Proposed class action against Uber can proceed appeal court rules

first_imgTORONTO — A proposed class-action lawsuit against the ride-hailing company Uber filed by one of its drivers will go ahead after Ontario’s top court reversed a lower court decision that would have sent the matter to arbitration overseas.In a ruling released Wednesday, the Court of Appeal for Ontario says a clause in Uber’s services agreement that requires all disputes to go through arbitration in the Netherlands amounts to illegally outsourcing an employment standard and therefore cannot stand.It further concludes that the clause takes advantage of the significant power and financial disparity between Uber and its drivers, who would bear up to US$14,500 in filing fees just to begin the arbitration process, no matter the amount at stake in the dispute.“I believe that it can be safely concluded that Uber chose this arbitration clause in order to favour itself and thus take advantage of its drivers, who are clearly vulnerable to the market strength of Uber,” the appeal court said. “It is a reasonable inference that Uber did so knowingly and intentionally.”The lawsuit, which claims Uber drivers are employees rather than contractors and thus subject to Ontario’s labour legislation, had been stayed earlier this year by a motion judge who found Uber drivers were bound by the arbitration clause.The three-judge appeal panel says the motion judge erred on several points, including in considering the arbitration clause like the kind seen in “normal commercial contracts” where the parties are relatively equal in power and sophistication.A spokesman for Uber Canada says the company will be reviewing the appeal ruling.The appeal court ruling does not deal with the claims made in the lawsuit, which will be tested in civil court. Nor does it rule on whether the suit qualifies as a class action. The man behind the suit, David Heller, is a 35-year-old driver for UberEats, a service that calls on drivers to deliver food from restaurants to Uber customers. He argues that Uber drivers are employees, which makes them entitled to a minimum wage, vacation pay and other protections under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act.The appeal court said the law prohibits employers from contracting out employment standards.It also found that a provision that allows workers to file complaints against an employer with the Ministry of Labour constitutes an employment standard. And so, in requiring disputes to go to arbitration, Uber’s services agreement is illegally contracting out the employment standard that establishes a mechanism to deal with complaints, and depriving Heller of the right to have the ministry investigate his complaint, the ruling said.“This is of some importance for, among other reasons, if a complaint is made then the Ministry of Labour bears the burden of investigating the complaint. That burden does not fall on the appellant. Under the arbitration clause, of course, the appellant would bear the entire burden of proving his claim,” the decision read.The fact that Heller chose to file a lawsuit rather than complain to the ministry doesn’t change that finding, the appeal court said.The arbitration clause is invalid regardless of his decision, it said, and both a complaint to the ministry and a proposed class-action would rule on the issue publicly and for all Uber drivers — unlike arbitration, which would affect only him and do so privately.The court also found that the arbitration clause “represents a substantially improvident or unfair bargain” in that it disproportionately favours Uber in any dispute brought by its drivers.“It requires an individual with a small claim to incur the significant costs of arbitrating that claim … the fees for which are out of all proportion to the amount that may be involved. And the individual has to incur those costs upfront,” the court said.The evidence showed that starting arbitration costs the applicant roughly US$14,500, which does not include the costs of travel, accommodation or counsel, the appeal panel said.“These costs are to be contrasted with the appellant’s claim for minimum wage, overtime, vacation pay and the like brought by a person earning $400-$600 per week,” it said.“Additionally, the arbitration clause requires each claimant to individually arbitrate his/her claim and to do so in Uber’s home jurisdiction, which is otherwise completely unconnected to where the drivers live, and to where they perform their duties. Still further, it requires the rights of the drivers to be determined in accordance with the laws of the Netherlands, not the laws of Ontario, and the drivers are given no information as to what the laws of the Netherlands are,” it said.The court has ordered Uber to pay Heller his costs for the appeal, a total of $20,000.Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Toronto home sales to slip but remain vulnerable to overvaluation experts

first_imgTORONTO – Continued signs of overheating in some cities leaves Canada’s housing market highly vulnerable for the sixth straight quarter, the federal housing agency said Tuesday as the country’s largest real estate board predicted another year of rising prices.The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said Tuesday that the country could fall prey to market instability. The cities of Toronto, Hamilton, Victoria and Vancouver are its greatest source of concern.“This assessment is a result of the detection of moderate evidence of price acceleration and moderate evidence of overvaluation,” CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan said.He noted that Manitoba, Quebec, and the Atlantic provinces are faring better than their Ontarian and British Columbian counterparts and that Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Regina are seeing rashes of overbuilding, but house prices there are in line with the population and its income.He stressed that across the country there are only “weak” signs of overbuilding and overheating — a problem that has plagued the Greater Toronto Area in recent years.The agency’s observations came the same day the Toronto Real Estate Board reported an 18 per cent drop in annual sales last year as the market started to cool from previous overheated conditions.In its annual forecast released Tuesday, the board said it expects home sales this year to slip to somewhere between 85,000 and 95,0000, slightly lower than 2017 when there were 92,394 sales.However, the real estate board also forecast that the average home will sell for between $800,000 and $850,000 — similar to TREB’s prediction for 2017.“The midpoint of that range suggests a slight increase in the average selling price this year,” it said in the report.The average selling price reached $822,681 last year.The market is being dampened by the Ontario government’s moves to stabilize housing conditions after 2017 saw a busy first quarter, another interest rate hike from the Bank of Canada in January, a rise in five-year fixed mortgage rates and a new mortgage stress test brought in Jan.1.“Federal and provincial policy decisions will act as a drag on demand for ownership housing,” TREB predicted in a Tuesday release.“In response to the stress test, many intending buyers will change the type and/or location of home they are looking to purchase or potentially tap other down payment sources, rather than simply deciding not to purchase a home.”TREB’s forecast comes about two weeks after the Canadian Real Estate Association slashed its outlook for 2018 to predict a 5.3 per cent drop in national sales to 486,600 units this year. When compared with previous estimates, that’s a drop of 8,500 units.At the time, CREA said it was already seeing signs that the country was “fully recovering” from last year’s surge in home prices that sent the market into a frenzy.TREB and CREA’s predicted Toronto slowdown is unlikely to seep across the country, TD Canada Trust economists Michael Dolega and Rishi Sondhi said in a note to investors on Tuesday.They found Atlantic markets are looking positive “with the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador, owing to a continued influx of international migrants.”In Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, they expect higher mortgage rates will lengthen the time needed for sales to recover and dampen activity, but Quebec will “enjoy a relatively healthy performance.”However, they added, the recent mortgage regulations “coupled with higher rates will meaningfully weaken housing demand in the high priced Toronto and Vancouver markets, leading to softer activity in Ontario and B.C.”last_img read more

Sohi defends Liberal infrastructure plan says 20000 projects underway

first_imgOTTAWA – The Liberals’ multibillion-dollar plan to spur the economy through work on the country’s roads, bridges, transit and water systems is rolling out as planned, Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi said Thursday as he defended the government’s strategy by outlining details of work to date.Federal officials say 82 per cent of the $11.8 billion set aside in the Liberals’ first budget has been allocated to 28,000 projects. Approximately 20,000 projects, valued at $9.4 billion, are underway, based on reports from provinces and cities.The details of how much the federal government has doled out for those projects will be known later this year after federal workers close the books on the recently completed fiscal year. Less clear is how much cities and provinces have spent to date on the various construction, upgrade and rehabilitation projects which the first phase of spending was supposed to fund.Parliament’s budget watchdog in a report late last month said the government’s economic growth projections from the money had slipped as spending has been delayed, and warned economic gains could be wiped out by 2022 thanks to expected increases in interest rates.Sohi argued that the spending he oversees has helped prod some economic growth in the short-term, but much of it won’t be realized for years to come.“Infrastructure investments are about long-term opportunities. They act as a catalyst for economic growth,” he said.“The LRT (light rail transit) system being built today may not create as much economic growth, but they enable people to move quicker, they enable people to get to work on time and get home on time, they improve our productivity and reduce congestion. So all those things act as a stimulus for economic opportunities and economic growth.”As for the delays in spending, Sohi suggested they were natural. The program, he said “has been rolled out as we had anticipated and is being delivered as we’ve anticipated.”Conservative infrastructure critic Michael Chong said the government was missing its growth targets because it wasn’t properly managing the program, nor spending the money according to schedule. He called the update on the infrastructure plan “more spin from the government.”“Every month or so we seem to get another version of what’s going on. The fact remains that they’re not spending the money they committed to,” Chong said.“They can talk about … the money is being spent at the provincial and municipal level and will be reimbursed at some future date, but the fact remains the federal government is not getting the money out the door that they committed to and this has real life, real-world implications.”Sohi’s briefing was designed to let the government take stock of the work done to date on dozens of infrastructure programs that, together, total $186.7 billion over 12 years and are overseen by 14 federal departments and agencies.Sohi said it makes sense to have more than a dozen federal organizations involved in distributing the money because the government wants to leverage their expertise, rather than duplicate efforts inside Infrastructure Canada.The first phase of the infrastructure plan was to deliver $14.4 billion through 34 programs detailed in the Liberals’ first budget in 2016.Sohi extended the deadline for finishing projects to 2020 after provinces, territories and cities said they would have a hard time completing work by now.The second phase will see $81.2 billion over the next decade through 24 new programs, 13 of which have yet to launch. The Liberals are finalizing spending agreements with provinces that, once signed, will lock in the spending, Sohi said.NDP infrastructure critic Brigitte Sansoucy said despite the numbers, the government has yet to provide specific infrastructure funding assigned to projects in the last two budgets.“Like the (parliamentary budget officer) report pointed out, it really does seem like the Liberals don’t have a plan,” she said in a statement.Sohi also said that the Liberals soon expect to announce the first permanent CEO of the Canada Infrastructure Bank, a new federal agency created to finance revenue-generating projects like subway lines that have private sector backers. He said there are a number of projects that the agency is reviewing, but details are not being made public for the moment.— Follow @jpress on Twitter.last_img read more

Canfor announces curtailments for BC Sawmills due to very poor lumber markets

first_imgThe curtailments will reduce production output by approximately 200 million board feet and are scheduled to run from June 17 through to July 26. VANCOUVER, B.C. – Canfor Corporation announced on Monday, June 10, that it will be curtailing operations at the majority of its British Columbian Sawmills.According to Canfor, mills will be curtailed for two weeks or the equivalent, with extended curtailments of four weeks at Houston and Plateau, and six weeks at Mackenzie.Canfor says the curtailments are due to very poor lumber markets and the high cost of fibre, which are making the operating conditions in B.C. uneconomic.last_img read more

Vatican Chooses Hope as Motto for Pope Francis Visit to Morocco

Rabat – The Vatican has chosen a logo for Pope Francis’s upcoming visit to Morocco scheduled for March 30-31.The visit came at the request of King Mohammed VI. The pope will visit Rabat and Casablanca on his 26th visit outside Italy. The Vatican chose “Servant of Hope” as the motto of the pope’s upcoming visit to Morocco because he “is known as the Servant of the Servants of God,” Vatican News reported January 8. The motto is shown under Pope Francis’ name The Vatican selected the logo out of 50 logos in a competition.The logo features symbols of “a cross and a crescent” representing Christianity and Islam. It highlights “the interreligious relations between Christians and Muslims.”The logo has the colors red and green which symbolizes Morocco’s flag and yellow and white as background colors for the Vatican.It also shows the name “Morocco” written in Arabic as an honor to the Arabic-speaking country for hosting the pope.The logo has the colors red and green which symbolizes Morocco’s flag and yellow and white as background colors for the Vatican.Prior to his two-day visit to Morocco, the pope plans to visit the UAE February 3-5. In an address to diplomats on Monday in the Vatican, Pope Francis said that his visits to the UAE and Morocco “represent two important opportunities to advance interreligious dialogue and mutual understanding between the followers of both religions.”Read Also: Moroccan Christians Wish to Welcome Pope Francis with Public PrayersIn November 2018, Rabat’s Archbishop Cristobal Lopez wrote a letter to Christians in Morocco on Pope Francis’s visit to Morocco.Lopez explained that the pope wants to meet the people of Morocco and “His Majesty the King, in the spirit of an interreligious Islam-Christian dialogue,” which both sides seek to promote.The pope’s visit will be the second of its kind from a pope to Morocco after the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1985. King Hassan II invited Pope John Paul II as an opportunity to build a bridge between Muslims and Christians. read more

UN agricultural agency and European Union step up efforts to combat illegal

The agreement, which was formalized by the two organizations today in Rome, is expected to not only reduce the environmental impacts of illegal logging and mitigate climate change, but also boost the incomes and food security of forest communities by improving access to domestic and international wood markets, FAO said in a press release. Participating in the activities in Rome were Veronique Lorenzo of the European Commission Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, and René Castro Salazar, FAO Assistant Director-General for Forestry, who highlighted that the efforts will support the next phase of FAO’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) programme, set to run through 2020. “Thanks to global initiatives like FLEGT, illegal timber production has declined by an estimated 22 percent since 2002,” said Mr. Castro. “The new FLEGT phase offers an important opportunity for lesson sharing across sectors, as it has become increasingly clear that broad partnerships are and will be needed to achieve the global impact that is necessary to reduce forest loss, food vulnerability and mitigate climate change.” That $30 million sum includes approximately $18 million from the EU, $7.25 million from the United Kingdom and $5.3 million from the Swedish Government, FAO said. The agency emphasized that illegal logging and associated trade costs governments an estimated $10 billion to $15 billion per year in lost tax revenues, and undermines people’s livelihoods and robs them of income and food. In addition, it is responsible for the degradation of large swathes of carbon-rich forests and vital wildlife habitats, contributing to climate change and biodiversity loss. Focus on empowering small farmersA key part of the new phase involves greater collaboration with both big and small private-sector entities, in both producer and consumer countries, to address some of the bottlenecks to producing legal timber. This will involve looking specifically at empowering small and medium forest enterprises in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia, which employ some 140 million people worldwide. The idea is to help them to “go legal,” gain access to green markets and become active participants in the sustainable management of forest resources, FAO said. “New evidence confirms that FLEGT has led to improved forest governance in all targeted countries,” said. Ms. Lorenzo. “FAO continues to make a significant contribution by providing technical assistance and resources to stakeholders. This new phase is expected to scale up this work in strategic countries, in particular by engaging the private sector.” Piloting new technologies to track timberTo date, the FAO FLEGT programme has supported more than 200 projects in some 40 tropical timber producing countries throughout Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia. Some of the most promising initiatives being piloted involve using new technologies to efficiently track the origin of wood. “We’ve achieved a lot, but there is more work to be done, said Julia Falconer, Senior Forestry Advisor at the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom (DFID). “Building on the success of previous phases, FAO will help smallholder wood producers, who often have difficulties verifying compliance with legality standards, gain access to green markets and improve their livelihoods.” In Colombia, for example, the programme is supporting the use of digital android applications to strengthen tracking and control mechanisms by environmental authorities and guide consumers in purchasing legal and sustainable timber. Similarly, a logging vehicle tracking system is being piloted by a partner non-governmental organization in the Congo Basin countries – including Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo – to intercept illegal timber at different stages in the forest supply chain, facilitating monitoring efforts by forestry authorities and improving accountability and traceability. FAO highlighted that owing to the multiple contributions of forests to provide jobs and income, food and medicine, and critical environmental services, the world’s new international development agenda includes their sustainable management as one of the targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. FAO Assistant Director-General for Forestry René Castro Salazar (left) and Veronique Lorenzo of the European Commission Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, at the agreement ceremony at FAO headquarters in Rome. Photo: FAO/Alessia Pierdomenico read more

Ohio State defense trying to get the identity of the Silver Bullets

Co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chris Ash (left) talks to his players during spring practice March 4 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorOhio State football coach Urban Meyer brought Chris Ash to Columbus to fill the glaring holes in a Buckeye secondary that ranked 112th nationally in passing yards allowed last season. When Ash’s first Silver Bullet defense takes the field Aug. 30, the secondary will have an entirely new look, but not because Ash necessarily wants it that way. He has no other choice.OSU’s new co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach inherited a pass defense only returning one full-time starter in senior cornerback Doran Grant after losing standouts in cornerback Bradley Roby and safety Christian Bryant.The secondary is inexperienced. Besides Grant, only three other defensive backs have started a game in their careers — sophomore safety Tyvis Powell (five), junior cornerback Armani Reeves (three) and sophomore safety Vonn Bell (one).With so little experience and redshirt-freshmen Eli Apple, Gareon Conley, Jayme Thompson and Chris Worley all looking to play a role in the secondary next year, Ash said the depth chart is completely wide open at this point.“Everybody’s going to be competing all the way through training camp for those spots, because nobody’s proven back there,” Ash said Thursday after OSU’s fourth practice of the spring.Though he wants his players to be aggressive, Ash said he wants to see them consistently nail the basics.“We’re going to be executors about what we do and it’s going to be about the effort, the fundamentals and consistency,” Ash said. “The way you get great effort and minimize mental errors is simplicity — be simple with your approach and do what you do extremely well and then you can branch off from there.”At the safety position, Bell made his first career start in the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl and seemed to be a front-runner to fill that spot before injuring his MCL in the Buckeyes’ first practice. He had knee surgery in early March and is slated to miss the rest of spring practices and the Spring Game, but is expected back for May workouts.Sophomore Cam Burrows, a backup cornerback last season before moving to safety this spring, is taking the reps Bell would have had during spring practices, Ash said.“Cam Burrows has stepped in, he’s taken advantage of the opportunity and done a great job. Vonn will be healthy soon and we’re going to have a great competition for those safety positions,” Ash said.Burrows said in his transition to safety, he still uses the same skills he used as a cornerback last year, only his approach to the play has changed.“I’m still a DB, I can still move and my hips are still good,” Burrows said Thursday. “As a corner, you’ve got to get out and play the deep and react (to) the short but at safety, you’re already back there so you just got to slow it down.”Bell and Burrows are expected to play alongside Powell, who also made the switch from cornerback to safety for the Orange Bowl. Ash said Powell possesses many aspects of a star safety.“The obvious is he’s long, he’s tall, he can run, he’s got great ball skills, he’s a very smart player, he’s got really good football IQ,” Ash said. “Up to this point, Tyvis competes. He’s smart, and (he’s) got a little bit of everything.”Ash said Burrows’ and Powell’s backgrounds at cornerback should prove beneficial for them in his style of defense.“Anytime you can get big corners like that — they have good feet and hips and can run, that have some toughness — I mean, it’s outstanding. They’re the model of what we would like to recruit here,” Ash said.If the unit wants to live up to the longtime tradition of hard-nosed Buckeye defenses, Powell said the secondary has to be far more aggressive.“We’re basically just trying to get the identity of the Silver Bullets back, just flying around to the ball, hitting hard, running fast,” Powell said.OSU is scheduled to take on Navy Aug. 30 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Kickoff is set for noon. read more

With starting lineup set depth is still a concern for Ohio State

OSU cheerleaders lead OSU football players out of the field at Ohio Stadium prior to the annual Spring Game on April 18. Team Gray defeated Team Scarlet, 17-14. Credit: Muyao Shen / Lantern photographer Despite playing with what coach Urban Meyer called a “makeshift offensive line” during Saturday’s Spring Game, members of the Ohio State football team had nothing but positive things to say about where the starting five blockers are at.And with four of the five starters from last season’s national championship team back in the fold, it is easy to see why.Senior Taylor Decker, redshirt-junior Pat Elflein, redshirt-sophomore Billy Price and senior Jacoby Boren all return as members of the “slobs,” the nickname given to the starting offensive line unit.Only departed tackle Darryl Baldwin’s job was up for grabs before the spring. Meyer announced after the Spring Game, however, that it now belongs to redshirt-senior Chase Farris.“Chase Farris has earned his way, he’s a starting right tackle at Ohio State,” Meyer said.Offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Ed Warinner said having a successful season under a group’s belt is the best thing for an offensive line unit.“It’s amazing how much linemen get better in the offseason, because now they have a visual picture of how it all works,” he said. “Now, when they work on things, it just seems to make sense.”One player who Meyer and Warinner both said they feel has benefited the most from the offseason is Price, whom Meyer described as “night and day” from where he was last fall.“Billy has confidence now,” Warinner said. “Confidence comes from playing well in big games down the stretch. He’s so much further along in his development and where he’s at right now.“Billy’s just so confident in what he’s supposed to do and how he’s supposed to do it and now it just shows.”Price said OSU’s three postseason games marked a turning point in his playing career.“Those final three games, something clicked. When we played Wisconsin, and the whole offensive line’s a cohesive unit, and we continued that into Alabama and continued that into Oregon, it just felt like something finally clicked,” Price said.Despite Boren being held out of the Spring Game as he recovers from offseason surgery, Warinner said he has complete faith in the senior.“Jacoby’s great,” Warinner said. “Rehab’s good, work ethic’s great, leadership’s great, so expect him to be full speed sometime this summer, ready to be his best.”Warinner said sometimes the best practice an offensive lineman can get is competing with his own teammates on the other side of the ball. That can be especially beneficial for OSU — which features some of the best practice a player can find in Associated Press first-team All-American and junior defensive lineman Joey Bosa.“(Elflein) goes against Bosa on a daily basis, and that’s helped him grow and his confidence level,” Warinner said.While the five starting linemen have the full faith of the coaching staff, Meyer expressed some concern about the players waiting in the wings.“The area (of worry) is the offensive line. That’s the problem,” Meyer said. “And once again, not the starters, because I feel good (about them) … I’m very alarmed by the second group of offensive linemen right now.”Price said he feels like a lot of the responsibility in shaping the second unit to be ready to come in on the drop of a hat falls on the starters.“Working with younger guys, it’s like playing with clay,” Price said. “You get to mold them. As older players like Taylor, Pat and Jacoby, you get to really, really show what type of leadership we have in the room, and to fully develop those guys to become part of the ‘slobs.’”The “slobs” are set to look to carry over their strong play from last season’s title run when OSU opens its season against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., on Sept. 7. read more

Henriques report Met Police in the dock as review finds string of

first_imgSenior Scotland Yard detectives have been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commissionafter a damning report into the Met’s handling of Operation Midland found a string of “significant failings”.Publishing his review into the way the force investigated allegations of VIP sex abuse, Sir Richard Henriques, identified more than 40 areas of concern. Harvey Proctor lost his home and job after Nick's allegations Sir Richard also reviewed another investigation, Operation Vincente, an inquiry into a separate allegation that Lord Brittan raped a 19-year-old woman.He found it “involved a grave error of judgment” and it was “obvious” while the peer was still alive that there was not enough evidence to charge him.”It was also manifest that he was very poorly. I am in no doubt that he should have been informed during his lifetime that no action would be taken,” the former judge found. In a devastating verdict on the Met’s conduct, Sir Richard said the principle complainant in the case, who is known only as ‘Nick’, should not have been described as “credible and true” and should not have been automatically believed from the outset.The report revealed that not only were his extraordinary allegations believed from the outset, detectives even helped him make a claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)Nick, will now be investigated by Northumbria Police, over an allegation of attempting to pervert the course of justice.Operation Midland was launched in December 2014 after a man in his 40s told police he had been raped and abused by a cabal of powerful figures including MPs and senior military figures.The allegations centered around Dolphin Square in central London, where a number of MPs have flats.Nick claimed that not only had he been abused but he had also witnessed the murders of three young boys. Lord Bramall's home was searched by 20 detectives Lord and Lady Brittan had they homes searchedCredit:John Stillwell In the letter Sir Bernard admitted that the Met had not done enough to “test the credibility” of the complainant.The letter went on: “While it was right that the allegations had to be investigated, the effect of the approach adopted was to unnecessarily prolong the length of the investigation.”Mr Proctor issued a statement in which he said he accepted the apology and hoped lessons would be learned from the glaring mistakes made by Operation Midland.He said: “This apology does not detract from the adverse effect and hurt of Operation Midland on my life and me personally. I hope the police in such cases in future will always test the credibility of a complainant before someone is thrust into the public limelight.”Responding to the report: Sir Bernard said: “I fully recognise that Mr Proctor, Lord Brittan and Lord Bramall are innocent of the offences of which they were accused of by the Operation Midland complainant. That investigation found no credible evidence against any of the suspects.”In a statement Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse, who was in overall charge of the investigation said: “I do not believe that I, or indeed any officer within Operation Midland, have committed any misconduct.”While it is right that lessons should be learned from Operation Midland I want to emphasize that my colleagues and I investigated the allegations made with the best of intentions.” Lord and Lady Brittan had they homes searched Sir Bernard Hogan Howe has apologised Sir Richard’s damning report has identified a string of police failings As a result of the allegations police mounted raids on the homes of Lord Bramall, the former head of the army, Lord Brittan, the former Home Secretary and Harvey Proctor, the former Tory MP.In his report, Sir Richard said the decision to search their homes had been a “grave error of judgment” given that by that stage there were already inconsistencies in Nick’s story.He said the district judge who issued the search warrants had been misled by detectives over the credibility of Nick’s allegations.Sir Richard said: “The gravity of a judge being misled in such circumstances cannot be overstated.”Sir Richard also expressed alarm at the fact that every piece of paper in Lord Bramall’s home was examined, including letters of commiseration and even golden wedding invitations.center_img Sir Bernard Hogan Howe has apologised Harvey Proctor lost his home and job after Nick’s allegationsCredit:Paul Grover Sir Leon Brittan, who was investigated over rape allegations, was not informed he was in the clear before his death Lord Bramall’s home was searched by 20 detectivesCredit:Ian Jones Despite finding no evidence of any wrongdoing by any of those accused during a 14-month inquiry, Sir Bernard had refused to say sorry to Mr Proctor, insisting that it was the police’s job to investigate complaints.But just hours before a damning report into the Metropolitan Police’s handling of Operation Midland by retired High Court Judge, Sir Richard Henriques, was due to be made public, he wrote to Mr Proctor to offer an unreserved apology.He also stated that it had been wrong to mount a raid on Mr Proctor’s home.  Sir Leon Brittan, who was investigated over rape allegations, was not informed he was in the clear before his death Referring to the search of Lord Brittan’s home in North Yorkshire he said: “Officers conducted the search as if looking for bodies or body parts.”Five detectives have now been referred to the IPCC, which will assess whether any disciplinary proceedings will follow.Hours before the findings were made public, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe formally apologised to Mr Proctor for his ordeal.Mr Proctor lost his home and his job as a result of the allegations and the subsequent police investigation. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Sir Richard's damning report has identified a string of police failingslast_img read more

Drunk driver arrested after crashing while approaching garda checkpoint

first_imgDrunk driver arrested after crashing while approaching garda checkpoint Two people were arrested in the Thor Operation checkpoint. Source: An Garda Síochána/Twitter Sunday 4 Dec 2016, 12:22 PM Dec 4th 2016, 12:22 PM 35,727 Views Two people were arrested in the Thor Operation checkpoint at Mayorstone and Henry Street.Read: Emergency services attending fatal crash in Waterford> By Cliodhna Russell Share Tweet Email center_img A DRUNK DRIVER has been arrested after crashing while approaching a garda checkpoint.The incident happened in Limerick last night.Gardaí also posted photos of notes that were put on disk holders in a number cars.One read “Insurance disk in the post”, while another said, “Car just purchased, waiting on documents”. Short URL 35 Comments Mayorstone & Henry St Op.Thor checkpoint, few detections, 2 arrests. Drunk driver crashed approaching checkpoint— An Garda Síochána (@GardaTraffic) December 4, 2016 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Vancouver man 22 dies in singlevehicle Interstate 5 crash

first_imgA 22-year-old Vancouver man died when he lost control of his pickup truck Sunday night on southbound Interstate 5.Mason H. Salvador was not wearing a seat belt, according to a Washington State Patrol crash memo.Salvador was driving a Toyota Tacoma pickup in the right exit-only lane at Milepost 2.9, approaching Main Street, shortly after 9 p.m. He lost control and veered across all southbound lanes before striking the jersey barrier and a light pole, according to the memo. Then, the truck rolled over the barrier and into the left lane of northbound I-5.The light pole came to rest on the truck, troopers said.Salvador was pronounced dead at the scene.Troopers said it is unknown if drugs or alcohol were a factor, and they listed speeding as the cause of the crash.last_img read more

TV show on local child sextrafficking to air

first_imgAn “America’s Most Wanted” episode featuring a child sex-trafficking sting in Vancouver will air June 1, a TV show producer said Thursday.Producers and cameramen with the long-running TV show were in Vancouver on May 2 and joined the Vancouver Police Department for a sting called “Operation Rescue and Restore” to apprehend pimps who traffic underage girls. No arrests were made, though investigators did take into protective custody a 5-year-old girl belonging to a prostitute.A longtime Saturday night fixture on the Fox channel, the show now airs on Friday nights on the Lifetime cable channel. The special on human trafficking will feature efforts by several law enforcement agencies throughout the United States.last_img read more

Weather Eye After warm weather this week a change to autumn

first_imgWe managed to tally another 90-degree Tuesday and Wednesday, with record-high temperatures in some areas. At 4 p.m. Wednesday, Vancouver was steaming at 95 degrees. Tuesday’s high was 91.Seattle was toasty at 91 degrees at 4 p.m. Wednesday, hot indeed for Puget Sound, especially this time of the year. The old record was 87 set in 2009.More warm weather is in the offing through Saturday, with highs today dipping slightly below 90 degrees and then in the 80s before we see a change in the weather Sunday. Cooler air will invade the region Sunday, a good chance of thunderstorms pop up from the Coast Range to the Cascades, then the likelihood of light rain or showers through the early part of next week — the change to autumn weather we spoke of earlier.It’s difficult to talk about what happens next because computer forecast models were a bit hazy Wednesday afternoon. No worries; we have several nice days to enjoy before we worry about inclement weather.I mentioned the other day about the quiet Atlantic hurricane season. Well, as of Wednesday afternoon, we had Hurricane Humberto moving out in the open Atlantic Ocean with 85 mph winds and no threat. Then there is tropical storm Gabrielle with 40 mph winds, and still well off the East Coast and heading toward Nova Scotia.Despite the HOT weather and the calendar, one can really tell we are in the change of seasons. It just plain feels like fall — so calm, leaves turning, crickets and grasshoppers dilly dallying.last_img read more

Jason Wagenheim Named Glamour VPPublisher

first_imgThis article first appears in FOLIO: sister site  Jason Wagenheim, just 9½ months into his stint as publisher of Time Inc.’s Entertainment Weekly, is returning to Condé Nast with his hire as Glamour VP/publisher. Announcement was made this morning (Sept. 8) by CN publishing director Bill Wackermann, who had served as the monthly’s publisher since May 2004 but had made known his intentions to cede it now that his supervisory responsibilities have extended to Bon Appétit, Details and W.At EW, Wagenheim had reported to Time Inc. Style and Entertainment Group president and corporate chief revenue officer Paul Caine. Ad pages through the Sept. 9-16 “Fall TV Preview” were up fractionally, which is good considering the economy and EW celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2010 with ad pages up 19%.Wagenheim’s CN star had risen during his 2008-2010 tenure as Vanity Fair associate publisher under VP/publisher (since Sept. 2006) Edward Menicheschi. There, he was credited for establishing VF’s successful integrated marketing program. He is also a past Condé Nast Media Group executive director and Condé Nast Traveler associate publisher.last_img read more

Sitka commemorates relationship with Japanese sister city

first_imgSitka has a sister city in Nemuro , Japan. Like Sitka, Nemuro is an ocean-facing fishing port, but bigger – about 30,000 people to Sitka’s 10,000. And on Monday, Nemuro citizens visited Sitka’s city hall to commemorate their decades long relationship.Download AudioCape Nosappu in Nemuro, Japan (Creative commons photo by Douglas P. Perkins)If you were to trace your finger on a map, starting in Sitka and moving downward across the Pacific Ocean, you could draw a direct line to our sister city, Nemuro. And the connection is embodied in one man: Atsuo Tsunoda.“I’ve been coordinating the relationship between the City of Sitka and Nemuro since I moved to Sitka in 1978,” Tsunoda said.Tsunoda is a neatly dressed man and the most cheerful translator I’ve ever met, gracefully bridging communication between city staff and the Japanese delegation.“In the group is Mr. Honda and Mrs. Honda,” said Tsunoda.The group included Nemuro assembly member Toshiharu Honda, who last visited Sitka in 1999 with the all-Japanese East Point Jazz Orchestra for Alaska Day.“He dreams to repeat the visit again,” Tsunoda said. “And this is actually dreams come true.”Mr. Honda was joined by his wife Kimiko and four friends: Kunihiro Kobayashi, Yuuko Kobayashi, Emiko Nakamura, and Nanako Karibe. The occasion? Commemorating 40 years as Sitka’s sister city. At a press conference Monday  morning (04-01-16), city administrator Mark Gorman and mayor Mim McConnell opened piles of gifts. Guidebooks and Taiko drumming sticks wrapped in pink crepe paper. One of the Nemuro citizens, Kunihiro Kobayashi, presented a calendar of paintings he made himself.“Wonderful,” McConnell said. “He’s an artist.”“Artist, yes!” confirmed Tsunoda.“He’s got an Henri Matisse look,” Gormam said. “Did you see that?”In return, Gorman presented a print of a raven and an eagle – the two moieties of the Tlingit tribe.“This is the land of the Tlingit people and so we share this image with our sister city,” declared Gorman.The two groups then split bottles of Sitka-made root beer and chatted, while their translator Tsunoda took a break. Turns out, the two cities have been partnered in business since the 1970s – when a man named Masao Masuzawa, then Board Director of the Nemuro Fishermen’s Association, visited Sitka.“Nemuro is very strong in the seafood business and Sitka is also very strong,” Tsunoda said.The two cities became officially linked in 1975, through the timber industry as well.Tsunoda is really organized and he produced a neatly printed timeline, detailing the diplomatic relationship between the two cities across the decades. The Baranof Bluegrass Band performed for Nemuro audiences in 1980. High schools students were pen pals in 1993. But after that big Alaska Day visit in 1999, the Nemuro-Sitka relationship waned. Tsunoda said it’s probably because of changes in the global economy.“Japan’s economy is kind of fried,” said Tsunoda. “The fishing industry tied up our relationship to Sitka. But as you know Sitka Sound Seafood – the other industry – they catch most of the herring to Japan so those businesses still continue.”Tsunoda makes an effort to come to Sitka every April for herring eggs, a delicacy known as kazunoko in Japan. He was an employee of the Pulp Mill from 1978 until it’s closure. And he says this visit – initiated by Mr. Honda- is an attempt to revive diplomatic relationships between citizens, all business aside.“Business has kind of slowed down,” Tsunoda said. “But he wants tie up more citizen relationship, especially with young people.”Which is why the group will not be returning to Nemuro without making a stop at Keet Goshi Heen Elementary School to meet with Sitka’s youngest citizens.last_img read more

16th unit of Apple Fridge inaugurated

first_imgBanjara Hills: Musharraf Farooq, Zonal Commissioner, along with Chanda Sreenivas Rao, Director of Caps Gold Private Limited, inaugurated the 16th unit of Apple Fridge at Road No 12, Banjara Hills on Wednesday. Several government officials and team of Apple Fridges graced the occasion. As part of its CSR initiative the Kalasha Fine Jewels supported the joint initiative of ‘Feed the Need’ programme by GHMC & APPLE Fridge to install the 16th Unit of Apple Fridge in Banjara Hills. The objective of the initiative is to encourage and help people donate the excess food items and keep them in these refrigerators for the homeless and needy people. These refrigerators will be accessible to anyone who wishes to have a free meal during any time of the day.last_img read more

Quader insists constitution stipulates polltime govt formula

first_imgAwami League general secretary Obaidul Quader addresses a programme of distributing warm cloths among the destitute at party`s headquarters at Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital. Photo: Focus BanglaIn response to BNP’s allegation that the prime minister’s remark regarding constitutional provision for a poll-time government is misleading, ruling Bangladesh Awami League (AL) general secretary Obaidul Quader on Monday insisted that the constitution stipulates the formula of the election-time government.“Everything is in the constitution. BNP itself is in confusion over the election-time government,” Quader told a programme in front of the party’s headquarters at Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital.The party organised the programme to distribute warm clothes among the destitute.The ruling party general secretary emphatically said his party would not go beyond constitutional provision with regard to the formation of the election-time government.“I’m clearly stating that we’ll not be able to go beyond the constitution.”The AL leader alleged that his party’s rival Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is not giving any “clear position on the next general elections”.“BNP hasn’t given any framework of election-time government as yet. It can give an outline as to what it wants. AL had expected that BNP will give at least a framework of poll-time government.”Also the road transport and bridges minister, Quader said BNP is time and again referring to the controversial 5 January 2014 elections.“There is nothing wrong with democracy here. It’s rather BNP’s political mistake. And that’s why, the issue of uncontested election of MPs comes.”The AL leader claimed that the BNP is in a deep despair.“No matter whatever the prime minister says, BNP’s stand is like a proverb: Faults are thick where love is thin [you find everything wrong with a person whom you do not like].”In a televised address to the nation marking the completion of her government’s four years in office after the controversial 5 January 2014 national elections, AL president and PM Sheikh Hasina on 12 January said an election-time government would be formed as per the constitution which would provide “all-out cooperation” to the election commission to conduct the election.The next day, the BNP said Hasina’s remark about the election-time government is misleading as there is no provision in the current constitution to form such an administration.last_img

12 more killed in a single day as country reels from growing

first_imgRoad AccidentTwelve people, including six members of a family, were killed in road accidents in five districts on Sunday as the country reels from growing road fatalities since Eid-ul-Azha.Of them, eight were killed in a single incident in Cumilla district.A bus crashed into an auto-rickshaw on Cumilla-Noakhali regional highway at Jamtola in Lalmai upazila of Cumilla at noon, killing at least eight people, including six members of a family.The deceased were identified as Jashim Uddin, 47, a hotel owner, his mother Sakhina Begum, 70, wife Selina Begum, 42, two sons—Shipon, 22, and Hridoy, 18, and daughter Nipu Akter, 13, their hotel staff Saimun Hossain hailing from Nangalkot upazila and auto-rickshaw driver Jamal Hossain, 22, of Laksam upazila in the district.Family’s youngest member Rifat, 8, survived the accident with severe injuries. He was sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital for better treatment.The bus smashed the CNG-run auto-rickshaw around 12 noon, leaving five passengers of the three-wheeler dead on the spot and four others injured, said Md Badrul Alam Talukdar, officer-in-charge of Lalmai police station.Three of the injured died while undergoing treatment at Baghmara Health Complex.Police recovered the bodies and sent those to Comilla Medical College Hospital morgue.In Dhaka, a man was killed in a road accident at Uttar Badda in the morning.Shahidul Islam, 45, son of late Saidul Islam of Charikumarpara in Kalmakanda upazila of Netrakona district, was hit by an unknown vehicle, said inspector Bachchu Mia at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) police camp.In Lakshmipur, Ibrahim, son of Abul Khayer of Laxmipur municipality area and an HSC first-year student, was killed as his motorbike fell into a ditch by JB Road in the morning.Md Azizur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Sadar police station, said Ibrahim’s family bought the new motorcycle for him on Saturday afternoon although he was not experienced in driving it.He went out with the motorbike in the morning and it fell into the ditch when he lost control over it, leaving him dead on the spot.On information, police recovered the body and handed it over to the family after a postmortem, the OC added.In Satkhira, a youth – Sagar Hossain, 25, son of Hafi Sardar of Nagarghata village in Patkelghata – was killed in an accident that took place in the district town in the evening.Locals said the deceased along with another youth was riding a motorcycle in the town. At one stage, their motorcycle hit a roadside pillar, leaving the duo critically injured.Being rescued, they were taken to Sadar Hospital where doctors pronounced Sagar dead.Mostafizur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Satkhira Sadar police station, confirmed the incident saying the body was kept at the hospital for autopsy.In Magura, a farmer – Biplab Majumdar, 45, of Nalia village – was killed in head-on collision between a human-hauler and a motorcycle in Shalikha upazila.Tariqul Islam, officer-in-charge of Shalikha police station, said Biplob got tangled between the two vehicles after the collision at Narapati.He was then taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries, the OC said.Meanwhile, a bus plunged into a roadside ditch in Sadar upazila of Kishoreganj around 3:00pm, leaving 19 passengers injured.According to the Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Samity, a passengers’ welfare platform, at least 224 people were killed and 886 others injured in 203 road accidents across the country in 12 days before and after the Eid-ul-Azha.The road accidents took place on different national and regional highways from 6 August to 17 August, according to a report prepared by the organisation.Of the total dead and injured, were 37 drivers, 3 transport workers, 70 women, 22 children, 42 students, 3 journalists, 2 physicians, 8 law enforcers, 3 politicians and 900 others pedestrians.Placing the report at a press conference at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU) in the city, Jatri Kalyan Samity secretary general Mozammel Haque Chowdhury said the number of road crashes and casualties saw a drop during his Eid vacation than that of last year.last_img read more

Best Buys biggest 2011 Black Friday deals

first_imgYou already know that the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, is the time for door-busting deals in the US. What you may not know is that the week before Black Friday is the time for retailers to “accidentally” leak many of those deals in order to generate some advance buzz. Who are we to go against tradition, and not tell you about some of the savings to be had next week?Here are some highlights from Best Buy’s leaked 2011 Black Friday savings:Seasons 1-3 of Mad Men on BluRay – $9 eachBefore you get too excited about this sharp discount on the first few seasons of the award-winning AMC series, you’ll want to know that each store will supposedly only be offering three copies for the discounted price. When you then consider that snagging the episodes of Don Draper and company may require you to camp out overnight, the deal loses a little bit of its luster.As sweet a deal as this is, you might also want to keep in mind that each of these seasons currently retails between $15-19 on Amazon, and they are also available for streaming on Netflix.Batman: Arkham City on PS3 or Xbox 360 – $30This is a great deal on the new Rocksteady title if you can get it — offering $30 off of the full retail price. The selection won’t be quite as limited as the Mad Men deal, with each store supposedly ringing up ten copies of Dark Knight’s critically acclaimed title for $30 a pop.Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception on PS3 – $30Here’s the second Game of the Year candidate that will be selling for $30 on Black Friday. Like Arkham City, there will only be ten copies per store getting the discount.Camping out probably won’t appeal to many people, but if you can snag both the Batman title and Uncharted 3 for a total of $60, that’s almost enough to justify it.Battlefield 3 on PS3 or Xbox 360 – $30Best Buy is pulling out all the stops with their Black Friday video game deals. Battlefield 3 is the third top title of 2011 that you can add to the $30 list.As with the previous games, there will only be ten up for grabs in each store, so you’ll need to storm the store at the break of dawn.160GB PS3 console with LittleBigPlanet 2 and Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One – $200If you’re looking to get a PS3 soon, this could be a great way to save a few bucks — and get LittleBigPlanet 2 and the latest Ratchet & Clank title to boot.Only the first 12 shoppers at each store will be able to save big on this console bundle.250GB Xbox 360 console with Fable III and Halo Reach -$200If you’re more of an Xbox person, then Best Buy has a similar console bundle for you. $200 gets you the 250GB console with Halo:Reach and Fable III.Keep in mind, though, that you’ll have to buy Kinect separately if you want some hands-free motion control action.Like the PS3 bundle, only twelve of these will be racked up per store.Sharp (LC-42SV49U) 42-inch 1080p HDTV – $200This appears to be Best Buy’s biggest HDTV deal this year. The 42-inch 1080p LCD normally retails for $800, but the first ten to get to it will only pay $200.MacBook Pros and iMacs – $60 to $200 offThis one is a little vague, but apparently $60 to $200 will be your discount on a new MacBook Pro or iMac.What that will probably mean is $200 off of the top-of-the-line iMac, and $60 off of the entry-level 13 inch MBP — with every discount in between also corresponding to price.More coming…Be sure to check back as we will be exploring more retailer’s top discounts leading up to the big shopping day.via PCMag and Deal Newslast_img read more

Police shut busy Staffordshire road due to incident

first_imgGet the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailPolice have closed a busy road in East Staffordshire tonight due to an ‘incident’. Horninglow Road in Burton is shut in both directions from Shakespeare Road to Derby Road. Motorists are being asked to seek alternative routes. Police first confirmed they were dealing with the ‘incident’ shortly after 11pm tonight (Tuesday January 22). A Staffordshire Police spokesman said:  “We are currently dealing with an incident on Horninglow Road, Burton-on-Trent, the road is closed from the junction of Shakespeare Road and Derby Road. Please avoid the area where possible.” We have no further information on the incident itself at this stage. Read More   Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us @SOTLive or message us on our Facebook page. And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at StokeonTrentLive.last_img read more