Kolkata: Traffic movement on Sealdah flyover will be suspended from August 15 evening to August 18 evening for the purpose of load capacity test of the flyover. During this period, the Kolkata Police has made an elaborate arrangement to divert the vehicular movement through various stretches.However, senior traffic police officials admitted that during the four days closure of Sealdah flyover, some of the stretches in the city may face traffic congestion and thus, people have been requested to plan their journey with sufficient time in hand. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAccording to Kolkata Police, during these four days, the stretch on the flyover between M G Road Crossing and Beliaghata Main Road Crossing will be closed. Vehicular movement on Sealdah flyover, North to South, and vice versa will be suspended from 6 pm on August 15. As a result, tram services along Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road, M G Road, Bidhan Sarani and Lenin Sarani will be suspended or restricted. As the Beliaghata Main Road will be open, passengers coming from South Kolkata will not have to face any difficulty to reach Sealdah railway station. Those coming from North Kolkata will have to avail M G Road, Amherst Street, B B Ganguly Street to reach Koley Market. From there, they have to take a left turn and move along the road under Sealdah flyover in order to reach the railway station. In another arrangement, vehicles going to Sealdah railway station will be diverted from Rajabazar Crossing to avail Narkeldanga Main Road, Canal East Road and Beliaghata Main Road. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwaySouth-bound vehicles will be diverted through M G Road and Amherst Street and Lenin Sarani in order to reach Moulali Crossing. If the pressure of traffic increases at any point of time, traffic may get diverted from Maniktala Crossing to Amherst Street and from Shyambazar Crossing to Bhupen Bose Avenue and C R Avenue. The North-bound vehicles will be diverted using S N Banerjee Road via Janbazar/Esplanade, Dorina Crossing, Central Avenue and Colootola Street in order to reach APC Road in Sealdah. The buses will also follow the same routes except those which originate and terminate in and around Sealdah. Buses from few routes which come along the AJC Bose Road and usually terminate at Rajabazar will be stopped in and around NRS Medical College and Hospital. Buses from routes which terminate at Sealdah railway station area will be diverted to APC Road and will be terminated near Rajabazar. The South-bound heavy goods vehicles such as container trailers and others will be diverted from Shyambazar to Bhupen Bose Avenue to avail C R Avenue. South-bound medium and light goods vehicles will be allowed to move along the APC Road till Maniktala. From there, those will be diverted to Vivekananda Road and Girish Park to avail C R Avenue. Kolkata Police has also informed that during the four days of closure of Sealdah flyover, traffic movement along Amherst Street, BB Ganguly Street, College Street, N C Street, S N Banerjee Road, Creek Row and Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road will be one way round-the-clock. Also ‘No Parking’ restriction will be imposed on these roads during the period of the closure. Apart from these restrictions, vehicular traffic may also be diverted from any arterial and feeder roads if necessary by the traffic officials.
New Delhi: A man was arrested for allegedly making a hoax call on August 8 saying his wife was planning to trigger a bomb at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport here, police said on Saturday. The police said that the man, Nasiruddin (29), made the hoax calling stating that his wife was a “fidayeen” member and was on her way to set off the bomb at the airport. “Nasiruddin was arrested from Delhi’s Bawana area. He made the call in order to prevent his wife from leaving the country,” said a senior police officer. On August 8, the authorities at the airport had to temporarily suspend operations of international flights. “During investigation, the accused revealed that he married Rafiya, his employee, who was now planning to leave India to work in the Gulf. When his attempts to stop her from leaving the country failed, he decided to make the call,” the officer added.
NEW DELHI: Yamuna was flowing at 205.36 metres, just above the danger mark of 205.33 metres, a Delhi government official said on Monday. A portion of the Nigambodh Ghat in east Delhi was flooded on Monday as the Yamuna river breached the danger mark in Delhi in the evening, officials said.The Old Iron Bridge over Yamuna was aslo closed for traffic movement due to raised water level in the river, officials said. “The bridge has been closed for general traffic from both sides as a precautionary measure for public safety from Monday morning till further orders,” a statement stated. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderEarlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that Haryana released 8.28 lakh cusecs of water on Sunday evening and excess water will reach Delhi within 36 to 72 hours. “Water can reach here during the next two days with full force, all our officers and ministers are monitoring the situation 24×7,” the CM said. He appealed to those staying in the floodplains of Yamuna to evacuate and shift to the tents set up by the Delhi Government. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe Chief Minister also requested the people of Delhi not to panic as the government is taking all possible measures to effectively deal with the situation, which may affect residents of low lying areas in six districts (North, North East, Shahdara East, Central, and South East) where Yamuna flows through. As part of preparedness to combat the situation, the Delhi government has already started to evacuate people and take to tents on both the sides of Yamuna. So far, 2120 tents have been set- up with facilities like electricity, water, food and toilets. “Shift to the tents by 6:00 PM in the evening and not to return till water recedes, as the nature of flow in Yamuna can’t be predicted,” appealed CM Kejriwal to the people of Yamuna floodplain. He also urged the people to take care of the children as they may get into the river to play or take a bath. He recalled the instance of two deaths reported last year. “Next two days are very crucial. We are monitoring the situation”, said the Chief Minister. He also said that Delhi Government is coordinating with the Central Government and the Lieutenant Governor’s office and all concerned agencies. The entire government machinery is focused in tackling this emergency situation in the next two days as every life is precious for the government, the Chief Minister said. “Around 53 boats are ready for the rescue operations and 30 boats have been already placed in 30 locations, where higher impact of the flood is anticipated. Delhi Government has set-up an emergency contact number 22421656 and the SDM Preet Vihar the nodal officer of the control room could be contacted at 21210849,” said a senior official. The water level in the Yamuna crossed the warning mark on Monday, prompting Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to call a meeting of departments concerned to assess the situation and review arrangements in place.
Kolkata: Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested one of the directors of Pailan Group from Sealdah railway station on Friday evening. The accused, identified as Binay Kumar Singh, had been absconding for almost a year. Another director of the group, identified as Apurba Saha, is still on the run.According to sources, Pailan Group was named in the complaint lodged by CBI a few years ago, in connection with a different chit fund scam. It was alleged that the group had racked up a huge amount of money under the guise of their real estate business. They had also made actor Rituparna Sengupta their brand ambassador for the same. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaDuring investigation, CBI had raided several offices of Pailan Group and houses of the group’s portfolio holders. In the middle of investigation, Singh and other directors managed to hide in order to avoid suspected arrest. Recently, CBI came to know that Singh was trying to change his hideout using Kolkata as corridor. However, whether he was staying in Kolkata or coming from somewhere else was not determined. On Friday, CBI got a tip that Singh will come to Sealdah railway station. A team from CGO Complex in Salt Lake soon went to the station and kept a strict vigil across the platforms. In the evening, CBI officials spotted him at platform number 9 and immediately, Singh was surrounded. Later, he was brought to the CGO Complex and subsequently arrested. Earlier during 2018, CBI had conducted raids at several places in and around Kolkata, in connection with the chit fund case involving the Pailan Group and had managed to seize a huge amount of incriminating documents. According to CBI, the group had collected around Rs 520 crore from the market through different chit fund scams, by assuring a high rate of interest.
Mumbai: Singer Arijit Singh has crooned a dance number “Ghungroo” picturised on Hrithik Roshan and Vaani Kapoor for “War”, director Siddharth Anand says it is a “huge USP” for the upcoming movie. “Arijit Singh is the biggest singing sensation of our country and we were clear from day one that we wanted him to sing our party anthem, ‘Ghungroo’. “Arijit singing a dance number for Hrithik is a huge USP for us and Arijit has done a phenomenal job,” Anand said. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka The song will see Hrithik and Vaani party their heart out as sparks fly between them. What makes the track extremely anticipated is because singer Shilpa Rao will be singing for Vaani. “We also have Shilpa Rao singing for Vaani in the film. Shilpa swept all awards for Khuda Jaane (‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’) and since then she has sung in every film of mine. So, it was amazing collaborating with her again. ‘Ghungroo’ is the party anthem to watch out for.” In “War”, Tiger is pitted against his real-life idol Hrithik. The film is set to be a visual spectacle for quintessential action lovers, who will witness some jaw-dropping stunts. Produced by Yash Raj Films, the high-octane film will release in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu on October 2.
Kolkata: The Regional Meteorological Centre in Alipore on Sunday predicted heavy rainfall in all the North Bengal districts in the nexttwo days, while the South Bengal districts are likely to receive thundershower and lightning. The weather office added that people in South Bengal may also witness scattered rainfall in the next 48 hours. Andaman and Nicobar islands will also receive heavy shower, accompanied by strong wind measuring around 50-60 km per hour. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaA strong breeze may also sweep through various South Bengal districts in the evening hours of Monday and Tuesday, the MeT office said. A low pressure trough has formed over North East Bay of Bengal, which will bring more rainfall in the state. All the South Bengal districts including the city will receive moderate rainfall. However, humidity related discomfort will continue to haunt people in South Bengal, despite the rainfall. According to the prediction, districts like Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Kalimpong will receive heavy rainfall. The situation may improve from Wednesday. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayMeanwhile, South Bengal districts including the city may receive moderate rainfall. The Western districts like Purulia, Bankura, Birbhum as well as the coastal districts may witness marginally higher rainfall compared to the other districts in South Bengal. The city’s sky mostly remained cloudy in its various parts on Sunday. Various adjoining districts like North 24-Parganas, Nadia, South 24-Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly received moderate to heavy rainfall. A MeT official said the low-pressure trough will bring about rainfall in South Bengal districts, but the amount of rainfall in North Bengal will be much higher, barring a few scattered pockets.
PORTLAND, Maine – Fearing an existential threat to one of the largest mammals in the sea, the United States government has launched an investigation into a string of deaths of endangered North Atlantic right whales.At least 13 of the whales have been found dead this year off Atlantic Canada and New England, an unprecedented number experts say threatens the survival of the species.“The North Atlantic right whale is one of the most critically endangered populations of large whales in the world,” David Gouveia with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries branch said Friday.“The population numbers are very low and recovery is very slow. It’s a significant die off.”In response to the troubling raft of deaths, NOAA Fisheries has declared “an unusual mortality event.”The designation triggers a sweeping investigation into the cause of the deaths, including environmental and habitat conditions, threats from commercial fishing and shipping and other risk factors.NOAA Fisheries officials will work with counterparts at Fisheries and Oceans Canada on sampling and data collection, analysis and recommendations for future responses.Matthew Hardy, aquatic resources division manager with Fisheries and Oceans, said Canadian officials expect to have necropsy results finalized by the end of September.“This is a tremendous amount of work for the six necropsies that we completed in the Gulf of St. Lawrence,” he said. “We have specialists in zooplankton, food distribution, oceanography and toxicology to help feed into our understanding of what is actually happening.”Ten North Atlantic right whales have been found dead in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and two have been found in U.S. waters. There have also been four whales found entangled in fishing gear and two whales successfully released.In April, a North Atlantic right whale was found dead in Cape Cod Bay.In all, 13 of the marine mammals have been found dead this year, more than triple the annual average of 3.8 in Canada and the U.S.Some of the whales have apparently died due to ship strikes or fishing gear entanglement.No more than 500 still exist in the wild, prompting conservation groups and marine scientists to warn that the survival of the North Atlantic right whale is at imminent risk of extinction.The whales, which summer off New England and Atlantic Canada, are among the most imperilled marine mammals on Earth. Populations have only slightly rebounded from the whaling era, when the blubber-rich baleen whale became nearly extinct.Sean Hayes, the protected-species branch chief at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, said compounding the whale deaths is the declining number of calves.“The two parts of population growth are numbers of deaths and numbers of births,” he said. “When the number of deaths is high and births is low it’s obviously from a simple algebraic standpoint hard to recover a population.”Governments in Canada and the U.S. are already taking steps to protect the endangered whales.In an effort to reduce the frequency and severity of ship strikes, Ottawa ordered large vessels to slow down in the Gulf of St. Lawrence earlier this month.Vessels of 20 metres or more are required to slow to 10 knots – or about 19 kilometres per hour – while travelling in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence, from the Quebec north shore to just north of Prince Edward Island.Ships that don’t comply with the speed limit can face a fine of up to $25,000.Meanwhile, in addition to seasonal speed limits up and down the eastern seaboard, the U.S. also has what it calls “dynamic restrictions” on vessel speeds based on whale sightings.If a pod of whales is spotted in an unexpected area by an aerial survey team, for example, speed limits are imposed and vessel operators asked to slow down.The U.S. has also ushered in gear modification rules to reduce fishing gear entanglement, especially with lobster trap pot gear, gill nets and floating rope.“We’ve taken approximately 30,000 miles of line out of the water column over the years and we’ve also closed seasonally about 32,000 square nautical miles of fishing territory during the course of the years to protect whales,” said Gouveia, branch chief of NOAA’s protected species monitoring program.The issue is a new one in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which until the last few years has seen far fewer right whales.“It wasn’t that long ago that sightings of right whales in the gulf were considered a rare occurrence,” Hardy said. “We’ve obviously seen a much greater number in recent years, particularly this year.”Last month, lobster fisherman Joe Howlett was killed in waters off eastern New Brunswick after he freed a right whale caught in fishing gear.The tragic death prompted U.S. officials to ban whale entanglement rescues, a restriction since lifted for all whales — except right whales.Sarah Wilkin, national stranding and emergency response co-ordinator for NOAA Fisheries, said the U.S. has developed heightened safety training for responders.She said right whale entanglements could be authorized on a case-by-case basis by the most experienced and qualified responders, but she said there has not been an entanglement since Howlett’s death.— By Brett Bundale in Halifax
OTTAWA – The number of Indigenous offenders in the federal correctional system has risen almost 40 per cent in the last decade, says a government report released Friday.It also says a lower percentage of Indigenous offenders benefit from gradual release from custody than non-Indigenous ones.In addition, the number of women admitted to federal correctional centres has increased in recent years.The statistics underscore the challenges the Liberal government faces as it tries to deal with the over-representation of Indigenous people, the mentally ill and other vulnerable Canadians in the prison system.At the same time, the overall crime rate has been dropping and relatively few crimes result in sentences to federal penitentiaries.A look at some key statistics and trends highlighted in the Corrections and Conditional Release Statistical Overview, 2016 Annual Report:— The overall crime rate has decreased 34 per cent since 1998, to 5,888 per 100,000 population in 2015 from 8,915. Over the same period, there was a 43.5-per-cent decrease in the property-crime rate, to 3,220 per 100,000 from 5,696.— In contrast, the crime rate for drug offences has increased 12.6 per cent since 1998, to 269 per 100,000 from 235.— The rate of violent crime has fluctuated, peaking in 2000 at 1,494 per 100,000 population. Since 2000, the rate of violent crime has decreased 28.9 per cent to 1,062 in 2015.— The in-custody population in federal prisons has increased in seven of the last 10 years, though there was a slight decline in 2015-16.— From 2013-14 to 2014-15, the provincial-territorial sentenced offender population in custody increased 4.8 per cent to 10,364 from 9,888. The remand population increased 18.8 per cent to 13,650 from 11,494 during this period.— In 2015-16, Indigenous offenders represented 22.7 per cent of the total federal offender population. They accounted for 25.7 per cent of those in custody and 17.3 per cent of those on various forms of supervised release in the community in 2015-16.— From 2006-07 to 2015-16, the total Indigenous offender population increased 39.5 per cent.— In 2015-16, the federal day parole and full parole grant rates increased for both Indigenous offenders and non-Indigenous offenders.— However, a smaller percentage of Indigenous offenders benefit from supervised gradual releases than non-Indigenous ones: 82.4 per cent of Indigenous offenders were held until their statutory release dates compared to only 65.2 per cent of non-Indigenous ones.— The number of women admitted to the federal correctional system increased to 383 in 2015-16 from 316 in 2006-07.— In 2015-16, there was an 18.4-per-cent decrease in the total number of admissions to administrative segregation, where inmates are isolated from other prisoners in federal institutions.— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter
BATHURST, N.B. – A city council in northern New Brunswick is staying tight-lipped about changes to a contentious Halloween bylaw that puts an age limit on the pursuit of sugary loot and sets a curfew for anyone in disguise.Bathurst Coun. Samuel Daigle confirmed that amendments easing an existing Halloween bylaw passed final reading during a council meeting Monday night, but declined to comment further.“The communications director asked us not to comment on anything,” he said Tuesday. “Each time we say anything it turns into a circus.”Bathurst spokesman Luc Foulem said in an email Tuesday that the mayor and councillors “will not be making any further comments” regarding the Halloween bylaw amendments, which have received international attention.The new rules ban trick-or-treating for anyone older than 16 and set an 8 p.m. curfew for all, relaxing the old bylaw forbidding teens over age 14 from collecting candy door-to-door with a 7 p.m. cut-off.The bylaw also prohibits anyone from wearing a facial disguise in public after curfew. Anyone spotted donning a zombie mask or a witch’s veil after 8 p.m. can be fined up to $200.It also stipulates that Halloween is to celebrated on Oct. 31.While many towns and cities have issued Halloween-related policies or guidelines to protect little ghosts and goblins or step up police patrols, a bylaw restricting trick-or-treating and enforcing an early curfew is an unusual step.Although the changes in Bathurst relax existing restrictions, the bylaw has generated intense controversy — the city’s deputy mayor wants it should be scrapped altogether. Kim Chamberlain calls it an overreach for city councillors to impose Halloween rules.Bathurst police say they’ll use common sense enforcing the Halloween bylaw.“If some child is walking around at 8:05 p.m. and has a mask on, we’re not necessarily going to give them a ticket,” Const. Jeff Chiasson said in an interview Monday. “But if we do find people over the age of 16 throwing apples or stealing candies from other kids or things like that, that’s where the imposition of the fines would be put into place.”The bylaw gives police a tool to prevent and stop mischief, he said, adding that fines would be used only as a last resort.“I think the spirit of this is to prevent any mischief,” he said.— Story by Brett Bundale in Halifax
VANCOUVER – A family member of an Alberta man charged with the first-degree murder of a British Columbia police officer say the accused had been struggling since losing his wife almost five years ago.In a statement, 65-year-old Oscar Arfmann’s sister-in-law says he “was really never the same” after his wife died in April 2013.It says Arfmann was admitted to hospital in St. Paul, a town northeast of Edmonton, in July 2015 for a mental evaluation, but he was released three days later.Arfmann is charged in the death of Const. John Davidson in the Vancouver suburb of Abbotsford earlier this week.The 53-year-old officer with 24 years on the job was critically injured while responding to a report of a possible stolen vehicle and shots fired at members of the public.Arfmann’s family says it wants to extend its deepest condolences to Davidson’s family and the Abbotsford Police Department.Arfmann remained in hospital on Tuesday and British Columbia’s civilian agency that investigates police actions resulting in serious harm or death has said it’s believed he was shot.The statement released by Arfmann’s sister-in-law on behalf of the family says Arfmann continued to struggle with mental health issues after being released from hospital in 2015.“Family members had tried to seek help for him but he refused to go to the doctor,” the statement says.Hope Arfmann said she married Oscar when she was 18 but the marriage lasted less than three years because he was emotionally abusive.The couple lived in the small hamlet of Sunnybrook, Alta., and also on a farm near Millet, where she said he would hunt small rodents and birds.“The birds deserted the area, the squirrels, the gophers — anybody and everybody spread the word: stay away from that area,” she said.She said their split was tense and she suffered a medical condition that caused blackouts when she felt distressed.“I wanted to leave and he decided to keep me from doing that,” she explained. “I had been cutting up a roast at the table to make him a last lunch. And he says, ‘well, you ain’t going unless I let you go, and I ain’t letting you go.’ And that’s all I heard. When my sensibility came back, there was a knife in the wall.”However, she said the incident had been enough to bring about a change of mind on his part. She said in no time at all, he had packed up her belongings and driven her into Edmonton.After their split, their contact was limited, though they had a son together who she later gave up for adoption. Hope said after their divorce was made final by a Wetaskiwin court in the summer of 1975, Oscar married a woman named Patricia.“I heard by the bye that they were still like honeymooners after 40 years,” she said. “I was tickled pink. He married the right person the second time. For some reason, they clicked.”She said Oscar took Patricia’s death hard.“The only thing that he really loved was Patricia,” she said.— With files from Gwen Dambrofsky in Edmonton.
TORONTO – Scalper bots are now banned in Ontario, as a bill to protect ticket buyers passed Wednesday, though the ticket industry warns some parts of the legislation may actually put fans at a disadvantage.The provisions in a new Ticket Sales Act are contained in omnibus consumer protection legislation that also includes strengthening rules around home warranties, real estate practices and travel services in Ontario.Changes to ticket selling laws include banning so-called scalper bots, which buy a large number of tickets online for an event and then resell them at a large profit.The ticket sales and events industry largely welcomed the ban, with Ticketmaster, a major ticket seller, saying it is in an “arms race” to develop new tools to combat the bots. In North America the company blocked five billion bots last year, an executive told the legislative committee considering the bill last month.“There are only two types of buyers: There are fans and there are cheaters,” Patti-Anne Tarlton from Ticketmaster Canada told the committee. “It’s no secret that there’s a vast network of cheaters, both domestic and globally, who are seeking to manipulate and game our system. The goal is for them to beat fans at on-sale and to cheat fans at resale.”Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi has acknowledged that enforcement may be difficult when it comes to bots that often operate from outside Canada, so he said the law aims to undercut both profit incentive and resale abilities.“One of the most effective ways we’re doing it is by taking away the financial incentive, by putting a 50 per cent cap on resale prices in the resale market,” he said.The law bans tickets from being resold at more than 50 per cent above the face value and makes it illegal to knowingly resell tickets that were purchased by bots.Ticket sellers will also have to display an itemized list of all fees, taxes and service charges, and resellers would have to disclose the face value of the ticket.Ticket resale site StubHub welcomed the scalper bot ban but warned that artificially controlling a global market “will lead to unintended consequences.”“Resales will be driven off of secure channels into places where consumers are exposed to counterfeit and fraud, with zero protections,” StubHub’s Jeff Poirier told the committee.Stubhub said bots are not the only reason fans have trouble accessing tickets, saying primary ticket sellers often hold back large percentages of tickets during general sales. The company took issue Wednesday with a provision the Liberal government changed in the bill that Stubhub said would have made those sales processes more transparent.The legislation originally required ticket sellers to disclose both an event’s maximum capacity and the number of tickets going on sale, which would have shown customers how many tickets may have been held back. But the government changed that to now only require sellers to disclose the maximum event capacity and the distribution method of the tickets.Naqvi defended the move as a way to encourage artists to perform at venues outside of the largest cities, citing feedback from artists and cultural organizations.Ticketmaster’s Tarlton told the committee that the initial provision would have exposed ticket availability, which could embarrass a performer who hasn’t sold enough tickets.“When people see that, they’ll say, ‘Oh, that’s not that exciting an event. I won’t take the time to go,’” she said.Progressive Conservative Vic Fedeli said with that change to the legislation, an act that is supposed to make ticket sales more transparent has made them even less transparent than before.NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said her party voted against the bill because it hasn’t fixed all of the ticket sales problems on the government’s third attempt to tackle the issue.The opposition parties blame the Liberals for the growing online resale market because the Liberals changed their Ticket Speculation Act to make it legal to resell tickets above their original face value.
FREDERICTON – When Willie O’Ree donned a Boston Bruins jersey and jumped onto the ice at the Montreal Forum on Jan. 18, 1958, he had no idea he was making history.Just a decade after Jackie Robinson broke the colour barrier in baseball, O’Ree had become the first black player in the National Hockey League.Sixty years later, O’Ree looks back fondly on that game and a career in hockey that continues to this day.“I didn’t even know I broke the colour barrier until I read it in the newspaper the next day,” O’Ree said while sitting in the stands of Willie O’Ree Place — a modern hockey arena, named in his honour, in his hometown of Fredericton, N.B.“It was a nice feeling. I just happened to be playing and just happened to be black,” he said.While O’Ree didn’t score during that game, his Bruins beat the Canadiens 3-0. He would play just one more game with the Bruins that season.O’Ree would return to the Bruins for the 1960-61 season, playing a total of 45 games in the NHL — scoring four goals and 10 assists — all while keeping a secret that would have kept him out of the league. He was blind in one eye.O’Ree left Fredericton at the age of 17 to play junior hockey with the Quebec Frontenacs, and the next year he moved to Kitchener, Ont. It was during that second year in junior that he had an unfortunate accident.“Back then, none of the players wore any helmets, no face shields, no cages, so there was no protection on your face. There was a slapshot, and I’m on the ice in front of the net. A ricochet came up and the puck struck me in the eye. I lost 97 per cent vision in my right eye. I was out of action for about six weeks,” he said.Doctors told him he would never play again. But O’Ree never told his coaches or even his parents about the extent of his injury and he resumed playing.The next season he was called by coach Punch Imlach to go to the Quebec Aces training camp in Quebec City.“I went up and made the team but I didn’t disclose that I couldn’t see out of my right eye. I said if I’m good enough to make the team with one eye, just don’t tell them,” he said.The team won the championship that year, and for the next two seasons O’Ree tried out at the Boston Bruins training camp, finally getting the call to play in the NHL in January 1958.“I was just thinking about the hockey game, because first of all I had played against the Montreal Canadiens in a few exhibition games and then I played against the Montreal Junior Canadiens in the Forum. I played against the Montreal Royals, the professional team, in the Forum. So when I stepped on the ice on Jan. 18, 1958, I was just Willie O’Ree with a Bruins jersey on.”O’Ree said he knew people were pointing at him during that first game, and he was nervous, but once he got into the action, he just concentrated on the game.He said colour was an issue when he played in junior and he would often be subjected to racial slurs and remarks, but he had learned from his older brother to ignore them and just go out and play hockey.“He said ‘Willie, just forget about these racial remarks because you can’t change the colour of your skin and you wouldn’t want to even if you could’.”O’Ree said players on other teams would often make racial comments, but everyone in the Boston Bruins organization was very supportive, especially coach Milt Schmidt and general manager Lynn Patrick.His number 22 was never retired, and a few players have worn it, including Anson Carter, a Barbadian-Canadian who played four years for Boston and asked to wear it.O’Ree said that made him feel good, and he gets a lot of satisfaction seeing players like P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators in the league today.Subban said he has O’Ree to thank for opening the door.“Everybody knows he was the first black hockey player and what he stands for, and not only that but as one of the great human beings to come to the NHL in league history,” Subban said following a recent game-day practice in Nashville.While growing up, O’Ree says his hockey role models were Gordie Howe and Rocket Richard. Now with 31 teams in the league, his pick is Sidney Crosby.“He plays the game, plays it hard, and loves the game. He shows it when he’s on the ice,” O’Ree said.O’Ree was traded by the Boston Bruins and played in other leagues for teams in Ottawa, Los Angeles and San Diego — where he continues to live.Now, at the age of 82, O’Ree serves as the NHL’s diversity ambassador, and for the last 20 years he has been going to schools and elsewhere to speak to young people as part of the Hockey is for Everyone initiative.O’Ree said he tells young people to feel good about themselves and have the kind of positive attitude that allowed a young man from Fredericton to play the game he loved.“They can do anything they set their mind to do. If you think you can, you can,” he said.
LEDUC, Alta. – Buddy has gone up in smoke.The official cartoon cannabis spokesman for the City of Leduc, just south of Edmonton, only lasted about a week before the administration decided to roll him on to the shelf.The cartoon pot plant, wearing a police hat and carrying a clipboard that reads “Rules,” was on the city website with the message “Buddy wants you to know the rules about cannabis in Leduc.”Despite plenty of positive comments about the campaign, there were others who said using a cartoon character would encourage children to use marijuana.“We thought that putting a face like Buddy would just help connect him with residents,” said Leduc spokeswoman Nikki Booth. “The negative ones were really focused around parents being concerned that their kids had driven past our road signs and seen Buddy and thought he was really cute.“When we designed him, at no point were we thinking that people would think that we were trying to market cannabis to children.”Leduc council decided to pull the Buddy campaign at its meeting this week.Booth said despite his brief five days on the job, he did get the public’s attention and generated a lot of buzz.“He did create a lot of conversation in the community and the region. We’ve had about 4,000 hits to our website in a very, very short period of time,” Booth said. “In all of the prior education about our new bylaws, the highest number we hit about people going to our website was 58.”The public response creates a dilemma for marijuana retailers hoping to promote their products with legalization less than a month away.“There’s a huge need to promote. We’re allowed to have branding and advertising done at the point of sale within the four walls where minors can be guaranteed not to be present,” said Jason Kujath, president of 51st Parallel Inc., which will operate 15 cannabis retail stores in Alberta.“Outside of those four walls, it’s going to be very hard for us to capture markets and brands.”Kujath said it’s tempting to try and reach out through advertising to a young, hip group of customers but it’s not worth it.“If we’re out of compliance and the regulator shuts us down for any reason, that’s a day we’re not actually operating,” Kujath said. “I think if you look at the fines, the penalties, the punishments that can occur from being out of compliance, it’s literally not worth it.”A Calgary marketing professor said there are already substantial restrictions on the parallel liquor industry and it will be difficult for cannabis retailers.“There is that fine line where I want to target a customer base that is interested in the product which is mostly, I would assume, younger customers and at the same time one of the things is your marketing should not be appealing to kids,” said Mohammed El Hazzouri, at Mount Royal University.El Hazzouri said Alberta already has rules that prohibit the promotion, packaging or display of cannabis products that could be considered appealing to young people.“Restrictions on cannabis advertising and packaging will generally mirror what’s in place today for tobacco and there are a lot of restrictions on what you can advertise for tobacco.”— By Bill Graveland in Calgary. Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter
OTTAWA – The Correctional Service of Canada told the public a story about a deadly 2016 riot at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary that didn’t match the findings of its own investigation, which was itself “superficial, expedient and self-serving,” the federal watchdog on prisons reported Tuesday.Correctional investigator Ivan Zinger wrote in his annual report that the prison service should not investigate itself in cases involving a riot, a death or a suicide in solitary confinement.The violence at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary involved 185 prisoners and left one inmate dead, eight prisoners injured and a large part of the institution uninhabitable.Jason Leonard Bird, who was serving a sentence of less than three years, was stabbed to death during the riot; five other inmates have been charged with murder. Most of the injured were hit by shotgun pellets when the prison authorities moved in. The riot did an estimated $3.6 million in damage.Zinger said that while the prison service’s internal investigation concluded the riot was random, spontaneous and unforeseen, his office found that bad food, and not enough of it, were contributing factors to the riot, contradicting the prison service.After the board concluded that the riot was unrelated to food, which was not supported by his office’s preliminary findings, he launched an investigation. The correctional service finally acknowledged that food was a factor in March, in a summary released publicly that still omitted other facts, Zinger said.“CSC’S public account of these events, released in March of this year, is selective and misleading. It does not match the findings of its own internal investigation,” he said.Zinger said his report on the riot raises serious concerns about the adequacy and the appropriateness of the correctional service investigating itself though its internal National Board of Investigation.“When I first received the board’s report in late November last year, it raised a series of red flags. Its ‘random event’ theory was not credible and the rest of its findings struck me as superficial, expedient and self-serving,” Zinger told reporters in Ottawa on Tuesday.The corrections ombudsman also takes issue with the fact that although 85 per cent of riot participants were Indigenous and 49 per cent of those who rioted were affiliated with gangs, neither factor was mentioned in either version of CSC’s report.“My own review concluded that the riot and violence cannot be explained or understood without reference to the prevailing conditions of confinement and population management at Saskatchewan Penitentiary.”He said those who rioted were housed in integrated living units, meaning different Indigenous gang members were living in close quarters, and few were in rehabilitation programs.“Given these circumstances, and the fact that CSC does not have a co-ordinated national gang and gang-affiliation strategy, it’s difficult to escape the conclusion that the majority of these young Indigenous men who participated or incited riot were warehoused in a federal facility that offered little hope for early release, opportunity or opportunity for a better life,” he said. “The reality is that many of these men had little to lose.”He said the internal board of investigation made no recommendation about Indigenous people in the prison system and had nothing to say about the influence of gangs in Canadian penitentiaries.Anne Kelly, the correctional service’s commissioner, said it’s continuing to integrate the lessons learned from the Saskatchewan Penitentiary riot into its daily operations to ensure that similar situations can be prevented in the future.“The riot’s impact on staff, offenders and others has not been forgotten, and we are using the results of the subsequent investigation to address the factors that resulted in this tragic incident.”
ORLANDO – The Federal Aviation Administration says a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max jet made a safe emergency landing Tuesday in Orlando, Florida, after experiencing an apparent engine problem.The crew declared an emergency after taking off from Orlando International Airport around 2:50 p.m., and landed the plane safely. No passengers were on board. The aircraft was being ferried to Victorville, California, where Southwest is storing the airplanes.The 737 Max was grounded in the U.S. March 13 after a deadly crash involving a Max on March 10. It was the second fatal crash involving the airplane. U.S. Airlines are allowed to shuttle the planes but cannot carry passengers.The FAA says it’s investigating but it appears the emergency was not related to anti-stall software suspected in the two fatal crashes.The Associated Press
GILLAM, Manitoba (NEWS 1130) – It’s been several days since two Vancouver Island men became suspects in the killings of three people in northern B.C., and yet the RCMP still has no idea where the pair is.Teams in Manitoba have wound down their manhunt for Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod in the small community of York Landing, and they have ended door-to-door checking in Gillam, 90 kilometres away.Their search so far has come up fruitless, and it appears the RCMP don’t even know if the two, aged 18 and 19, are still in Manitoba.At a news conference on Wednesday, Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy said officers have searched more than 11,000 square kilometres of wilderness using the best technology available and have found no sign of Schmegelsky and McLeod. The RCMP is now scaling back the search in northern Manitoba.MacLatchy: “To be clear, we are not ending this search.”A number of resources and officers will remain in the area.11,000 square km searched. Canvassed every home/searched every abandoned buildings. This includes upwards of 500 homes and buildings.— Lasia Kretzel (@lkretzel1130) July 31, 2019Officers have checked more than 500 homes in Gillam and the Fox Lake Cree Nation searching for the two men, and a checkstop on the only road leading into the small northern community has also been removed.MacLatchy is emphasizing that the search in the Gillam area is not over, but resources are being re-deployed.Investigators say they’ve received more than 260 tips in the past seven days, but none have established that Schmegelsky and McLeod have left the Gillam area. It’s possible the suspects may have had some inadvertent help in leaving the area, Mounties say.Investigators have now received over 260 tips in the past 7 days. None have established that the suspects are outside of the Gillam area. However, #rcmpmb continues to remind the public that it is possible the suspects inadvertently received assistance & are no longer in the area— RCMP Manitoba (@rcmpmb) July 30, 2019Schmegelsky and McLeod are charged with second-degree murder in the death of UBC sessional lecturer Leonard Dyck near Dease Lake in northern B.C. Police also consider them suspects in the fatal shootings of Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese, whose bodies were found 470 kilometres away from where Dyck and a burned-out truck and trailer were spotted.For more on our coverage of the manhunt, click here.With files from the Canadian Press.
OTTAWA — A yearbook photo of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau wearing “brownface” makeup at a costume party in 2001 has landed on the federal election campaign.Time magazine has posted the photo, which it says was published in the yearbook from the West Point Grey Academy, a private school in Vancouver, B.C., where Trudeau worked as a teacher before entering politics.The report describes the occasion as an “Arabian Nights”-themed gala event. The photo depicts Trudeau wearing a turban and robe, with dark makeup on his hands, face and neck.Officials cited in the report have confirmed the photo is of Trudeau, who was expected to speak to reporters about the photo later tonight.More ComingThe Canadian Press
Celebrity ladies including Gemma Cairney, Caroline Flack, Laura Whitmore, Gizzi Erskine, Cherry Healey, Grace Woodward, Jessie Cave and Georgie Okell joined crowds of bargain hunting shoppers at Rumble in the Jumble 2 for Oxfam in London’s Bethnal Green.The celebrity jumble sale, organised by The Music Circle and Gemma Cairney was part of Oxfam’s Get Together for International Women’s Day (8th March) and raised money for the charity’s work with women in the Democratic Republic of Congo.Celebrity donations up for grabs included items from Bat for Lashes, Daisy Lowe, Edith Bowman, Annie Mac, Tinie Tempah, Fearne Cotton, Gemma Cairney, Jessie Ware, Lauren Laverne, Charlotte Church, Alison Mosshart, Jack Whitehall, Lucy Rose, Dermot O’Leary, Toddla T, Stooshe, The Vaccines, Zane Lowe, Paloma Faith and many more.The Music Circle and pals blagged choice jumble from the music world, which was on offer alongside choice accessories and bric-a-brac. An impressive record stall boasted stock from from DJs and bands’ personal collections, including The Chemical Brothers, Underworld, Erol Alkan, Friendly Fires, Andrew Weatherall and Mary Anne Hobbs.Gemma Cairney said: “I’m simply illuminated by the spirit, the generosity and most of all the damn hard graft of so many brilliant friends – and friends of their friends. That’s what an Oxfam Get Together is about – coming together, having a blast and making a difference. On a serious note, the complexities of the problems faced by women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo runs deeper than imaginable. Every single joyful bargain bought will contribute towards support for them. This was more than jumble sale, we felt the rumble.”Rumble in the Jumble 2 also featured a pop-up retro hair salon from Lipstick & Curls, food from Gizzi Erskine, tea and cakes from Drink, Shop & Do, Joe’s Tea Company and ping-pong action from Pongathon. The event follows the success of last year’s Rumble in the Jumble Get Together for Oxfam, organised by Gemma Cairney and Dawn Porter.To get involved in The Oxfam Get Together for International Women’s Day visit www.oxfam.org.uk/gettogether. For more information on The Music Circle visit www.justgiving.com/themusiccircle.Source:Oxfam.org.uk
Sam Simon — co-creator of The Simpsons and renowned philanthropist— has been named an honorary director of PETA.PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk presenting Sam Simon with a certificateSimon was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2012 and has been helping PETA enormously with its animal rescue programs and youth outreach work, including funding the current nationwide college tour of a virtual reality experience called “I, Chicken,” getting 17 bears transferred from virtually barren concrete pits to a lush new home, and helping rescue several chimpanzees and a horse used for racing, among many other efforts. His support of PETA — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” — led them to name their Virginia headquarters after him in 2013, and now he joins Bill Maher, Pamela Anderson, Chrissie Hynde, and James Cromwell in sharing the “honorary director” distinction.Anderson says, “I’ve been lucky enough to join forces with one of my favorite characters, Sam. We’ve been on many campaigns together. I might be able to draw some of the attention, but Sam seals the deal. Money talks, but he doesn’t just give money, he shows up — even against doctor’s orders.”
British tennis star Andy Murray has announced that he has raised an incredible total of more than £83,000 for UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation, through his Andy’s Aces initiative.In September 2015 Andy, who was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year in December, announced that for every ace he hit until the end of the year, he would donate £50 to Unicef to support their work to help children whose worlds have been turned upside down by the conflict in Syria.As well as asking his fans to donate to support the initiative, Andy’s sponsors Standard Life and Under Armour, along with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) vowed to match each donation Andy made, meaning every ace raised £250 for children in danger. Standard Life’s employees also got involved with the fundraising for Syria and the money raised was matched by Standard Life, adding £20,000 to the total. Additional funds were also raised through the Tie Break Tens tournament and the ATP ACES for Charity programme who donated £10,120 ($15,000). From 29th October 2015, all UK public donations were aid matched by the UK Government.The total of over £83,000 could provide over 16,000 children with blankets to help keep them safe and warm.UNICEF UK supporter Murray explained: “I remember watching the news last summer and deciding I wanted to do something to help some of the millions of children whose lives have turned upside down by the situation in Syria. It’s amazing that we’ve been able to raise so much, and I’m very grateful to my sponsors and fans for their help in this – I couldn’t have done it without them. I know how hard UNICEF are working to support these children, and millions of others around the world and I’m proud to have been able to help.”Unicef UK Executive Director, David Bull, said: “All of us here at Unicef UK are incredibly grateful to Andy for his continued support. Almost five years into the conflict, Syria remains one of the most dangerous places to be a child and millions of children have lost loved ones, homes and schools. Their world has been turned upside down by the conflict and humanitarian needs are becoming ever more urgent. The support of Andy, his fans and the wider tennis community will help us provide support for children who have lost so much.”If you’d like to support Andy’s Aces, and UNICEF’s work for the children of Syria, it’s not too late. Text ACE to 70800 to donate £5 or click here.