The Canadian PressMost of the recommendations from a public inquiry three years ago into the death of a five-year-old Manitoba girl in government care have not been implemented, the province’s children’s advocate said Thursday.“We were very surprised,” Darlene MacDonald said on the finding that less than one-third of the recommendations from the inquiry into Phoenix Sinclair’s death have been enacted. “Basically, the only reason I was given was some of them would take time, and with the processes that they were going through, they felt that some would take longer than others.”Phoenix was repeatedly neglected, abused and finally beaten to death in 2005 by her mother and her mother’s boyfriend after she fell through the cracks in government care. The inquiry found social workers frequently lost track of her and closed her file without checking on her.The inquiry report by retired judge Ted Hughes recommended a new central database to better track children in care, lower caseloads and better training for social workers. He also recommended more power for MacDonald’s office, an independent body, to investigate and report on problems.Hughes said the province would have to address the fact that the vast majority of kids in care are Indigenous.The province has acted on 29 per cent of the recommendations, including better training of and education for child-welfare workers, MacDonald said.Half the recommendations are still works in progress, including reducing caseloads and setting up the information database. Social workers are still using an old system from the early 1990s.“My understanding is there was some fine-tweaking done … but it’s still very cumbersome to use,” MacDonald said.Caseloads will only be reduced when the province finds a way to reduce the number of kids in care, MacDonald said. Manitoba has roughly 10,000 children in the system – one of the highest per-capita rates in Canada.It apprehends an average of one newborn baby a day.Another 21 per cent of the recommendations have yet to be addressed. They all relate to expanded powers for MacDonald’s office. The former NDP government introduced legislation to enact the changes, but failed to get it approved in the legislature before the provincial election in April.The new Progressive Conservative government has promised to reintroduce the bill in the coming firstname.lastname@example.org
Laurie HamelinAPTN NewsMilder temperatures have alleviated some of the flooding in British Columbia, the Katzie First Nation is still on alert.Many areas in British Columbia have been dealing with severe flooding and a number of evacuation notices have been lifted.But some who live by the Fraser River are keeping a close eye on the email@example.com@Laurie_Hamelin
TORONTO – Gains in the health-care and telecommunications sectors helped prevent Canada’s main stock index from falling into the red Monday, as energy and gold shares weighed.The S&P/TSX composite index added 5.83 points to 16,004.40. Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl. Inc. (TSX:VRX) and Shopify Inc. (TSX:SHOP) had some of the biggest advances, up more than six per cent and nearly four per cent respectively at the closing of markets.Shares of Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB) also moved up more than six per cent amid news the marijuana producer is pushing ahead with plans for an all-stock takeover offer for CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. (TSX:CMED) after failing to reach an agreement with the company’s board.On a rough day for most energy stocks, which fell sharply amid slumping crude prices, TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) saw its shares climb nearly two per cent after Nebraska regulators approved an alternate route through the state for the company’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline. It was the last major regulatory hurdle facing the $10-billion, 1,897-kilometre project, though opponents say another round of federal approval may now be needed.The January crude contract was down 29 cents at US$56.42 per barrel.South of the border, it was a positive day on Wall Street as U.S. stocks made back most of Friday’s losses.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 72.09 points to 23,430.33. The S&P 500 index edged up 3.29 points to 2,582.14 and the Nasdaq composite index advanced 7.92 points to 6,790.71.“It’s a fairly quiet day,” said Craig Fehr, a Canadian markets strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis. “When left to its devices, this market seems to be inclined to go higher, and I think that’s what we’re getting today.”In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at 78.17 cents US, down 0.06 of a U.S. cent.Elsewhere in commodities, the December gold contract fell US$21.20 to US$1,275.30 an ounce. The December natural gas contract declined five cents to US$3.05 per mmBTU and the December copper contract added three cents to US$3.09 a pound.Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter.
The Calgary Chamber of Commerce has announced finalists for its annual Small Business Awards.Nearly three dozen entrepreneurs have made the list.President Sandip Lalli said the awards recognize contributions to the business community.“They’re trying to pull the rest of the Calgary business community forward,” Lalli said. “They also very much take pride in being in Calgary and being a business in Calgary.”Small Business Expo Week begins October 15. This year’s awards ceremony is October 19.All the nominees can be viewed at smallbusinessweekcalgary.com
TOKYO — A Japanese news report says former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn will be detained at least through Jan. 11.Ghosn, who led Nissan Motor Co. for two decades saving the Japanese automaker from near bankruptcy, was arrested Nov. 19 on suspicion of falsifying financial reports.He also faces a breach of trust allegation, for which his detention had been approved previously through Jan. 1.Kyodo News said the Tokyo District Court approved prosecutors’ request for a 10-day extension on Monday.The court was not immediately available for comment. Much of the nation’s government offices are shut down for the New Year’s Eve and New Year’s holidays.Ghosn has been charged in the first set of allegations, about under-reporting Ghosn’s pay by about 5 billion yen ($44 million) in 2011-2015.The Associated Press
COPENHAGEN — Danish police say several people have been killed in a train accident on a bridge linking the central islands of Zealand and Funen.Police did not provide further details about those killed or the number of people injured in Wednesday’s incident, which took place about 8 a.m. local time. Danish media reported that a tarpaulin on a freight train hit a passenger train going in the opposite direction, prompting it to brake suddenly.The Storebaelt bridge is part of bridges and tunnel link between the Danish islands. Police is scheduled to give a news conference later Wednesday.The Associated Press
DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The Dawson Creek RCMP are once again looking for Madelyn Whyte.Whyte was reported missing on Monday, March 19 and the RCMP have searched areas of Dawson Creek she has been known to frequent with no success. The RCMP say multiple people have said they haven’t heard from Whyte since Sunday afternoon.The RCMP also said she has been known to leave town on short notice and may no longer be in Dawson Creek. Madelyn Whyte is described as aboriginal, five foot two, weighing 130 pounds with brown eyes.On December 26, 2017, the RCMP in Dawson Creek put out a similar request looking for help to locate Whyte. She was found the next day.
GRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – The Grande Prairie RCMP have received countless phone calls reporting aggressive contacts from people claiming to be collecting money for the Canada Revenue Agency.The scam often involves telling the victim that taxes are owed and they must be paid immediately or there will be a warrant for their arrest. The caller will then request payment in the form of gift cards or prepaid credit cards. Callers may even “spoof” a phone number so that the call will appear as the CRA on call display.Residents in the B.C. Peace are also sharing on facebook, copies of text messages that suggest in order to receive your child benefit payment, you should click a link to share your auto deposit information. Do not click the link. A copy of the text message being sent to area residents asking for banking information.Please keep the following information in mind:There is no legitimate agency, CRA, RCMP, or otherwise, that will accept payment in the form of gift cards or prepaid credit cards.If you feel the call may be legitimate, hang up the phone and look up the number for the CRA to call and get verification. Do not call back the number on your call display.If the caller alludes to police or RCMP involvement, hang up and call your local RCMP or police detachment directly for verification.Please report any calls of this nature to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre.ca. If you’ve received a phone call like this and paid out money or gift cards, please attend the Grande Prairie RCMP detachment to file a report.
NDP environment critic Marlin Schmidt said Alberta repealing its tax is an abdication of responsibility.“They’re just going to scrap the carbon tax, let everybody else deal with the fallout, and turn over the responsibility for climate change and all the things people want to do in this province to Ottawa and Justin Trudeau,” said Schmidt.Also Tuesday, Kenney and the 62 other members of the United Conservative caucus were officially sworn in as MLAs. They join 24 members of the Opposition NDP caucus, led by Notley, who were sworn in last week.“It is my fervent hope that as legislators on all sides of the house that we can and will work together to stop the coarsening of our public discourse and to raise the bar of civility, decorum and respect in this _ the people’s house,” Kenney told the new members. The spring session under new Premier Jason Kenney and his United Conservatives begins Wednesday.There will be a speech from the throne to outline government plans, followed by the introduction of a bill to repeal the carbon tax.Repealing the act was the signature promise of Kenney’s successful election campaign. He says the tax was a frontline failure, making no impact on greenhouse gas emissions while taking money from Alberta families.The tax on fossil-fuel heating and gasoline at the pumps was phased in by former NDP premier Rachel Notley’s government in 2017 and has raised more than $2 billion.Much of that money was rebated to low and middle-income Albertans while the rest funded a range of green projects ranging from solar panels and energy-saving light bulbs to light rail transit construction.Once the tax is repealed, the federal government has indicated it will introduce a federal carbon tax in Alberta as it has done in other provinces that have balked at bringing in their own carbon levies. EDMONTON, A.B. – On the eve of Alberta’s carbon tax heading to the chopping block, the province’s environment minister says green projects currently being funded by the levy will go ahead.But Jason Nixon says once the Carbon Tax Repeal Act is passed and implemented by May 30, there will be nothing new.“Projects that have already been approved will continue, but going forward no, they won’t,” Nixon, who is also the government house leader, told reporters Tuesday. Members also elected the UCP’s Nathan Cooper as the new Speaker of the house, replacing Bob Wanner.Cooper, representing the riding of Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills, defeated NDP candidate Heather Sweet in a secret ballot.He was then ceremonially dragged to the Speaker’s chair by Notley and Kenney as part of a tradition of forcing someone to take on the unenviable job.Asked how he will keep debate respectful and honourable in a chamber known for fiery outbursts, the 39-year-old joked: “I’ll try my very best dad voice.”Cooper said it will be a process of trial and error for both him and the politicians.“Over a period of time, I hope that I’ll find my groove and be able to be effective yet also provide a sense of tradition to the assembly.”
Darjeeling: Tourism in North Bengal is all set to receive a further boost with new accommodations coming up in the form of eco-friendly cottages in tourist hotspots.The state Tourism department, in collaboration with the Parks & Gardens Wing (North) of the state Forest department will be constructing these cottages at Gajoldoba, Tiger Hill and Tonglu. “15 cottages will come up at Bhorer Alo of Gajoldoba, with 5 cottages at Tiger Hill and 5 cottages at Tonglu. We will try to finish the cottages by Durga Puja this year,” said Anjan Guha, the divisional forest officer of the P&G Wing (North). Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersDetailed Project Reports of the projects have already been submitted to the Tourism department. The project is pegged at Rs 11 crore. Rs 6 crore will be spent for the cottages at Tonglu and Tiger Hill, while the 15 cottages at Bhorer Alo will be built at a cost of Rs 5 crore. Bhorer Alo, located at Gajoldoba in the Jalpaiguri district is located at a distance of 15 km from Siliguri town. Spread across a sprawling 210 acre area, Bhorer Alo is a dream project of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaUpon completion, the project will boast of a budget hotel, 2-star category hotels and a high-end hotel, along with a 9 hole golf course spread across 60 acres of land. Tourists will also be able to enjoy cycling, boating and camping facilities. It will also have a trekking route through Saraswati Tea Estate to the Bengal Safari. Work is on by the Forest department for developing the route. The project also includes a jungle safari, sunset point, orchid park, bird park and an amphitheatre. The cottages will not be constructed out of concrete. They will be made of wood and will have double occupancy, with all modern amenities on offer. Tiger Hill, a famous sunrise point, is located 11 km from Darjeeling town. An old British bungalow at the location that had been burnt down during the violent agitation of the 1980s is currently under renovation. The new cottages will come up surrounding the British cottage. At Tonglu, two separate dormitories for men and women will be there. Each dormitory will have a ten bed facility. Tonglu is located on the world famous trekking trail to Sandakphu- the highest point of the state at an altitude of 12,000 ft.
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia Airlines may be sold or shut down, Malaysia’s leader said Tuesday, the latest bad news for a carrier that has been in crisis since suffering the loss of two planes. The 71-year-old airline has been on the ropes since 2014 when Flight MH370 disappeared and MH17 was shot down by a Russian-made missile over war-torn Ukraine. With the carrier teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, sovereign wealth fund Khazanah stepped in to take it over several years ago and major reforms were instituted, including cutting thousands of staff. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepBut it has continued to fare poorly and its performance was blamed in large part for a set of poor financial results released by Khazanah last week. Responding to questions about the airline’s future, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad told reporters in parliament: “I think it is a very serious matter, to shut down the national airline. “We will nevertheless be studying and investigating as to whether we should shut it down or we should sell it off or we should refinance it.” Official news agency Bernama reported that Khazanah last week posted a pre-tax loss of 6.3 billion ringgit (USD 1.54 billion) for 2018, compared with a pre-tax profit of 2.9 billion ringgit the year before. Mahathir, 93 and in his second stint as premier, is seeking to reduce a mammoth national debt inherited from the previous, corruption-plagued regime.
Washington DC: No date has been set yet for a summit meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, the White House said on Monday noting that the trade negotiations between the two countries still continues. “In terms of whether or not we have a date set, not yet. We’re continuing the negotiations with China.” “When we have an announcement for the two leaders to sit down, we’ll certainly let you know,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters at her news conference. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi JinpingShe was responding to questions on reports that a summit meeting at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in the US state of Florida has been put off as China considers the US President as “unreliable” in view of him walking away from talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Sanders ridiculed such a view. “I would say that’s absurd. The President is going to make a deal if it’s a good deal. He’s going to make a deal if it’s in the best interest of America. If he doesn’t feel like it’s a good deal, it’s not worth just signing a piece of paper,” Sanders Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in Xinjiangsaid. She argued that the President didn’t feel like what was on the table was enough. “The President is 100 per cent committed to denuclearization of the Peninsula, and he’s going to make sure that whatever we do furthers that process.” “We’ll see what happens with North Korea, the same way we’re going to see what happens in the negotiations with China. They’re ongoing,” she said. Trump is going to make sure whatever deal the US gets is in its best interest — that it’s fair and reciprocal trade; that it protects intellectual property; and that it actually has safeguards to make sure that the Chinese follow through with whatever commitments that they make, Sanders said. The two leaders will sit down for talks only when the negotiations are complete, she asserted.
NEW DELHI: A Delhi court Friday pulled up the Delhi Police over non-appearance of DCP who was asked to file report in the 2016 JNU sedition case.The Delhi Police had earlier told the court that authorities were yet to give requisite sanctions to prosecute former JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others in the case, and it would take two to three months to procure the sanctions.
Chhindwara (Madhya Pradesh): Actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha has stirred a controversy by saying that Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah was among the leaders of the Congress “family” who had the “biggest” role in India’s Independence and progress, evoking sharp attack from the BJP. Addressing a public rally in support of Congress candidate and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s son Nakul Nath on Friday in Sausar, Sinha said Congress “family” belongs to leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Jinnah, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, and Rahul Gandhi who played the “biggest and the most significant role” in India’s progress and Independence. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework “This is the reason why I have come here. I have joined the Congress for the first and last time and will not turn back now,” said Sinha, who recently joined the Congress after quitting the BJP. Sinha made the remarks in presence of Kamal Nath, who despite sharing the same stage, said on Saturday that he did not hear any such thing. “I did not hear any such comment. If you are saying then he must have said it but I did not hear it… I must have been talking to other people at that time,” the Chief Minister said as the controversy erupted. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygen BJP President Amit Shah on Saturday raked up the issue while addressing a rally in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj Lok Sabha constituency and slammed Sinha for praising Jinnah. “Shatrughan Sinha has just gone to the Congress. Now he says that Jinnah was also a great man like Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel. The Congress leaders are praising Jinnah, who has divided the country. It is their character,” Shah said. Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram, when asked about the issue at a press conference, said it was for Sinha to explain. “Shatrughan Sinha, whatever his views are, he must explain. But a few days ago, he was part of the BJP… I don’t have to explain the statement of every member. I can only speak for party’s official position,” he said. Sinha is contesting the Lok Sabha elections as a Congress candidate from the Patna Sahib constituency where he is pitted against Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Paris – International symposium “The Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue in the Feminine,” held on Tuesday in Paris, hailed efforts by Morocco to fight extremism and promote Islam values of moderation.In the “Call of Paris” after the event, initiated by AFACOM and ISESCO, the participants underlined Morocco’s support through the training of imams (religious leaders) in many countries pursuant to the instructions of King Mohammed VI.Morocco’s initiatives are meant to help spread a moderate Islam, fight radical deviations and encourage interfaith and intercultural dialogue, said the lecturers. In this respect, the Call of Paris refuted any confusion between Islam and fanatical deviations which are largely condemned by Muslims who are the first victims, particularly women and children.
Rabat – U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday to legalize same-sex marriage across the United States. To mark the occasion, many Moroccans decorated their Facebook profiles with the LGBT rainbow flag.The decision ruling that all the 50 states must issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples has prompted many Moroccans to use a recently unveiled Facebook feature called “Let’s Celebrate Pride” which allows users to put a rainbow filter over their profile pictures.The feature has been widely used by Moroccans to show support to the gay cause in Morocco and elsewhere, especially as the timing of the decision coincides with LGBT Pride Month. Facebook users in Morocco rainbowfied their profile pictures by laying the iconic flag, which represents the diversity of the LGBT community, over their existing avatars.“I put the rainbow flag over my profile picture because I defend the freedom of people marrying whoever they want to marry regardless of their sexual orientations,” Fatima-ezzahra Abkari, a Paris-based Moroccan journalism student, told Morocco World News. “Love has no limits, no boundaries and no religion,” she added.When asked whether Morocco should one day follow in the footsteps of the United States and legalize same-sex marriage, Abkari deemed the idea as far-fetched, saying Morocco has a culture that is different from other countries.“We should only deal with the mentality and accept members of the LGBT community as normal persons,” she said.In addition to Facebook, Twitter has also enabled its users to join the movement by adding a rainbow heart to any tweet with the hashtag #LoveWins.Many organizations and tech companies have also cheered the decision, including the White House, Apple, Twitter and Facebook.
Rabat – On the occasion of Throne Day, King Mohammed VI granted his pardon to 1,012 people sentenced by the different Moroccan courts, said a statement by the Justice and Liberties ministry. The detained beneficiaries of the royal pardon are 725 and are divided into:– 719 prisoners who had their prison terms reduced. – 6 inmates who had their prison sentences commuted from life imprisonment to fixed prison terms. The free beneficiaries of the pardon are 287 and are divided into:– 45 prisoners who benefited from pardon over their prison sentences or remaining prison terms. – 9 inmates who benefited from pardon over their imprisonment terms while their fines were maintained. – 2 inmates who benefited from pardon over their prison terms and fines as well. – 231 prisoners had their fines annulled. Royal pardon is customary in the North African Kingdom to mark national and religious holidays.
Taroudante – A public indoor swimming pool in Bornheim, western Germany, which had reportedly banned adult, male asylum seekers from entering the pool, after receiving complaints that women have been sexually harassed, has decided to reopen the pool.In the wake of the sexual assaults on women by young male immigrants during the New Year’s Eve celebrations in Cologne, Germany, a public swimming pool in Bornheim had closed its doors to refugees, after claims of sexual harassment.According to the town’s Deputy Mayor, Markus Schnapka, the “difficult decision” was made to send adult immigrants and asylum seekers a clear message that “breaching German cultural norms was crossing a red line.” “There have been complaints of sexual harassment and “chatting-up” [of women] at this swimming pool … by groups of young men, and this has prompted some women to leave [the premises],” he said.“This led to my decision that adult males from our asylum shelters could not enter the swimming pool until further notice,” he added.Commenting on the incident, Claudia Hoepfner, a user of the swimming pool, was quoted by Russia Today as saying, “For me it is almost impossible to understand because I think that everyone should have the chance to enjoy their free time, especially after fleeing their country, where they had problems.”Another pool customer said, “If they behave badly then they have to accept the consequences. But I haven’t seen anything and I don’t know anything [related to it].”The German town received international criticism over its decision, with social media users describing the decision as “racist.”Under harsh criticism, the local authority which runs the pool has now said that the pool will re-open for everybody on Thursday January 21, with the hope that “there will be no more sexual harassment.”As an alternative to the ban, the swimming pool will display poster with drawings unacceptable behaviors and practices inside pools.
By Jonathan WalshRabat – Moroccan wheat crops are expected to amount to only half of last year’s harvest as this season’s drought takes its toll on the kingdom’s agriculture, official estimates show according to Bloomberg news. A lack of rainfall is to blame for the poor grain harvest that Morocco relies so heavily upon. Other than a handful of rainy days in February, there has been little precipitation all season. Many farmers are saying that the rainfall was too little too late, in what they describe as “one of the worst droughts in living memory.” As most meals are eaten with bread or contain wheat, Moroccans consume roughly three times the global average yearly.While more developed countries may be able to limit the effects of poor rainfall, one of the main issues surrounding Moroccan agriculture is that only 15 percent of the land is irrigated. This means that harvests are almost solely dependent on natural rainfall.“This kind of agriculture has no future,” said Abdelaziz Oumarrou, a farmer who lives near the city of Midelt. He, like so many others, supports his family from the wheat harvest.“The harvest is going to be catastrophic; we must change and start doing things differently, such as irrigating,” he added.As would be expected, the economy is set to suffer a knock-out effect from the drought. Estimates from Centre Morocain de Conjoncture suggest that growth will slow this year to just 1.2 percent—in comparison to 3.8 percent last year—as a direct result of the dry weather.In January, King Mohammed VI called on the government to do more to tackle the widespread negative effects of the drought. Two sets of measures were implemented to maintain agricultural activity on his orders, protecting both plant and animal resources.“In accordance with the High Royal Instructions, maintaining balance in rural areas remains a major focus of public policies and influences the series of actions to be taken,” an official source said.