The Saturdays’ Mollie King has been unveiled as the face of the British Heart Foundation’s National Heart Month.Mollie has already shown incredible support to the Foundation, including attending their annual Tunnel of Love art and fashion auction and party for the last two years.The Saturdays star will be asking people to pay £2 to Rock Up in Red and join the fight against heart disease on 1st February 2013.Mollie says: “I’m thrilled to be supporting the British Heart Foundation this February by rocking up in red and joining the fight against heart disease.“Whether it’s red nails, red lipstick or even red socks, it’s really easy to do and for just £2 you’ll really be helping the BHF continue its life-saving work. Anything goes, as long as it’s red!”Mollie added: “It is a cause very close to my heart, as my grandfather sadly passed away after suffering a heart attack when I was younger.”Heart disease is the UK’s single biggest killer. It kills one in six men and one in nine women and is responsible for almost 80,000 deaths in the UK each year, an average of 220 people each day. As well as being the leading cause of death, nearly 2.7 million people in the UK are living with heart disease, many of whom struggle with everyday tasks.Rock Up In Red this February and make a heartfelt statement for your loved ones. Order your free fundraising pack online or call their hotline on 0300 330 0645.
Hina Jilani, internationally known human rights defender from Pakistan, and Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico, have joined The Elders, a group of independent leaders working for peace, justice and human rights.Their appointment was announced by Kofi Annan, Chair of the group first convened by Nelson Mandela in 2007. Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General and Chair of The Elders, said “I am very pleased that Hina Jilani and Ernesto Zedillo have agreed to join our group. Their wisdom and expertise will be precious assets for our future work. Their careers are models of ethical leadership and unwavering commitment to democratic values. “I trust that they can help us inspire and promote these principles, and bring us closer to overcoming the Elders’ priority challenges: tackling the root causes of conflict and building a more just and inclusive world.” Hina Jilani is an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. In this capacity she has conducted many landmark cases, setting new standards in Pakistan for the rights of women, minorities, children, and prisoners – including political prisoners. She created Pakistan’s first all-women law firm and co-founded Pakistan’s first legal aid centre. She also founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and Pakistan’s Women Action Forum, a prominent women’s rights group whose campaigns have been at the heart of the democracy movement in the country. She was the first Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Human Rights Defenders from 2000 to 2008. Hina Jilani said “The Elders stand for independence, credibility and trust. Above all, we must champion democracy and peace. I hope I can contribute to promoting these principles and increase the visibility of the issues that the Elders decide to take on. “The neglect and threats faced by minorities all over the world is a growing concern of mine. I hope my new colleagues and I can emphasise this throughout our work.” Ernesto Zedillo, an economist, was President of Mexico from 1994 to 2000. He is currently the Director of the Center for the Study of Globalization at Yale University in the United States.During his presidency, Mexico achieved profound democratic reforms, paving the way for a robust multi-party system. The country, after defeating a severe financial crisis, experienced strong economic growth and saw a great increase in social programmes to tackle poverty.Since leaving office, Ernesto Zedillo has focused on seeking solutions to some of today’s foremost global challenges, notably drug policy, nuclear non-proliferation and development through his participation in a number of international commissions.Ernesto Zedillo said “I see great value in a group of Elders who are entirely dedicated to the common good and whose purpose it is to rise above differences – who are there to listen, and who can draw on the experiences of Nelson Mandela.“As Elders it can be our role to acknowledge the profound global challenges we face, but also to say: mankind can overcome them. Time and time again, acts of leadership have helped build peace and lifted millions out of poverty. We must aim to achieve stability, security and prosperity on a global scale.”The Elders are independent leaders using their collective experience and influence for peace, justice and human rights worldwide. The group was founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007.The Elders are Martti Ahtisaari, Kofi Annan (Chair), Ela Bhatt, Lakhdar Brahimi, Gro Harlem Brundtland (Deputy Chair), Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Jimmy Carter, Hina Jilani, Graça Machel, Mary Robinson and Ernesto Zedillo. Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu are honorary Elders. read more
A host of celebrities – including David Arquette, Anne Heche, James Tupper and Kylie Jenner – attended the Imagine Ball at the House Of Blues in West Hollywood on Wednesday, August 6.With entertainment from bands such as MAGIC! and Brave Native, the event raised money for Imagine LA’s fight to end family homelessness in Los Angeles.Co-Chairs of the event included Katy Perry, Brooke Burke-Charvet, Ellen Pompeo and Hilary Swank, as well as LA entrepreneur & philanthropist Randall Kaplan & h.wood group’s John Terzian, and key donor was Tri Nguyen of Network Capital.Imagine LA matches families exiting homelessness with volunteer teams through an innovative volunteer mentorship program. One Team, One Family. Through the consistency of this relationship, trust is built, skills are taught, and barriers are crossed that most families in homelessness never thought were possible. 100% of their graduated families maintain housing. 100% of youth in the program graduate high school. 75% of their families increase their earned income.To find out more, click here. read more
Morgan Freeman – Academy Award winning actor, producer, voice actor and activist – has been named the 54th recipient of SAG-AFTRA’s highest tribute: the SAG Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment.Freeman will be presented the performers union’s top accolade at the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards,which will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 at 8 p.m. (ET), 7 p.m. (CT), 6 p.m. (MT) and 5 p.m. (PT). Given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession,” the SAG Life Achievement Award will join Freeman’s exceptional catalog of preeminent industry and public honors, which includes a Screen Actors Guild Award, an Academy Award, HFPA’s Cecil B. DeMille Award, an AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, seven Image Awards, a Silver Berlin Bear, several Obies, a Kennedy Center Honor, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.“I am thrilled to announce Morgan Freeman as this year’s recipient of the SAG Life Achievement Award. Some actors spend their entire careers waiting for the perfect role. Morgan showed us that true perfection is what a performer brings to the part,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. “He is innovative, fearless and completely unbound by expectations. As a chauffeur, convicted murderer, boxing gym attendant, pimp or president, Morgan fully realized every character baring their souls and showcasing their humanity. It has been a privilege to see his genius at work.”A Life Devoted to His Art and CraftFreeman first earned recognition for his acting skills at age 12, when he won a statewide drama competition in Mississippi. As a young actor he paid his dues in small roles, pausing only to serve in the U.S. Air Force. Theater beckoned first, then film and television.As he breathed life into memorable characters, widespread critical acclaim came accompanied by enraptured audiences and commercial success. Freeman invariably ranks as one of the five worldwide top-grossing actors of all time, with his films having earned over $4.5 billion in cumulative ticket sales.An Indelible Presence in FilmFreeman has earned four Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. He received the SAG Awards Actor® for his performance in the Best Picture Oscar winning Million Dollar Baby, a role that also garnered him a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award and an Image Award. Two films starring Freeman are held in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry: Unforgiven, which received four Oscars, and The Shawshank Redemption, for which Freeman received Best Actor nominations for a SAG Award, Oscar and a Golden Globe.Among Freeman’s extensive list of credits – now nearing 100 films – another milestone is Invictus. His portrayal of Nelson Mandela received the National Board of Review Award for Best Actor and an Image Award along with nominations for another SAG Award, Oscar and Golden Globe. In addition, the picture was produced by Revelations Entertainment, the company Freeman and Lori McCreary co-founded in 1996 with a mission “to produce films that reveal truth” and to stay in the forefront of digital entertainment.Other credits in that still-growing list include Street Smart (Freeman’s 1987 breakthrough role), The Dark Knight, The Bucket List, Glory, Lean on Me, Se7en, Amistad, Bruce Almighty, and Along Came a Spider.Further demonstrating his astonishing versatility, Freeman most recently starred in Warner Bros.’ Going In Style, Paramount Pictures’ Ben-Hur, Summit Entertainment’s Now You See Me 2 and Focus Features’ London Has Fallen. Freeman’s upcoming films include Broad Green Pictures’ Villa Capri and Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.Integrity and Inspiration in TelevisionFreeman first became nationally known and loved in 1971 when he starred in the seminal Children’s Television Workshop (CTW) show The Electric Company, for which he created characters including the iconic Easy Reader. Known as the most popular instructional show on television over its six-year run, the series won an Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Series and a Grammy® for its soundtrack album. Freeman’s indelible impact on a generation was reflected when fellow cast member Rita Moreno, a life-long friend he met on the show, asked that he presented her with the 50th SAG Life Achievement Award.Most recently, Freeman is an executive producer with McCreary on the Revelations Entertainment series Madam Secretary for CBS, which will air its fourth season starting in October. Freeman hosts and is an executive producer for the Revelations Entertainment, three-time Emmy nominated series Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, which recently completed its seventh season for the Science Channel. Also through Revelations, he hosted the Emmy nominated event series The Story of God with Morgan Freeman on the National Geographic Channel, which completed its second season. Through Revelations, he will next host The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman, which premieres October 11 on the National Geographic Channel.A Respected, Trusted VoiceFreeman’s is one of the world’s most recognizable and beloved voices. He most recently narrated The C Word, the latest in a string of prestigious documentaries that includes the IMAX film Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, Science Channel’s Stem Cell Universe with Stephen Hawking, and the informative IMAX feature We the People. Three previous narrations are the Peabody Award winning ESPN 30 For 30 documentary The 16th Man and two Academy Award-winning documentaries, The Long Way Home and The March of the Penguins.He could also be heard in the presidential campaigns for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. In a lighter vein, Freeman was the overwhelming choice when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asked the millions of Facebook users what voice Zuckerman’s smart home system should have.Authenticity and Insight on StageAfter earlier roles in the off-Broadway stage productions of The Niggerlovers and the transformational all African-American production of Hello Dolly, Freeman’s 1978 role as Zeke in The Mighty Gents earned him a Drama Desk Award and a Tony Award® nomination. His arresting, moving performances went on to earn three Obie Awards even before he portrayed Hoke Colburn in Alfred Uhry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Driving Miss Daisy, a role for which Freeman received an Oscar nomination when he reprised it for the Best Picture Oscar winning film of the same name. Freeman most recently trod the boards in the triumphant revival of Clifford Odets’ The Country Girl, directed by Mike Nichols.Helping to Shape the FutureIn 1973 Freeman co-founded the Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshop, now in its 37th season, which supports and nurtures promising African-American playwrights to ensure those voices can be heard. He additionally supports Artists for a New South Africa and the Campaign for Female Education, organizations working to create hope and better lives for countless people.Freeman provides a boost for another group of artists on an immediately practical level. He co-owns the Ground Zero Blues Club, which celebrates and features performances by authentic blues musicians. It’s next-door to the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi, in the heart of the area’s rich blues heritage that Freeman loves.In his spare time, Freeman enjoys the freedom of both sea and sky – he is a long-time sailor and has earned a private pilot’s license. read more
Nineteen-time Grand Slam tennis champion Roger Federer will play his first-ever match in the Bay Area on Monday, March 5, at 7 p.m.Match For AfricaFederer will take on American tennis star Jack Sock at the SAP Center in San Jose in an exhibition match to support children’s education in Africa. Celebrity guests Bill Gates and Savannah Guthrie will also take to the court in a celebrity-pro doubles match. Tickets for Match for Africa 5 – Silicon Valley are available Friday, January 26, at 9 a.m. PST with net proceeds benefiting the Roger Federer Charitable Fund/Roger Federer Foundation.“I believe in the power of people. We know that a good education is a decisive factor to empower children by allowing them to take their future into their own hands,” said Federer. “With my foundation, we want to provide one million children with the opportunity for a quality education by the end of 2018. The Match for Africa 5 in San Jose will help us reach our ambitious goals. I am very grateful for this opportunity to collaborate with Bill Gates, who in my opinion is the world’s leading philanthropist.”As a warm-up, the 19-time Grand Slam champion will team with the Microsoft co-founder and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for a friendly, one-set doubles match against NBC News’ TODAY co-anchor Savannah Guthrie and Jack Sock, the top-ranked American on the ATP Tour. Federer and Sock will then go head-to-head in a best-of-three-sets match that offers the area’s first up-close look at Federer’s legendary game.“Roger and I are 1-0 as a doubles pair after last year’s event, so I’m hoping we can keep the streak alive while raising money for an important cause,” said Gates. “Roger might have a few more Grand Slam titles than I do, but we share a belief that all children deserve a world-class education. His Match for Africa events are a fun way to help make that happen.”“It is quite literally beyond my wildest dreams to be playing with Roger, Jack and Bill – particularly for such an important cause,” said Guthrie. “I’m excited to shine a light on the Federer Foundation’s amazing work, and I will be practicing my forehand morning, noon and night for the next six weeks.”“I’ve been lucky enough to face Roger a few times in my career, but never in support of such an important cause,” said Sock. “I hear Roger’s Match for Africa events are a lot of fun, so I’m looking forward to taking part.”This is the fifth Match for Africa event for the Roger Federer Foundation, which has given $36 million to support children’s education in six African countries and Federer’s native Switzerland. An estimated 850,000 children across 18 programs have so far benefitted from the foundation’s giving, which emphasizes systemic change and sustainable impact.Tickets start at $30 and can be purchased starting at 9 a.m. PST on January 26 from the SAP Center Box Office, Ticketmaster.com, or by phone at (800) 745-3000. A limited number of VIP ticket packages are also available, which include premium end-court seats, exclusive hospitality and a unique opportunity to participate in a 20-minute Q&A session with Roger Federer and Jack Sock prior to the night’s match.The Match for Africa 5 – Silicon Valley is presented in partnership with Rolex. Entertainment for the event will be produced by Michael T. Fiur Productions, one of the leading producers of live event and sports spectaculars in the world.Additional information is available at www.match-for-africa-siliconvalley.com. read more
The series will still air here, as promised, in two-hour chunks, four consecutive Sunday nights at 9 on History, starting April 10.Down south, the controversy continues. There’s a reason, production costs and tax incentives aside, that both of these much-contested efforts came all the way up to Canada to shoot (The Kennedys here; The Reagans in Montreal). In 2003, the CBS network was pressured into dropping their already shot and scheduled TV movie, The Reagans, by pre-emptively outraged historians, prominent conservatives and Reagan friends and family. It ended up airing, without further incident, on the cable channel Showtime.History repeated itself when Discovery History (not related to our own History Television) decided to drop its own eight-hour miniseries, The Kennedys, sending its producers scrambling unsuccessfully from network to network, until they found it a new U.S. home on the obscure movie service ReelzChannel. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Americans take their dead presidents very seriously, particularly in terms of how they are portrayed on TV.Living fictional presidents are fine: Martin Sheen on West Wing, Geena Davis in Commander in Chief, Dennis Haysbert and Cherry Jones on 24.But the martyred John F. Kennedy, and before him, the dying Ronald Reagan — venture there at your peril. Advertisement Facebook Login/Register With: Twitter read more
Facebook Forward is Lisa Maas’s first graphic novel. (Vanessa van de Mortel/Arsenal Pulp Press)What it’s about: In Forward, the debut graphic novel from Lisa Maas, two women — one still reeling from a bad breakup, and the other trying to recover from the death of her wife — cross paths and connect in the midst of their grief and vulnerability.When you can read it: April 1, 2018Norths by Alison McCreesh Norths is an illustrated memoir by Alison McCreesh. (Conundrum Press)What it’s about: Norths is a unique illustrated memoir by Alison McCreesh, which documents her travels with her partner and toddler son as they experience life in the “norths” of six different countries — including Finland, Russia, Greenland and of course Canada — in six months. Some interesting comics are coming your way in 2018. Check them out!Gothic Tales of Haunted Love edited by Hope Nicholson & S.M. Beiko Twitter What it’s about: Gothic Tales of Haunted Love is a graphic novel anthology, curated and edited by Hope Nicholson and S.M. Beiko, that collects 22 haunting gothic romance stories featuring diverse characters, ghosts, horror and romance.When you can read it: Jan. 23, 2018Forward by Lisa Maas Gothic Tales of Haunted Love is a collection of Gothic romance comics curated by Hope Nicholson (left) and S.M. Beiko (right). Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement read more
Advertisement Homosexuality and secret ritual collide in the controversial Inxeba, coming to the Vancouver South African Film Festival. Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement Twitter The Vancouver South African Film Festival swings into its eighth year with perhaps the strongest lineup of films the Straight has yet seen from this small but lovingly curated event. Opener Beyond the River sets the bar high for the rest of the three-day fest. “It’s a feel-good film,” cofounder David Chudnovsky tells the Straight. “But in a very subtle way it speaks to the current racial divide and relationships in South Africa without being didactic.”The four other titles we’ve picked below demonstrate an equally passionate engagement with the region’s history and evolution, triumphing as popular art without romanticizing, gilding, or flinching from the truth. Hollywood, take note.Beyond the RiverIn Craig Freimond’s precariously balanced film, based on a true story, a talented kid from the ghetto teams with an initially reluctant white schoolteacher to take on the Dusi Canoe Marathon, an annual three-day competition held in Zululand. Here we have a predictable, manipulative, clichéd setup peppered with melodrama—that somehow works beautifully. It’s ravishing to look at, but the film’s greatest asset is the conviction brought by leads Grant Swanby and Lemogang Tsipa to two tarnished heroes quietly at war with themselves and their own assumed destinies. Rousing, to say the least. March 23 (7 p.m.) Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment read more
APTN National NewsCape Breton regional police in Membertou Nova Scotia are taking a different approach to policing.Their goal is to build trust with the community’s Mi’kmaq population in order to better serve and protect.APTN National News reporter Ossie Michelin was there and files this report.
APTN National NewsResidents from across Nova Scotia, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal alike, came out to downtown Halifax to show their support for the Idle No More movement.The crowd quickly made it clear that this movement isn’t going away any time soon.APTN National News reporter Ossie Michelin has this story.
Annette FrancisAPTN National NewsThe 2017 North American Indigenous Games are set to begin next week in Toronto.More than 500,000 athletes from across Turtle Island will compete in the multi-sport games.One athlete from the Alderville First Nation northeast of the city is making the final preparations to firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com@katmarte A supporter shared this image of the vigil on Facebook. (Mavis Dennis photo)Kathleen MartensAPTN NewsMourners wore red Sunday to mark the suspicious death of another Indigenous woman – this time in Smithers, B.C.Family members and supporters gathered at a vigil in the northern community to remember Jessica Patrick of nearby Lake Babine Nation.She was 18 and the mother of a young daughter.RCMP confirm human remains were found and they were awaiting a positive identification.“That’s all I’ve been told,” said RCMP media spokesperson Cpl. Madonna Saunderson in Prince George, B.C.“I’m waiting to hear back from (the) major crime (unit).”Saunderson said the RCMP North District Major Crime Unit was working with Smithers RCMP and the B.C. Coroners Service on the case.Patrick was last seen Aug. 21 in Smithers, which is about 1,100 kilometres north of Vancouver.The community is located along Highway 16, which has been dubbed the Highway of Tears, for a string of murders and disappearances of mainly Indigenous women between Prince George and Prince Rupert.More than 20 First Nations border the route.Smithers’ Mayor Taylor Bachrach took part in the vigil that local media reported drew about 300 people.“My heart goes out to those who knew and loved her,” Bachrach said on Facebook.He posted that Patrick’s body was found near the community Saturday.Another media report said her family was involved in searching for her and the discovery of her body.Smithers was the site of a community hearing by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in September 2017.The inquiry is wrapping up its evidence gathering and due to issue a final report to the federal government by April 30, 2019, on the factors contributing to ongoing violence against Indigenous women and girls.It’s something Bachrach acknowledged.“Let’s come together as a community, support those who are grieving and recommit ourselves to ensuring safety for all women and girls,” he wrote on Facebook. read more
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has arrived in France as he continues more than a week of globetrotting following a brief stop in Ottawa Sunday to discuss the Trans Mountain pipeline crisis with the premiers of Alberta and British Columbia.Trudeau’s plane touched down in Paris early Monday local time. He was supposed to fly to the French capital directly from Peru — where he attended the Summit of the Americas on Friday and Saturday — before he decided to sit down with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and B.C. Premier John Horgan on Parliament Hill.With that highly charged meeting now out of the way, Trudeau will turn his attention to what will be his first official visit to France, where he’ll meet with President Emmanuel Macron and address the National Assembly.The visit comes only days after France joined Britain and the U.S. in launching airstrikes against the Syrian government for an alleged chemical-weapon attack this month that killed at least 40 people and left hundreds more injured.Trudeau has voiced support for the joint airstrikes. He will have a chance to discuss Syria and Russia, which has emerged as Syrian President Bashar Assad’s strongest backer, when he meets with Macron on Monday.Macron spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, before the airstrikes against Syria, and is scheduled to visit Russia in May.The two leaders are also expected to talk about Mali, where France has been leading a counter-terrorism mission for several years and where Canada is preparing to send six military helicopters to help with the local UN peacekeeping mission.That discussion will occur against the backdrop of another deadly attack on the UN mission at Timbuktu, this time by militants disguised as peacekeepers.One blue helmet was reported killed, bringing the tally for the peacekeeping mission to 166 since 2013, with more than half of those deaths attributed to what the UN calls “malicious acts.”Ten French soldiers involved in counter-terror operations were also hurt.Canada is expected to base its helicopters at the UN base in Gao, rather than Timbuktu.On Tuesday, Trudeau will become the first Canadian prime minister to address the French National Assembly and the most recent leader to be given that rare opportunity since King Felipe of Spain in June 2015.His speech is expected to touch on the rise of nationalism, populism and xenophobia, which have become serious concerns in France and other parts of Europe in recent years.Much of the prime minister’s two-day visit will also focus on trade as Canada looks to ease its reliance on the U.S. market.Trudeau’s message will include highlighting the potential benefits of the new Canada-European Union free trade deal, which came into force in September.The prime minister will also meet Michaelle Jean, the former governor general of Canada who is now head of the Francophonie, as well as the head of French aerospace giant Airbus, which has partnered with Canadian counterpart Bombardier on the latter’s C Series passenger planes.He then heads to London to attend a meeting of Commonwealth leaders.— Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter. read more
Apparent attempts to extort two major Canadian banks highlight the increasing threat and variety of cyberattacks against major companies.Attacks against BMO and CIBC-owned Simplii — that compromised the information of up to a combined 90,000 Canadians — made public Monday, appear to be the latest in a number of high-profile ransom attacks. The attacks have the banks in damage control mode, prompting them to assuage client concern about the safety of Canadian accounts.CBC reported that it received a letter from someone who said they demanded a $1-million ransom from the targeted banks.The banks would not confirm the CBC report Tuesday. BMO said only that a “threat” was made, but it has a policy of not making payments to fraudsters, while Simplii was similarly cryptic, saying only that fraudsters may have electronically accessed some data, but that its practice is not to pay ransom demands.Both banks said they both took additional security measures after learning of the potential breach and would be directly contacting customers whose accounts may have been compromised. Royal Bank, Scotiabank and Toronto-Dominion Bank have said they have no indication they have been affected.The apparent extortion attempt against BMO and CIBC’s direct-banking brand Simplii comes after a string of other high-profile pay-for-data attempts.Recent examples include a failed attempt at Uber to pay off hackers — only for the company to later reveal that some 815,000 Canadians had their information compromised as part of a global attack, and the infamous cyberattack on cheating website Ashley Madison, which did not comply with hackers’ demands to close the website, resulting in the exposure of personal information of millions of users.Smaller organizations are also falling victim to hacking payment scams, including the University of Calgary, which paid $20,000 to have its computer systems unlocked after a ransomware attack in 2016.The risks are clearly on the rise, said cybersecurity expert Satyamoorthy Kabilan at the Conference Board of Canada.“In terms of cyber incidents overall, whether it’s breaches, whether it’s these sorts of attacks, whether it’s standard ransomware, that’s skyrocketing.”However, the incident involving BMO and Simplii varies from more standard efforts to either use the data itself to profit or to try and sell it to third parties — which makes it harder for companies to set up defensive plans, said Kabilan.“Understanding tactics actually gives us an advantage in terms of defending ourselves, but if those are constantly varying, it starts putting up a few more challenges.”Companies, especially banks, need to keep improving security efforts but also plan for resiliency and being able to respond in the event of an attack, he said.“Companies have to wake up to the fact that there is no such thing as 100 per cent security in the cyber world. It’s a question of when and how bad.”BMO and Simplii did the right thing in being quick to assure customers that their money is safe and that they’re working diligently to improve security, said Barry Waite, chair of the communications department at Centennial College.Both banks said they’d directly reach out to affected customers and are co-ordinating with officials to respond to the incident and protect clients.Demonstrating the safety of banking services will become increasingly important as they roll out more digital products, said Waite.“This is important for the whole banking industry, demonstrating that as they increase technology, they’re introducing new apps, that they have the best security in place.”The whole banking sector is looking to improve digital security in light of such threats, Scotiabank CFO Sean McGuckin said on a media conference call discussing its quarterly results.“There’s a very open dialogue amongst financial institutions around cyber threats. So we are all quite open and learning and sharing from each other.” read more
HALIFAX – A new report is calling for fundamental changes in how trees are harvested in Nova Scotia — including a reduction in clearcutting, a controversial practice that fells large stands of forest.The report released Tuesday by University of Kings College president Bill Lahey says forest practices should be guided by a new paradigm called “ecological forestry” which treats forests “first and foremost” as ecosystems.It says the province should adopt a so-called triad model that sees some areas protected from all forestry; some forests dedicated to high production forestry including clearcutting; and areas that are harvested with a “lighter touch” and limited clearcutting.Although he didn’t say it in his report, Lahey was unequivocal when asked whether there is currently too much clearcutting in Nova Scotia.“Yes,” he said.“There is too much happening where it should not happen … and the consequences of that is a continuing reduction in the proper functioning of the ecosystems and the biodiversity that are dependent on our forestry.”Lahey’s report says clearcutting would be acceptable in some even-aged forests of predominantly single softwood species. However, Lahey says alternatives to clearcutting should generally be used where the forest is of the mixed-species, multi-aged variety.It says the recommended changes are estimated to reduce clearcutting from 65 per cent of all harvesting on Crown land to between 20 and 25 per cent.Lahey acknowledged that as a consequence there could be increased clearcutting on private land as industry deals with a reduction in wood supply.“It’s a recognition of the reality that 70 per cent of our land is owned by Nova Scotians,” said Lahey.But he said any adverse economic effects shouldn’t stop the province from better protecting Crown land and by extension privately owned woodlots.“I do not think the danger of contraction in the industry should be a rationale for not implementing the level of protection for ecosystems and biodiversity on Crown land that I say is warranted. Nor should it lead to a faint-hearted approach for over time moving as much private land management towards ecological forestry as possible.”About 90 per cent of wood harvested in Nova Scotia is clear cut, according to federal figures.But Lahey’s report says about 80 per cent of forest harvesting is done through clearcutting, with about 90 per cent done on private lands and 65 per cent carried out on Crown land. Lahey said about 18 per cent of all land in Nova Scotia is owned by forestry companies.Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin gave no immediate reaction, saying the government would study the report before responding to any recommendations, including those that would reduce the percentage of clearcutting on Crown land.“Given what we are learning in his 40 recommendations and if they are fully incorporated we can’t really speculate on what the percentage will be,” said Rankin. “Obviously Nova Scotians were concerned and we are committed to make change.”The report calls for better ecological management and stricter overall enforcement by the province.However, it conspicuously omits any reference on whether the use of trees for biomass energy generation should continue.It also recommends that Crown licence holders be given access to public funding for the use of herbicide spraying to control competing species and to control the density of areas that are clear cut known as plantations.Lahey also dismisses any notion that Westfor, a conglomeration of companies in western Nova Scotia, has limited the access of private owners to markets for their wood.Announced nearly a year ago, Lahey’s review was originally due in February, but extensions were granted in order to complete the report and then to have it reviewed by advisors in international law and forestry economics.It was met with a decidedly mixed reaction from forest protection advocates and an industry representative on Tuesday.“I’m trying very hard to like this report,” said Ray Plourde, wilderness co-ordinator at the Halifax-based Ecology Action Centre.“I think that there are some good things in it and there are some things that have been left on the floor that haven’t been answered at all.”Plourde said the strong emphasis on the health of the forest ecosystem and biodiversity is “very commendable and appropriate,” as is the reduction of clearcutting on Crown land.However, Plourde said he was “absolutely gobsmacked and shocked” the report recommends spraying on Crown land after a previous review basically stopped the practice.“That is not going to go over well with the public who are absolutely sick of glyphosate spraying in this province.”Donna Crossland, co-author of a previous report on forestry that led into a 2011 natural resources strategy, said she like Plourde is not a “big fan” of the triad approach recommended by Lahey.“The public has never supported plantation forestry on our Crown lands … which is the reason why they want to bring about herbicide spraying,” said Crossland.She said she believes Premier Stephen McNeil was interested in “listening and doing the right thing” and she hopes the government will implement the recommendations that are “most appropriate in an expedient manner.”But Crossland said that can’t happen unless there is a change of attitude at the new Department of Lands and Forestry.“A lot of the impediment to change (previously) originated from the former Department of Natural Resources,” she said.Jeff Bishop, the executive director of Forest Nova Scotia, said while there are some good things in the report there are also things that “scare” him as a spokesman for the province’s forest industry.“It’s always a concern if we are talking about a lower wood supply,” said Bishop.He admitted that at this point he doesn’t know whether the overall recommendations will be good or bad for private land owners or the forestry industry as a whole.“We are going to have to dig in to the information they provided,” he said. read more
WONSAN, Korea, Democratic People’s Republic Of — For North Korean factory managers, a visit by leader Kim Jong Un is the highest of honours and quite possibly the most stressful event imaginable.The chief engineer at the Songdowon General Foodstuffs Factory had looked forward to the visit for nearly a decade. His factory churns out tons of cookies, crackers, candies and bakery goods, plus dozens of varieties of soft drinks sold around the country. In its showroom, Kwon Yong Chol proudly showed off one of his bestsellers, a nutrient soup made with spirulina, a blue-green microalgae “superfood.”“Ever since construction began everyone here had wanted the leader to visit, and this year he did. His visit was the biggest thing that could happen to us,” Kwon, smiling broadly, said of Kim Jong Un’s visit in July. “He ate our instant noodles. He said they were delicious.”Not all managers have been so fortunate.There’s a lot on the line for North Korea these days. And Kim means business.___Though the international spotlight has been on his denuclearization talks with Washington, the North Korean leader has a lot riding domestically on his promises to boost the country’s economy and standard of living. His announcement in April that North Korea had sufficiently developed its nuclear weapons and would now focus on building its economy marked a sharp turn in official policy, setting the stage for his rapid-fire meetings with the leaders of China, South Korea and the United States.It also set in motion an ambitious campaign of “on-the-spot guidance” trips to rally party officials, factory managers and military troops.After the announcement of the “new strategic line” and his first round of summits, including his meeting in June with President Donald Trump, Kim embarked on nearly 20 inspection tours around the country in July and another 10 in August, all but one of them to non-military locations. The military inspection rounds are instead being handled by the country’s premier, Pak Pong Ju, who has gone on 18 inspection tours from July, mostly to military facilities.On-the-spot guidance tours are a tradition Kim inherited from his father and grandfather, the late “eternal General-Secretary” Kim Jong Il and “eternal President” Kim Il Sung.They date to the late 1940s, when Kim Il Sung began gradually institutionalizing the visits to demonstrate his hands-on leadership and, as invariably portrayed by the North’s media, his deep care and concern for the well-being of the people.Factories, farms and important industrial facilities are the usual destinations. But Kim Jong Un’s focus on them this year marks a break from excursions in 2017 to nuclear weapons facilities and missile sites.Reflecting the gravity of his current mission, Kim has shown little patience for cadres who come up short.On his July tour in the northern part of the country he lambasted officials at a factory that produces backpacks for students, saying their attitude was “very wrong” and “has no revolutionary spirit.” He then dressed down officials at a power plant that has been under construction for 17 years, criticized people in charge of a hotel project for taking too long to finish plastering its walls and slammed the authorities responsible for building a recreational campsite.“Looking round the bathroom of the camp, he pointed out its very bad condition, saying bathtubs for hot spring therapy are dirty, gloomy and unsanitary for their poor management,” said an official report of the visit.___Most inspection tours, however, go like Kim’s two-hour visit to the Songdowon processed foods factory.With a gaggle of cameramen in tow — the tours are always top news in North Korea’s media — the site’s senior manager generally serves as the guide. Members of Kim’s entourage frantically take notes as he suggests tweaks of this or that and offers praise or encouragement.Many factories put up red and gold plaques to commemorate the event. Some have special wall displays made afterward that show the exact path the leader took in little LED lights that can be turned on at the press of a button.At Kwon’s factory, which has 300 employees and is located on the outskirts of the eastern coastal city of Wonsan, Kim advised managers to improve operations on an “automated, unmanned and germ-free basis, holding aloft the banner of self-reliance.”Before the obligatory group photo session, the North’s official news agency reported, Kim voiced “his expectation and conviction” the factory would produce more quality foods “and thus more fully demonstrate the honour of being a factory loved by the people.”But Kim also had a broader point to make.He told the factory management that they must be prepared to work in a more competitive environment, to modernize and cut the fat. These are special times and they, and basically all managers throughout the country, need to step up their game.“The Respected Marshal Kim Jong Un pays much more attention to the quality of a product,” Kwon said. “When he came to this factory he gave instructions to maintain a high level of hygiene because food is closely associated with the health of the people, and to keep the highest level of quality of products that people like. He said we must produce products that are world class, and produce a lot of foods that people like.”Kwon said the pressure isn’t just coming from above.“The people demand more quality,” he said. “When people look at the product, they must feel like they want to have it. So we are designing things in line with that. We have to satisfy the demands of the people.”___Talmadge is the AP’s Pyongyang bureau chief. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter: @EricTalmadge.Eric Talmadge, The Associated Press read more
NEW YORK — Facebook’s outgoing head of communications is taking the blame for hiring Definers, the public relations firm doing opposition research on the company’s critics including billionaire philanthropist George Soros.In a Facebook post that went up late Wednesday, Elliot Schrage said the responsibility to hire Definers rests with him and that he approved the decision to hire it and similar firms.Schrage has been at Facebook for a decade and announced his departure in June. In the post, Schrage acknowledges that Facebook asked Definers to do work on Soros after he called Facebook a “menace to society” in a speech. Definers, he says, also helped respond to what he said were unfair claims about the company.Facebook stopped working with the firm after a New York Times investigation unveiled its tactics.The Associated Press read more
Mumbai: Actress Deepika Padukone on Monday unveiled the first look from the upcoming film “Chhapaak” in which she will be seen playing real life acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal. Deepika tweeted the first look from the film, directed by Meghna Gulzar. In the image, the “Padmaavat” star is seen with prosthetics of scars and burns on her face. She captioned it: “A character that will stay with me forever…Malti. Shoot begins today! ‘Chhapaak’. Releasing January 10, 2020.” Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka Deepika will turn producer with the film. “It’s a very important story and it’s a true life incident, so hopefully good things will come out of it,” she had said earlier. The film also stars Vikrant Massey. Deepika’s look has been lauded by film fraternity members. Actress Huma Qureshi reacted: “Wow! This is going to be epic”, while Arjun Kapoor wrote: “Beautiful. Deepika Padukone, Meghna Gulzar and the entire team deserve to be given credit for this remarkably accurate visual portrayal.” Filmmaker Rahul Dholakia wrote: “How inspiring, interesting – more power to you gutsy ladies Deepika and Meghna – love and wishes.” read more
Kolkata: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has condemned the idea of ‘Bridge Course’ to create cadres of mid-level health practitioners by allowing dentists to practice mainstream medicine in various health centres.Niti Aayog, along with the health ministry, is examining a proposal to introduce Bridge Course for the dentists so that they can be used as mid-level health providers in various health centres across the state, particularly where there is a crisis of MBBS doctors. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaDr Santanu Sen, national president of IMA, declared that there is no shortage of doctors in the country. “Around 63,250 MBBS graduates come out of 494 medical colleges in the country. But India has only 23,729 post graduate seats,” Dr Sen said. “The fact remains that the government does not have the capacity to absorb the rest of them. Every year the unemployment among young medical graduates is a great cause of concern. The frustration of these youngsters with an undergraduate degree has to be addressed first,” he added. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayCondemning the idea of mid-level practitioners, IMA secretary general Dr RV Asokan said the government’s attempt to provide half baked medical care to the citizens through mid-level practitioners is dangerous. “The government should give permanent posting to MBBS graduates in 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres. Ad Hoc postings are not acceptable,” he said. It may be mentioned here that a meeting on this proposal is scheduled to be held at Niti Aayog on April 22. read more