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Reports of video showing Toronto’s mayor doing drugs

Mayor Rob Ford is calling recent allegations of videotaped drug use “absolutely not true.” Outside his Etobicoke home, Ford spoke to a group of waiting reporters, saying “Absolutely not true…it’s ridiculous.”

He then shook his head, got into his vehicle and drove away. Reporters at The Toronto Star said they have seen a video that appears to show Ford using drugs. US-based gossip website Gawker.com said last night that the video is being shopped around by a group of men allegedly involved in the drug trade. The Toronto Star said, however, it had no way to verify the video.
Deputy mayor Doug Holyday said he does not believe the shocking published reports. “Videos can be altered and drug dealers can’t be trusted. I don’t know what we’re dealing with here and until we do I don’t really have much to say,” Holyday said at city hall Friday. “I have not seen any indication of him using any substances like this or anything else for that matter,” he later added.

It’s just the latest in a series of scandals plaguing Ford’s administration that have distracted from issues like public transit, the expansion of Porter airlines and a now-quashed downtown casino. In March, the Star reported that Ford was asked to leave the Garrison Ball at the Liberty Grand at Exhibition Place because he appeared to be impaired. Earlier that month, former mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson alleged Ford made inappropriate comments towards her and then grabbed her buttocks – both of which Ford adamantly denies.

Meanwhile, Holyday also told reporters Friday morning that he believes the mayor is fit for the job but, “if these accusations were substantiated, that would change a lot of things.”

“I have no knowledge, I have not seen any indication of him using any substances like this or anything else for that matter,” Holyday said.

The Star said Friday it had seen the tape on May 3 but the paper waited to publish the story.

The Star said two of its reporters watched the video and said it appears to show Ford in a room, sitting in a chair and using drugs. The Star also alleges Ford makes several disparaging and crude remarks about Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and the high school football team he coaches.

A lawyer retained by Ford, Dennis Morris, told the newspaper that Thursday’s publication by the Gawker website of some details related to the video were “false and defamatory.” Holyday was also asked whether he thinks these recent allegations will hurt the city’s reputation.

“It certainly isn’t helpful [to the city’s reputation]. Whether you can blame the mayor or not depends on whether the story is true. I don’t know that and I don’t know that many of you do,” he said.

“There’s a large contingent of political people that want the mayor out of office. They don’t want him to make the changes that he’s been making. I agree with the changes that he’s been making and the agenda he’s put forward.”

Magnitude 5.2 earthquake near Ottawa

An earthquake centred northwest of Ottawa has rattled buildings and nerves across a wide swath of Ontario and Quebec.

Earthquakes Canada has revised its original report, saying it registered a 5.2-magnitude temblor with an epicentre located about 21 kilometres northeast of Shawville, Quebec, about an hour’s drive outside the national capital.

The original report said a 4.8 magnitude quake was centred near the town of Braeside, Ontario. Less than 10 minutes later, a 4.2-magnitude aftershock was also recorded.

There have been reports of buildings shaking in Ottawa for several seconds; it was also felt in Toronto.

Ontario Provincial Police in Arnprior, Ontario, not far from the epicentre, say they have received no reports of damage.

Sid Bhullar’s Anti-Bullying Music Video In The Great American No Bull Challenge!

sid

Rising young rapper-poet Sid Bhullar, who is glad that his anti-bullying rap song Won’t Stop has connected with students and other youngsters and that his positive message is getting through in a musical language they understand, said he is excited by the competition and is urging everyone to check out his video and vote for him. Bhullar’s video can be found @ http://nobullgreatamerican.votigo.com/contests/showentry/1392887

John Oliver Secondary school student and rising young rapper-poet Sid Bhullar’s anti-bullying rap video Won’t Stop, which has reached more than 100,000 views on Youtube since making its debut late last year, has been nominated in the Great American No Bull Challenge, an American organization that fights bullying .

The Teen Video Awards competition also opened their digital responsibility and anti-bullying video contest to Canadian students age 13-18-years-old this year through a newly launched International category.
The goal of the No Bull Challenge is to bring students, educators, counselors, media organizations, communities, and corporate Canada together in an effort to enable real change at the student level. Middle and high school students, ages 13-18, are eligible to compete by submitting videos on digital responsibility to www.nobullchallenge.org.

The deadline for uploading videos from ended on April 29, 2013 and now voting will start on May 6 for the best videos in their respective categories.

Prizes will include a mentorship by Emmy Award winning filmmaker Lee Hirsch, video cameras, scholarships and a trip to the Sundance Film Festival, where the winning video will be submitted.
The public can vote on the videos the whole month of May and then a panel of experienced judges will determine winners from the top nominated videos.

2012 judges included Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Ann Shoket, Editor-In-Chief, Seventeen Magazine. Emmy award-winning filmmaker Lee Hirsch, director of “Bully” will return as a judge for the second year.
The music video was produced by LINK editor and filmmaker R. Paul Dhillon along with Sid’s parents Joti and Hakam Bhullar, who made him work for the small budget it took to produce the video
“Sid is a quiet genius who might not come across as one when you first meet him but he quickly impresses you with talent and creativity,” says Dhillon.

“I was apprehensive at first that Sid had the ability to perform in front of the camera but when we started filming he was a natural, a real pro who knew how to hit his mark and the camera loved him.

Bhullar, who is glad that his song has connected with students and other youngsters and that his positive message is getting through in a musical language they understand, said he is excited by the competition and is urging everyone to check out his video and vote for him. Bhullar’s video can be found @ http://nobullgreatamerican.votigo.com/contests/showentry/1392887
The No Bull Challenge began as a fight against cyberbullying-a problem plaguing millions of teens and preteens.

D-Company Fixing IPL Matches; Sreesanth & 13 Others Arrested

NEW DELHI-Pakistani links, role of D-Company and the involvement of the Mumbai underworld have surfaced in the investigations into spot-fixing in Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in which Indian fast bowler S Sreesanth and two of his Rajasthan Royals teammates have been arrested, police said on Thursday, adding more arrests are expected.

Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila and 11 other bookies arrested for alleged spot fixing were sent to five-day police custody by a chief metropolitan magistrate Lokesh Kumar Sharma.

“We had information that Mumbai underworld is indulging in match-fixing or spot-fixing and have contacted a number of bookies and some players,” Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar said, giving details of the arrests of three players and 11 bookies in Mumbai late Wednesday night.

“There are overseas connections and there is evidence to prove that the underworld is involved. But, there is no concrete evidence of any (gang) members of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim (being involved) so far. But, it can’t be ruled out,” he said at a crowded press conference.

Asked who the individual is, he said: “We know the name but that could be the assumed name. That’s why we are not sharing with the press. The number he was using was of Dubai but you can use Dubai’s number sitting somewhere else.”

But, according to Mumbai police sources, the arrests were made on the basis of tracking phone calls, at least two dozen of which originated from Pakistan.

A couple of bookies of the total seven arrested from Mumbai are allegedly linked to Dawood, who is said to be in Pakistan, sources said.

Dawood is believed to be a veteran in cricket betting and match fixing.

The Delhi Police commissioner said the suspects were kept under watch since April and it was found that match fixers and bookies from Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab and that some players participating in the IPL were conspiring in spot-fixing.

He said these bookies used to spot the “vulnerable” players who could be easily contacted. But only three players came into their net.

While Sreesanth and his Rajasthan Royals colleagues Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila, as also the 11 bookies have been charged with cheating and criminal conspiracy, Neeraj Kumar said there is a “distinct possibility” the cricketers will also be booked under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA), which deals with combating organized crime and terrorism.

Detailing the modus operandi, he said, “Bookies also told them that they would have to give indications before start of an over about giving away runs. The indications included rotate your watch, put a towel in your trousers, take some time on looking around the field, take out a locket or chain from your shirt and lift vest/shirt.”

The first incident of spot-fixing, he said, was discovered in the May 5 match between Pune Warriors and Rajasthan Royals. This was followed by the May 9 match between Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals and the May 15 match between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals.

Armed with the video clippings of the given-away runs, the police chief also read out transcripts of the conversations between the players and the bookies.

Noting they have 100 hours of audio clippings as evidence, he said that there was evidence that spot-fixing was happening in other teams as well.

The 14 arrested were sent to police custody till May 21.

Police had sought seven days police remand, contending they have collected total 55 mobile phones and laptops, and the data from laptops, all which is in code words, needs to be recovered.

They also sought custody for unearthing the entire conspiracy and to know the who are the other people or players involved in the fixing.

The fourteen accused, including Sreesanth, who came with his face covered, were produced at judge’s home around 6.30pm at Saket court complex.

They all were charged under Section 420 (cheating) and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) of IPC.—IANS

Indian navy hit by another sex scandal

Another sex scandal has hit the Indian Navy with the wife of an officer alleging her husband tortured her mentally and physically and forced her to sleep with his colleagues.

The Navy has been hit by yet another alleged sex scandal as the wife of a senior officer has charged her husband with forcing her to get “sexually involved” with his colleagues, prompting Defence Minister A K Antony to order a probe.

The case has come up on a day when the Defence Minister asked the top brass of the Navy in its Commanders’ conference to take sternest possible action against officers involved in such deeds.

“The Defence Minister was very helpful and has told us that he has ordered a departmental inquiry into the charges made by me and my parents against my husband,” the woman complainant said here after meeting Antony.

She alleged that her husband, who is a Lieutenant Commander (equivalent to a Major in Army) posted at the Naval Ship Repair Yard (NSRY) in Karwar, “forced me to get sexually involved with his colleagues and consume alcohol.”

The woman, who says she has shifted to her maternal home after this episode, has accused her husband of physical and mental torture.

An MBA, she got married in February last year to the officer. The woman alleged that her husband had threatened that if she disclosed about his deeds to anyone, “he would put up my nude pictures on internet to spoil my image socially”.

She said her husband is working on an important assignment related to Navy’s Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier under construction at a shipyard in Russia and is about to be posted there s oon.

Girls jump out of speeding autorickshaw to escape rape attempt

Two girls escaped a rape bid by jumping out of a speeding autorickshaw in Andhra Pradesh, injuring themselves.

Two girls jumped out from a speeding autorickshaw to escape a rape attempt and one of them was severely injured at Paderu in Vizag agency area in the wee hours of Monday, police said.

The girls, both residents of G Madugula area in the district had gone to Paderu on Sunday evening to witness the local Sri Modakondamma festival which began on Sunday, they said.

The girls boarded a shared autorickshaw at Paderu in the wee hours of Monday to go back to their hometown.

After the vehicle went some distance, two boys, who were also travelling in the vehicle started misbehaving with the girls and allegedly sought sexual favours from them, they said, adding that the driver of the autorickshaw then took a U-turn, speeding in another direction, towards Chintalaveedhi.

Observing the vehicle speeding in the wrong direction and sensing something amiss, the girls jumped out of the vehicle and started screaming for help, they said.

England launches same-day visa service for Indians

England`s Home Office announced the launch of a same-day, “super priority” visa service for Indian travellers, an official announcement said.

The first of its kind service launched anywhere in the world, it will be available to Indians from Wednesday.

The service is the fulfilment of a commitment by British Prime Minister David Cameron during his recent visit to India, a spokesperson for the British Deputy High Commision said.

The Super Priority Visa Service (SPVS), which complements the existing Fast Track Service and the recent Online Payment Option, will be available to Indians, excluding students, intending to apply for a six-month or two-year multiple entry visit visa and having previously travelled to Britain, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada or a Schengen country within the last five years.

It is also available to visa applicants sponsored by companies who are members of the UK Business Express Programme. The service will initially be made available from Mumbai and New Delhi, and in the near future from Chennai.

“This underlines our strong commitment to make an already excellent visa service even better. We expect this new service to be particularly useful for business. Opportunities arise at short notice. We want Indian entrepreneurs and businessmen to be able to seize these. The UK and India are already on course to double bilateral trade by 2015. The new Super Priority Visa will help make sure that we hit this target”, said British High Commissioner to India, Sir James Bevan.

The SPVS, an optional service, comes with an additional fee of Rs 51,000 besides the standard fee for the type of visa being applied for.

Applicants must complete an online form and submit their applications, by appointment, before 9.30 am. If an application is successful, the visa will be ready for collection by 5.30 pm, the same day in New Delhi or by 6.30 pm, the same day in Mumbai.

Iran President could face 74 lashes

Ahmadinejad

Ahmadinejad could face lashes or get six months in jail for breaking electoral rules by accompanying his chief of staff to register as a candidate in upcoming elections

After accompanying his former chief of staff to register for June’s presidential vote, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may face punishment if charged with breaking electoral rules.

In an off-guard moment, the Iranian president was caught apparently muttering to his aid and confidant that if questions were raised as to why he had accompanied him to the electoral registry, “tell them I’m on a day off work.”

Iranian electoral law bans individuals from supporting candidates in an official capacity, while the use of state resources on behalf of or against any candidate is also banned.

The Guardian Council complained about the president’s conduct on Sunday. Iran’s constitutional watchdog has said it might seek charges against Ahmadinejad.

The Council’s members said that public fund rules were broken when Ahmadinejad accompanied Mashaei to the election registration office.

The Guardian Council is charged with vetting all 680 hopeful presidential candidates, including Mashaei.

Ahmadinejad, who is constitutionally forbidden from running for a third term, has pushed hard for Mashaei to succeed him when the country heads to the polls on June 14 in a campaign his opponents claim has been funded with public money. The men have a close political bond, cemented by the marriage of their children.

2 women selected to drive Mumbai’s first metro trains

Of the 6,000 aspirants who applied, 40 made the cut for a training programme as trainee metro pilots: Priyanka Balid and Srikala Nair are among them

It took the Railways nearly 125 years to rope in their first woman driver, but Mumbai Metro’s very first batch of 40 pilots includes two women, who are now in the midst of a gruelling 80-day training programme in the city, having finished a stint abroad. The training, imparted on a machine that costs a hefty Rs 40 crore, teaches the trainee pilots not only how to drive the new trains, but also to tackle crises like terror strikes or medical emergency.

Once they complete training, the two women — Priyanka Balid and Srikala Nair — and their 38 male counterparts, will be maneuvering trains on the 11.07-km-long Versova Andheri Ghatkopar (VAG) corridor, the city’s first Metro line.

Priyanka, who is a mechanical engineer, and her co-trainee Srikala were selected from 6,000 applicants who responded to the advertisement.

Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) officials revealed that the training programmes were trained in a manner that would equip the pilots to handle crisis effectively. Twenty-four-year-old Priyanka, who is enjoying her stint thoroughly, said, “Training to be a pilot is definitely interesting and involves a lot of hard work.

The monthly salary to be paid to the pilots once they begin manning the controls is between Rs 50,000-70,000.

Manchester City sack manager Mancini

Roberto Mancini was sacked as manager of Manchester City on Monday– a year to the day after leading the club to the English Premier League title.

City’s shock FA Cup Final defeat by Wigan at Wembley on Saturday meant they ended this season without any silverware and strengthened rumours Mancini, who replaced Mark Hughes in 2009, was about to be dismissed.

The club’s Abu Dhabi-based owners confirmed Monday the end of the Italian manager’s three-and-a-half years at Eastlands, with a City statement saying: “It is with regret that Manchester City Football Club announces that Roberto Mancini has been relieved of his duties as Manchester City manager.

“This has been a difficult decision for the owner, chairman and board to make and it is the outcome of a planned end-of-season review process that has been brought forward in light of recent speculation and out of respect for Roberto and his extensive contributions to the football club.

“Despite everyone’s best efforts, the club has failed to achieve any of its stated targets this year, with the exception of qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions League.”

“This, combined with an identified need to develop a holistic approach to all aspects of football at the club, has meant that the decision has been taken to find a new manager for the 2013-14 season and beyond.”

City’s Champions League qualification has been overshadowed by the uninspiring nature of their title defence, with the club a distant second to already crowned English champions Manchester United and 13 points adrift of their local rivals.

The 48-year-old Mancini’s time at City saw the club win a first major trophy in 35 years with the 2011 FA Cup, while last season’s Premier League title was their first top-flight crown since 1968 and saw the manager rewarded with a new five-year deal.