Being a successful singer and songwriter should impress a lot of people, but the Jann Arden at the center of CTV’s JANN sure has a hard time getting respect, especially from her new manager Cale (Elena Juatco). The young and hip millennial who has taken over Jann’s career, including securing Jann a spot on a national tour in last week’s episode, doesn’t seem to appreciate all the talent her new boss has to offer. Their relationship and back and forth has been one of the more enjoyable ones to watch during JANN’s first season, which concludes Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m. ET.Things couldn’t be more different though in real life for Juatco and Arden. Juatco, who made her debut on Canadian Idol and then went on to be a series regular on Open Heart, absolutely adores her leading lady. She recently spoke to The TV Junkies about how she reacted to meeting Arden and why viewers should get ready for plenty of laughs in the finale.The TV Junkies: First things first, what did you think when you heard your character’s name was going to be Cale? Facebook Advertisement ELENA JUATCO Login/Register With: Elena Juatco: I thought that was awesome! [laughs] I thought Cale was a great name and coincidentally, there’s a Calgarian named Cale Makar who plays for the Avalanche in the NHL. He just recently scored his first goal and people were at the game waving kale. I feel like now it’s starting a trend and the writers were ahead of their time. I can see a lot of people naming their baby Cale and it’s a great mark to make on the future. My hashtag is #CaleWithAC. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Twitter
APTN National NewsThe federal government has announced the closure of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, and some who’ve worked with the institution are expressing their disappointment with the announcement.The Centre will be folded into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In its time, it helped develop the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, or UNDRIP.APTN National News reporter Danielle Rochette talks with former employees and supporters of the institution, and has this report.
APTN National NewsA forensic lab in Edmonton is helping investigators to solve crimes.But as APTN’s Keith Laboucan reports this lab brings poachers to justice.
Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais APTN National NewsA high school in the north end of Winnipeg is trying to bridge racial gaps by sharing culture and traditions.And it seems the young people here are discovering more similarities than first email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org@katmarte Unist’ot’en Camp in quieter times. (APTN file)Kathleen MartensAPTN NewsThe sister of a woman opposing pipeline construction in northwestern B.C. is worried for the protester’s safety after recent posts on Facebook.“It’s targeting her,” said Kumba Dennis whose sister was named on a page belonging to Liberal MLA John Rustad (Nechako Lakes).Rustad has since removed the post entitled ‘Unistoten Imported Activist Crowd’ but didn’t explain why.“When I saw a post that showed where these individuals are from I shared it because I thought it was important information,” he told APTN News. (Rustad took the post down after the interview).This latest conflict reflects tensions in the region around the Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline.The 670-kilometre pipeline will carry fracked natural gas through northwestern B.C. to an ocean terminal in Kitimat where it will be liquefied and shipped to Asian markets.The $40-billion project has been approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nation governments but is opposed by five hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation and their supporters.They erected blockades south of Houston, B.C., on land belonging to their Gidimt’en and Unist’ot’en clans in Rustad’s riding.RCMP dismantle Gidimt’en blockade on Jan. 7, 2019.In December, CGL, a subsidiary of the TransCanada energy company, said it needed to start construction and obtained an interim court injunction to bypass the blockades.But the opponents defied the injunction and CGL called the RCMP, who dismantled a barrier at Gidimt’en in a violent raid on January 8 and arrested 14 people.The police were stopped from removing a gate at Unist’ot’en after hereditary chiefs – fearing injuries and further arrests at a healing camp behind the Unist’ot’en barricade – brokered a deal granting the company conditional access.Rustad said opposition to the mega project and the jobs it will bring is upsetting to him and some of his constituents.Especially when it involves protesters coming from outside B.C. as the post on his Facebook page alleged.He said RCMP and other sources have told him “these people are paid protesters that have come in from other areas. They’re paid by environmental groups (and) these environmental groups receive money from the U.S. They have a goal – to shut down and stop our resources.”Rustad was minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation in the former Christy Clark government where he said he spent more than four years consulting with affected communities and winning their support.He said protesters are targeting Indigenous people and politicians.“There are some Wet’suwet’en elders (and) hereditary chiefs who have spoken out in favour of this project; they have been threatened, they have been harassed, they have been bullied,” he said.“I believe very strongly that people have a right to protest, that people have a right to express their opinion, and that people’s opinions should be respected,” he added.“…But what I do have a problem with is when individuals…have been bullying, harassing and threatening me (and others),” he said, noting he has reported the alleged incidents to police.Rustad said some of his colleagues have been forced to call police after pipeline opponents disrupted work in their constituency offices.David Tindall studies the environmental movement in British Columbia.He said his deputy dissuaded him from visiting “the blockade in my riding” because “these people are just too volatile.”However, Dennis said Rustad is “inciting more hate” against people like her sister, who is an Indigenous woman from northern B.C.“If you look at the comments there…that has scared me. I’m worried for my sister’s life,” she said of the post that she said was on Rustad’s Facebook page for about three days.“I was there (at the Unist’ot’en Camp)…it’s completely a healing centre. There’s no military training. They pray together, they have no drugs or alcohol. It’s like the most peaceful thing ever.”Dennis said she reported the Facebook post to the RCMP.Skeena Liberal-MLA Ellis Ross, the former chief councillor of Kitimaat First Nation, who supports the CGL project, confirmed he is beefing up security at his constituency office after receiving a threat online.“This is the price Indigenous people pay for supporting resource development,” he said in a telephone interview.RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Madonna Saunderson said protests, rallies and demonstrations have remained peaceful.But she said officers did arrest and charge two people January 31 after receiving “a 911-complaint of an escalating disturbance/protest” inside the Smithers office of B.C. forests and natural resource minister Doug Donaldson.The RCMP would not confirm it had received complaints about threats related to the pipeline.Meanwhile, David Tindall, a professor at the University of British Columbia, said B.C. has always had a strong environmental movement.He said it’s one of two provinces – along with Quebec – where people risk arrest to raise awareness and rally opposition.So Tindall, who researches civil disobedience, is somewhat surprised the rest of Canada wasn’t anticipating West Coast pushback on another pipeline project.“This is where a thousand people were arrested over Clayoquot Sound,” he said of the 1993 ‘War of the Woods’ blockade against clear-cutting of old-growth forest.Blaming protesters for being from out-of-town is a weak argument, he added.“Every fight has allies,” he said. “Protesters have a vast network and draw support from each other in solidarity.”Besides, pipeline companies have investors from around the world, Tindall said, noting no one is telling them they can’t support the project if they’re from out of province.
OTTAWA – Canadian factory sales fell for a second consecutive month in July, Statistics Canada said Tuesday due in large part to a drop in the auto sector.Manufacturing sales fell 2.6 per cent to $52.5 billion in July following a 1.9 per cent drop in June.Sales were down 1.4 per cent in July on a constant basis.“The second month of declines in both value and volumes suggests that momentum may be fading somewhat at Canadian factories,” TD Bank senior economist Brian DePratto wrote in a report.“To be sure, with a shift in the shutdown schedule at auto plants contributing significantly to the pullback, a rebound may be in store next month as these assembly lines come back to life. But with the forward-looking indicators down again in July, rebound expectations should be tempered.”Statistics Canada said the annual auto assembly plant summer shutdowns were longer and more concentrated in July than in previous years and that changes to the models being manufactured in Canada also contributed to the decline.Excluding motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts, manufacturing sales increased 0.2 per cent.Sales fell in nine of 21 industries, representing 57 per cent of the manufacturing sector.Sales of transportation equipment fell 13.8 per cent to $9.6 billion in July due a 19.9 per cent drop in motor vehicles and a 11.3 per cent move lower by motor vehicle parts.Food industry sales also fell 0.9 per cent, while gains were made by the wood products sector which gained 2.3 per cent and primary metals which added 1.9 per cent. Non-metallic mineral products gained 4.4 per cent.
TORONTO – The Building Industry and Land Development Association says the Greater Toronto Area’s supply of newly constructed condos last month hit its highest level since it began tracking that data about 15 years ago.The group says that of the 5,377 new homes sold in the GTA in October, about 91 per cent of the units were multi-family homes, condo apartments in high-rise and mid-rise buildings and stacked townhomes, while the remaining nine per cent were low-rise, single-family homes.Condo sales for October were 81 per cent above the 10-year average of 2,697, and the highest October yet recorded, while low-rise sales were 64 per cent below the 10 year average of 1,388.As of the end of October, 39,476 new homes have been sold in the GTA this year, 82 per cent of them condo apartments in high-rise and mid-rise buildings and stacked townhomes.In addition to high demand with limited supply, price growth in Toronto housing has been fuelled by appreciation in townhomes and condos, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board.That’s supported by the association’s report that the average price of available new condo apartments in high-rise and mid-rise buildings and stacked townhomes was $677,456 in October, up about 2.4 per cent from September.The group says the average price of available new single-family homes in the GTA was about $1.22 million, up about one per cent from September.
Canada’s competition watchdog will review a deal between two of the country’s media conglomerates to sell multiple local newspapers to each other and then shutter most of their operations.Torstar Corp. (TSX:TS.B) and Postmedia Network Inc. (TSX:PNC.A, TSX:PNC.B) announced Monday the two companies exchanged a total of 41 publications and would stop publishing the majority of them, resulting in 291 job losses.Postmedia said in a statement the transaction was not subject to the Competition Act’s merger notification provisions, which typically come into play if the target’s Canadian assets or sales revenues generated from them exceed $88 million.However, after the news was announced the Competition Bureau said it was planning a review.The Commissioner of Competition can review transactions of all sizes and in all sectors “to determine whether they will likely result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition in any market in Canada,” said spokesman Jayme Albert in an email, adding the transaction can be challenged before the Competition Tribunal for up to a year.Postmedia understands the Competition Bureau’s mandate and will provide the agency with the necessary information, said Andrew MacLeod, the company’s president and chief operating officer.Torstar declined to comment, citing a lack of information beyond the announced review, said spokesman Bob Hepburn in an email.Many observers and unions criticized the deal, saying it will lessen competition and hurt local news coverage in the affected communities.“The scale of it, I think, is stunning and will be stunning for people who live in these communities who are going to lose access to, really, their local news,” said April Lindgren, an associate professor at the Ryerson School of Journalism.More than 200 local news sources — newspapers, online publications and others — have closed for various reasons in Canada since 2008, she said, citing data she’s helped compile for the Local News Research Project.“What they’re doing is shutting down newspapers in their immediate environs so the circulation can be taken over and the news coverage can be expanded by their existing papers in the area,” she said.Lindgren said Postmedia, for instance, is shutting down Torstar newspapers in the coverage area of Postmedia’s Ottawa Citizen, and Torstar is buying and closing Postmedia products in southern Ontario that might compete with its Toronto Star.The loss of local news titles will likely get worse, not better, as advertising dollars continue to migrate to online sites such as Facebook and Google, said Mitch Diamantopoulos, an associate journalism professor in the University of Regina.“An attempt to cut costs by eliminating competition is bad news for Canadians,” he said.MacLeod defended the transaction, saying it’s not Postmedia’s intent to lessen competition.When the companies started these discussions several months ago, he said, they were “exceptionally careful” neither side knew what the other planned to do with their acquisitions.Postmedia is trying to preserve revenue in an industry where legacy revenue streams, like print advertising, are in a state of freefall, said MacLeod, and give its digital-focused strategy time to take hold.Canadian newspaper companies have experimented with new models such as paywalls or tablet-only offerings, most of which have failed to boost profits significantly.The news industry has seen mass layoffs and multiple newsroom closures in recent years as companies cut costs in an effort to stay viable.In that environment, Postmedia — and all players — need to be more careful where they focus and put resources toward growing stronger there, while moving out of other markets, MacLeod said.Torstar declined to comment beyond their press release, in which CEO John Boynton said the transaction will allow the company “to operate more efficiently through increased geographic synergies in a number of our primary regions.”As part of the deal, Postmedia will shutter 21 of 22 community newspapers it acquired from Torstar, and free dailies Metro Winnipeg and Metro Ottawa, costing 244 people their jobs.Torstar’s Metroland Media Group Ltd., meanwhile, said it will close three of the seven daily newspapers in Ontario it’s buying from Postmedia as well as all eight community newspapers it has purchased, resulting in the loss of 46 jobs.Torstar said one job will disappear as it buys and closes the free dailies 24Hours Toronto and 24Hours Vancouver.The companies said the transaction is effectively a non-cash deal, as the consideration for the publications being purchased is roughly equal to that of the publications being sold.———Torstar holds an investment in The Canadian Press as part of a joint agreement with a subsidiary of the Globe and Mail and the parent company of Montreal’s La Presse.— With files from Aleksandra Sagan
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. is looking for new acquisitions following a blockbuster year that made it Canada’s largest company by revenues, the convenience store operator said Tuesday.“I’d say M&A (mergers and acquisitions) continues to remain a core part of our strategy,” CEO Brian Hannasch said in a conference call.Hannasch said consolidation in the U.S. convenience store market is very active but sellers are seeking very high selling prices.“We remain active in Asia to find the right management team, the right network for new growth platform in that part of the world.”The company has reduced its debt and will soon be in a more comfortable position, he added.“We, at the same time, remain committed to be disciplined in our buying, and we remain committed to have a balance sheet ready for the right opportunity when it arises.”The North American convenience store giant based in Laval, Que., reported Monday its net income rose 41.5 per cent in the fourth quarter as growth and acquisitions fuelled an equal jump in revenues.The company, which reports in U.S. dollars, earned $392.7 million or 70 cents per diluted share for the 12-week period ended April 29. That compared with $277.6 million or 49 cents per share in what was a 13-week period a year ago.Revenues rose to $13,614.8 billion, from $9.62 billion a year ago.On an adjusted basis, Couche-Tard said it earned $336 million or 59 cents per share.The company was expected to earn 55 cents per share on an adjusted basis, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters Eikon.Couche-Tard also increased its quarterly dividend by 11.1 per cent to 10 cents per share to shareholders of record as of July 18 for payment on Aug. 1.Its shares gained 6.4 per cent at C$60.65 in afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.The company said it has US$666.2 million in cash and about US$1.1 billion available through its revolving credit facilities to provide it with “ample flexibility to fund future investments.”Couche-Tard, which operates mainly under the Circle K banner, said it expanded to 48 out of 50 U.S. states and added more than 2,100 stores through new openings and acquisitions.It now has more than 12,700 stores and 130,000 employees in North America and Europe.The past year has been notable with its purchase of CST Brands and Holiday for a total estimated price of US$6 billion. Acquisitions added an extra $8.7 billion in revenues in the past year, mainly from fuel sales.Fuel volumes from existing locations in Canada decreased 2.9 per cent in the quarter. Hannasch said he hopes this summer’s launch of a loyalty program at Esso locations in Quebec and Ontario in partnership with Loblaws and Shoppers will drive more customers into its convenience stores.Analyst Keith Howlett of Desjardins Capital Markets said the results marked an improvement in same-store merchandise sales growth trends compared to other retailers.Sales for existing stores — a key retail metric — were up 1.8 per cent in the U.S., 4.3 per cent in Europe and 3.6 per cent in Canada.“The strong sales results were achieved without erosion of gross margin rate.”Companies in this story: (TSX:ATD.B, TSX:L)
A U.S. judge in Seattle blocked the Trump administration Monday from allowing a Texas company to post online plans for making untraceable 3D guns, agreeing with 19 states and the District of Columbia that such access to the plastic guns would pose a security risk.The states sued to stop an agreement that the government had reached with Austin, Texas-based Defence Distributed, saying guidelines on how to print undetectable plastic guns could be acquired by felons or terrorists.U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik extended a temporary restraining order, and his new decision will last until the case is resolved. He said Cody Wilson, owner of Defence Distributed, wanted to post the plans online so that citizens can arm themselves without having to deal with licenses, serial numbers and registrations.Wilson has said that “governments should live in fear of their citizenry.”“It is the untraceable and undetectable nature of these small firearms that poses a unique danger,” Lasnik said. “Promising to detect the undetectable while at the same time removing a significant regulatory hurdle to the proliferation of these weapons — both domestically and internationally — rings hollow and in no way ameliorates, much less avoids, the harms that are likely to befall the states if an injunction is not issued.”The State Department had reached the settlement with the company after the agency removed the 3D gun-making plans from a list of weapons or technical data that cannot be exported overseas.The states argued that the federal agency didn’t follow the law when it removed 3D guns from the munitions list. They said the government was supposed to notify Congress and provide a 30-day window before making a change to that list, but it did not.Lasnik criticized the government for switching its position on the threat posed by the 3D gun-making plans.Up until April, the government argued the distribution of the guidelines “posed a threat to world peace and the security and foreign policy of the United States,” the judge said.Despite those fears, the government decided that it only needed to restrict the international availability of firearms up to .50 calibre. That’s when they reached a settlement with the 3D gun company.There was no indication the government evaluated the unique characteristics of the plastic guns when it considered deleting that category of weapons from the prohibited list, the judge said.“Nor is there any reasoned explanation for its change in position,” Lasnik said.The federal government declined to comment on the judge’s ruling.A lawyer with the U.S. Justice Department had argued against the injunction, saying possessing 3D plastic guns is already against the law, and the federal government is committed to enforcing that law.But the judge said it wasn’t enough.“While the court appreciates the earnestness with which this commitment was made at oral argument, it is of small comfort to know that, once an undetectable firearm has been used to kill a citizen of Delaware or Rhode Island or Vermont, the federal government will seek to prosecute a weapons charge in federal court while the state pursues a murder conviction in state court,” Lasnik said.Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson praised the ruling.“Once again, I’m glad we put a stop to this dangerous policy,” Ferguson said. “But I have to ask a simple question: why is the Trump administration working so hard to allow these untraceable, undetectable 3D-printed guns to be available to domestic abusers, felons and terrorists?”The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a pro-gun control group that has aggressively fought the online release of the gun plans, praised the judge’s ruling “as a tremendous victory for the American public.”Avery Gardiner, co-president of the group, said 3D-printed guns “represent a supreme threat to our safety and security, and we are grateful that Judge Lasnik recognized it as such.”The states suing are Washington, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.
WASHINGTON — Government numbers show health insurance sign-ups for the Affordable Care Act are down with just a few days left to enrol.That’s happening even though premiums are stable, consumers have more choice and millions of uninsured people can still get financial help.The sign-up deadline is this Saturday in most states, for coverage beginning Jan. 1.Barring a sign-up surge, the nation’s uninsured rate could edge up after a yearslong coverage expansion that has seen about 20 million people get health insurance.A report Wednesday from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows nearly 20 per cent fewer new customers signed up than at about the same time last year. New customers drive the growth of HealthCare.gov, helping keep premiums in check.Next year there’s no penalty for being uninsured.Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, The Associated Press
BAYTREE, A.B. – The Spirit River RCMP have just released information about suspected H2S release near Baytree Alberta.According to the RCMP, shortly after 1:30 p.m. on March 9, fire, police and EMS as well as industry safety personnel responded and soon determined that the release was a singular event and did not present an ongoing safety or health concern.The monitoring equipment on site did not register H2S levels in excess of 10 parts per million and ongoing air quality monitoring is not detecting any H2S present in the air at this time. Police and Fire dispatchers have been fielding a high volume of calls from concerned citizens in both Alberta and B.C. asking if they need to take precautions or be evacuated.The RCMP say at this time, there is no ongoing release and there is no risk to public safety. If the situation were to change, affected residents would be contacted directly as per industry Emergency Response Plans that are currently in place.Baytree, AB is located approximately 70km west of Spirit River, Alberta and 5km east of the British Columbia border on Highway 49.
Sauve explained that the cutting of the wire caused 52 homes in the area to lose home phone, Internet, and TV service.“We’re closely monitoring the situation in Old Fort and are in contact with the city and emergency services, and have been doing everything we can to minimize the impact on our customers,” said Sauve.She added that cell phone service has not been impacted by the slide, and Telus has made cell phones available to residents who might not have one.“Our main priority is to restore service to all impacted customers as soon as it is safe for our crews to begin working on the line, and we are keeping the community updated through the Regional District,” added Sauve. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Last Sunday’s landslide has resulted in Telus customers having their services interrupted, though the rest of Fort St. John is said to be unaffected.Telus spokesperson Liz Sauve said that the company’s main line providing service to the community was being slowly dragged by the landslide.She said that initially, the company had been giving the line more slack so that service wouldn’t be disrupted to residents, but on Thursday crews had to proactively cut the line after it started to drag on a hydro pole and had become a safety concern.
UPDATE – For the first time since February 1, the extreme cold warning has been lifted for the B.C. Peace.FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Another day another extreme cold warning is in place for the B.C. Peace.The warning remains in place for the B.C. Peace. The warning has been in place since February 1. A cold arctic air mass has settled over the B.C. Central Interior. The combination of cold temperatures and brisk winds will produce wind chill values near minus 40 this morning. Conditions are expected to improve this afternoon.Temperatures are expected to increase on Sunday and into next week, but the wind will still be a factor. Windchills on Sunday are expected to make the high of minus 19 feel more like minus 33.See the full warning below.3:37 AM PST Saturday 09 February 2019Extreme Cold Warning in effect for:B.C. North Peace RiverB.C. South Peace RiverA period of very cold wind chills is expected.A cold arctic airmass has settled over the BC Central Interior. The combination of cold temperatures and brisk winds will produce wind chill values near minus 40 this morning. Conditions are expected to improve this afternoon. Extreme cold puts everyone at risk.Risks are greater for young children, older adults, people with chronic illnesses, people working or exercising outdoors, and those without proper shelter.Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to BCstorm@canada.ca or tweet reports using #BCStorm.
New Delhi: Australian Graham Reid is set to be named the Indian men’s hockey team chief coach till the 2022 World Cup after the national federation and the Sports Authority of India gave their go ahead to fill the position lying vacant for nearly three months. Reid’s name was finalised in a meeting between Hockey India and SAI officials on Tuesday. He was picked over a number of candidates, including Jay Stacy, another Australian and a three-time Olympic medallist. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhReid’s name has been forwarded to the Sports Ministry for a final approval and according to a source in the ministry, an official announcement would be made by the end of this week. “Reid’s contract is expected to be till 2022 but as has been case in the past, the NSF will review his performance after every tournament,” the source said. The Indian men’s team is without a chief coach after the unceremonious sacking of Harendra Singh in January following a less-than-impressive quarter-final exit at the World Cup in Bhubaneswar last year. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterA veteran of 130 international matches, Reid was a member of the Australian team that won the silver medal in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. A disciple of the legendary Ric Charlesworth, Reid was his assistant in the Australian team for five years before being elevated to the top position in 2014. He was Australia’s coach at the 2016 Rio Olympics but quit after the Kookaburras failed to finish on the podium. In 2017, Reid took up the post of head coach of his former club Amsterdam as well as assistant coach of the Netherlands team. But earlier this month, he was dismissed as Amsterdam coach following which speculations started about him taking up the India job. The ministry official said that Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who returned to the national capital on Tuesday night after campaigning in Rajasthan for the upcoming general election, will give his nod by this week. “The Sports Minister is very busy with the general elections and a decision in this regard is expected to be taken at the Sports Secretary level after discussions with the Minister,” the official said.
Mumbai: Alia Bhatt’s mother, veteran actor Soni Razdan says, she has always admired her daughter’s boyfriend Ranbir Kapoor. Ranbir and Alia made their relationship public when they attended Sonam Kapoor’s wedding reception together last year. Since then both the actors have been spending quality time with each other’s families. While Alia rang in the New Year with the Kapoor clan in New York, Ranbir was recently spotted visiting the “Raazi” star’s home on her 26th birthday. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka “I have always admired him as an actor much before I knew him as a person. I have come to know him a little bit (more now personally). He is a well brought up and balanced man. He is a very sweet and caring man. I am quite impressed,” Soni told PTI. The actor said she is happy that her daughter is in a healthy space both professionally and personally. “A good balance in professional and personal life is good and I would be happy as a mother if Alia is happy in all the aspect of her life professionally, personally.” The actor is busy promoting her upcoming film “No Fathers in Kashmir” that hits cinema houses on April 5.
Casbalnca– Morocco ranked 91th out of 132 countries surveyed in the 2014 Social Progress Index, released by the non-profit organization, the Social Imperative Progress. The Social Progress Index is based on three main dimensions: basic human needs, foundations of wellbeing, and opportunity. Each of these dimensions is, in turn, divided into four components, and each component is based on three to six indicators. The kingdom was ranked 91st after scoring 58.01 out of 100 in social progress. Morocco’s social progress was categorized as fourth level, only one level before the lowest one. Morocco scored 71.86 in basic human needs, 62.57 in foundations of well-being, 39.60 in opportunity, 87.74 in nutrition and medical care and 54.56 in water and sanitation.New Zealand topped the list of countries scoring 88.4, followed by Switzerland (88.19) and Iceland (88.07). Netherlands ranked 5th scoring (87.37), ahead of Norway (87.12), Sweden (87.08), Canada (86.95), Finland (86.91), Denmark (86.55) and Australia (86.10). Austria tops the list of second-level progress countries ranking 11th with a score of 85.11. The United States ranked 16th with 82.77. At the regional level, Tunisia topped the list of MENA countries with 62.96, whereas Algeria ranked 87th (59.13). Burundi (37.33), Central African Republic (34.17) and Chad (32.60) are in the bottom of the list. The 2014 Social Progress Index “reveals striking differences across countries in their social performance and highlights the very different strengths and weaknesses of individual countries.”The main factors affecting Morocco’s social growth are adult illiteracy, gender inequality in secondary education, freedom of religion and the biodiversity of habitats, according to the index. Morocco “would benefit from a greater investment through the sustainability of ecosystems,” according to the report.
Rabat – French Moroccan film maker Kamal Hachkar will be awarded the 2015 Pomegranate Award for Artistic Achievement in acknowledgment for his achievements in the arts and film.The director of “Tinghir-Jerusalem: Echoes from Mellah” will be honored during the 18th annual NY Sephardi Film Festival to be held from March 12-19, 2015 at the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan. According to the organizers, the festival provides viewers with an understanding of the rich mosaic culture of Jews from the Middle East and greater Sephardic Diaspora.“Tinghir-Jerusalem: Echoes from Mellah” will also be screened this month in several American and Canadian cities. The documentary which explores the Jewish quarter (Mellah) in the director’s village in Tinghir, eastern Morocco, and how it was once home to a substantial Jewish population, will be screened in Princeton, New Jersey on March 11, Long Island City, New York on March 12-13 and in Toronto, Canada on March 29. Other projections are expected to take place at the University of Delaware near Washington, Columbia, Quebec and Montreal.
Rabat – The number of Chinese Tourists to Morocco has tripled since May, a new reports shows.The Memorandum of Understanding signed last May, aimed to strengthen bilateral cooperation between Morocco and China, particularly in tourism.Last May, Lahcen Haddad, Minister of Tourism, and Li Jing, the Chinese Director General of the National Tourism Administration, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen bilateral cooperation in tourism, investment and promotion and to promote the development of tourist flows, including knowledge exchange in the fields of management and training. Among many things, the MoU has canceled the visa for Chinese tourists to visit Morocco. This has, therefore, increased the interest of the Chinese tourist market in the kingdom by 300 percent, as reported by China Tourism Academy.This rise in interest is the highest in the world in comparison with other touristic destinations that stand at 60 percent increase at best. This is mainly due to the competitiveness of Morocco in regards to travel cost.According to Hespress, the report states that Morocco has become one of the ‘warm’ destinations for Chinese tourists, as the temperature drops in other destinations.A map posted by the same Academy shows that Chinese tourists are more drawn to Morocco than any other African country, while South Africa is the second most attractive African country.Earlier this year, during a seminar was co-organized by the Ministry of Tourism, the Moroccan National Tourism Office (ONMT), the National Tourism Confederation, and the Tourism Observatory, where Morocco’s Minister of Tourism uncovered Morocco’s plan to attract 100,000 Chinese tourists by 2020:“The Ministry of Tourism offers an important position to the Chinese market in its vision for the future, which expects to attract 100,000 Chinese tourists by 2020,” said Haddad.China has significant potential as an emerging market for tourists. The country had 98.2 million tourists in 2013 and generated $102 billion in tourism spending in 2012, making it the top country for tourism spending.Edited by Hinna Sheikh