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SDMCs Waste to Wonder Park crosses Rs 2 cr in ticket sales

first_imgNew Delhi: The South Delhi Municipal Corporation’s Waste to Wonder Park initiative is fast becoming popular as an attraction for residents and tourists alike, SDMC Mayor Suneeta Kangra on Thursday said. The tourist spot was developed under the guidance of former SDMC Commissioner Punit Kumar Goel and was opened on February, earlier this year. Since February 22, the park has collected more than Rs 2 crore in through ticket sales and it saw a huge footfall on Eid, with 12,437 people visiting the park on the day. The park collected over Rs 5 lakh in ticket revenues on Eid alone. The amusement park, where SDMC has built replicas of all seven wonders of the world with scrap metal saw the highest footfall on Jun 2, when over 15,000 people visited the park.last_img read more

AAP MLA Manoj Kumar convicted for obstructing polling process

first_imgNEW DELHI: A Delhi court has convicted AAP MLA Manoj Kumar for obstructing election process at a polling station in Kalyan Puri area of East Delhi during 2013 assembly polls. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal held Kumar guilty of obstructing a public servant in discharge of public functions, and disorderly conduct in or near polling stations. “The evidence led by the prosecution is reliable and trustworthy and that the prosecution has been able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt as far as the commission of offence under section 186, IPC and section 131 of the RP Act. “As a result of the aforesaid discussion, the accused Manoj Kumar is convicted,” the court said in its June 4 judgement. The court will hear arguments on June 25 on the quantum of sentence, which may be a maximum jail-term of three months, or fine, or both.last_img read more

Jungleraj prevailing in Uttar Pradesh wake up state govt Akhilesh to Governor

first_imgLucknow: Alleging that “jungle-raj” was prevailing in Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav met Governor Ram Naik on Saturday over the poor law and order situation and asked him to “wake up” the Yogi Adityanath government as he used to do during the SP regime. “The Governor used to intervene on law and order earlier (during SP regime). It was said that there were only Yadav officers…Now there is hardly any Yadav SP or DM. We have requested him (Governor) to wake up the government and give direction to control the prevailing ‘jungle-raj’,” the SP chief told reporters after meeting the Governor. He, along with senior party leader Ahmad Hasan, gave a memorandum to the Governor and sought his intervention to check deteriorating law and order situation in the state. “Bar council chairperson is being murdered in her chamber. There is murder in jail…How these are happening? The state government is responsible,” he said. Uttar Pradesh Bar Council president Darvesh Singh was allegedly shot dead on Agra court premises on Wednesday by a lawyer who then tried to kill himself.last_img read more

In less than a week another foreign national alleges rape in Gurugram

first_imgGurugram: In less than a week, one more foreign national has alleged that she was raped in Gurugram. This time the complaint has been filed by a Libyan woman who works as a medical practitioner. The complainant has levelled allegations against her male counterpart. The case has been registered at the New Colony police station. As of now, no arrests have been made in the case.The Libyan who had done her medical course from Libya was in India for a few months as a medical intern. The accused as per the sources was her supervisor. “We have registered the case under the following sections and have begun our investigations. As of now we have not made any arrests but soon we will make headway in the case,” said a police official from Gurugram police. Also Read – Kejriwal ‘denied political clearance’ to attend climate meet in DenmarkOn June 14, a Spanish woman working as an intern in an information technology company here has approached the police, reporting rape by an acquaintance. The 36-year-old accused allegedly invited her to a party and raped her on Friday night. The accused was arrested by the police. The victim, in her complaint, reported that she was looking for a room and met the accused on a social media group, after which he offered to help. In another blow to the security of the women in the city, a working professional had alleged that a man flashed in front of her at HUDA city centre metro station on Friday. Apparently, HUDA city centre station is the busiest metro station in Gurugram. As per the police records, in 2018 there were 123 cases of rapes and 295 incidents of molestation have been reported officially. All these figures are way above than the data recorded in previous years. Moreover, molesters have now taken to the digital medium to harass women in the city. Lack of infrastructure like the development of proper helpline has also increased the troubles for the victims.last_img read more

Metro Rly set to introduce new timetable

first_imgKolkata: Metro Railway is going to introduce a new time-table from July 1. According to Metro authorities, the number of services will be increased in the new system.On Thursday, Metro authorities informed that from July 1, Metro services will be provided from 6:45 am to 9:55 pm on weekdays. The same duration will be there on Saturdays as well. On Sunday, services will commence from 9 am instead of the present time of 9:50 am. Metro authorities also claimed that at present there are 284 services including Up and Down runs between Dum Dum and Kavi Subhash stations and the number will remain the same. But the number of services between Dum Dum and Noapara will be increased to 107 services from 104. On Saturdays, there will be 236 services instead of 224 between Dum Dum and Kavi Subhash stations. Seven services will be increased for Dum Dum to Noapara on Saturdays. On Sundays, there will be 124 services instead of 110, commencing from 9 am between Dum Dum and Kavi Subhash stations. Nine more services will provided for the Noapara-bound passengers from Dum Dum on Sundays. During weekdays, the last Metro for Noapara will depart from Kavi Subhas at 9:25 pm instead of 8:50 pm, while on weekends, the last Metro for Noapara will leave Kavi Subhas at 9:29 pm.last_img read more

Apex court convicts 12 persons in Haren Pandya murder case

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court convicted 12 persons on Friday in the 2003 murder case of former Gujarat home minister Haren Pandya.The apex court allowed the appeals of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Gujarat government challenging the high court order by which the convicts were absolved of the murder charge in the case. The trial court had convicted the accused persons for the offence of murder and sentenced them to life imprisonment. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!The apex court set aside the Gujarat High Court verdict by which the accused were absolved of the murder charge. The high court had concurred with the trial court’s decision to convict them for criminal conspiracy, attempt to murder and offences under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA). The Supreme Court bench of justices Arun Mishra and Vineet Saran, however, dismissed a PIL filed by NGO “Centre for Public Interest Litigation” (CPIL) seeking a court-monitored fresh probe in the Pandya murder case. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedIt also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on CPIL for filing the PIL and said no further petition would be entertained in the case. Pandya was the home minister in the then Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government. He was shot dead on March 26, 2003 near Law Garden in Ahmedabad during morning walk. According to the CBI, Pandya was killed to avenge the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat. The appeals in the apex court were filed by the CBI and the state police, claiming that the August 29, 2011 order of acquittal by the Gujarat High Court was erroneous. The high court, while criticising the CBI for a botched-up investigation in the case, had said, “What clearly stands out from the record of the present case is that the investigation in the case of murder of Haren Pandya has all through been botched up and blinkered and has left a lot to be desired.” The accused were earlier convicted for a larger conspiracy by a special POTA court on the basis of the deposition of main accused Asghar Ali, who had admitted to their plan to attack prominent leaders of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and other Hindu leaders of Gujarat to avenge the 2002 riots. Besides Ali, the other convicts in the case are — Mohammad Rauf, Mohammad Parvez Abdul Kayum Sheikh, Parvez Khan Pathan alias Athar Parvez, Mohammad Farooq alias Haji Farooq, Shahnawaz Gandhi, Kalim Ahmeda alias Kalimullah, Rehan Puthawala, Mohammad Riaz Sareswala, Aniz Machiswala, Mohammad Yunus Sareswala and Mohammad Saifuddin. According to the CBI, prior to Pandya’s killing, the convicts had made an attempt to kill local VHP leader Jagdish Tewari on March 11, 2003. The central agency had claimed that the two incidents were the result of a single conspiracy to spread terror among people in the aftermath of the Godhra riots. The offenders were illegally sent to Pakistan by absconding accused Rasul Parti and Mufti Sufiyan Patangia and trained at the behest of the neighbouring country’s intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the CBI had claimed. The case was earlier probed by the Gujarat police but was subsequently handed over to the central probe agency.last_img read more

Enclavedwellers call for land citizen rights on 4th anniversary of LBA

first_imgKolkata: Enclave-dwellers of the India and Bangladesh border called for citizen rights, land rights, 100 days work and social benefits on the fourth anniversary of the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA), 2015, on Tuesday.After the LBA was signed in June 2015 in Bangladesh, the historic agreement facilitated the transfer of 111 enclaves, adding up to 17,160.63 acres, from India to Bangladesh. Conversely, India received 51 enclaves, adding up to 7,110.02 acres, which were in Bangladesh. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja”The erstwhile living conditions of the enclave-dwellers still remain same after four years of the agreement. They have not been recognsied as citizens. They have been issued voter ID cards and Aadhaar cards that often contain errors relating to their names and other information,” said Kirity Roy, secretary of Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha, on the sidelines of a programme held on the fourth year of LBA, 2015, at Academy of Fine Arts. The programme was attended by 50 erstwhile enclave-dwellers, where they expressed fear that lack of citizenship will render them stateless if the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is extended to Bengal. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayNRC, the list of Indian citizens in Assam, is being updated to weed out illegal immigration from Bangladesh and neighbouring regions. The erstwhile enclave-dwellers claimed that they lack social security benefits such as tubewells for drinking water and irrigation purposes, electricity, schools, hospitals and police stations. This apart, the progress of work related to construction of roads is slow as well. “We want people living along the India and Bangladesh border area to get citizen rights, land Rights, 100 days work security under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme and social benefits being enjoyed by a common citizen. If our demands our not met, then we will not vote,” Roy pointed out.last_img read more

Khmer Rouge brother number two Nuon Chea dies Cambodia court

first_imgPhnom Penh: Khmer Rouge ‘brother number two’ Nuon Chea died Sunday aged 93, a spokesman for the Cambodia tribunal where he was convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity said. “We can confirm that defendant Nuon Chea… passed away this evening on 4 August 2019 at Khmer Soviet Friendship hospital,” said Neth Pheaktra, spokesman for the tribunal. The cause of his death was not given. The reign of terror led by “Brother Number 1” Pol Pot left some two million Cambodians dead from overwork, starvation and mass executions from 1975 to 1979. But Nuon Chea, considered the Khmer Rouge’s chief ideologue, was not arrested until 2007. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USHe and other senior members of the ultra-Maoist group were put on trial at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. The UN-backed court sentenced him to life in prison last year after he was found guilty of genocide against the ethnic Vietnamese and Cham Muslim minority group. His lawyers had planned to appeal. Nuon Chea and the sole surviving defendant on trial, Khieu Samphan, were previously handed life sentences in 2014 over the forced evacuation of Phnom Penh in 1975, when Khmer Rouge troops drove the population of the capital into the countryside. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsThe revolutionaries who tried to recreate Buddhist-majority Cambodia into an agrarian Marxist utopia attempted to abolish class while targeting religious groups and the educated. The hybrid court, which uses a mix of Cambodian and international law, was created with UN backing in 2006 to try senior Khmer Rouge leaders. It has convicted only three people so far and cost more than 300 million. Former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary and his wife died without facing justice, while Pol Pot passed away in 1998. Prime Minister Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge cadre, has warned against future investigations, claiming it would plunge the country into chaos. Tribunal watchers believe that last year’s ruling will be the final verdict, raising questions about the court’s legacy in a country where many are too young to remember the Khmer Rouge. Youk Chhang, head of the country’s pre-eminent Khmer Rouge archive, the Documentation Centre of Cambodia, said Nuon Chea was “born innocent but he committed sin and so he died with sin”.last_img read more

FB YouTube may face heavy fines in UK for harmful content

first_imgLondon: Social networking giants Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are set to face heavy fines in Britain for failing to filter out harmful content on their platforms, the media reported. As part of the government’s plan, Britain’s broadcasting watchdog Ofcom would be given new legal powers to monitor, investigate and fine social platforms for sharing or live-streaming “harmful” videos, including pornography, violence and child abuse, the Telegraph reported on Sunday. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year With the new powers, the broadcast watchdog of the UK would be able to issue fines of 250,000 pounds (around $300,000) or an amount worth up to five per cent of the company’s revenue, if the sites fail to establish strict age verification checks and parental controls to safeguard kids from exposure to harmful videos. If the tech giants fail to comply with enforcement measures, the Ofcom would have the authority to “suspend” or “restrict” the tech giants’ services in the UK, The Sun reported on Monday, citing the Telegraph. Also Read – New HP Pavilion x360 notebook with in-built Alexa in India Reports about this new crackdown is seen as an interim measure and comes ahead of the UK government’s White Paper plans for a statutory duty of care to combat online harms, the report said. Over the last couple of years, several cases of teen suicides, supposedly encouraged by provocative content or trolling on social networking platforms have come to light. Earlier this year, Facebook also received heavy backlash after video of the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosque in New Zealand was live-streamed. Using “appropriate information gathering” powers, regulator ofcom may order sites like Facebook or Youtube to hand over data or algorithms which many say drive content to vulnerable children, the report added.last_img read more

Pak commando behind capture of Abhinandan killed

first_imgNew Delhi: A Pakistani commando who was behind the capture of Commander Abhinandan Varthaman when his IAF jet crashed in Pakistani territory in February this year, and had reportedly tortured the IAF pilot, has been killed in firing by Indian forces along the Line of Control. According to reports, Ahmed Khan, a subedar with the Pakistan Army’s Special Service Group, was killed by the Indian Army in Nakyal sector of the LoC on August 17 when he was trying to facilitate more infiltrators into India. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ In photos released by Pakistan after Abhinandan’s capture on February 27, the bearded Khan can be seen behind the IAF officer. Abhinandan was captured after his MiG 21 was shot down by Pakistani forces when he went chasing after a Pakistani jet in the aftermath of the Balakot air strike. It is reported that Ahmed Khan used to facilitate infiltration in the Nowshera, Sundarbani and Pallan Wala sectors. He was specially roped in by the Pakistani army to facilitate infiltration. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K Sources said that Khan used to mobilize well-trained militants of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) outfit at a forward post as part of Pakistan’s plan to keep terrorism alive in Kashmir. On August 17, India retaliated fiercely to Pakistan launching a mortar fire attack on Indian forces in the Krishna Ghati sector in Poonch. Pakistan was firing mortar shells to allow infiltrators to enter India. Khan was killed in the return fire by India.last_img read more

Bengal is No 2 in ease of doing business Centre

first_imgKolkata: According to a survey conducted by the Centre, Bengal has ranked second only after Gujarat in the ease of doing business. Rajasthan and Haryana jointly occupy the third spot. Bengal had ranked 10th in 2018.The Centre will check the financial reforms that have been carried out by the Bengal government in the past few years. The senior officials, however, are confident that the Centre will not be able to spot any discrepancies in the claims made by the state government. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsThe Centre is giving special importance to the rank given by the World Bank in terms of foreign investment. In 2015, India’s rank was 142 while in the next three years it got elevated to the ranks of 130, 100 and 77 respectively. The Centre wants India to occupy its position among the first 50 countries and with the improvement in position, the possibility of foreign investment in India will also shoot up. To reach the achievement it is mandatory for the states to perform well and improve their business investments. The Centre has decided to hold competitions among the states in terms of possible investment destinations. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayInitially, it had fixed the last date for the evaluation of the states to be March 31, 2019, but later, it was extended to August 14. It was learnt that the Centre has expressed satisfaction over the Bengal government’s initiative to bring about administrative transparency and e-governance. It may be mentioned that after coming to power in 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced a slew of measures to improve the investment scenario in Bengal which included the banning of industrial strikes and protests. This resulted in bringing loss of man-days to zero. The state government also set up a land bank from where industrialists can buy plots at market price. The improved law and order situation has also helped to woo the investors. The state government has constructed two convention centres at New Town and in the coastal town of Digha. The Biswa Bangla Convention Centre in New Town is the biggest of its kind in the country. The Dighashree Bengal International Convention Centre was inaugurated by Mamata Banerjee last week. The state government holds the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) to woo investors all over the world. The next edition of the BGBS will be held in 2021. Bengal is coming up as a major IT hub in the country. The state government has allotted 200 acres of land at New Town where IT parks will come up. Infosys has already started construction of its office complex on 50 acres of land and Wipro is also coming soon. At the Bantala Leather Complex, the tannery units are likely to generate jobs for 6 lakh people. The MSME industries have given a major boost to the state’s economy. Along with industry, the state government has also laid considerable emphasis on horticulture, floriculture and fish culture to help the rural folk become financially strong.last_img read more

Rahul should have consulted Cong FMs before accusing govt of stealing RBI

first_imgPune: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman Tuesday strongly reacted to the Congress’ allegation of “stealing RBI’s reserves”, saying she does not care about such charges and the opposition leader should have spoken to the finance ministers from his party before hurling such charges. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi earlier in the day hit out at the government over the record cash transfer from the RBI, saying the prime minister and the finance minister are “clueless” about solving the “self-created economic disaster” and accused them of “stealing money” from the central bank. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details “The Congress should have consulted its finance minister and seniors before making these allegations regarding the RBI. Yet, they have become consummate in making such allegations of stealing and I do not want to pay much heed to this,” she said told on the sidelines of GST meeting. The remarks come a day after RBI decided to transfer Rs 1.76 trillion of surpluses to a fund-starved government. Sitharaman also said questioning the credibility of the RBI, which had constituted the Bimal Jalan committee on determining the excess capital, is a “worrying” sign. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday The committee had eminent people on it and making any allegations like this is “outlandish”, Sitharaman said. “Any suggestion on the credibility of RBI seems a bit outlandish considering the committee was appointed by the RBI itself,” she said, adding the government has not decided how to use the windfall from the RBI. According to some experts, government has accounted for Rs 90,000 crore surplus from RBI in the budget and the money can be used to prop up the sagging growth. At the time of the constitution of the Jalan panel, former chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian had said the money should be used for specific purposes like bank recapitalisation. The excess capital was one of the key issues which had led to the resignation of former governor Urjit Patel in December, and his deputy Viral Acharya in last month, had voiced concerns on the government raiding the balance sheet of the central bank. Constitution of the committee was the first major decision taken by governor Shaktikanta Das on his appointment in December 2018 following Patel’s resignation.last_img read more

Unsold spectrum resulted in Rs 54 lakh cr losses BFI

first_imgNew Delhi: Radiowaves unsold in past auctions cost India an estimated Rs 5.4 lakh crores in economic losses, claimed industry body Broadband India Forum, urging the government to ensure adequacy and “reasonable” rates for upcoming 5G auction. BIF said the reserve price of 5G spectrum is “too high”, works out to be 4 times higher than other countries and “needs urgent revision”. Spectrum price in India is, by far, the single most important factor in determining the fate of an auction, its success or failure, BIF said, adding prices should trigger maximum sale and hence optimal realisation of direct and indirect benefits, and not be driven by short-term financial gains. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe comments of the industry body comes ahead of a crucial meeting of Digital Communications Commission later this week, which will finalise various modalities of spectrum auction and price of radiowaves. The auction is expected to take place in the current financial year. “Every unsuccessful mobile spectrum auction has severe implications not only in terms of spectrum remaining unsold but also in terms of valuable economic benefit lost as a result of this unsold spectrum remaining idle,” Broadband India Forum (BIF) said in a statement. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostIn the last auctions held in October 2016, over 1300 MHz of radio spectrum (or 59 per cent) remained unsold, leading to significant unrealised potential, it said. Explaining the math behind Rs 5.4 lakh crore economic loss it has estimated, BIF said that only about 60 per cent of the spectrum put up for auction, since 2010, has been sold and went on to link this to the financial impact of unsold spectrum. “Adopting a conservative approach, India had 762 million active mobile connections in 2016, served by over 3800 MHz of spectrum allocated to licensees. This indicates that the idle spectrum with government could enable connectivity for roughly 278 million additional active connections,” it said, adding that extra connections correspond to 21 per cent of the population. “If 10 per cent increase in tele-density leads to an increase of 1.9 per cent in GDP…the financial cost of this idle spectrum can then be estimated to be Rs 5.40 lakh crores, or over 160 per cent of the financial benefit of Rs 3.30 lakh crores from all spectrum auctions so far,” it said. Due to the high reserve prices in past auctions, there is an accumulated unsold spectrum, related financial cost, and consumers too have lost out on quality of services, it lamented. “…the true purpose of setting a reserve price for spectrum is to deter non-serious players from participating in the auction, but at the same time, ensuring a rational price point be offered, so as to enable discovering a vibrant realisation of the true market price, and successful participation from committed companies. This purpose should not get misled in the pursuit of short-term financial gains,” TV Ramachandran, President, Broadband India Forum said. Moreover, the quantum of 5G spectrum that has been allocated for the upcoming auctions is not enough for a country of India size and density, BIF said. “The amount of spectrum being made available for 5G in India is 175 MHz, which is almost half of the US. Additionally, the present 5G reserve price (3.5 GHz band) at Rs 492 crore/MHz is also significantly in deviation with international norms,” BIF said, adding that these problems pose a significant challenge to 5G uptake in the country.last_img read more

Indigenous lands in Canada added to Google Maps

first_imgWATERLOO, Ont. – Google has mapped thousands of indigenous lands in Canada.Google Canada employee Tara Rush says the company has been conducting mapping workshops with indigenous communities since 2014.She says Google employees were asked why the lands weren’t on Google Maps, so they decided to change that.Rush says over 3,000 indigenous lands, reserves and territories have been added to Google Maps and Google Earth.She says it’s an important step in accurately reflecting Canada to Canadians and the world.Rush says the goal is to enhance cultural preservation, digital awareness and land management.“The hope is to use tools like Google Earth to preserve knowledge and to update Google Maps to reflect federally-recognized Canadian territories,” said Rush, who works at Google in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., and is from the Akwesasne territory.last_img read more

Not Guilty verdict in Lac Megantic trial

first_imgThe three men charged in the Lac-Megantic railway disaster have all been found not guilty of criminal negligence causing the death of 47 people.The jurors reached the verdict on their ninth day of deliberations on Friday.Tom Harding, Richard Labrie and Jean Demaitre were charged with criminal negligence in the 2013 tragedy that killed 47 people when a runaway train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded.Harding was the train’s engineer, Labrie the traffic controller and Demaitre the manager of train operations.All three accused could have been found guilty of criminal negligence causing death, while jurors had the option of convicting Harding on one of two other charges: dangerous operation of railway equipment or dangerous operation of railway equipment causing death.last_img read more

Nunavut tables nearbalanced budget for 20thanniversary year

first_imgIQALUIT, Nunavut — Nunavut has tabled a mostly stand-pat budget that plans modest spending increases to fight some of the territory’s social problems.Finance minister George Hickes forecasts a tiny deficit of $12 million on revenues of about $2.2 billion.New social spending includes almost $5 million for addictions and trauma treatment.Nearly $3 million has been added for law enforcement, and emergency shelters are to receive another $2 million.Nunavut is coming off a financially healthy year and expects economic growth of almost five per cent in 2019.That growth is driven by mining, which increased 20 per cent last year.Hickes noted Nunavut has much to be proud of as it enters its 20th year as a territory.He says the size of the economy has more than doubled since 1999 and the territory’s population has increased 40 per cent. The Canadian Presslast_img read more

BC families left broken and confused when kids deaths labelled gangrelated

first_imgABBOTSFORD, B.C. — As Jessica Sherman flips through a photo album documenting the short life of her cousin, Harwin Baringh, she stops at an image of him as a young boy reaching out to the camera. She begins to sob at the sight of him looking so vulnerable, like a baby who wants to be held.“Whenever I see that picture, it’s like a cry for justice,” Sherman says, sitting on a couch in the home of Baringh’s parents in Abbotsford, B.C. “It just sucks because you’re not able to do anything. Making peace with justice not being served is really difficult.”Baringh was 18 on Oct. 2, 2014, when Sherman says he took $20 from his grandmother to buy food. Hours later he was found shot dead, slumped over in the driver’s seat of a Jeep. No one has been charged in his death but police have connected it to gang violence.The young man’s death shattered his close-knit family, who insist to this day he was not a gangster. Some might assume they’re naive or in denial, but experts have questioned whether “gang” is the right term in B.C. and others note that even peripheral involvement can get youth killed. And regardless of its accuracy, the “gangster” label causes pain for families who knew their loved ones as more than just names in a police news release.Sherman lived in Calgary at the time of Baringh’s death and she recalls that a family member initially told her he was expected to survive. She booked the next flight to the Lower Mainland, but while in line for the plane she learned he was already dead.“I just remember my legs giving out in that moment,” she says.As the eldest of seven cousins who saw each other as siblings, Sherman felt responsible for Baringh. A photograph on his parents’ mantle shows her fastening his cufflinks before his graduation. He planned to join her in Calgary the next year to study accounting. He was a good kid, she says, who worked a summer job picking berries, excelled at wrestling and had no criminal record.Over the years, Sherman has tried to piece together the circumstances of the shooting. She has learned that Baringh had befriended someone involved in the drug trade — a guy she says he just saw as his “buddy,” not a dangerous gang associate. She firmly believes the bullets were meant for someone else.“With young South Asian men, what I’ve been finding is that they’ve all been paint-brushed and all labelled the same thing,” Sherman says.“Yeah, sometimes, we are who our associates are. But sometimes that association doesn’t define us. So the way that he was killed, the way that his life was taken away, does not define him. That’s not who he was.”The provincial director of civil forfeiture seized two vehicles seen speeding away from the scene, saying in court documents they were linked to a “violent ongoing gang conflict.” The court documents say Baringh was associated with the Chahil crime group and was confronted by members of the rival Dhaliwal group the night he died.Abbotsford police have said Baringh was the first murder victim in the Townline Hill conflict, which involved two groups of about 40 men in total that were fighting over drug territory, and which has since expanded across the Lower Mainland.Keiron McConnell, a police officer and Kwantlen University professor, questions why the term “gang” is used in B.C. when those involved in violence are unlike gang members elsewhere. The youth in B.C.’s conflict are typically not poor, marginalized or uneducated, and the groups they’re forming are often multi-ethnic and not geographically based.Nonetheless, the terms have been embraced to describe the bloodshed in suburban neighbourhoods, and observers say the violence is getting more extreme.“We’ve had young people die who are very marginally involved, even on the fringes of things,” says Jordan Buna, a former gang member and anti-gang advocate.Sherman is also not alone in criticizing the stereotyping of young South Asian men. While South Asians are over-represented in the conflict relative to their population size, most gang-related attempted murder and murder victims are white in B.C.She has tried to channel her grief toward change as director of operations for the Abbotsford chapter of KidsPlay Foundation. The non-profit group aims to keep kids out of gangs through sports tournaments, conferences and other projects.As Sherman speaks about her cousin, Baringh’s mother and grandmother frequently wander into the room with tears in their eyes, pressing old photographs into her hands or reminding her in Punjabi of stories they want to share about him.“He was a lion,” Sherman says. “He was fiercely loyal, protective of his family and friends and just so brave, so committed, so determined.“Unfortunately, in a young, vulnerable South Asian man, those qualities can sometimes be exploited by the wrong people.”— Follow @ellekane and @amysmart1 on Twitter.Laura Kane and Amy Smart, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

John Salley To Kick Off US VegWeek In Ann Arbor

first_imgThere are 52 weeks in a year, why not make at least one of them meat-free? Now in its fifth year, US VegWeek (April 22-28) is a fun way to explore a wide variety of meat-free foods and discover the many benefits of vegetarian eating—for our health, the planet, and animals. This year’s celebration, kicking off on Earth Day, will be bigger and better than ever!Former NBA star and vegan advocate John Salley will be kicking off Ann Arbor’s full week of vegan events! He’ll be joined by Mayor John Heiftje who will issue a Proclamation making Ann Arbor VegWeek “official.”John Salley, former Detroit Pistons player and four-time NBA champion, is a father, athlete, actor, entrepreneur, talk show host, philanthropist, wellness advocate, and vegan. John has adopted a plant-based lifestyle and is a frequent speaker at VegFests across the United States. As a Wellness Advocate, one of John’s main missions in life is to educate people about the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle through better eating habits.John will be at the Ann Arbor Big Kickoff event at Downtown Home & Garden, 210 S. Ashley Street at 7pm on Monday, 4/22. Find out more here.To learn more about US Veg Week 2013, visit read more

Prince Harry Plays Charity Polo In The USA

first_imgPrince Harry ended his US tour by thanking the people of America for their “extraordinary generosity” and playing in his fund-raising Sentebale Polo Cup match to help fund the work of his charity.Speaking to the 400 polo guests who helped raise the funds for his Sentebale charity, Prince Harry said: “This is the last day of my tour around the United States. Thank you for a wonderful week.“I have witnessed the extraordinary generosity of the people of this great nation.”The match, which saw Prince Harry play against a team which included Dawn Jones, the wife of Hollywood star Tommy Lee Jones, was staged at Greenwich Polo Club, founded by billionaire businessman and art collector Peter Brant.The Prince visited the White House, where he received glowing praise from First Lady Michelle Obama last Thursday, for serving his country as an officer in the British Army and for supporting America’s wounded servicemen and women.And Prince Harry spent the weekend promoting America’s Warrior Games where British servicemen and women have been competing in Paralympic-style events against a large US team and troops from other countries.The polo match was staged at the club in the exclusive Connecticut town of Greenwich. With its large colonial homes, white picket fence fences and immaculate grass verges it is a semi-rural retreat for executives, bankers and lawyers who commute to Manhattan.Prince Harry played in a team captained by Malcolm Borthwick, an England regular, and their opponents were led by the Argentinian Nacho Figueras, a Ralph Lauren model, who was recently appointed an ambassador for Sentebale. Famous faces who watched the match included the fashion designers Valentino and Jason Wu, model Karolina Kurkova and the reality TV star Olivia Palermo.They saw Prince Harry score the winning goal in a hard-fought game that ended Sentebale 4 St Regis 3.Before the match Prince Harry spoke about the work of Sentebale to guests.He said: “Since we last played for the Cup in Brazil a year ago, Sentebale has taken great strides forward. Our Mamohato Camps – what today is all about – have now established Network Clubs nationwide, reaching into the most remote, rural areas.“Whilst Sentebale may be evolving rapidly, the situation on the ground in Lesotho remains critical.“The HIV pandemic continues to leave thousands of children without parents and family structures to guide them through life.“Without this support, basic needs such as food, shelter and care remain unmet, leaving children vulnerable and very often without much hope in their lives.”Prince Harry and his winning team mates were presented with a trophy when they left the field and all received a kiss from Ms Kurkova.Source:PrinceHenryOfWales.orglast_img read more

Kristen Bell Helps MTV2 Launch Down2Adopt

first_imgFor National Adopt-A-Dog Month, MTV2 is getting into some heavy petting. That’s when dogs and cats will invade the channel to launch MTV2’s #Down2Adopt, an on-air and online campaign to make shelters and rescue groups the go-to choice when looking for your new best friend.MTV2’s #Down2AdoptMTV2 will showcase adoptable shelter and rescue pets during the year-long campaign as they join forces with The Shelter Pet Project, a national public service program from the Ad Council, The Humane Society of the United States and Maddie’s Fund.#Down2Adopt launches with a series of video pet biographies featuring the voices of Kristen Bell, MTV2’s Charlamagne Tha God and MTV2’s Carly Aquilino comically narrating stories of how some dogs and cats found themselves in shelters.The Ad Council will also distribute the videos as PSAs to over 33,000 stations. The PSAs will air in donated media across the country. To view #Down2Adopt pet biographies, click here. Kristen Bell’s video is also available here.Each year 6 to 8 million dogs and cats find themselves in shelters, but only half will be adopted. The MTV2 #Down2Adopt digital hub will connect animal lovers with their local shelters and provide ways they can help the estimated 2.4 million shelter pets who lose their lives in shelters each year. #Down2Adopt’s digital hub will also highlight the benefits of adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue group over purchasing from a pet store or breeder.The campaign will also consist of social media extensions throughout the year. Puppy lovers and MTV2 viewers can follow Joey, a two-month old Boxer/Pit Bull as he prepares for his adoption on MTV2’s Instagram as part of an ongoing monthly spotlight on an adoptable pet. Joey made his MTV debut at the ‘Pupparazzi Pen’ on the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards red carpet last month.“#Down2Adopt is about letting our audience know that, if they’re looking for a pet, the humane, stand-up choice is to make a shelter or rescue group your first stop,” said Chris McCarthy, General Manager of MTV2. “Shelter pets are every bit as healthy, well—behaved, and worthy of love and adoption as any pet, and we can’t think of a better place to shine a light on a few of these beautiful animals and launch #Down2Adopt than on MTV2.”#Down2Adopt is a collaboration with The Ad Council, The Humane Society of the United States and Maddie’s Fund and will piggyback off of their already established public service campaign, The Shelter Pet Project, which first launched in 2009.“We’re so excited to launch this heartwarming and entertaining campaign with MTV2 that will reach new audiences with our Shelter Pet Project messages,” said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “With MTV2’s creativity and cross-platform reach, I’m hopeful that we can find loving homes and families for countless pets in shelters across the country.”last_img read more

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