Five stories in the news for Tuesday, June 19———CANNABIS BILL HEADS BACK TO SENATEA federal bill to legalize recreational cannabis was bounced back to the Senate on Monday, where the government’s representative argued it’s time to get on with lifting Canada’s almost century-old prohibition on marijuana. The House of Commons voted 205-82 to reject 13 amendments passed by Senate, including one which would have authorized provinces to prohibit home cultivation of marijuana plants if they choose. Senators now have to decide whether to defer to the will of the elected government or insist on some or all of their amendments, digging in for a protracted parliamentary battle.———CONSERVATIVES STEAL QUEBEC RIDING FROM LIBERALSThe Conservatives have stolen a Quebec riding away from Justin Trudeau’s ruling Liberals, in the first test of Andrew Scheer’s effort to recreate the nationalist-conservative coalition that helped federal Tories dominate the province in the 1980s. Conservative candidate Richard Martel captured 52.7 per cent of the vote in a federal byelection held in Chicoutimi-Le Fjord — more than 5,000 votes ahead of Liberal Lina Boivin, who took 29.5 per cent. Just 36 per cent of eligible voters bothered to cast ballots. The byelection was precipitated by the resignation of rookie Liberal MP Denis Lemieux.———CHARGE LAID IN TORONTO SUBWAY DEATHToronto police say a 57-year-old man faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of a man who was apparently pushed in front of a train at one of the city’s busiest subway stations Monday morning. Det. Rob North told a news conference Monday night that police are looking for witnesses to the incident. He also appealed for anyone who may know the victim, who has yet to be identified, to come forward. Toronto Transit Commission spokesman Brad Ross said intentional deaths on the subway system are extremely rare, adding the last case took place in 1997 when someone was deliberately pushed onto the tracks.———REMAINING PROTESTERS ARRESTED AT REGINA CAMPPolice have arrested protesters who remained at a camp on the lawn outside the Saskatchewan legislature, but said they would allow a sacred fire to burn down before removing a teepee from the site. Demonstrators at the “Justice for our Stolen Children” camp had been protesting racial injustice and the disproportionate number of Indigenous children apprehended by child-welfare workers. Police and government officials evicted most of the camp on Friday morning and the remaining people were supposed to have left the site by noon Sunday.———LOW-COST AIRLINES HOPE TO TAKE OFF IN CANADACompetition is heating up for Canada’s most price-sensitive travellers as WestJet Airlines gears up to launch the country’s second ultra-low cost airline Wednesday. Swoop, an offshoot of WestJet, will make its maiden flight on its pink and white aircraft before the sun rises in Hamilton, Ont. on a trip to Abbotsford, B.C. By discounting travel, Swoop, Flair Airlines and others are trying to repatriate the more than five million Canadians who cross the border to catch flights from airports in Buffalo and Plattsburgh, N.Y., and Birmingham, Wash.———ALSO IN THE NEWS:— A general court martial will be held in Halifax for Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, a military police officer accused of sexual assault— A judicial review will be held in the case of Abdoul Abdi, a former Somali child refugee who was never granted Canadian citizenship while growing up in foster care in Nova Scotia.— Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde to meet with federal, provincial and territorial ministers in Yellowknife on how to revitalize and protect First Nations languages.— Former NDP MP Paul Dewar launches his Youth Action Now initiative in support of youth leadership. He will also be recognized for his years of service to the community.— Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains makes an announcement on digital and data transformation.
WASHINGTON – Donald Trump appeared to be taking Saudi Arabia at its word Monday as he described how King Salman “firmly” and “strongly” issued a “flat denial” that he or his crown prince had any knowledge of or role in the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi.In describing his morning phone conversation with the king, the U.S. president repeatedly emphasized the strenuous nature of the ruler’s denials — even as he confirmed that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national and Washington Post columnist, who vanished inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.Khashoggi — a “Saudi Arabian citizen,” Trump noted, although he lived in the U.S. — was last seen entering the consulate two weeks ago. Turkish officials have said they have audio recordings that prove the journalist, a known critic of the Saudi regime, was killed inside, his body dismembered for easy disposal.“The king firmly denied any knowledge of it,” Trump said. “He didn’t really know — maybe, I don’t really want to get into his mind, but it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers, who knows. We’re going to try getting to the bottom of it very soon. But his was a flat denial.”Before day’s end, media reports citing anonymous sources began to appear saying Saudi officials were considering issuing a public statement that would indeed say that Khashoggi died in Saudi custody, a consequence of an interrogation gone wrong. But it was unclear Monday when — or even if — such a statement would be released, according to the reports.Turkish and Saudi investigators began Monday what Turkish officials call a joint “inspection” of the consulate — but not before a cleaning crew walked in armed with mops, trash bags and cartons of milk, said to be good for removing bloodstains.American lawmakers have threatened tough punitive action against the Saudis, and Germany, France and Britain have jointly called for a “credible investigation” into Khashoggi’s disappearance. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland tweeted a link to that statement Sunday, adding, “Canada strongly supports our allies on this important issue.”Freeland said she spoke Monday with Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir, and remains in close contact with her U.S., German and British counterparts as the global community awaits more answers.“Canada and our government has a strong record of standing up for human rights around the world, very much including in Saudi Arabia, and we’re going to continue to do that,” she said outside the House of Commons.“It’s important to establish clear facts about what has happened, and it’s important for the international community to be clear that those facts need to be established in a clear and transparent manner.”Turkish officials allege a Saudi hit team that flew into and out of Turkey on Oct. 2 killed and dismembered Khashoggi, who had written Washington Post columns that were critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS. The kingdom has called such allegations “baseless” but has not offered any evidence Khashoggi ever left the consulate.If the allegations prove true, experts fear it would be just one more example of autocratic rulers feeling emboldened by the slow disintegration of the international world order, thanks in large part to a White House that’s willing to look the other way.“I do think the norms have eroded and the guardrails (have) come down under Donald Trump,” said Colin Robertson, a former Canadian diplomat and foreign policy expert who serves as vice-president and fellow at the Calgary-based Canadian Global Affairs Institute.Robertson cited the brazen poisoning in March of Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia, an attack attributed to but denied by the Russian government, as just one instance of international malfeasance that seems to be filling the breach left by a lack of strong U.S. foreign policy.“Autocrats are taking liberties — Skripal, drug hit squads, poison gas, trolls and bots and fake news, prison without trial. They believe they can get away with it because for the new sheriff it’s ‘America First,’ full stop.”Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested Monday that Canada won’t shy away from taking up the cause.“Canada will always be very firm … about standing up for human rights all around the world because Canadians expect it of our government,” Trudeau said in an interview as part of the Fortune Global Forum in Toronto.“But the world also expects it of Canada — to be the clear voice saying, ‘You know what, this is right,’ or ‘This is wrong and you need to do better.’ And we don’t take kindly … to having people try (to) punish us for believing what we say.”That appeared to be a direct reference to Saudi Arabia, which lashed out at Canada — recalling its ambassador, freezing trade, pulling students out of Canadian schools and even cancelling flights to Toronto — after a tweet from Freeland calling for the immediate release of detained activists, including Samar Badawi, a champion of women’s rights and the sister of detained blogger Raif Badawi.The kingdom flexed its rhetorical muscles Sunday, saying that if it “receives any action, it will respond with greater action, and that the kingdom’s economy has an influential and vital role in the global economy.”In the U.S., the Post has been publishing full-page ads in its front section in an effort to keep the pressure up.“On Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 1:14 p.m. Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi entered the Consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul,” reads the ad, which features an ominous-looking depiction of the consulate’s imposing double doors, adorned with the twin swords of the kingdom’s emblem.“He has not been seen since. Demand answers.”International business leaders have also been bailing en masse out of the kingdom’s glittering big-ticket investment forum, the Future Investment Initiative, including the CEO of Uber, billionaire Richard Branson, JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon and Ford executive chairman Bill Ford.
VANCOUVER — Record-breaking warmth that ushered spring into British Columbia is slowly moving east, but continues to bring sunny skies and high temperatures to the Interior, along with mounting concerns about avalanches.Environment Canada says 18 temperature records were shattered Thursday, mainly in northern and central B.C., unlike earlier in the week when areas of Victoria and Greater Vancouver were among the hot spots in Canada.At 13.3 degrees, the Masset area of Haida Gwaii tied a record set in 1906 while Prince Rupert reached 18 degrees, just edging the previous record from 1915.The southeastern community of Sparwood was among the hottest in the province at 19.8 degrees, underscoring Avalanche Canada’s concern about slide conditions in southeastern B.C. , southwestern Alberta and elsewhereThe risk of human-triggered avalanches in regions from Glacier, Yoho and Kootenay national parks, south through Kananaskis Country, the Purcells, south Rockies and Waterton Lakes is listed as high at all levels of the mountains.The Avalanche Canada warning, issued earlier this week as more people were expected to head into the backcountry during spring break, says the likelihood of avalanches is raised by dramatic temperature increases, coupled with limited nighttime cooling.“This will weaken the snowpack on all aspects, increasing the possibility of large natural avalanches as well making it easier for the weight of a person to trigger deeper weak layers,” the warning states. The Avalanche Canada website said travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Andrew Scheer is trying to provoke Prime Minister Justin Trudeau into following through on his threat to sue him over allegedly libellous criticism of the SNC-Lavalin affair.The Conservative leader has repeated, word for word, the March 29 statement that prompted Trudeau’s lawyer, Julian Porter, to send him notice of a potential libel suit.For good measure, he’s done it outside the House of Commons, so parliamentary privilege won’t protect him.Scheer accuses Trudeau of leading a campaign to interfere with the criminal prosecution of Montreal engineering giant SNC-Lavalin and directing Canada’s former attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, to break the law.Trudeau says he put Scheer on notice because the Conservatives have a history of making misleading and defamatory statements.He says he won’t “stand idly by” and allow that to happen. The Canadian Press
RICHMOND, B.C. — RCMP say a woman arrested at Vancouver’s airport for allegedly stealing a passenger’s purse is believed to be part of an organized group of thieves targeting airports.The Mounties say the 60-year-old woman was arrested by Vancouver airport RCMP officers in conjunction with an ongoing undercover theft investigation.The RCMP says plainclothes teams have been at the airport conducting surveillance since March for theft issues primarily at the international arrivals terminal.Police say other law enforcement agencies besides the RCMP are interested in the accused and have been involved in the investigation.RCMP say the woman is in custody and police are looking at the possibility of linking her with multiple thefts.RCMP Inspector Keith Bramhill says in a statement that thieves who specialize in theft at airports generally work in teams and divert attention from passengers to steal valuables.The Canadian Press
Five stories in the news for Friday, May 3———NO PMO INPUT IN SNC ELECTIONS DEAL: WATCHDOGThe watchdog who enforces Canada’s election laws says no one from the Prime Minister’s Office tried to help SNC-Lavalin avoid being charged with breaking campaign-financing rules. In a rare written statement, elections commissioner Yves Cote said Thursday that no minister, political staffer or public servant attempted to “influence or interfere” in any of his decisions “that did not directly involve them as the subject of the investigation.” Before Cote’s statement became public, the Conservatives had again asked the Liberals in question period whether anyone from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office leaned on Cote to let SNC-Lavalin sign what’s known as a compliance agreement after being found in violation of financing rules.———IS CLIMATE CHANGE INCREASING INSURANCE COSTS?Flood damage, particularly in Atlantic and Central Canada, has been dominating news coverage in recent weeks as homeowners build sandbag fortresses, pump water out of basements and frantically move belongings and valuables to higher ground. Karen McCrimmon, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale’s parliamentary secretary and the MP for an Ottawa riding that’s seen flooding twice in three years, made her perspective clear earlier this week when asked about the issue on Parliament Hill: climate change, she said, is causing “an increase to the cost of insurance” in Canada. Is she right?———APPEAL COURT TO RULE ON CARBON CHALLENGESaskatchewan’s Court of Appeal is to make the first ruling in Canada on whether a federally imposed carbon tax is constitutional. The Saskatchewan Party government filed a legal challenge of Ottawa’s levy that came into effect April 1 in provinces without a carbon price of their own. Over a two-day hearing in February, Saskatchewan argued that the question isn’t one of climate change, but rather the division of power. It argued a carbon tax is unconstitutional because it’s not applied evenly across the country and erodes the sovereignty of provincial jurisdiction.———FORD TO MEET WITH KENNEY AT ONTARIO LEGISLATUREPremier Doug Ford will meet with newly-elected Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at the Ontario legislature today. The Conservative premiers will meet for the first time since Kenney led his party to a majority government victory in Alberta’s provincial election last month. A statement from Ford’s office says the pair will discuss the federal carbon tax, pipelines and interprovincial trade.———DOCTORS ADVISED ON TREATING PATIENTS DURING RAMADANA Canadian psychiatrist is advising doctors to help address the needs of mentally ill Muslim patients whose medication regimen could be affected by fasting during the upcoming religious observance of Ramadan. Dr. Zainab Furqan, a psychiatry resident at the University of Toronto, said about a billion Muslims around the world participate in Ramadan each year but there’s little research about fasting among patients dependent on psychiatric drugs. She said physicians should consider the timing and dosing of medication for patients abstaining from food and water between sunrise and sunset during the annual month-long observance, which this year begins on Monday in Canada.———ALSO IN THE NEWS:— Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan marks the start of construction of the fourth Arctic and offshore patrol ship.— Students walkout of classes in Alberta to protest the new provincial government’s plan to change legislation about gay straight alliances.— TransCanada Corp. will hold its annual meeting, along with a live webcast at www.transcanada.com.— NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection candidate Bob Chamberlin have coffee and discuss affordability.———The Canadian Press
LONGUEUIL, Que. — Canada Post has issued a pair of commemorative stamps to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that landed humans on the moon for the first time — highlighting the Canadian minds and technology that made it happen safely.Neil Armstrong’s first steps on July 20, 1969 were watched by half a billion people worldwide and became a well-known milestone in human space exploration.But Canadian engineers working for NASA played a big part in the mission, including Jim Chamberlin, the first to realize first that flying directly to the moon wasn’t the best option. He would help develop the lunar orbit rendezvous — which involved descending to the surface aboard a landing module connected to the main spacecraft.Owen Maynard, one of Canada’s top aircraft engineers, sketched early designs of the command module used in Apollo and is credited as the person at NASA most responsible for the lunar lander.And a company based in Longueuil, Que., Heroux-Devtek, built the landing gear components for the lunar module, which technically were the first thing to touch the ground. They remain on the moon to this day at the Apollo 11 landing site.Sons of both Canadian engineers were on hand for the unveiling at a Heroux-Devtek plant today, alongside Gov. Gen. Julie Payette and dozens of collectors looking to snag the new stamp.The Canadian Press
Assistance for such students is designed to draw more outstanding young people to the medical profession. The AAMC estimates that the nation will face a shortage of more than 90,000 physicians by 2020. Adding to the urgency is the aging U.S. population — approximately 10,000 people a day will turn 65 for the next two decades — and the estimated 32 million people who will be added to the ranks of the insured in 2014 as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the federal health care law signed in 2010.UCLA’s medical school receives less than 10 percent of its funding from the state. The school relies on funding from research grants, patient care revenue and philanthropic donations to fulfill its four-part mission of research, education, community engagement and patient care.Each year, more than 7,500 candidates apply for the school’s 163 coveted first-year positions. The David Geffen Medical Scholarships will ensure significantly higher rates of acceptance and enrollment at UCLA among the nation’s most competitively recruited medical school applicants.Additionally, in the fall of 2016, the school will inaugurate its new medical education building, where students will benefit from learning in a state-of-the art, world-class facility.Over the course of his remarkable career, David Geffen has made an indelible mark on the fields of film, theater and, most notably, music, where he was responsible for creating the enormously successful record companies Asylum and Geffen Records. He also served for more than a decade as a principal partner in DreamWorks SKG, the multifaceted entertainment company he co-founded with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg in 1994.Geffen was already a well-known philanthropist and patron of the arts and AIDS research when, in May 2002, he made a $200 million unrestricted donation to UCLA’s medical school, the largest single donation to a U.S. medical school in history at the time. Most recently, Geffen joined with Spielberg and Katzenberg, his partners in DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., to each donate $30 million to the Motion Picture and Television Fund Foundation, a Hollywood charity that offers support to seniors and health services for members of the entertainment industry. Source:newsroom.ucla.edu Entertainment executive and philanthropist David Geffen has established an unprecedented $100 million scholarship fund that will cover the entire cost of education for the very best medical students attending the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA (DGSOM).The school was named in his honor after his $200 million unrestricted gift in 2002. With this recent gift, Geffen’s total philanthropic support to UCLA exceeds $300 million, making him the largest individual donor to UCLA and to any single UC campus.The David Geffen Medical Scholarship Fund, conceived by Geffen and announced Dec. 13 by Dr. A. Eugene Washington, vice chancellor for health sciences and dean of the medical school, ensures that DGSOM will have students who graduate from medical school debt-free, allowing them to pursue lifesaving research and patient care without the economic burdens that restrict the choices of many young physicians and scientists.“The cost of a world-class medical education should not deter our future innovators, doctors and scientists from the path they hope to pursue,” Geffen said. “We need the students at this world-class institution to be driven by determination and the desire to do their best work and not by the fear of crushing debt. I hope in doing this that others will be inspired to do the same.”“With this game-changing gift, Mr. Geffen has invested in the medical education and training of some of the world’s brightest and most talented young people, influencing medical research and patient care for generations to come,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. “We are inspired by his vision and grateful for his generosity, which places UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine at the forefront in the competitive marketplace for top medical school applicants and enhances health care and biomedical research for generations.”“Once again, David Geffen has made a transformative gift — in this case, one that shifts how we think about support for our medical students,” Washington said. “The David Geffen Medical Scholarship Fund is an extraordinary investment in a public institution that will enhance UCLA’s ability to create world leaders in health and science. Recipients of this prestigious award will proudly carry the David Geffen Medical Scholar designation with them throughout their careers as they create an enduring legacy of excellence and impact in 21st-century patient care, medical education and research.”According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), 86 percent of medical school graduates had educational debt in 2012 — with an average debt of $170,000. Studies have shown that debt has a significant impact on what field medical school graduates pursue and where they develop their professional careers. Reducing that debt burden promises to allow talented students to make career decisions based on where their passions lie.The annual cost of tuition, fees and health insurance for a UCLA medical student in 2012–13 is approximately $38,000. When factoring in room and board, books and supplies, and other miscellaneous costs, the total tab is $67,000. With these costs continuing to rise, the projected four-year cost for students entering the school in 2013–14 is more than $300,000.The $100 million David Geffen Medical Scholarship Fund will provide four-year financial support — covering 100 percent of tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and other expenses — for up to 33 M.D. students (representing 20 percent of the available spots), starting with the entering class of 2013–14. Included in this group will be those students pursuing an eight-year M.D.–Ph.D. educational track as part of UCLA’s renowned Medical Scientist Training Program. All the David Geffen Medical Scholarships will be awarded based on merit.
Rosie O’Donnell and Cyndi Lauper are offering fans the chance to have dinner with them at New York’s 44&X before heading over to catch Tony Award-winning Kinky Boots on Broadway together.The charitybuzz auction is set to raise funds for Rosie’s Theater Kids, an arts education organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children.Also up for grabs are the chance to meet Selena Gomez, with 10 corporate suite tickets to her October 16th concert at the Barclays Center, two tickets to see The Glass Menagerie on Broadway and meet Zachary Quinto, the chance to meet Kathy Najimy and Kristin Chenoweth over lattes in New York, and more!To see the entire list of items and get your bids in, visit charitybuzz.com.To learn more about Rosie’s Theater Kids, visit RosiesTheaterKids.org.
The Royal Albert Hall came alive for Coram’s biggest ever musical fundraising concert featuring Lily Allen, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Queen’s Brian May, Kerry Ellis, The Feeling and Maverick Sabre this week.Coram is committed to improving the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable children and young people.Maverick opened the evening’s entertainment playing a stripped-back set accompanied by his guitarist. He encouraged the audience to text a £10 donation to support Coram’s music therapy services, which help vulnerable children to communicate.Sophie Ellis-Bextor was up next, charming the crowd with her folk-pop ballads. Sophie remarked how incredible it was that when the Royal Albert Hall was built, Coram had already been helping children for 140 years!Sophie is featured on Coram’s newly-launched supporter pledge wall and read pledges from other celebrity supporters such as Richard E. Grant and Lisa Faulkner.The audience were brought straight to their feet by the next act, pop rockers, The Feeling. Front man Dan Gillespie was quick to voice his support for Coram, saying “It’s great to be here for a wonderful cause.”Then it was time for the soulful tones of Brian May and Kerry Ellis, who had the audience in the palms of their hands. The duo performed ‘Born Free’, written by Coram supporter and award-winning lyricist, Don Black. Kerry Ellis said generously, “It’s a joy to be here in this wonderful venue for such a fantastic cause.”Compere for the evening, leading broadcaster Mike Read, thanked the acts and reminded the crowd that Coram was counting on their support to make the concert a successful event for vulnerable children needing the charity’s help.Soon enough, the generosity of the crowd shone through and an announcement was made that over £20,000 had been raised through texts and donations! £10 donations can still be made by texting CORAM to 70660 and a special online auction raising funds for Coram is still available to bid on until midnight on Thursday.Prizes include afternoon tea with English actor Bill Nighy and a VIP tour of the Shard with Champagne dinner.Next up was the inimitable Lily Allen who was making her return to the stage after several years break, to perform for the charity.“I’m very pleased to be here for Coram,” smiled Lily, before launching into her stunning set. A particular highlight was the moment Lily invited a little girl named Chardonnay onto stage, who sung along to latest single, ‘Air Balloon’.Coram will continue its 275th anniversary year celebrations with exciting events throughout the year and the launch of the charity’s first online supporter pledge campaign. All supporters can stand up for today’s ‘invisible’ children, just as the charity’s founder Thomas Coram did 275 years ago and sign the wall, and sign up for Coram’s newsletter to stay up to date.Thanks to the City Rocks committee who organised the concert, 100 tickets were donated free of charge to young people and families who have been supported by Coram directly.Coram thanks all the performers and the City Rocks committee for making this incredibly succesfull concert possible, and the Royal Albert Hall for selecting Coram as its first ever Charity of the Year.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, has announced it will honor critically-acclaimed, multi-award-winning actress Meryl Streep with the organization’s Ally for Equality Award at the 2017 HRC Greater New York Gala on Saturday, February 11, 2017, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.“Throughout her phenomenal career, Meryl Streep has used her voice to stand up for the LGBTQ community,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Whether through her iconic roles that raised the visibility of LGBTQ people, or by boldly speaking out for equality, Meryl Streep embodies the very nature of what it means to be an ally to our community. We are thrilled to welcome Meryl Streep to the 2017 HRC Greater New York Gala and look forward to honoring her with the HRC Ally for Equality Award.”The HRC Ally for Equality Award recognizes the outstanding efforts of those who use their voice to publicly stand-up for the LGBTQ community. These individuals dedicate their time, energy, spirit and whole-hearted commitment to better the lives of LGBTQ people. The award is given to allies outside of the LGBTQ community who stand up on behalf of equality for all Americans.For almost 40 years, Meryl Streep has portrayed an astonishing array of characters in a career that has cut its own unique path from the theater through film and television. An outspoken advocate for LGBTQ equality, Streep credits childhood music teachers for helping to open her eyes to LGBTQ acceptance, including her gay piano teacher and his partner, and another transgender music teacher. “I just can’t remember when LGBT people were not in my life,” Streep said in an interview.An icon to many in the LGBTQ community, Streep has starred in numerous roles helping to raise awareness of the unique challenges LGBTQ people face. Streep told Between the Line News that her role in Angels in America — HBO’s 2003 groundbreaking miniseries about the HIV and AIDS crisis — was one of the most important in her career. Streep won one of her eight Golden Globe Awards for that role, and during her acceptance speech in 2004, she also famously spoke out for marriage equality.Streep has won three Academy Awards, and in 2015, in a record that is unsurpassed, she earned a 19th Academy Award nomination. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and has been accorded a Commandeur de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government and an honorary César. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, a 2008 honor from the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and the 2010 National Medal of Arts from President Obama. In 2011, Streep received a Kennedy Center Honor, and in 2014 the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Most recently, Streep has been nominated for her 30th Golden Globe Award, and in January of 2017, she will be honored with the Cecil B. deMille Award of the 74th Golden Globes.As previously announced, HRC will also honor PepsiCo with the HRC Corporate Equality Award. The award recognizes PepsiCo’s exceptional commitment to advancing workplace equality for the LGBTQ community.The Greater New York Gala is one of HRC’s most prestigious events of the year, attracting more than 1,000 of the organization’s most active leaders, supporters, and members. The event regularly draws political officials from federal, state, and local governments, as well as celebrity entertainers and leaders in the business community. To purchase tickets for the #HRCGreaterNY gala, learn more about the event, ways to volunteer, and more, please visit www.HRCGreaterNY.org.
More favorites of stage and screen have joined the star-studded line-up for the 17th-Annual 24 Hour Plays on Broadway.Michael Shannon, Rachel Dratch, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Paul Sparks, Annie Parisse, Carolyn Cantor and Leslye Headland are the latest to join the exceptional group of artists who will come together to write, direct and perform six original plays within 24 hours. The culminating performance will take place on Monday, October 30th at 8:00pm at the American Airlines Theatre.Proceeds from the one-night-only performance benefit the Company’s program supporting theatre professionals 25 and under through The 24 Hour Plays: Nationals and The Lilly Awards Foundation’s work supporting women in theatre and promoting gender parity.As previously announced, this year’s cast also features Raul Castillo, Josh Charles, Jackie Cruz, Jennifer Esposito, Noah Galvin, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Nina Hellman, Cush Jumbo, Mia Katigbak, Lola Kirke, Russell G. Jones, Orlando Pabotoy, Christina Ricci, Jonathan Marc Sherman, Justice Smith, Lois Smith and Yul Vazquez.Cantor joins the directing team for this year that also includes May Adrales, Warren Leight, Patricia McGregor, Jessica Stone and Kate Whoriskey. Headland joins the writing team of Fernanda Coppel, Leslye Headland, Chisa Hutchinson, David Lindsay-Abaire, Martyna Majok and Molly Smith Metzler. This year’s musical guest is Shaina Taub. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Marsha Norman will be honored as part of the organization’s partnership with The Lilly Awards.The marathon process for The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway begins at 10 p.m. the night before the performance. The writers, directors, actors and production staff – many of whom have never worked with or met each other before – gather for an orientation where they are asked to share one costume piece, one prop, a special skill, and to reveal something that they have always wanted to do on stage. Using these items as inspiration, the writers spend the night developing 10-minute plays. At 9 a.m. on the morning of the event, the actors receive their roles and the directors arrive to begin rehearsal. Less than 12 hours later, they must be ready to perform in front of a live audience.THE 24 HOUR PLAYS ON BROADWAYOctober 30, 2017 at 8 p.m.American Airlines TheatreAdditional tickets for The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway are available for purchase online atwww.24hourplays.com or by calling (212) 868-4444.
In this “season of giving,” the Jerry Garcia Foundation is once again honored to announce that it will be producing its third annual “Imagine There’s No Hunger” holiday benefit concert in support of WhyHunger and Yoko Ono Lennon’s mission to alleviate hunger and poverty worldwide.The “Imagine There’s No Hunger” program draws inspiration from the iconic song Imagine written by Yoko Ono and John Lennon and based on the writing in Yoko’s book, Grapefruit.The “Imagine There’s No Hunger” concert audience will be invited to participate in sing-along presentations of Lennon’s Imagine, Give Peace a Chance, and the Grateful Dead’s Ripple. This year’s production will be presented at 7 PM (doors open at 6:30) on December 16th at the picturesque Viansa Sonoma Winery located in the San Francisco area. Door proceeds benefit WhyHunger.Hot Tuna is headlining the benefit concert featuring Grammy Award-winning artists Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady and drummer Justin Guip.Hot Tuna, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady perform with a well-honed and solid power -– always in the groove derived from years of experience and mutual inspiration. What started as a side project during their Jefferson Airplane days, Hot Tuna’s constant has always been Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, the very definition of Hot Tuna. The two boyhood pals have never wavered in one of the most enduring friendships in Rock history. “Hot Tuna is a Psychedelic-Blues Institution” – Rolling Stone Magazine.Special guests include: emerging artist, singer-songwriter Greg Winser, Bob Steeler on drums, Waynard Scheller on Hammond B3 Organ, Matt Aaron on violin — all accompanied by gospel vocalists Ariel Marin, Keelin Garcia, Ron Rosson and Dawaun King.Tickets are available here.“The Jerry Garcia Foundation is honored to present the ‘Imagine There’s No Hunger’ benefit concert to support the important humanitarian work of Yoko Ono Lennon and WhyHunger. We are grateful to Hot Tuna, the Viansa Winery and to all that have extended their generosity on so many levels,” said Keelin Garcia, Co- Founder of the Jerry Garcia Foundation.“The Imagine spirit of generosity is a blessing and a gift to the greater community,” added Manasha Garcia, Jerry Garcia Foundation Co-Founder.The benefit’s setting itself is where dreams are made. Located just north of San Francisco, Viansa Sonoma winery is situated on 33 acres of estate vineyards, 97 acres of natural wetlands with 270° views of the Sonoma Valley-San Pablo Bay, Mayacamas Mountains and “King’s Highway.” The beauty of the land pairs perfectly with the beauty of giving.The visual art of Jerry Garcia will be on exhibit in the Grateful Friends Charity Village at the concert. All art proceeds benefit California Wildfire recovery efforts via the “Heart of the Vine” Foundation.Ben & Jerry’s and Levi’s are sponsoring this year’s holiday benefit. Levi’s has donated a sustainable Trucker Jacket inspired by Jerry Garcia’s fine art. Proceeds from the Levi’s Truckers Jacket will benefit WhyHunger.Rock poster artist Stanley Mouse has created a benefit poster for the art/music event. Mouse has produced art for both the Beatles and the Grateful Dead.The “Imagine There’s No Hunger” benefit will be streamed live around the world by Stage Trip Productions. Viewers of the free live stream are encouraged to donate directly to WhyHunger via their website: whyhunger.org.
SONY Pictures Entertainment, ABC’s The Good Doctor, Netflix’s Atypical, and several filmmakers were honored for their contributions to autism awareness “From Spectrum to Screen” by the Autism Society of America at the 2nd Annual AutFest International Film Festival (April 28-29), held at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills.Ed Asner at 2nd Annual AutFest Film FestivalCredit/Copyright: Mathew ImagingAutFest screened over 16 feature films, shorts and television programs that promote autism awareness and/or are made by autistic filmmakers.Seven-time Emmy winner and autism advocate Ed Asner presented SONY Pictures Entertainment with the AutFest Visionary Award, bestowed upon Jeff Frost, President of Sony Pictures Television Studios, and Co-Presidents of Sony Pictures Television Chris Parnell and Jason Clodfelter at the festival’s closing reception. ABC’s The Good Doctor and Netflix’s Atypical received Spotlight Awards, honored for their exceptional portrayal of autism in a positive light to help increase understanding and acceptance of people on the spectrum.Prior to the reception, cast and crew of Netflix’s Atypical participated in a Q&A moderated by PEOPLE reporter Kara Warner after a screening of two episodes. Participating in the panel were Creator Robia Rashid (Will & Grace, How I Met Your Mother), Oscar-nominated actress Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Brigette Lundy-Paine (Downsizing, The Glass Castle), Keir Gilchrist (It’s Kind of a Funny Story), Nik Dodani (Kevin from Work), Layla Weiner and Nikki Gutman; Executive Producers Mary Rohlich (Gleason, Baywatch); Author David Finch (The Journal of Best Practices) and Autism Consultant Michelle Dean (Ph.D. Special Education, UCLA).Following the Atypical panel, ABC’s The Good Doctor screened one episode and held a panel/Q&A immediately following. Emmy-winning Executive Producer David Shore (House, Sneaky Pete), Emmy-winning actor Richard Schiff (The West Wing, Ballers), Nicholas Gonzalez (How to Get Away with Murder, Pretty Little Liars, Narcos) and Autism Consultant Melissa Reiner (Md.Ed) participated, also moderated by Kara Warner, PEOPLE.Additional highlights of the festival included a Power Rangers screening, followed by a panel with Actor RJ Cyler, who plays Billy Cranston, an autistic nerd and the super hero Blue Ranger. Oscar-nominated Executive Producer/Writer John Gatins (Flight) joined the panel, moderated by Director/Producer Kevin Tenney. The panel was met with a huge ovation from the audience as the Blue Power Ranger character (RJ Cyler) is the first super hero to be depicted as autistic.The film Please Stand By screening was followed by a panel with Director Ben Lewin (The Sessions), Writer Michael Golcamo (Grimm) and Autism Consultant Elaine Hall (The Miracle Project, Fly Away), moderated by Matt Asner, AutFest founder and Autism Society’s VP of Development.“AutFest is proud to honor SONY Pictures Entertainment and outstanding television shows Atypical and The Good Doctor for their cinematic and television contributions reflecting the autism community in a positive light,” said Matt Asner. “We are touched by the overwhelming support of the entertainment and autism communities and look forward to this annual event.”Over six feature films and eight short films and two television series were presented during the two-day festival that included Roman J. Israel Esq, Barfi, Dina and Randy’s Canvas. Two of the shorts, The Girl Inside and Big Mouth were written and directed by filmmakers on the autism spectrum. A special panel addressing “Love and Relationships” followed the Barfi screening. For more information, visit autfestasa.com or follow @AutFest on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.The 2nd Annual AutFest International Film Festival winners include:Best Film:Randy’s Canvas, directed by Sean Michael Beyer (U.S.A.)Best Documentary:Dina, directed by Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles (U.S.A.)Best Short:Sisterly, directed by Nina Vallado (U.S.A.)Best PerformanceAdam Carbone, Randy’s Canvas (U.S.A.)Best Autistic Filmmaker:Abbey Romeo, The Girl Inside (U.S.A.)Celebrities including Emmy-nominated actor Gary Cole (Veep), Oscar-nominated actor Robert Forster (Jackie Brown), Denise Grayson (Social Network) and Johnny Dowers (The Bridge) were on hand to attend the festival’s closing festivities.In attendance were Autism Society of America’s Joe Joyce, Chairman, Board of Directors; Scott Badesch, President and CEO; and Lori Ireland, Vice Chair, Board of Directors. AutFest Honorary Committee Members include seven-time Emmy winner and autism advocate Ed Asner, actress Kristen Bell (House of Lies), actor Dax Shepard (CHIPS), Emmy-winning actress comedian Sarah Silverman, Golden Globe-nominated actor Matthew Modine (Stranger Things), Emmy-nominated actor Gary Cole (Veep), Autism Speaks co-founder Bob Wright, The Suzanne Wright Foundation president Liz Feld, Warner Bros.AutFest 2018 is proudly sponsored by GOLD: Hyundai, State of Qatar, Sony Pictures, Entertainment; SILVER: Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, Lindamood Belle, Netflix; FRIENDS OF THE FESTIVAL: ABC, Autism Pie, Bob Wright, Center for Developing Minds, ICM, Saban, SAG-Aftra;TRIBUTE BOOK: PCW Props, Shuman Management; MEDIA SPONSORS: ABC, Variety, INKIND: Foreo, MAC Cosmetics, One-Hope Wine, Penta Water, Runway Tech, Sevenly, Sprouts; GIFTBAG: Art by Luis, Designs by Siri, Lindamood Belle, Thikkun Spa
LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitter Login/Register With: “We are very pleased to be working with Toys “R” Us on this exciting and innovative project,” notes Nick Prigioniero, President, Cineplex Digital Media. “We look forward to enhancing the in-store experience by integrating our custom digital technologies into an easy, one-stop-shopping process for their customers.”The installation includes a large feature wall with 2×2- 55″ LCD screens, six 18.5″ digital end caps and four POS integrated kiosks. Cineplex Digital Media will lead all content creation for the kiosks, and provide content management for the digital end caps and feature wall signage.On a mission to revolutionize digital experiences where people work, shop and play, Cineplex Digital Media has made a name for itself in the Out-of-Home, Retail, Financial and Quick Service Restaurant industries by providing strategic, digital display and network solutions for its clients, including Toys “R” Us. CDM’s industry leadership stems from its expertise in offering clients a full-service, end-to-end digital signage solution, including research and creative strategy, content production, installation and technical support, digital asset management, media sales and data analytics. For more information on Cineplex Digital Media, visit CineplexDigitalMedia.com.About CineplexA leading entertainment and media company, Cineplex (TSX: CGX) is a top-tier Canadian brand that operates in the Film Entertainment and Content, Amusement and Leisure, and Media sectors. As Canada’s largest and most innovative film exhibitor, Cineplex welcomes 75 million guests annually through its circuit of 164 theatres across the country. Cineplex also operates successful businesses in digital commerce (CineplexStore.com), food service, alternative programming (Cineplex Events), cinema media (Cineplex Media), digital place-based media (Cineplex Digital Media) and amusement solutions (Player One Amusement Group). It also operates a location based entertainment business through Canada’s newest destination for ‘Eats & Entertainment,’ The Rec Room, and an online eSports platform for competitive and passionate gamers (WorldGaming.com). Additionally, Cineplex is a joint venture partner in SCENE, Canada’s largest entertainment loyalty program.Proudly recognized as having one of the country’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures, Cineplex employs over 13,000 people in its offices across Canada and the United States. To learn more visit Cineplex.com or download the Cineplex App. Advertisement Cineplex (CNW Group/Cineplex) Facebook Advertisement TORONTO, July 25, 2017 – Today Cineplex Digital Media (“CDM”) announced that it has been selected to install an in-store digital signage and kiosk network for Toys “R” Us’ new concept store. Located in Langley, British Columbia, Cineplex Digital Media’s innovative technologies play a pivotal role in the deployment of the new store concept.“Our Langley store is the evolution of our digital future,” says Clint Gaudry, Vice President, Marketing & Store Planning at Toys “R” Us. “The new integrated network elevates the shopping experience and makes it easier for customers to locate the products they are looking for, gain in depth information and make their purchases directly from a number of kiosks located throughout the store.”Toys “R” Us will deploy an ‘endless aisle’ solution where customers can use the kiosks to browse not only in-stock items, but the brand’s entire offering. Powered by Cineplex Digital Media technology, the kiosks will feature videos and provide comprehensive product information to shoppers before making their purchase. Then by selecting “Get it now!” customers can complete their transaction right at the kiosk and pick up their purchase at the front of the store or have it shipped directly to their home.
HOLLYWOOD, CA – MARCH 20: Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki and Misha Collins attend the 2018 PaleyFest Los Angeles screening and panel discussion of CW’s ‘Supernatural’ on March 20, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage) Advertisement Advertisement Facebook Supernatural literally just crossed over with another show and it was dope — In case you had not heard, there was recently an episode ofSupernatural called “Scoobynatural,” in which the brothers Winchester (and their be-trench-coated sexy Angel sidekick Castiel) got pulled into a TV, became cartoon versions of themselves, and then met Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne, and Fred before drag racing with the Mystery Machine, fighting ghosts, wearing friggin’ ascots, and saving the day from evil realtors who are up to no good. As I’m writing this, the least unlikely scenario has occurred — all of the Arrowverse shows (even satellite show Black Lightning) have been renewed by The CW. And returning for its 14th season? Supernatural. Saving people, hunting things… the television business.And, folks, I know this is a little bit of fan fiction in action, but it’s time. Supernatural needs to cross over with the Arrowverse.It’s actually a little shocking that it hasn’t happened already. Here are 5 reasons it would be crazy not to do this (admittedly also crazy) thing. I know. This is very Buzzfeed circa 2010, but, sue me — I have 5 rock solid reasons for this and, gosh darn it, I’m gonna share ’em with the world! Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitter
Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment New films from from famed documentarians Michael Moore, Errol Morris and Werner Herzog and — with the former two both turning their eyes on Donald Trump — along with new revamps of the Predator and Halloween franchises are all coming to this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, the fest revealed Thursday.Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9 — named both in homage to his earlier Fahrenheit 9/11 and in reference to Nov. 9, 2016, the morning after Trump’s election victory — is described by the fest as “a radical and humorous look at the United States” under Trump. Morris’ American Dharma looks at controversial Trump strategist Steve Bannon. The film from Moore makes its world premiere here in Toronto, while American Dharma’s screening will be a North American first.Other docs coming include Herzog and André Singer’s Meeting Gorbachev, on the former Soviet leader; Rashida Jones and Alan Hicks’ Quincy, which profiles Jones’ endlessly quotable musical icon father, Quincy Jones; Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble’s The Elephant Queen, narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor, tracing the epic journey of an elephant herd; Billy Corben’s Screwball, a true-crime comedy on doping in Major League Baseball; and Maxim Pozdorovkin’s The Truth About Killer Robots, investigating the lethal consequences of automation. Twitter
APTN National NewsOTTAWA–The federal government is still examining “how to best formalize” its endorsement of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, but appears to stand by its position outlined during debates last week at the UN Human Rights Council that collective rights to not equate to human rights.Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner Willie Littlechild said Tuesday that the Canadian delegation at the council had resisted attempts to equate human rights with the collective rights of Indigenous peoples during debate on the wording of a resolution extending the mandate of a UN official tasked with monitoring Indigenous rights around the world.Littlechild said this position was an “attack” on the rights of Indigenous peoples and made him wonder if he could ever reconcile with Canada.Foreign Affairs issued a statement Wednesday saying that Aboriginal treaty rights were already “recognized and affirmed in our Constitution.”The statement also seemed to affirm the distinction between human rights and collective rights.“Canada fully supports that indigenous individuals are entitled, without discrimination, to all human rights recognized in international law, and that indigenous peoples also possess collective rights,” said the Foreign Affairs statement.“In the domestic context, Aboriginal and treaty rights are already recognized and affirmed in our Constitution. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms further provides for the protection of the rights and freedoms of all individuals, including Aboriginal individuals, noting that they should be balanced with the public interest as part of the fundamental values of Canadians,” the statement said.During an appearance before a Senate committee Tuesday morning, Littlechild demanded Canada meet its Speech from the Throne promise and endorse the UN declaration.The department said the government was working on the issue.“The government of Canada remains committed to taking steps to endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in a manner that is consistent with Canada’s Constitution and laws,” said the statement.“The government is currently looking at how to best formalize its endorsement. Canada supports the overall aspirations of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and believes endorsement will build on this government’s commitment towards a stronger and more respectful relationship,” the statement said.
APTN National NewsBernice King, daughter of American Civil Rights hero Martin Luther King, gave the opening address at yesterdays reconciliation walk in Vancouver.King called the past treatment of First Nations appalling and applauded Canada for holding a truth and reconciliation process.For the record here is what she had to say to the 70000 people who came to walk in support of reconciliation and healing.