Our Bahi Khaata moment

first_imgThe good-old and antiquated British ‘despatch box’ for transporting official papers has given way to the indigenous book of income and expense items called bahi khaata. This has been the traditional accounts-keeping register of small and medium businesses in our country. The bahi khaata has been raised to iconic status, with this year’s budget papers wrapped in maroon look-alike fabric, instead of the mundane briefcase and carried to Parliament for presentation. The ‘break’ with the past practice caught national attention instantly. No, there have been no raising of eyebrows, maybe just a trifle askew, but the exit of the budget briefcase of the earlier luminaries of Finance has many messages of content and intent. Also Read – A special kind of bondIntents, as they came, were truly impressive. We are marching towards the 5-trillion mark as an economy, with aspirations of the billion-plus countrymen already scripted by a divine hand. Sceptics and doubting Thomases can sulk or roll out their theses in Khan Market cafes, but nobody has any time for them. It has been proven that they and their mindsets are irrelevant. The less said about these hangers-on of past regimes, the better it is. For good measure and the sake of decency of public discourse, such a lot of dismal scientists can be classified as pessimists. They are asking how do we get to 5 trillion when we are only 2.7 trillion now! The nerve. No point calling them names! Also Read – Insider threat managementTo get to know about the content, one has to wade through a mass of annexures, if you are keen to uncover the mysterious offerings of the great document. The speech only offered the promise of a great future. There has been great applause for added tax on the super-rich. What do we mortals care, who are barely on the margins of the middle class? Serves the super-rich right, as they have been living off the land. Their companies are in losses, but they get richer and richer. It is the sleight of accountants, adept at the creative composition of financial figures. Nevertheless, arguments between the mighty critics and almighty government sources have not ceased. The former points to discordant figures, sums not adding up, revenue potential over-optimistic for the next year, particularly given the past year’s shortfall, etc. Defence counsels are equally emphatic about the figures being authentic and closing the door on further discussion. Nonetheless, it is not a great idea to take taxes to a level where tax avoidance will test the genius of our accountants, besides encouraging businesses and trusts in such a bracket to invest overseas. The national malady of our economy has been the lack of predictability of our tax regime. It changes every year. What is income today, changes every year and that is the prime reason the budget day is awaited with bated breath and is a bane for all financial management planning by industry and individuals alike. ‘Reform, perform, and transform’ is a spirited theme and smart oratory. Its push into reality is painfully slow and more often only cosmetic. The 1991 liberalisation launch did not penetrate into the genetic structure of our body politic. What was de-bureaucratised, was in reality re-bureaucratised. The accompanying technology solutions were slow and not universal. This situation continues to thwart the potential of our economy. The policy structure happens in the capital while the transformation has to happen in the states, hence the gap in fulfilment. Co-operative federalism as an idea has been constantly stonewalled by the nature of our political practitioners. There has to be a serious DNA alteration programme for ‘reform, perform and transform’ to be the reality we all aspire for. Our ‘bahi khata’ has been spoilt by our lack of respect for numbers. Traditionally, the ‘khaata’ is a faithful record of financial transactions. Our natural predisposition has been to use numbers for situational convenience. The Economic Survey, issued a day before the budget was presented, adopted figures of provisional actual receipts, while the budget went for estimated ones beyond the original estimates. The noise over the GDP numbers has been a continuing one, with more questions on its credibility, than credible answers. It is one thing to have an ideological divide over economic policies, but to vary the statistics as per the party in power, makes the integrity of our data a bit shady. It is then left to the purveyors of eco-political theories to build transient justifications. The good news is that our economy grows despite the government, most times and sometimes, in spite of the government. There is an inherent momentum, powered by the ‘can do’ necessity of living. Sure, there is scarcity of access to acquiring competent skills, access to finance is an obstacle race which involves a price for every barrier cleared and many more and regulatory clearances another dark tunnel, but as the aspiring hero in ‘Gully Boy’ says, “apan ka din bhi ayega”, our time will come and we will be a 5+ trillion economy. (The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Only I can pen Sahir Ludhianvis biopic Javed Akhtar

first_imgMumbai: Veteran lyricist-writer Javed Akhtar has said only he can translate the life and journey of the late iconic poet Sahir Ludhianvi on the big screen. The screenwriter opened up about sharing a close bond with Ludhianvi, who was his family friend. “He was a friend of my father and my mamu’s (maternal uncle) friend. He used to meet with a lot of love and affection. I shared a great bond with him. “If anyone can make a film on him or his life, it is only me because no one knew him that well as I know him. Those who did know him are not alive,” Akhtar told reporters when the subject of the biopic was raised on Tuesday. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka Asked who would be apt to play him on screen, he said any good actor would be the right fit. Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali has been planning to make a film on the life of Ludhianvi for some time. Names of several actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Irrfan Khan, Priyanka Chopra had cropped up for the project but nothing is finalised. Recently, there were reports about Abhishek Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu starring in the project. Akhtar was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of a chat show “Shemaroo Me Living Legends” with Komal Nahta. Also Read – Salman Khan remembers actor Vinod Khanna He believes people always yearn for older days to come back but do not take any lessons from those times. “We have an interesting relationship with nostalgia and it is not just the film industry but the entire country. We often praise the olden days as if everything was just amazing then. But at the same time we do not respect the old times.” However, he said the quality of filmmaking has improved a lot over the time. “Even in the ’50s, ’60s and even in ’70s bad films were made the fact is that by and large the standard has improved today,” he added. Shabana Azmi, who was accompanying Akhtar, said the industry has started giving importance to casting directors. “I believe a lot of changes have happened in Indian cinema and people have realised content is king and a lot of importance is given to writing. I am happy that today even the (art of) acting has changed. “Also, today casting directors play a crucial role in getting the right cast. Earlier we had stock actors who were meant to do only certain kind of roles,” she said. Film personalities like Jeetendra, Bindu, Moushmi Chaterjee, Jaya Pradha, Poonam Dhillon, Ameen Sayani, Kamini Kaushal and Satish Kaushik were also among the attendees.last_img read more

Bangladesh grapples with countrys worst dengue outbreak

first_imgDhaka: Bangladesh is facing its worst-ever dengue fever outbreak as hospitals are flooded with patients, putting a severe strain on the country’s already overwhelmed medical system. The mosquito-borne viral infection has spread across the country with 61 out of 64 districts reporting dengue cases by late Tuesday. The government has confirmed 15,369 dengue cases since Jan. 1. Of those, 9,683 patients were diagnosed between July 1 and July 30. As of Tuesday, about 4,400 patients, including many children, were undergoing hospital treatment. There have been 14 deaths. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USOfficials from Dhaka, the overcrowded megacity that is the epicenter of the outbreak, have struggled to contain it, drawing criticism and spreading panic among some residents. Dengue is found in tropical areas around the world and is spread by a type of mosquito that mainly lives in urban areas. The virus causes severe flu-like symptoms and while there is no specific treatment for the illness, medical care to maintain a person’s fluid levels is seen as critical. There are fears that the situation in the countryside will worsen as many residents of the city travel to villages to celebrate Eid-ul-Adha next month. Infected humans can serve as a source of the virus for uninfected mosquitoes. Ayesha Akhter, assistant director at the Directorate General of Health Services under the Ministry of Health, said an outbreak of dengue has accompanied every monsoon since 2000, but this year’s situation is worst.last_img read more

Things improve in Karnataka after flood rain havoc

first_imgBengaluru: After the flood and rain havoc in Karnataka in the past few days, things have improved in the affected districts of the state, where 6.77 lakh people had been evacuated in the past week. Inflows in the reservoirs are steadily decreasing, an official update issued by the State government said on Tuesday. “… flood situation is normalising. The water has started receding in many flood-affected districts and flood situation has improved,” it said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Tuesday visited flood-affected areas in his home district of Shivamogga. The state government said relief operations were in full swing, and senior officer camping in the districs were overseeing them and also visiting relief camps. Several districts in the north, coastal and Malnad regions of the state had been badly hit by the flood and incessant rains, leaving a trail of destruction. The rain fury has left 48 people dead in the State, while 16 are missing. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K Flood waters of Tungabadra river that had entered the ground level of the UNESCO world heritage site in Hampi, the erstwhile capital of the Vijayanagara kingdom, receded on Monday and there was no damage to the monuments, officials said. A total of 2,217 villages in 86 taluks of 17 districts have been affected due to floods and rains in the State, where 1,224 relief camps have been opened giving shelter for nearly four lakh people. As many as 41,915 houses damaged, and agriculture and horticulture crop loss (preliminary assessment) stands at 4.30 lakh hectares. The state government has requested the Centre to immediately release Rs 3,000 crore. “If we total all districts, the loss will be around Rs 40,000 to 50,000 crore. We have requested the Centre to release Rs 3,000 crore immediately”, Yediyurappa said.last_img read more

Jaitleys ashes immersed in Ganga by his son

first_imgNew Delhi: The ashes of late Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley were immersed in the Ganga in Haridwar by his son Rohan on Monday. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal were also present. Jaitley died on Saturday morning after a long fought battle with multiple diseases. His last rites were performed on Sunday with full state honours at the Nigambodh Ghat in the national capital. He was 66 and had been ailing for some time.last_img

No construction until KMRCL provides certificate of no subsidence at Bowbazar

first_imgKolkata: The state government will not allow Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Ltd (KMRCL) to clear the debris and further construction until it submits a certificate from a competent authority to the government saying that no subsidence of land is taking place in Bowbazar, where houses have been damaged due to construction work of East-West Metro.The decision was taken at the meeting conducted by the high power committee chaired by Chief Secretary Malay De at Nabanna on Thursday. The KMRCL is yet to arrest the land subsidence in Bowbazar. During the meeting, the agency deliberated on the technical efforts that have been put forward. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaIt also complained that the situation could not be brought under control despite experts being brought from Hong Kong and Singapore. The situation has further aggravated as the adjoining areas of B B Ganguly Street have also been affected. Mayor Firhad Hakim has already instructed the building department to conduct regular surveys of the buildings in Bowbazar. After the meeting, Hakim said on Thursday: “KMRCL will provide us a soil stability certificate, following which we will give permission to clear the debris. The issue of reconstruction of buildings does not arise before it.” Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway”The local councillors and the officers-in-charge of the concerned police station will prepare a list of the affected families and councillors will issue certificates to them on the basis of the FIRs lodged by the family members. On the basis of the FIRs, the banks would be requested to arrange the documents. Some family members have failed to recover documents from their houses,” he added. It may be mentioned here that KMRCL has decided to provide Rs five lakh to each of the affected families, acting upon Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s request. It would get the damaged structures rebuilt and will also provide alternative accommodation for the affected families until their houses are reconstructed. Those who have lost their shops will also be compensated, but the amount will be determined by KMRCL authorities, Hakim maintained. The Chief Minister has also laid stress on the compensation to those who have lost their shops. KMRCL has agreed to pay Rs 5 lakh to each family within the next couple of days. The councillors and local officers-in-charge are identifying the list of affected persons. The process will take some time as some more people may be displaced, Hakim said. “The state government has assured all kinds of help to Metro authorities. During the meeting, they have been asked to expedite rehabilitation and relocation work,” Hakim said, adding: “We have delivered 200 water tankers from KMC to the agency, as they claimed it would help cover the cracks.” Meanwhile, the Chief Minister, while addressing teachers at Netaji Indoor stadium, said that her government is with the Metro authorities and is providing all assistance. The Bengal government does not criticise the Centre only for the sake of Opposition, she said. KMRCL and police officials on Thursday allowed the residents to enter their damaged houses to collect their belongings. Two representatives of each family were allowed inside.last_img read more

List before CJI the plea for live telecast or recording of Ayodhya

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday said a plea seeking live telecast or recording of the ongoing proceedings in the Ayodhya land dispute case be listed before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, who is presiding over a 5-judge Constitution bench hearing the matter. The petition, filed by former RSS ideologue K N Govindacharya, came up for hearing before a bench comprising justices R F Nariman and Surya Kant. Senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing Govindacharya, said if live telecast of Ayodhya case proceedings was not possible then at least audio recording or transcription of hearing should be done. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’He referred to the apex court’s last year’s verdict allowing live-streaming of court proceedings of cases of constitutional and national importance to buttress his arguments. “At the same time, it (last year verdict) also says that exclude sensitive matters,” the bench told Singh. Singh argued that Ayodhya case was sensitive and of importance. “We are open court but not for outsiders. We are open court for litigants only,” he said, adding, “It cannot be said that this (Ayodhya) is not a matter of national or constitutional importance.” Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KHowever, the bench said the matter has to be heard by a bench headed by the CJI. Govindacharya, in his plea, has referred to the September 26, 2018 verdict of the apex court which had allowed live-streaming of court proceedings of cases of constitutional and national importance, saying this openness was like “sunlight” which is the “best disinfectant”. The plea has said the top court was hearing the Ayodhya matter even on miscellaneous days — Fridays and Mondays — which shows that it was dealing with the matter extraordinarily and therefore, audio-recording could be “started immediately”.last_img read more

Longterm solutions needed to reduce pollution Experts

first_imgNew Delhi: Environmentalists have called for long-term solutions to deal with rising pollution levels in Delhi rather than a “knee-jerk” action like the odd-even scheme, with some terming it a “political gimmick” ahead of the assembly elections due next year.The odd-even road rationing scheme will come into effect in Delhi from November 4-15, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Friday among a slew of other measures to combat high-level of air pollution caused due to stubble burning in neighbouring states during winters. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderD Saha, former air lab chief of Central Pollution Control Board Director, said it is a “good move” but there is a need to minimise exemptions given under the odd-even scheme to accomplish the objectives. “The purpose of the scheme gets defeated if you allow all commercial vehicles, Ola and Uber. You’re just reducing the number of private vehicles on the roads and adding commercial vehicles,” he said. “Of course, the road rationing scheme has helped bring down pollution levels. If you reduce the number of vehicles on the road, there will be more space available for others to drive. This means better speed, better utilisation of fuel and less emissions,” he said. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe period the government has selected — from November 4 to 15 — is apt. The meteorological conditions doesn’t help in reducing pollution during this period, he said. “Delhi experiences bad weather in this period and ‘poor to severe’ air quality. So, if the road rationing scheme is implemented, it will certainly help reduce pollution,” Saha said. Jyoti Pande Lavakare, co-founder Care for Air NGO, said odd-even is more of an “awareness building issue” than a scheme to actually reduce pollution. “Ahead of elections, both BJP and AAP have been trying to take credit of reducing pollution in national capital but there is no concrete evidence of any actual reduction of pollution in the last few years. Kejriwal’s announcement on odd-even scheme is more of a political gimmick,” she said. Lavakare further said that instead of knee-jerk reactions what Delhi needs is a bouquet of long-term solutions that are implemented throughout the year. Ravina Kohli, an environmentalist and a member of #MyRightToBreathe campaign, said long term solutions are needed to treat the issue of air pollution in Delhi. “The odd-even scheme is not going to impact much and ahead of polls, cure of air pollution is flavour around. But what is needed is long term solution,” she said. She said strict implementation of the scheme is needed to have an actual impact. Jai Dhar Gupta, an environmentalist, said the odd-even scheme cannot be scheduled in the way it has been done.last_img read more

No transparency Manitoba survivors opting out of 60s Scoop settlement

first_imgWINNIPEG – Some Manitoba survivors of the ’60s Scoop are encouraging others to opt out of a settlement with the federal government.They say they were not consulted in the agreement meant to resolve several class-action lawsuits and suggest lawyers will walk away with more money than the Indigenous people who were affected by the adoptions.“We as children had no say in where we were sent and now they are giving us no say in how we are going to be compensated,” said Coleen Rajotte, who was taken from her community in Saskatchewan when she was a baby and raised by a Manitoba family.In October, the federal government announced it had reached a $750-million agreement with about 20,000 people who were placed in non-Indigenous foster homes as far away as New Zealand between 1951 and 1991. The agreement, which is yet to be finalized, would see survivors each receive between $25,000 and $50,000.The four law firms involved would get a separate $75 million. Another $50 million was set aside for the Indigenous Healing Foundation.Priscilla Meeches and Stewart Garnett were the lead plaintiffs in the Manitoba lawsuit and were in Ottawa for the announcement. They said they didn’t see the agreement before they were brought on stage with Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett.At a news conference organized in Winnipeg on Friday by a local ’60s Scoop survivors group, they said they are opting out of the settlement.Meeches said she has felt a loss of identity and home throughout her life because of being adopted out during the ’60s Scoop. She said she spent her life trying to find a place to say, “I’m here. I’m home,” and the settlement has only brought up more feelings of loss.“I’m not happy with the fact there was no transparency,” Meeches said.Garnett said Manitoba was the epicentre of the ’60s Scoop and its impact can be seen on the streets of Winnipeg, where many people who were taken from their families are struggling in life after losing their identities.They said if people accept the agreement they will be signing away the right to sue for sexual and physical abuse that some adoptees experienced.The group also criticized the settlement for leaving out Métis survivors. The federal government has argued that Métis weren’t recognized as having Indigenous rights at the time, so Ottawa can’t be held responsible for those children.Jocelyne Bourbonnais said no one asked about her rights when she was adopted in 1965. She said it’s important that Métis support survivors opting out so that her people can be included in a new agreement.“I am of this land that we call Canada and after 55 years I’m defined as Métis and left out of this settlement,” said Bourbonnais, who added that her mother is Anishinaabe.The National Indigenous Survivors Network in Ottawa is also trying to get people to opt out.The groups say there is a clause in the agreement that if 2,000 people agree to opt out it can be declared void.A statement from Bennett’s office said the proposed settlement resolves issues in the longest-standing case and similar class actions, and represents a significant first step in “resolving this historic injustice.”“We know that there are other claims that remain unresolved, including those of the Métis and non-status,” the statement said.It added that the office is committed to resolving remaining litigation through negotiation.last_img read more

One charged two wanted in alleged Mob hits in southern Ontario

first_imgPolice have arrested one man and launched an international manhunt for two others in a pair of alleged Mob hits in southern Ontario, investigators announced Thursday, saying the deaths appear to be the result of a power struggle within the Mafia’s ranks.Jabril Hassan Abdalla, 27, was arrested this week and charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder and three of conspiracy to commit murder, police said at a news conference in Hamilton.The arrest was the result of a multi-jurisdictional investigation into the 2017 deaths of Angelo Musitano — a member of a notorious crime family who was shot dead in the driveway of his Hamilton home — and Mila Barberi, who was shot while in a car with her boyfriend in Vaughan, Ont.“It was evident from the beginning that (Musitano’s) very public execution was likely a result of his involvement in the family business,” said Det. Peter Thom of the Hamilton police. “Although we don’t know the exact motive, there appears to be some sort of power struggle going on.”Barberi was struck by bullets intended for her boyfriend, Saviero Serrano, who was also shot but survived, said Thom, alleging Serrano’s father is tied to organized crime in York region.Investigators issued Canada-wide arrest warrants for Michael Cudmore and Daniel Tomassetti, who are believed to have fled to Cancun, Mexico. Canadian investigators plan to be in touch with Mexican authorities and Interpol to expand that warrant internationally, Thom said.Cudmore’s family, however, worry that he may be dead, Thom noted.He allegedly joined Daniele Ranieri, a person police were investigating, in Cancun in May 2017, Thom said. But Ranieri was found dead in March, three years after fleeing to Mexico to escape an Ontario arrest warrant, police said.“He had been bound and executed,” said Thom.Cudmore has since “uncharacteristically” lost touch with family members who have reported him missing and fear he might have met a similar fate, Thom said.Meanwhile, Tomassetti, the second man being sought by police, allegedly flew to Cancun in July — four days after police released new information about the investigations into Musitano’s and Barberi’s deaths — and did not return a week later as scheduled, police said.Thom noted that Tomassetti owned a travel business in Canada, called Wave Travel, and could have connections in Mexico.“They are invested in diverse and lucrative ventures,” Thom said of the men allegedly involved in the shootings. “Some of their businesses are legitimate, but others aren’t. That’s why their organizational heads drive around in armoured vehicles with bodyguards, unlike the CEOs of other multi-national companies.”Police also believe there are more suspects in the case.“Three individuals were not the masterminds behind the plan to kill Angelo Musitano, and a number of other persons of interest were identified,” Thom said.Investigators believe they know who the accused were working for and suspect those individuals are also involved in the Mafia but aren’t in a position to reveal more, Thom said.Police are also still investigating whether the shootings are linked to that of Albert Iavarone, who was gunned down outside his Hamilton home earlier this month while his wife and two children were inside.“It would be fair to say Albert Iavarone knew two of the accused persons in the Musitano case, is very close to one of the persons of interest in the Musitano case, and also he is known to have known Angelo Musitano,” Thom said. “I’m not saying that the two cases are connected, but it’s something we’re very interested in following up on.”last_img read more

NewsAlert Canadian found dead in Burkina Faso

first_imgForeign Ministry officials in Burkina Faso have confirmed a Canadian mining company employee has been found dead after being kidnapped in the west African country’s northern Sahel region.They say Kirk Woodman, a Halifax man who worked for the Vancouver-based Progress Mineral Mining Company, was found dead late Wednesday in Oudalan province.West Africa’s Sahel region has seen a number of abductions of foreigners in recent years by extremists linked to al-Qaida or the Islamic State organization.More to come…The Canadian Presslast_img

Ontario appeal court overturns ruling of harassment against RCMP sergeant

first_imgTORONTO — Ontario’s highest court has overturned a ruling that granted an RCMP sergeant more than $100,000 in damages for years of harassment by superiors, saying the judge made several legal and factual errors.The Court of Appeal for Ontario says the judge overseeing Peter Merrifield’s lawsuit erred in recognizing a new, freestanding “tort of harassment,” which would establish harassment as a separate wrong or breach for which someone can be held civilly liable. The appeal court says such a tort does not currently exist in Ontario and Merrifield’s case does not present “compelling reason” to create one, though the court does not rule out the possibility that another case may provide grounds do so in the future.It says Ontario Superior Court Justice Mary Vallee also made mistakes in determining that Merrifield’s superiors behaved in a way that constitutes intentional infliction of mental suffering — which is a recognized tort — and made “palpable and overriding errors in much of her fact-finding.”Vallee found senior Mounties had behaved egregiously in a campaign of harassment against Merrifield after they decided he lied about his run for political office.She awarded Merrifield $141,000 in damages and $825,000 in legal costs for the lawsuit. The federal government and two RCMP managers appealed the ruling.Merrifield alleged his superiors waged a seven-year campaign to damage his reputation that included punitive transfers and unfounded criminal accusations after he took part in a federal Conservative nomination meeting in Barrie, Ont., in 2005.In a ruling released late last week, the appeal court said Merrifield misled his superiors by telling them he had no plans to seek political office even though he was running in the nomination race.What’s more, it said, Merrifield had not sought to be placed on unpaid leave while he did so, as is required under RCMP policies.“Merrifield’s RCMP superiors had good reason to regard him as a colleague who could not be trusted to be completely forthright with them — a matter of importance in any position, but especially so in the context of Merrifield’s employment in the RCMP,” it said.The trial judge was also wrong to find that the risk of a conflict of interest for Merrifield, who worked in a unit that provided security to federal politicians, was “remote at best” and that management’s concern about it was “not bona fide.”Management consulted with internal RCMP resources before finding Merrifield faced a potential conflict of interest and transferring him out of the unit, the court said. As a result, the judge’s finding that the transfer was unjust and punitive no longer stands, it said.Vallee also erred in finding that management’s decision to audit Merrifield’s RCMP credit card expenses in 2012 without asking for an explanation or offering specifics constituted intentional infliction of mental suffering, the appeal court said.“This conclusion cannot stand. It flows from palpable and overriding errors in the trial judge’s fact-finding and the incorrect application of the legal test,” the ruling says. RCMP management had the authority to order the investigation and while it stated in a letter that Merrifield may have engaged in disgraceful conduct, that is not the same as alleging that he committed a crime, as the judge suggested, the court said.There was also no evidence that the audit was intended to cause harm or that management knew that harm was substantially certain to follow, nor did the evidence establish a causal connection, the court said.“Our conclusions that the trial judge erred in recognizing the tort of harassment and in finding that the tort of (intentional infliction of mental suffering) was established in regard to the … investigation are sufficient to allow the appeal,” it said.The court granted the appellants the costs of the appeal, Merrifield’s cross-appeal and the initial trial and gave them 10 days to make submissions on the issue.The RCMP said it has received the decision and is determining next steps but declined to comment further.Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Court orders lobbying czar to take new look at Aga Khans vacation

first_imgOTTAWA — The Federal Court has ordered the lobbying commissioner to take another look at whether the Aga Khan broke the rules by giving Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a vacation in the Bahamas.In September 2017, then-commissioner Karen Shepherd said there was no basis to a complaint that the Aga Khan, a billionaire philanthropist, had violated the code for lobbyists by allowing Trudeau and his family to stay on his private island in the Caribbean.She found no evidence the Aga Khan was paid for his work as a director of a foundation registered to lobby the federal government, and therefore concluded the code did not apply to his interactions with Trudeau.Ottawa-based group Democracy Watch challenged the ruling in Federal Court.In its newly released decision, the court calls Shepherd’s ruling unreasonable because it was a narrow, technical, and targeted analysis that lacked transparency.The court directed Nancy Belanger, who has since become lobbying commissioner, to re-examine the matter.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Albertas Jason Kenney hosting four other premiers at Calgary Stampede

first_imgThe Canadian Press CALGARY — The premiers of Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and the Northwest Territories are mixing business with pleasure at the Calgary Stampede.According to a release from the Alberta government Jason Kenney will officially welcome the other provincial leaders at a traditional white hat ceremony during the premier’s annual Stampede pancake breakfast this morning.It says formal meetings will follow, noting the five leaders share common goals such as building pipelines and free trade within Canada.The Calgary meeting, according to the release, will build on discussions from last month’s Western Premiers’ Conference in Edmonton, where Kenney and B.C. Premier John Horgan clashed over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project that would carry Alberta oil to the West Coast.Kenney warned that Alberta was ready to use provincial legislation to limit oil and gas exports to any province blocking pipelines, while Horgan said his government would push ahead with a legal challenge of that law.The first ministers are expected wind up their Calgary gathering by taking in some Stampede rodeo action before travelling to Saskatoon for this week’s Council of the Federation meeting.last_img read more

Muslim civil liberties groups begin court battle against Quebec secularism law

first_imgMONTREAL — A national Muslim organization and a civil liberties group have begun making their case in court against Quebec’s secularism law.Lawyer Catherine McKenzie argues that Bill 21 — which bans some public sector workers from wearing religious symbols at work — is unconstitutional.She told a judge today that Quebec is trying to legislate the relationship between the state and religion and doing so is the sole jurisdiction of the federal government.The National Council of Canadian Muslims, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and Ichrak Nourel Hak — a Universite de Montreal education student who wears a hijab — are listed as plaintiffs in the case.They are seeking an immediate judicial stay on the sections of the law that prohibit public sector employees from wearing religious symbols at work.They are also seeking a stay on the section that requires people to give or receive state services with their faces uncovered.Bill 21 invokes the notwithstanding clause of the Canadian Constitution, which prevents citizens from challenging the law for violating fundamental rights and freedoms protected by the charter.McKenzie says the notwithstanding clause doesn’t prevent the courts from reviewing larger issues around the constitutional divisions of power. She says Quebec is attempting to assert its vision of secularism on citizens for moral purposes, something only the federal government can do.Arguments are expected to continue throughout the day.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

MDA Show Of Strength Telethon Raises Millions For Charity

first_imgThe MDA Show Of Strength Telethon raised over $52 million on Sunday.Bret Michaels took his support behind-the-scenes at the 2014 MDA Show of Strength Telethon“It’s inspiring to see so many celebrities, musical artists and athletes join forces to help in our fight against muscle disease,” said MDA President and CEO Steven M. Derks. “We owe them our profound thanks, as we do our national and local sponsor partners, who care so deeply about the children and adults MDA serves. Of course, the encouraging progress we’re seeing in our quest for treatments and cures would not be possible without these sponsors’ as well as America’s generous support.”Highlights of the annual telethon included 2014 National Goodwill Ambassador Reagan Imhoff of New Berlin, Wis., opening the show alongside Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz. Wentz joined Reagan, 9, on the telethon stage after the band’s performance of their new single “Young Volcanoes,” at the top of the 2014 telethon.Grammy-winner and reality star LeAnn Rimes closed the show with her single “Give,” honoring MDA’s 60-year partnership with the International Association of Fire Fighters.Additional performances during the nationally broadcast show included: American Authors singing their hit single “Best Day of My Life”; R&B artist Aloe Blacc performing “The Man”; platinum-selling artist Jason Derulo performing his new Gold single “Trumbets” from his album “Talk Dirty”; pop rock sensation R5 singing “(I Can’t) Forget About You”; Grammy-winning trio Rascal Flatts performing “My Wish”; country singer-songwriter Sara Evans performing her hit “A Little Bit Stronger”; folk and rock singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson performing his new single “Kinks Shirt”; and rock and reality star Bret Michaels performing the American classic “Sweet Home Alabama.”Introductions and appeals came from: Laila Ali; Tom Bergeron; ABC’s Dr. Richard Besser; Jann Carl; Charles Esten; Terry Fator; Kevin Frazier; Josh Groban; Ludacris; Susan Lucci; Ke$ha; Alyssa Milano; Nancy O’Dell; Victor Ortiz; Brad Paisley; Chris Powell; Jordin Sparks; and Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz.While the telethon has consistently enjoyed robust support from some of the biggest celebrities in show business, MDA says the real stars on the broadcast are the individuals and families served by MDA, including five families who shared their stories and gave the public a glimpse of what it means to live with a muscle disease during the 2014 broadcast.Bret Michaels took his support backstage during the show taping at the Hollywood Palladium to meet with families served by the Muscular Dystrophy Association, which included an exclusive interview with blue carpet correspondent, and MDA’s National Goodwill Ambassador, 9-year old Reagan Imhoff of New Berlin, Wis.The charismatic third-grader left a big impression on Michaels, who was moved to pledge a $10,000 donation to Reagan on the blue carpet to help support MDA’s mission to save and improve lives of children and adults affected by muscle disease.Michaels, an avid motorcycle enthusiast, also let Reagan charm her way into nabbing a chance-of-a-lifetime motorcycle ride on one of his Harley-Davidson bikes at a later date. Click here to see the adorable blue carpet interview with Reagan and Bret.“I was really excited when I got asked to participate in the telethon this year because I truly believe in the lifesaving work that MDA does to help kids affected by muscle disease,” Michaels said. “I knew it was going to be a really special experience, but nothing prepared me for the moment I met Reagan. She reminded me of my youngest daughter and my heart melted as soon as she asked me to take her on a motorcycle ride. I would do anything to help these kids who fight courageously every day. I promised her a motorcycle ride and I can’t wait to make good on that promise.”As part of her role as MDA’s National Goodwill Ambassador, Reagan travels throughout the country (along with parents, Jenny and Joe) speaking to groups about MDA’s mission to save and improve the lives of families like hers affected by muscle disease. Reagan has spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a genetic disease affecting the part of the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movement.Michaels’ relationship with MDA began last spring when he performed at the 27th annual Ride for Life in Bethlehem, Pa. and met with 14-year-old MDA Ambassador Bryson Foster. Bryson got the chance to interview the rock icon during a special meet-n-greet, which inspired Michaels to invite Bryson onstage for a special finale performance of classic hit “Nothin’ but a Good Time” later that evening.Michaels also made good on the #ALSIceBucketChallenge when Bryson, among many others, called out the rocker to take the challenge, which has raised millions for ALS research. Michaels took his challenge in a big way, from his record-breaking concert in Connecticut earlier this month. MDA has been fighting ALS for more than 60 years. The organization invests millions in research and services tied to ALS each year. See Bret’s Ice Bucket Challenge here.last_img read more

LTTS Attends Launch Of UN Global Strategy For Womens Childrens And Adolescents

first_imgLookToTheStars.org’s CMO Edward Martin attended the launch of the United Nations Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent’s Health in NYC last week and filed this report.Bill and Melinda Gates seem to always to be at the center of so many global humanitarian efforts. But at this press conference, they sat at the end of the table and not the center. I’m sure this was at their request.A small thing perhaps, but it underscores one of their main points. Its going to take far more than billionaire donations to solve these most critical social challenges. It’s going to take the full throated efforts of governments, private sector, humanitarian groups, faith based groups… all of us. We all have something to contribute and its all significant.Other major leaders at this briefing included Carolyn Miles, the iconic CEO of Save the Children US, as well as Amina J Mohammed, Special Advisor to General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon.18-year-old Anoyara Khatun called for an end to human trafficking at the event.Credit/Copyright: Stuart Ramson PhotographerBut it was the younger leaders that set the tone of how the world has changed for the better: Anoyara (18), a leading campaigner against human trafficking, and Suhalia (17), a leader in Tanzania combatting prejudice for children affected by HIV/AIDS.These two young leaders have both been impacted by the issues and are now changing their own circumstances, that of their communities – and the world.They are two powerful examples of what will in the end create the largest positive change in the world.The two key concepts I took away from this event were1. Save The Children US announced an enormous $250M in 2016 to be focused in the area of women and children2. Its going to take an major increase in partnership, innovation and commitment to make these critical social impact areas a realityBusiness was one of the areas highlighted at this event. As the CMO to LTTS, CEO of goodxchange.com and Senior Advisor to the Nobel Peace Prize Forum for Business Innovation and Peace, its probably not surprising I had an extra keen focus on how business could contribute.There are a number of ways for business to grow while contributing to the greater good. That’s the key. Focus on how companies can drive profitable growth in a way that also supports global poverty, health, education, and the environment. Thats sustainable! Companies will ALWAYS want profitable growth!What is a simple example of this? If a company is doing great work in girls education (as an example), let LookToTheStars.org and our celebrity influencers tell your story vs using traditional advertising to tell your own story.Why? We only share authentic stories of good work so people will know its real – AND we want the money that would have been used by a company to share this message in traditional media to be re-directed to fund even more girls education!This is a simple example of a virtuous circle that can create sustainable change.Between this event, the Pope’s well received messages to the world on helping the poor, the UN’s announcements and the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park mobilizing youth to help the poor, I came away from NYC hopeful, inspired and ready to go back to work with each of these groups and others.I think we all can agree that each human being is a beautiful creation and deserves the right to a life where there is hope and opportunity. And we really do all have the ability to do something to move the world forward in this direction.Copyright ©2015Look to the Starslast_img read more

Lily Tomlin Writes To Summer Wind Farms

first_imgEarlier this week, actor and Detroit native Lily Tomlin sent a letter on behalf of PETA to Summer Wind Farms (SWF) Sanctuary urging CEO Charles Vanneste to retire all animals at the notorious roadside zoo in Brown City to reputable sanctuaries.“The animals at SWF have complex needs that simply can’t be met at your facility or any other roadside zoo, but you now have an opportunity to give something back to the animals who provided you with revenue for so many years,” writes the Emmy-winning actor and comedian.The letter comes as the facility has been slapped with numerous federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) citations by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for having filthy enclosures, failing to provide animals with clean water, denying veterinary care to three ailing lemurs, and confining a tiger to a cramped cage in a basement.During an inspection in February, the USDA further warned that the “amount of animal husbandry issues at the facility” indicates “a lack of adequately trained employees,” which “can result in facility and animal conditions that result in unnecessary animal suffering.”PETA — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” — also notes that these new citations follow January’s formal complaint by the USDA alleging nearly 90 willful violations of the AWA documented at SWF between November 2012 and October 2015 — the first step in a disciplinary process that could result in license suspension or revocationlast_img read more

AutFest Film Festival Announces Final Program Lineup

first_imgAutFest International Film Festival announced its official program selections for its second annual film festival celebrating autism awareness “From Spectrum to Screen.”Presented by The Autism Society, AutFest will screen over 16 feature films, short films and television programs that promote autism awareness and/or are made by autistic filmmakers. As previously announced, AutFest will also honor Netflix’s hit show “Atypical” and ABC’s “The Good Doctor” with Spotlight Awards for their special portrayal of lead characters who are on the autistic spectrum. The Visionary Award will be presented to SONY Pictures Entertainment’s JEFF FROST, President of Sony Pictures Television Studios, and Co-Presidents of Sony Pictures Television CHRIS PARNELL and JASON CLODFELTER. AutFest takes place Saturday, April 28 – Sunday, April 28, 2018 at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills, CA.The 2nd Annual AutFest International Film Festival is proud to present the following features, shorts and television programs to play in its 2018 program. For AutFest full schedule, please click hereATYPICAL / USA – Netflix (71 min.)Sun. April 29, 3:30 PMCreated by Robia RashidFollowed by Panel with Creator Robin Rashid (The Goldbergs, How I Met Your Mother); Actors Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Brigette Lundy-Paine (Downsizing, The Glass Castle), Keir Gilchrist (It’s Kind of a Funny Story), Anthony Jacques, Layla Weiner and Nikki Guttman; Executive Producers Mary Rohlich (Baywatch, Identity Thief) and Seth Gordon (Identity Thief, Pixels); Author David Finch (The Journal of Best Practices) and Autism Consultant Michelle Dean.Atypical is a coming of age story from the point-of-view of Sam (played by Keir Gilchrist), an 18-year-old on the autistic spectrum searching for love and independence. While Sam is on his funny and emotional journey of self-discovery, the rest of his family must grapple with change in their own lives while exploring the questions: what does it really mean to be “normal”?BARFI by Disney (2012) / IndiaSat. April 28, 8:00 PMDirected by Anurag BasuFollowed by “Love & Relationships” Panel with Lindsey Nebeker, Alex Plank, Dani Bowman, Tammy Klein, Chris Tenney, and Autism Consultant Tara ReisbaumHis parents named him Murphy, but everyone calls him Barfi. Always ready with a prank up his sleeve, he’s quite the charmer, especially with the ladies. In Darjeeling, Barfi is the talk of the town. Even though he can neither speak, not listen. His bittersweet relationship with two beautiful young ladies, Shruti and Jhilmil sets in motion a chain of events that will turn his life upside down. UTV Motion Pictures and director Anurag Basu invite you to witness the amusing, naughty, and sometimes crazy antics of Barfi. A heart-warming tale of selfless love and about finding happiness in the smallest things in life; that tells you no matter how tough your life may be, “Don’t worry. Be Barfi!”BIG MOUTH by Spectrum Laboratory / USA (Short)Sat. April 28, 10:00 AMWhen you just can’t handle your friend’s gossip, rambling on, and negativity anymore, do what Domonique Brown does, write a song about it.CIRCUMSTANTIAL / USA (Short)Sat. April 28, 10:00 AMDirected by Jesse RapaportAs Kevin (Jesse Rapaport), a young, autistic homeless man, wanders through a Southern California beach community, he crosses paths with another TRANSIENT MAN (Mark Strohman), with whom Kevin trades goods, and later a young TRANSIENT GIRL (Mair Mulroney), who steals food from Kevin and assaults him.DINA (2017) / USASat. April 28, 3:45 PMDirected by Dan Sickles and Antonio SantiniDina’s getting married in a few weeks and there’s still so much to do. Shehas to move her boyfriend, Scott, from his parents’ house to her apartment, and settle him in to only the second home he’s ever had, all while juggling his schedule as an early morning Wal-Mart door greeter. She has to get her dress, confirm arrangements with the venue, and make peace with her family, who remain nervous for their beloved Dina after the death of her first husband and the string of troubled relationships that followed. Throughout it all, in the face of obstacles large and small, Dina remains indomitable. She’s overcome tragedy and found the man she wants and, at age 48, is bent on building the life for herself that she believes she deserves. Dina is unstoppable, a force of nature, and as the star of her own life story, she’s an unconventional move protagonist the like of which hasn’t been seen before.EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE / USA (Short)Sat. April 28, 10:00 AMDirected by Laura Hart McKinny and John McKinnyExtraordinary People chronicles a business that inspires its staff, families and neighborhood with the belief that meaningful jobs change lives. It explores the lives of six young adults, diverse on the autism spectrum, in paying jobs that maximize their unique individual skills while building their confidence and community.THE GIRL INSIDE by Spectrum Laboratory (Short)Sat. April 28, 10:00 AMThe struggle of a young autistic girl dealing with her two different personalities. The Girl Inside represents the voice of Abbey’s autism and how she sometimes wants to “rip it out of her head and give it to someone else.” She just wants to have what typical kids have.THE GOOD DOCTOR (2017) ABC (43 min.)Sun. April 29, 5:50 PM Developed by David ShoreFollowed by Panel with Creator David Shore, Richard Schiff (Dr. Aaron Glassman), Nicholas Gonzalez (Dr. Neil Melendez), and Autism Consultant Melissa ReinerDr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore), a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome, relocates from a quiet country life to join the prestigious St. Bonaventure hospital’s surgical unit. Alone in the world and unable to personally connect with those around him, his only advocate, Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff), challenges the skepticism and prejudices of the hospital’s board and staff when he brings him in to join the team. Shaun will need to work harder than he ever has before, as he navigates his new environment and relationships to prove to his colleagues that his extraordinary medical gifts will save lives. The series is from David Shore House, and Lost, and Hawaii Five-O star Daniel Dae Kim.MY GROWN UP FAMILY AND AUTISM / UK (Short)Sat. April 28, 10:00 AMDirected by Fran LandsmanFifteen years ago I made an award-winning film about an extraordinary family. Jacqui Jackson lived alone with her seven children, five of whom had a form of autism. I wanted to return to find out what becomes of autistic children when they become adults. What I discovered was both a heartbreaking and heartwarming story of love and determination.THE ODD ONE IN (Short)Sat. April 28, 10:00 AMDirected by Georgia PfascialeThree individuals with autism share their stories about their desires, challenges, and accomplishments. The documentary also questions what it means to be aware of autism versus understanding it.PLEASE STAND BY (2017) / USA (93 min.)Sun. April 29, 10:30 AMDirected by Ben LewinFollowed by panel with Director Ben Lewin (The Sessions), Writer Michael Golcamo and Autism Consultant Elaine HallA young autistic woman runs away from her caregiver in order to boldly go and deliver her 500-page Star Trek script to a writing competition in Hollywood. On an adventure full of laughter and tears, Wendy, played with exquisite delicacy by Dakota Fanning, follows the guiding spirit of Mr. Spock on her journey into the unknown. “It is there for us to conquer, not to fear.”POWER RANGERS (2017) / USA (164 min.)Sat. April 28, 12:45 PMDirected by Dean IsraeliteFollowed by Panel with RJ Cyler (War Machine) and John Gatins (Flight)The story follows five ordinary teens who must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove—and the world—is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so, they will have to overcome their real-life issues and before it’s too late, band together as the Power Rangers.PURSUIT OF JUSTICE (2018) / USA (Short)Sat. April 28, 10:00 AMDirected by Greg Byers‘Pursuit of Justice’ tracks the advocacy of civil rights attorney Thomas F. Coleman, clinical psychologist Nora J. Baladerian, and a growing network of activists as they travel the country promoting reforms in adult guardianship proceedings involving seniors and adults with various disabilities.RANDY’S CANVAS (2018) / USA (102 min.)Sat. April 28, 5:50 PMDirected by Kevin SchmidtRandy’s Canvas tells the fictional story of a young man who was abandoned by his birth parents at a very young age who lives with his “brother from another mother” Henry, in the big city. Randy is an incredibly talented artist, has a kind heart and autism. When he falls in love for the first time, his life begins to spin out of control as he tries to deal with a roller coaster of emotions and first-time experiences.ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ (2017) / USA (162 min.)Sun. April 29, 1:00 PMDirected by Dan GilroyRoman J. Israel, Esq. is a dramatic thriller set in the underbelly of the overburdened Los Angeles criminal court system. Denzel Washington stars as a driven, idealistic defense attorney whose life is upended when a turbulent series of events challenges the activism that has defined his career. Colin Farrell costars as the ambitious, monies lawyer who recruits Roman to his firm.SISTERLY (Short)Sat. April 28, 10:00 AMDirected by Nina ValladoNina and Lisa are two sisters destined to be the best of friends. When Lisa is diagnosed with autism at the age of two, Lisa’s voice disappears, and she is unable to communicate. Nina and Lisa search for connection, intimacy, and sisterhood despite the challenges of autism.AutFest will conclude with a Closing Award Reception on Sunday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the Writers Guild Theater. As previously announced SONY Pictures Entertainment will be receiving the Visionary Award presented to JEFF FROST, President of Sony Pictures Television Studios, and Co-Presidents of Sony Pictures Television CHRIS PARNELL and JASON CLODFELTER. ABC’s The Good Doctor joins Netflix’s Atypical to receive Spotlight Awards, honored for their exceptional portrayal of autism in a positive light to help increase understanding and acceptance of people on the spectrum. Additional Festival awards include Best Film, Best Director, Best Documentary, Best Actor, Best Actress as well as an Audience Award and will be presented to filmmakers at the AutFest Closing Reception. Past AutFest honorees include BEN AFFLECK (The Accountant) and Pixar’s PETE DOCTER and JONAS RIVERA (Inside Out). For complete festival screening and event schedule and more information, please visit autfestasa.com. The Writers Guild Theater is located at 135 South Doheny Drive in Beverly Hills.Celebrating autism awareness “from spectrum to screen,” AutFest Film Festival is now in its second year. Its mission is to further advance the well-being of all with an autism diagnosis, as well as to educate the nation about autism and the important need to fully respect and value each person with autism. AutFest celebrates films and television programs that promote autism awareness and support autistic filmmakers and artists that have chosen film as their profession.AutFest also invited student graphic designers to create a festival poster that depicts the festival’s theme “from spectrum to screen.” The winning artwork, created by Cynthia Abigail Romero, will be used as the festival’s official poster as well as for official materials such as t-shirts and postcards.AutFest Honorary Committee Members include seven-time Emmy winner and autism advocate Ed Asner, actress Kristen Bell (House of Lies), actor Dax Shepard (CHIPS), Emmy-winning actress comedian Sarah Silverman, Golden Globe-nominated actor Matthew Modine (Stranger Things), Emmy-nominated actor Gary Cole (Veep), Autism Speaks co-founder Bob Wright, The Suzanne Wright Foundation president Liz Feld, Warner Bros. president and CCO Peter Roth and Autism Society’s VP of Development Matthew Asner.AutFest 2018 is proudly sponsored by GOLD: Hyundai, State of Qatar, Sony Pictures Entertainment; SILVER: Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, Lindamood Belle, Netflix; FRIENDS OF THE FESTIVAL: ABC, Autism Pie, Bob Wright, Center for Developing Minds, ICM, Saban, SAG-Aftra; TRIBUTE BOOK: PCW Props, Shuman Management; MEDIA SPONSORS: ABC, Variety, INKIND: Foreo, MAC Cosmetics, One-Hope Wine, Penta Water, Runway Tech, Sevenly, Sprouts; GIFTBAG: Art by Luis, Designs by Siri, Lindamood Belle, Thikkun Spa.TICKETS AND COMPLETE AUTFEST SCHEDULE: To purchase festival passes or tickets, please go to autfestasa.com.last_img read more

Wilmer Valderrama Hosts Kids In Need Of Defense KIND Benefit at BOLON

first_imgKIND Los Angeles, an exclusive cocktail reception benefitting Kids In Need Of Defense (KIND), was hosted by Wilmer Valderrama at the new BOLON Los Angeles showroom and historic Helms Design Center in Culver City on Saturday, August 4.Elle McLemore , Wilmer Valderrama and Zuri Adele Credit/Copyright: Nina Prommer/KINDKIND Los Angeles introduced the LA entertainment, design and philanthropic communities to KIND. The event highlighted KIND’s work protecting and defending immigrant children suffering in detention centers during the current border crisis. KIND provides high quality pro bono legal representation to immigrant children separated from their parents and helps to reunite children with their parents and families.Presented by BOLON and BOOM Events, the cocktail party was hosted by actor and activist Wilmer Valderrama who participated in a special presentation with KIND President Wendy Young; Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Sonia Nazario; and Alejandra Valdez, a teenage former KIND client originally from El Salvador. Guests enjoyed the beautiful atmosphere of BOLON’s spectacular new Los Angeles showroom while learning about KIND and how they are addressing the family separation crisis.Among the notable guests in attendance were Zuri Adele (Freeform’s upcoming “Good Trouble”), Lana Condor (Netflix’s upcoming “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before”), Bryan Craig (ABC’s upcoming “Grand Hotel”), Elle McLemore (upcoming film “American Dresser”), Sonia Nazario (Pulitzer Prize winner), Goya Robles (“Get Shorty”), Adam Rodriguez (“Criminal Minds”), Gabrielle Ruiz (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”), Alicia Sanz (“From Dusk Till Dawn”), Pallavi Sastry (“Blue Bloods”), Azie Tesfai (“Jane The Virgin”), Diego Tinoco (“On My Block”), Alejandra Valdez (former KIND client), Lincoln Younes (ABC’s upcoming “Grand Hotel”), Wendy Young (KIND President), Zeeko Zaki (CBS’s upcoming “F.B.I.”) and more.KIND LOS ANGELES was generously sponsored by BOLON, BOOM events, Helms Design Center, Michael Hollingsworth Catering, Stanley’s Wet Goods and HINT Waters.last_img read more