Peguis chief and council hit by allegations of misuse of flood money

first_imgAPTN National NewsQuestions are beginning to mount over an audit of Peguis First Nation emergency spending, released by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.The audit looks at how money for flood relief was spent between 2009 and 2011. It contains details of payments in excess of $200,000 made directly to chief and council, and large discrepancies on the number of houses that were sandbagged.Peguis chief Glenn Hudson responded by referring to the document as a draft audit, and labelled it as another attempt by critics to undermine his leadership.The CTF says that band members came forward with the document. Aboriginal Affairs has yet to comment.APTN National News reporter Tiar Wilson has the details.last_img read more

Parents upset Aboriginalfocused school recommended to close in British Columbia

first_imgAPTN National NewsA coalition of parents are concerned that the only Aboriginal-focused elementary school in the Lower Mainland in British Columbia is being recommended to be closed.They say the school is essential in the education of their children.APTN’s Tina House has the story.last_img

Red River sweat lodge one of the keys to success for Winnipeg

first_imgBrittany Hobson APTN National NewsA college in Manitoba officially opened its first sweat lodge for staff and students.Indigenous people make up 16 percent of Red River college students.The new addition aims to improve Indigenous student success.bhobson@aptn.calast_img

Southern Inuit land protectors feel leader used them for political gains

first_imgAfter being handed a copy of the court order by an NCC member, Russell said “I suppose this is what we can do with injunctions.”He then tore the document into pieces and laid it on the table in front of him as those in attendance applauded.Two years later, as more than 20 land protectors—including NCC members—continued to fight civil and criminal charges related to the Muskrat Falls resistance, Russell and those who accompanied him on to the Muskrat Falls site that day still have not been charged or summonsed to court to defend their actions.NunatuKavut put politics ahead of values, say current and former membersSeveral current and former NCC members say the incident, and others around that time, indicate Russell was more concerned with striking the deals than he was about the environment or delaying reservoir flooding until concerns around methylmercury were addressed.Denise Cole, a land protector and member of the Southern Inuit community, told APTN News she and others feel they were “used to move forward a political agenda to get to a benefits agreement table, to get to a negotiations table around acknowledgement and land claims that will eventually come to be.”In December 2017 the NCC announced a deal with Muskrat Falls proponent Nalcor Energy, the  crown corporation building the dam.Then, in August 2018, the organization held a joint press conference with federal Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett to announce NunatuKavut and Canada will enter into talks toward the recognition of Southern Inuit Indigenous rights and self-determination, something Russell and many in Labrador have long fought for.The Nalcor deal includes a promise from the NCC that it will no longer oppose Muskrat Falls or any other Nalcor projects over a six-year time period.Southern Inuit land protectors describe how Russell became involved in the 2016 grassroots-led movement to stop Muskrat Falls after the movement gained significant momentum.They also say that through his actions he led Southern Inuit to believe they could follow his lead, and that he then failed to publicly support land protectors after they were criminalized for defending their lands, traditional foods and way of life.Kirk Lethbridge, a land protector and NCC member who has worked with Russell for decades as the organization—previously the Labrador Metis Nation—fought for Aboriginal rights and recognition, was the person who handed Russell a copy of the injunction on Oct. 17.Lethbridge told APTN that when Russell tore it up he made “all of Labrador feel 10 feet tall,” and that Lethbridge and others felt “empowered, emboldened, braver and stronger.”Lethbridge said Russell sent a clear message to his members and others that the injunction was not to be respected.“Then, a few short days later, it means nothing and those people are thrown to the wolves, given a lawyer that will help them plead guilty,” he said.Kirk Lethbridge (pictured here at an October 2016 rally outside the provincial Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs office in Happy Valley-Goose Bay) said Todd Russell made he and others feel “empowered, emboldened, braver and stronger,” after destroying a copy of the court injunction on Oct. 17, 2016. Photo courtesy of Oct. 22 many NCC members joined the occupation of the Muskrat Falls site, which lasted until Oct. 26.Lethbridge said the NCC offered some of its members legal support, but that he declined because he had lost trust in Russell.He said Russell tried to approach him about the NCC helping with his legal representation, but that he “personally could not trust anything legal or political from NCC’s leader.”Lethbridge and other Southern Inuit land protectors have told APTN that Russell hasn’t shown up to support them at any of their court hearings over the past two years.Reflecting on the day Russell destroyed the injunction, Port Hope Simpson fisherman and former NCC member Dennis Burden told APTN Russell had joined the grassroots movement “for all the wrong reasons.“He gave us some hope, that we didn’t have to abide by those injunctions. And if we had our group stand with us we could have made a difference,” Burden added.Many who joined the Indigenous-led occupation days after Russell went on to the project site don’t feel they’ve done anything wrong in responding to what they say is a threat to their traditional foods and ways of life.And with Russell and the NCC—which represents 6,000 people in Labrador—on his side, Lethbridge said he felt protecting traditional foods against projected methylmercury contamination, and saving the Lower Churchill River, was achievable.“It felt tremendous, like oh my god we’re going to save this river, we’re going to stop this destruction, we’re going to stop the poisoning of the land and the water — we’re going to win,” he recalled.“We had the might, the power, the numbers, the finances, the leadership of NunatuKavut with us on the front lines.“We felt huge and we didn’t feel so alone.”Elder resigns seat on NunatuKavut councilLearning, a land protector who has been arrested and incarcerated multiple times for resisting Muskrat Falls, told APTN last week he resigned his seat on the NCC council earlier this year after realizing Russell’s thinking didn’t align with his values as a Southern Inuk.Russell was “moving towards an agreement with Nalcor,” Learning said, speaking of the period of time between the Muskrat Falls occupation and December 2017, when Nalcor and the NCC inked the deal that will see the crown corporation transfer $8 million to the group over six years.For years the NCC considered Nalcor an adversary of the Southern Inuit, who have maintained since prior to the project’s sanctioning in 2013 that they were never adequately consulted.NunatuKavut unsuccessfully challenged the Muskrat Falls project twice in federal court and in 2013 launched a direct action campaign during which Russell, Learning and eight others were arrested after slowing traffic headed for the project site.Learning, who is living with cancer, launched a hunger strike while in custody and was released on the sixth day.They were charged with violating an injunction in place at the time but were later successful in having it overturned in the provincial court of appeal.Those charges were dropped in January 2015.Elder Jim Learning was instrumental in the movement to stop Muskrat Falls, but resigned as an NCC councillor after realizing Todd Russell’s values and direction didn’t align with his. Justin Brake/APTN photo.The NCC was relatively quiet from that period until the broad-based movement to halt flooding reached a critical point in October 2016.It was the grassroots occupation of the site that finally got Russell to the table with Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball and other Indigenous leaders from the province, said Learning, who sat in on the emergency marathon meeting at Confederation Building in St. John’s that began Oct. 25 and concluded in the early morning hours of Oct. 26.“Todd blew me away, he just wouldn’t say anything. I said, this isn’t right — he’s been protesting against it. He has free reign [because] we have no land claim, recognition or acceptance [by Canada].“But I realized after there was the rub — that’s what he was looking for.”Learning said he “laid it on thick” and “was vicious” with Ball and the Labrador MHAs at the meeting.“How dare you poison our food?” he recalled telling the political leaders, adding they would be voted out in the next election because people in Labrador don’t accept the threats and risks associated with Muskrat Falls.Learning said “everything stopped” when he gave his speech, and that when he was done he left the room.He said Ball followed him out into the hallway, where the two had an exchange.Learning said Ball assured him that if Muskrat Falls would result in mercury contamination of traditional foods, “we will stop the project.”He said Russell “wasn’t strong enough” that evening, and that the leader owed his seat at the table to the land protectors whose occupation of the Muskrat Falls site forced the meeting.Hours later Ball and the Indigenous leaders announced a deal that included the creation of an Independent Expert Advisory Committee to study and make recommendations to government on how best to mitigate methylmercury.In the months that followed the NCC entered into negotiations with Nalcor.Learning said he was not included in the negotiations and doesn’t know if all of the relevant information leading up to the deal was conveyed to him and the other councillors.The deal, which the NCC and Nalcor have called a “Community Development Agreement,” was struck in December 2017.Learning said he gave a 10-minute speech at the announcement of that agreement in opposition to the deal.Days later he announced his intentions to resign, which he formalized in a letter to the NCC last August.Russell did not respond to multiple interview requests for this story and the NCC did not respond to a request for a copy of the agreement.But a copy obtained by APTN reveals that in addition to the money Nalcor will transfer to the organization each year for specific infrastructure, education and cultural programs, Nalcor also reserves the right to audit NunatuKavut’s financial records to ensure the money is being spent for those purposes.It also commits the NCC to ending its resistance to Muskrat Falls and future projects that might arise during the term of the agreement.“NCC will not organize or initiate conduct that is intended to or which prevents, delays, hinders or interferes with the construction, operation or decommissioning of any Nalcor project covered by this agreement,” the document reads.It also frees the NCC from liability if any of its members violate the terms of the agreement “not under the direction or instruction, or as agents for, NCC.”The agreement also mandates Nalcor to negotiate on future projects in Labrador, initiatives for renewable energy generation, workplace environment and cultural accommodations and training, employment and business opportunities.Todd Russell and members of the NCC built a fire on the Muskrat Falls construction site on Oct. 18. 2016. They went on to the site three times that day but have never been charged for their actions despite there being an injunction in place at the time. Photo courtesy of NCC does not have a land base formally recognized by Canada but has presented the federal government with land use study documents claiming large portions of Central and Southern Labrador.In August, Russell and Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett announced that Canada would begin the negotiations process with NunatuKavut leadership.Russell said at the announcement his people will “once again have decision-making power over our lands and resources.“It means a greater ability to deliver programs and services like healthcare and education that are aligned with our values and way of life. It means that the government’s projects can only happen on our lands with our consent and participation.”Much of the land the NCC claims is theirs ancestrally dating back hundreds of years overlaps with land the Innu have occupied for thousands of years and have claimed in their own negotiations with Canada.Renouncing NunatuKavut membershipCole, one of 15 land protectors currently on trial to defend against civil contempt charges for violating an injunction after going on to the Muskrat Falls site to do ceremony, is Southern Inuit.But she has not affiliated with the NCC for the past five years.“Back in 2013 it became very clear to me that the stand that NunatuKavut was taking against Muskrat Falls was politically driven,” she said.“It wasn’t about protecting the environment as much as it was about staking a claim.“It felt like they were looking to claim land ownership so they could put it up for sale,” Cole recalled.While Russell and the NCC were defending what they say is their ancestral land from the destruction of Muskrat Falls, Cole points out the organization was simultaneously making deals with mining companies.In June 2013, two months after Russell and other NCC members were arrested while demonstrating outside the Muskrat Falls site, the NCC signed a “Community Participation Agreement” with Alderon Iron Ore Corp. related to the Kami Iron Ore Project in Western Labrador.Cole said she tried to bring forward her concerns about the environment to leadership but felt “they were never really addressed.”So she asked to be removed from the NCC’s membership list.“I could no longer support them,” she said, explaining NCC leadership’s actions did not fall in line with her values as an Indigenous person.“I’ve always been about land protection and about our responsibilities to preserve the land and the waters and the culture, and I didn’t feel we were on the same page anymore.”Cole said she feels, after watching the NCC “position itself in 2016 around the Muskrat Falls resistance, that they’ve used us.”She said while the Southern Inuit have “worked hard with their research” toward a land claim, and while “there are some great people” within the organization, “overall the secrecy is a colonized move [and] not an Indigenous value.”Cole isn’t the only land protector who relinquished membership in the organization in recent years.Several years ago Burden burned his NCC membership card.Now facing civil and criminal charges related to the Muskrat Falls occupation, Burden said he had become “too ashamed, embarrassed and angry to remain a member” after the Labrador Metis Nation sold a fishing boat outside of membership despite having “some of the greatest fishermen on the planet on the coast of Labrador.”Dennis Burden attends provincial Supreme Court in Happy Valley-Goose Bay in October 2018. Justin Brake/APTN photo.Burden, who has been resisting Muskrat Falls since before the project’s sanctioning, said he planned to return to the organization someday, and that Russell’s leadership during the fall 2016 Muskrat Falls resistance gave him “a little bit of hope.”Though in the back of his mind, he said, “I kind of knew this was about land claims and dollars.”Many Southern Inuit, who until recently identified as “Metis” based on an interpretation of the term as signifying mixed European and Indigenous ancestry, have worked hard to revive or strengthen elements of their ancestors’ culture.But politically the NCC is headed down the wrong path, said Burden.“I do not believe that people should be able to play the Indigenous card without respecting Indigenous values and teachings. You just can’t run and cry, ‘Our lands, our lands, protect our lands,’ and then change when you get what you want.”Uneven application of justice, say land protectors Cole said the circumstances around Russell’s actions from October 2016 and the subsequent absence of any legal repercussions, coupled with what she feels is the Southern Inuit leader’s lack of support for his people who are fighting charges after following in his footsteps, together paint a picture of injustice and colonialism.She said Nalcor’s decision not to pursue civil litigation against Russell and the NCC members who accompanied him on to the Muskrat Falls site on Oct. 18, 2016 demonstrates that the province, through a crown corporation, is “picking and choosing who they’re charging.”Cole said Russell’s tearing up of the injunction “was a direct message to everyone else that not only should we ignore the injunction, [but also] that he would support us if we broke the injunction.“I think the fact that Todd Russell has never had any charges against him for breaking the injunction is ridiculous in consideration to the amount of evidence that shows he did,” she added.She said that the events of October 2016, followed by the NCC’s agreement with Nalcor, are a “real shame”.Land protector Denise Cole said she ended her membership with the NCC in 2013, after feeling the organization’s opposition to Muskrat Falls “wasn’t about protecting the environment as much as it was about staking a claim.” Trina Roache/ATPN file photo.“Our leadership should have more Indigenous values than that, and their culture is supposed to mean more than that,” she said.Lethbridge, who faces a potential criminal record for following Russell’s lead in disrespecting the injunction, said it’s no coincidence Russell and the NCC’s decision not to publicly support its members who are land protectors was followed by the deal with Nalcor and a commitment from Canada to finally negotiate a land claim.“It just wrangles me that the elite and the elected seem to be able to walk away scot-free,” he said, “when the frontline people are the ones that are still facing the judge.”APTN asked Nalcor, which is responsible for bringing allegations of civil contempt against individuals it believes violated the injunction, to explain why it did not charge Russell and the NCC members who accompanied him on to the Muskrat Falls site.“Given there are ongoing proceedings before the Courts, Nalcor will not be commenting on this matter while it is before the Courts,” spokesperson Karen O’Neill responded in an email.Similarly, the RCMP said it “would not be appropriate to comment on specific matters that may influence those matters before the court.”They did say, however, that “in matters of civil unrest the RCMP uses a measured approach assessing each situation and its circumstances in determining a response.”The day prior to Russell and the NCC members’ visit to the Muskrat Falls site, RCMP officers arrested eight people–most of them Indigenous women who feared the loss of their country foods–who were blocking the entrance to the project site along a highway. Those who went on to the site after Russell and the NCC’s trip to Muskrat Falls, as well as those who demonstrated outside the site—including elders and youth—have been charged by Nalcor and the RCMP for allegedly violating the injunction.“The RCMP maintains a balanced and unbiased approach to these matters respecting the rights of all involved,” the federal police concluded in their In the Oct. 18, 2016 video shot by, Staff Sgt. Sandy Goudie with the RCMP in Happy Valley-Goose Bay can be seen speaking with Russell after the Southern Inuit leader and several NCC members returned from a boat trip to Muskrat Falls, where they went on to the site multiple times to assert what they said at the time was their Aboriginal right to be on their ancestral land.Goudie warns Russell and NunatuKavut Councillor and Elder Jim Learning, who accompanied Russell on to the site, that the NCC members could be charged both civilly and criminally.The officer says there is a “criminal element of the breach…of being there [on the site],” and that the RCMP “used our discretion in our approach here.”In a Facebook live stream report by of Russell’s visit to the site, Scott Morrison, head of security for Nalcor, told the visitors that the RCMP “are involved”.Morrison also attempted to hand Russell a copy of the injunction, but Russell refused, saying “I have no court injunction and I haven’t seen a court injunction.”Following the exchange with Goudie in the video, Russell acknowledges that he knew of the injunction’s existence but said he wasn’t aware of its entire substance.“I haven’t seen the injunction—I’ve seen some parts of it, but I’ve never been served a copy of the injunction. I’m unaware of all of its contents,” he said.The day prior, Oct. 17, Russell publicly destroyed a copy of the injunction at a press conference during which he announced the NCC would commit bodies and resources to the growing movement to stop Muskrat Falls ahead of reservoir flooding. NunatuKavut Community Council President and former Liberal MP Todd Russell went on to the Muskrat Falls site in October 2016. Unlike dozens of others who went on to the project site, Russell and those who accompanied him have never been charged. Photo:’s Note: As a journalist with the online publication, Justin Brake followed the land protectors onto the Muskrat Falls site and covered the occupation. He is facing criminal and civil charges from the event.Justin BrakeAPTN NewsLand protectors in Labrador facing civil and criminal charges related to the Muskrat Falls resistance are questioning the RCMP and a crown energy corporation’s decisions not to pursue charges against an Indigenous leader who went on to the dam’s construction site during a movement to stop the project in 2016.They also say that their leader, NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC) President and former Liberal MP Todd Russell, failed to support Southern Inuit who were criminalized after following his lead. They say throughout the movement to stop Muskrat Falls Russell was in pursuit of separate deals with the federal government and a provincial crown corporation.A video taken in October 2016 shows a senior RCMP officer telling Russell the federal police were using “discretion” in not arresting or charging him and other NCC members for going on to the Muskrat Falls worksite in Central Labrador despite there being a court injunction in place at the time that prohibited them from doing so.Watch: Video of RCMP talking with NCC President Todd Russelllast_img read more

Deaths of three Indigenous women in Montreal ignite calls for more frontline

first_imgTom FennarioAPTN NewsDavid Chapman stands near the kitchen inside the Open Door shelter in Montreal and points to a framed picture on the wall.“It just struck me that she was really bright and had a, seemed like a full life ahead of her,” says Chapman, executive director of the shelter.The photo he’s pointing to is of Crystal Einish, a Cree woman in her 20s from Eeyou Istchee – Cree Territory in Quebec.She died after drinking too much alcohol.“She was talking to me about her son, she loved her son, and to be honest I was just completely shocked when I heard only two days later she was no longer with us,” says Chapman.(The photo of Crystal Einish that hangs on the wall inside the Open Door shelter in Montreal)Einish isn’t the only photo on the wall.Walk into Montreal’s Open Door shelter and you’ll find thirteen framed photos.Dubbed the “memorial wall,” the photos are of former clients who have died – eight of the thirteen are Indigenous women, all within the last two years.Before the photos had been located in a less formal space, near a bulletin board.But after a deadly January, where three Indigenous women who frequented the Open Door died, the need for a larger wall became evident.“If things don’t change we’re gonna need more space still,” says Chapman.Chapman says he knew the women well and that substance abuse also played a role in the recent deaths of the two other women.But when they were alive and wanted help, it wasn’t available.He points to yet another photo, Inuk woman Connie Kadlutsiak.“Connie asked three times to go to detox and rehab, and a number of efforts were made but each time there was a waiting list,” he says.“And you often have a very short window of time where there is a desire to go forward with detox and rehab and if you miss that window then you’re back to square one.”(Open Door Executive Director David Chapman. In the background is the wall of photos of clients who have died)Harvey Michele is the interim president of the Indigenous Health Centre of Tiohtià:ke.Tiohtià:ke is the Mohawk word for Montreal, and Michele says the city is lacking compared to Canada’s other major cities.Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver all have centres devoted to Indigenous health.“We’re, let’s say, 20 years behind from other provinces, where they are more specifically targeting Indigenous health,” says Michele, an Ojibway who has lived in Montreal for over 40 years.“For the underserviced Indigenous community, the need is great.”Incorporated in 2016, the Tiohtià:ke Health Centre is still in its infancy.The goal is to eventually establish a location where Indigenous people can get health services catered to their needs.“The Indigenous Health Centre of Tiohtià:ke would work with the community member in dealing with the root cause of their addiction. Sadly, many First Nations and Inuit continue to fall in the cracks,” says Michele.“The rate of mortality is very high for this population due to the lack of access to addiction and mental health services that are culturally not safe for the vulnerable population.”Michele says that the health centre is a part of a larger conglomeration of Montreal Indigenous organizations called the Health Services Partnership Table for Urban Indigenous Persons.Together they are gearing up to push for health services funding, but Michele admits establishing a fully functioning Indigenous health centre in Montreal will take years.In the meantime, she would like to see more funds for health navigators, people who are paid specifically to help vulnerable folks navigate the health system.The health centre currently has two on staff.For David Chapman, more funding and programs can’t come soon enough with regards to keeping more photos from going up on the Open Door memorial wall.“In this case there is very much a direct link between funding recovery and span of life.” read more

Prime Minister Trudeau calls news conference to discuss the SNCLavalin affair

first_imgPrime Minister Justin Trudeau called a news conference in Ottawa to discuss the SNC-Lavalin affair.This follows the testimony given by Gerald Butts, Trudeau’s former advisor, Michael Wernick, Clerk of the Privy Council and Nathalie Drouin, deputy minister of Justice and deputy Attorney General.Join the conversation live on Facebook.last_img

Review iTunes video upgrade makes the new Apple TV worth it

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – It might seem odd to review the new Apple TV streaming device — one specifically designed to display super-sharp video known as 4K — without actually owning a 4K TV.But in a way, that’s the point.Most people still don’t have 4K TVs, so the new Apple TV model doesn’t offer them much. But if you’re an Apple fan and already have 4K, the choice is clear. The new Apple TV 4K is out Friday starting at $179, or $30 more than the regular model. It’s a small difference compared with the price of your TV.It’s worth noting that alternatives to Apple TV are cheaper and equally capable at a basic level. All of the devices connect to a TV so you can stream most major video services on a big screen. Roku and Amazon have 4K models for less than $100 and non-4K versions for even less. Both are even ahead of Apple TV in being able to stream Amazon video now; it’s coming soon to Apple TV.But none of the rivals will play movies or shows purchased from Apple’s iTunes, at least without clunky workarounds. To watch those on a big screen directly, you need an Apple TV. And Apple has just sweetened the deal on that front.___THE FUTURE HAS ARRIVEDApple’s embrace of 4K is significant, despite the fact that Roku, Amazon and other rivals beat Apple to that milestone. Apple often waits until there’s broad enough appeal for new technologies. That time is now, given growth in sales of 4K TV and more movies and TV shows released in 4K formats.Parallel to that is the rise of high-dynamic range technology in television sets. HDR increases colour range and produces brighter whites and darker blacks. Better contrast means details in bright scenes aren’t washed out. Apple TV 4K supports HDR, too.___PATH TO UPGRADES4K is coming, just as high definition earlier replaced standard definition. The consulting company Futuresource says a third of TVs sold worldwide this year will be 4K capable, up from 25 per cent last year. But people tend to keep TVs for many years, unlike high-turnover phones.In demos with tech companies and visits to Best Buy, I find superior picture quality in 4K. Your couch needs to close enough to the screen to see the difference. My next TV will likely have 4K, but my 4-year-old Vizio HD TV still works fine (though I’m sure I just jinxed it).___ITUNES UPGRADES ITS VIDEO … AND YOURSMany Hollywood blockbusters now have 4K versions of home video releases. Netflix and Amazon are also trying to make their original shows available in 4K. But many indie and older titles remain in HD; even older shows like “The Wonder Years” are still stuck in standard definition.Fortunately, Apple isn’t making you choose now. If you buy something in HD through iTunes, you’ll automatically get the 4K version when it’s out. And if a 4K version is available now, it will cost the same as its HD counterpart. It’s never been clear why HD video is more expensive than SD when actors, directors and others behind the movies were paid the same.Lots of people were peeved at how the music industry tried to get them to repurchase the same songs on cassette tapes, CDs and then digital files. I have a collection of DVDs and don’t feel like paying again for higher-quality Blu-ray or digital versions.So Apple’s decision to treat 4K and HD the same is a good one. That only applies to iTunes, though. Netflix is charging extra for a plan that includes 4K, even when viewed on Apple TVs.A word of caution: While the new iPhone 8 and iPad Pros unveiled this past June will support HDR, they won’t display 4K. Even the upcoming iPhone X falls short in that respect.___BEYOND VIDEOThe new Apple TV gets a faster processor, which should make high-end games better to play. A new remote offers more precise motion control and a raised menu button to make it easier to orient yourself without looking. These features alone aren’t enough to justify an Apple TV 4K unless you’re a gamer. The non-4K version is getting the new remote, too. Picture quality is the same for both versions on regular HD sets like mine.In any case, Apple TV — with or without 4K — will be most useful if you’re already tied into Apple’s system with iDevices and iTunes. Given that rival devices are cheaper, what you’re buying isn’t the device, but an experience — integration and syncing with all your other Apple gadgets. For instance, 4K video taken on an iPhone will play easily on an Apple TV 4K.If you’re in that camp and are thinking of buying a new TV in the next few years, there’s a good chance it will be 4K, so you might as well choose the 4K version of Apple TV now. But if it’s longer, a better Apple TV will likely be out by then. The non-4K version will do just fine for now.last_img read more

Proposals being made at NAFTA table wont send Canada away Trudeau

first_imgMEXICO CITY – The leaders of Canada and Mexico said Thursday they’re not walking away from NAFTA talks in the wake of the latest aggressive proposal from the U.S.Both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said the proposal — a sunset clause on any new North American Free Trade Agreement — remains just that, an idea.“We will continue to take very seriously the work we do and we will not be walking away from the table based on proposals put forward,” Trudeau said at a joint news conference with Pena Nieto in Mexico City’s stately National Palace late Thursday evening.“We will discuss those proposals, we will counter those proposals and we will take seriously these negotiations.”Negotiations for a revamped NAFTA are now in their fourth round and the U.S. sunset clause idea is the latest in a series of moves that have frustrated Canadian and Mexican negotiators. More challenges lie ahead — rules for auto parts could come as early as Friday. An original suggestion from the U.S. that American and regional content levels be beefed up has already drawn condemnation.Trudeau and Pena Nieto talked with their aides and then their foreign affairs and trade teams for close to two hours Thursday afternoon. Trudeau’s visit is his first official trip to Mexico and follows Pena Nieto’s trip to Canada in June 2016.While the two sides were discussing a range of issues, the ongoing talks to rework NAFTA were a large part of the discussion.Pena Nieto suggested that while observers have made predictions that certain proposals could tank the talks, that’s only speculation.“I would not pay much attention to any statements other than that which happens (at) the negotiation tables,” he said, according to an English translation of his remarks.Pena Nieto indicated he was paying attention to a suggestion from U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday that should NAFTA talks fail, bilateral deals could be negotiated instead.Afterwards, Trudeau didn’t rule out the notion, and Pena Nieto said he did discuss it with the prime minister Thursday.But he said he also heard Trump say that the three countries could find a creative way to negotiate a new trilateral pact.“I think that Canada and Mexico share the idea that the NAFTA agreement is a good mechanism, it’s not the only one but it’s a good mechanism to potentialize the development of the North American region and to turn it into the most competitive one.”Efforts by Canada and Mexico to deepen their own bilateral connections, however, were on full display Thursday.In the room during the news conference were dozens of Mexican firefighters who assisted in combating wildfires in B.C., while prior to their meeting, Pena Nieto took Trudeau past a photo display of Canadian relief efforts in the wake of devastating earthquakes in Mexico last month.Trudeau had stopped by a Red Cross aid distribution centre earlier Thursday as part of his government’s approach of engaging in more public diplomacy events to encourage foreign relations.But the formal side is equally important. Trudeau will address the Mexican Senate on Friday, one of only a handful of foreign leaders to have ever done so.last_img read more

It may be harder to find the perfect Christmas tree

first_imgMONTPELIER, Vt. — There’s a tight supply of tannenbaums this holiday season.That means some shoppers will be paying more or searching longer for that perfect Christmas tree. But industry officials say there’s no cause for panic buying.The tight market is rooted in an oversupply followed by the Great Recession that caused many growers to leave the business. Now the supply is tight.Tim O’Connor from the National Christmas Tree Association says most people will find what they want, but prices could be a bit higher than last year’s average retail price of about $75.All told, the association says U.S. consumers are expected to buy about 27 million live trees. That’s roughly the same as the last two years.Lisa Rathke, The Associated Presslast_img read more

New Zealand bans Huawei from 5G upgrade over security fears

first_imgWELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand’s international spy agency has banned mobile company Spark from using Huawei equipment in its planned 5G upgrade, saying it posed a “significant network security risk.”The action follows a similar ban in Australia, where the Chinese telecommunications giant was blocked in August from rolling out Australia’s 5G network due to security concerns.Spark says it is disappointed with the decision by New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau. But the company said in a statement Wednesday it is confident it can still launch its 5G network by July 2020.Huawei suffered a setback in the U.S. market in 2012 when a congressional report said it was a security risk and warned phone companies not to buy its equipment.China is New Zealand’s largest trading partner.The Associated Presslast_img read more

TransCanada to change name to TC Energy

first_imgNEW YORK — TransCanada Corp., the company behind the contentious Keystone XL oil pipeline, is changing its name to TC Energy.If approved by shareholders and regulators, TransCanada becomes TC Energy in the second quarter. The stock ticker “TRP” will not change.The Keystone XL project is being delayed by a federal court that found the Trump Administration didn’t fully consider the environmental effects when it approved the permit for the 1,184-mile (1,900 kilometre) pipeline, intended to ship up to 830,000 barrels a day of crude oil from Alberta, Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast.The project has been marred by protests. Environmentalists and Native American groups had sued to stop the pipeline, citing property rights and possible spillsA hearing on the proposed pipeline is scheduled for Monday in Great Falls, Montana.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Faithbased shelter fights to keep out transgender women

first_imgANCHORAGE, Alaska — A conservative Christian law firm that has pushed religious issues in multiple states will urge a U.S. judge on Friday to block Alaska’s largest city from requiring a faith-based women’s shelter to accept transgender women.Alliance Defending Freedom has sued the city of Anchorage to stop it from applying a gender identity law to the Hope Center shelter, which denied entry to a transgender woman. The lawsuit says homeless shelters are exempt from the local law and that constitutional principles of freedom of religion are at stake.“The case is really about whether the Hope Center can operate according to its religious beliefs to provide the things that it does to the homeless population in Anchorage,” Kate Anderson, an attorney for the Scottsdale, Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom said before the court hearing.The shelter operators filed a federal lawsuit against the city and its Equal Rights Commission in August, months after a transgender woman complained to the commission that she was denied housing at the shelter.The city says it was premature for the shelter to ask a judge to block the law because the commission’s investigation wasn’t finished, largely because the shelter wasn’t co-operating. The investigation is now on hold.The plaintiffs maintain the person identified only as “Jessie Doe” showed up inebriated after hours in January 2018 and was not turned away because of gender. The shelter officials even paid for a taxi to take her to a hospital for treatment of a forehead wound from fighting at another shelter, according to alliance attorneys.The same individual showed up the following day and again was denied entry, according to the motion for a preliminary injunction. Plaintiffs say they want the federal court to make clear that the shelter is not violating the law.Alliance Defending Freedom also represented a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. In a limited decision, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the baker, but it did not rule on the larger issue of whether businesses can invoke religious objections to refuse service to gays and lesbians.The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified the alliance as an LBGT hate group, one that seeks to push transgender people “back into the shadows.”Anderson said women at the shelter are most often survivors of violence, including rape and domestic abuse and that housing biological men would be highly traumatic for them.___Follow Rachel D’Oro at .Rachel D’Oro, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Peace Valley OSB Plant to close this summer

first_imgUPDATE – In a letter given to employees that was shared with Moose FM/, the company told employees they would be terminated as of August 9, 2019. All employees will receive pay until September 6, 2019. The letter went on to say “This is a difficult decision, and is not a reflection of the Peace Valley team or your efforts over the past several months to reduce costs.”FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Several sources have confirmed to Moose FM/ that the Peace Valley OSB Plant will close this summer.Sources say the staff were told Thursday morning that the plant would close as of August 9, 2019. Approximately 190 people work at the facility. Staff were told the shutdown was due to poor market conditions in Western Canada and the US. RELATED STORIESMinister of Forests says reason for Peace Valley closure is not due to impacts of Bill-22MLA Dan Davies voices concerns over Peace Valley OSB Plant closure Officials from Louisiana Pacific have not confirmed these details or released an official statement about the announcement.We will update this story as more information becomes available.last_img read more

Djokovic Osaka win Miami openers as Thiem tumbles

first_imgMiami: Novak Djokovic put his Indian Wells disappointment behind him on Friday at the ATP and WTA Miami Open with a ruthless 7-6 (7/2) 6-2 destruction of Australian Bernard Tomic to move into the third round. The Serbian world number one endured a meek exit at the hands of German Philipp Kohlschreiber in the California desert but arrived desperate to land what would be a record seventh title in South Florida. Tomic, the current world No. 81, gave the 31-year-old a few problems yet the Australian struggles to consistently challenge the best players and this was evident once again as Djokovic eased through the gears at Hard Rock Stadium with just one hour and 13 minutes on the clock. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh “In Indian Wells I wasn’t feeling my best,” conceded Djokovic who won 81 per cent of points on his first serve and hit 11 aces. “Everyone has nerves coming onto center court regardless of how much experience you have and what your ranking is. You care about it and if you are nervous that means you care. “I commonly feel like that. This was my first time playing at this new stadium, it felt like being indoor a little bit. It’s unique. “Now hopefully,” he added, “I can build some momentum.” On a day that saw Djokovic, top-ranked woman Naomi Osaka and 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams advance, the shock of the day was the departure of Indian Wells Masters winner Dominic Thiem, who was beaten 6-4 6-4 by highly rated Polish 22-year-old Hubert Hurkacz. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later Elsewhere, there was disappointment for Kei Nishikori. The fifth seed lost to Serbian Dusan Lajovic 2-6 6-2 6-3 but reigning champion John Isner outlasted Italian qualifier Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (7/2) 7-6, (9/7). Japanese star Osaka had to keep her emotions in check as she opened her campaign by outlasting Yanina Wickmayer 6-0 6-7 (3/7) 6-1. Since winning her second consecutive Grand Slam title in January at the Australian Open, Osaka has failed to go deep in Dubai or Indian Wells. But she appeared in solid form against 141st-ranked Wickmayer, despite losing her way in the middle of an entertaining match at Hard Rock Stadium. The 21 year-old was forced to dig deep after the Belgian, who reached the Miami Open last eight in 2010, forced a third set as Osaka’s game badly dipped. – ‘Just breathe’ – ================== “In the second set, I got really emotional, so in the third, I just tried to shut off my feelings,” Osaka said. “I started thinking about winning and not the things I could do in order to win. I had a dip and she started playing really well. “I just had to breathe and regroup,” she said. “I find myself doing it often when I am in emotional situations, it’s like an energy saver.” Next up in the third round is Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei, who defeated American Alison Riske 6-2, 7-5. The pair had a rollercoaster clash in the Australian Open at the start of 2019 with Hsieh a set and 4-1 up in Melbourne only to lose a dramatic third-round encounter. Serena Williams survived a second-set lull to beat Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson 6-3 1-6 6-1 and elder sister Venus also advanced with a 7-6 (7/4) 6-1 win over Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro. There will be a repeat of last week’s WTA final in Indian Wells between Bianca Andreescu and Angelique Kerber. Canadian 18-year-old Andreescu, who brilliantly won her maiden WTA title in California, beat American Sofia Kenin 6-3 6-3 to book a third-round meeting with three-time Grand Slam winner Kerber, who saw off Russia’s Karolina Muchova 3-6 6-3 6-3.last_img read more

Sindhu Srikanth Kashyap in semifinal

first_imgNew Delhi: Former champions P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth stayed on course to reclaim titles while a vintage Parupalli Kashyap too regained some form, sealing his place in the men’s singles semi-finals of the $350,000 India Open here on Friday. Sindhu, a 2017 champion and 2016 finalist, edged out Denmark’s eighth seed Mia Blichfeldt 21-19 22-20 in a closely-fought contest to set up a clash with China’s He Bingjiao on Saturday. “I should have finished it earlier. I made too many errors. He Bingjiao and she is a tricky player. I have to be more patient,” Sindhu said. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhSrikanth finally snapped his series of quarter-final finishes, outwitting compatriot B Sai Praneeth 21-23 21-11 21-19 in a 62 minute pulsating contest, while Kashyap entered his first semi-finals of a top-tier event (World Tour Super 500 or Superseries) in almost four years, beating Chinese Taipei’s Wang Tzu Wei 21-16 21-11. Srikanth will face China’s Huang Yuxiang, while Kashyap takes on former world champion and former world no 1 Viktor Axelsen. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterH S Prannoy couldn’t match up with the second seeded Axelsen, going down 10-21 16-21 in a match that had some tight fights in the second game. Srikanth had made eight quarter-final finishes in last nine tournaments and the Indian didn’t look to make the last 8 after he lost the opening game narrowly and lagged 1-7 in the second. But a gritty Srikanth saved five game points, fighting back from 16-20 down before Praneeth staved off the challenge to take the opening game. Praneeth managed to grab a 7-1 lead to raise hopes of an upset but Srikanth came back strongly and took the match to the decider. In the third game, the Gopichand Academy colleagues split the initial 14 points before Praneeth edged ahead to 11-8 lead. But a fighting Srikanth again drew parity at 13-13 and eventually managed to produce those two points at 19-19 to seal a semi-final place. “The turning point of the match was in the second game when I was 1-7 down and I fought back. From there, things changed. At 19-19 in the decider it could have gone either way. But I played well in the crucial points. So happy with my performance,” Srikanth said. On the adjacent court, Kashyap made a confident start, leading 6-3 early on but three successive returns at the forehand corner of Wang going out allowed his opponent to keep pace with the Indian who enjoyed a 11-8 lead at the break. Wang made it 16-16 with Kashyap committing a few mistakes at the net but hit flat jabs and punches to the back of the court, pocketing the opening game. Kashyap took control of the net and retrieved everything, while Wang looked erratic with his smashes. Kashyap led 6-3 again in the second game. Wang again clawed back at 8-8 but Kashyap managed to keep his nose ahead at 11-9 at the interval. The Indian marched ahead, varying the pace with his strokes, using angles and measured returns, cramming his opponent for space. He led 18-11. A smash and drop took Kashyap closer to seal the match and he celebrated after Wang hit one long. “I feel good. I didn’t think about semi-final. “I had a good draw and a good run and I am just happy. I have fitness issues but I don’t know why my body is feeling at ease,” said Kashyap, who had reached the finals at 2017 US Open and won the 2018 Austrian Open.last_img read more

SBI cuts lending rates by marginal 5 bps

first_imgMumbai: The nation’s largest lender State Bank of India Tuesday reduced the lending rates by a marginal 5 basis points across all tenors, effective April 10. The revised one-year marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) stands at 8.50 percent down from 8.55 percent earlier, the bank said in a statement. The lender has also cut interest rates on housing loans up to Rs 30 lakh by 10 bps. Accordingly, the interest rate on housing loans below Rs 30 lakh will be in the range of 8.60-8.90 percent, from 8.70-9 percent earlier. The move follows a 25 basis points cut in repo rate by the Reserve Bank in its first monetary policy review announced last week. In the February policy review also the monetary authority had lowered the key rates by a similar quantum. In a 4:2 majority vote, the central bank had cut the repo rate to 6 percent from 6.25 percent earleir, citing the need to support growth that has been sluggish since many months.last_img read more

Algerian military open fire towards Moroccan border control station

first_imgRabat- A new escalation in the tension between Moroccan and Algeria or an accident? According to a statement issue by the Moroccan Ministry of Interior, elements of the Algerian National People’s Army opened fire towards the Moroccan border control station, Ait Jormane, along the border line between Morocco and Algeria, in the province of Figuig. Two bullets hit the wall of crossing, the statement said.The incident takes place little more than a week after Algerian military guards shot a Moroccan citizen in the border region, about 30 km the Moroccan city of Oujda.last_img read more

Russian Ice Stars to Perform in Casablanca

Rabat – The Russian Ice Stars company will perform their famous musical production, “Peter Pan on Ice,” on March 28 and 29 in the theater of Mohamed V in Casablanca.For the first time in Morocco, the Russian Ice Stars will entertain a Moroccan audiences with their adaption of J M Barrie’s much loved magical adventure, Peter Pan.The famous fantasy story will be portrayed on the stage of Mohamed V theater hall, which will be transformed into a spectacle of theatre and ice-skating. The story takes the audience “to Neverland where you’ll meet pirates, Indians, Peter Pan and of course everyone’s favorite baddie, Captain Hook in their ice-skating adventure,” according to the Ice Stars’ website.Doors open at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on March 28 and at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on March 29.Tickets to the show are fixed at MAD 200 (about $20) and can be purchased online on at: read more

Pope Francis Supports Statement That Islam and the Koran Are Peaceful

Miami – Just a few months after Pope Francis gave positive declarations about Islam and was supported as much as he was criticized, the British Daily Mail has resurfaced a short video of the Pope, on the topic of Islam.Argentinian-born Pope Francis speaks to reporters aboard an aircraft headed back to Rome from a three-day trip to Turkey.At a time when extremist religious beliefs have negatively affected the world and generalized stereotypes are constantly creating controversy, Pope Francis conveys a simple but assertive message of peace by describing how terrorism has obscured positive views of Islam. “On, Islamophobia, it is true that when one sees these terrorist acts, not only in this region, but also in Africa, there is this reaction: ‘If this is Islam, I am going to get angry’, and so many Islamic people are offended”, said the religious leader in Italian.He goes on to reassure his remark and shares a reaction of the Muslim majority to these assumptions. “Many, many say: ‘No, we are not this, the Koran is a book of peace; it is a prophetic book of peace’. That [terrorism] is not Islam”, said the Pontiff.It is not the first time Pope Francis opens up about his tolerance and what some consider “liberal views”.He has been called the modern Pope, the liberal Pope, and his declarations make the news at all media levels regardless of the subject. His charismatic personality and his humble simplicity are undeniable.Media outlets and social media users of all countries and religions have an interest on what he has to say. This video which has gone viral was no different.There are millions of Islamic people in the world who follow the Koran and whose actions and lives are peaceful and disciplined. It is unfair to regard them as violent individuals and blame an entire religion for the terrorizing acts of extremists.World peace and acceptance is a must in which unbiased and knowledgeable information can lead us to unification.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

National Workshop on Strategies to Combat Violence against Women in MENA

By Fatima SadiqiFez – ISIS Center for Women and Development at Fès, Morocco organized on 29 Decemebr a National Workshop on Strategies to Combat Violence against Women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Several academics and civil society activists from several Moroccan cities participated in this important event.The workshop addressed the issue of gender and violence with the aim of unpacking its overarching historical, cultural, religious, social, and political underpinnings. Whilst gender-based violence is a universal phenomenon, it takes interesting nuances and wears multiple faces in the MENA region where tradition, social norm, religion, war, and politics intermingle in a powerful and tantalizing space-based patriarchy. The theme of “gender and violence” is relatively new in the field of research; hence, scholarly debate on gender and violence in the MENA is badly needed. The participants revealed that gender-based violence is one of the most widespread violations of Human Rights. It may include verbal threats, coercion, economic abuse, or arbitrary deprivation of freedom in both the private and public spheres. Thus, violence against women has many forms; it can be physical, sexual, or emotional, and may be caused by a husband, a partner, a family member, or another person. Violence against women also includes sexual harassment and abuse by authority persons such as employers, the police, teachers, etc. Forced labor and trafficking are also forms of violence against women, and so are traditional practices like child marriages and honor killings.The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which constitutes an international bill of rights for women, was adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly. This Convention defines what constitutes discrimination against women and sets up an agenda to prevent, eradicate and punish violence against women and girls. Countries, like Morocco, that have ratified or acceded to the Convention are legally bound to put its provisions into practice. They are also committed to submit national reports, at least every four years, on measures they have taken to comply with their treaty obligations. Most MENA countries ratified CEDAW with reservations on articles that are said to contradict Shari’a law.Violence against women and girls in the MENA region, as in the rest of the world, has dramatic consequences for families and communities, as it not only causes harm to women, but also blocks productivity, reduces human capital and undermines economic growth.The MENA area has recently become a hotbed for violence against women, especially after the so-called “Arab Spring”. The Yemen Post released a study that found 2,694 incidents of physical and sexual abuse against women in 2007. Sudan Daily reports that 278 incidents of violence against female citizens occurred in just three months. Likewise, in Egypt and Algeria, women are victimized. In Morocco, 1/3 of all women suffer from domestic abuse.The victims of today’s wars are 70-80 % civilians, most of them women. They are tortured and humiliated in prisons and refugee camps. There is a link between violence against women and patriarchal oppression. This violence should be fought by building a feminist platform based on solidarity and abolishing all forms of oppression and discrimination.Whilst violence against women has become a central issue in women’s movements across the MENA region in the last decade, with an emphasis on domestic violence, ‘honor killings’, early marriages, and prostitution-related cases, the dominant research paradigm on gender-based violence in the MENA region is that of the victimized Muslim women and their male oppressors on the basis of culture and religion. The impact of gendered political, social, and economic power on gender-based violence is seldom addressed, and so is the role of the State in banning or punishing violence against women.The Workshop participants recommended that girl’s education, economic independence, and emancipation combined with activism and media can be used as tools to fight violence against women, and to address systematically family, community and state’s involvement in the right policies to fight violence against women. They also recommended the reform of education, critical thinking, reduction of the parity index through more schooling for girls, addressing gender equality in family, school, civil society, and use of social media to combat violence against women..© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more