OTTAWA — Canadian patients and groups that advocate on their behalf are sounding the alarm about the federal government’s recent changes to the way it regulates the cost of patented medicines.Toronto lawyer and longtime Liberal supporter Chris MacLeod, who lives with cystic fibrosis, says it pains him to speak out against the government but he fears lives could be on the line as a result of the changes.Health Canada recently finalized long-awaited amendments, which include providing the Patented Medicines Prices Review Board with the market price of medicines rather than an inflated list price.The department says the board can then consider whether the drug price actually reflects the value it has for patients.MacLeod, however, fears the regulations will ultimately drive the list prices down to the point where drug companies will not seek to bring new, game-changing medicines to Canada.The Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders shares MacLeod’s concern, adding that while everyone wants to have access to medications at affordable prices, it risks making new therapies less available.The Canadian Press
TORONTO — Canada’s largest mental health hospital is developing a specialized form of psychotherapy catered toward Canadians of South Asian origin to help members of that community overcome stigma around mental illness and seek treatment.The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto says it hopes to have a culturally adapted manual on the targeted form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy — or CBT — as well as a therapist training package ready by November.CAMH psychiatrist Dr. Farooq Naeem said he will be consulting with patients, caregivers, mental health professionals and community leaders as he adapts an existing CBT manual to meet the specific cultural needs of South Asian patients.“The evidence shows that CBT is as good as medications to treat depression and anxiety, as well as to prevent relapse,” said Naeem.“But we also have a lot of data that shows that CBT does not work as well with people from non-western cultural backgrounds. When we adapt it for other cultural contexts — as we’ve done for other racialized communities — it becomes far more effective.”Naeem said he hopes the culturally-adapted CBT, which can be offered outside hospitals, will help reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness for South Asians and encourage members of the community to seek treatment when needed. A $1 million grant from Health Canada is helping to fund the CAMH project.The specialized therapy manual and training package being developed could serve as a model for other types of culturally-adapted CBT programs across Canada in the future, Naeem added.Canada is home to 1.6 million people of South Asian origin, one of the largest racialized groups in the country. CAMH said there were higher rates of anxiety and mood disorders for the population compared to immigrants from other parts of the world largely due to cultural and socio-economic factors.The hospital said people of South Asian origin also have the highest perceived barriers to mental health treatment and are 85 per cent less likely to seek treatment for mental illness than those who identify as white.Shreya Kumar, who was born in India and now lives in Ontario, knows first-hand how hard it can be for South Asians to seek treatment for mental illness.The 26-year-old said she had her first major depressive episode at the age of 17 while living in Kuwait. Getting treatment for mental illness was unheard of in her community, she said, and it took her five years to get help. “There is a culture-wide disdain for weakness among South Asians. If you’re anxious, you’re weak. If you’re depressed, you can’t cope and none of that is seen as a clinical thing, said Kumar, who works as a freelance graphic designer. “There is no language around mental health and mental wellness, there isn’t really a tendency to talk about your feelings either. If you’re faced with a challenge, you should be able to cope with it and if you’re not, you’re doing something wrong.”Kumar, who has now been benefiting from CBT for years, said she used to blame herself for her mental state.“The illusion of being alone in the problem was what was the most debilitating thing for me,” she said. “When a culturally adept service is available and advertised well enough and people know about it, hopefully it encourages help-seeking behaviour and early intervention.”Dr. Saunia Ahmad, the director of the Toronto Psychology Clinic, said there are a variety of barriers to South Asians that prevent them from seeking treatment, including cultural elements like arranged marriage, religion and language.CBT, as it was originally developed, was created from a western point of view that assumes a white model of what healthy, human behaviour looks like, she said.“A lot of people don’t even know what a psychologist is in South Asia. It’s a concept that you derive from North American values,” said Ahmad, who is also of South Asian descent. “It’s really important for us as therapists to recognize that where they’re coming from is also culturally circumscribed.”With more adaptive programs, Ahmad said South Asian people will begin to feel recognized.“They’ll start to feel like there’s a focus on them and understanding them,” she said.Emerald Bensadoun, The Canadian Press
The Ad Council is releasing a new round of digital and TV PSAs created pro bono by Warner Bros. as an extension of the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Go Red For Women movement. Voiced by actress Elizabeth Banks, the ads feature footage and characters from The LEGO Movie, which is coming out next month.Video: Go Red For Women Lego Movie PSAOne out of every three deaths among women in the U.S. each year is attributed to cardiovascular diseases including heart disease and stroke, making it the No. 1 killer of women in this country and causing more fatalities than all forms of cancer combined, according to the American Heart Association.However, only one in five American women believes that heart disease is her greatest health threat. In an effort to raise awareness of heart disease and empower women with the necessary tools to lead heart healthy lives, the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women and the Ad Council are launching a new public service advertising (PSA) campaign today as an extension of the American Heart Association’s “Go Red For Women” movement. The launch precedes “National Wear Red Day,” which is on February 7 and will mark the 10th anniversary of “Go Red For Women.”Created pro bono by Warner Bros., the new television ads feature scenes and characters from the upcoming The LEGO Movie, encouraging audiences, “It’s time to Go Red For Women.” Voiced by Emmy-nominated actress Elizabeth Banks, the film character Wyldstyle empowers women, asking them to “Stand stronger, shout louder and demand change.” Audiences are directed to GoRedForWomen.org where they can access more information on the disease, including risk factors and symptoms, as well as preventative tips and tools to lead a healthier lifestyle. New online PSAs also feature Wyldstyle and drive audiences to “Go Red For Women’s” website to learn more.“The American Heart Association is grateful for the opportunity to work with both the Ad Council and Warner Bros. on this entertaining and informative public service announcement that will harness the unique magic movies and their characters have to increase women’s awareness about their No. 1 killer – heart disease,” said Dr. Jennifer Mieres, Professor of Cardiology at the Hofstra North Shore LIJ School of Medicine and Go Red For Women spokesperson. “While raising funds for women-related education and research is imperative to our success, collaboration with creative partners to create engaging and relevant content also allows the AHA to spark positive behavior change in women and their families.”An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by cardiovascular disease, resulting in over 400,000 deaths each year, according to the American Heart Association. The symptoms of cardiovascular disease, such as shortness of breath, nausea, back pain and sweating, can be easy to miss and sometimes not outwardly apparent, causing it to be known as a “silent killer.” However, by knowing the risk factors and taking simple steps like stop smoking, regular physical activity, eating a heart healthy diet and blood pressure monitoring, women can decrease their chances of heart illness.“Heart disease claims the life of nearly one woman in the United States every minute,” said Peggy Conlon, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “However, many many women continue to falsely believe the disease is one that just targets men or the elderly and don’t take enough action to reduce their personal risk. Together, with longstanding partners the American Heart Association and Warner Brothers, we know we can have an impact on this critical health issue.”The American Heart Association established “Go Red For Women” in 2004 to encourage women to know their risk factors and adopt healthy lifestyle practices to help prevent heart disease. Since the creation of the program, more than two million women have participated by taking the “Go Red Heart CheckUp” and an estimated 627,000 lives have been saved.The Ad Council and the American Heart Association have a long history of working together to improve awareness and education around important health issues in the U.S. including stroke awareness and hands-only CPR education. The new PSAs launching today mark their first partnership on behalf of Go Red For Women. Following the Ad Council’s model, the new PSAs will be distributed to 33,000 media outlets nationwide this month. The ads will air and run in advertising time and space entirely donated by the media.
On Thursday, April 27, 2017, some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry joined Keep Memory Alive to honor remarkable philanthropist and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated, Ronald O. Perelman, at Keep Memory Alive’s 21st annual Power of Love gala inside MGM Grand Garden Arena.Jennifer Hudson Performs At Keep Memory Alive’s 21st annual Power of Love galaThe star-studded event raised funds and awareness for Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and its fight against brain disease including Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases, multiple sclerosis and multiple system atrophy.Highlights from the night included a surprise $1 million donation from Community Achievement Award recipient and tennis super star, Andre Agassi and wife Stefanie Graf. World-renowned rock star Jon Bon Jovi kicked off the night with a performance of legendary hits “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” “You Give Love A Bad Name” and “Livin’ On A Prayer.”GRAMMY-Award winning artist Jennifer Hudson surprised the crowd and stepped in for Gwen Stefani who was unable to attend due to doctor’s orders. Hudson brought down the house with high-energy performances of “Hallelujah,” “Remember Me” and a Whitney Houston mash-up of “I’m Every Woman” and I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” Celebrity supporters who also attended the event included Steve Schirripa, Kenneth “Baby Face” Edmonds, Larry King and John Paul DeJoria.In addition to honoring Perelman for his outstanding philanthropic efforts, Keep Memory Alive recognized Siegfried Fischbacher of the legendary duo, Siegfried & Roy, with its inaugural Caregiver Award.Continuing its 20-year history, the Power of Love gala showcased a dinner prepared by superstar chefs Michael Mina and Wolfgang Puck, who has participated in every gala since its inception. In addition to enjoying the finest cuisine, wine and spirits, guests bid on one-of-a-kind experiences during the event’s signature live and silent auction. Items auctioned include a week-long vacation sailing off the coast of Australia aboard the ultra-luxurious MY Texas super yacht, a private meet and greet with GRAMMY Award-winning songstress Lady Gaga and a once-and-a-lifetime Italian vacation complete with an exclusive event at the world famous Roman Coliseum headlined by Andrea Bocelli.For more information about Cleveland Clinic’s fight against brain disease, visit clevelandclinic.org/brainhealth.
Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment On his 56th birthday, last Tuesday, Stan Douglas was calmly preparing to fly to Toronto and then on to Sweden, to be fêted and awarded the prestigious and lucrative Hasselblad Award. Resting against a wall in his large, purpose-built studio in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside was the only photograph he has ever bought from a dealer. It is a work by Lee Friedlander, from the U.S. artist’s Factory Valleys series – a photo that in one seemingly simple scene includes the complex components of life in the industrial heartland of the United States: A factory, a highway, a house and, in the foreground, trees rising from the snowy ground – a thin, bare, natural barrier to the smokestacks and vehicle engines churning behind.A very different artist, Friedlander is Douglas’s favourite photographer. He is also a Hasselblad recipient – one of a long list of accomplished photographers to win the prize, worth one million Swedish kronor (roughly $150,000). Other recipients include Ansel Adams, Cindy Sherman and another internationally respected Vancouverite, Jeff Wall. Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitter
Stephen Hair as Ebenezer Scrooge in Theatre Calgary holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. Photo courtesy Trudie Lee. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebook “Though I welcome the sentiment, I have stopped counting the number of times people have come up to me to say … that coming to see me in A Christmas Carol marks the start of their Christmas season. Some people tell me they started bringing their children to the show 20 years ago and now they are bringing their grandchildren. Advertisement Some gifts really do keep on giving.For the past 25 years, actor Stephen Hair has played Scrooge in Theatre Calgary’s annual holiday version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. He says the opportunity to reinhabit one of the most famous characters in English literature is a gift and one he has learned to cherish.“I don’t take this role lightly because I have seen what Theatre Calgary’s production of A Christmas Carol has come to mean to so many people. Advertisement Twitter
By Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsA senior aide to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rebuked Canada for its treatment of Aboriginal people in a letter to former Ojibway chief Terrance Nelson who is running for the leadership of the Assembly of First Nations.The letter, signed by Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, chief of staff to Ahmadinejad, accused Canada of committing “systematic segregation and discrimination” against Aboriginal people.“I would like to reiterate my deep sorrow and sadness about the unfortunate violation of the basic human rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada,” wrote Mashaei, in the letter which was obtained by APTN National News. “The basic standards of services, for instance, health care, education and security, provided to the First Nations peoples in comparison with what is offered to the mainstream Canadians…is a clear indication of the systemic segregation and discrimination and a cause of concern for any neutral observer.”Ahmadinejad’s presidential office sent the letter, written in Farsi, to the Iranian embassy which delivered it to Nelson through an intermediary.APTN National News obtained an English-language version translated by the embassy. While the translated version is not dated, Mashaei notes he is writing in response to a letter Nelson delivered to the Iranian embassy on March 12.Nelson’s letter, addressed to Ahmadinejad, was “acknowledged” by the president, Mashaei wrote.Nelson, the former chief of Roseau River First Nation in Manitoba, has been speaking out publicly against looming war against Iran over its nuclear program. He says he’s reaching out to Tehran in hopes of securing political and financial support in his quest to attract foreign investment for impoverished First Nations reserves in Canada. Nelson says a relationship with Tehran could help First Nations find new sources of investment from nations belonging to the OPEC oil cartel.Nelson wouldn’t immediatly comment on the letter, but said he plans to hold a press conference on the issue Wednesday.The Ojibway leader’s immediate goal, however, is to secure an invitation to speak to the Iranian parliament about Canada’s treatment of Aboriginal people. Iranian officials at the Ottawa embassy issued a statement after their meeting with Nelson saying his request was being considered by government officials.The letter makes no mention of Nelson’s request for the visit. Mashaei, however, noted Nelson’s efforts in trying to court international opinion and hoped it would eventually sway Canada to change its ways.“After a long history of peaceful endeavor at home, now you have been forced to seek assistance from international public opinion to try to secure your basic human rights,” writes Mashaei. “I hope your humane and sincere efforts will make the Canadian government to take the necessary steps to fulfill its domestic and international commitments…leading to the eradication of this historic and inhumane discrimination against the Aboriginal peoples of Canada.”Nelson has also been reaching out to the Muslim community in Canada in hopes of securing financial and political support. He declared his candidacy for AFN national chief at a Toronto-area mosque on Good Friday. The election is scheduled for this July.Nelson has also advocated direct confrontation with the Canadian government, authoring the 2007 National Day of Action resolution passed by the AFN which lead the shutdown of a main highway and railway line in Ontario by Mohawks from Tyendinaga, near Belleville, Ont.Nelson’s community, however, did not launch blockades because Aboriginal Affairs Minister Jim Prentice agreed to transfer several hectares of long-claimed land to Roseau River.Mashaei himself is a controversial and powerful figure within Iranian politics. Mashaei is viewed by some as a potential presidential contender during the next presidential race in 2013, according to a diplomatic cable from the U.S. State Department, which was released by WikiLeaks.A former Intelligence Ministry official responsible for dealing with regions facing high ethnic tensions, Mashaei developed a close friendship with Ahmadinejad which allowed him to move up the political ladder and survive political attacks from the country’s conservative religious factions who have been angered by his comments on Israel and Islam, according to an analysis by U.S. public-broadcaster PBS. Mashaei is viewed as part of a political faction that wants to erode the power Islamic clerics currently wield over Iran’s governance, according to the PBS analysis.In 2009, Ahmadinejad appointed Mashaei as his first vice-president following the disputed presidential elections that year. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei forced Mashaei’s resignation after one week. Ahmadinejad then appointed him as his chief of staff.Iran has, over the years, repeatedly called out Canada over the treatment of Aboriginal people. In the mid-1920s, Iran, then known as Persia, supported a request by Haudenosaunee hereditary Chief Deskaheh to have the League of Nations consider a Six Nations Confederacy for formal membership as a state. The attempt eventually failed, and the federal government dissolved the Six Nations Confederacy Council and imposed an Indian Act band government.Iran, however, has a history of repressing its own Indigenous population.The Iranian Kurds, which occupy the northwestern region of Iran, have faced repression from both the Iranian government under the Shah and the Islamic Republic that emerged after the Shah was overthrown.Iranian Kurds, who have tried to establish a degree of autonomy in Iran, faced not only violent repression and the assassination of its political leaders, but also systemic discrimination in everything from employment to political participation, according to Amnesty International.Kurdish regions are economically neglected, Kurds have “restricted access to adequate housing,” and Iran bans parents from registering their children with select Kurdish names, according to the human rights firstname.lastname@example.org
APTN National NewsThe death of a First Nations girl in Ontario has ignited a debate between supporters of traditional Aboriginal healing methods and western medicine.Can the two comfortably co-exist?APTN’s Delaney Windigo takes us to one medical centre in Toronto that is successfully blending the two ways of healing.
Under Turtle Clan ProtectionDuring the trip from Decatur to Akwesasne, somewhere near Buffalo, NY, Darlene dreamed Sakoietah was arrested near Ogdensburg, NY, which sits across the St. Lawrence River from Prescott, Ont.“When she has these things, like my daughter, there is usually something to it,” said Sakoietah.He decided to stay with a friend in the area and planned to cross from there into Six Nations, an Iroquois community near Hamilton, Ont., and the most populous reserve in Canada.After three days he decided to go back to Akwesasne. It was getting close to Christmas and a friend drove him there. His friend, however, was stopped in Ogdensburg by U.S. Border Patrol on the drive back.It was sometime between Christmas and New Year’s Day 2013, after a snow storm, that Sakoietah passed through Canadian customs and headed to Tyendinaga for a prearranged meeting with a contact who would take him to Six Nations.There he met with representatives of the Turtle Clan who agreed to give him protection. They also found him work.Ieweras and her father SakoietahIeweras turned 15 that March and continued with the alternative therapy, with its focus on an organic food-only diet. The cost of organic food proved prohibitive and she missed pizza with her friends.Ieweras and her mother would often travel to Six Nations to see Sakoietah who was sending most of the money he made working back to his family. He would also meet up with his daughter during her routine check-ups with doctors in Ottawa.The Three Feathers Casino case continued its course through the U.S. federal court in fits and starts. One of the men indicted, Rarahkwisere, remained incarcerated because he refused to submit to the court’s authority. He was moved around from jail to jail. A lawyer for the Longhouse, Scott Michael Moore, was also booted from the case after it emerged he provided a legal opinion to the Longhouse on operating the Class 2 casino legally, putting him in a conflict because he was now a potential witness.Word also filtered out U.S. authorities discovered Sakoietah was in Six Nations.Sakoietah suspected Canadian authorities knew he was wanted across the border.His suspicions seemed grounded after a run-in between his wife and Surete du Quebec police following a week-long get-together in Montreal.He met up with his family at a truck stop across from the Hwy 401 exits near Cornwall. They drove to Montreal and after a week parted ways in Kahnawake, a Mohawk community just south of Montreal.A friend who was there selling crafts picked up Sakoietah for the return trip to Six Nations.On the way back to Akwesasne, as she passed Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Que., two SQ cruisers stopped Darlene who was driving with Ieweras.Things, however, seemed brighter for Ieweras. It appeared the alternative therapy was working.She posted a YouTube video in August 2013 featuring her cousin dancing with a wig Ieweras wore after her hair fell out during previous chemo treatments. The wig tumbled off and the girl ran from the camera as Ieweras laughed and laughed.‘When I Get Older’On Oct. 12, 2013, Ieweras uploads a video to YouTube. The frame is tight on her face, she is lying on her side, a shroud of darkness around her.“Well, I found out I have cancer again for the third time,” she says. “The reason I am coping with this so easy is because I have been through it already and I know how it feels to go through it.”On Oct. 27 she posts a second video. She is in Ronald MacDonald House in Ottawa. She is sitting up and looking straight into the camera. She talks about the Drake concert she attended and the upcoming Halloween dance at her school.“I have a couple of rounds of chemo shots now, my hair hasn’t fallen out yet,” she says. “I really can’t eat, I keep puking every time. I eat it, it comes back up. I think I am going to stop eating, I am not sure…sorry for the bad lighting. Bye.”On Nov. 26, Ieweras posts a third video. She’s undergoing almost daily blood transfusions at this point. In this video, she is off camera, only a wisp of her hair and part of her shoulder are visible, the wavering of voice that betrays the emotions, how hard she tries to be strong. She explains how she was inspired to film and post the videos by Talia Castellano who drew millions of viewers by posting her own struggle with cancer. Ieweras says she was heartbroken when she heard Castellano died. She says she wants to raise awareness about organizations that help families affected by cancer.There is also another reason.“In case I do pass away so that my family and friends can come back to these videos and watch them,” she said.She still dreams of getting older.“I have a lot of goals, I guess. My goal is either to be a model when I get older, either a singer or an actress or maybe just a make-up artist,” she says. “I don’t know which one I am going to pick because I am still young, I still have all the time to do that, I guess. If nothing happens.”On Jan. 9, 2014, she posts a fourth video. She spent Christmas at Ronald MacDonald House and she talks about some of the presents she received. She also says she may undergo a bone marrow transplant, but it depends on whether cancer returns there. She says she’s gone through her fourth round of chemo shots.“I just have to wait for … probably a month, and they do the test to see if I have some in me still,” she says. “I haven’t seen any of my friends in school for a while or any of my friends back home. I really miss them, but I guess I have to live like this for now.”On March 6, 2014, she posts a fifth video.“I still have cancer. The hospital couldn’t do anything for me. They did the last round of shots for chemo, the new ones they put me on, and it didn’t knock down any of my cancer at all. I am not going for transplant. I am going all holistic, try to go all holistic,” she says. Ieweras and her mother DarleneAcross the RiverOn December 12, 2013, a jury in Albany, NY, returned a not guilty verdict in the Three Feathers Casino case. They found there was no law against the operation of the casino, but the indictment remained against Sakoietah, who was still considered a fugitive.One of Ieweras’ last wishes was to be taken on a last boat ride across the waters of the St. Lawrence River with her father.She was cremated, as was her request, in Ottawa and on June 6, 2014, her father took her across the river one last time. He carried her ashes in a wooden urn decorated with her name.Word surfaced no U.S. law enforcement agency would interfere with Sakoietah as he travelled with his daughter’s ashes for the funeral ceremony at the Longhouse, which is on the U.S. side of Akwesasne.One June 17 U.S. federal Judge Thomas McAvoy withdrew the indictment against Sakoietah. Now he could fulfill his daughter’s final wish without the looming threat of an arrest.Download (PDF, Unknown)Big SurIn 1961, Hunter S. Thompson wrote about Big Sur in California.“The highway alone is enough to give a man pause. It climbs and twists along the cliffs like a huge asphalt roller coaster; in some spots you can look eight-hundred feet straight down to the booming surf. The coast from Carmel to San Simeon, with the green slopes of the Santa Lucia Mountains plunging down to the sea, is nothing short of awesome,” wrote Thompson, for the October edition of Rogue magazine. “This place is a myth-maker’s paradise, so vast and so varied and so beautiful that the imagination of the visitor is tempted to run wild at the site of it…The geographical boundaries of Big Sur are so vague that Lillian Bos Ross, one of the first writers to live here, once described it as ‘not a place at all, but a state of mind.’ The Big Sur country is roughly eighty miles long and twenty wide…located a hundred and fifty miles south of San Francisco on California Highway One.”It is here, in Big Sur, where Ieweras wanted her ashes spread. So, her family drove 4,800 kilometres to the Pacific Coast, to a point overlooking the booming surf.Sakoietah released her ashes into the wind. (Ieweras Gray) Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsOn the drive back from a small city in Georgia, Ieweras Gray said her father should not surrender to U.S. authorities.Ieweras’ father, James Gray, was one of five names on a federal indictment on charges of operating an illegal casino in Akwesasne, a Mohawk community which straddles the Canada-U.S. frontier and the borders of Ontario, Quebec and New York State.Gray, whose Mohawk name is Sakoietah, found out about the indictment on Dec. 18, 2012, while Ieweras underwent alternative treatments for leukemia at the Centre for Holistic Health in Decatur, Ga.She had been fighting cancer since she was six years-old. Ieweras was now 14. The family turned to the centre for hope because chemotherapy burned out Ieweras’ bone marrow.That December morning Sakoietah received a phone call from his son Kahetiio who said U.S. federal authorities were raiding theThree Feathers Casino on US Hwy 37. The raid began at 5:15 a.m.The Kanienkehaka Longhouse, where Sakoietah sat on the Men’s Council as a Turtle Clan representative, operated the casino, but it was undergoing renovations at the time of the raid. The Men’s Council said it wanted to generate revenue so it could fund social services outside the federally-recognized tribal system.Now, U.S. Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs agents, along with New York State and St. Regis Mohawk police officers, were raiding the casino in culmination of a months-long probe. The agents walked out with 58 boxes of documents, 6 laptop computers and the casino’s closed circuit surveillance system.Men’s Council member Rarahkwisere, known as Thomas Square to U.S. authorities, was arrested after showing up at the casino to find out what was going on. Police were also searching for the other men named in the indictment.As the morning progressed, two other Men’s Council members whose name appeared on the indictment, Karenahtiio, known as Roger Jock to U.S. authorities, and Anthony Laughing arrived at the Longhouse, which sits across Hwy 37 from the St. Regis Mohawk police station.There was a stand-off.“I stood in front of the door and I told the chief of police he wasn’t taking anyone from here,” said Kahetiio, 28. “We had a stand-off…people started showing up and a couple of other guys started standing with us, right out in the parking lot of the Longhouse.”Kahetiio said he could hear police over the radio saying, “We’re surrounded.”The situation eventually deescalated after Laughing’s lawyer spoke with police. Karenahtiio and Laughing agreed to travel to Plattsburgh, NY, and turn themselves in. 11:24 a.m.On the morning of June 4, 2014, Ieweras, 16, asked her father to hold her. He tried to hold her in his lap, but the pain was too much and Ieweras called for a nurse. She was in a room at Roger’s House, a hospice located on the CHEO grounds. The nurse came in an administered a dose of morphine.Ieweras then told her father that the charges against him would be dropped, that he would soon go home again, but only with memories of her, Darlene said, remembering that day. Her father couldn’t stay in the room because he had to change the bandages on an injury to his foot.While he was away, Ieweras told her mother she wanted to go the hospital. She arrived there at about 10:30 a.m. The nurse “took one look at her and said, ‘Take her to room 12,’” said Darlene.In room 12, Ieweras sat on the edge of the bed, she was in pain and asked her mother to hold her tight, “like I used to when she was a little baby,” said Darlene.But the pain was too much. Ieweras laid down on the bed, the nurse disconnected the blood platelet bag and switched to morphine which was attached to the tube connected to the insertion in her arm. Ieweras started to gasp for breath and her mother tried to put a breathing mask over her face.“She grabbed my hand and gave me a look like she was saying, ‘Just let me go.’ She pushed my hand away,” said Darlene. “I glanced out the window and there in the sky was a big heart that opened up and I said to myself, ‘Wherever she is going, she will be so loved.’ Then the big heart drifted away and a small heart opened in the clouds. I turned to the nurse and said, ‘She is gone.’”It was 11:24 a.m. The nurse cried.“I had to tell her to please leave the room because my daughter had told me…she didn’t want them to cry in her room because where she was going is so beautiful and she will never feel all that pain again,” said Darlene. She Brings the ThunderThunder and lightning greeted Ieweras’ birth on March 26, 1998, at 3:45 p.m.“They wrapped her up in clean linens, they gave her back to me and I sat back in a rocking chair, and it was still thunder and lightning and it shook the hospital. It was a long time I sat there holding her, rocking her,” said Sakoietah.After the nurse came to take the baby back to her mother, Sakoietah went to the payphone at the hospital in Cornwall, Ont. They needed a name for the new baby girl who weighed 6lbs and 8oz. He fished out $2-worth of change from his pocket because he needed to phone a friend across the St. Lawrence River on the U.S. side of Akwesasne. The friend had developed a reputation for naming children in the community.“In our ways, the time you are born that is when a name is selected and given,” said Sakoietah. “He asked me, ‘What do you think is going on?’ And I told him there was a big thunder and lightning storm that hit Cornwall and the first thing he said was‘, Ieweras.’”Roughly translated into English from Mohawk, the name means, “She helps bring the thunder and lightning.”The phone call, which lasted for about 10 minutes, cost him about $5 in change.Ieweras was their fifth child and first girl. She was born 11 years after the fourth boy. Her mother Darlene saw her in a vision years before. She said she was looking out the window one day and saw the little girl.“I don’t really know about miracles, or believe in miracles, but it was something special that she came,” said Sakoietah.Father Sakoietah gazes at his new daughter Ieweras held by mother Darlene Gray. Photo courtesy of family.Her name, however, proved controversial. During Strawberry ceremony time at the Longhouse, Ieweras was brought in for her raising of the name ceremony. One of the clan mothers objected to the name, saying it wasn’t meant for a girl, that it was a warrior’s name meant for a boy. Sakoietah said he left the Longhouse upset and wouldn’t come back.The family went through with the raising of the name ceremony at the Longhouse in Ganienkeh, which is about 86 kilometres east from Akwesasne in New York State.Ganienkeh was established in 1977 in a land swap following a three-year armed occupation of an abandoned camp at Moss Lake, NY. Several Mohawk families from Tyendinaga, Kahnawake and Akwesasne were seeking to establish a more traditional lifestyle and took over the Moss Lake camp on grounds the land had been illegally taken by the state. New York State offered Genienkeh’s current lands in a swap to end the occupation.Sakoietah said the family knew from early on there was something different about Ieweras. She seemed to possess knowledge beyond her years.“She was always picking medicines, different medicines, and showing us and trying to tell us that this was a certain medicine,” he said. “She knew those medicines before anyone talked to her about them. She would go pick them.”Pain and suffering also met Ieweras early.Ieweras was five years-old when she began to complain about pains in her limbs. She would complain about feeling pain with every bump the school bus hit. Bruises would suddenly appear on her body for seemingly no reason. Sometimes, Ieweras would lie with her belly on the sofa’s armrest and shake her limbs.“It was like she was trying to relieve her own pain,” said Darlene. “I knew there was something wrong with her, that she had to do that to finally fall asleep to ease the pain.”They took her to a doctor in Cornwall who said there was nothing wrong with her, that it was just growing pains. The family demanded to see a specialist who also said there was nothing wrong. But Ieweras’ pain persisted and her mother took her to a clinic on the U.S. side of Akwesasne. A specialist there saw her and knew instantly there was something seriously wrong, said Darlene.Back across the Canada-U.S. border they went again to the hospital in Cornwall. The doctor finally agreed to do blood tests, which were followed by X-rays and a new reality began to dawn.Ieweras was now six.Sakoietah still remembers the words of the doctor after the tests.“He said, ‘You need to get her to Ottawa as soon as you can. I have everything set up there in Ottawa for your daughter, (the doctor) is expecting you to come there,” said Sakoietah. “He said, ‘You have a sick girl here and you have to get her to Ottawa right away.’ We took off right from there and went to Ottawa, to CHEO.”Sakoietah drove while Darlene held Ieweras in the back of the minivan.Ieweras had named the minivan ‘Ceravan’ after the girl triceratops in the cartoon movie, Land Before Time.When they arrived at the Children’s Hospital for Eastern Ontario (CHEO) they were told it was leukemia.“It was like somebody reached in and pulled out your whole insides,” said Sakoietah.Life had a new baseline of pain.The first round of chemotherapy lasted about two years before the cancer went into remission. But it came back a year later, and then it came back again.“To me, the doctors, they all like to use these kids as guinea pigs,” said Sakoietah. “They like to boost the level of chemo for study. They are using them as laboratory specimens.”Sakoietah and Darlene remember these moments in snap shots, scenes strung together by nights of shallow sleep, changing shifts; Sakoietah at night, relieved by Darlene in the morning and he’d be off back to Akwesasne for work.There were those moments when the blue lights came on in the room where they executed the procedures and the doctors and nurses would rush in and rush the parents out.And there was their daughter, most of her life now lived on the edge of her own existence. Her body invaded by death held at bay by poison administered as medicine.“She always used to say it was hell on earth,” said Darlene.Sometimes Ieweras would get angry at her parents for keeping her alive.“She kept saying, ‘Just let me go, you’re so selfish,’” said Darlene.Then Ieweras would brace for another round of treatment. Sakoietah was piecing together events over the phone from Decatur. He was eventually informed by a lawyer his name was also on the indictment.Sakoietah faced a dilemma.“During that time I did a lot of thinking down there because of my daughter and her sickness,” he said, in an interview with APTN National News. “What happens if I don’t turn myself in, they catch me on the road and I am in jail for a long time and I would not be able to get out for her (Ieweras)?”Sakoietah decided his best option was to also turn himself in after he returned from Georgia. He contacted a lawyer and spoke with one of the doctors treating Ieweras who wrote him a support letter in case he was arrested. The letter said he needed to be near his daughter.But the threat of imminent arrest weighed on him.“Every morning I was up at 5 a.m., because I knew they came in at five or six O’Clock in the morning. I was up at five waiting to hear that door, waiting for that door,” he said. “It didn’t happen.”On the highway back to Akwesasne, Sakoietah continued to discuss the issue with his wife Darlene Gray and Ieweras.“(Ieweras) said to me, ‘Why are you going to turn yourself in? All your life, and what you taught me and what you taught the boys…you believed …you were a separate nation of people and not American or Canadian…so why turn yourself in to that system?’” Sakoietah remembered her saying. “I said, ‘Well, I am not going to turn myself in.’”And, according to US court documents, Sakoietah became a “fugitive.” The Woman’s Warrior FlagWoman’s Warrior FlagThe flag was flown during protests against the construction of a 30 metre telescope on the sacred Mauna Kea Mountain in Hawaii. It flew during a murdered and missing Indigenous women march in Fargo, ND, and in Los Angeles. The flag has also appeared in photographs from Alaska, New Mexico, Connecticut and Secwepemc territory in British Columbia.Known as the Woman’s Warrior Flag, it uses the profile of a woman, with earrings of lightning, in place of the male warrior head in the now famous Warrior flag, which was originally designed by Mohawk artist Louis Karoniaktaje Hall.“The Woman’s Warrior Flag was developed to honour Ieweras Gray and to bring strength to all women of the world for their voices to be heard once again. For the women are the protectors of the lands, they will stand strong and proud,” Sakoietah.The flag is also the symbol for the Ieweras Gray Foundation which was created to help out families gripped by crisis. It was something Ieweras cared about, raising funds for those whose lives have been turned upside down by unexpected tragedy.Sakoietah said the Ieweras Gray Foundation is still in its infancy, but he is hoping it will grow large enough to have an impact on people’s lives.“It is not big, not right now, but I perceive it is going to be big and we are going to help as many people as we can,” he said.A music festival for the benefit of the foundation is scheduled for Aug. 22 in Akwesasne and the list of musical acts is continually growing.IewerasOn March 17, 2014, Ieweras posted her last YouTube email@example.com@JorgeBarrera
Steve Mongeau APTN National NewsIn a territory that has no roads to the south or between communities air travel is vital.Now an alternative has sprung up looking to take aim at the big players.Residents say more choice may lead to cheaper flights.
Cara McKenna APTN National NewsThe inquest into the death of a northern Manitoba First Nations man who suffered heart failure while he was crammed in a tiny holding cell has exposed repeated failures to fix substandard policing in Indigenous communities.Brian McPherson, 44, a diabetic, died during a series of incidents involving untrained or insufficiently trained police officers and an inadequate jail in the Garden Hill First Nation, Man., in 2011.An inquiry into his death began in October 2013 in Garden Hill and ended last June in Winnipeg.The inquest report, released Friday, condemns the provincial and federal governments for continually failing to adequately fund and standardize First Nations policing despite a number of other previous inquest reports and studies suggesting changes.Manitoba Provincial Court Judge Malcolm McDonald has made 12 recommendations that mostly focus around fixing inadequate funding to First Nations police services and establishing proper facilities, training and safety measures.The inquest heard that Garden Hill was operating an unauthorized jail and Ottawa had cut funding for its band constable program shortly before McPherson’s death because the community failed to provide a proper financial audit.In 2006, Garden Hill had also applied to a federal-provincial First Nations police force program that was the remote community’s only viable option. It was denied.On the night of his death in late August, McPherson and a number of other people were gathered at a home in Garden Hill, which is designated as a dry community.The inquest heard band Coun. Wayne Harper ordered Garden Hill’s Const. Shannon Beardy and three untrained volunteer assistants to go inside and arrest anyone who had “superjuice” – a potent home brew that is common in remote communities.Beardy and one of the volunteer police assistants, Douglas Flett, testified that they did not think anyone was causing problems and would not have detained anyone if not for the order.Beardy also told the inquest that she was given no training prior to starting as constable in 2011, and that she quit her job the next year because she was always angry.That night, as many as 30 people were held at Garden Hill’s public safety building, with McPherson and at least seven others packed into a tiny cell.The inquest heard that the cell block was run down, had no bedding and was only about nine square metres in size. Cardboard and duct tape covered the windows so no one could see inside.Three guards on duty had as little as 20 minutes of training before handling prisoners and could only see inside the cells through low-res black and white video monitors that didn’t transmit sound.McPherson was found dead the next morning by another prisoner, though the inquest report acknowledges that he likely would have died that night regardless of where he was.He left behind two children and his partner Ann Monias, who described McPherson as a gentle character who had ongoing health firstname.lastname@example.org
(Daniel T’seleie in an undated photo was arrested at #StandingRock Sept. 14. Photo courtesy Daniel T’seleie)Iman Kassam APTN National NewsWhen Daniel T’seleie went to support the Dakota Access Pipeline protest in early September, he had no idea he would be leaving in handcuffs.But on September 14th, he and six other protesters were arrested and charged with felonies and misdemeanors for stopping construction on site.“I’ve been charged with reckless endangerment, which is a Class C felony, and I’ve also been charged with disorderly conduct, trespassing, and obstruction of a government function” he told APTN.T’seleie flew from the Northwest Territories to join the camp of protesters working with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to halt construction on the controversial pipeline.He has a very unique skillset that the camp of protesters needed.T’seleie is part of a grassroots network of Indigenous volunteers who specialise in non-violent direct action training for indigenous communities.The Standing Rock Sioux Tribal leadership invited T’seleie and his colleagues to North Dakota to train as many people as possible to work on the frontline.“Some people say frontline, I say point of destruction – the places where they’re actually digging up earth with heavy equipment and destroying the planet,” said T’seleie. “People who engage in resistance at those sites will sometimes use things like a bike lock around their necks, chained to the equipment. People will design sometimes other types of equipment that are more difficult to cut off than chains and they will connect their arms and lock themselves together around specific parts of the equipment with the intention that, if they do this, the equipment cannot operate, and that shuts down construction for a day.”See related stories: Standing RockAccording to T’seleie, every day that construction is shut down, these companies are losing money. This is part of the strategy to financially strain the pipeline, forcing investors to pull their funding.At the Sacred Stone camp, his team set up a big canopy tent amidst the thousands of protesters spread out as far away as 160 kilometres away from the construction site, offering free two-hours training sessions on non-violent direct action.“We give people the tools and skills they need to actually engage in non-violent direct action in a safe and respectful way” he said. “They talk about the different forms of violence, they role-play potential real life situations and coach each other on how to stay calm and de-escalate a situation in a non-violent fashion.When he arrived in North Dakota, T’seleie and his team met with tribal leadership to work on direct action principles founded on respect for the land. Everyone who goes through their training program is taught those principles and requests from the tribe.“That’s my primary focus and the reason I came here, to facilitate those discussions and help lead the training with a lot of the people on the ground.”But in the early morning of Sept. 14, two people walked down to the pipeline construction site, and a group of 22 followed for support.Daniel T’seleie was arrested at the site.Protesters tied themselves to equipment hoping to stop construction for the day.Just over five hours into the resistance, the police came and arrested T’seleie and six others.Since early August, hundreds of First Nation and American Indian Nations have converged on #StandingRock.“I was not surprised that there were police that responded to the scene” he said. “That makes sense given the situation. What’s surprising is the felony charge, a reckless endangerment charge. There was nothing about the situation or the actions we took that were dangerous or reckless or that could constitute reckless endangerment.”His preliminary hearing is Tuesday Oct. 18. He says he is pleading not guilty to every charge and, as a strategic tactic, he will request a jury trial.“If everybody wants a jury system and everyone pleads not guilty, it jams up the court system. Even when we were in jail, the inmates were advising us to flood the jails because they don’t have the space to hold that many people. It’s Morton County, it’s a small place, they don’t have that many jury trials a year.They don’t have the capacity or the funding. This is way beyond the capacity of the court system.”T’seleie is back in the Northwest Territories but leaves for North Dakota this weekend and plans to return to the camp where he will help people winterize their site, split firewood, and equip people with canvas tents and wood email@example.com
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Bill O’Reilly and Harvey Weinstein are the celebrity faces of sexual harassment in 2017. But on Fox News Channel, O’Reilly’s former home, the Hollywood mogul’s fall has gotten far more coverage.Fox has devoted more than 12 1/2 hours of airtime to Weinstein since Oct. 5, when The New York Times broke the story about his misconduct, according to the liberal media watchdog Media Matters for America.By contrast, Fox has spent 20 minutes, 46 seconds, on the accusations against O’Reilly since the Times revealed many of them in April, the group said.A news organization’s instinct to downplay a story that reflects poorly on itself isn’t unusual. But in this case, some are attributing the disparity to politics. Weinstein has long been a supporter of liberal causes, while O’Reilly is a hero to many on the right, for whom Fox is the network of choice.“Does liberal Hollywood have a problem with sexual predators?” Trevor Noah, host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” asked this week. “Yes. Does conservative Fox News have the same problem? Yes. That’s my issue with this. It’s not supposed to be partisan.”Indira Lakshmanan, a Boston Globe columnist and expert in journalism ethics at the Poynter Institute, a media think-tank , said the Weinstein allegations are clearly a big story.“But to devote hours of airtime to crowing about Weinstein’s well-deserved downfall because of his liberal politics, while ignoring the massive, decades-long pattern of harassment by powerful men at Fox, is both hypocritical and sad,” Lakshmanan said.She said a news organization’s ability to report on itself speaks to the integrity of its journalism and leadership.Fox lawyers, wary of investigations into the network’s conduct, may well have urged it to minimize its discussion of O’Reilly. The network would not discuss its coverage decisions.The Times story on Weinstein set off a weekslong wave of other assault and harassment allegations against the studio boss, leading to Weinstein’s firing from the film company that bears his name.As for O’Reilly, he was ousted in April after two decades as cable TV’s top personality. He was back in the news earlier this month, when the Times reported that he had reached a $32 million settlement with a former Fox analyst before signing a new contract early this year.Following that story, O’Reilly’s one-time colleague Megyn Kelly talked publicly about how she once complained to her bosses about him — a spectacle that went unremarked upon on Fox.More than 16 minutes of the time that Fox has devoted to the O’Reilly scandal was on “Media Buzz,” Howard Kurtz’s weekend industry show, according to Media Matters.Kurtz, on “Media Buzz” Sunday, called news of the $32 million settlement a significant setback for Fox, whose founder, Roger Ailes, lost his job last year over harassment accusations.“There’s no question about it, it’s embarrassing,” Kurtz said. “It’s disappointing that O’Reilly was given a new contract under these circumstances. I hope it doesn’t impede the progress that the company has been trying to make, which, in the end, the company did fire its biggest moneymakers.”It’s not just the time difference that’s become an issue at Fox, it’s how the time was spent.One of Weinstein’s critics on Fox has been Jesse Watters, an O’Reilly protege whose career took off because of regular appearances on his mentor’s show.Several of Fox’s Weinstein stories were wrapped in media criticism, like Sean Hannity’s contention that liberals were slow to condemn Weinstein. “It’s a hypocrisy thing,” Hannity said.Fox commentators have also called on Democratic politicians who accepted money from Weinstein to renounce him.Fox’s Tucker Carlson pointed fingers at NBC’s handling of the Weinstein story. NBC was embarrassed when it was revealed that it had rejected reporter Ronan Farrow’s devastating investigation of Weinstein. He instead took it to The New Yorker.“I think they’re corrupt,” Carlson said of NBC. “I think they’re liars. I think they’re debasing their own currency.”NBC has said that the story Farrow gave the network was not ready to be aired.A study has shown that Fox viewers are more likely to know about bad behaviour by liberals, while an MSNBC viewer will be more aware of conservative missteps, said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a communications professor and director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. A comparison of MSNBC airtime for the Weinberg and O’Reilly stories was not immediately available.“The pattern is pernicious, because it leads people to think that when there’s problematic behaviour, it’s always on the ideologically other side, not on one’s own side,” she said. “We want people to police — that is, condemn — behaviour regardless of where they find it. We don’t want them to think it’s only one-sided.”Over at Comedy Central, Noah said he applauded Fox for going after people accused of sexual harassment.“The good news,” he said, “is you don’t even have to leave the building.”
CARACAS, Venezuela – A scrappy, independent newspaper in Venezuela that never shied from fights with the country’s powerful socialist leaders circulated its last print edition Thursday, but its staff of reporters and editors aren’t declaring defeat.Launched in 2000 by a former leftist guerrilla fighter, Tal Cual will continue to tell stories of the country’s tumultuous times as an internet-only publication.It’s 26-year-old editor, Luisa Quintero, said she views the changing platform as a reinvention — not a step backward.“This country doesn’t give us time to be sad,” Quintero said. “We won’t have paper, but we’re going to keep working.”Newspapers around the world have faltered in recent years under economic stress and declining advertising revenue. The problem is compounded in Venezuela, a country beset by triple-digit inflation.The newspaper said its move to a digital format is driven by the scarcity of newsprint controlled by the Venezuelan government and the astronomical cost of importing paper on its shoestring budget.Founding editor Teodor Petkoff is a former guerrilla fighter who later entered the government as the country’s planning minister and ran for president. He launched Tal Cual by calling out political rival and charismatic former President Hugo Chavez with a front page headline: “Hola, Hugo.”At its height, Tal Cual circulated just 15,000 copies throughout the country, but it packed a punch.The newspaper’s edgy stories and cutting opinion pieces over the years have drawn blowback from the government, including a defamation lawsuit filed by Diosdado Cabello, then president of the National Assembly, which was later dropped.Now age 85 and in poor health, Petkoff has stepped away from daily operations of the newspaper, but the editorial content remains unrelenting.The front page of Thursday’s final print edition sent a message on a black backdrop to current President Nicolas Maduro, saying: “MADURO, WE’LL CONTINUE ON THE WEB.”Gloria Villamizar, 54, has been on staff since the paper launched. She lamented its third major format shift — from a daily print publication to a weekly circular and now digital-only. But Villamizar, director of the opinion section, said that she and her colleagues aren’t letting down their guard.“Either way, we will be telling the stories,” she said.
DEZHOU, China – The savory aromas of roasting hot dogs and chicken kebabs wafted out of metal and glass vacuum tubes heated by mirrors curved to capture the sun’s heat.Two dozen chefs with white aprons and hats prepared soups, baked “baozi” pork buns, and boiled rice porridge at a festival designed to demonstrate the potential of solar cookers that organizers claim can help reduce climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions.“We aim to enable half of the world’s population to use solar cooking within 10 years,” said Huang Ming, founder of Himin Solar Energy Group, the solar cookout’s main backer.As hundreds of people strolled by, chefs armed with oven mitts scaled ladders to uncover piping-hot cooking tubes arrayed on nearly 2-meter (6-foot)-tall industrial racks. Smaller-scale vendors used 1-meter (3-foot)-long solar cookers designed to fold up for picnics.Temperatures can top 400 C (750 F) inside the black “BBQ tubes” of metal and glass with turnip-tipped bottoms and sealable tops. On a bright day, they can boil water within 30 minutes and roast a fish in half that time, according to Himin.“It is clean and smoke-free . better than cooking with pots and other things,” said Yu Liqiu, 22, a chef, who just began cooking with solar two days earlier.Dezhou, a sprawling city of 5 million in eastern China, has spent millions since 2005 on transforming itself into an aspiring renewable energy hub called the “Solar Valley.”Public art displays at town bus stops and murals use solar panels. Stone statues of sun-related Chinese legends squat in parks.China is the world’s biggest consumer and producer of solar technologies. Many homes outside the largest cities are equipped with solar water heaters.But roughly 600 million of China’s 1.4 billion people still cook with coal, wood or other biomass despite decades of government-led initiatives to curtail soot from such burning, according to a 2016 report by the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.Affordable yet durable solar cookers have long intrigued those seeking to cut emissions, said Frank Haugwitz, director of Asia Europe Clean Energy Solar Advisory Company.“There’s a certainly a need for a cleaner option,” he said.Eastern China is a “global hotspot” for black carbon emissions __ sooty particulates more damaging to health and the environment than typical greenhouses gases __ according to a 2007 report in the academic journal Nature. Half of China’s black carbon comes from residential kitchens and heaters.Sun Penglong, 27, worked in gas kitchens in Dezhou for years before switching to solar. He says new recipes must be invented and tested for solar cooking, but there is one unexpected perk: His wife doesn’t complain about the smell he used to bring home in his workclothes.“The first thing my wife used to ask me to do after returning home was to shower,” Sun said after roasting some beef skewers in a BBQ tube.“When I started as a solar chef, my wife asked me, ‘Where is your smell?’”But getting solar cookers to the masses has proven daunting.Solar cooker technology has not yet matured. While cheap types are available, more reliable ones are still too expensive for rural communities. “It’s kind of a chicken and egg thing,” Haugwitz said.Some experts fear solar is too big a break from traditional Chinese cooking.“It is good to have some innovation, but it’s impossible to change people’s dietary habits,” said Xu Qinhua, deputy director of National Academy of Development and Strategy under Renmin University of China.“People used to say China’s fire-fried dish culture would be replaced by induction cookers, but no, it was not.”Himin has yet to produce a retail version of the cooker or sell it outside of Dezhou but the company claims chefs in the city are already adapting cookers gifted to them to a variety of regional Chinese cuisines in new solar restaurants opening up across the city.In the solar-panel festooned Micro-E Hotel, next to the field where the festival was staged and down an air-conditioned hall past portraits of Al Gore and other climate advocates, Huang and other festival goers toasted the vacuum-tube solar cookers with glasses of fiery baiju, red wine and beer.Next came a marathon banquet of courses, including turtle soup and pancakes served on platters with foot-tall figurines of Chinese legends like the mythical archer Houyi. According to legend, he shot dead nine suns before harnessing fire for humanity’s benefit.Ren Yanbo, vice secretary general of the Efficient Stove Division of the China Association of Rural Energy Industry, appeared to be won over.“I was impressed by the taste of pig feet cooked by solar, it was soft and yummy, I could not believe it was cooked by solar,” she said.
YouTube’s video streaming service went out for more than an hour on Tuesday, apparently affecting locations around the world.YouTube acknowledged the outage in a tweet at 9:41 p.m. EDT, noting that it affected YouTube, YouTube Music and YouTube TV. The company said it was working on the issue and apologized for the inconvenience.Reporters for the AP found that YouTube’s main service was working again around 10:50 p.m. EDT. Ten minutes later, YouTube tweeted again to note that service was restored, but offered no details.In reply to a query from the AP, an unsigned message from Google’s press team stated, “We don’t have anything to add beyond the tweet.”
TORONTO – Aurora Cannabis saw “strong demand” for recreational pot during the initial few weeks of legalization in Canada and it expects consumer appetite to continue to outstrip supply for “some time.”The Edmonton-based pot producer was able to meet “just about all” of its supply obligations leading up to and after pot for adult use was legalized on Oct. 17, but it will take time to ramp up its cannabis production in the coming quarters, said Cam Battley, Aurora’s chief corporate officer.“We’ve heard the discomfort of provinces who across the board have not been able to achieve sufficient supply,” he told a conference call with financial analysts discussing the company’s latest financial results.“We, we think, have done better than other companies, our peers. We will be ramping up, we will be able to pick up some of the slack soon. But we can’t do that immediately.”The cannabis producer’s comments came as it reported its results for the three months ended Sept. 30. During the first quarter of its 2019 financial year it delivered revenues of $29.7 million, more than triple the $8.2 million during the same period last year. It also posted a profit of $104.2 million, up from nearly $3.6 million a year ago, boosted by an unrealized non-cash gain on derivatives and marketable securities.The average net selling price was $9.19 per gram in the quarter, up 12 per cent compared with a year ago, boosted by an increase in cannabis extracts sold.Analyzing the performance of marijuana companies is difficult because of accounting rules used in the agriculture industry that require companies to put a value on their pot plants before they are harvested, and approaches differ between producers on how to apply these guidelines.With the legalization of recreational cannabis on Oct. 17 — making Canada the second country in the world after Uruguay to do so — the market for pot has opened up.The roll-out of adult pot use in Canada has been plagued with problems including product shortages in many markets, as demand has outstripped supply. Some government entities tasked with the sales and distribution of recreational cannabis in various provinces have said they are receiving less product than expected and have warned the shortages could last for months.Aurora’s results did not encompass recreational cannabis sales post-legalization, but management did provide some initial insights into how the roll-out has gone.Although not all provinces and territories were providing cannabis sales details, Aurora said the adult use market for the company has been a “success” thus far, with its products ranking among the top selling products and brands in many of the provinces the it committed to supplying.Aurora brands accounted for roughly 30 per cent of the total market supplied through the Ontario Cannabis Store, while it also had the top four best-selling dried flower products in British Columbia, the company said.Martin Landry, an analyst with GMP Securities, said it was a larger market share than was expected for the company, particularly in Ontario.“We were pleasantly surprised by the traction their products are getting in the retail market,” he said.Alcanna Inc., which operates five Nova Cannabis stores in Alberta and in which Aurora has a 25 per cent stake, saw $3.7 million in sales during the first 19 days, Battley said Monday.Aurora noted the revenue for its latest quarter included about $600,000 from its initial shipments received by provinces in the final days of September ahead of the legalization.The company added that during the three months ending Sept. 30 and subsequently the company has made “significant progress towards increasing its production capacity, including receipt of various sales and production licenses.”For example, in September, it received its production license from Health Canada for its Aurora Eau facility in Lachute, Que., and opened its doors on Nov. 5.Aurora is aiming to ramp up production from an annualized run rate of 70,000 kilograms to 150,000 kilograms.The cannabis producer could sell every gram it produces between now and June into the adult use market, said chief executive Terry Booth, citing the assessment of the company’s production team.“We are tempering it, we are meeting our commitments. And when we have extra supply, which we will… We will allow that for sale in the adult usage market. Remember that the medical market and the European market can fetch us more dough, full stop,” he told analysts.The company’s focus remains the international medical market, particularly in the EU, Booth said.“The future is bright for the medical cannabis system and we’re a medical cannabis company globally… This adult usage is just small sliver of a very big piece of pie.”Companies in this story: (TSX:ACB)
___Dow sinks another 464 points as slowdown fears worsenNEW YORK (AP) — Stocks took another dive on Wall Street, adding to the steep losses in recent days as investors remain concerned that economic growth around the world and in the U.S. could slow dramatically over the next few years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 400 points, putting it on track for its biggest monthly loss in almost a decade, and the benchmark S&P 500 index is now nearly 16 per cent below the peak it reached in late September.___Stock market woes raise a nagging fear: Is a recession near?BALTIMORE (AP) — Fears of a recession have been mounting with the U.S. stock market appearing to be headed for its worst December since 1931 — during the Great Depression. Wall Street’s sustained slump has been fueled by investor concerns about lower corporate profits, higher corporate debt, a festering trade war between the United States and China and a broader global slowdown. So is a U.S. recession imminent? Not necessarily.___Mnuchin says market’s negative reaction to Fed ‘overblown’WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says that the negative market reaction following the Federal Reserve’s rate hike this week was “completely overblown.” Mnuchin says the market overreacted and that computerized program trading took over and drove stock prices down further.___Apples pulls iPhone 7, 8 from German stores in patent spatBERLIN (AP) — A court in Germany has sided with chipmaker Qualcomm in a patent dispute with Apple that could see sales of older iPhone models halted. The Munich regional court ruled Thursday that Apple and its subsidiaries had breached a European patent held by San Diego-based Qualcomm.___Dushku says CBS agreed to monitor ‘Bull’ star’s behaviourNEW YORK (AP) — Eliza Dushku says she struggled with her decision to keep quiet about the sexual harassment she says she endured from actor Michael Weatherly on the set of the CBS show “Bull.” In the end, the actress agreed to stay silent as part of a $9.5 million settlement reached with CBS. But Dushku says she took solace in a requirement she imposed on the company: that CBS designate someone trained in sexual harassment compliance to monitor Weatherly and the show in general.___Human rights group report gains traction, Twitter hammeredNEW YORK (AP) — A report on Twitter by the human rights group Amnesty International is gaining traction and the company’s shares are being punished. The report, released earlier this week, said the social media platform has permitted a toxic online culture that allows pervasive abuse of women. While reports from Amnesty International are not regular reading on Wall Street, the Citron Research newsletter is. On Thursday, Citron cited the report and called Twitter the “Harvey Weinstein” of social media.___APNewsBreak: US miscalculated benefit of better train brakesBILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Critics say the Trump administration should reconsider ending a stricter safety rule for trains that haul explosive fuels after The Associated Press found the government miscalculated the potential benefits. A government analysis omitted up to $117 million in estimated future damages from train derailments that could be avoided by installing more advanced brakes. The administration pointed to the analysis when it scrapped an Obama-era rule requiring railroads to use better brakes.___In a record year, the movie theatre strikes backNEW YORK (AP) — Ticket sales this weekend will reach a new record for the year, passing the previous 2016 high of $11.4 billion. Driven in part by zeitgeist-grabbing cultural events like “Black Panther,” ”Crazy Rich Asians” and even documentaries like “Won’t You Be My Neighbour?” the box office sped past $11 billion faster than it ever has before. The overall domestic gross is up nearly 9 per cent from last year.___Administration moves closer to opening Arctic refuge for oilWASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is acknowledging its plan to open Alaska’s pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development would affect polar bears, tribal hunters and many others. The administration released its environmental impact statement Thursday for its plan to sell oil and gas leases in the refuge. The release moves the administration a step closer to realizing the plan.___The S&P 500 index skidded 39.54 points, or 1.6 per cent, to 2,467.42. The Dow fell 464.06 points, or 2 per cent, to 22,859.60. The Nasdaq fell 108.42 points, or 1.6 per cent, to 6,528.41. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies dropped another 23.23 points, or 1.7 per cent, to 1,326.Benchmark U.S. crude fell 4.8 per cent to $45.88 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, slipped 5 per cent to $54.35 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline lost 4.6 per cent to $1.32 a gallon and heating oil slid 3.1 per cent to $1.75 a gallon. Natural gas gave up 3.8 per cent to $3.58 per 1,000 cubic feet.The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The Senate has narrowly upheld a Treasury Department decision to lift sanctions from three companies connected to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.A vote to move forward on a Democratic resolution to reverse Treasury’s decision failed Wednesday on a 57-42 vote, just short of the 60 votes needed. The vote came up short even though several Republicans had criticized the sanctions move and 11 of them voted with Democrats.At issue is a December announcement from the Treasury Department that the U.S. would lift sanctions on the companies linked to Deripaska, including the aluminum giant Rusal.The Treasury Department says the Russian companies have committed to separating from Deripaska, but Democrats say he hasn’t relinquished enough control.Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press
In answer to a question, however, McMillan said last year’s budget sent a “terrible signal to the world” by limiting allowable tax deductions for oil and gas exploration wells.He added there are currently some 50 changes to energy industry policies being contemplated by provincial and federal governments, including recently proposed sweeping changes to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and the National Energy Board, that are harming Canada’s reputation as a transparent and fair place to do business.McMillan said he’s heard from some Calgary-based energy CEOs with operations in the U.S. who say lower taxes are making them more likely to invest there than in Canada. OTTAWA, O.N. — The head of the group that represents Canada’s oil and gas industry is calling on the federal government to cut taxes and ease regulatory burdens to restore the energy sector’s competitiveness with the United States and other global producers.Tim McMillan, CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, says Canada is “falling behind” and must act now to restore investor confidence, citing in particular lower corporate taxes and business-friendly regulatory changes by the U.S. under President Donald Trump.McMillan appeared at a news conference in Ottawa one day before the federal budget is presented but the event was cast as the introduction of a series of economic reports, not an attempt to influence the budget.