Archive | May, 2014

Sunny Leone does the cover up act?

Posted on 28 May 2014 by admin

Sunny Leone will be seen in a mu¬sic video with Punjabi pop singer Girik Aman in his new track, The Saree Wali Girl. It is his rendition of his dream girl in a saree. Sunny draped in a six-yard sounds a bit strange no?

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Exclusive: Watch the first trailer of Vidya Balan’s ‘Bobby Jasoos’

Posted on 28 May 2014 by admin

So after garnering so much of buzz around it finally the first trailer of Vidya’s ‘Bobby Jasoos’ is here to charm her millions of fans spread all across the globe.

Vidya who is known for her spell­binding acting excellence and her habit of slipping under the skin of her char­acter (which she proved with ‘Kahaani’ and The Dirty Picture etc) has gone an extra mile for this comic-thriller and has thoroughly experimented with her looks for the movie.

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Exclusive: First look of Prachi Desai’s ‘Awari’ song from ‘Ek Villain’

Posted on 28 May 2014 by admin

Known to give a makeover to his leading ladies, Jacqueline Fernandez and Shraddha Ka­poor, director Mohit Suri turns his eyes on Prachi Desai , who makes a guest appearance in the forthcoming “Awari” song from “Ek Villain”.

The Buddha Bar-style number was recreated from an original composition by the Pakistani rock band, Soch, top-lined by Adnan Dhuul and Rabbi Ahmed. It was shot last weekend in Mumbai.

The track features the addi­tional vocals of Momina Mus­tehsan, a US-based bio-medical engineering student, originally from Lahore.

“Awari” is expected to re­lease on June 13.

 

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More multicultural themed children’s books should become available

Posted on 22 May 2014 by admin

Anita Badhwar

Anita Badhwar grew up in Toronto, Canada and moved to the United States in 2000. After twelve years working at various organizations, she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of writing children’s books, especially which present information on Indian culture and festivals in an educational yet entertaining manner. Anita lives in Florida with her husband, and two children, ages ten and eight, and her lovable dog Buddy. The second book in the Little Princess Rani series, titled Rani and the Safari Surprise has been released this Spring.

Generation Next got an opportunity to interview Anita Badhwar:

Do you think there is sufficient interest around the world and especially in Canada on Indian events and festivals like Diwali?

Yes, I truly feel that there is sufficient interest around the world about Indian festivals and about India in general. I am originally from Toronto, but currently live in Florida. People here, especially teachers, educators, and non-Indian friends, are curious about Indian culture, dress, food, and music. My intention with this book series is to provide information about Indian culture and to celebrate all that India has to offer!

 Many time people of the same culture read the book and believe that it doesn’t represent the festival as it is celebrated. Your response? 

It is for this reason for which I wrote the first book, Rani Saves Diwali, where I presented information about the Hindu festival of lights in a general manner. For example, I explain how we light diyas, decorate the house with lights, eat lots of mithai, and perform puja. I would think that most Hindus would agree that they perform these rituals when celebrating Diwali. I’ve tried to keep in mind (and I hope readers will too!) that celebrations may vary from region to region in India, and that family traditions also may account for differences in the way Diwali is celebrated.

 Being the mother of two, did you feel the need to write a book on an Indian festival so that your kids are attached to the culture? 

Yes, living in the United States I felt it necessary to write the series Little Princess Rani and the Palace Adventures because I found very little similar literature on the market when was looking for Indian-theme based children’s books. Thus, I wanted to write a series that was both educational about Indian culture, and entertaining.

 How do you maintain a balance between teaching your kids eastern traditions and the Western values? 

In our house we celebrate Indian festivals such as Diwali, Holi, Rakhi Bandhan, Navratri, Ganesh Chaturti and observe other religious holidays too. My kids also have been attending a community Sanskaar class which teaches the importance of religious holidays and why we observe them. They learn about the different Hindu gods and the significance of Hindu mythology. We do puja at home and visit temples when we are in Toronto.

 Did you find that there is literature about cultural festivals for kids available in the market?

Yes there is literature about Indian cultural festivals, but it is limited.

 Were your kids your critics?

Absolutely! They would critique my story and illustrations and offer suggestions.

 In an age where kids are so attracted to tablets, mobile devices and so on, do you think people will purchase a book?

I think people will still buy books because parents still would like their children to read in the traditional manner. Also, electronic devices can be harmful to the eyes.

 How can parents instill the love of reading in their kids?

I would suggest to read to your children for at least 20 minutes a day. Children also model themselves after their parents, so if a child sees their parents reading, they are most likely to do the same.

 Isn’t it odd that at schools the mainstream wants to teach kids about various cultures yet the mainstream publishers don’t want to do the same? Isn’t this very hypocritical?

Yes, it is unfortunate, but hopefully things will change soon. People need to voice their opinions to publishers so that more diverse and multicultural themed children’s books can become available.

 Do you think you will try to publish here in Canada?

Because I live in the United States, I would only be able to publish here. However, my first book, Rani Saves Diwali and Rani and the Safari Surprise! are available on http://amazon.ca.

 What’s next on your agenda?

I will be visiting Chapters (Oakville, Ontario) on Sun June 29, from 1 PM to 4 PM for a book signing where you can purchase a copy of the book.  Afterwards, I’ll be brainstorming ideas for the third book in the series and I’m sure my children will have a lot of input!

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Who is gonna win Ontario election battle?

Posted on 22 May 2014 by admin

 

Polling in the Ontario election has been a little less than clear. Some polls show a comfortable lead for Tim Hudak’s Progressive Conservatives. Others show an advantage for Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals.

A new poll is in the latter category.

The poll, conducted by EKOS Research for iPolitics  gave Wynne’s Liberals 37 per cent support, against 30 per cent for Hudak’s Tories. The New Democrats, under Andrea Horwath, stood at just 21 per cent support, while the Greens were at seven per cent.

But Hudak may have an ace up his sleeve. Polling by Ipsos Reid has shown the Tories have a distinct advantage among likely voters, and in particular older Ontarians. EKOS shows the same thing. Despite the overall Liberal lead province wide, the PCs had 42 per cent support among voters aged 65 or older, against just 34 per cent for the Liberals.

In other words, the PCs could still outperform the polls that have them trailing if more of their supporters make it to the polling stations than those of their rivals.

Turnout could be a big problem on election day.

A large proportion of Ontarians (19 per cent) also said they were undecided, so there is still much scope for change in the next three-and-a-half weeks.

Regionally, the Liberals put up their highest numbers in Toronto, where they led with 52 per cent support. The PCs, at 26 per cent, and the NDP, at just 14 per cent, followed. The Liberals were also ahead in northern Ontario, with 39 per cent to 20 per cent for the Tories.

The PCs were in front in the 905 area code with 35 per cent, trailed closely by the Liberals at 33 per cent. The Tories also held narrow leads in southwestern Ontario (31 per cent to 30 per cent for the Liberals) and eastern Ontario (35 per cent to 34 per cent for the Liberals).

The NDP’s best score was in the southwest, where the party had 26 per cent. New Democrats are banking on a breakthrough into southwestern Ontario, following up on their series of byelection victories.

With the contradictory polls being published at this stage of the race, it is difficult to know who is truly ahead. What does seem to be the case, however, is that no party has been able to impose itself on the campaign so far, or make a dramatic move in one way or another.

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Canada extends REACH to fight global child hunger and under-nutrition

Posted on 22 May 2014 by admin

The Scaling-Up Nutrition – REACH Expansion project will accelerate progress on maternal, newborn and child health in more developing countries

Government of Canada has announced an additional $5 million for the Renewed Efforts Against Child Hunger and Under-nutrition (REACH) project which will enable REACH to work in more developing countries that have high rates of under-nutrition.

Minister Yelich highlighted Canada’s leadership role in promoting the health of women, newborns and children in developing countries. TheScaling-Up Nutrition – REACH Expansion project will support country-led efforts to carry out nutrition activities to improve health and reduce the deaths of the most vulnerable mothers and children in countries that have joined the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement.

Improving the health of mothers, newborns and children and reducing the number of preventable deaths are Canada’s top development priority. That is why, following the significant progress made through 2010′s Muskoka Initiative, the Prime Minister is once again taking action to mobilize the world. In Toronto, May 28-30, 2014, Canada will host Saving Every Woman Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach, an international summit that will build on Canada’s leadership and shape the future of global action on maternal and child health issues.

“Together, in collaboration with our valuable partners like REACH, the global drive to improve maternal and child health will accelerate even further at the Summit,” said Minister Yelich. “Canada will continue to save lives and improve the health of mothers and children in the developing world by helping countries fight under-nutrition more effectively.”

REACH is a coordinating mechanism of four United Nations organizations: the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). REACH delivers a coordinated approach to good governance and institutional capacity building that ensures more effective and coherent food and nutrition action.

“Canada’s generous contribution shows leadership and determination to address the burden of child and maternal under-nutrition,” said Nancy Walters, REACH Global Coordinator. “These additional funds will help improve the nutritional status of millions of women and their children, and brighten their prospects for good health and well-being in the future.”

“The Canadian government’s new investment in the REACH nutrition program will help support countries implement proven, low-cost and highly effective interventions that save the lives of mothers, newborns and children,” said David Morley, UNICEF Canada’s President and CEO. “These interventions include ensuring good nutrition during pregnancy, promoting breastfeeding and good complementary feeding, preventing and treating micronutrient deficiencies and promoting good sanitation and access to safe drinking water.”

Maternal, newborn and child health is Canada’s top development priority. Thanks to the Muskoka Initiative and subsequent global action, maternal mortality rates are declining and millions more children are celebrating their fifth birthday.

“When children are well fed, they can grow up to lead healthy and productive lives; in turn, their families, their communities and ultimately, their country, can grow stronger as well,” said Minister Paradis. “Canada’s support of the REACH Expansion project shows our continued commitment to the Scaling Up Nutrition movement, supporting developing countries to ensure increased access to food and nutrition.”

Reducing under-nutrition across the developing world is critical to ensuring the health of mothers, newborns and children, and is an important component of the Muskoka Initiative.  Further discussions on this important topic will figure prominently at the Summit later this month.

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TORY WILL LEAD A NEW BUSINESS HUB IN TORONTO

Posted on 22 May 2014 by admin

Toronto Mayoral candidate, John Tory, has unveiled his plan to deliver Toronto’s version of the renowned United Kingdom’s Canary Warf.  Working with the private sector, Tory announced he will support the development of a second major business district for Toronto creating 70,000 jobs. The vision is part of Tory’s multi-faceted “One Toronto” plan announced last week.

The 23-hectare East Don Lands employment precinct, which includes the former Unilever Canada site, presents a unique opportunity for Toronto and stands as a strategic piece of land that has the potential to create jobs and impressive growth for Toronto.

“These are the moments we must seize as a city,” said Tory. “As your Mayor, I will form a unique partnership with developers and investors, and work with city council to help maximize transit to create a new business hub. It’s time we start saying yes, as a city, to bold and ambitious projects.”

The plan will depend on a reorientation of the Gardiner’s eastern section and new transit connections in this area. A strategic realignment, which Tory is in favour of, will open up opportunities for extended service to our East End.

The proposal includes private sector investment – 15 million square feet of valuable office space, retail and residential developments, and will link new and vibrant parkland and Lake Ontario to existing neighbourhoods.

“Toronto is at a turning point,” said David Gerofsky, Chief Executive Officer, First Gulf Corporation, the owner of the former Unilever site.  “More people want to live and work in the downtown core, and in turn, global companies want to locate to this workforce..  Our proposed employment site on the former Unilever lands could bring as many as 70,000 jobs to Toronto, as well as help to create a second and badly needed transit hub in the City.”

“As a local business owner, I support John’s foresight in championing this project,” said Eric Shabsove of Mountain View Coffee. “The East Don Lands is a strategic piece of land in Toronto – my business is already located here – I’m looking forward to new neighbours.”

John Tory’s “One Toronto” East Don Land plan includes championing the following elements:

       Implementing the “hybrid solution” for the Gardiner Expressway, with the assurance that no increase to commute times be experienced

o   Under this solution: the section of the Gardiner east of Cherry Street would be realigned just south of the existing GO railway corridor, where it would continue east and loop up to connect to the DVP.

o   The current elevated section east of Cherry Street would be taken down and the Lake Shore would be a great street connected to several new city streets, including Broadview Avenue, which would extend south through the Unilever site.

       Streamlining approvals at City Hall 

o   An economic development team will focus on results while maximizing the space for taxpayers and creating jobs.

       Promoting this area of Toronto as a new business hub creating 70,000 jobs at full build-out

o   Create a new transit hub, and bring in millions of dollars in new tax assessment.

Tory’s vision for the East Don Lands is part of his broader “One Toronto” plan to encourage more business and better jobs and is part of his overall vision to make Toronto more Liveable, Affordable and Functional.

More details of John Tory’s “One Toronto” jobs and economy plan can be viewed at www.johntory.ca .

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New Mayor. Better Job Opportunities for Young People

Posted on 22 May 2014 by admin

Olivia Chow set out a practical, step-by-step plan to create more jobs for young people, including community benefits agreements. It was her third specific announcement to create more jobs.

Under Rob Ford’s failed leadership, unemployment has risen. It’s about 22.5% among young people. John Tory’s solution is to make a few calls to his “network of business acquaintances.”

 “When I launched my campaign, I said I’d make job creation for young people a priority and I will,” said Olivia. “Our city’s totally unacceptable level of youth unemployment is one of the biggest challenges families face. We need to act directly to address this, and team up with private sector employers to create more opportunity.”

 As our new mayor, Olivia would:

 •      Negotiate community benefits agreements for all major infrastructure and capital projects, to include apprenticeships and jobs for young people. These successful agreements leverage city spending to ensure people benefit from our investment in ourselves. They were used, for example, in the first phases of the $485 million Regent Park redevelopment and have helped create more than 500 jobs for local residents. Over the next decade, the city’s capital plan projects about $18.6 billion in capital spending. As our new mayor, Olivia would work with contractors to ensure training and opportunities for young people are part of their work.

Community benefits agreements began in Los Angeles. The current CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Tim Leiweke, used them as L.A. was redeveloping its entertainment district, which included building the Staples Center, home to the Kings, Lakers and Clippers. In Canada, they have also been used in Vancouver on projects for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

 •       Build on the city’s direct youth employment programs. Already, the city is one of Canada’s largest employers of young people. The parks and recreation department alone hires more than 5,000 young people each year. As our new mayor, Olivia will work to ensure city programs are more active employers of young people. Already, in her after-school recreation program and tree-planting proposal, Olivia has proposed ways to hire about 300 more young people a year.

 “These practical ideas can create significant training and employment opportunities for our young people,” said Olivia. “A reasonable target is 5,000 new apprenticeships and jobs for young people over the four years—almost doubling the number of young people helped into work by the city.”

 In addition, Olivia said she would approach our city’s business community. By working with it, and asking private employers to match the city’s efforts, even more opportunities could be created.

 “Our city is the capital of Canada’s financial, mining and natural resources finance capital. We’re its creative industries and life sciences capital and have more small businesses than anywhere else,” she said. “Rob Ford has done nothing to create opportunity for young people. But with a new mayor, our city can partner with our business sector to make progress on one of our most serious economic and social challenges.”

 As an example of how the city could help, Olivia pointed to useful federal and provincial programs that help finance training and hiring young people. She said the city can do more to help private employers navigate these programs.

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Nepalese Community Celebrates 2558 th Gautam Buddha’s Birth Anniversary

Posted on 22 May 2014 by admin

Uttam Makaju

Toronto

Nepalese community in Toronto celebrated 2558th  birth anniversary of Lord Buddha  with various activities.

Gautam Buddha, the apostle of peace , was born in Lumbini, Nepal in Shakya clan. To seek  the solution of sorrow, he left the palace at the age of 29. After along search and experiments,  he received enlightenment  in Bodh Gaya, taught the Dhamma in Sarnath and attained Mahaparinirvana in kushinagar,  India. The most important aspect of Buddha’s teaching is that though it was postulated so long ago, but still  it is topical and contextual for the holistic development of a person, society, country and the world.

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Will Modi establish trade and societal relations with Pakistan?

Posted on 22 May 2014 by admin

Dr. Hasan Askari

Lahore

         The results of the recently concluded 16th general elections in India have defied the prediction of a large number of analysts who argued that no single party would get a clear majority. This trend got established from the 1996 general elections and continued in the subsequent elections in 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2009.

 The coalitions of several diverse political parties, especially with strong state-based parties, ruled at the Union Level during this period.  This trend has now been reversed because the BJP got a simple majority and if the seats of its partners are counted the number rises to well over 330 which is a remarkable political achievement.

 The coalition that comes into existence in India now is a pre-election arrangement that will be dominated by the BJP rather than a post-election coalitions during 1996-2014 that used to be created in the past through political bargaining and compromises.

      The electorate has given a clear verdict in favour of the Political Right with Hindu religious orientations. The liberal left parties have performed poorly. This trend has a similarity with Pakistan where the Political Right and Islamic parties performed better than liberal-left political parties.

 In case of India, some state-based parties have maintained their political eminence in their respective states but their ability to influence the BJP at the Union level is limited as the BJP and its allies got a comfortable majority and this performance is spread across the country.

    The Congress party has suffered most devastating electoral defeat. It is worse than its defeat in the 1977 election when it got more seats than what it got in 2014. In 1977 its electoral performance in southern parts of India enabled to get more than 100 seats; it was beaten badly in northern states of India.   Now in 2014 it faces the worst ever challenge to its future.

     The Congress had been in power since May 2004 with Manmohan Singh as the prime minister of an unwieldy coalition. This government’s inability to sustain India’s growth rate at over 8 percent and let it fall in the second term (2009-2014) to little over 6 percent adversely affected its future prospects. Corruption charges against some Union Minister regarding Information Technology licensing and coal mine contracts added to the problems of the Congress government. Though there were no corruption charges against Manmohan Singh, he was accused of moving slowly against corruption and his governance suffered during the second term.

    The Congress’ problems also increased with popular mobilization against corruption and for better governance at the societal level, especially by Anna Hazara, whose anti-corruption movement reflected negatively on the Congress government.

 The rise of the Aam Admi Party (AAP) also swept away support from the Congress in northern parts of India.

In the Delhi Assembly elections, the Congress party lost badly after holding power for three terms. The AAP leader became Delhi’s Chief Minister but he could not manage the well-entrenched bureaucratic and economic interests, resulting in his resignation. The failure of the AAP to govern Delhi did not return the alienated voters to the Congress, most of them moved on to the BJP.

   The Congress also faced a leadership crisis. It attempted to play the Gandhi Card by moving Rahul Gandhi to the front of the party. He was accompanied by his sister, Priyanka and his mother, Sonia. This did not work this time because the person in the lead, Rahul, lacked political experience and he could not cultivate an image of the Congress savior.  There was no towering personality in the Congress to get the party through the troubled electoral politics. Manmohan Singh had already been written off because he was to quit the office after the election no matter who won.

      This leadership gap could not be filled by the AAP leadership or any other party on an all-India basis.  The BJP and Modi stepped into the gap. Modi had built a negative as well as a positive reputation on all India-basis. His major success was that he overwhelmed opposition to his leadership within the BJP and mobilized support of hard line Hindu groups like the RSS and others that admired his tough policies on communal issues in his home state of Gujarat.

   The focus of the Modi government is going to be domestic, working to realize the promise of development and economic growth.

 As the BJP election campaign was funded by big and middle level business and commercial interests, his problems will be how to serve their interests while keeping the poor of India satisfied that his policies would ensure socio-economic justice. How far the government would continue with subsidies for the poor for food items?

    His another challenge is how to operationalize the notion of Hindutva in a manner that a balance is maintained with India’s secular state system with the demands of the Hindu hardline groups, commonly known as the Sang Pariwar? Any tilt towards the latter would cause problems with minorities especially Muslims and it could also increase caste conflict in many parts of India.

            The current stalemate in Pakistan-India relations will continue because the initial focus of the Indian government would be domestic.  The relations cannot be worse than what they are now: suspension of dialogue and limited trade.

In due course, the Indian government may assign priority to terrorism and trade in its interaction with Pakistan and the later is expected to demand the resumption of whole dialogue process. This means no positive development is expected in practical terms in the first four months.

     If the Modi government wants to project itself as a big player at the global level, it will assign the highest priority to societal and economic development and to serve the business and commercial interests. It cannot afford to accentuate tension and conflict with Pakistan.

     Some Hindu nationalist groups may pressure the government to adopt a hardline towards Indian Muslims and play tough with Pakistan. This will reinforce Modi image as a hardline Hindu leader which will adversely affect his image at the global level.

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