first_imgMuhammad Ali has released a statement via the National Press Club regarding the incarceration of Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post Tehran Bureau Chief who was arrested at his home in Tehran by Iranian Security Forces on July 22, 2014.“I am sorry that I cannot be physically present to lend my support in person but I pray my words will provide relief to the efforts to secure the release of Jason Rezaian,” said Ali. “Insha’Allah. It is my great hope that the government and judiciary of Iran will end the prolonged detention of journalist Jason Rezaian and provide him with access to all his legal options. During his time as the Washington Post bureau chief in Tehran, Jason used his gift of writing and intimate knowledge of the country to share the stories of the people and culture of Iran to the world.“To my knowledge Jason is a man of peace and great faith, a man whose dedication and respect for the Iranian people is evident in his work.“I support his family, friends and colleagues in their efforts to obtain his release”Jason Rezaian, who has dual US and Iranian citizenship, has been held in prison since July 2014. No other western journalist has been held captive this long in Iran. Until recently Jason was denied access to medical care and to a lawyer. Charges against Jason have never been disclosed to him and have never been made public.National Press Club President John Hughes announced that Jason Rezaian of The Washington Post has been chosen as the 2015 recipient of the Club’s prestigious John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award.Hughes, in remarks to a Club news conference and live webcast audience, said, “We expect Jason will be free to collect this award’’ at an annual gala July 29. Hughes added, “Iran can set Jason free. We hope and believe the leaders will do the right thing. It is time — it is past time — for Jason to be released.’’Jason’s brother, Ali Rezaian, gave an update on the situation. He said: “My mother was allowed to visit Jason around Christmas time. She asked Jason if he had any message for me. Jason said, ‘Yes, tell Ali to get me out of here by my birthday.’ Jason’s birthday is March 15.”Ali said that no date has been set for Jason’s trial but he is hopeful that a trial is coming soon – possibly at the end of March. He said he is glad that his brother finally has a lawyer but does not know if he has had a chance to actually talk to the lawyer yet.Jason’s editor, Douglas Jehl, Post Foreign Editor, said Jason had done nothing wrong. Jehl said Jason was a professional, accredited journalist who understood and followed rules related to reporting in Iran. He said it was outrageous that Jason had been taken in the manner he was and called for him to be freed. Jehl recalled that Jason really enjoyed his work and filed some interesting stories about life in Iran including one about the pioneering efforts of a small group of Iranians to learn to play the game of baseball.last_img read more

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first_imgBid now on this opportunity to have lunch with Apple CEO Tim Cook on campus in Cupertino, California, and to be his guest at an Apple keynote event!Enjoy Lunch with Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple Headquarters in Cupertino, CA and 2 VIP Passes to an Apple KeynoteProceeds from this auction will go to Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. To realize his dream of a more just and peaceful world, Robert Kennedy’s family and friends founded a living memorial in 1968. Today, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is one of the foremost international human rights organizations.

Tim was recently ranked #1 on Fortune magazine’s 2015 list of the World’s Greatest Leaders, and in 2014 he was named Person of the Year by the Financial Times.As CEO, Tim has overseen the introduction of innovative new Apple products and services including iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, as well as Apple Pay and Apple Watch — the company’s most personal device yet. He is leading a companywide effort to use 100 percent renewable energy at all Apple facilities, has encouraged his co-workers to give to charitable organizations in their community and started a generous program at Apple to match employee donations.Before being named CEO in August 2011, Tim was Apple’s chief operating officer and was responsible for the company’s worldwide sales and operations. He earned an MBA from Duke University and holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Auburn University.The auction runs until May 6, and can be accessed here.Other opportunities going under the hammer for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights include the chance to meet Robert Downey Jr, a lunch date with Natalie Morales, lunch with Star Wars’ Mark Hamill, the chance to meet Stella McCartney, tea for two with Michael Caine, the chance to meet Ed Sheeran and much more. View all the auctions here.last_img read more

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first_imgThe housing shortage for Canada’s First Nations has long been a problem, which has been exacerbated by governmental cutbacks. But a new “One House, Many Nations” campaign aims to build year-round housing for families, and in particular to get one Inuit family out of a tent and into a newly-built house before the snow begins to fall.The plan is to build “trapper log cabins” – which include windows, a door and kitchen sink, solar panels, wood stove, box garden and composting toilet – at a cost of $15,000 per house. The campaign is looking for donations of materials and for volunteers to help with the actual building. A clever idea, on the campaign’s website people can also opt to pay for individual items, such as contributing $25 towards nails or a sheet of drywall, or $75 towards a wood stove.In the first week, donations worth a quarter of the cost of the first house have been received, including six $100 contributions towards solar panels, now a sold out item.Singer and song-writer Buffy Sainte-Marie is lending her name to the effort, and is donating autographed copies of her CDs to be raffled, including Power in the Blood, which won this year’s Polaris Music Prize (best Canadian album of the year).Go here to watch the campaign’s progress, or to make a donation. Winter is coming.Copyright ©2015Look to the Starslast_img read more

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first_imgThe 23rd annual Cinema Against AIDS gala raised more than $25 million last night in support of amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and its pursuit of a cure for HIV/AIDS.Katy Perry at amfAR Cinema Against AIDSCredit/Copyright: amfARThe star-studded black-tie event, held at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival, was presented by Harry Winston and Bold Films.Event Chairs in attendance included Kevin Spacey, Milla Jovovich, Adrien Brody, Heidi Klum, Carine Roitfeld, Harvey Weinstein, amfAR Global Fundraising Chairman Milutin Gatsby, Len Blavatnik, Michel Litvak, Vincent Roberti, and amfAR Chairman of the Board Kenneth Cole.Other guests in attendance, many of whom participated in the evening’s auction included Leonardo DiCaprio, Katy Perry, Dame Helen Mirren, Uma Thurman, Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, Vanessa Paradis, Faye Dunaway, Elle Fanning, Diego Luna, Mads Mikkelsen, Joel Edgerton, Juliette Binoche, Karlie Kloss, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Karolina Kurkova, Bella Hadid, Chris Tucker, Chloë Sevigny, Julian Lennon, Alessandra Ambrosio, Jourdan Dunn, Lewis Hamilton, Matt Bellamy, Adriana Lima, Irina Shayk, Nicolas Winding Refn, Nina Agdal, Elif Aksu, Mert Alas, Alina Baikova, Ana Beatriz Barros, Mischa Barton, Boris Becker, Dean Caten, Dan Caten, Eva Cavalli, Hailey Clauson, Anna Cleveland, Mina Cvetković, Heidi De la Rosa, Lily Donaldson, Isabeli Fontana, Georgia Fowler, Toni Garrn, Izabel Goulart, Luma Grothe, Jessica Hart, Eva Herzigova, Chanel Iman, Jacquelyn Jablonski, Xiao Wen Ju, Sonam Kapoor, Liya Kebede, Doutzen Kroes, Lara Leito, Maryna Linchuk, Angela Lindvall, Sasha Luss, Catrinel Marlon, Angela Martini, Stella Maxwell, Margot Moe, Mia Moretti, Petra Nemcova, Hanne Gaby Odiele, Barbara Palvin, Soo Joo Park, Marcus Piggott, Natasha Poly, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Vladimir Roitfeld, Olivier Rousteing, Remo Ruffini, Dragos Savulescu, Lucky Blue Smith, Lara Stone, Daria Strokous, Kasia Struss, Jasmine Tookes, and Dasha Zhukova, among others.Kevin Spacey hosted the evening in character throughout the night as Johnny Carson, Bill Clinton, Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, and his own Frank Underwood. During the auction, he donated an opportunity to spend the day with him in Washington, DC, which would include a tennis match, lunch, a personal tour of the city, and a walk-on role in the Netflix hit series “House of Cards.” The experience sold for $575,000.Academy Award-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio took the stage to give a heartfelt honor to amfAR Global Fundraising Chairman Milutin Gatsby for his unwavering support of amfAR and other philanthropic efforts. In his award acceptance, Mr. Gatsby encouraged everyone to give generously in support of finding a cure for AIDS.Another stunning feature of the evening was the Disco Collection fashion show curated by longtime amfAR supporter Carine Roitfeld. The dazzling collection featured one-of-a-kind looks from the world’s most celebrated fashion houses. Participating designers included Burberry, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Diane von Furstenberg, DSQUARED2, Elie Saab, Fendi, Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Marchesa, Prada, Roberto Cavalli, Stella McCartney, Tom Ford, Versace, and more. Thirty-two of the world’s top models participated in the runway presentation, including Alessandra Ambrosio, Jourdan Dunn, Lily Donaldson, Natasha Poly, Doutzen Kroes, Hailey Clauson, and Event Co-Chairs Karlie Kloss and Irina Shayk, among others. The Disco Collection was subsequently auctioned off in its entirety by Uma Thurman for $1.7 million.Guests enjoyed bidding on an array of exclusive items and experiences during the live auction, conducted by auctioneer Simon de Pury and event producer Andy Boose. The auction’s most unique piece was the world’s most complete TASCHEN private library housed in a structure designed by legendary French architect and designer Jean Prouvé. The unprecedented TASCHEN library and Jean Prouvé structure, assembled especially and uniquely for amfAR, comprised 444 TASCHEN masterpieces, including 60 titles from the coveted Collector’s Editions. After a lively round of bidding, the lot sold for $2.7 million.Leonardo DiCaprio graciously donated an opportunity for a party of twelve to spend a week at his Palm Springs home. Originally built for Dinah Shore, the neighboring houses were home to other stars such as Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant, Dean Martin, Liberace, Elvis Presley, and amfAR’s Founding International Chairman Elizabeth Taylor. The exclusive experience sold twice for a total of $500,000.Model Karolina Kurkova introduced an exquisite necklace, designed exclusively for amfAR and Cinema Against AIDS by Harry Winston. With 452 Marquise, pear-shaped, and round brilliant diamonds, along with sapphires and aquamarines surrounding a hand-carved rock crystal vial, the “Secret Cluster Perfume Bottle with Sapphires and Aquamarines” sold for $400,000.Event Chair and Academy Award-winning actor and artist Adrien Brody created the painting “Jumbo Dropfish” especially for amfAR which sold for over $500,000.The unforgettable evening culminated in an exuberant performance by global pop sensation Katy Perry, who performed some of her top hits, including “Roar,” “Teenage Dream,” “I Kissed a Girl,” “Dark Horse,” and “Firework,” which brought the entire crowd to its feet.The evening also featured extraordinary surprise performances by The Bluebell Girls from Le Lido Cabaret in Paris; Sister Sledge, who opened the night with a rip-roaring rendition of their 1979 hit “We Are Family;” and The Village People, who had the crowd dancing to their platinum dance song “Y.M.C.A.”Additional highlights from the auction included: • A contemporary dining pavilion, “VOLU,” designed by one of the most talented and celebrated architects of a generation, Zaha Hadid, sold for $1.3 million. • A unique, one-off Ferrari 458 completely customized in camouflage, owned and donated by Lapo Elkann, sold for $1.1 million. • Dame Helen Mirren and Adrien Brody introduced five priceless Andy Warhol Polaroid prints of 1970s icons and the evening’s muses for The Disco Collection fashion show – Jerry Hall, Bianca Jagger, Liza Minnelli, Diana Ross, and Diane von Furstenberg – which sold for $160,000. • An opportunity for a dozen people to spend a week on board the magnificent 70-meter Lürssen superyacht Martha Ann, introduced by Elle Fanning and Karl Glusman, sold for $575,000. • Melissa George and Joel Edgerton presented the exclusive Moët & Chandon MCIII Wine Cellar, the only one of its kind in the world, featuring 23 magnum bottles of MCIII wine housed in a specially handcrafted cellar, which sold for $100,000. • ’Ensō: Memento Mori Red,” a painting by acclaimed artist Takashi Murakami, known as “the Warhol of Japan,” sold for $450,000. • A work titled “Universal Mirror Balls” by acclaimed Swiss artist John Armleder, featuring five massive disco balls on display inside the event, sold for $170,000 to Event Chair Milla Jovovich. • “Wild Carved Panther,” a stunning sculpture by French artist Richard Orlinksi, sold for $400,000. • An eight-day sailing adventure through the exotic Indonesian archipelago on a luxurious 100-year-old teak and ironwood vessel, led by record-breaking explorer Johan Ernst Nilson, was introduced by Orlando Bloom and sold for $200,000.Cinema Against AIDS 23 was presented by Harry Winston and Bold Films. Moët Hennessy, Renault, and The Weinstein Company were the event’s Signature Sponsors.After the Cinema Against AIDS dinner, guests were invited to an exclusive After Party presented by Moncler.amfAR’s annual Cinema Against AIDS events have been important and successful fundraising events for the Foundation for over two decades, generating more than $170 million for amfAR’s life-saving research programs and keeping the fight against AIDS in the global media spotlight. amfAR continues to fund HIV/AIDS researchers worldwide, and works to translate their research into effective policy, prevention, and treatment education programs around the globe. Additionally, amfAR recently launched the Countdown to a Cure for AIDS, a $100 million research initiative aimed at developing the scientific basis of a cure by 2020. The cornerstone of the Countdown to a Cure is the amfAR Institute for HIV Cure Research, a collaborative enterprise recently established with a five-year grant to the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline Partner of amfAR. Moët Hennessy is the Official Wine and Spirits Partner of amfAR.amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS event is produced by Andy Boose/AAB Productions.last_img read more

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first_imgIn honor of International Women’s Day, the nominees for the first WOMEN’S CHOICE AWARD SHOW were announced yesterday, proving that the future is female!The Women’s Choice Award Show will honor fierce women who passionately advocate for the empowerment of girls and women.The Women’s Choice Award Show is an important opportunity to let the voices of girls and women be heard in a big way with a show dedicated to honoring and celebrating trailblazing women. The show will also serve to inspire girls to step into their power and pursue their dreams.“Now is the time to celebrate the power of ‘She’ and all that girls and women contribute to the human experience. We are so humbled to have an exceptional group of fierce female community activists, everyday Sheroes, powerful female storytellers and celebrities who use their platform for good, as part of the first Women’s Choice Award Show. We’re excited to honor the incredible accomplishments of boundary-breaking women and inspire girls to live up to their potential. We look forward to raising funds and awareness through the Women’s Choice Award Show to support our cause partner I Am That Girl, and all of the wonderful work they do to foster self confidence in young women,” said Delia Passi, CEO of Women’s Choice Award.Starting today, voting is open to determine winners in three categories, including the “Shero,” “Spotlight,” and “Voice of Women” awards. The Shero Award will be given to a passionate activist doing incredible work that benefits girls and women. The Voice of Women Award will be given to a leader who has helped shape the positive portrayal of girls and women in entertainment and media. The Spotlight Award will be given to a celebrity using her platform to shine a spotlight on issues affecting girls and women. Fans can vote by clicking [here. Voting ends on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST.The Shero, Spotlight and Voice of Women award winners will be announced live at the star-studded Women’s Choice Awards at the legendary Avalon Hollywood ballroom on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. The Women’s Choice Award Show will also present the Visionary Award to a fierce female humanitarian who has dedicated her life to the empowerment of girls and women.The Women’s Choice Award Show is proud to include the non-profit I Am That Girl as the cause partner for this very special event. I Am That Girl is shifting girl culture. They are raising the standards for how girls treat themselves, each other, and the world. By building a community for girls to be seen, be heard, and belong, I Am That Girl is giving them something bigger than themselves to stand for and creating a healthier, more powerful world.I Am That Girl Founder Alexis Jones will speak at the event and girls from the global I Am That Girl community will be on hand to present awards to Women’s Choice Award Show winners. Girls from local I Am That Girl chapters will enjoy an inspiring and empowering night as VIP guests at the celebration.Guests at the Women’s Choice Award Show will have the opportunity to make a donation to help send high school girls to I Am That Girl’s transformational Leadership Summit. Fans can support I Am That Girl by making a donation to the organization when voting on the WWW.WOMENSCHOICEAWARDSHOW.COM site.The Women’s Choice Award Show would like to invite everyone to click here and rock their vote for their favorite extraordinary women. Bios for all of the Women’s Choice Award Show nominees are available on the Women’s Choice Award Show website. Below includes the complete list of nominees. WOMEN’S CHOICE AWARDS SHOW 2017 Nominees:SHERO AWARD:Alicia Garza Brittany Packnett Carmen Perez
Dr. Knatokie Ford Dr. Yvonne Cagle Georgie Smith Miki Agrawal Reshma SaujaniSPOTLIGHT AWARD:Alyssa Milano Amy Purdy Deondra Brown Elizabeth Falkner Emma Watson Keke Palmer Maggie Q Meryl Davis Nura Afia Priyanka ChopraVOICE OF WOMEN AWARD:Ana Navarro Elaine Welteroth Jennie Urman Jennifer Pozner Julie Taymor Kara Holden Maria Menounos Tery Lopezlast_img read more

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first_imgIn honor of Earth Day on April 22, Colgate is proud to announce that one of the most decorated athletes of all-time, swimmer Michael Phelps, is joining the company’s water conservation awareness effort as global ambassador.As Colgate continues its ongoing partnership with The Nature Conservancy, a leading conservation organization to restore waterways in the U.S. and educate people about the importance of water, Michael Phelps will help raise awareness for the ‘Save Water’ program and inspire the next generation to take action.Colgate is found in more than two-thirds of households around the world, more than any other brand, according to Kantar research, and nearly all Colgate products require consumer water use. By leaving the faucet on, the average American can waste up to four gallons of potable drinking water while brushing his or her teeth for two minutes. Together with Michael Phelps and The Nature Conservancy, Colgate’s 2017 mission is to reach 100 million people and inspire 10 million children to turn off the faucet while brushing, because every drop counts. If embraced broadly, this simple habit can be a powerful act of water and energy conservation.“Water is the earth’s most precious resource, but without realizing it we often take it for granted,” Phelps said. “I’m committed to joining Colgate’s efforts to save water and encouraging the next generation to turn off the faucet. Our son Boomer turns one next month, so he isn’t brushing on his own quite yet, but we’ll teach him to as soon as he does!”As someone world-renowned for his connection to water, Phelps is proud to join Colgate as the global ambassador in this water conservation awareness initiative, appropriately kicking off during Earth Month. This summer, Phelps will introduce three short-form documentaries that convey water issues in the U.S., and rally his and his family’s followers on social media to spread this important message that every drop counts. Colgate will also share this message with children, teachers and families through its award-winning Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures oral health education program.“Colgate is committed to making every drop of water count,” said Lori Michelin, vice president of sustainability & EHS at Colgate-Palmolive. “We work consistently to reduce our water-use footprint and have avoided enough water consumption in manufacturing to fill nearly 20,000 competition-sized swimming pools since 2002. That said, 90 percent of Colgate’s current water-use footprint comes from consumer use of our products, so we’re asking everyone to help.”In addition to turning off the faucet while brushing, individuals can spread awareness using #EveryDropCounts on social media and by learning more here.last_img read more

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first_imgOn Friday, May 5th, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) advocate and Center Without Walls founder, Nancy Davis, welcomed guests to the Beverly Hilton for the 24th Annual Race To Erase MS Gala.Chicago Performs At 24th Annual Race To Erase MS GalaThe event raised $1.6 million to benefit the Race to Erase MS and its Center Without Walls program, a collaboration of top MS research centers working together as a team on ground-breaking research with the goal of treating and, ultimately, finding a cure for MS.Paris Hilton Attends 24th Annual Race To Erase MS GalaGuests at this year’s event included host Nancy Davis, honoree Jamie-Lynn Sigler, musical performers Chicago and Siedah Garrett, musical director David Foster, and special presenters for the evening Lance Bass, Kathy Griffin, Randy Jackson, and Quincy Jones. Additional guests included Byron Allen, Lindsay Arnold, Phillip Bloch, Trevis Brendmoe, Wendy Burch, Sharna Burgess, Francesca Capaldi, Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Adrian Bellani, Christian Collins, Crawford Collins, Kirsten Collins, Barbara Davis, Brandon Davis, Jason Davis, Christine Devine, Heather and Terry Dubrow, Haylie Duff, Carmen Electra, David Faustino, Mayte Garcia, Teri Garr, Camille Grammer, Lizzy Greene, Max Greenfield, Amelia Hamlin, Delilah Hamlin, Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna, Marg Helgenberger, Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson, Elizabeth Hilfiger, Tommy Hilfiger and Dee Ocleppo, Kathy and Rick Hilton, Paris Hilton and Chris Zylka, Jessica Holmes, Shawn Hook, Inas X, Skai Jackson, Kris Jenner, Jenna Johnson, Cobi Jones, Olivia Rose Keegan, Jessica Lowndes, Camilla Luddington, Diana Madison, Adrienne Maloof, Maureen McCormick, Steven McQueen, Aly Michalka, Heather Morris, Keo Motsepe, Megan Nicole, David Osmond, Naya Rivera, Shaun Robinson, Olivia Sanabia, Gleb Savchenko, Terri Seymour, Johnathon Schaech, Skylar Stecker, Wesley Stromberg, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Jessica Szohr and Scotty McKnight, Lea Thompson, Bruno Tonioli, Pia Toscano, Anna Trebunskaya, Nick Viall and Vanessa Grimaldi, Sammy Wilkinson, Dave Winfield, Ian Ziering, and many more.Kathy Griffin took to the stage to kick off the evening’s festivities, introducing host and organization founder Nancy Davis. Nancy Davis then welcomed guests to the 24th edition of the star-studded gala, and talked about an exciting new development in the MS community, the FDA approval of the newest treatment option for MS called OCREVUS. She spoke about the incredible impact of this drug, and the potential it has to improve the lives of those suffering from multiple sclerosis. She also explained that, through events like this one, Race to Erase MS is able to help fund research that can lead to these kinds of developments. Davis thanked guests for their continued support over the years, noting that none of this would be possible without the people in this room. She also thanked singer-songwriter Siedah Garrett for being there to debut her new single “Carry On,” proceeds from which benefit The Race to Erase MS. Davis then spoke about this year’s honoree, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, and the incredible impact she has had on the MS community by bravely sharing her diagnosis, and helping to bring awareness to the cause.Kris Jenner Attends 24th Annual Race To Erase MS GalaLance Bass stepped onstage to present his good friend Jamie-Lynn Sigler with the 2017 Medal of Hope Award. Before bringing Sigler onstage, Bass introduced a moving video montage that included sentiments recorded by friends including Lea Michele, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Emmanuelle Chriqui, and more. After watching the tribute video, Sigler gave an emotional and inspiring speech, touching on the struggles she has encountered while living with MS, and relaying her hope for the future.Quincy Jones introduced the first performer of the evening, singer-songwriter Siedah Garrett, who was there to debut her single “Carry On,” which she wrote after meeting Nancy Davis at Quincy Jones’ house, and being inspired to do what she could to help Davis’ cause. Garrett took a moment to share something that she had not made public yet, announcing that she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis five years ago. After bravely sharing her diagnosis with the crowd, she sang the hit song she co-wrote for Michael Jackson, “Man in the Mirror,” and for the first time ever debuted her single “Carry On” live with David Foster, Shawn Hook, Olivia Keegan, David Osmond, and Trevis Brendmoe.Randy Jackson introduced legendary rock band Chicago who brought down the house with a nine-song set that included hits “If You Leave Me Now,” “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” “Just You ‘n’ Me,” “Make Me Smile,” “You’re the Inspiration,” “Hard to Say I’m Sorry,” “Saturday in the Park,” “Feelin’ Stronger Every Day,” and “25 or 6 to 4.”In what has become a Race to Erase MS tradition over the past 24 years, an uplifting rendition of “Lean On Me,” was performed as the finale of the evening, led by Chicago and David Foster, who were joined on stage by Nancy Davis, Randy Jackson, Lance Bass, Trevis Brendmoe, Siedah Garrett, Shawn Hook, Olivia Keegan, David Osmond, Wesley Stromberg, and more.The 24th Annual Race to Erase MS Gala included a live auction, which was introduced by Randy Jackson. Lucky bidders walked away with items including a tropical trip for two to the Maldives with business-class flights and luxury accommodations included, a private interview experience with legendary television host Larry King, and a five-day vacation to the Bahamas aboard a private yacht. The big item of the night was a bespoke Aston Martin DB11 Coupe custom build by the brand’s Q by Aston Martin division, which went for an incredible $290,000.The Race to Erase MS Gala was generously sponsored by ALEX AND ANI Charity by Design, Aston Martin, The Beverly Hilton, and Associated Television International, with support from Evine, Mark’s Garden, Foley Family Wines, Svedka, Neo Water, and Bodvar House of Rosés.Race to Erase MS is dedicated to the treatment and ultimate cure for MS. Funding research is the core focus of the foundation and significant strides have been made to find the cause and cure of this debilitating disease. At the event’s inception 24 years ago, the absence of medications and therapies encouraged its involvement; the Race has been instrumental in funding many pilot studies that have contributed to drugs now on the market and other very important therapies that are improving the lives of people suffering from MS.All funds raised support the Center Without Walls program, a unique collaboration of the world’s leading MS research scientists currently representing Harvard, Yale, Cedars Sinai, University of Southern California, Oregon Health Science University, UC San Francisco and Johns Hopkins. This nationwide collaboration of physicians, scientists and clinicians are on the cutting-edge of innovative research and therapeutic approaches to treat MS. It is the hope of the Race to Erase MS that in addition to combating MS through research in a clinical environment, awareness will be created by educating the public about this mysterious disease.last_img read more

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first_imgClyde Wagner, Luminato’s executive producer, is leaving the arts festival to take charge of the three theatres owned by the City of Toronto – the Sony Centre, the St. Lawrence Centre and the Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts.I’d call it a rescue mission, because each of these three theatres has lost its way in recent years. Now, they need to be reinvented in order to help Toronto solidify its place as one of North America’s top theatre destinations – a reputation that also depends on the Mirvish organization with its four theatres, a lively fringe scene and two internationally renowned summer festivals (Stratford and Shaw) within easy reach of the city.Despite a spiffy renovation, the Sony Centre (formerly the O’Keefe Centre) has never quite recovered from the departure of the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet of Canada to the new Four Seasons Centre opera house a decade ago. In the same period, its neighbour, the St. Lawrence Centre, lost its mandate as the place where original Canadian plays could draw large audiences and achieve mainstream success, instead relying first on shows already certified as hits in London or New York, and later driving away long-time subscribers with obscure plays from Europe.Further north, the Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts has never recovered from the shock and damage inflicted when its former operator, Livent, crashed amid charges of fraud – which eventually landed Garth Drabinsky and his Livent partner Myron Gottlieb in jail. The largest of its four spaces, once the home of major Livent musicals, became a white elephant; eventually, it was reconfigured as two smaller spaces, entailing a loss of almost 1,000 seats.That’s why Toronto City Council decided the three theatres should be merged, under the name Civic Theatres Toronto (CTT). In 2015, veteran cultural activist Robert Foster and councillor Gary Crawford were appointed as a task force to deal with the future of the three theatres. Advertisement Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

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first_imgSmoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac-Megantic, Que., Saturday, July 6, 2013.(PHOTO: PAUL CHIASSON) LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Advertisement Facebook MONTREAL — Netflix is apologizing to the people of Lac-Megantic after actual footage of the 2013 rail disaster that devastated the town was used in dramas on the streaming service.The company says it had not been aware of the source of the footage used briefly in the hit movie “Bird Box” and the series “Travelers.” The images show the explosion that killed 47 people when an oil-laden train derailed in the middle of downtown.“We regret any pain caused to the Lac-Megantic community and have expressed this directly to Mayor Julie Morin,” the letter addressed to Quebec Culture Minister Nathalie Roy said. Dated Monday, it is signed by Corie Wright, Netflix Inc. director of public policy.center_img Advertisement The company says it will take steps to avoid use of images from Lac-Megantic or any similar stock footage in future productions. But it says that since use of stock footage is so widespread on Netflix, it cannot make changes to “finished content.”Roy wrote to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings last Friday asking that the footage be removed from the dramatic productions and used only in documentaries. She said it was unacceptable to use human tragedies for entertainment purposes.Netflix has refused to remove the footage from “Bird Box,”despite appeals from Roy and Morin. The producers of “Travelers” have said they are working replace the Lac-Megantic images in their show.In an emailed statement, Roy welcomed Netflix’s apology and its recognition of its mistake. “However, we find it regrettable that the company is maintaining its decision not to remove the images of this tragedy from the film ’Bird Box,’ when it has already accepted to do so for another of its series, which in our eyes is illogical,” she said.THE CANADIAN PRESS Login/Register With: Advertisementlast_img read more

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first_imgAPTN National NewsThe Northwest Territories is experiencing one of its worst forest fire seasons in decades.Right now, there are over 200 fires burning throughout the region and crews have been called in from across the country to help battle the blazes.APTN’s Cullen Crozier has an update on the situation.last_img

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first_img(Virginia Pictou Noyes in an undated photo. Courtesy of the family)Kathleen Martens APTN News There’s been a breakthrough in the case of a Virginia Pictou Noyes, a Mi’kmaq woman missing 24 years.The family of Pictou Noyes, originally of Membertou First Nation in Nova Scotia, say new information is pointing to suspects close to home.“I received a text message on Oct. 26,” said Virginia’s brother Francis Pictou. “The cold case unit is going to interview them.”The text message came from a relative alleging Virginia was murdered by two men known to the family.One of those men has since died, Francis said.“The cockroaches are running,” he said in a telephone interview from his home in Massachusetts.Pictou Noyes vanished April 1993 after leaving a hospital in Bangor, Maine.Her family says she was seeking first aid after allegedly being beaten by two men.The Mi’kmaq woman was born in Membertou but moved to Maine as an adult.Brother Robert Pictou, who lives in Terrace, B.C., said police arrested both men after the beating but released them on conditions.Then his sister disappeared.(The family of Virginia Pictou Noyes testifying at the national MMIWG inquiry in Membertou. Photo: Tom Fennario/APTN)The family says they heard little about the case until the text message arrived just before they testified at the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Membertou last month.Francis said the tipster claimed the men confessed to killing Virginia.“They burned her body in a car…she was 26 years old.”But that wasn’t the most shocking part.Francis said the family recently learned that police knew about the car fire in 2009 but didn’t tell them about it.“They’ve been keeping us in the dark in regards to my sister’s life,” he said.The family shared a letter with APTN News from the Maine State Police, confirming Virginia is listed in the missing person database. She is also the subject of an “open investigation,” the letter says.Robert said police were called to a dispute involving Virginia and two men at her home in Maine where Virginia declined to press charges.Then she changed her mind, he said, and gave a statement, so police arrested the men, and then released them.  And she went missing.“This happened the day before we were supposed to testify (at the inquiry),” Robert said of the news, adding he, Francis and sister Aggie Gould in Membertou were working to verify the information ever since.Robert said a family friend communicated with the tipster online but he has declined to say anything more.Francis says he has been in touch with the Maine attorney general’s office and been promised a full investigation.“This case is under the microscope now,” he said.last_img read more

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first_imgMONTREAL – A Quebec man who was allegedly served sparkling wine instead of champagne on a flight is seeking permission to launch a class action against the airline, his lawyer said Thursday.Court documents claim Daniel Macduff, a retired civil servant from the Quebec City area, booked a Sunwing Airlines flight to Cuba last November that advertised a “champagne service.”But instead of a glass of high-quality bubbly from France’s famous Champagne region, Macduff was served a cheap sparkling wine, his lawyer said.“He was served, in a plastic cup, an ounce or an ounce and a half of sparkling wine that was not champagne, and on his flight back there was nothing at all,” said Sebastien Paquette, who is spearheading the class action request.“He felt as if he’d been tricked.”If authorized, the suit would seek compensation for the price difference between the drinks as well as punitive damages against the company for alleged false and misleading advertising practices.In a statement, Sunwing dismissed the legal action as “frivolous and without merit,” saying the word champagne was used in its marketing to refer to the quality of the service rather than a specific drink.“The terms ‘champagne vacations’ and ‘champagne service’ were used to denote a level of service in reference to the entire hospitality package from the flight through to the destination experience and are not a reference to beverages served inflight or in-destination,” the statement read.The company also said that whenever it detailed its services, it always specified these included “a complimentary welcome glass of sparkling wine.”Sunwing’s website appears to have removed the references to champagne.A judge is expected to decide in March 2018 whether to authorize the class action.Paquette said the suit is less about the differing cost of the beverages and more about the need to fight Sunwing’s advertising practices.He said the company’s marketing — which included pictures of bubbly-filled long-stemmed glasses — crossed a line into false advertising.“It’s their marketing practice, of using the word ‘champagne’ next to pictures of flutes, that’s what we’re looking to punish,” he said.“Imagine Sunwing wrote ‘sparkling wine vacation’ instead,” he added. “Doesn’t quite have the same pull, does it?”The suit would be filed on behalf of any Quebec resident who bought a Sunwing package that included the word “champagne” in its marketing since February 2014.Paquette believes more than 500,000 consumers could be involved.last_img read more

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first_imgHAMILTON – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he has an array of measures, including tariffs, to prevent the world’s producers of cheap steel from using Canada as a back door to slip the metal into the United States.Speaking in Hamilton on Tuesday, just days after U.S. President Donald Trump decided against import tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel, Trudeau said tougher border controls have been put in place to ensure proper monitoring of incoming products.“We have a whole suite of tariffs and countervailing duties that are at our disposal to move forward and ensure that we are not accepting in unfairly-produced or sold steel into Canada,” Trudeau said while at a steel plant.“As I said to the congressional leadership, as I said to the president last week: We are always happy to better co-ordinate and to work together to do even more to ensure that we are protecting the North American steel industry.”Trudeau said the surplus of steel in the global market is not new and with American tariffs in place, some countries might try to ship to the U.S. through Canada.However, he said, Canada would be alert to that and work with industry partners and the Americans to make sure that didn’t happen.Trudeau said the national security argument the U.S. has made when it comes to considering tariffs for Canadian steel and aluminum makes no sense — a refrain he’s hammered in recent weeks.He said he began talking about steel with Trump at the G7 summit in Sicily last year, when he was emphatic that Canada poses no national security threat to the U.S.“National security issues do not apply — could not apply to Canada — when we have our aluminum in their fighter jets, our steel that goes into their armoured vehicles,” Trudeau said. “We know that the collaboration on NORAD, the collaboration on national security issues narrow and broadly is something that is really important to both of our countries.”Asked whether he trusted the president, Trudeau said Trump has always kept his word to him and has been consistent in doing what he said he would do.Trudeau’s comments came during a tour of Canadian steel-producing towns, where he is showing support for workers in the industry. On Tuesday, he began his day by touring a Stelco plant in Hamilton, where he chatted with workers and stressed the importance of the industry.He asked after their families and how they had been coping with the possibility of U.S. tariffs that he had repeatedly said would have a devastating impact in Canada.Later, at a roundtable with industry leaders, he spoke again of the importance of steel to Hamilton, saying he was there to listen. Following the roundtable, Trudeau headed to a second plant, this time Dofasco, for another tour.“We’re going to ensure that Canadian steel is Canadian steel,” he said at Dofasco, where he also promised unspecified measures to better protect workers’ pensions where companies go under, downsize substantially, or are otherwise bought out.Trudeau also expressed optimism about reaching a good North American free-trade agreement that will benefit Canada as well as the U.S. and Mexico — despite Trump’s constant refrain that the current deal is a bad one.Trump recently exempted Canada and Mexico from tariffs on steel and aluminum, although the U.S. government has been dropping hints that the exception is only temporary.Some observers saw the tariff threat as an attempt by the Trump administration to pressure Canada and Mexico to complete the NAFTA talks — giving in to other U.S. demands or giving up some of their ownlast_img read more

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first_imgCALGARY – Imperial Oil Ltd. is pledging to cut its oilsands greenhouse gas emissions per barrel by 10 per cent over the next five years as it ramps up production and works to get in line with increasingly stringent environmental regulation.CEO Rich Kruger says the company will achieve the improvement compared with 2016 by employing new technologies at its legacy Cold Lake oilsands wells, by reaching the full 220,000-barrels-per-day capacity of its Kearl oilsands mining project and through other incremental efficiencies.He says further improvements could come if its proposed 75,000-bpd, $2.4-billion Aspen oilsands project gets regulatory approval, expected by year-end, and is sanctioned by the company for construction.Following a media tour of the company’s research centre in southeast Calgary, Kruger says Imperial will use solvents to reduce by as much as 25 per cent the amount of steam needed to make heavy sticky bitumen flow from horizontal wells at Aspen.The Alberta Energy Regulator is considering holding a public hearing on the project after inviting interveners to register, possibly extending an application process that began in 2013.At Cold Lake, Imperial is proposing to expand the use of its cyclic solvent process to almost eliminate the use of steam and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90 per cent in parts of the oilfield.“In a world that prices carbon, and has escalating prices for carbon in the future, actions like this will indeed make us more competitive,” Kruger said.He said the goals are good for business but acknowledged they will also help Imperial adjust to proposed federal clean fuel standards designed to achieve reductions in GHG emissions by 2030.Companies in this story: (TSX:IMO)last_img read more

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first_imgPARIS — French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is holding crisis talks with representatives of major political parties in the wake of violent anti-government protests that have rocked Paris.More than 100 people were injured in the French capital and 412 have been arrested over the weekend during France’s worst urban riot in years, with dozens of cars torched.President Emmanuel Macron held an emergency meeting on security with Philippe on Sunday and the government hasn’t ruled out the possibility of imposing a state of emergency.It was the third straight weekend of clashes in Paris. The protests began last month with motorists upset over a fuel tax hike and have grown to encompass a range of complaints that Macron’s government doesn’t care about the problems of ordinary people.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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first_imgWASHINGTON — A government report says the nation’s health care tab hit $3.5 trillion last year, or $10,739 per person. But behind those staggering figures is some fairly good news:The rate of growth slowed for the second year in a row, economic experts at the federal Health and Human Services department reported Thursday.Health care spending increased by 3.9 per cent in 2017, following a 4.8 per cent increase in 2016.Private insurance spending grew more slowly in 2017, and so did Medicaid, while Medicare costs grew at about the same rate. The overall economy grew faster than health spending.If moderate growth can be maintained, that would make the U.S. health care system more manageable for families, employers and government.Coverage expansion and drug costs had earlier led to bigger spending increases.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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first_imgBERLIN — The European Union’s top court has ruled that the European Central Bank’s government bond-buying stimulus program is in line with EU law and doesn’t exceed the bank’s mandate.The ECB launched the purchases in March 2015. It’s on course to wrap up its 2.5 trillion euro ($2.85 trillion) stimulus at the end of the year.Germany’s Federal constitutional Court asked the European Court of Justice about the program’s validity under EU law as it considers complaints against the bond purchases.The Luxembourg-based EU court said Tuesday that the program “does not exceed the ECB’s mandate.”It said “the program falls within the area of monetary policy, in respect of which the EU has exclusive competence for the member states whose currency is the euro, and observes the principle of proportionality.”The Associated Presslast_img read more

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first_imgCollege-bound high school seniors of America: You are about to embark on one of the most formative periods of your life, full of new friendships, personal growth and overcaffeinated conversations on the nature of humanity.Keep “ruinous student debt” off the list.At this point, while you’re working on applications and deciding which schools most excite you, you may be hearing that college debt is “good debt.” That an education is priceless, and if you’re going to borrow money for anything, it should be to expand your mind and career options.That’s only partially true.It’s OK to borrow some money for school. But a college education does come with a cost — one that becomes very real after graduation if student loan payments affect where you live and work, and how much you can save for the future.Years from now, college should live as a memory of late-night library runs and lightbulb moments in class, not as a financial decision you regret. Here’s how to make that happen.ESTIMATE YOUR COLLEGE COSTSThe Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, opened on Oct. 1, 2018, for the 2019-20 school year. The form gives you access to free federal aid such as Pell Grants, plus low-interest federal student loans. Fill it out as soon as possible if you haven’t already; some aid, such as federal work-study, is first come, first served.The FAFSA will give you an Expected Family Contribution, the amount of money the government calculates your family can provide for college. Use the net price calculator for each school you’re interested in to see how much you’ll likely pay per year based on your family’s income. These two numbers should give you a picture of the schools that will require massive yearly student loan borrowing, and those that are more affordable.It isn’t easy to let go of your vision of college if your dream school is too expensive. Yes, you can always appeal for more financial aid, and living at home or applying for outside scholarships can help offset costs. But your likely student loan burden should be one of the top factors you consider when figuring out where to apply and where to go.FOCUS ON YOUR FUTURE STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTHere’s how to decide whether a school is truly affordable: Your student loan payment after graduation should be no more than 10 per cent of your monthly take-home pay. That’s true for both parents and students.Use a student loan affordability calculator to find your maximum loan payment. As a student, you’ll need to know your expected first-year salary, which you can find in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook . No idea what you’ll do after school? Use $50,000 as an upper bound; that’s the median annual salary for 25- to 34-year olds with bachelor’s degrees, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. But depending on where you live, $30,000 or $40,000 could be more realistic, especially for your first year out of school.CHOOSE THE RIGHT LOANSKeep an eye on the type of loans you opt for, too. Choose federal loans first, and take out the maximum amount of subsidized and unsubsidized federal direct loans that you can as a student.Parent PLUS loans have higher interest rates and fees than federal student loans, and they have higher borrowing limits. Parents who work for nonprofits could get PLUS loans forgiven through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, as long as they go through the process of making those loans eligible.But in general, it’s troublingly easy for parents to borrow too much in PLUS loans. Also, PLUS loans require a credit check, so if a parent can’t qualify, a student may be able to get more unsubsidized federal loans.Parents should keep their borrowing well below the 10 per cent threshold referenced above, and potentially look into private loans, if they can get lower interest rates than PLUS loans offer. Many private loans also offer the option to remove the parent as the co-signer later on, leaving the student with the responsibility for payoff.More than half of student loan borrowers in 2017 said their education wasn’t worth the debt they took on, according to a NerdWallet survey. You don’t have to be one of them._________________________________________________________________This column was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Brianna McGurran is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: bmcgurran@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @briannamcscribe.RELATED LINKSNerdWallet: Is college worth it?Is College Worth It? Here’s How to Do the MathU.S. Department of Education: Net Price Calculator Centerhttps://collegecost.ed.gov/netpricecenter.aspxBureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbookhttps://www.bls.gov/ooh/Brianna McGurran, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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