Month: October 2019


  • Come From Away creators over the moon after 7 Tony nominations

    first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment The cast of ‘Come From Away’ is shown in this undated handout photo. (HO / The Canadian Press) Login/Register With: Advertisement Christopher Ashley has also been nominated for Best Direction of a Musical and Jenn Colella, who has earned raves as a trailblazing American Airlines pilot, has been nominated for Best Actress in a Featured Role. The musical has also been nominated for Best Choreography and Lighting.Producer Michael Rubinoff was celebrating in Gander, N.L., where residents opened their homes and hearts to thousands of U.S. passengers who were stranded after U.S. airspace was temporarily closed after the attacks in 2001. Advertisementcenter_img Facebook The Canadian creative duo behind Come From Away, the warm-hearted musical about Newfoundland hospitality in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, are thrilled to be in contention for the Tony Awards.“We’re over the moon,” said David Hein on Tuesday after the show, written by Hein and wife Irene Sankoff, earned seven Tony nominations including Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical.“We’ve got people all over the world sending us congratulations. We’ve been working on this and going from city to city and making changes and just really sticking to the truth of the story . . . and to see it recognized in this way is absolutely unbelievable,” Sankoff said. Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

  • The Instagramfriendly Toronto church tied to Justin Bieber

    first_imgAs she spoke, volunteers passed around collection buckets before Damian took the stage to deliver the sermon proper. It’s got its own record label and its most popular band, Hillsong United (fronted by the Houstons’ son Joel) has cranked out 16 albums since 1998, topping the Christian rock charts and selling millions of records translated into more than 100 languages. Vantage Church’s senior pastors — Damian Bassett and his wife, Julie Bassett — are a long way from the paparazzi and the wild speculation. Matt Morgan meets me at the the elevator of the Cineplex wearing an easy smile and a red flannel shirt with the collar cropped off. For the Bassetts and Vantage, the issue is a tricky one. One hundred per cent of the donations Vantage brings in are used by Canadian organizations. On this, Damian is very clear. “We don’t send money out of the country unless it’s for, say, the charity we support called Watoto, which works in Uganda but it’s run by Canadians and registered here.” The Vantage Church band plays to a packed house at the Cineplex theatre in Markham. – JESSE WINTER/ TORONTO STAR Advertisement He also helped his father pay the victim $10,000. The payment was agreed upon at a meeting in a McDonald’s, where the victim was given a dirty napkin to sign in exchange for the money, according to the findings of a 2004 royal commission. The commission found that Brian had been in a conflict of interest while attempting to deal with the controversy. But that closeness to the Houstons occasionally also means being close to controversy. Like any mega-church, Hillsong has faced storms, sometimes of its own making. In total, Bassett says Vantage has about 500 frequent worshippers across both campuses. It’s growing, though Vantage isn’t the only game in town. The Toronto branch of Christian City Church has a similar esthetic, and a congregation of around 800, also mostly millennials. “A lot of young people want something different than what they currently have in a church,” Bassett said. “We’re not seeking to be ‘cool,’ but we do want to be relevant.” “It’s no different than Scientology,” she said, “it just looks less kooky. It’s a very subtle form of brainwashing. The Bible, at this point, is kind of peripheral to the whole thing.” Advertisement Instead of the stereotypical Sunday best, you’re more likely to see Hillsong worshippers in thrift-shopped bohemian threads. Converse Chuck Taylors proliferate. Founded in 1983 by Brian and Bobbie Houston in Sydney, Australia, Hillsong has become a mega-church of global proportions. It’s active in 19 countries on five continents, and claims a global attendance approaching 100,000 worshippers weekly. When she showed up with a camera crew in 2015, she was arrested and charged with trespassing. “He never named it,” Levin said. “He never apologized for it. He never guaranteed anybody’s safety — none of that. It was: pray for us. My dad’s a pedophile, pray for us.” Advertisement Hillsong proper rakes in millions of dollars a year from its congregants around the world. Last year it brought in nearly $131 million (Canadian), 56 per cent of it from donations, according to its annual report. Twitter Once a week Bassett brings his high-charisma preaching to not one but two Vantage congregations — the first in Markham on Sunday mornings, and the second in a hotel basement near Yonge and Dundas in the evenings. “We’re just trying to reach people,” Damian said. Brian, who was president of the Assemblies of God in Australia at the time, confronted his father, who confessed to the abuse. Frank was removed from the ministry, and the church was told in private correspondence he’d committed a grave “moral failure,” but Brian never went to the police. Damian, originally from New Zealand, and Julie, from Toronto, fell in love with each other in Sydney, while attending Hillsong’s bible college. They both come from Pentecostal backgrounds, and spent 10 years in the Australian city, working with the church and raising the first two of their three daughters. With Hillsong providing a global template, Vantage Church is about to embark on a season of expansion. In September it will be moving the downtown campus from its current location in the basement of the Bond Place Hotel to a larger space in a former Anglican church nearby. Soon everyone files into the movie theatre as the rock band ramps to a crescendo. Sweeping vistas of clouds, rushing rivers and doves flash across the giant screen as dozens of outstretched arms and upraised voices praise Jesus in song. Services are more like rock concerts, with stage lights and charisma instead of solemnity and choral hymns. Worshipers raise their hands to praise Jesus while the Vantage Church band plays Christian rock music during a Sunday service in August. – JESSE WINTER/ TORONTO STA Earlier this year in New York, it was a row over whether gay marriage was OK with the church. Two openly gay members of Hillsong New York’s choir gave a media interview in which they said they were planning to marry, and claimed they had the church’s blessing. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Welcome (or “Welcome Home,” as the official slogan goes) to Vantage Church, Toronto’s up-and-coming extension of the Hillsong phenomenon. “You’ve got years and years of the church thinking a certain way, and some people being idiots about it and others being quiet about it,” Damian said. That drew backlash from the church’s more conservative members, and Brian Houston was pressured into writing a blog post titled “Do I Love Gay People?” The takeaway message was that gay people are welcome in the church; they just can’t hold a leadership role. For Tanya Levin, one of Hillsong’s long-standing and most vocal critics, Brian’s handling of the abuse allegations constituted a cover-up. It’s all very flash and hip and photogenic. Even the coffee station is adorned with a string of bare tungsten light bulbs. It’s big-tent revivalism for the Instagram age. In Australia, the church has faced far worse. But it isn’t exactly a Hillsong Church. Vantage is a member of the “Hillsong Family” — a collection of 30 autonomous churches around the world that take their spiritual inspiration and guidance from Hillsong, but are free to run their affairs as they see fit. She went on to say that for people who donate, they’ll be rewarded with the treasure God is saving for them in heaven. “We would much rather build a relationship with people and talk about it with them behind closed doors,” Julie said, “the way that we would deal with any other issue, if someone struggles with alcoholism or any other issue that they may be struggling with.” In 1999, revelations surfaced that Hillsong founder Brian Houston’s father, Frank, himself a pastor at the Sydney Christian Life Centre, had sexually assaulted at least one boy for years in the 1970s, beginning when the child was 7. “I think there’s got to be grace on both sides. At the end of the day, I think it’s something that’s going to change in our culture and it’s not something that I’m going to fight against.” Along the way it has attracted millennial celebrities like Justin Bieber, who recently cancelled part of his world tour and is often seen palling around with Hillsong New York’s tattooed pastor Carl Lentz. But with the sepia-toned appeal of Hillsong’s hipster cred as a road map, Vantage Church is setting out on a similar journey. “We have connections,” Julie said. “We go to conferences. We position ourselves close to Brian and Bobbie because they are our senior pastors. They were our pastors for 10 years in Sydney, and we still need pastors ourselves, people we can look to and call on.” Openly gay people are 100 per cent welcome at Vantage, Damian said, as is anybody. He doesn’t preach about it or anything else political from the stage, and won’t push his beliefs on anyone unless he’s asked directly for guidance. On a Sunday morning earlier this month, Laura Montgomery stood on stage in the Markham Cineplex, extolling the virtues of investing. Around us, skinny-jean-clad 20-somethings mingle, coffees in hand, while Tom Cruise gazes at us from a movie poster on the wall. Sugary Christian pop-rock echoes into the hallway. “The coffee’s not as good as Alchemy,” he said, with a grinning reference to a popular nearby brunch joint, but at 10 a.m. on a Sunday morning in Markham, “at least it’s coffee.” Another NBA star, Kyrie Irving, has also been connected to Lentz and Hillsong in media reports. Some have speculated there was a connection to his trade this past week. Vantage Church senior pastors Julie (left) and Damian Bassett post for a photo in their office in Markham, Ontario. The non-denominational church is part of the Hillsong Family, a network of churches connected to the Australian mega-church that’s drawn in celebrities like Justin Bieber. – JESSE WINTER/ TORONTO STAR The Bassetts spent the first few years of Vantage’s eight-year history building towards a stronger church — refining the product, so to speak. Now, it’s time to take that product to the masses. Bieber has been open on social media about his faith and — more recently — his personal relationship with Jesus. In 2015 a GQ feature article described in detail the moment Lentz baptized the often-troubled pop singer in NBA veteran Tyson Chandler’s basketball star over-sized bathtub. She began by telling the assembled how earlier this summer, she took the scary first steps into the world of mutual funds and stock markets, GICs and TFSAs. The scandal has followed the Houstons ever since. “Marketing serves what we do, but we don’t serve marketing,” said Julie. “Marketing is a tool to bring people in the door but at the end of the day our purpose isn’t marketing. Our purpose is to love people and to glorify God.” “Your stock might go up, or it might go down. But investing in the Kingdom of God guarantees an amazing return on investment,” Montgomery said. “But I’m from here,” Julie said. “We just felt really strongly that we were called to come back and start a church similar to Hillsong in Canada.” For the uninitiated, Hillsong Church is the millennial generation’s answer to the “stuffy” Christianity of the past, as senior Vantage pastor Damian Bassett puts it. But you know what’s superior to investing in the world economy? she asked. “Investing in the Kingdom of God.” Facebook “We’ve never really marketed ourselves,” Damian said. “We’ve been flying under the radar for a long time.” Vantage services typically start with four or five rousing songs of praise, followed by a reading of prayer requests and a short message encouraging donation. It will also start honing its social media game, and church officials hope to issue a couple of musical EPs from the tiny recording studio at the church’s office in Markham. “Maybe the church has been stained in the past by trying to tell people what to do and how to live their lives. I think what the church is called to do is just to love people.” Levin has been a thorn in the church’s side for years. She grew up in Hillsong in Australia, but left as a teenager over what she said was rampant hypocrisy in its teachings. Decades later as the abuse revelations began to unfurl, she landed a book deal to write about the church. When she approached the Houstons for an interview in 2005, she got a letter from their lawyer asking her to refrain from attending any more Hillsong meetings. Compared to Hillsong’s income, Vantage Church is much more modest. It had about $353,000 in revenue last year, 84 per cent from donations, according to the Canada Revenue Agency. Login/Register With: Generally, Levin said Hillsong is less about the Bible and more about making money.last_img read more

  • Mixed feelings after AFN assembly

    first_imgAPTN National NewsFor three days chiefs from across the country have been talking about the big issues that impact their people.But is it just talk?APTN National News reporter Annette Francis was at the assembly and files this report.last_img

  • Search continues for Neskie Manuel

    first_imgAPTN National NewsIn British Columbia the search continues for a 30 year-old Nesconlith man missing since last Sunday.Neskie Manuel was on a family camping trip in the mountains north of Kamloops. He apparently just walked off into the bush.APTN National News reporter Rob Smith has more.last_img

  • US asked Canada for financial help on North Korea deal US diplomatic

    first_imgBy Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsOTTAWA-The U.S. asked Canada to help finance a deal with North Korea aimed at getting the reclusive regime to stop its nuclear program, according to U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by APTN National News.Former Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, however, appears to have failed to convince the federal cabinet to chip in on the deal that would see North Korea wind-down its nuclear program in exchange for shipments of heavy fuel oil.The cables also reveal that the Canadian government told North Korean diplomats they couldn’t set up an embassy in Ottawa.APTN National News obtained hundreds of confidential and secret diplomatic cables originating from the embassy and U.S. consulates across the country from whistleblower website WikiLeaks.CBC-Radio Canada also received the same batch of cables.WikiLeaks has already released over 2,000 diplomatic cables dealing with Canada.While North Korea has not recently registered as one the federal government’s top foreign affairs files, behind the scenes it appears that Canada is in active discussions with the U.S. on how to handle the Stalinist state, the cables reveal.The George W. Bush Administration even asked the Stephen Harper government to contribute financially to a deal giving North Korea 1 million tonnes of heavy fuel oil in exchange for it to stop developing its nuclear program.The request from the U.S. came in late 2008 to help pay for the fuel shipments that were part of a deal hashed out between North Korea and the U.S., Russia, China, South Korea and Japan in September 2007 as part of the Six Party Talks.Cannon, however, appears to have tried and failed to get the federal cabinet to approve paying for the heavy fuel oil.According to a spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, Canada has not contributed to heavy fuel oil purchases for North Korea since 2002.“Canada did not make a contribution to the purchase of heavy fuel oil for the DPRK after 2002,” said Pierre Florea.Canada did contribute about $6.82 million in heavy fuel oil purchases for North Korea between 1995 and 2002 through the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), said Florea.KEDO “terminated its projects” with the country in 2005, Florea said.But in December 2008, the U.S. asked Canada to help pay for some of the heavy oil shipments, according to a “confidential” U.S. diplomatic cable.The cable, called an “action request,” also shows that the U.S. placed a high priority on the request and put it on the scheduled agenda for a meeting between then-U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Cannon later that month.“To underscore the importance of this issue to the USG, Embassy recommends that a Canadian HFO contribution definitely be part of the Secretary’s December 12 meeting agenda with FM Cannon,” the Dec. 8 cable said.U.S. officials, however, doubted Cannon would be successful in convincing cabinet to find money to meet the request.“Canada’s current obsession with domestic political manoeuvring (which led to a temporary suspension of Parliament on Dec. 4) and the government’s hesitation about posting Canada’s first budget deficit in over a decade will make it more difficult than usual for the government to launch a new program like this,” the cable said.Harper prorogued Parliament in December 2008 to avoid a non-confidence vote.The cable noted that Cannon ‘was intent on finding a way to be helpful’ and wanted to try and fast-track the request through Treasury Board.“Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Assistant Deputy Minister for Asia and Africa Ken Sundquist confirmed…that he had briefed…Cannon on a possible contribution for heavy fuel oil for North Korea and its importance to the Six Party Talks,” the cable said. “Cannon ‘wants to be helpful.’”The cables also show Canada and the U.S. are engaged in frequent discussions on dealing with North Korea.In one cable, from 2009, Canada claims to stake an “even harsher line” than the Americans on the regime before the UN Human Rights Council.“Although Canada intends to ‘call a spade a spade’ with ‘credible and meaningful’ recommendations to the DPRK, DFAIT believes that a judicious selection of recommendations that are ‘implementable with the possibility of acceptance’ has the best chance of success, given the typically defensive posture of the DPRK on human rights issues,” the Dec. 3, 2009 cable said.Canada’s recommendations for the Dec. 7 UN Human Rights Council’s “periodic review” of North Korea were to focus on ending public executions and torture, ending forced labour and arbitrary detention, allowing for freedom of association, movement and religion, along with and giving North Koreans access to drinking water and food.An older cable, however, notes that Canada “has little leverage on its own” with North Korea and that “Canada-North Korea” relations were at a “standstill.”   The Canadian government even told North Korean diplomats not to bother searching for Ottawa properties to build an embassy.“North Korean officials were searching for an Embassy site in Ottawa, but the GoC asked them not to return when they left in December,” said a diplomatic cable from March 13, 2003.jbarrera@aptn.caThe CablesDownload (PDF, Unknown)Download (PDF, Unknown)Download (PDF, Unknown)last_img read more

  • Vancouver police ignored concrete tips on serial killer Pickton

    first_imgAPTN National NewsSerial killer Robert Pickton was convicted of six counts of second degree murder.But the remains, or DNA, of 33 women were found on Pickton’s pig farm.Pickton also admitted to an undercover police officer he killed 49 women.So why didn’t police catch Pickton sooner, despite numerous tips?APTN National News reporter Wayne Roberts has this story from Vancouver.last_img

  • First Nation goaltending hero Carey Price back to work

    first_imgAPTN National NewsCarey Price led Team Canada to a gold medal in men’s hockey at the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.He answered questions from the media about the Olympics.last_img

  • Nunatukavut hope federal election will breath new life into their land claims

    first_imgAPTN National NewsThe southern Inuit in Labrador hope Monday’s election brings a fresh start for their land claim.It’s been a 25-year fight for the Nunatukavut.And after all these years, Canada still doesn’t recognize their claim or Aboriginal rights.As APTN’s Trina Roache reports, commitments from the federal candidates could be a turning point.troache@aptn.calast_img

  • Gasoline prices lift US consumer inflation 04 per cent

    first_imgWASHINGTON – Surging gasoline prices pulled U.S. consumer inflation up 0.4 per cent in November.The Labor Department said Wednesday that prices at the pump increased a sharp 7.3 per cent after falling in October. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, so-called core consumer inflation rose a modest 0.1 per cent in November.Over the past year, overall consumer inflation is up 2.2 per cent and core inflation is up 1.7 per cent.Inflation pressures have remained subdued even though the U.S. economy is gathering momentum. Economic growth has clocked in at an annual pace of 3 per cent or better in each of the last two quarters for the first time since 2014. The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low 4.1 per cent. But the tight job market has yet to generate significant wage growth, which would push inflation higher. Many businesses still fear losing customers if they raise prices.Even though hiring has risen steadily, wage gains have been modest.The Federal Reserve later Wednesday is expected to announce its third interest rate hike of 2017.Food prices were flat in November. Housing prices rose 0.2 per cent. Air fares fell 2.4 per cent. Apparel prices fell 1.3 per cent, biggest drop since September 1998.last_img read more

  • Hydro One deal to buy US company Avista receives antitrust clearance

    first_imgTORONTO – Hydro One Ltd. says it has received antitrust clearance in the United States for its deal to acquire U.S. energy company Avista Corp.The Ontario-based utility says the 30-day waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act expired Thursday night.Hydro One announced the friendly deal to acquire Avista last summer in an agreement that valued the company at $6.7 billion.The deal still requires several other approvals, including those from utility commissions in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Alaska.The U.S. Federal Communications Commission must also sign off on the transaction and clearance is required by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.The agreement has received approval from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as well as Avista shareholders.Companies in this story: (TSX:H)last_img read more

  • Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the

    first_imgTORONTO – Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week:Poloz in the UKBank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz will give a speech to the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce in England on Monday. Soft wage growth numbers from Statistics Canada on Friday have some economists predicting a slower rise in interest rates.Housing numbersCanada Mortgage and Housing Corp. to release its fall 2018 housing market outlook on Tuesday. The agency is also expected to release preliminary housing start data for October on Thursday.Manulife earningsManulife Financial Corp. expected to release its third-quarter financial results on Wednesday. The insurer announced last week that it is reinsuring some of its businesses and boosting the company’s quarterly dividend by 14 per cent.Back to the internetCanadian Tire Corp. Ltd. releases its third-quarter financial results on Thursday. The retailer recently relaunched home delivery for its e-commerce business across the country, after abandoning e-commerce almost a decade ago.Magna earningsMagna International will hold its third-quarter conference call on Thursday. The earnings come in the wake of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement which includes changes for the auto sector including new rules for auto parts.last_img read more

  • Lowerthanexpected parcel volumes helping cut into backlog says Canada Post

    first_imgOTTAWA — With a little over a week before Christmas, Canada Post says it is starting to catch up on parcel deliveries that have been delayed by rotating strikes over the past two months.The Crown corporation says that’s largely because it is taking in fewer holiday parcels than expected.At the same time, however, the agency says it cannot restore its delivery guarantees because backlogs remain sporadic across the country.Canada Post says volumes of international deliveries are also significantly less than expected, allowing postal workers to make some progress in reducing backlogs of packages from foreign locations.The corporation requested in mid-November that its international partners stop sending packages to Canada while work stoppages were held in cities across the country.Those international carriers resumed shipments Nov. 27 after the federal government passed back-to-work legislation, forcing an end to the rotating walkouts.“The international volumes now entering the country are significantly less than expected,” Canada Post said in a statement. “Processing lower incoming volumes, combined with the time lag for items to arrive in Canada, has helped us make some progress this week.”Letter mail deliveries, meanwhile, are “current,” the corporation said, meaning that Christmas cards and other mail are expected to be delivered under normal timeframes.Canada Post said its employees are being offered voluntary overtime.As well, the agency said it has hired nearly 4,000 additional seasonal employees and bolstered its delivery fleet with almost 2,000 additional vehicles.The federal government appointed mediator Elizabeth MacPherson earlier this week to try to negotiate contract settlements between Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, which represents about 50,000 postal employees.The two sides sat down to their first meeting with MacPherson on Wednesday. She has until Monday to bring both sides to a deal, although that deadline can be extended by another week.If no agreements are reached, the former chair of the Canada Industrial Relations Board also has been given authority to begin a binding arbitration process in January.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

  • US China extend talks on trade battle for 3rd day

    first_imgBEIJING — U.S. and Chinese envoys extended trade talks into a third day Wednesday, as President Donald Trump said negotiations aimed at ending a tariff war were “going very well!”The two governments have announced no details, but Asian stock markets rose on news the negotiations that originally were planned for two days were extended.The two sides are meeting face-to-face for the first time since Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed on Dec. 1 to suspend further punitive action against each other’s imports for 90 days while they negotiate over the fight sparked by American complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.“Talks with China are going very well!” Trump said late Tuesday on Twitter.Washington is pressing Beijing for changes including rolling back plans for government-led creation of Chinese global champions in robotics and other fields. Europe, Japan and other trading partners echo Washington’s complaints that those violate Beijing’s market-opening obligations.Chinese officials have suggested Beijing might alter its industrial plans but they have rejected pressure to abandon their blueprint for greater prosperity and global influence. They have tried to defuse pressure for more sweeping change by offering concessions including purchasing more American soybeans, natural gas and other exports.An official Chinese newspaper warned Washington not to demand too much.China is strong and has its own needs, said the Global Times, published by the ruling Communist Party. Washington “cannot push China too far” and must avoid a situation that “spins out of control.”Joe McDonald, The Associated Presslast_img read more

  • 100th and 100th intersection to be closed Thursday for start of repaving

    first_imgThe intersection has been closed on numerous occasions since May when a water main failure caused the intersection to be closed for emergency repairs.Since then, the road saw one closure in mid-July and two others in late August, causing many residents to vent their frustrations about the state of the road surface.Harvey said that after crews finish milling the surface of the intersection, a new layer of asphalt will be laid down to resurface the roads several days later. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Officials with the City of Fort St. John say that the main downtown intersection of 100th Street and 100th Avenue will be closed on Thursday for the start of a long-awaited resurfacing project.Communications Coordinator Ryan Harvey said that the intersection will be closed to traffic in all directions as crews start milling the road surface to prepare it for the laying down of new pavement.last_img read more

  • Wokeley sentenced to life in prison for seconddegree murder of Pamela Napoleon

    first_imgWokeley’s eligibility for parole starts at the beginning of his arrest, in October 2017.In addition to life in prison, Wokeley was given a lifetime ban for the possession of firearms and weapons and has been ordered to provide a DNA sample.The charges for two counts of arson and indignity to human remains were withdrawn.In October 2017, Wokeley was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, arson, and indignity to human remains for his role in the 2014 death of Napoleon. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Leon Wokeley appeared in Fort St. John B.C. Supreme Court on Tuesday, October 1, to hear his sentencing in relation to the 2014 murder of Pamela Napoleon.On June 3, Wokeley entered a voluntary guilty plea for the second-degree murder of Napoleon.B.C. Supreme Court Justice, Jennifer Duncan, sentenced Wokeley to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years for the murder of Napoleon.last_img read more

  • American national collapses on ground while playing cricket dies

    first_imgKolkata: An American national collapsed while playing cricket with local boys and was taken to a hospital where he was declared dead on the arrival in Durgapur on Thursday.Timothi Patrick (32) was staying in Durgapur since October last year with his wife Hannah. He worked with a multinational company and came to India for some business. He had to stay in India till 2021. He was staying in a rented flat at the ward number 21 in Durgapur police limits. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAs Timothi and Hannah were living in Durgapur for almost a year, they had got familiarised with local residents. They often interacted with them and sometimes Timothi played cricket with them. On Thursday afternoon, when local youths were playing cricket with Timothi, he suddenly collapsed on the ground. He was immediately rushed to a private hospital in Durgapur where he was declared dead on the arrival. The police were immediately informed. Upon getting the information of death of an American national here, Officer-in- Charge of the police station informed his superiors. Timothi’s body has been sent to Burdwan Medical College and Hospital for an autopsy. Meanwhile, the American Consulate was also informed about his death. According to a source, doctors suspect that Timothi suffered a sudden cardiac arrest while playing cricket with the local boys. But the exact cause of death will be ascertained after the autopsy examination. An unnatural death case has been initiated at the Durgapur police station. The police are keeping in touch with the American Consulate in Kolkata in this regard.last_img read more

  • On Rafale SC to decide whether stolen documents can be evidence

    first_imgNEW DELHI: The Supreme Court will Wednesday deliver its verdict on whether documents sourced from the Defence Ministry by the media without authorisation can be used as “evidence” in the Rafale fighter jet case.While petitioner Prashant Bhushan wanted the top court to examine articles published in The Hindu and order a CBI probe into the matter, the centre opposed it because documents were photocopied without due permission. The Supreme Court had ruled in December last year that it has found nothing wrong with the deal for 36 Rafale aircraft negotiated by the Narendra Modi government. Four public interest litigations seeking a court-monitored investigation into the Rafale deal were also dismissed. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsHowever, the court agreed to hear review petitions on its previous verdict last month. In a series of reports on the deal, The Hindu said that the defence ministry had objected to “parallel negotiations” for Rafale jets by the Prime Minister’s Office at a time when talks were on for a previous deal under the UPA government. Another report said the deal became more expensive for India because of France’s refusal to provide bank guarantees.last_img read more

  • Lanka Easter attack leader Zahran Hashim died in hotel bombing Sirisena

    first_imgColombo: Sri Lankan Islamist extremist Zahran Hashim, said to be the top leader of an IS linked local militant group that carried out the Easter Sunday bombings, died in the blast at the Shangri-La hotel, President Maithripala Sirisena said Friday. Hashim, the head of extremist group National Tawheed Jamath (NTJ), led the attack on the hotel and was accompanied by a second bomber identified as Ilham Ahmed Ibrahim. Hashim was killed during the bombings, the president told reporters here. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US The president said the information came from military intelligence and was based in part on CCTV footage recovered from the scene. Hashim appeared in a video released by the Islamic State group after they claimed the bombings, but his whereabouts after the blasts were not immediately clear. In the video, the round-faced radical cleric was seen dressed in a black tunic headscarf and posing with a rifle. The country’s Muslim community had been warning about the firebrand cleric for years. However, it was the ISIS video that provided solid evidence about the Sri Lankan cleric’s role in terrorism and Easter Sunday bombings. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls Hashim was believed to be 40 years old and a loner. He hailed from the east coast region of Batticaloa. He was a college drop-out and hailed from an average Muslim middle-class family. India’s National Investigation Agency during its probe into an ISIS-inspired module planning to kill prominent leaders in south India had stumbled upon videos of Hashim, which was indicative of a terror attack on the Indian High Commission in Colombo. The videos showed Hashim asking youths from Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala to establish an Islamic rule in the region. After further investigation which included cyber trailing of some of the accounts associated with the ISIS, India’s central security agencies had shared an input with their Lankan counterparts about the churches being the likely target of the ISIS module.last_img read more

  • Delhi Bar Council orders big 4 audit firms to refrain from practicing

    first_imgNew Delhi, MDelhi Bar Council orders big 4 audit firms to refrain from practicing lawThe Bar Council of Delhi, in an interim order on Friday, directed four big accounting firms — E&Y, Deloitte India, Price Water House Cooper’s and KPMG — to refrain from practicing law until further orders from the lawyers’ body. The Bar Council has also asked these firms for a list of all advocates enrolled across all their offices, in any capacity. The Bar Council action came on a complaint by senior advocate Lalit Bhasin alleging that though all these firms were accounting firms originally, they were engaged in law practice, which was not legally permissible. Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehicles Bhasin, who is also the President of the Society of India Law Firms, said that the accounting firms have been encroaching into legal practice and their practice of hiring law graduates to provide non-litigation legal solutions was in contrast with the Advocates Act. While Chartered Accountants are governed by the Chartered Accountants Act, legal practice is governed by the Advocates Act. “The Council is of the view that in the meantime, all the firms… refrain themselves from indulging in any such practice until further orders,” said a statement from the Delhi Bar Council. As per media reports, in November 2018, an expert panel constituted by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs suggested amendment to the Advocates Act to allow audit firms to offer legal services. The Bar Council of Delhi will hear the matter next on July 12.last_img read more

  • Over 20 Chinese arrested for girls trafficking in Pak

    first_imgIslamabad: Over 20 Chinese have been arrested from various Pakistani cities during an ongoing crackdown for their alleged involvement in arranging illegal marriages of young Pakistani girls to Chinese nationals and forcing them into prostitution, officials said Wednesday. The crackdown was launched this week after media reports said that several Pakistani girls were subjected to sexual exploitation by Chinese husbands after going to China. The officials said that over 20 Chinese have been arrested from various Pakistani cities for their involvement in arranging fake marriages of Pakistani women and removing their organs and forcing them into prostitution. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportThe Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Anti-Human Trafficking Cell arrested 14 Chinese from twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi and recovered three Pakistani girls, said the officials in the Ministry of Interior. “For the first time illegal weapons were also recovered from the arrested Chinese,” officials said, adding the rescued women revealed that they were being taken to China. Hundreds of Chinese have come to live in Pakistan in connection with various development work undertaken by the Chinese companies. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsEarlier, Interior Minister Ijaz Shah ordered action against those involved in illegal marriages and sending women to China. He also asked officials to get in touch with the Chinese embassy to address the issue. Chairman of the Senate standing committee on interior Rehman Malik has sought a detailed report in three days on women trafficking to China. The government recently ordered the Federal Investigation Agency to take action against the gangs involved in smuggling of Pakistani girls to China on the pretext of contracting marriage. According to the local media reports, poor Christian girls are lured with money and promises of a ‘good life’ by the illegal matchmaking centres to marry Chinese men who are either visiting or working in Pakistan. These centres produce fake documents of Chinese men showing them either as Christians or Muslims. Most of the girls reportedly became victims of human trafficking and were forced into prostitution, the report said.last_img read more