island already had more of a buzz in the air as crews started to prepare for next week’s visitors. Pumps were still flushing out water in some closed-off areas, but many of the spots that had been submerged only had small puddles.At the Island Cafe, a restaurant a short walk from the island’s eastern ferry terminal, co-owner Zorah Freeman-McIntyre said businesses on the island have been ready to receive guests for a while.“As soon as (word) gets out, I think the boats will be quite packed,” he said. “We’re excited for people to come and for our businesses to thrive again.”Freeman-McIntyre said all the businesses had been frustrated the islands couldn’t open earlier, but understood that the flooding posed some safety concerns for visitors.Toronto’s water taxi services have also been anticipating the opening date, as they lost out on large chunks of business when the islands were closed.Sean Stewart, CEO of Infinity Water Taxi, said he only started his business 10 weeks ago. To offset the lack of island visitors, Stewart said he had to approach hotels and businesses to offer more tours of the lake, rather than just taxiing visitors back and forth from the islands.He said it’s a relief to learn business will soon go back to normal.“It is fantastic news, it’s great to know that we can have a piece of our history back again,” said Stewart.Some parts of the Toronto Islands will still have to remain closed, the city said.All beaches will be open with lifeguards on duty, but portions of some beaches will remain off-limits due to erosion and Olympic Island will remain closed to the public due to high water levels.Mayor John Tory has said the cost of fixing the damage done to the city’s shorelines and the Toronto Islands will run to many millions of dollars. The city said Thursday that preliminary numbers suggest the flooding and closure of the island had a financial impact of $4.9 million on its operating budget.“I know that for many Torontonians summer isn’t complete without a visit to the Toronto Islands, which is why I’m so pleased that the park is being reopened for residents and visitors to enjoy,” Tory said Thursday.“I want to thank city staff for their tireless and ongoing commitment to preserving and restoring the island park and to residents for their patience throughout this unprecedented event.”Island resident Jennifer Scott-Wood said she’s happy the islands are opening, but she’s going to tell her relatives to skip the visit this year.The ground is mushy and it’s not a great play spot,” she said, adding that a lot of areas were mosquito-laden throughout the day and that the island had tested positive for West Nile virus.“If you go on the grass it’s very … gross,” she said. “I hope we don’t have this again for another 30 or 40 years.”
COOKSTOWN, Ont. – Ontario Provincial Police have identified one of the three victims of last week’s fiery pileup on a highway north of Toronto.Sgt. Kerry Schmidt says 37-year-old Benjamin Dunn of North Bay, Ont., was driving one of the two fuel tankers involved in the Highway 400 crash that set off a massive fireball and sent motorists running for their lives.Dunn’s wife, Nikiyah Mulak-Dunn, has said her husband was a veteran truck driver who worked three jobs to provide for their nine children.Schmidt says the intensity of the fire has made it difficult for the coroner’s office to officially identify those who died in the crash.He says investigators hope to confirm the identity of the second victim this week, but adds it will take more time to identify the third.The 14-vehicle collision happened Halloween night on Highway 400 near County Road 88 in Cookstown, Ont., when at least one truck slammed into vehicles stopped in the area because of an earlier collision.Schmidt says the cause is still under investigation and authorities would not be releasing information.
OTTAWA – No figure skating.No hockey.No racing.No cell phones.But other than that have fun kids!Canadian Heritage Wednesday unveiled the details of the Canada 150 Ice Rink currently being built on the east lawn of Parliament Hill.The rink is part of a $5.6 million budget that includes a contest to bring 32 peewee house league hockey teams from across the country to Ottawa for a tournament after Christmas. The rink comes complete with cooling system, grandstands and boards.But outside of the tournament and a few other assorted events, there will be no hockey allowed on the ice. Also no food, no rough housing, no tag, no figure or speed skating, and no carrying of children.The list of rules also includes no going on the ice without skates on unless you’re in a stroller or a wheelchair. Helmets are strongly recommended but not mandatory except for those in strollers or wheelchairs.Public skating on the rink will begin at 9 a.m. on December 7, and run through Dec. 31. Skating is free but you have to reserve a 45-minute spot in advance.The rink is one of the final events of Canada’s 150th birthday celebration year which culminates on New Year’s Eve with fireworks on Parliament Hill.If you can’t skate on the rink, you can watch it from your couch on a webcam.http://canada150rink.com/about-the-rink/#hill-cam
WINNIPEG – Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont says he intends to fight the Progressive Conservative government’s cost-cutting agenda and push for public spending to stimulate the economy and reduce the deficit.The former political staffer and small business owner, armed with a new legislature seat and more clout for his party, also wants a review of taxes and believes people are sometimes willing to pay more if the money is well used.“There are all sorts of things we could do to make the tax system more fair to generate revenue,” Lamont said in an interview shortly before he was sworn in at the legislature Friday. “There’s a lot more to it than the PST (provincial sales tax).”He didn’t give any examples of what he called “smart taxes,” but said the main thing “is that they should be progressive … where everybody pays their fair share.“I don’t think that’s been happening for a long time.”Lamont, 49, was elected Liberal leader last fall. His byelection victory earlier this month in the St. Boniface constituency has given the Liberals a fourth legislature seat — enough for official party status and the extra funding that comes with it.It’s the first time the Liberals have had official status in the legislature since 1995 and they may find themselves getting some of the public and media attention the official Opposition New Democrats have had.One political analyst says if the Liberals can keep up the momentum — which will require them to raise more money and get a lot more volunteers and supporters provincewide — the opposition vote could be split in the next election in 2020.“It’s good for the Tories if they can split the left or centre-left vote,” said Royce Koop, head of political studies at the University of Manitoba.The Tories were elected in 2016 on a promise to rein in spending, end almost a decade of NDP deficits and reverse the NDP’s 2013 increase to the provincial sales tax.Lamont has a long-running blog in which he frequently criticizes spending cuts as a way to cut red ink. Some of his posts suggest the province’s financial woes have been caused by previous tax cuts, not by overspending.“Credit agencies said that because the government had a strong majority, it would be able to do what it needed to to address the deficit, including raising taxes,” one post reads.“This might seem unpalatable, but if shrinking the deficit because people are worried about debt is what people want, it should be on the table.”Lamont said it’s too early to say whether he will vote with the Tories if and when they introduce legislation to cut the sales tax — something the Tories have promised for the spring of 2020.He said the NDP’s sales tax increase of 2013 might not have angered the public so much had it not gone directly against the party’s campaign promise two years earlier.“If you’re actually making good use of people’s money, people are generally OK with paying taxes,” Lamont said Friday.“But you have to be straightforward with them.”
When Avengers: Endgame hits theatres today, it will mark the culmination of Marvel and Disney’s 11-year, 22-movie campaign aimed to utterly dominate the blockbuster box office industry. And it has been an incredibly successful campaign. But how did these types of movies (and yes, D.C. films count, too) come to so successfully dominate an entire industry, to the point that more than half of a given year’s top 10 box office earners are now superhero films? And will the general public ever get tired of them?Norm Wilner has been watching and writing about movies since superhero flicks were rare and generally bad. What changed? How does the superhero formula manipulate an audience into watching similar movies 4-6 times per year? If the latest and greatest is terrible, would it change anything? Oh and, since he’s seen it in advance, is Endgame any good, anyway?GUEST: Norm Wilner, NOW magazine, Someone Else’s Movie (You can read Norm’s review of Avengers: Endgame here.)Audio Playerhttp://media.blubrry.com/thebigstory/s/radio.pmd.rogersdigitalmedia.com/podcasts/thebigstory/tbs_04262019.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on iTunes or Google Play.You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.
CALGARY — A man convicted of killing a Calgary mother and her young daughter will have to wait 50 years before he has a chance at parole.A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year of first-degree murder in the 2016 deaths of Sara Baillie, who was 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman.The convictions carry an automatic life sentence, and Justice Beth Hughes has decided Downey must wait 50 years before he can ask the parole board for release.The Crown had sought 50 years before parole ineligibility, arguing the brutal and deliberate nature of the murders were aggravating factors.But Downey’s lawyer called that a death sentence, since his 49-year-old client would be in his mid-90s before having a chance at freedom.Downey has never admitted killing the mother and daughter, but at his sentencing hearing, he apologized to their family and friends.The trial heard Downey believed Baillie had influenced her best friend to break up with him and he blamed her for the friend refusing to work for him as an escort.The Crown argued Baillie’s daughter was a witness who needed silencing.The trial heard Baillie was found dead in a laundry hamper in her daughter’s closet with duct tape wrapped around her face, neck and wrists.Taliyah was missing. The girl’s remains were found in some bushes east of the city three days later.Both died by asphyxiation.The Canadian Press
HAMILTON — More Toronto Raptors players returned to Canada today, along with rapper Drake, after days of celebrating the team’s historic NBA championship win south of the border.The John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport tweeted Sunday afternoon that some players had touched down aboard Drake’s private Cargojet plane.Most of the team arrived at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport the previous night after Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which owns the franchise, said the players would be extending their stay in the U.S.Players including Marc Gasol, Danny Green, Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam returned home, along with head coach Nick Nurse, who was greeted by dozens of fans at Pearson.A Raptors spokeswoman could not confirm Sunday if the entire team is now back in Canada, but said all the players are expected to attend a victory parade and rally in Toronto on Monday.The Raptors became the first franchise outside the U.S. to win the NBA title by beating the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday.The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press VICTORIA — A grieving Vancouver Island politician says her brother was the pilot of a charter float plane that crashed on a remote island on B.C.’s central coast, killing himself and three others.Saanich Coun. Nathalie Chambers says her older brother, Al McBain, was the pilot of the Seair Seaplanes Cessna 208 that had nine people aboard on Friday when it crashed on Addenbroke Island.Chambers says her brother was a lifelong adventurer who loved nature, could fix any engine and had flying in his blood.She says their late father Maj. John Harold McBain had been a pilot for the Comox 442 Rescue Squadron that was dispatched after the crash to investigate and rescue the five others who were injured. Through tears, Chambers says it was strangely fitting that the rescue squadron her father was once part of was sent to find her brother.Chambers says she doesn’t know why the crash occurred but has learned the weather in the area was extremely poor.
TORONTO — Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and her British counterpart say they’re both concerned about two Canadians detained in China.Freeland says Britain has taken a strong and public stand on what she called a difficult issue while U.K. Secretary of Foreign Affairs Dominic Raab says his country shares Canada’s concerns on the matter.Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig have been detained in China since last December.Freeland says Canada’s relationship with China continues to be challenging, and the cases of the two detained Canadians are a top priority.The detentions of Spavor and Kovrig are largely viewed as retaliation for the December arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver.Global Affairs said on Monday that consular officials met for the 10th time with Kovrig.The Canadian Press
A Midwinter’s Night Dream, an annual charity fundraiser held by Northport High School students that supports Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) research was recently held at Oheka Castle in Huntington, NY.The event raised more than $400,000 – which brings their all-time total to $3 million dollars in the nine years since the charity began.The event is unique in that it is run entirely by high school students, ranging in age from 15 to 17 years old. Each year they honor several Heroes for Hope that give support and inspiration to the students and the charity. Past honorees include Curtis Martin, Nick Swisher, Katie Couric, Christine Taylor, Curtis Granderson, Billy Baldwin, Curt Schilling, and Edie Falco. This year honorees were Vincent Piazza from Boardwalk Empire and Holland Reynolds.New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin delivered a personal message to Holland, who is known for her collapse near the finish line of the state championship cross country tournament in 2010, and her finish was in honor of her coach, Jim Tracy, who had been diagnosed with ALS. Coughlin used her story last season as inspiration for the Giants, who went on to win the 2012 Super Bowl.Boardwalk Empire’s Vincent Piazza said, “The word hero I don’t take lightly, when I think about what you do, and think about how proactive you are for something that is so dear to you…it’s easy to feel like a coward in your presence.”Students at the school became proactive in fighting ALS after a second teacher in their district was diagnosed with the disease. The students work year round on the charity, putting on multiple events to benefit ALS research. Last January, their beloved teacher, David Deutsch lost his battle with the disease.In 2006 they began an ALS Research Program, where the students participate in ALS research over the summer at the following labs: Jenifer Estess Stem Cell Lab, Jackson Labs, ALS TDI, Columbia University, ALS HOPE, Johns Hopkins and Stony Brook. AMND has also created and funded a variety of ALS-related initiatives including a patient services program for those diagnosed with ALS, and a Philanthropy Center that teaches grade school students about the importance of philanthropic work in their lives.Those in attendance also included: Students and faculty of the Northport High School, Adam Graves (New York Rangers), Jackie Martling (Comedian), Bobby Burke (Gossip Girl), Caroline Rhea (Comedian), Valerie Estess (Project ALS), Meredith Estess (Project ALS), Cecil Fielder (New York Yankees), and Greg Buttle (New York Jets).
A delegation from the Pacific Council on International Policy traveled to Myanmar last week for high level discussions with individuals central to the peace process in that country, including opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.The group – led by former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Mickey Kantor, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Robert H. Tuttle, and Pacific Council President and CEO Dr. Jerrold D. Green – also met with leaders in government, business, and the nonprofit sector.The delegation included Dr. Irwin Jacobs, co-founder of Qualcomm, Inc.; Mr. William H. Neukom , former CEO of the San Francisco Giants and current President and CEO of the World Justice Project; and Mr. Scott Olivet, former Chairman of Oakley, Inc. During visits to Yangon and Naypyidaw, delegates sought to understand the pace and extent of current reforms and the effect of existing international sanctions.“We are deeply interested in Myanmar’s path as it transitions toward democracy,” said Dr. Green. “The challenges ahead are enormous, and international partners can play an important role in supporting the delicate process.”President Barack Obama visited Myanmar in late November, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to do so, and delegation leaders called his trip a “significant good faith gesture.” Still, as violence continues in the northern state of Kachin, Suu Kyi cautioned delegates against overestimating the reforms initiated by Myanmar’s government thus far. The peace process will be gradual, she noted, and the country has a long way to go before the world should consider it a functioning democracy.During the week-long visit, delegates also met with U “Thura” Shwe Mann , the speaker of the lower house of Parliament, and with U Than Nyein, the Governor of Myanmar’s Central Bank. Ambassador Derek Mitchell, the first U.S. ambassador to the country since 1990, hosted the group for a discussion of recent changes in the U.S. government’s level of engagement with Myanmar.“The Pacific Council was pleased to be able to hear and share ideas with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Ambassador Mitchell, and others during our visit,” said Dr. Green. “We look forward to continuing our exchange and to serving as ongoing partners in this process.”The Pacific Council on International Policy, headquartered in Los Angeles, is the leading international affairs organization on the west coast of the United States. The Council is governed by a Board of Directors chaired by the Honorable Mickey Kantor and Ambassador Robert H. Tuttle. Dr. Jerrold D. Green serves as President and CEO.Source:PR Newswire
USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education today invited middle and high school students attending public, private or home schools in the U.S. and Canada to take up its IWitness Video Challenge.Steven Spielberg, who founded the Institute nearly 20 years ago following his work on Schindler’s List, made the announcement.The contest challenges secondary school students to act on the legacy of Schindler’s List and do something positive in their community that exemplifies the movie’s message that one person can make a difference. Students will be guided in their community service projects by the testimonies they watch in IWitness, the Institute’s free educational website. IWitness brings the human stories of its Visual History Archive to teachers and their students via engaging multimedia-learning activities.As part of the IWitness Video Challenge activity, students will be asked to create a one-to four-minute video essay with an easy-to-use video-editing tool on the IWitness website, allowing them to link their voices to those in the archive who inspired them to act.“It was my goal when I established the Shoah Foundation that future generations would learn from the incredible life stories preserved in the Visual History Archive,” said Spielberg. “I’ve seen how students connect with survivors through watching their testimony, and the impact it has on them. They experience a kind of learning that is profound and personal. And they take that with them into their lives.”The challenge was announced in conjunction with the Schindler’s List 20th Anniversary Limited Edition Blu-ray release. Universal Studios Home Entertainment, under the supervision of Steven Spielberg, meticulously restored the original 35mm film negative to create an unparalleled, high definition Blu-ray experience. Exposing the film to an entirely new generation, the Schindler’s List 20th Anniversary Limited Edition will be released on March 5, 2013 and include the USC Shoah Foundation Story with Steven Spielberg as well as the documentary “Voices from the List” featuring testimonies from Holocaust survivors.IWitness, which the American Association of School Librarians has named as a top website for teaching and learning, provides students with guided exploration to full-life histories and testimonies of nearly 1,300 survivors and other witnesses to the Holocaust and other genocides. Students watch testimonies and use them in individual or group multimedia projects; teachers can assign activities as classwork or homework, and can even custom-build their own lessons and activities. The testimonies are searchable by more than 9,000 keywords, enabling students to pinpoint exact moments of interest within each testimony. The built-in IWitness video editor gives students the ability to construct video essays, editing testimony clips together with footage from other sources as well as photos and maps, voiceover audio, music, and text.Stephen D. Smith , Executive Director of the USC Shoah Foundation, believes that IWitness will transform learning for students now and in the future. “By integrating testimony-based education with the development of media literacy, digital citizenship, and other 21st-century competencies, IWitness can help students understand the power of their words and actions and prepare them to be global citizens who add value to society.”Teachers interested in signing up their students in the IWitness Video Challenge must do so by June 30, 2013 and video essays must be submitted by October 31, 2013. USC Shoah Foundation will fly the IWitness Video Challenge winning student, a guardian/parent and teacher to Los Angeles in March 2014 to screen the video essay as part of the Institute’s 20th anniversary activities.For more information about the IWitness Video Challenge, visit iwitness.usc.edu.
Along a dirt track on an unexpectedly cool and windy night on Jordan’s border with Syria, as shadows lengthened across the barren hills, UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie listened to the stories of men women and children who had fled Syria just hours before.Angelina Jolie Visits Syrian Border With UNHCRCredit/Copyright: UNHCR/O.Laban-MattelShe heard stories of bombs and pain and loss from people fleeing Homs, Dara’a and Qusair, three of the communities devastated by the Syrian conflict. Ms. Jolie encouraged the refugees to tell her, and through her the world, of their ordeal. “We can’t know your pain,” Ms. Jolie said at one point, speaking to families who had lost their loved ones. But she listened.Ms. Jolie is in Jordan to mark World Refugee Day, which each year is commemorated on June 20. She and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, arrived in the country on 18 June. Mr Guterres started his visit to the region in Lebanon, where he met with refugees and government officials. In Jordan, he and Ms. Jolie will meet with the government and refugees living in Jordan’s cities, as well as in the sprawling Za’atri refugee camp.The purpose of her visit, said Ms. Jolie, is “to show support for Syria’s refugees, to call on the world to address their plight, and to better understand needs in Jordan and other countries in the region most directly affected by this devastating conflict.”At the Syrian border, Ms. Jolie heard stories of great courage and sadness. Mohammed Al-Kassem, his wife Walida and their young daughter Faten had just arrived after escaping from Qusair, the site of a bitter battle which left the town in rubble and unleashed a new wave of refugees into neighbouring countries. “In the battles and bombing, most of my friends died,” he said. “There is nothing left, all was destroyed, no buildings, no medicines. Ninety five men died because their wounds became infected and there was nothing to treat them with. I was the only one of my family to escape. Those who could not flee can only wait for death.”After meeting with refugees, Ms Jolie was briefed by Maj. General Hussein Al-Zyoud, the commander of the Jordan Border Security Forces, and his staff. As they talked, shelling just across the border in Syria could be clearly heard.The war in Syria forced more people to flee last year than any other conflict in the world. In the last six months the number has more than doubled to 1.6 million, of whom 540,000 are in Jordan.“The worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century is unfolding in the Middle East today,” said Ms. Jolie.She urged the world to do much more to help the people of Syria. “The international response to this crisis falls short of the vast scale of this human tragedy,” she said. “Much more humanitarian aid is needed, and above all, a political settlement to this conflict must be found.”Source:UNHCR
Today, evian Natural Spring Water announced a partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) and actress Lea Michele to launch evian’s “Faster Than” campaign, which promotes regular breast self-examinations, a key to early detection when combined with regular medical consultation.evian Natural Spring Water Partners With Lea MicheleThe campaign encourages women and men (yes, breast cancer can affect men, too) to perform and share news of the completed self-exam via their social media channels using the hashtag.The hashtag #FasterThan reinforces how a simple and quick process can ultimately help save your life. It also lets people have some fun and creatively addresses one of the key barriers to self-exams – thinking that it is too complicated and time consuming.“The fight against breast cancer is a cause that I deeply care about and a cause that I have long supported,” said Lea Michele. “When I heard that evian was partnering with the NBCF to launch this campaign, it was an initiative that I wanted to be part of as regular self-examinations are the key in making a positive change in a woman’s survival rate.”Three steps to participate in evian’s “Faster Than” campaign:Step 1: Perform a self-exam (visit www.evianfasterthan.com on how to best perform one) Step 2: Share the news that you completed your self-exam on social media and what it was #FasterThan using the hashtag (FasterThan) Step 3: Encourage your family and friends to perform a self-exam“evian has been a longtime supporter of the fight against breast cancer. This fight is personal for many of us directly or indirectly affecting our families and loved ones. We wanted to make sure we focus our efforts on something many of us often forget – self –exams being early detection is the next best thing to finding a cure,” said Olga Osminkina-Jones, VP of Marketing for evian. “Together with the National Breast Cancer Foundation and Lea Michele, we are confident that the #FasterThan campaign will encourage individuals of all ages and genders to perform regular breast self-exams.”To further support the campaign among young audiences, evian and Drai’s, one of Las Vegas’ hottest nightclubs, in collaboration will donate 5% of all ticket sales up to $25,000 generated during the month of October to the NBCF.For more information on early detection including tips from the National Breast Cancer Foundation on how to perform breast self-exam, visit www.evianfasterthan.com.Source:PR Newswire