The Duchess of Cambridge has sent a special message to The Times, calling for a new attitude on child mental health.“I believe that our generation of parents, carers, teachers, and health workers now have the chance to give the mental health of our children the focus it requires,” she wrote. “I feel strongly that young people and parents need to know that they can ask for help. Just as with physical health, we need to act early to provide support when a child is faced with emotional difficulties.”The message comes as part of The Times’ Time to Mind campaign, which has also had support from Peter Gabriel, Paloma Faith, Neil Gaiman and more, and calls for more support for child mental health.To read the Duchess of Cambridge’s full message, click here.Source:TheTimes.co.uk
This holiday season, Charitybuzz and Prizeo are the go-to sites for incredible experiences that give back, from traveling to the location of your favorite film and remaking your favorite scene, to owning the Fiat Pope Francis drove during his 2015 visit to Philadelphia, to participating in the World’s Biggest Hug.Charitybuzz brings its online community of bidders exclusive experiences, rare memorabilia, luxury travel, unmatched access to leaders across industries and other auction lots, all to benefit its cause partners.For the holiday season this year, Charitybuzz is featuring incredible auction lots such as golf with Graeme McDowell at his home course, supporting youth programs; a private, at-home performance by Academy-Award-nominated composer Philip Glass, benefiting Tibet House; the ultimate Monaco Grand Prix VIP experience – including a yacht party – to provide energy solutions in Africa; and a meeting with legendary hit-maker Clive Davis during which he’ll listen to your music, to support cancer research; and hundreds more.“We’re focused on raising funds for great causes year-round, but the holiday season is always special for Charitybuzz,” said Charitybuzz General Manager Ben Erwin. “During this time of year, we want to offer select opportunities to bidders who care about making meaningful contributions, while also highlighting the amazing work our non-profit partners are doing.”Charitybuzz sister company, Prizeo, is also featuring once-in-a-lifetime experiences this holiday season. Prizeo democratizes giving by offering the chance to win incredible prizes by donating through a sweepstakes format. It’s currently running its 6th campaign in partnership with Lin-Manuel Miranda – for a donation as little as $10, fans are entered to win a trip to London to attend the opening night of Hamilton and meet Lin-Manuel. This Hamilton campaign benefits two organizations working on the front lines of climate change: Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and 10:10 in the UK.In addition to the Hamilton London campaign, Prizeo is also offering the ultimate Philadelphia New Year’s Eve experience with Eagles’ quarterback Carson Wentz, benefiting his foundation; a night out with the legendary Dallas Cowboys ‘Triplets’ to support United Way of Metropolitan Dallas; an all-access VIP experience from the NFL for Super Bowl LII that benefits United Way Worldwide; and the opportunity to get involved with the World’s Biggest Hug.Together as part of Charity Network, Prizeo and Charitybuzz have raised more than a quarter of a billion dollars for 4,000+ nonprofits.Go to CharityBuzz here, or visit Prizeo here.
Advertisement Advertisement Twitter The CBC TV show Kim’s Convenience won two prizes at the ACTRA awards in February: the Ensemble award and Outstanding Female Performance. Ins Choi’s play, also called Kim’s Convenience, has been a hit since its debut at the Fringe in 2011. For me as an Asian Canadian, the recognition of the play, and especially the TV show, is long overdue. Kim’s Convenience is more than a strong comedy with great punchlines. It is about making Asian Canadians, who have long been an absent presence in Canada, visible in the media.For the first time on TV this season, I saw someone who looked like me on prime-time television in my own city. I was channel-surfing one night and saw a familiar red and white TTC streetcar, a Toronto street, and then an Asian man and a young Asian woman. And lo and behold… he was not a gangster or Kung Fu fighter. She was not a bikini-clad seductive sidekick for James Bond, but a student at OCAD. What a nice surprise!I have grown up and have lived in multicultural Toronto for the last 40 years and all this time there has not been one show about me or the kind of family I grew up in. There are lots of Asian Canadian students, restaurant owners, professionals, storekeepers and so on in my neighborhood, but they don’t seem to appear on TV. Advertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook
LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook One day, when I was 19 years old, I was in the middle of a photo shoot for a Miramax film when I was suddenly told it was time to leave. I was wearing a little black dress, showing a lot of cleavage, lying seductively on my side and looking slyly at the camera. The part I had played in the movie, “Guinevere,” could not have been more removed from this pose. My character was an awkward girl, bumbling, in fact, who wore sweatshirts and jeans, and had little sense of her sexual power. But this was how they were going to sell the movie, and at a certain point, I was tired of being a problem, which is how a female actor is invariably treated whenever she points out that she is being objectified or not respected.I was pulled out of the photo shoot abruptly. The publicist said that we needed to be in Harvey Weinstein’s office in 20 minutes.“Are we done here?” I asked. “No” was the answer. “But Harvey wants you there now.” Advertisement Advertisement In the taxi, the publicist looked at me and said: “I’m going in with you. And I’m not leaving your side.” I knew everything I needed to know in that moment, and I was grateful.When I got there, Mr. Weinstein wasted no time. He told me, in front of the publicist and a co-worker beside him, that a famous star, a few years my senior, had once sat across from him in the chair I was in now. Because of his “very close relationship” with this actress, she had gone on to play leading roles and win awards. If he and I had that kind of “close relationship,” I could have a similar career. “That’s how it works,” I remember him telling me. The implication wasn’t subtle. I replied that I wasn’t very ambitious or interested in acting, which was true. He then asked me about my political activism and went on to recast himself as a left-wing activist, which was among the funniest things I’d ever heard.READ MORE Login/Register With: Sarah Polley (right) making her documentary “Stories We Tell.” Credit Ken Woroner/Roadside Attractions Advertisement Twitter
A Canadian artist is building a massive wall of rotting cheese along the border between the U.S. and Mexico.Montreal-born Cosimo Cavallaro said the work was something he wanted to do for a long time but never had the right context for, until U.S. President Donald Trump began to make an issue of the border wall.But unlike Swiss cheese, there are no holes in this wall. Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebook Twitter Login/Register With: Cosimo Cavallaro
APTN National NewsA flight from London heading to Los Angeles had to make an emergency landing in Iqaluit Tuesday afternoon.American Airlines flight 137 landed in Iqaluit at 12:25 p.m. local time as a result of a medical emergency.According to Nunavut health officials, one of the passengers was admitted to hospital, but was treated and released.An American Airlines spokesperson said the plane also made a hard landing and had to be inspected before it could take off again.It made for a long day for the 236 passengers onboard.The plane hit the skies for L.A. at 3:30 p.m. local time.
APTN National NewsOne of the prime minister’s big promises is to bring clean water to Indigenous communities across the country.Those communities, some which have suffered from boil water orders for years, are wondering what’s in the budget for them.APTN’s Delaney Windigo is in Curve Lake First Nation in Ontario with this story.
Ashley BrandsonAPTN News300 out of the 1,100 residents of the Little Grand Rapids First Nation in northern Manitoba have been forced to flee a wildfire burning through the region.Many of the evacuees are in Winnipeg.
APTN/file photo.APTN NewsThe federal government and Assembly of First Nations (AFN) say they’ve reached an agreement to reform the way K-12 education is funded in First Nations.An announcement of the co-developed plan was made Monday and will take effect on April 1.It includes replacing the “outdated proposal-based programs with improved access to predictable core funding,” and bringing base funding in line with that of provincial systems across Canada while “working towards additional funding agreements based on need to better account for factors such as remoteness, school size, language, and socio-economic conditions,” according to a statement released by Indigenous Services Canada.“This new approach is an important step toward First Nations taking greater control of planning and delivering education based on real need,” said AFN’s Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald, who is also the AFN’s portfolio lead on education.“Fair and sustained funding for First Nations children and students, including languages and cultures, will lead to better outcomes for everyone,” she added. “This is a strong step, but there is a lot more to do to create equity in First Nations education and communities.”AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde said the move brings communities “another step closer to the long-standing goal of First Nations control of First Nations education.”Indigenous Services Minister Seamus O’Regan said it puts First Nations “in the driver’s seat — ensuring that they are in control of First Nations education.”The changes will also provide First Nations schools with $1,500 annually per student for language and culture programming, will include resources to support full-time kindergarten for four and five-year-old students, and make special education funding more accessible.“Ultimately, this new approach is an important step toward the creation of new Treaty-based, regional and/or local education agreements that put First Nations in control of First Nations education, and will better meet the needs of students,” Monday’s new release firstname.lastname@example.org@APTNnews
Despite the ongoing battle with a fellow NDP government over the Trans Mountain pipeline and provinces linking up to fight carbon taxes, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says she’s not worried about national support when she runs for re-election. “Not at all,” Notley said this week. “People align on the basis of certain issues.” Notley and B.C. NDP Premier John Horgan remain at odds over the pipeline expansion, as the Liberal government recently announced buying the project in order to save it in the face of court challenges, with a plan of selling it later. Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has sided with B.C. on the issue and when Singh tweeted last month about the approval process being rigged, science being ignored and that it shouldn’t be built, Notley called his comments “is absolutely, fundamentally, incontrovertibly incorrect.” As Notley defends the pipeline, she’s also seeing mounting opposition to carbon taxes in the country, and UCP Leader Jason Kenney has pledged to scrap Alberta’s version if elected next year. Kenney has also said he’d follow Ontario Premier-elect Doug Ford, who formally announced his province would join the Saskatchewan court challenge to the federal carbon tax plan. But Notley questioned the strategy. “I think we need to think about folks who start making plans for when the people of Alberta elect them into a position that they don’t currently hold 11 months beforehand,” she said. “I was here in 2015, and part of the way we won the election was we said you know what, the arrogance and the entitlement of the past, that’s not a thing that’s cool. “Maybe Mr. Kenney ought to change his dial just a little bit there.” As for provinces joining the fight on carbon taxes, Notley said it’s not unanimous. “We’ve got for instance a conservative government in Manitoba, which has already acknowledged that the court case that Saskatchewan is planning on moving forward on is probably going to fail,” she said.“Make no mistake, the federal government has the ability to do this, so you can make it a political plank to go to court all you want, but folks need to understand what the outcome likely is going to be.” Manitoba did sign on to Ottawa’s climate plan back in February, and Premier Brian Pallister recently said Ford’s election wouldn’t alter his plan for a $25-per-tonne levy. But Pallister has also said Manitoba would take Ottawa to court if the Liberals attempted to impose a higher tax and New Brunswick’s version is at odds with federal regulations. Still, Notley says she doesn’t think she’s on a political island. “Two premiers and that is lovely and a leader of the official opposition, but there are actually many more provinces than that across the country,” she said.On Friday after Ford announced his intention to join the challenge, Kenney commended him. “Whereas the Government of Saskatchewan is standing up for families across the country with a constitutional challenge against the carbon tax, Alberta’s NDP is choosing to stand with their Trudeau Liberal allies and a tax that makes it more expensive to heat homes and drive to work,” he said in a statement. But Liberal support is critical for Notley’s re-election chances according to Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt, considering her relationship with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.“If you didn’t have that partnership, you wouldn’t have seen the Trudeau government purchase the pipeline,” Bratt said, adding he agrees that Saskatchewan likely won’t win on the constitutional challenge. With all the internal and external battles, Bratt said Notley has the pipeline, which is undeniably integral to possible re-election. “Without Trans Mountain, she doesn’t have a hope of being re-elected, with Trans Mountain she has a hope,” he said. “There’s multiple other issues at play here, but if she hadn’t delivered that, she wouldn’t stand a chance in 2019.”
VANCOUVER – Jennifer Twiner McCarron remembers when daycare staff took bets on when her daughter would finally stop wearing sparkly princess dresses.So the CEO of Vancouver’s Thunderbird Entertainment and its subsidiary Atomic Cartoons could definitely relate to the co-authors of “Princesses Wear Pants,” NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie and parent educator Allison Oppenheim.Both had young daughters who also went through a princess phase. While they worried about their girls aspiring to be princesses, they also wanted to let them embrace what they enjoyed, Twiner McCarron said.“The moral for the book for them started from: It’s OK to embrace your pink and sparkly side and be feminine, but it’s also more important what you do than what you look like,” she said.“That’s the part about wearing your pants. It’s OK to be a princess, but sometimes you’ve got to put your pants on and get things done.”Atomic Cartoons is now producing a “Princesses Wear Pants” animated series that follows the adventures of courageous go-getter — and occasional trouser-wearer — Princess Penelope Pineapple. Drew Barrymore’s Flower Films is among the executive producers.It’s the latest achievement for Atomic Cartoons, which Twiner McCarron has helmed since 2016 and helped grow to 450 staff from 20. She recently also became CEO of Thunderbird Entertainment, which produced “Blade Runner 2049” and “Kim’s Convenience.”The theme of “Princesses Wear Pants” resonated with her as a female leader in an industry where men still dominate in top positions. She’s an active member of Women in Animation, which aims to increase female representation in the business.She advises young women: “If a new door of responsibility opens, just try and walk through it. What’s the worst thing that could happen? It doesn’t work out? That’s OK, you pick yourself up and you do something else.”Atomic Cartoons is based in a sprawling mural-covered building in east Vancouver. The city is a “hotspot” for visual effects and animation, said Twiner McCarron, sitting in her tiny office adorned with Halloween decorations.Vancouver is a world leader with about 60 visual effects and animation studios. And Netflix and other streaming services have boosted demand for content, helping British Columbia become Canada’s top spot for film and TV production last year, according to figures from the Canadian Media Producers Association.“There’s so much of a need for content because people also consume it so quickly,” said Twiner McCarron. “Before, as it applies to animation, you were vying for those five primetime spots on Saturday morning, so it was much more competitive.”Now, she said, children’s programming has not only become more ubiquitous, it’s also gotten faster-paced. Disney’s “Bambi,” a favourite of hers when she was growing up, nearly put her kids to sleep, she said.“The cutting is a lot faster. We used to do a 22-minute show and 325 shots seemed like a lot. Now we’ll do a 22-minute show with 500 shots,” she said, adding that episodes lasting seven or 11 minutes are becoming common too.While Vancouver’s industry is booming, the city has a well-documented downside: wildly unaffordable housing. Atomic Cartoons is set to open its next office in Ottawa, a more attractive locale to young employees who want to lay down roots and start families.“Where do young people want to be and thrive? Vancouver’s hard, as we all know,” Twiner McCarron said. “It’s an expensive city. Ottawa has art, culture, politics, it’s the capital of Canada, great schools and it’s affordable still.”Looking ahead, the CEO plans to continue to find great books to transform into shows. She often chats with librarians to find out what kids are reading, and recently inked a deal to turn Max Brallier’s “Eerie Elementary” into a live-action show.She aims to create content that makes the world a better place — even in small ways.“What’s the value of my work? We are essentially helping parents cook dinner quietly,” she said with a laugh. “But at least they can put some stuff on that’s quality and … has good values and messaging.”— Follow @ellekane on Twitter.
CALGARY, A.B. – The National Energy Board has approved NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd.’s plan to abandon a 266 kilometre section of its Peace River Mainline system in northwestern Alberta.The approved plan calls for the TransCanada Corp. subsidiary to remove a nine kilometre section of the pipeline running through the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation Reserve Land and leave the rest of the pipeline segments in place.The NEB says this was the largest proposal to abandon a facility ever considered by the regulator. TransCanada indicated in its application that the section of pipeline running north-south about 34 kilometres west of Peace River, Alta., is no longer needed and customers will be served by other pipelines in the network.The NEB says the company will be liable and accountable for monitoring and maintaining the pipeline in a safe and environmentally sound manner for as long as it remains in the ground.The company said in its application that the cost of project is estimated at $29.7 million.(THE CANADIAN)
New Delhi: Bandhan Bank Friday said it has received no objection from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for the proposed acquisition of Gruh Finance. “The Reserve Bank has by its letter dated March 14, 2019, conveyed its no objection for the voluntary amalgamation of Gruh Finance Ltd into and with Bandhan Bank, subject to compliance with the terms and conditions therein,” the bank said in a regulatory filing. Gruh Finance, the affordable housing finance arm of HDFC Ltd, was taken over in January by Kolkata-based Bandhan Bank in a share-swap deal. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepAs part of the deal, Bandhan Bank has to transfer 14.9 per cent stake to HDFC for merging Gruh with itself. The deal will allow Bandhan Bank’s promoter Bandhan Financial Holdings to come down to about 61 per cent from about 82 per cent, and HDFC to hold around 15 per cent in the merged entity from about 57 per cent in Gruh. The swap ratio for the amalgamation will be 568 shares of Bandhan Bank for every 1,000 shares of Gruh Finance. Stock of Bandhan Bank closed 0.45 per cent down at Rs 511.05 on the BSE.
Lahore: Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s condition had deteriorated in jail due to a kidney disease, a day after his family met him and expressed concern over his health, Pakistan media reported on Sunday. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo’s daughter Maryam Nawaz tweeted about his worsening health on Saturday after she along with his personal physician Adnan Khan visited Sharif at the Kot Lakhpat jail here on receiving permission from the country’s interior ministry, according to The Express Tribune newspaper. Sharif, 69, is in jail since December last year, serving a 7-year imprisonment in the Al Azizia Steel Mills graft case. After meeting her father, Maryam tweeted that his kidney disease had reached the third stage and he felt pain in his arm. “The blood tests done yesterday reveal a further raise in his creatinine levels which means his kidney function has deteriorated. His kidney disease is already at stage 3. The pain in the flanks persists,” Maryam tweeted. She also said that a letter had been written to the additional chief secretary to request him for a medical specialist to be sent to jail to diagnose Nawaz’s disease and treat the problem in the presence of his personal physician, the newspaper reported. The duo met Sharif for two hours during which the leader informed them that his blood samples had been taken and he had been informed about the reports. He also told them about his kidney ailment. Meanwhile, PML-N workers, who gathered outside the prison, chanted party slogans on her arrival and started removing barricades placed outside the prison building. They later retreated on her request. The workers also stopped a passenger train by blocking a nearby track, mounted its engine and shouted slogans in favour of their leader. They cleared the tracks after police reached the scene. The National Accountability Bureau filed three corruption cases against Sharif on the orders of the Supreme Court following the publication of Panama Papers. Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law retired Captain Mohammad Safdar were granted bail in September last year in the Avenfield properties case that involved buying of four luxury flats in London through fraudulent means. He was acquitted in December last year in the Flagship Investments corruption case.
New Delhi: The total installed capacity of NTPC group has reached 55,126 megawatt (MW) with the addition of a 800 MW unit of Gadarwara Super Thermal Power Project in Madhya Pradesh. “We wish to inform that pursuant to change in procedure for capacity addition notified by Central Electricity Authority, first unit of 800 MW of Gadarwara project (2×800 MW) has been added to total installed capacity of NTPC,” NTPC said in a filing to BSE. With this, the total installed capacity of NTPC Ltd is now 47,325 MW and that of NTPC group is 55,126 MW. Shares of NTPC were trading at Rs 134.50 per scrip, down 0.37 per cent, on BSE.
PARIS: Astronomers on Wednesday unveiled the first photo of a black hole, one of the star-devouring monsters scattered throughout the Universe and obscured by impenetrable shields of gravity. The image of a dark core encircled by a flame-orange halo of white-hot gas and plasma looks like any number of artists’ renderings over the last 30 years. But this time, it’s the real deal. Scientists have been puzzling over invisible “dark stars” since the 18th century, but never has one been spied by a telescope, much less photographed. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe supermassive black hole now immortalised by a far-flung network of radio telescopes is 50 million lightyears away in a galaxy known as M87. “It’s a distance that we could have barely imagined,” Frederic Gueth, an astronomer at France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and co-author of studies detailing the findings, said. Most speculation had centred on the other candidate targeted by the Event Horizon Telescope — Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the centre of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsBy comparison, Sag A* is only 26,000 lightyears from Earth. Locking down an image of M87’s supermassive black hole at such distance is comparable to photographing a pebble on the Moon. European Space Agency astrophysicist Paul McNamara called it an “outstanding technical achievement”. It was also a team effort. “Instead of constructing a giant telescope that would collapse under its own weight, we combined many observatories,” Michael Bremer, an astronomer at the Institute for Millimetric Radio Astronomy (IRAM) in Grenoble, said. Earth in a thimble Over several days in April 2017, eight radio telescopes in Hawaii, Arizona, Spain, Mexico, Chile, and the South Pole zeroed in on Sag A* and M87. Knit together “like fragments of a giant mirror,” in Bremer’s words, they formed a virtual observatory some 12,000 kilometres across — roughly the diameter of Earth. In the end, M87 was more photogenic. Like a fidgety child, Sag A* was too “active” to capture a clear picture, the researchers said. “The telescope is not looking at the black hole per se, but the material it has captured,” a luminous disk of white-hot gas and plasma known as an accretion disk, said McNamara, who was not part of the team. “The light from behind the black hole gets bent like a lens.” The unprecedented image — so often imagined in science and science fiction — has been analysed in six studies co-authored by 200 experts from 60-odd institutions and published Wednesday in Astrophysical Journal Letters. “I never thought that I would see a real one in my lifetime,” said CNRS astrophysicist Jean-Pierre Luminet, author in 1979 of the first digital simulation of a black hole. Coined in the mid-60s by American physicist John Archibald Wheeler, the term “black hole” refers to a point in space where matter is so compressed as to create a gravity field from which even light cannot escape. The more mass, the bigger the hole. At the same scale of compression, Earth would fit inside a thimble. The Sun would measure a mere six kilometres edge-to-edge. A successful outcome depended in part on the vagaries of weather during the April 2017 observation period. “For everything to work, we needed to have clear visibility at every [telescope] location worldwide”, said IRAM scientist Pablo Torne, recalling collective tension, fatigue and, finally, relief. ‘Hell of a Christmas present’ Torne was at the controls of the Pico Veleta telescope in Spain’s Sierra Madre mountains. After that, is was eight months of nail-biting while scientists at MIT Haystack Observatory in Massachusetts and the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn crunched the data. The Universe is filled with electromagnetic “noise”, and there was no guarantee M87’s faint signals could be extracted from a mountain of data so voluminous it could not be delivered via the Internet. There was at least one glitch. “We were desperately waiting for the data from the South Pole Telescope, which — due to extreme weather conditions during the southern hemisphere winter — didn’t arrive until six months later,” recalled Helger Rottmann from the Max Planck Institute. It arrived, to be precise, on December 23, 2017. “When, a few hours later, we saw that everything was there, it was one hell of a Christmas present,” Rottmann said. It would take another year, however, to piece together the data into an image. “To be absolutely sure, we did the work four times with four different teams,” said Gueth. Each team came up with exactly the same spectacular, history-making picture of a dark circle encased in a flaming-red halo.
Los Angeles: Oscar-nominated Hollywood director John Singleton has died after suffering a stroke. He was 51. The versatile director, who made a splash with Boyz n the Hood and went on to a variety of projects including 2 Fast 2 Furious, had been in a coma since the stroke on April 17. He died on April 29, his family told CNN in a statement. “John passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends. We want to thank the amazing doctors at Cedars-Sinai Hospital for their expert care and kindness and we again want thank all of John’s fans, friends and colleagues for all of the love and support they showed him during this difficult time,” the family said. In 1992 at the age of 24, Singleton became the youngest person to ever receive an Oscar nomination for best director for his debut diectorial Boyz n the Hood.
LONDON- Britain and the United States held services on Saturday to remember the 270 people killed when a US airliner exploded over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, in Britain’s worst ever attack.Pan Am Flight 103 blew up on December 21, 1988 on its way from London to New York. All 259 people on board — most of them Americans heading home — were killed as well as 11 people on the ground.Only one person has ever been convicted over the bombing — Libyan Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi, who died last year still protesting his innocence. Scotland’s leader Alex Salmond was among the mourners laying wreaths on Sunday at Lockerbie’s Dryfesdale Cemetery, which houses a memorial to the victims.“On this 25-year anniversary, and as the country prepares once more to relive the harrowing events of that terrible night, it is important that we remember that the pain and suffering of the families and friends of those who died has endured since that winter night in 1988,” Salmond said.US Attorney General Eric Holder and Scottish officials were set to attend a memorial service at Arlington National Cemetery just outside Washington,while Syracuse University in New York, which lost 35 students in the bombing, was also holding a remembrance ceremony.Mourners were also gathering at London’s Westminster Abbey.Prime Minister David Cameron paid tribute to the victims’ families, saying their “fortitude and resilience” showed that terrorists would never win.“You have shown that terrorist acts cannot crush the human spirit. That is why terrorism will never prevail,” he said in a statement.Libya admitted responsibility for the bombing in 2003 and the regime of slain dictator Moamer Kadhafi eventually paid $2.7 billion in compensation to victims’ families as part of a raft of measures aimed at a rapprochement with the West.Since the fall of the Kadhafi regime in 2011, British and US detectives have travelled to Libya to investigate whether other perpetrators could be identified.“Over the last quarter of a century much attention has been focused on the perpetrators of the atrocity,” Cameron said.“Today our thoughts turn to its victims and to those whose lives have been touched and changed by what happened at Lockerbie that night.”He added that the attack continued to forge a strong bond between Syracuse University and Lockerbie through a scholarship programme that sends two students from the Scottish town to New York every year.“This is the lasting and optimistic legacy bequeathed to future generations on behalf of those who lost their lives on this day 25 years ago and who we remember here today,” Cameron said.
ISTANBUL– Istanbul-based opposition group Syrian National Coalition is meeting for a two-day general assembly as anticipation grows for an international conference later this month on a solution to the ongoing civil war in Syria.The SNC‘s eleventh general assembly is expected to broach participation to the Geneva-2 conference slated for January 22, and election of a new president now that the tenure of Ahmad Jarba is over.The opposition group is said to be under pressure as the Syrian National Council, one of the largest formations within the SNC, has announced it will not take part in Geneva-2 because the embattled Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad has not taken necessary steps to free captives, stop airstrikes, and open secure corridors – conditions earlier set by the Council for participating.
Taroudant, Morocco- The Dutch parliamentarian and former tax adviser Roland van Vliet, member of the far-right Party for Freedom, resigned from the party on Thursday over the latest comments of Geert Wilders against Moroccans during an election night rally.The party “is on a slippery slope … It was time for me to have an examination of conscience about what is going on with the party,” wrote the far-right Dutch MP, Roland van Vliet, in a letter of resignation from the parliamentary group of his party, addressed to Geert Wilders. During a party gathering on Wednesday night, Wilders asked a crowd of followers, “whether they wanted more, or fewer Moroccans, both in their city and in the country as a whole.” The supporters chanted “Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!” then Wilders responded, “I’ll take care of that” with a big smile on his face. The anti-Moroccan chant sparked uproar among social media users.A Facebook page named “Ik doe aangifte tegen Wilders” (I am reporting Wilders) gained popularity with 86,775 likes so far since it has been launched on Wednesday.Dutch Moroccans and other human right activists have responded with a selfie campaign on twitter using the Hashtag #bornhere.According to the Independent, “A number of national organizations supporting the interests of Moroccan Dutch people (Samenwerkingsverband van Marokkaanse Nederlanders and Landelijk Beraad Marokkanen) have called on the public to report the politician for discrimination and spreading hatred.”© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed