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Trudeau names exOntario premier Bob Rae as special envoy to Myanmar

first_imgOTTAWA – Former Ontario premier Bob Rae promised no miracles Monday, but rather a sustained effort towards finding a way Canada can be part of a solution to the humanitarian crisis generated by ongoing violence in Myanmar.Rae was appointed as a special envoy to the country and will head there next week to begin gathering facts from officials on the ground as reports now say nearly a million Rohingya refugees have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh.What he learns will be reported back to the prime minister, and eventually Canadians, but his appointment should also serve to reinforce the fact the world is paying attention to the situation in the southeast Asian country, Rae told a news conference.Mynamar’s security forces began a crackdown earlier this year on what it called Muslim insurgents, but their attacks on Rohingya villages have been labelled as ethnic cleansing by the United Nations and roundly denounced by many countries, including Canada.Rae said he wants to get all sides of the story and bring the information back to Canadians and the prime minister to create a clear and consistent response from Canada and for other countries.“I don’t pretend to be somebody who can work miracles. I do think it is worthwhile for us to keep on as many paths as possible in reinforcing the messages about the extent of the crisis within Myanmar.”The appointment comes as UN humanitarian officials, high-level government envoys and advocacy groups held a one-day conference Monday aimed at drumming up funds to help refugees in Bangladesh.In addition to Rae’s appointment, the federal Liberals announced Canada will provide an additional $12 million in humanitarian assistance, bringing the total of Canada’s financial commitment to $25 million so far.The Geneva meeting — hosted by the European Union, the government of Kuwait and the United Nations’ migration, refugee and humanitarian aid co-ordinating agencies — aims to help meet a UN call for $434 million in funding through February.Rae’s term lasts at least until January, when he says he’ll release a report detailing his findings and observations.Canada granted Myanmar’s de facto government leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, honorary citizenship in 2012, one of only a handful of people to have the designation.Suu Kyi has been largely silent in the face of the violence, and there have been calls for Canada to revoke the honour.But Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland hearkened back to comments Trudeau make in 2015 Monday in suggesting there would be no revocation of Suu Kyi’s citizenship: “A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian,” she said.last_img read more

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Auditor shrugs off NS premiers criticisms Its business as normal for us

first_imgHALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s auditor general attached a firm figure Wednesday to how worried he is by the premier’s suggestions he strayed from his mandate in a report identifying gaps in the province’s health system.Michael Pickup said it was “zero.”Liberal Premier Stephen McNeil had criticized Pickup last week after the watchdog was critical of the province’s communications on health policy. The premier said the auditor general’s job is to ensure the government is spending taxpayers’ dollars appropriately.But Pickup told the public accounts committee Wednesday that he’s just pleased all 21 of his report’s recommendations are being accepted by the Health Department and the Nova Scotia Health Authority.“In terms of the work we’re doing, I have zero concern or worry we’re outside of mandate,” he told David Wilson, an NDP opposition member who directly asked him about McNeil’s comments.“Clearly we are inside mandate and if it gives me an opportunity … to engage in discussion, and people are interested in an audit, I’m happy.”The auditor general’s Nov. 22 report also pointed out shortcomings in mental health and homecare.Pickup said public agencies have done a poor job communicating the government’s plan to address problems in primary care, including doctor shortages. He recommended the province bring in a plan that would inform people on doctor recruitment goals, and when people should expect services to be available.The audit also pointed out that an online registry of people in need of primary care needed to prioritize the thousands of people on the list based on their health care needs.McNeil bristled at the implications, saying his government had done an “outstanding job” of communicating with the public about health care challenges. He told reporters public policy was the job of elected members of the legislature.Pickup told the committee Wednesday that performance audits are a normal part of his office’s work and public agencies have plenty of time to reply and verify the facts.He said his office sends news releases to the departments three to four days before the release of reports, with the goal of ensuring accuracy.For the most part, the Liberal members of the public accounts committee seemed to take a much gentler approach with the auditor than their party leader.However, Liberal member Hugh MacKay suggested the public may have misunderstood that Pickup’s study of communications methods didn’t look at the frequency of news releases and other communications strategies.“We believe that if concentration is done strictly on the framework of the audit it could be misleading to the public who may not understand the purpose of the audit or the mechanisms of the audit,” he said, while questioning the auditor.Following the hearing Pickup was asked by reporters whether his office’s work was in any way misleading.“Absolutely not,” Pickup said. “I think the indication of that is the acceptance of those findings and the recommendations by government.”Other than the premier’s comments, Pickup said there had been no government pushback on any of his office’s performance audits.“The independence is there, I’m not concerned. It’s business as normal for us.”However, Progressive Conservative Tim Houston said a leader of a political party shouldn’t be calling the credibility of the auditor general into question when there is no evidence they’ve strayed from their mandate.“Any attempt to undermine the credibility of the auditor general of the province is wrong,” said Houston.Follow (at)mtuttoncporg on Twitter.last_img read more

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Strike averted as NS tables education reform bill that will scrap seven

first_imgHALIFAX – Major changes to Nova Scotia’s education system are on the way after the provincial government introduced a sweeping omnibus bill that will eliminate seven English language school boards and alter the composition of the union that represents public school teachers.Premier Stephen McNeil approved some last-minute changes to the bill tabled Thursday, which prompted the 9,600-member Nova Scotia Teachers Union to drop its threat to stage an illegal walkout.“A strike has been averted,” union president Liette Doucet told a news conference at the union’s Halifax headquarters. “I know this has been a stressful time. We are very aware of the impact a strike could have on families, and it was a big part of our decision making process.”Doucet said the union doesn’t agree with the legislation, but would work with the province to implement changes that will improve classroom conditions for students and teachers.“The legislation … does nothing to benefit students,” she said. “We will continue to educate government as to what students really need to succeed.”Education Minister Zach Churchill said he was pleased with the union’s decision.“This is a great opportunity for us to enter into a new phase of our relationship,” he said. “We’ve got to rebuild some trust.”Earlier, Churchill said the seven regional boards will be dissolved as of March 31. As well, principals, vice-principals and senior supervisory staff will be removed from the union and rolled into a new association affiliated with the NSTU.Their seniority and pay will be protected and they will continue to pay dues to the teachers union. However, they won’t be able to unionize or take job action.“These are reasonable changes that have been a long time coming,” said Churchill. “For the teachers and principals who have been concerned … we have acted on their concerns.”The changes come after the union overwhelmingly voted last week in favour of illegal job action to protest any attempts to remove about 1,000 senior administrators from its ranks, as recommended in a recent report by consultant Avis Glaze.In a compromise move, the government said it will work with teachers and their union to develop teaching and leadership standards instead of creating a college of educators, as recommended by Glaze.“What we’re seeing here is a bit of movement, a bit of a backdown,” Doucet said.The Nova Scotia School Boards Association issued a statement saying it remains concerned about the loss of “elected voices for students and communities.” Association president Hank Middleton said the elimination of the seven boards removes a “level of democratic representation for the people of Nova Scotia.”The government said it has also agreed to work with the union on extracurricular activities, professional development, teacher recruitment, rural education, the educational needs of new immigrants, French language education, students living in poverty and children in care.The premier said his government has addressed union concerns expressed in two previous meetings with Doucet.“We have compromised to the point where we can move this bill forward, knowing full well that the decisions we have made are in the best interests of kids and the system,” said McNeil.While the Acadian school board will remain in place, the other boards will be replaced by a new Provincial Advisory Council of Education composed of 15 members representing all regions of the province.Two of those seats will be held by representatives of the African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaq communities. As well, a representative with experience in inclusive education will sit on the council.Once the boards are dissolved, a one-time payout will go to elected board members to cover stipends through to the end of their current terms in 2020. Government officials said after that, $2.3 million in annual savings would “go back into schools.”An act to oversee the Acadian board will be introduced later in the session, the government said.Kenneth Gaudet, chairman of the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial (CSAP) issued a statement praising the new Education Reform Act.“A law that the CSAP can call its own is much more than symbolic,” he said. “For the first time, there will be a unique structure for French first language education. This new framework will inform a symbiotic, ‘win-win’ relationship.”School board offices will remain in place, but they will become regional education centres. The centres will continue to make regional and local decisions. However, the superintendents will report to the deputy minister of education.Tim Halman, the Progressive Conservative education critic and a former teacher, said the legislation leaves a lot of questions unanswered.“They have vaporized elected school boards,” said Halman. “Where do parents go if they have concerns about the school system?”The NDP’s Claudia Chender said it appears the government listened to some of the union’s concerns.“Although we see concessions in this bill … it obviously would have been better to have respectful and principled bargaining happen before the introduction of a piece of legislation that fundamentally changes the nature of the association of educators in this province,” she said.last_img read more

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Canada responds to US steel aluminum tariffs with countermeasures

first_imgCanada is imposing dollar-for-dollar tariff “countermeasures” on up to $16.6 billion worth of U.S. imports in response to the American decision to make good on its threat of similar tariffs against Canadian-made steel and aluminum.The tariffs, which apply to a long list of U.S. products that includes everything from flat-rolled steel to playing cards and felt-tipped pens, will go into effect July 1, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told a news conference Thursday.See the full list of products that are now subject to tariffs.The list includes items such as whiskey, orange juice, maple syrup, ketchup, pizza, playing cards, mayonnaise and sleeping bags.Freeland says the countermeasures, which apply to a long list of U.S. products from flat-rolled steel to playing cards and felt-tipped pens, will go into effect July 1. “This is $16.6 billion of retaliation,” Freeland said.“This is the strongest trade action Canada has taken in the post-war era. This is a very strong response, it is a proportionate response, it is perfectly reciprocal. This is a very strong Canadian action in response to a very bad U.S. decision.”Freeland made the announcement alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau following word from the White House that the U.S. will slap tariffs on Canadian, Mexican and European Union steel and aluminium as of midnight Thursday night.She called the U.S. measures illegal and counterproductive, and both she and Trudeau expressed how hard it is to imagine how Canada could ever be a national-security threat to an ally as close and important as the United States.“That Canada could be considered a national-security threat to the United States is inconceivable,” said Trudeau, adding that the people of the U.S. are not Canada’s target , and that the federal government would far prefer that its hand not be forced.Canada, Mexico and Europe had been exempted from import duties of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum when they were first imposed in March, but those exemptions will expire as scheduled on Friday.“The government of Canada is confident that shared values, geography and common interests will ultimately overcome protectionism,” Trudeau said.“We will always protect Canadian workers and Canadian interests.”Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross confirmed Thursday that the United States would end the temporary exemption on Canadian, Mexican and European Union steel and aluminum as of midnight, as scheduled.That means that President Donald Trump will be face to face with a number of leaders who have taken retaliatory action against the U.S. when he makes his closely watched Canadian debut at the G7 next week in Quebec.While the tariffs have had “major, positive effects” on industry jobs and workers, “the Trump Administration’s actions underscore its commitment to good-faith negotiations with our allies to enhance our national security while supporting American workers,” the White House said in a statement.Canada, Mexico and Europe had been exempted until June 1 from import duties of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum when they were first imposed in March. Barring an 11th-hour reprieve, those exemptions will expire as scheduled.Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, campaigning in advance of the June 7 provincial election, savaged the U.S. president as she called the tariff measure short-sighted and urged Trudeau “to take the strongest retaliation possible to protect our workers” and industry.“I think that we’ve all had just about enough of Donald Trump…. He doesn’t seem to get that his bluster and his bullying are costing people real jobs — in his own country, in Canada and in Ontario,” Wynne said.“I really believe that now the time for talk is done. Donald Trump is a bully and the only way to deal with a bully is to stand up and push back and we have to do that.”During a conference call early Thursday, Ross shrugged off questions about the U.S. facing possible retaliation, or whether the move would negatively affect the G7 meeting. And he said that while he was looking forward to continuing negotiations, the U.S. is making its decision on national security grounds — a justification Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has dismissed as absurd.In the case of Canada and Mexico, Ross said the decision was based on a lack of progress in the ongoing talks to update the North American Free Trade Agreement.“As to Canada, Mexico, you will recall that the reason for the deferral had been pending the outcome of the NAFTA talks,” he said.“Those talks are taking longer than we had hoped. There is no longer a very precise date when they may be concluded” so they were added to the tariff list, he said.If Canada and Mexico choose to take retaliatory measures, it will not affect the ability to keep renegotiating NAFTA as a separate track, he added.“If any of these parties does retaliate, that does not mean that there cannot be continuing negotiations,” Ross said. “They’re not mutually exclusive behaviours.”The long-threatened tactic is sure to cast a pall over the G7, with some observers saying a G6-plus-one scenario is already shaping up, with Trump as the outlier.Ross played down the divisions.“There are periodic disagreements between any two countries on any given set of topics. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it derails other discussions at all,” he said.“It all depends on how the various parties react to the circumstances.”European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who will be at the G7 table with the seven other country leaders, expressed strong opposition to Thursday’s decision.“The EU believes these unilateral U.S. tariffs are unjustified and at odds with World Trade Organization rules. This is protectionism, pure and simple.”Trump had been widely expected to impose tariffs on European steel and aluminum imports after failing to win concessions from the European Union. Canada and its European allies have spent recent days making a concerted effort to head off the move.Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron made their cases separately Wednesday to dissuade Trump, who is using a national-security clause in U.S. trade law to justify the move. Trudeau and Macron will meet next week in Ottawa before the G7 to talk strategy.Here are many of the other US exports facing tariffs as Canada announces countermeasures to address the US tariffs on our steel and aluminum #Cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/YSi9cRjMrN— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) May 31, 2018last_img read more

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Ottawa to release competitiveness plan but its unclear how much help is

first_imgOTTAWA — The federal government will roll out an update to its fiscal plan Wednesday to help Canada compete for investment dollars following major American corporate tax reforms — but it’s up for debate whether Canada is facing a serious investment challenge.The business community has called on federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau to respond to the Trump administration’s tax and regulatory overhaul with significant changes of his own in Canada —including corporate tax cuts.The government, however, has signalled it will be focused on targeted measures to attract investment, rather than broad-based corporate tax reductions that would lower federal revenues by billions of dollars per year.Morneau will lay out his plan in Wednesday’s much-anticipated fall economic statement — which will arrive after months of debate on whether Canada has lost its edge as an investment destination, and by how much.Canada has heard many warnings from the business community that American tax reforms will have a big, negative impact on investment here — but some experts insist the country has performed well even after the U.S. overhaul.Economist Randall Bartlett says investment in Canada has been pretty strong through the first part of 2018 and he believes it’s difficult to draw a direct link between the country’s performance and the U.S. tax changes.Bartlett, who works for a University of Ottawa think-tank headed by former parliamentary budget watchdog Kevin Page, says people on both sides of the debate seem to be cherry- picking data points to support their interests.Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Labour code issues flagged after fatal Canadian Pacific accident in Calgary

first_imgCALGARY — Documents show a federal investigator flagged labour code contraventions after a Canadian Pacific Railway train conductor died in a workplace accident in a Calgary rail yard last November.A Transport Canada rail safety inspector, delegated by Alberta’s labour minister, raised the issues in a letter Friday to the railway’s assistant vice-president of safety.A written directive attached to the letter, obtained by The Canadian Press, raises concerns over the company failing to identify and assess hazards to employees resulting from increased switching in the rail yard.Another directive says the railway failed to secure and maintain the accident scene, and removed, interfered with and disturbed wreckage and other things without authorization.A spokeswoman for Employment and Social Development Canada declined to comment on the specifics of the investigation because it is ongoing.Canadian Pacific did not immediately provide comment.The documents say the railway has until March 8 to inform the inspector of measures taken to make sure the failure of maintaining the accident scene doesn’t happen again.It has until March 22 to fix issues related to the safety of the rail yard. The company was also told it can request a review by the Occupational Health and Safety Tribunal Canada.Federal officials are investigating a separate Canadian Pacific accident that killed a conductor, engineer and trainee earlier this month near Field, B.C., just west of the Alberta-British Columbia boundary.A Transportation Safety Board investigator has said the westbound train was parked on a grade for two hours, with its air brakes applied, when it started rolling on its own.The train sped up to well above the limit and derailed at a curve ahead of a bridge over the Kicking Horse River, sending 99 cars and two locomotives hurtling off the tracks.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Coleman set for crossexamination today after judge clears path for her evidence

first_imgOTTAWA — The sexual-assault trial of former Afghanistan hostage Joshua Boyle will proceed today after the judge decided evidence given earlier in the trial is still admissible.Judge Peter Doody raised concerns Tuesday about the impact of two recent Supreme Court of Canada rulings on the use of evidence about an alleged victim’s prior sexual activity.The evidence he was worried about was given by Caitlan Coleman, Boyle’s now-estranged wife, during direct testimony in March in the case against Boyle, who is charged with 19 offences including assault, sexual assault, and unlawful confinement.The trial had already been delayed several weeks while the courts decided whether the defence could ask Coleman about other prior sexual activities.After hearing arguments made by the Crown, the defence and Coleman’s lawyer, Doody says he believes Coleman’s evidence was properly admitted.Coleman is to be cross-examined by Boyle’s defence lawyer this morning.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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PEI backs off Saskatchewans carbon tax court challenge

first_imgThe Saskatchewan government says it respects Prince Edward Island’s choice not to intervene in its Supreme Court of Canada case over the carbon tax after all.P.E.I. Premier Dennis King said last month his province was joining the court challenge because it wanted to have a chance to speak to the issue if necessary.He said at the time he didn’t want to be perceived as another Progressive Conservative premier joining other provincial conservative leaders fighting the federal government’s carbon tax.A spokesman for Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe’s office confirms P.E.I is no longer joining.Jim Billington says the island initially intervened in case to reserve the right to participate in the proceedings on either side of the debate.“We are encouraged by the support of Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec, and New Brunswick in our case, and we respect PEI’s decision not to intervene,” he said in a statement to The Canadian Press.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Man accused of swimming naked with sharks at aquarium expected to plead

first_imgTORONTO — A British Columbia man accused of skinny dipping in a shark tank at a Toronto aquarium is expected to plead guilty to mischief in that incident today.David Weaver, of Nelson, B.C., was arrested and charged in October of last year, four days after the alleged incident.Police allege he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in downtown Toronto on Oct. 12, bought a ticket, then stripped naked and jumped into the facility’s shark tank.A large crowd was at the aquarium that night and some in attendance took videos of the alleged incident.The videos, which attracted international attention after surfacing on social media, show a naked man swimming in the tank with sand tiger sharks, sawfish and moray eels.The man then starts to climb out of the tank before performing a back dive into the water.Officials have said the man then got out and got dressed but left behind a T-shirt and his jacket.Police have said by the time they arrived at the aquarium, the man had fled.Weaver was arrested near Thunder Bay, Ont., — hundreds of kilometres away — during a vehicle stop.Police have also alleged that earlier on Oct. 12, Weaver assaulted a man outside Medieval Times, a jousting-themed dinner theatre. A window was also allegedly broken.Weaver was charged with assault and mischief in that earlier incident, which is now being dealt with separately by the court, and will face trial on those charges in late October.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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John Legend To Perform At The White Project Charity Gala

first_imgThe first annual charity gala for The White Project is set to take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on December 8, 2012.The star-studded gala will include entertainers, athletes and celebrities that have dedicated a part of their lives to help children across the globe actively. Nine-time Grammy Award winner John Legend will light up the room with a special performance for the children of the world. HIH Princess Yasmine Pahlavi will be honored during the evening of the gala for her more than 20 years of work as an attorney and activist on behalf of children and at-risk youth. Two-time NBA Champion Lamar Odom will also take part in the evening bringing sports and philanthropy together. Lamar Odom’s work with his foundation, Cathy’s Kids has helped many underprivileged youth across the country as well as those with cancer.The White Project touches youth all across the globe, benefiting Girl Up, a campaign of the United Nations Foundation, gives American girls ages 13-18 the opportunity to channel their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds for programs of the United Nations that help some of the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls. Through Girl Up’s support, girls have the opportunity to become educated, healthy, safe, counted and positioned to be the next generation of leaders. Not only targeting youth in the United States, The White Project also focuses on youth in places like Iran through the Foundation for the Children of Iran. FCI is organized to help arrange life-altering medical treatment for Iranian children using a worldwide network of volunteers. Also the Levantine Cultural Center focuses on arts and education for children in the Middle East, Afghanistan, South Africa, North Africa, East Asia and many more. Another one of the foundations that The White Project works closely with is Orphan’s Whispers. Orphan’s Whispers touches the lives of children facing adversity and obstacles daily. World Renowned artist, Davood Roostaei, King of Cryptorealism will be one of the artists exhibiting his amazing pieces of art. Ace Gallery artist Gary Lang will be also exhibit a piece of his notable artwork for the silent auction benefiting the White Project. For one night, there will be no borders for the children of the world.The White Project initiative is an experience that will provide unique and tremendous opportunities giving new hope and dreams to children around the world. It is estimated that over 100 million girls and over 70 million boys not having reached the age of eighteen are subjected to abuse every year. The evening will be dedicated to restoring smiles on faces of the millions of innocent boys and girls who have known nothing but sorrow and tears. This night is set to show the difference that can be made with the story of a little Afghani girl named Dalia, who was taken from an abusive life into a new life filled with a brighter future.Event DetailsWhen: Saturday, December 8, 2012 
Where: The Beverly Hilton Hotel 
Red carpet arrivals: 7pm-8pm 
Reception: 8pm-10:30pmlast_img read more

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Usher Joins Pharrell Williams Onstage At Angel Ball

first_imgGabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research hosted its signature fundraiser, the Angel Ball, on Tuesday, October 29th at Cipriani Wall Street.Pharrell Williams and Usher Rock The Angel BallCredit/Copyright: Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage via Slate-PRThe black-tie benefit, hosted by Grammy-nominated song writer Denise Rich featured a cocktail reception, dinner, live musical performances, a paddle raise and both live and online auctions raising nearly $3 million for the Foundation’s research initiatives. This year’s gala honored three individuals for their outstanding philanthropic contributions to cancer research.Rita Ora Rocks The Angel BallCredit/Copyright: Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage via Slate-PRSupermodel Karolina Kurkova presented Simon de Pury, Chairman, de Pury de Pury with an award for his dedication to raising much needed funds for cancer research. Hugh Jackman along with his wife Deborra-lee Furness honored Deborra-lee’s mother, Fay Duncan, President of the Fight Cancer Foundation in Australia and Ethan Zohn took the stage to talk about how research and the work of Clay B. Siegall, Ph.D., Co-Founder, President & CEO, Seattle Genetics, saved his life.The Angel Ball, which was emceed by Entertainment Tonight correspondent, Rocsi Diaz began with an incredible performance by ten-time Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Chaka Khan. Later in the evening singer-songwriter, rapper, and record producer, Pharrell Williams took the stage with DJ Kiss to perform a medley of his hits – including “Blurred Lines,” and “Get Lucky.” Pharrell then surprised the crowd when he welcomed Usher to the microphone, to “light the stage on fire.” The two performed a full set which included “Yeah,” and other songs.With Event Design by Hélène Benhamou & Adriana Weiss, on-hand to celebrate were Angel Ambassadors Ethan Zohn and Suleika Jaouad as well as guests, Rita Ora, Karolina Kurkova, Debra Messing, Star Jones, Lorraine Schwartz, Jessica White, Tina Knowles, Dascha Polanco, Selita Ebanks, Martha Stewart, Tommy & Dee Hilfiger, Eli Mizrahi, Montel Williams & Tara Fowler, Irina Shayk, Alyssa Miller, Donna Karan, Erin Fetherston, Nicole Miller, DJ Cassidy, Maryna Linchuk, Salman Rushdie & Missy Brody, Maxwell, Alina Baikova, Elsa Hosk, Shanina Shaik, Montego Glover, Angela Martini, Jonathan Cheban, Domingo Zapata, Caroline Rhea, Sonja Morgan and more…For the sixth year in a row, Board Member and celebrity jeweler Lorraine Schwartz supported the event as Gala Angel Sponsor. Simon de Pury, Chairman of de Pury de Pury hosted the Live Auction featuring five luxury lots which raised $505,000. Star Jones led the evening’s paddle raise, which raised $343,900. The Foundation also partnered with charitybuzz.com for an online auction which runs through November 6th at www.charitybuzz.com. Dinner Chairs for the event included Hugh Jackman & Deborra-Lee Furness, Khaled AL Muhairy, and Marc E. Lippman, M.D.Michele Rella, Founding Board member and this year’s Gala Chair oversaw the event’s Co-Chair committee members, who included: Loreen Arbus, Hélène Benhamou, Caroline Berthet, Missy Bridges, Dori Cooperman, Bonnie Pfeifer Evans, Maria Theresa Fauci, Fran Glasenberg, Michele Herbert, Victoria Hunter, Pamela Johananoff, Candy Kern, Emel Kiral, Louise Kornfeld, Inga Kozel, Heather McDowell Levin, Allison Lutnick, Danielle Merollo, Annabella Murphy, Laura Nicklas, Camilla Olsson, Cynthia Ott, Donna Poyiadjis, Alisa Roever, Nancy C. Rogers, Beth Rosenthal, Inga Rubenstein, Charleen Sacks, Ofira Sandberg, Catherine P. Saxton, Lesley Schulhof, Felicia Taylor, Marcy Warren, Laura Stolman Watzky and Adriana Weiss.last_img read more

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Bethenny Frankel And Skinnygirl Cocktails To Kickoff NYC Shop For Success

first_imgSkinnygirl Cocktails will sponsor Shop for Success, the third annual, two-day pop-up shop hosted by Y.E.S!, the volunteer branch of Dress for Success Worldwide.Shop for Success, held in New York City on Nov. 9 and 10, will allow the city’s most fashionable young professionals to join host of daytime syndicated talk show “bethenny” and the original Skinnygirl herself, Bethenny Frankel, and get a head start on their holiday shopping while supporting a great cause.The two-day event will host a VIP Party on Saturday, Nov. 9, where 21-and-over guests and friends of Dress for Success can sip on signature cocktails from Skinnygirl Cocktails while enjoying a silent auction, a raffle, music, hors d’oeuvres, and shopping.Skinnygirl Cocktails, a longstanding partner of Dress for Success, has also secured a number of exclusive auction items for the night’s festivities, including a necklace from EXTRA host Maria Menounos, a purse and a pair of heels from Vivica Fox, and a dress from Tia Mowry-Hardrict — among other celebrity pieces that will be up for bidding, with proceeds from the auction to benefit Dress for Success.Dress for Success is a non-profit organization that provides interview suits, confidence boosts, and career development to low-income women in over 75 cities worldwide.Tickets to the VIP Kick-Off Party can be purchased for $75 at shopforsuccess2013.eventbrite.com. For more information on the Shop for Success Event, visit www.facebook.com/YESnewyork and www.dressforsuccess.org. For more information on Skinnygirl Cocktails, visit www.skinnygirlcocktails.com.WHERE: The Gallery at The Metropolitan Pavilion123 West 18th Street (Between 6th & 7th Avenues)New York CityWHEN: VIP PartySaturday, Nov. 9 8 – 11 p.m.last_img read more

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Stars Take Part In Annual 24 Hour Plays Event

first_img Musical Talent: Andy Davis, a Nashville-based singer and guitarist who released the album Heartbreak Yellow in 2012 and Katie Stevens, a finalist in the ninth season of American Idol who stars on MTV’s series Faking It!Urban Arts Partnership is one of the nation’s leading education organizations and works in 100 under-resourced public schools reaching more than 12,000 students annually to help them achieve better educational outcomes.“Our work in Los Angeles has more than doubled this year, in large part due to support from the LAUSD led by Superintendent John Deasy and The Los Angeles Fund for Public Education,” said Philip Courtney, CEO, Urban Arts Partnership. “It is encouraging that industry leaders such as Montblanc are willing to invest in the future of underserved students by bringing the arts back into public schools’ classrooms.”Over the years, Montblanc has helped raise over 2 million dollars for Urban Arts Partnership in New York City and Los Angeles. The proceeds from the event will benefit Urban Arts Partnership, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the intellectual, social and artistic development of underserved public school students through arts-integrated education programs to close the achievement gap.The creative process of THE 24 HOUR PLAYS in Los Angeles began at 10:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 19, 2014 when six writers, six directors, twenty-four actors, and a dedicated production team met at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica. After the community of artists shared a costume, a prop, his or her special skill set, each writer composed a ten-minute play by 7 a.m. the following morning. By 9 a.m. directors selected their pieces and their cast rehearsed over the course of the day. At 8:00 p.m, ink barely dry, the six new plays – interspersed with musical acts – were performed before a live audience. Kevyn Aucoin Beauty sponsored the evening’s makeup looks using essential and timeless Kevyn Aucoin products to create classic, flawless faces for THE 24 HOUR PLAYS cast. This celebration of theater offered Los Angeles’ audience a rare experience to witness the thrill of live theater and the talents of Hollywood’s brightest stars.This is the ninth year that Montblanc, the international luxury brand, supported THE 24 HOUR PLAYS BENEFITING URBAN ARTS PARTNERSHIP, demonstrating their support of Arts and Culture. Their ongoing commitment to fostering emerging talent came to life when Montblanc held their 2nd annual Young Auditioner’s Program on May 12, 2014 and the two winners of the audition, who joined the cast line-up were ArTES seniors Alexia Cardenas and Oskar Guzman.Additionally, in April 2014, the premiere luxury maison celebrated the 90th Anniversary of their iconic fountain pen, the Meisterstuck, and it launched the Meisterstuck Collection, a unique selection of sensual leather goods, meticulously crafted timepieces, refined jewelry and of course a new Meisterstuck featuring a limited-time only special nib. The iconic Meisterstück has been an enduring symbol of the brand’s values: writing culture, arts and celebrating innovative thinkers. Directors: Edoardo Ponti (La Voice Umana), Fred Savage (Friends with Better Lives), Leigh Kilton Smith (Acting Coach to the stars), Peter Ellenstein (William Inge Center for the Arts), Rob Greenberg (How I Met Your Mother, Happy Endings), Max Hernandez (Captain America, Winter Soldier). Montblanc and Urban Arts Partnership held their 4th annual production of THE 24 HOUR PLAYS, in Los Angeles, on Friday, June 20, 2014 at the Broad Stage Theater in Santa Monica.Hollywood’s finest joined forces to participate in a one-night-only live performance, produced by Kevin Chinoy and Francesca Silvestri of the Freestyle Picture Company and the 24 Hour Company. The entire creative process, from writing to directing and performing took place in just 24 hours.This year’s talented cast and crew included: Actors: Abbie Cornish (Sucker Punch), Adam Pally (Happy Endings), Alanis Morissette (Weeds), Andra Day (The Gap summerloves cover girl as Warner Bros artist), Ashley Fink (Glee), Ashley Madekwe (Revenge), Bryan Greenberg (Lance Armstrong Biopic), Constance Zimmer (House of Cards), Danny Pudi (Community), Gavin Rossdale (Bling Ring), Jamie Chung (Sin City), Jason Ritter (Parenthood), John Cho (Star Trek), Kelly Osbourne (E! Fashion Police), Michael Ealy (Almost Human), Michelle Trachtenberg (Killing Kennedy), Ramon Rodriguez (Need forSpeed), Retta (Parks and Recreation), Rosie Perez (Artistic Board Chair, The Counselor), Seth Green (Robot Chicken), Tracie Thoms (Annie) and Wilmer Valderrama (That 70’s Show).center_img Writers: Ben Karlin (Emmy Award Winner for Colbert Report and Modern Family), Bill Wrubel (Emmy Award Winner for Modern Family, Will & Grace), David Krumholtz (This is the End), Gabrielle Allan (Scrubs, What’s Your Number?), Jennifer Crittenden (Arrested Development, The New Adventures of Old Christine), LaToya Morgan (Shameless), Laura Jacqmin (Grace & Frankie, Dental Society Midwinter Meeting).last_img read more

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Ziggy Marley To Perform At Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation Event

first_imgSamuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation will celebrate their 17th Annual Benefit Dinner & Auction, honoring fashion designers Cushnie et Ochs on Thursday, December 4, 2014, at Cipriani Wall Street.Musical performer for the event will be Ziggy Marley.Known affectionately by New Yorkers as “The Waxman,” this yearly fête is considered to be among the top fundraising events in New York City, attended by more than 1,200 corporate executives, board members, and their guests. In recent years, “The Waxman” has raised millions of dollars to support the Foundation’s research efforts to produce a cure for cancer. Past celebrity performers have included Train, Peter Frampton, Gregg Allman, Kid Rock, Steely Dan, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Sheryl Crow, John Fogerty, and Counting Crows.The evening will be hosted by Chris Wragge, co-anchor of CBS 2 News This Morning, as master of ceremony. The evening’s much-anticipated live and silent auctions will offer guests the opportunity to bid on an exciting selection of exclusive items.When: Thursday, December 4, 2014Where: Cipriani Wall Street 55 Wall Street New York, NY 10005The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation is an international organization dedicated to curing and preventing cancer. The Foundation is a pioneer in cancer research and its mission is to eradicate cancer by funding cutting-edge research that identifies and corrects abnormal gene function that causes cancer and develops minimally toxic treatments for patients. Through the Foundation’s collaborative group of world-class scientists, the Institute Without Walls, investigators share information and tools to speed the pace of cancer research. Since its inception in 1976, the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation has awarded more than $85 million to support the work of more than 200 researchers across the globe.Find out more about the event here.last_img read more

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IceT Speaks At Bunker Hill Community College

first_imgGrammy Award-winning artist Ice-T spoke as part of Bunker Hill Community College’s Compelling Conversations speaker series on February 26, delivering a lively talk that drew laughs and applause from an overflow audience.Grammy Award-winning artist Ice-TBefore his presentation, Ice-T enjoyed a lunch prepared by Culinary Arts students and interacted with students in two Learning Community Seminars, “Connecting to Your Inner Orange Line: Next Stop, Community College” and “Do the Right Thing.”Ice-T described losing both of his parents at an early age and finding a substitute family as an affiliate of the Rollin’ 60’s Crip Gang in Los Angeles, California. He enlisted as a U.S. Army Ranger and served four years, he said, but when a sergeant told him he wouldn’t make it in real life, Ice-T decided to “stop being a chess piece on a board.” Eventually he transformed what he called crime rhymes into a rap career as the self-proclaimed original gangster, and paid his dues in a handful of low-budget films before winning better roles.Offering encouragement to the largely student audience, Ice-T said, “You are starting from a better place than I did. You’re right where you should be.” He advised students to choose their own path, stay focused and be willing to work hard. After Ice-T’s talk, BHCC English major and veteran Robert Harrigan rapped a rhyme he wrote about suicide and PTSD that won sustained applause from Ice-T and the audience.Born Tracy Marrow in Newark, New Jersey, Ice-T launched his rap music career in 1984 in the film Breakin’ and went on to record a string of groundbreaking rap records. He subsequently formed the thrash metal band Body Count. His acting career includes roles in the films New Jack City, Ricochet, Trespass, Johnny Mnemonic, Surviving the Game, Tank Girl, and on NBC-TV’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, where he plays Detective Fin Tutuola. At 17 years his is the longest running stint for a television cop. He serves as a mentor for at-risk youth.For more than a decade, Compelling Conversations has brought high-profile speakers to Bunker Hill Community College to discuss their professional experience and provide inspiration for students — from actor Giancarlo Esposito to boxer Laila Ali, filmmaker Ken Burns, author and political commentator Bob Woodward and former president of Ireland Mary Robinson. Learn more about the BHCC Compelling Conversations Series at bhcc.mass.edu/cc.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

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Prince Charles Hosts Reception In Support Of Endangered Elephants

first_imgThe Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, joint Presidents of the charity Elephant Family, hosted a reception at Lancaster House in London this week in support of Asia’s endangered elephants.Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall attend a reception in support of the Elephant Family at Lancaster HouseCredit/Copyright: www.princeofwales.gov.uk/The event highlighted a global “auto rickshaw”, or motorised rickshaw, race which will take place later this year. The race will involve a fleet of the vehicles, individually designed by international artists, milliners and fashion designers.In November some 30 rickshaws will journey 500km across Madhya Pradesh, India in support of the cause.The event is called Travels to My Elephant and is inspired by the charity’s late founder and The Duchess’s brother Mark Shand, whose rescue of an Asian elephant, Tara, led to its creation. His adventures were recorded in his best-selling book Travels on my Elephant.Mr Shand, who died in New York in April last year, dedicated his life to saving Asia’s elephants.His Royal Highness said everyone was at the event “to ensure that dear Mark’s hard-won legacy is maintained and enhanced”.The Prince added: “I can’t help thinking he would have been so pleased to know if he had been with us that we have just met the representatives of four conservation charities who are partnering with Elephant Family with the aim of unlocking GBP20 million pounds to secure 100 elephant corridors across India by 2025.“This evening’s events are designed to highlight the quest to save Asia’s endangered elephants from a frighteningly precipitous decline.“There may be no more than 50,000 left in total in the wild across the 13 countries where they are literally clinging to survival.“Sadly, it is the case that the pressures of finite space and the needs of an unsustainably growing human population have brought us into conflict with these remarkable creatures.“Witnessing this conundrum, Mark’s vision was simple but profound; the elephants can survive only if forests survive.”Later in the evening, the rickshaws were auctioned to support Elephant Family’s projects.Source:www.princeofwales.gov.uklast_img read more

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YoYo Ma Named Goodwill Ambassador For Friends Without A Border

first_imgGrammy Award-winning cellist and virtuoso Yo-Yo Ma has been announced as a Goodwill Ambassador for Friends Without A Border (Friends) as part of the nonprofit’s 20th Anniversary celebrations.Video: Yo-Yo Ma, Goodwill Ambassador for Friends Without A BorderFounded in 1996, Friends Without A Border opened its first hospital, Angkor Hospital for Children, in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Since its inception in 1999, the hospital has provided free and compassionate health care to more than 1.5 million children, trained thousands of local healthcare professionals, and provided medical outreach and education to communities across Cambodia. The same successful model of “Treatment + Education + Prevention” is now being implemented at their second hospital, Lao Friends Hospital for Children, in Luang Prabang, Laos.Friends’ founder Kenro Izu, a renowned photographer, founded the organization after witnessing the tragic death of a young girl in a Cambodian health care facility during a trip to photograph the Angkor monuments. “The little girl was the same age as my daughter at the time. I just remember being so shocked something like that could happen. There she was, in a hospital with doctors and nurses nearby, and yet she did not receive treatment because the girl’s father couldn’t afford to pay two dollars for her care.”Kenro Izu and Yo-Yo Ma first collaborated in 2002, when Izu’s fine art photographs of sacred sites were exhibited as part of the Silk Road Festival organized at The Smithsonian Institute. “Friends Without A Border is a remarkable organization, created by the vision of an extraordinary human being,” says Yo-Yo Ma. “Kenro Izu’s generous vision of sharing his art, of using his art so that people can actually have better lives is such a worthy cause to support, for all of us to pay attention to.”While the children under-5 mortality rate in Cambodia has greatly decreased since 1996, pediatric health care is still an urgent concern in Lao PDR. Treatable illnesses such as diarrhea, pneumonia, and malnutrition are common, with 1 out of 14 children not reaching the age of 5. Since its opening in February 2015, Lao Friends Hospital for Children has treated more than 11,000 children. Its medical team is composed of 11 local doctors and 24 nurses that receive continuous training and work alongside international staff and volunteers. A residency program for local medical students has also been implemented, as part of the organization’s strategic approach to use its hospitals as a base to positively impact the healthcare capacity of the entire country.Friends Without A Border will celebrate its 20th Anniversary with a special Fundraising Gala taking place on April 7, 2016 at The Lighthouse, Chelsea Piers in New York City. Hundreds of supporters will join to celebrate the organization’s achievements thus far, and to support the ongoing efforts to build a healthier future for children in Southeast Asia.For more information about Friends’ New York Gala, please visit www.fwab.org/gala.last_img read more

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Ariana Grande Announces StarStudded Benefit Concert In Manchester

first_imgAriana Grande is returning to Manchester to headline a special One Love Manchester benefit concert on Sunday 4 June to honour and raise vital funds for the victims and families who were tragically affected by the Manchester attack after her show last week.The concert will take place at the Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground. General admission and hospitality tickets will be on sale through Ticketmaster from Thursday 1 June 2017 at 10:00AM BST.The concert will feature performances by stars such as Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams, Usher, Take That, One Direction’s Niall Horan, and others. The concert will be broadcast on BBC Television, and on BBC Radio and Capital Radio Networks. The BBC will be the host broadcaster for international television networks. The show will also be streamed with a digital partner worldwide, to be announced soon.All net ticket proceeds of the show will go directly to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund which was set up by the Manchester City Council in partnership with the British Red Cross, in aid of grieving families and victims of the horrific attack.Ariana is offering fans who were at the Manchester show on Monday free tickets to this benefit concert. Customers who would like to attend will need to follow this link and register before Wednesday 31 May 2017 at 4:00PM BST. Ticketmaster will be in touch via email within 36 hours of registrations with instructions on how to process your free ticket.Ariana Grande said, in an open letter posted on her social media accounts:“My heart, prayers and condolences are with the victims of the Manchester Attack and their loved ones. There is nothing I or anyone can do to take away the pain you are feeling or to make this better. However, I extend my hand and heart and everything I possibly can give to you and yours, should you want or need my help in any way.”She continued: “We will not quit or operate in fear. We won’t let this divide us. We won’t let hate win… Our response to this violence must be to come closer together, to help each other, to love more, to sing louder and to live more kindly and generously than we did before.”“Music is meant to heal us, to bring us together, to make us happy. So that is what it will continue to do for us. We will continue to honour the ones we lost, their loved ones, my fans and all affected by this tragedy. They will be on my mind and in my heart everyday and I will think of them with everything I do for the rest of my life.”The attack – which took place after Ariana’s Dangerous Woman concert at Manchester Arena on Monday 22 May – killed 22 people, seven of whom were children, and injured hundreds of others.last_img read more

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Your Chance To Hang Out With Karrueche Tran And Get A Manicure

first_imgActress Karrueche Tran is offering up the chance to hang out with her and get manicures from official CLAWS nail artist Morgan Dixon.For a donation as little as $10 to Planned Parenthood Federation of America through Karrueche’s Prizeo campaign, fans are entered to win this ultimate experience.Karrueche is working with Prizeo to help share the mission of Planned Parenthood – to educate and empower communities, provide quality health care, lead the reproductive rights movement, and advance global health. She was recently honored by Planned Parenthood along with CLAWS executive producer and writer Janine Sherman Barrois for the show’s episode about Karrueche’s character, Virginia, and her decision to have an abortion. Planned Parenthood lauded the writer-actor team for the powerful portrayal of a real-life scenario that 1 in 4 women in the U.S. face by shattering stigma and correcting misinformation.For a $10 donation, supporters earn 100 entries to the sweepstakes. For larger donations, additional rewards are available, like “Stand With Black Women” and “I Stand With Planned Parenthood” merch.In addition to manicures by CLAWS nail artist Morgan Dixon, the grand prize winner and a guest will have lunch with Karrueche and Morgan, as well as receive roundtrip airfare and hotel accommodations for them and a guest.Morgan Dixon (IG: @MADnails) owns New Orleans salon M.A.D. Nails, and has worked with celebs like Issa Rae, Solange, Faith Hill and Teyana Taylor.To learn more and donate to win, please visit Prizeo.com/Karrueche by November 7, 2018.last_img read more

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Bachelorette villain Chad Johnson to guest on Bachelorette Canada After Show

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Bachelorette supervillain alert: The Chad is coming to Canada.W Network says Chad Johnson, who gained infamy on recent seasons of The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise, will be a guest on next week’s edition of The Bachelorette Canada After Show, which airs live from Vancouver.Johnson, a luxury real estate agent from Oklahoma, was a contestant on JoJo Fletcher’s season of The Bachelorette, where he was known chiefly for working out and threatening physical violence against other contestants. Twitter Facebook When last we saw him on Bachelor in Paradise Season 3, he was being kicked off the show for a drunken rampage that included calling an amputee a “one-armed bitch.”last_img read more

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