Taboo Performs To Honor The Hispanic Caucus

first_imgTaboo, of the Black Eyed Peas, will be performing at the Latinos Unidos for The Democratic National Convention to honor the Hispanic Caucus by celebrating the importance of Latino voters.The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the Latino Coalition Foundation, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation and The Hispanic Federation are co-hosting the premiere Latino event on September 4th in Charlotte, North Carolina.Participants will include community activists, party leaders, business professionals, celebrities, Convention delegates, and other invitees including Taboo, Eva Longoria and Mayor Julian Castro. More than 1,200 guests are expected to join this historic event.The event will be held on Tuesday night, September 4, from 10:00pm to 2:00am, at the Charlotte Convention Center Ballroom in beautiful downtown Charlotte. There will also be a VIP Lounge that will offer an opportunity for more intimate networking.All proceeds from the event will be shared among the host organizations. NALEO is designated as the fiscal agent for the event. This event presents a historic opportunity for you to support the Latino community. For more information please contact Lisa Bombín at or at (210) 670-9077.last_img read more

Bill Gates Says Measurement Is A Key To Success

first_img“Without feedback from precise measurement,” Bill Gates quotes author William Rosen, “invention is ‘doomed to be rare and erratic.’ With it, invention becomes ‘commonplace.’”In an article he wrote in The Wall Street Journal last month, Gates says measurement is just as important to improving the human condition as it is to promoting invention, yet measurement can be very difficult to gather and is missing surprisingly often.“Historically, foreign aid has been measured in terms of the total amount of money invested, but not by how well it performed in actually helping people,” says Gates. “Despite innovation in measuring teacher performance world-wide, more than 90 percent of educators in the US still get zero feedback on how to improve. An innovation, whether it’s a new vaccine or an improved seed, can’t have an impact unless it reaches the people who will benefit from it. We need innovations in measurement to find new, effective ways to deliver those tools and services to the clinics, family farms and classrooms that need them.”The Millennium Development Goals, he says, set 2015 as the deadline for achieving specific minimum levels of improvement in health, education and income, but unlike previous declarations, “Millennium goals were backed by a broad consensus, were clear and concrete, and brought focus to the highest priorities.”He sites Ethiopia as a good example of success due to measurement. A land where it is customary to wait a month after births before naming babies since so few survived, Ethiopia set itself the Millennium goal of reducing child mortality by two-thirds. Based on a healthcare initiative performed in Kerala, India, Ethiopia created staffed health posts to record immunizations, disease cases and mortality data. Healthcare workers also began making home visits to ensure each household had a malaria bed net, pit toilet and basic health and safety practices, and to provide regular checkups for pregnant women.Today, says Gates, because of measurements we know that Ethiopia is on track to achieve their child mortality goal by 2015 – and babies are being named at birth.Copyright ©2013Look to the Starslast_img read more

14th Annual Mark Harmon Celebrity Weekend To Hit Oklahoma

first_imgThe 14th Annual Mark Harmon Celebrity Weekend (MH14) benefit is scheduled for June 27th and 28th, 2014 and will benefit Oklahoma Kidz Charities.Oklahoma Kidz Charities Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to supporting fellow non-profits in Oklahoma whose values reflect scholastic leadership, academic excellence, mentoring and healthcare assistance for children.Weekend events will include a celebrity bowling night on Friday, June 27th and celebrity baseball game on Saturday, June 28th.This is the 14th year Mark Harmon has participated in the event.All pledges of support will allow Oklahoma Kidz to exceed this year’s goal of raising $400,000 to financially assist three worthwhile Oklahoma 501c3 charitable organizations. • Oklahoma City Indian Clinic – Harmony Pediatric Clinic • Anna’s House Foundation • Sunset Therapeutic Riding CenterFor more info, click here.last_img read more

Bailee Madison Opens Her Closet For Alexs Lemonade Stand

first_imgBailee Madison (known for her roles on Just Go With It, Once Upon a Time, and most recently on ABC Family’s The Fosters) has teamed up with Closets for Causes to raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to finding cures for all kids with cancer.BAILEE MADISON OPENS HER CLOSET FOR CHARITYThe young actress is donating eight vintage dresses from her 14th birthday party. In attendance was Bailee’s long time friend and former X Factor contestant, Rachel Crow. The singer wore a vintage pink lace dress that Bailee picked out for her which is available in the sale as well.Video: Bailee Madison Opens Her Closet for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation“I’m so happy to partner with Closets For Causes where I can continue to support Alex and her family to raise awareness of childhood cancer one lemonade stand at a time.” says Bailee about Alex’s Lemonade Stand.Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. To date, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a registered 501c3 charity, has raised more than $75 million toward fulfilling Alex’s dream of finding a cure, funding over 375 pediatric cancer research projects nationally. For more information on Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, visit“It has been an honor to have the continuing, and unwavering, support of Bailee Madison,” said Liz Scott, Co-Executive Director of the Foundation and Alex’s mom. “Serving as the Foundation’s National Youth Spokesperson, Bailee has gone above and beyond the call of duty, hosting her own lemonade stands, attending Foundation events, visiting hospitals on our behalf, and now opening her own closet for the cause. As is evidenced through her immense support, she is making an impact in the battle against childhood cancer.”Bailee talked about her birthday party, vintage dresses and donating the pieces to Alex’s Lemonade Stand when she appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno late last year. The video can be seen here.Along with the eight vintage dresses that will be auctioned off, Bailee is also offering a uniquely curated experience for one lucky bidder; a chance to meet Bailee and have lunch with her in Los Angeles.Bailee’s auction will be live on on Monday August 25th at 10 am PST.last_img read more

Sting Surprises Guests At Freedom Award Dinner

first_imgThe International Rescue Committee hosted its annual Freedom Award Dinner last week, raising more than $4.5 million to support the organization’s lifesaving humanitarian aid work around the world.Sting joined IRC President and CEO David Miliband on stage to honor humanitarian aid workers across the worldCredit/Copyright: Getty Images via Slate PRThis year’s event, which took place at the historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, honored long-time IRC supporters Cliff and Laurel Asness and Ken and Vickie French with the Humanitarian Leadership Award.IRC President and CEO David Miliband helped kick-off the evening with Opera Sensation and IRC Voice Danielle de Niese. De Niese performed breathtaking renditions of “O Mio Babbino Caro” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”Refugees Najwan Alani and Boubacar Barry shared their stories about coming to the United States as refugees and how the IRC’s work has helped them build a home in America. CBS Evening News anchor, Scott Pelley, and Wendy Taeuber, IRC County Director in the South Sudan, also spoke about the IRC’s life-changing work around the world – highlighting that there are more refugees than ever before, making the IRC’s work even more vital and necessary.Additional supporters in attendance included Mikhail Baryshnikov and IRC Voices Piper Perabo and Nykhor Paul.To round out the evening, Miliband took the stage to announce that the IRC has been named the first, official charity partner of the Times Square Alliance for New Year’s Eve. He then welcomed surprise guest, Sting, who was set to perform but could not, as he was under the weather.“What David asked me to do tonight I cannot do, as you can hear from the sound of my speaking voice,” Sting commented as he took to the stage. Instead of his planned performance of “Message in a Bottle,” the music sensation expressed his great admiration for how the IRC is utilizing the power of community to carry out their mission.“What I heard tonight were people from all over the world telling stories,” he said. “Storytelling and listening to stories is the basis of community, and the basis of everything is community.”Sting then joined Miliband in announcing the names of the IRC Executive Directors, Country Directors and other humanitarian aid workers who were in the audience at the event to stand up and be recognized for their hard work and dedication.“Who better to applaud the rock stars that I admire every day for their courage inspiration than a real rock star?” Miliband said with a smile.The Co-Chairs for this year’s Freedom Award Dinner are Maurice R. Greenberg, Starr International Foundation/The Starr Foundation, Ruth & David Levine, Gillian M. Shepherd, Eduardo G. Mestre, Kathleen and Omar Saeed and Catherine and Tracy Wolstencroft. Vice Chairs include The Partners of AQR Capital, Paul E. Singer Foundation, Katherine Farley, Jerry I. Speyer, Marie and Joseph Field, Evan G. Greenberg, ACE Group, Judy and Josh Weston, Maureen White, and Steven Rattner.last_img read more

Tickets For Macklemore Charity MeetAndGreet In Seattle Nearly Sold Out

first_imgThere weren’t that many tickets to begin with – but now, just a few dozen remain for an exclusive meet-and-greet with Grammy Award-winning musician Macklemore.The Seattle native will host a charity fundraising event prior to Runway to Freedom V, a fashion show that benefits victims of domestic violence.“Macklemore has been a long-time supporter of Runway to Freedom,” said show founder, Lauren Grinnell. “We’re happy to have him here for a lot of reasons, but for me, personally, it means a lot since I’m a survivor of domestic violence,” she said.The runway and music show will begin at 8pm at The Showbox at 1426 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101.Although Macklemore will not be part of the musician lineup, a number of live bands will perform, including Jairemie Alexander, Ayron Jones and The Way, Otieno Terry, Luc and the Lovingtons, Alana Belle and Katie Kate. The fashion show will feature seven designers showcasing styles from gowns to urban street wear. The auction will feature a variety of items to bid on, including a trip to Paris.Each year, Runway to Freedom chooses a different benefactor. This year it’s Mary’s Place, a homeless shelter in Seattle that serves battered women and their children who simply have no where else to go.“I’m glad to know people are finally talking about domestic violence, but we need to remember, this is not a new problem,” said Grinnell, a stylist and business owner by trade. Numbers from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence show an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault each year. Grinnell’s mission is to aid women who find themselves in these kinds of abusive relationships.There will be ways to donate to the cause outside of the event. Grinnell has items she’s putting together for an opportunity drawing, including items signed by Macklemore and stars of the Seattle Seahawks football team. More information on the drawing and specific items available at the on-site auction will be released shortly.General admission tickets start at $75 and the special VIP reception tickets with Macklemore are $250. Both can be purchased on Runway to Freedom’s website.Runway to Freedom is an annual charity fashion show and auction with benefits going to charities that support domestic violence victims. The event, founded by Lauren Grinnell, is in its fifth year. Grinnell is a stylist and owns her own business, Lalascuts, located on 4th Avenue West in Seattle.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Andy Garcia To Emcee A Night In Old Havana To Benefit Shanes

first_imgShane’s Inspiration, an international nonprofit dedicated to creating inclusive playgrounds and educational programs that foster social inclusion for children with disabilities, is hosting its 16th annual fundraising gala on Saturday, March 4, 2017.The Cuban cabaret-inspired “A Night in Old Havana” theme will recreate the romance and intrigue of a bygone era and will feature celebrity red carpet arrivals, cocktail reception, live/silent auctions, dinner, dancing, awards program, live entertainment and much more.Award-winning actor and musician Andy Garcia will serve as the Master of Ceremonies, adding to a spectacular evening of nostalgia and philanthropy. Honorees include Scott Silveri, Creator/Producer of the television show “Speechless”, Georgianna Junco-Kelman, Special Education Attorney, and Dee Summers Stajcer, volunteer extraordinaire. VIP guests scheduled to attend include Pauley Perrette (“NCIS”), Joe Mantegna (“Criminal Minds”), Danny Pino (“Law & Order: SVU”, “Cold Case”), JK Simmons, (“The Accountant,” “Whiplash”), Alex Band (lead singer for The Calling), Jordi Vilasuso (“Days of Our Lives”), Madison McLaughlin (“Arrow,” “Chicago PD”), Sonia Rockwell (ABC’s “American Crime”), Cree Cicchino (Nickelodeon’s “Game Shakers”), Micah Fowler (“Speechless”), Mason Cook (“Speechless”), Howard Barrish (producer of “13th”), Monica Potter (“Parenthood”), Leigh & David Koechner (“Anchorman”, “SNL”, “Superior Donuts”), Jill Hennessey (“Crossing Jordan”), Alicia Machado (former Miss Universe/media personality), Jamie Brewer (“American Horror Story”), City Attorney Mike Feuer, and many others. Past Celebrity Gala Supporters have included Sean Hayes, Kaley Cuoco, Jerry O’Connell, Rebecca Romjin, Paula Abdul, Halle Berry, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kathryn Hahn, Laura SanGiacomo, Dakota Fanning, Ben Vereen, and Michael Chiklis – just to name a few.For tickets and additional information, click here.Funds raised from the “A Night in Old Havana” gala will support the costs associated with Shane’s Inspiration’s programs that teach compassion and acceptance towards people with disabilities. Through the My Playground catalyst program, Shane’s has opened 63 inclusive playgrounds to date throughout the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Israel, Russia, and Ecuador, with 75 additional projects currently in development. The impact of the Together, We Are Able ability awareness education program, ordered by educators in over 65 countries, and My PlayClub community outreach program, which brings children of all abilities together at Shane’s inclusive playgrounds, has impacted the lives of nearly 40,000 children worldwide.WHERE:The Taglyan Complex in Hollywood1201 Vine Street, Hollywood CA 90038WHEN:Saturday, March 4, 2017last_img read more

Prince Harry Visits Manchester

first_imgPrince Harry spent a day last week visiting a number of organisations and projects across Manchester, including the NHS Manchester Resilience Hub, which has been providing mental health services for people affected by the Manchester Arena Attack.Prince Harry visits ManchesterCredit/Copyright: Royal.UKPrince Harry began the day at the Walking With The Wounded training house in Canada Street, which helps ex-servicemen and women transition back into civilian life.Prince Harry has supported the charity since it was formed, taking part in a trek to the North Pole in 2011 and South Pole in 2013.After meeting with those who have benefited from Sherpa House, Prince Harry joined a roundtable discussion on how the city can provide mental health support for ex-service personnel.Prince Harry then visited the NHS Manchester Resilience Hub, which has been providing mental health services for people affected by the Manchester Arena Attack, that took place on 22 May 2017.The Hub is based in Manchester but is for everyone who was affected, wherever you may live.Later, Prince Harry dropped in on a Coach Core training session at Manchester City Football Club.The programme was launched in Manchester in January, but was originally created by The Royal Foundation in 2012 to create inspirational coaches in communities where there has been little access to professional coaching before.Prince Harry ended his visit to Manchester with a reception for England’s Rugby Football League Squad. Prince Harry, who is newly Patron of Rugby Football League, met with players and coaches ahead of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup squad announcement in October.Source:Royal.uklast_img read more

Pathway To Paris Launches The 1000 Cities Initiative With Care2

first_imgThe world is transitioning into a new era; a world no longer dependent on fossil fuels. Last week, Pathway to Paris and Care2 launched the 1000 Cities initiative, a bold mission to meet and go beyond the targets of the Paris Agreement.The initiative invites all cities of the world to transition off of fossil fuels and move to 100% renewable energy by 2040, in order to turn the Paris Agreement into reality. Click here to take action. Every signature will automatically send an email letter to the governing body of the the signer’s city, urging them to join this crucial cause.“Pathway to Paris is more than a name – it’s an ideal,” said Rebecca Foon. “Cities have a remarkable and necessary part to play in moving us towards achieving, and possibly even surpassing, the goals of the Paris Agreement.”Jesse Paris Smith added: “The climate movement is in urgent need of massive global collaboration – it requires the involvement of all cities of the world, all citizens. We all need to join together to make this movement the most ambitious collaboration of our century.”“Care2 is thrilled to join Pathway to Paris in launching this important global initiative,” said Randy Paynter Founder & CEO of Care2. “If we are able to get 1000 cities to join the cause we will be able to fulfill the vision of the Paris agreement and bypass our current administration and other climate deniers who stand in the way.”To accompany the petition, Pathway to Paris has shared a video including figures like Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston, Tony Hawk, Patti Smith, Michael Stipe, Flea, Dr. Vandana Shiva, and Olafur Eliasson, urging citizens of the world to sign on to the campaign and push to shift our cities to 100% renewable energy.Video: Pathway to Paris : 1000 Cities CampaignThe launch of 1000 Cities will be one of the focuses of Pathway to Paris’ upcoming concert for climate action, being held at Carnegie Hall on November 5 in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme and The evening is set to advance the important work turning the Paris Agreement into action by bringing together internationally-recognized musicians and speakers – such as Patti Smith, Joan Baez, Bill McKibben, Dr. Vandana Shiva, Achim Steiner, Olafur Eliasson, Tanya Tagaq, Flea, Talib Kweli, Cat Power, Michael Stipe, Tenzin Choegyal, and Pathway to Parisfounders Rebecca Foon and Jesse Paris Smith – for a night of incredible performances and speeches.Joan Baez says, “Mother Nature has grown weary of our selfish disregard for all she tries to offer and she is angry. I fear for the earth my grandchild will inherit, as I can’t imagine her life will be anything approaching the hopes we have for her and the shining dreams she may have for herself. We won’t know if it’s too late for radical action to keep this globe inhabitable unless we try it. I’m pleased to be a part of this evening’s wake-up call to all people who cherish the sound of a meadowlark and who are willing to fight for its right to sing.”Olafur Eliasson adds, “today we have to respond to our present situation, where natural resources are no longer abundant. We need to raise awareness and initiate an urgent discussion about our future. Art, I believe, has great potential for changing the way we discuss an issue as important as climate change. It makes something not only comprehensible for the mind but also physically tangible – turning thinking into doing.”Tickets for the November 5 concert are on sale now and can be purchased by calling CarnegieCharge at 212.247.7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website.last_img read more

Stars Share Their Favourite Vegan Christmas Recipes In HSI UKs EatKind Festive

first_imgThis Christmas, an estimated 7.8 million vegetarians and vegans in the UK (12 per cent of the population) will enjoy delicious plant-based festive food for their holiday meals.Christmas Stars’ EatKind Festive guide.This includes many famous faces. To inspire even more Brits to make more compassionate choices for their Christmas cooking, celebs Joanna Lumley, Ricky Gervais, Evanna Lynch, The Vamps’ James McVey and sisters Lucy and Tiffany Watson have put together a complete menu of meat-and-dairy-free dishes for Humane Society International UK’s Christmas Stars’ EatKind Festive guide.The recipes in HSI’s guide can be combined to make a fantastic veggie Christmas feast, with Lucy Watson’s Merry Mushroom Pâté serving as a light starter and Joanna Lumley’s Rich Red Wine Gravy and Tiffany Watson’s Spicy Soy Sprouts making the perfect accompaniments to Ricky Gervais’ Tofurky and Trimmings recipe.Joanna Lumley said: “At Christmas time it makes me feel happier to think that no creature has suffered just so that I can celebrate. I hope the recipes in HSI’s fantastic festive guide inspires people to be a bit daring, and dance under the stars with a cruelty-free plate of fabulous vegetables, stuffings, pies and sauces. Happy Christmas to everyone… people, birds and beasts.”Around 10 million turkeys are killed in the UK each year for Christmas dinner. Some 90 per cent of these highly social birds will have spent their short lives in over-crowded indoor sheds often with no access to natural light or any meaningful stimulation. They’re genetically manipulated to grow so fast, and so obese, that they often suffer from crippling leg disorders making it painful to take even a single step.For those choosing to take turkey off the table, the good news is that there is a vast range of tasty meat-free selections for your Christmas centrepiece. In fact, global sales of plant-based meats, such as seitan sausages and, Tofurky or Vbites celebration roasts, are booming, according to Allied Research. Sales are set to reach US $5.2 billion by 2020, with the EU being the largest buyer of plant-based meat, and figures released by Ocado reveal that vegan food sales in the UK increased by an astonishing 1,500 per cent last year.HSI’s guide is also packed with top tips from British celebrities and HSI/UK staff members for plant-based shopping on the high street, from animal-friendly sweet treats to savoury snacks, including Tesco’s chocolate and hazelnut churros, and mince pies and Christmas puddings from stores such as Waitrose and Morrisons. There is also a section highlighting the variety of delicious dairy-free cheeses available from artisan producers as well as leading supermarkets, including Sainsbury’s Free From Wensleydale-style with cranberries, Raw Food Rosie’s Baby-bleu cashew ‘brie’ and Nutcrafter Creamery’s Gormasio Extra Aged Cheddar-style.Claire Bass, executive director of HSI/UK, says: “Humane Society International is delighted that compassionate celebs are sharing their tasty meat and dairy-free meals and demonstrating that it’s never been easier to take a holiday from eating meat. There are veggie versions of almost all Christmas classics so you can still enjoy your traditional favourites without harming animals. We are asking the public to give peas a chance this Christmas and leave turkey off their table in favour of more compassionate choices.”Humane Society International advocates compassionate eating – or the Three Rs: “reducing” or “replacing” consumption of animal products with plant-based foods, and “refining” our diets by avoiding products from the most abusive production systems.Fast facts: Turkeys naturally live for up to 10 years of age, but on factory farms they are genetically manipulated to grow so fast, so obese they’re normally slaughtered at just nine to 21 weeks old.In the wild, turkeys are highly sociable birds who roost in trees and can fly at speeds of up to 50 mph. Famous for saying “gobble gobble,” turkeys actually have more than 20 different vocalisations, and each bird has a unique ‘voice.’Cutting down on animal products is a great way to protect your health. Studies have found that people who eat less meat have a lower risk of certain types of cancer, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity. The World Health Organisation has warned that processed meats such as bacon, ham and sausages can cause cancer.Download HSI/UK’s EatKind Festive Guide at: read more

James Cromwell Honored With PETAs Hero To Animals Award

first_imgLast week, at the height of awards season, film and television icon James Cromwell received PETA’s annual Hero to Animals Award for his lifetime of activism at a special dinner at Sublime Restaurant & Bar in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.James Cromwell Honored By PETA“We’re honoring James Cromwell for his unerring social activism for animals,” said PETA Honorary Director Nanci Alexander, who owns the all-vegan eatery. “He offers a strong and clear voice of freedom for captive marine mammals, cats and primates held in laboratory cages, and pigs who are abused and slaughtered for food. His kindness to all beings, great and small, makes the world a better place.”The vegan, outspoken Babe and American Horror Story star has teamed up with PETA to take over SeaWorld’s “Orca Encounter” show, narrated gripping exposés of cruelty in the horse-racing and pig factory farming industries, and marched against experiments on cats at the University of Wisconsin and monkey shipments by Air France.last_img read more

13 horror movies to watch online right now

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitter Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Guillermo del Toro’s love letter to the Gothic romance genre – starring Mia Wasikowska as a turn-of-the-century Buffalo naïf spirited away by an English gentleman (Tom Hiddleston) to live with him and his weird sister (Jessica Chastain) in a haunted house – is screening at the AGO next month, and that’ll be a great place to see it. But it’s also a scary movie, and scary movies should be watched at Halloween – so set it up on the largest screen you can find, pump the surround sound and let the swooning Technicolor nightmare wash over you. It’s ever so creepy.Available on iTunes, Microsoft, Cineplex and PlayStation3. GET OUTThe best way to see Jordan Peele’s Get Out is with an audience that has no idea what’s coming. But if you missed it on the big screen, grab some friends, turn off the lights and dive into one of the best genre works in a very long time. Much as Edgar Wright’s Shaun Of The Dead used a zombie apocalypse as the backdrop to a meditation on arrested development and emotional growth, Peele takes a standard horror premise – a nice young man meets his girlfriend’s parents and finds himself trapped in an inescapable nightmare – and rips it open to engage with its seething class and racial subtext. What’s happening in that nice suburban basement is just the latest expression of something a certain segment of America has been trying to do for centuries. And while Peele offers some comic relief, he’s deadly serious about the story he’s telling.Available on iTunes, Microsoft and PlayStation We wouldn’t be doing our duty as cultural gatekeepers if we didn’t offer you a list of horror films (and one television series) that will keep you up late into the night on October 31 – or any other night, come to think of it.1. BLAIR WITCHPeople seemed to take a lot of pleasure crapping on Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s secretly produced sequel to The Blair Witch Project, in which the kid brother of the long-lost Heather Donahue mounts his own documentary mission into the woods outside Burkittsville. But they’re wrong: Blair Witch is pretty damn good, playfully deconstructing its source text while also reminding you how potent it was. Using advances in camera technology (earpiece cameras, drones, smartphones, etc.), Wingard and Barrett create a more sophisticated experience that expands the mythology of the series while still delivering the requisite jump scares and atmospheric tension. And James Allen McCune and Callie Hernandez commit fully to their terror.Available on iTunes, Microsoft and PlayStation2. CRIMSON PEAK 4. IT FOLLOWSDavid Robert Mitchell’s high-concept nail-biter stars Maika Monroe as a college student whose new boyfriend infects her with a sexually transmitted demon that will stalk and kill her… unless she passes the curse along to someone else. It’s a metaphor worthy of early Cronenberg, and the movie runs with it, building unnerving tension with long takes of mundane activity that aren’t interrupted so much as invaded by something walking into the frame. (Watch it with the lights off, please.) Writer/director Mitchell has thought his monster through to the last detail, teaching us the rules as we go and letting his characters be as smart as the menace they face. And Monroe is terrific in a complex role, moving from confusion to terror to steely resolve as she rallies herself to fight the almost-incomprehensible threat.Available on Shudder, Netflix, iTunes, PlayStation, Microsoft, Google Play and CineplexREAD MORE Advertisement Expandlast_img read more

Inuk man in Montreal hoping film festivals drop You Tube movie

first_imgTom Fennario APTN National NewsAn Inuk man in Montreal is taking it upon himself to make festivals think twice about screening “Of the North.”It is being screened at acclaimed film festivals including the Museum of Moving Image in New York city where it appeared this weekend.But the documentary, made largely from You Tube videos, has been bombarded with criticism for the way it depicts Inuit people.tfennario@aptn.calast_img

La Loche trying to cope as alleged shooter makes first court appearance

first_imgJaydon Flett APTN National NewsThe northern Saskatchewan community of La Loche is still trying to cope from the mass shooting that took place there Friday.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is promising to visit and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says there will be financial support.As the community looks to make sense of the incident the alleged shooter made his first court appearance Monday.last_img

APTN Investigates 10 Sales Pitch – Buyers Beware

first_img(APTN Investigates reporter John Murray approaches Aboriginal Auto as seen through the lens of the hidden camera.)Without doing any shopping or looking at vehicles they immediately wanted to do a credit application.Birchwood general manager, Robyn Okaja, said in an email that this is their routine process as long as the customer agrees. She went on to say people are unlikely to walk on the lot these days.“Rarely, if ever, does a customer begin the purchase process in our dealership. It always starts on line,” she said.The same thing happened when we visited Big Chief Motors.Arora said, it often makes sense to get a credit application first because many customers don’t even know their own credit standing.Although getting a credit application first seemed unusual, as many experts recommend knowing your budget and what you are going to buy first, it is routine with these retailers. (Tricia Dano removes the dealership branding from her truck. Dano says she likes the truck but she felt she just wasn’t treated fairly.)A Sour Deal? “It was so cold and so shocking,” Dano said.The couple was on the hook for two payments after all and now they were three payments behind on one of the loans.Tricia called the bank and told them about the mix-up.“When I told him what happened he kind of just went silent. He just had this kind of noise. And he said, we can’t. There’s no way that we can pre-approve you,” she said.She immediately took her concern to the general manager of the dealership.After a series of sometimes terse emails they began phoning each other and trying to come to a resolution.Dano shared her experience on social media and her friends also posted about what happened.This didn’t go over well with the general manager who Dano says insisted those posts be deleted before any kind of resolution was discussed.APTN asked George Iny to look over the Dano’s agreement.There were other parts of the deal that were questionable, he said.He called it “a terrible deal for the buyer.”“So they take back your vehicle but the outstanding payment — that’s called The Upside Down Consumer. That person then has that added to the price of the next vehicle,” he said.Iny noted that it was unusual to have an aftermarket warranty with a brand new vehicle.He said compared to the factory warranty it would be limited in scope, less comprehensive, potentially more difficult to get service, and more expensive.And then there were the extras.There was $7,000 cash-back line in the document which is really a $7,000 loan included in the financing.Iny said the tire warranty and anti-theft etching were over-priced.“Never take nitrogen in your tires from a car dealer. You can get it for free or for five dollars a tire at many retailers,” Iny said.And the rust protection sold to the Danos wasn’t just overpriced but also unnecessary because the truck the Danos bought was aluminium.“So it’s doubtful that rust proofing developed for steel vehicles would even do the trick,” he added.He also noted that clearly the Danos were given a financing arrangement that was suspect.“For a certain percentage of consumers the kind of advertising that promises to put you behind the wheel of a new vehicle is addictive. It’s really hard to pass on and you’re vulnerable in that case unfortunately. And there should be protections,” Iny said.What protections are there for consumers?APTN learned that every province has a complaint-driven process which means no one is watching these deals.“I’m unhappy to tell you that the people who should be protecting you are not,” said Iny.  “There are either gaps in the laws on the books or they should be used or could be used creatively.”The Remedy The Danos still live in Winnipeg and are on the hook for two payments but did get a cash settlement from Birchwood.The dealership did offer a full refund but that was not reasonable nor affordable.“We would have had to pay $21,000 to get out of it which we didn’t have, obviously we didn’t have it,” Tricia Dano said.That amount includes the cash-back amount and also the outstanding balance from the trade-in.“I took the remedy because we needed something. Anything was better than nothing because we’re screwed,” Verne Dano said.Tricia Dano found the process humiliating as well.“[I’ve] been through hell and back dealing with it and then having to go in and be humiliated even. Here’s a cheque but you have to tell your friends that they can’t say anything bad about Birchwood Ford because you know it makes us look bad,” Dano said.Iny said that although affinity marketing may seem more comfortable because of the connection with a certain community, buyers still need to be on guard.“That should give you no solace. You’re not going to get a better deal.” (Dan Roulette sits in the truck he is delivering to Peguis First Nation. The young man who just bought the truck signs on the bottom line.  PHOTO: APTN Investigates)The truck temporarily became Roulette’s office as they reviewed the documents and signed on the bottom line.Danos Make The DealWhen Tricia Dano met with the salesperson at Birchwood she was really focussed on getting a new home.In fact, that was most important to her and she felt she made it clear.“I expressed over and over and over again how important it was that it was a consolidation loan that the vehicles were going to be just one payment and that’s it,” she said.Then the call came in from Birchwood – they were approved.Now that the Danos had this deal they would have lower payments. It was a relief.They told the bank, who just needed the paperwork.Then a couple of weeks later Ford Credit, the lender whose loan was supposed to be consolidated into the new truck loan, called to say they had missed a payment.Dano called Birchwood and she says they said Ford was just waiting for paperwork.They continued with preparations for moving to the new home.“So yeah we were getting all of the unnecessary things out of the house and putting it into storage so that we could stage it for selling and that was just three days before,” said Tricia Dano.Then Verne Dano was driving to work and got a call.“I get Ford Credit calling me saying I’ve missed three payments,” he said. (APTN Investigates follows Dan Roulette as he delivers a new vehicle to his customer in Peguis First Nation about 185 kilometres north of Winnipeg.)Delivery to a reserveDan Roulette, an Ojibwe man and a veteran car salesman often personally delivers vehicles to his customers.In fact, for registered Status Indians they must take delivery on a reserve in order to receive tax exemption.Roulette tells APTN the credit application is his usual first step.“Well for what I do, yes. Because unfortunately a lot of people I deal with have credit issues. When they do a credit application beforehand then we send in for a preapproval. At which time the bank will say well they’re approved for this kind of payment or this amount of money,” he said.We accompanied Roulette to Peguis First Nation where he delivered a brand new Dodge pickup to a young man. John MurrayAPTN InvestigatesTricia and Verne Dano thought they were finally getting their home in the country.“We found a beautiful location southwest of Winnipeg about 150 kilometres. A beautiful brick home. It had everything we wanted,” Verne Dano said.But their bank told them they had a high debt-ratio, meaning they owed more than they owned and that would disqualify them for the new mortgage they needed.Then a telemarketing salesperson called Tricia. They wanted her to buy a new vehicle but Dano told them it was out of the question because she needed the mortgage.The salesman offered Dano what looked like a solution.“One of the sales persons called me from Birchwood Ford and said, ‘You should just consolidate. Consolidate. Come in. We’ll get you into another vehicle and we’ll consolidate your vehicle and you’ll have one payment which would be lower. The bank will like that,’” Dano said.It isn’t unusual for dealerships to call existing customers, but telemarketing to reach new customers is a relatively recent development.Even more recently social media has also become a platform for reaching out to potential customers – the industry has changed.Car sales ads are increasingly appearing on social media and for many this may seem like a good thing.Shopping online may also seem like a good way to avoid the face-to-face high pressure sales tactics.But it allows sales people to target very specific groups.APTN Investigates found many Facebook pages that target Indigenous people with names like Aboriginal Auto, Big Chief Motors, First Nations Financing and many others. (This screen capture is of a website that has no original content but is filled with what appears to be the default information included in a website template.)One, called First Nation Loans, didn’t actually create a website but just left the template content on it.Affinity marketing or just a name? Winnipeg’s Big Chief Motors is in the same location as Gauthier Chrysler, a local dealership.Gauthier Chrysler vice-president Kevin Schumacer said Big Chief Motors is a sub-prime retailer they share space with.Watch how sub prime loans work.  Sub-prime retailing, or also called sub-prime financing is a method of lending aimed at consumers who may have some credit difficulties. Many loans are still offered by the same major banks but usually at a higher interest rates than what is often shown on many car sales ads.Nick Arora, manager of Big Chief Motors, said that he is Indian but not First Nations. To be clear, he means an Indian from India.He also said his business is not affinity marketing and the name was inspired by the beef jerky brand. (Nick Arora of Big Chief Motors says the inspiration for his business name came from Big Chief Beef Jerky. An excerpt from Big Chief Meat Snacks’ website: “Although our heritage is European, the Indigenous people are credited as first inventing ‘jerky’ derived from the Quechua word ‘ch’arki’ which means dried, salted meat.”  Photo: John Murray/APTN)Arora agreed to an on camera interview but was not available for our broadcast deadline.Another company called Aboriginal Auto is registered to Birchwood Ford but there does not appear to be any Indigenous ownership in the company.We asked Birchwood Ford about Aboriginal Auto to which they replied by email.Birchwood said: “It is a business name we have used for over 15 years for marketing purposes.”Iny has a problem with that.“What you’re calling affinity marketing is something else. It’s basically what I see is appropriation perhaps of the identity or some kind of symbols that would suggest that maybe the person providing the service belongs to a particular community,” said Iny. “In fact it’s plain old sub-prime car retailing.”In addition to using sub-prime financing, lenders sometimes offer seven-year terms which may be attractive because of lower payments but some people will trade in their vehicles while still carrying a balance which then gets added into the new loan.Iny calls this the “upside-down consumer.”“You can stretch your loan out to 96 months at very low rates as long as you have good credit. In those cases all of these things allow you greater affordability and the vehicles are actually better. They last longer and they need less work than they did. However this does not extend to someone with shaky credit. In that case you have the illusion of affordability but what’s really happening is you’re being handcuffed for 96 months with deals running at very high rates,” he said.The hidden camera investigation APTN Investigates visited Aboriginal Auto with a hidden camera.After walking around the lot without being approached our reporter went inside and asked where we could find Aboriginal Auto. (Ten of the Facebook pages that APTN Investigates found using names with First Nations, Aboriginal or other similar names. Some have stereotypical caricatures and imagery.)It’s a sales strategy called “affinity marketing.” The salesperson or retailer claims a connection – or affinity – to organizations or groups of people.George Iny is with the Automobile Protection Association (APA) in Montreal.“At its best affinity marketing means a community of people are entitled to either a lower price or access to a preferred level of service because they are a known group,” he said.The APA has been a car buyer’s advocate for almost 50 years.Some of these pages don’t have any clear indication of ownership or legitimacy.Others were found to be associated with mainstream dealerships but this wasn’t always obvious from their Facebook pages or websites.And some were clearly only interested in getting credit applications while others seemed entirely illegitimate.last_img read more

The Future is Rising Youth strike from school for climate change

first_imgStudents of all ages strike from school to protest the lack of action on climate change. They are a group called “Future Rising Ottawa” and they are raising awareness for the environment and asking adults to protect their future. Shelby Lisk/APTNShelby LiskAPTN NewsToday students of all ages, in Ottawa and Gatineau, took a strike from school to protest the lack of action on climate change as a part of #FridaysforFuture. Fridays for future is inspired by Swedish teenager, Greta Thunberg, who is leading students to strike for climate around the world.The rally is run by youth and adults are invited but the structure is “youth out front – adults behind” echoing the sentiment that adults need to support and listen to the youth, the leaders of the future. The students are using their voices to demand leaders and all adults take action to ensure they have a safe and clean future and demanding they take responsibility for the earth they have given their children.Ottawa’s first #FridaysForFuture strike was Jan. 11, 2019, continuing throughout the school year and culminating in the most attended strike on March 15, in support of the Global Climate Strike. Over 500 students and supporters protested on Parliament Hill.Today’s event may have had fewer students but just as much spirit.(Mia Beijer chants “whose future? OUR FUTURE” to students gathered in front of the Prime Minister’s office in Ottawa. Shelby Lisk/APTNMia Beijer, 16 years old, from Gatineau“We are gathered here today because we are terrified for our futures. We are terrified because adults and past generations have not changed the system that’s killing us. We are here because the water that feeds us is dying and no one is stopping it. We are here because our land, our home and our earth is dying. What gives us life is dying. As adults I want you to reflect on this moment of silence and I want you to apologize to the youth in your life.” (Parisa Anonby and Kate Martens stand with their sign at the youth climate march. Shelby Lisk/APTN)Kate Martens, 16 years old, from Ottawa“Our earth is really important to us, and our government, all they care about is money and capitalism. We’re just wanting to show that there will be no place for money if we don’t have a sustainable earth to live in. It’s important that they understand that because we are the future voters and future leaders of this planet.”Parisa Anonby, 17 years old, from Ottawa“Some of us, our parents didn’t let us go but we came anyway. It’s the kind of thing where are just going to do anything to bring awareness. We are sacrificing our education to be here and sometimes that’s the only way to bring change.”(Toby Guillemette, 15 years old, Findlay Henderson, 5 years old, Penny Henderson, Zander Henderson, 3 years old, and Sonia Wesche came out as a family to support the Fridays for Future initiative. Shelby Lisk/APTN)Tony Guillemette, 15 years old, from Ottawa“I think what’s happening needs to change and we have to do something because they’re innocent and they deserve the best life, my cousins.”Sonia Wesche thought it was important to bring her family to the climate march because her kids are the future. She was there with her two sons, their grandmother and her nephew.“The future of our planet is at stake and we need to be doing something. I think the time is right. There’s political motivation, there’s leadership to some degree. We need to be pushing for action. We’re in a climate emergency and we need to be doing something about it,” says Wesche.Future Rising Ottawa’s Facebook page says their goals are to become too connected to fail, to help youth secure a livable world and to have fun.Future Rising Ottawa can be found on Parliament Hill every Friday raising awareness for the environment and asking adults to protect their future. The biggest strike yet is set to happen next week, September 27th, for the Global Climate Strike and will include youth, adults and all people and organizations interested.@shelbyliskphotolast_img read more