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Alberta premier says resource project financing depends on climate progress

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‘We have got to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time,’ Jason Kenney said

Jason Kenney says access to capital for projects in the oil and gas industry requires action on environmental issues from industry and government, a statement that marks a major shift in tone for the Alberta premier. 

Kenney, who is the leader of Alberta’s governing United Conservative Party, made the remarks during a question-and-answer session at the UCP’s annual general meeting on Saturday. 

The question focused on a comment from Erin O’Toole who, shortly after winning the federal Conservative party’s leadership race in August, said a future Conservative government would commit to meeting Canada’s targets for greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris climate agreement.

A party member asked Kenney if he was aware of that position when he decided to support O’Toole in the leadership race and whether supporting the Paris accord could hurt Alberta’s oil and gas industry. 

After stating former prime minister Stephen Harper supported the Paris accord because it was an “aspirational target,” Kenney said oil and gas companies are telling him that it is getting harder to access funding for projects from lenders without demonstrating a commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

“I don’t think Erin [O’Toole] is wrong to say that we have to find a way forward for our industry where we don’t stick our head in the ground and pretend that the aspirations behind the Paris thing are not hugely influential in how capital is allocated and how market access decisions are made,” Kenney said. 

‘Walk and chew gum’

Kenney’s statements come as more international banks and funds, including Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, are stepping away from investments in the Alberta oilsands. French energy giant Total has written off $9.3-billion worth of oilsands assets. 

In July, Kenney said demanded Deutsch Bank provide reasons for its decision to stop funding oilsands and railed about the “misinformed campaign from European financial institutions.”

But world events and Alberta’s ongoing financial woes may have convinced Kenney to try something new. 

Alberta is investing $1.5 billion in equity and $6 billion in loan guarantees in the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has vowed to kill if he wins next month’s U.S. election. 

In order to ensure Alberta’s investment pays off, Canada has to show a potential new administration in the United States that the sector is making progress on reducing emissions, he said. 

“We have got to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time when it comes to the energy and environment dynamic,” Kenney said.  “One of the reasons I supported Erin [O’Toole] is that he gets that.”

O’Toole, who joined Kenney for a portion of the session, said that Canadian resource companies are making strides in meeting climate goals. 

“If we ever replace a barrel of Canadian energy from world supply, who’s replacing that?” O’Toole said. 

“They don’t care in other countries about carbon intensity, social governance, Indigenous engagement. So we should be proud of what we do here.”

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the UCP to move its annual general meeting online this year, with events spread out over this weekend and next.

The party held debates of policy and governance policies on Friday and Saturday.

The one-day session on Oct. 24  will feature speeches from Kenney, O’Toole, CPC leadership candidate Leslyn Lewis, Justice Minister Kaycee Madu, Energy Minister Sonya Savage and Jobs, Economy and Innovation Minister Doug Schweitzer.


Source: cbc.ca

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Keith Raniere, NXIVM Leader and ‘The Vow’ Subject, Gets 120 Years in Prison

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Keith Raniere, the NXIVM cult leader featured in The Vow and Seducedhas been sentenced to 120 years in prison, the New York Times reports. Raniere’s sentencing comes after he was first convicted on seven charges in 2019, including racketeering, sex trafficking, sexual exploitation of a child and human trafficking.

Raniere was sentenced today in Brooklyn, where 15 of his victims provided testimony over the course of multiple hours. One victim testified that she was only 15 years old in 2005 when Raniere, then 45 years old, began having sex with her. “I want to move on, but he has damaged me in so many ways,” she said.

Another statement during the sentencing came from India Oxenberg, who said Raniere tried to turn her against her mother, Catherine Oxenberg. India said Raniere encouraged her to maintain a dangerously thin weight and expected her to wait for him, naked. “You are a sexual predator, and you raped me,” she said. “When you touched me, I recoiled.”

Barbara Bouchey and Toni Natalie also shared statements, and NXIVM whistleblowers Mark Vicente and Sarah Edmondson appeared at the sentencing via video.

Raniere, who held onto some loyal supporters despite his trial and conviction, has not expressed any regret for his actions, and was silent after today’s conviction. In an interview with NBC News last week, per Entertainment Tonight, he maintained his innocence. “Although it is, this is a horrible tragedy with many, many people being hurt, I think the main thrust of this has been the oppression but really a different issue, which is hard for me to express,” he said. “There is a horrible injustice here. And whether you think I’m the devil or not, the justice process has to be examined.”

Last month, NXIVM member Clare Bronfman was also sentenced. The Seagram’s heiress and Raniere benefactor received 81 months for her role in the sex cult that branded women, but still maintained her support for the cult leader. In a letter to the court this summer, Bronfman insisted she “never meant to hurt anyone, however I have and for this I am deeply sorry.” She added, “Nxivm and Keith greatly changed my life for the better.”

Where to watch The Vow 

Where to watch Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult


Source: nypost.com

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Washington, DC Revel rider dies after police chase ends in tragedy

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Washington, DC Revel rider dies after police chase ends in tragedy

A Revel moped rider in Washington, D.C. was fatally struck while being chased by police for riding without a helmet on the sidewalk, according to reports.

Karon Hylton, 20, died Monday, three days after the Friday night police pursuit, which ended in him “colliding” with a passenger vehicle, NBC4 Washington reported.

The chase began just after 10 p.m. when officers caught Hylton riding helmetless on the sidewalk on Kennedy Street in the Northwest Washington neighborhood of Brightwood Park.

When cops attempted a traffic stop, Hilton zipped through a nearby alley, turned back onto Kennedy Street and “collided with a passenger vehicle,” the Metropolitan Police Department said.

His loved ones blamed police for his death.

“It’s mind-boggling. This was so unnecessary,” Hylton’s girlfriend Amaala Jones-Bey told NBC4.

A protest has been planned for Wednesday night, the outlet said.

Hylton is the first Revel rider ever killed in D.C., but the company’s fourth fatality this year.

The other three fatal collisions occurred in New York City in the the span of 10 days in July, spurring the company to shutter its New York City operation for a month.

CEO Frank Reig expressed condolences for Hylton’s death.

“Our sympathies are with Mr. Hylton’s family,” Reig said in a statement to NBC4.

“As this incident is under investigation, we’re awaiting more details at this time.”


Source: nypost.com

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Skull that sat on fireplace mantel for years linked to missing person: authorities

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Skull that sat on fireplace mantel for years linked to missing person: authorities

A sunglasses-wearing human skull that had been used for years to decorate a Tennessee fireplace mantel actually belonged to a man who had been missing since 2012, local authorities said.

An unidentified person found the skull near the town of Gobey and put it on the mantel — where it sat for more than a year with sunglasses on, according to local District Attorney Russell Johnson.

Someone eventually told the local sheriff’s office about the skull, and investigators pulled a DNA sample from it, Johnson said in a statement.

The office matched DNA from the skull to family members of Junior Willie McCann, who disappeared in 2012, according to the statement.

Local authorities believe McCann may have been killed by a family member who is now also dead, but are asking anyone with information to contact the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office.


Source: nypost.com

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NYC adding hours to early voting sites amid hours-long lines

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NYC adding hours to early voting sites amid hours-long lines

The embattled city Board of Elections will increase the hours for in-person voting at its 88 early voting sites beginning Friday after being swamped by a tidal wave of Big Apple residents who waited in lines for hours to exercise their right to vote during the coronavirus pandemic.

Even Mayor Bill de Blasio waited for hours at a polling site in Brooklyn’s Park Slope Tuesday afternoon.

The board voted to add a total of nine hours of voting from Friday through Sunday — the final three days of early voting before Nov. 3’s Election Day.

On Friday, two hours of voting will be added. The hours will be from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Four hours will be added on Saturday — with poll sites open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. instead of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On Sunday, the hours will be expanded from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. instead of starting at 10 a.m.

The state Board of Elections bars waiting times of more than 30 minutes at early voting sites, and requires local election officials to take action to reduce waiting times to comply with the rule.

“The NYC BOE did not have much of a back-up plan” to handle the crush of voters, said Doug Kellner, co-chairman of the state Board of Elections.

“The city did not provide sufficient capacity at these large polling sites and didn’t deploy its personnel in a uniform and efficient manner,” he said.

During a BOE meeting on Tuesday, Executive Director Michael Ryan acknowledged that some of its 88 polling sites were unprepared for the massive turnout.

“We had sites where there was a line of voters three or four hours before the opening of sites,” Ryan said. “We are aware that there’s unprecedented volume that needs to be addressed.”

As of Tuesday morning, 349,124 city residents had cast their ballots during early voting. Meanwhile, 1.15 million voters requested absentee ballots. About 2.76 million city residents voted in the 2016 presidential election.

Ryan said additional voting machines and other equipment were added at crowded poll sites and new “line managers” were assigned to handle the flow of voters.

He said changes are limited by the design of the sites, noting, “We don’t own the sites,” which include such large venues as Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center.

Ryan also said any changes have to be done “safely” to comply with COVID-safety protocols.

Voters will be allowed to vote as long as they’re on line before the polls close.


Source: nypost.com

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Texas county sued in death of black man repeatedly tased during ‘Live PD’ filming

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Texas county sued in death of black man repeatedly tased during

Relatives of a black man who died after being tased by deputies accompanied by a reality TV film crew is suing a Texas county for wrongful death.

The family of Javier Ambler — who died in March 2019 after a car chase — filed a federal lawsuit Sunday alleging Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody “encouraged” officers to be entertaining while filming A&E’s “Live PD,” because it helps with recruitment, CNN reported.

“Chody encouraged his officers to engage in dangerous, high-risk police tactics because it made for more entertaining television in service to Live PD,” the 29-page complaint reads.

Ambler, a 40-year-old former postal worker, died after deputies tased him several times while he begged “I can’t breathe” and said he had congestive heart failure, according to the complaint.

The fatal encounter began when Ambler allegedly failed to dim his headlights as a Williamson County deputy with a “Live PD” crew in the car drove past him in the opposite direction. An ensuing chase lasted over 20 minutes, the lawsuit claims.

Ambler, who was roughly 400 pounds, stopped breathing as he was being handcuffed and was later pronounced dead at a hospital, according to the complaint.

A death-in-custody report showed the former postal worker never tried to assault the deputies or make any threats toward them, the Austin American-Statesman reported in June.

An attorney for Chody, who has been charged with evidence tampering in a probe into Ambler’s death, declined to comment when reached by CNN. Court records show he’s accused of destroying or concealing records with “intent to impair their ability as evidence” in the investigation.

Chody, who faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the third-degree felony, has denied the allegations, CNN reported.

The lawsuit also claims that video of Ambler’s death, which never aired on the reality show, later “disappeared,” according to CNN.

The show’s former host, Dan Abrams, told CNN in June that the footage — which is normally destroyed after a certain period of time — was retained for three months at the request of Williamson County. Investigators then told “Live PD” the probe was over a year ago, Abrams said.

“That was the last time anyone from ‘Live PD’ had heard about the video,” Abrams said.

“Live PD” was canceled in June following weeks of protests surrounding the police-custody death of George Floyd and reports of Ambler’s death as a reality TV crew followed the Texas deputies.

Ambler’s parents told NBC News that Sunday’s filing — which alleges a violation of the state’s Wrongful Death Act — is the first step toward getting justice for their son. Neither A&E nor the show’s production company were named in the lawsuit.

“He was my first born, you know,” said Javier Ambler, Sr. “And I’m here to tell you they took him away … they took him away too early from me.”

Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore said a grand jury will hear evidence in connection to Ambler’s death starting next year, NBC News reported.


Source: nypost.com

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Ex-USPS worker charged with tossing ballots in dumpster

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Ex-USPS worker charged with tossing ballots in dumpster

A former US Postal Service worker tossed dozens of other absentee ballots and other mail into a dumpster in Kentucky, federal prosecutors said.

DeShawn Bojgere, 30, who no longer works for USPS, was charged with delay or destruction of mail-in connection to the ballot dump earlier this month in Louisville, the US Attorney Russell Coleman’s office said.

More than 100 general election absentee ballots being sent out to voters were discarded in a construction dumpster, prosecutors said.

They were tossed along with 69 mixed class pieces of mail, 320 second-class pieces of mail and two national election campaign flyers from a political party in Florida.

“An analysis of the mail revealed it was from a single route for one scheduled delivery day,” prosecutors said.

Bojgere admitted to Postal Service special agents that he was responsible for discarding the mail, officials said.

“Especially in these times, Americans depend on the reliability and integrity of those that deliver the US Mail,” said United States Attorney Russell Coleman. “Conduct by Postal employees that violates that duty will result in swift federal prosecution.”

If convicted, Bojgere faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


Source: nypost.com

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Black businesses in Canada hopeful that BLM energy will go beyond hashtag and into long-term change

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Organizers hopeful second annual Canadian Black Business Week, on now, will drive progress

It’s the second annual Canadian Black Business Week, and entrepreneurs and Black business groups say they are seeing signs of real positive change emerging from the tumultuous year 2020 — even as they know all too well that Canada still has a long way to go.

Launched in 2019, Canadian Black Business Week is an initiative spearheaded by the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce to simultaneously shine a light on some of the unique challenges faced by Black businesses and spotlight their successes to a wider audience.

“We are your neighbours [and] we’re also your business partners,” Chamber president Andria Barrett told CBC News in an interview.

Businesses of all types have been waylaid by the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down stores, wiped out supply chains and reshaped consumer spending habits. But this year has, in many ways, been even more tumultuous for Black businesses than it has for others.

That’s because the world is now in what Barrett calls “a post George Floyd moment,” referring to the death of Minnesota man George Floyd, who died this summer after a police officer pushed his knee on to Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes, killing him.

Floyd’s death sparked angry demonstrations across the U.S. and Canada against police brutality, and brought badly needed attention to the prejudicial struggles faced by Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) in their everyday lives.

“People are being more intentional, asking more questions,” Barrett said. “[So] we’ve taken the opportunity to create a platform to educate, inspire and promote the members of our chamber and Black entrepreneurs right across the country.”

Rachael-Lea Rickards is one such entrepreneur shining brightly under that new-found spotlight.

She’s the creator and owner of Real Talk Candles, a small business she created as a form of self-care during the current pandemic, that has exploded from therapeutic hobby to thriving startup after blowing up on social media over the summer.

She hoped she might be able to sell a few candles, but sales soon boomed. “It picked up so quickly,” she said. “I had more sales than candles … my whole apartment turned into candles. “

Real Talk Candles owner Rachael-Lea Rickards says she wasn’t expecting such booming sales after she started selling her candles online during the pandemic. 1:03

While Rickards is torn that her business is benefiting from a movement that was born out of tragedy, she’s hopeful that the momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement will be sustainable and make real change for the Black community long term.

“The world has seen us, unfortunately, due to something horrific [and] it’s given us opportunities that we never would have had,” she said. “[But] I’d like to think that the hashtag Black Lives Matter will continue to matter [because] if you’re any business, major business, you should know that it’s the smart thing to do to start incorporating Black people in your boardrooms, in your decision making, in your marketing, in the products that you choose.”

Barrett agrees that this year is indeed bringing about some much needed change for Black businesses, even if progress is still glacially slow.

“Black entrepreneurs were invisible before [but] we’re everywhere doing everything,” she said. “I think it’s now put a spotlight on Black entrepreneurs.”

Earlier this summer, a campaign known as the “15 per cent pledge” urging major retailers to commit shelf space to Black-owned businesses gathered steam, especially in the U.S. 

At least one major Canadian retailer has now signed on. Book seller Indigo told CBC News this week that as of now, it will dedicate 15 per cent of its display space in stores to BIPOC authors, and hopes to increase that ratio to 23 per cent within five years.

“We will regularly reassess our assortment to ensure it represents the diversity of Canada,” a spokesperson for the company said. “We are committed to sharing our progress on this journey and will share major milestones and updates.”

Rickards knows first hand just how powerful such a commitment can be for Black businesses and people. While at an Indigo store recently, she said she took note of a book on display about a little Black girl and how much she loved her hair. 

“We need to see that … we need to see our stories,” she said. “It would open up the ability for us to go right through the glass ceiling that there wouldn’t be a ceiling.”

While she would love to see her own wares on display at one of Canada’s biggest retailers one day, she worries that Black-owned products and businesses will always be seen as being outside the mainstream.

“My candles are very outrageous at times and they can be very real. Will it fit in? Will a Black Lives Matter candle or a ‘I love your kinks in your hair’ candle, will that be acceptable or just a little bit too Black? That’s a big concern for a lot of Black business owners who have Black products.”

Barrett welcomes companies seeking to reach out and make genuine progress with regards to Black business issues, but she has a warning to corporations seeking to claim allyship without putting in the work.

“If you’ve committed to step up and do better in terms of when it comes to working with the Black business community, we’re all watching,” she said. 

“We are on your Instagram feed. We’re watching your social media accounts. We’re watching your board of directors. We know who they are. We know what the makeup looks like. In six months we’ll take a look, in one year we’ll take a look. And if you’ve committed to doing something or making a pledge, we’re going to hold you to that.”



Source: cbc.ca

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Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman indicted in Ohio for voter suppression

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Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman indicted in Ohio for voter suppression

Right-wing political activists Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman have been indicted in Ohio for a voter suppression scheme, after charges were already mounted against them in Michigan, officials announced Tuesday.

Wohl, 22, and Burkman, 54, pleaded not guilty in the Michigan case earlier this month for allegedly making 67,000 robocalls targeting majority black and urban areas discouraging people from voting by mail.

The men made similar calls in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois. At least 8,100 of the calls were made to Cleveland and East Cleveland residents, Cuyahoga County Ohio prosecutors said.

The calls warned that mail-in votes could make voters’ personal information available on a special database used by law enforcement to pursue old warrants, credit card companies to go after debts and the Centers for Disease Control to track mandatory vaccinations.

“The right to vote is the most fundamental component of our nation’s democracy,” Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley said in a statement. “These individuals clearly infringed upon that right in a blatant attempt to suppress votes and undermine the integrity of this election.”

“Do not let these individuals or others like them succeed. Exercise your right and get out and VOTE!” the statement continued.

The men were indicted on eight counts of telecommunication fraud and seven counts of bribery in the Ohio case. They face over 18 years in prison if convicted.

Arrests warrants were issued in Ohio for the duo who was released on $100,000 bond in the Michigan case.

In Michigan, they face charges including conspiracy to commit an election law violation and using a computer to commit election law crime for which they face up to 24 years in prison if convicted.

Burkman’s criminal defense lawyer in Michigan Scott Grabel, told The Post that he is disappointed with the new charges.

“I believe what is in that robocall is completely protected under First Amendment rights.”

Wohl’s Michigan criminal defense lawyer William Amadeo told The Post, “I do feel that there are First Amendment protections that are going to be explored and we have already consulted with experts in constitutional law.”


Source: nypost.com

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