Cabinet has approved the merger of the National Youth Service (NYS) and the National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD), a move that is expected to increase the budget of both agencies to a total of $561 million.Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, who made the disclosure while contributing to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on June 18, said 62 per cent of the expected budget will be allocated to projects that will impact an estimated 21,000 youth directly.She noted that the joining of the agencies is also aimed at reducing the overlap and duplication of work, as well as administration costs.“The truth is that when we got into office we found that the NYS had departed from its core mission and objectives,” Miss Hanna said.She said that unfortunately, the NYS’ sole role had become the placing of young persons in ‘internships’ at a range of state organisations, with the intention that they would, at the end, be assessed and achieve certification from HEART/NTA.“The reality is that only 20 per cent of these participants achieved certification, and less than five per cent of them were retained in the jobs they were placed in,” she said.She noted that over the last few years, she has been working to ensure that the NYS sought to fulfill its existing commitments, while reviewing its strategic focus to encourage among young people, the spirit of voluntarism and civic pride.Among the core objectives of the NYS is the creation of opportunities for self sustainability among youth; the preparation of youth for transition to employment and entrepreneurship; the creation of lessons and opportunities for voluntarism; being a catalyst for fostering of respect; and building social skills, a positive attitude, civic pride, a sense of responsibility and good citizenship among youth.The NCYD was established in 2000 as the Government department with responsibility for young people aged 15 to 24 years. It is responsible for facilitating the co-ordination and integration of programmes, service and activities geared towards youth development, and recommending and designing programmes to enhance and propel youth development.Contact: Athaliah Reynolds-Baker
GATINEAU, Que. – Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould says she intends to introduce the first legislative amendments to mandatory minimum sentences this spring, starting to reverse dozens of changes made by the former Conservative government during its decade in power.Wilson-Raybould made the comment Friday at the end of a day-long emergency meeting with several provincial justice ministers to address the sudden pressure to speed up the justice system following a Supreme Court ruling last year that set maximum time periods for cases to come to trial.“We’re going to endeavour as much as we can to have something presented as soon as possible,” Wilson-Raybould said at the closing news conference.There are 72 mandatory minimum penalties in the Criminal Code. Wilson-Raybould said the minimums for the most serious offences will remain but others will be amended, balancing the interests of victims, their families and public safety.The Canadian Bar Association says more cases end up at a trial when offenders believe negotiating a plea would not result in any change in sentence. More cases at trial means more stress on court resources and longer delays getting trials completed.The CBA says the system should trust prosecutors and judges to determine the right charges and the right sentences.Mandatory minimums are just one of many issues politicians and justice experts blame for clogging up the courts. The seven justice ministers who were at the meeting Friday agreed to spend the summer looking at options for legislative changes in several other areas including bail reform, preliminary inquiries, administration of justice offences and reclassifying offences listed in the Criminal Code.The ministers intend to move up their next planned meeting by a month to September, at which time they hope to be able to agree on how best to approach changes in those areas.The Charter of Rights and Freedoms had already established that an accused has a right to a fair trial without excessive delays. The Supreme Court in R. v. Jordan last year placed a specific time frame on trials: 18 months for cases in provincial courts and 30 months for trials in superior courts.Ontario Justice Minister Yasir Naqvi said the ruling has been helped push governments to move on changes many have long known are needed in the system.“It has given us incentive to be bold and we are taking that challenge,” he said. “We are rising up to it.”Wilson-Raybould also said she heard quite clearly the demand from her provincial counterparts to fill judicial vacancies as quickly as possible and that an announcement on that is coming very soon.She has already appointed 51 new judges but there remained 59 vacancies for federally-appointed judges as of April 1. The problem is particularly bad in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.Ontario and Manitoba are pushing hard for Ottawa to allow the elimination of preliminary inquiries, which are used to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial. Wilson-Raybould says she is open to looking at it but the government’s enthusiasm appears lukewarm and the Canadian Bar Association is opposed to the idea.Naqvi provided data to the meeting based on an analysis of Ontario courts in 2016, which found a preliminary inquiry added an average 5.4 months to the length of cases. Ontario also found the Superior Court cases took an average of 32.4 months to complete — 2.4 months longer than the maximum time laid out by the Supreme Court last year.However, Statistics Canada data shows preliminary inquiries were used in fewer than three per cent of cases in the adult criminal court system across the country in 2014-15 and 81 per cent of those cases were completed in less than 30 months.-follow @mrabson on Twitter.
Singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes has announced that he exceeded his goal to raise $25,000 through his Represent Campaign to benefit Pencils of Promise (PoP).The “STITCHES” singer, launched his #BuildASchoolWithShawn campaign on October 14, sparking a worldwide trend on Twitter. He has now hit 164% of his fundraising goal to build a school in rural Ghana with the non-profit education organization. Shawn funded 98% of his campaign after just one social media post, showcasing not only the power of his fans and community, but also how young people can affect and fuel social change.Shawn, who was recently named one of TIME Magazine’s 30 Most Influential Teens, winner of Choice Male Web Star at this year’s Teen Choice Awards, as well as winner of Best New Act and Best Push at this year’s MTV European Music Awards, raised funds through an innovative Represent Campaign allowing fans to purchase exclusive merchandise with proceeds benefiting Pencils of Promise.“Shawn has been an amazing partner to Pencils of Promise,” says PoP Director of Marketing Natalie Ebel. “For so many children, a PoP school is the safest most sound structure in their community and Shawn is helping to give more deserving children a safe learning environment.”Shawn was deeply inspired by the campaign and looks forward to continuing to build more schools with Pencils of Promise in the future.“I’m so excited we were able to raise enough funds to build a school for the kids in Shia, Ghana,” said Shawn. “This means the world to me that my fans joined me and supported such an amazing cause.”PoP was founded in 2008 with the goal of increasing quality education for children in the developing world. Since inception, the organization has built over 300 schools and educated more than 30,000 students.
Kent DriscollAPTN NewsA group in Nunavut is exploring what self-government should look like in the territory.Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) represents the interests of Inuit in Nunavut and was established to oversee, on the Inuit side, the execution of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement reached between Nunavut and Canada 25 years ago.Many of the provisions in that agreement have not been implemented or fulfilled.At their recent annual general meeting the group committed to a year-long exploration of the kind of self-government Inuit in Nunavut want and need, saying the Government of Nunavut is not doing enough for their people.NTI President Aluki Kotierk says when advocating for Inuit specific programs the group is told by the Nunavut government that it can’t develop such programs because it’s a public government, and not all people living in Nunavut are Inuit.Inuit make up 85 percent of Nunavut’s population.NTI won a $1 billion lawsuit against Canada over the feds’ failure to fund education.Aluki says NTI wants to see more Inuit employed with the Nunavut government, and will also look at health services and education as part of its review of self-government.“We want to look at different models in Canada and elsewhere to see what things we can learn and what things have been working well,” she said.For self-government to become a reality in Nunavut both the territorial and federal governments would have to give up power, and the Nunavut Agreement would have to be reopened.“I think part of the discussion we’re having in terms of self-government is a result of not fully and fairly implementing all 42 articles of the Nunavut Agreement,” Aluki says.The organization hopes to pitch its plan for self-government to the federal and territorial governments by October of next firstname.lastname@example.org@KentDriscoll
Michael FriedenbergMichael Friedenberg is stepping down from his role as CEO of IDG Global Communications after 12 years with the company, effective immediately, IDG announced today.Friedenberg’s four year tenure as CEO was one of persistent change for IDG — whose brands include CIO, ComputerWorld, PCWorld, and MacWorld — as it evolved from a traditional publishing model to a more centralized, global business information organization, focused its growing data and marketing services businesses. He helped steer the company through both the passing of founder and longtime chairman Patrick McGovern, in 2014, and the eventual sale to China Oceanwide Holdings Group for about $1 billion, a deal made official earlier this year.Indications that the company was going through some transitional pains then popped up in May, when a mass round of at least 90 layoffs hit both senior-level executives and staffers at all four of the above-mentioned titles.In a statement, the company said the cuts were the cost of IDG’s ongoing transformation “from a decentralized and complicated organization to navigate and do business with into a globally streamlined company that provides the greatest possible value and best possible experience to our readers and customers.” Kumaran Ramanathan“The timing was right for me to step down from this position, given IDG’s overall health, strong leadership team and a desire to be closer to my family,” Friedenberg said in a statement. “IDG has a very bright future ahead thanks to the talent, passion, and commitment to excellence of our employees around the world, coupled with the incredible leadership and financial resources that China Oceanwide offers.”China Oceanwide has kept things internal to replace Friedenberg, naming Kumaran Ramanathan president of IDG Communications, effective immediately. Ramanathan until now held the role of CEO of IDG Global Services, a group that oversees IDG’s Global Solutions, Strategic Marketing Services, Corporate Sales, and Research divisions. Altogether, he’s been with the company for nine years.“I am honored by today’s announcement,” added Ramanathan in the statement. “I was fortunate to have worked with Michael for many years as he led the company through the unexpected passing of our Founder Pat McGovern and transformed the company to become the world’s largest technology media, data and marketing services company.”
Kapil Sharma’s FaceApp look lookTwitterKapil Sharma lately appears quite fit, and his fans love the way he looks now. However, it seems the comedian would look good even in his old age, at least FaceApp suggests so.While the internet has been going crazy with FaceApp pictures of different celebrities going viral on social media, someone tried the same with Kapil’s picture also. Host of The Kapil Sharma Show, the comedian’s old avatar looks no less energetic.He is seen having grey hair and wrinkles on his face, like most other FaceApp pictures portrayed for other people. The picture has been shared by a fan on social media, who captioned it as, “#KapilSharmashow this is for you comedy king Mr. Kapil Sharma you will be looking so smart in next days of your life”. Kapil Sharma’s FaceApp look lookTwitterLately, social media is flooded with FaceApp pictures of several celebrities, showing them in old age. While the craze of the app went to its pick, some reports expressed concern over it, stating that the app poses threat to people’s right to privacy.Meanwhile, The Kapil Sharma Show has been running successfully. In one of its recent episodes, Kangana Ranaut had appeared on it to promote her film Judgemental Hai Kya. Like earlier, Kangana again had taken digs at Karan Johar and Ranbir Kapoor on the show, apart from promoting the movie.
If you are a fitness geek, then here’s a great bargain you might find hard to ignore. Wearables maker Fitbit has kicked off a sale on Amazon for its five most popular fitness trackers including the Fitbit Charge 2 HR, the FitBit Blaze and also the new Fitbit lonic smartwatch.Though the discounts are not that big on the expensive Fitbit wearable, buyers can avail some great deals on the cheaper ones.So the Fitbit Charge 2 HR, which usually costs around $150, will be available for just $100 on Amazon now. The Fitbit Charge 2 comes with PurePulse continuous with automatic wrist-based heart tracking device which will calculate the calories burned throughout the day. Besides these, It also allows users to see calls, text and other notifications on the OLED display. The device tracks your sleep, all-day activities like steps, distance covered, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes. Fitbit IconicFitbitThe $200 Fitbit Blaze is available at a discount of $50. The Fitbit Blaze comes with PurePukse continuous and uses multi-sport tracking to show runs, cardio, cross-training, biking and more. Like the FitBit Charge, it also tracks the steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes besides alerting you to calls, text and other notifications from your smartphone.Fitbit Ionic smartwatch is offering a discount of $30 and the $300 Fitbit is now available at $270. The Fitbit Ionic is capable of storing and playing more than 300 songs and also downloads the playlist from Pandora. The Ionic smartwatch comes with a battery life of more than 4 days and like another FitBit, it also comes with features to track runs, swims, rides, workouts, all day activity and sleep. Facebook/FitbitThe Fitbit Alta fitness tracker will cost you only $100 after a discount of $30. The $150 Fitbit Alta HR is also available on Amazon with a discount of $30.The wearables are available in different colors and sizes. The sale might be ending after the Valentine’s Day, but Fitbit hasn’t made any announcement on the sale end.
The iRobot ConnectR. Credit:iRobot The iRobot Corporation has expanded its technology to interactive robotic conferencing. The device is currently offered at a reduced cost for candidates in the pilot project. The testers are required to submit surveys of their experiences. Citation: Interactive Conferencing: New Beta Product ConnectR By iRobot (2008, January 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-01-interactive-conferencing-beta-product-connectr.html The iRobot Corporation has a new product in beta phase called the ConnectR. It is a “virtual presence network, (VPN) ” The device will allow users to access the iRobot´s secure network that allows video and audio calls between the ConnectR software and the robot. The company is recruiting candidates for a pilot project. This allows registrants to purchase the ConnectR for $199. The expected retail price when it is released will probably be in the $500 range. For users enrolled in the low introductory pilot project, iRobot expects as a condition of purchase some operational surveys be completed. The way the ConnectR works is by virtue of a built-in microphone and speaker for two way communication. The robot has two built- in cameras which effect the appearance of a single video source. The technology allows the user to zoom, go wide angle and provide close up viewing. The zoom level is nearly 17x and the camera has 220 degrees of tilt and can be panned 360 degrees using the wheels of the device. The ConnectR provides users with a unique password and secure back-end network that provides privacy of communications. The set-up requires a wireless network and broadband connection. The following salient points should be made in the overall description of the product, but it is made clear in the FAQ section. In addition the user must have a computer that is equipped with Pentium 111 or better. The computer must have Windows XP with the service pack. There must be at least 256MB of RAM available and 30MB Hard Drive space. The computer needs a sound card and video card with 4MB of memory. Also, the user needs Microsoft Direct 9.0c. The ConnectR comes with everything else you need to enjoy this flexible and fun interactive video conferencing device in the box. The ConnectR has a rechargeable battery, self charging base, joystick, headset microphone, remote control and software that is downloaded from the Internet. The ConnectR robot can run at night and comes equipped with a small headlight. The ConnectR is expected to be marketed to families with distant relatives for keeping up with familial events. Some other purposes include small business interactive communications and creative enterprises where seeing the work in progress is essential. Each user is given a ConnectR phone number and private pin number. The ConnectR is expected to be some months away from going retail, but it can be viewed at 2008 CES in Las Vegas from January 7-10. The 2008 International Consumer Electronics awarded iRobot Best in Innovation and Design for its gutter cleaning device for home appliances. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.