Mumbai: Actress Parineeti Chopra has close to 50 million people following her digitally. She is now set to use her digital clout and stature as a fashion icon to raise awareness on social issues. On Tuesday, Parineeti shared a photo in which she is seen sporting a denim outfit with a blue T-shirt that has a heart shape print in the front in rainbow colours. It says, “Love is Love”. “Because…love is love #pride,” Parineeti captioned the snapshot. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka According to a source, it was the beginning of her social media campaign that will see her continue to raise her voice on important issues that are close to her heart. “Fashion has, is and will always make bold statements on issues affecting society. I have always strongly felt about equality and have always spoken against stereotypes. Today, I was celebrating India’s massive decision to decriminalise section 377,” Parineeti said. “I will continue raising my voice on important societal issues through fashion because I feel, as celebrities, we need to bring attention to important things that are happening in and around us,” she added.
Kolkata: East Bengal’s Spanish head coach Alejandro Menendez on Wednesday slammed the fixture list which sees the club in action twice in three days, against George Telegraph on July 31 in the Calcutta Football League (CFL) and Army Red on August 3 in the Durand Cup. East Bengal are likely to field a reserve team for the Durand Cup which is taking place in Kolkata for the first time. There are reports that investors Quess are at loggerheads with club officials over the same as the latter wants the first team to participate in the Durand Cup. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”It is not acceptable to play two matches in three days. It is an absolute disaster and no professional team must work like that,” said Menendez after landing in the city and taking charge of East Bengal’s practice session at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan. Menendez said the club’s target is to win the I-League and the Super Cup, hinting at his approval of fielding juniors for the Durand Cup. “The team we have will play all the tournaments. Our targets are the main leagues, I-League and Super Cup. We have to take care of all our players we have to take care of the development of our academy players as well. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later”They are not only here for practice but to play. Our goals are to make the players better and improve our strategies and tactics. We have to keep them fit so that they can give their best. They have great motivation,” he said. Menendez also revealed that the club is close to roping in a striker after Jobby Justin was given the green signal by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) player status committee to join Indian Super League (ISL) outfit ATK. East Bengal’s first team has been training at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan practice ground under assistant coaches Bastab Roy and Josep Ferre, as well as physical trainer Carlos Nodar. East Bengal finished second in the I-League this season, just behind winners Chennai City FC.
New Delhi: The government will auction 13 mineral blocks, including Bunder diamond mine in Madhya Pradesh, next month. The Bunder diamond mine in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh has reserves of around 34.20 million carats of diamond, according to the mines ministry. Two gold blocks, Chakariya mine at Singrauli and Imaliya gold block at Katni in Madhya Pradesh, are also among the 13 mines to be up for auction, it said. The government also plans to auction mines of limestone, base metal, bauxite and graphite, it said. According to the latest data, the government has so far auctioned 68 mineral blocks which are likely to accrue an estimated revenue of Rs 1.99 lakh crore to state governments over a period of 50 years. Industry body FICCI had earlier in April called for expediting auctions of mineral blocks with known or explored reserves.
OTTAWA – The Trudeau government is waiting for more details after the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday partially reinstated President Donald Trump’s ban on travellers from six mainly Muslim countries.But a spokesman for Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said dual nationals from the affected countries travelling on their Canadian passports would not be subject to the restrictions.Spokesman Bernie Derible also said Canadian permanent residents from the six designated countries who have valid resident cards and valid U.S. visas, and are deemed eligible by U.S. border authorities to enter the U.S., would not be denied entry.“We are awaiting additional details from U.S. officials,” Derible said in an emailed statement.“The Department of Homeland Security has indicated that it is discussing the executive order and the court’s decision with the departments of State and Justice and will provide additional information on implementation at a later date.”The government is advising all people planning travel to the U.S. to verify admission requirements ahead of time, he added.“Like all countries, U.S. authorities have the final decision as to who enters their territory.”The U.S. high court handed Trump a political victory after two lower appeal courts overturned his earlier attempts at imposing a ban. The ban is expected to take 72 hours to take effect.The Supreme Court, on its final day before a summer recess, said the ban can be enforced on travellers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen if they lack a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”The U.S. high court said it would hear full arguments in the October on the ban, one of the most heated and divisive issues of Trump’s young presidency.The federal New Democrats, meanwhile, criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for refusing to personally speak out against the ban.The Liberal Trudeau government has largely adopted a cautious, wait-and-see approach when it comes to the policy pronouncements and Twitter outbursts of the famously unpredictable U.S. president.With the exception of expressing disappointment over the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Liberals have avoided directly criticizing Trump’s policies, striving instead to find common ground on stimulating economic growth in both countries.“We expect our leaders to be brave enough to stand up for human rights and against policies that put lives at risk, while perpetuating hate and fear,” NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan said in a statement.Trump’s original travel ban, announced just one week after his January inauguration, took effect immediately and caused chaos at airports across North America when it was imposed on citizens of the six countries, plus Iraq.At the time, the Liberals held off on making any initial comments on the ban, as ministers worked the phones with their U.S. counterparts to find out how it would affect dual national Canadian citizens from the affected countries.Trudeau did tweet a photo of himself greeting a young Syrian refugee, along with a message that read: “To those fleeing persecution, terror (and) war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith.”Many interpreted the tweet as a not-so-subtle rebuke to the U.S. policy.
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – The small nocturnal birds known as Leach’s storm petrels are a telling symbol of ocean health. But they’ve vanished in the millions since offshore oil production started 20 years ago in the North Atlantic east of St. John’s, N.L., and no one’s sure why.Seabird specialist Bill Montevecchi of Memorial University of Newfoundland says it’s high time potential links were studied. He’s among researchers who say regulators have failed to require independent, scientific analysis of a drastic decline within the world’s largest colony at Baccalieu Island.It’s down about 40 per cent, or more than three million birds.“We know these birds are attracted to the flares, we know they’re attracted to the platforms,” Montevecchi said of the four major offshore oil sites operating within a short flight.“What are we doing to monitor them? Nothing of any consequence. It’s shameful. It’s appalling that we would be in this circumstance.”Biologist Gail Fraser of York University agreed there’s a glaring lack of consistent scientific data that could help analyze the role of artificial light at Hibernia, Terra Nova, White Rose and now the Hebron site about 350 kilometres southeast of St. John’s.The federal-provincial regulator doesn’t require all operators to assess how often the birds are hurt or killed when they get stranded, collide with equipment, or fly into burning flares, she said in an interview.“It has been an ongoing issue for decades and the operators are not systematically collecting data that can provide us with an idea of how serious the impact of artificial lighting can be.”The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) should require all sites to use light deflectors and allow independent observers on production platforms, Fraser said.“Seabirds play an important function in the ocean’s ecosystems and they’re under threat by a wide variety of human activities. Offshore oil is one of those activities, and the operators are obligated to understand what the impacts are on those seabirds.”The board said in a written statement that it does regular environmental audits offshore. It also requires operators to minimize lights where possible to deter seabirds, and to check with the board before use of flares so migration patterns are considered.“Drilling rigs have personnel on board who monitor weather and sightings of seabirds and other marine mammals,” the statement said. And while the board would not object to third-party observers on offshore vessels or installations, “full-time observers of industrial operations are typically deployed only when there is evidence of pervasive and flagrant disregard for the regulatory system and/or persistently poor operating practices.”It’s a curious stance, Fraser said.“The fishing industry has observers,” she noted.Different treatment of offshore oil operators suggests “failed regulatory governance,” says a paper Fraser co-authored that will appear next year in “Ocean Yearbook,” an annual peer-reviewed journal on marine oversight.“I think there is failed regulatory governance because the C-NLOPB is in charge of both promoting offshore oil and regulating it,” she explained.“People who are on those rigs have a priority to extract oil safely …. Their priority is not to understand the environmental impacts.”The regulator has ignored Environment Canada requests in 2005 and 2010 for systematic seabird monitoring programs, Fraser says in the paper.“This problem is now urgent given ongoing declines in seabird species, particularly species most at risk from artificial light.”Sabina Wilhelm, a biologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, said the department works with oil companies to ease those risks.“But, really, there is a huge need to do research because we really don’t have a means right now to quantify any mortality that is associated with flaring and what its impact is on the storm petrel population,” she said in an interview. “That’s just an unknown for us.”Wilhelm said the birds spend winters off southern and western Africa along with Brazil, where they may also be affected by oil and gas development. They are also hunted in huge numbers by gulls and tend to have high mercury content, she added.“We are really trying to figure out what’s going on,” Wilhelm said of the population decline.Montevecchi said there’s no time to waste.“They just don’t want people who aren’t working for them to be making observations. But the fact of the matter is, it’s not their ocean.“It’s our ocean, and that’s the reason there should be independent observers out there.”Follow @suebailey on Twitter.
TORONTO – A single ticket sold in Quebec claimed Friday night’s $15 million Lotto Max jackpot.The jackpot for the next Lotto Max draw on Nov. 3 will be approximately $10 million.
HALIFAX – The investigation by Nova Scotia’s Progressive Conservative Party into an allegation of inappropriate behaviour by former leader Jamie Baillie was fair, the party’s interim leader said Tuesday.Karla MacFarlane said she believes the use of a third-party Halifax-based lawyer was fair to both Baillie and a party staffer at the centre of the allegation.“They both had no complaints during the investigation of the process,” MacFarlane told reporters.Baillie, who announced plans last fall to step down after serving as Tory leader since 2010, was forced to quit immediately last week after the party’s investigation found he acted inappropriately and breached the legislature’s policy on workplace harassment.A news release issued Friday by party president Tara Miller said both participants chose not to follow the formal process laid out in the legislature’s harassment policy, although definitions from the policy were used to make findings which concluded that Baillie was in breach.MacFarlane said the formal process wasn’t used because the complaint was brought to the party and not the caucus — something party officials had previously stated.“I would never foster a culture of silence, so I am very proud of the steps that we took.”MacFarlane said she feels the legislature’s policy is a good one, but she’s open to looking at any additions if anyone feels they are needed.In last week’s statement, Miller said says she was told by “multiple sources” about a single incident that took place against “one individual” in December.A caucus spokeswoman later clarified that the initial information Miller received did not come directly from the individual at the centre of the complaint. She said it was the result of that person telling other people — who then went to the party president.
Weather watchers will look to the groundhogs this morning for their annual predictions about spring.Nova Scotia’s famed Shubenacadie Sam will be let out of his pen at about 8 a.m. local time.Sam, who lives at the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park, can be watched live at the Nova Scotia Webcams site leading up to his annual Groundhog Day appearance.In Ontario, a new Wiarton Willie is expected to waddle out of his den at about 8 a.m. ET, if past years are anything to go by.This year’s groundhog is an “understudy” to the previous Willie, who died last September.Alberta’s Balzac Billy will also be making his prediction at the Blue Grass Garden Centre after 8 a.m. MT.Folklore has it that if a groundhog sees his shadow on Groundhog Day he’ll flee to his burrow, heralding six more weeks of winter.If he doesn’t, it means spring’s around the corner.
OTTAWA – Export Development Canada is paying a $969-million dividend to the federal government this year.The payment compares with a dividend of $786 million the agency paid last year and $500 million paid in 2016.EDC generates revenue primarily from interest on loans, fees on its guarantee products, and premiums on its insurance products.The crown corporation says it finished 2017 with $60 billion in assets and earned $1 billion for the year.EDC’s full annual report will be released in the second quarter.
TORONTO — This should be an especially happy holiday season for at least one Lotto Max player.There was just one winning ticket for the $60 million dollar jackpot in Friday night’s draw — and it was purchased somewhere in Ontario.The exact location has yet to be revealed.There were also 48 Maxmillions prizes of $1 million each up for grabs, and 20 of them were claimed by a total of 34 ticket holders, meaning some of those prizes will be shared.The jackpot for the next Lotto Max draw on Dec. 28 will be approximately $38 million.The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will shuffle his cabinet Monday to deal with the resignation of Treasury Board President Scott Brison.The longtime Nova Scotia MP announced Thursday morning that he won’t seek re-election this fall because he wants to spend more time with his family.He’ll said he’ll quit the cabinet before then because the government is best served by ministers who are running again.Brison has been the face of the Liberal government in Nova Scotia, where the party won every seat in 2015.But he’s also been close to the story of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, who’s facing a trial for breach of trust related to allegations he leaked secrets to promote a navy shipbuilding contract.Norman’s case is to go to trial late this summer, just as the campaign for the Oct. 21 election is getting underway.The Canadian Press
TORONTO — A Jewish-Indigenous inmate is suing prison authorities for alleged brutality by guards that he says has cost him income and left him with permanent injuries.In his unproven statement of claim, Timothy (Mitch) Nome, 44, who is serving an indeterminate sentence for punching a guard in 2005, makes several allegations against correctional officers he says warrant compensation of more than $1.4 million — half in punitive damages.Lawyer Max Silverman said the lawsuit is also an effort to shine a light on the “darkness behind the walls” of Canada’s prison system.“Before I started working on this case, I never would have suspected such profound cruelty in Canadian prisons,” Silverman said from Montreal. Nome is now incarcerated at Stony Mountain Institution in Manitoba — where he was moved in March 2017 after he said guards in British Columbia had deliberately housed him with known white supremacists.However, the claim filed on Thursday with Superior Court in Montreal, relates to the 15 months Nome spent from December 2009 to March 2012 in the special handling unit of the Quebec Regional Reception Centre in Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines.“Plaintiff experienced particularly brutal and violent treatment in the course of his incarceration at the special handling unit,” the claim alleges. “As a result of the incidents alleged herewithin, plaintiff began a cycle of hatred, paranoia and psychological distress that not only caused him suffering, but prolonged his correctional plan and his incarceration.”Video exists for some of the eight incidents he alleges. In some cases, the federal prison ombudsman found fault with the guards. Among the incidents:— Two guards broke his wrist and dislocated his shoulder;— A guard pulled Nome’s pants down and tried to penetrate him by hand;— A guard threatened to kill Nome’s rabbi, leading to an altercation that left the prisoner pepper-sprayed and with a broken finger;— Two guards forced him against a wall, beat him, then vandalized his skull cap;— Guards assaulted him while he was handcuffed, while one emptied a canister of gas in his face. He lost two teeth and his nose was badly broken;“Plaintiff suffered severe damage to his nose, which has yet to receive proper care as of the time of filing of this application,” the claim alleges. “Plaintiff’s fingers have been damaged and redamaged to the point that they no longer have the same function they once did.”Correctional Service Canada refused comment on Nome’s litigation because it is before the courts. It also did not say whether any correctional officers had faced disciplinary proceedings as a result of their interactions with him.“Our employees are expected to act according to the highest legal and ethical standards, and are subject to the rules of professional conduct and code of discipline,” a CSC spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. “We do not tolerate any breach of our policies and incidents of employee misconduct are investigated.”Originally from Williams Lake, B.C., Nome was born to an Orthodox Jewish mother and Cree father. He has been mostly in custody since he was 13 years old and, as an adult, has been outside prison for a mere nine months during which he groped a 14-year-old girl.Most of his offences, more than 100, occurred in custody. His current incarceration stems from August 2005 when he punched a guard.In all, the inmate spent more than 12 years in segregation at various institutions but is now classified as medium security. Although not detailed in the claim, he has previously alleged guards at a prison in B.C. poured pig lard on his kosher food or beat him. Two Federal Court suits Nome filed last year related to those incidents are in progress.Nome’s situation has previously attracted the attention of a civil liberties group, which said authorities had kept him in segregation for an unreasonable amount of time. He has had no charges since arriving at Stony Mountain, is no longer in solitary, and hoping for day parole, he said.“They’re professional staff here,” Nome said in a recent interview. “For the first time in my life, I really don’t have anything bad to say about the administration.”Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG — One of five women who lived with a man now accused of first-degree murder testified she met him buying methamphetamine but it soon turned romantic.Perez Cleveland, who is 46, has pleaded not guilty in the death of Jennifer Barrett, whose body was found in a barrel behind their Winnipeg home in December 2016.Jessica Reid, who is 36, has told Cleveland’s trial that he got jealous and one night she woke up with him pointing a gun at her.Court has already heard that Cleveland controlled the women through abuse, drugs and surveillance.The Crown says he tortured and killed Barrett, who was 42, because he thought she was cheating on him.Reid was the last woman to join Cleveland and what prosecutors have described as his domestic partners.She was also the first woman to talk with police. The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press WINNIPEG — Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says he is moving up the next provincial election by more than a year.The next vote was scheduled for October 2020, but Pallister has set the day for this Sept. 10.He had been hinting for months that he was preparing to go early.By law, the campaign can’t officially start until 28 to 35 days before Manitobans go to the ballot box.Pallister’s Progressive Conservatives were elected in 2016 with 40 of the legislature’s 57 seats — the largest majority government in Manitoba in a century.The Tories recently fulfilled their biggest campaign promise by cutting the provincial sales tax to seven per cent from eight.The cut is to take effect July 1, six years to the day after the former NDP government raised the tax.
As winter’s cold temperatures continue across the U.S., award-winning actor Taraji P. Henson is heating things up with a steamy new PETA campaign, in which she appears dressed in a short gossamer gown and a pair of synthetic, cruelty-free wings next to the words “Be an Angel for Animals.”The ad, which was shot by top celebrity photographer Don Flood, goes on to stress that “chained dogs suffer day in and day out. They are cold, hungry, thirsty, vulnerable, and lonely. Keep them inside, where it’s safe and warm.”As part of the winter campaign, Henson also appeared in a video that encourages people to sponsor PETA doghouses for dogs in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina — where some dogs have no shelter at all — and sat down for an exclusive interview, in which she opened up about her costar in the campaign, her beloved dog, Uncle Willie. “I never thought that I could be so in love with an animal until I had Willie,” she says. “He’s our family. … He’s just the best companion. Dogs to me are like children … they’re the closest thing to God. They’re so pure in their love, and all they do is aim to please.” Henson also discusses her rewarding experiences volunteering at animal shelters with her son.Dogs who spend their lives at the end of a chain ache for companionship and have to endure all weather extremes, including frightening thunderstorms, bitter cold, and blistering summer heat. They are also often deprived of basic veterinary care. Chaining dogs poses a safety risk as well: Chained dogs become aggressively protective of their tiny territories, and hundreds of people—mostly children—have been mauled and even killed after wandering within reach of chained dogs or encountering dogs who had broken free from chains.This is Henson’s second campaign with PETA. She first posed nude in the organization’s famed “Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign to protest the cruel fur trade.
He’s won seven BAFTA Awards, five British Comedy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, two Emmy Awards and a Rose d’Or and been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award, and now Ricky Gervais can add PETA’s Person of the Year 2013 to his credentials.Ricky Gervais – PETA Person of the Year 2013At a time when social media influences everything from general elections to popular music, Gervais keeps his 5.3 million Twitter followers laughing, shaking their fists and buzzing about animal abuse, such as Melissa Bachman’s killing of a lion, while dishing out tips like this one about PETA’s cruelty-free cosmetics campaign: “Dear intelligent people of the world, don’t get shampoo in your eyes. It really stings. There. Done. Now f***ing stop torturing animals”.Gervais’ tweets don’t just take the Mickey but also offer animal-friendly solutions about everything from remembering the homeless-dog crisis (“When you’re shopping, give a few quid to an animal home”) to finding alternatives to animal research, even if tongue-in-cheek: “We should free laboratory animals and only test cosmetics on internet trolls. They’d get the attention they crave and they’d look nicer”.Gervais’ social-media influence has earned him a top Klout score among comedians and netted him more than 65,000 favourites and 92,000 retweets for his tweets about animals in 2013. His other animal advocacy work includes appearing in this animated video against fur and exotic-animal skins, in which he supplies the voice for a rabbit, with rocker Pink in the role of the crocodile. Gervais also wrote to Fortnum & Mason’s boss asking that they stop selling foie gras at the store.“Ricky Gervais makes sure that animals have their say, tweet, growl or roar on Twitter”, says PETA Managing Director Ingrid E Newkirk. “He finds humour in most things, but cruelty to animals isn’t one of them. As he says himself, ‘Animals are not here for us to do as we please with. We are not their superiors, we are their equals. We are their family. Be kind to them’.”More examples of Gervais’ pro-animal tweets are below:· “If you could bottle ‘happy dog’ it would cure everything. I love it when their whole body wags. Magical.”· “Freedom of speech, rationality, truth and honesty. This is my religion. Oh, and cats. & dogs. All animals. Some people. Alcohol is good too.”· “When xmas shopping please don’t buy into cruelty. No real fur, no foie gras, & don’t give anyone a Cliff Richard calendar. That’s just nasty”· “Mmmm..pistachios…my little vegan clams.”· “I reckon Zombies are grumpy all the time because they only eat red meat. They must be constipated for eternity.”· “Most people I’ve met who weren’t kind to animals weren’t kind to people either. Kindness is kindness. Simple as that.”· “As much as I love seeing heartless morons gored to death, I can’t take the risk of 1 innocent animal being hurt for fun. #banbullfighting”· “Whether you believe in evolution or magic, be nice to animals :)”· “How can anyone abandon a beautifully loyal dog? It’s not an accessory. It’s your best f***ing friend. It makes me so sad & angry.”
The Global Citizen movement continues its campaign to achieve a world without extreme poverty by 2030 with the third annual Global Citizen Festival, a free ticketed concert on the Great Lawn in Central Park.The 2014 Global Citizen Festival will be headlined by JAY Z, No Doubt, Carrie Underwood, fun., The Roots and Tiesto, on Saturday, September 27, 2014.MSNBC and NBC News will serve as official media partners for this year’s Festival. For the first time ever, the Festival will air live on television with MSNBC carrying the full concert on cable and msnbc.com. In addition, NBC News will produce a one-hour primetime special of the event to air on NBC at 9 p.m. on September 27. MSNBC and NBC News will also highlight the issues surrounding global poverty in the coming months.Starting today, free tickets to the Festival are available by participating in online actions here, where users take “action” to earn their admission. By signing petitions, emailing world leaders and sharing content with their social networks, fans become active participants in campaigning for positive change as they earn points that can be used to enter the prize draw to win free tickets. Ticket draws will occur throughout the summer and fans will be notified via Ticketmaster when they have been selected. A limited number of VIP tickets will also be available for purchase through Ticketmaster. For the third year in a row, Citi is proud partner of the Global Citizen Festival and Citi credit card members will have exclusive access to VIP offers at the early bird pricing.The Festival coincides with the UN General Assembly and will serve as a high-profile platform to call for tangible commitments from world leaders in the areas of vaccines, education and sanitation. Major campaigns tied to this year’s Festival include: securing contributions for the GAVI Alliance and the Global Partnership for Education, and building momentum by citizens for the Water for the World Act, a Congressional bill that will support efforts to benefit the 1.25 billion women and girls that currently go without safe access to sanitation.This year’s Festival will also focus on ensuring that all the world’s children and young people can survive and thrive. It will support a UNFPA-led global campaign to ensure the rights of adolescents and youth, especially girls, are firmly included in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Global Citizens will be calling on all governments to prioritize investments for young people across crucial areas of education, reproductive health and safety from violence.The Festival is only possible due to the incredible support from Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration, which is creating new educational opportunities this fall for thousands of New York City’s children with the introduction of universal pre-kindergarten and expanded after-school programs across the five boroughs.“In the last 15 years, the world has seen the most successful anti-poverty push in history,” said Hugh Evans, CEO of The Global Poverty Project. “Thanks to the political leadership, global investment and significant policy changes generated over the last several years, ending extreme poverty by 2030 is within our reach, but we need to continue to change the systems that contribute to the social injustice of extreme poverty. To do so, we must engage Global Citizens to create a groundswell of support our world leaders cannot ignore.”Shawn “JAY Z” Carter stated, “Change only takes place when and where there is action. I’m joining the 2014 Global Citizen Festival because I believe through actions, whether it be by raising awareness, getting involved or educating ourselves, the goal to end extreme poverty by 2030 is possible.”No Doubt issued a statement saying, “Our earliest musical influences were artists from around the world who made us aware of issues beyond our own backyards. We hope to continue that tradition of raising awareness by joining an incredible group of performers on stage at the Global Citizen Festival to shine a light on the unacceptable fact that over 1.2 billion people on our planet still live in extreme poverty.”“I believe we all have the ability to make our world a better place. Positive change is possible when we work together, and this Festival is a hopeful opportunity for all of us to help see an end to extreme poverty,” said Carrie Underwood.On their participation in the Festival, fun. stated, “We believe that everyone should have equal rights. We look forward to performing with these incredible artists as we rally our fans to join us in helping to make the world a better, more equal place.”In a statement from The Roots, the group said, “Every day we hear stories of people who are looking for a helping hand. We look forward to joining the thousands of global citizens on the Great Lawn who recognize we live in an interdependent world where our actions can positively affect the lives of others across the globe.”World renowned EDM headliner Tiesto stated, “I am very excited to perform at this year’s Global Citizen Festival and continue my support for protecting the world’s children. I’m asking my fans to join me and call on our world leaders to bring about real change that will help our children live healthy, strong lives.”One of the first “actions” fans can complete is the signing of a petition calling on world leaders to contribute $7.5 billion to the GAVI Alliance, which provides lifesaving vaccines to children in poor countries. This funding would enable the GAVI Alliance to help immunize 300 million children by 2020, which will help save the lives of 5 million to 6 million children worldwide.“The GAVI Alliance is striving to see every child, everywhere is immunized with life-saving vaccines,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI Alliance. “With funding, we can massively increase the impact of immunization in the poorest countries by 2020. By signing this important petition and becoming a Global Citizen, you will ensure that children get the vaccines they need to be healthy, go to school and help pull their communities out of poverty.”This year’s Festival will build on previous Global Citizen Festivals, which in 2013, included performances by Stevie Wonder, John Mayer, Alicia Keys, Kings Of Leon, and Elvis Costello, and in 2012, was headlined by Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Foo Fighters, The Black Keys, Band of Horses, K’naan and John Legend, and will aim to generate more than two million actions in support of the world’s poor. Since the Festival’s inception in 2012, actions taken by concertgoers have resulted in $1.3 billion dollars in new funding and 35 commitments from world leaders that directly benefit the world’s poor.The proud partners of the 2014 Global Citizen Festival are Caterpillar Inc., Citi, World Childhood Foundation, The Riot House, Noise 4 Good, EKOCYCLE and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. The Festival has also partnered with leading non-profit groups, including: UNFPA, the Global Partnership for Education, GAVI Alliance, The Malala Fund, WaterAid America, Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council, WASH Advocates, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, and more.“The Global Citizen Festival brings together a stellar lineup to support an immensely important cause, at an iconic venue in Central Park,” said Jennifer Breithaupt, SVP of Entertainment Marketing at Citi. “We are honored to sponsor again for the third year, to be the presenting partner of the VIP tent and offer our cardmembers VIP access to what will certainly be an impactful and memorable event.”People everywhere are invited to sign-up, take actions, and enter the prize draws for free tickets. In total, 48,000 free tickets to the Festival will be given out to Global Citizens. For more information about the artists, schedules, and event, please visit www.globalcitizenfestival.com.
BTIG, a global financial services firm specializing in institutional trading, investment banking and related brokerage services, announced today its growing list of celebrity participants for the 13th annual BTIG Commissions for Charity Day on Tuesday, April 28, 2015.Throughout the event, celebrity participants act as guest traders taking calls from clients on BTIG’s global trading floors alongside the firm’s institutional traders. While working with some of their favorite stars on Charity Day, clients raise funds for hundreds of charities, many of them supporting children in need worldwide. Commissions generated from the trades executed by BTIG on Charity Day are donated to charities nominated by BTIG clients and the firm’s celebrity guest traders.“Between the long-term commitment from many of our celebrity participants and the generosity of our clients, media partners and employees, BTIG Commissions for Charity Day has grown into a global initiative. As a firm, we are passionate about the success of our annual event and are committed to supporting meaningful causes,” said Steven Starker, Co-Founder of BTIG. Since the event’s inception in 2003, BTIG’s clients, celebrity partners and employees throughout its U.S., London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney offices, have raised more than US$30 million for hundreds of charitable organizations around the world, including over US$5 million from the May 2014 event last year.The list of celebrities who are expected to join BTIG this year so far includes Al Leiter, Allan Houston, AnnaLynne McCord, Beth Ostrosky, Bobby Valentine, CC Sabathia, Damaris Lewis, David Diehl, Eduardo Garcia, Eli Manning, Eric LeGrand, Hannah Davis, Hannah Storm, Jeremy Roenick, Joe Girardi, Joe Morgan, Joe Namath, Mariano Rivera, Mark Cuban, Mark Messier, Mark Teixeira, Nia Sanchez, Padma Lakshmi, Petra Nemcova, Phil Simms, Reggie Jackson, Ronnie Lott, Shaquille O’Neal, Steve Lavin, Tom Coughlin, Tony Gonzalez, Victor Cruz and Woody Johnson. Previous participants have included Michael J. Fox, Michael Strahan, John McEnroe, Carmelo Anthony, Bode Miller, Kelly Ripa, Rex Ryan, Bridget Moynahan, Matt Dillon and David Wright in New York; Marshawn Lynch and Vida Blue in San Francisco; Marcus Allen in Los Angeles; and Mike Gatting OBE, Chris Tarrant OBE, Brian Conley, Aled Jones MBE and Sinitta in London.“We are always impressed by the number of well deserving organizations that our clients and celebrity partners support and bring to our attention each year. It’s an honor to be a part of an event that makes such a significant impact on improving opportunities for children and others worldwide,” said Scott Kovalik, Co-Founder of BTIG.
George H. Takei, the highly accomplished actor and tireless champion for the arts and social justice, received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Friday during Cal State LA’s Commencement.Actor and activist George H. Takei received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Friday during CommencementCredit/Copyright: J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LAStudents gave Takei two standing ovations during the ceremony.The 79-year-old Takei, who is best known for playing the character Mr. Sulu on the original, award-winning television series Star Trek, also delivered the keynote address during the undergraduate ceremony for the College of Natural and Social Sciences.His address was a prism into the trials and tribulations that Americans have endured during the 20th and 21st centuries.Takei recounted growing up with Mexican American families on Los Angeles’ Eastside, not far from Cal State LA. But that life was interrupted when World War II broke out. He and his family were among more than 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry in the U.S. who were rounded up and sent to internment camps.Living behind barbed wire at Camp Rohwer, in the swamps of Arkansas, and Camp Tule Lake, on a scrub-covered plain of northern California, left a lasting impression.“I can never forget the tall sentry towers with the machine guns pointed down at us. I remember the search light that followed me when I made the midnight runs from our barrack to the latrine,” he recalled. “Throughout my acting career, because of my childhood imprisonment, an unjust incarceration, I have always been mindful of the preciousness of my rights as an American as well as my responsibilities as a citizen.”Takei, who earned a B.A. and M.A. in theater from UCLA, has more than 40 feature films and hundreds of television guest-star roles to his credit. He boasts more than 9.7 million fans on his Facebook page and has used the platform to advocate on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.He was a former board member of the Southern California Rapid Transit District and helped establish the Arts in Transit program, which led to each Los Angeles Metro station having its own distinctive artwork. He was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the board of the Japan-United States Friendship Commission and received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, from Japanese Emperor Akihito for his contributions to improving relationships between the two nations.In closing his Commencement address, Takei noted that the democratic process can be unruly, even unjust. But as Americans, he told the crowd, we have a responsibility to be engaged and to strive to make our country a better place for all people, regardless of their differences.“We, your generation and mine, have a challenge to boldly go where we have never gone before,” he said, referencing a well-known line from the opening of Star Trek. “Let us learn from the lessons of history, and, as the founding fathers did, shape a new nation to fit the ever advancing, constantly innovating, dynamic challenges of the 21st century,” Takei said. “Let us boldly go where we have never gone before.”
Tom Petty will be honored as the 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, it was announced by Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the MusiCares Foundation and The Recording Academy, and Alexandra Patsavas, Chair of the MusiCares Foundation Board.Proceeds from the 27th annual benefit gala dinner and concert — to be held in Los Angeles during GRAMMY Week two nights prior to the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards — will provide essential support for MusiCares, which ensures music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical, and personal need.A three-time GRAMMY winner, Petty is being honored as the 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year in recognition of his significant creative accomplishments, his career-long interest in defending artists’ rights, and the charitable work he has undertaken throughout his career, which has notably focused on the homeless population in Los Angeles. Widely recognized by a younger generation of musicians as an example of what an engaged artist can accomplish in his field and beyond, Petty has come to represent the lasting possibilities of rock and roll.“Tom burst into our musical consciousness and never let go,” said Portnow. “His brand of rock and roll benefits from a celebratory rebelliousness, infectious rhythms, and unforgettable lyrics that are incised in our imaginations. His artistic talents coupled with his quiet philanthropy make him a great MusiCares Person of the Year honoree, and we are very fortunate to have the support of our Board, past honorees, and the musical community around this special event.”“I am so very pleased to be honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year. I have so much respect for this organization, which really does care about the people in our industry,” said Petty. “I myself know many people who MusiCares has aided in desperate situations. Again, let me say this is a true honor.”Petty formed his first bands in Gainesville, Fla. As a college town in the ’60s, Gainesville brought with it fraternity parties, rock and roll clubs, AM radios playing the Beatles and James Brown, and a music store where you could buy equipment on credit. Forty years after releasing his first album, Petty is widely recognized as a man for whom those things Gainesville offered still matter the most. In each of his five decades as a recording artist, Petty has charted albums in the Top 5 on the Billboard 200 chart. His most recent recording with the Heartbreakers, Hypnotic Eye, entered at No. 1.Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Petty is an artist whose approach to record making and the business itself has earned the respect of his peers, his predecessors, and the young musicians who regularly hold him as an exemplar. His collaborators have included Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jimmy Iovine, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Rick Rubin, and Del Shannon, among others. And while his solo recordings, including 1989’s Full Moon Fever and 1994’s Wildflowers, are frequently ranked among the most important of their respective eras, Petty has always returned to the job he’s favored: fronting one of rock and roll’s most celebrated bands and bringing them enough songs for the next album.Repeatedly confronting the inequities of the artist’s side of the industry, Petty has assumed a special place as a musician looking out for other musicians, and an artist who approaches every recording project as if it might be his best.“Tom Petty is an icon whose incomparable artistry has provided inspiration to fans and musicians all over the world,” said Patsavas. “To honor him with this tribute is so fitting, and we certainly look forward to an exciting and extraordinary evening.”The 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year gala will begin with a reception and silent auction offering an exclusive and unparalleled selection of luxury items, VIP experiences, and one-of-a-kind celebrity memorabilia for bidding guests. The reception and silent auction will be followed by a dinner, the award presentation and a tribute concert featuring renowned musicians. This year, for the first time, a limited number of VIP experience tables will be available for $75,000 that include: 10 seats, artist soundcheck, red carpet access, backstage access with a meet–and-greet, access to the pre-show auction, and a special VIP lounge. The MusiCares Person of the Year tribute ceremony is one of the most prestigious events held during GRAMMY Week. The celebration culminates with the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017. The telecast will be broadcast live on the CBS Television Network at 8 p.m. ET/PT.