NEWMARKET, Ont. – The owner of an illegal daycare north of Toronto has been sentenced to 22 months in jail for allowing a two-year-old to die in a broiling SUV near four years ago.Olena Panfilova, who ran the daycare in Vaughan, Ont., had pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death.Eva Ravikovich died on a sweltering day in July 2013.Estimated temperatures in the vehicle reached 50 degrees.Evidence was that Panfilova had 35 children in her care that day and failed to realize Eva was still in the SUV outside the daycare.She later tried to cover up what had happened to Eva by pretending the child had died during a nap.(CFRB, The Canadian Press)
TORONTO – With their only child grown up with a family of her own, Louise Hutchison and Dave Sharp were enjoying the freedom of being empty-nesters: travelling, getting together with friends and, of course, visiting with their grandchildren.But three years ago, the Alberta couple’s lives changed dramatically when they went from being grandparents to full-time caregivers of their three young granddaughters after their mother was charged with impaired driving and disappeared from her children’s lives.“It wasn’t what we were planning, because we had been through it,” Hutchison conceded in an interview from her home in Airdrie, near Calgary. “We went from an empty nest to a full house again.“It was actually fun being the grandparents because we could take them and we could have a lot of fun with them,” Hutchison, who works as a company manager, said of her granddaughters Coralynn, 9, Riley, 6, and Hayleigh, almost 4.“And we now have to be more the parents. It’s just not the same, right?”The couple and the girls are what’s known as a skip-generation family, a phenomenon that’s on the rise in Canada as households depart from the traditional two-parent configuration in favour of other caregivers, such as grandparents, step-parents or other siblings.In new 2016 census figures released Wednesday, Statistics Canada said three in 10 Canadian children — 30.3 per cent — were living in either a lone-parent family, a stepfamily or without both of their parents.Of those, some 32,520 children aged 14 and under across Canada were living exclusively with grandparents in 2016, up from about 25,245 in 2001, the census found — an increase of about 29 per cent.“A skip-generation family is where a grandparent is the primary adult in a child’s life, when no parent is present,” explained Nora Spinks, CEO of the Vanier Institute of the Family.“And that parent may be absent because they’ve passed away, they may be somewhere else in the world or they may be incapable of parenting. So they might be experiencing mental illness or they might be incarcerated.”Children living in a private household without their parents were most prevalent in the territories, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Statistics Canada reported. Between three and six per cent of children 14 and younger were either living with grandparents, other relatives or as foster children in those regions in 2016, the numbers show.In every other province, the proportion was two per cent or less.Hutchinson and Sharp, both 45, are keenly aware of their disconnect with typically older grandparents, as well as with parents of children who are their granddaughters’ friends.But the biggest challenge is ensuring the girls are happy and emotionally stable, said Hutchinson, describing how she learned through their counselling sessions that her alcoholic daughter would leave them hungry and alone in the car while “she had sex with her boyfriend.”Still, despite the obvious challenges of raising a second family, there are also many rewards.“There’s a lot of joy and there’s also a lot of peace of mind because I don’t have sleepless nights worrying about where they are or what condition they’re in.“And it is great joy. I know my husband feels very much the same way. We’re getting an opportunity to be a strong part of their lives, even though it’s in a different capacity.”Skip-generation families come in many different shapes and sizes and cross all socioeconomic and ethnocultural boundaries, said Spinks.Grandparents may have a deep, vibrant relationship with their grandchildren or a weak and tenuous one, she said. The age of both the adult and the grandchild can colour the nature of that relationship and how a newly configured family melds together — or not.“When a grandparent steps in and it’s an infant or a toddler or a pre-schooler, that can be a very different experience than when a grandparent steps in with a teenager or a tween,” she said.“Where a relationship does exist between the child and the grandparent, it may require renegotiation or restructuring,” said Spinks, pointing out that a change in their family makeup and where they live — as well as parental loss — can spark emotional, behavioural and psychological reactions in children, who may also have experienced trauma.“It’s one thing to go over to Grandma’s for a Sunday afternoon or to be there for a couple of weeks in the summer. It’s another when that grandparent assumes the responsibility of raising a child.”Colleen Longhouse and husband Michael Dawson have been rearing her four-year-old grandson Landon since he was almost two. After a lengthy and expensive court battle, she was granted full guardianship in April 2016 because Landon had been living in hellish conditions with her daughter, a heroin addict with multiple mental health issues, and his father, a violent repeat offender who has been incarcerated dozens of times.“I raised my children and now is supposed to be the time in your life you can sit back and relax and enjoy your grandchildren. But you also have a bit more freedom to do the things and interests that you had earlier in your life that you couldn’t do because you had your own children,” said Longhouse, an elementary school teacher from New Lowell, Ont., west of Barrie, who admitted she can get angry and frustrated over the unexpected turn her life has taken.“My husband and I rarely go out because Landon suffers from attachment disorder … There’s been a lot of struggle for us as a couple.”Even so, Longhouse, 54, said she wouldn’t change anything given the choice again.Landon, who had been “very traumatized,” has made tremendous progress and “has surpassed what anyone thought he would be able to do,” said his grandmother.“He is such a joy, he’s got such a great personality. We do lots of things and he does make us laugh,” said Longhouse, adding that she and her husband want to formally adopt him, and they have the financial resources to make sure his future is secure.“So the joy is knowing that he’s safe, the joy is knowing that he’s going to have a chance.”At 72, Sharon Green is the sole parent in a “skip-skip” generation family: she has legal custody of her three-year-old great-granddaughter Avery, whose mother tried to give her away as an infant to a distant relative on the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve, where she lives. Neither Green’s son — the little girl’s grandfather — nor either of her grandmothers was able to care for the child.“One of the problems is Ontario Works only gives me $263 a month (for a dependent child) and I’m a pensioner, of course,” she said by phone from her home in Cloyne, Ont., northeast of Toronto. “It can be difficult. I rely on my daughters quite a bit to help me.”Keeping up with a three-year-old can be taxing even for twenty-something mothers, but Green said she’s in “pretty good shape” for her age and she and her great-granddaughter “do quite a bit together.”“Every day, she’s full of energy. She loves to dance to music,” Green confided as Avery squealed with laughter in the background while banging away on a pot. “She’s just bright and happy and smiles and gives me hugs all the time and tells me she loves me.“There’s just so much joy with this child.”— Follow @SherylUbelacker on Twitter
TORONTO – A woman who Toronto police say was an unlicensed plastic surgeon is facing charges of aggravated assault after a woman required corrective surgery after a procedure.Police allege the patient underwent the procedure in the basement of a 19-year-old woman who advertised herself as “Dr. Kitty” in April 2017.Police say within a few weeks the woman developed an infection that required she undergo corrective surgery.A suspect, Jingyi Wang, has been charged with one count of aggravated assault after the patient complained to police.Investigators say if anyone else has similar allegations that they should get in touch with police.Police say they arrested Wang on Friday and she made her first court appearance in Toronto on Saturday.
Canadian Joshua Boyle, his American wife Caitlan Coleman and their three young children were released from captivity last October, five years after the couple disappeared in Afghanistan. Here is a timeline of their case.————July 2012 _ Joshua Boyle and Caitlan Coleman travel to Russia. They later move on to Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and finally to Afghanistan over the course of several months.Oct. 8, 2012 _ Caitlan Coleman’s father hears from Boyle for the last time before the couple is captured. Boyle said he was in an Internet cafe in what he described as an “unsafe” part of Afghanistan. The last withdrawals from the couple’s bank account were made Oct. 8 and 9 in Kabul. An Afghan official later said the couple had been abducted in Wardak Province, a rugged, mountainous Taliban haven.Late 2012 or early 2013 _ Coleman’s first child is born. Coleman was pregnant at the time of her capture, and her due date was in December 2012.June 4, 2014 _ Coleman’s family releases two videos of Coleman and Boyle in captivity, saying the clips were provided to the family in 2013. Boyle and Coleman are seen calling on the U.S. government to free them and their child from Taliban captors.November 2015 _ Coleman’s family receives a letter from Coleman in which she says she has given birth to a second child in captivity.Aug. 30, 2016 _ A video of Coleman and Boyle is posted on YouTube. In it, the Boyle says that their captors will kill them and their children “if the policies of the Afghan government are not overturned, either by the Afghan government or by Canada, somehow, or the United States.” A Taliban official has said the video was recorded in 2015.December 2016 _ Another video is posted online, this time featuring Coleman, Boyle and their two young children. In the video, Coleman urges governments on all sides to reach a deal to secure the family’s freedom.Oct. 12, 2017 _ U.S. officials say Pakistan secured the family’s release. According to officials, Coleman had a third child while in captivity. In a press release, the Pakistani military says Boyle and Coleman will be “repatriated to the country of their origin.”Oct 14, 2017 _ Boyle demands that his kidnappers be brought to justice for the “murder” of his infant daughter and the rape of his wife while they were in captivity.Oct 15, 2017 _ A Taliban spokesman rejected as “false and propaganda” the allegations of Boyle that his child was murdered and his wife raped during his captivity in Afghanistan.Oct 16, 2017 _ Boyle says he and his wife decided to have children while held captive because they always planned to have a big family and decided, “Hey, let’s make the best of this and at least go home with a larger start on our dream family.”Oct 17, 2017 _ Boyle said his wife had to be rushed to the hospital in Smith Falls, Ont., but he did not specify why she was taken there.Nov. 20, 2017 _ Caitlan Boyle tells ABC News how she and her husband did the best they could to raise young children in brutal conditions, using bottle caps and cardboard as toys and teaching their eldest son geography and astronomy.Jan 2, 2018 _ Boyle was arrested in Ottawa and charged with 15 offences. Court documents list them as eight counts of assault, two of sexual assault, two of unlawful confinement and one count of causing someone to “take a noxious thing, namely Trazodone,” an antidepressant. He also faced a charge of uttering a death threat and another of misleading a police officer.
VICTORIA – British Columbia’s public safety minister says he hopes the province’s wildfire situation is not the new normal but the issue of climate change and its impact on forests must be taken into account.“Obviously we know that climate is changing, we know that the fire season is starting earlier … we have been doing planning earlier, getting aircraft earlier, but it is a situation that we have to take seriously, the issue of climate change,” Mike Farnworth said Wednesday shortly after the government declared a provincewide state of emergency in response to hundreds of wildfires.It’s the second time in as many years that a state of emergency has been declared during the wildfire season and the fourth time in just over two decades. Provincial states of emergency were also declared in 1996 and 2003.The BC Wildfire Service said 559 fires were burning Wednesday in all corners of the province, with 31 new starts since Tuesday. Just over 1,800 blazes have been recorded since the wildfire season began April 1.The latest state of emergency will remain in effect for 14 days but can be extended or rescinded as necessary, Farnworth said, adding it ensures federal, provincial and local resources can be delivered in a co-ordinated manner.In northwestern B.C., a 333-square kilometre fire has destroyed more than 40 homes and properties in and around Telegraph Creek, said Forests Minister Doug Donaldson. Nearly a dozen agencies including firefighters from local First Nations and crews from outside the province were working to save homes in the community, he said.“This state of emergency improves our ability to increase that co-ordination as we see risk increasing in other communities,” he said.Farnworth, who is also the province’s solicitor general, said the emergency was declared based on recommendations from the BC Wildfire Service and emergency management officials.“As wildfire activity is expected to increase, this is a progressive step in our wildfire response to make sure British Columbia has access to any and all resources necessary,” he added.Kevin Skrepnek of the Wildfire Service said more than 1,500 properties were on evacuation order at midday Wednesday and at least 10,000 were on an alert, with residents advised to be ready to leave on short notice.“Certainly, given the number of fires we have going on right now, given the fire activity we are seeing out there, and given the fact that we really see no relief from the weather, there’s definitely the potential this season is going to get worse before it gets better,” he said.The province is waiting for the arrival of 200 Armed Forces’ members. Skrepnek said most of them would likely be sent to the Okanagan to help with wildfire mop-up.The RCMP said Wednesday it would send officers and equipment to assist detachments in central, northern and southern B.C. that have been most affected by fires, which could include vehicles, supplies and additional officers to help at check points or provide relief to local detachments.By this time last year, hundreds of homes been lost to wildfires and tens of thousands of people had been displaced. The human cost has not been as high this year, but the total number of fires is greater, said Skrepnek.The most severe losses this year have been in the Telegraph Creek area, which Donaldson visited on Tuesday.“In the town site we saw the random nature of forest fires … there’d be a house standing and three doors down there’d be a house totally destroyed, all that was left was the foundation and some twisted and melted metal,” he said.Crews were protecting heritage buildings in the old part of town and setting up sprinklers on the roofs of other homes, he said.Donaldson described the situation as volatile, adding “a change in wind direction could change everything.”Environment Canada issued air quality advisories for much of B.C., all of Alberta, and parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, as smoke from the fires drifts east. It advised children, the elderly and those with heart and lung conditions to limit their exposure.The dense smoke also made it more difficult to find fires that were sparked by lightning last weekend, said Skrepnek.“We can almost guarantee that there are fires out there that haven’t been detected yet,” he said, adding that rain is the only solution to the increasing risk but that isn’t in the forecast.“Rain is going to be absolutely critical. That is what we need to see and not just a small, quick event. We need to see a widespread rain across the entire province to alleviate the situation.”— By Beth Leighton in Vancouver
OTTAWA – A member of a federal Conservative riding association in Toronto has reportedly made a robocall that tried to pitch party memberships by citing a Liberal MP’s cancer diagnosis.CTV News said late Wednesday that it has audio of the call in which a man who says he’s the vice president of the Scarborough Centre riding association asks supporters to join the party, stating Salma Zahid was “very ill” and “there may be a need for a byelection.”In February, the Liberal MP said she was taking a medical leave to be treated for Stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and the network says the robocall was made a month later.Chris Mellor confirms he made the call and told CTV he does not regret it, saying it was appropriate given Zahid’s public statement on her diagnosis.He said in terms of election readiness, “we felt that we should have our members, as many members as possible, in order to select the candidate in the event that she resigned, or felt that she could no longer continue.”Zahid — who returned to work last month and is now cancer-free — told CTV News she was disappointed to learn her illness was being exploited for political advantage.“I can say that it’s reprehensible, disgusting, and disappointing, that they are trying to create fear among my constituents and it makes it harder for me as a member of Parliament to do my job,” she said.Daniel Schow, a spokesperson for Andrew Scheer, told the network that the Conservative leader was “unaware of the calls,” adding that “speculating on another MPs health issues for political motivations is completely unacceptable under any circumstances.”Conservative Party spokesperson Cory Hann added that the volunteer who made the call is being removed from the riding association board and will not hold any roles with the party.Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said the call is a “new low in politics” and the Conservatives owe Zahid an apology.“I think it’s not only unacceptable but it’s sad,” he said. “This should never, ever happen again.”Zahid said she is “seriously considering” raising this matter with House of Commons Speaker Geoff Regan when Parliament resumes next month.The report was published on the eve of the Conservative Party’s three-day policy convention in Halifax.
BERLIN — Four young men have gone on trial over the brazen theft of a 100-kilogram Canadian gold coin from a Berlin museum.The “Big Maple Leaf” coin, worth several million dollars, was stolen from the Bode Museum in March 2017.Three men, identified only as Wissam R., Ahmed R. and Wayci R., are accused of stealing the coin during the night using a wheelbarrow to haul it away.The fourth suspect, Dennis W., worked as a guard at the museum for a private security firm and is accused of scouting out the scene.German news agency dpa reported the four men, aged between 20 and 24 years, went on trial Thursday in Berlin district court.Investigators believe that the suspects cut up the coin and sold the pieces.The Associated Press
CALGARY — The energy industry has revealed what it wants to see from Alberta politicians as they gear up for a spring election.The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers says politicians should enact policies that will double the industry’s growth rate by 2020.It wants tax cuts, shorter regulatory times and government support for six new energy pipelines.There is no mention of a price on carbon or a cap on oilsands emissions, both of which were brought in by Alberta’s current NDP government.Association president Tim McMillan says the International Energy Agency predicts oil and gas demand is on track to grow and he believes Canada’s well-regulated oilpatch should be filling those markets.The agency also forecasts a three-degree rise in global temperatures by 2040 — well past the threshold at which scientists say dangerous climate change impacts will occur.The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs says his latest meeting with the prime minister produced little or no progress on major issues facing his province.Higgs met with Justin Trudeau on Tuesday in Ottawa, but the premier says there was no movement on the contentious issue of the federal government’s carbon tax.New Brunswick is an intervener in legal challenges launched by Saskatchewan and Ontario and has launched its own legal challenge of the carbon tax.Higgs says New Brunswick industries aren’t getting credit for the work already done to reduce emissions, and the federal backstop — the tax Ottawa will impose in provinces without their own carbon taxes — puts his province at a disadvantage.He wants it put on hold until at least the conclusion of the court challenges.Higgs says the federal government has agreed to share some information on negotiations to address softwood lumber tariffs by the United States.New Brunswick producers had been exempt from the tariffs in the past, but many were hit with a duty of 20.83 per cent at the end of 2017.Higgs, a Progressive Conservative, said he’d like to work with the Liberal government, but hinted he could campaign against them ahead of this year’s federal election, if there’s no movement on issues impacting New Brunswick.The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — Negotiations appear to have hit some turbulence in efforts to renew a contract between unionized employees and the Bombardier and Airbus-controlled limited partnership that is assembling the A220.An internal newsletter from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers that’s been viewed by The Canadian Press says the employer offer presented earlier this week was “light years away” from union expectations.According to the union, the proposal includes the elimination of the defined benefit pension plan, salary increases below the cost of living and the splitting of union certification.This negotiation is different from the last because talks are with Bombardier and the European giant at the same time because of the agreement signed a little over a year ago for control of the aircraft formerly called the C Series.In addition to some 1,000 workers assembling the A220, negotiations involve more than 3,000 Bombardier workers assigned to the CRJ aircraft program in Mirabel and others in the Montreal area.Airbus and Bombardier declined to comment on the state of talks but Bombardier spokesman Olivier Marcil said difficult negotiations to renew a labour contract is common and not just in the aerospace business.Companies in this story: (TSX:BBD.B)The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — Despite long patient waiting lists, almost one in five Canadian medical specialists weren’t able to find work upon graduation from their training programs in 2017 — the highest number ever reported, according to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.A study released Wednesday by the professional association that oversees Canadian medical specialists’ education found that 19 per cent of specialists didn’t immediately find work upon completing their certification.Unemployment numbers for newly certified specialists have fluctuated between 14 and 19 per cent since the group began conducting surveys in 2011, with the 2017 numbers being the most recent.The numbers don’t point to a surplus of specialists but rather a need for better planning, according to a spokeswoman for the group.For the moment, “the system isn’t working in an optimal way,” said Danielle Frechette, the executive director of the royal college’s Office of Research, Health Policy and Advocacy and one of the survey’s authors.In a phone interview, she said some doctors can spend more than a year job-hunting.The goal of the survey is to “find solutions for problems linked to employment of doctors, to improve physician workforce planning and inform career choice,” the royal college said.The response rate to the initial survey was 37 per cent, while 51 per cent of specialists who reported employment challenges agreed to a follow-up survey.The survey suggests changes need to be made to better serve patients, Frechette said. “If governments think of aligning human resources with physical resources to give care more punctually, we would all be happier,” she said.The survey respondents noted several barriers to finding employment, including a lack of positions in their specialty; poor access to job listings; their own reluctance to leave their home cities due to family obligations; a lack of resources including hospital beds or operating rooms; and the delayed retirement of senior physicians and surgeons. “Some hospitals would like to hire me but no funding for operating room time so no job. Older surgeons don’t want to retire,” one newly certified oncologist wrote in the survey.As for those who don’t want to move, many are members of “generation sandwich,” who are simultaneously caring for children and aging parents, Frechette said.The 2017 survey results confirmed previous years’ findings that surgical specialities requiring more resources are the most affected by employment issues. Neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists were the most affected in each of the seven years the survey has been conducted, followed by orthopedic surgeons and nuclear medicine specialists.At the same time that specialists report difficulty finding employment, an international investigation has found that Canadians have reported longer wait times than other similar countries when it comes to seeing a specialist.More than half of Canadians, or 56 per cent, waited more than four weeks to see a specialist, compared to the international average of 36 per cent. This is according to the 2016 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey of adults in 11 countries, the royal college said.The good news in the survey is that 61 per cent of specialists who reported difficulty in finding employment had secured a position by the time a follow-up survey was given 12 to 17 months after certification, Frechette said.Stephanie Marin, The Canadian Press
The Prince of Wales used his keynote speech at the 9th World Islamic Economic Forum in London this week to warn of the dangers of climate change, as well as the depletion of natural resources, and how big businesses often contributed to the problem.The Prince of Wales delivers his address during a reception and gala dinner at the end of the opening day of the 9th World Islamic Economic Forum in London.Credit/Copyright: www.princeofwales.gov.uk/His Royal Highness, a fervent supporter of action on climate change, told the gathering of 1,800 political and business leaders from over 115 countries the deterioration of “nature’s capital reserves” like water and soils can cause direct impacts on food and energy security.“The tragic conflict in Syria provides a terrifyingly graphic example, where a severe drought for the last seven years has decimated Syria’s rural economy, driving many farmers off their fields and into cities where, already, food was in short supply.” he said. “This depletion of natural capital, inexplicably, little reported in the media, was a significant contributor to the social tension that exploded with such desperate results.”The Prince said financial institutions needed to treat “natural capital” with the same importance as financial capital for the strain on the planet’s natural resources to be eased.“It is clear from the Koran, and indeed the Bible too, that humanity has a sacred responsibility for the stewardship of the Earth,” he said. “The time then has surely come for our financial institutions to recognise that the Earth is not a limitless resource that can be plundered at will, and to integrate that principle of stewardship into our financial structures.”He said Islamic banking, or alternative banking, could provide the answers where conventional “banking could not, given Islam’s emphasis on the moral economy”.The Prince said there was a welcome emphasis in Islamic finance that wider ethical and moral codes could not be separated from business.“We each have a scared duty of care towards the Earth,” The Prince said. “It calls upon us to shoulder this work together.”The event, which lasts for two days, is being held outside a Muslim country for the first time.Several major Islamic world leaders are attending, including King Abdullah of Jordan, the Sultan of Brunei and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.The Prince met delegates before taking to the lectern and while much of the discussion was on congratulating The Prince on the arrival of his grandson Prince George, it primarily focused on the desire to forge business links in the UK.Maybank Islamic Chairman Dato’Seri Ismail Shahudin, who chairs Malaysia’s biggest bank, said he had met The Prince before and had always appreciated his desire for business to look out for those less fortunate.“One of the things that struck me was his passion for helping the youth,” he said. “One of the things that is typical of Islamic banking is to help others and not just profit from it.”Guest speaker and prominent Egyptian architect Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil said the importance of holding the forum in London could not be understated.“The Prince coming here is a positive event at a time when everybody’s trying to create schisms,” he said.Source:PrinceOfWales.gov.uk
The Los Angeles Police Protective League’s Eagle & Badge Foundation presents their 12th Anniversary “In the Line of Duty Awards” on Saturday evening, November 16, 2013 at the JW Marriott Los Angeles @ LA Live.Hosted by veteran broadcaster Mary Hart. This year, four honorees have been announced along with a special performance by Grammy winning singer songwriter Colbie Caillat and the Queen Latifah Show’s favorite girl group, Identity4Pop performing the National Anthem.Honorees for 2013 are California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, President of SAG-AFTRA Ken Howard, LA City Councilman Joe Buscaino, and Philanthropist/Businessman Shlomo Rechnitz.“Each of this year’s honorees are truly outstanding leaders in their chosen fields,” announced Peter R. Repovich, President of the Eagle & Badge Foundation and Executive Chairman of the Event, ” and we look forward to recognizing their dedication and commitment to the citizens of Los Angeles and the State.”The evening will feature a performance by Two-time Grammy winning singer songwriter Colbie Caillat. The artist caught a generation’s imagination with her first hit single “Bubbly”, which become one of the best-selling digital tracks of all time. Her first album COCO debuted at No. 5 and raced its way past the multi-Platinum barrier. Her second album BREAKTHROUGH debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Album Chart and was honored with two Grammy nominations; that same year, Colbie won two Grammys for her collaborations with Jason Mraz and Taylor Swift. Caillat works for honorable causes including the Surfrider Foundation, Save The Music Foundation, Farm Sanctuary and The Humane Society of the U.S. Colbie’s next single, “Hold On”, which was co-written and produced by Ryan Tedder, is due out Nov 17. Her next studio album is due Spring 2014.The evening will also feature the young trio, Identity4Pop, performing the National Anthem, (They just appeared on the Queen Latifah Show Nov. 8th and sang the anthem at the Martin Luther King tribute in Washington last month for President and Mrs. Obama.)The Honorable California Attorney General Kamala Harris has a lengthy career as a prosecutor and two terms as District Attorney of San Francisco prior to becoming Attorney General. She is committed to fighting violent crime, combating transnational gangs trafficking guns, drugs and human beings through the state, and to improving efficiency in law enforcement investigations and prosecutions with increased technology and data-driven policing.Actor, author, Emmy and Tony Award winner, Ken Howard has been a working actor for more than 40 years in film television and theatre (“White Shadow”, “30 Rock”, “Crossing Jordan”, “The West Wing”). His leadership and teamwork with other SAG-AFTRA executives allowed the two rival organizations to merge as one last year to the benefit of more than 165,000 actors, recording artists, broadcasters and other performers.Prior to his election to the LA City Council in January of 2012, Councilmember Joe Buscaino served the citizens of Los Angeles as a member of the LAPD including six years as Senior Lead Officer in the Harbor Area. A dedicated community leader working with countless youth programs in his spare time, he serves the 15th Council District of with compassion and commitment and Chairs the Public Works and Gang Reduction Committees.Shlomo Rechnitz founded TwinMed at age 22, now one of the largest medical supply distributors in the United States. He revolutionized the industry by introducing the “PPD Model” which ultimately won him the Ernst and Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award. Shlomo went on to build a medical industry conglomerate which includes rehabilitation facilities, pharmacies, cancer research and other ancillary medical companies. Currently, he spends half his time overseeing his charity foundation, which distributes funds to over 700 organizations on an annual basis.Businessman Arthur M. Kassel is serving once again as Gala Event Chair. Mayor Eric Garcetti is the Honorary Event Chair; LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and Steve Soboroff, President of the LA Police Commission are Honorary Event Co-Chairs, and the Event Co-Chair is Tyler Izen, President of the Los Angeles Police Protective League.The Eagle & Badge Foundation was founded 12 years ago by the Los Angeles Police Protective League and several community leaders to help members of law enforcement and their families with extraordinary expenses when affected by health or other critical issues, expenses not covered by insurance or other sources. Recent donations from the Foundation have included funding of special therapy equipment required by an officer’s wife severely injured in a fall; three specially trained service dogs for autistic children of LAPD officers; an airline flight for an officer to attend his father’s funeral; support for an officer’s family traumatized by the tornados in their home state, and payment of numerous household bills for an officer living with cancer. The Foundation also provides funding for police based organizations in the community which in turn continue to help many thousands of individuals, most of them children.Over 1,000 business, entertainment, political and community leaders are anticipated to be on hand at this year’s Gala. The event begins at 6pm with a red carpet, silent auction and reception, followed by a gourmet dinner, live auction, awards, and headline entertainment.For information on the Foundation, or to purchase tickets, tables, tribute ads or to become a Gala sponsor, please call the Foundation office at 818.994.4661 or email info@EagleandBadgeFoundation.org. Information also available at www.EagleandBadgeFoundation.org.MANY CELEBRITIES ARE ATTENDING including: Mayor Eric Garcetti, Mary Hart, Attorney General Kamala Harris, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, Ken Howard, Gabrielle Carteris (90210), Colbie Caillat, Shirley Jones, Marty Ingels, Identity4Pop trio from Queen Latifah Show, Catherine Bach, Tom Hallick, Bobby Costanza, Frank Mottek KNXCBS Radio, Jim Hill-KCBS, Terry Moore, cast members of police TV shows CSI, Hill Street Blues, Adam 12, Police Woman, and many more.The 12th Annual Eagle & Badge GalaSaturday November 16th at 6PMJW Marriot Hotel @ L.A.Live – Diamond Ballroom 4th Floor- 900 W. Olympic Blvd. LA , CA 90015
Wearing green bodypaint – and little else – Rosanna Davison, daughter of “Lady in Red” singer Chris De Burgh, shows off her stunning plant-fuelled body in new photos for St Patrick’s Day.Painted, courtesy of make-up artist Shima Mistry, as a sexy leprechaun lady while holding a sign that proclaims, “Kiss Me. I’m Vegan!” the certified nutritionist is spreading the word that one of the best ways to stay healthy, slim and energised is by going vegan.“Vegan meals are packed with nutrients and free of unhealthy animal fat and cholesterol, so they’re a great way to keep your weight down and your energy up”, Davison says. “The best thing to do for your health and for animals is to go vegan – for St Patrick’s Day and every day!”PETA US’ website includes an array of “veganised” recipes for St Paddy’s Day, including Irish classics such as shepherd’s pie, colcannon, brown bread and more.In addition to being, on average, slimmer than meat-eaters are, vegans are less prone to cancer, heart disease, strokes and diabetes. Vegan meals are “greener”, too, as the meat industry is a leading cause of the greenhouse-gas emissions that contribute to climate change. And of course, each vegan saves many animals a year from extreme suffering on factory farms, in abattoirs and on the decks of fishing boats.Davison is part of a growing list of celebrities – including Pamela Anderson, Alicia Silverstone, Casey Affleck, Paul McCartney, Joaquin Phoenix, John Bishop and Emily Deschanel – who have teamed up with PETA and its affiliates to promote healthy, humane, meat-free meals.For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.
Multi-talented entertainer and television personality Nick Cannon will serve as the Grand Marshal at the Walk to End Lupus Now event in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, April 19.Cannon will cut the opening ceremony ribbon and lead the more 4,000 walkers down Pennsylvania Avenue towards the Capitol, shedding light on the cruel mystery that is lupus. Cannon was diagnosed with lupus nephritis (lupus kidney disease) in 2012 and has been a tireless advocate for increased awareness of lupus and the importance of research.“Join me in our nation’s capital for the Lupus Foundation of America’s Walk to End Lupus Now event on April 19th. Together, we can rally public support for this disease and call attention to the importance of lupus research and participation in clinical trials,” says Nick Cannon. Nick Cannon’s participation in the DC Walk to End Lupus Now event is supported by Bristol-Myers Squibb.Cannon will be joined by Walk Ambassador and New England Patriots defensive back Tavon Wilson. Eileen Whelan, meteorologist for ABC7, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.Lupus has impacted Wilson, a Washington, D.C. native, closely — both his aunt Regina and cousin Dionne are battling the disease.“When the opportunity came up to help create more awareness for this devastating disease, especially in my hometown, I jumped on it. I wanted to be a positive voice in the community because those with lupus deserve a cure for it,” said Wilson.Organized by the Lupus Foundation of America, Walk to End Lupus Now events are held in more than 60 cities across the country, making it the largest lupus walk program in the entire world The walk events bring together community members — people with lupus, friends, families, health care providers and celebrities — to raise money for lupus research and education programs, increase awareness of the disease and rally public support for those who feel the brutal impact of lupus.“The Lupus Foundation of America diligently works to ensure that federal and state funds are provided for lupus research and education programs. We must continue to make our voices heard and educate our elected officials about the impact of lupus on individuals and their families. The Walk to End Lupus Now in our nation’s capital serves as the perfect platform to accomplish this,” explained Sandra C. Raymond, President and CEO of Lupus Foundation of America. “More resources for research will further our efforts to find a cure for this unpredictable and devastating disease. We urge the community and Congress to join us in our fight to end lupus.”“Every dollar raised from Washington, D.C.‘s Walk to End Lupus Now event, supports the Lupus Foundation of America’s efforts to solve the mystery of lupus, while we continue to provide services to the thousands of residents that turn to us every year for answers and support,” said Jessica Gilbart President and CEO, Lupus Foundation of America, DMV ChapterRegistration for the walk is open online at DCLupusWalk.org. Participants can also create a personal fundraising page on the walk website to raise money, recruit new team members and get valuable fundraising tips.Source:PR Newswire
At a press conference held on Friday at the well known Hotel Foroyar in Torshavn and live streamed worldwide, actress and activist Pamela Anderson joined Sea Shepherd Global, Sea Shepherd USA and Sea Shepherd France to show her support for Sea Shepherd’s Operation GrindStop 2014 campaign and to shine a spotlight on the brutal and archaic mass slaughter of pilot whales and other cetaceans known as the ‘grindadrap’ or ‘grind’.Present with Anderson to represent Sea Shepherd were Lamya Essemlali, President, Sea Shepherd France and GrindStop2014 Offshore Campaign Leader; and Rosie Kunneke, Chapter Coordinator for South Africa, GrindStop 2014 Onshore Campaign Leader for Sea Shepherd USA.A long-time animal protection advocate, Anderson emphasized that though the Faroese people once needed to kill pilot whales for food, there is no longer any need in the modern world to kill cetaceans.“This is not for survival. There are very few things that happen like this, that are this brutal,” said Pamela Anderson. “We have to put this behind us and move on, and let the whales swim freely by. And I think it’s much more important for us in the future to save our oceans and the biodiversity of our oceans that the whales are very important to.”Anderson added that cruel traditions must die out, and that it will be the next generations who bring the grind to a halt. “Young people probably feel pressure to follow in the footsteps of their ancestors. I think this is the perfect time to not listen to your parents, to think for yourself. Maybe there’s going to be a movement like there have been movements for many other things in the world where you look inside yourself and say ‘Is this something I should be doing just because my parents did it and my grandparents did it?’ This is a new time and the world is at risk…I think this is the generation that has to stand up and say ‘That was then, this is now; this is what I’m going to do.’”Sea Shepherd has led the opposition to the grind slaughter in the Faroe Islands since the 1980s. Operation GrindStop 2014 is Sea Shepherd’s largest Faroese campaign to date, with approximately 500 volunteers set to patrol the land and waters of the Faroes over the course of the campaign. Sea Shepherd’s on- and offshore teams will be present in the Faroe Islands throughout the traditionally bloodiest months of the hunt season – from June until October 1st.In a statement, Pamela Anderson said: “I have traveled to the beautiful Faroe Islands today to publicly oppose the needless killing of intelligent, sentient pilot whales and other dolphins and to support Sea Shepherd¹s Operation GrindStop 2014 campaign.“It is important to understand we are NOT AGAINST the Faroese. WE ARE FOR the whales and dolphins. We are their voice. But the eyes of the world are upon the Faroese today and it is now time to end this archaic abomination called the Grind. I support Sea Shepherd¹s efforts to end this cruel and ruthless massacre of defenseless whales and dolphins who are highly intelligent and so much like us. They have families like we do, they love them and care for them like we do, they have their own language and individual names for one another like we do, and a very complex social structure like we do.“The killing is a stain on this pristine country which no longer needs the meat of these animals to survive. When we know better, we do better. And we now know that these are sentient creatures who suffer greatly not only during the slaughter but during the very stressful drive itself. They are very socially complex animals and their entire families are being killed in front of them in a manner that would never be permitted in any slaughterhouse in the world. In addition, the meat of these animals is tainted with toxic contaminants including mercury, which is particularly harmful to pregnant women and young children.“I am fortunate to have some of my family with me today. They are surfers. What a beautiful eco-tourism destination these islands would make if only you would bring the grind to a halt. But until then the waters remain tainted with blood, staining the reputation of the Faroese. The time has come to stop the grind.”The only grind to take place this year occurred on May 18, before Sea Shepherd arrived in the Faroe Islands in June, claiming 13 pilot whales. The year before, the same Faroese town, Fuglafjørður, killed a staggering 267 pilot whales in one grind.Should a hunt commence during the course of the campaign, Sea Shepherd will take direct action to intervene and stop the grind from taking place using land, sea and air tactics. This week, Sea Shepherd’s crew was able to spot a pod of pilot whales and guide them back out to sea, safely away from the Faroese killing bays. As no preparations for a grind had begun, Sea Shepherd acted within Faroese law by chasing the pod away from shore.For hundreds of years, the people of the Danish Faroe Islands have been herding migrating pilot whales and other small cetaceans into shallow water and slaughtering them. Entire family units are destroyed, wiping out several generations of animals at a time. The Faroese claim that without the meat from these cetaceans, the people would starve. Whether or not people would have starved in the past without eating pilot whale is irrelevant. There is certainly no one in the Danish Faroe Islands who would go hungry today, much less starve, if no more cetaceans were killed.Today, the ‘grindadrap’ (whale slaughter) or ‘grind’ is a barbaric and cruel relic of history that has no place in modern civilization. The wholesale slaughter of entire families and the unimaginable horror inflicted upon these sentient, intelligent beings is unconscionable. The continued pillage of the oceans is causing disastrous consequences. Even the meat of these creatures is dangerous to consume. The European Union does not allow such activity, but the Danish Faroe Islands manage to side-step EU restrictions with their overfishing and harm to marine mammals. Sea Shepherd has taken action against the grind in years past and will do so again for GrindStop 2014.
Popular actor and television star, Ross McCall, known for his roles in the acclaimed TV series, “24: Live Another Day,” “White Collar,” and “Band of Brothers,” will soon be joining marine conservation non-profit Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in the remote Faroe Islands to assist with its pilot whale defense campaign, Operation GrindStop 2014.Ross McCall and Paul WatsonCredit/Copyright: Sea Shepherd Conservation SocietyAlways thinking about giving back in the wake of the successful acting career he has enjoyed, McCall will be joining Sea Shepherd’s multi-national volunteer teams that have traveled to the Faroe Islands (in the North Atlantic between the UK and Iceland) since mid-June of this summer during the height of pilot whale migration season to work onshore and offshore to try to stop the very cruel and archaic whale drive hunt in the Faroes, called the ‘grindadrap’ or ‘grind,’ where entire pods of intelligent and sentient pilot whales are herded into shallow bays and hacked to death with knives – taking several generations of whales from the sea at a time.McCall joins the campaign as Operation GrindStop 2014 successfully sparks worldwide outcry against the slaughter of whales in the Faroe Islands. Last Saturday, August 30, after an entire summer of no grind activity since Sea Shepherd arrived on the scene 85 days prior, the day’s events sparked an international incident and global media attention when the local Faroese whalers drove a pod of 33 migrating pilot whales to shore and slaughtered them, despite Sea Shepherd’s dedicated attempts to intervene by land and by sea. All 14 of the activists on the island of Sandoy who intervened were arrested and 3 of their speedboats were seized and remain in custody. The “Faroes 14,” as the activists have been dubbed, have since been released and a sentence of 1,000 kr in fines and deportation is being proposed for each member of the land team (the boat team appears in court Sept. 25). A decision for the land team is due Monday, September 8. Operation GrindStop 2014 is expected to continue until Oct. 1.Before traveling to the Faroe Islands, the 38-year-old Scottish native son returned home to Glasgow on Sunday, Sept. 7 to fulfill a long-time dream. The star of cult classic football movie “Green Street Hooligans,” also a huge Celtic Football Club fan, played in the Celtic Football Club’s Maestrio Charity Football Match at Paradise. McCall gave his celebrity to this charity match to raise money for the charitable arm of the team, the Celtic FC Foundation.Earlier this year, the actor took time away from his busy schedule to deliver a collection of Celtic strips to the Casa Hogar of Sion Orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico, which was donated by the Celtic FC Foundation. Impressed by the work the Foundation does, McCall says raising money to support their vital work only added to his enjoyment of the match on Sunday.McCall will arrive in the Faroes late Monday and will join the Sea Shepherd crew on their patrols on Tuesday and Wednesday. Though he must leave on Thursday, Sept. 11 to get back to his busy filming schedule, he plans to pack a lot of activity into his brief visit. In addition to joining Sea Shepherd’s land and boat teams on patrols, McCall will visit a local school to speak with children about the importance of protecting our oceans. If time allows, who knows — he may even organize a football match between Sea Shepherd and the local Faroese, whom he has heard are as crazy as he is about football.
Singer, songwriter and philanthropist Sir Ivan, also known as Peaceman, has released a new (EDM) electronic dance music version of John Lennon’s “Imagine”.The song is co-produced by Grammy Award winner Omar Akram and legendary music arranger Peter Rafelson. It is the first single released off SIR IVAN’s new 10 song album called “Peaceman Shines”. Each of the 10 songs, created by 10 different producers, are all well-known anti-war and peace songs from the 60s and early 70s, except for two original songs, co-written by Sir Ivan, that share the same theme.Sir Ivan stated, “In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, and to pay respect to John Lennon, who passed away 35 years ago, on December 8th 1980, it is an appropriate time for a new generation to listen to Lennon’s optimistic lyrics, which offer hope to all people on the planet and a formula for world peace.”This is not the first time SIR IVAN has released a new version of “Imagine,” He did so on September 4th, 2001, exactly one week before September 11th, when he launched his music career and became the first recording artist in history to turn any slow ballad of the Beatles or John Lennon into an up tempo dance record. Personally signed to the Tommy Boy Label by its owner, Tom Silverman, SIR IVAN’s revolutionary fast paced version of “Imagine” became an instant top 40 hit on the Billboard Dance Chart. This proved that even thirty years after the original was released by John Lennon in 1971, the lyrics of “Imagine” were just as relevant to a whole new generation. Now, 15 years after SIR IVAN’s 2001 release, because the planet still has not learned to live in peace, SIR IVAN is once again giving the world an opportunity to come together as one while raising money for a good cause.In 2005, Sir Ivan, son of Auschwitz survivor Siggi B. Wilzig, created The Peaceman Foundation, a charity that donates funds to other non-profit organizations that help people suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a debilitating mental condition that often results from exposure to severe acts of violence, such as brutal attacks against members of the LGBT community, atrocities of war and terrorism. Sir Ivan has seen firsthand what survivors go through. His own father suffered from classic PTSD symptoms; severe headaches, flashbacks, nightmares and depression, as a result of brutal beatings in the concentration camps and the deaths of 59 members of his family during the Holocaust. All of Sir Ivan’s recording artist royalties from the single “Imagine” and the album “Peaceman Shines” will be donated to The Peaceman Foundation to battle PTSD. Both are available on iTunes, Amazon MP3, Beatport Pro and many other top digital music stores. Physical CDs can be purchased at CD Baby.Find out more here.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and three time Grammy Award winner, Angelique Kidjo, met with Syrian and Lebanese youth in refugee settlements in Lebanon to mark World Youth Skills Day on Saturday 15 July.Angelique Kidjo engages with children in the Housh el Refka informal settlement, Bekaa ValleyCredit/Copyright: UNICEF//Ibarra Sanchez“Supporting the hopes of children and young people has never been more important – Their future is our future” said Angelique Kidjo after speaking to Syrian and Lebanese children and young people in the Bekaa Valley.To mark World Youth Skills Day, Kidjo visited projects implemented by a UNICEF youth partner, the Lebanese NGO LOST (Lebanese Organisation for Studies and Training) in and around Zahle in the Bekaa valley. Kidjo spoke to the children and young people about the challenges they face in pursuing an education, finding opportunities, living in refugee settlements and breaking down barriers between the two communities.Kidjo took part in a Life Skills Training and attended focus group discussions with young women whose lives have been improved thanks to a practical skills training, preparing them for the job market.“Meeting with the girls and boys, the young men and women, you sense how hard they need to fight to hold on to a hope of a dignified future in their circumstances, At the same time, you know that what they need is within reach. Today I’ve actually seen how the training provided is bearing fruit, improving the lives of these inspiring young men and women,” Kidjo said.Lebanon, a country which already faces a number of challenges, has been heavily affected by the conflict in neighbouring Syria. More than one in four people in the country are now refugees; the highest proportion per capita of any country in the world.The sheer number of refugees is putting an enormous strain on the labour market and the education sector, with general poverty on the rise.“Some of the most pressing issues facing Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian youth are deprivation, discrimination and even a fear of the other. That’s why UNICEF is bringing together youth from all communities, particularly girls and young women, equipping them with skills and knowledge that enable them to participate in the labor market, as well as overcome persistent social and cultural divides,” said Tanya Chapuisat, Representative of UNICEF Lebanon.On a regional level, more than six years into an unprecedented turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, the optimism among young Arabs is waning, they feel overlooked by policymakers, and see unemployment and extremisms as the biggest problems in the region. Youth in Lebanon, be they Lebanese, Syrian or Palestinian, are no exception from the rule and often don’t have the opportunity of playing an active, positive role in the society they live in.There are one million people aged between 15 and 24 in Lebanon, or one in six. Among Lebanese youth, the unemployment rate is 35%. The picture of opportunities facing Syrian youth is even bleaker. Only a small minority is able to generate an income, and more than nine in ten Syrians aged 15-24 are not enrolled in any formal education. Building skills and capacity, and empowering youth is therefore a driving principle of UNICEF’s work in Lebanon.“If you want to build a durable foundation for stability in the future in the Middle East, what do you do? You work with youth and you make sure they get an education and the means of securing what’s needed for them to live a decent life,” said Kidjo, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2002.
Twitter Andrew Phung: that TV guy who was discovered . . .while performing improv.Not long after he began filming the CBC comedy Kim’s Convenience this summer, the Calgarian was keeping his improv chops sharp by performing two nights a week at Toronto’s Bad Dog Theatre.When he first went into the theatre to introduce himself, he found his story had preceded him. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement “A girl said ‘Are you the guy that got discovered at an improv show? There’s a story floating around that you got discovered at an improv show!’” says Phung. “I said: ‘Well, yeah, sort of.’ She said ‘That’s amazing, can you tell me the story?’ So it’s kind of become folklore in the improv scene.”For Calgarians, the idea that Phung needed to be discovered may seem strange. He has been a consistent presence in the city for more than decade, having joined the venerable Loose Moose Theatre as a 16-year-old. He’s been a go-to guy for hosting and emcee gigs for years, whether it be for corporations or other organizations. He’s topped local “best-of” lists for his comedic prowess.But, the simple fact is, national shows rarely cast in Calgary, or anywhere else other than Toronto and Vancouver. And Phung, who has a two-year-old son and another baby on the way, made the decision years ago to stay in his hometown. Television, he thought, was not in his future.But in the summer of 2015, he was performing his two-person improvised action-movie parody called Kill Hard with fellow Loose Mooser Jamie Northan at the Edmonton Fringe Festival. In the audience was writer Ins Choi, the man behind the hit 2011 play Kim’s Convenience. He told Phung he liked his performance and thought he would be perfect for the role of Kimchee in the upcoming TV adaptation. Facebook Advertisement Advertisement