Ford says social media allows politicians to circumvent mainstream journalists

first_imgOTTAWA — Premier Doug Ford says mainstream journalists have become irrelevant because social media allows him to speak directly to Ontarians.The Ontario premier told a conference of conservative thinkers, strategists and politicians Saturday that journalists are “losing the battle” to inform people about the news.Speaking at the annual Manning Networking Conference, Ford accused journalists of being “far-left” and intent on distorting the messages of politicians.“I get along with them one-on-one, I really do,” Ford told the crowd.“I like them but it’s like the cheese slipped off the cracker with these guys and they just went far-left.”Ford said the spin put on political messages by mainstream media no longer matters.“But guess what? Now there’s social media so we’re circumventing the media through our social media.”During last year’s provincial election, he recounted how he “drove the media crazy” by going directly to voters through social media tools like Facebook and Youtube and Twitter.He boasted that his campaign website “Ford Nation Live” got 18 million hits — purportedly more than all the mainstream television news networks combined. And as premier, he said they’re continuing that approach through the Ontario News Now website.“They want to take what you said and clip and chop and twist it around but we went direct to the people. And they know they’re losing the battle,” Ford said.Attacking the media is a favourite ploy of U.S. President Donald Trump, but Ford insisted he’s no Trump.“People always say, ‘Oh, you’re like Trump.’ No, I’m Doug Ford. I’m not Donald Trump.”Still, Ford praised Trump’s policies, particularly slashing the corporate tax rate and reducing regulatory red tape that he said has spurred economic growth.“Down in the U.S., it’s absolutely booming and, just my opinion, when the U.S. is booming, Canada is booming,” he said.“You couldn’t ask for a better neighbour anywhere in the world than the United States of America.”Ford also reiterated his vow to fight tooth and nail against the federal Liberal government’s plan to impose a carbon tax in Ontario, starting next month. Ontario is one of four provinces that has refused to meet the federal threshold for putting a price on carbon so the federal government is imposing its own tax, the revenue from which is to be rebated directly back to residents in those provinces.Ontario, along with Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick, are fighting the tax in court.“The carbon tax is a tax with the word carbon in front of it and it does absolutely nothing for the environment, nothing at all,” Ford said, arguing that Ontario is being penalized even though it is “leading the country” in reducing carbon emissions.“Everything you do is going to cost more,” he predicted.Joan Bryden, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Photos Ian Somerhalder Struts His Mutt

first_imgIan Somerhalder teamed up with Best Friends Animal Society’s Strut Your Mutt event in Lafayette on September 22.Ian Somerhalder and friend at the Strut Your Mutt eventCredit/Copyright: Jonathan Bachman/Invision for Best Friends Animal Society/AP ImagesThe event raised funds for local animal welfare groups and Best Friends, as well as awareness of the Best Friends No More Homeless Pets initiative.Ian Somerhalder Takes Part In Strut Your Mutt eventCredit/Copyright: Jonathan Bachman/Invision for Best Friends Animal Society/AP ImagesBest Friends Animal Society is a national nonprofit organization building no-kill programs and partnerships that will bring about a day when there are No More Homeless Pets. Their leading initiatives in animal care and community programs are coordinated from their Kanab, Utah, headquarters, the country’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. This work is made possible by the personal and financial support of a grassroots network of supporters and community partners across the nation.Ian Somerhalder Struts His MuttCredit/Copyright: Jonathan Bachman/Invision for Best Friends Animal Society/AP ImagesBest Friends started Strut Your Mutt as a fundraising event 17 years ago in Salt Lake City. Three years ago, they introduced Strut Your Mutt events to New York and Los Angeles and changed their fundraising model so that Strut Your Mutt would help local animal rescue groups raise critical funds to continue their life saving work. This year, Strut Your Mutt is being held in nine cities across the country and includes a virtual Strut Across America, with the goal of raising $1 million for rescue organizations nationwide.Money raised from Strut Your Mutt helps Best Friends and participating rescue groups – all part of their No More Homeless Pets Network – support adoption and public spay/neuter programs that impact and save the lives of animals in shelters.For more information on Best Friends, including their Sanctuary and the work they are doing around the country, visit read more

Being the change Exploris Schools awardwinning refugee project

first_imgExploris student Warren Gray delivers fresh kale to Ni Ni Myint, whose lack of access to healthy food inspired an award-winning project. Photograph by Sonja McKayby Settle MonroeA group of students and teachers from downtown Raleigh’s The Exploris School recently set out on a simple mission – to be the change they wanted to see in the world. They kept their focus local, and worked as a team to help Burmese refugees living in Raleigh. What they didn’t know was that their work here at home would gain them recognition on a world stage. The team of 18 fourth and fifth graders were participants in a global program called Design for Change that teaches children how to impact their communities for the better. They started by researching problems plaguing their community. When they learned of a nearby neighborhood with refugees in need of fresh produce, they knew they had found their cause.  Their solution was so impressive, and so simple and replicable, that it was recognized as the top Design for Change project in the nation. Last December, three of the students on the Exploris team and four of their teachers traveled to Beijing, China to represent the United States and present the project to teams from 40 countries at the worldwide Be the Change conference. “We didn’t know we would get to go to China when we started helping the refugees,” says fifth-grade student Addie Furr. “But it is really cool that it worked out like it did. The best part was seeing how children all across the world were doing small things to make a difference.”  The worldwide program is structured to guide students to address problems and devise solutions through four steps. The first encourages students to empathize with people facing a problem. The second step has them imagine what the problem’s solution could be; the third is to do something about it; and the fourth is to share that solution. Amanda Northrup, a fourth-and-fifth-grade teacher, spent weeks teaching her students how to conduct interviews during the first stage so they could better understand the people at hand and problems they face.When the students interviewed Ni Ni Myint, a 30-year-old wife, mother, and Burmese refugee, they came prepared with researched background information and honed interviewing skills. “We really wanted Ni Ni’s story to drive the students’ actions,” Northrup says. “In order for that to happen, we spent a lot of time teaching the students how to ask thoughtful and informative questions. We had a panel of three students lead the interview, and the rest of the team took notes and followed up with probing questions.”    Northrup’s instruction paid off. Even with the language barrier, Myint says she immediately felt comfortable sharing her struggles and needs with the group. “The team was so nice,” Myint says. With her harrowing recent experience, that was vital. “My family was forced to leave my country because it was dangerous. We were very hungry in Burma. No one could help us there.”  Since arriving in the U.S. four years ago, though, Myint told the students she’d been living with chronic stomach pains and gastrointestinal problems. She’s not alone. Many refugees suffer from similar health problems when their diet changes from freshly harvested, local produce to highly processed foods in the United States.  The interviews left an impact on the students. Schuyler Pettibone, now a sixth-grader, says, “I always thought the problems the refugees faced took place when they were in their home countries, or on their way to the United States. After interviewing the refugees, I learned that they also face many problems once they arrive here.” After interviewing Myint and other refugees, the students moved to the “imagine” stage of the process by brainstorming creative ways to provide fresh food for Myint and other refugees. No idea was too crazy or too small. Northrup led the students through a winnowing phase to determine feasibility. Eventually, they settled on their project. They would gather fresh produce from local farms and deliver the produce to Myint and her neighbors, also refugees.  After connecting with local farmers, the team spent an afternoon harvesting and bagging fresh kale. Fifth-grader Addie Furr says the experience was “awesome!” But actually delivering the fresh kale to Myint was her favorite part. “I will never forget the look on Ni Ni’s face when she opened the door and we were all there with fresh produce to help her feel better. That was just so cool.”  The students presented their project at the 2016 Scaling STEM conference in Raleigh as part of the program’s final stage, in which they share the results of their work. It was here that Design for Change USA director Sanjli Gidwaney heard their presentation. “Sanjli especially appreciated that the team listened carefully to the needs of the community and developed a targeted plan to meet that need,” says Exploris teacher and Design for Change leader Sonja McKay. “It is a simple project that anyone can replicate. Any volunteer can do this in an afternoon or a day.”    The global Design for Change leaders agreed with Gidwaney, naming Exploris’s work as the top project in the United States. Along with the award came the opportunity to attend the conference in Beijing.  “It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says McKay. “The children were able to see how others across the world are taking simple steps to do good.” Clockwise from left: Leah Ruto, Sonja McKay, Schuyler Pettibone, Koren Morgan, Trevor Hatch, Annah Riedel, and Addie Furr in Beijing, China. Photograph by Sonja McKay.last_img read more

Caroline Boykin

first_imgThis month, she’s gearing up to host her annual “Caroline Christmas” event, a week-long, online art show just in time for gift-giving season. Last year, Boykin hustled to produce well over 200 pieces in one week for the sold-out event, and donated 10% of the proceeds to charity. This year, she’ll donate the proceeds to Raleigh Rescue Mission. Attendees can expect something different each day—holiday-themed ornaments one day, bud vases another, as well as ring dishes, floral abstracts, and pout paintings to name a few. With Southern generosity intertwined in her work and life, Boykin says she will create things she doesn’t normally during the week of Caroline Christmas, and makes sure to offer items at various price points. “It’s Christmas and my heart’s in it.”  Boykin’s work can be found locally at Vita Vite in both their downtown and North Hills locations, and in Charlotte at Anne Neilson Fine Art.Her first Caroline Christmas event will be December 2 from 2-5 p.m. at Vita Vite Midtown. Boykin approaches her work with strict attention to detail and thoughtfulness, wanting to incorporate art into people’s everyday life. “Since I’m working in clay, I don’t want my pieces to be so utilitarian, it’s important to me that people are still able to use them,” she says of her ceramic vessels. And for her abstract floral landscape paintings, she chooses calming yet inviting shades of muted blues, greens, and yellows, wanting viewers to draw on a memory or sentiment. “I intend the viewer to feel emotions through the colors, texture, and shapes,” she says. While her work may be different and emerging, Boykin looks to classic artists for inspiration, such as the color choices of Claude Monet, Ellsworth Kelly’s shapes, and Mark Rothko’s color fields. “Caroline’s work is unique for us is in that we don’t have anything else like it,” says Koren Ayers, gallery director at Charlotte’s Anne Neilson Fine Art, a gallery that hosts over 50 artists from around the world. “Her pieces are fun but fresh and stand out in a room. The sculptural aspect on the paintings with the porcelain tied in together, it doesn’t fit one category,” Ayers says.She hasn’t limited her artistic talents to just her ceramic works and paintings, either. A savvy business woman, Boykin has collaborated on home décor items, children’s apparel, and recently started taking on interior design clients, who all want to incorporate her work into their home. “There are so many different things I’m interested in, in the art world. It helps keep you sharp and your creativity floating,” Boykin says. Between growing up along the shores of Alabama in the charming, art community of Fairhope, to family trips to the spirited city of New Orleans, it was only natural that Boykin would cultivate an appreciation for art at a young age, then go on to create her own. She studied painting at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, and while Boykin always knew she wanted to be an artist, she never planned on becoming a potter. Now most known for her ceramics, she initially took a ceramics class as a requirement and remembers having a difficult time learning the ropes of a pottery wheel. “I was so bad at throwing. I’d make these little ceramic flowers to cover up my imperfections,” she recalls. Those flowers have become her trademark and can be seen as a three-dimensional element throughout most of her work. After finishing college she returned to Fairhope, Alabama, to showcase her senior thesis. Her show sold out, which gave her the encouragement to pursue a career as an artist. Boykin used the money from her show to purchase her first kiln. While her art draws from her distinctly Southern upbringing, it now attracts the eyes of individuals all over the country, selling out online, at shows, and receiving commissions weekly. “It’s fun getting to see where all my work ends up, I’m all over the country—East coast, West coast,” says Boykin. She credits her success to honing in on her inner confidence. “My subject matter has always been the same, but as I developed more confidence and found my voice as an artist, I became more successful,”she says.center_img feminine flair by Addie Ladnerphotography by S.P. MurrayThere’s now a touch of the Deep South in Bridgehampton, New York. Among the talents of sought-after tastemakers and artists, a 5×5 mixed media oil on canvas painting hangs as a focal point in the lounge of Traditional Home’s Hamptons Designer Showhouse. Tones of muted lavender and dusty blue are flecked with glossy white porcelain flowers and butterflies. The piece offers a feminine, warm, and calming touch to a luxurious room of gold accents and fur throws. It was carefully and delicately created by Raleigh-based artist, Caroline Boykin.“It was a great opportunity to be seen out of the South. It’s such a beautiful room and it was a dream commission for me,” Boykin says of the career highlight. Boykin, her husband, and their two daughters Leavie, 4, and Alice, 1, live in Raleigh, where she works from her home studio that was fittingly once an old garden shed. Boykin says she is most inspired by the natural beauty of both her present-day life and her past, centered and rooted in Southern hospitality and strong, Southern women.While her portfolio is varied, Boykin’s artistic style is consistently feminine. White and cream colored ceramic vases adorned with porcelain peonies, gardenias, and roses are used to chill a bottle of champagne for brunch or house a bouquet of hydrangeas. These objects are inspired by the many memories she has of her mother and grandmother entertaining with flawlessly set tables. “I wanted to make vessels that could be a part of those table settings and memories,” Boykin says. Southern women take a huge theme in her work, no matter the age. Her “pout paintings” are inspired by her four-year-old, Leavie. The oil on canvas paintings of abstract faces are topped with ceramic noses and pouty lips. They’re whimsical yet elegant, and explode with charm. “She is just full of sass and has so much personality,” Boykin says. Earth and pastel-toned hares, nude figures, and floral landscapes are inspired by the lushness of North Carolina.last_img read more

The Best Shot Throwback Thursday

first_imgHere’s Cam Newton from the Carolina Panthers vs. Baltimore Ravens game in October 2018. The Panthers ousted the Ravens 36 to 21. From peewee to the pros, our new photo series features standout images from local sporting by Smith Hardy Photographer Smith Hardy captures sports and lifestyle images. Find more of his work at or on Instagram @smith_hardy_sports.last_img

Dr Paulette Dillard preserves Shaw Universitys legacy with an eye toward the

first_imgby Ilina Ewen | photography by S.P. MurrayYou might expect greatness from anyone who asked for a proper fountain pen for her thirteenth birthday. “I just wanted to practice my signature,” says Dr. Paulette Dillard. And it’s a good thing she did, because as Shaw University’s President, Dillard signs on the dotted line many times a day. Hailing from Mount Airy, North Carolina, Dillard was the first in her family to earn a college degree. She attended segregated schools until her senior year, when she was bussed to a new school through forced integration. In a class of 200, Dillard was one of six black students. Despite the change, she thrived: A dedicated and affable student who drove a baby-blue Mustang, she made friends easily, was an honors student and held a spot in her school’s royal court. It was in high school that Dillard sharpened her confidence, which is one reason she wants to help students today learn to identify their strengths. “I want to teach kids how to learn and to foster a sense of adventure and discovery,” says Dillard. That aligns with the university’s mission: To advance knowledge, facilitate student learning and achievement, enhance the spiritual and ethical values of its students and transform a diverse community of learners into future global leaders. As president, Dillard cultivates the same love of learning that fueled her own journey. “At its core, Shaw University is positioned to make a difference,” says Dillard. A long-standing beacon of the community, Shaw University was founded in 1865, born out of inequalities in education at the time. It is one of the oldest historically black colleges and universities in the country; its former Leonard School of Medicine was the first four-year medical school for African Americans in the country. Today, Shaw offers majors in 34 disciplines, an adult degree program at sites across the state plus a masters through its Divinity School. The university attracts most of its students from North Carolina and feeders in the mid-Atlantic, but Dillard notes a “recent spate” of students from as far away as California, where there is only one HBCU. “I want the students of Shaw University to have the freedom to imagine,” says Dillard, whose philosophy is centered on creativity and exploration. She believes in marrying the best aspects of the scientific method with the simple notion of curiosity; she believes in integrating all aspects of learning to create lifelong students that can compete in any environment. “Success takes many forms,” she says. “It’s a matter of learning versus teaching skills.” Dillard’s dream project is to fund an interdisciplinary institute for digital storytelling that integrates film, computer science and more. “This will preserve Shaw’s legacy and make its voices come to life.” Dillard is a self-described “whys and hows kind of person,” a trained medical technologist certified by the American Society of Clinical Pathology, who enjoyed a 25-year career in medical testing before shifting to teaching. Her trajectory at Shaw began as a biology teacher in 2012. Soon she became department head, then Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Vice President of Academic Affairs and, now, President. She served as Interim President starting in July 2017 and was appointed the 18th President of the university in September 2018. She went through the full formal ceremony of investiture in April. The President’s office sits atop the iconic brick building on campus; it was built in 1873 as the first women’s dormitory at any school in the country. Here, Dillard recounted the rich history of Shaw and its legacy. She said Shaw University is considered the mother of four other HBCUs in North Carolina (the founding presidents of North Carolina Central University, Elizabeth City State University and Fayetteville State University were all Shaw alum, and NC A&T State University was established on Shaw’s campus). Prominent physician Dr. Manassa Thomas Pope was educated at Shaw in 1885—his home is one of the few standing structures from Raleigh’s Fourth Ward and the only African American house museum in the state. The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee was born on Shaw’s campus in 1960. (Poignant for me: one of SNCC’s founders, Julian Bond, was my professor of the History of the Civil Rights Movement at the University of Virginia.) The office looks out over the burgeoning Raleigh skyline, and as the sound of the midday bustle floated through the windows, Dillard noted Shaw’s importance not just as a university, but as part of a growing city. Dillard is an active participant in the neighborhood at large who attends Citizen Advisory Council meetings, hosts community forums and supports neighborhood initiatives to preserve the spirit of Southeast Raleigh. “My responsibility and influence extend beyond the green quad and brick buildings of campus,” she says. “Part of my role is to remind the community that Shaw belongs to it as well as to the students entrusted in my care. Invest in Shaw because we have a lot to contribute—our history proves that.” You’ll find Dillard in her office most days, with a special Montblanc fountain pen encrusted with a garnet, Shaw University’s signature color, given to her by the late Rev. Dr. Haywood Gray of the General Baptist State Convention. Gray was scheduled to lead the prayer at her inauguration, but sadly passed away just a week before. That pen serves as a reminder of both what she had dreamed of as a girl and the promise she holds for students today, students just a few years older than she was when she got her first proper fountain pen.last_img read more

Announcing The 9th Annual Small Steps Project Celebrity Shoe Auction

first_imgThis year a record breaking 100 “kind soled” A-listers have given up their footwear for the Small Steps Project Celebrity Shoe Auction.Fans can follow in the footsteps of their favourite stars by bidding for their signed shoes and all for a good cause.Benedict Cumberbatch, Kate Moss, Allison Janney, Vivienne Westwood, Chris Martin, Dr. Dre, Rita Ora, Orlando Bloom, Rachel McAdams,, Lewis Hamilton and Eminem are just a handful of the stars taking part.The auction is live online from 1st – 11th November 2018 – auction proceeds go directly to supporting waste-picker children forced through extreme poverty to scavenge from landfills. Small Steps Project provide them with shoes, food and medicine. And help build future lives away from scavenging on landfill.Last year’s auction raised £52,000 with Emma Watson’s Tabitha Simmons boots raising an eye watering £6,000, and this year Small Steps Project are aiming much higher. They’ve helped 10,000 people in under ten years and aim to double that in the next five.last_img read more

Better World Awards Honors Jean Shafiroff Harry Benson and More

first_imgThe Eighth Annual Better World Awards, themed Roc4Humanity, and benefitting Wells of Life was held on Wednesday, November 14, 2018, at The Loeb Boathouse where it recognized outstanding humanitarians who have made the world a better place.Jean Shafiroff Attends Better World AwardsCredit/Copyright: Krista KennellJean Shafiroff was presented with the Humanitarian Philanthropist Award, by New York State Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright. Acclaimed photographer Harry Benson, CBE, was presented with the Humanitarian Arts Award by Kerry Kennedy, President of Robert F. Kennedy of Human Rights Foundation. Philanthropist and author. Fred Schneider was given the Humanitarian Musician Award, and Claudinette Jean, wife of Wyclef Jean, was given the Humanitarian Helping Hand Award.The event was hosted by CBS Radio and CNN anchor, Rita Cosby, and Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, CEO of SohoMuse.Acclaimed by critics around the world as one of the greatest living guitarists, eight-time Grammy Award-winning musician, Jose Feliciano celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the hit song Light My Fire by performing it for attendees. Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, opera singer and daughter of Prince Albert II of Monaco, performed her soon-to-be-released pop single, Fearless. Grammy and Emmy nominee, Clayton Bryant performed a tribute medley to humanitarian artists who have made the world a “better place.”Wells of Life provides clean drinking water in rural areas in Uganda, where clean, sanitary water is scarce. The Founder of Wells of Life, Nick Jordan, along with the organizations President, Pete Callahan, were recognized for their philanthropic efforts to save lives in Africa, one well at a time.Additional attendees included RHONY star Dorinda Medly and John Mahdessian, Randy Jones of the Village People, Skincare mogul Peter Thomas Roth, Sharon Bush, Martin Shafiroff, Gigi Benson, Michele Herbert, Geoffrey Bradfield, and model Ian Mellencamp. The event is endorsed by The Love Over All and Bob Marley Family Foundations.last_img read more

Jake T Austin Brings Holiday Cheer During Surprise Visit to Boys and

first_imgThe holidays got extra festive when Jake T. Austin (co-star of the movie New Year’s Eve) paid a surprise visit to the Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood.Jake T. Austin Brings Holiday Cheer During Surprise Visit to Boys and Girls Club of HollywoodPartnering with CHA Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, Austin handed out Target giftcards while asking the kids what they’d buy with their newly found funds, to which a unanimous chorus echoed one response: “toys”.Starting his career in Nickelodeon’s Go Diego Go!, and then a stint on Disney’s The Witches of Waverly Place, Austin has transitioned into an adult actor with appearances on other hit television shows such as Law and Order SVU. Currently shooting Adverse with Mickey Rourke, Austin has been a longtime supporter of youth-based philanthropy. “Movie-making is magical, but being with the kids and seeing their faces light up is a special experience that I’m honored to be a part of” he said at the event.last_img read more

Saudi Author Says King Salman Has Read 120000 Books Garners Sarcastic

Rabat – Saudi author and journalist Naif Al Harbi has said that King Salman of Saudi Arabia has read 120,000 books in his lifetime, generating waves of sarcastic reactions on social media.“King Salman is an Arab and Islamic symbol. A lover of culture and intellectuals. He is often called the ‘intellectual.’ Can you imagine that he read 120,000 books?” said the author.The journalist made his statement in a broadcast aired in the Saudi television channel Saudia 24. The statements did not go unnoticed on social media as the author faced waves of sarcastic comments.لو قلنا ان معدل قراته كتاب كل سبعة ايامهذا يعني ٤ كتب بالشهرهذا يعني ٤٨ كتاب كل سنههذا يعني ٤٨٠ كتاب كل عشر سنواتهذا يعني ٤٨٠٠ كتاب كل ١٠٠ عامهذا يعني ٤٨ الف كتاب كل الف عامهذا يعني ٢٤٠ الف كتاب كل ٥٠٠٠ عامهذا يعني ان عمره طال عمره ٢٥٠٠ عام— عربي ARABI (@ARABI_5555) April 2, 2019One Twitter user replied saying “if we say that [King Salman’s] rate of reading a book every seven days, this means four books per month; that means 48 books each year; this means 480 books every ten years; which means 4800 books every 100 years; which means 48,000 books every 1,000 years; which means 240,000 books every 5000 years.”The Twitter user concluded his sarcastic post, saying that King Salman must be “2, 500 years old by now.”المطبل نايف الحربي : الملك سلمان رمز للثقافة في العالم لانه قرأ اكثر من ١٢٠ الف كتاب— ابو منشار (@abukarsh2018) April 2, 2019“The book for them must be one page,” said another Twitter user.“If we say that from the moment he was born and he started reading, this means that he must have read four books a day. It is really a strong [lie],” said another.محلل قناة ٢٤ السعودية:“الملك سلمان قرأ 120 ألف كتاب” !!تجاوزنا الإعلام المصري بمراحل— تركي الشلهوب (@TurkiShalhoub) April 2, 2019 read more

TESO calls for referendum in the north and East

Besides, leaders of DMK and its allies — Dravida Kazhakam (DK) and Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi (VCK) — the seminar was attended by senior Congress leader and Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and representatives of National Conference and NCP. “Tamils require resettlement and rehabilitation very urgently. The world community should think of creating a credible, independent, international inquiry into all the events in Sri Lanka. A lasting solution lies in a referendum,” DMK leader M K Stalin said. The seminar asked the Indian government to support a resolution to be moved by the US at the UNHRC meet against the island nation for its human rights “violations”. Tamil Nadu political parties today pushed for referendum in the north and east of Sri Lanka to find out the sort of political solution war-hit Sri Lankan Tamils want, the Press Trust of India reportedA seminar organised by DMK Chief M Karunanidhi-founded Tamil Eazham Supporters’ Organisation (TESO) also pressed for urgent rehabilitation and resettlement of Sri Lankan Tamils displaced by war in the island nation. read more

Sri Lanka determined to engage with the UN system

The Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Ms. Monica Pinto, and the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Juan Mendez undertook a joint visit from 29 April to 7 May 2016. The Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Ms. Rita Izsák is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka from 10-20 October 2016, and the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly, MainaKiai, will visit in the first quarter of year 2017.Aryasinha also said that from 15- 16 November 2016, Sri Lanka will present its 5th Periodic Report under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). He said Sri Lanka receives invaluable assistance through the UN Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund to implement some of the important steps in the areas of transitional justice, reconciliation, good governance, and resettlement and durable solutions.While constructive engagement with the Special Procedures and the UN system as a whole has already benefited Sri Lanka significantly, Sri Lanka looks forward to continuing its engagement and it also hope that the Government and people of Sri Lanka will receive the support required from the international community as a whole in capacity building and strengthening institutions, and also ensuring economic development which is essential for entrenching the reform agenda undertaken by the Government. (Colombo Gazette) The Government says it believes engagement with the UN system and the Human Rights Mechanisms is in the best interest of the people of Sri Lanka, to obtain advice and views, and also expertise and technical assistance that will benefit Sri Lanka in terms of capacity building and ensuring the strengthening of local institutions.The Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha P. Aryasinha said that following the Standing Invitation extended on 17 December 2015, to all UN thematic Special Procedures Mandate Holders to visit Sri Lanka, a number of Special Rapporteurs, in consultation with the Government regarding Sri Lanka’s priorities, have already undertaken visits representing a broad range of mandates. The Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence, Pablo de Greiff visited Sri Lanka from 30 March – 3 April 2015, 26 January – 1 February 2016 and in June 2016, in a technical advisory capacity and we look forward to continuing our engagement with him in this capacity. read more

Annan welcomes nonaggression declaration between Afghanistan neighbours

A statement issued by a UN spokesman in New York said the Secretary-General called on the signatories of the Declaration on Good Neighbourly Relations – China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan – “to do their utmost to respect the principles of territorial integrity and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, and to work together to solve the problems of terrorism, political extremism and drug trafficking.”The Secretary-General also extended his congratulations to President Hamid Karzai and his government, as well as to the people of Afghanistan. “He expresses the hope that the Kabul Declaration will complement the Bonn Agreement to ensure a peaceful and prosperous future for Afghanistan and its neighbours,” the statement said.”At the same time, the Secretary-General believes that much progress remains to be achieved in Afghanistan, particularly in improving the security situation, as has been demonstrated by a number of recent incidents throughout the country,” the statement added. read more

Revealed WinniethePoohs forgotten penguin friend to star in new book

first_imgOne of Mark Burgess’ illustrations from The Best Bear In All the WorldCredit:Mark Burgess Owl meets PenguinCredit:Mark Burgess The book is published on October 6Credit:Mark Burgess One of Mark Burgess' illustrations from The Best Bear In All the World Owl meets Penguin Christopher Robin and Pooh embark on some sledging funCredit:Mark Burgess Penguin is the first authorised new character to be based on one of Christopher Robin’s toysCredit:Mark Burgess Penguin has a better idea Penguin has a better ideaCredit:Mark Burgess “However, having studied and written about the works of A. A. Milne, it was also daunting. “But, for me, the challenge was more than just attempting to play A. A. Milne in his own literary game; I also wanted to find a way of successfully introducing a brand new character into Pooh’s world, whilst being sympathetic to the tone and style of the original books.”While pondering what other toys Christopher Robin might have owned but which were never written about, I remembered seeing a photograph of father and son playing on the nursery floor with Winnie-the-Pooh and – a penguin! “The thought of Pooh encountering a penguin seemed no more outlandish than his meeting a kangaroo and a tiger in a Sussex wood, so I started thinking about what might have happened if, on a rather snowy day, Penguin had found his way to Pooh Corner…” Penguin is the first authorised new character to be based on one of Christopher Robin's toyscenter_img Sibley said there had been no official record of why the penguin had been left out, but speculated it could have been to avoid similarities with Pip, Squeak and Wilfred, a popular cartoon-strip of the day which starred the same animal. Sebastian Wormell, Harrods archivist, said: “Harrods is famous as the original home of Winnie-the-Pooh, but the Toy Department where Mrs Milne bought the iconic bear hosted a huge array of stuffed animals.“In the early years of the 20th century, toy penguins soared in popularity as the exploits of Antarctic explorers such as Shackleton and Scott fascinated the public.” The book is published on October 6 It will now be brought to life in all its Antarctic glory as the star of the new authorised story, Winter, published this October to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Winnie-the-Pooh.It is the first authorised new character to have been based on one of Christopher Robin’s real toys, with the Milne estate hoping it will fit seamlessly into the Pooh canon. Brian Sibley, its author, is one of four writers commissioned to create their own stories for the new sequel, The Best Bear in All the World, serialised exclusively in the Sunday Telegraph today.Sibley said: “For someone who has loved Winnie-the-Pooh & Co from his earliest childhood, the idea of visiting the ‘100 Aker Wood’ in search of a new story was wildly exciting.  The new book is said to have the “enthusiastic support” of the Trustees of Pooh Properties and The Shepard Trust.Rupert Hill, trustee of Pooh Properties: “We think that Brian’s Penguin is a charming and natural addition to the existing characters in the stories.We hope that this new anthology, written and illustrated in the style of A.A. Milne’s original books, will bring great joy to readers old and new.” Christopher Robin and Pooh embark on some sledging fun Anyone who grew up with the books of A.A. Milne will be well versed in the antics of Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore and friends.This year, the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood are to get a new companion– none other than a penguin.A new, official Winnie-the-Pooh sequel will introduce a forgotten friend to Christopher Robin, after its author found inspiration in a long-lost photograph of the real-life child and his toy.The photograph shows the young Christopher at home with his father A.A. Milne, playing with the teddy bear which inspired Winnie-the-Pooh, and a stuffed penguin.But while many of Christopher’s toys, including Kanga, Roo and Tigger, made it into the storybooks, the penguin languished long-forgotten in the photo album – until now. The penguin toy is believed to have been bought as a gift for Christopher Robin my his mother, Daphne Milne, who purchased each of the toys which inspired Eeyore, Kanga, Roo and Tigger at Harrods toy department while her son was small, beginning with Pooh on his first birthday.Owl and Rabbit, the woodland friends who came later, were the product of Milne’s imagination.But while Penguin is believed to have come from the department store shelves as well, it never made it into the pages of the books.  Mark Burgess, who was tasked with illustrating The Best Bear in All the World, said: “I try to go for the spirit of EH Shepard’s drawings rather than slavishly copying.“I love all the characters but I did especially enjoy drawing Penguin. With a new character I feel I’m not quite so much in Shepard’s shadow. I hope Penguin has some more adventures!”The Best Bear in All the World is written by Paul Bright, Kate Saunders, Brian Sibley and Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Mark Burgess. It will be published in hardback by Egmont Publishing on Thursday, October 6. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Road to EHF EURO 2016 Austria VS Germany Icelanders in Montenegros hell

← Previous Story Friendly in Hammamet – Tunisia beat Poland Next Story → EHF CL (W): HC Leipzig trash Hypo NO! Here is the complete schedule of the Men’s EHF EURO 2016 Qualification – Round 2. There were no “big matches” ahead of us, but most inreresting could be seen in Austria, Montenegro and Czech Republic.EHF EURO 2016 qualification – Round 2:GROUP 1 (Sunday)The Netherlands – Norway 14Turkey – Croatia 16GROUP 2 (Sunday)Lithuania – Belarus 18Bosnia and Herzegovina – Denmark 20.15GROUP 3 ( Saturday)Latvia – Slovenia 17.05Slovakia – Sweden 18GROUP 4 (Sunday)Montenegro – Iceland 18Israel – Serbia 19.45GROUP 5 (Sunday)Portugal – Russia 16Ukraine – Hungary 18GROUP 6 (Sunday)Czech Republic – Macedonia 13.30Switzerland – France 14.30GROUP 7Finland – Spain 17.05SundayAustria – Germany 18 hrs Men’s EHF EURO 2016 read more

RTÉs George Lee on emigration climate change and the Dáils power game

first_imgRTÉ’s George Lee on emigration, climate change and the Dáil’s ‘power game’ We spoke to George Lee about his new documentary on Irish expats in Hong Kong – and if the Dáil should be doing something to make Ireland a more attractive place to live and work. Sunday 27 Nov 2016, 1:00 PM 30 Comments Nov 27th 2016, 1:00 PM Share89 Tweet Email1 Source: Better Off Abroad/ScreengrabAlthough augmented by the most recent economic crash, Irish emigration isn’t a new phenomenon. But Lee says that this year in particular has made emigrations “an issue of our time” which warrants a closer look to inform others, as well as satisfy our own curiosity.“How many of your friends live or have lived abroad? There are an awful lot of Irish people who have gone abroad and a lot of Irish people who’ve thought about it. It’s intriguing to find out what kind of lives they have led.”He says that although there’s a strong case for people to stay at home, that there’s “a kind of fascination” with the subject of emigration and it’s not just for the young:“We mostly spoke to people in their 40s who said they’d give it a go – which is really interesting, as there’s a perception that emigration is for young people who are only interested in a good time and will move on home afterwards. People can be idealistic about what the Dáil should be. I was, but I’ve learnt that the Dáil is purely about power. Maybe people are expecting too much in terms of what the Dáil should be, but no matter what you do about changing it – it is a game about power.“My experience is, it’s not a place for idealists.”So is it difficult to watch Enda Kenny and Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan talk to Trump about issues such as Irish immigration, an issue he’s clearly interested in, and not get involved? Short URL Source: RollingNews.ieSAY WHAT YOU like about George Lee (and he does have his critics, particularly after his stint in the Dáil) there’s no denying he’s passionate about the subjects he tackles.After working for the Central Bank and as a senior economist at a stockbrokers, Lee grew to fame as an economics correspondent for RTÉ, tearing apart the economic policies that lead to the Celtic Tiger collapse in his programme How We Blew the Boom.In a move that raised a lot of eyebrows and received a lot of attention, Lee left RTÉ and joined Fine Gael running for office in Dublin South in the 2009 general election.He was labelled a ‘celebrity’ candidate, and topped the poll comfortably – beating his nearest opponent, Labour’s Alex White,  by over 15,000 votes.In equally dramatic a fashion, after almost nine months as a TD, Lee resigned from both the Dáil and Fine Gael – saying he was disillusioned with the process, and was appointed to roles “without my consultation whatsoever” (more on that later).As Lee’s brush with politics was during a leave of absence from RTÉ, he returned to the station to his high-salary – but not to the same politically-charged role as their economics expert.Now he takes on the neutral task of Agriculture and Environment correspondent, putting both his farming background and passion for the environment to use.Lee also has a great admiration for the resilience of the Irish people, and says that it is due to their efforts – and not politicians – that Ireland has recovered as much as it has.In the new documentary Better Off Abroad, he explores a different type of resilience, taking a look at what people endure when they emigrate, and gaining an insight into a subject that he says fascinates people:“What kind of jobs [do they have], what kind of lifestyle? [We want] to experience and bring back what it’s like to be an Irish expat,” he says.Better Off Abroad? Source: Screenshot/Better Off AbroadThe series Better Off Abroad looks at Irish people in different cities, and different jobs across the world, travelling to places like California and Dubai to speak with the area’s Irish immigrants.In the episode to be released this evening, Lee travels to Hong Kong to explore the good, as well as the bad of living in a city with a unique political position.“There’s a lot they have to turn a blind eye to,” says Lee. “Hong Kong is a flashy city with a lot of people in a very small area, it’s very fast-paced and wickedly expensive for property. Then there’s the pollution, the traffic, the constant movement. 12,927 Views I spoke to another guy who was very, very very well-off, he lived in one of the stockbroker belts and one of the things he said was: ‘The English don’t quite let you in – they’re tolerant, but different’. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article I don’t find it the slightest bit difficult in separating myself. I put it in the context of what it is, they must do their job, I think my view won’t have any impact on what they do. I don’t think that’s the reality. I think people are always interested in better opportunities.But the fact that so many people feel they have to leave Ireland for better opportunities elsewhere, does that represent a failure on behalf of our politicians, and if so, how should we change the Dáil to change that?Realpolitik The night George Lee was elected in 2009. Source:“I have experience with the Dáil,” says Lee. I don’t think the general view of ordinary people and constituents matters in their dealings about how they deal with Trump or otherwise.“I’m a little bit wised up in relation to what to expect and I’m more informed than ever. I just see what it is – it’s politics, and politics is about power. It’s not about what you think it is.” Source: RollingNews.ieAs skeptical as all of that sounds, Lee seems to reserve all hope he has for Ireland’s future:“I think there are great things about Ireland and sometimes we forget it. Source: RollingNews.ieClimate change is the next big thing in George Lee’s sights. As RTÉ’s agricultural and environment correspondent, he’s supportive of electric cars as one of many efforts to combat climate change.“Climate change it is one of the biggest issues of our generation. It’s such a massive challenge.“We didn’t know about these things when I was a kid, when I was a boy.“I remember looking at burning rubbish in back gardens or places where I worked and I remember thinking, even as a little kid: ‘Where does the smoke go?’“You know, you throw a tyre on and the fire and black smoke goes into the sky and [someone says] ‘Oh you know it just goes up into the sky’.“But we know better now, and there is a limit to what you can put up there. There are challenges and it’s not necessarily our fault, but there are changes we can make, and even though there’s a huge way to go, I think it’s worthwhile.“I think that’s something my kids, your kids, they won’t thank us for ignoring it.”Better Off Abroad airs tonight at 9.30pm. Source: RTÉ – IRELAND’S NATIONAL PUBLIC SERVICE MEDIA/YouTubeRead: RTÉ staff say decision to cut children’s programme making was ‘bolt from the blue’Read: George Lee, RTÉ’s new Agriculture Correspondent: Both my parents are from farms I don’t want to fall into anybody’s support trap, but Ireland has gone under the most extraordinary recovery. This country is under sold, it’s not discussed, it’s under appreciated.“I can’t think of any other country which went into total meltdown, the likes of which we were in the middle of before and have come out of it so fast, so quickly, and we don’t talk about that.“And I think we should talk about it is because it gives us great hope… a good strong reason to be hopeful for the future.”He also acknowledges that not everyone has felt the recovery – a point emphasised by the last election, which punished Fine Gael for their slogan ‘Keep the Recovery Going’ for being out of tune with the experiences of a lot of voters.“Cleary at the moment, people are still angry. I was so angry I went into the Dáil, so I’ve experienced and felt all of those things.“There are an awful lot of places which haven’t felt the recovery and will never be the same again, but there are good things happening and there are people doing good things.” By Gráinne Ní Aodha I don’t think politicians keep the country going. But the other side of that is the good pay, the career opportunities, and no sale tax and an income tax of 8%. So it’s a mixed bag, but most people we met were very happy.He says that the pace of life in Hong Kong also poses its challenges and that people should expect to work long, hard hours if they’re to make the move.“If you’re going there without good skills or good connections you’d be pretty miserable.”He also says that people should be careful in assuming that emigrating to London (another city the series has looked at) “is a doddle” – saying that they have a very different culture, society and political system.“One of the people I came across that impressed me was the head butler in the Savoy, who’s a very outwardly person and could talk to anybody, a natural gab.“And he describes coming to work in the morning – they all get on the train, everyone looks at the ground, nobody looks at each other, nobody speaks with each other. He doesn’t know the names of his neighbours on one side of his home, even though he’s lived in his place for a long time.last_img read more

2016 saw record temperatures shrinking ice fields and surging seas

first_img Short URL By AFP Image: Shutterstock/Gts Tuesday 21 Mar 2017, 4:08 PM 48 Comments Mar 21st 2017, 4:08 PM Share17 Tweet Email Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 2016 saw record temperatures, shrinking ice fields and surging seas “We are now in truly uncharted territory.” EXTREME WEATHER AND climate conditions, including Arctic “heatwaves”, are continuing this year, after 2016 topped the global temperature charts and saw shrinking sea ice and surging sea levels.The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) warned today that the drastic shifts seen in the global climate system that resulted in a range of alarming records last year appear to be continuing unabated.“We are now in truly uncharted territory,” David Carlson, head of the World Climate Research Programme, said in a release from the WMO.He said that even without a strong El Nino — a phenomenon that brings generally warmer temperatures every four to five years — 2017 was “seeing other remarkable changes across the planet that are challenging our understanding of the climate system.”The warning came as the WMO published its annual report on the state of the global climate, confirming previously released figures showing that 2016 was the warmest year on record.AveragesLast year, global average temperatures were about 1.1 degree Celsius (1.98 Fahrenheit) above the pre-industrial period, and about 0.06 degrees Celsius above the previous record set in 2015, the WMO said.Globally, average sea surface temperatures were also the highest on record last year; sea levels continued to rise; and Arctic sea ice levels were far below average, it found, warning that greenhouse gas emissions were the main driver behind the warming trend.“With levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere consistently breaking new records, the influence of human activities on the climate system has become more and more evident,” WMO chief Petteri Taalas said in the statement.The UN agency said that increasingly powerful computers and the availability of long-term climate data had made it possible to “demonstrate clearly the existence of links between man-made climate change and many cases of high-impact extreme events, in particular heatwaves.”© – AFP 2017Read: For the first time ever, a dinosaur tail has been found encased in amber > 6,172 Views Image: Shutterstock/Gtslast_img read more

The song filling Greeces youth with hope

first_imgIf you have been to Greece this summer, there’s no doubt you will be all too familiar with Mantissa (Seer), the hit song by Marina Satti. Constantly playing on radios, it has proven to be one the most downloaded tracks in history – but there’s more to it than its catchy tune. The original score created by Satti with lyrics provided by a friend, according to the songwriter Mantissa has its roots in ancient mythology. She says every verse is like an oracle with a prophecy open to interpretation and while a love song, its focus isn’t on human pain or self-pity but rather promotes the idea of taking charge and persevering through hard times – a strong and relevant message for a generation that has spent seven crucial years of its development living through a financial crisis and austerity.“Greek songs usually talk about being hurt, and being in love, but in a really negative way … like suffering, and there is no hope anywhere. Not this song. It’s full of hope,” 21-year-old Melina Chronopoulou, a student and back up dancer for Satti, told NPR. “There are so many miserable people in my age [group], and that’s so bad,” she adds. “It’s hard for many of us to just get out and enjoy being young. Many times, I wish I had been born in a different generation just so I could experience real optimism.”Adding to the song’s popularity is its accompanying music video. Attracting more than five million views on YouTube in a week, it sees Satti and her posse of girlfriends dancing down Athinas. Run down with closed shop fronts and graffiti, and inhabited by migrants, it is one of the singer’s favourite streets in Athens, resonating with her bi-racial heritage from both Greece and Sudan.When told that her song is bringing a sense of optimism to Greece’s youth, the singer is all smiles. “It’s hard out there,” she told NPR, “but we are good at hope.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Valverde wants to win for Iniesta

first_imgBarcelona are about to play their last match of the season at home against Real Sociedad and it will be the last game for Andres Iniesta who decided to leave the club after the season.Coach Ernesto Valverde wants to win the last game of the season to prepare a proper farewell for the Spanish midfielder and end the season on the winning despite his team have already secured the title.The former Bilbao manager spoke about this last game as he said, according to Daily Mail:“We want to finish the year well against a good team.”Sergio Ramos, Real MadridZidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.“It is an important game for all Blaugranas because of what Andres Iniesta means and we want to end with a victory.”“We won’t get a replica of Andres Iniesta.”“We have players like Denis Suarez, (Carles) Alena or (Philippe) Coutinho, who are similar but a little more attack-minded. All of us will have to make up for his absence together.”last_img read more