Beijing: An Australian academic has been arrested in China for spying, Beijing said Tuesday, prompting Canberra to demand the country upholds “basic standards” of justice. Yang Jun, who also goes by his pen name Yang Hengjun, was detained in January shortly after making a rare return to China from the United States. Beijing said he was formally arrested last Friday and that the case was being “further processed.” Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said earlier on Tuesday that she was “very concerned” that Yang — a former official turned author — had been arrested on “suspicion of espionage”. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”We expect that basic standards of justice and procedural fairness are met,” she added. After months without access to his lawyer or family, Yang now faces trial on charges that could bring a lengthy prison sentence. China’s near-silence about Yang’s fate has been a point of friction in relations with Australia that have markedly deteriorated in recent months. In a sharply worded statement, Payne said she had raised the case five times with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, in person and via letters. “Dr Yang has been held in Beijing in harsh conditions without charge for more than seven months,” Payne said, referencing international rules prohibiting torture.
New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday liberalised Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) rules in four sectors, including single-brand retail trade and digital media, to boost investment in the private sector.Union Commerce minister Piyush Goyal said the Union Cabinet, at its meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has decided to allow 100 percent FDI under the automatic route for coal mining and contract manufacturing, eased sourcing norms for single-brand retailers and approved 26 per cent overseas investment in digital media as it looked to boost economic growth from a five-year low. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsAn official statement said the decision has been taken to in order to provide clarity on contract manufacturing in the country. “Subject to the provisions of the FDI policy, foreign investment in ‘manufacturing’ sector is under automatic route. Manufacturing activities may be conducted either by the investee entity or through contract manufacturing in India under a legally tenable contract, whether on ‘Principal to Principal’ or ‘Principal to Agent’ basis,” the Commerce minister’s statement said. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayThe Narendra Modi Cabinet also eased the 30 per cent local sourcing norm in Single-Brand Retail (SBRT) where domestic procurement for exported goods will now qualify for inclusion under the 30 per cent sourcing rules. “With a view to provide greater flexibility and ease of operations to SBRT entities, it has been decided that all procurements made from India by the SBRT entity for that single brand shall be counted towards local sourcing, irrespective of whether the goods procured are sold in India or exported,” Goyal said after the meeting. “Further, the current cap of considering exports for 5 years only is proposed to be removed, to give an impetus to exports,” he added. The extant FDI policy provides that 30 per cent of the value of goods have to be procured from India if the SBRT entity has more than 51 per cent FDI. Besides, the local sourcing requirement can be met as an average during the first five years, and, thereafter, annually. In a significant boost for the fast-growing digital media space, the Cabinet approved 26 per cent FDI in digital media with government approval. Currently, 49 per cent FDI is provided under the approval route in news channels and the government has now decided to expand the span of FDI to the digital media space. “The extant FDI policy provides for 49 per cent FDI under approval route in up-linking of ‘News & Current Affairs’ TV channels. It has been decided to permit 26 per cent FDI under government route for uploading or streaming of news and current affairs through digital media, on the lines of print media,” an official statement said.
NEW DELHI: The central government “should conduct NRC in parliament”, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said today soon after the final Assam citizens’ list was released, which excluded over 19 lakh people. Addressing the reporters after the senior Congress leaders met this morning at 10 Janpath in Delhi where the NRC list was discussed, Mr Chowdhury said that the government has failed to handle the issue in Assam. “The country belongs to them. They should conduct NRC wherever they wish to. They were not able to handle Assam NRC, they may go to other states also. They should conduct NRC in parliament also. I am also an outsider as my father lived in Bangladesh,” said Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who is also the leader of Congress in Lok Sabha. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details The Congress meeting was attended by interim party chief Sonia Gandhi, senior Congress leaders like AK Antony, Gaurav Gogoi, among other senior party leaders. “No genuine citizen should be ousted in any condition and all the genuine citizens must be provided protection,” he said. Earlier today, countering the critics, BJP MP Manoj Tiwari said the NRC is needed in Delhi as the illegal immigrants who have settled here are dangerous. With polls around the corner, Mr Tiwari said that having NRC-like exercise in Delhi will be part of party’s election manifesto as well. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday The final list of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam was published on Saturday, excluding over 19 lakh people. Whereas over three crore people have been found eligible for the inclusion in the final NRC, Prateek Hajela, the State Coordinator of the NRC, said in an official statement. The exercise is aimed at identifying legal residents and weed out illegal immigrants from the state The first list of NRC was first published in Assam in 1951. When the draft NRC was published on July 30, 2018, there was a huge controversy over the exclusion of 40.7 lakh people from it.(Input from NDTV.com)
OTTAWA – An Algonquin elder described Monday how shocked she was to learn — almost by accident — that a routine nursing-home visit with her ailing father would be their last.Annie Smith St-Georges told a national conference on dementia how her father’s worsening condition resulted in him being moved from the First Nations reserve he called home in Maniwaki, Que., to a nearby long-term care facility.She visited him every two weeks, making the trek either by bus or with her husband, she said. And yet nobody called to inform the family that he was dying — something she only learned when she laid eyes on him during that last visit in 2003.Smith St-Georges described finding her father, eyes thick and glossy, with a morphine patch on his chest.“I walked into the room and he had a big patch on him. And nobody notified us … to spend that quality last moment with him. I grabbed a nurse and I said, ‘What’s this?’…’Oh, he’s dying,’ and she took off. I said, ‘Who ordered this?’ Nobody told us,” she recalled.“When somebody leaves, it’s big — it’s huge, and it’s a big goodbye. They will never come back again to say hi to you. So I rocked him to sleep. I had that moment, at least.”Smith St-Georges told her story to about 200 health care professionals, caregivers, researchers and people with dementia at Monday’s conference in Ottawa, hosted by Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor.Her father, who was 89 when he died, had lived on a reserve for his entire life, but the moment he was transferred from a hospital to a nursing home off-reserve, he lost access to services, she said in an interview.“Her dad was not able to get any services from the reserve off-reserve. Even though he spent all his life teaching [traditions and language],” added her husband, Andre-Robert.She described how, emaciated, he suffered from bed sores, but had no way of acquiring a softer mattress because he was no longer living on the reserve.The federal government needs to do more for Indigenous people who lose access to services, said Smith St-Georges, who wonders how many other First Nations people have had the same experience. And families with loved ones with dementia need help to ensure they aren’t moved too far away, she added.“I still feel hurt about it and this is very emotional for me,” she said. “How guilty I felt and how bad I felt of how he was treated in the last moments of his life. He did not believe in that.“This is where I would like to see improvement of our people being served in a proper way.”Petitpas Taylor invited Smith St-Georges to join her new advisory board on dementia, a measure aimed at developing a national strategy for the condition.The board will be co-chaired by Dr. William E. Reichman of the Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation and Pauline Tardif, the CEO of the Alzheimer Society of Canada.“When we look at Indigenous services we certainly need to make sure Indigenous communities receive the services they need,” Petitpas Taylor said in response to a question about Smith St-Georges’ experience at the nursing home.“We heard from a variety of speakers who talked about inconsistencies of services available in our country and those are the types of things we need to address,” she said.Petitpas Taylor said she hopes the advisory board will report back next spring.
WINNIPEG – A Manitoba indigenous leader plans to walk 120 kilometres next month in a decidedly different commemoration of Canada’s 150th birthday.Derek Nepinak, grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, said his Walk to Remember is to celebrate the resilience of indigenous people in the face of what has happened to them since Confederation.“We don’t have a lot to celebrate when it comes to 150 years of assimilation and genocide and marginalization,” Nepinak said.“We have more to reflect upon the resilience of our families, the strength of our communities and nations of indigenous people in light of this.”Nepinak plans to walk from the site of a former residential school that his mother attended in Dauphin, Man., to his home community — Pine Creek First Nation — where another residential school once stood.Nepinak’s decision follows deliberations at a recent assembly conference at which elders declared they would not be celebrating Canada 150.The walk was also inspired by the death of Chanie Wenjack, recently brought to broad public attention by Gord Downie, lead singer of The Tragically Hip. Wenjack died from exposure and hunger at the age of 12 in 1966 after he escaped from a residential school in northern Ontario and tried to walk 600 kilometres home.The renewed interest in Wenjack’s story is part of a growing awareness of residential schools, but many non-indigenous Canadians still don’t realize the extent of the damage caused by the schools, child welfare apprehensions and other government policies in Canadian history, Nepinak said.“There’s still a long way to go, but there’s also been a tremendous amount of progress that’s been made.”He said he has noticed, for example, more non-indigenous people taking part in ceremonies and walks, and noted the wide interest in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.Along with a number of supporters, Nepinak plans to cover the 120-kilometre distance over four days starting June 16.“We feel that this is going to be a healing process for many of us.”
SAINT-JEROME, Que. – A Quebec judge will hand down verdicts today in the case of a former national ski coach accused of sexual assault and breach of trust involving some of his students.Bertrand Charest was tried this year on 57 charges involving 12 alleged victims who were between the ages of 12 and 19.They all took the stand during a trial before Quebec court Judge Sylvain Lepine in Saint-Jerome, north of Montreal.The charges against the 52-year-old are in connection with alleged crimes from the 1990s in Quebec and other locations such as Whistler, B.C., New Zealand and the United States.The alleged offences occurred both before and during Charest’s stint with Alpine Canada’s women’s development team between 1996 and 1998.Charest, who has been in custody since his arrest in March 2015, did not testify at the trial.Several of the alleged victims testified they had sexual relationships with Charest, with many saying he was controlling and manipulative toward the athletes whose careers he managed.Some of them said they felt they were in love with Charest at the time but eventually came to believe they had been manipulated.Charest, who has been in custody since his arrest in March 2015, did not testify at the trial.But one of his lawyers told reporters at the end of the proceedings that, while Charest didn’t deny having had sex with some of the girls, the accused disagreed with his portrayal by the Crown and his alleged victims.“There were sexual relationships between Mr. Charest and certain of the (alleged) victims,” Antonio Cabral said in March.“What Mr. Charest wasn’t ready to admit was that this was a generalized behaviour and that it was generalized with 12 (alleged) victims as is reported in the charges.”Cabral said Charest believed the sex he had with the young skiers was consensual.
The golf-mad old man would descend the stairs as early as 4:30 a.m., anxious to seize every available moment of Alberta’s endless summer daylight.“Boys,” he would say, like a death row warden at dawn on execution day. “It’s time.”Only in the Rocky Mountains did Dad’s ungodly tee times invoke a sense of anything but dread. Not even the sore back and nauseating propane stench of sleeping in a truck bed camper could sully the thrill of waking up in a parking lot in Kananaskis Country.You could still wear metal spikes back in 1983 when Kananaskis Country Golf Course first opened — a lush, verdant pair of Robert Trent Jones Sr. emeralds guarded on all sides by towering peaks and lodgepole pines, laced with glacier-fed rivers and dotted with brilliant white silica bunkers.For the next three decades, K-Country’s Mount Lorette and Mount Kidd courses would garner their share of attention, to be sure. But living in the shadow of Banff and Jasper’s world-famous Stanley Thompson mountain masterpieces meant they never quite enjoyed the cachet they deserved.Then suddenly, in June 2013, the rivers took it all back: higher-than-usual snow pack and several days of sustained heavy rains sent record floodwaters cascading down from the mountains, tearing apart the courses and smearing the valley with rocks, trees and debris.For staff, the catastrophe marked the start of an arduous, emotional, will-they-or-won’t-they journey — one that would go on to prove just how special a place Kananaskis Country was.“I guess that’s the silver lining, almost, to the whole thing,” head pro Bob Paley said in an interview this week as the course offered a sneak peek at the progress to date.“You have an idea that something’s really special, but when you actually hear it — when you get a pat on the back or you get some nice things said about you, it really makes you feel good.“Certainly, that’s the feeling we got from all over the world.”Paley, golf architect Gary Browning and director of golf Darren Robinson were among those marking a major milestone Wednesday as they showed off the results to date of a years-long effort to restore the two layouts to their former glory.Lorette is fully grassed and needs only time to mature before full-time play begins in spring 2018. The Mount Kidd course is more than halfway finished and has yet to see sod, but there’s a chance — weather permitting — that it, too, could see play next year, said Paley.Four years ago, that seemed unthinkable.In the immediate aftermath of the flood, Kananaskis faced long odds indeed — longer still after 2015, when the New Democrats were elected in Alberta, ending the very 44-year Progressive Conservative dynasty that spawned the courses in the first place under former premier Peter Lougheed.In the end, despite much political rancour, the NDP — buttressed by a favourable report from the province’s auditor general — opted to let the $23-million rebuilding effort proceed. The government hopes to recoup much of the cost through Ottawa’s disaster assistance program.“With the NDP being elected, I didn’t think it was going to proceed, to be honest,” said Browning, whose Alberta-based design firm got the nod to take on what he described as a monumental restoration project.“I think a vast majority of Albertans were happy to see that that was the decision. As an Albertan, and a golfer, I desperately wanted to see that project come back, just because of the value it held for Albertans and the value it held for the province as a tourist destination.”Notwithstanding some modest routing changes, players familiar with the two courses will recognize the original vision of Jones, the late British-born patriarch of a golf architecture empire that includes sons Rees Jones and Robert Trent Jr.All three are known for stout, well-bunkered layouts that test every part of a player’s game. Browning has softened Kananaskis slightly by flattening and enlarging its heavily contoured putting surfaces, shrinking bunkers and making approach shots less intimidating.“It’s still a very strategic test, that’s for sure,” he said. “I’ve kept my philosophy intact throughout, but I tried very hard to impart Jones’s philosophy as well, which was, ‘Difficult par, but easy bogey.’ And I think we’ve maintained that.”Also back are those gorgeous bunkers and the blinding white silica sand that gave the course its distinctive look — and fuelled 30 years of rumours about its provenance.“It’s not helicoptered in from Saudi Arabia,” Paley chuckled. “Sorry to burst everybody’s bubble, but it comes from just down the street in Golden (B.C.).”For Paley, the best part of the journey has been hearing from the friends, families and fans of Kananaskis checking in on social media from across Alberta, Canada and the world to survey the damage, offer condolences and moral support, and keep track of the rebuild.Clearly, for multiple generations of golfers in Alberta, B.C. and elsewhere, Kananaskis Country is more than just a place to play — something Paley said he and his colleagues have known all along.“Call it naivete or whatever you want to say, but I think all of us here felt like this place was just too important and too special for so many different reasons — to Albertans and to Canadians,” he said.“There’s a lot of different things that could have happened, and certainly did, in those four years since the flood, but there was always a really strong sense — and a really strong belief — that these places were going to come back.”
Highlights from the news file for Friday, Oct. 13———MORNEAU TO ANNOUNCE CHANGES TO TAX PLAN: The Trudeau government is going to retool its controversial small business tax reform proposals. Finance Minister Bill Morneau will unveil changes Monday in hopes of quieting down some of the dissent, some of which comes from the government’s backbench. The government has said it doesn’t want to allow wealthy individuals to use incorporation as small businesses to dodge the taxman. But the result has been an angry backlash from doctors, lawyers, accountants, shop owners and farmers among others.———ONTARIO COURT GIVES SEARS APPROVAL TO LIQUIDATE: An Ontario judge has granted a motion from Sears to liquidate its remaining stores. Superior Court Justice Glenn Hainey was told Friday that no viable buyer has been found. The closure of the remaining stories will put 12,000 employees out of work. Liquidation could start as early as next Thursday.———FAMILY ON WAY HOME AFTER HELD HOSTAGE: A Canadian and his family who were freed this week after being held hostage in Afghanistan left Pakistan for Canada on Friday. Media reports say Joshua Boyle, his wife and their three children were headed for the United Kingdom and it wasn’t immediately clear when they would arrive in Canada. Pakistani commandos freed the family when their captors crossed the border into Pakistan.———POLICE SAY MAN ACCUSED IN LINDHOUT KIDNAPPING RECEIVED RANSOM MONEY: An undercover police officer has testified a man accused of being involved in the kidnapping of Amanda Lindhout received $10,000 in ransom money. The officer testified at the trial of Ali Omar Ader in Ottawa on Friday. The officer also testified how he posed as a businessman to gain Ader’s confidence and promised him a book-publishing contract in order to lure him to Canada.———TWO CANADIAN PERFORMERS LEVEL ALLEGATIONS AGAINST HARVEY WEINSTEIN: Two Canadian actresses have levelled accusations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who already faces mounting allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Erika Rosenbaum of Montreal alleged Weinstein made sexual advances 15 years ago while Mia Kirshner of Toronto wrote an opinion piece in the Globe and Mail alluding to “an ordeal” with Weinstein. More than 30 women have accused Weinstein of inappropriate conduct; however, Weinstein has denied allegations of non-consensual contact.———CANADIANS BOYCOTT TWITTER AMID WEINSTEIN ALLEGATIONS: Canadian writers, actors and women’s rights advocates joined an international boycott of Twitter on Friday over its handling of the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal. The backlash began after actor Rose McGowan — a vocal critic who has accused “HW” of raping her — was briefly suspended for tweeting a personal phone number.———PM CALLS FOR MEXICO TO PROMOTE WOMEN AND WORKER RIGHTS: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called on Mexican lawmakers to promote the rights of workers and women to curb isolationism that is creeping in around the world. Trudeau spoke to the Mexican Senate on Friday, capping a four-day trip that began in Washington, D.C., that focused on the ongoing renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement.———UBER STICKING IN QUEBEC FOR NOW: Ride-hailing service Uber said Friday it won’t pull the plug on its Quebec operations as planned this weekend. Uber said it hopes to reach a deal with the Quebec government to allow it to operate. Last month the province announced it would renew a pilot project for one more year, but added new provisions such as 35 hours of mandatory training that Uber found unacceptable.———FEDS RAMP UP PRESSURE IN CHURCHILL RAIL LINE DISPUTE: The federal government says if the owners of a rail line that serves the town of Churchill, Man., don’t make immediate repairs, they’ll end up in court. The government has given Omnitrax 30 days to make repairs to the broken line or it will face an $18.8-million lawsuit. The government contends Omnitrax has a legal obligation to repair and maintain the line, which is the only land connection to the northern Manitoba community.———TILLERSON EXPECTS ALLIES TO SUPPORT TRUMP MOVE ON IRAN: U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says he fully expects that American allies in Europe and the Middle East will be “very supportive” of President Donald Trump’s actions on Iran. Tillerson spoke after Trump accused Iran of violating the nuclear deal but stopped short of pulling out or reimposing sanctions. European countries that negotiated the 2015 deal with Iran and the U.S. had urged him not to do so and declared they were uninterested in renegotiating the deal. But Tillerson says it’s “in all of our interest” to work together to confront the threat posed by Iran. He says that Trump’s plan is “quite clear.”———
BRAMPTON, Ont. – An American doctor who says he doesn’t believe in brain death will not be allowed to serve as an expert witness in the case of a woman whose family is fighting to keep her on life support after a Toronto-area judge found he could not be impartial.“The very issue of this case is the determination of brain death,” which Dr. Paul Byrne opposes, Ontario Superior Court Justice Lucille Shaw said Friday.“In my view, Dr. Byrne is more of an advocate than an independent witness.”The finding has thrown a wrench in a legal challenge filed by Taquisha McKitty’s family, who had called on Byrne to testify that the 27-year-old woman should not have been declared brain dead last month.The family’s lawyer, Hugh Scher, has asked for the case to be adjourned for 30 days so they can retain a different expert, possibly another doctor from the U.S.Erica Baron, the lawyer representing the doctor who found McKitty to be brain dead, opposed the request, saying the family’s counsel had weeks to reach out to experts after concerns were first raised about Byrne’s eligibility.When someone is disqualified as an expert, it does not usually give lawyers the right to seek another expert, Shaw said. However, the judge acknowledged the “extraordinary circumstances” of the case and agreed to adjourn it to Nov. 6.Testifying on his qualifications earlier this week, Byrne told a Brampton, Ont., court he thinks brain death is a made up concept meant to facilitate the collection of organ donations.He also said on the stand that he would never pronounce someone dead solely because their brain has stopped functioning, even though he recognized that is a respected medical opinion and legal standard in the U.S.Baron pushed to have him disqualified on the grounds that he has “a demonstrated bias” against using neurological criteria to determine death.The science informing his opinions is highly contested and there is no evidence to support the treatments he is suggesting for McKitty, she said.“None of these proposed treatments are standard of care for brain-injured adults in Ontario,” much less those who have been declared brain dead, she said.Hugh Scher, who represents the McKitty family, had argued Byrne’s opinions stemmed from his own observations of McKitty, his reading of her medical chart and his overall experience as a doctor.The lawyer also noted Byrne has served as an expert witness in some cases in the U.S., which he said shows the courts there believe him to be qualified.McKitty was admitted to hospital in mid-September after overdosing on drugs and was declared brain dead days later after her condition worsened and she stopped breathing on her own, court has heard.Her family obtained an injunction to keep her on a respirator and conduct more medical tests while it challenges that decision. It now seeks to further extend the injunction.The family had filed a motion to have McKitty filmed for 72 hours to assess whether her movements were simply reflexes or something more, but Friday’s ruling has left it in limbo.The doctor who deemed McKitty to be brain dead testified Tuesday that the movements should not be interpreted as a sign of life.Dr. Omar Hayani also told the court that the tests requested by McKitty’s family are not the standard of care for patients like her and would have been “clinically not helpful” in assessing her state.Byrne, meanwhile, has said McKitty’s movements “indicate that Taquisha is alive and not a dead body.”
PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. – An independent investigation will be done into how the RCMP responded to a call that an Indigenous man had walked away from a care home in northern Saskatchewan.Police say the 59-year-old missing man was found dead along a rural road on Dec. 27 — the morning after he disappeared from the home outside Prince Albert.Local Mounties say in a release that foul play is not suspected, but an initial review determined that their response “may not have been sufficient.”The Saskatoon Police Service is to conduct the external review.The Saskatchewan RCMP has also requested that the Justice Ministry appoint an independent observer.An internal RCMP review is also underway.Mounties are not releasing the dead man’s name and say no further information will be released for now.
OTTAWA – Indigenous Services Canada has set up a new call centre to help First Nations children get services and supports under the child-first jurisdictional policy known as Jordan’s Principle.The centre will provide families with direct access to agents who will start the intake process and connect them to the Jordan’s Principle representative in their area.The regional representatives work closely with local service co-ordinators across Canada to identify and address the needs of First Nations children and improve their health and well-being.Jordan’s Principle is a child-first policy aimed at overcoming jurisdictional red tape that could delay or prevent Indigenous children from getting the services they need.It is named after Jordan River Anderson, a five-year-old boy from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba who died in hospital in 2005 while the federal and provincial governments bickered over who would pay for his home care.Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott says the establishment of the call centre will offer families quick access to needed services.“Our government has made significant strides in fully implementing Jordan’s Principle and this announcement today is another example of the work being done to achieve full equality for all First Nations children,” she said in a statement.The principle has been making headlines in recent months as Indigenous advocates pilloried the federal Liberal government for failing to take action despite repeated rulings by the quasi-judicial Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.Last November, the government withdrew a Federal Court challenge over the delivery of health-care services after reaching an agreement with the parties, which included the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and the Assembly of First Nations.In Friday’s announcement, the government described Jordan’s Principle as ensuring equity for First Nations children by responding to their needs wherever they live.It essentially says that when a government service is available to all other children, but a jurisdictional dispute regarding services to a First Nations child arises, the department of first contact pays for the service and can later seek reimbursement.The department says more than 33,000 requests for support and services have been approved under Jordan’s Principle since July 2016, with an approval rate of more than 99 per cent.
An Australian man has been charged after police allege he exploited a nine-year-old Canadian girl online.Police in Sydney, Australia, said they began investigating the man in November 2017 thanks to a tip from the RCMP.Police alleged the man had been communicating online with a woman in Canada and engaging in “sexually explicit conversations” about her nine-year-old daughter.They alleged the man requested photos of the girl and engaged in an “explicit video call” with her.Police said a 42-year-old man from a suburb of Sydney was arrested earlier this month.“Shortly after the arrest, a search warrant was executed at a nearby home unit, where investigators seized laptops, mobile phones, electronic storage devices, and an extendable baton,” police said in a statement.The man, who was not named by police, was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday on charges of “using a carriage service for child pornography, using a carriage service for sexual activity with a person under 16 years, and possess prohibited weapon.”Australian police did not say whether the girl’s mother was facing any charges in Canada, and RCMP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
HALIFAX – Dave Innes was a strapping 18-year-old gunner with the Canadian Airborne Regiment when he broke his back in five places.Training for a deployment to war-torn Bosnia in April 1990, the young paratrooper from North Bay, Ont., was travelling in a 2.5-tonne truck with about two dozen members of his artillery battery when the vehicle hit black ice, veered off a 10-metre cliff and flipped twice — end-over-end.“It was bad,” the 47-year-old veteran says. “They had told my family that I had a 50-50 chance … I’m lucky to be here, period.”In a ceremony on the Halifax waterfront on Wednesday, Innes was officially named as one of 40 athletes who will compete for Canada this fall at the 2018 Invictus Games in Sydney, Australia.The international event, slated for Oct. 20-27, is aimed at harnessing the power of sport to inspire the recovery and rehabilitation of physically and mentally injured military personnel and veterans.Innes, who now uses a wheelchair to get around, will be competing in his first Invictus Games. He will represent Canada in powerlifting, indoor rowing and the notoriously rough sport of wheelchair basketball.A bald man with a greying goatee, Innes exudes strength and determination. His neck, biceps and forearms are covered in colourful, intricate tattoos.And across the rippling muscles between his broad shoulders, a newly carved tattoo reads: “I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.”The words are from the Victorian poem “Invictus,” written in 1875 by William Ernest Henley.“I’ve been training hard,” he says, admitting that the training camp this week at Canadian Forces Base Halifax has been punishing, though rewarding.More than 600 veterans and serving military members from across Canada applied to compete in the Games. Those chosen for the team come from all walks of life and virtually every rank.“When we get together, there’s no division,” Innes says.During the ceremony, held on a Royal Canadian Navy jetty, the CEO of last year’s Invictus Games in Toronto, Michael Burns, summed up the event’s main purpose.“These Games aren’t about the finish line, these Games are really about getting to the starting line,” he said. “For many of these members of the 2018 Invictus Games Team Canada, just being here in Halifax has been a success, a triumph of their spirit.”More than 500 competitors from 18 nations are expected to compete in 11 different events, including archery, cycling, sailing and wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball and wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis.“For the first time in many years, for many of the (team members), it will be an opportunity to put on a Canadian uniform again and wear that maple leaf with pride,” Burns said. “But more than anything, it’s an opportunity for them to have a mission and a purpose — something that is often lost after they have served their country.”The Canadian team includes 18 members of the Armed Forces and 22 veterans, all of whom acquired an illness or a physical or mental-health injury while serving in the military.Brig.-Gen. Mark Misener, commander of the military’s Joint Personnel Support Unit and the head of mission for Team Canada, said the team members each bring a high level of dedication and perseverance.“All were faced with a mental-health or physical injury … but through reaching out to others, getting involved in sport, and their own courage and determination, they have been able to overcome the challenges they faced,” he said.Innes says the lead-up to the Games has inspired him to reach out to more veterans in his community. And he plans to return to school in September to study strength and sport conditioning, which will help him reach his goal of becoming a Paralympic-style coach.Prince Harry, who served as a soldier in Afghanistan, created the Invictus Games, which were first held in 2014.The Games last September in Toronto attracted international attention when Harry and his then-girlfriend Meghan Markle were photographed at a tennis match holding hands for their first official appearance together.—Follow @NovaMac on Twitter
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walks into this weekend’s APEC leaders’ summit with a chance to smooth over lingering sore feelings with some of Canada’s key trading partners on the Pacific Rim.Trudeau will meet his counterparts from Australia and Japan, and have the opportunity to bump into leaders from the 21 countries in the hallways of the busy summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.Observers say Japan, Australia and the remainder of an 11-nation Pacific Rim trade pact are still upset over how Trudeau skipped a key meeting last year where the group was expected to agree on a final text.A deal did arise out of the fracas — the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP for short — but observers say Trudeau’s counterparts continue to have hard feelings about last year’s incident.“I still think the APEC summit will be damage repair from the last summit — almost pulling out of the (CPTPP) and the Japanese upset with us and the Australians cursing us — so I think there still needs to be some repairing of the relationship,” said Carlo Dade, an expert on trade in the Pacific region from the Canada West Foundation.Canada became one of the first six countries to ratify the CPTPP, giving domestic businesses first crack at gaining a foothold in overseas markets. Quickly ratifying the agreement could help mend relationships, Dade said.Trudeau arrived after dark in this island nation, walking a red carpet at the airport between two lines of traditional dancers before being whisked off to prepare for the opening of the summit on Saturday.At a news conference Thursday, Trudeau said he planned to talk about expanding trade in the region during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.“There are certainly discussions to be had around the APEC table about how we will continue to strengthen these trade ties,” Trudeau said.“The APEC summit is specifically an economic summit for partnership with Pacific nations and that’s exactly what we’re going to be focusing on.”Looming over the summit will be an economic tit-for-tat between the world’s two biggest economies — the United States and China.U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence, who is attending the summit in place of President Donald Trump, is expected to force countries to pick sides as China looks to use the summit to extend its influence to smaller Pacific island nations in attendance.Chinese President Xi Jinping is also expected to have some choice words in response.Asked about it Thursday, Trudeau would only say that he looked forward to what Pence had to say.Sen. Yuen Pau Woo, an expert on the Asia-Pacific from before his time in the Senate, said the divide between the two biggest players at APEC poses an existential threat to the trade region APEC was formed to foster. Without the U.S., there is a need for a North American voice to champion trade around the Pacific, Woo said.“The only country that’s able to take up this leadership role…is Canada and it would be important that the prime minister, I think, assumes some of this responsibility,” Woo said.“There is no other player in the Americas that, I think, at this stage has either the will or the means to be a champion for the Asia-Pacific region.”Patrick Leblond, a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, said countries like Japan want to know Canada will be involved in the Asia-Pacific region more than it has been to help counteract China’s growing influence.“They want to have Canada as a partner in terms of dealing with the pressures that the Chinese and now the Americans are doing in terms of trade,” Leblond said.The economic battle has an unlikely backdrop in Papua New Guinea, one of the poorest members of APEC. Canada’s annual trade with Papua New Guineau is roughly one per cent of the amount of trade that goes across the Canada-U.S. border every day.Global Affairs Canada’s travel warnings about Papua New Guineau warn of assaults, sexual assaults and violent crime often with the “use of firearms or machetes,” and suggest visitors “consider hiring private security” because police cannot be relied upon.The meeting itself has caused a series of negative headlines for the national government over spending millions on a fleet of 40 Maserati cars to ferry around dignitaries.China and Australia have invested heavily in the region, hoping to gain some influence. Trudeau will have a chance to address island nations Saturday, where he is expected to talk about climate change.— Follow @jpress on Twitter.Jordan Press, The Canadian Press
CONNE RIVER, N.L. — A Newfoundland First Nation is grieving after the suspicious death of an Indigenous woman, saying it shows the national crisis has no boundaries.The Miawpukek Mi’kamawey Mawi’omi First Nation identified the woman as Chantal John and expressed condolences from the chief, council and the community, describing the death as a “horrible act of violence.”Premier Dwight Ball told reporters Thursday he had spoken with Miawpukek Chief Mi’Sel Joe and expressed his condolences to the community in Conne River.In a news release, local RCMP said they responded to a complaint of suspicious death at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday and police remain on the scene.In a Facebook post, the First Nation emphasized the impact of John’s loss on the small community and said her death “has hit home that the MMIWG crisis has no boundaries.”The RCMP’s Major Crimes Section and Office of the Chief Medical Examiner are investigating.The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — The federal government says two British Columbia residents have been extradited to India to face conspiracy charges after they allegedly hired men to kill a young woman and her new husband in that country nearly 20 years ago.The Justice Department says Malkit Kaur Sidhu and her brother Surjit Singh Badesha were escorted to India by the RCMP and arrived there early Thursday morning.It says the pair met with Canadian consular officials in Delhi before being turned over to police in Punjab.Sidhu and Badesha are accused of conspiracy in the murder of Sidhu’s daughter Jassi Sidhu in June 2000 after she went to India to marry a man they disapproved of.Sidhu’s husband was severely beaten but survived the attempt on his life.In a unanimous decision in 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada set aside a B.C. Court of Appeal ruling that stopped extradition proceedings over concerns the mother and uncle would be poorly treated or even tortured in India.The B.C. Appeal Court halted the extradition last year when the pair’s lawyers filed a last-minute court application, bringing them back to B.C. from Toronto before they were to be escorted to India.The Canadian Press
ST. ALBERT, Alta. — An Edmonton landscaper has won big after waiting 10 months to claim a $60-million lotto jackpot.Bon Truong says he was stunned when he checked his Lotto Max ticket at a grocery store the day after the Oct. 26 draw.He says he went home and sat by himself and needed the following months to think.Truong, who immigrated from Vietnam in 1983, says he has been playing the lottery for 30 years.The lucky digits were a combination of important dates and family birthdays.The single dad says he plans to keep working, pay off all his bills, buy a new home and take his family on a holiday.“I’m not sure where just yet. I think we’ll try to go everywhere!”His niece said she’s happy for him.“My family came as boat people. Coming here with nothing, nothing, after the Vietnam war,” the woman, identified only as Mina, told a news conference Wednesday.She said her uncle and her father both worked hard as landscapers. “That’s all they did — work and save money to buy a house and live their lives here. You know, have a better life for their children.”Truong’s win is tied for the largest ever Lotto Max win in Alberta. A couple from Peers, Alta., won $60 million in September 2017.The Canadian Press
Film actor, director and producer Aamir Khan has been named Ambassador for UNICEF in South Asia.UNICEF Regional Goodwill Ambassador Aamir Khan is flanked by UNICEF Regional Director Karin Hulshof and UNICEF Nepal Representative Tomoo HozumiCredit/Copyright: UNICEF/Narendra ShresthaIn his new role Mr. Khan will focus on supporting child nutrition to end stunting across the region.“I am delighted to become an Ambassador for UNICEF in South Asia. I hope my messages on the importance of children’s nutrition will urge parents, families, and leaders at all levels to support and adopt proven services and nutrition practices that will help children grow and develop to their full potential,” Khan said.“Child stunting remains one of the greatest development challenges to South Asia. Stunted children have stunted bodies, stunted brains, and stunted lives. Compared with children who are not stunted, stunted children have poorer cognitive development, often enroll later in school, complete fewer grades, and learn less – leading to reduced productivity and income-earning in adult life” he added.After sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia has the highest number of under-five deaths in the world with 2.3 million in 2011. Across the region nearly 40 per cent of children under the age of five are stunted because of chronic undernutrition and an estimated 28 per cent of children are born with low birth weight, largely due to women’s poor nutrition before and during pregnancy.“With the immense respect that Aamir Khan commands across South Asia, we are convinced that Aamir will make a lasting difference in the fight against child stunting, potentially the biggest threat to children’s growth and development in this part of the world,” said Karin Hulshof, UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia.During his visit to Nepal, Mr. Khan took part in the launch of the “1,000 Golden Days” national nutrition campaign. The most crucial time to meet a child’s nutritional needs is during the first 1,000 days from conception to the child’s second birthday. Proven and effective interventions during this time can prevent malnutrition and drastically reduce the prevalence of stunting.Aamir Khan becomes UNICEF Ambassador as the organization celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The CRC has inspired domestic legislation to respect, protect and fulfil child rights in all eight countries of South Asia, as well as the creation of policy and national development plans for their implementation. Yet, pervasive poverty and disparities prevent millions of children in South Asia from living in dignity, reaching their potential and making choices about their own future.UNICEF South Asia is marking the 25th anniversary of the CRC with “Generation@25” a child rights campaign focused on decreasing stunting in India, improving girls’ education in Afghanistan, ending open defecation in Nepal, and increasing birth registration in Bangladesh. The campaign’s link is www.generation25.org.Source:UNICEF
Annie Lennox took place in a march on Sunday to mark International Woman’s Day.The event was organized by CARE, and hundreds of people came out to listen to Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour’s Jane Garvey in conversation with Annie Lennox, Radio 1 DJ and feminist Gemma Cairney, founder of Everyday Sexism Laura Bates, and Sri Lankan equal rights campaigner Jayanthi Kuru Utumpala before Helen Pankhurst led the walk through London to the Southbank Centre.“We’re raising awareness and taking action against one of the unnecessary gendered shackles blighting the lives of women and girls around the world – the gruelling chore of water collection, which in 2015 simply should not be holding girls back from education, and women from paid work,” said Helen Pankhurst, great-granddaughter of suffragette Emmeline. “With support from well-known celebrities and activists we will kick off Walk in Her Shoes in London on International Women’s Day. We are coming together in solidarity to celebrate progress made on women’s rights and to galvanize for the road ahead. We do so in the time honoured tradition of a march, walking shoulder to shoulder, as a visible manifestation of a global conscience. I’d urge everyone to come and join us.”Sixty per cent of the world’s poorest people are women, many millions of whom walk more than six kilometres a day in search of water and firewood, carrying loads of up to 20kg. You can help change their world. Each year of schooling can boost a girl’s future earnings by 10-20 per cent, and children of educated mothers are 40 per cent more likely to live past their fifth birthday.To watch the BBC’s interview with Annie Lennox at the event, click here.
The Associates For Breast and Prostate Cancer Studies, affectionately known as the ABCs, hosts its annual, star-studded Mother’s Day Luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel at Beverly Hills, Wednesday, May 6, 2015 to benefit breast and prostate cancer research at John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center.The afternoon will honor award-winning actress, writer and director Chandra Wilson, star of Grey’s Anatomy, and author and former top model Brandi Glanville of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills with the organization’s “Women of Achievement Award.”Beverly Cohen and Sheri Rosenblum co-chair the event which features an informal fashion show by St. John Boutique. Actress, comedienne and author Lisa Ann Walter, emcees. Prior to the luncheon there will be a luxury boutique featuring a fashionable array of select vendors donating a portion of proceeds from their sales to the organization.The ABCs was formed 25 years ago by a group of dedicated philanthropists who had originally been associated with the Eddie Cantor Charitable Foundation. These individuals wanted to devote all their charitable efforts and resources to eradicating cancer and unanimously chose to support progressive and innovative breast cancer and prostate cancer research at the John Wayne Cancer Institute. Since 1990, the ABCs have raised over $14 million. For more information, please visit www.abcjw.com.Since 1981, the family of John Wayne has been committed to pioneering cancer research in memory of their father, who died of cancer. For more than 30 years, the courageous and dedicated researchers at the John Wayne Cancer Institute have made groundbreaking discoveries that have changed the way cancer is detected, diagnosed and treated around the world. Today the tradition of excellence continues as the Institute spearheads new research advances, while training the next generation of leaders in the fight against cancer through its renowned Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program. The Institute’s programs focus on melanoma, breast, neuro, prostate and gastrointestinal cancers, as well as innovative research in cancer genomics, molecular biomarkers, and chemo- and immunotherapies. With its unique ability to rapidly turn scientific discoveries into novel approaches for early detection and treatment, the Institute provides immediate hope to cancer patients everywhere. For more information, please visit www.JWCIgiving.org.