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Blue light effects Time to tweak your skincare routine

first_imgOur skin is exposed to harmful rays from the sun all the time, what we ignore is the damage being caused because of blue light radiation from the electronic devices all around us. As per recent report findings, millennials check their phones at an average of 150 times a day and clock up more than 10 hours of screen time daily, – this way we’re getting significantly more blue light exposure than we get from the sun alone.It’s interesting to note how spending four to eight hours every day in front of a computer exposes you to the same amount of energy as 20 minutes in the mid-day sun. To put this in a different perspective, ‘seven minutes of sun exposure at 1 pm is powerful enough to induce immediate tanning,’ as per the experts. Also Read – Pollution makes you more aggressiveUnderstanding the gravity of this problem and the harmful effects it has on our skin, Rahul Agarwal, CEO, Organic Harvest says, “The protection just from UVA and UVB rays is no longer enough, as an evolving research confirms that blue light emitted from our digital devices is immensely bad for our skin. So, if you’re serious about preventing premature aging, it seems to be the time to change your skincare regime and include skincare which not only protects you from outdoor harmful rays but also from indoors harmful blue light rays.” Also Read – Physical therapy better for low back painDermatologists as well are seeing increasing data on the potential long-term harms of visible light, and in particular blue light, on our skin. “The visible blue light is one of the major skin care concern as it contributes to premature aging, including wrinkles, worsening skin laxity, and hyperpigmentation. Blue light has the ability to penetrate deeper into the skin compared to UVA rays and trigger damage. Clearly, one needs to take both indoor and outdoor approach that provides protection to our skin” says Dr Rashmi Sharma, Dermatology and Venereology, MBBS, DDVL, Dermatologist at Fortis Hospital. Further elaborating on how the blue light damage our skin, Dr Monica Kapoor, Cosmetic and Aesthetic physician, says, “We are so much dependent on electronic devices and gadgets including smartphones, Television, computers, and laptops, it is bound to have adverse effects on not only on our eyes contributing to glaucoma and cataract, but also on skin – thereby leading to problems like hyper-pigmentation, wrinkles, dullness, melasma, skin laxity, dark spots and much more.” “Nowadays, I come across people who complain about all such problems more than they ever did. I see different patterns of pigmentation on the face which is quite disturbing.” “It is because the blue light causes the skin to produce more pigments as well as breaks and inflames the collagen in the skin, leading to skin problems including melasma, and pigmentation.” How to protect your skin from blue light damage Must use organic sunscreen 24 x 7– whether you are stepping out of your home or while using any digital devices. Turn on the ‘night mode’ or ‘nightshift’ setting on your phone that disables blue light, and in turn makes it easier on your eyes and skin. Use products with organic ingredients like Aloe Vera and Kaolin Clay as they form protective layer on the skin. Go for wide-spectrum SPF to fight the battle. Use antioxidants like Vitamin C serums during the day time. Oral antioxidant supplementation further works to counter the effects of blue light.last_img read more

25 batches of drugs of 18 pharma companies found substandard since January

first_imgNew Delhi: The Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI), which implements the Centre’s flagship affordable medicine scheme PMBJP, has found 25 batches of drugs of 18 different pharmaceutical companies to be of substandard quality since January 2018, according to an official document.While 17 out of the 18 companies are private, one is a public sector unit (PSU) – Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited (IDPL), according to the document. Both the BPPI and the IDPL work under the Department of Pharmaceuticals of the central government. Also Read – IAF receives its first Rafale fighter jet from FranceOnce the affordable generic drugs are procured from pharmaceutical companies by the BPPI, they are supplied to various Janaushadhi Kendras that are managed under the Pradhan Mantri Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP). There are 4,677 Janaushadhi Kendras functional in the country, as on December 31, 2018. Batches of two drugs of AMR Pharma India Private Limited – one an antidiabetic drug Voglibose and the other a hypertension drug Telmisartan – were found to be substandard by the bureau since January 2018, according to the official document, a copy of which PTI has accessed. Also Read – Cosmology trio win Nobel Physics PrizeJust like AMR Pharma, batches of two drugs of the following companies – Modern Laboratories, Legen Healthcare, Ravian Life Science, Max chem Pharmaceuticals, Theon Pharmaceuticals, Mascot Health Series and Terrace Pharmaceuticals – were found to be substandard by the BPPI since January 2018, the document stated. Batch number PZT0917 of Pantoprazole, which was manufactured by IDPL, was found to be substandard by the bureau during 2018, it stated. Pantoprazole is generally used to treat acid reflux and peptic ulcers. Painkiller Nimesulide and anti-fever medicine Paracetamol of Navketan Pharma and Nestor Pharmaceuticals, respectively, were found to be substandard by the BPPI, as per the document. Hypertension drug Enalapril and antibiotic drug Ciprofloxacin of Osmed Formulation and Hanuchem Laboratories, respectively, were found to be substandard since January 2018, it stated. Other pharma companies that were found to be selling substandard drug batches to the BPPI were Biogenetic Drugs, Wings Biotech, Zenith Drugs and Kwality Pharmaceutical, according to the document. As on February 8 this year, under the PMBJP scheme, the BPPI has entered into a contract with 146 pharmaceutical manufacturing companies for procuring generic medicines to be sold through dedicated retail outlets. Sachin Singh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), BPPI, said, “BPPI has taken stringent action against the suppliers whose products were declared ‘Not of Standard Quality’.”With PTI inputslast_img read more

20yrold housewifes body found

first_imgKolkata: Mystery shrouds the death of a housewife whose body was found at the residence of her in-laws in Naihati’s Ghosh Para area on Saturday morning.The victim, a 20-year-old woman, had strangulation marks around her neck which make the investigating officers believe that there must be some foul play behind her death. Her in-laws, however, claimed that the victim committed suicide by hanging herself from the ceiling fan. She was later taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced brought dead. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersThe family members of the victim alleged that she was murdered by her in-laws as she wore a trouser and T-shirt. The police are yet to ascertain the exact cause of death. The victim’s family members also lodged a complaint with the Naihati police station. The police are also investigating if the victim had committed suicide after suffering humiliation or she was strangulated to death. They are waiting for the post-mortem report which can throw light on the nature of death.last_img read more

More petitions filed against Swamy in courts for his remarks against Rahul

first_imgJaipur: Four petitions have been filed in different courts in Rajasthan against Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy for his comments against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.The petitions were filed in local courts in Jaipur, Tonk, Bundi and Baran by Congress leaders. The petitioners said that Swamy’s remarks against Gandhi have hurt their sentiments and action should be taken against him for defaming the Congress leader. On Saturday night, an FIR was registered in Chhattisgarh against Swamy following a complaint lodged by state Congress leader Pawan Agrawal. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!In his written complaint, Agrawal said Swamy alleged that Gandhi takes cocaine, and added that the BJP leader has no right and facts to make such a statement. The general secretary of Pradesh Congress Committee and head of the legal cell of the party, Sushil Sharma, filed the petition in the court of additional chief judicial magistrate in Jaipur on Monday. He also demanded a compensation of Rs 1 crore under Section 357 (3) of the CrPC. “His comments were picked up by the media across the country and it created an atmosphere of hate, which was his actual intention. Rahul Gandhi has a clean image and the Congress has a glorious history,” Sharma said. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedHe said Swamy should apologise publicly for his remarks. Similar petitions were filed in the courts of chief judicial magistrate in Baran and Bundi on Saturday and in the court of chief judicial magistrate in Tonk on Monday. “Swamy’s statement hurt my sentiments and therefore, the petition was filed on Saturday,” Charmesh Jain, the petitioner in Bundi, said. In Jhalawar, party leader Raghuraj Singh gave a representation to the superintendent of police and demanded that a case be registered against Swamy. He also said he will move court if no case is registered by police in the next two to three days. Congress leaders in Telangana also on Monday lodged a police complaint, seeking action against Subramanian Swamy for allegedly making a false statement against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. Telangana Pradesh Youth Congress president M Anil Kumar Yadav, AICC spokesperson Sravan Dasoju and other leaders lodged the complaint at the Abids Road police station here.last_img read more

Red alert in Karnataka district schools colleges closed

first_imgBengaluru: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Wednesday issued a ‘red alert’ in Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada coastal district for the next 48 hours due to the havoc wreaked by heavy monsoon rains and gusty winds. There will be holiday for all schools and colleges in the affected districts on Wednesday and Thursday, officials said. When a ‘red alert’ is issued, it means that extremely bad weather is expected. People in the affected areas should take action to keep themselves and others safe. Widespread damage, travel and power disruption is likely.last_img read more

No new liquor store in Delhi since Aug 2016 says Sisodia

first_imgNEW DELHI: No new liquor store has been opened in the national Capital since August 2016, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia informed the Delhi Assembly on Friday.However, the revenue from alcohol has gone up by over Rs 780 crore since 2016-17, he said. “The income of the government from alcohol sale was Rs 4,244.50 crore in 2016-17. It has reached Rs 5,028.17 crore in 2018-19,” Sisodia said while replying to a question by MLA Alka Lamba. On replying to her question about how many new liquor shops were open between 2015 and 2019, the Deputy CM Sisodia said “133, however, no new shop was opened after August 2016”.last_img read more

China launches three new satellites

first_imgBeijing: China sent a resource satellite and two smaller ones into planned orbits on Thursday. They were launched on a Long March-4B carrier rocket at 11.26 a.m. from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in Shanxi province, Xinhua news agency reported. The resource satellite, ZY-1 02D developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), will provide observation data for natural resources asset management, ecological monitoring, disaster prevention and control, environmental protection, urban construction, transportation and contingency management. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US With an expected lifespan of five years, ZY-1 02D carries a near-infrared camera with a coverage width of 115 km, enabling it to observe large and medium-sized cities, and be used for urban planning, said the satellite’s project manager. The satellite can also be used to observe chlorophyll concentration, water transparency and total suspended matter concentration in lakes to help monitor the environment and prevent water pollution. One of the two small satellites launched on the same rocket belongs to Beijing Normal University, and is named BNU-1, and the other belongs to a Shanghai-based private space technology company. Both have an expected lifespan of one year. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls BNU-1, developed by a Shenzhen-based company affiliated to CAST, weighs about 16 kg, and will be mainly used to monitor polar climate and environment, greatly helping research of the polar regions and global climate change. The satellite can report sea ice changes, which could help with ship navigation and make channel risk assessments. Thursday’s launch is the 310th mission of the Long March carrier rocket series.last_img read more

Brexit court ruling prompts calls to reverse parl suspension

first_imgEdinburgh: British premier Boris Johnson faced calls Thursday to reverse his suspension of parliament after a Scottish court ruled it illegal, as government documents warned a no-deal Brexit could lead to civil unrest and shortages of food and medicines. The Operation Yellowhammer documents, which the government was forced to release on Wednesday, revealed that preparedness for a no-deal Brexit remained “at a low level”, with logjams at Channel ports threatening to impact supplies. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThey also warned of “a rise in public disorder and community tensions” in such a scenario. The government stressed that it was “updating the assumptions” in the document, and that it was “neither an impact assessment, nor a prediction of what is most likely to happen. “It describes what could occur in a reasonable worst case scenario,” wrote minister Michael Gove. But the release, after MPs voted last week to compel the government to publish, fuelled lawmakers’ fears that a disorderly divorce would be hugely disruptive to the UK. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsThe government, meanwhile, has appealed the Scottish court ruling, with the case set to be heard in the Supreme Court next Tuesday, and parliament will for now stay shut. Johnson has said suspending — or proroguing — parliament until October 14 is a routine move to allow his government to launch a new legislative agenda. But critics accuse him of trying to silence opposition to his plan to leave the European Union on October 31, even if he has not agreed exit terms with Brussels. Johnson argues that while he is working to get a deal, Britain must leave the bloc regardless, three years after the referendum vote for Brexit. Before it was suspended on Tuesday, the House of Commons rushed through legislation to force Johnson to delay Brexit if there is no deal by an EU summit on October 17.last_img read more

Three held for supplying drugs in jail

first_imgGreater Noida: Three persons have been arrested by Gautam Buddh Nagar police for allegedly selling Narcotic capsules to under-trial prisoners who come for hearing at Surajpur court. Cops said that the arrested persons were in jail and knew that marijuana and other drugs were in high demands in the jail. According to police, the arrested persons have been identified as Parvez, a resident of Sarfabad village in Noida, Rahil from Dankaur area in Greater Noida and Santosh from Vijay Nagar area in Ghaziabad. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderKumar Ran Vijay Singh, Superintendent of Police (rural), Gautam Buddh Nagar said that marijuana and other drugs were packed in the shape of capsule and were supplied in jail. “Upon interrogating the accused persons, they told police that the drugs and marijuana were supplied in well packed plastic in a shape of capsule. The prisoners who had come to Surajpur court for hearing get the capsules and swallow them. Later they excrete in the prison and get them. Some take them for their personal use while some sell them to other prisoners at higher rates,” said Singh. “They also told police that they charge Rs 400-500 per capsule while the prisoners sell them for Rs 1000 per capsule in jail. The drugs were packed in such a way that they do not get affected even if someone swallow the capsule. All the three accused have been in jail in past and knew the demands of these drugs inside,” added Singh.last_img read more

Protect constitutional rights in Super Emergency era Mamata

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has reiterated that the country is going through a period of “Super Emergency” and called on people to protect the rights and freedom guaranteed by the Constitution. On the occasion of the International Day of Democracy on Sunday, she urged the countrymen to safeguard the constitutional values upon which independent India was founded. “On the #InternationalDayofDemocracy today (Sunday), let us once again pledge to safeguard the constitutional values our country was founded on. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja “In this era of ‘Super Emergency’, we must do all it takes to protect the rights and freedoms that our Constitution guarantees,” she tweeted. The Trinamool Congress supremo has time and again said that the country is going through ‘Super Emergency’ under the BJP-led NDA rule at the Centre. The United Nations General Assembly had in 2007 resolved to observe September 15 every year as the International Day of Democracy to uphold and promote the principles of democracy.last_img read more

Ottawa sends military aid to help displaced residents of flooded NL town

first_imgHAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, N.L. – Ottawa is sending military assistance to help the displaced residents of a flooded-ravaged town in central Labrador.Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says the federal government is stepping in to respond to the severe flooding in Mud Lake.Residents of the small community were evacuated to Happy Valley-Goose Bay last week after the overflowing Churchill River spilled into the town and damaged several homes.Goodale says federal and provincial officials are working out the details of the relief effort, which will include support from the military to find shelter for residents.The government of Newfoundland and Labrador is offering financial aid for the dozens of people affected by the flooding.Government officials say the flood was caused by an ice jam.last_img read more

Prime minister says border tax in US would have been serious impediment

first_imgKENORA, Ont. – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is pleased the United States has dropped a planned border adjustment tax which he says would have been a serious impediment to trade.Trudeau says the government will sit down with U.S. officials and discuss the North American Free Trade Agreement in August to find ways to improve the deal for both countries.Trudeau was at a community barbecue in Kenora, Ont., and raised the issue of trade before a few hundred people who turned out.He said while it was not a day for political speeches, he wanted to highlight the need to navigate carefully the relationship with the U.S.The prime minister said Canada must demonstrate that it stands up for its interests but recognizes that a good deal can be had for both sides.Trudeau also took a short tour by boat of the area — a prime cottage destination for people in northwestern Ontario and Manitoba.last_img read more

Different kind of tweet Study says oilpatch causes sparrows to sing a

first_imgNoisy oilpatch equipment is causing songbirds to change their tune, concludes research from the University of Manitoba.“It’s something that is really picking up, the idea of noise pollution,” said Miya Warrington, a co-author of a new paper in Condor, the journal of the American Ornithological Society. “We want to see what is that doing for the birds.”Warrington looked at savannah sparrows, a small, common, thick-beaked sparrow with a splash of yellow over the eye. Its complex song has up to nine different “syllables” that convey a lot of information.Some parts of the song deliver a territorial warning. Others advertise for mates. Others just say, “I am here.” All are crucial messages for the sparrow’s survival. Each bird has an individual version of the song, which includes elements from a high-pitched trill to an insect-like buzz.These days, however, sparrows share the prairies with a lot of noisy machinery. Oil and gas infrastructure is common on the plains and Warrington wanted to see how birdsong competes with it.“You can hear birds clearly when it’s quieter,” she said. “When you’re closer to the infrastructure, you don’t hear the birds as clearly.“You start to think, if I can’t hear, maybe the birds can’t hear.”She looked at 26 sites around Brooks in southern Alberta. The sites contained four types of energy infrastructure: natural gas compressors, pumpjacks, screw pumps powered by the electrical grid and screw pumps powered by generators.She recorded and analyzed the songs of 73 male sparrows between the months of May and July and compared them with the songs of sparrows where there were no oilpatch facilities.The analysis showed that all pumps and compressors made sounds on the same frequencies as at least part of the sparrow’s song. Recordings revealed the birds were adjusting parts of their songs, depending on the source of the background noise.“All syllable types were significantly affected by at least one infrastructure type,” the paper says.In some cases, sparrows sang the entire song at higher frequencies, as if they’d transposed it to a higher key.Of the four types of infrastructure, generator-powered screw pumps had the most impact while natural gas compressors had the least.Warrington suggests the birds made changes in efforts to be heard over the sound of the equipment.“The birds are modifying their birdsong in response to the noise that’s created by this oil and natural gas infrastructure.”Avian response to human noise is a hot topic in the bird research world.Another paper in the same issue of Condor looks at how grouse adjust their mating calls in the presence of sound from wind turbines. Urban birds have also been shown to raise the pitch of their songs in noisy city environments.The issue is particularly pressing for grassland birds such as sparrows. While almost all songbirds are in decline, grassland species are declining the quickest.“They’ve actually been looking at a whole lot of grassland species and finding that, in some species, the presence of oil infrastructure is affecting reproduction while in others it’s not.”Nobody yet knows if the sparrows’ new songs are conveying the same old messages.“Is it changing how those who are listening can respond? Are these modifications helping them get their message across?” Warrington asks.“We want to see what is that doing for the birds.”— Follow Bob Weber on Twitter at @row1960last_img read more

Federal Government looks to sustainable beef to diversity the Canadian Economy

first_imgThe federal government is attempting to diversify the Canadian economy by investing in the latest research into sustainable beef.It comes as Canadian farmers feel the impact of the escalating trade dispute between the U.S. and China and the uncertainty of the fate of NAFTA.Minister of Agriculture Lawrence MacAulay, during a stop at the Calgary Stampede, announced $14-million would be invested in finding the best, most cost-efficient ways to produce high quality and safe beef.“When you can increase production and cut costs it does nothing but put more money in the pockets of families,” MacAulay explains “And then beyond that, you have to open more trade opportunities and we’re doing that.”MacAulay says Americans are our best friends and biggest customers but there are a lot of other areas in the world looking for Canadian product.last_img read more

Canucks draft pick Quinn Hughes returning to University of Michigan

first_imgVANCOUVER – Vancouver hockey fans will have to wait to see the Canucks’ top pick in this year’s NHL draft play with the team.Defenceman Quinn Hughes has decided to return to the University of Michigan this fall.The 18-year-old says in an interview with the school’s athletic department that he loves his teammates and believes the Wolverines have what it takes to capture an NCAA championship this season.The seventh overall pick at this year’s NHL draft had five goals and 29 points in 37 games with Michigan last season, when the team was knocked out of the championship semifinals by Notre Dame.Hughes says Canucks general manager Jim Benning and head coach Travis Green are happy with the decision and are thinking about what’s best for him long term.Benning has previously said that he feels the five-foot-10, 174-pound defenceman is already an NHL skater, but needs to get physically stronger to play in the league.After weighing all the options, Hughes says returning to school in Michigan is what makes the most sense.“My legacy at Michigan’s important to me,” he said. “I want to do something special at Michigan — something that nobody’s ever done.”last_img read more

Feds promise 165 million in compensation after shortchanging 270000 veterans

first_imgRepaying hundreds of thousands of disabled veterans and their survivors for a calculating error that deprived them of some of their pensions for seven years will cost $165 million, the federal government says.Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan revealed the error and compensation package Monday, on the eve of Remembrance Day, even as the federal NDP called on the government to ensure all money earmarked for veterans’ benefits is actually spent.O’Regan’s department miscalculated adjustments to the disability pensions of 270,000 veterans, RCMP members and their survivors between 2003 and 2010 because it didn’t properly account for a change in personal tax exemptions, he said.“Most individuals will receive a few hundred dollars, while the maximum amount to be paid would be a couple of thousand dollars,” he said.The miscalculation was identified last year by veterans’ ombudsman Guy Parent, who told The Canadian Press that his team stumbled upon the problem while looking at another issue and subsequently flagged it to the government.While O’Regan promised that all veterans would be compensated, payments aren’t expected to begin until 2020, which the minister blamed on the sheer number of Canadians affected by the problem.Complicating matters is the fact as many as 120,000 of the affected veterans, notably those who served in the Second World War and in Korea, have died. O’Regan’s spokesman, Alex Wellstead, said their survivors and estates will still be eligible.Parent said the error would have had a disproportionate impact on low-income veterans from the Second World War and Korea who relied on their pensions, and while he couldn’t say exactly how it happened, he hoped the government will ensure it is not repeated.News of the error and compensation came as the New Democrats tabled a motion on Monday designed to pressure the Liberals to spend $372 million that’s been earmarked for veterans’ benefits in recent years but wasn’t spent.NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said veterans have received inadequate assistance and faced barriers when it comes to accessing services and support for far too long because money approved by Parliament ends up going unused and being returned to the treasury.The routine of letting money “lapse” needs to end, Singh said, which is why the NDP decided to use a rare opposition day to introduce a non-binding motion calling on the government to roll unspent money into budgets for the next year.Members of Parliament were scheduled to debate the motion into the evening on Monday and vote on it Tuesday.Successive governments have defended their inability to spend all the money set aside for veterans, saying they often ask Parliament for too much money to ensure there isn’t a shortfall when former service members need assistance.O’Regan was to make the same point in the House of Commons on Monday night, saying in prepared remarks: “Whether 10 veterans come forward or 10,000, no veteran who is eligible for a benefit will be turned away because we do not have the funds.“If a veteran is eligible for a benefit, they get it. When that pendulum swings the other way and there are fewer veterans seeking a particular benefit; the money stays in the consolidated revenue.”Critics, however, have blamed the lapses on long wait times and other barriers that make it difficult for veterans to access services, and said the unspent money could be used to help veterans in a variety of other ways.There also remains an ongoing issue with many veterans not knowing what benefits and services are actually available, Parent said.“If you’re going to allocate funds to administer and deliver benefits, you should make sure that the population that you’re actually trying to help knows about it,” he said. “If communications in Veterans Affairs Canada would be better, more people may apply for benefits and therefore there wouldn’t be any more funds lapsing at the end of the year.”last_img read more

EXCLUSIVE Public consultations flooded with anger over Ontario sexed changes

first_imgConcerned parents used the province’s online consultation forum to lash out at the Ford government over changes to the sex-ed curriculum that many derided as “archaic” and “dangerous.”The consultations, which Premier Ford billed as “the largest ever in Ontario’s history when it comes to education,” began in late August and ended on December 15.They included telephone town halls and online surveys and submissions.Through a Freedom of Information request CityNews has obtained the first 2525 comments submitted through the government website over a span of less than 24 hours between August 22 and August 23.They are peppered with frustration from parents who feel the government took a step backwards when it decided to scrap the 2015 sex-ed curriculum and revert to the one drafted in 1998. The 1998 curriculum will be used in the interim while a new curriculum is drafted.“Going back to an old curriculum is exactly what it is — going backwards,” one submission stated.“Education should always move forward not backwards,” another added.“By teaching a sex-ed curriculum that was developed in 1998, you are putting children at risk of child predators who use the internet to stalk and lure children,” another warned.Many also took exception to the so-called “snitch-line” the Ford government set up, allowing parents and students to anonymously report teachers who defied the government directive and continued to teach the 2015 curriculum.“This snitch line is abhorrent and clearly catering to conservative extremists,” read one submission.“And the snitch line?” another began. “Seriously this is ridiculous bully tactics and the province should be ashamed of this.”Ontario Education Minister Lisa Thompson said the government would take every submission into account while crafting the new curriculum.“We are going to be listening and looking at every single submission that has come in and I think you’ll understand that when we look through the tens of thousands of submissions, digital surveys, and the results of our telephone town halls, you’re going to see that we are going to be putting the right foot forward for our elementary curriculum next year,” she said from Queen’s Park on Monday.When asked for a timeline, Thompson said the government would go over all consultation submissions in January, and would be writing and testing the elementary curriculum through spring before introducing it at the start of the 2019-2020 school year.NDP Education Critic, Marit Stiles, said she wasn’t surprised to see the backlash.“It’s certainly what I’ve been hearing from parents, educators and kids themselves – which is that they want a modern curriculum. The only one who doesn’t want this curriculum and doesn’t want kids to learn about consent and LGBTQ issues are apparently the few people that Doug Ford is listening to,” she said.“At the end of the day, this is not what Ontarians are looking for…they want kids kept safe, they want kids to be protected and they want kids to have modern information.”You can read through the submissions below.Public consultations on sex-ed changes by CityNewsToronto on Scribdlast_img read more

Credit agency warns big risk to Canadian schools if China pulls students

first_imgOTTAWA — Moody’s Investors Services says three of Canada’s biggest universities would face a cash crunch if Canada’s diplomatic row with China results in the world’s most populous nation pulling its students from Canadian schools.Tuition for international students is much higher than that charged to Canadians and has become a “crucial” source of income for schools, Moody’s says.China has made no moves to cut off student travel to Canada but Moody’s says there is a risk posed by the escalating diplomatic fight since Canada arrested a senior executive from Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.The Moody’s warning comes several months after a dustup between Canada and Saudi Arabia resulted in the kingdom yanking the scholarships of Saudi students studying in Canada.The impact of such a move by China would be far greater, Moody’s warns in its report, because there are 15 times as many Chinese students in Canada.Moody’s notes Chinese students make up nearly two-thirds of the international student body at the University of Toronto, more than one-third at the University of British Columbia and almost one-fourth at McGill University.“The intensification of political tensions between the Government of Canada and the Government of China poses credit risks for Canadian universities,” the Moody’s report warns.When Saudi Arabia cut scholarships the Council of Ontario Universities warned Ontario schools alone would lose tens of millions of dollars, without adding in the overall economic impact from the students in terms of housing and living costs.Global Affairs Canada reported that in 2016, international students spent more than $15 billion in Canada.Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada statistics for 2018 show more than 77,000 Chinese students held study permits in Canada. In 2017, before Canada angered Saudi Arabia by calling for the immediate release of human rights activists the Saudi government had arrested, there were 5,090 Saudi Arabian students with Canadian permits.That number fell to 2,720 in 2018.“In that case, the impact on revenue was relatively contained given that Saudi students comprised only a small component of international students,” Moody’s says.Statistics Canada reports a 40-per-cent increase in the number of international students in Canada between 2013 and 2017 but a 54-per-cent increase in Chinese students in that same period.Statistics Canada also reports the average tuition for an international student at a Canadian university was $27,159 in 2018, nearly four times the $6,838 average tuition for Canadian residents.Since the arrest of Meng Wanzhou in December, China has detained two Canadians, including a former diplomat, on national security grounds, and increased the punishment for a Canadian convicted of drug smuggling to a death sentence.Canada is telling its citizens to exercise a “high degree of caution” when travelling to China because of the “arbitrary enforcement of local laws.”China in turn warned its citizens to “fully evaluate risks” before travelling to Canada.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Victims of domestic abuse face danger when trying to leave experts

first_imgTORONTO — The case of an Ontario woman who was murdered by her husband days after she filed for divorce underscores that victims of domestic violence face even greater danger when they try to leave their abuser, experts say.Elana Fric Shamji, 40, stayed with her abusive husband for more than a decade before serving him with divorce papers in November 2016, a court heard. Two days later, he killed her in their Toronto home, stuffed her body in a suitcase and dumped it in a ravine.Mohammed Shamji, a renowned neurosurgeon, was sentenced this past week to life in prison with no chance of parole for 14 years after he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Fric Shamji, who was a successful family doctor.While some may think breaking off an abusive relationship puts an end to the violence, studies show that’s not the case, said Deepa Mattoo, executive director of the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, which provides counselling and legal support for women experiencing violence.“A woman, when she decides to leave, she is usually at the highest possibility of fatality and highest possibility of harm, physical harm, coming her way,” Mattoo said. “That’s when … (the abuser) is losing his control, he is possibly the most dangerous at that time.”The recent slaying of a Calgary mother and toddler also took place after the woman and her alleged killer halted their on-again-off-again relationship.Police have said Jasmine Lovett, 25, was in a deteriorating relationship with Robert Leeming, a British citizen who has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder.The remains of Lovett and her daughter, 22-month-old Aliyah Sanderson, were found in the Rocky Mountain wilderness on Monday, three weeks after they were last seen alive.Leeming said in media interviews before he was charged that he and Lovett had been involved but were not together at that time.In another high-profile case last year, a 22-year-old woman was stabbed 40 times by her ex, who then slashed her throat and shot her. Calgary police have said Adam Bettahar was shot dead by officers days after he killed Nadia El-Dib.“Nadia really kept to herself. She didn’t want to worry my family. So we didn’t really know about any of the stalking or any of the threats or any of the abusive behaviours that Adam had,” her sister, Racha El-Dib, said in an interview this week.The family learned after the fact that Bettahar had a history of not taking rejection well in past relationships, she said.Outside a Toronto court this week, Fric-Shamji’s mother, Ana Fric, recalled begging her daughter to leave her husband, to no avail. Fric said she hopes her daughter’s grim fate will convince others in a similar situation to act before it’s too late.It often takes more than five attempts at ending an abusive relationship before someone leaves for good, said Lise Martin, executive director of Women’s Shelters Canada.Aside from their own complicated emotions towards their abuser, people in violent relationships face a number of societal factors and pressures that make it extremely difficult to leave, even if they have the financial means to do so, she said.Among other things, they may feel ashamed to admit what’s happening to them, particularly if they believe it would tarnish their family or professional image, she said.“The layperson will say, ‘You’re so well-educated, you’re a strong woman, how could you put up with this?’ So then you have that shame about this happening,” Martin said.When victims of domestic violence do decide to leave their abusive partners, it’s important for them to thoroughly assess the threat to their safety, preferably with the help of a professional, said Mattoo, of the Barbra Schlifer Clinic.The organization recommends coming up with an exit strategy that keeps the person leaving safe and ensures they have access to important documents such as their ID, social insurance card and their children’s birth certificates, she said.Mattoo also stressed the need for resources in the community such as Legal Aid, which has been hit by provincial funding cuts in recent months.— with files from Lauren Krugel in Calgary.Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Trudeau has confidence in RCMP to investigate Canadian extremist travellers

first_imgOTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government has confidence in the RCMP to investigate Canadians who travelled to fight alongside extremists in Iraq and Syria.Speaking in France following a D-Day anniversary ceremony, Trudeau said the Mounties and intelligence agencies in Canada and abroad face the difficult challenge of presenting the information they gather in court as evidence of crimes.Trudeau says the government is ensuring Canadian agencies have the necessary resources and opportunities to collaborate with foreign allies on such cases.The latest annual federal report on extremism says some 190 people with connections to Canada are suspected of terrorist activity abroad and, in addition, approximately 60 have returned.The activities of these Canadians in various countries could involve front-line fighting, training, logistical support, fundraising or studying at extremist-influenced schools.A small number of the 60 returnees have come back from Turkey, Iraq or Syria, and many who went abroad now lack valid travel documents, find themselves on a no-fly list or fear being arrested on Canadian soil.“We fully respect the role of the RCMP to make determinations independently on how it will proceed with prosecutions with its approach in various investigations. We have confidence in the RCMP,” Trudeau said.“One of the challenges when it comes to international issues of this sort is always making the translation from intelligence-gathering activities to presenting evidence of crimes,” he added. “That is something that the RCMP, our intelligence agencies, and indeed agencies around the world, are struggling with and working on very hard.”The RCMP says relationships with foreign police are fundamental to Canada’s ability to deal with extremist travellers.“While our ultimate goal is criminal prosecution, we look at every tool at our disposal to disrupt the threat,” said Cpl. Caroline Duval, an RCMP spokeswoman. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has stressed that Canadians who travelled to join overseas extremists chose to abandon the democratic advantages of Canada in favour of pursuing terrorist activities.The Canadian Presslast_img read more