New Delhi:The Supreme Court Monday agreed to hear plea of five more rebel Congress MLAs along with the pending petition of 10 legislators seeking a direction to the Karnataka Assembly Speaker to accept their resignation. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi took note of the submission of senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for the rebel MLAs, that they be also made parties to the pending petition, which is to be heard on Tuesday. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! Five more rebel Congress MLAs from Karnataka have moved the apex court on July 13 against the Speaker not accepting their resignations. These MLAs are Anand Singh, K Sudhakar, N Nagaraj, Munirathna and Roshan Baig. The apex court had on July 12 restrained Karnataka Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar from taking any decision till July 16 on the resignation and disqualification of 10 rebel MLAs of the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition.
Moscow: Russia’s jailed opposition politician Alexei Navalny might have been exposed to an unidentified “toxic agent,” his personal doctor said on Monday, while health officials insisted his condition was satisfactory. “Some toxic agent may be the reason for Alexei Navalny’s ‘illness’,” his physician Anastasia Vasilyeva said in a post on Facebook, adding that officials at Moscow’s hospital No 64, which treated him, have behaved strangely. On Sunday, President Vladimir Putin’s top opponent was rushed from jail to hospital suffering an acute allergic reaction. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USVasilyeva said later Sunday the 43-year-old could have been exposed to an “unknown chemical substance”, complaining she was not allowed to properly examine him. A representative of the hospital told AFP on Monday Navalny was “in a satisfactory condition.” “His body temperature is 36.6C,” the representative said, declining to release Navalny’s precise diagnosis. In a new post on Monday, Vasilyeva, who treated Navalny for a serious eye injury in the past, accused the doctors of not wanting to investigate what had caused Navalny’s illness. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsThey say “he simply has hives. But why are you lying?” the ophthalmologist said. “They have decided against establishing the cause of generalised oedema and rash.” Vasilyeva and another physician visited Navalny on Sunday but were not allowed to properly examine the politician who had swollen eyelids, discharge in the eye, and rash on his upper body. Vasilyeva said it appeared that he was suffering from acute toxic conjunctivitis and dermatitis. The hospital doctors refused to inform Navalny and his family of his diagnosis and were visibly jittery, Vasilyeva said. She treated Navalny in 2017 when he nearly lost the sight in one eye after an attack by an assailant. She said she was worried for the condition of the damaged eye. Navalny has never suffered from allergies in the past, his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh has said. The Putin critic is serving a 30-day jail sentence for calling a mass protest after authorities blocked prominent opposition candidates from taking part in Moscow city elections in September.
Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation has renamed Mandeville Garden as Kathasahityik Sunil Gangopadhyay Sarani.Announcing the same, Ratan Dey, Member, Mayor-in-Council (Road) said KMC’s road renaming committee has approved it and said: “The KMC is happy to rename the road after Sunil Gangopadhyay, one of the most powerful litterateurs of our time.” Gangopadhyay (1934-2012) used to stay in an apartment in the area. He got the Sahitya Akademi Puraskar in 1985 for his novel Sei Samay. He also got the Ananda Puraskar twice in 1972 and 1989. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaSatyajit Ray had directed two films, namely Pratitdwandi and Aranyer Dinratri, based on Gangopadhyay’s novels. Tapan Sinha’s famous film Sabuj Dwiper Raja was based on Gangopadhyay’s story as well. Modern day Tollywood director Srijit Mukherjee has also made two films, namely Mishawr Rahashya and Yeti Abhijan, based on his stories of the famous Kakababu series. Gangopadhyay used the pen names Nil Lohit and Sanatan Pathak. Gangopadhyay was very popular as a poet as well and had attended literary conferences in Europe and USA several times. Sunil’s wife Swati Gangopadhyay welcomed the decision of the renaming on Wednesday.
HALIFAX – A jury has found Nicholas Butcher guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Kristin Johnston, rejecting his claim that he was acting in self-defence when he stabbed the Montreal-born yoga instructor to death.The 12-member Nova Scotia Supreme Court jury delivered its verdict Saturday after five hours of deliberation over two days.Butcher, 36, showed no emotion as the verdict was read. Friends of Johnston could be heard sniffling in the courtroom, as Butcher sat at his lawyer’s bench and looked directly forward.A second-degree murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence. A hearing to determine Butcher’s parole eligibility is scheduled for July 20.Butcher was charged with second-degree murder after police found Johnston’s body next to a steak knife on a blood-soaked bed inside her Halifax-area home on March 26, 2016.Crown lawyer Carla Ball said it’s been a stressful two years for Johnston’s family and friends, but “justice has been done.“Domestic violence is not something that is unusual, unfortunately. We can say that it’s a tragic event for everyone involved,” said Ball, standing alongside fellow prosecutor Tanya Carter.“In this case, the evidence was very clear that Mr. Butcher was responsible.”Butcher, a law school graduate who wasn’t able to find work in his field, was living with Johnston at the time of her death.The jury heard that he called 911 and told the dispatcher he had killed his girlfriend and tried to kill himself. He also cut off his right hand with a mitre saw, but it was surgically reattached.The Crown had argued Butcher deliberately killed Johnston, 32, after realizing their relationship was deteriorating.The jury heard that in the weeks, days and hours leading up to her death, Johnston told friends she wanted to break up with Butcher. The Crown suggested that Butcher read some of those messages on the evening of March 25, 2016 when he accessed Johnston’s computer, and realized Johnston wanted to end their relationship.In the early hours of March 26, Johnston was hanging out at an old friend’s apartment when Butcher showed up there unexpectedly.Friends who were also there that night testified that Johnston and Butcher stepped outside together, and she came back in alone, telling them she had broken up with Butcher.Butcher returned to the apartment a second time, and found Johnston kissing her old friend, Michael Belyea.Hours later, Johnston was dead.Ball suggested Butcher stabbed Johnston to death and then tried to kill himself with the same knife before cutting off his right hand with a mitre saw.“This case is about a man who had significant financial challenges. He was highly educated, but underemployed. It caused him significant upsets leading up to March 25, 2016,” said Ball during her closing arguments Thursday, referring to Butcher’s $200,000 debt from law school.“And if that wasn’t enough… he realized that the investment that he put into the relationship with Kristin Johnston deteriorated in a blink of an eye. These factors built up like a constellation until he decided that if he could not have Kristin Johnston, no one else could have her.”Medical examiner Dr. Marnie Wood testified that Johnston’s death was caused by sharp force injuries, and that she had “defensive injuries” on her hands and fingers.But taking the stand in his own defence, Butcher argued that Johnston had attacked him, and that he was acting in self-defence when he killed her.Butcher — the defence’s only witness — testified it was dark and he couldn’t see who it was, but managed to grab the knife and lash out, realizing seconds later he had killed Johnston.“I reached over and I turned on the lamp, and the person that was beneath me was Kristin and she was dead,” said Butcher earlier this month, breaking into tears.“I just killed her by accident, just not even knowing what’s going on.”Johnston, whose brother owned a Bikram yoga studio in her hometown of Montreal, came to Halifax in 2011 with dreams of opening her own studio.She was quickly embraced by the local yoga community, becoming known as a kind and determined businesswoman with a magnetic personality. Despite her passion, Johnston’s studio shuttered about a month before her death.Friends testified that Johnston wanted to leave her Halifax life behind, and was “ready for a new chapter” in Tofino, B.C., where her sister lived.The defence argued that Johnston was under intense stress following the closing of her business, and snapped on Butcher because he was getting “in the way” of her plan to rekindle a relationship with Belyea.Defence lawyer Peter Planetta said the guilty verdict “was not the outcome (Butcher) was hoping for.” He said it’s too early to say whether Butcher will appeal.The jury heard from 32 witnesses over 14 court days.Follow (at)AlyThomson on Twitter.
Three stories in the news for Monday, April 30———TORONTO HOLDS VIGIL FOR VAN ATTACK VICTIMSThe site of Toronto’s deadly van attack became a place of mourning Sunday, as streets in the city’s north end echoed with thousands of people singing O Canada at a vigil for the victims. Religious leaders of multiple faiths shared messages of support and strength in the face of the tragedy that left 10 people dead and 16 injured. Before the vigil, thousands took part in a so called walk of “healing and solidarity,” roughly following the route of last Monday’s attack.———THREE BOYS DIE ON ROAD IN NORTHERN MANITOBAA northern Manitoba community is grieving after three young boys were struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver who fled the scene. A 13-year-old and two 11-year-olds all died at the scene Saturday night just north of Nelson House. Police say the vehicle that hit them was found abandoned at the site of the accident. The alleged driver, a 27-year-old local man, was arrested without incident and remains in police custody with charges pending.———B.C. DINOSAUR MUSEUM FACES EXTINCTIONA dinosaur museum in the tiny northeast British Columbia community of Tumbler Ridge is facing a struggle against extinction as local politicians and residents feud over funding, operation, and development of the potential tourism gold mine. The District of Tumbler Ridge council denied the museum its annual funding grant of $200,000 last month, essentially leaving the non-profit, largely volunteer-run society with few options but to shut down.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Prime Minister Trudeau in Vancouver for announcement with Amazon and roundtable discussion with Vancouver business leaders.— Statistics Canada releases the industrial product and raw materials prices indexes for March— Senate defence committee hears witnesses on sexual harassment and violence in defence and security institutions.— Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Ontario Tourism Minister Daiene Vernile make a funding announcement in Toronto.———
TORONTO – Of the three main parties vying for office in Ontario’s spring election, only the NDP has spoken out against building a $2.4-billion nuclear waste bunker near Lake Huron.NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said the idea of burying radioactive waste so close to a major fresh-water source worries her and, should she be elected on June 7, would look to intervene against the project.“As a party, we’re not in favour of having that facility in that location,” Horwath said recently on the campaign trail. “It’s something that we’re quite concerned about. We know that other leaders, both in Canada and across the border in the States, have sent significant letters of concern and protest to the federal government in regard to the siting of this facility.”Ontario Power Generation argues the deep geologic repository at the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station near Kincardine, Ont., is by far the best and safest option for permanently storing the low- and intermediate-level toxic waste that has been stored for years above ground. The utility maintains the stable rock would ensure no radiation leakage for centuries.However, scores of communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border have expressed alarm at the proposal. They maintain the consequences of contaminating the all-important fresh-water source is far too great to take.“I hear big concerns from many different jurisdictions as well as individuals as well as communities,” Horwath said. “As an individual, as an Ontarian, as a Canadian, I’m worried about it. It’s problematic. I don’t think it’s smart to have any kind of nuclear storage on the edge of the lake.”The waste bunker, first proposed more than a decade ago, is currently awaiting final approval from the federal government. Ottawa has repeatedly stalled since an environmental review panel gave its approval three years ago.Most recently, federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna demanded the power utility come back with clear and unequivocal endorsement from affected First Nations, who have made it clear they are in no hurry to do that.For her part, Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne, who is vying for a second stint as premier, suggested the province has no role to play in the approval process.“It’s a federal issue,” Wynne said. “They are dealing with municipalities, and we need to let that process roll out.”While Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford has not addressed the issue publicly, a party spokeswoman on the weekend was neutral on the wisdom of the proposal.“The plan to bury low and intermediate nuclear waste must be done with local approval and in an environmentally sustainable way,” Melissa Lantsman said.At the same time, the Tories called nuclear power “critical” to Ontario.“It’s our cheapest, most reliable source of power and it powers more than 60 per cent of the province,” Lantsman said.The repository plan calls for hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of radioactive waste — stored for years at the Bruce nuclear station site above ground — would be buried 680 metres deep. OPG has warned the cost of the project could rise by billions if delayed significantly.However, more than 100 mayors and other elected officials on both sides of the border — they claim to speak for 16 million people — urged McKenna in November to reject the proposed bunker. They noted that local, county and state governments representing 23 million people had passed 230 resolutions opposing the burial of nuclear waste anywhere in the Great Lakes basin.Horwath agreed.“When you’re talking about water, and the fact that we can’t live without clean water, we should be doing everything that we can not only to protect our fresh-water sources for our generation (but) for the next generations as well.”
HALIFAX – Fred Turnbull was only 19 when his landing craft approached the beaches of Normandy as part of the greatest amphibious assault in military history.Now 92, Turnbull, who was a Royal Canadian Navy bowman-gunner, said he still vividly remembers the confusion of the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944.“From the air it must have looked like a mix-up of landing craft going in all directions,” the retired banker said, moments after receiving France’s highest decoration, the Legion of Honour, at a ceremony Friday at Canadian Forces Base Halifax.“And I think probably the worst thing was the noise. The noise was terrible because we had our own battleships firing in and the Germans firing out.”Born in Montreal, Turnbull was just 17 when he joined the navy in the summer of 1942. Serving aboard landing craft, he took part in several Allied operations including landings in Sicily, Normandy, southern France and Greece.His job was to drop the ramp of the landing craft and then jump over the bow to help steady it with a rope as the soldiers it carried disembarked and headed ashore.It was a dangerous job with little protection from enemy snipers, mortars, aircraft and minefields. Turnbull said there was little time to be afraid.“You just have a job to do and you do it,” he said. “That’s where the training comes in. You train so much, everything’s automatic.”Turnbull was presented with his medal by Laurence Monmayrant, France’s consul general for the Atlantic provinces. He is one of over 600 Canadian veterans who have been awarded the five-armed cross created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802.“You are a living page of the history of my home country,” said Monmayrant. “Your contribution to its liberation needed to be recognized.”Monmayrant later said that meeting Turnbull and bestowing him with the award was a special honour for her.“I come from Normandy and from a very early age we are told of the role of the soldiers who came from the U.S., from Canada … who came to the rescue of France and Europe,” she said.Turnbull said he was proud to receive the honour, which he dedicated to his comrades in arms.“I never thought that this would happen,” he told a gathering of family, friends and military dignitaries.“But I’d like to say this is on behalf of all the landing craft crews.”Turnbull recorded his wartime memories in a diary, which at the time was forbidden by Allied authorities. The diaries eventually formed the basis of a book that was published in 2007 entitled “The Invasion Diaries.”He said he hid the diary in his hammock and recorded his thoughts often a week to 10 days after certain events had unfolded.“But then in the early 80s the government said all those who have diaries can deposit them in the national archives and get a tax benefit, so everything changed,” Turnbull chuckled.After the war, Turnbull studied history and economics at McGill University and eventually worked for Montreal Trust, retiring as an assistant vice president in 1989.“I got into business and you sort of forget day-to-day what went on,” he said. “Life goes on.”
TORONTO – Classes were cancelled for about half a million students in Ontario on Monday as faculty at the province’s colleges went on strike.The labour dispute involving more than 12,000 professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians began late Sunday, after the two sides couldn’t resolve their differences by a deadline of 12:01 a.m. Monday. Both sides say there are no talks scheduled to end the dispute that involves Ontario’s 24 colleges. Daytime classes at all colleges across the province were cancelled but many night classes continued.The Ontario Public Services Employees Union says it is up to the College Employer Council, which bargains for the colleges, to restart talks. The union presented a proposal Saturday night that called for the number of full-time faculty to match the number of faculty members on contract but the colleges say it would add more than $250 million in costs each year. OPSEU bargaining team chair JP Hornick says the union remains ready to get back to negotiations.“If the colleges approach the mediator, or us, and say they’re finally willing to start talking then we would be at that table in a heartbeat,” she said.Hornick said the academic freedom and fairness for contract faculty remain the two biggest issues at the bargaining table. The union wants an even split between full time and contract faculty positions, adding that with a $1.2 billion funding surplus over the past decade it’s not unaffordable for the province’s colleges.“The colleges are framing this as too costly,” she said. “The proposals that we have put on are actually reasonable and in keeping with what’s happening in post-secondary.”Don Sinclair, CEO of the College Employer Council, said the colleges have put a four-year-agreement that offers a 7.75 per cent pay increase on the table which it would like faculty to vote on.“We have an offer that has no take aways and does ensure a reasonable increase to the faculty and partial load,” he said. “So, I’m a little bit miffed, for lack of a better word.”Sinclair said he understands students will be frustrated by the strike, but urged them to be patient when crossing the picket lines.“We will get through this,” he said. “It could be a bit protracted, but I understand their concerns.”Advanced Education Minister Deb Matthews said she hopes the dispute is settled soon.“I think we have to let the collective bargaining process work and give it the space to do that,” she said. “But it’s very important for students that they do get back to the table and find a resolution and get students back in the classroom.”More than 45,000 people have signed a petition calling for a tuition reimbursement for each day lost to a strike. Matthews would not comment on that idea or the possibility of eventual back-to-work legislation, saying she wouldn’t discuss hypotheticals.George Brown College student Hadi Syed said the picket lines took him by surprise when he arrived at the school on Monday morning. He was aware of the ongoing talks between the colleges and union but didn’t realize they had soured.“I’m really surprised it’s come to this,” he said.Syed, who has come to Ontario from Dubai to take a one-year sports and event management program, said he’s concerned that any change to his schedule could put a co-op placement set for next semester in jeopardy.“It’s going to be very challenging,” he said. “It has to be squeezed into this semester. It can’t carry forward to the next semester as maybe some other, longer programs would have. It is quite concerning.”Laura Hagarty, a third year landscape design student at Fanshawe College in London, Ont., said a two-month trip to Italy and Spain she and 18 fellow students were scheduled to take starting next week has been cancelled because of the strike. Beyond that disappointment, the labour action throws the whole semester into question, she said.“With this strike it is almost certain we could lose out on our semester, which in turn results in a loss of graduating in April 2018,” she said. “The (potential) loss of this semester means our graduation is pushed back, our careers are pushed back, and our lives are put on hold.”
SASKATOON – They’re not guaranteeing improved grain transportation by this winter, but Canada’s two biggest railways say they believe new locomotives, hopper cars and extra staff will make a difference getting crops to market in the months ahead.That was the message Canadian Pacific and Canadian National railways presented Wednesday in Saskatoon at a meeting with farm groups, grain industry officials and members of the federal cabinet.The meeting was requested by Transport Minister Marc Garneau, who says he wants to avoid a repeat of last winter’s grain-shipping backlog that farmers have said cost them millions of dollars in lost income.Jean-Jacques Ruest, president and CEO of CN Rail, says his company is buying more cars and locomotives, hiring and training extra crews and adding track to move a greater volume of grain.Rival Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. said earlier this year that it expected to order a total of about 5,900 grain hoppers over the next four years.Federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay says he thinks there will be more meetings to discuss improvements to the grain transportation system.“Everybody wants it to work and if you work together, it will work a lot better and that’s basically what happened here today,” said MacAulay.The gathering coincided with the federal Liberal caucus meeting in Saskatoon and followed May’s passage in Parliament of the Transportation Modernization Act.The legislation makes railways accountable for poor service and includes financial penalties for failure to deliver promised rail cars for grain shipments on time.Both CN and CP have said their new equipment orders were brought about by the changes that encourage them to make investments to avert service disruptions.“All these things take time but we will have a lot of these resources before entering the coming winter,” said Ruest.Todd Lewis, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, said keeping communication channels open between industry and politicians is vital in solving shipping snags early and jumping on new market opportunities.He pointed to reports of Australian crop failures that might provide openings for Canadian producers.“I think we’ve got to be light on our feet as far as transportation and getting the crop to where it’s needed in the right place and the right time. Hopefully we’re headed that way,” Lewis said.Kevin Hursh, executive director of the Inland Terminal Association of Canada, said elevator companies sell grain based on the portion of hopper cars committed to them, but trouble surfaces if their expectations aren’t met.“When that falls short … they’ve got sales that they can’t meet,” he said.Hursh noted that CN will have more grain to move this crop year than CP because drought conditions reduced yields in southern areas of the Prairies where CP is the main carrier.Garneau said there would be less of a challenge if the industry could predict yields, market prices and the severity of winter weather, which alone proved to be troublesome for the railways last winter.“What we do want to make sure is in place is a grain transportation system that’s as reliable as possible to get grain to market,” he said. (CJWW, The Canadian Press)Companies in this story: (TSX:CP, TSX:CNR)
SAINT JOHN, N.B. — A bloodstained jacket, a missing cellphone and a multitude of police errors — Crown prosecutors are expected to conclude the evidence portion of their case against Dennis Oland at his second degree murder trial in Saint John, N.B., today.Oland has been charged with the bludgeoning death of his father, multimillionaire businessman Richard Oland, in what the prosecution has described as a fit of rage spurred by Dennis Oland’s money problems.The Crown will wrap up its blood and DNA evidence this morning, replaying testimony from Oland’s first trial in 2015.A jury convicted the 51-year-old investment adviser at that time but the verdict was set aside on appeal and the new trial ordered.The final prosecution witness, John Ainsworth, will be cross examined by defence this afternoon.He was in the building where Richard Oland was murdered on July 6, 2011, and likely heard the murder. But he didn’t see anything and he can’t pinpoint the time.The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press Air Canada says it is experiencing a technical issue affecting its airport operations, check-in and call centres.The airline says in a tweet Tuesday that it is working to resolve the problem, but did not say when they expect service to be restored.Toronto Pearson International Airport, as well as the airports in Calgary and Vancouver, say they are working to support Air Canada.The Toronto airport’s website shows more than two dozen Air Canada flights that were to depart from the city have been delayed.Air Canada could not immediately be reached for further comment.
OTTAWA – Statistics Canada says the economy added 27,700 jobs in May, far more than economists expected.The unemployment rate also fell to a record low of 5.4 per cent, down from 5.7 per cent in April.Economists had expected a gain of 8,000 jobs for the month and the unemployment rate to remain at 5.7 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.More coming
WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg hospital is apologizing for sending the wrong baby’s remains to a grieving family in Nunavut.Martine Bouchard, president of St. Boniface Hospital, says a review is underway and the family will be told of its findings.Tony Alagalak told the CBC this week he and his wife Alice Kinak went to the health centre in Arviat on April 19, where Kinak gave birth.Alagalak told the broadcaster the mother and baby were flown to Winnipeg, where the baby boy died in hospital.Kinak returned to Arviat, the baby’s remains were sent, and a funeral was held.Bouchard says shortly afterward, the hospital realized there had been a mix-up and sent two people to Arviat to meet with the family and explain the mistake.Alagalak has declined an interview request by The Canadian Press, and Bouchard would not reveal the identity of the remains mistakenly sent to Arviat.“No one should have to live through what this family has lived. We acknowledge that the wrong remains were released and on my personal behalf and on behalf of St. Boniface Hospital, I express my deepest regret for what has happened,” Bouchard wrote in a statement Friday.“Our responsibility now is to ensure that this does not happen again to anyone else. We are proceeding with a thorough review of our processes so that we can fully understand the circumstances that led to this error and make the necessary changes.“The family deserves answers and we will share our findings with them before sharing them more widely.”The Canadian Press
Celebrating 15 years of fierce and fabulous film, the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival will hit the silver screens around Miami and Miami Beach from April 26 to May 5, 2013.The highlight of the festival will be a personal appearance by actor-author-director James Franco who will be at the event to accept the HBO Latin America Ally Award for his career accomplishments and his unwavering support of the LGBT community.The Ally Award presentation will take place on Saturday, April 27th, at the Olympia Theater at Gusman Center in downtown Miami immediately preceding the film Out In The Dark at 9:15 p.m.“We are thrilled to host an actor of James Franco’s caliber at the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival,” said Franc Castro, executive director of the MGLFF. “His multi-faceted talents coupled with his contributions to LGBT film both in front of the camera and behind the scenes have helped shine the spotlight on LGBT cinema and a filmmaker’s right to free expression.”James Franco’s metamorphosis into the title role of the TNT biopic James Dean earned him career-making reviews, as well as a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture made for Television. He also received nominations for an Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Award for this memorable performance. Franco earned an Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead as well as nominations for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award and recognition from numerous critics’ associations for his starring role in Danny Boyle ‘s critically acclaimed drama 127 Hours. His performance alongside Sean Penn in Gus Van Sant’s Milk earned an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor and he was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in David Gordon Green’s comedy Pineapple Express, where he starred opposite Seth Rogen. He is also known for his starring role as Harry Osbourne in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy.Franco is currently starring in Sam Raimi’s Oz: The Great and Powerful as well as in Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers.“At HBO Latin America, we are committed and proud to support diversity and promote equality of rights in the community, and it is with great honor that we are presenting this year’s awards to James Franco, Travis Mathews, David W. Ross and Heather Winters for their great contributions to the LGBT community. HBO is recognized for including subjects that affect the LGBT community and we have been constantly showcasing diversity in many of our original programs, so this is just another step in reinforcing our commitment,” said Miguel Angel Oliva, Vice President of Public Relations and Corporate Affairs for HBO Latin America Group.Franco’s next film, Interior. Leather Bar. recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and will make its Southeast Premiere at the MGLFF on Sunday, April 28th at 8:30 p.m. at the Colony Theatre in Miami Beach. Franco’s Co-Director Travis Mathews will be in attendance at the screening and will accept the HBO Latin America Vanguard Award for his innovation as a filmmaker who pushes the boundaries of conventional story telling. MGLFF and HBO Latin America are recognizing Mathews not only for his work, but also for his commitment to his vision — especially when others move to censor his voice and his artistic expression, said Castro.For more information about the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, presented by HBO Latin America and Miami-Dade County, or to purchase tickets, please visit www.mglff.com.Source:www.mglff.com
Grammy Award-winning artist and international music superstar Lady Gaga has announced via exclusive video that she has launched a campaign on the celebrity charity-fundraising digital platform Prizeo.com to raise awareness and funds for Born This Way Foundation.Video: Win An Intimate Family Dinner With Lady Gaga!Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, founded Born This Way Foundation in 2011 to foster a more accepting society, where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated.“I have some of the most amazing, creative, inspiring, and brave fans in the world,” said Lady Gaga. “I wanted to do something that would include my fans in our work to create more bravery and more kindness, so I’m doing something that I’ve never done before.”Fans can participate by going to Prizeo.com/LadyGaga. Those who contribute to Gaga’s campaign will be entered into a drawing to win the ultimate Lady Gaga VIP experience: One grand-prize winner and a guest will be flown from wherever they are in the world to New York City to attend one of Lady Gaga’s seven sold-out shows at Roseland Ballroom. But that’s not all: Lady Gaga will also welcome the winner and guest to her hometown by hosting them at a Germanotta family meal at their Manhattan restaurant, Joanne Trattoria.Those who donate at specific price points are also eligible for exclusive rewards, including an exclusive “Born to Be Brave” foundation t-shirt or poster, an autographed Gaga discography — even a personal item from Gaga’s own wardrobe! A full list of campaign rewards is available HERE.The grand-prize winner will be chosen at random and notified shortly after the campaign closes. For full contest rules, click here.Prizeo enables stars to maximize the benefits of their social-media platforms on behalf of charities. Recent Prizeo campaigns featuring celebrities like Will Ferrell, Samuel L. Jackson, Kristen Bell, Alicia Keys, Ed Sheeran, Mariah Carey, and Kobe Bryant have shown the immense power of social media to raise funds and awareness for charitable causes. A 2013 campaign featuring One Direction’s Harry Styles and Liam Payne raised nearly $800,000 for cancer research and prevention programs. Prizeo’s micro-donation model allows fans to donate for chances to win once-in-a-lifetime experiences with their favorite celebrities whose charities benefit from the online campaigns that run live on the site.
The Prince of Wales has lent his support to efforts to protect the world’s forests from being cut down for wood products ranging from guitars to greeting cards.Environmental charity WWF-UK, of which The Prince is President, is campaigning to close legal loopholes in European legislation that mean less than half of timber products, measured by value, coming into the EU are confirmed as from legal sources.Yesterday, His Royal Highness chaired a meeting of British business leaders to explore ways to ensure the UK market for wood products is protecting forests.WWF warns that illegal and unsustainable logging is contributing to deforestation and damage to habitats across some of the most important forest regions ranging from Russia’s Far East to Central Africa.The environmental organisation’s chief executive David Nussbaum said: “WWF-UK’s forest campaign challenges businesses to commit to responsible trade in wood and paper to help end deforestation around the world.“Businesses that rely on wood, from greetings card companies to furniture manufacturers and musical instrument makers, need to step up and make sure they only use materials from sustainable sources.“I am delighted that the Prince of Wales has brought his passion and concern for the environment to help highlight this pressing issue.”More than 30 influential business have pledged support to the campaign, committing to get all their wood-based products from legal and sustainable sources by 2020.The Prince chaired a meeting of the Forest Business Forum which involves representatives from businesses including Boots, Tesco, Kingfisher and Kimberly-Clark.Source:www.princeofwales.gov.uk
The National Park Service and the National Park Foundation has announced the launch of Find Your Park, a public awareness and education campaign celebrating the milestone centennial anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016 and setting the stage for the next 100 years.First Lady Michelle Obama and Mrs. Laura Bush will serve as honorary co-chairs to promote the celebration of the 2016 centennial and to encourage people to connect with their favorite parks and public lands. First Lady Michelle Obama recently filmed her Find Your Park story, highlighting President’s Park, home to the White House, and her family’s connection to one of the newest national parks, Pullman National Monument in Chicago.Find Your Park invites the public to see that a national park is more than just a place – it can be a feeling, a state of mind, or a sense of American pride. Beyond vast landscapes, the campaign highlights historical, urban, and cultural parks, as well as National Park Service programs that protect, preserve and share nature, culture, and history in communities nationwide. Further, Find Your Park encourages people to find their own personal connections within the network of national parks and public lands.“I am thrilled to be serving as the honorary co-chair of the National Parks Centennial Celebration with First Lady Laura Bush. Since the launch of Let’s Move! Outside in 2010, the National Park Foundation has been encouraging kids and families to get active, get outside, and take advantage of America’s great outdoors,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “I look forward to celebrating the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary and encouraging people across the country to ‘Find Your Park,’ whether it’s in your backyard, in your hometown, or in one of our beautiful national parks.”“From Acadia National Park on the East Coast, to Yosemite on the West; from Glacier National Park in the North, to Big Bend in the South; I’ve collected national parks like stamps. I’ve even lived in a national park, the White House,” said Mrs. Laura Bush. “Our national parks are the treasures of our country. I am happy to celebrate 100 years of America’s best idea, our national parks. I invite all Americans to join me in Find Your Park.”As co-chairs, Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Bush will engage young Americans, connecting them with parks and National Park Service programs, and encouraging them to share Find Your Park stories and experiences.The campaign to connect national parks with the next generation comes at a critical time. According to a study conducted by Hall & Partners on behalf of the National Park Foundation, while approximately 80% of Americans have heard of the National Park Service, only 38% are at all familiar with the organization and all that they do.“There is something for everyone in our 407 national parks, whether it is the breathtaking landscapes or the historical and cultural sites that tell the story of our country,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. “As we approach the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service, this is a perfect time for all Americans – especially young people – to Find Your Park, from neighborhood parks to national parks and all public lands in between.”“The centennial is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the National Park Service to reflect on our accomplishments and to use all of our parks and programs to connect all Americans and visitors from around the world with the natural, cultural and historic treasures in our care,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, “As a new generation responds to Find Your Park, I am confident that this campaign will have a powerful impact that will last through our next 100 years.”“We believe that Find Your Park will inspire people everywhere to engage more deeply and more often with the National Park Service and its transformative work in communities across the country,” said National Park Foundation Interim President Dan Wenk. “By connecting the next generation with our national parks in meaningful ways, we are building a movement that will help ensure that these special places are protected well beyond the next 100 years.”Centennial Ambassadors Bill Nye (scientist), Bella Thorne (TV and film actress), Roselyn Sanchez (TV and film actress), Terrence J (TV personality) and Mary Lambert (singer/songwriter and LGBT advocate) are helping to reach the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates. To inspire participation in the Find Your Park movement, each of them has filmed and shared their own personal national park story at different places across the country: • Bill Nye at Statue of Liberty National Monument, General Grant National Memorial, Castle Clinton National Monument • Bella Thorne at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area • Roselyn Sanchez at Golden Gate National Recreation Area • Terrence J. at Yosemite National Park • Mary Lambert at Boston National Historical ParkYou can read quotes from each of them and find out how they found their park on the National Park Foundation’s blog today.At the heart of this engagement effort is the public invitation to share park experiences and memories at FindYourPark.com, which will feature an interactive gallery of inspirational stories from the general public, National Park Service employees, and celebrities. Content will be socialized with #FindYourPark. Also on FindYourPark.com is a searchable list of ideas for ways to find your park, including in-park and digital activities.Some of the most admired companies in the world are supporting the National Park Foundation’s efforts for Find Your Park, including American Express, Budweiser, Subaru, REI, Humana and Disney. Additional partners include Coleman, Coca-Cola and Accenture.The National Park Foundation is working with GREY NY, one of the world’s leading advertising and communications agencies, to develop and implement the integrated campaign. Find Your Park will include a stream of programs, exhibits, events and public activities throughout 2015 and 2016 that will encourage everyone to find their park.
Blackbaud, Inc., the leading provider of software and services for the global philanthropic community, today announced that its 16th annual conference for nonprofits, bbcon 2015, will take place in Austin, Texas, October 26–28 at the Austin Convention Center.Each year bbcon convenes thousands of nonprofit change-makers to share the latest insights, trends and innovation — from fundraising and marketing strategies, to best practices for accounting and stewardship, to technology advancements, and more. This year, the conference will feature more than 200 expert-led sessions and will be joined by some of the world’s most noteworthy voices in the humanitarian movement.One highlight of bbcon 2015 will be the focus on helping nonprofits advance their brands through excellence in storytelling. Nicholas Kristof, a two-time Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter, New York Times Columnist, best-selling author and human rights advocate, will give the opening keynote.Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated actress, author and global advocate for girls and women, Ashley Judd, will also take the main stage at bbcon as closing keynote speaker to share inspiring stories from her international humanitarian work.Nonprofits will also have the opportunity to network with their peers and participate in educational sessions led by thought leaders and expert practitioners. Examples include: • Blackbaud technology sessions hosted by the company’s executives and senior technologists, to include roadmaps, customer highlights and special announcements • Big Idea sessions that bring together executives, technology gurus and nonprofit professionals to catalyze new ideas • 10 minute ‘Ignite’ vignettes, power-packed with informative content by Austin-based leaders including Suzi Sosa, co-founder of Verb, Mike Nellis, chief executive officer of the Austin Community Foundation, and Robin Thurston, senior vice president of Under Armour • A storytelling panel featuring Sean Sheridan, world-acclaimed humanitarian photojournalist; Marc Pitman, chief fundraising coach at com; and Vanessa Chase, Consultant for The Storytelling Non-Profit • An array of breakout sessions packed with real-world learnings attendees can put to use in their roles today“You will learn more than you think, meet amazing people, and come back with some amazing ideas,” said bbcon attendee, Ali Burke of Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation.In addition, Blackbaud will also recognize leading organizations with its Nonprofit Impact Awards. The winner from each category will receive a donation to their organization and free registration to bbcon 2015 where they will be honored by Blackbaud and their peers.bbcon will be co-located with MESC, an annual conference led by Blackbaud’s MicroEdge business, which provides leading solutions for other major players in the global philanthropic movement including corporations, foundations, other charitable giving organizations.“We are so excited to welcome the global nonprofit community to a major Blackbaud hub, Austin, TX for what promises to be our best annual conference yet,” said Blackbaud CEO, Mike Gianoni. “Our commitment to the nonprofit community has never been stronger, and I think people are going to see and feel that when they experience bbcon 2015.”For more information or to register, visit www.bbconference.com.
As British prime minister David Cameron steps down, Tanya Steele, Interim Chief Executive of Save the Children, made the following statement about his legacy on overseas aid.“During his time as Prime Minister, David Cameron has shown global leadership on overseas development,” said Steele. “His commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on helping the world’s poorest people is something the British people can be deeply proud of and it will leave a lasting legacy for future governments and other nations to follow. Save the Children sees the impact of this commitment every day – saving lives, helping children go to school and supporting countries towards economic independence.“David Cameron has also broken new ground by bringing together countries around the world to focus on reaching children who have been left behind and excluded from global progress, including by establishing Britain as a leader in championing the rights of women and girls.”
Pamela Anderson and Mary Matalin hosted PETA’s bipartisan bash on the eve of the presidential inauguration.Pamela Anderson at PETA’s bipartisan bash The event recognized several members of Congress for their efforts to help animals and highlighted the need to keep animal-friendly policies on the agenda of the new administration.Pamela Anderson and Mary Matalin hosted PETA’s bipartisan bash