Rains likely in Delhi heatwave to end

first_imgNew Delhi: Heatwave conditions in the national capital are set to end on Tuesday following rains in the evening, bringing much needed respite from the scorching heat. According to the India Meteorological Department, light rains are expected in the evening owing to a cyclonic circulation over Rajasthan and moisture-laden winds from the Arabian sea. On Tuesday, the maximum temperature is expected to hover around 44 degrees Celsius, a substantial dip from 48 degree Celsius on Monday when Delhi broke the previous record of the hottest day in the month of June. Also Read – Cylinder blast kills mother and daughter in Karawal Nagar “The sky will remain partly cloudy throughout the day. There is a possibility of dust storms and thunderstorm towards the night,” said an IMD official. According to private forecaster Skymet, rains are expected to continue on Wednesday and Thursday, bringing the mercury below 40-43 degree Celsius. Later, there will be no chances of heatwave conditions due to the arrival of monsoon as westerly dry winds will stop and easterly winds filled with moisture will come to the northern region. Western, central, and northern parts of the country have been witnessing a surge in temperature for the past few days, making the heatwave conditions severe.last_img read more

Unfit Bhuvi prompts India to summon Saini as net bowler

first_imgManchester: Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s hamstring injury has prompted the Indian team management to summon ‘A’ team regular Navdeep Saini as the net bowler for the remaining part of the World Cup. Saini was a part of the original stand-by list. “Navdeep Saini has arrived in Manchester and he will train with the Indian team. He is the only net bowler here,” the BCCI media cell informed on its official WhatsApp group. As of now Bhuvneshwar is out for 2-3 games due to reported stiffness in his left hamstring. It is still not clear if the injury is more serious. Also Read – Djokovic heaps praise on ‘very complete’ MedvedevHe has started a bit of light exercise but hadn’t looked really comfortable during some of the drills conducted by physio Patrick Farhart. In fact, in Southampton, Farhart was making Bhuvneshwar stride up the stairs and once the bowler was seen complaining of pain while sprinting up the last two steps. Khaleel Ahmed was India’s designated net bowler till Nottingham and then went back as he will be playing the series against West Indies ‘A’, starting next month. Also Read – Mary Kom enters quarterfinals, Saweety Boora bows out of World C’shipsSince the bowlers in the main squad don’t bowl at the nets everyday and at times a few deliveries to just get the feel, batsmen need quality net practice. The ‘A’ team bowlers normally travel with the senior side if there’s no assignment. Saini was supposed to travel with Deepak Chahar and Khaleel during the first half but couldn’t come due to an injury sustained during IPL. Saini is one of India’s fastest bowlers and will be expected to give good practice to the top-order.last_img read more

India and a hundred years of ILO

first_imgVery much like us humans, institutions are mortal too. They too are born, grow, peak and die. The similarities go further. Like us, most institutions die in their infancy. And only a few—very few—live up to be a hundred years old. It is then something very heartening that the United Nation’s Specialised Agency, the International Labour Organisation—more commonly known to us as ILO—has completed a hundred this year 2019. Yes, ILO was set up one hundred years ago in 1919, having come into being as a part of the League of Nations that was established under the Treaty of Versailles — the treaty that ended the first world war. Also Read – A special kind of bondIt is then something of a contradiction that the League of Nations itself died young, within 20 years of its birth. It could not withstand the onslaught of Nazism and Hitler’s gruesome ambition. Like any ordinary building in the Poland of 1939 that Hitler invaded to inaugurate the Second World War, the League of Nations collapsed when the first bombs rained on Warsaw. But not ILO. ILO survived the League of Nations and the bloody Second World War, one of the very few organisations—a significant other being the World Health Organisation (WHO)—within the League of Nations to do so. And when in 1945, the United Nations was born post-San Francisco Conference, ILO became one of the first specialised agencies of the UN. Also Read – Insider threat managementA year earlier in 1944, reeling from the genocide of Jews in Europe that followed in the wake of Nazi Germany, the Declaration of Philadelphia had restated the traditional objectives of ILO and then gone on to add a significant other, the centrality of human rights to social policy. I was profoundly fortunate to have worked in ILO for 20 years and oftentimes wondered where the longevity and the resilience that has enabled ILO to last for so long, comes from. And I have realised that the resilience and the longevity come from the fundamentals upon which ILO has been built, the fundamental being the importance that ILO has always placed, then as now on promoting and ensuring social justice. It comes from ILO’s strong underlying belief that lasting peace comes not from growth and development alone, but when such growth and development go hand in hand with social justice and equity for all. As the Philadelphia Declaration of 1944 would remind us, there can also be no social justice or equity without human rights. For growth without equity, and social justice that is strongly based on human rights and fundamental human freedoms is unsustainable. ILO’s strength comes from its strong certainty and conviction that poverty anywhere constitutes a threat to prosperity everywhere. It believes that prosperity cannot be sustained merely through government policies and programmes (though these are very important) or through profit-making, job-giving businesses, industries and corporate (though these are also very important) but that sustainable prosperity and therefore lasting peace will happen only when, governments, businesses, industries and corporates join hands with workers and employees to establish a 3-party, or as we in ILO would say a tripartite collaboration, where governments, employers and employees can work with each other for equitable growth for everyone, everywhere. ILO then is the only UN Agency that is tripartite in nature with equal representation for the governments of countries that are its members as well as representation for the employers and workers of every such member country. Thus, while the UN and its other specialised agencies such as for example, the UNICEF, WHO, etc., have only the governments represented in them, in ILO, not only the governments but representatives of employers and workers organisations of all member countries are also members of ILO. How then does ILO work? Just as our Parliament pass national laws which are enforceable in the country, ILO lays down international standards which are international laws. These international laws come in the form of ILO Conventions. ILO adopts various international Conventions at it’s annual International Labour Conference (ILC) that is held every year in Geneva in the month of June. ILC is truly a world tripartite parliament consisting of governments, employers, and workers representatives of its 187 member countries. The International Labour Conference then is the world’s largest forum of governments, employers and workers and no doubt represents the largest number of peoples across the world. The International Conventions that ILO adopts are international laws, or international standards as they are called, which once ratified by a member country has the force of an international treaty and is binding on the ratifying country. Let me pause here to show how much of ILOs work in the past 100 years is today an unconscious part of our global collective thinking. Many of what we today consider common-place social thoughts, which are an inherent part of our thinking, are actually contributions of ILO, absorbed globally across countries, through the many Conventions that ILO has adopted in these years. Thus, the concept of 8 hours work, 8 hours rest and 8 hours recreation, the concept of payment for overtime, work beyond 8 hours, the concept of rests after certain intervals of work, are contributions of ILO to our thinking and to our laws. These thoughts were of course derived by small and large groups agitating against long hours of work in sweat-shops across Europe and the US. But their universal acceptance by governments and businesses and most vitally as an inalienable right of all of us – for verily we are all workers – was ILO’s contribution. The concept of equal pay for equal work, which lay the foundation of gender equity in the workplace is another contribution of ILO to our thinking and laws. While no doubt UNICEF and UN itself have played a great part in universalising the concept of child rights, the abolition of child labour and the concept that the right place for a child is school and not workplace is itself yet another contribution of ILO’s conventions. The abolition of forced labour and bonded labour is another ILO contribution. Similarly, the essential necessity for social protection and for putting in place social safety nets that are now gaining ground even in India is a contribution of ILO to global social thought. During the 100 years of its existence, ILO has adopted 189 Conventions that lay down standards at the workplace thus contributing to social justice, equity, and peace. It is then worth repeating that ILO derives its strength, resilience, and longevity from the principles of equity and social justice linked to human rights. India is particularly fortunate to have had a very long association with ILO, and vice versa. ILO has benefitted from India’s many contributions to it. India is a Founding Member of ILO when way back in 1919 India was still a British colony. India and ILO have since then influenced each other in many ways. In 1928, ILO opened an office in New Delhi. Since then, there has been a strong and continuing consistency between ILO’s and India’s development and social goals. The Indian Labour Conference which meets regularly every year is itself modelled on ILO’s ILC. India has been the recipient of many important Technical Cooperation Programmes of ILO. India, for example, was the first country to join ILO’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC). For many years India continued to have the largest IPEC programme anywhere in the world. However, there are some downsides in India’s relations with ILO as well. For example, the pace of ratification of ILO’s conventions has been rather tardy, the country has ratified only 47 of ILO’s 189 Conventions. Notably and a bit strangely, India has not yet ratified ILO Convention No. 87 which ensures the freedom to form associations and the protection of workers to organise. This despite our Constitution’s Article 19 granting every citizen the fundamental right to freedom of association. Another serious shortcoming has been historical and continuing deficiency of Indian officials in ILO, especially at the senior-most levels. Because of the UN’s convoluted system of basing the appointment of its officials on an archaic quota system, India has always had far fewer officials in ILO than its economic and political strength, its population, workforce, and particularly its workforce in the non-formal sectors for whom social justice and equity are paramount, and the globally proven leadership skills and abilities that Indian managers have shown across global corporates and business would have prescribed. The quota system ensures that not only the number of Indians in ILO continues to be very insignificant, but that they do not rise very high in the system. For a long time after 1919 when India joined ILO, India had only 3 Indian officials there. Even at the time of Independence, India had only 6 officials. This disappointing trend continues, and the numbers of Indians in ILO continue to be insignificant even today. Also very notably, in its 100 years of membership to ILO, there was never ever an Indian as the Director General of ILO. This is a glaring lacuna that needs to be immediately rectified. In the centennial year of India’s association with ILO, the government of India should strongly push to ensure that the next Director General of the ILO is from India. So what is the future of the ILO? The answer is simple. So long as there is work and a workplace, so long as there are jobs, and businesses, industry and corporates, so long as there are employees and employers, ILO will continue to exist, because of its objectives of bringing in a lasting peace through social justice and equity for all. Finally, it is interesting to recall that ILO was the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1969, fifty years ago, fifty years after it was established in 1919. If 50 years ago, ILO deserved the Nobel Peace Prize, in today’s angry world of protectionism, of barriers to migration, of isolationism, of continuing gender inequity, of anti-people and anti-worker sentiment, ILO deserves the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize; not for itself, but for emphasising the continuing importance of social justice and human rights for sustainable prosperity and lasting peace across the world. And most of all, for ensuring that poverty, which exists in abundant measure across the world today, does not pose a threat to the visibly growing prosperity in many pockets around the world. I hope that ILO wins the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize so that it can strengthen its continuing fight for these outcomes. Is the Nobel Peace Committee Listening? (The author is a former Indian and UN Civil Servant and worked with ILO in India and abroad for 20 years. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Modi arrives in France for G7 Summit

first_imgBiarritz: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday arrived in France to attend the G7 Summit where he will speak on burning global issues of environment, climate and digital transformation and also meet the world leaders. Modi arrived here from Manama after concluding his three-nation tour to France, the UAE and Bahrain where he offered prayers at the Shreenathji Temple, the oldest temple in the Gulf region. During the G7 Summit, which will be held in the picturesque seaside French town of Biarritz, the Prime Minister will address sessions on environment, climate, oceans and digital transformation. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Though India is not a member of the G-7 grouping, Modi has been personally invited by French President Emmanuel Macron. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had said that the invitation was a “reflection of the personal chemistry” between the two leaders and also “recognition of India as a major economic power”. The countries which are part of the G7 include the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the US. On the sidelines of the G7 Summit, Modi and US President Donald Trump are likely to discuss the situation in Kashmir, trade issues and other topics of mutual interest. Earlier this week in Washington, Trump said that he would discuss with Prime Minister Modi the situation in Kashmir and help ease the Indo-Pak tensions.last_img read more

South Africa T20s Dhoni unlikely as selectors ready to persist with Pant

first_imgNew Delhi: Mahendra Singh Dhoni may have put his international retirement on hold but he is unlikely to be selected for India’s three-match T20 home series against South Africa starting September 15 in Dharamsala. The team for the series is expected to be picked on September 4. The remaining two games will be played at Mohali (September 18) and Bengaluru (September 22). In all likelihood, the squad that blanked West Indies 3-0 is likely to be retained (subject to fitness) and the selection committee wants to continue building towards World T20 in Australia in October 2020. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”There are only 22 T20 Internationals before India play their first World T20 game and selectors are clear in their vision that it’s time to move forward,” a senior BCCI official privy to developments in selection committee said on Wednesday. “They are planning on getting a pool of three keepers ready for limited overs, especially T20s,” he added. It is still not clear whether the BCCI brass or the selection committee will speak to Dhoni to enquire about his plans like they did before the West Indies tour when the former captain informed that he would be taking a break to serve his regiment in Territorial Army. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later”Retirement is an individual decision and selectors or for that matter, no one has any right to decide on that front. But they have every right to decide the roadmap for the 2020 World T20 and that’s to give Rishabh Pant maximum chances,” the official explained. It is learnt that the second and third option for the selection committee is Sanju Samson, whose batting is considered to be on par with Pant and India A regular Ishan Kishan. While Pant remains the first choice across formats, the selectors are also factoring in the fitness and workload management. A few members of the selection committee will be in Thiruvananthapuram for the A series and Samson’s performance will be keenly watched as he has made the squad for the last two List A games. As far as batting is concerned, the selection committee believes that Samson is ready for top level cricket but his wicket-keeping is still work in progress. “Pant scored a fifty in the last T20 that he played. Ishan Kishan is in the A set-up. Do we even have an option of looking back when we need consistent big hitters on big Australian grounds?” the official questioned.last_img read more

Abhimanyu replaces Tiwary as Bengal captain in all formats

first_imgKolkata: Top-order batsman Abhimanyu Easwaran was on Thursday named captain of the Bengal cricket team in place of Manoj Tiwary in all the three formats for the upcoming season. Tiwary, who has played 12 ODIs and three T20 Internationals, had succeeded Laxmi Ratan Shukla in 2015-16 season and led the side to Ranji Trophy semifinals in the 2017-18. The Sourav Ganguly-led Cricket Association of Bengal wanted a split captaincy, giving Tiwary the option to lead in the shorter formats while promoting Abhimanyu for the Ranji Trophy. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhBut the 33-year-old Tiwary declined the proposal and instead wanted to focus on his batting, while backing Abhimanyu for the upcoming season. Cricket Association of Bengal Joint Secretary Avishek Dalmiya said: “The selectors initially had thought of a split captaincy where they looked at the option of having Abhimanyu Easwaran lead the team in four-day format, while Manoj Tiwary will continue in 50-over and T20s. “We had discussed this with Manoj (Tiwary) and he feels that it is important for him to concentrate as a player right now. Manoj, whose contribution to Bengal cricket both as skipper and player remains invaluable, assured to guide Easwaran in his job as one of the senior colleague of the team,” he added. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterAn India A regular, the 23-year-old Abhimanyu’s assignment will begin with Bengal’s pre-season tournament in Jaipur from September 3, the 21-member squad for which was announced on Thursday. Abhimanyu scored a maiden double hundred, 201 not out, in a marathon batting display of about 10 hours in a drawn match against Punjab last season. Bengal had failed to qualify for the knockouts. Bengal will begin their domestic season, against Gujarat in the Vijay Hazare Trophy one-day tournament on September 24. It will be followed by the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 meet in November as Bengal will have three North East sides — Assam, Mizoram and Meghalaya — in Group D. In the Ranji Trophy, Bengal are clubbed with Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Vidarbha, Hyderabad, Delhi, Rajasthan and Punjab in a tough Elite Group A as they face Kerala in their opening fixture from December 17.last_img read more

The dictum on desertification

first_imgThe United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD) is Rio’s Stepchild, we said. Why? Because it was a neglected and frankly unwanted agreement, signed by the world at the Rio Conference in 1992. It was agreed because African and other developing countries wanted it. It was a sop — give them the crumbs of an agreement, which the rich world did not understand or believe in. In Rio, climate change was the top agenda. Next came the issue of biodiversity conservation — a resource largely surviving in the countries of the South, which need to be conserved and access secured. Then there was the issue of forests — a convention was proposed and staunchly opposed by the developing countries who said that it would infringe on their national resources. In all this acrimony, the desertification convention was born. Also Read – A special kind of bondToday, close to 30 years later; now when the world is beginning to see the deadly impacts of climate change; now when it is still losing the war against the extinction of species and is faced with the dire prospects of catastrophic changes, this forgotten, this neglected convention, must shed its stepchild image. It is the global agreement that will make or break our present and future. The fact is that management of our natural resources, particularly land and water — what this convention is concerned about — is at huge risk today; our own mismanagement is being exacerbated by weird weather events, which is making millions more vulnerable and more marginalised. Also Read – Insider threat managementBut there is another side as well. If we can improve our management of land and water, we can shave off the worst impacts of climate change. We can build wealth for the poorest and improve livelihoods. And, by doing this, we mitigate greenhouse gases (GHG) — growing trees that can sequester carbon dioxide; improving soil health that captures carbon dioxide, and most importantly, changing practices of agriculture and diets is reducing emissions of GHG. So, this convention needs to be moved from the stepchild to the parent. Why do I say this? Sample what is happening in terms of extreme rain events in vast parts of the world — developing and developed; rich and poor; urban and rural. In India, this monsoon, the rain has been a curse, not the boon that it always is. It has come down in torrents — regions have received 1,000-3,000 per cent excess rain; that is over the average of a day. It has meant that rain submerged vast lands; destroyed homes and livelihoods. But what is worse is that flood becomes a drought within no time. This is because the heavy rain cannot be captured; cannot be recharged; and so, there is drought at the time of the flood. Each of these now, not-so-natural calamities, takes away the development dividend that governments work so hard to secure. Houses and other personal belongings are washed away; roads and infrastructure destroyed and all then has to be rebuilt. It is also clear that flood or drought is not just about climate change or changing weather patterns. The fact is drought is about the mismanagement of water resources; where not enough rain is being recharged or water is used inefficiently and inequitably. Flood is about the sheer inability to plan for drainage; for our lack of concern to protect the forests on watersheds or the near-criminal act of building and destroying the flood plains. Then there is also the fact that global temperatures are increasing; intense heat events are being seen in many parts of the world. There is more heat and dust everywhere. In the South Asian subcontinent, temperatures have spiked to unimaginable levels. High temperature means less moisture on the ground; more dust and more desertification. It creates the conditions for a dust bowl — winds of over 130 kilometres per hour — over what is called storm winds of 90-100 km/hour sweep away and make a destructive force. In 2018, over 500 people died in northern Indian states from dust storms. Again, this is the double whammy – high temperatures are only adding to the already heat and water-stressed lands. Lack of green cover increases desertification conditions; over-withdrawal of groundwater; and, poor irrigation practices degrade land over time. Then there is the over-intensification of land, largely because of the way we are doing agriculture. A report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2019 rightly indicted the modern agricultural practices for being over-chemicalised and over-industrialised and so adding to GHG emissions. The report has also called for changes in diets, which will make us tread lightly on the earth. Our food and our climate change footprint are now connected. Therefore, this desertification convention, signed so unwillingly in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio, is now relevant more than ever. There is also another critical change. At the Rio Summit, northern countries asked what this issue had to do with them. Desertification was not a global issue and so, why should there be an international agreement at all. In Rio, African nations, who argued for this convention, had drawn important linkages to how the price of their commodity was dropping, forcing them to discount their land and this, in turn, was adding to desertification and land degradation. Today, there should be no doubt that desertification is a global issue — it requires cooperation between nations. The fact is that we are only just beginning to see the impacts of climate change. These will become more deadly as temperatures continue to spiral and this spiral gets out of hand. It is also clear that today the poor in the world are the victims of this “human-made” disaster — local or global. The rich do not die in sandstorms. The rich do not lose their livelihoods when the next cyclonic system hits. But the fact is that this weird weather portends what awaits us. The change is not linear — it is not predictable. It will come as a shock and we will not be prepared for it — the rich in the developing world or the developed world. Climate change at the end will be an equaliser — it will impact all. It is also clear that one impact of this corrosive change — increasing numbers of disasters because of growing intensity and frequency of weird and abnormal weather will make poor, poorer. Their impoverishment and marginalisation will add to their desperation to move away from their lands and to seek alternative livelihoods. Their only choice will be to migrate — move to the city; move to another country. The double jeopardy, as I have called it, will add to the already-volatile situation of boat people and walls and migrant counting, which is making our world insecure and violent. This is the cycle of destructive change that we must fight. Desertification is then about our globalised world; inter-connected and inter-dependent. This is where the opportunity exists. This convention is not about desertification. It is about fighting desertification. The fact is that every way — in which we choose to fight desertification or land degradation or water scarcity — we will improve livelihoods and end up mitigating climate change. The land and water agenda is at the core of fighting climate change. It is at the core of building local economies to improve the wellbeing of people. To fight poverty. To win the war against human survival. This is what CCD is about. Now, let’s push for global leadership that can drive this change. (The author is Director General of Centre for Science and Environment and the Editor of Down To Earth magazine. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Politician takes up cause of NS woman who wants to teach Gaelic

first_imgA prominent member of the Scottish parliament is taking up the cause of a young Nova Scotia woman and the Scottish island school that wants her to be its Gaelic teacher.Sine Halfpenny of Antigonish, N.S., was the only applicant for a Gaelic-language teaching job at Bunessan Primary School in Isle of Mull, Scotland.But she encountered visa issues, and couldn’t get approval to immigrate. She ultimately took a job in Manitoba that doesn’t allow her to use her Gaelic skills.“It’s frustrating because you got kids with no teacher,” Halfpenny said in a phone interview. “The kids are going into year two and they still don’t have a teacher.”Her story garnered the attention of British newspapers, with articles in The Telegraph and Scotland’s The Herald last fall.Now, Michael Russell, the local member in the Scottish parliament as well as the minister for U.K. Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe, has written to the new British home secretary, Sajid Javid, urging him to reconsider Halfpenny’s case.“The local community affected by this decision have worked extremely hard to secure Gaelic education for their children and we must not let them down,” Russell said on Twitter this week.Halfpenny said she learned Gaelic from a childhood caretaker and fell in love with the language. She studied Gaelic at St. Francis Xavier University and became a certified teacher.The Isle of Mull opportunity intrigued her, and she obtained an additional teaching certificate qualifying her to work in Scotland.Halfpenny said the school gave her a conditional offer, which she accepted. Her trouble began when she tried applying for a work visa.“We kept getting denied,” she said.First, she said the government had filled its work visa quota for the month, so her application was rejected. When her application was finally accepted, she said she failed to show that she had a sponsor.Her sponsors, the regional councillors, couldn’t vouch that she would be making at least 30,000 pounds a year, a requirement of all visa applicants.“It’s not fair to keep a teacher that can be there and is willing to settle down in their area away,” said Halfpenny.Frustrated, Halfpenny moved on with her life.“It got to the point where I couldn’t stay in Nova Scotia,” she said. “It’s not easy to sub at home and keep your head afloat.”Halfpenny moved to northern Manitoba, where she now teaches English at Garden Hill First Nation High School.Russell, a member of the Scottish National Party, said he is disappointed with the Home Office’s immigration policies because they are “preventing good, qualified Gaelic-speaking professionals” from teaching in Scotland.He called for a “more progressive approach to immigration,” and asked the home secretary to reconsider Halfpenny’s case because of the school’s urgency to fill the position.Halfpenny said all she can do now is watch from afar as Russell and the local councillors continue to lobby for her.“They’ve been champions for me. I wish the process was easier on them so that we can just get to work. They’re good people and hopefully things will work out for the school,” she said.last_img read more

Lawsuit launched over disabled girl left on school bus in Toronto

first_imgTORONTO – The mother of a disabled teen forgotten on a school bus and left alone for hours has launched a lawsuit against those she’s holding responsible, claiming her daughter has sustained ongoing trauma as a result of the incident.Laura Mastache claims her daughter Wendy has become noticeably more fearful and withdrawn in the months since a driver forgot to drop her off at her Toronto-area high school, drove the vehicle to a funeral and abandoned the 19-year-old on the bus on a chilly winter’s day.Both mother and daughter are named as plaintiffs in the suit, which accuses the driver, bus company Stock Transportation and the Toronto District School Board of negligence.The suit is seeking total damages of $700,000 and alleges injury to dignity and loss of companionship as a result of the incident that took place on Jan. 23. None of the allegations in the suit have been proven in court.Laura Mastache said her daughter did not sustain physical injuries in the incident, but said the alleged psychological changes she’s observed, which include reluctance to go to class and sleep alone, should be acknowledged.“We have some regressions in some areas,” Mastache said in an interview. “It took us years for her to overcome some fears, now it’s going back to square one.”A statement of claim filed in the case said Wendy Mastache boarded the bus as usual and was to be dropped off at a school entrance used by students who attend a special education class.The teen, the document notes, has both epilepsy and autism and functions between a Grade 1 and 2 level.The statement of claim alleges the bus driver dropped other students off at the main entrance of the school, but forgot to take Wendy to her usual drop-off point and immediately headed out to a funeral.It alleges the girl sat alone and forgotten on the bus for hours, without access to food, liquid or washroom facilities.Local reports indicate temperatures hovered just above the freezing mark that day, the statement of claim said, adding Wendy would not have been able to put on the scarf or gloves in her backpack without explicit reminders to do so.“Laura has not been able to find out if Wendy had passed out or had seizures during this period,” the statement of claim reads. “Due to Wendy’s difficulty with verbal communication, Laura was not able to obtain any information regarding the six hour period.”Laura Mastache herself was unaware that anything was amiss for most of the day until a concerned teacher called her to report that her daughter had been absent from class all day, but had recently been seen getting off the bus that was rounding up students for the trip home.Mastache, feeling worried, went to the school to make inquiries. She said school officials were reviewing surveillance video and reported that her daughter had not entered the school at the beginning of the day.The statement of claim said Mastache confronted the school bus driver, who initially denied knowing anything about the teen’s whereabouts. Under police interrogation that night, however, the statement of claim said the driver admitted to “her negligent actions.”The suit also argues the school board should have had an attendance policy that notifies parents of a special needs child’s absence regardless of age.Board spokesman Ryan Bird acknowledged that previous policy dictated only students under 18 were reported as absent to their parents in the past, but the incident with Wendy Mastache prompted a change.Both Bird and Stock Transportation spokeswoman Kate Walden declined to comment on the specific lawsuit. Stock Transportation previously indicated that the bus driver involved was fired after the incident.Mastache said she hopes the suit will prevent similar situations in the future.“This happened to my daughter, and everybody’s going to forget,” Mastache said. “Maybe with this lawsuit the TDSB, Stock Transportation, even the drivers are going to think more that it’s serious. The psychological damage, you cannot see it if you don’t live with her.”last_img read more

Court martial for racial slur striking superior begins at NS base

first_imgKENTVILLE, N.S. – A Nova Scotia court martial heard contrasting views from witnesses Monday on whether a white reservist’s use of the word “nappy” to describe a black co-worker’s hair was intended as a racial slur.Cpl. Garett Rollman pleaded not guilty Monday to a charge of striking his superior officer on the hand and two charges of “conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline.”Prosecutors said Rollman made an inappropriate comment to civilian worker Cheryl Richard about black hair styles in a kitchen at the military base in Aldershot, N.S., in late February 2016.Richard said Monday her co-worker told her about a video that he’d viewed where a black woman was sponging her hair due to it being “nappy.”“I said, ‘Excuse me,’ and he said, ‘Nappy hair, you know like yours,’” she said, adding she immediately left the area, upset by the comment.Richard testified the term is “a racial slur they used a long time ago saying that black people have knotty hair because they didn’t have the means of working with their hair. It’s a racial slur that white people use.”However, Sgt. Christopher Jones, the senior non-commissioned officer in the unit, testified that as a black man and a supervisor of the two workers, he didn’t believe that Rollman was using the term as a slur.Jones said he believed Rollman had been explaining in a pleasant way that he and his black girlfriend had been watching a program about hair styles, and Rollman may not have understood Richard was offended by his description of what he saw.“He was trying to explain something nice … because nappy hair means style,” Jones testified, adding the term can have various meanings in different contexts.He said that Richard had a long-standing conflict with Rollman, to the point where the two were assigned to work on separate shifts for several years, and he testified Richard had taken the opportunity to “go after him (Rollman).”The prosecution alleged that the following day Rollman was standing near Richard when he pushed a garbage container across the kitchen and shouted insults and profanities at her.Richard testified she went from the kitchen area to a room where Sgt. Earl Smith — the second in command of the area — was sitting and told him about the incident.The prosecution alleges that Smith stood up, and “Cpl. Rollman hit the sergeant’s hand out of the way and took up a boxer’s stance,” before more yelling ensued and Rollman left Smith’s office.Sharon Angel, another civilian employee, testified Monday she witnessed Rollman and Smith yelling, and she saw Rollman raise his hand.She said she heard Smith yell, “Don’t you hit me!” but she couldn’t see if Rollman actually struck his superior.Capt. Greg Moorehead, the military prosecutor, told the court during his opening statement that Rollman’s behaviour breached military law.“None of this behaviour is acceptable, your honour, particularly in a disciplined and professional military,” he said.During defence cross examination, Richard told the court that she had “sometimes” complained about Rollman’s behaviour in the past, and confirmed he had launched a workplace harassment complaint against her prior to the incident.During opening statements, military defence lawyer Lt.-Cmdr. Brent Walden had asked for the case to be adjourned. He said the court needed time to find Smith, who has left the military and hasn’t responded to emails from the prosecution requesting his presence.The presiding military judge ruled that the case could proceed, noting a week has been set aside for the case.However, she also took note of the defence’s concerns over the absence of a key witness in the case.Follow (at)mtuttoncporg on Twitter.last_img read more

Three people killed four seriously injured in Bruce Peninsula car crash

first_imgTOBERMORY, Ont. – Ontario Provincial Police say three people are dead and four are seriously injured following a head-on collision in Bruce County on Saturday night.Officers say a car driving erratically collided with an SUV in the community of Miller Lake, south of Tobermory, at about 8 p.m. Saturday.Both drivers were killed, as was the passenger in the SUV.The car’s four passengers were all hospitalized.One of them was airlifted to a hospital in London, where he remains in critical condition.The driver and passengers in the car were all from the Mississauga-Brampton area.No other identifying information has yet been released.Police are continuing to investigate.last_img read more

NL athlete admits to killing man but argues she is not criminally

first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. – A former top Newfoundland athlete charged with first-degree murder has admitted to killing a man with a hammer.But the judge in the case says a lawyer for 30-year-old Anne Norris will argue she was not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder.The jury in the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court case was told Norris killed 46-year-old Marcel Reardon by striking him multiple times with a hammer.There is an agreed statement of facts in the case, which began Monday in St. John’s.Norris admits she put Reardon’s body beneath a staircase at Harbourview Apartments in downtown St. John’s in May 2016.Following the killing, Norris admits she put the hammer into a book bag, along with some rope and a pair of jeans, and tossed the bag into St. John’s harbour.Norris was named to the women’s under-19 basketball team competing for Newfoundland and Labrador at the junior national championships in 2005.Her father, Gary Norris, was also clerk of the executive council and secretary to cabinet before retiring in 2010 with thanks from former premier Danny Williams.(VOCM)last_img read more

Winnipeg man credited with inventing the Pizza Pop dies at 89

first_imgWINNIPEG – The man credited with inventing the Pizza Pop has died.The family of Paul Faraci says he died Feb. 6 in Vernon, B.C., at the age of 89.In the 1960s, Faraci owned a Winnipeg restaurant and came up with a twist on the traditional calzone — making it smaller and easier to handle.His nephew, Phil Faraci, says his uncle started selling the treat wholesale and then sold his interest in the business to two partners, who in turn sold it to Pillsbury.Pizza Pops are still made in Winnipeg by General Mills and are among many varieties of the calzone, such as Pizza Pockets and Hot Pockets.Phil Faraci says his uncle was a true entrepreneur who was proud of his legacy.He says the original recipe may soon be revived by a food truck a family member owns.CORRECTION: This is a corrected story. Earlier versions had the wrong first name for Faraci’s nephew.last_img read more

Hamiltonarea man who gunned down alleged car thief now facing lawsuit

first_imgTORONTO – A man acquitted of charges related to his gunning down an alleged car thief outside his Hamilton-area home still faces a civil lawsuit that alleges he behaved negligently.In an unproven statement of claim, the spouse and two children of Jon Styres allege that Peter Khill, of Binbrook, Ont., meant to injure or kill their relative.“The defendant did not attempt to contact the authorities prior to confronting Jon Styres,” the suit states. “During the confrontation, the defendant — suddenly and without warning — shot Jon Styres multiple times, ultimately resulting in Jon’s death.”In their suit, Lindsay Hill, their daughters Zoey Styres, who is almost three years old, and Sophia Styres, 4, all of Ohsweken, Ont., on the Six Nations reserve, claim damages suffered for the “negligent infliction” of mental distress and psychological damage caused by Khill’s actions.The lawsuit seeks $2.25 million in various damages.Unlike the criminal case in which the prosecution was required to prove the charges against the accused beyond a reasonable doubt, the civil proceedings only require proof on a balance of probabilities — a lower threshold.On Wednesday, a Superior Court jury in Hamilton found Khill, 28, not guilty of second-degree murder.It’s not clear whether the Crown would try to appeal the acquittal but Styres’ lawyer, Robert Hooper, said the jury’s verdict did not affect the civil suit because Khill confirmed he shot Styres.“The claim pleads both an intentional act and a negligent act,” Hooper told The Canadian Press. “We will look at his testimony and decide how to proceed.”Khill had argued in his own defence that his four years of training as an army reservist kicked when he instinctively grabbed a shotgun and went outside to confront a potential intruder or intruders in the early morning hours of Feb. 4, 2016.Evidence was that within seconds of spotting a shadowy figure leaning into his 15-year-old pickup truck parked in the driveway, Khill fired twice from a couple of metres, one shot hitting Styres squarely in the chest, the other passing through the back of his arm and into his chest. Styres, 29, died minutes later.Only after the shooting did Khill’s then-girlfriend, now his wife, call 911, court heard.“The incident was caused in whole by the intentional actions of the defendant which consisted of shooting Jon Styres with the intention to cause injury or death,” the suit alleges.Contrary to the evidence heard during the criminal trial, the lawsuit alleges Khill fired with the intention to kill as Styres fled the property. The court heard no evidence that Styres was attempting to flee or had any time to do so.None of the civil suit allegations, filed in January in Superior Court, has been proven.Khill’s criminal lawyer, Jeffrey Manishen, did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while his civil lawyer said no statement of defence had been filed.last_img read more

OPP rescue child locked in hot car in Temiskaming Shores Ont woman

first_imgTEMISKAMING SHORES, Ont. – Ontario provincial police say a woman has been charged after officers rescued a child locked in a hot car.Police say they received a call Wednesday afternoon reporting a small child locked in a vehicle in Temiskaming Shores, Ont.When officers arrived, they were told the child had been in the vehicle for approximately 20 minutes.The officers broke a window and rescued the child from what they described as “extreme heat.”The child was taken to hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.A 20-year-old woman is charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life and is to appear in court in Haileybury, Ont., on July 24.last_img read more

Indigenous leaders say reconciliation involves recognition of values culture

first_imgSIDNEY, B.C. — Indigenous leaders from British Columbia, Manitoba and Nunavut told federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna that reconciliation involves recognizing and supporting the deep connections their people have to the land. The leaders took part in the ceremony in Sidney, B.C., where the federal government announced $5.7 million in funding for the Indigenous Guardians pilot program in support of environmental conservation efforts.McKenna says the program recognizes Indigenous Peoples’ rights and responsibilities to the land and waters of their traditional territories.She says the financial support allows First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities to work to protect sensitive areas and species and monitor ecological health and maintain cultural sites.Chief David Walkem of the Cook’s Ferry Indian Band in B.C.’s Interior says part of the project will involve his nation reconnecting with the land after decades of industrial influence dating back to the Cariboo and Fraser River gold rushes.McKenna says Indigenous people understand the importance of acting now to protect Canada’s environment and preserve biodiversity and this program ensures they have the support to be the best possible stewards of their lands, water and ice. The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Study finds rise in millennial perfectionism parents and social media blamed

first_imgHALIFAX — A new study has found a sharp rise in perfectionism, suggesting millennials are more inclined to have unrealistic standards and harsher self-criticism than previous generations.The study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Review says perfectionism increased substantially from 1990 to 2015.It found that perfectionists tend to become more neurotic — characterized by negative emotions like guilt, envy, and anxiety — and less conscientious as time passes.Dr. Simon Sherry, one of the study’s authors and a clinical psychologist in Halifax, says perfectionism is a serious and even deadly epidemic in modern western societies.Sherry, a professor in the department of psychology and neuroscience at Dalhousie University, says parental and socio-cultural factors, including a rise in social media, appear to contribute to the rise in perfectionism.The study was a large-scale meta-analysis — a “study of studies” — involving 77 studies and nearly 25,000 participants ranging in age from 15 to 49.It found women and men report similar levels of perfectionism.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Crown seeks 18 years for former Calgary teacher pleaded guilty to sex

first_imgCALGARY — The Crown is seeking an 18-year sentence for a former Calgary teacher who pleaded guilty to 17 sex-related charges involving girls.Christian Allen Sarile was arrested in December 2017 on 49 charges including sexual assault, sexual interference, accessing child pornography, distributing child pornography, luring and extortion.All of the victims were between the ages of 12 and 17 and are from the Calgary area.Sarile’s lawyers are seeking a jail term of 12 to 14 years.The judge in the case is to hand down the sentence on May 31.Police say Sarile, who is 29, used social media sites to pose as a teenager asking to meet girls.Investigators say he would ask the girls to chat through various social media platforms and then offer them cash or items in exchange for sex or compromising photos.Police were first notified when the family of a 14-year-old girl came forward in December 2016 concerned about their daughter meeting a man in his 20s.Further investigation discovered a total of 26 victims who all claimed to have had contact with Sarile.During his sentencing hearing some of his victims said the abuse gave them panic attacks, forced them to miss school and made them turn to drugs.Two of the victims spoke of their inability to be happy about anything.“The offender only stopped his activity when he was caught,” Crown prosecutor Martha O’Connor said Thursday. “He targeted and sexually exploited children for his own sexual satisfaction.”Yoav Niv, Sarile’s lawyer, asked the court to consider his client’s guilty plea that spared his victims the need to testify.Sarile also wrote a letter of apology, saying he was sorry about the pain and loss of trust he caused.“I accept responsibility and am deeply ashamed of my actions,” he wrote in the letter that was read aloud during the hearing.“I have a problem. I need treatment. I deserve to go to jail.”Sarile has been in custody since his arrest. (CTV Calgary)The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Feds redo child benefit forms amid concerns atrisk families missing payments

first_imgOTTAWA — The federal government is rolling out a simplified application form for the Canada Child Benefit so payments get to the people the program is supposed to help the most.The decision comes months after the minister in charge, Jean-Yves Duclos, was briefed about mounting concerns that eligibility rules and the application itself for the Trudeau government’s signature child benefit may be acting as a barrier for some “at-risk” families.While take-up rates are high, there are potentially thousands of eligible recipients who don’t receive the benefit because they are informal caregivers who aren’t recognized as legal guardians, or live on reserves and haven’t filed tax returns.Duclos was told in a briefing note that the application would be overhauled to address concerns that it was too difficult to understand for some families, particularly newcomers to Canada.The government says the new form is to be published this month just as the benefit goes up to keep up with increases in the cost of living.On Saturday when the new benefit year begins, the maximum annual payment will increase to $6,639 for every child under age six, and $5,602 per child aged six to 17.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Campaign to Ban AnimalTested Cosmetics in Europe Nears Success

first_imgHumane Society International’s campaign to end animal testing of cosmetics worldwide and ban the sale of animal-tested cosmetics in Europe, took a step nearer success this week as Tonio Borg was formally approved by the EU Council at the new EU Health Minister.Borg has publicly expressed his desire to see fully implemented the long-awaited EU marketing ban on animal-tested cosmetics, due 11 March 2013. His appointment marks a significant change in direction regarding implementation – his predecessor, Commissioner John Dalli, was considering introducing ‘loophole’ measures to continue allowing newly animal-tested ingredients to be sold in the EU.Humane Society International’s Senior EU Policy Advisor, Emily McIvor, welcomed this new milestone in their global campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics: “Dr. Borg has made his views absolutely clear, and it is now likely that the 2013 marketing ban on animal-tested cosmetics will stand. This once again puts the EU at the forefront of global efforts to rid the world of cosmetics animal testing, and all of the needless animal suffering caused by the so-called beauty-business. Humane Society International will be calling on cosmetics companies to embrace the ban, and show what can be done to hasten the development of non-animal test methods. There is now real hope that we are closer than ever before to ridding the EU—and the world—of animal-tested cosmetics.”Humane Society International’s Be Cruelty-Free campaign has gathered substantial public, political and celebrity support for an end to cosmetics cruelty in Europe and across the world – including support from Sir Paul McCartney, rock legend Chrissie Hynde, comedian Ricky Gervais and actress Dame Judi Dench.Sir Paul signed the charity’s Be Cruelty-Free pledge to show his support and commented: “The ugly truth about testing beauty products on animals is that it causes them unimaginable pain and suffering. If every cosmetic tested on rabbits or mice had a photo on the packaging showing these animals with weeping swollen eyes and inflamed skin, I believe everyone would leave cruelty on the shelf and go for the cruelty-free option instead. So, let’s stand up for those defenceless animals by supporting the Humane Society International’s new Be Cruelty-Free global campaign to end animal testing of cosmetics worldwide. Go online, sign the Be Cruelty-Free pledge today and help HSI achieve a world where no animal has to suffer and die for the sake of cosmetics.”In April, to mark World Week for Animals in Laboratories, HSI and cruelty-free cosmetics company LUSH joined forces to hand in more than 350,000 petition signatures to the EU Commission.Although animal testing of cosmetics was banned across the EU in 2009, it is currently still legal to sell cosmetics that have been animal-tested elsewhere in the world. In countries such as China, Brazil, the United States and India such testing is still commonplace – rabbits, guinea pigs and mice have cosmetic chemicals dripped in their eyes and spread on their shaved skin. The ban on selling these cosmetics is due for implementation in March 2013. HSI’s campaign in Europe is part of its global Be Cruelty-Free initiative to end cosmetics cruelty worldwide. Launched in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Brazil and beyond, it aims to achieve a world where no animal has to suffer and die for the sake of cosmetics.HSI believes that testing cosmetics on animals is both unethical and unnecessary. Cosmetics can easily be produced the cruelty-free way, by using the thousands of existing ingredients for which safety data are already available, combined with advanced non-animal testing methods such as 3D human skin and advanced computer models.Sign the Be Cruelty-Free pledge at hsi.org/becrueltyfree.last_img read more