Archive | December, 2017

Priyanka Chopra turns judge with Rohit Shetty and Karan Johar for one episode of this reality show

Posted on 28 December 2017 by admin

For the first time ever, Rohit Shetty and Karan Johar are coming together on the small screen to choose talent over ‘nepotism’ in the reality show India’s Next Superstar. The reality show aims at finding talented actors who will get their big Bollywood break via this show. Besides the duo, now it seems that other Bollywood personas too will be making short episodic appearances to share their experiences.

One amongst them is Priyanka Chopra. Although the actress is currently spending time in the US owing to her Hollywood commitments and American TV series ‘Quantico’, she is currently in India for the holiday season. In fact, we hear that she will be shooting for the said episode of the reality show today that is December 22. The actress will be heading the judging panel along with Rohit Shetty and Karan Johar and will be giving her piece of advice to contestants on how to make it big in the competitive Bollywood industry.

Furthermore, reports have it that the audience will also get to see Priyanka Chopra grooving to some of her popular chartbusters on stage. The actress will apparently be performing on songs like ‘Desi Girl’ from Dostana, ‘Gallan Goodiyan’ from Dil Dhadakne Do among others. In fact, it is also being said that Rohit Shetty and Karan Johar too have shot for their opening acts on the show wherein the two will shake a leg to the title track of Golmaal Again and ‘Kaala Chashma’ from Baar Baar Dekho respectively.

However, according to recent reports, it was Karan Johar’s students Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan who were initially approached for this episode. While the duo rejected it owing to prior work commitments, it is being said that the two of them will make an appearance soon in one of the other episodes of the reality show.

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Kangana Ranaut all set to approach Salman Khan with a request

Posted on 28 December 2017 by admin

Kangana is all set to give her all in the year 2018. The actress who was only seen in one film, Simran, this year, has a good line-up for 2018. Kangana is currently working on the period drama Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, after which, she will be working on a thriller. However, right before she starts shooting for her next, the actress has been asked to speak to Salman Khan. A report in a leading daily stated that the title of the thriller that Kangana will be working has been selected as Mental. But unfortunately, the title has been reserved by Salman Khan Films. The makers of the film have asked Kangana to personally speak to Salman and appeal to his generous self.

A source from Salman Khan films told a leading daily, “Kangana and Shaileshji are both keen to title their film Mental. They both think that it goes wonderfully with the story. But when the producers contacted Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA), they realized that the copyrights of the name rests with Salman Khan Films (SKF). The team had registered the title a few years back when they were toying with the idea of naming Kabir Khan’s then under-production film, Mental. However, they later changed it to Tubelight. At the moment there’s no project that could use the title. Unless Bhai has something in mind, he will allow Shaileshji to go ahead with it.” Let’s hope that both Kangana and Salman come to an agreement soon.

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Crash that killed 4 Hydro One workers took place as helicopter prepared to land, investigators say

Posted on 22 December 2017 by admin

The Transportation Safety Board said its team has recovered a GPS, which will help in the investigation.

Investigators say a helicopter crash that killed four Hydro One workers in eastern Ontario this week happened as the chopper was approaching to land.

The Transportation Safety Board says it has obtained initial statements from witnesses to Thursday’s fatal crash in Tweed, Ont. but still must examine maintenance records, pilot training and several other factors.

The agency says the chopper did not have a cockpit voice recorder or a flight data recorder, which it was not required to carry. It says its team has, however, recovered a GPS, which will help in the investigation.

Meanwhile, Hydro One says its eight helicopters will not operate until a thorough review of safety protocols and equipment is complete.

CEO Mayo Schmidt says the measure is standard procedure after any serious workplace incident.

None of the four men on board the Aerospatiale AS350-B2 chopper survived after the helicopter went down shortly before noon Thursday in Tweed, Ont., about 90 kilometres northwest of Kingston, Ont.

Hydro One said the crew had been completing work on a transmission tower.

“It is a time of emotion and shock for all of us at the company,” Schmidt said, adding that there was no timeline for when the utility’s helicopter fleet would go back to work.

The company held candlelight vigils at its offices across the province Friday morning and said most ground crews would be standing down from their jobs until Monday. Workers will still respond to any reports of power outages, it said.

“We are not going to leave people without power,” Schmidt noted. “No one will have to wait any longer than normal if there is a loss of power in their community or their area.”

The company is supporting employees and families affected by the crash with a wide range of services, including grief counselling, 24-hour hotlines and help making funeral arrangements, Schmidt said.

“As we always do, our family at Hydro One has pulled together,” he said, adding that teams have been dispatched to assist affected family members.

The names of those who died have not been released.

The Power Workers Union said one of the workers killed had been one of its members, while the three other employees were members of the Canadian Union of Skilled Workers.

Investigators from the Transportation Safety Board are leading the probe into the crash. Hydro One said it had sent specialists to help the TSB with its work.

The TSB said investigators would be looking at a wide range of factors to determine a possible cause of the crash, including pilot records, aircraft maintenance records and aircraft history.

The single-engine AS350 is a utility helicopter often used for corporate purposes and by police.

Hydro One has four of those choppers in its fleet, as well as three Airbus AS350-B3 helicopters and one Airbus AS355-NP.

In July 2007, the same model clipped a guy wire in northern Ontario and crashed, seriously injuring a Hydro One worker and the pilot. And in January 2015, an AS350 crashed in Saskatchewan during hydro cable stringing, seriously injuring the pilot. In both cases, pilot error was to blame.

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Richard Wagner sworn in as chief justice of the Supreme Court

Posted on 22 December 2017 by admin

Wagner takes over from Beverley McLachlin, who retired Friday after serving for 17 years as chief.

OTTAWA—Richard Wagner has officially taken the helm at Canada’s highest court.

The Quebec jurist was sworn in today as chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada at a short ceremony at Rideau Hall.

Wagner takes over from Beverley McLachlin, who retired Friday after serving for 17 years as chief and a total of 28 years on the court.

Wagner was also sworn in as a member of the privy council in front of an audience which included his family, McLachlin, Gov. Gen. Julie Payette and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Appointed to the Supreme Court by former prime minister Stephen Harper, the 60-year-old Wagner could hold the chief justice role for 15 years, should he opt to remain until the mandatory retirement age of 75.

Also today, Alberta judge Sheilah Martin was formally appointed to the high court.

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Canada’s electronic spies will be able to launch cyber attacks with little oversight, report warns

Posted on 22 December 2017 by admin

CitizenLab researchers raise red flags over proposed new powers for Canada’s Communications Security Establishment.

OTTAWA—Canada’s electronic spies will be limited “only by their imagination” in coming up with new cyber attacks and espionage campaigns under proposed legislation, a new report warns.

The Communications Security Establishment will be able to select targets and launch cyber attacks with little “meaningful” oversight, according to an analysis of Bill C-59 by the University of Toronto’s CitizenLab.

Bill C-59 “affords the CSE the ability to engage in a vast range of unenumerated and deeply problematic activities with the potential to seriously interfere with charter-protected rights and freedoms,” the report, to be made public Monday, reads.

Bill C-59 proposes to give CSE — for the first time in the agency’s postwar history — the explicit power to conduct cyber attacks and sabotage against foreign states and people. Until now, the secretive agency has been limited to intelligence gathering, defending government networks, and assisting law enforcement.

The proposed powers are broad. The bill explicitly prohibits CSE from causing death or bodily harm, and from obstructing or perverting “justice or democracy.”

That leaves a very long list of permitted activities, the researchers note.

“From mass dissemination of false information, to impersonation, leaking foreign documents in order to influence political and legal outcomes, disabling account or network access, large-scale denial of service attacks, and interference with the electricity grid, the possibilities for the types of activities contemplated in (Bill C-59) are limited only by the imagination,” the report reads.

Under the legislation, the CSE would require sign-off from both the minister of national defence and the minister of foreign affairs to launch a cyber attack. But the offensive cyber operations would not require judicial sign off or oversight, nor would they require approval by the proposed independent Intelligence Commissioner, the report reads.

In a statement Friday, CSE spokesperson Ryan Foreman suggested a warrant system for cyber operations may not be the best fit for the agency’s mandate.

“CSE is a foreign intelligence and cyber security organization, not a domestic security or law enforcement agency. Warrants for law enforcement … are generally for specific targets or operations … whereas CSE’s ministerial authorizations authorize a class of activities,” Foreman wrote, noting that the CSE is prohibited from directly targeting Canadians or people in Canada.

“However, these, and all of CSE’s activities would be subject to review” by a new parliamentary committee.

The report was prepared by CitizenLab researchers Christopher Parsons, Lex Gill and Ronald Deibert, as well as Tamir Israel, a lawyer with the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, and Bill Robinson, who has long chronicled CSE’s history and activities.

In an interview with the Star on Sunday, Gill said Canada also runs the risk of normalizing state-sponsored hacking and disinformation campaigns — a particular worry in North America, as the United States continues to unravel alleged Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election through disinformation and hacking.

“The open question (is) whether or not affording the (CSE) these types of capabilities will contribute to Canada’s security interests or undermine them,” Gill said.

“By creating a climate which normalizes these types of activities, creates a legislative framework for them, we’re accepting as Canadians that we think that these types of operations are okay. I’m not convinced that Canadians have had a robust public conversation about … a kind of cyber warfare.”

The report compares CSE’s new cyber operations powers to the much-criticized “disruption” powers granted to another security agency, CSIS, by the Conservatives in 2015.

Like the Conservatives’ Bill C-51, the Liberals’ national security bill permits CSE to take a wide array of “disruptive” activities — while explicitly prohibiting only a few limit cases.

Bill C-59 is still before the House of Commons’ national security committee. The governing Liberals have signalled a willingness to substantially amend the legislation should issues be raised. The committee’s review will resume in early 2018.

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Kathleen Wynne grilled on pot issues at Brampton town hall meeting

Posted on 22 December 2017 by admin

Ontario plans to open 40 government-run recreational cannabis shops on July 1. Other provinces to allow private retailers.

Is Ontario keeping too tight a lid on pot?

Premier Kathleen Wynne faced that question at a town-hall meeting Wednesday night in Brampton, where about 250 citizens — some with anger in their voices — grilled her about high local auto insurance rates, health care, workers’ compensation, the Tarion new home warranty system, the rising minimum wage, the recent five-week community college strike and other issues.

“‎Can we not have the private sector?” one young man asked as the clock ticks down to the legalization of marijuana across Canada on July 1.

That’s when Ontario plans to open the first 40 government-run recreational cannabis shops.

Other provinces are allowing private retailers into the business with strict oversight, but Wynne said Ontario doesn’t trust that model.

 “We have a very strong organization, the LCBO,” Wynne told the crowd at the Century Gardens Community Centre, referring to the liquor agency’s control of the cannabis-only shops.

“We need a safe ‎and responsible system that protects young people and is designed to undercut the black market.”

While critics have scoffed at that notion, insisting 40 stores is a drop in the bucket in a province as big as Ontario, Wynne said‎ Ontario will boost that number to 150 shops in the next couple of years.

Moderated by former Rogers TV host Nav Nanwa, the evening was the second in a series of Wynne town hall meetings to be held across Ontario.

The meetings are organized and paid for by the government to make Wynne, who faces re-election next June 7, more accountable and accessible to the public.

In that vein, audience members weren’t shy about pressing their concerns.

“When is our pay equity coming?” asked one woman who works at a non-profit community organization.

“It’s been 30 years. We’re still waiting,” she added in a testy tone after the premier said the Liberal government is working on it.

Wynne was also peppered with questions from people angry at the Tarion home warranty program and high auto insurance rates.

She acknowledged changes passed by the Legislature this week to improve Tarion don’t “go as far” as buyers want and said the auto insurance system is “broken” because geographic factors play too big a role in setting premiums.

“It needs to be rebuilt. That’s what we’re going to do,” she added, citing statistics that auto insurance rates in Ontario have dropped 6 per cent — a comment that drew murmurs of “no” throughout the audience.

In answering a man who bluntly stated “I’m upset my daughter was out of college for five weeks” because of a faculty strike, Wynne said the government is working on a system similar to the one in elementary and secondary schools where the government can intervene earlier if the school year ‎is judged to be in jeopardy.

“It went on too long. I agree with you,” she said of the strike, which was ended with back-to-work legislation in late November.

Wynne got a similar grilling from participants at her first town hall meeting last month at the Concert Hall in Toronto. More are planned but the next location has not been announced.

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Man shot dead inside TCHC building in St. Lawrence area

Posted on 22 December 2017 by admin

Toronto detectives are investigating the city’s 61st homicide of the year so far.

Homicide detectives are investigating after a man, 52, was shot dead inside an apartment building near the Esplanade overnight on Saturday.

Police were first called to 25 Henry Lane Terrace, a Toronto Community Housing building in the St. Lawrence area, for reports of four gunshots at about 12:30 a.m. Toronto police Const. David Hopkinson said the 911 operator heard screaming and yelling in the background of the call.

Det. Sgt Mike Carbone from the Toronto police homicide squad said that when officers arrived, they found the lifeless body on the fourth floor while searching the building. Carbone said he appeared to have gunshot wounds.

Officers attempted to revive the victim, but he had succumbed to his injuries at the scene. According to police, he lived alone.

“Investigations often take time to unfold,” explained Carbone. “We have some surveillance video which we are currently reviewing, we are expecting to receive some more video shortly.”

Police have yet to identify the deceased, as they are still in the midst of notifying next of kin.

The death is Toronto’s 61st homicide of the year so far.

Resident Abdullahi Hassan, 35, said he awoke to police asking if he heard anything and cruisers parked outside his building’s door. He says he was asleep and didn’t hear any gunshots, but the shooting is the latest incident of many at the complex.

“There’s a lot of drug activity that happens here,” he said.

Another shooting happened in the same complex on Sept. 19. The male victim in that case had life-threatening gunshot wounds, but survived.

“This is a cycle,” Hassan said. “It just keeps happening over and over again at this complex.”

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CREA slashes its 2018 home-sales forecast due to tighter mortgage regulations

Posted on 22 December 2017 by admin

Sales activity across the country, the association says, will be reduced by OFSI’s revised mortgage underwriting guidelines.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has cut its home sales forecast for next year due to the impact of tighter mortgage regulations that come into effect New Year’s Day, which are expected to rein in spending for some buyers.

CREA said in an updated projection Thursday the banking regulator’s revised mortgage underwriting guidelines, which include a stress test for uninsured mortgages, will reduce sales activity across the country, particularly in and around Toronto and Vancouver.

The association now forecasts a 5.3-per-cent drop in national sales to 486,600 units next year. That new estimate shaves about 8,500 sales from its previous 2018 forecast.

 “With some homebuyers likely advancing their purchase decision before the new rules come into effect next year, the ‘pull-forward’ of these sales may come at the expense of sales in the first half of 2018,” CREA said in a statement.

“Meanwhile, other potential homebuyers are anticipated to stay on the sidelines as they save up a larger down payment before purchasing and contributing to a modest improvement in sales activity in the second half of 2018.”

In November, the number of homes sold through its Multiple Listing Service rose by 3.9 per cent compared with October, led by a 16-per-cent sales spike in the Greater Toronto Area. Sales were up 2.6 per cent from last November, marking the first year-over-year increase since March. That helped send the national home price up 2.9 per cent, year over year, to $504,000.

The number of newly listed homes rose 3.5 per cent in November, which reflected a large increase in new supply across the GTA.

In October, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) announced the final version of its revised guidelines, called B-20. The new rules, which come into effect on Jan. 1, require would-be homebuyers to prove they can still service their uninsured mortgage at a qualifying rate of the greater of the contractual mortgage rate plus two percentage points or the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada.

CREA argues the new guidelines make it tougher for potential buyers with more than a 20-per-cent down payment to qualify for a mortgage. These low-ratio mortgages comprise the vast majority of Canadian mortgage originations, it added.

The association also narrowed its forecast for national sales activity this year. It expects sales to decline 4 per cent to 513,900 units in 2017 due to weak activity in Ontario, after the province in April announced measures such as a foreign buyers tax to cool the market.

However, the association expects the national average price of a home to rise this year to $510,400, up 4.2 per cent compared to 2016.

While November sales activity in the Greater Toronto Area was down significantly compared to a year earlier, other large markets posted annual gains, including Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Montreal.

BMO economist Robert Kavcic noted that the adjustment in the Toronto market is ongoing.

“But strong underlying supply-demand fundamentals should prove supportive next year once the remaining froth gets worked off,” he wrote in a note to clients.

“In all likelihood, Bank of Canada rate hikes and the coming rule changes from OSFI should keep the froth from returning. Elsewhere, look for continued strength in Ottawa and Montreal, stability in Alberta and an ongoing supply-demand struggle in Vancouver.”


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Listen to the experts, stop ignoring hospital overcrowding crisis

Posted on 22 December 2017 by admin

Horwath releases new overcrowding information for Hamilton hospital

QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has been fighting to end hospital overcrowding in communities all over the province for months. On Wednesday, Horwath demanded again that Kathleen Wynne take action, just as Ontario’s Hospitals weighed in, saying that they are facing an “imminent capacity crisis.”

“Kathleen Wynne has ignored the experts repeatedly when it comes to hospital care,” said Horwath. “She refuses to listen to patients and their families. She refuses to listen to doctors, nurses and front-line health care workers. And now she’s refusing to listen to the Ontario Hospital Association. This is about patients waiting in agony, treatments being delayed and people having their health and dignity impacted by hallway medicine. This is about people’s lives. We can’t let Kathleen Wynne let us down again.”

As she has done repeatedly throughout the year, Horwath released the overcrowding numbers from yet another hospital Wednesday. Obtained via Freedom of Information laws, Horwath revealed that St. Joseph’s Health Care Hamilton was over 105 per cent occupancy every single day between June and October, reaching a high of 139 per cent. That means as many as 34 unfunded beds every day, and patients being left in spaces that don’t have access to proper washrooms or nurse call bells.

According to the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA), a substantial investment is needed to fix the crisis. The OHA released a budget submission Wednesday called A Sector on the Brink: The Case for a Significant investment in Ontario’s Hospitals.

“We know that there are already thousands of patients lining the hallways of our hospitals all across this province – and the OHA is saying that without a major investment – a major course change from the years of cuts – it will only get worse,” said Horwath.

Patrick Brown’s campaign platform vows to cut another $6.1 billion in jobs and services, and includes no investment into easing hospital overcrowding. The last Conservative government fired 6,000 nurses and closed 28 hospitals.

Horwath has committed to fund hospitals, at a minimum, to the rate of inflation, population growth and to meet the unique needs of the community around the hospital.

“Hospitals are in bad shape and patients are hurting, but it doesn’t have to be this way,” said Horwath. “We can do so much better, and families deserve to have some hope. It’s time for a premier that is focused on ending the gridlock and cutting wait times for everyone.”


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Kareena, Karisma, Malaika dazzle at pre-Christmas bash

Posted on 22 December 2017 by admin

On 14th Dec Thursday night, Malaika Arora threw a pre-Christmas bash at her residence and it saw many Bollywood beauties like Kareena Kapoor Khan, Karisma Kapoor, Amrita Arora and many others.

The party was also attended by Karan Johar, Sohail Khan’s wife Seema Khan, Sanjay Kapoor’s wife Maheep Kapoor and Chunky Pandey’s wife Bhavana Pandey. The photos from the bash was shared by Karisma Kapoor, Amrita Arora, Seema Khan and others on their social media accounts.

Kareena looked stunning in a stunning white IKAI dress, styled by Eshaa Amiin. Karisma Kapoor turned up for the party in a black top and polka dot skirt.

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