NEW YORK, N.Y. – The UN Human Rights Council is set to discuss a report on issues affecting African-Canadians that makes recommendations to the federal government, including that it apologize for slavery and consider providing reparations for historical injustices.A UN working group will submit its final report on the human rights situation of people of African descent in Canada to the council Monday based on its consultations with government officials and interest groups during an October 2016 mission to Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax and Montreal.Some report findings released in August raised deep concerns about Canada’s legacy of anti-black racism, which traces its origins to slavery in the 16th century and reverberates into the present day.“History informs anti-black racism and racial stereotypes that are so deeply entrenched in institutions, policies and practices, that its institutional and systemic forms are either functionally normalized or rendered invisible, especially to the dominant group,” the UN officials wrote.“This contemporary form of racism replicates the historical … conditions and effects of spatial segregation, economic disadvantage and social exclusion.”Slavery was abolished in the British colonies in the 1830s.The working group laid out dozens of recommendations to redress past and present wrongs affecting African-Canadians, the first among which calls on the Canadian government to apologize for slavery and consider issuing reparations.“It is important to underline that the experience of African Canadians is unique because of the particular history of anti-black racism in Canada,” the report said. “(The government of Canada should) take concrete steps to preserve the history of enslavement and the political, social and economic contributions of African Canadians by establishing monuments in their honour.”The report draws a through-line between Canada’s history of racial segregation to the structural racism that “lies at the core” of many Canadian institutions today, manifesting itself in the form of poverty, health problems, low educational attainment, higher rates of unemployment and overrepresentation if African-Canadians in the criminal justice system.This history is particularly poignant in Nova Scotia, where over the course of generations, African-Nova Scotian have demonstrated “resistance and resilience” to develop a distinct culture, the report said.In Halifax, the community of Africville thrived despite “the harshest opposition,” the report said, and most of its residents were landowners.The working group said city officials employed “deplorable tactics” to displace Africville’s black residents when the neighbourhood was razed in the late 1960s, marking a “dark period” in Nova Scotian history.The city offered a formal apology in 2010 and allocated $3 million to build a museum on the site, which members of the working group welcomed as a recognition of its significance to the African-Nova Scotian community.Socioeconomic conditions in African-Nova Scotian communities remain “deplorable,” they said, and the provincial government is falling short in its efforts to establish land titles for the descendants of the black loyalists.The authors appealed to the federal government to provide financial support to help claimants cover the costs involved in resolving land disputes, centuries after their ancestors were denied title to the rocky plots where they settled.The report also suggested that Ottawa work with provincial and municipal authorities to develop legislation regarding what it called “environmental racism” — the risks created by environmental hazards like landfills, waste dumps and pollutants that are disproportionately situated near black communities.The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission is expect to address the UN report on Monday.At the national level, the working group said the Canadian government should develop a strategy to address anti-black racism in the criminal justice system.Between 2005 and 2015, the number of black inmates in federal prisons rose by more than 71 per cent, the report said.The authors were troubled by statistics suggesting that black people are “extraordinarily overrepresented” when it comes police use of lethal force, and noted that the lack of race-based data about these incidents makes its difficult to assess the scope of the problem.Racial profiling is “endemic” in strategies used by Canadian law enforcement, the working group said, and called for practices they said disproportionately affect black Canadians — such as street checks and solitary confinement — to be abolished.The report recommended the creation of a federal department of African-Canadian affairs and create special measures to compensate for the impacts of discrimination, such as targeted hiring policies similar to those for Indigenous Peoples.It said existing federal anti-discrimination legislation relies on terms such as “visible minority” that obscure the degrees of disparity faced by different ethnic groups and fails to fully account for the specific human rights concerns of African-Canadians.The working group encouraged federal lawmakers to legally recognize African-Canadians as a distinct group “who have made and continue to make profound economic, political, social, cultural and spiritual contributions to Canadian society.”
NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. — The father of an eight-year-old girl who was smothered by her mother says a happy, empathetic, sensitive and loving child was taken away from the world for no reason.Gabe Batstone told a British Columbia Supreme Court judge at Lisa Batstone’s sentencing hearing that the worst part has been seeing the impact on her two young half-brothers, who live with “profound grief.”Lisa Batstone, of Surrey, B.C., faces an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 10 years for smothering her sleeping daughter, Teagan, with a plastic bag in December 2014.Crown lawyer Christopher McPherson asked the judge to make the woman ineligible for parole for 16 to 18 years because Batstone abused her position of trust to kill a child and has continued to attempt to deflect blame.Gabe Batstone’s current wife, Stephanie Batstone, told the judge through tears that her eldest son has lost his ability to be a kid because Lisa Batstone took his sister, his best friend and his childhood.The defence has not yet had the opportunity to make sentencing submissions, but it argued at trial that her mental state at the time of her daughter’s death was unclear.The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON – Canada’s economy would lose less than one percentage point if President Donald Trump makes good on his threat to rip up the North American Free Trade Agreement, say two new studies that suggest ending the trade treaty would do minor damage.The total impact of ending NAFTA and reinstating tariffs would trim 0.7 to 1 per cent off Canada’s GDP according to a Bank of Montreal study, while another study by the former head of computer modeling for Canada’s foreign-affairs ministry puts the damage at 0.55 per cent.Both studies’ authors agree these findings carry a lesson for Canadian negotiators: they can bargain with confidence and not feel pressured to sign a bad deal, because the end of NAFTA is far from a total scare scenario.The damage would be much smaller than the financial crisis of 2008; smaller even than the impact of the soaring loonie of the late 2000s; and would be roughly comparable to the national effect of the 2015 oil-price plunge, says BMO’s chief economist.”It’s an important risk to the outlook. It would be a fundamental change in the trading relationship. But I happen to believe we’ve dealt with much bigger challenges before, in the last 20 years,” said BMO’s Douglas Porter.”It’s a serious risk — but it’s a manageable risk.”His research finds the hardest-hit area would be Ontario and the auto sector. It finds that other provinces have more diverse trade, like B.C. with Asia and Quebec with Europe; while provinces reliant on oil and gas would get a reprieve from lower tariffs on those products.The paper also assumes the Canadian dollar would drop five cents, lowering the cost of investment in Canada.But Porter cautions that his paper only addresses the second-most-dramatic scenario: that’s NAFTA ending without the original 1987 Canada-U.S. trade agreement being reinstated, and with the U.S. reimposing tariffs.It doesn’t map out what-if outcomes for the most dramatic scenario, one Porter sees as unrealistically remote — that’s Trump entirely scrapping international trade norms, bypassing the World Trade Organization and reimposing tariffs beyond the current international rates.He still says ending NAFTA would hurt all three countries unnecessarily: ”I don’t mean to dismiss it. One per cent of GDP is still serious stuff… And it’s totally unnecessary… Normally policy-makers bend over backwards (to increase GDP).”The author of the other study uses a metaphor to describe the effect: he compares it to erecting a wall down the centre of Toronto, on Yonge Street. He says people would find workarounds and, after the initial disruption, the economy would grow again — but it would produce a permanent nuisance.”You would create a dead-weight cost, an inefficiency,” said Dan Ciuriak, a former federal official who now runs a consultancy, in an interview about his just-completed paper for the C.D. Howe think-tank.”There would be a permanent reduction in the efficiency of the economy.”Ciuriak found that the end of NAFTA would shave 0.55 per cent off Canada’s GDP, push 25,000-50,000 Canadians out of the workforce and reduce exports by 2.8 per cent. The damage predicted in his report is far less than the 2.5 per cent GDP loss he said he was expecting to find when he was interviewed as he began his work last month.The damage would be almost completely offset if Trump were to allow the reinstatement of the original 1987 Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, Ciuriak said. It would barely be offset if Canada and Mexico remained in NAFTA alone, which he said would soften the 0.55 per cent GDP loss by a mere 0.08 per cent.Ciuriak did not analyze how currency reactions might soften the blow. He merely looked at the direct effect of a NAFTA cancellation, and plugged tariff rates into computer models to assess how the new costs would affect trade.What he found was not so striking.”In a good growth year (a 0.55 per cent downturn)… it’s not (enough to cause) a recession,” he said.”It is fairly modest. That means Canada’s negotiators do have this luxury, if you will. Accepting a bad deal is not necessary. A bad deal may be worse than no deal at all. That’s … where this (research) is taking us.”
New Delhi/Lucknow: In a surprise move, the BJP on Monday announced Bhojpuri film star Ravi Kishan as its Lok Sabha candidate from Gorakhpur, the bastion of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, instead of the widely-speculated candidature of sitting MP Praveen Nishad who recently joined the party.Nishad has been fielded from Sant Kabir Nagar, with the BJP dropping sitting MP Sharad Tripathi who had created a political storm by beating a local BJP MLA with shoes. However, Sharad Tripathi’s father, Ramapati Ram Tripathi, has been given BJP ticket from neighbouring Deoria, as per the latest party list of seven candidates in Uttar Pradesh. Ramapati Ram Tripathi was the UP BJP chief during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. Deoria was represented by former Union minister Kalraj Mishra. Last year, Nishad, a joint candidate of SP-BSP, had defeated BJP’s Upendra Shukla in Gorakhpur in a surprise bypoll win, after Adityanath, who had represented the Lok Sabha seat five times since 1998, became the chief minister. However, Nishad joined the BJP earlier this month and there was speculation that he might be party’s candidate from Gorakhpur. Nishad is son of the Sanjay Nishad, the head of the Nishad Party, which ended its alliance with the SP-BSP last week and joined hands with the BJP. With the list of candidates releases by the party Monday, the BJP has so far announced candidates for 420 Lok Sabha seats for the seven-phase elections which will start on April 11 and continue till May 19. The saffron party has decided to field UP cooperative minister Mukut Bihari from Ambedkarnagar. It has also given ticket to Sangam Lal Gupta from Pratapgarh, the parliamentary constituency that was won by BJP ally Apna Dal in 2014. The party has fielded KP Singh from Jaunpur and Ramesh Bind from Bhadohi, it said.
Society’s expectations about gender roles alter the human brain at the cellular level, scientists say. Though the terms ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ are often used interchangeably by the average person, for neuroscientists, they mean different things, according to Nancy Forger, a professor at Georgia State University in the US. “We are just starting to understand and study the ways in which gender identity, rather than sex, may cause the brain to differ in males and females,” said Forger. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainSex is based on biological factors such as sex chromosomes and reproductive organs,” whereas gender has a social component and involves expectations and behaviours based on an individual’s perceived sex, researchers said. These behaviours and expectations around gender identity can be seen in “epigenetic marks” in the brain, which drive biological functions and features as diverse as memory, development and disease susceptibility. Forger said that epigenetic marks help determine which genes are expressed and are sometimes passed on from cell to cell as they divide. They also can be passed down from one generation to the next, she added. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma Award”While we are accustomed to thinking about differences between the brains of males and females, we are much less used to thinking about the biological implications of gender identity,” Forger said in a statement. “There is now sufficient evidence to suggest that an epigenetic imprint for gender is a logical conclusion. It would be strange if this were not the case, because all environmental influences of any importance can epigenetically change the brain,” he said. Scientists reviewed previous studies of epigenetics and sexual differentiation in rodents, along with new studies in which gendered experiences among humans have also been associated with changes in the brain. “Given our lifetimes of layered gendered experiences, and their inevitable, iterative interactions with sex, it may never be possible to completely disentangle the effects of sex and gender on the human brain,” Forger said.
Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech announced today that he will retire from football at the end of this season.In light of losing his starting spot at Arsenal to German Bernd Leno, Cech has decided to end his stunning 20-year playing career.“This is my 20th season as a professional player and it has been 20 years since I signed my first professional contract, so it feels like the right time to announce that I will retire at the end of the season,” wrote Cech on Twitter.“Having played 15 years in the Premier League, and won every single trophy possible, I feel like I have achieved everything I set out to achieve.“I will continue to work hard at Arsenal to hopefully win one more trophy this season, then I am looking forward to seeing what life holds for me off the pitch.”The 36-year-old first arrived in England in July 2004 when Chelsea signed him from French side Rennes for £7m.In that time, Cech became one of the world’s best keepers after winning the Premier League Golden Glove award four times and being named Best European Goalkeeper three times.Liverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.In total, Cech has kept 207 clean sheets in 443 Premier League games for both Chelsea and Arsenal over the past 14 and a half years.The former Czech Republic international won the league four times at Chelsea along with four FA Cups, four Community Shields, three EFL Cups, the Europa League and the Champions League.Since arriving at Arsenal in 2015, Cech has won one FA Cup and two Community Shields and now turns his attention to ending the final season of his career in search of another piece of silverware for his trophy collection.pic.twitter.com/xRnP0Rnv21— Petr Cech (@PetrCech) January 15, 2019
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde insists the signing from Frenkie de Jong from Ajax Amsterdam is an important addition for the club.The Netherlands international completed a €75million move to the Spanish champions on Wednesday but will spend the remainder of the campaign on loan at Ajax.The 21-year-old was also a reported target for both Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, with the French champions believed to be closing on his signature earlier in the transfer window but De Jong opted for Barcelona instead.Speaking after Barca’s shock first-leg 2-0 loss to Sevilla in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals, Valverde talked up the signing.Mourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.“An important addition,” he said, according to FourFourTwo.“A player with quality and a future that we think is signing with a long perspective for Barca and we wish him the best.”“His success will be the success of the club.”De Jong has three goals and one assist to his name in the Dutch League this season.
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Jose Mourinho used an old metaphor of Cristiano Ronaldo’s in describing Romelu Lukaku‘s current struggles in front of goal for Manchester UnitedThe Belgian striker has found the net only four times in 13 appearances for United and was benched by Mourinho in their latest Premier League encounter against his old club Everton.Following his 25-minute cameo in Sunday’s 2-1 win at Old Trafford, Lukaku has now failed to score in his last nine matches for United.But Mourinho remains unconcerned and reckons that the goals will soon come flooding out for Lukaku – just like shaking a ketchup bottle.“I think one of the best scorers in football had funny words about it,” Mourinho told Sky Sports.“It was when Cristiano Ronaldo was speaking about the ketchup bottle and when you [shake it]. The goals are coming and coming and coming.Maguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…“I believe with Lukaku that this will happen, but the reality is that, at this moment, it’s not happening.“There have been lots of matches in which he’s not scored a goal, and not just scoring but also the performances, the happiness in the performances, I think is the problem.“But he’s a good player, a good boy, and I think the best way to do it is to just keep working and the moment will arrive.”Ronaldo once used the ketchup bottle metaphor in 2010, where he was going through his own goal drought ahead of that summer’s World Cup in South Africa.The Portuguese star explained at the time that goals are like “ketchup – when it comes out (of the bottle) it all comes out at once”.