Archive Month: June 2019
Jun 16 , 2019 / By :

TORONTO — Montreal filmmaker Xavier Dolan’s drama Mommy has won a Dorian Award as Best Foreign Language Film.

Dolan was also nominated for Wilde Artist of the Year — which honours “a truly groundbreaking force” in entertainment — but lost to Transparent director Jill Soloway.

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Winners of the Dorian Awards, voted on by roughly 100 members of the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA), were announced Tuesday.

Mommy star Anne Dorval lost the Film Actress award to Julianne Moore (Still Alice).

Regina-born Tatiana Maslany lost the TV Actress award to Lisa Kudrow (The Comeback) and her Toronto-shot series Orphan Black was beaten by Getting On in the Unsung TV Show of the Year category.

READ MORE: Canadians Xavier Dolan, Tatiana Maslany among Dorian Awards nominees

Boyhood was chosen Film of the Year and Eddie Redmayne was honoured for his work in The Theory of Everything. Film Director of the Year is Ava DuVernay (Selma).

The British film Pride won both LGBTQ Film of the Year and Unsung Film of the Year.

Other Dorian Awards went to the films The Grand Budapest Hotel and Into the Woods and TV’s The Normal Heart and Transparent.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart was named TV Current Affairs Show of the Year while John Oliver (Last Week Tonight) was named the Wilde Wit of the Year.

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John R. Kennedy is a member of GALECA and cast a ballot for the Dorian Awards.

©2015

Jun 16 , 2019 / By :

We’ll get things going at 6:45am with our Healthy Living segment. Many Canadians have heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder through various media reports and water cooler conversations. But recently SAD’s status has changed. Dr. Martin Alda, Killam Chair in Mood Disorders at Dalhousie University, will join us with the latest on this debilitating winter condition.

Why aren’t Canadians more interested in politics?  Join us at 7:15am for a lively discussion with Michael MacMillan – media executive, co-founder of Samara Canada and co-author of the best-selling book Tragedy in the Commons:  Former Members of Parliament Speak Out About Canada’s Failing Democracy.

Want a great excuse to start thinking about summer?  Join Halifax Jazz Festival Artistic Director Lulu Healy at 7:45am to chat about this summer’s event taking place July 8 – 12th.   Also – find out more about an upcoming show featuring Ms. Lisa Fischer, Rolling Stones mainstay and star of the Oscar-winning film 20 FEET FROM STARDOM.

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Getting ready for baby is one thing but what about getting ready for babies? In this week’s Doctor’s Appointment, we learn about multiple births and pregnancy. Dr. Howard Conter shares the straight facts on twins, triplets and more. That’s Wednesday at 8:15am.

At 8:20am we get our annual visit from Heather Gibson to tee up this year’s In The Dead of Winter Music Festival. What started in 2006 as a one-venue event with 11 artists has morphed into a 4-day acoustic musical journey across four venues in Halifax. Highlights this year include Owen Pallett and The Skydiggers.

And at 8:45am the music theme continues on our show with a chat and live performance from Ben Caplan. The Halifax based musician is playing a show at the CAPACOA Conference Wednesday night before heading out on the road for an extensive world tour in 2015.

Jun 16 , 2019 / By :

PARIS – Five ethnic Chechens from Russia have been arrested in southern France, including one with a cache of explosives, a local mayor said Tuesday as four other men appeared at a court in Paris, the first to face charges in the Paris terror attacks.

France has been on high alert since three days of terror left 20 people dead in Paris, including the three gunmen, earlier this month.

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The report of the arrests came France’s prime minister urged his nation to do some soul-searching about the country’s deep ethnic divisions and declared that fighting hatred, anti-Semitism and racism was a top priority, especially in France’s impoverished housing projects, home to many immigrant communities.

READ MORE: To counter terror, Europe’s police reconsider their weapons

Beziers Mayor Robert Menard confirmed the five arrests Tuesday in Beziers and on the outskirts of Montpellier. He said the man arrested in Beziers had been a resident “for some time.”

Midi Libre, the local paper, said an explosives cache was found in Beziers near a stadium but prosecutor Yvon Calvet told Midi Libre it wasn’t immediately clear whether a terror attack was planned. Prosecutors planned to hold a news conference later Tuesday in Beziers.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said the four men in court Tuesday were suspected of providing logistical support to Amedy Coulibaly, one of the terrorists killed by police, and requested the men be detained longer on weapons and terrorism charges.

Coulibaly shot a policewoman to death on the outskirts of Paris and then killed four hostages inside a kosher supermarket before being shot dead by police. It is not clear whether the four suspects in court Tuesday, all in their 20s, were involved in plotting the attacks or even aware of Coulibaly’s plans.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said five others arrested in the investigation were released without charge.

READ MORE: EU calls for anti-terror alliance with Arab countries after Paris attacks

No one has been charged with direct involvement in the Jan. 7-9 Paris terror attacks. Coulibaly claimed allegiance to the Islamic State group while the two brothers who attacked the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly said they were backed by al-Qaida in Yemen.

In Bulgaria, a court agreed to extradite a Frenchman who knew one of the two Kouachi brothers who massacred 12 people at Charlie Hebdo. Fritz-Joly Joachin told the Bulgarian court he was innocent and wanted to return to Paris to clear his name.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls told journalists Tuesday that the attacks should force France to look at the “apartheid” within. The conservative Socialist whose hard line on Islamic extremism has won many fans said he wasn’t making excuses for crime or terrorism, “but we also have to look at the reality of our country.”

Valls said memories have dimmed of the three weeks of riots by disaffected youths in 2005 that shook France.

“And yet, the stigmas remain … a territorial, social and ethnic apartheid that has imposed itself on our country,” he said. “The social misery is compounded by the daily discriminations, because someone does not have the right name, the right colour of skin, or because she is a woman.”

READ MORE: French police release 3 suspects, extend questioning of 9 arrested after attacks

In response to the 2005 riots, the French government spent hundreds of millions of euros (dollars) to improve conditions in its rundown suburbs, with little success. Unemployment among young people in the housing projects is well above the national average and state buildings are often targeted for vandalism and arson.

“The fight against hatred, anti-Semitism in all its forms, racism – these fights are absolutely urgent,” Valls said. Young people who refused to take part in a national minute of silence for the terror attack victims “are symptoms of something that is not going well.”

In Athens, an Algerian man suspected of jihadi terrorist links in Belgium appeared before a Greek prosecutor for an extradition hearing on being sent to Belgium. The suspect, whose name was not released, was detained Saturday in Athens, where he lives.

Belgium launched a large anti-terrorism sweep last week, during which two suspects were killed and one wounded, that netted several returnees from Islamic holy war in Syria.

Veselin Toshkov in Sofia, Bulgaria, and Nicholas Paphitis from Athens contributed.

©2015

Jun 16 , 2019 / By :

VIDEO GALLERY ABOVE

WASHINGTON – Refusing to bend to the new Republican Congress, President Barack Obama unveiled Tuesday night an ambitious State of the Union agenda steeped in Democratic priorities, including tax increases on the wealthy, education and child care help for the middle class and a torrent of veto threats for the GOP’s own plans.

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In a shift from tradition, Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress was less a laundry list of new proposals and more an attempt to sell a story of a national economy emerging from the “shadow of crisis.” He appealed for “better politics” in Washington and pledged to work with Republicans, but he showed few signs of curtailing or tweaking his own plans to meet GOP priorities.

Instead, the president vowed to use his veto pen to strike down the Republican leadership’s efforts to dismantle his signature accomplishments, including his health care and financial reform laws.

WATCH: President Barack Obama enters the House of Representatives to give his State of the Union address

LIVE: State of the Union address 2015

“We can’t put the security of families at risk by taking away their health insurance or unraveling the new rules on Wall Street or refighting past battles on immigration when we’ve got a system to fix,” Obama said in his hour-long address. “And if a bill comes to my desk that tries to do any of these things, I will veto it.”

The president sought out more common ground on foreign policy, pledging to work with Congress on a new authorization for military action against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, as well as legislation to guard against cyberattacks. In a rare move away from his own party, Obama also renewed his call for fast-tracking free trade agreements with Asia and Europe, generating more applause from pro-trade Republicans than skeptical Democrats.

Obama’s address marked the first time in his presidency that he stood before a Republican-controlled Congress. Yet the shift in the political landscape has also been accompanied by a burst of economic growth and hiring, as well as a slight increase in Obama’s once-sagging approval ratings — leaving the White House to see little incentive in acquiescing to Republicans.

After ticking through signs of the rising economy, the president turned toward Republicans sitting in the chamber and said with a wink, “This is good news, people.”

WATCH: President Obama wants equal pay for men and women

The centerpiece of Obama’s economic proposals marked a shift away from the focus on austerity and deficit reduction that has dominated his fiscal fights with Republicans. In a direct challenge to GOP economic ideology, Obama called for increasing the capital gains rate on couples making more than $500,000 annually, to 28 percent.

The president’s tax plan would also require estates to pay capital gains taxes on securities at the time they’re inherited and slap a fee on the roughly 100 U.S. financial firms with assets of more than $50 billion.

Much of the $320 billion in new taxes and fees would be used for measures aimed at helping the middle class, including a $500 tax credit for some families with two spouses working, expansion of the child care tax credit and a $60 billion program to make community college free. He also has called for expanding paid leave for workers and moved on his own to lower a mortgage insurance premium rate that could attract new homebuyers.

“Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well?” Obama asked. “Or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes the effort?”

The president’s proposals seemed more about giving his party a platform in the 2016 election than outlining a realistic legislative agenda. Even before the president’s address, Republicans were balking at his proposals and painting a far less rosy picture of the economy.

“We see our neighbors agonize over stagnant wages and lost jobs. We see the hurt caused by canceled health care plans and higher monthly insurance bills,” said Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, who delivered the Republican response. “But when we demanded solutions, too often Washington responded with the same stale mindset that led to failed policies like Obamacare. It’s a mindset that gave us political talking points, not serious solutions.”

WATCH: Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address

With an eye on a swirl of foreign policy challenges, Obama defended his decision to return to military action in Iraq and also authorize airstrikes in Syria. He said Congress could “show the world that we are united in this mission” by passing a new resolution formally authorizing the use of force against the Islamic State group.

As the U.S. eyes a March deadline for a framework agreement with Iran on its disputed nuclear program, the president vowed to veto any effort by Congress to pass new sanctions legislation. Such a step, he said, “will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails — alienating America from its allies and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again.”

The president also heralded his unilateral move last month to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba after a half-century of animosity, and he urged lawmakers to follow his lead by lifting the economic embargo on the communist island. Yet the guest boxes in the House chamber underscored the sensitive politics that hang over efforts to overhaul the long-standing U.S. policy toward Cuba.

WATCH: President Obama has been putting on the finishing touches to his sixth State of the Union address.

Among the guests sitting with first lady Michelle Obama was Alan Gross, the American man who spent five years in a Cuban prison and was released as part of the deal to end the freeze between Washington and Havana. In a nod to the concerns of Cuban dissidents and pro-democracy advocates, House Speaker John Boehner’s guest was Jorge Luis García Pérez, who spent 17 years in a Cuban prison. Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio brought Rosa Maria Paya Acevedo, whose father was a well-known Cuban dissident who was killed in a car accident that his family believes was suspicious.

Obama appeared at ease throughout the address, adlibbing at times and responding to the audience reaction. As he neared the end of his speech, he declared, “I have no more campaigns to run.” As Republicans erupted in laughter, Obama retorted, “I know, because I won both of them.”

©2015

Jun 16 , 2019 / By :

WATCH: Devastating and very graphic video evidence is the focus of day two of Martin Tremblay’s dangerous offender hearing. Rumina Daya reports.

VANCOUVER – Tuesday is day two in a dangerous offender hearing for a man convicted in the deaths of two teenage girls.

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Martin Tremblay has a history of plying teenage girls with alcohol and drugs, sexually assaulting them and even videotaping his crimes. Some girls would refer to him as ‘dad’ or ‘god’.

Two years ago he was convicted of criminal negligence in the deaths of 16-year-old Kayla LaLonde and 17-year-old Martha Jackson Hernandez.

He has not been sentenced in that case yet, but prosecutors want to see him designated a dangerous offender. That would mean he could be behind bars indefinitely. Crown has to prove that Tremblay poses a risk to the public, to re-offend, and to cause injury and death to someone else.

Some of his victims’ families were in court for day one of the proceedings. “For me, I’ve lived a life behind bars and I’m grateful I’m not today, but in the long run, this is a dangerous man and in regards I think he’s a menace to society,” said Kayla’s dad, Herman Bee. “I don’t want to see this happen to another family. At times I’m lost for words. There’s days I go thinking of my daughter and there’s days I just want to give up.”

“I don’t want to see anyone feel the way we feel right now.”

In 2011, Vancouver Police included Tremblay on a list of men believed to be preying on women in the poverty-stricken neighbourhood where serial killer Robert Pickton once found his victims.

WATCH: Day one of the dangerous offender hearing:

©2015