Mumbai: Marathi actress Amruta Sant, who is playing the role of a social activist in John Abraham-starrer “Batla House”, says the actor is humble and chilled out. The actress is working with John for the first time. “John is a superstar! Until this film happened, I didn’t know him on one to one basis. He is chilled out and humble, a thorough gentleman,” Amruta said. The film also features Mrunal Thakur. “Mrunal also is kind and very helpful. It was great working with her too,” said Amruta, who has earlier worked in “The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir”, directed by Ken Scott. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka Nikkhil Advani’s “Batla House” traces the story of the shootout between a seven-member Delhi Police Special Cell team and suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorists who were allegedly involved in the Delhi serial blasts of September 13, 2008. It will open on August 15. Talking about the film, she said: “I am playing the activist, who is against the special cell, police, government and is protesting against the system. It’s a very strong character, who is fighting against the government and the police force, trying to convince people to stand against injustice. “I am glad I got a chance to work with Nikkhil Advani. He made sure that all his actors were comfortable on the set.”
Amethi: A 64-year-old retired Army captain was beaten to death by unidentified assailants in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi district, police said on Sunday. The incident occurred on Saturday night in Godiyan ka Purva village under Kamrauli Police Station limits, they said. The retired Army personnel, Amanullah, and his wife were in their house when a group of people attacked them with sticks, his son told the police, ASP Dayaram said. The attackers thrashed Amanullah across the head due to which he died on the spot, his son said in his statement. He said no family member other than his parents were in the house when the incident took place. The body has been sent for post-mortem and further investigation is underway, Dyaram said.
Chandigarh: BJP MP Subramanian Swamy on Saturday said the work on the Kartarpur corridor project should be stopped in the interest of the nation and there should be no talks with Pakistan on any issue. In my view, in the interest of the nation, the work (on Kartarpur corridor) should not move ahead. Whatever work has taken place (on the project), let it stop there, said Swamy, talking to reporters on the sidelines a seminar here. Asserting that there should be no talks with Pakistan on any issue, Swamy said the neighbouring country should not be given any excuse, including the Kartarpur corridor project, for for any talk. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ We should not give any excuse to Pakistan for dialogue on any issue and show it to the world. They have not stopped terrorism and have not handed over to us those who have been hiding there after committing crimes here. We should not have any relation with Pakistan, he added. Asked if Sikhs’ sentiment would not be hurt on stopping the Kartarpur corridor project, Swamy said, I understand Sikhs sentiments very well and I have always supported Sikhs. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K Sikhs should understand that Pakistan’s intentions are bad and they have to be set right first, he said. In a major initiative last November, both India and Pakistan had agreed to set up the Kartarpur corridor to link the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib — the final resting place of Guru Nanak Dev — to Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur. Kartarpur Sahib is located in Pakistan’s Narowal district across the Ravi river, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine. Pakistan is building the corridor from the Indian border to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur up to the border is being built by India. The corridor will be opened in November in connection with the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had, on November 26 last year, laid the foundation stone of the Kartarpur corridor in Gurdaspur district. Two days later, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had laid the foundation stone of the corridor in Narowal, around 125 km from Lahore.
New Delhi: The government on Monday said it is hopeful of achieving the record foodgrain production target of 291.1 million tonnes for the 2019-20 crop year even as floods in some parts are expected to hit kharif crops.”There will be some impact of floods on the production. However the loss will be recovered,” Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said. Teams have been sent to flood-hit states to assess the production loss. They are in the process, he told reporters on the sidelines of an ICAR event. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The Agriculture Ministry has set the production target for foodgrains at a record 291.1 million tonnes for 2019-20 crop year (July-June), comprising 147.9 million tonnes in kharif (summer) season and 143.2 million tonnes during rabi (winter) season. Exuding confidence of achieving this year’s production target, Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal said: “Sowing area under kharif crops has improved. The deficit in coverage has narrowed down from 30 per cent earlier to three per cent now. More area will be covered as sowing is still underway in some states.” The lag in rice acreage will be covered as sowing is still continuing in Odisha and West Bengal. The area under pulses is marginally down but yields will be better, he added. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”Overall, things will be perfect. We expect to meet the production target set for this year,” Agarwal noted. Echoing views, Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala said heavy rains does affect crops but it will benefit sowing in the next rabi season. “There will be some impact on kharif crops but that will be covered. Heavy rains in this season will boost rabi sowing.” Sowing of kharif crops, which begins with the onset of southwest monsoon (June-September), is underway. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had predicted a normal’ monsoon. There was a delay in the onset southwest monsoon but later it picked up. However, states like Karnataka, Kerala, Gujarat, Bihar, Assam, and Maharasthra are hit by floods due to heavy rains.
OTTAWA – New Democrat MP Christine Moore says she and her family have been left reeling over a former soldier’s accusations of sexual impropriety, but that she intends to fight to clear her name and ensure the truth gets out.The comments came Monday during a news conference in her Quebec riding of Abitibi-Temiscamingue, which Moore has held since 2011, after retired corporal Glen Kirkland accused her last week of inappropriate behaviour.Moore, who is married with two young children, told The Canadian Press in an exclusive interview last week that her relationship with Kirkland in 2013 was consensual, which she repeated during Monday’s news conference.“I loved him,” Moore said in French. “He was very, very romantic with me and it was a consensual relationship. I have cried a lot about this. It’s horrible to see just how ready or prepared a person can be to tell lies. I don’t know why he’s done this.”Kirkland has denied that they were in a relationship and accused Moore of abusing her power as an MP to pursue an inappropriate relationship with him, though Moore says she has proof to back up her version of the story.Moore, who appeared visibly weary during the news conference, said Kirkland’s allegations have “had a terrible impact on my family, on my friends, on my health as well. It’s been a very, very tough week.”Among the difficulties, Moore said, were some “very, very evil messages” from unidentified people, though she added that she had also received “nice messages” from various people who supported her.Asked specifically about the impact on her husband, Moore said: “It’s very tough for him, I think. It’s very tough to see people say this type of thing about his wife and not be able to react.“What I need after this press conference is to just spend time with my family, with my husband, with my children. I need to stop crying and just live my life with them.”Moore and Kirkland met on June 5, 2013, when Kirkland, who was injured in a Taliban ambush in 2008, testified at a parliamentary committee about the treatment of injured soldiers.Kirkland has alleged Moore invited him back to her office after the committee meeting and plied him with alcohol before following him back to his hotel, where they had sex.He alleges that she then continued to send him explicit messages for several weeks and even turned up unannounced at his Manitoba home before he forcibly told her to stop.Moore, however, has disputed Kirkland’s account, providing The Canadian Press with photos, emails, text messages and flight itineraries to show that the two were involved in a romantic relationship.The MP, who has been suspended from her caucus duties pending an investigation, says she ended the relationship in October 2013 due to the geographic distance between them and Kirkland’s difficult divorce.Moore has threatened to sue Kirkland and several columnists who reported on his comments for defamation, while Kirkland told The Canadian Press that he was willing to take a lie-detector test.— with files from Mylene Crete— Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter.
TORONTO – Looking at an image of Canada taken from the space station at night, there is a sliver of darkness amidst the bright lights of southeastern Ontario.That’s the Frontenac Arch, the densest forest southern Ontario has to offer, and the environmental charity Nature Conservancy of Canada has purchased parts of it to ensure it remains protected in the future.“It’s the highway for migrating wildlife,” Gary Bell, a program director with the NCC, said of the 50-kilometre stretch of land that links the habitat of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York to the Canadian Shield in the Algonquin Highlands.Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announced Monday afternoon that the NCC is taking possession of six new properties in the region. The federal government is granting the charity nearly $664,000 to purchase the properties, in addition to more than $1.2 million raised by the NCC.Bell noted that one of the properties was donated by its longtime owner.The NCC is a land trust — a non-profit, charitable organization that acquires, restores and conserves land, sometimes removing invasive weeds or mapping the location of rare species.“We do it in kind of a methodical fashion, identifying the most important lands for protecting habitat for native species,” said Bell.The Frontenac Arch’s location and its dense forest make it one of the areas the NCC wants to safeguard, he said.The land in the region is made up largely of granite, with wetlands, swamps and marble ridges.“It’s not very hospitable for human development, and so it was the last of the southern Ontario lands to be given out as homestead lands. A lot of it was developed after the War of 1812,” Bell said.But when farmers found the land difficult to work, much of it was turned back into a forested area.It’s home to a number of endangered or rare species, including the five-linked skink, which is Ontario’s only lizard, the gray ratsnake, which is the largest snake in Canada, and the Least Bittern, which is the smallest species of heron.Bell said the restoration and conservation of the new properties should go a long way to help protect the species travelling through the area.And that’s part of why people are willing to sell the land, which in many cases had been in their families for generations, he said.“They like to see and think that their property is going to be maintained the way they loved it. Often, people contact us because they know that land isn’t going to be developed, and is going to be part of a larger picture and always be the way it is, the way they remember it.”He said that the NCC has also bought property from people who had been planning on developing the land.“But by and large, these large parcels are coming from longstanding owners,” he said.
SPY HILL, Sask. – A small Saskatchewan town opened its doors on Christmas morning to a Via Rail train with almost 100 passengers that suffered mechanical problems due to extremely cold weather.Company spokeswoman Mariam Diaby said in an email that the train travelling between Vancouver and Toronto had to stop at Spy Hill, and the passengers were sheltered in the local community centre where they received food, drinks and warmth.Calvin Petracek, Spy Hill’s deputy fire chief, said he was doing chores on his farm when texts went out to local firefighters asking volunteers to help.Petracek said there’s no railway station in Spy Hill, which has a population of about 300 people, so the train was stopped at a siding in the community.He said it’s only about 100 metres from the train to the hall and most passengers walked, but the temperature was -43 C with wind chill.Petracek said the stranded passengers were served pancakes cooked by people in the town, with help from the cooks on the train.“The population of Spy Hill increased 25 per cent through Christmas due to this,” Petracek said.Diaby said the passengers — 98 in total — were to be taken to Winnipeg by bus later in the day. She said Via was looking at alternative transportation for the passengers from Winnipeg onward.“The safety and well-being of our passengers is our priority and we will continue to monitor the situation closely,” Diaby said in the email.Ryan Siemens — who boarded the train in Saskatoon on Christmas Eve with his wife and three children, aged six, three and one — said the train began to lose power after they had passed Melville, Sask., at about 4 a.m. The emergency lights came on, toilets stopped working and some of the cars got cold, he said.“It just didn’t have the oomph it needed, so it was losing power,” said Siemens, who was reached by phone late Monday afternoon on a bus that was taking his family to Winnipeg.“The car that was behind us still had warmth and so the crew organized us and everyone moved over.”Fire Chief Jim Larocque said RCMP phoned him on Christmas morning asking for help. He said the community hall was already decorated for Christmas for a local family’s holiday celebration later that day. A musical duo that had been performing on the train led everyone in Christmas carols, after local townspeople helped to hook up the sound system.Extra supplies were rustled up from some local businesses, he said.“It was a really joyous Christmas,” Larocque said.Siemens noted the train crew and local volunteers later made hamburgers, salads, and someone in the town brought toys for the kids to play with.“It was, in the end, a very festive, good way to spend Christmas,” Siemens said.Diaby said she couldn’t confirm details about what happened to the train, other than that the malfunction had occurred due to the cold.Diaby noted Via has an “Artists On Board” program, which offers complimentary or reduced-fare travel for approved professional musicians in return for performing on Board Montreal-Halifax and Toronto-Vancouver trains. However, she didn’t know if there were any such artists on the train that stopped in Spy Hill.Spy Hill is located in eastern Saskatchewan, not far from the Manitoba boundary.Travis Moore, a local firefighter whose family was the one originally planning to use the hall on Christmas, said they were happy to turn over the space for the train passengers and quickly moved their party to the curling rink.“It’s just 50 of us this year, that’s all,” Moore said about his family’s celebration.“It’s Christmas in Saskatchewan. Anything can happen.”—by Rob Drinkwater in Edmonton
TORONTO – Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur appeared briefly by video in a Toronto courtroom Wednesday morning, before his case was put over until the end of the month.The 66-year-old self-employed landscaper faces five first-degree murder charges in connection with the disappearances of several men believed to have had ties to Toronto’s LGBTQ community.Police have found the dismembered remains of six individuals in large planters at the home of one of McArthur’s clients, and investigators have said they expect to lay more charges in the coming days.McArthur, wearing an orange jumpsuit, said little during his short court appearance, speaking only to thank the court at the end of the proceedings.A friend of Dean Lisowick — one of McArthur’s alleged victims — was in the courtroom, but said he could not bring himself to look at McArthur on the video screen.“I’m just numb,” said Jeff Tunney, who lived briefly with Lisowick in Toronto. “You don’t know how to feel about it. I don’t know how.”Lisowick, who police have said had no fixed address, drifted back and forth between shelters and Tunney’s home in the heart of Toronto’s gay village, before settling with Tunney for around two and a half months beginning in 2015, Tunney said.Lisowick moved out after the pair had a disagreement over his drug use, Tunney said. But in spring 2016, Lisowick showed up outside Tunney’s home.“He said he was going to be back and then he never came back and no one knew what happened to him,” he added.Lisowick, who was either 43 or 44 at the time of his death, was never reported missing.Tunney said he assumed Lisowick had simply found a better place to live.Lisowick worked part time as a cleaner in a local bar and also earned money as a sex worker, Tunney said.Tunney and a friend had tried, unsuccessfully, to warn Lisowick away from the sex trade, he added.“I was a little worried for his safety because he seemed to be a naive guy that just goes anywhere,” Tunney said.Police have so far identified only one set of remains — those of Andrew Kinsman, another one of the men McArthur is accused of killing — and have said they continue to analyze the others.Last month, McArthur was charged with 49-year-old Kinsman’s death, as well as the presumed death of 44-year-old Selim Esen. Both men went missing from Toronto’s gay village in 2017.Police laid three more first-degree murder charges against McArthur about two weeks later, related to the disappearances of Lisowick, Majeed Kayhan, 58, and Soroush Mahmudi, 50.McArthur is scheduled to return to court on Feb. 28.
VANCOUVER – A disease that’s killed hundreds of feral rabbits in British Columbia has prompted a Metro Vancouver zoo to take precautions to protect its bunnies and those of the public.Menita Prasad, animal care manager of the Greater Vancouver Zoo, said four of the animals have been placed under prolonged quarantine to guard against the spread of rabbit hemorrhagic disease.The virus that affects European rabbits has been detected in the Vancouver Island communities of Nanaimo and Comox as well as in Delta, B.C.It includes fever and convulsions and kills a rabbit within 36 hours.Prasad said the rabbits were quarantined on March 14 and three of them were available for viewing only during the Easter weekend.She said the Canadian Food Inspection Agency recommends the animals be kept in isolation for 60 days but the zoo’s rabbits will remain quarantined until a veterinarian clears them for interaction with the public to guard against the fast-spreading virus.“Even just from petting, from saliva, from feces, from contact with any contaminated material, it could potentially be transmissible to any other rabbit species,” Prasad said. “Not only do we want to safeguard our own animal collection we don’t know how many of our visitors have pet rabbits at home and we definitely do not want to risk anything happening to their pet species.”Ten other rabbits that were acquired by the zoo in early March have been under quarantine since then as part of the zoo’s standard 30-day isolation period, Prasad said.“We’re hoping that we would be able to have them for our family farmyard area through the summer but it really just depends on what the CFIA recommendations are on the disease.”Rabbit hemorrhagic disease was reported on Vancouver Island earlier this year and B.C.’s chief wildlife veterinarian said it was the first instance of the virus in the province and only its third confirmed appearance in Canada.The B.C. government said a vaccine is not yet available in Canada but the illness is not known to affect native North American rabbits, cats, dogs, horses, other pets or humans.Dr. Bruce Burton, a veterinarian on contract with the zoo, said a vaccine would have to be imported and it’s not known if it would be effective.“This is a disease we have no familiarity with, it just showed up,” Burton said. “The virus appears to be fairly resilient and it’s known to be present in Australia, Africa, China, Cuba and Europe.”It’s possible people travelling from those countries with rabbit fur or even something on their shoes could have brought the virus to British Columbia, though birds may have also carried it over, he said.“In this particular case there’s a clear and present danger to make sure that none of those rabbits did get exposed to the public and the public exposed to them,” he said of the quarantined bunnies.— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version misspelled hemorrhagic.
FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. – Alberta Health Services says it has reached an agreement with Walmart Canada in a case where the retailer is accused of keeping and selling food that was potentially contaminated by the Fort McMurray wildfire.A spokeswoman for the provincial health agency says a scheduling letter has been sent to the court ahead of a trial set to begin in Fort McMurray on Monday, stating the parties are ready to present an agreed statement of facts.Kirsten Goruk says the letter also says there is a joint sentencing submission.In January 2017, the agency said Walmart was charged with 174 violations of the province’s Public Health Act, stemming from the wildfire that forced the evacuation of Fort McMurray in 2016.A month had been scheduled for the trial.An email from Walmart Canada on Saturday says the company is not commenting while the matter is before the court.The huge fire that broke out May 1 forced more than 80,000 people to flee the city. Residents were not allowed to return to the damaged community until June.Some of the charges against Walmart include failing to dispose of food items, including candy, potato chips, beans and condiments.The health authority said food exposed to wildfires can be damaged by unsafe temperatures, smoke, ash, soot, fire retardants, water and loss of power.At the time the charges were laid, a Walmart Canada spokesman said the company was surprised, noting they follow strict procedures to ensure the safety of their food.The spokesperson also said Walmart worked closely with food inspectors and the crisis team of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo to reopen the store to support the community.AHS said its staff worked closely with food operations after the wildfire to ensure they reopened safely.
OTTAWA – Canada will take in 40,000 more immigrants in 2021 than it plans to accept this year, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said Wednesday.The target for new arrivals in Canada will rise to 350,000, which is nearly one per cent of the country’s population.The figures were announced Wednesday as part of government’s updated multi-year immigration levels plan, which covers the next three years. The target rises annually from 310,000 this year, counting all classes of new arrivals.The vast majority of these newcomers are coming under economic programs designed to address skills shortages and gaps in the labour market.Hussen says economic immigration is badly needed in areas across the country that are short on workers and long on older residents.“In certain regions the hunger for workers is huge,” he said. “This plan is making us very competitive in the global market. It enables us to continue to be competitive, it enables us to continue to present Canada as a welcoming country and to position us to continue to be (a leader) in skills attraction.”Many immigration advocates and economic groups had called for bigger increases to Canada’s immigration numbers. The government’s own economic advisory council suggested admitting 450,000 people in a report in 2016.Hussen says the Liberal government is taking a measured approach, keeping in mind the need to ensure newcomers have access to suitable settlement services.“You need to be able to house them, you need to be able to settle them, you need to be able to provide integration services,” he said.The Trudeau government did increase funding for settlement services by 30 per cent since taking office, but if the immigration levels plan were increased dramatically, this would require even further funding increases, Hussen added.“It’s also a question of gradual increase so our immigration system can be able to process these things, communities can be able to absorb them and local immigration partnerships can do their work,” he said. “We can’t just go to 450,000 at once. You need to build up to that.”Meanwhile, as the global number of displaced persons reached a record high 68.5 million last year, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has called on countries around the world to do more to help those being pushed out of their homes by wars, violence and persecution.Canada does plan to gradually increase the number of refugees it will accept under its humanitarian, family reunification and sponsorship programs from 43,000 to reach 51,700 by 2021.Nevertheless, the lion’s share of the new admissions under Canada’s immigration levels plan — 72 per cent — will be allocated to economic programs in 2021.Hussen says he acknowledges that more must be done to help refugees around the world, and says he fights every single day to increase the number of refugees Canada admits.He also noted that Canada has “exported” its program allowing private citizens to sponsor refugees to several other countries that previously did not offer a program like that. The United Kingdom has implemented its own version of Canada’s program, with Ireland and Germany set to soon do the same.Additional funding has also been earmarked to bring 1,000 vulnerable women and girl refugees to Canada over the next two years, Hussen said.
Vancouver police have arrested a 37-year-old man for allegedly using several cans of spray paint to express support for former federal attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould.Officers responded early Monday after slogans such as “let Jody speak,” “Trudeau for treason,” and “make B.C. the best coast again,” were sprayed in huge red or white letters on the windows of Wilson-Raybould’s constituency office.The messages also covered the sidewalk and busy street in front of the office in her Vancouver Granville riding.Police say several cans of spray paint have been seized and charges of mischief are being considered.The slogans were removed from the office windows within hours and a crew using pressure washers worked to clean the graffiti off the sidewalk and street.Wilson-Raybould posted a message on social media Monday urging supporters to voice their opinions in safe and legal ways.“While I appreciate people wanting to show their support and enthusiasm as well as express their views, I would encourage them to do so without damaging private or public property or putting themselves in harm’s way. Thank you,” Wilson-Raybould wrote on her Twitter account.She and fellow member of Parliament and former cabinet minister Jane Philpott were removed from the Liberal party caucus one week ago. The ousters followed Wilson-Raybould’s resignation from cabinet in February, shortly after she was shuffled out of the justice portfolio.Philpott resigned in early March, just weeks after being named Treasury Board president, saying she had “serious concerns” about allegations that Wilson-Raybould had been pressured to intervene in the SNC-Lavalin controversy. (News1130)The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — Environment Canada is maintaining its heavy rain warnings for many parts of Quebec today, keeping property owners near lakes and rivers on high alert for flooding.Water levels, already quite high, are expected to rise sharply with warm temperatures, snowmelt runoff and the heavy rainfall forecast through Saturday.Public safety officials say minor flooding has already occurred in the Montreal area, as well as the Outaouais, the Eastern Townships and central Quebec.Earlier this week, the Chaudiere River burst its banks, flooding a large part of Beauceville, south of Quebec City. Officials there called it the worst flooding since 1971.Thomas Blanchet, a spokesman for the province’s public safety department, says they want residents to be ready for flooding that could come quickly this weekend, and are imploring them to follow the instructions of local officials.Blanchet says while there are no official evacuation orders currently in the province, some municipalities have issued preventative orders.The Canadian Press
Steve Carell, Colin Hanks and Ken Jeong are featured in a new Stand Up To Cancer campaign, titled “Baseball Believes,” filmed at Boston’s Fenway Park that celebrates amazing plays from Major League Baseball’s Postseason history.Video: “Baseball Believes” with Steve Carell, Colin Hanks and Ken JeongThe six spots, which include the actual broadcasts of the historic plays, connect believing in miracles on the playing field with a shared vision of ending cancer. The spots will begin airing in early September in stadiums, on MLB Network, FOX and ESPN, and will continue through the 2013 baseball season.Major League Baseball is a founding donor of Stand Up To Cancer and, together with its 30 Clubs, has committed more than $30 million to the initiative to date.Carell, Hanks and Jeong took to the field at Fenway Park to re-create signature moments in baseball history that led fans across the nation to believe that anything was possible. After the three actors highlight the importance of these moments in baseball history, the spot ends with a call to action, encouraging fans to join Major League Baseball in its belief that we can end cancer forever.The four baseball moments are: New York Yankees All-Star Derek Jeter makes the famous backhand toss to Jorge Posada in Game 3 of the 2001 American League Division Series to tag out Jeremy Giambi at the plate. Boston Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk waves his 12th inning home run to “stay fair” to win Game 6 of the 1975 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds at Fenway Park. New York Giants center fielder Willie Mays makes his over-the-shoulder basket catch to rob Vic Wertz of the Cleveland Indians of extra bases in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series. The catch has been heralded as one of the greatest in baseball history. Los Angeles Dodgers star Kirk Gibson, hobbled by a pulled hamstring and a swollen knee, delivers a pinch-hit, walk-off home run off dominant Oakland Athletics closer Dennis Eckersley in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series and limps around the bases. The legendary play is often referenced as a prime example of the miracles of Postseason baseball.Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig commented, “This campaign is a part of Major League Baseball’s unwavering efforts to support and help empower Stand Up To Cancer in its noble work fighting all forms of cancer through the spirit of collaboration. We are proud that the most memorable and improbable moments in Postseason history can be used as a way to inspire people to believe that anything is possible, including an end to cancer.”“Under the steadfast leadership and dedication of Commissioner Bud Selig and all 30 teams, MLB’s financial support of SU2C has been vitally important to the success of our mission. Equally important is what MLB has done to help build our grassroots movement by encouraging baseball fans everywhere to support our researchers, who work tirelessly to develop new therapies for patients to save lives now,” said SU2C Co-Founder Rusty Robertson.“Everyone at MLB has helped enormously with our efforts to convey this key message: each and every one of us has a role to play in ending cancer, and we are profoundly grateful for that,” added SU2C Co-Founder Sue Schwartz.“As the husband of a cancer survivor, I know how important it is to believe that we can beat this disease,” said Jeong. “I’m proud to be a part of Stand Up To Cancer and Major League Baseball’s effort to build more support for the scientists on the front lines of the fight.”The spot was shot at Fenway Park during its 100th year anniversary and will build on the previous spots created at Major League ballparks, including the 2010 SU2C PSA, which featured actor Jake Gyllenhaal at Dodger Stadium and debuted during the 2010 All-Star Game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Since the SU2C launch in 2008, Major League Baseball has continued to promote the initiative year-round, including a featured spotlight during the World Series and other MLB Jewel events. Notably, in 2011, MLB and SU2C introduced in-stadium SU2C “I Stand Up For” placards, a powerful symbol of fans, Club leadership, managers and players uniting in the fight against cancer.
Olympic rower Mark Hunter joins fellow athlete Kate Dennison to run the Royal Park Half Marathon for Right To Play, an international charity that uses sport and play to educate and empower children in disadvantaged communities.Mark Hunter in TanzaniaCredit/Copyright: Right To Play UKBoth Hunter and Dennison have been Athlete Ambassadors for Right To Play for a number of years and decided to run the 13.1 miles around London this October to show their support for the charity.Hunter – who won gold at the Beijing Olympic Games in the lightweight double sculls with partner Zac Purchase, and then won silver at London 2012 again with partner Purchase – recently visited the charity’s programmes in Tanzania.Hunter said; “After my trip to Tanzania I saw how Right To Play changes children’s lives and gives them a chance through sport and play. Join me in running the Royal Park Half Marathon for Right To Play and help make a difference!” Dennison was GB’s number one pole-vaulter for a number of years competing in the commonwealth games in 2006, the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and winning a bronze medal at the commonwealth games in 2010.Dennison said; “I travelled the world competing as a professional athlete and I know how much of an impact sport and play can have on young lives. I’m proud to be an Athlete Ambassador for Right To Play and help them educate and empower children in disadvantaged communities around the world through sport and play.”Anyone interested in joining these athletes running the Royal Park Half Marathon for Right To Play can find out more here.
The Music Business Association (Music Biz) will present Country superstar Martina McBride with its prestigious Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award during the Music Biz 2015 Awards Luncheon at 12 p.m. on Thursday, May 14, at the Sheraton Nashville Downtown Hotel in Nashville.The Award recognizes McBride’s outstanding philanthropic efforts through her work on behalf of domestic violence, which includes being the spokesperson for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, National Network to End Domestic Violence, and Tulsa Domestic Violence as well as uniting with Loveisrespect and the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline to create the “My Time to Shine” program to educate teens on how to have healthy relationships.The award-winning vocalist has used her voice throughout her musical career as well, bringing to light the issue most notably in “Independence Day” and “A Broken Wing.” McBride has also lent her support to various other organizations such as hosting the Middle Tennessee’s YWCA Celebrity Auction every year since 1995 – raising more than $500,000 – and working with the Kids Wish Network to fulfill the wish of a young girl battling Muscular Dystrophy. In 2010, she performed “Unchained Melody” during the Stand Up To Cancer Telethon with Leona Lewis, Aaron Neville, and Stevie Wonder.“Martina is an incredible singer and songwriter, whose phenomenal talent and success is matched only by her desire to give back to those in need,” said James Donio, President of Music Biz. “Over the years, she has donated a remarkable amount of her time and money to deserving charities fighting to end domestic violence. She truly embraces the philanthropic values of the award’s namesake, Harry Chapin, and we are thrilled to present her with this honor at Music Biz 2015.”Additionally, McBride empowers fans through Team Martina, a global charity group that works to make the world a better place through the healing power of music. In Nashville, she and her team raised over $40,000 for a cancer research grant to help doctors at Vanderbilt University while the Atlanta group raised $33,000 to help the city begin construction on an innovative new green space for kids living in an urban area with few playgrounds. Team Martina also raised money to fund a music education program for Covenant House, a shelter for orphaned and abused girls, in Guatemala, providing them with instruments and music lessons. In all, the group has raised over $275,000 for their initiatives. Fans also have the opportunity to participate in hands-on volunteering to help the communities that McBride performs in during her 2015 tour. For more information or to join the group, visit TeamMartina.com.“I believe that anyone blessed enough to achieve success has a responsibility to help those in need,” said McBride. “While my goal was never to be recognized for my charitable efforts, this award is proof that we can all make a difference, no matter how small, in the lives of others. I hope this recognition will encourage more people to support worthy organizations that speak to their hearts.”McBride most recently signed to Nash Icon Records, a joint venture between the Big Machine Label Group and Cumulus, and is expected to release new music this year. Over the course of her illustrious career, McBride has sold more than 18 million albums, scored six #1 singles, and became the first solo female artist to debut at #1 on the Top Country Albums chart with an independently released and distributed album in the chart’s 50-year history. McBride has earned more than 15 major music awards, including four wins for Female Vocalist of the Year from the Country Music Association, and the petite powerhouse’s EVERLASTING TOUR has been well received with sold-out shows across the country. Ever the entertainer, McBride also released her first book, Around the Table, a full-color illustrated collection of her favorite recipes, hosting tips, practical menu planning advice, and themed décor inspiration.The Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award was created in 1981 to honor the legacy of folk-rock singer-songwriter Harry Chapin, who fought tirelessly to end world hunger and received the Congressional Gold Medal in 1987 for his philanthropic work. He played a major part in the creation of the Presidential Commission on World Hunger in 1977 and co-founded the charitable organization World Hunger Year, which received the proceeds from merchandise sales at his concerts. Chapin wrote the #1 hit “Cat’s in the Cradle”; top 40 singles “Taxi,” “W*O*L*D,” and “Sequel”; and scored a Gold album with 1974’s Verities & Balderdash. Previous recipients of the Award have included Dee Snider, Annie Lennox, Melissa Etheridge, Norman Lear, Jackson Browne, and Bonnie Raitt.Music Biz 2015, which will be held in Nashville for the first time in Association history on May 12-14, is the music industry’s premier event, giving the commerce and content sectors a place to meet with trading partners, network with new companies, and learn about new trends and products impacting the music business. Registration is open now here.
Garth Brooks was on-site to celebrate the grand opening of the newly renovated and expanded Child Life Zone at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas on June 26, 2015.Garth Brooks Opens Child Life Zone at Texas Children’s HospitalCredit/Copyright: Paul Vincent Kuntz/Texas Children’s HospitalFunded through the Teammates for Kids foundation (which Brooks co-founded in 1999), the Zone provides a fun, safe and procedure-free environment for Texas Children’s in-patient population and their families.Video: Garth Brooks unveils Childlife Zone at Texas Children’s Hospital“The vision for Teammates for Kids is the same as it was when we started. The kids in this hospital, and hospitals around the world, have a harder climb than a kid who is not. Our job is to remind them and remind all of us that they are kids, let them be kids,” said Brooks. “I love being part of Child Life because they understand the greatest healing principle we can bring children is to let them be children.”Texas Children’s Child Life Zone originally opened in 2001 and now features a completely renovated and expanded play space. The Zone offers a variety of video gaming choices thanks to the new Microsoft Media Wall and Surface Pro tablets. Patients can challenge their friends to a game of pool, air hockey or race car driving on the Zone’s arcade games. An expanded kitchen offers unique programming for patients and families to learn more about healthy lifestyles while cooking with the hospital’s chef. When the kitchen is “closed” the 24-foot kitchen counter doubles as an arts and craft bar. The Zone also includes an expanded production studio which offers patients the opportunity to explore and create music as a part of the hospital’s music therapy program. Kids can go “on air” each week as Radio Lollipop broadcasts their radio program throughout the hospital. With the new closed-circuit television system, patients on isolation will now be able to see what’s happening in the Zone and participate in live shows being broadcast from the studio.The Zone, located in the hospital’s West Tower and adjacent to other support services, is available to patients ages 6 and up and their families. The focus of the Zone is as much on the family (in particular siblings of patients who can often feel overlooked) as it is on the patients themselves who greatly benefit from the therapeutic play the Zone provides.“Providing patients and families with the opportunity to play normalizes the hospital environment,” said Mary E. Tietjens, child life manager at Texas Children’s. “Play is a wonderful therapeutic tool that supports a healing environment and promotes positive coping. We can’t thank Teammates for Kids and Microsoft enough for all they have done to make the vision a reality.”More than 100 patients and their families attended the grand opening event and were given the chance to meet Brooks. Representatives from Teammates for Kids and Microsoft were on hand to show families the activities and resources available at the Zone. Brooks chatted with patients and families, signed autographs and posed for pictures leaving many happy smiles at the end of the day.“Kids are what it is all about for me. They are the greatest gift God has ever invented and they should be happy,” said Brooks. “If there is one thing I can say, it is when you walk into a room and tell others that 100 percent of the money goes to the kids, everyone is in. I am very, very proud to be a part of this.”Source:PR Newswire
In an interview with Democracy Now this month, Eve Ensler, a playwright, activist and the creator of V-Day, spoke about her worries of the escalation of rape culture and a predatory mindset in the United States, particularly within the country’s new administration.Besides President Trump’s boasts about his proclivity to sexually assault women, which he said he could get away with because of his celebrity status, and his ex-wife, Ivana, stating in her divorce deposition that Donald Trump had raped her; Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, was charged with violence and battery against his ex-wife; Trump’s first pick for Labour Secretary, Andrew Puzder, was accused of domestic abuse by his ex-wife; Jeff Sessions, the new attorney general, voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women act; and Tom Price, the new secretary of health and human services, also voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women act.“Watching Trump and watching the people Trump surrounds himself with, we are seeing the escalation of rape culture, a predatory mindset, in many respects,” said Ensler in the interview, “but I’ll particularly address towards women. I think from the very beginning, listening to Trump, how is it possible that a nation of people felt OK with electing a self-confessed sexual assaulter? How is it possible we feel OK with Bannon, who seems to be running the show right now, who is known to have beaten his wife? If we look at that as something that’s acceptable in a general way, then we understand we haven’t really gotten to the root of rape culture in America.“I also think that predatory mindset is affecting everything. We’re gutting regulations on air, on water and on the earth. We’re escalating extraction. We’re seeing the ransacking of laws, a disparaging of immigrants. And this is all part of a predatory mindset, which is really about one person in power who does what he wants without the consent of the people around him, which is exactly what rape culture is. You seize people’s bodies, you take them against their will, and you do whatever you want to them.”But it’s not total doom and gloom. On May 11, Ensler will be speaking at Disorderly Bodies: Intersectional Activism in the Age of Trump in Los Angeles, CA, where she will offer strategies “for surviving in the Trump era as antiracist feminists”.Copyright ©2017Look to the Stars
WWE has announced the launch of this year’s Superstars for Hope, a global online fundraising campaign with Prizeo, that will give one lucky winner the Ultimate WrestleMania 34 Experience in New Orleans with proceeds benefiting Boys & Girls Clubs of America.Fans can now visit www.Prizeo.com/WWE and have the opportunity to donate as little as $10 for a chance to win the Ultimate WrestleMania 34 Experience. Those who support the campaign will also have the opportunity to win additional rewards, based on their donation amount.“For the second year in a row, WWE’s ‘Superstars for Hope’ campaign will support Boys & Girls Clubs of America to further enhance their efforts to enable young people to reach their full potential,” said Stephanie McMahon, WWE Chief Brand Officer. “WWE is committed to using the power of our brand to give back and leave a lasting impact on local communities.”“Boys & Girls Clubs of America is honored to receive support from WWE’s Superstars for Hope campaign,” said Frank Sanchez, National Vice President, Business & Community Affairs. “WWE and Boys & Girls Clubs of America have formed a tremendous partnership where together we provide Club kids all across the U.S. with the tools and skills to eradicate bullying in their communities. We are thankful to have a partner like WWE that cares so deeply about America’s youth.”The Ultimate WrestleMania 34 Experience includes: • 2 Ringside Tickets to WrestleMania 34 including: • – Meet and greet with WWE Superstars • – Exclusive sneak peek of the WrestleMania set before doors open • – Picture on the ramp before WrestleMania • – Backstage tour of Mercedes-Benz Superdome and get interviewed on the WrestleMania set • – Design your own WrestleMania ring gear and have a photo shoot • 2 VIP Tickets to the WWE Hall of Fame 2018 • – Walk the red carpet during the Hall of Fame Pre-Show • – Sit in talent section during the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony • 2 VIP Tickets to WrestleMania 34 Axxess, WWE’s ultimate fan event • 2 Ringside Tickets to NXT TakeOver: New Orleans • – Backstage meet and greet with NXT Superstars • 2 Invitations to WrestleMania Week private events • WWE Championship Title autographed by WWE Superstars • Roundtrip airfare for two people plus hotel accommodations for three nights in New OrleansFans can click here now through Friday, April 21, to donate for their chance to win.
Twitter Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Colin Mochrie has taken to Twitter to criticize intolerance of transgender people, revealing that he and wife Deb McGrath are the parents of a trans daughter.“My 90-year-old mother-in-law and 87-year-old mother[‘s] love and acceptance of our trans daughter warms me,” the Canadian “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” star shared on Twitter, adding: “Wonder why some who are younger can’t.” Login/Register With: