first_img(Pictured: Corinne Baker. Photo courtesy of Corinne and Tom Baker)By Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsAn elite British Columbia private school is facing a human rights complaint from an Indian residential school survivor who alleges the institution did little after she faced a racist barrage from a manager who said “all Indians are dirty filthy pigs.”Corinne Baker, 49, who is originally from Ucluelet First Nation, said she was subject to the racist tirade from her manager during a lunch break last month. Baker said this was the third time she has either faced or witnessed racist acts at Brentwood College, which charges $36,000 in tuition to Canadian students.Baker said she filed the complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal because she felt Brentwood College had tried to “downplay” the severity of the incident. Baker wanted the school to fire the manager.The tribunal received the complaint Sept. 5, said Baker. An official with the tribunal said they could neither confirm nor deny whether they had received the complaint. The official said incidents at private schools do fall within the tribunal’s mandate.An employee since 2002, Baker, works in the school’s kitchen. She said going to work has turned into a stressful situation. She also worries that fighting what she believes to be a serious injustice could cost her the job.“I just don’t want to be there, but I have to have income and I don’t want to be thrown out of school because I am fending for my rights,” said Baker, who currently lives in Shawnigan Lake, B.C., with her husband Tom Baker. “The problem with that is I have to go to work and see (the manager) every day and it upsets me. Why is that okay? That was a slap in the face. Can anyone call me any awful name they want and get away with it?”Brentwood College, situated in Mill Bay, B.C., sells itself as an elite boarding school for students in Grades 9 to 12. It boasts an oceanfront campus and a “rigorous curriculum.”According to the human rights complaint, Baker was working with the Vancouver Island school’s summer cleaning crew when conversation over lunch turned to nationalities and languages.Her manager, Chris Nelson, asked Baker if she spoke a First Nations language. Baker responded saying that she lost her language after she was taken to Port Alberni Indian Residential School.Baker attended the school from 1964 to 1973 and said she faced physical abuse from staff and other students.Baker alleges that Nelson then went on a tirade, first complaining that one of her nieces had gone “all native on her” and that she couldn’t understand why because “Amy” was only one-eighth “native.”Nelson then allegedly said that “all Indians are dirty filthy pigs,” after ending a tirade about Chemainus First Nation. The First Nation had “pissed her off” because they were involved in the closing of the geoduck fishery.Department of Fisheries and Oceans ended the fishery for the large clams in mid-August citing safety concerns amid rising tensions between First Nation and non-Native fishers.Nelson allegedly said that First Nations were “fucking disgusting” people who couldn’t clean up their yards and take their garbage to the curb.She also allegedly said that the Cowichan Tribes were “disgusting pigs” and called their longhouse a “pig sty” inside.Baker said that none of her co-workers reacted to the comments.Baker said she “sat for a few minutes to gain some sort of composure,” but was too upset to continue working. Baker said she left the campus weeping.“It was more than weeping,” said her husband Tom Baker, a provincial corrections officer, who picked her up that day. “I have never seen her that upset. I would equate it to her grieving for someone that had died, that is how bad she hurt.”They have been married for 26 years and have two adult children, both who are municipal police officers in B.C.Corinne Baker said she complained to the school’s administration. Nelson was suspended for four-and-a-half weeks with a week’s holiday during the school’s investigation into the incident. The school administration also held an hour and 15 minute mediation session on Sept. 16 with the co-workers present at the incident, but it achieved little, said Baker.Nelson returned to work WednesdayNelson wrote a hand-written letter of apology to Baker.“To think of you as a good friend and not a native is why we did not think of your feelings,” wrote Nelson, in her letter.It went on to say:“I have always been a very honest person…I have my own opinion which is too honest at times and gets people hurt. This has shown me to keep my opinion to myself so I do not hurt people unintentionally…I cannot write down how bad I feel or how sorry I am for the way I made you feel. I hope that you begin to heal and forgive the ignorance of my actions…Again, nothing was said to you personally, only about a few people in your culture.”In a postscript, Nelson wrote that she had tried to find Baker after the incident, but was told by management that “I was not allowed to talk to you or contact you in any way.”Baker said the school’s head, Andrea Pennells, told her the apology was “heartfelt.”The school appears to consider the matter closed.In a letter written to Baker, Pennells suggested she move on from the incident.“Like two of my heroes, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, I also believe in the need for truth and reconciliation, and the capacity for human beings, even those who have been hurt by another, to forgive, learn and move forward together,” wrote Pennells.Pennells wrote that she would not fire Nelson because the manager was a “long term, dedicated employee.” Pennells wrote that Nelson and the rest fo the staff meant no personal harm.“All staff present on Aug. 17 have apologized publically to you, Corinne, for their lack of sensitivity and empathy, and for their unacceptable use of language. As Head of School I have apologized to you, as did the Deputy Head of School, John Allpress, on my behalf during my absence on holiday,” wrote Pennells.She also said the school would take no more action on the previous two alleged incidents. The first being in 2006 when a co-worker allegedly told Baker she was a “dumb fucking Indian.” In her human rights complaint, Baker said Pannell apologized and then told her to “go find your happy place.”The second incident came in 2008 during the North American Indigenous Games, which the school hosted. The letter, however, does not reveal what the incident involved and Baker said she could not divulge the information because the school had threatened her with legal action if she went public with the allegation.The college was involved in hosting the games.Pannells said in a statement emailed to APTN National News that the incident was only brought up in the last month by Baker’s husband.“Despite an exhaustive investigation and repeated requests to (Baker) and her husband for any evidence they may have had, we cannot obtain any verification at all that their allegation is true,” said the statement.The statement also said the school had hired a professional mediator with experience in First Nations issues who would be leading a seminar on the “respectful workplace” next month.“As a school, we have devoted a tremendous amount of time, energy and resources in response to (Baker’s) concerns. She is a valued employee. Certainly, there was thoughtless use of unacceptable language over lunch in August, and appropriate disciplinary action has been taken,” said the statement.  “In addition, everyone involved has apologized to (Baker)…The incident was unacceptable and I appreciate (Baker) raising it as a matter of concern.”APTN National News also reached Nelson at her home. Nelson said she was not allowed to comment.jbarrera@aptn.calast_img read more

first_imgAPTN National NewsA celebration of Aboriginal music in Winnipeg has just announced its headliners.The event doesn’t happen until November.But organizers say the earlier word gets out the better chances of increasingly popularity in what they call a growing market.APTN National News reporter Tiar Wilson has this story.last_img

first_imgAPTN National NewsDuring APTN’s Town Hall held Tuesday, many viewers were touched by a poem written by a young man from Alberta.Reuben Sawdo-Williams, 14, used his own experience with racism to write the poem.APTN National News spoke to Sawdo-Williams, but first he reads his poem.last_img

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe final chapter is being written in the saga of Clayton Willey.APTN National News first broke the story back in 2003.Willey was the Aboriginal man beaten and Tasered repeatedly by RCMP in Prince George, B.C.He died hours after being taken into custody.The findings of a formal investigation into Willey’s death have just been released.Willey’s family has been waiting nearly a decade for the report.APTN National News reporter Rob Smith has this story.last_img

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe Federal court began to hear arguments on whether a ruling from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal should be overturned.At issue is a discrimination case against the federal government for underfunding First Nations child welfare agencies.The complaint was dismissed by the tribunal. APTN National News reporter Annette Francis explains why lawyers want the case back at the tribunal.last_img

first_imgAPTN National NewsAn inquiry examining how social services failed to protect five-year-old Phoenix Sinclair continued Monday.The little girl was killed by her mom and the mom’s boyfriend.Now one of her family caregivers is on a hunger strike.APTN’s Ntawnis Piapot has the story.npiapot@aptn.caTwitter: @ntawnislast_img

first_imgTamara PimentelAPTN National news Several Indigenous youth have been featured in a new film.It sheds light on the similarities between residential schools and the current child welfare system.The film, Displaced, was screened in Calgary over the weekend.tpimentel@aptn.calast_img

first_imgJustin Brake APTN NewsThe national inquiry hearings into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls concluded Wednesday in Moncton with more testimonies from families in search of answers.Barbara Bernard of Abegweit First Nation on P.E.I. shared the story of her mother’s disappearance decades ago.Mary Francis Paul went out on evening and never come home.Days later her body was found stuffed in an oil drum, with a broken neck.Bernard, who had her own baby at the time, said she doesn’t recall much after hearing the news — until the day she buried her mother.“I remember a social worker coming up to me at the graveyard asking me, what am I going to do with my baby? And it hurt so bad, because they had already took my brothers and sisters,” said Bernard.A decade passed before she would speak with a police officer about her mother’s death.“He said, you need to remember your mom for your happy memories, he said. You don’t want to remember your mom stuffed in one of those drum cans,” she recalled during the hearing Wednesday. “And that kind of stuck with me, and I was like that’s not what they told me when I was younger.“I couldn’t believe that they wouldn’t have [investigated more thoroughly], because it felt like they didn’t think my mom’s life was worth anything, and that hurt,” she said, fighting tears. “My mom matters. My mom is a human being. And I just need to know.”Bernard wants to know whether the RCMP investigated her mother’s death and whether it was ruled suspicious.Leona Simon of Elsipogtog shared the story of her aunt, Gladys Marie Simon, 41, who went missing from a hospital in Campbellton, N.B. in 2004. She had been institutionalized there as a patient.She had intellectual disabilities and was frequently taken advantage of by people, Simon recalled.Eight years later some of Gladys’ remains were found and her family was told foul play had been ruled out.They want the case re-opened.Simon recommended to the inquiry Wednesday that adequate mental health facilities be placed on reserves.“It would be nice to have some institutions home, so we can facilitate people that need that, that have mental health issues, so we don’t have to worry about them,” she said.In its interim report last fall the inquiry recommended the establishment of a national police task force that could re-open investigations and review cold cases.Responding to Bernard’s testimony inquiry Commissioner Michèle Audette said Canada’s justice system “should be changed, and it has to change.“We pray for that, we push for that, and it will be in the hands of our leaders after,” she said.In total, 38 people testified in Moncton, most of them in private.Audette told reporters the inquiry is on the cusp of submitting a request for a two-year extension to its mandate, and that with an extension it will be able to visit more communities and ensure more people and families are able to tell their stories.She also announced Wednesday that the inquiry will visit Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador during the first week of March.Next week the inquiry will visit Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.last_img read more

first_imgPARIS – The first paying guests to the ground-floor studio flat newly posted on Airbnb were innocuous enough: A family, come to experience the joys of Paris, like many millions of others.Franck Briand, who lives in the apartment directly above, now looks back on that moment as the start of what he calls his Airbnb “nightmare.” The ensuing four years, he says, have been an incessant carousel of late-night parties, drunken revelers and the rattle of newly arrived groups, sometimes 15 at a time, dragging wheeled suitcases across the cobbled courtyard.“I want to leave,” Briand says. “But I said to myself that it shouldn’t be the weakest, those under threat, who give in.”Paris, long one of the world’s top destinations, is still grateful for the billions of euros (dollars) that tourists pump into the French capital’s economy and the 300,000 jobs they sustain. But Parisians and City Hall officials also are expressing deep qualms about having so many visitors directly in their midst, no longer largely corralled in hotels but instead living, albeit temporarily, cheek-by-jowl with locals in properties rented online.The backlash in Paris against intrusive, on-your-doorstep tourism hasn’t yet reached the proportions of other heavily visited cities. Venice and Barcelona, among other destinations, have seen repeated protests. But concerns voiced in top European destinations are often the same: That mass tourism and its online platforms are hollowing cities out, driving away locals with higher prices, higher rents and sheer inconvenience.Jacques Boutault, mayor of Paris’ central 2nd arrondissement, is among those sounding the alarm. The rectangular district he oversees, boxed in by some of the city’s must-visit sites, including the Pompidou art museum, has experienced a precipitous population decline as Airbnb has taken Paris by storm, with more listings than any other city worldwide.“The population is changing completely, from those who have been here for years to one that is just passing through,” says Boutault, the district mayor since 2001. The 2nd arrondissement has lost 3,000 inhabitants in the past four years, more than 10 per cent of its total and many of them families, he says. The district’s schools have shut three classes as a result.“I don’t want to be the mayor of a museum, that’s to say pretty walls where people spend a bit of time and then leave,” Boutault says. “It’s important that town centres remain authentic and alive. In fact, that’s what tourists come for.”In 2012, Airbnb had 4,000 Paris-area listings. That surged to more than 40,000 by 2015, when Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky was welcomed at City Hall. Three years on, Airbnb counts 65,000 listings inside Paris alone. But relations with City Hall have soured.Paris Deputy Mayor Ian Brossat, in charge of housing, says the capital has lost 20,000 homes in five years, “homes that were lived in by Parisians but are now populated by tourists. They are no longer homes, they are clandestine hotels.”“Airbnb has veered away from its original model,” he says. “We’ve gone from a sharing economy to a type of predatory economy, with professionals that bought homes, sometimes buildings, in bulk to transform them into cash machines. So our role is to restore some order.”To regulate the growth of Airbnb and similar platforms, Paris has since December required proprietors who list online to register. Parisians are only allowed to rent out the property they actually live in to tourists, and for a total of no more than 120 days a year. Any other Paris residence they may have can’t be rented to tourists at all.But even with inspection teams going door-to-door and fines for the most egregious violators, the rules remain scantily enforced. Brossat is now lobbying for a blanket ban on tourist rentals in central Paris, arguing that home owners in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th arrondissements — “those most impacted by the Airbnb phenomenon,” he says — should still be allowed to rent out spare rooms but not their entire property.Airbnb France, in a statement, called Brossat’s proposal “out of touch with public opinion, divorced from legal reality.” It said renting out properties on Airbnb helps Parisians “boost their income and afford rising living costs in their communities, where housing capacity has failed to meet demand for decades.”More pressure on Airbnb and similar sites is coming with a new housing law about to get parliament’s final blessing. It opens the door for large fines to be levied against sites that host properties not in conformity with French regulations.Brossat expects the law to mark a turning point.“The gentrification of Paris didn’t start with Airbnb. But Airbnb is an accelerator of gentrification,” he said. “The risk is that Paris becomes a city no longer lived in by inhabitants but solely by tourists or foreign investors.”___Oleg Cetinic contributed to this report.last_img read more

first_imgPARIS — The central French city of Bourges is shuttering shops to brace for possible violence between police and yellow vest protesters, as the nationwide movement seeks a new stage for its weekly demonstrations.Paris, too, is hunkering down for a ninth weekend of anti-government protests Saturday. France’s government has deployed 80,000 security forces for the day, and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner threatened tough retaliation against violence.Online groups mounted calls through the week for mass protests in Bourges, but Paris police said they wouldn’t let down their guard, notably around government buildings and the Champs-Elysees, scene of repeated rioting in past protests.The protest movement waned over the holidays but appears to be resurging, despite concessions by President Emmanuel Macron. Protesters want deeper changes to France’s economy and politics.The Associated Presslast_img read more

first_imgVICTORIA, B.C. — Citizens’ Services Minister Jinny Sims announced yesterday that the provincial government will contribute $7 million for Shaw Communications to build a fibre-optic cable along the Hart Highway between Prince George and Dawson Creek.The fibre optic line that will be built from the Northern Cariboo to the Peace Region will be just over 400 kilometres in length, and is one of four connectivity projects being funded by the B.C. government. Shaw has had issues serving the Peace Region in the past, and yesterday’s announcement came just one day after an issue with a fibre line caused Shaw customers in Fort St. John, Taylor, and Dawson Creek to experience a service interruption. Last year, Shaw customers in the Peace experienced three separate outages due to issues with the company’s network.On Tuesday, Sims announced that the Province and Feds are both partnering with internet service providers on $38 million worth of Internet infrastructure across B.C., with the provincial government contributing $11.3 million in total. “This is not just an investment in high-speed internet, it’s an investment in the future for those living in rural, First Nations and Indigenous communities, so they have access to cutting-edge emergency services, high-quality health care, world-class education and improved ability to participate in the growing digital economy,” said Sims. “By working with our federal and local partners, we are leveraging relationships to give people in these communities the same internet access as those living in major urban centres.”The announcement was part of an event hosted by Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains, as the federal government committed a further $19,748,063 to the four projects.“Access to high-speed internet is not a luxury, it’s essential,” said Bains. “High-speed internet service is a basic tool that all Canadians should have access to, regardless of their postal code. Canadians need this service to do business, upgrade their education and build stronger communities. Thanks to our Connect to Innovate program, more Canadians will be able to participate fully in the digital economy.”last_img read more

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The Fort St. John branch of 100 Women Who Care will be hearing pitches from local charities on Tuesday, one of which will get a donation of $10,000.The premise of the organization is simple: the 100+ women in attendance at meetings each donate $100, which is pooled and donated to a local charitable organization.Karin Carlson helped start the 100 Women Who Care chapter in the Energetic City in 2017. At the first meeting nearly one year ago, a group of 115 women donated $11,500 to the North Peace Ride for the Disabled.In the Spring, the 101 ladies in attendance donated $10,100 to the Fort St. John Firefighters Charitable Society.This time around, New Day in the Peace Ministries, the Fort St. John Literacy Society, and the Northern Dance Theatre Society were drawn randomly as the three charities that will be competing.The 100 Women will be hosting their third meeting at the Lido on September 11th, at 6:00 p.m. with presentations beginning at 7:00.last_img read more

first_imgDAWSON CREEK, B.C. – At the last minute before the nominations closed on Friday, Trenten Laarz put his name in for the position of mayor and will now take on the incumbent Dale Bumstead for the position.Bumstead has been mayor since 2013.  According to nomination papers, Laarz is an employee at Jocks Restoration in Dawson Creek.There are six seats open for the rest of Dawson Creek City Council. Incumbents Charlie Parslow, Shaely Wilbur, Cheryl Shuman, and Paul Gevatkoff are officially running for re-election.  New candidates include former mayor and former MLA for Peace River South Blair Lekstrom. Lekstrom previously served two terms as mayor of Dawson Creek prior serving as the South Peace MLA from 2001 to 2013.Jerimy Earl, former Dawson Creek Chamber of Commerce President and current Marketing Manager at Lakeview Credit Union has also put his name forward along with Johanna Martens, the owner of Myanna Consulting and Amy Kaempf who is a manager at the local Safeway and David Griffith who manages Richardson Pioneer.The municipal election will take place on October 20, 2018, with the first advanced voting opportunity happening on October 10.last_img read more

first_imgThe Canadian Press VANCOUVER — Four oil and gas companies are expected to answer questions today about how they use the Trans Mountain pipeline, how refinery closures affect their prices and other factors that could contribute to British Columbia’s volatile prices at the pump.A three-member panel, chaired by B.C. Utilities Commission CEO David Morton, will listen to up to four days of oral hearings in Vancouver as part of a public inquiry into the high price of gasoline and diesel in the province.Parkland Fuels, Shell, Imperial Oil and Suncor are scheduled to give opening remarks and answer questions from the panel this afternoon. In the morning, those firms and other interveners will have an opportunity to question Deetken Group, a consulting firm that prepared a report for the inquiry identifying possible reasons for the fuel price spikes.Deetken found land values and credit card fees have likely contributed to higher retail margins, while transportation and regulatory costs could be part of the reason wholesale gasoline margins are higher in British Columbia but they don’t tell the whole story.Premier John Horgan called the public inquiry in May as gasoline prices at the pump reached a record-breaking $1.70 per litre.At the time, the B.C. Liberals and Alberta government bought advertising blaming Horgan and linking his government’s resistance to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion for the surging costs.The National Energy Board will also appear before the panel.The inquiry will conclude with a final report by the panel due Aug. 30.last_img read more

first_imgCHETWYND, B.C. – RCMP responded to a Motor Vehicle Crash East of Chetwynd on Hwy 97 S. On Friday, October 4th, 2019 at 5:05 AM.According to the RCMP, when the police arrived, the driver of the vehicle had left the scene. After a thorough investigation police discover that the vehicle involved had been reported stolen out of Mackenzie BC.With help from members of the community, Chetwynd RCMP was able to track down the driver of the vehicle. The driver, who is well known to police, is a prolific offender from Prince George, the Peace Laird Area and into Alberta. The suspect remains in police custody, pending a future court date and could face charges of Possession of Stolen Property, Possession of Break and Enter Tools, and leaving the scene of an accident.The investigation is ongoing and police ask anyone with information on this matter to call the Chetwynd RCMP at 250 778 9221 or Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-8477last_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: The central government has approved a five-fold increase in one-time incentive given to its employees who acquire higher degrees while serving in their departments, officials said Monday.The amount of incentive will be increased from a minimum of Rs 10,000 to a maximum of Rs 30,000 for acquiring higher qualifications like Ph.D, they said. The Personnel Ministry has amended a 20-year-old norm in this regard to increase the amount of incentives provided for the employees. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The government employees acquiring fresh higher qualifications after coming into service were granted incentive in the form of one-time lump-sum amount ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000. Now, it has been decided to increase the amount to a minimum of Rs 10,000 to a maximum of Rs 30,000, an order recently issued by the Personnel Ministry stated. While Rs 10,000 will be given for acquiring degree/diploma of duration of three years or less, Rs 15,000 will be given for acquiring degree/diploma having duration of more than three years, it said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KA sum of Rs 20,000 will be given for earning post graduate degree/diploma with one year or less. Such qualification having duration of more than one year will get Rs 25,000 to the employees, the new order stated. A highest incentive of Rs 30,000 will be given to those getting Ph.D or equivalent, it stated. There are around 48.41 lakh central government employees. “No incentive shall be allowed for acquiring higher qualification purely on academic or literary subjects,” it clarified. The acquisition of the qualification should be directly related to the functions of the post held by him/her, or to the functions to be performed in the next higher post, the ministry said. “There should be direct nexus between the functions of the post and the qualification acquired and that it should contribute to the efficiency of the government servant,” it said. The incentive, however, shall not be admissible where the employee is sponsored by the government or he/she avails study leave for acquiring the qualification, the order stated. “The incentive would be given only for higher qualification acquired after induction into service,” it stated. Further, the incentive shall be limited to maximum two times in an employee’s career, with a minimum gap of two years between successive grants, the ministry said. According to Personnel Ministry’s order issued in April 1999, employees were entitled for a minimum of Rs 2,000 and maximum of Rs 10,000 for getting fresh qualifications. While Rs 2,000 was applicable incentive for “passing intermediate examination”, those earning post graduate degree of Ph.D were entitled for a maximum of Rs 10,000.last_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: The world ranking says so and India football captain Sunil Chhetri too has no qualms in conceding that the national women’s team is better than the men’s side. The men’s team is currently ranked 103rd out of 211 countries. It was in the top-100 last year. The women’s side is currently at 62nd out of 152 nations. Chhetri, the poster boy of Indian football with second most goals among active international players, praised the national women’s team for its fifth consecutive SAFF title win. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”Extremely proud of all of you. I have always maintained that the women’s team is much better than the men,” Chhetri said in a release from the All India Football Federation. “Go there, and give your best in Myanmar. I have been keeping a track of all of you playing. Keep up the good work,” Chhetri said. The women’s team will feature in the round 2 of the Olympic qualifiers which kick off in Mandalay, Myanmar from April 3. India have been clubbed with hosts Myanmar, Nepal and Indonesia. All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel also congratulated the women’s side on its success. “Congratulations to our women’s football team for winning the SAFF Championship. You have once again proved that you are the true champions. Keep up the good work and add many feathers of success to your crown. Best wishes,” he said.last_img read more

first_imgBadaun (UP): Giving her own twist to a recent remark by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BSP chief Mayawati Saturday said her party wanted both Ali and Bajrang Bali — particularly Bajrang Bali as the deity is “linked with my own Dalit caste”.Addressing a rally in Badaun, Mayawati recalled Adityanath’s comment on Tuesday in which he referred to her earlier appeal to Muslims to vote for the opposition alliance in Uttar Pradesh. “In this connection, I want to tell him (Adityanath) that both Ali and Bajrang Bali Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’are ours…. So we want both Ali as well as Bajrang Bali,” she said. Adityanath had said if Ali was with the BSP-SP-RLD combine, Bajrang Bali was with the BJP. Ali is a revered figure in Islam and Lord Hanuman is often called Bajrang Bali. Both Mayawati and Adityanath were served notices by the Election Commission over their remarks. “We particularly want Bajrang Bali because he is linked to my own Dalit caste,” Mayawati said. The BSP chief was apparently referring to Adityanath’s comments last year when he had described Lord Hanuman as a forest dweller and a Dalit. “I am very thankful to Yogi-ji that he has given us important information about our ancestors. So, it is a very happy moment to note that we have both Ali and Bajrang Bali and their coming together will give us very good results in these elections,” she said.last_img read more

first_imgThe deadliest cyclone to affect India in recent times was two decades ago which hit Orissa’s capital city Bhubaneswar with a wind speed of over 250 kmph on October 29, 1999. The mighty cyclone caused a storm surge of up to 8 meters onto the coast and torrential rains that followed leading to extensive flooding, killing around 9,658 people. And here’s Fani — the strongest storm in India in two decades, which has hit Odisha on Friday morning and has started making its impact felt. Strong winds swept through Bhubaneswar and the temple town of Puri which also witnessed heavy rain. In the past 30 years, only four extremely severe cyclonic storms have made landfall on Odisha and the Bengal coast. If Fani maintains the intensity as has been predicted by the IMD, it might be the fifth. The cyclone might turn out to be the strongest to hit the eastern coast since ‘Hudhud’ that made landfall on the east coast near Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh killing around 100 people and causing damage worth 21,000 crores to that state alone. So, how is the preparedness to combat Fani? The cyclone is being continuously monitored ever since it developed near Sri Lanka and repeated warnings have been issued for the past one week. After every few hours, alerts have been issued for the fishermen and people living in coastal regions and massive emergency preparedness has been put in place. Odisha government has moved over 11 lakh people, including at least 542 pregnant women, to safety in the last 24 hours and advised the public to remain indoors. More than three lakh people have been evacuated from Ganjam district alone and 1.3 lakh from Puri. About 5,000 kitchens are operating to serve people in shelters. Relief commissioners and District Collectors are leading the operations on the ground. Trucks are ready with relief material, including essential supplies such as food, drinking water and medicines. Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik is personally monitoring the situation. Trains and flights have been cancelled. Around 900 cyclone shelters have been set up in Odisha to house the evacuees. Adequate preparations to ensure the maintenance of essential services such as power, telecommunications in the event of damages have also been made. Railways, Civil Aviation and Shipping Ministries have been advised to review their preparedness well in time and ensure the quick resumption of their services in the event of any disruption. The Indian Coast Guard and the Navy have deployed ships and helicopters for relief and rescue operations. Army and Air Force units in the three states have also been put on stand-by. Nevertheless, Fani is strong because of the route it has adopted and has been termed as an “extremely severe cyclone”. Fani originated very close to the Equator and has spent a lot of time over the sea that has helped it to gather more moist air from the warm sea which has added to its heft. Over the years, India has learnt to prepare well for such calamities. Especially after ‘Phailin’ that swept through Odisha in 2013, the then head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction lauded the state’s efforts and called it a “landmark success.” Just hope this ‘Fani’ (pronounced as ‘Foni’) as the name has been suggested by Bangladesh which roughly means the hood of a snake, is just not too powerful to trample the spirit of those millions who have woken up to the impending calamity today.last_img read more

first_imgMumbai: Irrfan Khan, who is currently shooting for a film after a year-long break following his neuroendocrine tumour diagnosis, says he is on the road to recovery but still needs space to heal. The 52-year-old actor received treatment in a London hospital and returned to the country early this year. In a statement, addressed to his “friends in the media”, the actor said he has been getting requests to share his story but needs more time to process it. Also Read – ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ has James Cameron’s fingerprints all over it: Arnold Schwarzenegger”Last few months have been on a road to recovery a period to heal to fight the fatigue and face the reel and real world.” “I am aware of your concern and request to talk to you, share my journey, but I am fathoming it myself inhaling and internalising, taking baby steps to merge my healing with work and trying to experiment the amalgamation of both,” Irrfan said. The actor is currently shooting for Angrezi Medium, the much-anticipated sequel to his 2017 blockbuster Hindi Medium. Irrfan said he was grateful for all the well wishes he received from media.last_img read more