Brendon McCullum continues tryst with April 18, hammers 13th IPL fifty

first_imgBrendon McCullum continued his tryst with April 18 to smash a hyper aggressive half-century in the Indian Premier League.Exactly nine years ago on April 18, 2008, McCullum had blasted 158* not out for Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore in the first game of the inaugural IPL.On April 18, 2017, McCullum was up against RCB again, albeit for a different team but the former New Zealand skipper showed he had lost none of his touch as he blazed away to a rapid 72. However, his knock couldn’t save his team from suffering a defeat as the Gujarat Lions lost to the Royal Challengers Bangalore by 21 runs inRajkot.Chasing 214 for victory in Rajkot, McCullum set the hosts on course with some brutal stroke play. Besides that hundred in 2008, Baz has two more fifties on April 18. Some coincidence that!McCullum retired from ODIs after leading the Black Caps to the World Cup final in 2015.After spending time with KKR,  McCullum moved over to Kochi Tuskers Kerala before shifting base to Chennai Super Kings, where he formed a successful opening combination with Dwayne Smith.Once CSK was suspended for two years along with Rajasthan Royals, McCullum was roped in by Gujarat Lions.last_img read more

Thumbs-up from athletes for IOC decision on Russia

first_imgAthletes who lost medals because of Russia’s doping program at the Sochi Olympics gave a broad thumbs-up to the International Olympic Committee’s decision on Tuesday to let Russians compete at the upcoming Pyeongchang Games – but not under their own flag.The consensus among athletes was that the IOC struck a good balance between punishing the nation but not Russian athletes who may not have been part of the vast doping scheme.”It sounds like a really good compromise to me,” said Stuart Benson, who raced on the British four-man bobsled team that placed fifth in Sochi, but which now hopes for the bronze medal after two Russian sleds were disqualified. When those DQs were announced in November, Benson celebrated with a macaroni cheese dinner. (Russia reacts with caution, shock to 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics ban)”It’s a punishment for the state, the country, and they are obviously trying not to punish the athletes who haven’t done anything wrong,” he said in a phone interview moments after the IOC announced that Russian athletes who pass a series of drug tests can apply to compete as neutral athletes. If Russians win, the Russian flag won’t fly and the anthem won’t be played.He said he expects the screening process will weed out any cheats.”I’d be confident enough that the IOC, with all the vast knowledge they’ve got, wouldn’t put in a place a system that didn’t tick all the boxes,” he said. (How Russian athletes can still compete in 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics)advertisementMany athletes said they wouldn’t have felt comfortable had the IOC banned all Russians from the Pyeongchang Games.”Very tough collective sanctions can lead to a huge injustice and that’s not at all the IOC’s role to do that,” said French cross-country skier Robin Duvillard. He and other members of the French team that got bronze in the men’s 4×10-kilometer relay in Sochi are now in line for the silver medal that was stripped in November from the Russian team. (Significance of the IOC ban: Russia pays a price, but no winners in doping saga)He said overly harsh sanctions risked alienating Russians who already “feel that everyone is against them. And that is good for no one.””You have to be careful about not going too far,” he said.Making Russian athletes compete as neutrals in Pyeongchang will hurt Russian authorities but spare its athletes, Duvillard added.”It is a good punishment for the Russian state, because it’s a political setback,” he said. “We are taking away a symbol from them and recognition of their country.”US skeleton athlete Katie Uhlaender, who was fourth in Sochi and will go to bronze with a Russian disqualified, said she feels a culture change needs to happen.”The only way to ensure that is to hold a strong line,” she said. “Russia will deny to the end, and if a line was not drawn, I feel behind closed doors they would have made a mockery of the Olympic movement.”John Jackson, another member of the British bobsled team in line for an upgrade to bronze, said Russia deserved the punishment because of its steadfast refusals to accept investigators’ findings that the doping scheme was state-supported.”For me, it’s all to do with the accountability and Russia, as a nation, as a sporting governing body … has not taken accountability and ownership of the fact that this was a massive doping operation within their sporting community,” he said.”The IOC needed to make to stand to show Russia and any other country that might be thinking about doing systematic doping that they can’t get away with it.”Now retired Dutch speed skater Margot Boer, in line for the silver medal from the women’s 500 meters in Sochi that was stripped from Russia’s Olga Fatkulina, said the decision could help restore credibility to the IOC after it was broadly criticized for letting Russia compete under its own flag at the 2016 Rio Olympics.”They are making a point,” she said. “This a step back in the good direction.”Speaking earlier Tuesday before the IOC announcement, she also said that a blanket ban was undesirable.”There are some athletes who I know for sure had nothing to do with it, so I don’t want them to not be able to race,” she said. “If your brother is bad and does something wrong, the rest of the family doesn’t have to go to jail.”last_img read more

Greek-American Leonsis Brings Washington Stanley Cup Champion

first_imgHe wasn’t on the ice when his Washington Capitals won the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup, but he was in the hearts of the fans who’d waited a while for Ted Leonsis, grandson of Greek immigrant parents, to deliver a championship in the nation’s Capital.(Ted Leonsis is 21st at TNH’s 50 WealthiestGreek-Americans 2018 List)Leonsis was born to a family of modest means in Brooklyn, and spent his early years there before moving back to his mother’s hometown of Lowell, Mass. a city that decades before had been one of the biggest Greek immigrant enclaves in the country, packed with coffeehouses and Greek families in a neighborhood called The Acre.He was graduated from Lowell High in 1973 – where a guidance counselor thought the young man’s future was to work in a grocery store and from Georgetown – in Washington – in 1977, moving back to Lowell to work as a communications manager for Wang Labs, one of the first major computer companies that flourished while he was there. He already had the touch of a skilled face-off hockey player and the mental toughness of Gordie Howe.In 1980, Leonsis started his own company, which grew quickly, and sold it to International Thompson for $60 million in 1981. He then started Redgate, a major media communications company which he sold to AOL in 1993, becoming its President.Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis watches as his team warms up before Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final between the Capitals and the Vegas Golden Knights, Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)None of that came close to not happening. He survived a small plane crash in 1983 and drew up a list of 101 goals he wanted to accomplish and said he’s gone through 82 of them – without saying if the Stanley Cup can now be added.Greek-American sports teams owners have tried before. Peter Angelos has owned the Baltimore Orioles since 1993. George Argyros owned the Seattle Mariners from 1980-89. Alex Spanos owns the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, moving the team there in 2017 after 56 years in San Diego. They had begun in LA in 1960 and reached the Super Bowl in 1995 only to be crushed 49-26 by the San Francisco 49’ers.Leonsis, 61, also owns the Washington Wizards basketball team and other sports franchises under the umbrella of his Monumental Sports and Entertainment, as well as the arena in which the major league teams play.He bought the Capitals in 1999 and when they won the cup, beating the expansion team Vegas Golden Knights, he stood on the ice alone, remembering the journey perhaps that led from Lowell to the top of the hockey world, after seeing photos in Washington of streets packed with happy fans, the Washington Post said before a parade that was, well, Monumental.Washington Capitals NHL hockey team owner Ted Leonsis, left, and Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, from Russia, pose for picture with the Stanley Cup on the ice at Capital One Arena, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)“I’ve always believed nothing brings a city closer together than a winning sports team,” Leonsis said. But there was a lot of angst and anguish before they did, repeatedly being sent packing in the playoffs although he had built a star-studded team around Russian superstar Alex Ovechkin.“It’s much, much sweeter to go through all of the pain and suffering to get to the top of the mountain. That’s the way life is. That’s the way great businesses get built. It’s never easy,” he told the paper.“Never lost confidence in the group and the core,” Leonsis said. “To be honest, I never lost confidence in myself and our leadership group. I just think if you attack things with integrity and you have stick-with-it-ness, then good things will happen.”TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Cole Fans 15, Bregman Homers as Astros Top Rays 3-1

first_imgHOUSTON — Houston’s pair of aces dealt the Astros a pair of wins.Gerrit Cole carried his splendid September into an outstanding October with a 15-strikeout performance and Alex Bregman handed fans chanting MVP the mighty swing they craved. The Astros survived a wild ninth inning to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 on Saturday night for a 2-0 lead in their AL Division Series.Houston is one win from reaching the AL Championship Series for the third straight year.“We’ve got a lot more work to take care of,” Cole said. “There’s a few months this winter that maybe we can sit back and have a drink about it. Right now, it’s on to the next one.”Cole, 5-0 with a 1.07 ERA in six starts last month, set an Astros postseason strikeouts record over 7 2/3 scoreless innings to win his franchise-record 17th straight decision. The strikeouts tied for third-most in a postseason game, behind only Bob Gibson’s 17 in the 1968 World Series and Kevin Brown’s 16 in a 1998 NL Division Series.“He was incredible,” manager AJ Hinch said. “He had complete command of the entire game.”Cole’s performance came after fellow ace and Cy Young Award contender Justin Verlander pitched seven scoreless innings to lead the Astros to a 6-2 win in Friday’s opener.Throwback performances from another era.“Whether it’s about the new-age opener or pulling guys third time through, most of the people that support that haven’t had Verlander or Cole on their team,” Hinch said. “It’s hard for me to relate to having to pull guys early or wanting to pull guys early when these guys are putting up these kinds of performances. … I’m going to roll with these boys while we have them.”Cole (1-0), who led the majors with 326 strikeouts in the regular season, extended his big league record with his 10th straight game with at least 10 Ks. The Rays were unable to string anything together off of him on a night he induced 33 swings and misses — the most in a postseason game since MLB started tracking the stat in 2008 — and threw a career-high 118 pitches.“I don’t think anything he did was surprising,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “He’s just that good.”“He was majestic,” the Rays’ Willy Adames said.Kevin Kiemaier doubled with two outs in the eighth and Cole was lifted after putting on Adames with Tampa Bay’s first walk. The right-hander received a standing ovation as he walked off the mound and waved to the crowd just before he reached the dugout. Roberto Osuna took over and struck out Yandy Díaz to end the inning before loading the bases with no outs in the ninth.Austin Meadows and Tommy Pham hit consecutive singles, Ji-Man Choi walked and Avisaíl Garcia grounded into a forceout that scored Meadows. Osuna walked Brandon Lowe, reloading the bases, and Hinch brought in Will Harris.Travis d’Arnaud worked the count full, then struck out on a high cutter. Kiermaier grounded to first baseman Yuli Gurriel, who flipped to Harris, who stepped on first for the save.Tampa Bay is hitting .177 with two extra-base hits. Game 3 of the best-of five series is Monday in Florida.“I don’t think there’s a real message,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “They know what’s at stake.”Bregman, who hit a career-best 41 home runs in the regular season, homered off Blake Snell (0-1) leading off the fourth.“It’s just lack of a pitch,” Snell said. “I’m still finding it, still trying to get there. I know I can, so that’s why it’s frustrating.”All seven of Bregman’s homers have come off All-Stars, including two against Chris Sale and one each vs. Trevor Bauer, Clayton Kershaw, Corey Kluber and Kenley Jansen.His shot gave the Astros a home run in 27 straight games, extending a franchise record.After Lowe’s error at second gifted Houston two runs in the opener, another error on helped in the seventh. Adames bobbled Gurriel’s leadoff grounder to shortstop, then bounced the throw to first. Carlos Correa doubled and Martín Maldonado blooped a run-scoring single to left.Correa added a two-out RBI single off Nick Anderson in the eighth for a 3-0 lead.Snell, the 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner, sat out from July 22-Sept. 17 after arthroscopic surgery to remove bone chips in his left elbow. He didn’t get out of the third inning in any of his three September starts, but said he hoped to give the Rays five innings on Saturday. Instead he was lifted one batter after Bregman’s homer, finishing with four hits and a strikeout in 3 1/3 innings.“I wish I would have gone deeper,” Snell said. “When you face a guy like that, you want to be out there as long as him.”DAZZLING DEFENSECorrea helped Cole out with a fantastic defensive play to start the game. Díaz led off with a grounder toward Correa, who grabbed the ball backhanded while on the run and spun around for the throw to Gurriel that just beat a sliding Díaz.“It’s stuff that people don’t see, but for me I always say that if you are going to win championships you have to pitch and you have to play defense, and then the offense comes,” Correa said.UP NEXTFormer Astro Charlie Morton, who got the win in the Rays wild-card victory, will start against Zack Greinke. Morton pitched for the Astros from 2017-18 and played a big role in their 2017 World Series title. He won Game 7 of AL Championship Series against the Yankees and Game 7 of the World Series at Dodger Stadium to give Houston its first championship.Morton had a tough time in his last start against Houston when he gave up a season-high six runs in four innings, which tied his shortest start of season, in a 15-1 win by Astros on Aug. 27. Greinke, acquired from Arizona at the trade deadline, went 8-1 with a 3.02 ERA in 10 starts after the trade capped by a gem in his last start when he came two outs shy of his first no-hitter on Sept. 25 against Seattle.By KRISTIE RIEKEN AP Sports WriterTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Video: Auburn RB Corey Grant Ran A Blazing Sub-4.3 40 At The Tigers’ Pro Day

first_imgCorey Grant runs 40-yard dash.Former Auburn running back Corey Grant is doing a pretty good job impressing the scouts at the Tigers’ pro day this afternoon. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound running back did not receive an invite to the Senior Bowl or the NFL Combine, but he’s making up for that today. Grant might be the fastest player available in the upcoming NFL Draft. According to multiple people in attendance at Auburn’s pro day, Grant ran a sub-4.3 40-yard dash. Hearing unofficial 40 chatter of 4.27 and 4.28 for AU RB Corey Grant. Workout wonder. #AUProDay— Chase Goodbread (@ChaseGoodbread) March 3, 2015BREAKING: Corey Grant is fast. Unofficially a 4.27 40 at Pro Day— Tom Green (@Tomas_Verde) March 3, 2015Times are often a little faster at pro days than they are at the combine or at NFL team’s individual workouts, but that’s still an incredibly impressive performance by Grant. He’s certainly helping his draft stock today.last_img read more

Top OL Recruit Down To 3 Major Programs

first_imgA view of Clemson's stadium during the day from high up.CLEMSON, SC – SEPTEMBER 17: A general view of the start of the Miami Hurricanes against the Clemson Tigers game at Memorial Stadium on September 17, 2005 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images)Virginia offensive lineman Jakai Moore is nearing his college decision. He’s down to three big programs, with a set of hated rivals involved.Moore, a three-star composite recruit per 247Sports, is ranked No. 477 in the class of 2019. He’s the No. 26 guard in the country, and the 13th-ranked recruit from VirginiaHe’s listed at 6-foot-6 and 295 pounds over at 247.Jakai Moore’s high school coach says that the lineman is down to Clemson, Penn State, and South Carolina.He’s been to Columbia on an official visit, and took unofficials to schools like Florida, Miami, and Ohio State, as well as Penn State.Now, he’s down to the Tigers, Nittany Lions, and Gamecocks. From The State:Clemson offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell was in on Tuesday night to watch Moore in a basketball game. He also scouted him during the season. Gamecocks offensive line coach Eric Wolford also is expected to visit Moore this week. Will Muschamp and Penn State coach James Franklin are scheduled to visit on the 14th.This weekend, Moore will take an official visit to Penn State, and he’s scheduled to see Clemson officially the following weekend.Clemson may be the most consistently successful program of the group over the last few years, but the Tigers may be running in third in this recruitment.247‘s crystal ball has Penn State as a slight favorite over South Carolina, with no Clemson predictions. However, the Tigers are a late entrant into the field, and haven’t put on the full-court press yet, according to his high school coach Brud Bicknell:Clemson was not on Moore early as strongly as USC was but Caldwell has been doing what he can to make up for that and has opened some eyes.“Coach Caldwell has done a great job recruiting him but it’s been a one-man deal,” Bicknell said. “South Carolina, it’s been more of a full staff. It seems more of a group effort than Clemson. Coach Caldwell and I have had some good talks as far as his interest.”According to the report, Moore plans to have a decision in time for the early signing period, which begins on December 19, but he will not enroll early.[The State]last_img read more

Minister Reiterates Commitment to Take Schools off Shift System

first_img “This will help to prepare in the transition process to a single-shift system. It is important that we do so, because we are not doing so for ourselves, we are doing it for the future and for the transformation of St. James,” the Minister said. Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, has reiterated that urgent steps are being taken by the Government to get schools across Jamaica, such as the St. James High School in Montego Bay, off the two-shift system.Speaking at a ceremony to mark the official opening of a new three-storey block of classrooms at the St. James High School on January 30, Mr. Reid said he is proud that despite the double-shift system, the institution has been performing extremely well.“I am in a hurry under my shift, to fix all of these problems. Yes, I have 42 schools still on shift and, systematically, we are going to take them off one by one,” the Minister said.Senator Reid noted that the Ministry responded quickly when St. James High requested financial support for additional classroom spaces and for the construction of a perimeter wall.“This will help to prepare in the transition process to a single-shift system. It is important that we do so, because we are not doing so for ourselves, we are doing it for the future and for the transformation of St. James,” the Minister said.Meanwhile, Senator Reid said the Ministry will be constructing five new high schools across the island, one of which will be in St. James, which will add significantly to the number of classroom spaces available in western Jamaica.“We have a lot of work to do, but, under God, we are going to get it done. I am getting full support, and I have the fiscal space to get it done,” he said.The Minister also visited Anchovy High School in St. James, and the Knockalva Agricultural School and the Knockalva Technical High School in neighbouring Hanover.Mr. Reid told JIS News that he was happy to have visited the institutions to get a first-hand look at their operations and make assessments and recommendations.“My tour has been extremely successful, and I am very happy to be able to get out of the office to see exactly what is happening in these institutions and to give some policy direction,” he added. Speaking at a ceremony to mark the official opening of a new three-storey block of classrooms at the St. James High School on January 30, Mr. Reid said he is proud that despite the double-shift system, the institution has been performing extremely well. Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, has reiterated that urgent steps are being taken by the Government to get schools across Jamaica, such as the St. James High School in Montego Bay, off the two-shift system. Story Highlightslast_img read more

Lockheed Martin Grows In Nova Scotia

first_imgOne of the world’s largest defence companies is expanding in Nova Scotia. Lockheed Martin Canada plans to create up to 100 new jobs within the next five years. The province, through Nova Scotia Business Inc., is supporting the company’s growth with a payroll rebate to a maximum of $1,829,420. Premier Rodney MacDonald made the announcement today, April 1, with Murray Scott, Minister of Economic and Rural Development; Tom Digan, president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Canada; and Stephen Lund, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc. “The defence and aerospace sector is, and will continue to be, an important part of Nova Scotia’s economy,” said Premier MacDonald. “Lockheed Martin’s growth is further proof of Nova Scotia’s reputation as a destination of choice for the world’s best companies.” Lockheed Martin has operated in Nova Scotia since the early 1980s and currently employs more than 80 people in its Dartmouth facility. With the support of NSBI’s payroll rebate, a performance-based incentive tied to job creation, Lockheed Martin plans to more than double its Nova Scotia workforce. The new positions will range from software engineers to computer systems analysts. “Lockheed’s expansion is great news for the company and for Nova Scotia,” said Mr. Scott. “World-class employers like Lockheed are creating exciting new career opportunities for educated and skilled people in our province.” Lockheed Martin’s expansion project will upgrade the Canadian Naval command and control systems on Halifax-class frigates. The frigates are primarily used for coastal patrol and surveillance. “Nova Scotia is a tremendous place to do business,” said Mr. Digan. “First and foremost, it has a workforce that is not only highly skilled, but also highly motivated to support the men and women of the Navy and the work they do on behalf of Canadians. For Lockheed Martin Canada, an expansion in Halifax simply makes sense.” Lockheed will also establish a Technology Collaboration Centre in Nova Scotia. The centre will enable local small businesses, agencies, and academics to test their technologies for future commercial opportunities. “Despite a worldwide economic slowdown, great companies like Lockheed are growing, and they’re doing it right here in Nova Scotia,” said Mr. Lund. Lockheed Martin Canada Inc. is a diversified global enterprise engaged in the research, design, manufacture, integration and life cycle support of advanced technology products. Lockheed Martin develops and delivers innovative systems for civil, naval, airborne and land operations in Canada and around the world. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 146,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion. Nova Scotia Business Inc. is Nova Scotia’s private-sector-led business development agency. NSBI is the investment attraction arm of the province and helps businesses in Nova Scotia meet growth potential through advisory services, trade development, financing and venture capital.last_img read more

Nick Cannon Grand Marshals Walk to End Lupus Now

first_imgMulti-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 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 Newswirelast_img read more

Tarik Ramadan Government Must Listen to Rif Demands Protest Brings Hope

Rabat – Swiss scholar and prominent European Muslim figure Tarik Ramadan has called on Moroccan authorities “to hear the voice of the people in Rif,” who he said have legitimate social, cultural and political demands.In a video posted on Facebook, Ramadan urges Moroccan authorities to listen to the demands of the Al Hirak protests movement in the region of Al Hoceima to preserve the achievements in the Kingdom, seen as a stable country in a region in turmoil.Ramadan describes Al Hirak as a source of hope for a better future of Morocco, insisting that the state listen to protesters instead of trying to “extinguish” their voices. He went on to warn against speeches intended to discredit Al Hirak or accuse it of sowing seeds of discord in the country.“We can continue saying this is fitna [strife] and that this is an attempt to foment division and chasm in Morocco and act against it unity, but none of this true,” he said. “It is in the name of this unity of Morocco itself and transparency and democratization in the country that these voices have raised and it is for that reason too that, I believe, they should be listened to.”The highly-publicized author, who is an habitué of Morocco having appeared on national TV and been invited to give lectures in local universities, said that the reality of Rif should be taken into consideration in public policies to ensure access to education for the local population, social justice, development, and management of state funds.“These are also political demands as far as democracy [in Morocco] is concerned. If we look, for example, at the last general elections, the participation rate was less than 32 percent which is stupefying. We can’t help wondering about the reality of democratic transparency in the country and how much interest people have for politics.”According to Ramadan, this situation demands that the people in positions of responsibility, including King Mohammed VI, act to launch a real process of democratization in the Kingdom.“[Morocco] might be better than its neighbors, but this doesn’t mean it has done what it has to do in terms of democratic transparency,” said Ramadan.He pointed out that Moroccan researchers and sociologists have highlighted how much Al Hirak can be a “project of hope” because it opens up perspectives to discuss and deal with question of equality and transparency, not only in the Rif, but in Morocco as a whole. read more

The Latest US says higher tariffs on China to hit on Friday

WASHINGTON — The Latest on the U.S.-China trade talks (all times local):___5:15 p.m.U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says the higher tariffs on China that President Donald Trump threatened over the weekend will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time Friday.Lighthizer adds that trade negotiations with the Chinese will resume on Thursday in Washington.In a briefing with reporters, Lighthizer accused Beijing of “reneging on prior commitments” after 10 rounds of high-stakes negotiations over China’s aggressive drive to supplant American technological dominance.Associated Press, The Associated Press read more

Nigeria to press for reform of Security Council its President says

26 September 2007The President of Nigeria today called for an expansion of the Security Council to include representation for Africa, and pledged his country’s efforts toward achieving this end. The President of Nigeria today called for an expansion of the Security Council to include representation for Africa, and pledged his country’s efforts toward achieving this end.“The situation whereby Africa is itself totally excluded from the permanent membership of the Council is unfair and untenable and must be rectified,” Umaru Musa Yar’adua told the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate.He pledged to “continue to collaborate with Member States to press for a comprehensive reform of the United Nations system, including the much-desired expansion of the Security Council in both the permanent and non-permanent categories in order to reflect the realities of today’s world.”Speaking more broadly about the needs of the African continent, he said it seeks “genuine partnership for economic development” from the international community.“This should be manifested in a global economic system predicated on fairness, justice and equity; one that ensures fair trade terms and recognizes the centrality of mutuality in prosperity,” he said. “More specifically, Africa requires massive, focused foreign investment in the infrastructural development across the continent.” Festus G. Mogae, the President of Botswana, echoed the call for attention to Africa, acknowledging its problems while emphasizing that the continent’s future “is not hopeless or bleak.”He emphasized the pivotal role being played by the African Union (AU) in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts. “While the United Nations Security Council has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, Africa should be a dependable and indispensable partner in responding expeditiously to the urgent need to end conflicts and save lives.”The President added that the countries and peoples of Africa must take a lead role in promoting peace and development. “We should adopt sound policies and programmes that promote economic growth and development, foreign direct investment, as well as domestic investment,” he said.At the same time, he called for the continent’s development partners to “deliver on the pledges to scale up official development assistance (ODA) to Africa, effect meaningful debt relief, improve market access for African goods and services and encourage their private sectors to invest in Africa.”Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdellahi, the President of Mauritania, said there was no doubt that “economic and social development constitute the best antidote” to the problems plaguing Africa. He called for greater levels of official assistance and foreign direct investment for Africa, while pointing out that the continent’s countries hold primary responsibility for development. “They must ensure the primacy of law, promote good governance and create a framework that will foster investments,” he said.Mauritania is closely following developments concerning Western Sahara and welcomes recent steps which have translated into a return to the negotiating table, he said, voicing supports for efforts by the Secretary-General to achieve a lasting solution acceptable to all parties that would bolster stability in the region. read more

Ban urges highlevel panel to meet global sustainability challenge

By 2050, the world’s population will have grown by almost 50 per cent, and global greenhouse gas emissions will have to be slashed by half by that year if climate change is to be kept in check, Mr. Ban told reporters after the body’s first meeting in New York today. Calling it the &#822050-50-50 challenge,” he stressed to reporters that “we will need to provide a dignified life for nine billion people while at the same time preserving the resources and ecosystems that sustain us,” he said. Last month, the Secretary-General unveiled the 21-member body, which is co-chaired by Finnish President Tarja Halonen and South African President Jacob Zuma. Mr. Ban reiterated his call today for the Panel to “think big” in drafting a bold but practical blueprint on how countries can promote sustainable development, voicing his “high hopes” for its work. “The challenge is considerable, and extends far beyond the timeframe for the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs],” he said, referring to the eight anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline. During today’s meeting, the Panel discussed its work for the next 15 months, and is set to report back at the end of the year. Its recommendations on how to meet the so-called &#822050-50-50” challenge and other obstacles will feed into preparations on upcoming conferences on development and climate change. The Panel’s final recommendations will be delivered to the Secretary-General at the end of 2011. It also comprises Gro Harlem Brundtland, Han Seung-soo, Yukio Hatoyama, Luisa Dias Diogo and Kevin Rudd, former prime ministers of Norway, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Mozambique and Australia, respectively, as well as Barbadian Prime Minister David Thompson, United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdallah Bin Zayid Al Nahayan, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, and Switzerland’s Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey. They will be joined by Alexander Bedritsky, Aide to the Russian President on climate change Hajiya Amina Az-Zubair, Adviser for the Nigerian President on the MDGs, Zheng Guogang, Director of the China Meteorological Administration James Laurence Balsillie, Chair of the board of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and Susan E. Rice, the United States’ Permanent Representative to the UN. The Panel will be rounded out by current and former environment ministers – Jairam Ramesh of India, Julia Carabias of Mexico and Cristina Narbona Ruiz of Spain – as well as Connie Hedegaard, the European Union’s Commissioner for Climate Change and Gunilla Carlsson, Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation. 19 September 2010Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today issued a challenge to the newly-created High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability to find a solution to challenge of lifting people out of poverty while promoting sustainable development. read more

Oil and gas border taxes and a vanishing deadline federal politics this

OTTAWA — Even as Ottawa was overrun with tourists hoping to catch a glimpse of two giant robots shaped like a dragon and a spider strolling through the capital this week, there were enough politicos left around Parliament Hill to natter for days about Rolling Stone.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau graced the magazine’s latest issue on Monday, and was gifted a gushing profile that compared him ever-so-positively to U.S. President Donald Trump.The heap of flattering international coverage of Trudeau has long prompted eye-rolling among opposition members, and the Rolling Stone version ramped that reaction up a notch.On a more material level, however, Trump’s administration and the Trudeau government actually saw eye to eye on a key development this week: the U.S. proposal for a border adjustment tax.The week was also notable for major news on how Canada is managing its natural resources, and how it may be mismanaging its military purchasing.Here are three ways politics touched Canadians this week:The dreaded BAT:Of all the alarming pronouncements made by the Trump administration since taking office, probably none has shaken Canadians’ confidence more than the threat of a border adjustment tax.The proposal would have taxed imports into the United States more heavily than domestic goods, with the dual purpose of encouraging production within America’s borders and building up some revenue to bring down U.S. domestic taxes in other areas.Now, the idea has been nixed –much to the relief of the federal government and business leaders. Even though most U.S.-watchers believed the tax didn’t stand much of a chance of ever becoming reality, the risk was high enough to prompt some jitters among people thinking of investing or expanding in Canada.The federal Liberals were quick to take some credit, pointing to all the lobbying they had done to make the point in Washington that the tax would hurt American consumers and was not worth pursuing. But there were many Americans, including Republicans, making the same argument.Oil, gas and the future:There were two major turns this week in Canada’s longstanding push to sell the world more of its oil and gas.First, Malaysia’s Petronas announced it was pulling out of a $36-billion liquified natural gas development in British Columbia. Both the Stephen Harper government and the Trudeau government had backed the massive Pacific NorthWest LNG project, with Trudeau arguing it was a prime example of socially responsible energy interests working to Canada’s benefit.The company blamed poor market conditions, while opposition critics in B.C. blamed government red tape.Then, the Supreme Court shut down seismic testing near the Clyde River community in Nunavut, but at the same time gave a green light to the expansion of the Line 9 pipeline in southwestern Ontario. The court used the two rulings to contrast how the National Energy Board could do things wrong (Clyde River) and do things right (Line 9) when it comes to thoroughly consulting with Indigenous Peoples.Taken together, the week’s developments show the world of investors that it might be possible — but certainly never easy — to develop and export oil and gas here.The case of the vanishing deadline:The federal government is in the midst of figuring out how to spend about $60 billion on new warships, what will likely be the largest planned military purchase in Canadian history and a project taxpayers will be financing for years and years.But deadlines for companies to have their proposals in for consideration have come and gone, and have not really been replaced. Experts worry it’s a sign of dysfunction behind the scenes, given Canada’s troubling and litigious history of procurement gone awry.The government says not to worry, there are plenty of signs that companies are ready and willing to participate in the competition and everything will unfold as planned.Construction on the new fleet is meant to begin between 2019 and 2021. The $60 billion is intended to pay for the building of 15 new ships to replace the navy’s frigates and destroyers. read more

LTTE campaign delayed Rajiv Gandhis killers hanging

A confidential government document, accessed through the Right To Information (RTI), described the unprecedented number of appeals from across the world as an “orchestrated campaign” by cadres of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and sympathizers against the execution of the Supreme Court’s 1999 order sentencing them to death. A confidential Indian government document has said that an “orchestrated campaign” by the LTTE helped delay the execution of the assassins of  former Indian Prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.The Times of India reported that three Rajiv Gandhi assassins have opposed the execution of the death sentence awarded to them by pointing to the 12 year-lag between the Supreme Court’s confirmation of the high court’s order to send them to the gallows and the rejection of the mercy petition by President. The death sentence awarded to Nalini, another accused in the case, was commuted to life in April 2000 by the Tamil Nadu governor on the ground that she had a young child. Congress president Sonia Gandhi was among those who had sought clemency.The announcement of death penalty led to the European Union issuing a demarche to the Indian government. Tamil and human rights groups lobbied France, South Africa, Germany, Denmark, UK MPs, the Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore as well as Indian ministers for not carrying out the death sentence. Rashtrapati Bhavan was bombarded with clemency pleas.It was against such a backdrop that President K R Narayanan did not take up the clemency pleas in 1999. It was only in August 3, 2011 that clemency pleas were turned down by then President Pratibha Patil. Immediately afterwards, the convicts moved court, successfully stalling the execution by citing the delay in the implementation of the apex court’s 1999 order. Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan later cited the delay when they submitted their mercy petitions to the President, seeking commutation of their death sentence to life. Their writ petitions are now with the Supreme Court.A close scrutiny of documents accessed under RTI, in response to a plea filed by activist S C Agrawal, shows that the 1999 verdict led to international and domestic pressure on the government. In February 2000, the EU Troika head of mission in Delhi issued a “confidential demarche” and requested the President to commute the sentence of the four persons to life. Among the other petitioners who sought death penalty waiver were NGOs like Campaign against Death Penalty, Dravidians for Peace & Justice, South Africa chapter, South African Tamil Federation, The World Saivite Council, the South Indian Foundation and the Federation of Tamil Associations in France.British member of Parliament from Brent North Barry Gardiner sought to draw a parallel with Guru Hargobind’s incarceration by Mughal rulers in Gwalior fort in the 17th century. Gardiner said that the Guru’s imprisonment came from his insistence on religious freedom for his people and even the emperor Jahangir eventually agreed to release him on Diwali. Others quoted Gladys Staines who forgave those who murdered her husband and children.Among the political leaders who petitioned for the four were MDMK’s Vaiko and SAD’s Simranjit Singh Mann. Rev Dr Arul Das James, Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore, and Baba Amte also supported clemency while the then minister of state for petroleum and natural gas E Ponnuswamy forwarded a plea as well. From the judiciary, V Krishna Iyer and Justice Hosbet Suresh also submitted pleas to Narayanan. The high-decibel campaign reflects the effectiveness of the Tamil diaspora and their sympathy for the killers of the former prime minister. The number of petitions seeking clemency for the four accused was so high that in December 1999, the MEA in a note said, “The government has received numerous petitions calling for setting aside of the death penalty awarded to four persons accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. Most of the petitions seem to be part of a campaign orchestrated by the LTTE cadres/supporters/sympathizers and human rights groups opposed to death penalty. EU Ambassadors in Delhi have also made demarche to the government. A communication on the subject has also been received from the Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary and arbitrary execution. The purpose of this communication is to provide sufficient background material to rebut any negative media coverage and to respond to any queries on the subject.” But it was not as if the rejection of mercy petition was without support. Tamizhanga Rajiv Congress, All India Rajiv Gandhi Brigade and Subramanian Swamy from Janata Party were among the supporters of the hanging, the The Times of India reported. Behind this argument, it turns out, is a well-organized campaign by LTTE cadres, sympathizers and human rights groups opposed to death penalty who could well have been the reason for the delay in the first place. read more

UN Rwanda tribunal releases first ever CDROM on courts operations

The CD-ROM contains the full text in English and French of the Tribunal’s case law and basic documents from 1995 to 2000, and features a search engine that allows users to retrieve all ICTR decisions since its inception in 1994 and other materials, such as publications, press releases and UN documents on the Tribunal.According to Assistant Secretary-General Adama Dieng, the ICTR Registrar, the CD-ROM is the first one published by an international criminal jurisdiction and is one of the Tribunal’s major contributions to the work of the International Criminal Court and the establishment of an international criminal justice system. “We want this CD-ROM to be an illustration of the enormous task that has been undertaken by the Judges and the staff of the Tribunal, testifying to our determination to bring justice to the Rwandan people as envisaged by the United Nations Security Council in its resolution 955,” Mr. Dieng said.The CD-ROM is dedicated to the late Judge Laïty Kama, who was the first President of the Tribunal from 1995-99. read more

At small islands conference Annan calls for global warning system for natural

Video of Annan’s address [13mins] “We need a global warning system – and one that covers not just tsunamis, but all other threats, such as storm surges and cyclones. In such an endeavour, no part of the world should be ignored,” he told cabinet ministers and other senior officials meeting in Mauritius for the 10-year review of the Barbados Programme of Action (BPoA) on sustainability for small island nations.The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has warned that “if the sea level rises in the Maldives, for example, a large proportion of the land mass could disappear over the next 30 years, and be completely submerged by 2100.”Mr. Annan said, “We must also be ready to take decisive measures to address climate change. It is no longer so hard to imagine what might happen from the rising sea levels that the world’s top scientists are telling us will accompany global warming. Who can claim that we are doing enough?”In tackling their problems, some small island states have carved out market niches in tourism and information technologies, he said, but “on the whole, implementation of what was agreed and promised at Barbados remains disappointing at best,” while new challenges to survival have emerged.Among the new problems, “the AIDS epidemic has made deep inroads, especially in the Caribbean, which now ranks second to sub-Saharan Africa in the proportion of its adult population infected,” he said.The UN would continue to help keep the problems of small islands high on the international agenda, Mr. Annan.In that regard, the report issued last month by the 16 members he appointed to the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change gave a new vision of collective security that “places great emphasis on prevention and on building up the capacities of states to address threats and fulfil their responsibilities,” the Secretary-General said.“The Panel has stated clearly that addressing development challenges such as extreme poverty, climate change and the spread of infectious diseases, such as AIDS and malaria, is indispensable for our collective security. It has stressed the devastating impact that terrorism, conflict and organized crime have on development. And it has given us both wide-ranging policy recommendations and suggestions for significant changes in our multilateral institutions, including the United Nations,” Mr. Annan said.At a separate meeting organized by the Seychelles and the United Kingdom to consider threats to reefs and other protected areas, he said despite the progress made under the Law of the Sea Convention and other treaties, “this common heritage of all humankind continues to face profound pressures.”Although coral reefs make up less than 0.5 per cent of the ocean floor, more than 90 per cent of marine species are directly or indirectly dependent on them and they provide human communities with $30 billion per year in nutrition, livelihoods and economic growth, he said.“For small islands and low-lying areas, reefs are nature’s crucial defences against aggressive and destructive seas,” Mr. Annan said, adding, “We need early warning systems. But reducing vulnerability must begin with conserving coral reefs and mangroves.” read more

Russia cuts key interest rate to help economy but depriving ruble of

by Nataliya Vasilyeva, The Associated Press Posted Jan 30, 2015 5:17 am MDT MOSCOW – In a surprise decision, Russia’s central bank on Friday cut its key interest rate, which it had raised sharply last month to support the collapsing ruble, in order to help the fading economy.The move triggered a drop in the ruble, which was down more than 3 per cent at 71 rubles against the dollar in early afternoon trading in Moscow.The central bank explained its decision to cut the rate from 17 per cent to 15 per cent by saying that the risks of an economic slowdown are now higher than the risks associated with the ruble’s drop. The currency’s 50 per cent drop since the summer has caused a spike in inflation.Higher interest rates can help a currency but also hurt economic growth by making loans more expensive.Analysts said Friday’s move was likely due to pressure by government officials and Russian businesses, which are suffering from the high rates.The central bank said it expected inflation, currently at an annual 13 per cent, to peak in the middle of the year and fall below 10 per cent next year as the economy adjusts to the weaker ruble.“Inflation and inflation expectations are expected to decrease,” the bank said in a statement.The central bank had raised its key interest rate to 17 per cent in December in a desperate attempt to curb the devaluation of the ruble, which was fueling inflation by raising the price of imports.Market investors had expected the central bank to hold its interest rates at Friday’s policy meeting since it had indicated it would begin to cut rates only when inflation starts declining. That said, the bank has been under pressure domestically to bring rates down to limit damage to economic activity.“The lobby of bankers and industrialists is growing, with clear (almost aggressive) pressure on the Central Bank of Russia to cut,” David Nagle, head of research of Moscow-based Renaissance Capital, said in an emailed note to investors.Earlier on Friday, a top Russian official accused a leading rating agency of trying to turn tycoons against the Kremlin.Standard & Poor’s this week downgraded Russia’s credit rating to a non-investment grade, for the first time in more than a decade.In remarks in parliament on Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said the goal of the downgrade was to push businesses “to withdraw their support” for the government and President Vladimir Putin.Russia has exceptionally low levels of public debts level for a country with a “junk” status but the downgrade underlined investors’ fears about the unpredictability of Putin’s foreign policy and the collapse of the ruble. Russia cuts key interest rate to help economy, but depriving ruble of support AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email A sign at an exchange office with headquarters building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation with the Soviet Sign in the background in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015. The Russian ruble extended its losses on Thursday, declining by 1.5 percent to 69 rubles against the dollar. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) read more

Historic opportunity at hand for reconciliation cooperation in Sri Lanka says UN

Back from his visit to the nation, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman spoke to reporters at a Headquarters press briefing this afternoon and expressed confidence over efforts towards reconciliation and cooperation. He said that the 8 January national elections demonstrated the people’s resolve to share in the future of their country. “The meetings and talks with the Government of Sri Lanka are so different than they used to be, so that leads us to greater expectations…There was suffering across all Sri Lanka, every community suffered and accountability must address the grievances in the North, but also allow that all [people] in Sri Lanka feel like all their concerns are being addressed,” he said. During those meetings, Mr. Feltman said he expressed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s support to the country and pledged continuous UN cooperation in mending relations and building trust between the Government and the people in line with the 2009 Joint Communiqué of the UN and Sri Lanka. “I encourage the Government to take some immediate steps that are feasible – things like the release of army-held land in the North to demonstrate the commitment of governments to follow through,” the Under-Secretary General emphasized, noting that “Sri Lankans have suffered a great deal” and despite the efforts of commissions of inquiry, “the list of suffering remains long.”The Government was vocal with Mr. Feltman about its plans to conform this process to international norms but has also pledged its commitment to reconciliation before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. By doing so, the Government has “put itself under a spotlight” but clearly more will be needed than just words. In terms of accountability, Sri Lanka’s Government will report back to [the Council] on steps taken to establish this domestic process. Mr. Feltman said “without question” there still is distrust between groups, but all stakeholders must work together. He noted that he had heard scepticism, especially in the North of the country, on whether the Government will live up to its commitment. But nevertheless, he said, “I left with the confidence that the intention to do this is real. The UN stands ready to provide technical assistance, if it is needed. “This is important for the people of Sri Lanka,” Mr. Feltman added.When the floor was opened for questions, he said on the persecution of Muslims in Myanmar that he had been in that country recently for a seminar for Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN). The discussions were mostly focused on peace and security but the question of the Muslims in the country came up in all of his meetings, during which he expressed UN concern and the Secretary-General’s strong commitment to seeing the issue addressed. On Yemen, Mr. Feltman said that a military solution is not the “right approach,” emphasizing that it would be “catastrophic” for civilians who have already endured a great deal of suffering. The only way to reunite the country is through due process. The Security Council has spoken out in favour of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) talks moving forward. Answering a question on the Israel and Palestinian situation, Mr. Feltman said that the ongoing tension stems from “really deep frustration” of how long people have been talking about a two-State solution without the realization of such an agreement. The Secretary-General still believes in a two-State solution because when you look at the alternatives, everything looks worse, Mr. Feltman said. On trying to restore and help reverse the position of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on security cooperation with Israel, he called it an example of a “very disturbing trend” where one side takes unilateral measures provoking the other side to do something else. Rather, Israelis and Palestinians should take steps to move forward, he said, calling on parties to rethink these sorts of unilateral decisions that risk the unravelling of Palestinian Authority. The UN support aims to try to unite the Palestinian Government in a way that is helpful to get back to a two-state solution negotiations. When asked whether a UN peacekeeping mission to Ukraine would be useful, Mr. Feltman said that decision is within purview of the Security Council. Implementation of the Minsk Accord gives a strong role to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Right now, the UN is looking how to best assist OSCE in doing the job it has been mandated to perform by the signatories of the Minsk Agreement. What is promising about that the Minsk accord is that it gets the international community away from concentrating on a military solution and focused more on a reform agenda and decentralization. On Syria, the UN political chief said that it is to keep in mind the suffering of Syria people who have been subjected to “unspeakable horrors” in the last four years. He highlighted the proposal of UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura to “freeze” the conflict in Aleppo as a way to alleviate the suffering and pave the way for broader political discussions. This has not been going easily or “swimmingly well,” but it remains the goal. read more

Education students explore Indigenous culture and history through art

Visitors to the Welch Hall atrium over the past few months have been greeted with vibrant artwork created by students. These colourful paintings are examples of how students have been engaging with Indigenous history and culture in unconventional ways. The seven banners were painted by students in Pedagogy of Indigenous Arts taught by Spy Dénommé-Welch, Assistant Professor in Brock’s Faculty of Education and a respected indigenous composer.During the course, students explored Indigenous art and artforms as well as social and cultural topics in Indigenous education and activism.“With these topics, using an arts focus allows for different methods and approaches to learning, and I find that to be rewarding,” says Dénommé-Welch.“In this assignment, they worked through current social, cultural and political topics, using a collaborative, arts-based approach.”While creating their banners, students examined the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Calls To Action report and incorporated the Calls To Action into their work.Dénommé-Welch has noticed that students are becoming more aware of the TRC’s work and the need for it to be more of a priority in their own learning and training.“It is encouraging to see some of this consciousness raising occurring and I do think they have the capacity to advocate for this given that there are whole sections of the Truth and Reconciliation that call for Faculties of Education to be more responsive to all of this.”The students drew on what they’d learned in class about Indigenous art, teachings and symbolism in designing the banners. Students also developed plans for how they would teach the content in a classroom.Students in three of Catherine Longboat’s courses explored similar topics while working together on a Two Row Wampum belt project.Longboat (PhD ’15), Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education, uses a Two-Row Wampum belt as a teaching tool in and outside the classroom. For the first time, she and her students have attempted to make one.The design represents an agreement made in 1613 between the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and Dutch settlers. In 1764, the Two Row Wampum was recognized at a meeting in Niagara between Crown officials and 24 diverse First Nations peoples.The design may look simple, but it represents a complex history and relationship. The two parallel rows of purple beads represent Indigenous and settler communities. The three rows in between represent peace, friendship and truth.“What we said was, ‘We’re the canoe and you’re the ship.’ The white is actually representative of peace,” says Longboat.“We’re going to be travelling together in peace. Parallel to one another, but neither one moving ahead of the other. In other words, when there’s intent to do anything, we’re to inform the other side. So that’s supposed to go back and forth.”Despite some initial challenges in picking up the technique, her students had ambitious plans for their sections of beadwork and aimed to create the longest belt possible when the pieces were combined.For Longboat, it’s important for her students to understand the Two Row Wampum belt as they sit together and learn to do beadwork.“I think right now it’s really good because we are dealing with Truth and Reconciliation,” she says of attempting the project. “This is how I see reconciliation: working together on a project that has a lot of meaning for Indigenous people, a lot of understandings, that goes way back.”Amanda Meyer, third-year Concurrent Education student in one of Longboat’s classes, hopes to be more knowledgeable about Indigenous culture as a teacher.“I think it’s important that as teachers we do have that opportunity to get our students to recognize what reconciliation is and to start that process because education has the power to change the future.” read more