Aretha Franklin And Train To Perform At National Christmas Tree Lighting

first_imgThe National Park Service and the National Park Foundation have announced that Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin will be performing at the 91st annual National Christmas Tree Lighting.Additionally, The Avett Brothers, Grammy award-winning violinist Joshua Bell, acclaimed soprano and musical ambassador Renée Fleming, multicultural operatic trio Forte, and Nolan Williams, Jr. and Voices of Inspiration will join singer/songwriter Janelle Monáe, Latin music superstar Prince Royce, jazz legend Arturo Sandoval and the multiplatinum, Grammy-winning band Train in performing a collection of holiday favorites.The 2013 National Christmas Tree Lighting will take place Friday, December 6 on the Ellipse at President’s Park in Washington, D.C. The ceremony will kick off the holiday season in our nation’s capital and can be viewed online LIVE at www.thenationaltree.org beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET with the exclusive National Christmas Tree Lighting pre-show. This year, folk Americana duo Aberdeen Green, singer/songwriter Del Travar, and The U.S. Army Blues will perform in the pre-show co-hosted by 94.7 FRESH FM’s Tommy McFLY and ABC7/WJLA-TV’s Jummy Olabanji. The event can also be seen on public television throughout December. Broadcast times can be found by checking local listings or visiting www.thenationaltree.org.Presented by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, and produced by Bounce AEG, the National Christmas Tree Lighting is the first event in a four-week holiday celebration in President’s Park. This year’s ceremony marks the 91st annual National Christmas Tree Lighting, an American holiday tradition started by President Calvin Coolidge in 1923.For the sixth consecutive year, UL is the premier sponsor of the National Christmas Tree Lighting. As an independent safety science company, UL’s mission is to promote safe working and living environments for all people. More information can be found at www.UL.com. Other event supporters include GE Lighting, Amtrak, Guest Services Inc., Hargrove, Hilton Garden Inn – Washington DC Downtown, Hudler Carolina Tree Farms, Loews Madison Hotel Washington D.C., Mesh Int’l, Nicolas Holiday, Uber, United and Willard InterContinental Washington D.C.More information about the 2013 National Christmas Tree Lighting can be found at www.thenationaltree.org and on Twitter.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Chris Evans Signs HarleyDavidson For Charity At Captain America Premiere

first_imgHarley-Davidson and Marvel LLC hosted a surprise, one hour “for the fans” engagement at Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier movie premiere in Hollywood March 13, following the close of the red carpet.Chris Evans signs a new Harley-Davidson Street 750 at the premiere in Hollywood, CA.Fans at the event were spontaneously selected to walk and experience the official red carpet and to check out a brand new Street 750 motorcycle along with the stars of the film, who autographed the bike for charity.In its continued partnership with Marvel Comics, Harley-Davidson’s presence at the premiere included six Harley-Davidson motorcycles along the red carpet, where fans took pictures and interacted with actor and musician, Tyler Posey, the official Harley-Davidson commentator and host.Captain America has been riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles since his introduction in 1941, and the latest chapter of the film saga is no different. This time, the superhero revs up a new Harley-Davidson Street 750 motorcycle when he returns to the screen to battle dark forces April 4, 2014.To commemorate the premiere, the company donated the autographed Street 750 motorcycle to Captain America: The Winter Soldier star Chris Evans to award to his charity of choice – the Concord Youth Theatre. Celebrities and influencers alike autographed the bike before heading into the premiere.Harley-Davidson made its appearance at the premiere by enlisting a select group of special S.H.I.E.L.D agents to ride the motorcycles to the red carpet as the media arrived.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Ray Winstone Blows Bubbles With West Ham United For Charity

first_imgWest Ham United players and staff have come together with actor Ray Winstone to show their support for the British Lung Foundation’s (BLF) week-long campaign to raise awareness of the lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), for World IPF Week (28 September – 05 October 2014).West Ham United Palyers Blowing BubblesThe Premier League football team, which is associated with the song ’I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’, and devoted fan, Winstone, will join BLF supporters and campaigners around the world in tweeting and Facebooking pictures of themselves blowing bubbles (this year’s World IPF Week theme), as a sign of support to all those people whose lives are affected by IPF.People can also text ‘IPF’ to 70500 to donate £5 to help the BLF fight the growing impact of IPF on the UK’s health.IPF, which causes a progressive scarring of the lungs, has been on the rise in the UK for decades, and now kills around 5,000 people a year – on a par with conditions such as leukaemia.1,2 However, there is no known cause or cure. As a result, the disease acts with often-devastating speed: barely half of people diagnosed with IPF are still alive three years later, and just one in five will survive five years.3World IPF Week is an opportunity to help raise awareness for this little-known disease and to campaign for more research and better treatment and support for the patients and their families.Kevin Nolan, club captain at West Ham United, said: “I urge everyone to get behind World IPF Week as we are doing here at West Ham United and support the British Lung Foundation to help fight this devastating disease.”Actor and West Ham United fan, Ray Winstone said: “I’m proud that my club is getting behind the British Lung Foundation this World IPF Week. But this isn’t about club rivalry. This week is about raising awareness of a disease that affects 15,000 people in the UK, but that most people have never heard of. It can affect anyone, has no cure, and can kill with devastating speed.“It’s time things change. I’ll definitely be blowing bubbles and texting to donate in support of World IPF Week this year. I hope all Irons, football fans, and all right-minded people across the UK will do so too.”Dr Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: “IPF is a cruel disease that is in urgent need of more attention from our government, to improve the level of care and services offered to patients.“Having West Ham’s and Ray’s support this year will go far in helping us raise the profile of IPF, and helping this disease get more of the attention and investment that we desperately need.”For further information about IPF, please visit the BLF website.last_img read more

Jamie Oliver Gets His Face Dirty For Charity

first_imgJamie Oliver has chosen the tastiest way to make his face funny for money this Red Nose Day by planting his face into one of his delicious baking creations.To see his hilarious video, click here.Jamie, whose face was covered in red velvet sponge and cream, joins people all around the country who are finding fun and silly ways of making their faces funny for money in the lead up to Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day on Friday 13th March.Father-of-four, Jamie, was left red faced later that day as he said: “I had parents’ evening the same day and hadn’t fully cleaned everything off of my face, one of my children’s teachers thought I smelt really nice – it was the scent of the red velvet cake! You can see from the photos that I had such a laugh doing it, everyone should get involved and get sponsored to make their faces look as silly as they can.”The public are being encouraged to do their bit this Red Nose Day by coming up with creative ways to get sponsored to make their face funny for money including, dyeing their beard, face painting or letting their kids or friends do their make-up for the day. For more ideas of how to get involved download the free fundraising kit at www.rednoseday.com.Money raised through fundraising this Red Nose Day will go towards helping people living incredibly tough lives in the UK and across Africa.last_img read more

Johnny Depp Gives Gift Of Hearing With Hollywood Vampires In Portugal

first_imgStarkey Hearing Foundation welcomed Hollywood Vampires prior to their Rock in Rio Lisboa concert to a hearing health care mission to meet and inspire 30 patients in Lisbon, Portugal.Joe Perry, Johnny Depp, Bruce Witkin, Robert DeLeo, Tommy Henriksen and Alice Cooper of the Hollywood Vampires install an hearing aid on a patient of the Starkey Hearing FoundationCredit/Copyright: Pedro Gomes/Getty Images for Starkey Hearing FoundationThe band first supported a hearing mission in Rio de Janeiro where they witnessed people hearing for the first time. Because of that meaningful experience, they wanted to help patients at another mission.More than 30 patients with hearing loss were fit with hearing devices by William F. “Bill” Austin and Tani Austin, founders of Starkey Hearing Foundation. They were joined by the Hollywood Vampires:· Alice Cooper – vocals· Joe Perry – guitar· Johnny Depp – guitar· Tommy Henriksen – guitar, vocals· Robert DeLeo – bass guitar · Matt Sorum – drums“We have our hearing, and these people do not,” said Johnny Depp. “To have Bill and his gang school us, and take part in the process of allowing people to hear makes today meaningful. Anytime you can find yourself making a difference — to see them — we are getting the gift.”Giving a person the ability to hear has an immediate inspiring impact on that person’s quality of life and a compounding positive effect on the world. Hearing empowers people to reach their full potential and creates a future filled with possibilities. Many were able to hear for the first time, to experience the joy of music and to live more independently as a result of their new found connection to the world.“When you come to do these big concerts, you think that the concert is going to be the high point of the trip, but it isn’t, this is. The mission was the high point because these people are hearing for the first time. That’s amazing that hearing is going to last the rest of their life,” said Alice Cooper.Starkey Hearing Foundation with their partner, GAES Solidaria, provided hearing devices as well as counseling and training to patients and family members on how to care and operate their hearing device.“It was another good day of people coming together to discover our humanity through caring. We had another great adventure with the Hollywood Vampires, and we appreciate their support,” said Bill Austin, founder, Starkey Hearing Foundation.last_img read more

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS THE WRITERS LAB – FOR FEMALE SCREENWRITERS OVER 40

first_img Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebook Advertisement Meeting one on one and in panels with outstanding female film professionals, as well as in peer groups and directed discussion sessions, talented writers examine and refine their work while building a unique and powerful community.Selections are blind and based solely on the merit of the screenplay submitted. We welcome all genres of narrative feature-length scripts:from women who have a compelling story and a cinematic vision.from women with or without previous industry experience.from women open to feedback and revisionfrom women eager to forge career-building peer relationshipsfrom women of any country who have written an English language feature-length narrative screenplay.from women of all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural groups.APPLY NOW Twitter Advertisement The Writers Lab is a four-day script development workshop that gives women screenwriters over 40 the opportunity to work intensively on their feature film scripts with the support of established writers, directors, and producers. The retreat takes place near NYC, but in the countryside: beautiful and private locations that minimize distractions and promote creativity and confidence. Through one-on-one meetings, panel discussions, guest speakers, and group meals, Mentors and Writers engage in a rigorous process that provides support in both the craft and commerce of screenwriting.The 2018 Writers Lab will be at WIAWAKA, on Lake George, NY, from Tuesday, September 25, to Saturday, September 29.Submission InformationDeadline: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at 11:59 PM ESTFee: $55.00Member Fee: $35.00 (NYWIFT, other WIF chapters, and WGA members)(Members of other Women in Film chapters must provide proof of membership via a letter from their chapter’s staff or Board President.)The Lab is an intensive four-day script development retreat for women screenwriters over 40.last_img read more

QUEBECOR FUND ANNOUNCES LIST OF FUNDED PRODUCTION COMPANIES AND PROGRAMS

first_imgAdvertisement Since its inception in 1999, Quebecor Fund’s Television Production Assistance Program has supported 259 projects involving 81 production companies, 46 Canadian broadcasters and 34 foreign broadcasters with grants totalling nearly $77 million.Over that time, Quebecor Fund has distributed more than $67.6 million to support the multiplatform side of the projects funded under the Convergent Production component (which amounts to 72% of the total sums invested in multimedia by the participating production companies) and more than $7.8 million to support the television side of the same projects, for a total of more than $75.4 million in Convergent Production funding. Of the funding granted to date by Quebecor Fund to support television and multiplatform production, 26% has gone to programs for children/youth, 24% to documentaries, 40% to variety/performing arts, and 10% to drama. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebook Login/Register With:center_img Counting this 3rd round of the Program’s new Support for the Creation of Intellectual Property component, launched in March 2017, Quebecor Fund has provided repayable grants totalling nearly $3.5 million to support development projects in all genres that have received a financial commitment from a recognized French-language broadcasting programming undertaking (BPU).PROJECTS FUNDED UNDER THE SUPPORT FOR CONVERGENT PRODUCTION COMPONENT:Odyssée sous les glaces / Under Thin IceGalafilm Productions inc.– Canadian broadcasters: CBC, CBC News Network, Documentary Channel (CBC), ICI Radio-Canada, ICI Explora (SRC), RDI (SRC)– International broadcasters: ARTE (France) and SWR (Germany)In Under Thin Ice, Mario Cyr and Jill Heinerth, two of the world’s leading expert scuba divers, take us on a journey of discovery to explore the splendour of the ocean’s life forms and how they are adapting to the transformation of their habitat by climate change. The digital component has two parts, both available in English and French: a series of 10 mini-documentaries with exclusive content complementing the TV show, and an interactive e-book for ages 8-12 about the animals of the Arctic, available as a mobile app.YaYa & Zouk IIToonDraw Animation inc.– Canadian broadcasters: ICI Radio-Canada and YOOPA (TVA Group)This series about invented worlds revolves around YaYa’s idiosyncratic reactions to his kid brother Zouk and all other stimuli. It takes little prompting for YaYa to enter a zany imaginary realm and take his delighted little brother with him. In season 2 of YaYa & Zouk, the digital component will look at the show’s content through a distorting lens and give it a wacky twist, just as YaYa & Zouk transform the mundane into something magical.BootcampAttraction Images inc.– Canadian broadcaster: V Télé (Groupe V Média)Every week on V, Québec’s most talented athletes compete in unique tests of physical prowess set in familiar Montréal locations. Bootcamp uses the city’s landmarks as a stage for extreme challenges of endurance, balance, strength, speed, accuracy and agility. In the digital component, training routines from Étienne Boulay and Émily Bégin will help viewers who feel motivated by the feats on the show get into shape (or back into shape) and test their limits, while the commentators take a humorous second look at one of the challenges on the weekly show.Quebecor FundQuebecor Fund was established through Videotron Ltd., which provides nearly $7 million annually in broadcasting distribution undertaking (BDU) contributions to the Canadian industry. Its mission is to support the development, production, marketing and export of high-quality content and its exploitation on various platforms. Thus far, Quebecor Fund’s programs have paid out a total of nearly $95 million.The Board of Directors is responsible for all decisions pertaining to the Fund, including its priorities, and is entirely and exclusively responsible for its funding decisions. The date of the next round of funding under the Television Production Assistance Program is Monday, October 1, 2018.For more information, please visit www.quebecorfund.ca. Advertisement MONTRÉAL, June 7, 2018 – The Quebecor Fund Board of Directors today announced the names of the Canadian production companies that will receive funding in the 36th round of the Fund’s Television Production Assistance Program following April 3, 2018 submissions. In this round, the Fund will disburse a total of more than $2.1 million. Of that amount, nearly $700,000 is being granted to the following producers under the Support for Convergent Production component: Galafilm Productions inc., ToonDraw Animation inc. and Attraction Images inc. The three selected productions will air on Canadian broadcasters CBC, CBC News Network, Documentary Channel (CBC), ICI Radio-Canada, ICI Explora (SRC), RDI (SRC), YOOPA (TVA Group) and V Télé (Groupe V Média). Under the Support for the Creation of Intellectual Property component, more than $1.4 million is being granted to six projects from Productions Squeeze inc., Productions KOTV inc., Média Ranch TV inc., Productions Déferlantes inc., and 9308-6932 Québec inc. (Anémone Films inc.). The broadcasters that are investing in the development of the projects are Télé-Québec, TVA, Canal D (Bell Media) and Société Radio-Canada. Twitterlast_img read more

VANCOUVERS FIRST LADY OF JAZZ STILL GOING STRONG AT 99

first_imgInitially ostracizedBut recognition and reward did not come immediately — nor easily — for Collins in 1940’s Vancouver.When the Collins family — Collins, her husband of 70 years Richard, and their four children — moved into an all-white area of Burnaby, they weren’t exactly welcomed. Eleanor Collins, Vancouver’s First Lady of Jazz, turned 99 this week. Advertisement Eleanor Collins, Vancouver jazz great, prepares for an episode of ‘The Eleanor Show’. (CBC) Eleanor Collins was the first black artist in North America to have their own nationally broadcast television show. (Franz Lindner/CBC) The B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame star belonging to Eleanor Collins. (Judith Maxie) A portrait of musical artist Eleanor Collins. (Franz Lindner/CBC) Facebook Advertisementcenter_img Login/Register With: When asked about the significance of breaking the colour barrier in 1950’s television, she responded with typical humility.“I don’t think I was aware, completely, how different it was. I had no idea. I just came and did the things I thought I could do,” Collins told On the Coast host Gloria Macarenko.“Many years later they say that was, for the time, a very good job that you did.” When it comes to jazz, Vancouver may not be New Orleans, or New York, or even New Hampshire for that matter.Yet Vancouverites can claim a significant pioneer of musical and television history who saw her career flourish here and who chose to remain despite the siren call of south-of-the-border suitors. Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Among a lengthy list of accolades is the Order of Canada, in which she was commended for her “pioneering achievements as a jazz vocalist, and for breaking down barriers and fostering race relations in the mid-20th Century.”In 1955 — over a year before the Nat King Cole TV show aired in the U.S. — Collins became Canada’s first woman, and North America’s first person of colour, to have their own nationally broadcast television show on CBUT (CBC Vancouver).last_img read more

SHOWTIME PICKS UP DRAKEPRODUCED DEPORTED VET DOC

first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: Showtime Documentary Films has acquired worldwide rights for the feature-length doc Ready for War.The film explores the causes and effects of deporting U.S. military veterans when they return home — and the forced recruitment into Mexican drug cartels that often awaits in Mexico. Issues explored include PTSD, drug abuse, crime convictions for combat veterans and the broader implications of immigrant soldiers.The story is told through three green card-holding soldiers at various stages in this process. One is in Tijuana fighting to come back to the U.S. and reunite with his family. One is in ICE detention fighting deportation. And the third is already in the clutches of a drug cartel in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. DRAKE (PHOTO BY KEVIN WINTER/GETTY IMAGES) Advertisement Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisementlast_img

SASKATOON ROCKERS THE SHEEPDOGS ADDED TO RIVERFEST ELORA

first_imgAdvertisement The Sheepdogs arrive on the red carpet at the 2019 Juno Awards in London, Ont. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn) Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Login/Register With:center_img The Saskatoon band also performed at the festival in 2016. The Sheepdogs have been added to this year’s Riverfest Elora after the opening night headliner had to cancel due to a leg injury.Organizers said that after receiving news this week that Toronto singer Jessie Reyez was unable to perform, they called in a “huge favour.”“It’s hard to find the right headliner for a festival under normal circumstances, let alone to find one with just over two weeks to go,” artistic director Spencer Shewen said.“Our good friends, The Sheepdogs, are willing to help us out and jump in at the last minute.” Facebook Advertisementlast_img

Questions shroud Lonechild case

first_imgAPTN National NewsSaskatchewan justice officials have hinted that the circumstances surrounding a venue change in the sentencing of a First Nations leader may come under review.At the same time, another Saskatchewan chief is publicly condemning the leader after he pleaded guilty to serious charges in court.APTN National News reporter Larissa Burnouf reports.last_img

The life of Tina Fontaine and her lasting impact on a country

first_imgAPTN National NewsFew met her.But, in death, few don’t know of her.The life and tragic death of Tina Fontaine left a lasting impact on a city she called home and a country.One year ago, Monday, the 15-year-old’s body was pulled from Winnipeg’s Red River.She had been thrown away like garbage.The killing shocked even hardened homicide detectives.APTN’s Dennis Ward takes a look at Fontaine and the unsolved murder.last_img

Labrador government US museum given cultural repatriation award for returning Inuit remains

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) has awarded the Nunatsiavut government in Labrador and Chicago’s Field Museum with a cultural repatriation award for returning Inuit bodies that had been dug up and taken for scientific study.It’s the first time the ITK has handed out the Cultural Repatriation Award.“In this discussion of reconciliation and the pathways to get there, we wanted to celebrate some of the people who have worked with us to get there, and hopefully move the conversation to a much more positive space,” Natan Obed, president of ITK, said Wednesday.Obed said the decision to establish the award came after controversy earlier this spring over cultural appropriation.Prominent writers and journalists said people should be encouraged to imagine stories set in other cultures.Several proposed an annual cultural appropriation prize – and two lost their jobs in the ensuing furor.“We thought we might capitalize on the moment because it obviously touched a nerve,” said Obed.The award changes the conversation, added Helen Robbins, the Field Museum’s director of repatriation.“Reconciliation is an easy word or idea to talk about but it’s hard to do. The Inuit are really putting themselves (forward) to try and move past the history.”The award recognizes the return of the bodies of 22 Inuit who were exhumed in 1927-1928 by William Strong, then an assistant curator at the museum.Strong dug up marked graves in the Inuit community of Zoar, a now-abandoned settlement located between the Nunatsiavut communities of Hopedale and Nain. Strong didn’t have permission to uncover the graves, which dated from the late 1800s, and did it over the community’s objections.The remains were kept in the museum’s collection until they were returned to Nunatsiavut in 2011 after three years of negotiations. They have since been reburied.The museum covered all costs associated with the transfer.Robbins said researchers were able to identify the names of some of the people whose graves were violated.The return of the bodies opened a relationship between the museum and Nunatsiavut. In 2012, the museum signed a memorandum of understanding with Nunatsiavut to create research opportunities and collaborative exhibits involving shared learning.“Whether it’s in U.S. society or Canadian society, (there has been) this constant taking of symbols and signs and cultural knowledge of indigenous communities and using it for gain,” said Robbins.“Repatriation doesn’t change the initial harm or hurt but it’s a step in moving forward.”The Inuit Cultural Repatriation Award is to be presented in Nain, N.L., next week as a part of the ITK annual general meeting.Contact APTN National News here: news@aptn.calast_img read more

Northern Manitoba band opens checkstop to nab illegal booze drugs

first_imgKathleen Martens APTN News“So, can we search your vehicle?” is not what you expect to hear entering a community in Canada.But that’s what greets you at the main entrance to Norway House Cree Nation in northern Manitoba.It’s part of a multi-thousand-dollar crackdown on illegal drugs and alcohol coming into the dry reserve.“If you refuse you have to turn around,” said security guard George Folster, one of the black-suited guards at the $600,000 station.The “voluntary searches” came into effect Feb. 24 as part of a sweeping safety bylaw, Folster added.Between March 1-22, a team of around-the-clock guards and safety officers checked 1,606 vehicles carrying 4,106 people.“It’s in our bylaw that everybody’s searched,” said Folster’s partner Fred Keam, “and we’re trying to enforce that bylaw.”The guards are equipped with handcuffs, pepper spray and batons. They are also in radio contact with the nearest RCMP detachment “in case something major happens.”The checkpoint opened in the midst of band elections last month. Some in the community of about 6,000 say it cost long-time chief Ron Evans his job.“It was brought up before the vote,” said Norway House member Jeff Muskego. “Some people don’t like it.“But the way I see it, this is very good for the community. Safety is Number 1.”Newly elected Chief Larson Anderson admits he’s coming in blind and only learning about the $500,000 annual operating cost now. His new band council plans to give the checkstop a few months before deciding its fate but says he’s not a fan.“My thoughts were it was a waste of money,” he said. “Our community has a lot of needs.”The brown brick building is equipped with computer monitors and surveillance cameras that wouldn’t be out of place at a real border crossing.Only, in this case, it’s approximately 450 kilometres north of Winnipeg.(This new, $600,000 checkpoint opened in February at the main entrance to Norway House.)Keam says they catalogue seizures before dumping booze at the side of the road and handing drugs over to the RCMP. He says they also keep a record of each vehicle and who was in it.“We want to have a clean, safe community,” he said. “There’s a lot of dangers out there.”And, some weapons.Guards say it was an exciting day when they recovered a .357 magnum someone threw into the bush near the checkpoint.“Since this checkstop’s opened I feel more secure at home,” added Muskego, a butcher at the community grocery store.“I see violence is kind of dropping a little. And I see there’s not that much activity now at nights.Dave Williamson, an instructor at the Norway House campus of the University College of the North, agrees.“The alcohol is a concern largely because of the violence that’s associated with it,” he said after consenting to a search of his car.“The drugs is a concern because of the gang activity that’s attached to it. This is a good starting point.”(Illegal alcohol seized on the dry reserve of Norway House in northern Manitoba.)Keam hopes the checkpoint succeeds despite the pushback.“Some people get aggressive towards us,” added Keam. “And they tell us, ‘No, you can’t do that. You have no right doing this to us. You’re not real officers.’“My response would be, ‘Well, everybody goes through it. It’s not just you.’”The security team already has a couple of files open that may lead to alcohol-related criminal charges.Keam says they’ve made 20 confiscations although he’s worried some drugs are still getting through.“Lately we haven’t been finding drugs. I wish we had a canine (officer) to help us,” he said.But Anderson says the checkpoint won’t stop contraband coming in via winter roads and summer waterways that surround the community on the bank of the Nelson River.He wants the Manitoba government to pony up some of the operating expenses from liquor tax on suds sold just outside the community.Keam says he grew up amid alcohol abuse in Norway House, which is home to about 6,000 people, and wants something different for his four-year-old son.“It’s kind of tough, too, when you have members from your own community trying to come through here saying, ‘You can’t search me ‘cause I’m from home,’” he said.“I say, ‘I may have to send you back or wait until the RCMP show up to do a search on you.’ Then most of them just get out and say. ‘Fine, do what you got to do.’”But he says that’s why the checkpoint was put in place. To help curb the number of calls to police, which he says numbered well into the hundreds.(Safety officer Fred Keam asks to search a vehicle driven by Dave Williamson.) Muskego says he’s for anything that cuts down on cocaine and meth amphetamine sold in the community, along with related gang activity, guns and alcohol use.But Anderson believes a trained squad targeting “known drug dealers” would be more effective than a checkstop. He says a five- to 10-member unit would enter band-owned housing and seal it until police arrive – an approach he says he is discussing with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs.“We do want to stop the sale of alcohol illegally on reserve, as well as the drugs that are flowing into our community,” he said.In the meantime, motorists who are not from Norway House but need to pass through can transport a small amount of alcohol for personal use by showing receipts.kmartens@aptn.calast_img read more

Amid trade fight Trump says hell make it up to farmers

first_imgWASHINGTON – President Donald Trump acknowledged Monday that farmers could be adversely affected by the escalating tariff dispute with China, but promised to make it up to them, saying they “will be better off than they ever were.”Speaking at a Cabinet meeting, Trump addressed the Chinese threat to slap tariffs on soybeans and other agriculture staples grown in rural America, a move that could hit Midwestern farmers, many of whom are strong supporters of the president.“If during the course of the negotiation they want to hit the farmers because they think that hits me. I wouldn’t say that’s nice, but I tell you our farmers are great patriots,” Trump said. “They understand that they’re doing this for the country. We’ll make it up to them. In the end they’re going to be much stronger than they are right now.”China is threatening the tariffs in response to Trump moving to enact protectionist measures as punishment for Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property. The U.S. bought more than $500 billion in goods from China last year and now is planning or considering penalties on some $150 billion of those imports. The U.S. sold about $130 billion in goods to China in 2017 and faces a potentially devastating hit if China responds in kind.White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump was working with his team “to determine how best to respond to China’s attack on American farmers” and had asked the Agriculture Department to provide him with a plan to protect U.S. farmers.As the economic saber-rattling shakes global markets, Trump said Monday he had a good relationship with China and with President Xi Jinping, but repeated his claim that China has been “taking advantage of the United States for many years.” He added that he doesn’t blame China, but American leaders for creating a “lopsided” set of trade rules.Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted about the “STUPID TRADE” with China, saying that when a Chinese-made vehicle is sent to the U.S., the tariff is only 2.5 per cent, while American cars exported to China are slapped with a 25 per cent tariff.China charges total duties of 25 per cent on most imported cars — a 10 per cent customs tariff plus a 15 per cent auto tax. Since December 2016, Beijing also has charged an additional 10 per cent on “super-luxury” vehicles priced above 1.3 million yuan ($200,000).The president made fixing the trade imbalance with China a centerpiece of his presidential campaign, where he frequently used incendiary language to describe how Beijing would “rape” the U.S. economically. But even as Trump cozied up to Xi and pressed China for help with derailing North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, he has ratcheted up the economic pressure and threatened tariffs, a move opposed by many fellow Republicans.China has pledged to “counterattack with great strength” if Trump decides to follow through on his latest threat to impose tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese goods — after an earlier announcement that targeted $50 billion. Beijing also declared that the current rhetoric made negotiations impossible, even as the White House suggested that the tariff talk was a way to spur China to the bargaining table.The new White House economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said Sunday that a “coalition of the willing” — including Canada, much of Europe and Australia — was being formed to pressure China and that the U.S. would demand that the World Trade Organization, an arbiter of trade disputes, be stricter on Beijing. And he said that although the U.S. hoped to avoid taking action, Trump “was not bluffing.”“This is a problem caused by China, not a problem caused by President Trump,” Kudlow said on “Fox News Sunday.”But he also downplayed the tariff threat as “part of the process,” suggesting on CNN that the impact would be “benign” and said he was hopeful that China would enter negotiations. Kudlow, who started his job a week ago after his predecessor, Gary Cohn, quit over the tariff plan, brushed aside the possibility of economic repercussions.“I don’t think there’s any trade war in sight,” Kudlow told Fox.Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that he didn’t expect the tariffs to have a “meaningful impact on the economy” even as he left the door open for disruption. He allowed that there “could be” a trade war but said he didn’t anticipate one.Trump’s latest proposal intensified what was already shaping up to be the biggest trade battle in more than a half century.Trump told advisers last week that he was unhappy with China’s decision to tax $50 billion in American products, including soybeans and small aircraft, in response to a U.S. move to impose tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods. Rather than waiting weeks for the U.S. tariffs to be implemented, Trump backed a plan by Robert Lighthizer, his trade representative, to seek the enhanced tariffs.Further escalation could be in the offing. The U.S. Treasury Department is working on plans to restrict Chinese technology investments in the U.S. And there is talk that the U.S. could also put limits on visas for Chinese who want to visit or study in this country.___Associated Press writers Hope Yen and Thomas Strong contributed to this report.___Follow Lemire on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@JonLemirelast_img read more

Notley pledges support for Alberta beer brewers as potential 100M lawsuit looms

first_imgCALGARY – Premier Rachel Notley, reacting to a proposed $100-million class-action lawsuit over Alberta’s beer subsidies, says her government will continue to find ways to support its homegrown industry.Notley declined to speak to the lawsuit directly, given it is before the courts.But she says Alberta is finished supporting liquor industries in other provinces at the expense of its own brewers.She says beer and liquor merchants enjoy wide latitude to sell in Alberta while Alberta producers face barriers in other markets.A proposed class-action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of brewers and others in the industry who allege Alberta’s beer ruleshave brought unfair price markups that hurt their competitiveness.Alberta is now revamping its beer subsidy plan after a trade panel recently ruled it violated interprovincial trade rules.last_img

Hong Kong economy cools as trade tension mounts

first_imgHong Kong’s economic growth slowed in the latest quarter and the government warned it could face headwinds from U.S.-Chinese trade tension and higher interest rates.Government data Friday showed the Chinese territory’s economy expanded by 2.9 per cent over a year earlier, down from the previous quarter’s 3.5 per cent.Exports rose 5 per cent over a year earlier, but the government said the impact of trade tension and weaker global demand “has begun to surface” and is “likely to become more apparent in the near-term.”The government said Hong Kong also faces a drag from higher interest rates. The Hong Kong dollar has a fixed exchange rate with the U.S. dollar, which requires the central bank to raise interest rates along with the U.S. Federal Reserve even though economic growth is slowing.The Associated Presslast_img

Army looks for a few good robots sparks industry battle

first_imgCHELMSFORD, Mass. — The Army is looking for a few good robots. Not to fight — not yet, at least — but to help the men and women who do.These robots aren’t taking up arms, but the companies making them have waged a different kind of battle. At stake is a contract worth almost half a billion dollars for 3,000 backpack-sized robots that can defuse bombs and scout enemy positions. Competition for the work has spilled over into Congress and federal court.The project and others like it could someday help troops “look around the corner, over the next hillside and let the robot be in harm’s way and let the robot get shot,” said Paul Scharre, a military technology expert at the Center for a New American Security.The big fight over small robots opens a window into the intersection of technology and national defence and shows how fear that China could surpass the U.S. drives even small tech startups to play geopolitics to outmanoeuvr rivals. It also raises questions about whether defence technology should be sourced solely to American companies to avoid the risk of tampering by foreign adversaries.Regardless of which companies prevail, the competition foreshadows a future in which robots, which are already familiar military tools, become even more common. The Army’s immediate plans alone envision a new fleet of 5,000 ground robots of varying sizes and levels of autonomy. The Marines, Navy and Air Force are making similar investments.“My personal estimate is that robots will play a significant role in combat inside of a decade or a decade and a half,” the chief of the Army, Gen. Mark Milley, said in May at a Senate hearing where he appealed for more money to modernize the force.Milley warned that adversaries like China and Russia “are investing heavily and very quickly” in the use of aerial, sea and ground robots. And now, he added, “we are doing the same.”Such a shift will be a “huge game-changer for combat,” said Scharre, who credits Milley’s leadership for the push.The promise of such big Pentagon investments in robotics has been a boon for U.S. defence contractors and technology startups. But the situation is murkier for firms with foreign ties.Concerns that popular commercial drones made by Chinese company DJI could be vulnerable to spying led the Army to ban their use by soldiers in 2017. And in August, the Pentagon published a report that said China is conducting espionage to acquire foreign military technologies — sometimes by using students or researchers as “procurement agents and intermediaries.” At a December defence expo in Egypt, some U.S. firms spotted what they viewed as Chinese knock-offs of their robots.The China fears came to a head in a bitter competition between Israeli firm Roboteam and Massachusetts-based Endeavor Robotics over a series of major contracts to build the Army’s next generation of ground robots. Those machines will be designed to be smarter and easier to deploy than the remote-controlled rovers that have helped troops disable bombs for more than 15 years.The biggest contract — worth $429 million — calls for mass producing 25-pound robots that are light, easily manoeuvrable and can be “carried by infantry for long distances without taxing the soldier,” said Bryan McVeigh, project manager for force projection at the Army’s research and contracting centre in Warren, Michigan.Other bulkier prototypes are tank-sized unmanned supply vehicles that have been tested in recent weeks in the rough and wintry terrain outside Fort Drum, New York.A third $100 million contract — won by Endeavor in late 2017 — is for a midsized reconnaissance and bomb-disabling robot nicknamed the Centaur.The competition escalated into a legal fight when Roboteam accused Endeavor, a spinoff of iRobot, which makes Roomba vacuum cleaners, of dooming its prospects for those contracts by hiring a lobbying firm that spread false information to politicians about the Israeli firm’s Chinese investors.A federal judge dismissed Roboteam’s lawsuit in April.“They alleged that we had somehow defamed them,” said Endeavor CEO Sean Bielat, a former Marine who twice ran for Congress as a Republican. “What we had done was taken publicly available documents and presented them to members of Congress because we think there’s a reason to be concerned about Chinese influence on defence technologies.”The lobbying firm, Boston-based Sachem Strategies, circulated a memo to members of the House Armed Services Committee. Taking up Endeavor’s cause was Rep. Seth Moulton, a Massachusetts Democrat — and, like Bielat, a Marine veteran — who wrote a letter to a top military official in December 2016 urging the Army to “examine the evidence of Chinese influence” before awarding the robot contracts.Six other lawmakers later raised similar concerns.Roboteam CEO Elad Levy declined to comment on the dispute but said the firm is still “working very closely with U.S. forces,” including the Air Force, and other countries. But it’s no longer in the running for the lucrative Army opportunities.Endeavour is. Looking something like a miniature forklift on tank treads, its prototype called the Scorpion has been zipping around a test track behind an office park in a Boston suburb.The only other finalist is just 20 miles away at the former Massachusetts headquarters of Foster-Miller, now a part of British defence contractor Qinetiq. The company did not respond to repeated requests for comment. The contract is expected to be awarded in early 2019.Both Endeavor and Qinetiq have strong track records with the U.S. military, having supplied it with its earlier generation of ground robots such as Endeavor’s Packbot and Qinetiq’s Talon and Dragon Runner.After hiding the Scorpion behind a shroud at a recent Army conference, Bielat and engineers at Endeavor showed it for the first time publicly to The Associated Press in November. Using a touchscreen controller that taps into the machine’s multiple cameras, an engineer navigated it through tunnels, over a playground-like structure and through an icy pool of water, and used its grabber to pick up objects.It’s a smaller version of its predecessor, the Packbot, which was first used by U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2002 and later became one of soldiers’ essential tools for safely disabling improvised explosives in Iraq. Bielat said the newer Scorpion and Centaur robots are designed to be easier for the average soldier to use quickly without advanced technical training.“Their primary job is to be a rifle squad member,” Bielat said. “They don’t have time to mess with the robot. They’re going to demand greater levels of autonomy.”It will be a while, however, before any of these robots become fully autonomous. The Defence Department is cautious about developing battlefield machines that make their own decisions. That sets the U.S. apart from efforts by China and Russia to design artificially intelligent warfighting arsenals.A November report from the Congressional Research Service said that despite the Pentagon’s “insistence” that a human must always be in the loop, the military could soon feel compelled to develop fully autonomous systems if rivals do the same. Or, as with drones, humans will still pull the trigger, but a far-away robot will lob the bombs.Said P.W. Singer, a strategist for the New America Foundation think-tank : “China has showed off armed ones. Russia has showed them off. It’s coming.”Matt O’Brien, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

first_imgBarrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX). Mining. Up 80 cents, or 4.54 per cent, to $18.43 on 9.9 million shares.Aphria Inc. (TSX:APHA). Health care. Down 67 cents, or 7.86 per cent, to $7.85 on 7.9 million shares.Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Health care. Down 34 cents, or 4.78 per cent, to $6.78 on 7.3 million shares.GeneNews Ltd. (TSX:GEN). Health care. Down half a cent, or 10 per cent, to 4.5 cents on 6.6 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Industrials. Up two cents, or one per cent, to $2.03 on 5 million shares.Baytex Energy Corp. (TSX:BTE). Energy. Up 14 cents, or 6.17 per cent, to $2.41 on 4.7 million shares. Some of the most active companies traded Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (14,322.86, up 100.86 points) Companies reporting major news:The Canadian Transportation Agency says the country’s two major railways exceeded their maximum revenue entitlements for grain in 2017-18, despite shipping less of the stuff than last year. Canadian National Railway Co. (TSX:CNR) reaped $1.05 million more than its entitlement of $787.01 million in 2017-18. Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (TSX:CP) took in $1.5 million beyond its entitlement of $707.99 million.center_img The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Greater Toronto home sales drop 16 per cent in 2018 fewer houses

first_imgTORONTO — The number of homes sold in Toronto and the surrounding area fell in 2018, along with the number of new listings hitting the market, as homebuyers and sellers grappled with a new reality of higher interest rates and stricter mortgage rules.The Toronto Real Estate Board says there were 77,426 residential transactions recorded through its Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system last year, down 16.1 per cent from 92,263 sales in 2017.The board says the total number of new listings was also lower, pulling back 12.7 per cent to 155,823 in 2018.Meanwhile, the average selling price for all property types in the Greater Toronto Area fell by 4.3 per cent to $787,300.TREB, which represents more than 52,000 real estate agents across the region, says the number of sales in December fell 22.5 per cent to 3,781, down from 4,876 in the same month a year earlier.The average sale price in December rose slightly by 2.1 per cent to $750,180 from $734,847 when compared to December 2017.The Canadian Presslast_img read more