first_imgOceana, the largest international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation, will host the 10th annual SeaChange Summer Party.This year’s SeaChange Summer Party honors Sam Waterston and Lily Tomlin for their support of Oceana and work as advocates for the oceans.Ted Danson will attend and emcee the evening. Confirmed guests include Alison Pill, Angela Kinsey, Sally Pressman, Oscar Nunez, Briana Evigan and Brett Dier.The event will include a world-class auction and cocktail reception, followed by a gourmet seated dinner and exciting live auction and program. The night will end with the SeaChange Post-Party Lounge, where guests can dance under the stars. To learn more, click here.last_img

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first_img“A LIFETIME” is a new film launched this week by Animal Defenders International (ADI) about the brutal short lives of two foxes, brothers Borys and Eryk, born and killed on a Polish fur farm.ADI placed hidden cameras on the farm to capture this rare insight into an industry that kills more than 100 million animals a year.Watch the film here.Joanna Lumley and Brian Blessed are backing ADI’s campaign to end the fur trade.Animal Defenders International President Jan Creamer said: “Over 100 million animals die for their fur every year. Our film shows the lives of these intelligent, feeling individuals and the cruelty they suffer when treated like a product. Just because they are not like us. Playful fox cubs Borys and Eryk, grow up in a small cage and die a terrifying and painful death for vanity and trinkets. This is the real cost of fur – when you buy fur, you buy cruelty, not beauty or luxury.”Three arctic foxes are followed from birth on the Polish fur farm – ADI named them Borys, Eryk and Aleska. We see them nursed by their mother and Aleska taking her first halting steps as a tiny cub. Their world is a small wire cage. After a few weeks their mother is removed and we see the growing cubs explore their world and play together. As their coats change to the thick white fur that would protect them through the winter months, their days are numbered; their fur is a prized product.At less than seven months of age, Boris and then Eryk are dragged from their cage. They have seen other foxes being killed outside their cage and there is nowhere to hide; desperate to avoid their fate, Borys, Eryk and Aleska try to run from the farmer. A terrified Aleska watches as her brothers are pulled from the cage by their tails, one at a time, hung up by a back leg, electrocuted and their bodies thrown on a cart to be skinned. Aleska is spared; she will breed next year’s foxes, her babies will be taken away from her and killed like her brothers.Poland is the fourth largest producer of fox fur in the world – almost all is exported. ADI’s previous investigations of fur farms in Finland, the world’s largest producer of fox fur, have shown similar suffering and cruel deaths. The ADI team has also filmed inside farms in the United States and UK – the UK banned fur farming but remains a major dealer importing and exporting fur. The ADI findings reveal a cruel industry built on an image of beauty and luxury, desperately hiding the suffering of sensitive, intelligent, animals being farmed in filthy, intensive factory conditions or trapped for their fur.• Wild foxes are forced to live in small bare wire cages • Excrement falls through the cages and piles up beneath them • Animals farmed for their fur are denied their most natural behaviours, the chronic deprivation and extreme confinement causing both psychological and physical damage. • Babies are torn from their mothers at just a few weeks old • The stark, filthy fur farm — a far cry from the complex, enriched wild habitat they deserve — takes a toll on their mental and physical health • After only seven short months, baby foxes are dragged from cages by their tails, hung upside down and electrocuted in front of their families and other animals on the farm. • The animals are aware of what will happen to them and make desperate attempts to evade capture in the small cage and cling onto the mesh. • Animals not killed outright despite industry claims and are electrocuted a second time. • During ADI’s Polish investigation, one fox completely regained consciousness, ran away and found somewhere to hide. The fox was dragged from his hiding place and hug up again but desperately resisted the probe that he now knew, would kill him.Worldwide every year over 110 million animals are killed on fur farms, with more than 16 million trapped in the wild for their fur. Over 15 million foxes are killed in a year, usually for trinkets, trims and accessories but up to 35 foxes can be used to make a fur coat.Recently, products being sold as “fake” have been found to be real fur – perhaps unsurprising that an industry that treats animals as they do, would lie about it to fool the public into buying their cruel products.Naturally shy and secretive animals, in the wild foxes have large territories, live in dens below ground in open country and eat a wide range of foods. Arctic foxes like Borys, Eryk and Aleska are nomadic, travelling many miles each day over the ice, enjoying the existence for which they evolved.On the Polish farm ADI documented foxes with bent feet and overgrown claws, the result of a lifetime stood on a floor of wire mesh; individuals who suffered tail loss, caused by chewing due to stress; an animal with a weeping eye, swollen with pus, that was left untreated; young foxes attempting to play but restricted by the confines of their cage; animals chewing and pawing at their cages in a desire to escape and to express themselves in their natural digging behaviours.Actress and long-time ADI supporter Joanna Lumley, said: “Be comfortable in your own skin, and not that of a poor defenceless animal caged and killed to provide it. Say no to fur and yes to helping these fashion victims. Please help ADI stop this brutal trade.”Animal loving actor Brian Blessed, said: “Millions of wild animals live on factory farms, bred for the fashion industry. It’s time to kill the suffering, not the animal. Always choose faux and not real fur and support ADI’ in this campaign.”Jan Creamer, who has filmed in multiple fur farms, said: “Small, barren cages denying wild animals anything natural are the norm for an industry responsible for the cruel and unnecessary killing of over 100 million animals every year for vanity. In the UK 74% of the public opposes the wearing of fur, so it is disappointing that 17 years after the banning of fur farms here, the country remains a hub for the import and export of fur products. We need a concerted effort to eliminate this trade worldwide and that includes people being on the look-out for real fur being sold as “fake”.”Other stars also back the campaign:Legendary TV host and philanthropist Bob Barker, said: “Many years ago I helped make ‘The Price Is Right’ among the very first shows to not allow fur coats as prizes. We’ve come a long way in making the world more humane for animals, but as you can see in the absolutely horrific treatment of foxes on ADI’s undercover video, we have a long way to go. Fur is never fashionable. Please don’t buy fur.”Actress Elaine Hendrix, known for her roles in The Parent Trap, Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2, and Inspector Gadget 2, said: “It was actually from an undercover fur video years ago that I became enlightened as to what was happening with animals. That changed my life, and I hope this video from ADI will change yours. When you see these vulnerable baby foxes brutalized for fashion, it should make us all think differently about our relationship to animals, and never, ever buy fur.”Actress Alexandra Paul, internationally recognized for her 5-year starring role as Lt. Stephanie Holden in the tv series Baywatch, said: I believe in all animals’ right to live free, pain free. ADI’s recent undercover fur exposé, which follows three baby foxes through their heartbreaking life to their tragic death on a Polish fur farm, is shocking. Thank you ADI for exposing this. We all need to share this video and make this stop.”last_img read more

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first_imgThe Television Academy Foundation raised a record breaking $330,000 at the star-studded 18th Annual Emmys Golf Classic on October 30.Cedric the Entertainer hosts 18th Annual Emmys Golf ClassicFunds raised at the event, co-sponsored by STAPLES Center Premium Seating, will support the Foundation’s renowned educational programs.Television stars, entertainment industry executives, Television Academy leadership and corporate partners competed in the day-long golf tournament at the Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles.Hosted by Cedric the Entertainer (The Comedy Get Down, The Last OG), the star-studded event included competitors from some of television’s top shows: Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds), Peter Mackenzie (black-ish), Benito Martinez (How to Get Away with Murder), Richard Kind (The Goldbergs), Bailey Chase (Twin Peaks), Robbie Amell (The X-Files), Adam Rodriguez (Criminal Minds), Carlos Bernard (24:Legacy), Joel Gretsch (Vampire Diaries), Jeff Nordling (Big Little Lies), Daniel Henney (Criminal Minds), Rocky Carroll (NCIS), C.S. Lee (Silicon Valley), Pat Finn (The Middle), Dave Annable (Yellowstone), Peter Weller (The Last Ship), Matt Craven (Sharp Objects), Ron Pearlman (Final Space), Gregory Harrison (Chesapeake Shores), Kate Linder (The Young and the Restless), Paula Trickey (Running Away), Adam Baldwin (The Last Ship), and Philip Boyd (The Haves and the Have Nots) plus pro golfer Andia Winslow.The tournament kicked off with “on the green” carpet arrivals, followed by a putting contest, full round of golf, and an afternoon cocktail reception. The day concluded with an awards dinner where honors were presented, including: • Grand Prize Low Net Winner: Foundation Auction team led by celebrity Paula Trickey. • 2nd Place Low Net: Team Staples #1 with celebrity Adam Baldwin • 3rd Place Low Net: Team Staples #3 with celebrity Robbie Amell • 1st Place Gross: Johnny Carson Foundation team with celebrity Matt CravenEstablished in 1959 as the charitable arm of the Television Academy, the Television Academy Foundation is dedicated to preserving the legacy of television while educating and inspiring those who will shape its future. Through renowned educational and outreach programs, such as The Interviews: An Oral History of Television, College Television Awards and Internship Program, the Foundation seeks to widen the circle of voices our industry represents and to create more opportunity for television to reflect all of society. For more information on the Foundation, visit TelevisionAcademy.com/Foundation.last_img read more

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first_imgIn its 34th year, Cityline continues to outperform its Canadian daytime competitors, ranking #1 with the desirable millennial audience in Toronto, the country’s largest market*. Through its digital platforms, Cityline is reaching more people with engaging content such as “#CitylineReal,” a movement to spread positivity on social media. Since the initiative launched in 2015, Canadians have been encouraged to show their true selves, to strip away the perfection and have candid and fearlessly honest conversations.“With decades of proven success, Cityline has evolved into a format that covers every major topic of interest to today’s daytime audience, in ways that will surely resonate with Americans,” said Josh Raphaelson, Principal, PPI Releasing. “Our viewers will fall in love at first sight of Tracy Moore, Cityline’s terrific, genuine host.”Airing on City each weekday at 9 a.m. local time, Cityline is Canada’s leading source for the latest in home décor, food, fashion, health and beauty. Filmed in front of a studio audience, host Tracy Moore is joined by hand-picked guest experts, delivering inspiring infotainment that is entertaining and practical.*Source: Among Millennials (A18-34) in the Toronto market, Cityline is a top 3 daytime talk program, beating The Talk, The Social, The View, Live! With Kelly, The Marilyn Denis Show, and The Goods – Numeris, Toronto/Hamilton EM, C8/29/16 – 5/7/2017, A18-34, AMA(000).Social Media LinksLike Cityline Facebook.com/citylinecaFollow Cityline on Twitter @CitylineCA / @tracycitylineFollow Cityline on Instagram @CitylineCA | @tracycitylineLike City Facebook.com/CitytvFollow City on Twitter @City_tvFollow City on Instagram @city_tvAbout Rogers:Rogers is a leading diversified Canadian communications and media company that’s working to deliver a great experience to our customers every day. We are Canada’s largest provider of wireless communications services and one of Canada’s leading providers of cable television, high-speed Internet, information technology, and telephony services to consumers and businesses. Through Rogers Media, we are engaged in radio and television broadcasting, sports, televised and online shopping, magazines, and digital media. Our shares are publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RCI.A and RCI.B) and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: RCI). Tracy Moore, host of Cityline. Rogers Media Signs Deals with U.S. Broadcasters for Cityline Syndication, this Fall Twitter Advertisement Facebook Advertisementcenter_img Login/Register With: TORONTO, June 2, 2017 – The world needs a little more Cityline™.  And now, even more North Americans will see why the popular daytime lifestyle series is a leader in Canada’s competitive television market. With Cityline‘s borderless appeal, Rogers Media has partnered with PPI to distribute the acclaimed daytime series for U.S. syndication, signing on Hearst, Graham, Raycom, and Weigel media groups to air Cityline on their television stations, starting this September.“We attribute Cityline’s universal appeal to its vibrant host, Tracy Moore, and the show’s renowned panel of fashion, home décor, parenting, food and beauty experts,” said Colette Watson, Senior Vice President, Television & Broadcast Operations, Rogers Media. “The show’s authentic and relatable approach resonates deeply with audiences, and we’re excited to extend the brand to more North American households.”Cityline will be available as a Monday to Friday strip, with 200 episodes available at launch. From its initial deals with U.S. broadcasters, Cityline will be available to more than 10 million households in such U.S. cities, as Chicago, Kansas City, Jacksonville, and Birmingham. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

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first_imgModels walks the runway for the AnaOno Intimates X Cancerland show at New York Fashion Week in February 2017. (Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images) Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitter Dianne Wraight is part of a legion of women who call themselves “flat and fabulous.”This week, many of them will be making their modelling debuts at New York Fashion Week.They’ll be sporting designs by AnaOno, which specializes in lingerie for women who have had mastectomies, breast reconstruction or breast surgery.center_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement “I’m trying to figure it out. I don’t really wear heels,” Wraight told Gloria Macarenko, host of CBC’s On the Coast.Dianne Wraight is part of a legion of women who call themselves “flat and fabulous.”This week, many of them will be making their modelling debuts at New York Fashion Week.They’ll be sporting designs by AnaOno, which specializes in lingerie for women who have had mastectomies, breast reconstruction or breast surgery.“I’m trying to figure it out. I don’t really wear heels,” Wraight told Gloria Macarenko, host of CBC’s On the Coast.last_img read more

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first_imgAdvertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebook Advertisement Q: In the first episode of the new season, the animated Brent character is referred to by the following terms: Tubby, Flabby, and Mary Blobbins. Do you have a self-image problem that we need to worry about?Brent Butt: “No, I’m all good. Why would suggesting I’m heavy automatically be a bad thing? Why do you take it to that place? Maybe I’m bragging.”Q: Fair enough. But the person who called you all those names was none other than Michael J. Fox. Who knew he could be so aggressive?Brent Butt: “That was really the impetus of the whole thing, when we were first talking about it in the writing room. We had this notion that Brent was having these recurring dreams that somebody was trying to kill him, and we thought it would be funny to have somebody really nice and beloved, so Michael J. Fox came to mind.”Q: It must be fun for your guest stars to play against type in an animated world.Brent Butt: “Yeah, and it’s also just easier to get somebody to agree to be in it. I can come to where they are with my recording equipment, or we can just set up a studio near where they live. We’re not trying to convince people to get on a plane and come to Saskatchewan for a couple of days. Logistically, it’s just easier to get people to go, ‘Yeah, that’s going to take 40 minutes, sure.’ ”Q: Do you write any of your core characters differently for the animated version than you did for the live-action version?Brent Butt: “No, I don’t think so. If you could watch it happening, the actors are acting. It’s not like they’re just sitting there with a cup of coffee in their hands, reading. They get in character. They occupy the situation. The only difference being, you don’t have to do the actual walking if it’s a walk-and-talk. But they’re into it. They’re pros, man.”Q: You must be pleased by how much the settings in the animated version look amazingly like the live-action version.Brent Butt: “That was important in the project right from the get-go, with the design of the show. It’s tough when you’re taking a known, beloved project and trying to convert it, as opposed to creating something from scratch. The thing I like is, we’ve had a lot of people say that about five minutes in, they forgot that it was an animated show, and they just felt like they were watching an episode of CORNER GAS.”Q: For fans who liked Season 1 of CORNER GAS ANIMATED, what message do you want to give them about Season 2?Brent Butt: “We spent a lot of Season 1 just building the machine and learning how to do this. In Season 2, we had that infrastructure in place, so we were able to really focus on the creative end. We invested a little bit in the animation, so things are a little smoother that way. Overall, it’s just a step up. Everything in Season 2 just feels tighter, smoother, funnier.”By Bill Harris ~ Bell Media There’s no mistaking the smell of gas on Canada Day, but this year it won’t be merely barbecues and outboard motors.Monday, July 1 is the day CORNER GAS ANIMATED returns for Season 2, with back-to-back new episodes, starting at 8 p.m. ET on The Comedy Network. The Season 2 debut is preceded by a Season 1 marathon on Comedy, which begins at 8 a.m. ET.Brent Butt holds a gas nozzle on the set of the CTV comedy series Corner Gas in Roleau, Sask, in this undated handout photo. (CP PICTURE ARCHIVE/HO – CTV)Here’s what creator Brent Butt had to say about the new 11-episode campaign, which brings back the beloved main cast – voiced by Butt, Fred Ewanuick, Eric Peterson, Nancy Robertson, Gabrielle Miller, Lorne Cardinal, Tara Spencer-Nairn, and Corrine Koslo – alongside guest stars such as Michael J. Fox, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Chris Hadfield, Russell Peters, Jann Arden, and EPIC MEALTIME’s Harley Morenstein. Login/Register With: Twitterlast_img read more

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first_imgBy Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsA Manitoba First Nation branded “American Indian refugees” by Ottawa has turned to the sale of Mohawk-made cigarettes and a casino to raise revenue for their cash-strapped community and escalate their battle with the federal government.Canupawakpa First Nation has struck a deal to sell cigarettes from Rainbow Tobacco, a Kahnawake, Que., tobacco company already fighting tax authorities in three other provinces.Canupawakpa Chief Frank Brown said the community, which is about 100 kilometres southwest of Brandon, Man., will begin selling Wolfpack and Deerfield cigarettes at a new smoke shop and casino unveiled Wednesday and set up near Hwy 2 and Hwy 83.The First Nation plans to sell the cigarettes and operate their casino outside Manitoba tax laws.Brown said the Dakota are a sovereign nation that never signed away any of their rights.“We are the non-treaty,” said Brown. “What we are saying is…Canada if we don’t have a treaty with you, we still hold title to our land before Canada came and we have rights, we have privileges.”Brown said the First Nation plans to sell tax-free cigarettes from their smoke shop to non-First Nations people.Brown said the First Nation will levy their own tax on the cigarettes and casino operations, which currently includes a Blackjack table, to generate revenue for his cash-strapped community of about 600. There are also plans to bring in VLTs.“Our finances are tight. We cannot finance houses for our people and our education,” said Brown. “We need to survive and live.Rainbow Tobacco president Robbie Dickson is already fighting tax authorities in three provinces.Rainbow Tobacco cigarettes have been seized in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan.The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) charged Dickson and two other men linked to his company in April with allegedly importing cigarettes into Alberta without a license.RCMP and AGLC agents seized 16 million Rainbow Tobacco cigarettes from the Montana First Nation in Alberta in January.The chief of the First Nation, Carolyn Buffalo, was also charged in connection to the raid.In July, AGLC agents and the RCMP also raided a gas bar in Sturgeon Lake First Nation, Alta., and seized Rainbow Tobacco cigarettes.Dickson said the raids and seizures won’t stop his fight to assert his rights to establish a tobacco trade between First Nations that is unencumbered by provincial tax laws.“We can sustain this as long as it is going to take. We are gaining support from all our people, from all the nations from all the territories. It is a fight that has to be won,” he said. “It comes down to jurisdiction. They have no rights on our territories. The Dakota and Mohawks have never signed any treaties with these foreign governments so our sovereignty is fully intact.”The Assembly of First Nations has also backed Dickson’s position.Brown said he’s not worried about a police raid.“Either they don’t raid us, that is good, but if they raid us that is good too,” said Brown. “If they raid us and seize and confiscate and charge, what laws are they using against? There is no process with non-treaty in Canada, so what laws are they going to legally use.”The Dakota never signed onto the numbered treaties that cover large swaths of Ontario, the prairies and the Northwest Territories.They are currently in Federal Court to affirm Aboriginal rights and title to their claimed traditional territory and to force Ottawa into negotiations for compensation and reparations.The Dakota also want Ottawa to admit they are not “American Indian refugees” in Canada, according to the statement of claim filed in 2009.The federal government, however, holds that the Dakota “do not have Aboriginal title, rights, entitlement or legal interest in lands situated in Canada that they claim to be part of the ‘territories of the Dakota Nation,’” according to the statement of defence.The case is ongoing.jbarrera@aptn.calast_img read more

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first_imgBy Tim Fontaine APTN National News WINNIPEG–A donor has been found and Stephen Bunn will receive a liver transplant, his mother Sandy Louise says.The young Brandon Manitoba man made headlines in early 2014 when he was told smudging violated his high school’s scent-free policy. Bunn had been in a Toronto hospital suffering from a mystery illness that caused his liver to fail.Louise says doctors told her early this morning that a donor has been found and that Bunn could be in the operating room this afternoon.“I can’t even describe what I’m feeling right now,” Louise says. “It’s beyond anything, really.”Louise had received a flood of messages on social media, with people from across North America offering prayers and support. Many  also offered to be tested to see if they were a possible match for organ donation.tfontaine@aptn.ca@anishinaboylast_img read more

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first_imgAPTN National NewsA local diner in Edmonton has been serving hot dinners for the city’s homeless for well over a decade.On Tuesday, the owner and staff of B’s Diner are preparing for their biggest feast yet.APTN’s Chris Stewart brings us this festive story.cstewart@aptn.calast_img

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first_imgAPTN National NewsThere are few answers for the people of Lac, Simon, Que., after a weekend shooting left two men dead.Investigators believe that on Saturday, Joseph Anything Raymond-Papatie killed a police officer, and then himself.Crisis teams are in the Algonquin community ready to help anyone who comes forward.APTN’s Danielle Rochette reports.drochette@aptn.calast_img

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first_imgBrittany HobsonAPTN NewsCindy Blackstock, the executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society spoke out about how Canada and the provinces deal with children who need medical help on reserve.“If you don’t have water or a house parenting programs aren’t going to do you a lot of good,” she said. “Unless we create equity across all those dimensions the over-representation is going to continue.”Blackstock won a discrimination case in the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) against Canada where she proved the federal government spent less on First Nations child welfare when compared to what the provinces spend off reserve.Earlier this year the CHRT issued its fifth non-compliance order against Canada.But she says the provinces have a role to play as well.“If that solution the government agrees that’s a good solution and they still don’t implement it and you’ve tried everything I think that yeah you should go to litigation because the bottom line is that kids should come first,” she told the inquiry.bhobson@aptn.ca@bhobs22last_img read more

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NEW YORK, N.Y. – Facebook is shutting down its ill-fated “trending” news section after four years, a company executive told The Associated Press.The company claims the tool is outdated and wasn’t popular. But the trending section also proved problematic in ways that would presage Facebook’s later problems with fake news, political balance and the limitations of artificial intelligence in managing the messy human world.When Facebook launched “trending” in 2014 as a list of headlines to the side of the main news feed, it was a straightforward move to steal users from Twitter by giving them a quick look at the most popular news of the moment. It fit nicely into CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s pledge just a year earlier to make Facebook its users’ “personal newspaper.”But that was then. “Fake news” wasn’t yet a popular term, and no foreign country had been accused of trying to influence the U.S. elections through social media, as Russia later would be. Trending news that year included the death of Robin Williams, Ebola and the World Cup.Facebook is now testing new features, including a “breaking news” label that publishers can add to stories to distinguish them from other chatter. Facebook also wants to make local news more prominent.“It’s very good to get rid of ‘trending,’” said Frank Pasquale, a law professor at the University of Maryland and expert on algorithms and society. He said algorithms are good for very narrow, well-defined tasks. By contrast, he said, deciding what news stories should go in “trending” requires broad thinking, quick judgments about context and decisions about whether someone is trying to game the system.In an interview ahead of Friday’s announcement, Facebook’s head of news products, Alex Hardiman, said the company is still committed to breaking and real-time news. But instead of having Facebook’s moderators, human or otherwise, make editorial decisions, there’s been a subtle shift to let news organizations do so.According to the Pew Research Center, 44 per cent of U.S. adults get some or all of their news through Facebook.Troubles with the trending section began to emerge in 2016, when the company was accused of bias against conservatives, based on the words of an anonymous former contractor who said Facebook downplayed conservative issues in that feature and promoted liberal causes. Zuckerberg met with prominent right-wing leaders at the company’s headquarters in an attempt at damage control. Yet two years later, Facebook still hasn’t been able to shake the notion of bias.In late 2016, Facebook fired the human editors who worked on the trending topics and replaced them with software that was supposed to be free of political bias. Instead, the software algorithm began to pick out posts that were getting the most attention, even if the information in them was bogus. In early 2017, Facebook made another attempt to fix the trending section, this time by including only topics covered by several news publishers. The thinking was that coverage by just one outlet could be a sign that the news is fake.The troubles underscore the difficulty of relying on computers, even artificial intelligence, to make sense of the messy human world without committing obvious, sometimes embarrassing and occasionally disastrous errors.Ultimately, Facebook appears to conclude that trying to fix the headaches around trending wasn’t worth the meagre benefit the company, users and news publishers saw in it.“There are other ways for us to better invest our resources,” Hardiman said.Pasquale said Facebook’s new efforts represent “very slow steps” toward an acknowledgement that the company is making editorial judgments when it decides what news should be shown to users — and that it needs to empower journalists and editors to do so.But what needs to happen now, he added, is a broad shift in the company’s corporate culture, recognizing the expertise involved in journalistic judgment. The changes and features Facebook is putting out, he said, are being treated as “bug fixes” — addressing single problems the way engineers do.“What they are not doing is giving an overall account of their mission on how these fixes fit together,” Pasquale said.The “breaking news” label that Facebook is testing with 80 news publishers around the world will let outlets such as The Washington Post add a red label to indicate that a story is breaking news, highlighting it for users who want accurate information as things are happening.“Breaking news has to look different than a recipe,” Hardiman said.Another feature, called “Today In,” shows people breaking news in their area from local publishers, officials and organizations. It’s being tested out in 30 markets in the U.S. Hardiman says the goal is to help “elevate great local journalism.” The company is also funding news videos, created exclusively for Facebook by outside publishers it would not yet name. It plans to launch this feature in the next few months.Facebook says the trending section wasn’t a popular feature to begin with. It was available only in five countries and accounted for less than 1.5 per cent of clicks to the websites of news publishers, according to the company.While Facebook got outsized attention for the problems the trending section had — perhaps because it seemed popular with journalists and editors — neither its existence nor its removal makes much of a difference when it comes with Facebook’s broader problems with news.Hardiman said ending the trending section feels like letting a child go. But she said Facebook’s focus now is prioritizing trustworthy, informative news that people find useful. read more

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first_imgCALGARY (660NEWS) — Calgary’s economic plan has received another update to deal with a changing economy and continued challenges lingering from the recession.Titled “Calgary in the New Economy”, the plan is an update on the previous strategy unveiled in 2014. It focuses on four key areas: talent, innovation, place and business environment.Calgary Economic Development is stressing an importance on modernization and keeping young people in the city.“We have an incredible opportunity as a city,” said Executive Chair Steve Allan. “We have this livable city, we have incredible talent, a young, well-educated workforce, and office space. So those are great things to build on.”During the press conference revealing the plan, speakers talked about how the economy is still getting better in Calgary, although some challenges remain. There is still concern over energy and getting a better price for our products. Also, on the topic of office space, vacancy remains very high and unemployment remains a concern.“Over the last few months, it feels like we’ve stagnated in terms of jobs in particular,” said Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi.Nenshi added the plan emphasizes different ways to attract young people downtown and fill up some of that space.“So bringing more people downtown and investing in areas that lead to direct job creation are two major priorities.”But there is lots of positivity about the road ahead. If all goes to plan, technology will get more of a focus in Calgary as a way to bridge the gap between different industries.“Innovation crosses all of our sectors, and we’ve got a lot of innovation going on in agriculture, in energy, in transportation, in logistics and in health sciences. A lot of stuff happening here,” said Allan.Ideally, the city can continue to pull out of the recession and take steps towards a more youthful and modernized world.“We have a real opportunity to ensure that young people are deeply engaged in the work that we do. So it starts with making sure that in elementary and junior high and high school, kids are learning about entrepreneurship and innovation — which is happening now. But it also makes sure that people see real opportunities not just to get a great job here, but to start a business here,” added Nenshi.“You have to embrace change,” said Allan. “I’m an old guy, but I love change. I’ve lived in a world of change so I love it. Like every day it’s exciting when you find something and I don’t begin to understand it at all.”While most of the initiatives in the plan will take five years or longer to implement, there are several with immediate targets including: create Canada’s largest talent accelerator, establish Calgary as a magnet for students, develop the Calgary innovation corridor and launch initiatives to generate business development.last_img read more

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first_imgU.S. stocks moved broadly lower in early trading Thursday, extending the market’s losing streak into a sixth day. Losses among retailers, homebuilders and health care companies outweighed gains in technology stocks. The slide followed a sell-off in European indexes as the British pound slumped amid discord over a new deal for Britain’s exit from the European Union.KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 15 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 2,686 as of 10:08 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 134 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 24,946. The Nasdaq composite dropped 24 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 7,111. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gave up 6 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 1,496.The benchmark S&P 500 has declined five straight days. The indexes are now on track to finish the month with a loss.BREXIT: European markets were jittery over a flare-up in discord over British Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan for Britain’s departure from the European Union next year. She persuaded a majority in her Cabinet to back an agreement that would allow Britain to stay in a customs union while a trade treaty is negotiated, but the deal faces an uncertain fate in Parliament and two of her Cabinet ministers, including the Brexit minister, resigned in protest.The heightened uncertainty over making sure Britain’s departure from the European Union next year is smooth sent the pound lower against other currencies and hit British bank stocks. The disarray surrounding the process has thrown London’s future as a financial centre into jeopardy. U.S.-listed shares of Barclay’s slid 5.7 per cent to $8.49 and Royal Bank of Scotland plunged 9.4 per cent to $5.90.ROTTEN RETAIL: Several department store chains slumped. J.C. Penney fell 1.6 per cent to $1.20 after the company withdrew profit guidance and lowered its sales expectations for the year. Macy’s gave up 4.6 per cent to $31.69. Target dropped 2.9 per cent to $80.71.HOUSE OF PAIN: Homebuilders were trading lower. Lennar declined 3.8 per cent to $40.05, while PulteGroup lost 3.6 per cent to $23.67.TECH RALLY: Technology companies led the gainers. Cisco Systems rose 4.3 per cent to $46.24 a day after the company reported quarterly results that topped Wall Street’s forecasts.ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 0.5 per cent to $56.60 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 1 per cent to $66.76 a barrel in London. Natural gas, which spiked Wednesday amid forecasts calling for a cold snap across much of the Northeast and South, slumped 10 per cent to $4.35 per 1,000 cubic feet.BOND YIELDS: Bond prices rose as traders continued to shift money into low-risk assets. That sent the 10-year Treasury note down to 3.09 per cent from 3.12 per cent late Wednesday.CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 113.25 yen from 113.51 yen on Wednesday. The euro fell to $1.1305 from $1.1338. The pound plunged to $1.2799 from $1.3038 on concerns that a new deal to enable the United Kingdom to separate from the European Union will not get approved by Britain’s parliament.OVERSEAS: Major indexes in Europe fell. German’s DAX dropped 0.5 per cent and France’s CAC 40 shed 1 per cent. London’s FTSE 100 slid 0.5 per cent. In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.7 per cent and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gave up 0.2 per cent. Seoul’s Kospi gained 1 per cent. India’s Sensex rose 0.6 per cent. Bangkok and New Zealand declined while Taiwan and other Southeast Asian markets rose.Alex Veiga, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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first_imgPARIS — French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe will meet with some protesters’ representatives in an effort to calm the tensions over rising taxes, a first since the movement started two weeks ago.The government’s move on Friday comes amid calls for a new actions Saturday across France, including on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, where a protest last weekend degenerated into violence.Motorists protesting against a fuel tax hike have been joined since by farmers, white-collar workers, retirees and others in the “yellow jackets” movement that now involves a broad range of demands related to the country’s high cost of living.Their list of demands include tax cuts, the creation of a citizens’ assembly, state-funded subsidies to help companies increase hiring, higher pensions and a higher national minimum salary.Sylvie Corbet, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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first_imgNEW YORK — Small business issues often win bipartisan support on Capitol Hill, but given the divisions in the incoming 116th Congress, advocates for companies have low expectations.Even after lawmakers deal with the partial government shutdown, a Democratic House, a Republican Senate and ongoing investigations of the Trump White House and campaign are expected to be obstacles to much small business-related work getting done.“I think 2019 is going to be a quiet year with maybe small reforms on tax things, maybe some trade legislation getting through,” said Karen Kerrigan, president of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.Company owners may see more movement in their states, said John Arensmeyer, CEO of Small Business Majority, who called governors “more aggressive than anyone” on helping small business.A look at issues that small business advocates expect to be on government agendas in 2019:HEALTH CARELawmakers were expected to introduce health care bills even before the federal court ruling last month that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. Since that ruling, which is expected to be appealed and could reach the Supreme Court, House Democrats have said they plan to intervene in the defence of the law.Democrats expect to introduce bills to limit the use of low-cost short-term health plans that have limited coverage and bolster the ACA’s coverage of people with pre-existing conditions. Republican opposition to Democratic efforts is likely, although many GOP lawmakers voiced support for pre-existing condition coverage during their election campaigns.Small business groups want Congress to pass legislation limiting increases in health care costs — but they’re not optimistic.“To do that would be controversial,” said Todd McCracken, president of the National Small Business Association.Legislation expanding the availability of association health plans, or AHPs, stalled in the 115th Congress, and could be reintroduced. These plans allow individuals like sole proprietors to band together and buy insurance. They’re illegal under the ACA but the Trump administration last year issued rules making it possible for some owners to join AHPs. However, some states have laws making it difficult or impossible for their residents to join the plans, and more states might enact their own legislation.Changes in health care law are most likely to come from the states, Arensmeyer said.TAXESLegislation to simplify tax code provisions that affect small businesses languished in the last Congress and is expected to be reintroduced. Among other things, the Small Business Owners’ Tax Simplification Act would make due dates for estimated tax payments the last date of calendar year quarters. It would also make it easier for owners to deduct their own health care premiums.“They’re common sense reforms that are supported by both sides of the aisle,” Kerrigan says.Some business groups will seek further tax code simplification because of the administrative burden taxes place on owners. But hopes aren’t high.“Any material simplification is probably not going to happen with the divided Congress,” said Keith Hall, president of the National Association for the Self-Employed.TRADECongress is expected to consider the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement early in 2019. The trade deal, intended to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, is opposed by Democrats who want stronger protections for U.S. workers from low-wage Mexican competition.Many U.S. small manufacturers export to Mexico and Canada and want the deal ratified.“It’s bad for business, particularly for small businesses, if the agreement just went away,” McCracken said.EMPLOYMENT ISSUESThe Labor Department is expected to issue its new regulations on overtime — which employees must be given overtime, and which are exempt. The Trump administration is rewriting rules written under the Obama administration and then blocked by a federal judge; those rules would have doubled the pay threshold at which workers would be exempt from overtime, to $47,476 from $23,660. An estimated 4.2 million people would have been able to begin earning OT under the rules.Kerrigan expects the rules to be issued early in the year, and predicted the threshold would be a compromise between the Obama administration version and no increase.INFRASTRUCTURELegislation to repair the nation’s roadways and bridges is expected in the new Congress although the Trump administration $1.5 billion proposal announced last February foundered. McCracken says the parties remain too far apart for a bill to pass — unless the economy provides some motivation for a compromise.“Infrastructure is one of those things that can generate a lot of activity and bolster the economy,” he says. Many companies that do the actual repairing of roads and bridges are small businesses like general contractors.INTERNET PRIVACYLaws aimed at protecting consumers’ privacy and personal information are expected to be pursued in state legislatures, and possibly in Congress, after California’s passage last year of its Consumer Privacy Protection Act. The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2020, requires businesses to disclose how they use personal information and gives consumers more control over how that information is used.The prospect of businesses having to comply with 50 different laws has some members of Congress in favour of creating a national standard. “That’s where you may see some bipartisanship,” Kerrigan said. But McCracken said it’s unlikely such a bill would pass both houses.PAID LEAVELegislation is expected in more states providing for paid sick leave and family leave for employees. Twelve states and 20 cities and counties have sick leave laws, which allow employees to accrue paid time off for their illnesses or a family member’s. Paid family leave, including time off to care for ill relatives, is the law only in California, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island; those states have employee and/or employer-funded insurance pools to partially replace workers’ wages.Democrats in the House may also introduce family leave legislation, but it likely wouldn’t survive the Senate, McCracken said.___For more small business news, insights and inspiration, sign up for our free weekly newsletter here: http://discover.ap.org/ssb_____Follow Joyce Rosenberg at www.twitter.com/JoyceMRosenberg . Her work can be found here: https://apnews.com/search/joyce%20rosenbergJoyce M. Rosenberg, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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first_img“No one should have to make the difficult decision between their family’s health and putting food on the table. We know that for many working households, needed prescriptions were going unfilled too often because Fair PharmaCare deductibles were too high. The changes we have made will provide thousands of families with the relief they need.”Previously, a household earning a net annual income between $15,000 and $30,000 would have to pay between $300 and $600 in deductibles before Fair PharmaCare would start to provide coverage assistance.Ministry of Health data has shown a link between low-income levels, deductibles and decreased drug spending, indicating that families will forgo filling prescriptions because of the cost, opting for other essentials, such as housing and groceries.Families earning under $45,000 in net annual income are also benefiting from this investment. Deductibles and co-payments have been lowered for households earning between $30,000 and $45,000 net, annually. Fair PharmaCare co-payments have also been eliminated for seniors born before 1940 earning a household net annual income up to $14,000, and for the lowest income households, those earning up to $13,750.Previously, anyone registered with Fair PharmaCare, even people with the lowest incomes, would have to pay out-of-pocket before receiving 100 percent coverage.The Government says by eliminating the family maximum for the lowest-earning families and reducing it for those earning less than a net annual income of $45,000 – families will save more on prescriptions throughout the year. VANCOUVER, B.C. – The B.C. Government is helping families get the prescription drugs they need as part of the Fair PharmaCare investment.The Government is investing $105 million in reducing or eliminating deductibles and co-payments for lower-income households.Minister of Health, Adrian Dix, says that no family should have to make the decision between buying food or family health. For more information on Fair Pharmacare, you can visit the Pharmacare website.last_img read more

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first_imgKolkata: As political parties gear up for Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal, data released by the central government has shown that CPI(M) lawmaker Mohammed Salim has secured the top spot in terms of utilisation of MPLADS funds in the state, followed by TMC MPs. Besides Salim, the other five MPs who have performed well in terms of the MPLADS fund utilisation were all first-time MPs, involved in social service or the entertainment industry before becoming parliamentarians in 2014. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellers Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) enables MPs to recommend developmental work in their constituencies with an emphasis on creating durable community assets based on locally felt needs. West Bengal with 42 Lok Sabha seats had utilised around 93.42 per of the released MPLADS funds. Around Rs 803.39 crore was used in the last five years and Rs 124.47 crore still lies unused in the MPLADS from the state. Projects worth over Rs 1000 crore were recommended by MPs cutting across party lines and the amount sanctioned was Rs 902.44 crore. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja According to the data, Salim, a CPI(M) MP from Raiganj Lok Sabha seat had ensured 115.14 per cent utilisation of the released funds. The amount available with interest in MPLADS was Rs 20.98 crore. In the 16th Lok Sabha from 2014-2019, Salim had recommended around Rs 28.88 crore for developmental work of which Rs 21.51 crore was sanctioned by the Centre. Around Rs 20.05 crore was spent from the sanctioned amount. Salim alleged that the district administration had been “lethargic” in releasing the utilisation certificates thereby “blocking” the way for the release of funds for the subsequent year. Under MPLADS, the role of an MP is limited only up to recommendation of developmental works. Thereafter it is the responsibility of the district administration to sanction, execute and complete the works recommended by the MP within the stipulated time period. The second in the list of utilising the fund was first time TMC MP Mamata Bala Thakur, from Bongaon Lok Sabha constituency. The amount available with interest in MPLADS was around Rs 26.03 crore. Thakur had recommended around Rs 27.72 crore of which Rs 25.58 crore was sanctioned by the Centre. Of the sanctioned sum, around Rs 25.34 crore was spent and the percentage of utilisation of funds was 110.60 percent. Bengali actress and first time TMC MP Sandhya Roy from Medinipur Lok Sabha constituency ranked third. The amount available with interest in MPLADS was around Rs 26.92 crores and Roy had recommended around Rs 27.89 crore for developmental work of which the entire amount was sanctioned. Around Rs 26.50 crore was spent and the percentage of utilization was 104.40 percent. Bengali actor and first time TMC MP Deepak Adhikari, commonly know as Dev, from Ghatal Lok Sabha constituency ranked fourth. The amount available with interest in MPLADS was around Rs 18.91 crore and Adhikari had recommended around Rs 25.84 crore of which the entire amount was sanctioned. Around Rs 18.29 crore was spent and the percentage of utilisation is 102.51 percent. The fifth in the list was TMC MP Aparupa Poddar, another first time MP from Arambag Lok Sabha constituency. The amount available with interest in MPLAD was around Rs 28.55 crore and Poddar had recommended around Rs 35.88 crore of which Rs 28.25 crore was sanctioned. Around Rs 26.06 crore was spent and the percentage of utilization of released funds stood at 102.24 per cent. In the case of senior TMC leader and first time MP, Abhishek Banerjee, who also happens to be the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the percentage of utilisation of the released funds stand at 94.04 per cent. The amount available with interest in MPLADS was around Rs 26.87 crore. The MP had recommended projects around Rs 26.92 crore of which Rs 23.94 crores was sanctioned. Around Rs 21.56 crore was spent for various projects. The two BJP MPs from Bengal- Darjeeling MP S S Ahluwalia and Asansol MP Babul Supriyo – had recorded utilisation of released MPLADS funds at around 56.30 per cent and 72.68 per cent respectively. Ahluwalia alleged that he had submitted around 312 recommendations to the district administration for various developmental projects but 228 recommendations were yet to be processed. The amount available with interest in the MPLADS of Ahluwalia was around Rs 10.29 crore. Ahluwalia had recommended projects worth Rs 25.22 crores of which Rs 8.81 crore was sanctioned. Around Rs 5.83 crore was spent and the percentage of utilization of released funds was 56.30 per cent.last_img read more

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first_imgDigital entertainment has taken the country by storm in recent times. Society has witnessed the transition from traditional cable connections to DTH services. The latter streamlined customer-distributor-broadcaster interaction and earmarked the provision of channels and movies at user’s disposal. Then came Over-the-top (OTT) services which went mainstream 2018 onwards. OTT services changed the market equation altogether. Providing film and TV content via the internet without requiring users to subscribe to DTH services and hence entirely bypassing a multiple-system operator in the control or distribution of the content. The key OTT players – Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Eros Now, JioTV – became a threat to the television providers only in the sense that they offered online streaming of all those flicks which otherwise were as good as premium provisions of these operators. The only essential prerequisite was the internet. The Internet brought attention to the data, its availability, and its consumption. For those who have not paid heed to India’s data leap, it may set in as a surprise that India, today, provides the lowest rate in the world for Mobile Data – mere Rs 18/GB aggregate – against a global average of Rs 600, as per the price comparison analysed by Cable.co.uk. Much of this is credited to the market upheaval that Jio brought upon its entry with data-based telecom services. Cheap data single-handedly boosted the OTT players’ morale for a wide business prospect, especially with the potential numbers (subscribers) that they could garner from India. So, Netflix and Amazon Prime extended their services to India, riding on the back of the telecom providers to aid their outreach and establish themselves. The telecom players coupled OTT services with their packages and priced them accordingly to accrue benefits to whichever length possible. Now, Netflix is testing mobile subscriptions of Rs 250 against their traditional plans ranging from Rs 500 – Rs 800 which is apparently expensive for India’s price-sensitive market. Netflix’s mobile subscription plan directly builds upon the smartphone base of India that has risen exponentially and expeditiously. India is the second largest smartphone market in the world after China with 430 million smartphone users. Simple math justifies Netflix’s move. The advent of OTT services and robust compliance from telecom fishes has bolstered the country’s data consumption – a win-win situation for both the stakeholders in the fray. Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc., have facilitated, first a need and then a market of, India-focussed and shows. Sacred Games took the country by storm and more flicks based on the region, and available in languages, have stormed Indian market and captivated wide public interest. OTT platforms’ outreach brings the international audience to a trove of Indian shows based on diverse issues and available in distinct languages.last_img read more

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