first_imgFresh from the recent success of their third consecutive Top 5 album, ‘Saturday Night At The Movies’, five piece vocal harmony group The Overtones have teamed up with Operation Smile UK to release a festive version of the 1954 Nat King Cole classic ‘Smile’ to raise money for the international cleft lip and palate charity.Available to pre-order on iTunes from Monday 18th November and to download from Monday 16th December, 100% of net profits from each single will go directly to the charity. For just £1.99 the single includes the ‘Smile’ music track, official ‘Smile’ music video and two bonus Christmas tracks from The Overtones, ‘Winter Wonderland’ and ‘White Christmas’.Operation Smile is an international charity dedicated to providing free cleft lip and cleft palate surgery for children around the globe. Following a trip to Rwanda to volunteer at one of Operation Smile’s medical projects in September The Overtones were so moved by what they saw they wanted to do more to help and recorded a heart-warming version of ‘Smile’ to help raise £56,000 to fund a return trip to Rwanda in April to help children still waiting for an operation.Cleft lips and cleft palates are the third most common birth defect globally and every three minutes a child is born with the debilitating, but easily treatable condition.It can cost just £150 to transform a child’s life forever with an operation that can take as little as 45 minutes.Operation Smile has completed over 200,000 surgeries on children and young adults in 60 countries worldwide so far and for every 75 singles sold, a smile will be brought to a child’s face in 2014.Lachie Chapman from The Overtones commented “Visiting Operation Smile’s medical project in Rwanda was a really humbling trip for us; seeing children whose lives are devastated by cleft lips and cleft palates and the transformation in their lives post-surgery was incredible.“We are so pleased to be supporting Operation Smile this Christmas and raising awareness of such a valuable cause.”Alex Talbot, CEO at Operation Smile commented “Since 2009, we have provided 1,000 people in Rwanda with life changing cleft operations. But, with 4,000 people still in need of surgery and up to 300 children born each year with the clefts in the country, the need is still great. We must raise £56,000 to fund our next project in Rwanda in April 2014 and that is why we are so delighted at the generosity of The Overtones recording ‘Smile’ as a charity Christmas single on our behalf.”For more information, click here. 
To pre-order the single go to iTunes.last_img read more

first_imgJoaquin Phoenix is disgusted and sickened by the first-ever look inside China’s dog-leather trade.“The footage that you’re about to watch of China’s dog-leather trade is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen”, begins Joaquin Phoenix in his new PETA exposé. Phoenix narrates over footage that reveals how dogs are kicked, are beaten over the head and have their throats slit and their skin peeled off – all while other dogs watch before they experience the same cruel fate. The animals’ skin is turned into leather – commonly gloves and other small goods such as cat toys and coat trim – and is exported all over the world to be sold to consumers who usually have no clue whose animal parts they’re buying.“If you buy leather gloves, belts or shoes, remember”, concludes the Her star, “there’s no easy way to tell whose skin you’re really in. If you love dogs like I do, then please never buy or wear leather, whether it comes from a dog, a cow or any other animal.”The footage was captured by a PETA Asia investigator at a facility that bludgeons and skins 100 to 200 dogs a day. In China, there are still no penalties for cruelty to animals.Phoenix, a vegan who shuns clothes made of any animal’s skin, wool or fur, is fully committed to PETA’s motto – which reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”. He famously wore vegan leather boots as Johnny Cash in Walk the Line and is one of a growing list of celebrities – including Jude Law, Charlize Theron, Eva Mendes, Penelope Cruz and Morrissey – who have teamed up with PETA to promote kindness to animals in various ways.last_img read more

first_imgPhillips is proud to present David Beckham: The Man a unique public viewing and gala auction in support of 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund and Positive View Foundation.This innovative international gala auction is part of a high profile three-year global philanthropic programme and exhibition of signed contemporary photography featuring and celebrating David Beckham. This inaugural and high-profile event features more than 50 original signed works, some previously unseen, by 27 internationally acclaimed photographers including: Annie Leibovitz, Inez & Vinoodh, Mert & Marcus, Mario Sorrenti, Peter Lindbergh, Sam Taylor-Johnson and Steven Klein. Work has been specially commissioned for David Beckham: The Man from Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Nadav Kander and Tessa Traeger.The works will be on view at Phillips’ European Headquarters at 30 Berkeley Square in London from Saturday, 27 February until they are sold at auction on Thursday, 10 March.“This wonderful project in support of my own 7 Fund at UNICEF and Positive View Foundation will help create change for children and disadvantaged young people around the world.” says David Beckham.Kathy Adler, curator of ‘David Beckham: The Man’ and former Director of Education at the National Gallery, London, says: “David Beckham is the quintessential modern man, his fame far exceeding that of a sportsman. He is universally recognised, an icon of modern masculinity and a magnet for photographers. His appeal is ubiquitous: he is happy being a gay icon, a teenage idol, a spokesperson for sport, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. He has redefined counter-cultural concepts such as tattooing and brought them into the mainstream. On the body of a classical Adonis, lean, lightly muscled and perfect, he has written a dense and complex biography through the ongoing inking of names, texts (in several languages) and numerals relating to key events and to his all-important family. The photographs constitute a narrative of Beckham’s life and of the position he occupies in contemporary culture. He has constantly challenged notions of masculinity, from the famous sarong-wearing appearance to the many images of him as a devoted husband and father.”Damien Whitmore, Creative Director, Phillips, says: “Phillips is delighted to be presenting this important sale of unique works by some of the world’s leading artists – inspired by one of the world’s most famous men. We are equally delighted to be supporting the incredibly important work being done by UNICEF and Positive View.”last_img read more

first_imgX-Files star Gillian Anderson took action this week to help horses abused in New York City’s horse-drawn-carriage industry.The actress wrote to members of the New York City Council, urging them to vote for a new bill that will see horses restricted to Central Park.“I love New York, but I’m astonished that the city still allows shackled horses to dodge taxis, buses, and police cars every day,” wrote Gillian. “That’s why I’m urging council members to vote yes on Intro 573B, the bill that would limit the operation of horse-drawn carriages to Central Park. Last year’s police report on the dozens of awful accidents involving horse-drawn carriages was no surprise.“The New York Times’ editorial board wrote the following: ‘Why should carriage horses be allowed in midtown or downtown or uptown or anywhere that exposes them to screeching brakes and loud honks? The tourist will surely be happier behind a horse that’s clip-clopping peacefully through the trees than behind one trembling in a seething mass of taxis. All drivers will be a lot happier, too, without horse-drawn carriages to contend with.’“That was published in 1988. Since then, congested cities as diverse as Toronto, Mumbai, and San Juan have reined in the dangerous carriage trade. Let’s do the same in New York by passing this bill, which would keep the horses in the park. It’s safer for them and for New Yorkers and would make Manhattan more enjoyable for people like me who love to visit but hate seeing the horses in traffic.”The vote takes place on Friday.last_img read more

first_imgThe Earl and Countess Spencer, along with Co-Chairs Wallis Annenberg, James Baker, Giselle Fernandez, Teri & Ken Hertz, Nina & Harvey Karp, Lauren & Richard King, Deborah Klein & Mort Marcus, Fran & John Lasker, Yana & Leon Max, and Robin & Dr. Alfredo Trento, announced today that Whole Child International will hold its inaugural fundraising gala in Los Angeles on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.Sir Ken Robinson will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the event, which will include a special performance by Anthony Kiedis and Josh Klinghoffer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and a not-to-be-missed auction where guests will be able to bid on exclusive one-of-a-kind items.Countess Spencer founded Whole Child International in 2004 with the aim of improving the quality of care for vulnerable children worldwide. There are millions of at risk children around the world that are being raised on an assembly line, growing up in empty rooms and deprived of stable, supportive relationships. This is the plight of children in orphanages, those from low-income, at-risk families who spend most of their long days in low-quality childcare centers, and those being bounced around foster care. Whole Child International strives to elevate the quality of care to give every child the opportunity to be properly cared for and loved. The program is designed to unlock an enormously valuable resource: the power of relationships and human connection. Research has proven that in as little as two years, and without any change to nutrition or increase in the number of caregivers, children receiving the benefit of Whole Child International’s program experienced a 46% improvement in height-for-age and 34% improvement in weight-for-age, as well as overall improvement in development, including cognitive, linguistic, motor, and social-emotional development.“Since founding Whole Child International in 2004, the accomplishment I’m most proud of is that we’ve been able to demonstrate the power of human connection. We’ve been able to prove that even in the most poorest settings a refocusing of existing resources on relationship-centered care can change the life trajectory for even the most vulnerable children,” said Countess Spencer. “After 14 years of program development, implementation and research, having established how cost-effective, sustainable, and impactful our program is, we are now poised to scale our work to reach the millions of children awaiting our help globally. We are delighted to be hosting our inaugural gala at this important inflection point. It’s going to be a great night.”For more information, and to purchase tickets, interested parties can click here.last_img read more

first_imgIn anticipation of the 25th Anniversary LIFE BALL, the organizers held a press conference last week in Vienna, Austria to announce the final list of participants and details for this year’s event including information on the LIFE+ CELEBRATION CONCERT (Friday, June 1st), amfAR’S EPIC RIDE TO LIFE BALL (Tuesday, May 29th – Saturday June 2nd), LIFE BALL OPENING & GALA (Saturday, June 2nd) and LIFE BALL NEXT GENERATION (Sunday, June 3rd).Newly announced participants joining Paris Jackson and Charlize Theron include partner organization representatives Adrien Brody (Representing amfAR / Epic Ride participant) and Gus Kenworthy (Representing Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS); performers Betty Who (Life Ball Opening performer), Patti LaBelle (Life Ball Gala Performer), Rufus Wainwright (Life Ball Gala Performer), Hector Fonseca (Life Ball Red Carpet performer), and Erika Jayne (Life Ball Gala Performer); plus additional attendees Caitlyn Jenner (Participant), Gigi Gorgeous (Participant), Brad Goreski (Participant) Nats Getty (Participant), Kelly Osbourne (Red Carpet “Style Jury” Participant), Johnny Wujek (Red Carpet “Style Jury” Participant), and many more. Participants for amfAR’s Epic Ride to Life Ball will include Michael Huisman (Actor), Katee Sackhoff (Actor), and Ian Bohen (Actor), amongst others.In addition, LIFE BALL’s signature fashion show will feature a bridal fashion show curated by Robert Rabensteiner, in honor of the “An Homage to The Sounds of Music Theme”. The fashion show will feature new and archival pieces from the following designers: Roberto Cavalli, Diesel, Dsquared2, Jean Paul Gaultier, Lanvin, Kenzo Memento, Missoni, Elie Saab, Viktor & Rolf and Vivienne Westwood.The 2018 The Know Your Status campaign was also formally launched today, which aims at normalizing all HIV facilities and becoming part of the comprehensive health care. The campaign focuses on the second UNAIDS 90-90-90 objective, according to which, 90 percent of people with HIV who know their status should be receiving anti-retroviral treatment. Renowned photographer RANKIN shot this year’s campaign advertisements featuring models Eva Herzigová and Aiden Brady which will be showcased throughout Europe.last_img read more

first_imgThe Actors’ Gang is proud to announce it has been selected as a 2018 California Nonprofit of the Year by Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove.Jeremie Loncka, Sydney Kamlager-Dove, Tim Robbins, Malissa ShriverTim Robbins, Artistic Director of The Actors’ Gang, with Jeremie Loncka, Director of Prison Programing, and The Actors’ Gang Board Member, Malissa Shriver, joined other nonprofit leaders being honored by their state senators and assembly members at a celebratory luncheon as part of California Nonprofits Day on June 6th.“I am excited to recognize The Actor’s Gang as this year’s Nonprofit of the Year. I honor this amazing nonprofit because of its commitment to theatre, and for its hard work around criminal justice reform. They use theatre as a tool for bringing dignity, rehabilitation and employment to this important conversation. The 54th Assembly District is lucky to have such a partner. They break a leg every time,” comments Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-DoveFounded in 1981, the Actors’ Gang is a world-renowned theater company, having toured its plays in 5 continents and in over 40 U.S. States along with producing over 200 provocative, ground breaking award winning productions in the city of Los Angeles. It’s most recent production The New Colossus addresses the current anti-immigration climate in the United States, and played to sold out audiences for 5 months in L.A. The play will begin touring in South America in January 2019. Charles McNulty writing in the L.A. Times said of the production: “At a time when history is being warped by demagoguery The New Colossus holds a theatrical mirror to the nation.”Aside from touring and producing 6 shows a year at its home base in Culver City, The Actors’ Gang has a vigorous Outreach Program that serves over 3000 young students in nine Los Angeles area public schools. Through in school immersion and after school programs, the Gang teachers help to unlock the unlimited potential of young students, encouraging them to find the voice within them that has been dormant and to tell their story proudly.For the past 12 years The Actors’ Gang has been working with hundreds of incarcerated men and women in the California Correctional system, running rehabilitative workshops in 12 State Prisons as well as programs in two Re-entry Facilities and 2 Juvenile Detention Centers. The Prison Project has been recognized as effective cognitive therapy by the Department of Corrections and has been lauded by the Obama White House and by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Recent studies indicate a significant reduction in the recidivism rates of men and women that have been through the Prison Project workshops as well as an 89% reduction in 115s (in prison infractions).Both The Actors’ Gang Prison Project and the Education Department foster tolerance and nonviolent expression through improvised theatrical workshops, enabling emotional and social development for students, who often have become numb to emotion and human interaction. Ensemble building is at the heart of the work, the achievement of tasks through collective effort.In 2014 The Actors Gang was instrumental in reviving state funding for Arts in Corrections, working with the Governor, State Representatives and the Department of Corrections to reinstate funding in the state budget for rehabilitative arts programming in California prisons. Recently The Actors’ Gang has been working with the California Arts Council, Governor Brown and key representatives to increase state funding for nonprofit arts organizations throughout the state of California.“Nonprofits make California communities stronger, yet we’re often so busy that we don’t toot our own horns about the work we’re doing,” explains Jan Masaoka, CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits). “California Nonprofits Day is an opportunity for our elected officials to recognize the good work they see nonprofits doing in their districts, and it also demonstrates the larger collective impact of nonprofits throughout California.”last_img read more

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment British Columbia’s film industry is booming these days, and one town in the Fraser Valley is taking the credit for getting it going 35 years ago.Hope, B.C., continues to celebrate the role it played in the Sylvester Stallone film, Rambo: First Blood as well as bringing other film productions to the province.“Here we are 35 years later in what’s basically the birthplace for Hollywood North,” said Brian Mckinney, who works at the town’s visitor centre. Advertisement Twitter Facebook Login/Register With:center_img The film was released in 1982. It’s about John Rambo, a troubled Vietnam War veteran who goes to war with the abusive police force in the fictional town of Hope, Washington.Ian Davidson Newby was a military consultant on the movie. For the anniversary party on Oct. 8, 2017, he came dressed as Brian Dennehy’s character, Sheriff Will Teasle. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)Over the Thanksgiving weekend, residents and fans watched two screenings of the movie, took tours of where filming took place, and checked out props that were used.READ MORE Advertisement Hope B.C. with its rugged geography was the backdrop for the 1982 movie Rambo: First Blood. Over the 2017 Thanksgiving weekend, the town celebrated the 35th anniversary of the film. (Jon Hernandez/CBC) Advertisementlast_img read more

first_imgAlumnae Theatre Company’s New Ideas Festival (NIF) is an annual, three-week juried festival of new plays, works-in-progress and experimental theatre. Each week a different program of up to four plays, as well as a workshopped reading on Saturday at noon, is presented. The 2019 festival, NIF’s 31th season, will run from March 6 to 24, 2019.NIF offers dramaturgical support, rehearsal and production space, technical support, access to Alumnae Theatre’s costume and props collections, publicity and sold-out houses.When to submitWe are now accepting scripts and proposals for the 2019 festival. The deadline for submissions is September 5, 2018; September 10 for Alumnae members. Preference will be given to Canadian scripts and scripts with challenging roles for women of all ages. NIF welcomes voices from diverse communities. We invite you to submit your own play or pass this information along to a playwright you think may be interested. Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitter Facebook Advertisement Submission guidelinesScripts or proposals should be submitted electronically in PDF format to NIFscripts@gmail.com. Scripts must be original works that have not been previously performed outside of a workshop. They may be in any genre or style, with a running time of 10 to 40 minutes; one act of a full-length play may also be accepted for production. Submissions longer than 40 minutes will be considered for a reading, which will showcase the script development accomplished during the rehearsal period. Each playwright may submit a maximum of two scripts.No identifying information should be on the script/proposal; please include a cover page providing: • play title; • list and description of characters (including age); • short play synopsis (max 50 words).Send a separate contact page with the play title, playwright’s name and contact information, and a short bio (75 words or less). NIF does not provide feedback on submissions.NIF will confirm receipt of submissions within two weeks, and scripts/proposals will be sent to the NIF reading committee. The 2019 festival lineup will be announced in early November, followed by a creative exchange on November 3 to meet and choose directors, and cold reads of all chosen plays on December 3 to 6. Playwrights must be available for the creative exchange and for at least one of the December cold reads dates. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment We missed @Coolio at the #ilovethe90stour in #winnipeg last night. Hope everything is alright. #coolio @ILoveThe90sTour— Khristin Wags (@BRKN8R) November 18, 2018 Here are your set times for tonight’s I Love the 90’s TourDoors to the building – 7:00 PMYoung MC – 8:00 PM2 Live Crew – 8:25 PMSisqo – 8:50 PMVanilla Ice – 9:25 PM*All times are subject to change.— Bell MTS Place (@bellmtsplace) November 17, 2018Fan Jessica Knoblauch wrote to Global News, expressing her disappointment.“During the show, at the edge of our seats we are anxiously waiting for the entrance of coolio. Before we knew it, Vanilla Ice took the stage and at that point we realized Coolio Wasn’t performing.“There was no mention of Coolio cancelling his show, being double booked, being unable to cross the US border or any other reason until social media comments took place after the concert had ended.So what happened to him? Why didn’t he show up or make an announcement that he wouldn’t be there? What’s the real reason Coolio was absent.. us fans all want to know. Not just myself and my mother-in-law. This Made for a disappointing evening,” she said.Global News has reached out to Coolio’s agent for comment.Here’s Gangsta’s Paradise for those of you who missed out. Twitter Advertisement It wasn’t confirmed why Artis Leon Ivey Jr. aka Coolio, was denied entry into the country, but this has happened before in 2013, due to a gun charge from 1997. The Gangsta’s Paradise singer had to cancel several stops on his tour at the time.Coolio has also been previously denied entrance to Australia due to a drug charge in 2009.Fans on social media expressed their displeasure at missing out on hearing Gangsta’s Paradise live, while others were concerned for the artist’s safety.@Coolio Why weren’t you at the I ❤ the 90s tour in Winnipeg? #vanillaicekilledit— Beryth Hammell (@BerythH) November 18, 2018 Facebook Fans who were at Winnipeg’s I Love the ’90s Tour Saturday were left out on ice, ice baby after one of their headliners wasn’t able to gain entry into the country.American rapper Coolio was denied entry into Canada and therefore wasn’t able to perform at the show, which included Vanilla Ice, Young MC, 2 Live Crew and Sisqo.“Coolio was unable to enter Canada so the show went on without him,” said Alayne Nott, True North Sports & Entertainment’s entertainment marketing director.Last night we time travelled back to the 90s with The I Love The 90s Tour, featuring Young MC, 2 Live Crew, Sisqo and Vanilla Ice. pic.twitter.com/gzRRDScL1W— Bell MTS Place (@bellmtsplace) November 18, 2018last_img read more

first_imgAPTN National NewsPhoenix Sinclair inquiry resumes with a social worker’s testimony.Kerri-Lynn Greeley was tasked with ensuring Samantha Kematch and Steven Sinclair met the conditions of the three month temporary order they signed which placed Phoenix in care.The conditions they had follow included taking parenting courses and having supervised visits with Phoenix.Although Greeley did say she wasn’t always in attendance for the full visit, she would be there for the beginning, the end and sometimes “pop in” for the middle.last_img

first_imgKenneth JacksonAPTN National NewsJust a few months after announcing a framework to negotiate with northern Ontario First Nations to develop the Ring of Fire a “number” of chiefs are concerned the provincial government is failing to honour the deal by simultaneously working towards issuing exploration permits to mining companies, APTN National News has learned.At least one of the nine Matawa First Nations involved in the talks has written the province asking them to stop the pending permits while talks are underway and without consulting them first.“We strongly oppose the approach that your government has taken on this matter and would strongly advise that we sit down immediately…,” wrote Chief Peter Moonias of Neskantaga First Nation in this letter dated Sept. 5. “Failure to do so would be an unjustified infringement upon our Aboriginal, treaty and custodial rights.”According to the letter, the issuance of two exploration permits on Neskantaga land are pending that would allow mining companies to determine if the land is worth of an operational mine.But Bob Rae, the negotiator for the Matawa First Nations, said Neskantaga isn’t the only First Nation with concerns.“A number of Matawa chiefs have already been in touch with the government directly,” said Rae in an interview with APTN.The proposed issuing of these permits is scheduled to be discussed next week between Rae and the Matawa chiefs.Rae said as far as he knows the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines has yet to issue any permits.“I think its something the government is considering and I think they’re considering it on the basis that its part of the ongoing work of the ministry. The Matawa chiefs have a different view,” said Rae.In March, the government and Matawa First Nations called the regional framework a “historic” moment in the Ring of Fire negotiations.Northern Development Minister Michael Gravelle said at the time “together” the province and First Nations were “moving forward on realizing the Ring of Fire’s potential and making important advancements on regional, environmental and economic developments.”APTN asked Gravelle’s office for comment. A spokesman said they would provide answers to questions sent by email later in the day.The framework calls for “mutual” respect, understanding, participation and accountability.Rae said how the business as usual approach will affect the framework remains to be seen.“In terms of what impact it has on the framework that is obliviously something we’re going to be discussing with the government,” said Rae.As for Neskantaga the government is failing the framework by looking to issue permits without consulting.“Neskantaga First Nation makes the assertion that Ontario is failing to deal with Neskantaga on a government to government basis and therefore reminds Ontario of its commitment under the Regional Framework Agreement,” Moonias wrote outlining the framework line-by-line.The Ring of Fire, located 540 kmnortheast of Thunder Bay, is one of the most significant mineral regions in Ontario, according to the province’s website.Estimates peg it to be worth $60 billion and includes the largest deposit of chromite ever discovered in North America. Chromite is a key ingredient of stainless steel.There’s also large amounts of nickel, copper and platinum.kjackson@aptn.caTwitter: afixedaddresslast_img read more

first_imgAPTN National News“Caribou Legs” is known for trekking across Canada to raise awareness on water protection.He’s at it again.His next run will be from Vancouver to Ottawa to tell the federal government to protect Canada’s fresh water.But first, he led a fun run in his hometown of Yellowknife.APTN’s Iman Kassam was there.last_img

first_imgAshley BrandsonAPTN NewsA man from Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation in northern Manitoba died on a Greyhound bus while on his way to see his heart specialist in Winnipeg.Family of Abraham Donkey say he was transported to a health station in Thompson and was being transferred to Winnipeg.They say he asked for a flight, or be allowed to have someone with him on the 12 hour bus ride.The family says both requests were denied.abrandson@aptn.ca@ashleybrandsonlast_img

first_imgPARIS – Eighteen climate scientists from the U.S. and elsewhere hit the jackpot Monday as French President Emmanuel Macron awarded them millions of euros in grants to relocate to France for the rest of Donald Trump’s presidential term.The “Make Our Planet Great Again” grants — a nod to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan — are part of Macron’s efforts to counter Trump on the climate change front. Macron announced a contest for the projects in June, hours after Trump declared he would withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord.More than 5,000 people from about 100 countries expressed interest in the grants. A majority of the applicants — and 13 of the 18 winners — were U.S.-based researchers.Macron’s appeal “gave me such a psychological boost, to have that kind of support, to have the head of state saying I value what you do,” said winner Camille Parmesan, of the University of Texas at Austin. She will be working at an experimental ecology station in the Pyrenees on how human-made climate change is affecting wildlife.In an interview with The Associated Press, Parmesan described funding challenges for climate science in the U.S. and a feeling that “you are having to hide what you do.”Trump has expressed skepticism about global warming and said the Paris accord would hurt U.S. business by requiring a reduction in climate-damaging emissions.“We will be there to replace” U.S. financing of climate research, Macron told the winners in Paris on Monday.“If we want to prepare for the changes of tomorrow, we need science,” he said, promising to put in place a global climate change monitoring system among other climate innovations.The research of the winning recipients focuses on pollution, hurricanes and clouds. A new round of the competition will be launched next year, alongside Germany. About 50 projects will be chosen overall, and funded with 60 million euros ($70 million) from the state and French research institutes.Initially aimed at American researchers, the research grants were expanded to other non-French climate scientists, according to organizers. Candidates need to be known for working on climate issues, have completed a thesis and propose a project that would take between three to five years.The time frame would cover Trump’s current presidential term.French officials have not revealed the value of the grants, but said the amount varies by project. Senior researchers were eligible for awards of up to 1.5 million euros ($1.7 million), the president’s office said.Some French researchers have complained that Macron is showering money on foreign scientists at a time when they have been pleading for more support for domestic higher education.Macron unveiled the first winners at a startup incubator in Paris called Station F, where Microsoft and smaller tech companies announced projects to finance activities aimed at reducing emissions.Monday’s event is a prelude to a bigger climate summit Tuesday aimed at giving new impetus to the Paris accord and finding new funding to help governments and businesses meet its goals.More than 50 world leaders are expected in Paris for the “One Planet Summit,” co-hosted by the U.N. and the World Bank. Trump was not invited.Other attendees include Arnold Schwarzenegger, who took a spin on a Parisian electric bike Monday to call attention to health problems caused by pollution.The Hollywood star and former California governor argued that Trump’s rejection of the Paris climate accord doesn’t matter, because companies, scientists and other governments can “pick up the slack” to reduce global emissions.___Angela Charlton and Catherine Gaschka in Paris contributed.last_img read more

first_imgBRUSSELS – The European Union has approved Bayer’s buyout of Monsanto in a massive agriculture business deal, but says they will have to shed over $7.4 billion in firms and other remedies to ensure fair competition in the market.The $57 billion takeover has been watched by rivals and environmental groups, who are fearful that the number of players in the business of selling seeds and pesticides will shrink further and give one company a suffocating grip on the food chain.EU Antitrust Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Wednesday that the remedies proposed by Bayer and Monsanto are worth well over 6 billion euros in business and “meet our competition concerns in full.”Monsanto in September accepted Bayer’s offer, in which it also assumes $9 billion in debt, in a move affecting anything from tomatoes and cucumbers to the use of pesticides across the globe. The United States still needs to give its approval to the merger.Without the remedies, Vestager said that the buyout would have significantly reduced competition in the market and hindered innovation. She said the deal would create the world’s largest pesticides and seeds company and therefore needed a large number of remedies to be approved.“We have made sure that the number of global players actively competing in these markets stays the same,” said Vestager. “That is important because we need competition to ensure farmers have a choice of different seed varieties and pesticides at affordable prices.”Bayer CEO Werner Baumann said that “the European Commission’s approval is a major success and a significant milestone.” He said the companies were still working with U.S. authorities on the deal, which they hope to close in the second quarter of 2018.Environmentalists were less enthused, claiming that it still amounted to granting Monsanto and Bayer full control on the food chain.“This is a marriage made in hell,” said Nick Flynn, legal director of the Avaaz environmental campaign group. “Now the fight moves to the U.S. where regulators can still stop this.”Vestager said that there had been consultations to get a feel for each other’s views on the issue, but added that the EU and U.S. “markets are very different” when it comes to issues like Genetically Modified Organisms, making any prediction of their ruling impossible.Vestager made her approval dependent on the remedies and business sales.She said the divestitures remove all overlaps in seeds and pesticide markets and streamlines R&D.And, Vestager said, Bayer committed to work to keep open the emerging market in digital farming, which focuses on the use of data to guide agriculture. Bayer proposed BASF as the company to take over the business it sells in this sector.last_img read more

first_imgOTTAWA – When Sen. Patrick Toomey looks at the future of the ketchup market in his home state of Pennsylvania, he sees real blood on the floor.On Sunday, Canada’s $16.6-billion worth of retaliatory tariffs on dozens of U.S. products is set to kick in — the country’s answer to the crushing steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the Trump administration.Ketchup is on Canada’s hit list, and that has Toomey worried because Kraft Heinz is headquartered in Pennsylvania. Four years after the company shuttered its operation in Leamington, Ont., killing 750 Canadian jobs, Toomey — a Republican — fears the doors closing to workers in his state.“We’re seeing the threat to their jobs,” Toomey told U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross during his recent testimony before the Senate.“I’m really concerned about the retaliation, which hasn’t even really started to hit us yet. But it’s going to hit the people who make Kraft and Heinz products.”The impact of Canada’s reprisal will hit far and wide — beyond ketchup, beyond Pennsylvania, beyond its Rust Belt neighbours to other Trump-friendly Republican states in the Midwest and the south, according to an analysis of U.S. northbound exports by The Canadian Press.Canadian duties will leave dents on Democratic states, like New York, Washington and Illinois, say federal government numbers based on data obtained from Statistics Canada and the U.S. Census Bureau.Shortly after Trump announced the tariffs, the Trudeau government threatened to levy a 10-per-cent surtax on dozens and dozens of American consumer goods — unless the U.S. backed down.Washington has shown no signs of budging, so the Canadian retaliation is set to begin Sunday, which is also Canada Day. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will mark Canada’s birthday with visits to two locations on the front line of the trade dispute.One of Trudeau’s stops will be a big steel refiner in Regina. The other is the major canning and food processing operation in Leamington that was abandoned by Heinz.Ottawa released its finalized list of targeted products Friday — and the impact will not be negligible.In 2017, Canada imported nearly $4 billion worth of those goods from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois alone.Ohio, the bellwether state that almost always determines who wins the presidency, is likely to be the hardest hit. It exported about $1.3 billion worth of goods to Canada last year.The state is the leading exporter of a wide variety of goods to Canada that will likely face tariffs. Based on 2017 figures, the list includes: washing machines ($131 million); toilet paper ($91 million); organic face wash ($100 million); lawn mowers ($83 million); candles ($40 million); room deodorizers ($27.5 million); and glue ($23 million).“Ohio, as you know, is disproportionately hit. We’re hit harder than any other state by the Canadian retaliatory tariffs,” Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican, recently told the Senate finance committee.But there is plenty of other pain to go around.Of the listed items, Canada imported almost $158 million in Florida orange juice in 2017; almost $200 million in coffee from Washington state; about $176 million worth of toilet paper from Wisconsin and Ohio combined; and $84 million worth of herbicides from Michigan.Compared to its original tariff list released May 31, Ottawa removed only a handful of items. Beer kegs, prepared mustard and thermostats were among those struck from Friday’s final list.Taking a closer look at ketchup, Pennsylvania leads all U.S. states in exports to Canada with $81 million in 2017. The state’s sales to Canada more than doubled from $45 million to more than $100 million in 2015 — the year after Kraft Heinz pulled out of Leamington.Since 1994 with the arrival of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Kraft Heinz says it has developed supply chains that allow the condiment to cross the continent, including into Mexico.Av Maharaj, vice president of corporate and legal affairs at Kraft Heinz Canada, told The Canadian Press that the company is “obviously disappointed” by the escalating trade fight. He insists the tariffs could deliver a big financial hit to the company because it earns $2 billion per year in Canada.“We have a very integrated supply chain at work that runs across North America and we don’t believe the tariffs imposed by Mr. Trump or the Canadian government are helpful for business,” Maharaj said in an interview.“We are just now getting a handle on it, but I can tell you that the implication of the tariffs will be millions, potentially millions of dollars, if we do nothing and so we are obviously reaching out on both sides of the border and trying to figure out what we can do from a supply chain perspective to minimize the effects.”Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin all went to Trump in 2016 by tight margins. Those states are among those that will feel the sting of Canada’s tariffs the most.The Trudeau government insists it has carefully assessed where to place its countermeasure bull’s-eyes.As she released the finalized list Friday, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said that, where possible, the government has sought to put products on the list that can be easily sourced from either Canadian or non-U.S. suppliers.“Canada has no choice but to retaliate with a measured, perfectly reciprocal, dollar-for-dollar response — and that is what we are doing,” Freeland said in a statement accompanying her announcement at a steel factory in Hamilton.“The solution for this unprecedented dispute is for the United States to rescind its tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.”U.S. President Donald Trump used a trip to Wisconsin last year to attack Canada’s supply-managed dairy industry, accusing it of putting American farmers out of work.In Wisconsin, Ottawa’s countermeasures are set to target a broad range of other important exports shipped to Canada. They include handkerchiefs, paper towels, serviettes and tablecloths ($224 million), toilet paper ($84.5 million), mayonnaise, salad dressing and mixed condiments ($72 million) and upholstered wood-framed seats ($66 million).Ottawa’s preliminary list also included prepared and preserved cucumbers and gherkins, which will impose tariffs on imports from Wisconsin that totalled $38 million last year and nearly $23 million from Michigan.On the Michigan shores of Lake Huron, the president of family-run Gielow Pickles Inc. in Lexington says about 15 per cent of his business activity involves buying and selling cucumbers and pickles with partners in Canada.He’s ready to absorb the tariff increases himself, if necessary. But Gielow is hoping for a quick resolution to the dispute.“It won’t affect the bottom line for Gielow Pickles — it will come out of my pocket,” said Doug Gielow, whose company motto is “Fifth Generation Pickle People.”“When my pocket’s empty, I’m going to have to pass it on… If you looked through my pocket, you’ll see it isn’t that full.”— with a file from Tara Deschamps in Torontolast_img read more

first_imgDALLAS – Airlines have figured out how to extract more money from passengers, and they will need it to cover rising costs for their own fuel, labour and other expenses.Not long ago, investors demanded that the airlines boost prices, even if it meant reducing flights to create a shortage of seats. Now they are obsessed with controlling expenses.They punished Southwest Airlines Co. on Thursday after the carrier warned about a surprisingly large increase in costs next year. Southwest reported a 16 per cent increase in third-quarter profit on higher revenue, beating expectations, but the shares dropped more than 8 per cent in afternoon trading.On the other hand, American Airlines Group Inc. reported that its profit plunged 48 per cent from a year ago because it failed to fully pass on $750 million in higher fuel prices to consumers. Yet American’s shares climbed 8 per cent after company executives laid out a plan to reduce spending, boost revenue, and grow earnings next year.All four of the largest U.S. airlines saw higher revenue in the third quarter than a year ago, and revenue per seat, a stand-in for average prices, is rising. Empty seats are hard to find. United Airlines President Scott Kirby called it “one of the best revenue environments we’ve ever seen.”Airlines are facing a strong headwind, however, from surging fuel prices. Spot prices are up about 35 per cent from this time last year, according to government figures.United said this month that it was recovering its entire fuel-cost increase from passengers, and Delta said it was covering about 85 per cent. American, however, said Thursday that it recovered just 40 per cent in the third quarter.“Our revenues are up, but not as much as those two airlines,” said American Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. Delta in particular is doing a better job of upselling customers on premium offerings, he said, while promising that American would get better at that too by improving its ticket-selling technology.Parker said American can find $1 billion in new revenue, much of it by selling upgraded “premium economy” seats on international flights and no-frills “basic economy” on more U.S. and international routes. To control costs, American will grow more slowly, cancel unprofitable flights like those between Chicago and China, save $1.2 billion by delaying delivery of 22 new Airbus jets over the next three years, and cut at least 100 management jobs.Some investors applauded the plan.“I was very pleased to hear that,” said Chris Terry, portfolio manager at Dallas-based Hodges Funds, which owns about 275,000 shares of American. “They are not just sitting back and waiting on things to happen.”American, based in Fort Worth, Texas, reported a third-quarter profit of $341 million, far behind Delta’s $1.3 billion, United’s $836 million, and Southwest’s $615 million. Revenue rose 5 per cent to $11.56 billion, a company record.American predicted that a key measure, revenue for each seat flown one mile, will rise by between 1.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent in the fourth quarter. Executives declined to say how much of that boost was coming from credit card deals and hauling cargo, two areas where American’s revenue is growing rapidly.Excluding non-recurring items, American earned $1.13 per share in the third quarter, matching the forecast of 16 analysts in a FactSet survey.It shares rose $2.51, or 8.3 per cent, to $32.85 in late-afternoon trading.Dallas-based Southwest’s profit of $615 million equaled $1.08 per share, 2 cents per share better than the FactSet forecast. Revenue rose 5.1 per cent to $5.58 billion.Southwest estimated that non-fuel costs per seat will rise 3 per cent next year — faster than this year.A Raymond James analyst called the looming increase in so-called unit costs “a negative surprise.” A Stifel analyst said it was “way above our expectations.”The prospect of higher costs is particular critical for Southwest, which has long used lower costs to undercut fares charged by its chief rivals. That cost advantage is narrowing, however, and Southwest often does not beat its bigger brethren on prices.Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly noted that Southwest has spent money to improve its frequent-flyer program and reservation system, which he said increased revenue, and to buy new planes. It also faces higher costs because it carries more passengers and more bags than ever, he said.Kelly said some cost increases are acceptable, and he promised to focus on controlling others.“Certainly we can’t be satisfied with that kind of unit-cost increase, and we’re not,” the CEO said on a call with analysts.Southwest shares fell $4.66, or 8.5 per cent, to $49.93 shortly before the closing bell.Meanwhile, Seattle-based Alaska Air Group Inc., parent of Alaska Airlines, reported profit of $217 million, down 16 per cent from a year ago on a 39 per cent increase in fuel and 15 per cent hike in labour costs.___David Koenig can be reached at http://twitter.com/airlinewriterlast_img read more

first_imgTORONTO — Amazon will be spreading its highly anticipated second headquarters over two North American locations, but confirmed on Tuesday that it will not be calling Canada home.The retail behemoth announced that its new main base — popularly dubbed HQ2 — will be divided between New York City and Arlington, Va., putting an end to Toronto’s hopes of hosting the massive expansion that came with the promise of 50,000 jobs.The joint bid from Toronto and surrounding municipalities was among dozens from Canadian cities eager to court Amazon, but the only one to make the company’s shortlist of 20 final contenders.Canadian mayors involved in the extensive pitch said the effort represented a win even if the ultimate prize proved elusive.“Our city is booming and this process has allowed us to tell that success story — the story of our tech industry and our ability to foster that industry — around the world,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said in a statement. “There is no other place in North America which can boast all in one location the same talent, the same quality of life, the same vibrancy and economic strength.”Tory said Global Toronto, the company that co-ordinated the city’s proposal, remains in touch with Amazon to pursue “follow-up opportunities,” but provided no other details.The mayor also said Global Toronto estimated the bidding process represented about $143 million in advertising value for the city, but did not say how that calculation was reached. Global Toronto did not immediately respond to request for comment.The mayor of Markham, Ont., one of the municipalities involved in Toronto’s pitch, said making the final round of HQ2 competition was a significant victory.“Toronto Region being shortlisted for #AmazonHQ2 is an incredible achievement,” Frank Scarpitti wrote on Twitter. “It shows the strength of our region and our diverse talent. Our reputation as an innovation hub is growing.”Toronto’s bid, which billed the city and surrounding municipalities as a culturally diverse, safe and affordable hub for potential corporate growth, met many of the criteria Amazon laid out when announcing plans for a second headquarters.The company had indicated it wanted to locate near a metropolitan area with more than a million people; be able to attract top technical talent; be within 45 minutes of an international airport; have direct access to mass transit; and be able to expand that headquarters to more than 740,000 square metres in the next decade.In the end, however, the company opted to spread its resources more widely.HQ2’s New York location will be in the Long Island City neighbourhood of Queens, while its Arlington offices will be located in an area called National Landing. Each site will get 25,000 jobs.Amazon said it could spend more than US$5 billion to build its second headquarters over the next 17 years. The two locations combined would be about the same size as the company’s current home in Seattle, which houses 33 buildings, 23 restaurants and 40,000 employees.In addition, the online retailer said it will open an operations hub in Nashville, creating a further 5,000 positions.The decision ends an intense competition among 238 North American cities, many of which resorted to stunts to curry favour with the company. Calgary’s irreverent campaign, for instance, dispatched city spokespeople to Amazon’s current headquarters in Seattle to erect a 36.5-metre by three-meter banner. The sign declared “we’re not saying we’d fight a bear for you … but we totally would. “Other Canadian competitors, such as the Ontario cities of Windsor and Sault Ste. Marie,  mounted bids with sister cities in Michigan while talking up the potential advantages of cross-border flexibility.Amazon made it clear, however, that financial incentives like tax breaks and grants would carry more weight. Toronto’s bid did not contain any such measures.The company has, however, been expanding its footprint in Canada in recent months — in July it announced a fulfilment centre in Ottawa and another in Caledon, Ont., that will bring more than 1,400 full-time jobs to Ontario. The company has nine warehouses in Canada and a technology hub in Vancouver that is undergoing an expansion.— with files from the Associated PressMichelle McQuigge , The Canadian Presslast_img read more