Washington DC: US President Donald Trump is a “master” of Twitter and him causing a “lot of noise” certainly directs more attention, according to the microblogging site’s co-founder Ev Williams. Trump, who became the 45th President of the United States after defeating former secretary of state Hillary Clinton in 2016 elections, often uses the platform to express his opinion on various issues, target his political opponents and advertise his policies. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documentsTwitter co-founder Williams, at the Collision tech conference in Toronto on Tuesday told CNN Business that “What Trump has done with Twitter is pretty genius, frankly”. “He’s a master of the platform like few others,” he said. As for whether Trump’s daily tweets were good for Twitter’s business, Williams said it’s “hard to say.” “The fact that the president is on there and causing a lot of noise, it certainly directs more attention. But it doesn’t necessarily direct more users or… more money,” he said. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chiefTrump had once said that he uses the social media not because he likes to, but because “it is the only way to fight a very dishonest and unfair press”. Trump, 72, has been at loggerheads with several US mainstream media outlets including the CNN, ABC News, The New York Times and the Washington Post. He has quite often described these popular media houses as “fake media”. Williams, however, said that the potential negative effects of the president’s tweets on the country’s political discourse are “trivial compared to the effect of the broader media.” “The vast majority of the electorate is not on Twitter reading Trump’s tweets and being convinced by that. “What they’re convinced much more by is the destructive power of Fox News, which is much, much more powerful and much more destructive than Twitter,” said Williams. A Fox News spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday morning, the CNN Business report said. “Why the media’s not critiquing itself I think is kind of obvious, and it’s very easy to blame the tech platforms. But it’s an ecosystem and the traditional media companies that have benefited financially from Trump very much outweigh the tech companies,” the Twitter co-founder said. Williams also said that Twitter should have invested more money and resources into fighting abuse on its platform while he served as CEO but said he didn’t believe there were any “silver bullets.”
Mumbai: In a surprising development, the Mumbai Police have filed a closure report in the alleged #MeToo sexual harassment case lodged by actor Tanushree Dutta against actor Nana Patekar, a top official said here recently. “Yes, we have filed a B-Summary Report before the court,” Mumbai Police spokesperson, Deputy Commissioner of Police Manjunath Shinge said in a statement. The police move comes after they reportedly did not find enough evidence in the matter, virtually ending the case as they cannot continue further investigations. Dutta’s lawyer Nitin Satpute said that they would challenge the police move in the matter. “If the police file any B or C classification of Summary Report, that cannot be final. We shall oppose it before the court. After hearing, if the court is satisfied, then it can again direct the police to re-investigate.”
New York: Researchers have discovered that race plays no role in the amount and quality of words mothers use with their children or with the language skills children later develop. The study evaluated the language use of black mothers in comparison with white mothers with the same education levels to measure the amount and complexity of the words they use with their infants and young children. “Our findings represent a big shift from previous thinking that race-based differences in maternal language play a significant role in children’s language outcomes,” said Mary Bratsch-Hines from University of North Carolina in the US. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainThe current study followed 1,292 children from birth and is part of the Family Life Project which focuses on disentangling race, socioeconomic status and educational attainment to better understand the factors that influence child outcomes. Researchers measured the interactions between mothers and their children during four picture book interactions in the home between the ages of 6 and 36 months. It was found that maternal education played an important role in predicting the amount and quality of the mother’s language use and the child’s language development. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardMaternal education was very related to children’s later language at school age regardless of maternal race and that mothers’ early language input quality and complexity were even more related to children’s later language at school age, researchers said. This study is significant because earlier studies generally included parents with higher incomes who were primarily white and parents with lower incomes who were primarily black, they said.
Hong Kong: Tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters defied authorities to hold unsanctioned marches through Hong Kong on Sunday, a day after riot police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse another illegal gathering, plunging the financial hub deeper into crisis. Huge crowds made their way through the main island’s streets in a now-familiar scene, but Sunday’s marches had a key difference — police had banned them. Officials had initially only given permission for a rally in a park in the commercial district known as Central, but the crowds quickly spilled into the surrounding streets. Some headed east to Causeway Bay, a popular shopping district, where they then erected barricades and took over a main thoroughfare as shops and malls shuttered. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USAnother group headed west towards the Liason Office — the department that represents China’s central government — which was guarded by lines of riot police. Tensions rose as the standoff ensued. “I feel so conflicted, seeing young people sacrifice their future for Hong Kong,” a 22-year-old student protester called Marcus said, bursting into tears. The latest march comes a day after a town near the border with mainland China descended into chaos as police battled protesters holding another banned rally against suspected pro-government triad gangs who beat up democracy demonstrators there last weekend. Riot police used tear gas throughout the afternoon and evening in Yuen Long after tense standoffs with protesters, some of whom were throwing projectiles and had surrounded a police van. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsRubber bullets were fired later in the clashes, which ended when officers baton-charged the last remaining demonstrators inside the town’s metro station, leaving pools of blood in the same concourse where the suspected triads had attacked the previous weekend. Saturday’s violence compounds the political crisis engulfing the city’s pro-Beijing leadership who are seemingly unable, or unwilling, to end the chaos. Semi-autonomous Hong Kong has been plunged into its worst crisis in recent history after millions of demonstrators took to the streets and sporadic violent confrontations erupted between police and pockets of hardcore protesters. The demonstrations over the last seven weeks were triggered by a controversial bill which would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, but have evolved into a call for wider democratic reforms and a halt to sliding freedoms. Yet the unprecedented protests with huge turnouts — as well as frequent clashes and the sacking of parliament — have had little luck persuading Beijing or Hong Kong’s leaders. Beijing has issued increasingly shrill condemnations in the last two weeks, but has left it to the city’s government to deal with the situation. City leader Carrie Lam has shown no sign of backing down beyond agreeing to suspend the extradition bill. Her administration has faced down weeks of public anger and she has made few public appearances beyond visiting injured officers and holding a handful of press conferences. Pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo said the city was now trapped in a “vicious cycle” where huge peaceful marches that have been ignored by the government end with violence between police and small groups of hardcore protesters. “You see force being escalated on both sides but then this is a huge imbalance because the police are in possession of deadly weapons. This sums up Hong Kong today,” she said. Tensions were significantly raised after last weekend’s attack by a pro-government mob in Yuen Long. The town is in Hong Kong’s rural New Territories where many of the surrounding villages are known for triad connections and their staunch support for the pro-Beijing establishment. That brazen assault resulted in at least 45 people being taken to hospital. Police were heavily criticised for being too slow to respond to the violence, fuelling accusations of collusion or turning a blind eye to the pro-government mob — allegations the force has denied. In a rare move, police banned Saturday’s rally saying they feared reprisal attacks against villagers from protesters, a decision that only heightened anger towards a force already perceived to be protecting pro-government aggressors. Tens of thousands of people defied the ban on Saturday and began a peaceful rally. But small groups of more hardcore protesters, many in helmets and carrying shields, confronted police outside the villages and accused them of protecting triads. Tensions quickly rose and a now-familiar pattern of running battles between police and protesters began. Police on Sunday said 13 arrests were made in Yuen Long. Among them was Max Chung, a young activist who had initially applied for permission to hold the Yuen Long protest.
New Delhi: The Income Tax department has recently discovered that SNJ Distillery, based in Tamil Nadu had accumulated undisclosed income of up to Rs 400 crore, an I-T investigation into the company has found.The I-T department had recently conducted searches at 55 locations of the liquor manufacturer that has been in business since 1989 in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Goa. The raids were conducted at premises of promoters of the company, key employees and some suppliers of materials. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The investigation wing of the I-T department found that SNJ Distilleries had allegedly been over-invoicing the purchase of raw materials for their business and bottles, which constitute a major portion of the cost of production. The Managing Director of SNJ Group is SN Jayamurugan, who has produced a few films where former DMK chief M Karunanidhi had written the script and is purportedly close to the party in Tamil Nadu. According to the agency, it was found that the excess money that suppliers would receive was allegedly paid back into the accounts of some trusted key employees of the company. The I-T department said that the company had amassed and suppressed around Rs 400 crore of taxable income in six years. Meanwhile, the I-T sleuths as part of their investigation also raided premises of another liquor manufacturer in Chennai and Karaikal recently, from where they found undisclosed income of around Rs 300 crore. The tax authority has said that further searches at this group’s premises are continuing.
Kingston (Jamaica): Double world under-20 sprint champion Briana Williams could miss next month’s World Championships after reportedly testing positive for the banned diuretic hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ). The Jamaican daily The Gleaner said that the 17-year-old initially failed the doping test after the National Senior Championships between June 20-23 where she placed third in the 100 metres to secure a spot in the national team for the World Championships in Doha. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh The newspaper said on Tuesday that the ‘B’ sample had reportedly confirmed the presence of the substance. Williams’ representative Emir Crowne said they had not yet received confirmation of the ‘B’ sample and insisted that the sprinter had not done anything wrong. Her team reportedly say that the teenager used a contaminated cold and flu medication — which she had declared on her testing protocol form — as the source of the banned substance. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later “Our primary position will be that Ms Williams bears no fault in the circumstances and there should be no sanctions levied against her. That will be our primary position,” Crowne told The Gleaner. The medication, which does not list HCTZ as an active ingredient, was subsequently sent by Williams’ team to be tested independently in the USA, where it was confirmed that it was contaminated with traces of the banned diuretic, the newspaper reported. Florida-born Williams was just 16 when she won the 100m and 200m at last year’s World Under-20 Championships in Tampere which gained her nominations for the IAAF Female Rising Start and the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year Awards. The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) is set to name its team for Doha on September 6. Last week, American sprinter Christian Coleman vowed to fight allegations that he missed three drug tests, saying he is confident a September hearing will clear him to compete at the World Championships.
New Delhi: India cannot achieve $5 trillion economy without producing top class engineers, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said on Saturday. Engineers build the country and top-class technology enables us to leapfrog, he said. Kant was congratulating the 30 recipients of the Ratti Chhatr scholarship, sponsored by Panasonic India. “Today we are seeing a huge disruption brought about by the young startups. They are not merely doing e-commerce but changing the paradigm in education, health and agriculture sectors. They are using real-time data based on the soil and weather conditions to increase productivity of our farmers. Many startups are using data to improve learning outcomes, using artificial intelligence and machine learning,” he said. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal”All of you must look at ways on how to use technology to drive India. With the scholarship provided by Panasonic, you must strive to excel. This is about building not just the country’s future, but your future too,” he said addressing the students selected from 19 IITs. Kant added that by initiative such as these, the private sector is playing a role in building new India. “The private sector is playing a key role in building a new India. It demonstrates that the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from a Japanese company starts a scholarship called Ratti Chhatr scholarship programme to select 30 most brilliant people building a completely new India. This is a unique programme which has been replicated by all companies that have made FDI in India. So I come here every year as I get to see the faces of the bright young Indians,” said Kant. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostAditya Naik, a student of IIT Indore who has been selected for the scholarship said that not just him but his family was delighted that he received the award. “I come from a financially challenged family and thus the scholarship will help realise my dreams by providing me the necessary financial assistance. As part of the selection process, an online test of 30 minutes was conducted followed by a telephonic interview,” he said.
OTTAWA – Chronic low income among so-called “family-class” immigrants is a concern that needs to be addressed not just for humanitarian reasons, but also to help sustain the Canadian economy, a new report from the Conference Board of Canada suggests.As the country becomes more dependent on newcomers to fill labour needs, Canada should be looking to improve the labour market barriers and quality of life for newcomers, says the report released Tuesday.“Low earnings and the prevalence of chronic low income among the family class are issues of concern that need to be addressed to help boost the living standards of immigrant families,” it says.Doing so, it continues, would “help Canada benefit from their human capital in the labour market as it becomes more dependent on immigrant support for its economic growth.”The study measures how the three classes of immigrants contribute to the economy and shows that while Canada has prioritized economic-class immigrants since the mid-1990s, family-class immigrants do more to boost retention rates and improve outcomes for immigrant families.Newcomers to Canada through family reunification and private sponsorship programs earn significantly less on average than the average Canadian wage, but having family on hand to help with child care allows them to boost their household income by working longer hours.Family reunification also promotes settlement and integration of immigrants into communities, which encourages better retention rates.“This underscores the utility of family reunification to economic development policy, as it helps to stimulate demand within the economy and add workers to the labour supply,” says the report — especially key for Atlantic Canada, where family-class immigrants have been staying in larger numbers than their economic counterparts.The findings emphasize the importance of viewing family-class immigrants through an economic policy lens, the board notes, given the fact Canada will continue to be dependent on a steady stream of new arrivals to maintain a sustainable level of economic growth.Statistics Canada data shows the number of deaths in Canada is forecast to overcome the rate of births by 2034, meaning a shrinking workforce that not even the rapid advancement of automation will be able to absorb.Shutting the doors to immigrants completely would likely lead to a smaller workforce, higher taxes and dwindling social services, the study found, while boosting immigration rates to one per cent of the population would result in modest growth.“Immigration has been vital to Canada’s prosperity throughout the country’s history and is poised to play an even bigger role moving forward. Canada needs to remain proactive in its efforts to benefit from immigration,” the report concludes.— Follow @ReporterTeresa on Twitter.
TORONTO – A Toronto woman has been found not criminally responsible in the stabbing of her condo doorman last year.Ellis Kirkland was charged with attempted murder, assault with a weapon and weapons dangerous.The court heard that on March 10, 2016, Kirkland asked the doorman to help her move some boxes. When he bent over, she stabbed him multiple times with a kitchen knife.The doorman survived.Police arrested Kirkland on a 27th-floor balcony after using ropes to go down the side of a building.The judge ruled that the high-profile architect involved in a NATO project was suffering from a major mental illness at the time of the incident.An internationally renowned infrastructure specialist, Kirkland is the former vice-president of the NATO Association of Canada, according to the organization’s website.She is also the chair and founder of the NATO Paxbuild Economic Platform, a special project run by the organization to promote peace and security through economic stability, the site says.She was also the first woman to serve as president of the Ontario Architecture Association.(CFRB, The Canadian Press)
VICTORIA – A woman faces charges of uttering death threats aimed at Premier Christy Clark and Speaker of the legislature Steve Thomson over allegations she left threatening telephone messages at two Kelowna area constituency offices, a special prosecutor said.Pavla Janeckova of Kelowna, B.C., faces two charges of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, the B.C. Prosecution Service said Tuesday.The service said the threats are alleged to have occurred around April 30 in Kelowna.Janeckova is scheduled to appear in Kelowna provincial court on Friday.Kris Pechet was appointed May 3 as the special prosecutor in the case because the B.C. Prosecution Service said it wanted to avoid any potential for real or perceived improper influence in the administration of justice in light of the people involved.He is a senior lawyer in New Westminster and was given the mandate to provide legal advice to RCMP investigators and conduct any related charge assessment, the service said.Pechet said in an interview that the alleged threats were left as recorded telephone messages at Clark’s constituency office in her Kelowna West riding and at Thomson’s constituency office in Kelowna-Mission.Pechet said he would not provide specific details of the calls other than to say they involved an individual who is “upset with circumstances.”He said the calls also involved “a general view of how government is performing.”Pechet said the calls came during B.C.’s election campaign.“Any time somebody who is running for office, it wouldn’t have mattered who it is, but any time anybody’s threatened who is in the midst of running for office, it really should be taken seriously in a democracy,” he said.Neither Janeckova nor her lawyer could not be immediately reached for comment.
Canada’s environment minister says she’s fed up with the sexist comments women in politics have to put up with, and she accuses conservatives of being the worst offenders in the misogyny department.Catherine McKenna spoke at length about this week’s events where an opposition lawmaker referred to her as “climate Barbie,” then deleted the tweet, apologized, and drew condemnation from the leader of the Conservative party.She addressed the issue in a chat with Canadian reporters Wednesday along the East River in New York City — beside the United Nations, where she is attending a series of high-level meetings on climate change.McKenna said she accepts the apology, assuming it’s sincere. But she expressed anger about this becoming an issue while she’s been having substantive meetings this week with the secretary-general of the United Nations, with California Gov. Jerry Brown, and with female climate leaders.“You know what’s really sad? That I’m having to talk about this. It’s really disappointing, what happened. And unfortunately it’s not about me — it’s about how women, especially women in politics, face these kind of comments — sexist, misogynistic comments — especially from conservatives,” McKenna said.“I want to be talking about what I’m doing. But unfortunately we’re having this conversation. And this isn’t just something that happened once. This has been going on since I’ve been in this position. You can just look at my Twitter feed. And it’s not about apologies. It’s really about changes in behaviour, and changes in attitude. And that’s what I hope comes out of this. We need to move on. I’ve got two daughters. There’s lots of young women who want to get into politics, and I want them to feel like they can go do that, and they can talk about the great work they’re doing — not about the colour of their hair.”The leader of the Conservatives referred to his daughters too, in a statement late Wednesday.“As a father of three daughters, I want to ensure that gender-based stereotypes have no place in Canada or Canadian politics,” Andrew Scheer said.“The demeaning words used by the member were inappropriate and he has rightly apologized. The minister is in New York today and I am in the process of contacting her so I can assure the minister that this type of behaviour has no place in the Conservative caucus.”The unnamed member in that statement — Gerry Ritz — apologized.Ritz triggered the furor Tuesday with the wisecrack on Twitter. He promptly deleted the tweet and apologized, but not before touching off a cascade of social media outrage, including from McKenna herself.“I apologize for the use of Barbie, it is not reflective of the role the minister plays,” Ritz wrote.The issue dominated the start of Wednesday’s question period. The Ritz controversy proved the perfect remote control for a government keen to change the channel amid sustained public anger over its proposed changes to small business taxes.Three times, Scheer tried to press the government on its plans, and all three times Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr — standing in for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was in New York for the UN General Assembly — ignored them.Instead, Carr demanded Scheer disavow Ritz’s words and compel him to apologize in the House of Commons, not just to McKenna but to all MPs and all Canadians. Initially, Scheer would not bite. Until his statement late in the day, he hadn’t said a word publicly about the tweet, avoiding reporters after both the weekly Conservative caucus meeting and after question period.The Liberals, on the other hand, came back to it, again and again.Carr said: “Leaders have to be sensitive to telling all Canadians that that kind of language is unacceptable… We gave (Scheer) an opportunity to do that today. He chose not to accept it.”The Liberals also took the opportunity to embark on a fundraising opportunity, issuing an email to potential donors from McKenna referencing the tweet and asking for money to help the Liberals build a “more inclusive society for our kids and grandkids.”Politicians of all stripes criticized Ritz for the remark.Others also pointed out Ritz borrowed the “climate Barbie” insult from The Rebel, the far-right website Scheer has disavowed barring changes in its editorial direction, following its coverage of the racist demonstrations last month in Charlottesville, Va.More than 80 stories on the website refer to McKenna with the insult, and several Rebel contributors were happy to acknowledge using it, including one who bragged Wednesday on Twitter that she had coined the phrase.
HALIFAX – A legal regulator says clear rules are needed for police who speak to lawyers involved with alleged frauds, after a decade-long case was recently thrown out because Mounties spoke to an accused’s solicitor.The Crown is seeking leave to appeal the Dec. 20 ruling by Justice Denise Boudreau, in a Nova Scotia Supreme Court case that has set off alarm bells among criminal-law experts who fear the decision may lead to more quashed prosecutions.Boudreau stayed multiple fraud allegations against businessmen Douglas Rudolph and Peter Mill on the basis that two RCMP officers took a five-hour statement from disbarred lawyer Mark David.The judge criticized the officers as “grossly careless” for interviewing David. The corporate lawyer was dropped from the profession and fined in 2009 after the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society found he was involved with the CanGlobe Group of Companies and Mill in an alleged Ponzi scheme.Darrel Pink, the director of the barristers’ society, says Boudreau’s decision is a reminder Parliament hasn’t laid out clear rules on how police should talk to lawyers in such cases.Pink, who retires from his post on Friday after 27 years, said the right of clients to expect confidentiality is important, but there are exemptions if the communication is for the purpose of furthering criminal activity.“I perceive that it (the court decision) creates a mechanism for lawyers to be used as dupes for criminal activity and those criminal elements can then hide behind … the assertion of lawyer-client privilege even though there isn’t any,” he said.The regulator acknowledged that Boudreau had suggested that two RCMP officers could have brought in a third party to do the interview with the lawyer about the alleged frauds between 2004 and 2008, and then have had the transcript vetted by a judge.But Pink said this solution “is pretty imprecise and brings a stranger into the investigation.”In 2002 the Supreme Court of Canada set out 10 principles for law-office searches in its Lavallee decision.Pink says the Mill and Rudolph case illustrates the lack of similar methods for cases where police need to interview lawyers.“We don’t have a mechanism in Canada for judicial oversight in police interviews,” he said.The Federation of Law Societies of Canada, the national co-ordinating body for Canada’s 14 law societies, has called on Parliament to legislate guidelines for solicitor-client privilege, in a letter to Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould last June.It says guidelines created by the Supreme Court of Canada for searches and seizures of lawyers’ material were always intended as a stop gap measure until Parliament provided fresh law.“In the view of the federation, a legislative change would bring important clarity to this issue,” says the document, adding the change could be made as part of the federal Justice Department’s ongoing review of the criminal code.Jula Hughes, a professor of criminal law at the University of New Brunswick, also says Parliament should create a procedure for police to follow in cases like the Mill and Rudolph case.She said in an interview that clear standards that can be consistently applied may avoid more white-collar crime cases being thrown out of court.“Does this decision invite a possibility where clients’ can use their lawyer as a front, dump information and immunize themselves from criminal prosecution? It’s a pretty significant concern,” she said.Hughes said police need a clear set of legal guidelines, and a process where they can have interviews conducted by third parties, possibly drawing from a list created by barristers’ societies.“Whatever scheme is ultimately developed needs to take into account the constitutional concern and to take into account the practicality of law enforcement, and frankly courts aren’t in a good position to do that balancing,” she said.The professor said the federal Justice Department should consult with legal regulators and other interested groups “rather than wait for failed prosecutions to pile up.”“It’s overdue.”Ian Gray, one of the defence lawyers for Mill, said that while consultation on legal reform for client-solicitor privilege may be needed, he believes that Boudreau’s decision was solidly based on existing case law.He said the judge took note that David repeatedly told police he was worried about the issue of client-solicitor privilege, and yet the officers still proceeded with the interview despite obvious concerns over a basic legal principle.“If somebody’s talking to you, you can’t unhear things they are saying to you. It’s crucially important to solicitor-client privilege that police take proper steps,” he said in an interview.Gray said in interviewing a disbarred lawyer about the activities of his client, “the facts on their face call out for some caution and the police didn’t show that.”The RCMP declined to provide a comment, saying the matter is still before the courts.In its application to appeal the case, the Crown said Boudreau erred in how she interpreted the Lavallee case, and added that there were solutions other than a complete stay of the case.The prosecution service says if they’re successful in appeal court, they’ll seek a new trial in the case.Follow (at)mtuttoncporg on Twitter.
HALIFAX – A Federal Court will hear a request to temporarily stop the deportation of former Somali child refugee Abdoul Abdi this week, according to his lawyer.Abdi, who never got Canadian citizenship while growing up in foster care in Nova Scotia, was detained by the Canada Border Services Agency after serving five years in prison for multiple offences, including aggravated assault.Abdi’s lawyer, Benjamin Perryman, said federal officials are pushing for a deportation hearing to go forward, after turning down the 24-year-old’s request to have the process put on hold while he pursues a constitutional challenge.“A deportation order automatically strips Mr. Abdi of his permanent resident status, including the right to work and the right to health care,” Perryman said in a statement Sunday.“Mr. Abdi argues he will be irreparably harmed if he is stripped of his rights before having the merits of his court case decided.”Perryman added that Abdi risks being returned to prison if he loses his job, saying that working is a condition of his release to a halfway house in the Toronto area last month.The lawyer said the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada has been asked to proceed with a deportation hearing, which he said will inevitably lead to a deportation order given the circumstances of Abdi’s case.Perryman said Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has the authority to temporarily halt the government’s attempts to deport Abdi, but has refused to do so.A spokesperson for Goodale declined to comment on the Abdi case for privacy reasons. Scott Bardsley said the minister is not involved in the decision-making process for individual removals, instead delegating that authority to the Canada Border Services Agency.Bardsley said the minister does have the power to postpone a removal, but only uses it in exceptional cases where time is a significant factor.Ultimately, Bardsley said, only Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada can determine whether individuals receive permanent or temporary residency in Canada.Perryman said a court hearing on Abdi’s request for a temporary stop of the deportation process will be held in Halifax on Thursday.He said Abdi’s constitutional challenge is still in its early stages, and a Federal Court has not yet decided whether there will be a full hearing.
HALIFAX – Finding the body of a vanished Dartmouth woman is a top priority for investigators, police said Thursday as a man accused of interfering with human remains in the case was remanded into custody.Owen Patrick Nelson, 40, appeared in Dartmouth provincial court on charges stemming from the disappearance of 40-year-old Karen Lee MacKenzie.The Dartmouth man faces charges of interfering with human remains, assault and two counts breach of probation. Court documents indicate that Nelson had also previously been charged with assaulting MacKenzie.“We do believe Ms. MacKenzie is deceased,” Halifax police Const. Carol McIsaac said. “We will not rule out the possibility of further charges … searching for and locating Karen will continue to be one of the main goals of the investigative team.”Nelson’s lawyer, Michelle James, said it’s unusual to see a charge of interfering with human remains when police have not found a body.“I can’t say that I’ve seen it before and I’ve been at it for about 18 years now,” James said.James confirmed the previous assault charge to Global News, and said her client had a probation order which required him to have consent to be around MacKenzie.Crown attorney Gerald Quigley wouldn’t comment on whether additional charges may be laid against Nelson.“I don’t wish to comment on the unusual nature or otherwise of the case before the courts,” Quigley said.According to Halifax Regional Police, MacKenzie was last seen on Feb. 25 on Highfield Park Drive in Dartmouth. She was officially reported missing to police on March 3.Nelson is scheduled to appear in court again on March 26.“Investigators continue to encourage members of the public who have information but have not yet spoken with the police to contact us,” McIsaac said.(Global News, The Canadian Press)
MONTREAL – A lack of shelter space for homeless women in Montreal is forcing them to sleep on the streets, according to the head of an aid organization.Leonie Couture of La Rue des Femmes said the organization has had to turn women away at night since having to close 10 beds for the summer season.As a result, she said, women who are experiencing homelessness are left to sleep in alleyways where they are vulnerable.“The women ask us for a list of where we think it would be safest to sleep in the streets,” she said. “It’s not right.”Couture said the government provides extra funding for shelters in winter months due to the danger of letting women sleep outside in the cold, but in the summer the organization can only maintain emergency services, leaving only a few beds available.“Yes, the cold is the enemy for everyone, but assaults and violence are even worse in the spring,” she said.Marcele Lamarche, the general director of a housing service for women in difficulty, agreed there is a lack of short and long-term housing in the city.The organization she leads, Le Chainon, currently houses 66 women and doesn’t have the capacity to take in any more.She said women’s homelessness differs from men’s and needs its own solutions.While new grants would be welcome, she argued there also needs to be a better distribution of resources between the various organizations that help women.“Before developing new resources, I need first to be subsidized to the level of what I am currently doing,” she said, noting government funding makes up only eight per cent of her organization’s budget.Lamarche also claimed in an open letter she co-authored earlier this year that women’s organizations receive fewer resources and less funding than those designed for men.“In the Montreal of 2018, which for the first time has a woman as (mayor), it’s scandalous that a health and social service is financed differently dependent on whether the users are men and women,” the letter said.
TORONTO – A lively Toronto neighbourhood known for its restaurants and nightlife was the scene of panic and chaos on Sunday night as a gunman fired at unsuspecting bystanders, killing two and injuring 13 others before being found dead. As police work to determine the motive behind the rampage, those who were in the area known as Greektown recounted what they saw and heard.Laurie Gutmann was at Christina’s restaurant on Danforth Avenue when he heard gunshots and scrambled for cover at the back of the room.In a Facebook post, Gutmann said he saw a wounded woman on the patio, screaming for help.“She had been shot in the back of her thigh,” said Gutmann, who had been at the restaurant celebrating his partner’s birthday. “Her blood was all over the ground. Together with some of the staff, we helped bring her safely inside so she could lay down on a bench and we could try to help as best as we could.”Two doctors — a married couple who had been eating at Christina’s — tended to the woman, while one of the servers held her hand, Gutmann said.“I called 911 but the lines were so busy, I couldn’t even get through,” he said.His partner, Jody Steinhauer, was able to contact emergency services through social media, to tell them there was a shooting victim at the restaurant, he said.“A member of Toronto Fire Service arrived and was followed very shortly thereafter by an entire team of first responders including paramedics, police and fire service people (who) put the victim on a gurney and rushed her to hospital,” Gutmann said.Lenny Graf was eating dinner at The Friendly Greek restaurant with his wife, their nine-year-old son Jason and one of Jason’s friends Sunday night and took the kids to play by a fountain in a parkette at Danforth and Logan Aves.“I heard what I thought were firecrackers and then when I noticed that people started to get scared and run away and duck I realized there must be some sort of shooting,” he said. “My first instinct was to try and find Jason and I saw him crouched behind the fountain.” Graf said his son was just three metres from the man who was shooting.As Graf saw the man stop firing and begin to walk away, he grabbed his son and took him through an alleyway, to the back of the restaurant, where his wife and his son’s friend had taken shelter. They stayed in the restaurant until they saw police arrive and were told it was OK to come out.Sara Pearsell was eating dinner with her boyfriend when she saw police flooding into the area.She said she checked Twitter and saw reports of the shooting.“We went outside, and the cops were like, ‘Yeah, please stay away, it’s not OK,’” said Pearsall, who has lived in the neighbourhood for about five years, and works at a bar just east of where the shooting took place.“There were five or six ambulances that started zooming in. It was pretty crazy,” she said.When the couple overheard on a police radio that the incident was over, they got their bikes and quickly rode out of the area.“We were like, ‘Let’s just get out of the way,’” Pearsell said. “Where we were standing, like 12 cop cars came rushing around, parked and (officers) came out running … That’s my sign to get out of there.”Ryan Granville-Martin was heading home from a walk with his wife when he heard sirens screeching through his neighbourhood, half a block from Danforth Ave.Police cars, ambulances and panicked bystanders filled the street, he said.“It was a scene that I’ve only seen the likes of on TV or in movies,” Granville-Martin, 43, said. “It was just blocks in both directions as far as I could see lights and emergency vehicles and the whole street shut down and a lot of people around.”It was a shocking, confusing scene, said Granville-Martin, who set about trying to contact friends and loved ones, making sure they were all right.Suzanne Kanso was sitting in her friend’s car at Danforth and Carlaw avenues when, around 9:40 p.m., she heard a pop.Thinking the noise had come from firecrackers, the pair kept chatting until police began to arrive about 15 or 20 minutes later, Kanso said.“All we saw was just one cop car coming after the other,” she said. “We saw people running towards Pape and Danforth from the crime scene … At that point, like a dozen cop cars were there, (police with) big guns.”Dmytro Doblevych was driving home with a friend Sunday night when he saw about five police cars race past.“As we arrived at Pape and Danforth, we saw gawkers, police cruisers flashing (their lights) and Danforth cordoned off both ways,” Doblevych wrote in a Facebook post.Doblevych, who identifies himself on Facebook as a freelance cameraman and editor, posted a video that shows police examining the scene of the shooting.“Can’t believe it happened at Danforth and Logan, where I’ve been so many times,” he said in his post. “Hope there are as few victims as possible.”— Tanya Wilson, whose Facebook profile says she is the owner of Skin Deep Inked Tattoo Studio, posted video of police and paramedics attending to victims in what appeared to be her shop.Another clip showed blood, rubber gloves and other detritus on the floor of the studio.“My heart is hurting for the victims,” Wilson said in a Facebook post accompanying the videos.— By Peter Goffin, Adina Bresge, Allison Auld, Holly McKenzie-Sutter and Kelly Malone
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will formally apologize in November for turning away a boat of German Jews seeking asylum in 1939, which led to the deaths of more than 200 people.Trudeau says it was a moral failure on the part of the government of the day.The MS St. Louis ship had 907 Jews, who were fleeing Nazi persecution, aboard when it was turned away from both Cuba and the United States before a group of Canadians tried to convince then-prime minister Mackenzie King’s government to let it dock in Halifax.King was unable to convince Frederick Blair, the director of the immigration branch of the federal Department of Mines and Resources, to allow them into the country.The ship returned to Europe and many found safety in countries like Holland, the U.K. and France, but 254 of those on board eventually died in the Holocaust after returning to Germany.Trudeau says he announced the date for the apology on a call Thursday with the Canadian Rabbinic Caucus, a national body of rabbis.The prime minister says the government will make the apology in the House of Commons on Nov. 7.
OTTAWA – Women and social-media companies should be brought into a critical discussion about how parliamentarians conduct themselves online, says veteran NDP MP Nathan Cullen.Many MPs insist that what they say and do on social media is personal, not part of their professional lives, Cullen said Thursday, but said he simply doesn’t buy it.Parliamentarians get training that focuses on their day-to-day interactions with other parliamentarians and staff, he said, but it doesn’t include enough material on what appropriate online behaviour looks like.“This aspect of liking (online images), trolling, I don’t recall it being talked about,” Cullen said after the social-media activity of former cabinet minister and longtime MP Tony Clement came under further scrutiny in Ottawa on Thursday.“It is another layer but it is striking. This is not the first online sexual story that’s happened.”Speaking with women about patterns they observe and how they feel targeted would be valuable, Cullen said.Companies like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram could also help, he added.“They’re dealing with this as companies and organizations and could be a part of the conversation as to what they’ve seen,” Cullen said.Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer kicked Clement out of the party caucus on Wednesday after revelations that he’d shared sexually explicit images with someone who later tried to extort him for money.Clement issued an open letter to his Ontario constituents on Thursday to apologize to anyone who felt he crossed “online boundaries” in a way that made them feel uncomfortable, without his knowing.Clement also admitted he engaged in inappropriate exchanges during a time of “personal difficulty and weakness,” his actions crossed lines that he shouldn’t have crossed, and he engaged in acts of infidelity.“I am deeply sorry,” he wrote. “I want to be clear that at no time have these personal lapses impacted or involved my day-to-day work as a member of Parliament on behalf of our communities. That said, I offer you no excuses for my conduct. I take full responsibility.”—Follow @kkirkup on Twitter
TORONTO – More Canadians take pride in the things that affect them today than they do in their country’s history, a survey from the Association for Canadian Studies suggests.The online poll found that 73 per cent of respondents see universal health care as a very important source of personal or collective Canadian pride, while 70 per cent are proud of their Canadian passport.“We’re putting the greatest value on the things that are connecting with us in a contemporary sense — things that are more current, we tend to value,” said Jack Jedwab, the non-profit organization’s president and CEO. “We’re not looking too far back. We’re trying to look at today and ahead.”The Canadian flag takes the number three spot on the list of symbols of pride, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom comes fourth.Things more firmly rooted in the past, meanwhile, were lower down on the list.READ MORE: Poll suggests Canadians could learn more about country’s quirky historyThe Confederation agreements of 1867, for instance, were only a point of pride for 37 per cent of respondents, and just 15 per cent of people said they took a great deal of pride in the monarchy.“As much as we appreciate our history, those founding events seem to be increasingly removed from the things that we direct the greatest value at,” Jedwab said, noting that Canadians between the ages of 18 and 24 are more likely to take pride in the Toronto Raptors, who recently won the NBA Championship, than Confederation.“They’ve given us something to celebrate,” he said of the team. “They’re champions, so they’re more current. The monarchy and the Confederation stuff is a bit more passe.”Overall, the poll suggests more Canadians are proud of the Raptors than any other sports team, with 27 per cent of respondents across Canada — and 39 per cent in Ontario — listing them as a very important source of pride.Next on the list of teams is the Toronto Maple Leafs, which won over 20 per cent of respondents across the country and 32 per cent in Ontario. Only 17 per cent of respondents said they took great pride in the Montreal Canadiens.“The Montreal Canadiens — I like to think of them as contemporary, but they don’t look very contemporary in this poll,” Jedwab said. “They look like part of the past.”READ MORE: No Canadian teams could mean less engagement for playoffs: surveyThe online survey, which polled 1,545 Canadians, was conducted by Leger Marketing between June 20 and 23.The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error as they are not a random sample and therefore are not necessarily representative of the whole population.Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press
BURNABY, B.C. — NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was nominated Friday night as his party’s candidate for the B.C. riding of Burnaby South in the October federal election.Surrounded by family, supporters and party members Singh declared that the coming election will be all about whose side the federal parties are on.He said “rich and powerful companies want to make sure that the Conservatives and Liberals continue to work for them, and Canadians pay the price for that.”Singh’s platform for the October vote — dubbed a New Deal for People — proposes an additional tax on multi-millionaires and the end of tax loopholes for the super-wealthy.He says an NDP government would reinvest that money in people and their public services — including a universal pharmacare plan.Other key elements of Singh’s strategy include building more housing and capping cell phone and internet bills. The Canadian Press