Month: October 2019

National Ballet of Canadas most senior ballerinas on their dance evolution

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisement It might be one of Toronto’s most idiosyncratic spots, the stretch of road where the crumbling artery into the city’s downtown core runs alongside the National Ballet of Canada headquarters. In a window overlooking the Gardiner Expressway, the company’s three most senior ballerinas are quick with suggestions on how to pose. Time for a Globe and Mail photo shoot is scarce, an occupational norm in the ballet world. Sonia Rodriguez is in rehearsal for the Canadian premiere of John Neumeier’s A Streetcar Named Desire, which opens Saturday night and in which she’ll be dancing the canonical role of Blanche DuBois. Greta Hodgkinson and Xiao Nan Yu are both preparing repertoire for the company’s annual gala on June 6 – Hodgkinson will be performing in Jiri Kylian’s Nuages and Yu in a premiere by choreographic associate Robert Binet.When the photographer is enthusiastic about what Yu has done with her arms, the statuesque ballerina instructs the others with playful high-handedness, “Do you see what I’m doing!?” As Rodriguez balances inside the window ledge, Hodgkinson keeps reminding her to be careful about slipping. There’s a lot of laughter, wryness and warmth; after all, these women have been working together for the better part of their lives. It’s Yu’s 20th anniversary with the company, Hodgkinson’s 25th and Rodriguez’s 27th. All three have been in the company since they were teenagers.There is a popular misconception that dancers, like athletes, peak in their twenties and retire soon after that. The averages reflect this – a 2004 study from the Columbia University Teachers College stated that the average age for American dancers to retire was 34.center_img Advertisement Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Fashion Talks about Royal Style with Donna Bishop Shinan Govani and Bojana

first_imgOn Day 2 of Toronto Fashion Week, host Donna Bishop joined journalist Shinan Govani and designer Bojana Sentaler for Fashion Talks, a live podcast event presented in association with CAFA. The trio gathered to discuss how the British Royal Family influences fashion. “You can think of the Royal Family as the original reality show,” Govani says. “They were the first influencers.” And that influence goes back for more than a century. It was Queen Victoria who first started the trend of wearing black at funerals. She famously donned dark hues for 40 years after the death of her husband. “She also popularized the white wedding dress,” Govani says. “Wearing white was an iconoclast thing to do.”The fashion influence of the late Diana Princess of Wales is still being felt on runways all over the world. She popularized the distinctive Sloane Ranger style—the idea of younger people wearing traditionally stuffy clothing such as houndstooth, oversized linen blazers and matronly printed dresses. “Marc Jacobs riffed on that style, so did Miuccia Prada,” Govani adds.But perhaps no Toronto-based designer knows about the tastes of the Royals better than Bojana Sentaler. Her eponymous label has been worn by both Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle. “I found out on Twitter that Kate Middleton had chosen to wear one of our wrap coats with our signature sleeves for her tour of the Yukon,” Sentaler says. “The coat immediately sold out, and was on back order four times. The Kate Middleton effect is real.” Meghan Markle also donned a tanned wrap coat over Christmas. “She’s been a fan of the brand for many years. She’s so lovely. She had access to wear anything she wanted—and I’m so honoured she chose to wear Sentaler.” Twitter Advertisement Login/Register With: Tickets for tomorrow’s Fashion Talk are still on sale here. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

Crazy8s Film Society back for Year 19 with women on top

first_imgSam Spears ( far left grey shirt) and her twin sister Kailey (burgundy shirt) watch a scene with Audrey Wise Alveraz (child) and Jewel Staite (woman with camera on her head) have written and directed the new short film CC. The film has been chosen to play at the Crazy 8’s gala in Vancouver. Photo: submitted [PNG Merlin Archive] Login/Register With: There is a sea change happening in the filmmaking world and this year’s Crazy8s Film Society competition is proof positive of that transformation. This year’s competition had the most women filmmakers submitting short-film ideas in the 19-year history of the event.Organizers say about 60 per cent of the 228 total submissions were from women. Those women ended up owning the competition as they made up 75 per cent of the top 12 and closed out the competition owning four of the final six spots.“I think this is due to more females in the film industry as gender-bias barriers start to erode. It’s also part of a general female-empowerment cultural trend also evidenced in the #MeToo movement,” said Paul Armstrong, executive director/producer of Crazy8s. Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebook Twitterlast_img read more


first_imgIf the girls have to be at a comedy show, it might as well be this one — but of course, they don’t have to be at the club, not least because Smith’s new comedy special is now on Netflix.That’s not a very exclusive club anymore; the service released a jaw-dropping 47 half-hours of standup, Smith’s among them, on Jan. 1 as their Comedians of the World series. It’s probably about time the diminutive, androgynously attired Toronto-based comic got this sort of credit, after performing across North America, in Britain and Australia for years, landing a spot or two on American TV and racking up millions of views online for a standup clip entitled “Straight Men, Step Your Game Up.”Those squeezed into the seats at that cosy side stage on a brisk December weeknight got a preview for some of the material bound for Netflix, including her choice of gender identities (“transmasculine house mouse”) … Facebook On the smaller of two stages at Toronto’s Comedy Bar, DeAnne Smith is labouring through what she calls the “painful birth of new jokes.”Her notes about premises, she confesses, seem like a journal of depression, with items like “tired of showering”; her ADD and anxiety also get referenced. “This gets a little sincere, but stick with me.”Before her, the opening acts were each thrown in succession by the presence of two 13-year-old girls in the front row who say they’re dating. The headliner, a forerunner of an absolute tidal wave of lesbian standup in the last couple of years, handles the oddity in the audience adroitly and earns a warm reception for her new material. Advertisement Twitter Advertisementcenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: American-born, Toronto-based comedian DeAnne Smith has a new special out on Netflix. (NETFLIX) Advertisementlast_img read more


first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Toronto, March 12, 2019 – Hot Docs is pleased to announce that this year’s Doc Soup season comes to a close with the Canadian premiere of New Homeland (D: Barbara Kopple | 93 min | 2018 | USA), an intimate look into the experiences of building a new home after fleeing the traumas of war. Directed by two-time Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple, New Homeland, produced in collaboration with NowThis, will screen at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema on Wednesday, April 3, at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, April 4, at 6:45 p.m., and an additional screening on Sunday, April 6, at 2:00 p.m. Director Barbara Kopple will participate in a post-screening Q&A at all screening events.Every summer since 1914, Camp Pathfinder, a summer camp located on a small island in the wilderness of Canada’s Algonquin Park, invites boys and young men from across Canada and the United States to spend a few weeks in the backcountry. Disturbed by the global refugee crisis but also inspired by Canada’s growing intake of asylum seekers, the camp’s director decided to invite a group of displaced boys from Syria and Iraq to spend a summer at the camp. In this sweetly observed film, watch as five brave young refugee boys learn to camp, hike, canoe and fish as they trek through the Canadian wilderness, familiarizing themselves with their new homeland while rediscovering what it’s like to be a carefree child. With the horrors of war always with them, New Homeland is a touching story of resilience and courage that reveals the challenges these boys face trying when trying to fit in with a new way of life, while preserving their cultural identity and connection to their homeland.Doc Soup titles are announced at least one month prior to their screenings and, whenever possible, guest directors are in attendance. Twitter Advertisement The Doc Soup monthly screening series brings the latest Canadian and international documentaries to the big screen in Toronto and Calgary. Hot Docs also presents Bell Media Hot Docs Showcase events in Edmonton, Vancouver, and Winnipeg..Hot Docs (, North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market, will present its 26th annual edition from April 25-May 5, 2019. An outstanding selection of over 200 documentaries from Canada and around the world will be presented to Toronto audiences and international delegates. Hot Docs will also mount a full roster of conference sessions and market events and services for documentary practitioners, including the renowned Hot Docs Forum, Hot Docs Deal Maker and the Doc Shop.About NowThis: NowThis is the # 1 mobile news publisher in the world with a singular mission: making news engaging and relevant for young adults by humanizing our complicated world, giving insightful context from a youth perspective and revolutionizing how news is consumed today. Launched in 2012, NowThis’ entertaining, inspiring and informative videos created for a mobile generation receive 2.5 billion monthly views. NowThis has 13 content verticals, including: News, Politics, Entertainment, Future, Her, Money, Sports, Food and more. In December 2016, NowThis joined forces with Thrillist, The Dodo and Seeker to form Group Nine Media. Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more

Alberta chief urges Canada to take action on UN warning to protect

first_img(Wood Buffalo National Park. UNESCO photo)Brandi Morin APTN National NewsThe chief of a First Nation in northern Alberta is calling on the Canadian government to take immediate action in protecting the Wood Buffalo National Park.“There has to be some sort of urgency to address this issue,” said Chief Steve Courtoreille of the Mikisew Cree First Nation.Courtoreille’s comments come after a report last week by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that warned Canada about the environmental risks unfolding within Wood Buffalo due to poor management, hydro dams and industrial development.The park is a dedicated UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the largest parks in the world making up approximately 4.5 million hectares of Canada’s boreal plains. Wood Buffalo is made up of boreal grasslands, wetlands and forests, numerous rivers, creeks, lakes and ponds.It is also home to the world’s largest herd of free-ranging wood bison and the only breeding ground of its kind for wild whopping cranes.In 2014, the Mikisew Cree submitted a petition UNESCO to conduct a mission investigation into the health of the park and climate change, human and industrial impacts. The mission took place over 10 days last fall and resulted in last week’s report.The report stated that the long-term future of the bison and whooping crane is uncertain. It also noted that the Peace/Athabasca Delta has been affected by decades of industrial development along the Peace and Athabasca rivers.UNESCO submitted a list of 17 recommendations to Canada on how to avoid getting the park listed as an endangered World Heritage site. At the top of the list was Indigenous rights and encouraging Indigenous groups and government to work in partnership with managing the park.Courtoreille said the Mikisew have accessed the area to hunt, fish, trap and use for cultural ceremony for thousands of years and developed their own management systems. However, he is fully supportive of the recommendations and thinks industry needs to get on the working board as well.Mikisew is located in the hamlet of Fort Chipewyan just over two hours north of Fort McMurray, downstream from the oil sands and adjacent to Wood Buffalo Park. The Bennett Dam built on the Peace River in the 1960s and other industrial activities have drained water levels, said Courtoreille.“When the land dries up and the water is gone it’s harder to put it back to a state where it was. They’re (industry) supposed to maintain the level of water to our satisfaction. That was never done,” he said.There are 11 other First Nations and Metis communities that live in and around the park.Environment and Climate Change Canada welcomed the UNESCO review and promised a call to action to protect the park according to a statement.“In response to this report, our government will provide leadership to secure the future of Wood Buffalo National Park,” Minister Catherine McKenna said. “We can only do this by working with all levels of government, with industry, stakeholders and Indigenous partners. By doing so, we will create a path forward to ensure that Wood Buffalo National Park remains a treasured place for generations of Canadians.bmorin@aptn.calast_img read more

Nova Scotia court grants injunction against Mikmaq protester at Alton Gas site

first_imgThe Canadian PressA judge has granted a temporary order that requires an Indigenous man and others camped on the property belonging to Alton Gas to move their protest.The Nova Scotia company is behind a plan to store natural gas in huge underground caverns north of Halifax.The subsidiary of Calgary-based Alta Gas has argued the order was needed because workers have been prevented from moving in heavy equipment to repair its facilities near the Shubenacadie River.Justice Gerald Moir said protester Dale Poulette, his partner Rachael Greenland-Smith and others must stop occupying a two-storey mud-and-straw hut on the site.“There is no basis in law for the occupation,” said Moir in his oral decision, as about 30 of the protesters’ supporters listened intently in Nova Scotia Supreme Court.The judge said some changes would be needed to the original draft proposed by Alton Gas for how to deal with Poulette and other protesters.“Alton has offered to make a place on its lands where protesters can gather and be seen by the public,” he noted.“The main part of the injunction should be clarified to show that Mr. Poulette, Ms. Greenland-Smith and others … are confined to the area permitted by Alton.”Poulette declined to comment after the decision.Outside the courthouse, a group of about 50 protesters held banners suggesting the Nova Scotia courts were consistently failing to protect the rights of Indigenous peoples.A spokeswoman for the RCMP didn’t provide immediate comment on what the police agency’s plans are for enforcing the court order.James Gunvaldsen Klaassen, the lawyer representing Poulette and Greenland-Smith, said his clients were disappointed but he would take some time to analyze next steps.“The court has spoken and we’ll take it from here,” he said.Poulette, who is originally from Eskasoni First Nation in Cape Breton, has lived at the site over the past two years.The judge said that Greenland-Smith had also often been at the site.Moir noted in his decision Poulette has been asked to become a “water protector” by a group of “grassroots grandmothers” at the nearby Sipekne’katik First Nation.However, the judge didn’t appear to accept Gunvaldsen Klaassen’s arguments from last week’s hearing that Poulette can assert his treaty and Aboriginal rights on behalf of the Sipekne’katik First Nation.Moir said that Poulette clearly doesn’t represent the nearby band.The judge also said that he would need to see specific evidence for “an assertion of Aboriginal or treaty rights.”Moir acknowledged the Aboriginal right to fish in the Shubenacadie River had been demonstrated by the Supreme Court of Canada case in 1999 involving Donald Marshall Jr.The Mi’kmaq fisherman’s court challenge established that First Nations people on the East Coast had a right to hunt, gather and fish to earn “a moderate livelihood.”However, the judge added he saw “no support for Mr. Poulette’s land claims” for the sites along the river.“Perhaps the situation will change when the application for the final injunction is heard, but for the present motion there is no evidence to support the occupation of the … lands by Mr. Poulette, Ms. Greenland-Smith or others,” said the judge.During the hearing on March 12, Poulette’s lawyer had stressed that the protest has been non-violent, and no guns were used.However, Moir quoted from Poulette’s statements in a video he posted on Facebook depicting an encounter between himself and two Alton managers last March 25.“He ordered Alton’s people off the property and he made threats of violence,” said the judge.The judge quoted Poulette in the video telling the Alton employees, “I hope you guys have first aid training,” and quoted Poulette saying he knew where the two managers lived.“It does prove actual physical threats. Those are threats uttered to make employees feel fearful at their place of work,” said Moir.Moir said the fact that Poulette recorded the encounter and the threats and posted them to his Facebook page increased the nature of the threat.A hearing is scheduled for April 4 to set a time for a hearing on a permanent read more

Pressure mounts on Conservatives poised to kill Indigenous rights legislation

first_imgJustin BrakeAPTN NewsA coalition of churches has added its voice to the growing chorus of support for Indigenous rights Bill C-262.In a June 13 letter to Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, the Canadian Council of Churches emphasizes the importance of Senate passing the bill before Parliament rises for the summer.“Many churches and faith communities across Canada have faithfully worked – hand in hand with Indigenous Peoples – for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) to be established in Canada as a framework for reconciliation,” Peter Noteboom, general secretary of the council, writes in the letter, before asking, “As the Leader of the Opposition, what actions will you take to ensure that Bill C-262 passes the third and final reading in the Senate?”Read the letter here: Letter from The Canadian Council of ChurchesIf passed, the proposed legislation would require the federal government to ensure its laws are aligned with the UNDRIP.But the bill has been hotly contested by Conservative Senators who say they have not had enough time and opportunity to debate the bill in the upper chamber, and that they fear the legislation could lead to economic and legal uncertainty.C-262’s advocates, including Cree MP Romeo Saganash, who introduced the private member’s bill in the House of Commons in 2016, say the UN Declaration has been decades in the making and represents the minimum global human rights standards for Indigenous Peoples, and that Parliament heard from more than 70 witnesses over four months before the bill reached the Senate.(“What actions will you take to ensure that Bill C-262 passes the third and final reading in the Senate?” Peter Noteboom asked Conservative leader Andrew Scheer)Amid protest by Conservative Senators, C-262 was passed without amendment by the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples on June 11.It now must be read a third time in the Senate and passed before it can receive royal assent and become law.But Conservative Senators. have indicated they will not support the bill in its current form.Any amendments to the bill by the Senate committee would have effectively killed the legislation, since it must pass before Parliament rises for the summer later this week. Otherwise, it dies on the order paper.“It’s deeply concerning what we’re seeing happen at the Senate,” NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said last Thursday.“We’ve got democratically-elected members of the House of Commons that voted to pass a bill that would significantly improve the lives of Indigenous people, that would work toward reconciliation, enshrining the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People into law. It’s something we must do. It’s something that’s important to do.”In the legislature the same day, Singh held the Liberals to account for the delays.“What is the prime minister doing to ensure that the will of people is defended and these bills are passed?”Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett responded, saying the government is “moving forward on key legislative initiatives to implement the UN Declaration, including the legislation on languages and child and family services.“We also supported Bill C-262 as an important next step,” she continued. “We too are deeply disappointed to see that the Conservative leader continues to allow his caucus members in the other place to use partisan delay tactics to prevent this important bill from moving forward, blatantly ignoring the unanimous motion passed by this house.”While many Indigenous leaders and advocates have said C-262 represents a significant step forward for Canada on its path of reconciliation, the bill is caught in a dispute between the governing Liberals, and the opposition Conservatives, who are pointing the finger at each other.“If the Trudeau government was fully committed to seeing this legislation pass in both the House of Commons and the Senate, it would have made it a Government Bill rather than a Private Member’s Bill,” Daniel Schow, Scheer’s press secretary, said in a written statement to APTN News.“Currently, the legal community is divided over the meaning of ‘free, prior and informed consent’ and if existing Canadian laws and regulations could be superseded by implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” Schow continued.“Until a clear definition is provided by the Government of Canada and affirmed in the courts, we will assume that ‘free, prior and informed consent’ means a right to veto. It would be irresponsible for Senators to pass this legislation without a specific understanding of the implications of Bill C-262.”APTN asked if Scheer had a response to the letter from the Canadian Council of Churches; there was no response.Former interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose tweeted last week that she had been told the Tories “will block all legislation including #C337 to make sure #C262 #UNDRIP never passes.”Bill C-337 is a private member’s bill introduced by Ambrose in 2017. It would require judges to receive training in sexual assault law prior to eligibility for judicial appointment.C-337 is also before the Senate.In April, Singh introduced a motion calling on the Senate to pass both bills.MPs, including Scheer and the Conservative members, voted in support of the motion.Asked for comment on Ambrose’s tweet, and for confirmation of the former leader’s claim is true or not, Senate opposition leader Larry Smith pointed to the Liberals.“As this parliamentary session comes to an end, there is a lot of government legislation before us in the Senate,” he said in a written statement. “It is the Government’s responsibility to establish a legislative plan and manage the time lines.“Long standing Senate conventions dictate that government legislation takes priority in our day-to-day business; if the government felt strongly about Bill C-262 they should have kept their commitment of making this legislation a priority and make it a government Bill.”Following the Senate’s passage of Bills C-91, the Indigenous Languages Act, and Bill C-92, the Indigenous child welfare legislation, last week, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde said First Nations “need to see a similar, urgent effort on Bill C-262, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples act.“The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is our road map to reconciliation. All three bills can be passed in this session of Parliament if there is the political will, political conviction and political vision for a better, stronger Canada,” he said.On Friday NDP MP Charlie Angus took to twitter to address Conservative senators, who could support or kill C-262 this week.“It is unconscionable that unelected senators who represent the white power structure are trying to kill UNDRIP legislation that was passed through the democratically-elected House of Commons,” Angus said.“There is a fundamental problem with democracy and reconciliation when this unelected bodies of insiders can attack Indigenous rights in this country.”APTN asked Scheer’s office why the Conservatives now oppose the Senate passing C-262, after supporting Singh’s April 10 motion calling on the Senate to pass the bill.Schow did not answer the question in his emailed statement but said the Conservative Party “supports the process of reconciliation with the Indigenous Peoples.” read more

Teacher who works at supermarket to vie for US bagging prize

first_imgPORTSMOUTH, N.H. – A New Hampshire woman is heading to Las Vegas to compete for the title of America’s fastest grocery bagger.WBTS-LD reports Alysha Orrok recently won the New Hampshire bagging competition. She will face off against America’s best during the national competition in February for a $10,000 prize.The Portsmouth teacher pulls night and weekend shifts at a Hannaford Supermarket. She says she wasn’t always this good. The quick-handed pro says she dropped a soda that exploded everywhere during her first day.Expert-level bagging requires a unique set of skills. Competitors are judged on multiple factors including speed, weight distribution, appearance and technique.Orrok’s customers are confident in their bagger’s skills.last_img read more

Yellen to step down from Federal Reserve board

first_imgWASHINGTON – Janet Yellen submitted her resignation from the Federal Reserve board to President Donald Trump on Monday, announcing that she will leave when her successor is sworn in as Fed chairman.In a letter to the president, Yellen said she would her “utmost” to ensure a smooth transition to Jerome Powell, who was tapped by Trump on Nov. 2 to become the next Fed leader after the president decided not to offer Yellen a second term.Yellen’s decision gives Trump in his first year in office the chance to fill five positions on the Fed’s seven-member board, in addition to picking Powell to be the next Fed chairman. Board member Lael Brainard will be the only Fed board member not nominated by Trump, meaning his selections will have tremendous influence in setting the country’s future monetary policy.Powell’s confirmation hearing is scheduled for next week before the Senate Banking Committee. Powell, at one time the only Republican on the Fed board, is not expected to encounter major hurdles in winning confirmation to the chairman’s job. He has been on the Fed board since 2012.Yellen’s four-year term as Fed chair ends on Feb. 3. But she could have chosen to remain on the board until her term as a board member ended in January 2024.At the moment, the board has three vacancies including the No. 2 spot of vice chairman. The president earlier this year tapped Utah financier Randal Quarles to be vice chairman for supervision.The administration has not announced selections for the other openings. But last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Mohamed El-Erian, the former chief executive at Pacific Investment Management Co., was one of several candidates being considered for the vice chairman’s job.It was also reported that Kansas State Banking Commissioner Michelle Bowman was being considered for the Fed board seat reserved for someone with community banking experience.Until Monday, Yellen had been mum on whether she might stay on the Fed board if she did not get another term as chair.In her letter to Trump, Yellen said it had been “my great privilege and honour” to serve in the Federal Reserve system over three decades, first as a member of the board during the 1990s. She served as president of the Fed’s San Francisco regional bank, then Fed board vice chairman. In 2014, Yellen succeeded Ben Bernanke to become the first woman to head the U.S. central bank.“As I prepare to leave the board, I am gratified that the financial system is much stronger than a decade ago, better able to withstand future bouts of instability,” she said in her resignation letter. “I am also gratified by the substantial improvements in the economy since the crisis.”Shawn Sebastian, co-director of the Fed Up coalition, a collection of progressive groups, called Yellen’s departure “a loss for working people across the country.” He praised Yellen for her stands on “economic inequality, racial disparities in the economy, the role of women in the workplace and the need for more diversity at the Fed.”House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, who often sparred with Yellen over monetary policy, said in a statement that he had great respect for her and “there is no doubt she is an able public servant and I wish her well.”Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-New York, praised Yellen for successfully navigating “one of the most challenging economic periods we have seen in generations.”Yellen was the first Fed leader not to be offered a second term in four decades. In comments a week before announcing his decision, Trump had suggested that while he held Yellen in high regard, he might want to make his own mark on the central bank by selecting someone else for the top job.Powell, a lawyer by training, will be the first official without an advanced degree in economics to head up the central bank in four decades.___This story has been corrected to show the correct spelling of Mohamed El-Erian. It is not Mohammad El-Erian.last_img read more

South Korea mulling ways to curb craze for bitcoins

first_imgSEOUL, South Korea – South Korean is studying ways to regulate speculative trading in crypto currencies as the latest surge in prices stokes a craze over bitcoins.The country’s financial regulator said Friday that it has ruled out using bitcoin for derivative products. The decision effectively bans investing in bitcoin futures that will start trading on the Chicago Board Options Exchange this weekend.It’s part of a backlash against digital currencies in some Asian countries, even as Japan embraces their use.Indonesia’s Central Bank spokesman Agusman Zainal said Friday the Indonesian monetary authority will issue a rule prohibiting the use of bitcoin as a means of payment by 2018. At the moment, it is reviewing the situation, he said.South Koreans tend to be tech savvy and used to trading cash in online games. Many are betting their incomes and even retirement packages on bitcoins and other virtual currencies. The country has just 50 million people but accounts for about one-fifth of global bitcoin trades.The price of bitcoin surged more than 20 per cent overnight to top $17,000 before falling back to $15418.19 by late Friday.Meanwhile, South Korean internet users were rushing to seek online advice about which crypto currencies to pick or how to download apps.The lure is apparent: One bitcoin was worth less than $1,000 at the start of the year.“People are probably affected by those who say they made a lot of money from bitcoins,” said Kim Do-hyung, a 21-year-old who invested in bitcoins and another crypto currency called stratis. “Young people don’t make a lot of money. It looks like easy money for them,” he said.Kim, who just finished the country’s mandatory military service last month, put all his monthly salary saved up from his two-years of duty into crypto currencies in November. His profit surged four-fold, reaping enough to pay his tuition when he returns to college next year and pay his rent in Seoul, he said by phone from a city of Masan, 298 kilometres south of Seoul.Earlier this week, South Korea’s justice ministry said it would consider ways to regulate crypto currency exchanges and plans to devise stiff penalties for crimes related to such transactions.Local investors believe the crypto currency boom is still in its early stages.“Virtual currency just made a start in South Korea so I think the price will go further up,” Kim said.last_img read more

Transport Canada to launch First Nations vessel traffic monitoring program

first_imgVANCOUVER – Transport Minister Marc Garneau says efforts to protect Canada’s coastlines from vessel spills includes an “unprecedented level of collaboration” with Indigenous communities.Garneau announced a pilot project under the $1.5-billion ocean protection plan to help Indigenous communities monitor vessel traffic while speaking to the Chamber of Shipping in Vancouver on Tuesday.The project is being launched this fall in 10 communities including Haida and Gitga’at Nations on British Columbia’s north coast to test and develop new maritime awareness information systems in order to have a better understanding of the traffic around them.“The second step, of course, is that the First Nations will be involved in the response because very often they’re the first ones there anyway and they have an intimate knowledge of the local waters,” he said.Exact plans on how to improve emergency response, protect ecosystems and managing vessel traffic are being developed between government agencies and First Nations, he said.“We value and need their knowledge and expertise to be successful,” Gauneau said.Responding to questions about how the new Indigenous rights framework announced by the government in February should be approached by sectors working with both parties, Garneau told the shipping industry to be “open-minded.”“It’s not just a question of respect, it’s a question of actually acting,” he said. “Some organizations will be involved more than others … but it really, literally, is a new way of thinking about how we achieve reconciliation in this country.”Garneau said $1.2 million has also been awarded to Aqua-Guard Spill Response Inc. of North Vancouver for equipment to support the coast guard in spill clean-up.The announcement comes days after thousands of people in B.C. protested the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which would increase tanker traffic to the Burrard Inlet.The project must already adhere to 157 conditions put forward by the National Energy Board, Garneau said, and the oceans protections plan will also contribute to increased marine safety.Garneau said the pipeline expansion has been approved by the federal government, and while it doesn’t have unanimous public support, most Canadians want to see it built.“We think the majority of British Columbians are in agreement with us,” he said.last_img read more

Agricultural producer Cargill to sell some Ontario assets to La Coop federee

first_imgWINNIPEG – Cargill has reached a deal to sell some of its Ontario grain and crop inputs assets, including its stake in South West Ag Partners, to Quebec-based agri-food co-operative La Coop federee.The agricultural producer and distributor and the agri-food enterprise, which has operations across Canada, did not disclose the terms of the pending sale.The transaction comprises 13 grain assets and crop inputs, retail assets and Cargill’s 50 per cent share of South West Ag Partners, a joint venture which includes nine grain and crop inputs facilities in Ontario.However, the pending sale does not include Cargill’s export terminal in Sarnia or the AgResource crops wholesale business.All other Cargill grain and crop inputs assets in Canada and its other businesses in Ontario and throughout Canada are not included in the sale agreement.The companies say the transaction is expected to be completed by the second quarter.last_img read more

Calgary mayor points finger at BC as feds buy Trans Mountain

first_imgMixed reaction from Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi regarding the federal government’s deal to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline.He’s happy the project is getting the full backing of Ottawa but is also disappointed it came to this.“I think it’s worth us remembering that this is entirely due to the actions of Premier [John] Horgan and the government of British Columbia,” he said.“Because of their antics, because of their stalling tactics, because they’re fighting a battle they know they can’t win in the courts, they’ve ended up costing every taxpayer in this country $4.5-billion.”Nenshi feels the venture is a profitable one, and the government should be able to get its money out of it when the time is right.last_img read more

Passenger fury at Ryanair after pressure drop forces landing

first_imgBERLIN – Passengers of budget airline Ryanair expressed anger Saturday over the way the company treated them following an unscheduled landing in Germany that forced dozens to seek hospital treatment.In interviews with German and Irish media, passengers described moments of terror as their plane — flying from Dublin to Zadar, Croatia, late Friday — descended suddenly, following what Ryanair said was a drop in cabin pressure.Oxygen masks fell from the ceiling and passengers reported feeling intense pain in their ears until the plane levelled off and landed at Frankfurt-Hahn airport.Minerva Galvan Domenech from Spain told news website Spiegel Online that passengers, some of them bleeding from their ears, mouth or nose, had to wait 45 minutes before being allowed to leave the plane.German police said 33 of the 189 passengers on board were taken to a nearby hospital after complaining of headaches, ear pain and nausea. All were able to leave again by Saturday morning.Passenger Conor Brennan told the Irish Times newspaper that “airport staff and Red Cross did their best to handle the situation, as Ryanair were nowhere to be seen.”“They really displayed a shocking lack of empathy for their customers, almost bordering on inhumane,” he was quoted as saying.Galvan Domenech said many passengers had to spend the night at the airport, some of them lying on the ground, according to Spiegel Online.Ryanair said passengers received refreshment vouchers but there was “a shortage of available accommodation.” Frankfurt-Hahn has long been a major base for Ryanair.A replacement flight took some of the passengers to Croatia on Saturday.Ryanair has long been dogged by accusations of poor service and bad treatment of staff. Last week, Ryanair pilots in Ireland staged their first strike and two more walkouts are planned July 20 and July 24.last_img read more