Ahmedabad: The BJP on Tuesday retained the Junagadh Municipal Corporation (JMC) in Gujarat by securing a larger mandate of 51 seats decimating the Congress to just one seat in the 60-member body.The ruling party also won by-elections to a majority of seats in districtand taluka panchayats for which elections were held on July 21. The BJP has improved its tally by seven seats to win 51 out of 56 seats in the JMC that went to polls on July 21, results for which were announced Tuesday. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has emerged as the second largest party by winning four seats. Out of total 60 seats in JMC, the election was held for 56 seats. While candidates of the BJP were declared elected unopposed on three seats, the form of a BJP nominee stood rejected in another instance. The NCP registered a surprise win on four seats. In a stinging defeat, the tally of the main opposition Congress, which had 15 corporators, has shrunken to just one seat with Manjulaben Pansara the only saving grace for the party. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KPansara won on a general seat from ward number 4. The Congress was affected by a leadership crisis after its city president Vinu Amipara resigned to join the BJP just before the election along with a large number of party workers. The BJP had wrest control of the JMC from the Congress in previous election by winning 44 seats. Tweeting in Gujarati after the results were declared, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “BJP candidates have registered grand victory in the election to the Junagadh Municipal Corporation and by-election to other district/taluka Panchayats. The people of Gujarat have always trusted politics of development”. In his tweet, Union Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah said, “Heartiest congratulation to the people of Gujarat for constantly reposing faith in the BJP symbolising development and trust”. Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said the results were unexpected. “It is the outcome of infighting within the Congress unit of Junagadh, and we failed in our strategy. We also could not match the level of manipulation played by the other side. We will rectify the mistake and will come back stronger,” he said. The ruling party also won the by-election held for one seat of Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation and a majority of seats of district and taluka Panchayats on which by-polls were held on July 21. The BJP won five seats of district panchayat in by-polls. The party also won 32 out of 43 seats of Taluka Panchayat, while Congress bagged eight seats and three went to Independents. The ruling party celebrated its victory by bursting fire crackers at its state headquarters, ‘Kamalam’, in Gandhinagar.
Mumbai: Actor Kunaal Roy Kapur will be seen opposite Sanjay Dutt’s niece Nazia Hussain in the upcoming “Mushkil – Fear Behind You”. Produced by Ravinder Jeet Dariya, the film will see Kunaal, known for his comic timing, turn a romantic hero. The “Delhi Belly” actor said he was initially concerned about shooting a romantic song for the film. “I was worried that if I would do a romantic song, I’d probably think of it in a comic manner, as comedy is what plays on my mind. But I’m glad my work is appreciated, and director Rajiv Ruia had full faith in me,” Kapur said in a statement. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka Ruia said he was unsure whether the actor would consent to a romantic number but lauded both him and Hussain for shooting the song in “extreme cold weather”. “Both Nazia and Kunaal are great sports and the picturisation of the song has come out brilliantly, bringing to life the virgin locales in Greece. After this film, I am sure Kunaal will have a lot of romantic films coming to him,” the director said.
New Delhi: As part of an afforestation drive of DDA, four lakh indigenous trees will be planted this year across various biodiversity parks and other green belts in Delhi, officials said. Neem, amaltas, gulmohar and other species which are native to this region will be planted, they said. “This year the DDA is going to plant four lakh local or indigenous tree species like, neem, peepal, bargad, gulmohar, amaltas, pilkhan, kachnar, jamun, sheesham, arjun, belpatra, which are native to this region, and found in and around Delhi,” a DDA official said. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe plantation drive was launched recently, with planting of trees at a park near Commonwealth Games Village and a park at Vasant Kunj, in association with local RWAs. “The planting will be taken up in DDA’s parks, biodiversity parks, green belts, roadsides, yamuna flood plains and other places by involving local resident welfare associations (RWAs), other organisations and eco-clubs of various schools,” the DDA said. The involvement of school children in the plantation drive will create awareness and sensitise students about the importance of trees and their role in environment conservation, the official said. “Each eco-club will be supplied a maximum of 500 seedlings for planting per year, through students of class 6 and above. Students will maintain planted trees or plants for next 4-5 years till they pass out of school,” the DDA said.
Impulsiveness during adolescence is not unique to us, according to a study which suggests that the brains of human and other primates go through similar changes in teen years, particularly in the areas that affect self-control. “As is widely known, adolescence is a time of heightened impulsivity and sensation seeking, leading to questionable choices,” said Beatriz Luna of the University of Pittsburgh in the US. “However, this behavioral tendency is based on an adaptive neurobiological process that is crucial for molding the brain based on gaining new experiences,” Luna said. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainStructural, functional, and neurophysiological comparisons between us and macaque monkeys show that this difficulty in stopping reactive responses is similar in our primate counterparts – who during puberty, also show limitations in tests where they have to stop a reactive response.”The monkey is really the most powerful animal model that comes closest to the human condition,” said Christos Constantinidis of Wake Forest School of Medicine in the US. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma Award”They have a developed prefrontal cortex and follow a similar trajectory with the same patterns of maturation between adolescence and adulthood.” Taking risks and having thrilling adventures during this period isn’t necessarily a bad thing, according to the study. “You don’t have this perfect inhibitory control system in adolescence, but that’s happening for a reason,” Lunsa said. “It has survived evolution because it’s actually allowing for new experiences to provide information about the environment that is critical for optimal specialisation of the brain to occur,” she said. Understanding the neural mechanisms that underlie this transitional period in our primate counterparts is critical to informing us about this period of brain and cognitive maturation, said Luna.
Manchester: Rory Burns and Joe Root helped England reach 125/2 at Tea on Day 3 to keep themselves alive in the fourth Ashes Test here on Friday. After Steve Smith’s 211 which propelled Australia to 497/8, England recovered 25/2 to trim mammoth lead down to 372 with eight wickets in hand and one session and two days remaining. The first session of the day got washed out after England resumed on 23/1 with Burns batting on 15. By Tea, Burns got to his fourth Test fifty and second in the series and was batting on 62 from 137 balls. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhSkipper Root at the other end neared his second consecutive half century as he was batting on 47 from 108 balls. The pair shared a 100-run unbroken stand. For the Aussies, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins got a wicket each. After Joe Denly (4) was dismissed on Day 2, nightwatchman Craig Overton also got out for just 5 early on Day 3, Hazlewood having him caught by Smith at second slip. From then on, Burns and Root steadied the ship. On the second day, it was all about Smith’s masterclass batting display. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterSmith brought up his third double hundred after missing the third Ashes Test due to concussion. Smith re-wrote the history books with his 26th Test century and third Ashes double hundred as he batted for 513 minutes, and hit 24 fours and two sixes. Brief scores: Australia 1st innings: 497/8 decl (Steve Smith 211, Marnus Labuschagne 67; Tim Paine 58, Mitchell Starc 54 not out; Stuart Broad 3/97) vs England 125/2 (Rory Burns 62, Joe Root 47) at Tea.
VANCOUVER – The British Columbia Real Estate Association says a lack of homes on the market means buyers are paying more for housing across the province.The association has released figures for May showing 12,402 homes were sold in B.C. last month, down 7.9 per cent when compared with May last year.Total listings also fell 11.1 per cent to 28,404 over the same period.But the association says sales remained very active in May, surpassing the number of new listings by 20 per cent in nine of B.C.’s 11 real estate boards and topping 50 per cent in Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Chilliwack and Victoria.Prices also jumped 4.2 per cent between May 2016 and last month, with the average B.C. home selling for $752,536.Association chief economist Cameron Muir says despite strong consumer demand, the supply of homes for sale across the province has plunged 50 per cent over the last five years.“The entire southern portion of the province is experiencing a shortage of housing supply, which makes continuing upward pressure on home prices inevitable, at least in the near term,” he says.
BUFFALO, N.Y. – A Mississauga, Ont., resident who as caught trying to sneak snakes into Canada in his socks has pleaded guilty.Federal prosecutors in Buffalo, N.Y., say 28-year-old Chaoyi Le faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to violating wildlife regulations. Sentencing is set for Oct. 30.He was arrested in 2014 at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge in western New York after Canadian border agents discovered three live albino western hognose snakes hidden in his socks.At first, Le said he’d found them in a New York park, but eventually admitted buying them.Authorities say Le, a Chinese citizen who lives in Mississauga, was trying to avoid a U.S. Fish and Wildlife inspection.Court documents say that on the same day, Le also mailed several snakes from New York to China.
OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – The Trudeau Government’s controversial marijuana bill has passed second reading by a 44-29 vote and now heads to committee.Ordinarily, second reading — a vote on a bill in principle — would not have been a big hurdle. However, the bill’s fate came into question after 33 Conservative senators vowed to vote en masse against Bill C-45.More to come.
FREDERICTON – A 43-year-old New Brunswick man has died after being stung by a wasp, although his family says he had not previously displayed signs of an allergy.Daniel Koch was looking under a table to locate a wasp’s nest at his property in Maple Grove, N.B., on Friday when a wasp flew out and stung him on the face.His father, Terry Koch, said Daniel collapsed within minutes.The family keeps bees on the property, so EpiPens were on site, but the reaction came on too quickly. Daniel died en route to the hospital after Terry administered an EpiPen and performed CPR.The coroner told the family that Daniel, a father of one, died from a “severe allergic reaction to a sting,” causing his air passages to close.Terry described him as a quiet, thoughtful man who put others’ needs before his own — he was looking for the wasp nest because his mother was stung earlier in the week.But Terry said his son was in good health, and despite being stung by a wasp as recently as last year, Daniel had never shown signs of a severe allergy to stings.“Actually, when the rest of us got a cold, we’d go to the doctor. When he got a cold, he’d fight it and he always won. I always thought his health was pretty good,” said Terry.Stories like Daniel’s are uncommon but not unheard of. In 2014, Lucie Roussel, the mayor of La Prairie, Que., died after being stung at least 15 times in the garden of her home, despite never being diagnosed with an allergy.Allergy specialists say it’s rare to have a fatal allergic reaction without previous symptoms, but it’s not uncommon to develop allergies at any stage of life.David Fischer, president of Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, said about one per cent of the population is at risk of an allergic reaction to insect stings.Cases like Koch’s are rare, as many patients have experienced hives or other signs of an allergy before.“It is unusual to have the reaction the way it’s described … but certainly one per cent of the population could have a reaction to their next sting. The problem is you can’t really do any screening for that,” said Fischer.Allergies can appear at any age, but Fischer said most cases of fatal or near-fatal reactions to insect stings involve adults over 40, when people are more likely to be on heart medications like beta blockers, or have an underlying narrowing of the coronary artery.Dr. Donald Stark, an allergist and professor at the University of British Columbia, said the location of the sting can escalate the reaction. In Daniel Koch’s case, the wasp may have inserted the venom into an artery in his face, making him react more rapidly.There is an effective allergy desensitization treatment for reactions to insect stings, and Stark said the treatment can be 95 per cent effective.But there have been recent manufacturing problems for the treatment, making it difficult for patients to access.Stark said this shortage, combined with the current shortage of adult EpiPens in Canada, puts patients with severe insect allergies in a bind, especially during a month when wasps are particularly active.“It’s a double whammy because if you don’t have the desensitization we said ‘Well, you’d better carry an EpiPen so you know how to treat yourself,’ and now we’re having a hard time getting those as well,” said Stark.“It is a big problem, and I’ve certainly got a lot of anxious patients.”– By Holly McKenzie-Sutter in St. John’s, N.L.
BURLINGTON, Vt. – A Montreal man has been sentenced to 51 months in prison after he admitted smuggling about 100 handguns into Canada across the Vermont-Quebec border.Alexis Vlachos appeared in U.S. District Court in Burlington, Vt., on Tuesday.Vlachos will be given credit for the 43 months he has been in custody since he was arrested in Canada prior to his extradition to the United States.Vlachos pleaded guilty last January to the smuggling that occurred in 2010 and 2011.Some of the handguns were left in the bathroom of a library that straddles the border between Derby Line, Vt., and Stanstead, Que.He also admitted walking across the border with other handguns.In court, Vlachos apologized for his actions and said his criminal past is behind him.
The Canadian Press OTTAWA — Maxime Bernier says the policies of his new political party will not include anything to do with abortion or gender identity.Bernier is defending the appointment of former Christian talk show host Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson to be the first candidate for the People’s Party of Canada, which he founded after parting ways with the Conservative party in August.Tyler Thompson will run in the Burnaby South byelection in British Columbia next month, with the party’s candidates for other February byelections in Ontario and Quebec likely to be named next week.Tyler Thompson has in the last two years become a vocal critic of B.C.’s curriculum on sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools, calling it her “hill to die on” in a column she wrote last July.Bernier has marched in pride parades and is known to be pro-choice but would not say where he specifically stands on the issue of teaching gender identity in schools, calling it a matter under provincial jurisdiction.He says only that Tyler Thompson is entitled to her opinions but she knows social-conservative issues will not be part of the party platform for the 2019 election.
CALGARY — Investigators say a Canadian Pacific freight train was parked and began to move on its own before it derailed and killed three crew members on the Alberta-British Columbia boundary.The Transportation Safety Board says the westbound train had been parked on a grade for two hours near Field, B.C., when the westbound train started rolling.The board says the crew had just boarded the train, but weren’t yet ready to depart.It says the train gained speed well in excess of the 32 km/h maximum for the tight turns in the mountain pass.Some 99 cars carrying grain and two locomotives derailed at a curve ahead of a bridge.The three crew were all in the lead locomotive, which plunged into a river.The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — The last words Sukhwinder Singh Mithu remembers from his wife were a plea to her killers.“Don’t hurt my Mithu. Don’t hit him,” he recalls Jaswinder (Jassi) Kaur Sidhu uttering.On that warm June evening nearly 19 years ago, Mithu and Sidhu were returning home on a scooter in the village of Narike in Punjab after an evening out.Sidhu, who was from Maple Ridge, B.C., had secretly married Mithu — a poor rickshaw driver — a year earlier against her mother’s wishes, Indian police have said.Mithu’s voice broke in a recent interview as he recalled the attack on June 8, 2000, for which his wife’s mother and uncle have been extradited from Canada to India, where they face charges of conspiracy to murder.A lawyer for the mother, Malkit Kaur Sidhu, and uncle, Surjit Singh Badesha, says he is confident his clients will be found not guilty and allowed to return to Canada.“They want to spend the rest of their life in Canada,” said Simrandeep Singh Sandhu.Mithu said he is relieved that they will at last face trial, but the past two decades have been hard on him.The couple was crossing a bridge when they saw a white car, he said in Punjabi from India. He saw four people get out of the car.They ran at the pair armed with sticks and swords, said Mithu, 42.When one of their attackers tried to hit him with a sword, Mithu said he ducked and the weapon hit his wife.“She screamed and fell off the scooter,” he said, his voice breakingHe remembers jumping off his scooter and running to her.“I asked them why they were hitting her. I asked them why they were hitting us. I tried to defend her.”His wife’s screams haunt him: “She was shouting for help. She was asking ‘Are you OK, Mithu?’ “That’s when he lost consciousness.For the next few weeks he remained unconscious in hospital. It would be nearly a month before he could see again.He said no one told him of his 25-year-old wife’s death for three months because his family wanted to wait until they thought he was well enough to handle the news.Her body was found the day following the attack at the edge of a lake. Court documents say a post-mortem showed the cause of death was “shock and hemorrhage as a result of injury to the vital organs.”Sidhu’s mother and uncle believed the marriage brought dishonour to the family, Indian police have said. They have also alleged that death threats were issued to the couple and phone calls were made from Badesha’s home in B.C. to some of the perpetrators around the time of the attack.Sidhu and Mithu met in December 1994 when they both got on a three-wheeler going to a village in Punjab. Sidhu lived close to Mithu’s house and they soon started meeting.Over the next five years, they spoke on the phone between Canada and India, and exchanged more than 200 letters.“Her Punjabi was not very good. I don’t know English,” Mithu said. “But we wrote letters and talked on the phone. Our love story was before Whatsapp and smartphones.”Mithu’s lawyer, Ashwani Chaudhary, said Sidhu’s mother allegedly had her daughter sign a letter that was sent by fax to police in Punjab saying she had been kidnapped and forced into marriage by Mithu.Chaudhary alleges that Jassi Sidhu was made to believe the document — written in Punjabi, which she didn’t properly understand — was part of an application to get Mithu permanent residency in Canada.An Indian court document says when she learned about the letter in early 2000, Sidhu went back to India to give a statement to the police that she loved Mithu and married him “out of her free will” and that the marriage was “not to the liking of her parents and maternal uncle.” In 2013, Jody Wright, who worked with Sidhu at a Coquitlam beauty salon, testified at an extradition hearing in B.C. that her colleague was forced to sign a document seeking an annulment from her husband after threats were made against their lives.Sidhu and Badesha were extradited to India in January, ending a long legal battle in Canada. They were arrested on Jan. 6, 2012 — almost 12 years after Jassi Sidhu’s body was found.In a unanimous decision in 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada set aside a B.C. Court of Appeal ruling that stopped the proceedings over concerns the mother and uncle would be poorly treated or even tortured in India.Sandeep Garg, the senior superintendent of police in the Sangrur district, said officers are finalizing their case and it will soon be presented to a court. Mithu said he is relieved the case is moving forward.“It took a very long time to get a hearing,” he said.Supt. Swaran Singh Khanna of the Bathinda police force took over the case 12 days after Sidhu’s body was found and says he was struck by the brutality of the crime.“Mithu has had to face a lot. This is a very sad case. There are no words to describe this case,” he said in Hindi. “Imagine if you had to undergo something like this.”A Supreme Court of India document says the trial court convicted seven out of 11 people who were accused of carrying out the attack, including a police officer, and acquitted four of them. India’s High Court later acquitted three more.In 2015, the court acquitted Darshan Singh Sidhu, who was accused of arranging the killing in India on behalf of the family in Canada, giving him “the benefit of doubt.”Sandhu, the lawyer for Sidhu and Badesha, said with Darshan Singh Sidhu being acquitted the rest of the evidence in his clients’ case is circumstantial.“The apex court of the country has found no constructive evidence against him and they let him go. Right now there’s nothing against them — there’s no money transaction, there’s nothing.”The case is “more of a media trial,” he said.Mithu said he clings to memories of his wife.“We would have had kids,” he said, his voice trailing off.“She used to tell me that she can die for me and can never leave me.” Hina Alam, The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — Advocates for caregivers are hopeful the case of a Montreal man who killed his Alzheimer’s-stricken wife in what was described as an act of desperation, will shed some light on the plight of those struggling to care for relatives suffering from the disease.Michel Cadotte was sentenced Tuesday to two years less a day in jail for the 2017 suffocation killing of his wife, Jocelyne Lizotte, 60, who was in a long-term care facility. A jury had found him guilty earlier this year of manslaughter. He had told the court he couldn’t handle watching her suffer.The culmination of the case will hopefully alert the public to the daily struggles faced by primary caregivers, particularly those who are taking care of relatives stricken with Alzheimer’s, said Sylvie Grenier of the Quebec Federation of Alzheimer’s Societies.Grenier, who testified for the defence at sentencing, said the Cadotte case highlights the fact that relatives caring for patients with the neurodegenerative disease need to be looked after as well.“What the federation wants the public to retain from this, is all the distress faced by those who get the disease — the victim and their family,” Grenier said Wednesday. “We must support the person with the disease as well as all of those around them.”In Quebec, an estimated 145,000 people are currently suffering from Alzheimer’s and it’s a number that’s expected to spike to 260,000 by 2025.“We’re not ready for this,” said Grenier, adding that various agencies and groups are working to organize social and support services, medical care and day centres to deal with what she described as a “tsunami” of cases that are coming.Cadotte’s sentence was merited and must be denounced, Grenier said. But, she added, the case reveals how family members caring for sick relatives often live in isolation.“For those who are lucky enough not to deal with it, the impact of this disease is not something they can appreciate,” Grenier said. “They can’t understand the impact it can have on the level of distress in people.”Melanie Perroux, co-ordinator of the Regroupement des Aidants Naturels Du Quebec — an organization that represents caregivers, said she hopes the Cadotte case gives people pause to consider how taxing caregiving can be.“I think it shows us how we forget how complicated it is to take on this role and to be a caregiver on a daily basis,” Perroux said. “I really hope that within families where there are caregivers, people will stop to ask the principal caregiver: ‘How can I help you today? Can I do something for you?.”Political reaction was muted in Quebec City Wednesday. Senior ministers assigned to health and to seniors did not want to comment on the matter.Justice Minister Sonia LeBel wouldn’t comment directly on the Cadotte ruling because of the possibility of appeals.“There’s probably a societal debate to be had,” LeBel told reporters. “We can talk about how this type of situation doesn’t arise again, because there’s a sad situation at its core, the judge highlighted that in her judgment.”Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
Four stories in the news for Tuesday, Aug. 27———MIDDLE-CLASS B.C. GANGS BREAK FROM HISTORYA former member of the Hells Angels says the young men joining gangs today are facing much higher stakes than he did. Joe Calendino began turning his life around after being busted selling $10 worth of crack cocaine to an undercover cop. But he says the gang landscape has shifted so dramatically in the decade since that today’s youth won’t have the same second chance. He says he and his friends got in fights when he was growing up and started getting involved with drugs, but guns were never involved. When Canada’s homicide rate reached 660 in 2017 — the highest in almost a decade — Statistics Canada attributed part of the spike to gang-related violence and shootings, singling out British Columbia as a hot spot.———B.C. PLEASED WITH OKLAHOMA RULING IN OPIOIDS CASEBritish Columbia’s attorney general says he is pleased with the findings of a court in Oklahoma that found Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries helped fuel the state’s opioid crisis as it ordered the company to pay US $572 million, more than twice the amount another drug manufacturer agreed to pay in a settlement. The province filed a proposed class-action lawsuit a year ago against dozens of pharmaceutical companies in a bid to recoup the health-care costs associated with opioid addiction. The untested suit alleges the companies falsely marketed opioids as less addictive than other pain drugs and helped trigger an overdose crisis that has killed thousands since OxyContin was introduced to the Canadian market in 1996.———WASTEWATER TESTS REVEAL CANADIANS’ DRUG USEA pilot project that analyzed wastewater in five major urban centres suggests Canadians’ may use drugs differently depending on which city they call home. For example, the analysis by Statistics Canada showed cannabis levels are much higher in Montreal and Halifax than in Toronto, Vancouver and Edmonton. But the findings reported Monday showed methamphetamine levels were significantly higher in the latter two cities. Cocaine use, on the other hand, appeared more evenly distributed across the cities, averaging 340 grams per million people per week. To get results, the agency collected wastewater samples from treatment plants in each of the five major cities between March 2018 and February 2019 and tested them for traces of cannabis and a dozen other drugs. ———SOME FISH PASSING RIVER BLOCKAGE: FISHERIES DEPARTMENTAuthorities dealing with a massive landslide in British Columbia’s Fraser River say they’ve successfully helped thousands of salmon migrate north of the site, but millions of fish remain threatened by the obstruction. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the provincial government and local First Nations set up a team to lead the response to the slide near Big Bar, north of Lillooet, after it was discovered in late June. The team says fish counting data shows some chinook salmon have been able to swim past the slide using the channels the team has created with large rock manipulation and blasting. It says as of last Tuesday, a rough estimate of 6,700 salmon have passed through the slide on their own.———ALSO IN THE NEWS:— Environment Minister Catherine McKenna will make an announcement today on the federal government’s plan to support climate action in Ontario.— Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett will make an announcement on a new collaborative fiscal policy and self-governing Indigenous governments.— The trial continues today for Alberta couple David and Collet Stephan, who are charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life in the death of their son, Ezekiel, from meningitis.— The trial continues today in Vancouver for Andrew Berry, who faces second-degree murder charges in the death of his two young daughters.The Canadian Press
WWE Divas Alicia Fox and Natalya will visit refugee camps in Rwanda this week as part of their alliance with the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign to help raise awareness and funds to fight malaria in sub-Saharan Africa.WWE’s Divas will help distribute life-saving bed nets to help protect refugee families, who are fleeing conflict in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, from malaria. They will also meet with officials from the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to learn about the humanitarian situation there.“Refugees already face unimaginable hardships,” said Chris Helfrich, Director of Nothing But Nets. “A simple bed net can stop mothers and children from worrying about a deadly mosquito bite. We’re proud to show the WWE Divas — and WWE fans everywhere — how malaria prevention tools like bed nets keep families safe. With more than 140 million social media fans, WWE and its Divas have an incredible opportunity to spread the buzz about stopping malaria.”Nothing But Nets has partnered with UNHCR since 2008, working together to provide vulnerable refugee families fleeing conflict or natural disasters with insecticide-treated mosquito nets that can keep them safe from malaria. The partners have provided more than 1 million bed nets to refugees living in camps across Africa; as a result, malaria dropped from the leading killer of refugees to the number five cause of death.“WWE is proud to partner with Nothing But Nets to raise awareness and funds to protect families from deadly malaria,” said Stephanie McMahon, WWE Executive Vice President, Creative. “Through our partnership, WWE will continue to reach out to our passionate fan base to spread the message about preventing this disease. It is our hope that when WWE fans learn that a child dies from malaria every 60 seconds, they will be inspired to send a net and save a life.” WWE aims to send 20,000 bed nets to refugees.The trip is part of Nothing But Nets’ alliance with WWE, announced at the 2012 Social Good Summit. There, UN Foundation Resident Entrepreneur Elizabeth Gore appeared with McMahon and WWE Divas Layla and Alicia Fox, who urged their fans to support Nothing But Nets online and offline.Since 2006, Nothing But Nets has raised more than $45 million from hundreds of thousands of grassroots supporters, and sent more than 7 million bed nets to families across Africa. Anyone — from students to CEOs — can help protect families in Africa from malaria. To learn more and to donate, visit www.NothingButNets.net.
Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity is counting down to Christmas with a star-studded online advent calendar.A host of the UK’s favourite celebrities, including stars from Strictly Come Dancing, The X Factor and Downton Abbey, have recorded video messages sending their season’s greetings to families at Great Ormond Street Hospital.Among the stars who have been revealed so far are Orlando Bloom, Tess Daly, Vernon Kay, Dynamo, Olly Murs, Union J, Little Mix, Peter Andre, Martin Freeman, Pixie Lott, Alan Carr, Emma Bunton, Miranda Hart… and more to come over the next few days!Each day, the charity will post a cryptic clue on Twitter and Facebook before opening the advent calendar to reveal the identity of the star behind the door.To follow the advent calendar and test your celebrity knowledge against the daily clues, check out their Facebook page and @GreatOrmondSt on Twitter.The charity is also asking people across the UK to send their own Christmas message to children at Great Ormond Street Hospital as part of its Great Big Christmas Stocking Appeal, which invites supporters to write messages on stockings which are displayed in the hospital for patients, staff, and families to read. To create your own stocking, visit the Great Big Christmas Stocking Appeal website.
After a five year hiatus, the Black Eyed Peas have reunited to help communities in crisis via a transformation of their 2003 #1 breakthrough hit “Where’s The Love?” into “#WHERESTHELOVE”.Credited as The Black Eyed Peas Ft. The World, the song and accompanying video campaign calls for calm, asking citizens of the world to stop the hate and violence that has resulted in many lives lost in Baton Rouge, Baltimore, Ferguson, Orlando, St. Paul, Brussels, Paris, Istanbul, and sadly the list goes on.“The World” in The Black Eyed Peas Ft. The World features a wealth of talent joining will.i.am, apl.de.ap, Taboo and Fergie on “#WHERESTHELOVE” including performers Jamie Foxx, Ty Dolla $ign, Mary J. Blige, Diddy, Cassie, Andra Day, The Game, Tori Kelly, V. Boseman, Jessie J, French Montana, Justin Timberlake, DJ Khaled, Usher, Nicole Scherzinger, A$AP Rocky, Jaden Smith and a 40-member children’s choir.The campaign kicks off with the “#WHERESTHELOVE” music video available exclusively on Apple Music at AppleMusic.com/blackeyedpeas, and song available for download exclusively on iTunes at iTunes.com/blackeyedpeas. After the 24 hour iTunes exclusive global premiere period, the song will be going wide to all digital retailers. The Black Eyed Peas, Interscope Records and iTunes will donate all of their respective proceeds from the purchase of the song in the United States to i.am.angel foundation, a non-profit foundation that is transforming lives through education, inspiration and opportunity created by Black Eyed Peas front man will.i.am.In tandem with the launch of the campaign, the i.am.angel Foundation, and foundation education partner and leading geospatial company Esri revealed a Story Map that maps all U.S. neighborhoods and draws attention to those that are struggling due to low spending on education, high unemployment, high poverty and murder rates.Esri assembled maps using data from the Sentencing Project, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Association of State Budget Officers, the U.S. Census Bureau, and Esri’s Living Atlas of the World. These maps provide context about communities in crisis, including those plagued by police killing unarmed civilians, civilians killing police officers, and civilians killing each other based upon hate and intolerance around race, gender and religious beliefs. Communities such as: Baltimore, Maryland; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Ferguson, Missouri; St. Paul, Minnesota; New York City and Sanford/Orlando, Florida are included. The maps are available for any city, town or rural area in the U.S.“will.i.am, the Black Eyed Peas, and the i.am.angel Foundation are change agents for communities with the work they do focused on youth and advancing STEM education,” said Jack Dangermond, president of Esri.To learn more about the Black Eyed Peas call-to-action campaign and the importance of investing in education to break the cycle of poverty and violence, watch an ATTN: interview with Black Eyed Peas band members will.i.am, apl.de.ap and Taboo.“ATTN: is thrilled to be working with the Black Eyes Peas to highlight pressing social issues that warrant community activism. Together we will continue to share informative and empowering content on ATTN: to further the message of Where’s The Love?,” commented Matthew Segal, ATTN: Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief.The i.am.angel Foundation collaborates with organizations including College Track and FIRST Robotics to offer STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) focused educational programs for K-12 students in underserved communities, including Boyle Heights/East Los Angeles, and Ferguson, Missouri.The Black Eyed Peas wish to thank hundreds of concerned citizens who volunteered their time and talent to perform/appear within the video, write and perform the music, film and edit the music video and behind-the-scenes elements, create the community GIS mapping project, develop social media assets, and provide significant marketing, promotion, legal and non-profit advisory services.See www.wheresthelove.com for the full list of credits, volunteer contributors and officially aligned charities.
The Executive Director of the Bronx Children’s Museum, Carla Precht announced the Museum will honor three bright Bronx stars Richard Abrons, Rafael Collado and Kerry Washington at the Museum’s first-ever gala on Tuesday, May 2nd at the Tribeca Rooftop in New York City.The event will be hosted by Board member Sunny Hostin (co-Host of ABC’s The View and Senior Legal Correspondent & Analyst for ABC News). Special guest appearances will be made by renowned Bronx-born educator and jazz pianist and composer, Dr. Valerie Capers; comedian, Tracy Morgan; and Sounds by Swizz Beatz. “It will be a historic event” said Precht “with former Bronx children coming back to their roots to support the only cultural institution in the Bronx whose sole mission is to inspire and celebrate the children of the borough. “The gala will feature a live auction including a visit to the set of Scandal in Los Angeles, a morning on the NYC set of The View, premium tickets for four to top-rated Broadway shows including Hamilton and Kinky Boots, a meet-and-greet at Jennifer Lopez’s “All I Have” show in Las Vegas, and rides in fully-restored WWII plane owned by honoree Rafael Collado.“When we learned a decade ago that the Bronx was the only New York City borough without a Children’s Museum, we were stunned” said Hope Harley, President of the Bronx Children’s Museum Board of Directors. “Not only are we bringing equity to the Bronx, we are re-defining what it means to be a children’s museum in the 21st century. We started from the ground floor—working in neighborhood schools, parks, shelters, etc., rather than from a building. We see more than 15,000 children annually with nine successful dynamic outreach programs including a “Museum on the Go!” bus and will soon start construction on our site near the Yankee Stadium. “The Museum will always operate with and without walls… and we will have our walls by the end of 2018.”Honoree Kerry Washington and Bronx native shared “Growing up in the Bronx shaped my mind, my heart and my creative soul. I was fortunate to have parents who always encouraged my artistic pursuits and passions. I know how vital it is to provide kids with places that inspire them to think, create and dream. I am honored to support our very own Bronx Children’s Museum..” Kerry’s mother, Valerie Washington serves as a board member for the Museum and will be presenting her with her award.Richard Abrons is a playwright, author, and activist. He was a founding partner of First Manhattan Co., an investment management company. He is the author of twenty published short stories, one of which won a National Magazine Award, and five produced plays. Mr. Abrons is past president and vice chairman of the Henry Street Settlement, and a director of both GrowNYC and the Bronx Children’s Museum. His Plant-A-Lot program for GrowNYC has created more than 90 community gardens. Mr. Abrons’s parents lived in the Bronx for many years. Rafael Collado has founded, built, managed and sold three companies, including: Inabox, a web-based software company dedicated to website creation tools (acquired by register.com in 2000); BERN Associates, Inc., that provided Internet consulting, network services and content development tools to telephone companies (acquired by Prime Cellular in 1996); and Sigma Research, a software company (acquired by FastComm Communications in 1993). Mr. Collado also founded and was CEO of Protocom Devices, which he took public in 1985. Mr. Collado is working on projects including SaraGEO, which enables users to quickly and easily design collaborative, data-driven maps and GetMyBoat which allows users to easily rent and charter boats in over 126 countries and 3,000 locations. He grew up in the South Bronx and is married to his Bronx sweetheart. They have three children and a grandchild. Bronx native Kerry Washington stars in the hit ABC drama Scandal. She broke barriers by becoming the first African-American woman since 1974 to headline a network TV drama. Ms. Washington has received wide public recognition for her portrayal of Olivia Pope, the lead character in the Peabody Award-winning series, along with two Primetime Emmy Award nominations, a Golden Globe nomination, a SAG Award nomination, two NAACP Image Award wins, and a People’s Choice Award nomination. Ms. Washington was most recently seen in the HBO TV movie Confirmation, which she stars in and executive produces.“Our aim is to give the children of the Bronx a safe and educational haven to be inspired, dream, create, explore their surroundings, embrace their culture and heritage, and find their place in the world,” said Precht. “We are more than just what can be found within the walls of a building – we are creating experiences everywhere we go under our Museum banner, always using the Bronx as our inspiration, to ensure our relevancy in the lives of the children and to connect children and their caregivers to the world around them. “The Gala sponsors include The Boston Consulting Group, GetMyBoat, Kimelman & Baird LLC, The Perry Foundation, Polo Ralph Lauren Foundation, Protocom Aviation and The Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Foundation. Board of Directors includes Hope Harley, President, Richard Abrons, Arlene Bascom, Amanda Collado, Takisha Dozier, Kate Green, Hon. Stanley B. Green, April Horton, Asunción “Sunny” Hostin, Dodge Landesman, Paul Lipson, Emily Menlo Marks, Jeanne B. Mullgrav, José A. Rodriguez, MD, Alannah Sheerin, Lauren Stanich, Richard L. Stein, Damion Townsend, Ellie Meek Tweedy, Sapan Vyas, CFA, Valerie M. Washington, Ed.D and Kathy Glick Weil, with Sandra Priest Rose, Honorable Member, and Rubén Díaz, Jr., Bronx Borough President, Ex Officio.For more information about the Bronx Children’s Museum Gala please visit: BronxChildrensMuseum.org/gala or 501Auctions.com/bcmgala.
LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitter Advertisement Login/Register With: The Jason Reitman feature Tully starring Charlize Theron and Mackenzie Davis is expected to wrap up production in Vancouver next week.The comedy written by Diablo Cody, who won an Oscar for penning the Vancouver-filmed Juno, also directed Reitman, centres on Theron, a mother of three, who is gifted a night nanny (Davis) by her brother.Reitman, son of Hollywood legend Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Stripes, Animal House), celebrated his 39th birthday on Thursday in Vancouver and received an on-set visit from his parents. Facebook Advertisement