Five holes in the story All the doubts cast on Trump FBI

first_imgWASHINGTON, United States of America – A few holes have already been blown into the story of why Donald Trump fired the director of the FBI — with some self-inflicted blasts coming from the president himself.Doubt was cast Thursday on about five elements of the story.The White House had stated the following: the FBI’s Russia investigation was no big deal, the investigation was unrelated to James Comey’s ouster, the ouster came at the behest of a senior Justice Department official, it helped boost morale at the FBI, and before being canned the director promised Trump he wasn’t being investigated.One by one, the story’s pillars wobbled.—One: The White House tossed aside the main rationale from the previous day — that the firing happened because some official recommended it in the Justice Department. It’s the explanation offered by Vice-President Mike Pence, as well as the initial one from several White House spokespeople.Turns out, it was Trump’s idea. He’d been planning it for a while, he asked for the recommendation, and why do the details of this matter, a White House spokeswoman shrugged 24 hours later.“Like, why are we arguing about the semantics?” Sarah Sanders told Thursday’s daily briefing.“Instead of getting so lost in the process — ‘Did this happen at 12:01 or 12:02? Did he fire him because he wore a red tie or a blue tie?’ — (Trump) fired him because he was not fit to do the job. It’s that simple.”In an interview with NBC, Trump said he’d been planning to sack Comey no matter what the recommendation said: “I was going to fire regardless … (Comey)’s a showboat, he’s a grandstander, the FBI has been in turmoil.”Trump said he had dinner with the director.—Two: At that dinner, he asked Comey whether he was under FBI investigation. He said Comey assured him that he was not, personally, under investigation. Multiple news reports have cited sources close to Comey saying he would never have made such a guarantee.The new acting director of the FBI did not make that guarantee when asked at a Senate hearing.He appeared before the same committee conducting a Russia probe. Members of the committee have begun asking questions about Trump’s business ties. For instance, they’ve requested documents from the same anti-foreign money laundering unit, within the Treasury Department, that fined Trump Taj Mahal casino $10 million in 2015 for long-standing violations.Comey could be asked about this if he appears before lawmakers, who want to question him. Some are also raising questions about the propriety of Trump pressing the police for information about himself.—Three: The White House insisted the firing has no bearing on the FBI’s Russia investigation.Unless, maybe, it does.Trump’s spokeswoman has suggested it could speed things up: “We want this to come to its conclusion, we want it to come to its conclusion with integrity,” Sanders said of the probe on foreign influence in the 2016 election.“And we think that we’ve actually, by removing director Comey, taken steps to make that happen.”The investigation will proceed as planned, according to the FBI director. Andrew McCabe said the firing will have no effect, testifying before a Senate committee: “Quite simply put, sir, you cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people, and upholding the Constitution.”—Four: The previous day, the White House called the Russia probe a minor matter — Sanders called it one of the smallest things on the FBI’s plate. Not so, says its acting director.“I would not (say that),” McCabe told the Senate hearing. “We consider it to be a highly significant investigation.”—Five: The White House suggested morale was low at the FBI, requiring a personnel change.But the new interim boss, McCabe, testified Thursday: “I can tell you that I hold Director Comey in the absolute highest regard. I have the highest respect for his considerable abilities and his integrity and it has been the greatest privilege and honour in my professional life to work with him. I can tell you also that director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does until this day.”He did concede there were internal disputes about how the Hillary Clinton email investigation was handled.And some involve him.An investigation by the Department of Justice’s inspector general was launched in January into whether McCabe should have been involved in the email case. That’s because his wife Jill McCabe ran for the Virginia state senate in 2015, and reportedly received a large contribution — $500,000 — from a group with ties to the Clinton-friendly governor.Democrats focused on the president, the FBI, and Russia.They have threatened to delay proceedings in the Senate unless they get a few demands met. One is a special prosecutor to examine Trump’s Russia ties. Another is a briefing from the Justice Department official who wrote the memo recommending the firing.They have been promised a briefing next week.“Tuesday night’s (firing) was a shocking development. The timing of director Comey’s dismissal, to me and to many members on this committee, on both sides of the aisle, is especially troubling,” said Sen. Mark Warner, of the intelligence committee.“It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the president’s decision to remove director Comey was related to this investigation and that is truly unacceptable.”last_img read more

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Fatal arson case of Edmonton teenagers put over until the end of

first_imgEDMONTON – Two teenagers charged in an arson that left a five-month-old baby dead have had their cases set over until later this month.Bronson Woycenko, 19, made his appearance in court Friday morning via CCTV on charges of second-degree murder, arson, disregard for human life and mischief.Jessica Tammerand, 18, was out on bail and was supposed to appear in court on charges of arson, disregard for human life, and mischief under $5,000 but did not show up.A warrant was issued for her arrest, but a lawyer representing her appeared in court later in the day.Both cases have been put over to Sept. 29.Baby Hunter Brown died, his mother was seriously injured and six others escaped from the home in southeast Edmonton on Aug. 22.The mother, Angie Tang, has since been released from hospital.(CTV Edmonton)last_img read more

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World Wildlife Fund survey indicates many Canadian species declining

first_imgAn extensive survey of Canadian birds, fish, mammals, reptiles and amphibians over more than four decades has found that half of them are in serious population decline. Here are a few findings from the World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet Index on Canada:— The 903 species surveyed experienced an overall population decline of eight per cent.— Of the 451 species with diminishing populations, the decline was 83 per cent.— Mammals dropped 43 per cent.— Fish declined 20 per cent.— Reptiles and amphibians fell 16 per cent.— Birds increased seven per cent, mostly due to higher populations in waterfowl and raptors. Grassland birds dropped 69 per cent, insectivores fell 51 per cent and shorebirds lost 43 per cent.— Some 403 species increased and 45 were stable.— Overall numbers in fresh-water ecosystems were stable, largely because of waterfowl numbers.— Overall numbers in marine ecosystems dropped nine per cent— Overall numbers in terrestrial ecosystems dropped nine per centlast_img read more

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BC creates more uncertainty for Trans Mountain

first_imgCALGARY – The B.C. government is creating more uncertainty around Kinder Morgan Inc.’s Trans Mountain expansion project with a proposal to restrict any increase in diluted bitumen shipments until it conducts more spill response studies.Provincial Environment Minister George Heyman says there needs to be more confidence in how well oil transporters are prepared to respond and fully mitigate the effects of a potential spill.The government says it will establish an independent scientific advisory panel to make recommendations to the minister on whether, and how, heavy oils can be safely transported and cleaned up if spilled.B.C. says it will also seek input from First Nations, industry, local governments, and environmental groups, as well as the general public over the coming months.The restriction creates more uncertainty for the already delayed Trans Mountain expansion project, which would nearly triple the capacity of the current pipeline system to 890,000 barrels a day.The West Coast Environmental Law association cheered the proposal as a welcome safety measure and an important warning for Kinder Morgan.last_img read more

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Sagmoen facing new assault charge in BC in ongoing RCMP investigation

first_imgVERNON, B.C. – The RCMP say an additional charge has been laid against a British Columbia man who is being investigated for allegations of violence against women following a police search of a farm in Salmon Arm where human remains were found.Police say Curtis Wayne Sagmoen, 37, has been charged with one count of assault causing bodily harm stemming from an alleged incident involving a woman in Maple Ridge, B.C., in 2013.The Mounties say the charge was laid after new information was uncovered in their ongoing investigation but no further details about the incident are being released.None of the allegations against Sagmoen have been tested in court.No charges have been laid in relation to the human remains that were found in October off Salmon River Road, but police say the death of 18-year-old Traci Genereaux is being treated as suspicious.Police began searching the farm in Salmon Arm on Oct. 19 and found the remains of Genereaux, who was last heard from about five months earlier in Vernon.The RCMP completed their search of the farm on Nov. 9.Sagmoen has also been charged with assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon stemming from an alleged incident on Aug. 10, 2017, and he faces a separate assault charge related to an alleged incident on or about July 1, 2017.Those charges were laid after police said allegations were made by female sex workers. Police have said the charges involve two different alleged victims who worked as escorts and advertised their services online.Sagmoen was previously charged on Oct. 17 with pointing a firearm, uttering threats and disguising his face with intent to commit an offence over an alleged incident on Aug. 28.Sagmoen’s lawyer has entered not guilty pleas on the previous charges.last_img read more

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Parents students winners in Alberta budget Taxpayers face more debt

first_imgEDMONTON – Alberta’s NDP government tabled its 2018-19 budget Thursday. Here is a look at some of the winner and losers:WINNERS:Parents — Spending on K-12 education to rise to $8.4 billion from $7.8 billion and some of that boost to be used to reduce school fees. The government plans to spend $22 million more on affordable child-care spaces and $6 million more on school lunch programs.Students — Tuition to remain frozen for post-secondary students. Advanced education spending to jump to $6.1 billion from $5.5 billion.The environmentally conscious — The government plans to spend $5.3 billion over the next three years on climate initiatives that include everything from transit projects to home efficiency programs.The disabled — The Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped program is to get a boost of $62 million to $1.1 billion.LOSERS:Non-unionized civil servants — A salary freeze for all non-unionized government workers is being extended to 2019. Overall compensation for all public-sector workers is budgeted at $26.6 billion, about half of all government spending.Future taxpayers — Debt is pegged $54.2 billion this year. The budget projects an $8.8-billion spending deficit in the year ahead. The budget is not expected to be balanced for another five years.last_img read more

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Minister sounds alarm on antibiotics overuseTheyre thrown at the common cold

first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Newfoundland and Labrador’s health minister — whose province leads Canada and the U.S. for antibiotics overuse — is warning that drug resistance could bring a wave of deaths by infection.John Haggie, a former surgeon, says he fears health care could be thrown back to the 1920s, an era before penicillin when pneumonia and other infections were among the most serious medical threats.“They’re thrown at the common cold,” Haggie, who served as president of the Canadian Medical Association before entering politics, said of antibiotics.“I know in surgical fields when I was still in practice, anybody with an open wound would end up with a prescription for multiple courses of antibiotics.”That’s despite the fact medical literature did not suggest such treatment, he said in an interview.Newfoundland and Labrador typically uses antibiotics twice as much per person as other provinces but over-prescribing is a problem throughout the world, Haggie stressed.“There has certainly been a tradition, shall we say, going back 30 or 40 years that antibiotics were safe, they were foolproof, they were going to be around forever and it was better to have some than not.“People have now woken up to the fact that it isn’t risk free, there is a downside and they won’t be around forever if we use them this way.”A federal study found that Newfoundland and Labrador had the country’s highest prescription rate in 2016, with 955 prescriptions per 1,000 residents, compared to about 625 prescriptions per 1,000 people nationally. Prescription rates were lowest in British Columbia, according to the Canadian Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System report published last November.It also found that while the use of most antimicrobials was higher in Newfoundland and Labrador than in other provinces, amoxicillin — an antibiotic used for bacterial infections like pneumonia — was prescribed at particularly high rates.The study also looked at the purchasing rates of antibiotics for hospitals, finding that Manitoba, and Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador combined, had the highest rates per capita.Haggie said concerns over antibiotics will come up when medical experts meet later this spring in St. John’s.The Canadian College of Health Leaders and HealthCareCAN, the national voice of health care groups and hospitals across the country, gather June 4 and 5 before taking the issue to meetings of G7 leaders later this year, Haggie said.“I know there is concern at the federal (government) level,” Haggie said. “It’s not as loud as perhaps it could be. To be fair, they’ve been distracted quite rightly by other prescribing issues around opioids, for example.”Dr. Patrick Parfrey, a St. John’s nephrologist and provincial leader of the national Choosing Wisely campaign to cut needless medical procedures, said Haggie is not overstating the problem.“The risk is that antibiotic-resistant bacteria will develop in the community. And if that happens, that will be a catastrophe so we need to reduce our antibiotic use — particularly as the quantity and development of new antibiotics is decreasing.”Parfrey said doctors are not being identified or singled out but can see through the province’s online Pharmacy Network how their prescription rates stack up.“They’re getting information in the system that allows them to compare themselves to their peers.”It’s hoped those prods, along with a public education campaign about when antibiotics are truly needed, will curb overuse, Parfrey said.“I think this is a first step. If these interventions don’t work then other more directive measures will be required.”Parfrey said he’s not sure what more governments can do aside from funding public outreach along with efforts such as Choosing Wisely.“I think it’s a culture issue where there’s a combination of demand from the public and doctors providing the antibiotics,” he said in an interview. “The use includes viral infections for which antibiotics are useless.“There is no doubt in many instances the harm outweighs the benefit.”Follow @suebailey on Twitter.last_img read more

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Investigators probe third accident at Halifax airport in 15 years

first_imgHALIFAX – Federal investigators have arrived in Halifax to piece together why a Boeing 747 cargo plane skidded off an airport runway Wednesday, leaving a trail of debris and sending four crew to hospital.The SkyLease Cargo jet overshot Runway 14 just after 5 a.m. — the third serious incident at Halifax Stanfield International Airport in 15 years, following crashes in 2004 and 2015.Airport spokeswoman Theresa Rath Spicer said Flight KKE 4854 was arriving from Chicago in rainy conditions, and scheduled to be loaded with live lobster destined for China.“It did land and then overshot the runway,” Rath Spicer said Wednesday.“There were four crew on board at the time. They were removed from the aircraft and transported to hospital with what are described as minor injuries.”She said it wasn’t clear what caused the accident.Larry Vance, an aviation analyst and accident investigator who spent 25 years with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, said it appears the plane was landing with a strong tailwind — something he called an “immediate red flag.”“Normally airplanes take off and land into the wind, that’s just a standard procedure that’s been going on since the Wright brothers,” he said.While it’s possible to land with a tailwind, Vance said there would be little room for “deviations” such as a high airspeed or delayed touchdown.Another potential factor could have been the rainy conditions, he said.“It takes longer to stop on a wet runway. It could be they got into a situation we call hydroplaning.”A team of Transportation Safety Board investigators arrived at the airport Wednesday to gather information and assess the incident.Board spokesman Chris Krepski said investigators will examine the aircraft and surrounding terrain, interview possible witnesses and crew members and take possession of the flight data recorders.Vance said investigators will examine whether there were any mechanical issues with the plane — in particular with the breaking system or reverse thrusters.The Halifax airport has two runways, and Rath Spicer confirmed that both were operational at the time of the incident.It’s the third serious incident at Stanfield in 15 years, but Vance said Halifax is a modern, sophisticated, well-equipped and well-run airport.“There’s no particular reason why Halifax would be singled out as being a hazardous place other than the fact that it’s challenged by some environmental conditions,” he said.The badly damaged plane was sitting Wednesday on a slight incline far off the runway and within about 50 metres of a fence that marks the perimeter of the airport boundary. Two of its engines appeared to be attached but were heavily damaged, while two other engines were sheared off completely.“The motors were tore off and the wings were cracked off. And it looked like halfway through the plane it was broke in half,” said John Fudge, one of many people who came to look at the plane before police sealed off a nearby road.“It was kind of crazy to see that, but at least nobody got hurt … I figured it would have been worse than what it was, but luckily it’s not.”An aluminum ladder trailed from an open main door near the front of the aircraft.The airport activated its emergency operations centre and suspended all flights after the crash, but the main runway was reopened shortly after 8 a.m.There were many delays in arrivals and departures, and some flight cancellations.In August, Stanfield airport announced SkyLease Cargo was operating two flights a week for First Catch, a Chinese-owned seafood freight forwarding company.It said SkyLease’s 747 aircraft had the capacity to carry up to 120 tonnes of Nova Scotia seafood to Changsha, the capital of China’s Hunan province.Officials with SkyLease weren’t available for comment Wednesday, while First Catch staffers refused to comment.According to, the Boeing 747 first flew on Feb. 28, 1997, and was previously owned by Singapore Airlines before flying for SkyLease in said the plane had flown to Anchorage, Alaska, and Changsha on Monday.According to the Air Line Pilots Association, cargo planes have an accident rate seven times higher than passenger planes.Two other planes — including one cargo jet — have crashed while attempting takeoff or landing at the Halifax airport since 2004.A passenger plane crashed during a blizzard on March 29, 2015, injuring 25 people. Air Canada Flight 624 bounced into the air and crashed near the runway threshold before careening along the tarmac. Federal investigators blamed approach procedures, poor visibility and lighting.On Oct. 14, 2004, a British-based MK Airlines 747 went down just beyond the runway during takeoff, killing seven crew members. The Boeing cargo aircraft dragged its tail before breaking up and bursting into flames in a wooded area. No one survived.The Transportation Safety Board found that fatigue and inadequate software training led the MK Airlines crew to enter incorrect information and caused the plane to set the throttles too low.Rath Spicer said the earlier incidents were on a different runway, and deflected questions about any similarities among them to investigators.“We are very proud of our safety record,” she said. “Obviously, safety is our number 1 priority and we are now focused on resuming our operation, ensuring the safety of our passengers and working with the officials to determine how we can assist with the investigation.”Chris Praught, a spokesman for the Air Canada Pilots Association, said his thoughts were with the SkyLease Cargo flight crew.“We are following this issue carefully as we do with any incident to determine what safety lessons can be learned, such as any potential impact of fatigue given that this was an overnight operation,” he said in an email.— With files from Alison Auld, Brett Bundale, Keith Doucette and Holly McKenzie-SutterNote to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version wrongly said the 2015 crash occurred at Pearson airport.last_img read more

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Canadian militarys template for perfect recruits invalid Vance

first_imgHALIFAX — The man who leads the Canadian Armed Forces says the military has failed to adequately integrate women and minorities, but Gen. Jonathan Vance says the Forces are working hard to adapt and change.Speaking at a defence and security conference in Halifax, the chief of defence staff says the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing — fast.The general says the military must become more diverse because it is keen to find the talent it needs to deal with rapidly evolving threats, such as cyber-warfare. He says the military is currently stuck with a template it uses to find ideal recruits, but its emphasis on physical attributes needs to be altered for certain jobs. Vance went further, saying the template is invalid when it comes to Canada’s ability to “fight effectively in the future.”The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Many unanswered questions about MP Raj Grewal Trudeau says

first_imgOTTAWA — As the political storm around Raj Grewal intensifies, Justin Trudeau says there are many lingering questions about the Liberal MP.The prime minister says he wishes Grewal the best in the healing he needs to go through, but the government won’t comment further on him.The Prime Minister’s Office said last week that Grewal’s sudden decision to step down as MP for the Ontario riding of Brampton East was prompted by a gambling problem.However, as of early today Elections Canada hadn’t been notified of any resignation.On Friday, the PMO issued a statement saying Grewal had informed the office earlier this week that he was undergoing serious personal challenges and that he is receiving treatment related to a gambling problem that led him to incur significant personal debts.The federal ethics commissioner began a formal inquiry last May after two opposition MPs expressed concerns that Grewal might have been in a conflict of interest when he invited a construction executive — who was paying Grewal for legal services at the time — to official events with Justin Trudeau during the prime minister’s trip to India early this year.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Mexico threw Canada under the bus Liberal MP tells Mexican minister

first_imgOTTAWA — Canada and Mexico are dealing with lingering hard feelings over last summer’s surprise Mexican trade deal with the United States as their new continental trade pact awaits a final stamp of political approval.Two weeks ago, the head of a visiting delegation of Canadian parliamentarians told the newly installed Mexican foreign minister his country threw Canada “under the bus” last August when it forged a bilateral trade deal with the United States during the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.A top Mexican trade official tells The Canadian Press that while there may have been a misunderstanding, the U.S. side deal was the work of the previous Mexican government, and Canada and Mexico’s new leaders are moving forward constructively.The side deal between the U.S. and Mexico appeared to blindside the Trudeau government, forcing Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland to abort a three-country trip to Europe.Canada and U.S. negotiators reached an 11th-hour agreement that was signed two months later on Nov. 30 by the country’s three leaders — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Donald Trump and former Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto, who was on his last official day in office.The deal must now be ratified by the legislatures of all three countries, but with turmoil in Washington, and a slowly-shuttering political window in Ottawa with a fall federal election on the horizon, that is far from certain.Moreover, Canada and Mexico insist the Trump administration will have to lift its punishing tariffs on their steel and aluminum exports, which the mercurial president imposed under a controversial national security clause in U.S. trade law both countries say was illegal.Canadian and Mexican politicians have been holding a series of regular meetings and exchanges, including a two-day session of parliamentarians in Ottawa this week, and a gathering of the ParlAmericas group, a network of legislators from 35 Western Hemisphere countries, earlier this month.The head of Canadian ParlAmericas chapter, Liberal MP Bob Nault, expressed Canada’s dissatisfaction about last August’s Mexican side deal with the country’s new foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, during the organization’s Mexico City meeting earlier this month.“We did say very clearly in our last meeting in Mexico with the foreign affairs minister that we were frustrated with the feeling that Mexico was sort of moving away from the trilateral agreement,” Nault said in an interview.Nault said he was concerned about “the way it unfolded at the end,” and a perception “that Canada got thrown under the bus by Mexico.” He said that represented a break from “what we originally felt was the approach, that is, Mexico and Canada had to be very close to each other to make sure we got a good deal for our countries and make sure the U.S. didn’t overtake us.”The Canadian Press has previously reported, citing anonymous sources, that Freeland gave Mexican negotiators an upbraiding over their bilateral deal during an August meeting in Washington.“I think it’s getting better,” Nault said this week of the relationship. “Overall, we both have the same position: we want the tariffs removed. We want them removed now. We want to move forward with ratification.”Luz Maria de la Mora, Mexico’s deputy trade minister, acknowledged the past Canadian complaints, but she said the two countries are moving forward constructively.“That was part of the negotiation process … right now, it’s over,” de la Mora said in an interview.“The previous administration in Mexico was responsible for doing that. But at the end of the day, it might have been the case that it actually helped the process.”The Mexico-U.S. side deal marked the start of nearly two months of intense talks between Canadian and American negotiators because the Trump administration imposed a Sept. 30 deadline for Canada to sign on to the U.S.-Mexico pact or potentially be cast adrift.De la Mora succeeded Juan Carlos Baker, one of Mexico’s top negotiators, when the new Mexican government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was sworn in on Dec. 1.Lopez Obrador won the Mexican presidency in July, branding himself a socialist reformer dedicated to ending decades of corruption and improving the plight of Mexican workers. His term didn’t begin until Dec. 1, which left a window for the Pena Nieto government to finish negotiating a trade deal that Lopez Obrador would have to sell to his country’s lawmakers.During the transition, members of Lopez Obrador’s team joined the Mexican negotiators, but de la Mora said they acted as observers, not participants. She said that extended to the Mexican decision to move forward with a bilateral deal with Canada.“We were not involved in that decision at all,” de la Mora said.“If at some point during the negotiations there were misunderstandings or miscommunications, those moments are over.”She cited the fact that half a dozen of her cabinet colleagues visited Ottawa in November before they were sworn in, in order to forge a good working relationship.“It would be very positive that the three countries have this agreement approved this year, really. It would be something that would send a really good signal to the markets.”Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Man who praised Quebec mosque shooter in online videos gets 30 days

first_imgLAVAL, Que. — A Quebec man who was found guilty last May of inciting hatred against Muslims has been sentenced to 30 days in jail.The sentence handed to Pierre Dion of Terrebonne, Que., Tuesday went beyond what the Crown had recommended.Quebec court Judge Gilles Garneau sentenced the 49-year-old man today at the courthouse in Laval, opting for a stricter sentence to send a message of dissuasion to the community.Dion published two videos of himself this year on Jan. 28 and 29 — the two-year anniversary of an attack on a Quebec City mosque that left six dead.In the videos he praised the convicted killer and urged Canadians to “kick Muslims out of the country.” He was arrested two days later.The Crown had recommended a sentence of community service while the defence had suggested 18 months of probation, strict restrictions on internet usage and a $1,500 donation to a Muslim organization.Garneau instead ordered incarceration to be served one day a week beginning June 21.When the verdict came down on May 22, Garneau said there wasn’t any doubt to him the accused’s remarks were directed at an identifiable group as indicated in Criminal Code provisions covering hate speech — in this case, Muslims.(Cogeco Nouvelles)The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Trudeau appoints first ambassador to advance women peace and security

first_imgOTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appointed Canada’s first ambassador for women, peace and security.Jacqueline O’Neill, who has served on a number of related international bodies, assumes the new diplomatic post designed to advance the Liberal government’s feminist foreign policy.O’Neill will also provide advice to the government on how to protect the rights of women and girls who face violence and insecurity.Since 2011, she has served as a federal adviser on advancing peace and security for women.She has helped create policies on gender and security in NATO, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the United Nations.O’Neill is also a co-founder of the Romeo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, which tries to stamp out the use of children in armed conflict.“When women play an active role in conflict prevention and peacebuilding, and when their rights are respected, we are better able to achieve long-term, sustainable peace,” Trudeau says in a statement.Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland calls O’Neill “a world-leader in this field and a champion of gender equality in Canada and internationally.”The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Alexandra Burke To Headline Princes Trust Red Dinner

first_imgThe Prince’s Trust will be hosting its annual Red Dinner at Clifton College, Bristol on Thursday 13th March 2014 sponsored by Bond Dickinson and RBS.Guests will be welcomed with a Champagne and Canapé reception kindly sponsored by Suttons & Robertsons, Bristol; Laurent Perrier and Goldbrick House.This will be followed by a four course meal prepared by esteemed chef Tom Green of the Flavour Smith.Omid Djalili, comedian and Prince’s Trust Ambassador, will host the evening and guests will be entertained by two performances, one by Celestine, who was supported by The Prince’s Trust and sung at HRH The Prince of Wales’ birthday, and chart topper Alexandra Burke.Since the event started in 2012 The Red Dinner has raised over £120,000 to support disadvantaged young people in the South West access education, training or employment. This year they hope to exceed their target of £60,000.There will be a silent and a live auction sponsored by Matthew Clark on the night with some fantastic money can’t buy prizes and luxury holidays. During a game of Head & Tails two business first flights to New York, kindly donated by United, will be won by one lucky guest.• Date: 13th March 2014 • Tickets available: 200 • Location: Clifton College, College Road, Clifton, Bristol • Timings: Champagne and Canapés served from 7.00pm, dinner and entertainment commencing at 8pm prompt. Carriages at 12 midnight. • Dress code: Hollywood Glam with a hint of red • Tickets: Tables of 10 are available for £1,500Find out more here.last_img read more

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Bill Gates Shares His 2015 Annual Letter

first_imgEarlier this week, Bill and Melinda Gates share their 2015 Annual Letter.“Our Big Bet for the Future” addresses the breakthroughs they see coming over the next fifteen years that will improve the lives of people in poor countries faster than at any other time in history.“Forty years ago, Bill and his childhood friend Paul Allen bet that software and personal computers would change the way people around the world worked and played,” reads the letter. “This bet wasn’t exactly a wager. It was an opportunity to make computers personal and empower people through the magic of software. Some people thought they were nuts. But the bet turned out well.“Fifteen years ago, the two of us made a similar bet. We started our foundation in 2000 with the idea that by backing innovative work in health and education, we could help dramatically reduce inequity. The progress we’ve seen so far is very exciting — so exciting that we are doubling down on the bet we made 15 years ago, and picking ambitious goals for what’s possible 15 years from now.”Read the letter and find out how breakthroughs in health, farming, banking and education will help make the world a better place at read more

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Over 900 Commitments To Action Announced At CGI University Meeting

first_imgOver the weekend, more than 1,200 college and university students from across the country and around the world came together at the University of California, Berkeley for the ninth annual Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) meeting, making more than 900 Commitments to Action to address this generation’s most pressing challenges.

New commitments this year include efforts to create 24-hour centers to assist victims of gender-based violence in Pakistan; use drones to monitor elephant poaching in Benin, Niger, and Burkina Faso; create an algorithm to predict and monitor disease transmission in Brazil and Malaysia; develop a $1 HIV test to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDs in Africa; and organize coding workshops to increase employment opportunities for refugees.

”You can’t create a perfect world, you can only create a better world, but you can make it better every day,” said President Clinton during an interview with Conan O’Brien during the closing plenary. “What we try to do here at CGI U is bring people together so that they can discuss ideas and come up with commitments to change the future.”

”We believe that no one is ever too old or too young to make a difference. The earlier we start, the more likely we are to find the right partners and the better chance we have of making the positive difference we feel called to do,” said Chelsea Clinton. “We believe this so strongly, in part, because of the legacy of CGI U and the impact that we’ve seen so many of our students have already.”

Chelsea Clinton also revealed the winner of the CGI U 2016 Commitments Challenge, a national online competition of new commitment ideas from college and university students in the form of a “bracket.” The competition began on March 1, during which students received private donations from supporters around the world through CrowdRise. In total, students raised more than $31,000 for their commitments. The winning commitment is FutureBox by Tameem Addeeb of DePaul University, which raised over $10,400.

In the lead up to the CGI U meeting, on March 31 and April 1, students had the opportunity to participate in a two-day “Code for Impact” event in partnership with the Clinton Health Matters Initiative. The Codeathon challenged student designers from across disciplines to build original prototypes to promote emotional wellness on campus. After the teams presented their prototypes to a panel of expert judges that included Chelsea Clinton, Laura Quintana of Cisco, and Kiah Williams of SIRUM (Supporting Initiatives to Redistribute Unused Medicine). The winning teams, recognized at the closing plenary, are Quokka and Be Well.• Quokka, named after the “happiest animal in the world,” is an app to help freshman students who moved to campus from a different city or country to acclimate to their new environment. Quokka uses a dual approach of journaling and personalized recommendations to give the 80% of students experiencing daily stress the tools they need to integrate good mental health practices into their new campus experience. The winning team members include Vijay Edupuganti, Gwen Yi Wong, Clementine Haimeng Zhang, Viraj Mahesh, George Shaikouski, Danielle Elizabeth Harris, and Sydney Wang. • Be Well is a holistic platform that enables users to reflect on their emotional well-being and interact with others in the same emotional state. The application addresses the problem of isolation by using a platform centered on creating authentic human interactions. The winning team members include Navgeet King Zed, Amy Miao, Chadwick Maycumber, Hoaithi Le Dang, Rediet Yibekal Wegayehu, and Kristy Liao.This year, through the CGI University Network, the Resolution Project Social Venture Challenge, and other opportunities, $1,000,000 in funding opportunities were made available to CGI U 2016 students to help them turn their ideas into action. This summer, CGI U will launch the Innovation Fund competition, which will invite young social innovators from around the world to submit their Commitments to Action online to the competition. Through this challenge, winning students will receive seed funding for their commitments, and will then be invited to attend the CGI U 2017 meeting. This weekend also marked the launch of the Impact Library, a new website designed for the CGI community, development practitioners, and others interested in the social impact sphere. This new digital platform aims to share knowledge and data to drive effective results across all stages of project development and implementation.

Support for CGI U 2016 is generously provided by: Ambassador Gianna Angelopoulos, Richard C. Blum, Laureate International Universities, The MasterCard Foundation, Andy Nahas and the Prospect Fund, Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Ramsey Social Justice Foundation, and XQ Institute.

On Sunday, April 3, President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton led CGI U students in a Day of Action, a service project in partnership with the Oakland Unified School District and the Oakland Public Education Fund at the Havenscourt and Lockwood Campuses in Oakland, California. CGI U students and members of the CGI community worked with several community-based organizations on activities ranging from planting trees, to organizing libraries, to mural painting.

Founded and led by Chelsea Clinton in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the Clinton Foundation Day of Action program seeks to create service opportunities and mobilize thousands of volunteers to give back to their communities. To date, the Clinton Foundation has hosted 28 Days of Action in the United States and abroad, which have mobilized more than 5,700 volunteers and donated more than 24,000 volunteer hours.last_img read more

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Kiehls 8th Annual LifeRide For amfAR

first_imgThe eighth annual Kiehl’s LifeRide for amfAR will kick off in Minneapolis, MN, on Monday, July 31, 2017.Video: PSA | 1.2 Million Americans Are Living with HIV/AIDSThe week-long initiative will raise funds for HIV/AIDS research while calling attention to the HIV epidemic among youth.The 8-day, 1,100-mile charity motorcycle ride will make nine stops at Kiehl’s stores along a multi-state route ending in Nashville, TN, on Monday August 7. At each stop, the public will be encouraged to meet the riders, learn more about amfAR, and contribute to the Foundation. Kiehl’s will donate a total of $100,000 over the course of the event. At the conclusion of this year’s ride, Kiehl’s LifeRide for amfAR will have racked up more than 11,500 miles since 2010, and raised more than $1.7 million, funding nine cure-related research projects.Chris Salgardo, President, Kiehl’s USA, and amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost will lead this year’s riders: Ian Bohen, actor, Teen Wolf; JR Bourne, actor, Somewhere Between; Anthony Carrino, co-host, Kitchen Cousins; Gilles Marini, actor, Switched at Birth; Tyler Posey, actor, Teen Wolf; Grant Reynolds, host/producer, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?; and Luke Wessman, tattoo artist, Miami/NY Ink.MONDAY, JULY 31—MINNEAPOLIS Kiehl’s Since 1851, Mall of America, 8100 24th Ave., Bloomington, MN, 11 AM-12 PM Kiehl’s at Macy’s, Ridgedale Center, 12411 Wayzata Blvd., Minnetonka, MN, 12:30-1:30 PMWEDNESDAY, AUG. 2—CHICAGOLAND Kiehl’s at Von Maur, Yorktown Center, 145 Yorktown Shopping Center, Lombard, IL, 1:30-2:30 PM Kiehl’s at Bloomingdale’s, 900 North Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL, 4:30-5:30 PMTHURSDAY, AUG. 3—CHICAGOLAND Kiehl’s Since 1851, The Shops at North Bridge, 520 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL, 11 AM-12 PMFRIDAY, AUG. 4—INDIANAPOLIS Kiehl’s Since 1851, The Fashion Mall at Keystone, 8702 Keystone Crossing, Indianapolis, IN, 12-1 PMSATURDAY, AUG. 5—LEXINGTON Kiehl’s at Dillard’s, Fayette Mall, 3625 Nicholasville Rd., Lexington, KY, 11:30 AM-12:30 PMMONDAY, AUG. 7—NASHVILLE Kiehl’s at Dillard’s, CoolSprings Galleria, 1796 Galleria Blvd., Franklin, TN, 11AM-12 PM LIFERIDE FINALE! Kiehl’s Since 1851, The Mall at Green Hills, 2126 Abbott Martin Road, Nashville, TN, 12:30-1:30 PMThe proceeds from the 2017 Kiehl’s LifeRide for amfAR will support the research of Dr. Daniela Fera. Dr. Fera is the recipient of one of amfAR’s Mathilde Krim Fellowships, which support bright young scientists seeking innovative solutions to HIV/AIDS. She is reengineering HIV proteins so that they lose their protective shield and elicit a more effective response from the immune system. Her project could advance the search for both a vaccine and a cure. Dr. Fera is an accomplished scientist and teacher who has won several awards for her work in structural biology during her postdoctoral training at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School.Key partners for the ride include Cadillac, Delta Air Lines, and Hedon helmets.last_img read more

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Where have the Canadians gone at SXSW

first_imgAdvertisement Facebook Advertisement Twitter Login/Register With:center_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Time was you couldn’t take a step in any direction during South by Southwest without tripping over another Canadian act.This year, however, the Can-con presence in Austin, while still very real, has been noticeably diminished. The “marquee” names of years past — those at the Metric/Broken Social Scene/F—ed Up/Death from Above 1979 level – are nowhere to be seen, while homegrown indie labels such as Arts & Crafts, Paper Bag Records, Last Gang and Six Shooter aren’t bothering to run their own showcases as in years past.Sure, the annual Canadian Blast barbecue on Wednesday afternoon remained a popular festival staple and the one place where you could be guaranteed to run into every single Canadian affiliated with the music industry who made the trip to Texas, and a healthy representation of talent curated by the folks at Pop Montreal, Halifax Pop Explosion, M for Montreal and BreakOutWest took over Canada House at Swan Dive on Thursday and Friday. Advertisementlast_img read more

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Ten Harris Institute Alumni in 2017 JUNO Awards

first_imgAdvertisement TORONTO, May 15, 2017  – Alumni of Toronto’s Harris Institute contributed to an unprecedented 10 Juno Awards, the Canadian music industry’s awards for excellence in recorded music.“This may never happen again,” says the college’s founder John Harris. “Our faculty and staff are thrilled that former students are achieving their goals. We set out 28 years ago to make a difference and it is very gratifying to see these results.”Harris Alumni in 2017 Juno Awards: Advertisement Login/Register With: ‘Group of the Year’The Tragically Hip, Bernie Breen manager‘Single of the Year’The Strumbellas, Joanne Setterington manager‘Country Album of the Year’Mike Denney’s MDM Recordings artist Jess Moskaluke‘R&B/Soul Album of the Year’The Weeknd’s ‘Starboy’, Henry ‘Cirkut’ Walter co-producer and co-writer‘Pop Album of the Year’Alessia Cara’s ‘Know It All’, Sam and Robert Gerongco co-writers‘Blues Album of the Year’Paul Reddick’s ‘Ride The One’, Chris Stringer engineer‘Rock Album of the Year’The Tragically Hip, Bernie Breen manager‘Adult Alternative Album of the Year’Gord Downie’s ‘Secret Path’, Kevin Drew co-producer, co-writer and guitar; Charles Spearin, bass; Ohad Benchetrit, lap steel and guitar‘Producer of the Year’A Tribe Called Red, Joanne Setterington’s ‘Indoor Recess’, Publicist‘Songwriter of the Year’Gord Downie, Bernie Breen managerAlumni Eric Ratz was nominated for ‘Producer of the Year’ and ‘Recording Engineer of the Year’. The Strumbellas were also nominated for ‘Group of the Year’ and The Weeknd’s ‘Starboy’ was also nominated for ‘Single of the Year’. Sam Weller, Harris Institute’s Studio Manager engineered the ‘Reggae Album of the Year’ nominated ‘Cry Every Day’ by Blessed.For a 5th consecutive year Harris Institute is ranked best private school in the ‘Media Arts Education Report’. Other schools in the top 10 included Ryerson University, OCAD, OIART, Metalworks Institute and Seneca College. The report’s author says, “Harris Institute is the best school of its kind in Canada. Highly Recommended”. Visit for the full report.Harris Institute is the only school outside of the US in Billboard Magazine’s “Top 11 Schools” and it was featured in both Mix Magazine’s “Audio Education’s Finest” and Billboard’s “Schools That Rock”.The college has the lowest ‘Student Loan Default Rates’ of any post secondary school in North America. The Arts Management Program (AMP) has achieved seven 0% Default Rates and the Audio Production Program (APP) has achieved five.An unprecedented partnership with the University of the West of Scotland enables Harris graduates to earn degrees on full scholarships and double major graduates (APP + AMP) to direct entry into Master’s Degrees with partial scholarships and accomodation bursaries.One year Diploma Programs taught by 62 active industry leaders start in March, July and November. For more information visit Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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first_imgThe new Crave is an unrivalled value proposition offered in two packages – Crave and Crave + Movies + HBO – giving Canadians flexibility to choose the programming that best suits their needs.“We’re excited to present one of the best entertainment offerings in North America, delivering thousands of hours of prestige programming at an unbeatable value,” said Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media. “Crave is immediately positioning itself as the leading option in Canada’s increasingly competitive streaming and SVOD market.”“As HBO continues to create ground-breaking content, movies are bringing in record-breaking Pay TV audiences, and family-friendly titles continue to be some of the most popular On Demand and SVOD selections,” said Tracey Pearce, President, Distribution and Pay, Bell Media. “This is the content Canadians crave, and we’re delivering it on whatever platform they want.”The PlatformsCrave is available today through participating television providers across Canada. This gives consumers the added opportunity to access the Crave linear channels on traditional set-top boxes, as well as via On Demand channels, through the Crave app (iOS and Android), and online at Customers should contact their television provider for pricing and details on how to subscribe.Crave is available as of Monday, November 5 directly to all Canadians with access to the Internet at, and via the Crave app on iOS and Android. Over the coming weeks, Crave will become available on all other partner platforms such as Apple TV, Xbox One, Samsung Smart TVs, and Amazon Fire TV.Direct PackagesOffered at $9.99/month (plus applicable taxes), an Internet-only subscription to Crave includes exclusive access to more than 11,000 hours of content such as Crave Originals, current SHOWTIME programming, select HBO library content and previous seasons of some current HBO hits, a collection of VICE programming, acclaimed TV series, kids’ programming from WOW! Unlimited Media, and much more. Visit for more information.For an additional $9.99/month ($19.98 total plus applicable taxes), Crave + Movies + HBO includes all the great content mentioned above, plus HBO’s current lineup of ground-breaking series, movies, documentaries and specials, and some of the best Hollywood-hit movies, spanning all genres. Visit for more information.Television Service Provider PackagesCrave packages are available across Canada through participating television service providers. TV subscribers should contact their provider for pricing details and availability.The ContentOn Crave:The SHOWTIME Collection, which includes current programming like RAY DONOVAN, KIDDING, BILLIONS, THE AFFAIR, ESCAPE AT DANNEMORA, PATRICK MELROSE, WHO IS AMERICA?, THE CHI, as well as past SHOWTIME hits such as DEXTER, TWIN PEAKS, EPISODES, CALIFORNICATION, and PENNY DREADFUL.The extensive HBO Collection, featuring HBO’s vast off-air library with classics such as THE SOPRANOS, THE WIRE, SEX AND THE CITY, ENTOURAGE, GIRLS, and more, plus select past seasons of HBO hits like GAME OF THRONES, BALLERS, INSECURE, and BIG LITTLE LIES.Recent watercooler hits such as THE HANDMAID’S TALE, STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, KILLING EVE, CASTLE ROCK, and more.The VICE Collection, featuring buzz-worthy titles like THE HUNT FOR THE TRUMP TAPES WITH TOM ARNOLD, the Emmy-nominated GAYCATION with Ellen Page, MOST EXPENSIVEST, F*CK THAT’S DELICIOUS, and THE TRIXIE & KATYA SHOW. Additional titles will join the collection early next year.Complete libraries of some of TV’s most iconic series like SEINFELD, CHEERS, FRASIER, and more.The Comedy Central Collection, featuring Seasons 1-21 of SOUTH PARK, NATHAN FOR YOU, BROAD CITY, and more.Two Kid’s Collections from WOW! Unlimited Media featuring THE ADVENTURES OF PADDINGTON BEAR, LEAGUE OF SUPER EVIL, THE PALS, and all four original seasons of REBOOT, plus the upcoming PEPPA PIG, WORLD OF QUEST, DOODLEBOPS ROADSHOW, and more.A limited-time offering of Starz content, such as COUNTERPART, VIDA, and SWEETBITTER, plus select previous seasons of POWER and PARTY DOWN.Crave Originals like the award-winning comedy LETTERKENNY, Crave Original stand-up specials created in partnership with Just For Laughs, the upcoming in-depth interview series MUCH STUDIOS PRESENTS: MIKE ON MUCH, and upcoming satirical dramedy NEW EDEN.On Crave + Movies + HBO:The thousands of hours of unrivalled television programming mentioned above, PLUS:HBO’s current lineup of ground-breaking series, movies, documentaries and specials such as GAME OF THRONES, WESTWORLD, SHARP OBJECTS, LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER, REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER, CAMPING, THE DEUCE, THE SHOP, the upcoming miniseries MY BRILLIANT FRIEND, and all-new seasons of TRUE DETECTIVE and VEEP.Hollywood-hit movies from most major movie studios spanning all genres, such as Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Wonder Woman, Pitch Perfect 3, Fifty Shades Freed, The Greatest Showman, Pacific Rim Uprising, Rampage, Red Sparrow, and countless others.An expanded Crave Kids Collection, featuring family-friendly movies like Despicable Me 3, The Lego Ninjago Movie, Ferdinand, The Boss Baby, and Paddington 2.TMN and TMN Encore RebrandThe former TMN Pay TV linear channels are now rebranded as Crave 1, Crave 2, Crave 3, Crave 4, HBO Canada 1, and HBO Canada 2.TMN Encore Pay TV channels are now Encore 1 and Encore 2. As was previously announced, Starz and Bell Media have entered into an exclusive, long-term alliance to bring Starz to Canada, with TMN Encore rebranding in 2019.Former TMN subscribers now have access to thousands of hours of additional content through and the Crave app not available to them before, such as the award-winning Canadian comedy series LETTERKENNY, plus watercooler TV hits like THE HANDMAID’S TALE, KILLING EVE, STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, and CASTLE ROCK.TMN GO will be decommissioned and users will now access their on-demand content through the all-new Craveapp, or by logging into with credentials from their television service provider.SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:@CraveCanada@CraveCanadaPR@HBOCanadaFacebook/HBOCanadaInstagram/HBOCanadaAbout Crave:Delivering more Emmy® Award-winning programming than any other service, Crave is Canada’s prestige entertainment offering, with HBO, SHOWTIME®, Starz, Hollywood-hit movies, a superior collection of kid’s movies and programs, and thousands of hours of acclaimed television series, specials, factual programming, and originals that can’t be found anywhere else. Crave is the exclusive home of HBO in Canada, delivering HBO’s current slate of signature dramatic and comedic programs, documentaries, films, and live specials, as well as titles from HBO’s extensive off-air library. Crave is also home to current SHOWTIME series and specials, and past SHOWTIME hits. Crave is available directly to all Canadians with access to the Internet via iOS and Android, and other platforms. It’s also available through participating television providers across six 24-hour High Definition linear and on demand channels. Crave is from Bell Media, Canada’s leading content company, providing Canada’s most-watched and most-acclaimed television programming on network, specialty, pay and digital platforms. Visit our website at Facebook TORONTO, Nov. 1, 2018 – Bell Media announced today the all-new Crave, featuring a catalogue of some of the most sought-after content in the world and more Emmy® Award-winning programming than any other service in Canada. For the first time ever, current HBO programming, including new episodes of GAME OF THRONES, as well as box-office hits such as Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Wonder Woman, are available directly to all Canadians with access to the Internet. Additionally, Pay TV service The Movie Network (TMN) rebrands as Crave today, making the brand ubiquitous across all platforms.The all-new Crave is available through participating television providers today and directly to consumers as of Monday, November 5 on, iOS, and Android. Crave becomes available on additional platforms in the coming weeks, including the ability to subscribe directly via the Crave app on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.Crave’s exceptional entertainment offering is home to HBO, SHOWTIME®, Hollywood hit movies, VICE programming, a superior collection of kids’ content including movies as well as programs from WOW! Unlimited Media, and thousands of hours of acclaimed television series and original programming not found anywhere else. Advertisement Advertisement Twittercenter_img Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment All-new Crave home page user interface (CNW Group/Crave) Advertisementlast_img read more

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