New Delhi: He made his Bollywood acting debut in 2016 with “Udta Punjab” and ever since then there was no looking back. Punjabi actor-singer Diljit Dosanjh, who is acclaimed for his versatility, says he does not believe he is a star yet, and prefers to be just called an “artiste”. Diljit rose to prominence in Indian showbiz with roles of varying shades in “Udta Punjab”, “Phillauri” and “Soorma”, as well as with his songs. Today, he has a fan following of 3.6 million on Twitter and 7.3 million on Instagram. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka With all the crazy fandom, does he feel he has achieved as a star? “I don’t consider myself a star in the Punjabi film industry. I don’t believe in stardom. I am an artiste and am working like one,” Diljit told IANS. He describes his three years in Bollywood as “a good journey”, and is looking forward to what the future holds for him. “It’s been a good journey. I have competed about three years in the industry. It’s been fun. I am getting good offers. Let us see where I stand five years from now,” he said. Also Read – Salman Khan remembers actor Vinod Khanna Turbaned characters have often been typecast in Bollywood. But Diljit, a Sikh, who has previously said that he feels honoured to represent his community in mainstream Hindi cinema, stressed that it is not happening anymore. “It must have happened before but I never felt I was being treated differently. Why should there be a mould? I never thought I’d get typecast. I have done all types of films — be it ‘Phillauri’, ‘Udta Punjab’, ‘Soorma’, ‘Arjun Patiala’ or ‘Good News’. I don’t know why there was a mould (but) thank god it’s not there anymore,” he said. The 35-year-old actor comes from a simple family in the village of Dosanjh Kalan in Phillaur tehsil, Jalandhar district, Punjab. His father, Balbir Singh, is a former employee of Punjab Roadways, and his mother, Sukhwinder Kaur, is a homemaker. Diljit started his acting career in 2011 with “Loins of Punjab”. He was subsequently seen in hits such as “Jatt & Juliet”, “Jatt & Juliet 2”, “Punjab 1984”, “Sardaar Ji”, “Ambarsariya”, “Sardaar Ji 2”, “Super Singh”, “Soorma”, “Sajjan Singh”, “Rangroot” and “Shadaa”. The actor is fondly called the king of Punjabi films, but Diljit likes to refer to himself as a singer. “I am singer. It (the tag of ‘king of Punjabi films’) has happened because of the love of people. I consider myself a singer and a small artiste,” said Diljit, who has sung several chartbusters such as “Laembadgini”, “5 taara”, “Kylie+Kareena”, “Patiala Peg”, “This Singh Is So Stylish” and “Do You Know”. His new film, “Arjun Patiala”, released on July 26. The film also stars Kriti Sanon and Varun Sharma. Talking about the film, Diljit said: “There is a film within a film. And I am one of the characters in the film who is a police officer and wants to work for the betterment of society. It’s an out and out comedy,” he said.
Beijing: China demanded Thursday that US diplomats based in Hong Kong “stop interfering” in the city’s affairs, after reports that they met with pro-democracy activists. The foreign ministry said it had expressed “strong dissatisfaction” with US authorities, citing local media reports that a US official from Hong Kong’s US consulate general had met with a local “independence group”. In a statement Thursday, the ministry urged the diplomatic office to “immediately make a clean break with various anti-China rioters” and “stop interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs immediately.” Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USA report in Hong Kong newspaper Takungpao said there had been a meeting between members of the political party Demosisto — including prominent democracy activist Joshua Wong — and Julie Eadeh, political unit chief of the US consulate general in Hong Kong. When contacted by AFP for comment, a State Department spokesperson said representatives of the US government “meet regularly with a wide cross section of people across Hong Kong and Macau.” Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”For example, the day of this particular meeting, our diplomats also met with both pro-establishment and pan-democratic camp legislators, as well as members of the American business community and the consular corps,” said the spokesperson. Beijing has increasingly pitched the anti-government protests in the semi-autonomous region as funded by the West, but has provided little evidence beyond supportive statements from some Western politicians. Tensions are high in the Asian financial hub after two months of protests and clashes triggered by opposition to a planned extradition law that quickly evolved into a wider movement for democratic reforms. Demosisto says it campaigns for more self-determination for Hong Kong but not independence. Last year, the Hong Kong National Party was outlawed on the grounds it posed a security threat, the first such ban since 1997.
Mumbai: National award-winning actor Kalki Koechlin, who is playing a pivotal role in ‘Sacred Games 2’, says that though she is quite politically aware as an individual, global politics was not a dinner table discussion at home in her childhood. Despite coming from a French family and brought up in India, global politics was not a topic of conversation at home for Kalki. “I haven’t grown up in an environment where politics was a topic of discussion but, yes, we all watch the news on TV and read newspapers that make us aware, and as growing-up kids, influence all of us. The show, which is directed by Neeraj Ghawyan and Anurag Kashyap, also features Nawazuddin, Pankaj in pivotal roles.
New Delhi/Kolkata: Former Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar, who has been summoned by the CBI, in connection with the Saradha case, has approached a Special CBI court in Barasat, moving an anticipatory bail plea, which will be heard on Tuesday.Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation has also filed a caveat in the Supreme Court of India, in anticipation of a plea from Kumar’s side challenging the Calcutta High Court order that lifted his arrest shield. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The battle between CBI and Kumar has now once again reached the Apex court after it had in May this year said that Kumar should approach the High Court and trial courts for relief in the matter. CBI officials had also visited Nabanna, the West Bengal State Secretariat earlier on Monday to deliver letters to the home secretary and chief secretary of the state, seeking the whereabouts of the former Kolkata top cop, who had not been seen since the High Court removed his protection from arrest on Friday. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe central agency had summoned Kumar to appear before its officials on Monday as well, even after Kumar had responded to their earlier summons asking for one month’s time before joining the probe. Moreover, on Sunday, the CBI also sent a letter to the West Bengal DGP, looking to find out more about Kumar’s location, to which DGP Virendra had replied. After the Calcutta High Court had lifted Kumar’s protection from arrest on Friday, the CBI had on the same day visited his residence and summoned him to join the investigation. Kumar had on Saturday itself responded to the central agency’s summons asking for more time before being subjected to questioning. The Supreme Court of India had granted Kumar protection from arrest in the case till May 24 this year, after which an Apex court bench asked him to approach the Calcutta High Court or the trial courts for relief. Kumar, in a couple of days, immediately approached the Calcutta High Court, which protected him from CBI’s arrest till recently, when it dismissed his plea. The CBI has already questioned Kumar in connection with the case in Shillong earlier this year. Kumar, who is currently the ADGP (CID) in West Bengal, has maintained that the allegations against him are a result of vendetta because he had spearheaded a probe against former CBI Interim-Director Nageswar Rao’s wife. And while the CBI seems to be overeager in its pursuit of Kumar, other important lines of enquiry, such as the involvement of bureaucrats like Neeraj Singh (I-T) department and Manoj Kumar (ED) in the chit fund cases seem to be going cold.
HALIFAX – One of the most prominent items in Jamie Baillie’s office, along with the John F. Kennedy portrait and the Sir John A. Macdonald action figure, is a signed baseball from Bill “Spaceman” Lee.Lee was Baillie’s favourite baseball player growing up, and the straight-laced accountant met the eccentric left-hander in the early 1980s, after spotting a poster at Dalhousie University: “Come to a talk by Bill Lee The Spaceman.”Baillie was the only person who showed up.“Now, as a politician who has gone into a few rooms where there was fewer people than expected, I can imagine how he was feeling,” laughed Baillie, Nova Scotia’s Progressive Conservative leader.Instead of getting a speech, Baillie ended up drinking beer with Lee at Dalhousie’s Grawood student bar while the pair watched a World Series game together on television.“He was just a great character,” Baillie said of Lee, who as a member of the Boston Red Sox said he sprinkled his pancakes with marijuana. “This is a great memory for me.”Baillie enjoys a good story and a good laugh, standing in contrast to his wider public persona as the buttoned-down, cerebral leader of Nova Scotia’s Progressive Conservatives.But the 51-year-old native of Truro, N.S., seems self-aware and comfortable in his own skin as he leads his party into the May 30 provincial election, his second as leader.“I’m not off the wall, I embrace that,” Baillie said in an interview with The Canadian Press.“I’m not the most exciting person, but I do enjoy the company of different kinds of people — people that have different life experiences than me. I find that really interesting.”Entering his seventh year as leader, the married father of two teenaged daughters is a self-admitted “political nerd,” with a long pedigree in Nova Scotia politics.While at Dalhousie he was president of the Young Progressive Conservatives, and often sparred on a campus radio panel with former premier Darrell Dexter, who led the Young New Democrats.But his career really kicked off in earnest after being introduced to John Hamm, who eventually became premier. He served three years, beginning in 2002, as Hamm’s chief of staff.Baillie said while he has his political heroes, it’s Hamm he considers as his true mentor.“You do not need to be a back-slapping, baby-kissing super extrovert to be a good premier, that’s one thing I definitely learned from him,” Baillie said. “I saw in him someone who had a nice gentlemanly exterior, but a core of steel on the inside.”While making it clear he is “a Tory,” Baillie also spoke of his interest in JFK, and about believing in the late Democratic Party president’s oft-quoted mantra: “To those whom much is given, much is expected.”A chartered accountant who returned to politics in 2010 after a stint as CEO of Credit Union Atlantic, Baillie said he knows he’s been lucky to have had good jobs, and to have come from a good family.“I do feel you should do something good with that for others, so I buy into that Kennedy philosophy,” he said.“Plus he was just a really cool guy. That obviously has some appeal as well.”Longtime political associate and friend Chris Lydon said it’s part of Baillie’s makeup that he isn’t an ideologue.Lydon, now vice-president, Nova Scotia, for m5 Public Affairs, said Baillie’s management approach hasn’t changed much since his time in Hamm’s office, and largely relies on collaboration.“While you never felt he didn’t have a steady hand or was unable to be decisive, he certainly seemed to weigh people’s opinions without coming in particularly biased or with over-formulated policy ideas,” said Lydon.However, Lydon conceded that the Baillie he knows has been somewhat constrained by the requirements of being the leader of the opposition, and always appearing to be negative.Indeed, Baillie has never seemed to gain significant traction in polls leading up to the election, and the party under his leadership has languished well behind the Liberals in second place.But as the May 30 election kicked off Sunday, he pitched himself as a sunny alternative to four years of Liberal austerity.Getting the voting public to warm to him is critical for Baillie, who may not get a third opportunity to seek power if the party’s performance doesn’t meet expectations.He said he’s well aware of the political reality, but doesn’t dwell on it.“Ultimately political parties want their leaders to win for them,” said Baillie. “I would like to win for my party, but also for all Nova Scotians, and I do believe that we are going to win.”
TORONTO – Two winning tickets, both sold in Ontario, will share the $21.4 million jackpot in Friday night’s Lotto Max draw.Each ticket is worth $10.7 million.The jackpot for the next Lotto Max draw on June 23 will be approximately $10 million.
Six stories in the news for Tuesday, June 20———SENATE BALKS AT SPLITTING BUDGET BILLThe Senate won’t be splitting the Trudeau government’s budget bill to hive off the portion dealing with creation of a new infrastructure bank. Senators rejected a motion late Monday to split the bill, defeating it on a tie vote of 38-38. The motion from independent Sen. Andre Pratte would have carved out the infrastructure bank provisions into a separate bill that could be examined at greater length.———LIBERALS SET TO TABLE NATIONAL SECURITY BILLPublic Safety Minister Ralph Goodale plans to introduce a bill today to upgrade a list of Conservative anti-terrorism measures. Among other things, it will include more robust oversight of the Canada Border Services Agency and ensure appeals by Canadians on the no-fly list will be subject to mandatory review. The Liberals had promised to repeal some elements of omnibus security legislation brought in by the Conservatives after a gunman stormed Parliament Hill in 2014.———GRIM PREDICTIONS FROM CANADIAN CANCER SOCIETYAlmost one in two Canadians is expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and one in four will die from the disease, predicts a new report by the Canadian Cancer Society. It says an estimated 206,200 Canadians will be diagnosed with some form of cancer this year and an estimated 80,800 will die from the disease — making cancer the leading cause of death in Canada.———WOMAN MEETS REQUIREMENTS FOR ASSISTED DEATH: JUDGEA judge says an Ontario woman with incurable erosive osteoarthritis fits a key requirement to receive a medically assisted death after her doctor refused to help her because he feared criminal prosecution. In a decision released Monday, Superior Court Justice Paul Perell ruled the 77-year-old woman’s “natural death is reasonably foreseeable.” He said her doctor had agreed, but changed his mind because he feared a murder charge.———VIETNAMESE ‘BOAT PEOPLE’ FOCUS OF NEW HERITAGE MINUTEThe makers of Canada’s latest Heritage Minute say featuring the Vietnamese “boat people” in the short film was an ideal way to keep current events in perspective and usher in a national birthday. The short clip, now among others highlighting key moments in Canadian History, was released by Historica Canada on Tuesday and shines a light on Canada’s admission of more than 100,000 refugees fleeing war-torn Vietnam in the 1970s.———CAE ISSUES ITS FIRST PILOT OUTLOOK REPORTMontreal-based flight training provider CAE Inc. says airlines around the world will need 255,000 new commercial pilots over the next decade, a third of whom will be required in North America. CAE’s report says there are about 290,000 commercial pilots working now, but 440,000 will be needed by 2027. It says 105,000 will be needed just to replace pilots who retire in addition to 150,000 new pilots to meet growing global demand.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Statistics Canada will release data on wholesale trade, travel between Canada and other countries, and nutritional supplements.— Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz will host a special preview of the new Bank of Canada Museum in Ottawa.— Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan will appear at a Commons committee hearing witnesses on Canada’s Defence Policy Review.— Trial in Vancouver for Patrick Fox, charged with criminal harassment regarding his ex-wife Desiree Capuano.
TORONTO – The offspring of Toronto’s wandering capybaras now have names — Alex, Geddy and Neil, for members of the band Rush.The High Park Zoo says the “capybabies” were born in February to famed escape artists Bonnie and Clyde.The elder capybaras, which resemble oversized tail-less beavers, became celebrities when they escaped last May and eluded zoo staff and animal detectives for weeks.Their daring escape led to dozens of sightings. One capybara was eventually caught June 12 and the other remained free until June 28.The zoo has said the couple credits their “long time apart” for kindling the passion that led to the birth of the three pups.Coun. Sarah Doucette, whose ward includes High Park, says nearly 45,000 people voted in a contest held to determine the triplets’ names.Runners-up included “Snap, Crackle and Pop”, and “Mocha, Chino and Latte.”Doucette says the winning set of names received more than 30,000 votes.
Lim, who has a wife and son living in the Toronto area, started the Light Korean Presbyterian Church nearly three decades ago, shortly after he emigrated from South Korea.He grew the congregation from about a dozen people in 1986 to more than 3,000 members. He also runs a smaller church in downtown Toronto that caters to young people.The church has taken on numerous humanitarian projects in North Korea, one of which prompted Lim’s last trip there in January 2015.Family and friends previously said he was visiting an orphanage, nursery and nursing home in the country at the time of his arrest. The pastor had successfully travelled to North Korea more than 100 times over the past two decades, they added.Baik said the pastor’s ordeal would not deter the church from future humanitarian projects in the country.“Missions will never stop, no matter where they may be,” he said.Family members had urged the Canadian government to put pressure on North Korea to secure Lim’s release.Their calls for action took on fresh urgency in June following the death of Otto Warmbier, an American student who lived only one week after being released from North Korean custody due to health concerns.Lim’s own health was of concern to his family members, who had said the pastor needed medication to manage his blood pressure.A Canadian delegation led by Daniel Jean, the national security adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, was in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang this week to discuss Lim’s case.“Pastor Lim’s health and well-being remain of utmost importance to the government of Canada as we continue to engage on this case,” Cameron Ahmad, a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office, told The Canadian Press on Tuesday.Neither Ahmad nor Global Affairs responded to request for comment on Lim’s release.Canada does not have an embassy in North Korea, and has advised against all travel there.With files from The Associated Press A church congregation in the GTA is celebrating news of the release of their pastor from a North Korean prison more than two years after he was arrested in the country.A decision from North Korea’s central court freed Hyeon Soo Lim from the prison where he was serving a life sentence for anti-state activities, the country’s Korean Central News Agency reported Wednesday.The pastor’s release, which came on the heels of an official visit from a Canadian government delegation, was described as “sick bail” by the news agency. No other details were provided.In a brief statement issued early Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “pleased and relieved” that Lim had been released.“Pastor Lim’s health and well-being remain of utmost importance to the government of Canada, and we are working to ensure that he receives any required medical attention,” said Trudeau.The prime minister also thanked Sweden for its assistance in the matter but said “operational security considerations” prevents the government from discussing the matter further.Lim, a pastor with the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Mississauga had been sentenced by a North Korean court to life in prison with hard labour for what it called crimes against the state.Charges against him included harming the dignity of the supreme leadership, trying to use religion to destroy the North Korean system, disseminating negative propaganda about the North to overseas Koreans, and helping American and South Korean efforts to help people defect from the north.Word of Lim’s release drew members of his congregation to their church, just west of Toronto, where they were seen hugging and crying Wednesday morning.Charles Baik, an associate pastor with the church’s English ministry, said members are ecstatic at the prospect of Lim’s return.“We’re so happy he’s been released,” Baik said from outside the church. Watch the video below or click here.
The British Columbia government wants to join the legal fight against the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.The province’s NDP government has hired former judge Thomas Berger to provide legal advice to the government as it seeks intervener status in legal challenges to the federal government’s approval of the pipeline expansion.The NDP has opposed the expansion of the pipeline, which received the blessing of the province’s former Liberal government earlier this year.B.C. Premier John Horgan promised in the provincial election this spring to use “every tool in the toolbox” to stop the $7.4-billion project by Trans Mountain, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Canada.Several First Nations and municipalities have filed legal challenges against the expansion, which would triple the capacity of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline and increase the number of tankers in Vancouver-area waters seven-fold.Trans Mountain has said construction on the project is set to begin in September, but Environment Minister George Heyman says only three of eight environmental management plans that would allow work to begin have been accepted and it is unlikely those remaining will get approval before work was to start.Here is the release from the NDP:The provincial government is taking initial action on its commitment to protect British Columbia’s interests in the face of the proposed expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline and increased tanker traffic.At a news conference today, Environment and Climate Change Strategy Minister George Heyman and Attorney General David Eby outlined both legal and consultation steps the government will take immediate action on.“Our government made it clear that a seven-fold increase in heavy oil tankers in the Vancouver harbour is not in B.C.’s best interests,” said Heyman. “Not for our economy, our environment, or thousands of existing jobs. We will use all available tools to protect our coastal waters and our province’s future.”The British Columbia government has secured Thomas Berger, QC, OC, OBC as external counsel to government in the legal action related to Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline.“We are committed to fighting for B.C.’s interests and it is government’s desire to seek intervenor status in legal challenges to federal approval of the pipeline expansion and increased oil tanker traffic off B.C.’s coast,” said Eby. “Mr. Berger will provide legal advice to government on the options for participation in legal challenges, and those hearings are scheduled to begin in federal court later this fall.”The Province will also fulfil its duty of meaningful consultation with Indigenous people concerning this project, including consultations regarding potential impacts to Aboriginal rights and title – a responsibility that has been identified in a number of court cases. In particular, that duty must be fulfilled as consultation relates to environmental assessment certificate (EAC) requirements. Until these consultations are completed in a way that meets the Province’s legal obligations, work on the project on public lands cannot proceed.“Going forward we will be reviewing policies to outline how our government expects to further meet our commitments to First Nations as well as to all British Columbians with regard to defending our air, land and water,” said Heyman. “This policy review will clarify government policy for decision-makers as they evaluate future permits and work plans.”The Province will continue to explore other tools to hold Kinder Morgan’s project plans to the high standards of environmental protection and Indigenous consultation that British Columbians expect.
FREDERICTON — New Brunswick’s new premier is trying to revive the Energy East pipeline — even though the original proponent says the project is dead.TransCanada Corporation abandoned the $15.7-billion project more than a year ago, after the National Energy Board modified the environmental assessment process.But Premier Blaine Higgs, along with some other premiers and federal politicians, are again pushing the proposed pipeline as a way to get more western crude to refineries in Eastern Canada and for export to foreign markets.Ontario and Quebec have also new elected new premiers this year, and Higgs said he thinks Energy East could be viable.“The fact that Ontario has said they’re not opposed to oil coming through the province, there’s a hurdle that’s now gone. We know that Manitoba and Saskatchewan are fine and we know Alberta is looking for a way out,” said Higgs.“We see Alberta now taking a strong position with buying rail cars and saying we’ve got to get our oil to market because they’re losing $80 million a day.”Higgs said he recognizes Quebec could still be a hurdle and he plans to discuss the project with Premier Francois Legault this week at a first ministers meeting in Montreal.“We’re talking about interprovincial trade. There are some key issues, and that’s one for us. It’s one that’s important for our province. We need some wins,” Higgs said.Higgs said he discussed Energy East two weeks ago with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He said Trudeau said he’d be willing to discuss the issue again if Higgs was able to get Quebec onside.But the biggest hurdle may be getting TransCanada interested again. The company cited the regulatory changes and “changed circumstances” as the reason for its pullout last year.In a statement, Terry Cunha, manager of communications for TransCanada, said their position had not changed.“We have no plans to revisit the project. We are focused on developing the more than $36 billion in commercially secured pipeline and power generation projects that we currently have underway across North America, including Keystone XL and the Coastal GasLink project in B.C.,” he wrote.Higgs said he’s not surprised by the Calgary-based company’s position.“If you spend $800 million and you get jerked around politically so that decisions aren’t made, instead it’s procrastinated on, and … then all of a sudden the rules change mid-stream and then you don’t have any path forward,” Higgs said.“I don’t blame them. I wouldn’t jump on the bandwagon yet either.”However, Higgs said he believes if a holding company was formed that applied to the National Energy Board and got the process well underway, then TransCanada might be willing to get back onboard.Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Sheer has also been a big Energy East supporter and has said that a federal Conservative government would seek to revive the project.Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said last week restarting the project makes a lot of sense.“Our government would be very interested of course in any effort that was geared towards another project to get our product to tidewater as well as to supply the Canadian market if we could find a way to do that more effectively,” she told reporters in Ottawa.“Quite frankly it is quite perverse that we are selling our oil in Alberta for $10 a barrel and then in eastern Canada we are importing from places like Saudi Arabia. This makes no sense.”Energy East would have seen much of the western crude going to the Irving Oil refinery in Saint John.Higgs said he has yet to discuss reviving Energy East with Irving, where he worked for more than three decades and retired as a senior executive before entering politics.“I know their interest would still be there because they would offset at least 100,000 barrels a day of foreign crude, maybe more. That commitment would still be there because they are still in operation and they are still buying foreign crude,” he said.But New Brunswick Green Leader David Coon said Higgs needs to switch 180 degrees — and instead look at reducing dependence on fossil fuels.“The World Meteorological Organization just announced a study that if we continue to follow the path we’re following now we are going to blast past the Paris agreement and get into three to five degrees of warming, which is catastrophic,” he said.But a study by the Canadian Energy Research Institute — released in January — concluded that refineries in central and Atlantic Canada would see lower supply costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions if they bought more Canadian crude oil.The study found that substituting Canadian oil wherever possible using space on existing pipelines, rail cars and ocean tankers would result in a 47-per-cent reduction in foreign oil imports into Eastern Canada, saving $210 million per year, and the equivalent of more than two million tonnes of carbon dioxide, or about 5.7 per cent.Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press
CANADA — A Canadian national who was kidnapped in Burkina Faso’s northern Sahel region has been found dead according to a report from Reuters.A spokesman for Burkina Faso’s security ministry identified the man as Kirk Woodman, who works for the Vancouver-based Progress Mineral Mining Company.Spokesman Jean Paul Badoum said Wednesday that the employee was abducted overnight during a raid on a mining site in Tiabongou, about 20 kilometres from Mansila in Yagha province.Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canadian officials are reaching out to the kidnapping victim’s family.“The Canadian agencies involved in this situation are really aware of this situation, and we’ll be in contact with the family,” she told reporters in Repentigny, northeast of Montreal.In a statement, his family asked for privacy and said they will not be speaking publicly.“We have faith and trust in Canadian authorities to bring our husband and father home safe. We are hopeful for a fast resolution to the situation,” they said.The news comes soon after a 34-year-old Quebec tourist and her travelling companion were reported missing in the west African nation.Sherbrooke native Edith Blais and her Italian friend Luca Tacchetto were travelling by car in southwestern Burkina Faso when all communication with their families abruptly ended Dec. 15.A statement by Security Minister Clement Sawadogo referred to the disappearance of Blais and Tacchetto as a kidnapping.West Africa’s Sahel region has seen a number of abductions of foreigners in recent years by extremists linked to al-Qaida or the Islamic State organization.Burkina Faso recently declared a state of emergency in the region as attacks by Islamic extremists increased, especially along the border with Niger and Mali.Sawadogo said foreigners should use extreme caution when travelling in dangerous areas of the country.With files from The Associated Press
VANCOUVER — A judge has ordered the RCMP to provide copies of the content on seven electronic devices to an executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies after they were seized when she was arrested at Vancouver’s airport.Justice Heather Holmes of the British Columbia Supreme Court says the RCMP must make copies for Meng Wanzhou of data on an iPhone, an iPad, a Macbook Air, a Huawei phone, two SIM cards and a flash drive.In the order issued today after a brief hearing in court, Holmes says that within three days a representative of the Mounties must provide the electronics to the force’s technical crime unit so content can be extracted onto devices provided by Meng.Two sealed copies of the data are to be transferred onto devices provided by the RCMP, which must keep them in a secure exhibit locker until they are provided to the court, along with the seized electronics.The items were confiscated on Dec. 1 when Meng was taken into custody at the request of the United States, which is seeking her extradition on fraud charges. Meng has been free on bail since Dec. 11 and is living in one of her two multimillion-dollar homes in Vancouver while wearing an electronic tracking device and being monitored by a security company.She and Huawei have denied any wrongdoing.The Canadian Press
OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – With Ontario and Alberta ramping up their efforts to oppose the federal carbon tax, the Trudeau government is pushing back.Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is taking aim at her opponents and lashing out at Ontario Premier Doug Ford for launching new ads against the carbon tax.“Literally having a misleading advertising campaign using taxpayer dollars, not telling people the cost of climate change that we are all paying right now or the money that’s going back,” she adds.RELATED: Alberta premier says provincial carbon tax will die May 30McKenna says Conservatives want to take the country back in time instead of supporting a clean economy.“You have conservative politicians who want to take us back in time, they don’t take climate change seriously, they are using taxpayer money to run misinformation campaigns,” McKenna adds. “You got Andrew Scheer developing a climate plan with oil lobbyists behind closed doors.”She adds it’s disappointing Alberta Premier Jason Kenney plans to scrap his provincial carbon tax by may 30, forcing the feds to impose one.RELATED: NDP unveils parts of climate plan in motion as the Green Party edges closerMcKenna won’t speculate on how quickly the Trudeau government would act but says Albertans will end up getting more money in their pockets thanks to the rebate.These latest jabs are thrown as a new Abacus poll shows 78 per cent of Canadians believe a climate change plan must or should include a price in pollution.
OTTAWA — Canada has no plans to contribute a ship to Britain’s nascent navy coalition to defend international shipping in the Strait of Hormuz.A spokesman for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says Canada has not been asked to contribute to the coalition the British government wants to create to protect international shipping lanes from Iran.Ex-Canadian navy commanders who’ve served in the region, as well Middle East analysts, say that’s not necessarily a bad thing.They say cooler diplomatic heads will be required to solve the current crisis, and that a military build-up of Western warships in the Persian Gulf would only inflame tensions.Last Friday, Iran seized the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero as it was transiting the narrow and strategically vital international waterway between Oman and Iran through which one-fifth of the world’s oil is shipped.That followed the British Royal Navy’s seizure of an Iranian oil tanker off the coast of Gibraltar earlier this month for violating sanctions against Syria.The Canadian Press
FREDERICTON — A convicted murderer who failed to return to a Moncton halfway house last week remains missing, and documents show he had been unlawfully at large twice in the past.The Correctional Service of Canada says 66-year-old Jack Woods was serving an indeterminate sentence at Dorchester Penitentiary for manslaughter and second-degree murder.He was on a 72-hour unescorted absence when he didn’t return last Thursday.According to a Parole Board decision in May, Woods was unlawfully at large for five months in 2010 and again for two months after being granted day parole in 2012.Woods stands 5-7, weighs 223 pounds and has a fair complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. He is missing both of his little fingers.A warrant has been issued for his arrest.The Canadian Press
HALIFAX — Localized flooding was reported overnight in the western Maritimes as the remnants of post-tropical storm Erin dumped more than 160 millimetres of rain in some areas.The centre of the low-pressure system passed over Nova Scotia’s southwestern shore near Shelburne late Thursday, moving northeast toward St. Margarets Bay and the Halifax region before arriving at the Gulf of St. Lawrence this morning.The heaviest rainfall was reported in southwestern Nova Scotia, the eastern side of the Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, parts of northern Nova Scotia, southern New Brunswick along the Bay of Fundy and western P.E.I.More than 160 mm of rain fell on Parrsboro, N.S., which is in northern Nova Scotia, next to the Bay of Fundy’s Minas Basin.Meanwhile more than 150 mm of rain was reported in Port Maitland in southwestern Nova Scotia and Scots Bay, near the entrance to the Minas Basin.Bob Robichaud, warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada, said some communities in southwestern Nova Scotia received up to 30 millimetres of rain per hour, which he described as an extreme rainfall rate.“That resulted in some flooding,” he said, adding he was unaware of any serious damage or major power outages.“I’m surprised that I haven’t heard anything in terms of impacts. It may be that they’re still assessing stuff.”The Halifax Stanfield International Airport reported 53 mm or rain and a peak gust at 69 kilometres per hour.The Canadian Press
Harrison Ford has urged the US to invest in conservation in a new interview with the BBC’s Laura Trevelyan.Video: Harrison Ford: ‘Humans need nature’.In the interview, the actor – alongside Conservation International Chief Executive Officer Peter Seligmann – talks about how the lack of water and food in developing countries could become a national security issue for the US.“It puts such stress on some of the most fragile nations in the world,” he says. “We’re all interconnected. For example, a simple lack of fresh water can lead to population dislocation, which can lead to political radicalization, which can lead to great pressure on the states that receive refugees because of a migrating population.””It’s a lot cheaper to intervene before it becomes a national security issue,” Mr Ford said. “Every dollar that we spend on international conservation comes back to us.”When asked why it is so important to him so personally, Ford replied “I’m human, I have children, I’m interested in their futures. I’m interested in nature in many many ways. And I’m also interested in the moral responsibility of human beings – to each other, to themselves, to the future.”To watch the entire interview, click here.
The Starkey Hearing Foundation celebrated its annual Hear The World Awards Gala late last month.President Bill Clinton, Forest Whitaker, Kristi Yamaguchi, Mel B., Lou Ferrigno, Bill Rancic, Greg Jennings, Tony Hawk, Shannon Elizabeth, Kevin Sorbo, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Verne Troyer and many more gathered together to celebrate the incredible humanitarian accomplishments of Sir Richard Branson, Ashton Kutcher, Barbara Bush, Chunli Zhao “Angel,” Jimmy Walker and Dennis and Leslie Hansen.This was a record-breaking year, raising $8 million to help Starkey Hearing Foundation open up the world of sound for thousands around the globe.The evening featured performances by Lionel Richie, Marc Anthony, Matisyahu, Sinbad, Jessica Sanchez, ARIA and Nina Whitaker.Find out more here.
The Los Angeles Mission has a giant street fair on 5th Street for children – with food, games, prizes, crafts, face painting, bounce houses, giant inflatable slide, dunk tank and more.Children who live in the area will have a day of carefree summer play. And there will be food from In-N-Out Burger, King Taco and kielbasa plates from Michael Levine Trading Company.With the cost of school supplies up by 7.3% in a recent survey, the Mission’s backpacks for kids will help more than ever. Families who receive backpacks won’t have to decide between food and school supplies for their children.Celebrities and political leaders will join hundreds of other volunteers to help serve the nearly 3,000 kids and their families who will attend. And this year, Soles4Souls and BOBS from Skechers will be making kids-size shoes available for the young participants. Approximately 1,000 backpacks of school supplies and shoes will be distributed to school-aged children.Among those who are scheduled to appear are Alison Holker (So You Think You Can Dance), Charles Baker (Breaking Bad), Jason Wahler (The Hills), Aldis Hodge (Leverage), Edwin Hodge (Red Dawn), G Hanneluis (Dog with a Blog), Carolyn Hennesy (True Blood), Jamie Gray Hyder (True Blood), Octavius Johnson (Ray Donovan), Maitland Ward (Boy Meets Girl), Bruno Amato (The Internship), Thomas Kasp (Pictures on the Wall), Brandon Molale (Gangster Squad), Sharna Burgess (Dancing with the Stars), Lisa Long (The Runaways), Caroline Rich (In the Key of Eli), Brandon Tyler Russell (Smitty), Tyler Champagne (The Client List), Breille Barbusca (Defining Mel), Tara-Nicole Azarian (Standing Up), Jaden Betts (The Client List), Austin Anderson (Victorious), Amber Barbell (Love Triangle), and more.WHEN: SATURDAY August 24, 2013, 11:00 AM to 3:00 PMWHERE: Los Angeles Mission, 303 East 5th Street (on the corner of 5th and Wall Street), Los Angeles, CA 90013. (Media check-in on the front patio.)WHY: The Los Angeles Mission, along with US Bank, In-N-Out Burger, King Taco, Great Commission Church International (backpacks), Briefly Cares (underwear), City Dental (toothbrushes), Jackson Hewitt, Amcor and many others make the event possible. New shoes for the children were made available by Soles4Souls and Skechers.The End of Summer Block Party gives children who often experience fear, hunger, health issues and stress on a daily basis a chance to spend the day just being a kid!