Category: hcdeiclo

Heavy secrecy surrounds hearing into possible lawyer misconduct

first_imgBy Kathleen MartensAPTN National NewsVANCOUVER —Another serious breach within the residential schools settlement process could be resolved sooner rather than later.That’s because the judge hearing the case Wednesday told the parties to try and work things out on their own.Justice Brenda Brown of the Vancouver Supreme Court took this unusual step at the beginning of a three-day hearing into allegations of extortion involving a convicted killer and the Vancouver lawyer who allegedly hired him.This is an “excellent opportunity for the parties to discuss what can be done,” Brown told Lou Zivot, the lawyer for the court monitor that oversees the compensation process. “I think this is the time to try.”Court was adjourned till the afternoon when the parties were asked to report back on their progress.The last time a violation emerged involving a lawyer and the compensation process was November 2011. Brown ordered an extensive investigation that took many months and wound up costing an estimated $3.5 million.Brown cited the timing and cost of another investigation in sending Zivot and Mark Andrews, who represents the lawyer involved this time, to try and reach a resolution.The murderer has been identified as Ivan Johnny, 62. But the lawyer’s name and evidence connected to the case are protected by a court order.“We’ve made some progress,” Zivot told Brown when court reconvened in the afternoon. He then asked for more time to meet with Andrews.Brown said, “Alright. Sounds good to me. As long as you’re making progress.”APTN Investigates obtained parole documents, which are not covered by the publication ban, to learn more about the case.The documents reveal Johnny’s full parole was revoked Jan. 23 after two members of a parole board heard the new allegations against him: that Johnny worked for a lawyer distributing and collecting compensation application forms from former residential school students, that he persuaded some students to drop their existing lawyers in favour of the one he worked for, that he coached them to exaggerate claims to obtain more financial compensation, and that he threatened and intimidated them for “substantial sums of money” when their compensation arrived.Johnny denies the accusations and has not been charged with a crime in connection with the case. He did confirm, however, that the lawyer bought him a truck to do his work. Parole documents also say Johnny was involved with 275 claims.The compensation is paid through a program called the Independent Assessment Process. It is money for former students who suffered serious physical and sexual abuse in the notorious schools they were forced to attend when they were children.Johnny’s alleged victims are described as “vulnerable” and, in some cases, “cognitively deficient” in the parole documents.The IAP was established as part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. It ran for five years, expiring in September 2012. Due to the complicated and historic nature of the claims, many of them take up to nine months, and are still working their way through the process.The lawyer involved spoke to APTN outside court today but declined to say anything on the record at this time.Other parties at the hearing also declined to comment publicly citing the strict publication ban and the sensitive nature of potential resolution discussions; they are all parties to the original settlement agreement, and include the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat.The Secretariat has posted a warning about Johnny on its website. It says Johnny has now been kicked out of the IAP (by Justice Brown on Jan. 18) and that anyone who dealt with Johnny doesn’t have to pay him or anyone trying to collect on his behalf.Johnny was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder from May 1985, after shooting a man he fought with in a Kamloops bar.Meanwhile, one notable absence before the judge yesterday was the Assembly of First Nations. It is a key party to the settlement agreement, having filed the original class-action lawsuit on behalf of survivors.Any steps taken to deal with breaches must be approved by all the parties to the agreement.kmartens@aptn.calast_img read more

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Aurora to file dissident circular against CanniMeds acquisition of Newstrike

first_imgEDMONTON – Aurora Cannabis Inc. is taking further steps to convince CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. shareholders that the proposed acquisition of Newstrike Resources Ltd. is a “terrible deal” compared to its own hostile bid of the Saskatoon-based medical marijuana producer.Aurora (TSX: ACB) plans to file a dissident circular and will solicit votes against CanniMed’s resolution to issue shares in connection with its proposed acquisition of the Tragically-Hip backed Newstrike (TSXV:HIP).Edmonton-headquartered Aurora argues that CanniMed (TSX:CMED) is Newstrike’s “last lifeline” and a significant portion of its capacity is unfunded.Last month, Aurora launched an all-stock takeover bid for CanniMed, with one of its conditions being that CanniMed abandon its own proposed deal for Toronto-based Newstrike.“We reviewed all disclosed and public information on Newstrike and on CanniMed management’s proposed acquisition, and in our opinion it’s a terrible deal for CanniMed shareholders,” said Terry Booth, CEO of Aurora, in a statement Monday.“It doesn’t take a genius to see that a company with no revenues, no sales licence, no patients, no intellectual property of significant value… should not be worth giving 35 per cent of CanniMed away to Newstrike shareholders,” he said of the smaller Newstrike.CanniMed has said its plan to acquire Newstrike is the better plan and alleges that Aurora has launched an “insider bid” working jointly and in concert with some of its shareholders.Both CanniMed and Aurora have called on regulators to intervene, with a hearing scheduled for Wednesday.CanniMed’s chief executive Brent Zettl on Monday called Aurora’s plan to file a dissident circular a “desperate attempt to stop what they know is a better deal for CanniMed shareholders” and “take the spotlight off its own operational deficiencies.”“Aurora is a pumped-up stock listing which relies on proven producers to supply its customers and has had two product recalls in the last year it has been in business,” he said in a statement.“The uncertainty around Aurora’s projected production capacity is one of the main reasons — along with its Monopoly Money offer for CanniMed — why the CanniMed Board rejected its offer.”Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said Aurora’s headquarters is in Vancouver.last_img read more

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Eby says ICBC shift involves rewarding good driving penalizing poor driving

first_imgVICTORIA – Major shifts in direction are being considered to ensure good drivers in British Columbia receive lower insurance rates, says the minister responsible for the province’s public auto insurer.David Eby said the government introduced an online survey Monday that poses questions about the public mood to realign coverage at the Insurance Corp. of British Columbia in order to offer major incentives for low-risk drivers by changing discount and penalty provisions.The proposed changes are part of the government’s plan to modernize the Crown corporation and restore its dismal finances, which Eby has described as a “dumpster fire.” The provincial budget forecasts a $1.3-billion deficit at ICBC this year.Eby said the government wants to hear from people in B.C. about the government’s plans for change. The public consultation ends April 5.Last month, he said the government will introduce legislation to change ICBC, including a $5,500 cap on claim payouts for minor pain and suffering.“The question is, who is a bad driver and how much more should they pay,” Eby said. “Is it someone who has two speeding tickets? It is someone who has at-fault accidents? Is it someone who has a single infraction with excessive speed?”The survey asks for input on changing policies for at-fault crashes, discounts and penalties.Under the proposed changes, one at-fault accident would be allowed without penalty after 20 years of safe driving, instead of the current 13 years. After an at-fault accident, it would also take drivers 10 years to return to their pre-accident discount rate status instead of the current three years.The proposal includes increased driver penalties and risk points for excessive speeding offences.“Car insurance rates in our province aren’t fair,” Eby says in a video on the government website. “Low-risk drivers with perfect records are paying more than they should. High-risk drivers who are driving up costs for everyone aren’t paying enough. We want to fix this problem.”The government says the auto insurance rating system is 30 years old and has not been updated in 10 years.last_img read more

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Group of 77 developing countries critical to overcoming global crises Ban says

“The crises that erupted last year highlighted the interdependence of economies and countries,” Mr. Ban said in remarks read out by Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro to the Group, which was established in 1964 by 77 States, but now represents more than 130 countries, usually including China.“As we move into 2009, these global challenges remain. They threaten to undo the progress made towards the development goals of the last decade,” he added, stressing that efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that aim to slash poverty and other ills by 2015 required the hard work of all.In that light, Mr. Ban stressed the importance of cooperation between developing countries and expressed appreciation for the Group’s strong support for his efforts to strengthen the development pillar of the UN. He promised to continue to work to increase the effectiveness of those efforts across the systemHowever, peace and security, development and human rights – the fundamentals of the UN Charter – are interdependent, especially in Africa, where people “so desperately need peace for development.”“I sincerely hope that Sudan’s leadership of the Group of 77 and China will accelerate efforts to find an acceptable resolution of these conflicts,” he said.Also addressing the handover ceremony, General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto recalled his association with the caucus since its inception and listed some of its achievements.Mr. D’Escoto said he looked forward to working with the Sudan Chairmanship in a spirit of “collective responsibility” with other groups and Member States to enhance the relevance and vitality of the General Assembly.“This is the best way to promote more effective multilateralism and deepen our cooperation and demonstrate our leadership on complex issues, including the ongoing reform of the United Nations,” he said. 23 January 2009The cooperation of developing nations is critical to overcome the concurrent crises in finance, climate change, global health and extreme poverty, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the ‘Group of 77’ States today, at a ceremony where the leadership of the powerful caucus passed from Antigua and Barbuda to Sudan. read more

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Chorus of oil sands critics grows online as Ottawa says halfway to

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be in New York today, pitching Canadian energy prospects to a leading U.S. think-tank.[np_storybar title=”Six-figure salaries no draw as young workers shun Canada’s oil and gas sector for ‘sexier’ industries” link=””%5DThe Canadian oil and gas industry’s faltering reputation is hurting its ability to attract the country’s youth despite the promise of six-figure salaries. Read more. [/np_storybar]At the same time, critics of Canada’s green record are taking to the Internet to warn that the Alberta oil sands are an environmental threat.Speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations, Harper is expected to stress that Canada is halfway towards meeting its greenhouse gas emissions target. Many people in both countries, however, are wondering about the other half.As the Obama administration ponders the TransCanada Corp. proposal to build the Keystone XL pipeline to link the oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries, Harper’s government is trumpeting the steps it has taken to ensure pipeline safety, cut emissions and monitor oil sands pollution.This week, in advance of the prime minister’s Q-and-A with the council, the federal government took out ads in major U.S. publications and fired up a new website to promote its sector-by-sector regulatory approach to reducing emissions.“With these and other means, Canada is honouring its United Nations commitment under the Copenhagen Accord to a 17-per-cent reduction in emissions from 2005 levels by 2020,” the website says.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan “We estimate that as a result of our collective actions taken to date, Canada is already halfway toward closing the gap between what our emissions had originally been projected to be in 2020, and where we need to be to meet our Copenhagen target.”But critics, including Environmental Defence Canada, Equiterre, Forest Ethics Advocacy, Greenpeace Canada and the U.S. Natural Resources Defence Council, have set up their own Internet soapbox.They say “presents peer-reviewed, easy to understand facts about the devastating impacts of the oil sands on climate, economy, human rights, land and species, air and water.”The trouble with Harper’s “halfway” claim is that it lumps together all the measures both provincial and federal governments have taken and the cumulative effect they will have on emissions by 2020.Numerous analyses suggest that closing the rest of the gap will take a near miracle, or some kind of national carbon pricing program.The federal Conservatives reject carbon pricing, although many provinces have already headed in that direction, either on their own or to comply with federal regulations.Something will have to give.Oil and gas are the largest source of emissions growth. Federal, provincial and industry officials have been negotiating for months to produce a plan that would curb emissions at a cost that does not disadvantage the industry.But none of the scenarios will take Canada anywhere near meeting its 2020 target, analysts say.Environment Minister Peter Kent, meanwhile, is looking at the handful of sectors not yet regulated. Commercial and residential buildings are key, he said in a recent interview, adding that he’s also hoping for international action in the aviation sector.Canada, he also noted, is now getting credit for reforestation efforts.But none of those this will give Canada more than a few megatonnes of carbon reductions each by 2020, well short of the needed 100 megatonnes.Canada could buy emissions credits from cash-short developing countries, but the government isn’t keen on that option.The Conservatives have also rejected suggestions that they limit emissions by freezing oil sands development and pipeline construction.This week, the International Energy Association said it expects oil sands production to increase by 1.3 million barrels a day by 2018, to a total of about 5 million a day.Canadian Press read more

Read More Chorus of oil sands critics grows online as Ottawa says halfway to

CPC chairman to resign

His resignation comes amidst the controvercy over the importing of substandard fuel to the country. The Chairman of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Thilak Collure is to resign from his post, sources told the Colomboi Gazette.It is understood that Collure had tendered his resignation as he was to go oversaes. He also said that 25000MT of Octane 90 petrol from the same shipment had however been passed to be released to the consumer. (Colombo Gazette) Meanwhile Petroleum Resources Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said that the CPC had rejected 5000MT of imported Octane 95 petrol after two tests had found that it was contaminated. read more

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17 developing countries benefit from nearly 320 million in UN loans

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), meeting at its headquarters in Rome, approved the loans and grants for rural development projects in Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Indonesia, Jordan, Lesotho, Nepal, Sudan, Tanzania, Viet Nam and Zambia. Loans to the Asia-Pacific region total $88.4 for projects ranging from the development of marginal upland and coastal communities in Indonesia to poverty reduction programmes in Viet Nam to a microfinance project in Bangladesh. In eastern and southern Africa, loans worth $76.1 million will support agricultural services in Tanzania, rural finance in Zambia, sustainable agriculture and natural resource management in Lesotho and improved agricultural marketing in Ethiopia. For Latin America and the Caribbean, IFAD loans total $75 million for projects ranging from helping small farmers and indigenous communities in Patagonia, Argentina, to supporting rural entrepreneurial activities in Brazil to promoting market-oriented small businesses in Guatemala. In the Near East and North Africa region, IFAD will provide $64 million in loans to help rural communities in the Tlemcen mountainous northern region of Algeria, rural mountain districts in Armenia and poor households in Kordofan, western Sudan, among other projects. In western and central Africa, loans worth $16 million will fund an eight-year sustainable rural development programme in Burkina Faso. The Fund also approved three grants of $3.9 million to support a range of agricultural activities, including emergency assistance to control the spread of desert locusts in northern and West Africa, strengthening a national agriculture strategy in Rwanda and improving the capacity of poor rural communities in seven Pacific Island countries to address development challenges posed by their remoteness and isolation. read more

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An evening with two great talents and legendary hearts

Barney BentallYou wouldn’t think it at first, but there are a few similarities between being a professional musician and being a cattle rancher.Both are wildly unpredictable. Both involve forging ahead through changing markets and climates. And both have found their way into the heart of Barney Bentall, venerable singer/songwriter and Canadian household name.Kevin FoxBentall will play the Centre for the Arts on March 11 with Toronto multi-instrumentalist Kevin Fox. The gig comes four years into Bentall’s comeback after taking a decade off to be a full-time cattle rancher.“I used to think being a touring rock n’ roll musician was hard,” he says. “But after I started ranching, I looked back and thought ‘That wasn’t hard at all.’”Born in Toronto, Bentall broke onto the music scene in the 1980s with his band, the Legendary Hearts. Their hits included “Something to Live For,” “Do Ya” and “Come Back to Me.” The band released five studio albums before Bentall halted his music career in 2000 to work a cattle ranch.Bentall loved music, but started to feel like “the years were evaporating.” A longtime fan of agriculture and the cowboy life, he started Cutter Ranch Lamb in Clinton, B.C. He woke at the crack of dawn, rounding up cattle on horseback, fixing tractors and bailers and birthing calves.Ultimately, though, “it wasn’t me,” and he handed operation of the ranch to his daughter and son-in-law, Sacha and Tyler McNaughton. (His other daughter, Jessica, is married to Rob Niedermayer of the Buffalo Sabres, while son Dustin is also a musician.)Bentall reemerged in 2006 with a solo album, Gift Horse. In 2008, he released a CD for The Grand Cariboo Opry, a collaborative jamboree type of project he put together to benefit the residents of Vancouver’s impoverished east side. In 2009, he released a live album, The Inside Passage.Fox and Bentall first joined forces at a show in B.C. more than a year ago. Fox is no stranger to the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre. He’s played there with numerous other artists, including Shaye, Justin Hines, Chantal Kreviazuk and the Niagara Symphony.A professional musician for 19 years, Fox has released two solo CDs, Come Alive and Songs for Cello and Voice. But it’s only with the second that he’s presented himself outside the Toronto market, he says.“It always feels like a luxury to be onstage and presenting myself to an attentive audience,” says Fox, who plans to release a new album in the spring.Fox’s main instrument is the cello, but he plays a slew of other instruments, including piano, guitar and mandolin. Onstage, he likes to engage the audience in conversation and “I like everyone to be comfortable.”Fox will start the show, followed by a performance by Bentall. Then the two will join forces. The result will be “a compatible harmony of enjoyable music,” Fox says.“There’s a warmth to my music, and there’s a warmth to Barney’s music as well,” he says. “I like to create a comfort for myself and the audience. It’s like welcoming people to my living room.” read more

Read More An evening with two great talents and legendary hearts

State of Market report indicates 24 drop in mining sector fundraising

first_imgThe first quarter of 2013 has been tough for the international mining industry, with rising operating costs and falling metal prices, lower ore grades and a continued scarcity in the availability of funds. At the end of 2010 and 18-month decline was followed by a gradual recovery in the mining industry’s overall market capitilisation which was helped by a strengthening gold price, however precious metals and the industry’s valuation has gone into reverse this year.A recent report titled ‘State of the Market’ from IntierraRMG has indicated that the price of most metals fell considerably during the last two months on the quarter, and this has had a particularly damaging effect on the valuations of the smaller companies. The final three months of 2012 was fairly optimistic, but this year looks like being especially challenging to raise exploration finance.Initial public offerings (IPOs) have played an important role in generating cash for mining projects but market confidence has been dented against the backdrop of volatile markets, political turbulence and fragile economic news. As a result, there has been little IPO activity in the past quarter for either the Toronto or London stock exchanges. Retail and professional investors do not have the capacity, or apatite to fund equity raisings, and so equity markets remain constrained. With their share prices so low, most explorers can’t realistically raise the necessary funds to bring themselves to the stage where they can generate cash flow from metals production.According to the IntierraRMG database of almost 3,500 listed companies, funds raised by the mining sector in the quarter to end-March dropped to under $5.2 billion from almost $6.8 billion in the last three months of 2012. Moreover, there has been a particularly sharp fall in the funds raised by exploration companies; dropping to only $1.5 billion in the quarter just ended from $3.4 billion in the December quarter. Mining companies raised only $0.2 billion during the quarter on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), which represents a slump of almost 80% from the previous quarter.The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) also saw sharp falls, with 80% of the funds being raised during the quarter by companies with individual market capitalisation of over $100 million. There was also an improvement in the amount raised by the industry’s smallest companies (those valued under $10 million), following an especially sparse December quarter, but the amounts raised are still well below the funds secured in the year-ago quarter. This is particularly worrying as companies have typically raised most of the necessary funds for project development during the first quarter of the year.last_img read more

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Poll Will you support the Irish athletes at the Winter Olympics

first_img Yes, I’ll be tuning in for a lot of it (299) No, I’ve no interest (657) Poll Results: I don’t know yet (280) THE 2014 WINTER Olympic Games officially opened in Sochi last night.The run up to the event has not been without controversy. Numerous protests against Russia’s hosting of the games have been held because of anti-gay laws introduced by Vladimir Putin.Despite international outcry, the rules remain in place. And the Games must go on.Five Irish athletes are taking part. Seamus O’Connor in the snowboarding. Seán Greenwood in the skeleton. Jan Rossiter in the cross-country skiing. And, finally, it’s alpine skiing for both Conor Lyne and Florence Bell.So today, we’re wondering, whether you will watch and support the team in Sochi? center_img Yes, I’ll watch but just the Irish (839) Yes, I’ll be tuning in for a lot of itYes, I’ll watch but just the IrishNo, I’ve no interestNo, as a protest against human rights violationsI don’t know yetVote No, as a protest against human rights violations (678)last_img read more

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The 9 at 9 Saturday

first_img Image: Shutterstock/Lisovskaya Natalia Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article No Comments Feb 23rd 2019, 8:51 AM Image: Shutterstock/Lisovskaya Natalia Short URL EVERY MORNING brings you all the news you need to know as you start the day.1. #REPUBLICANS: Gardaí policing the border region suspect that dissident republicans have “dozens” of makeshift weapons caches dotted along the border. 2. #R KELLY: R&B star R Kelly has handed himself into police in the US after being charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse against four victims.3. #MISSING: Gardaí in Co Mayo are seeking the public’s assistance in tracing the whereabouts of a missing 16-year-old girl. 4. #CRASH: A 39-year-old man has died after the car he was driving collided with a pickup truck in Co Westmeath.5. #BREXIT: Brexit should be delayed if the UK Parliament doesn’t approve a deal in the coming days, three British ministers have written in the Daily Mail. 6. #ABORTION: An anti-abortion activist who was recently ordered by the High Court to stop operating a website with a name similar to the HSE’s official crisis pregnancy service is claiming to offer ultrasound services from a building on the northside of Dublin city. 7. #FIANNA FÁIL: Fianna Fáil is hosting its Ard Fheis in Citywest, Dublin today. 8. #EXTRADITION: Extradition cases between the UK and Ireland in a post-Brexit no-deal scenario will be slower and a lot more cumbersome. 9. #TRAINS: Dublin’s Pearse Street and Tara Street train stations will be closed this weekend in order for works to take place. The 9 at 9: Saturday Here’s the news as you start your day. Share1 Tweet Email Saturday 23 Feb 2019, 8:50 AM 7,907 Views By Hayley Halpinlast_img read more

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Luke Lazarus convicted for rape

first_imgOn 13 May 2013, Luke Andrew Lazarus, 23, sexually assaulted an 18-year-old girl who had been on her first night out in Sydney with a friend. The Greek Australian man forced himself on her in a Kings Cross alleyway, behind his father’s popular nightspot SOHO on Victoria Street, Potts Point.The attack has seriously affected the young woman’s life, as she was a virgin, something she told Lazarus while he ripped her stockings.The victim, as she testified to the court, spent the following days sitting in a bath and has been struggling with depression for two years. “I couldn’t breathe, I kept crying until I physically couldn’t any more,” the woman told.“Part of me died that night. “I hate that my siblings have had to see their ‘tough little sister fall apart’,” she added.Lazarus told his sentencing hearing that the victim’s life isn’t the only one ‘completely destroyed’.After Fairfax Media publicised his conviction earlier this month he said he had not been able to function. “I feel as though my life, at least in Australia, has been completely destroyed,” Andrew Luke Lazarus told during his hearing. “I essentially had the world at my feet. I could have been a CEO.”“Now I have to live the rest of my life with every person in Australia, or at least Sydney, knowing that I have been convicted of a sex offence.“I still 100 per cent state I believe everything that happened on that night was consensual,” he told the court, claiming the girl was a willing participant because “she didn’t physically resist, scream or say no”.The victim, as well as Sydney District Court Judge Sarah Huggett, firmly disagree, describing the attack as the “spontaneous and opportunistic actions of a young man who felt a sense of power and entitlement”.Lazarus met his victim on the dance floor, told her he was a part owner of the club and offered to introduce her to the DJ before taking her to ‘the VIP area’. After luring her into the alley, they kissed but then the victim asked to return to her friend. The man refused and as she went to leave, he pulled her stockings and skirt down and demanded “put your f—ing hands on the wall”.Lazarus then forced her to go down on all fours, arching her back. The victim told the court she was frightened and numbed when he didn’t stop and went on to anally rape her.“I’m a virgin,” she said, “but he wouldn’t stop. “I never knew what it was like to feel so helpless.”Ten minutes later, he gave her his mobile phone, and demanded she added her name to a list of women’s names. “I thought that once I left the alleyway the pain would go away … but it didn’t.”“Everything that made me who I was stayed in that alleyway. I’ll never be who I was. I had to rebuild myself with what I had left,” the woman said.Lazarus burst into tears during his hearing, stating that the woman’s statement made him “sick to the stomach” and he couldn’t bear the thought of “unknowingly” having done this to someone.By his own admission he had an “inflated sense of power and entitlement”, especially while being in his father’s club, where he had “more confidence than any other place”.Very confident, however, were the text messages Lazarus sent to his friend the afternoon after the assault, found by the detectives who seized his phone.“I honestly have zero recollection of calling you … Was a sick night – took a chick’s virginity,” he sent to a friend.“Bahahahaha nice popping does cherries …” the other replied.“It’s a pretty gross story tell ya later,” Lazarus wrote back.A psychiatrist, Dr Christopher Rikard-Bell, told the court that Lazarus was also suffering from adjustment disorder as a result of his recent break-up with an American woman his family did not approve of because she wasn’t Greek. He had also experienced bullying at school for being short, which had also affected him. Lazarus was sentenced to a maximum jail term of five years and will be eligible for parole in March 2018. Judge Huggett accepted he has shown some remorse and that he is unlikely to repeat his actions.His father, who as he told the court in a written statement “hoped and intended to keep the matter quiet”, is putting his share of the SOHO club up for sale, after 19 years. The once popular venue “has suffered a major backlash” after his son’s conviction. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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Mirka Andolfos Unnatural is a Gorgeous Fantasy Erotica Must Read

first_imgStay on target Image Comics never fails to surprise us with its fantastic line-ups and the never-ending talented creators on their roaster. Fresh from Image Expo, comic fans watched many new, fresh and exciting comics coming soon to a comic shop near you. Image Expo gave us so much to be hype for and so many future stories for us to devour.One of the many comics announced was UNNATURAL, a gorgeous fantasy erotica by way of a dystopian future and anthropomorphic animals. Geek had the opportunity to talk with Mirka Andolfo, the creator of UNNATURAL about what inspired her to create this world, these characters and a hint of whats to come!The story of Unnatural feels so unique, super sexy and like Big Brother meets little pig & big bad wolf. What inspired you to create Unnatural? How long did it take you to develop this story?First of all, I have to admit that before the story I created Leslie, the main character. I have not planned that she would be the principal character of my comic book: simply put, I liked to draw her. She was one of those random characters that I draw sometimes, and I share on the social media. Draw after draw; I liked her so much that I chose to build a story around her, involving a wolf as well (because I love to draw wolves… I had another project based on a character like him that I never developed further).Usually, I make my comics like that: from an outburst, from my desire of drawing and make my favorite characters move. And I can say without any doubt that, unconsciously, the characters “tell me” what kind of story they want to live. If I would not have this wish of telling something that is mine, if I would not externalize what I have in my mind, I think that I would not make this my job. Maybe I would not even draw.Unnatural’s story was born quite slowly and reasoned: even before starting to write the plot, I already made the storyboard of the first chapter, that told the story of a little pig living in a dystopic world. But I was not convinced by that. So, I left everything to settle down for some months, while I read comics, books and watched movies… and then I started back from scratch.Honestly, I cannot say what inspired me the most to create Unnatural: the original Orwell’s novels have been an inspiration. After that, generally, I always like to create a big contrast in the comic books that I draw and write: Leslie’s world is dark and spooky (and, for most aspect, not so distant from our…), but the art and colors are cartoonish.via Image ComicsCan you tell us a little bit more about Leslie and the wolf? What can you tell us about her strange connection to him?Unfortunately, I cannot say much to avoid spoilers, so I can tell you just what it is going to be clear since the first pages. Leslie lives in a world where relationships with animals of different species or same gender are forbidden, and everything is very strictly regulated. The one who transgresses can risk a lot.However, her normal (and boring) life keep going without problems: she has got a job that she hates but that allows her to pay her bills (and sushi, her favorite plate!), and little certainties.Everything change when Leslie start to dream about a mysterious white wolf, from which she is enormously attracted and with which she establishes an ever deeper love relationship. Leslie does not know if that is only fantasy or if there is something more that links it to reality. So, she starts to doubt about herself and about the world in which she is living. The governments Big Brother influence plays a big part in the narrative. Can you divulge a little bit more about the world of Unnatural?While I was writing the story, considering that Leslie and her friends are animals (even if anthropomorphic) and that I would have like to create a dystrophic world, I thought it would be nice to mention, even marginally, both “1984” and “Animal Farm.” But that was only a starting point.My story wants to be a pop tale, which also has a social background.Thinking about those novels gave me the right mood and teased my creativity. I thought it would be intriguing to create a world where the relationships between different animal and animals of the same sex were forbidden for “the protection of the species.” Since it seems impossible to have “hybrids” as result of those unions, these relationships are considered “wrong” and “useless.” The society is so scared of that that the population is forced to go to appointments programmed by a supercomputer through the social network “ReaLove” if they do not marry and procreate within twenty-five years of age. The real love comes after the necessity. It is so sad, right?But it is not so far from our world: in this regard, something bizarre happened… in the first pages of my story, there are some advertising boards on the traditional family and on what is “legit” and “right.” Well, after few months I wrote those pages, in Italy, there was an aberrant and controversial social campaign that did not differ much from the posters in Leslie’s world! Unnatural first appeared with Panini Comics. How does it feel to have Unnatural come to Image Comics? Are you excited for more fans to read the series?I am so happy about that. I think this never happened for any Italian comics before and, apart from that, for me, it is a big big big honor. Also in Italy Image Comics series are considered (correctly) the “top of the range,” and just the idea of entering the creator’s family of this great publisher has no price.On my socials (in particular on my Instagram) a lot of American users were asking for an English adaptation of the book (while it is already published in several European countries: Spain, Poland, Germany, and many to come). I am happy of this news, and I can just be grateful to Image Comics for giving my job such a big trust, and to Panini Comics, who published it first and helped me to share my work all around the world.I feel a lucky girl! Your art is so beautiful. It’s almost like silk (I know that’s a bizarre comparison), what inspires your art style? Also, what motivates your writing, especially for your creator-owned comics?First of all: thank you! There are many influences that helped me to shape my art along the time, and it is not easy even for me to find them all. Surely, there are two authors that for first inspired me: Barbara Canepa and Alessandro Barbucci (the Sky Doll’s authors)… it is by reading their comics that the young Mirka chose that in her life she would become an artist! But there are also many others that I love and where I “took” something. For example, Joe Madureira, J. Scott Campbell and many others.There are also many writers that I appreciate, but among the many, I prefer the Italian Bruno Enna and Rick Remender.In my projects, for the story (but also for the arts) I love to tell contrasts in everything (including characters). Writing for a creator-owned project is, for me, a necessity. (Unnatural is my first project published in the US, but it is chronologically my second project: my first series is called “Sacred/Profane” it is a humorous, sexy comic book in the French style, with a strong cartoonish style.)I love to work as a drawer on someone else’s series, but I feel the necessity of creating universes, telling stories in which I put all of myself. via Image ComicsYou’ve worked on some astounding comic series (DC Bombshells, Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, Teen Titans, etc.). Not playing favorites, what are some of your favorite series you’ve worked on?It is hard to tell, honestly. My work in the American market always bought me huge satisfaction, and I am happy with all the good thing that happened to me, and of all the great authors that I worked with. Having to choose, I would say three names (I know, it is a lot, and I am sorry about that…): Bombshells, written by Marguerite Bennet, because it is my first DC Comics series. Wonder Woman, because she is a wonderful character (and I had been lucky to work with Greg Rucka and Shea Fontana) and I have been the artist that draws the issue published during the months in which the film has been released.Last but not least (actually, maybe it can be the first…), Harley Quinn. For now, I made just three issues for the regular series, but Harley is my favorite character ever.Can you give us a hint of what’s to come for Leslie, her best friend Trish and this mysterious wolf?When Unnatural was first released in Italy, I tried not to reveal too much… the readers actually appreciated that because, after the second chapter of the story, the situations take an unexpected road. I know that at first look it can seem just a “sexy and furry” story but, actually, it is not like that. The mystery and the dark are two fundamental elements in Unnatural. Leslie and Trish (and their friend Derek), will find themselves caught up in facts larger than themselves.Ah, a small tip: I gave to Leslie a lot of my personality. If you do not consider her anthropomorphism, she is a normal girl. She is easily scared and shy. She cries a lot (like me). She is not a heroine, and she gets overwhelmed by the events.Because of these, with time, she will change…via Image ComicsIf you could be an anthropomorphic creature living their life day to day, what type of creature would you be and why? I would love to be a cat or a Welsh Corgi. I would take a nap all over the day, and I would play and eat when I would feel it.Cats and dogs are my favorite animals.Thank you so much for talking with me for Geek. Are there any other projects that our readers should be looking out for? Where can our readers find you? (via social media, websites, etc.?)During the following weeks, there will be an announcement for a new project on which I am currently working, as an artist. I continue with great satisfaction my work for DC Comics, Young Animal, and Vertigo… Generally, if you want to be always updated, you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (you just have to find my name and nickname, Mirkand or Mirkand89).Thank you so much for your interest and for the great questions!UNNATURAL is set to hit comic stores and Comixology in July 2018. Check out the beautiful pages of UNNATURAL provided by Image Comics below.View as: One Page Slides1. 2. 3. 4. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Buy This Comic: MAN-EATERS #1Buy This Comic: Twisted Romance last_img read more

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Wilmington Library Receives 5500 Grant From Wilmington Rotary Club To Purchase Literacy Technology

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington Memorial Library is pleased to announce the launch of literacy technology items purchased with a generous grant from Wilmington Rotary Club.AWE Early Literacy TabletThis tablet contains over 70 preschool literacy programs. It has all of the same content as the popular AWE Literacy workstation that the library has had in the children’s area for the past five years. The tablet can be checked out for 2 hours and is designed for caregivers and children to use together. Favorite programs include: Sesame Street Learn, Play and Grow, Diego’s Safari Rescue and Getting Ready for Kindergarten.2 Amazon Fire: Kids EditionsThe Kids Edition Fire features Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited which gives access to 15,000 popular apps and games, videos, books, and educational content from PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, Disney, and more. The content is geared toward younger children, ages 3+. These tablets can be checked out and brought home or on vacation for one week.2 Amazon Kindle Fire HD10sThese 2 tablets are preloaded with apps and books appropriate for children ages 8+. Kids can read popular series like Harry Potter, Dork Diaries, Percy Jackson, Land of Stories and more. Apps such as Minecraft Pocket, Temple Run 2, and Scribblenauts Remix are included on the device. These tablets can be checked out for one week.Early Literacy FunpackThe Early Literacy Funpack includes books, puzzles, activities and a Starling early education wearable. The Starling tracks your child’s day and provides metrics on verbal engagement, motion, noise and even sunlight exposure. Try out the app for daily, actionable prompts to boost your child’s development. Check out the Funpack for one week.E-Readers for Middle and High School StudentsIncluded on these e-readers are digital formats of all Wilmington Public School summer reading assignments. Other popular teen titles are also on these e-readers, which circulate for 3 weeks.Wilmington Memorial Library is grateful to the Rotary Club for supporting its efforts to promote literacy in the Wilmington community.(NOTE: The above press release is from the Wilmington Memorial Library’s Children Librarian Barbara Raab.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedLIBRARY LINEUP: Storytime at Farmers Market on Aug. 4; Revere Beach Memories on Aug. 5In “Community”Wilmington Memorial Library Receives $7,500 Federal Grant To Provide Programs On Healthy AgingIn “Community”LIBRARY LINEUP: Library To Host 6-Week Great Decisions Series On Foreign Policy TopicsIn “Community”last_img read more

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State Police To Hold Sobriety Checkpoint In Middlesex County This Weekend

first_imgBOSTON, MA — The Massachusetts State Police will be holding a Sobriety Checkpoint in Middlesex County on Friday, December 28, 2018 into Saturday, December 29, 2018.Wilmington is one of the 54 cities and towns in Middlesex County.The purpose of the Sobriety Checkpoint is to detect and remove drivers who are operating under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs from the roads. The Checkpoint also raises the public’s awareness of law enforcement’s efforts to combat this serious issue.“Any inconvenience to motorists will be minimized with advanced notice to reduce fear and anxiety,” said Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, in the announcement. “The selection of vehicles will not be arbitrary. Safety will be assured.”The Sobriety Checkpoint is funded through a grant provided by the Highway Safety Division of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedState Police To Hold Sobriety Checkpoint In Middlesex County This WeekendIn “Police Log”State Police To Hold Sobriety Checkpoint In Middlesex County On May 24 & 25In “Police Log”State Police To Hold Sobriety Checkpoint In Middlesex County On April 12 & 13In “Police Log”last_img read more

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Murkowski Fends Off Thorny AddOns to Energy Bill

first_imgU.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s big energy policy bill, if it passes, would be the first since 2007.  Several national energy bills have washed up on the rocks since then. Murkowski’s strategy is to keep controversies out of the package, and it was tested at a Senate Energy Committee meeting this morning.Download AudioGoing into it, Murkowski, who chairs the panel, faced a stack of 94 proposed amendments to the bill. Murkowski and Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington, the top Democrat on the committee, all but pleaded with the other senators not to stuff the bill with features that might become poison pills. Murkowski warned that she’d vote against even amendments she favors if she thought they’d sink the bill.“I would hope that members would instead choose to offer and withdraw some of these amendments to help preserve this bipartisan work product,” she said.The practice of “offer and withdraw” allows a senator to go on record and make a speech about an amendment without weighing down the bill. And that was, largely, the order of the day. The committee cleared 25 amendments in Part 1 of the mark-up process. One of the amendments that did get a vote was Democratic Sen. Al Franken’s push for energy efficiency standards for power and gas utilities.“If we are really serious about telling ourselves and the country that we are serious about reducing the amount of carbon we put in the atmosphere, this is a way to do it,” he said.Franken, of Minnesota, says more than 20 states have already adopted these kinds of efficiency standards and they’ve been very successful.Murkowski told him those laws should remain at the state level.“We talk about the states being the laboratories. That’s the way it should be,” she said. “I am concerned, though, that if we have a new federal mandate … you upend the good work that comes out of the states.”Franken appeared frustrated. He says if the states are the laboratories for Congress on this, the lab results are in already.“Why don’t we take yes for an answer?” he said. “Why don’t we take ‘It works’ for an answer?”His amendment failed, along party lines. Sponsors withdrew other amendments relating to rural community subsidies, alternative energy and permits for cross-border pipelines.  At the end of the day, no controversial amendment were attached to the bill but several senators said they’d raise theirs again on the Senate floor, assuming the bill passes the committee.last_img read more

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Dolemite Is My Name Trailer Shows Bawdy Blaxploitation Biopic

first_imgStay on target ‘Cannon Busters’ Is The Black Anime We’ve Been Waiting…Good Vibes, Weird Hardware at the Game Devs of Color Expo Nostalgia comes for all things, and Blaxploitation movies are no exception. Recently we’ve seen a surprisingly good Superfly remake as well as a new Shaft movie that fails to honor the legacy of the series despite starring three generations of the character. And now thanks to Netflix Eddie Murphy is starring in a new biopic honoring the late Rudy Ray Moore, one of the original innovators of the genre.Check out the first trailer Dolemite Is My Name.Like a cross between Ed Wood and Netflix’s own The Get Down, this first trailer for Dolemite Is My Name shows the struggles of comedian Rudy Ray Moore. His material is too raunchy to promote, and as an African-American in the mid-70s his opportunities in the entertainment industry are already limited. So he attempts to produce his own movie starring his Dolemite character, and in the process creates one of the all-time Blaxploitation classics.Along with Murphy, the stacked cast includes Wesley Snipes, Mike Epps, Craig Robinson, Tituss Burgess, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Keegan-Michael Key, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Luenell, Snoop Dogg, and Chris Rock. It’s directed by Craig Brewer, most famous for Hustle & Flow and earning Three 6 Mafia an Oscar. This movie also seems to understand why it’s hard out here for a pimp. And it’s written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who got a blessing from Moore himself before he passed away in 2008.Dolemite Is My Name releases in theaters and streams on Netflix this September. Between a film star biopic and new Scorsese movie The Irishman, Netflix is definitely looking for some more awards this fall. But if you want to catch up on other Blaxploitaion movies, the real streaming TV service to get is still Brown Sugar.last_img read more

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VicePresident visits KVICs flagship store at CP

first_imgVice President M Venkaiah Naidu, on the occasion of Ugadi (the New Year Day in Andhra Pradesh), visited the flagship store of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) at Connaught Place on April 6.The Vice-President spent around 40 minutes at the Khadi India outlet with his wife M Ushamma and children, and did shopping of different Khadi products. Appreciating Khadi products, the Vice President said: “I applaud KVIC for its efforts to preserve legacy of Mahatma and protect the tradition of the fabric. It is heartening to note its endeavors in rebranding Khadi which has successfully captured the imagination of India’s youth. I wish KVIC all the very best for its future endeavors.” Earlier, Naidu was received and welcomed by KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena – who acquainted him about the growth and innovations in Khadi in the last five years. The Vice President and his wife also paid flowery tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at the store in New Delhi.last_img read more

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Municipality holds meeting to get back to basics

first_imgAlfred Duma Local Municipality held a ‘Back to the Basics’ Mayoral Consultative Meeting at the Pieters community hall in Ward 8 on Sunday. The meeting started with presentations regarding the core function of the Mayoral Office, which included an Operation Sukuma Sakhe presentation by Mr S Gumede. Mr BJ Xaba dealt with various aspects, including the municipal funeral assistance programme.The community was given an opportunity to ask questions and obtain clarity after the talks.Mayor Vincent Madlala thanked the community for attending the meeting in numbers.“As we start this term of office, we are guided by the Constitution and the Municipal Systems Act, which state that after we have been elected as councillors, we must go back to the communities to report and consult on service delivery. The community, in turn, must acknowledge, criticise and also question us if and when necessary.“We have taken into consideration that the community is not happy with this hall and we have budgeted R4 million to build a new hall in this area.“We suggest that this hall should be used as a co-operatives centre and a crèche through the participation of the community and traditional leadership. We are also planning on building a pedestrian bridge at Gudlintaba,” said the mayor.Community member Mrs Hlubi asked if she and her family could get a new house because they live in mud houses.Another member of the community, Mr M Mabaso, asked the mayor to do a follow-up on the graves which were disturbed when the municipality created access roads in the ward.“We plead to the mayor to assist with speed humps. Some motorists drive fast and they will cause accidents. We also need shelters on our roads for when it’s raining,” he added.Speaker Cllr T Ngubane thanked the community for the positive and progressive meeting they held.DID YOU KNOW?Click on the words highlighted in red to read more on this and related topics.If you are reading this on your cellphone and there are telephone numbers provided in the text, you can call these simply by clicking on them.To receive news links via WhatsApp.For the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Why not join us there? WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsitelast_img read more

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