Women lead the show at SAG Awards unlike any other in its

first_imgHost Kristen Bell speaks on stage at the 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. Bell kicked off the show riffing on the “I am an actor” stories that the SAG Awards always begin with, saying, “I am Kristen Bell and I am a narcissist. I’m sorry, and I’m an actor.” (VINCE BUCCI / INVISION/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS) Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment LOS ANGELES—The Screen Actors Guild Awards is tipping the scales for some Oscar hopefuls with a best actor win for Gary Oldman for his transformation into Winston Churchill for Darkest Hour and supporting actor winsfor I, Tonya’s Allison Janney and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’s Sam Rockwell.But it is the treatment of women in Hollywood and beyond that remains at the forefront of the show, which features a roster of almost all female presenters, and Kristen Bell as its inaugural host.“We are living in a watershed moment,” Bell said in her opening monologue, which stayed light and mostly clear of politics. “Let’s make sure that we’re leading the charge with empathy and diligence. Because fear and anger never win the race.” Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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MARVEL REALLY WANTS TO LAND KEANU REEVES FOR A SUPERHERO MOVIE

first_imgAdvertisement If Marvel Studios has its way, Keanu Reeves will be the next star to suit up and enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe.In an interview with ComicBook.com, studio head Kevin Feige admits that Reeves is Marvel’s white whale, revealing they’ve been pursuing him for some time now.“We talk to him for almost every film we make,” Feige says, laughing. Advertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement “I don’t know when, if, or ever he’ll join the MCU, but we very much want to figure out the right way to do it,” says Feige of the 54-year-old “John Wick” star.While no specific movies or characters were discussed, fans would no doubt love to see Reeves in a Marvel movie, and ComicBook.com takes things one step further with a comprehensive list of which Marvel characters he’d be best suited to play, ranging from “Dr. Strange” villain Nightmare to Namor the Submariner to cult-favourite Moon Knight.Whether or not that ever happens, Reeves will soon be seen reprising one of his most iconic roles for the 30-years-later “Bill & Ted” sequel, set to hit theatres in summer 2020.Meanwhile, Marvel has a number of upcoming films in the pipeline, including sequels to “Dr. Strange” and “Black Panther”, a standalone Black Widow film starring Scarlett Johansson and “The Eternals”, with Angelina Jolie rumoured to be in discussions to star.By BRENT FURDYK ~ ET CANADA Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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TELEFILM CALLS ON INDUSTRY TO GIVE FEMALE DIRECTORS BIGGER BUDGETS

first_imgTelefilm Executive Director Christa Dickenson arrives on the red carpet for the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto on Sunday, March 31, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette Twitter Advertisement MONTREAL — Telefilm Canada says it’s made progress in its efforts to back female-led films, but it needs the entertainment industry to help by putting more women in the director’s chair for big-budget features.Numbers released Thursday suggest the federal agency is making headway towards its goal of achieving gender parity in key film roles by 2020. Telefilm says 59 per cent of its production funding went to projects featuring at least one woman as a lead producer, director or writer in the last fiscal year.The Crown corporation says it saw greatest gains among projects with female producers, reaching near parity in investments across its portfolio.But Telefilm says it spent only 28 per cent of its funding on films directed by women and 36 per cent on female-scripted titles.This gender gap was most pronounced in films that cost more than $2.5 million. In that category, roughly a quarter of projects were directed by women and 35 per cent had female screenwriters.By contrast, more than half of documentaries were by female directors and 83 per cent had a female producer.Telefilm’s executive director Christa Dickenson said the agency is doing its part to elevate up-and-coming female talent.For example, in a program designed for first-time filmmakers, women made up 43 per cent of directors, 45 per cent of writers and 68 per cent producers.While men continue to dominate large-budget projects, Dickenson said Telefilm has made strides to reverse this global trend since launching the gender-parity initiative in 2017.She pointed to projects such as Monia Chokri’s “La femme de mon frere” (“A Brother’s Love”), which premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and Miranda de Pencier’s “The Grizzlies” as evidence of what female directors can achieve when given the chance.“I think it’s about getting more and more female directors in the pipeline,” said Dickenson. “Having those success stories will bring further success stories.”THE CANADIAN PRESS Advertisementcenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more

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Conservative candidate Peter Penashue puts onus for MMIW inquiry on communities

first_img(Conservative candidate Peter Penashue at a news conference in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Photo: Trina Roache/APTN)Trina Roache APTN National NewsHAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY — Conservative candidate Peter Penashue says the work on issues around missing and murdered Indigenous women needs to happen at the community level, not through a national inquiry.“Do I think that an inquiry would be helpful?” asked Penashue in an interview with APTN National News. “I think it’s misplaced. I think we’ve done that round, let’s do the round in our communities. Let’s not be afraid of it.”Penahue was a Conservative MP from 2011 to 2013 and his stance on missing and murdered Indigenous women falls pretty much along party lines.Prime Minister Stephen Harper has refused calls for a national inquiry telling one media outlet that the issue isn’t on his radar.The former Innu Grand Chief from Sheshatshiu, about 40 minutes north east of Happy Valley-Goose Bay by car, said he knows the problems facing indigenous communities firsthand.“I come from a community that has a lot of social problems. Suicide, alcoholism, drugs, all kinds of problems,” said Penashue. “Shouldn’t we be having inquiries of some sort in our communities… to deal with our own pain? That is where we would most be effective.” “We already know what Conservatives feel about it,” said Cheryl Maloney, President of the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association. “We already know the action they think needs to be done, which is none. It’s frustrating trying to have that conversation amidst an election.”Maloney’s message – get out and vote.“We have to be optimistic. I’ve met some really good candidates in the election, and I find that they’re knowledgeable,” said Maloney. “People, five, ten years ago, weren’t as knowledgeable. And I think the knowledge that our members of the Liberals, NDP and Green parties have is based on building that relationship with communities. So I‘m hopeful, but it is government, right?”For more than two years, calls for a national inquiry have come from the grassroots, First Nations’ leaders, families of missing and murdered women and the international community including the United Nations.Since the writ dropped, Indigenous people have pushed to make missing and murdered Indigenous women an election issue on social media.Last month, the Chiefs of Ontario announced they wouldn’t wait for the federal government and would begin their own investigation.The Liberals, NDP and Green Party have all committed to a national inquiry to examine the root causes of why Indigenous women are vulnerable.Penashue insists an inquiry isn’t the way to go.He likens it to the 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, intended to change the relationship between Indigenous communities and the Canadian Government. Penashue said the 4,000 page report is gathering dust.“There tends to be fear within our own communities in terms of dealing with real issues,” said Penashue. “People tend to want to say, oh let’s have an inquiry because it’s going to be away from my community, this is going to be dealt with just by the leadership, by the lawyers, by the academics, the people that are distant from what’s happening in our communities.”“I find that’s a weak argument,” said Maloney. “We’ve seen in this country over and over again aboriginal people come out in rallies and protests for Idle No More. We’ve seen them organize and mobilize the vote in this country; we’ve seen then with vigils across the country. There’s care and compassion. If there’s more that we can do, we will do it.”Maloney hopes that work can begin with a new government come October 20th.“We need partners,” said Maloney. “And we have Canadian allies, we just don’t have a Canadian government on our side. So I think that’s been the missing link here.”troache@aptn.calast_img read more

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New Indigenous Affairs Minister speaks reconciliation with sage in her boots loaned

first_img(A close-up of the bundle carried by Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett to her swearing-in. APTN/Photo)Jorge Barrera APTN National News OTTAWA—Before she was sworn-in as minster of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett placed cedar from Georgian Bay, a shell, sage and a small inuksuk into a bundle patterned like a Metis sash.She was also given an eagle feather by Claudette Commanda, the grand-daughter of the renowned late Algonquin Elder William Commanda, to carry with her on her trip into the federal cabinet.Claudette Commanda also put sage in both of Bennett’s boots “to make sure that I would be able to go forward in a good way.”Bennett, a physician who represents an urban Toronto riding, gripped these items in her hands as she walked with the sage in her boots into the Rideau Hall ballroom for the official christening of the new Justin Trudeau government Wednesday.Carolyn Bennett sworn-in as minister of the re-named Indigenous and Northern Affairs ministry.She held the bundle when she faced reporters later in the day for a scrum inside Centre Block on Parliament Hill.Most of the new cabinet ministers who were paraded before the microphones and cameras answered questions by saying they still had to study their files, but Bennett, who was a long-time Aboriginal affairs critic while in opposition, was ready with substantive answers.And the main question that emerged from the cacophony of shouting reporters was on the Liberal promise to hold an inquiry into the high number of murdered and missing Indigenous women.Bennett said the new Trudeau government wanted to get their promise right by first focusing on speaking with the families of the missing and murdered about their hopes for the inquiry. She said the Trudeau government plans to launch a pre-consultation process similar to what was conducted by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples which was triggered by the 1990 Oka Crisis.“We have heard from many places that is the reason why the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples was successful, because the pre-consultation was very effective,” said Bennett. “It means we can’t just step out and announce an inquiry. It has to actually do the things that the families need. They want not only justice, they want support, but they also want to make sure this doesn’t happen to any other families after this. We have to end this tragedy, this epidemic.”Bennett also repeated a promise Trudeau made during a town hall interview with APTN that a Liberal government would review all legislation to ensure it respected Aboriginal and treaty rights and reflected the principles of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.She also said First Nation, Inuit and Metis leaders would be included in the development of new legislation affecting their rights and peoples.“That is what we will do. As you know, ‘It is nothing about us without us.’ This means a partnership…First Nation, Inuit and Metis will be looking at legislation with us,” said Bennett.Bennett will also be leading a renamed department. Aboriginal Affairs, known as Indian Affairs until 2011, will now be called Indigenous and Northern Affairs.The minister said the name change came at the suggestion of Indigenous people she met across the country.Bennett takes over a department pivotal to the existing construction of the relationship between Ottawa and Indigenous peoples and that relationship has reached one of its lowest ebbs in recent memory.The previous Conservative government of Stephen Harper made no substantial gains on the file and spent hundreds of millions of dollars fighting Aboriginal rights cases in court. Its most spectacular failure came after First Nation chiefs walked away from a $1.9 billion education deal because they couldn’t accept the legislation that came attached to the money.The Trudeau government has promised to invest $2.6 billion in new funding for K-to-12 education.Bennett will also be confronted soon with an expected ruling from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal on a discrimination complaint against Ottawa over its underfunding of child and family services on reserves.The department also faces billions of dollars in infrastructure needs at the community level, from housing, to school buildings to water and waste water systems.Then there are the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations the Trudeau government has also promised to implement.These are but a few of the massive matters she will face which also include revamping the comprehensive claims process, rescuing the beleaguered Specific Claims Tribunal and coming to grips with a legal landscape altered by last year’s Tsilhqot’in Supreme Court decision.Bennett appears prepared to take these things in stride.She said she will also follow another piece of advice given during her travels.Bennett said she was told to, “Consider yourself the minister of reconciliation.”And that is what she said she plans to do.jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarrera-Editors note: Story has been updated to clarify bundle was patterned like a Metis sash.last_img read more

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2 US panels examine MMIW

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe issue of murdered and missing women in Canada is now in the international spotlight.This week, two events in the U.S. looked at Canadian missing and murdered women.And as APTN’s Tina House explains, women leaders are finding new avenues to get their message out.last_img

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Never seen before artifacts turn up in ROM exhibit

first_imgBeverly AndrewsAPTN National NewsA new exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) features artifacts that have never been seen before.The new exhibit celebrates Indigenous peoples.It includes paintings and hundreds of pieces of art in various mediums.“We happen to be stewards of a very large collection of Anishinaabeg and other Indigenous art,” said Josh Basseches from the ROM. “And it’s so critical to us, particularly in twenty seventeen, and in the heels of the truth and reconciliation commission report to be able to bring this work to the public.”The exhibit is called Anishinaabeg: Art and Power.bandrews@aptn.calast_img read more

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New plastic Jane Austen 10pound note launched in UK

first_imgLONDON – A new plastic 10-pound note featuring Jane Austen, one of Britain’s most renowned authors, has gone into circulation.Apart from the Queen, whose portrait is on all U.K. currency, Austen is only the third woman to feature on a modern-day British banknote, after medical innovator Florence Nightingale and social reformer Elizabeth Fry. She was chosen after a campaign for more female representation.The new ‘tenner,’ as it’s commonly known, is the first British banknote with a tactile feature, a series of raised dots in the top left-hand corner to help blind and partially sighted users.The note is made of polymer and is the central bank’s latest effort to make cash harder to counterfeit, following last year’s launch of a similar five-pound note that showcases Winston Churchill. A new 20-pound note featuring artist JMW Turner will follow in 2020.“Our banknotes serve as repositories of the country’s collective memory, promoting awareness of the United Kingdom’s glorious history and highlighting the contributions of its greatest citizens,” said Bank of England Governor Mark Carney. “Austen’s novels have a universal appeal and speak as powerfully today as they did when they were first published.”Austen, whose novels include “Pride and Prejudice,” ”Emma,” and “Sense and Sensibility,” is considered one of the great chroniclers of English country life in the Georgian era at the turn of the 19th century. Combining wit, romance and social commentary, her books have been adapted numerous times for television and film.As well as a portrait of Austen, the note features a quote from “Pride and Prejudice”: “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!”New security features on the tenners — which at a value of about $13 each can buy a couple pints of beer or, at a stretch, a pair of Austen novels — will make them more difficult to counterfeit, the bank said.The transition to polymer has sparked controversy after the central bank confirmed that a small amount of tallow, or animal fat, was used in the production process. But in August, following a public consultation, the bank said it would stick to the composition of the banknotes as the only viable alternative was using palm oil, which raised questions related to environmental sustainability and value for money.“It is wonderful to see the inspirational author Jane Austen celebrated,” said Victoria Cleland, the Bank of England’s chief cashier. “And even more poignant being launched during the 200th anniversary of her death.”last_img read more

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Quebec media star Eric Salvail on leave following sexual misconduct allegations

first_imgMONTREAL – A popular Quebec media personality who is facing an array of sexual misconduct allegations took a leave from his professional activities Wednesday as employers and clients distanced themselves from him.Eric Salvail said in a Facebook post he’ll take a few days to take stock after Montreal La Presse published a story with allegations from 11 people who said he either sexually harassed them or that they witnessed such behaviour in his presence.Ten of them came forward under the condition of anonymity and described sexual harassment, inappropriate or sexual touching and unwanted comments. The producer and talk show host also allegedly exposed himself.The alleged conduct spanned a 15-year period.The one person who did agree to having his name published was hair and makeup artist Marco Berardini, who took to Twitter on Wednesday after telling La Presse about alleged unwanted touching and harassment.He said he went public after dozens of women spoke out against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of rape and harassment.He thanked actress Rose McGowan in particular for giving him the strength to come forward.“Sexual assault can happen to all genders and it has to stop!,” wrote Berardini, a Montreal native and Los Angeles-based artist.Just hours after the story appeared, Salvail said in a statement on his Facebook page he was “deeply shaken” by the allegations.“I approach this situation with a great deal of empathy for all those to whom I could have caused discomfort or any form of prejudice,” he wrote in French. “I never intended to upset anyone.”Salvail, 48, said he has the support of family, colleagues and his spouse.The allegations have cost him various endorsements — advertisements with grocery chain Metro Inc. (TSX:MRU) have been suspended, while tour company Transat A.T. Inc (TSX:TRZ) dropped his appearance for a contest bearing his name while maintaining the promotion out of respect for participants.Salvail, who has his own TV production company, is also a well known media figure with his own show on Groupe V Media as well as being a staple on afternoon radio in the province.Groupe V Media suspended his show “En mode Salvail” for an undetermined period and removed reference to it from its website Wednesday.“Groupe V Media is also evaluating its business relationship with the Salvail & Co. production company,” the network said, adding it won’t comment further.The web page for his “Eric et les Fantastiques” radio show on Bell Media-owned Rouge FM also disappeared.Salvail has been suspended from his role on the show, which will be replaced until further notice.last_img read more

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Workcamp providers join forces to deal with shrunken oilsands market

first_imgCALGARY – Houston-based Civeo Corp. says it is buying Noralta Lodge Ltd. of Edmonton for $367 million in a deal that unites two major providers of workforce accommodation in the oilsands region of northern Alberta.The companies say in a joint news release they expect to save $10 million annually by 2019 through operational efficiencies.Lower oil prices over the past three years have dried up capital availability to build new oilsands and infrastructure projects, leading to high vacancy rates in the dozens of workcamps or lodges that surround Fort McMurray, Alta.Civeo says it was attracted by Noralta’s ongoing contracts with two major oilsands producers which are to produce annual revenues of at least $130 million during their terms.Civeo says it owns a total of 19 lodges or villages in operation in Canada and Australia with more than 23,000 rooms, while Noralta has 11 lodges with a total of 7,900 rooms in northern Alberta.Civeo is to pay $210 million in cash and issue 32.8 million Civeo common shares, plus issue preferred equity options to buy 29.3 million more common shares two years after closing.last_img read more

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Federal budget looks ready to help protect more lands inland waters oceans

first_imgOTTAWA – The federal government appears poised to commit what some believe could be a significant amount of cash in next week’s budget to protect more of Canada’s lands, inland waters and oceans.Federal insiders say the government feels its climate-change financing has largely been dealt with, so Ottawa will likely shift its funding focus to other international obligations on the environment, including protected spaces.Groups pushing Canada to fulfil its United Nations vow to safeguard more of its ecosystems by 2020 say signals from Ottawa suggest this will be the year the government announces a big investment.It remains to seen how far the Liberal government will go to meet its targets under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity — but the clock is ticking.The agreement, reached in 2010, says Canada must protect at least 17 per cent of its terrestrial areas, including inland waters, as well as at least 10 per cent of its oceans by 2020.Today, Canada’s protected space covers nearly eight per cent of its marine ecosystems and just over 10 per cent of terrestrial areas.To meet the UN goals, a coalition of 19 environmental and conservation organizations has called on the federal government to use the budget to invest $1.3 billion over the next three years. After that, the Green Budget Coalition wants Ottawa to commit another $450 million per year.From their interactions with federal officials, members of the group say momentum has been building for months inside government.“I would be very surprised if there wasn’t some money — and even a significant amount of money — for protected areas because that feels increasingly like the direction the government has been going,” said Eric Hebert-Daly, national executive director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.“The drive to the 2020 targets is really taking shape in a way that we had been hoping for over the last number of years and the seriousness with which the government seems to be taking it is going well.”If Canada hopes to meet the 2020 deadline, time is of the essence. Hebert-Daly said there’s little chance of meeting the goal unless Ottawa puts money on the table this year.The push is only part of the growing pressure on Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who’s faced public demands from within his own party to help protect ecosystems in next Tuesday’s budget.Last month, Liberal backbencher William Amos led a campaign that saw 116 MPs and senators from all major political parties sign a letter to Morneau. It urged him to invest at least $1.4 billion over the next three years to help the country meet its UN commitment on protected areas.The issue of protected spaces has been an all-party concern in other instances as well.Last March, a parliamentary committee report, which received unanimous support, made 36 recommendations on how the government could rapidly expand Canada’s protected spaces. The paper said there was a need for adequate funding to create and manage protected areas.The Liberals vowed to follow through on the UN commitments during the 2015 election campaign and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna’s mandate letter has instructed her to work with the fisheries minister and the Canadian Coast Guard to protect 10 per cent of the country’s marine and coastal areas by 2020.John Lounds, president and CEO of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, said the Trudeau government has been “very keen” on making sure Canada is living up to its international obligations.“I’ve been encouraged by all the discussions I’ve been having and I think 2018 is the year,” said Lounds, who noted Canada boasts 20 per cent of the world’s freshwater and forests as well as up to 25 per cent of the planet’s wetlands.“We’ve got an awful lot that we’re custodians of and it’s important that Canada step up and lead the way.”Megan Leslie, president and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund Canada, agreed there’s a good chance funding for protected areas will find its way into next week’s budget. She said it’s critical that the effort focus on protecting high-quality areas, not just any space.Leslie hopes the budget will also put more resources into protecting species at risk. A report last fall by her organization found 50 per cent of vertebrate species were in decline and that populations protected under the Species At Risk Act had seen their situations deteriorate even after being listed.Enhancing the protection of endangered species is another component of McKenna’s mandate letter, as is developing the national parks system.“There is a crisis when it comes to biodiversity — globally but also here in Canada,” said Leslie, a former New Democrat MP.A senior government source said the government made commitments in last year’s budget to deal with climate change and green infrastructure. The next steps should focus on protected areas, species at risk and national parks, added the official, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly and maintained ignorance about the actual contents of this year’s budget.The official said the government will work with Indigenous communities, provinces and territories to accomplish some of these goals — however, funding is necessary to complete the process.For the protected-areas targets, hitting them will be no small feat when you consider Canada’s expanse, the official said.Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitterlast_img read more

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Spin Master revenue increases 30 in latest quarter profits significantly up

first_imgTORONTO – Spin Master Corp. says its revenue and profits soared in its latest quarterly earnings, driven by growing international sales.The Toronto-based company, which reports in U.S. dollars, says net income in the quarter ended Dec. 31 was $20 million or 21 cents per share compared with $2.7 million or three cents per share in 2016.Adjusted net income was $25.5 million or 25 cents per share in the latest quarter, compared to $9.3 million or nine cents per share.Revenue increased by more than 30 per cent — from US$440.9 million in the final quarter of 2017 compared to $338.4 million in 2016.Spin Master president Ben Gadbois says the company is seeing the results of its efforts to increase sales in existing and new markets with products with global appeal, such as Hatchimals Surprise, Soggy Doggy and Luvabella.The children’s entertainment company also acquired the Perplexus toy brand in its latest quarter and more recently signed a deal to buy stuffed toy brand Gund on March 5.The Gund acquisition is the company’s ninth since its initial public offering in 2015.last_img read more

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US goal to be first on devices worries former regulators

first_imgWASHINGTON — The head of the Food and Drug Administration’s device centre was adamant: the U.S. would never cut corners to speed up product approvals.In 2011, the FDA’s Dr. Jeffrey Shuren was repeatedly summoned before Congress. Lawmakers accused the agency of being too slow and too demanding in reviewing new devices. Each time, Shuren pushed back.But in 2012, the FDA adopted a new approach: The agency would strive to be “first in the world” to approve devices it considered important to public health.Agency critics say the new goal set the stage for changes that have left patients with less certainty about the safety of new implants and devices.The FDA says it has consistently emphasized patient safety while also working to reduce time and development costs, where appropriate.Matthew Perrone, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Markets Right Now Stocks open higher on Wall Street

first_imgNEW YORK — The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local):9:35 a.m.Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street and oil prices are climbing back after a huge drop the day before.Trading was relatively subdued early Wednesday ahead of an interest rate policy announcement by the Federal Reserve. The Fed is expected to raise its benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point.General Mills jumped 7.1 per cent after the cereal maker reported strong quarterly results.The U.S.-listed shares of drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline rose 3.9 per cent after announcing a deal to combine its consumer products business with Pfizer’s.The S&P 500 index rose 6 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 2,552.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 62 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 23,739. The Nasdaq composite added 22 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 6,806.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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International au pairs win 655M settlement in Denver suit

first_imgDENVER — Young people from around the world who have provided low cost child care for American families will share in a proposed $65.5 million class action settlement with the companies that bring the workers to the United States.The deal was filed in federal court in Denver on Wednesday, a month before the lawsuit brought by a dozen former au pairs from Colombia, Australia, Germany, South Africa and Mexico was set to go to trial.They claimed the companies colluded to keep their wages low, ignoring state minimum wage and overtime laws.The companies denied any wrongdoing under the settlement, which still must be approved by a judge.Lawyers will need to track down nearly 100,000 au pairs, mostly women, who worked in the United States over the last decade and are entitled to the money.Colleen Slevin, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Judge hears major Puerto Rico debt restructuring case

first_imgSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Dozens of protesters are crowding outside a federal courthouse in Puerto Rico as a judge prepares to hear a major debt restructuring case that critics say will only further indebt the U.S. territory if approved.Wednesday’s hearing involves more than $17 billion worth of debt backed by sales-tax bonds that the government issued. It represents nearly a third of Puerto Rico’s overall bonded debt. The restructuring plan was recently approved after more than 8,000 bondholders voted on it, according to a federal control board that oversees the island’s finances. The board supports the plan and calls it key to Puerto Rico’s recovery.Economist Martin Guzman warned that Puerto Rico would pay $32 billion in the next 40 years if the plan is approved.Danica Coto, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Highway 97 down to singlelane traffic east of Chetwynd due to pooling

first_imgCHETWYND, B.C. — Highway 97 has been reduced to single-lane alternating traffic in both directions between Chetwynd and Dawson Creek because of pooling water.According to DriveBC.ca, the pooling water is affecting Highway 97 roughly 40 kilometres east of Chetwynd. The road has been reduced to single-lane alternating traffic in both directions. The location of the pooling water on Highway 97. Photo by DriveBC/Google Maps The pooling water caused by the spring snowmelt appears to have started causing problems late Wednesday afternoon. Caribou Road Services’ Chetwynd Superintendent Warren Warkentine said that in the 10 years he’s been with CRS, he’s never seen water pool that high in that area. Water pooling on Highway 97 east of Chetwynd. Photo by Cody Crick. Water pooling on Highway 97 east of Chetwynd. Photo by Cody Crick. Water pooling on Highway 97 east of Chetwynd. Photo by Cody Crick. Water pooling on Highway 97 east of Chetwynd. Photo by Cody Crick. Warkentine said that road crews are continually monitoring the pooling water, but there’s no danger to the highway. He explained that crews are confident the road won’t wash out because the water is moving too slow and has a large area to spread out.The heavy snowmelt is also causing problems in Dawson Creek, where officials closed the 17th St. Bridge because of high water levels in the city’s namesake.last_img read more

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Police launching provincewide enforcement blitz against speeding today

first_img“We’re at a point today where the number of crashes across our province, and the number of claims we’re receiving, are growing by the thousands every year,” said ICBC’s acting vice-president responsible for road safety, Lindsay Matthews. “We can all do our part by slowing down to make roads safer and save lives.”ICBC will be working with Speed Watch volunteers, who will also be set up in B.C. communities to encourage drivers to slow down. VANCOUVER, B.C. — ICBC announced today that it and police departments across the province will be launching an enforcement campaign against speeders this month.ICBC says high-risk driving behaviours like speeding, increase your chances of crashing. In 2016 alone, there were 330,000 crashes in B.C. – that’s 900 crashes per day. Between 2012 and 2016, an average of 23 people were killed every year in North Central B.C. from crashes involving high-risk driving.ICBC says the costs of those claims are ballooning and injury claims costs alone are now close to $3 billion a year. The insurance company, along with police and the provincial government are tackling the issue through ongoing road safety, including the month-long campaign urging drivers to slow down. Police will be targeting speeders during the month of May, including a province-wide enforcement blitz on May 19.last_img read more

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CN buying 1000 new grain hopper cars in the next two years

first_imgMONTREAL, Q.C. — CN Rail announced today that it plans to acquire 1,000 new high-cube grain hopper cars over the next two years to replace aging equipment needed to serve farmers in Canada. The company says it is buying new, 55-foot eight-inch jumbo hopper cars with 5,431 cubic feet of capacity. CN’s 12,000-car Western Canadian grain fleet is comprised of CN-owned hoppers, leased cars and private customer equipment. CN says the new hopper cars will allow the phase-out of older, lower-capacity cars from its fleet, which has an average age of more than 30 years. “This substantial investment in higher capacity payload hopper cars, with up to 10 per cent more capacity than the older generation, demonstrates our commitment to safely, efficiently and reliably moving the steadily increasing Prairie grain crop for our customers,” said JJ Ruest, interim president and chief executive officer of CN. “We clearly understand how important having an effective grain supply chain is to our nation’s reputation as a stable trade partner. With this week’s news of regulatory certainty, we can now make decisive long-term investments that will benefit the entire grain industry.”  The cars will be built by National Steel Car Ltd. at the company’s Hamilton plant. “Canada’s grain hopper cars are rolling toward the end of their lives,” said Kyle Jeworski, president and chief executive officer of Viterra. “Over the last several years, Viterra has made significant, targeted investments in its country grain elevator network, and we welcome this major investment and commitment by CN to get Prairie grain to world markets.” The company added that it is continuing to hire, with plans to have approximately 1,250 more qualified train conductors in the field before next winter, compared to the number of conductors at the same time last year.last_img read more

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