Monthly Archives: June 2016

Multiculturalism Day in Canada


Multiculturalism in Canada is the sense of an equal celebration of racial, religious and cultural backgrounds. Multiculturalism policy was officially adopted by Pierre Trudeau’s government during the 1970s and 1980s.


Chicago Journalist Tries to Buy an AR-15 to Prove a Point, Gets Humiliated

Neil Steinberg

Chicago Journalist Tries to Buy an AR-15 to Prove a Point, Gets Humiliated

A Chicago journalist dedicated to investigating the ease with which one can acquire an AR-15 had his purchase denied based on a “domestic battery” charge uncovered by the gun store.

The journalist — Neil Steinberg — attempted to buy the gun at Maxon Shooter’s Supplies in Des Plaines, Illinois. He needed a FOID care (Firearm’s Owners’ Identification Card) — which he had — was required to fill out background check forms — which he did — and then had to wait 24 hours before picking up the gun. It was during the 24-hour wait that Steinberg found out Maxon would not sell him an AR-15 because of the past charge and “an admitted history of alcohol abuse.”

Writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, Steinberg explained the process of going into the store — seeing the “cases of weapons” — and of trying to buy the AR-15.

He looked at a Smith & Wesson M&P AR-15 and made sure to point out that the gun comes with a “standard issue 30-round magazine.” He agreed to buy the gun.

While explaining the process of buying the gun, he wrote in a way that showed him reflecting on friends who have suffered the loss of family members to suicide. He also reflected on his neighbor’s shocked reaction when he told her, “I just bought an assault rifle.”

But in the end, he did not really buy the rifle. Rather, the gun store rejected the sale, saying, “It was uncovered that Mr. Steinberg has an admitted history of alcohol abuse, and a charge for domestic battery involving his wife.”

Steinberg responded to the cancelled sale by writing, “Would-be terrorists can buy guns. Insane people can buy guns. But reporters . . . that’s a different story.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at

Blind Somali journalist battles insecurity and challenges of disability

blind somali journalist

Blind Somali journalist, Abdifatah Hassan, battles insecurity and challenges of disability


It is tough being a journalist in Somalia as reporters have been among victims of unrest and chaos since the country descended into war in 1990.

Abdifatah Hassan is a visually impaired journalist from Somalia, he hosts a parliamentary affairs radio show at Goobjoog FM in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu..

According to him, he lost his sight when he was a baby, he said at first it was difficult for him to find work, even after going through training in the field in 2002.

I decided to be a journalist over ten years ago, I got some help from colleagues in the field and efforts have made me became a professional journalist.

He said he got his first job in 2012 and has become a well-known journalist in the country today.

“I decided to be a journalist over ten years ago, I got some help from colleagues in the field and efforts have made me became a professional journalist,” he said.

Hassan hosts a show that talks about issues that affect disabled people in the country and tries to create more awareness for others like him in Somalia.

With the government still struggling against the insurgency and putting institutions in place to run the country, support for people with disabilities is limited.

One of his colleagues, Mohamed Muse said he works well on his own and rarely needs their help.

“I have known Abdifitah for a number of years now, and he is a very talented and respected journalist in the field. He covers events easily and is always on time, without help from anyone,” he added.

Mogadishu’s security has been improving over the years but many parts of the city remain no go areas.

“Somali journalists face a lot of problems when they are on duty. The main problem is that journalists often lose their lives when they cover breaking news. Only last year five journalists lost their lives but most journalists are still ready to take that risk,” former Assistant General Secretary, National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), Abdirahman Omar said.

The country is ranked 172 out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.


Kevin Hardcastle’s Debris wins 2016 Trillium Book Award

kevin hardcastle

Kevin Hardcastle’s Debris wins 2016 Trillium Book Award

Kevin Hardcastle’s short-story collection Debris, a gritty, often violent debut that drew parallels to the work of Elmore Leonard and David Adams Richards when it was published last September, has won the 2016 Trillium Book Award.

Kevin Hardcastle’s Debris won the award for fiction, making it the second year in a row a short-story collection has taken the top prize.

Hardcastle was presented with the $20,000 prize at a ceremony in Toronto on Wednesday; his publisher, Biblioasis, receives $2,500.

It marks the second consecutive year that the prize, which recognizes the best writing by Ontario authors, has gone to a book of short fiction; last year’s prize was awarded to Kate Cayley for How You Were Born.

Debris was also a finalist for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize and the Danuta Gleed Literary Award.

This year’s short list was dominated by independent publishers; the other finalists were Andrew Forbes for his short-story collection What You Need (Invisible Publishing); Robert Hough for his novel The Man Who Saved Henry Morgan (House of Anansi); Janette Platana for her short-story collection A Token of My Affliction(Tightrope Books); Karen Solie for her book of poems The Road In Is Not the Same Road Out (House of Anansi); and Lynn Crosbie for her novel Where Did You Sleep Last Night(House of Anansi).

The winner of the $10,000 English-language Trillium Book Award for Poetry was Soraya Peerbaye for Tell: poems for a girlhood, published by Pedlar Press, which was also a finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize earlier this month.

The winner of the $10,000 English-language Trillium Book Award for Poetry was Soraya Peerbaye for Tell: poems for a girlhood.

The winners of the French-language prizes were Véronique-Marie Kaye, who took home the $20,000 Trillium Book Award for Marjorie Chalifoux, published by Éditions Prise de parole, and David Ménard, who won the $10,000 poetry prize for Neuvaines, published by Les Éditions L’Interligne.

Véronique-Marie Kaye, a winner of the French-language prizes, took home the $20,000 Trillium Book Award for Marjorie Chalifoux, published by Éditions Prise de parole.

David Ménard was a winner of the French-language prizes. He won the $10,000 poetry prize for Neuvaines, published by Les Éditions L’Interligne

Previous winners of the Trillium Book Award, which was established in 1987, include Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood and Alistair MacLeod.

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Freelance journalist shot dead in Texas

texas journalist

Police find body of murdered US freelance journalist

Press freedom watchdog calls for full investigation into the motive

His body was found in Garland, a suburb of Dallas-Fort Worth, on Monday (13 June). He had been killed by a single shot several days before, according to police.

Torres (full name: Jacinto Hernández Torres) was 57. He ran a real estate business as well as acting as a contributor to La Estrella, the Spanish-language sister newspaper to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

He covered local social issues. A search of his articles on the paper’s website by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) showed that he had written recently about the Mexican elections, concern about the dangers of underage drinking, and the effect of US voter identification laws.

The motive for his murder is unclear. His daughter, Aline, told reporters at a press conference that there could be a link to her father’s journalism: he was working, he had told her, on sensitive stories about illegal immigration and human trafficking.

His son, Gibrán, told the CPJ that, aside from investigating riskier stories, he was also worried about dealing with angry tenants as part of his real estate business.

His body was found on the back patio of a house that was for sale and which, according to his daughter, he was preparing to acquire.

The CPJ’s Carlos Lauría called on the authorities to investigate the possibility that the murder was due to his journalistic work.

Torres, who was born in Monterrey, Mexico, had lived in the US since 1979. He had worked for La Estrella for 20 years and was an active member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

Killings of journalists in the United States are relatively rare: seven journalists have been killed in the country because of their work since CPJ began documenting cases in 1992.

Sources: CPJ/Star-Telegram/WFAA


Death order of two Journalists by Egypt court violataion of Human rights



CAIRO — An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced six people, including two Al-Jazeera employees, to death for allegedly passing documents related to national security to Qatar and the Doha-based TV network during the rule of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

Morsi, the case’s top defendant, and two of his aides were sentenced to 25 years in prison. Morsi and his secretary, Amin el-Sirafy, each received an additional 15-year sentence for a lesser crime. El-Sirafy’s daughter, Karima, was also sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected leader, was ousted by the military in July 2013 and has already been sentenced to death in another case. That death sentence and another two — life and 20 years in prison — are under appeal. His Muslim Brotherhood was banned and declared a terrorist organization after his ouster. Khalid Radwan, a producer at a Brotherhood-linked TV channel, received a 15-year prison sentence.

Amnesty International called for the death sentences to be immediately thrown out and for the “ludicrous charges against the journalists to be dropped.”

The two Al-Jazeera employees — identified by the judge as news producer Alaa Omar Mohammed and news editor Ibrahim Mohammed Hilal — were sentenced to death in absentia along with Asmaa al-Khateib, who worked for Rasd, a media network widely suspected of links to Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.

Al-Jazeera condemned the verdicts, saying they were part of a “ruthless” campaign against freedom of expression, and called on the international community to show solidarity with the journalists.

“This sentence is only one of many politicized sentences that target Al Jazeera and its employees,” the network’s acting director Mostefa Souag said in a statement. “They are illogical convictions and legally baseless. Al Jazeera strongly denounces targeting its journalists and stands by the other journalists who have also been sentenced.”

Egypt parliament’s media committee ‎approves new undemocratic amendments to ‎press law

egypt law

Egypt parliament’s media committee ‎approves new amendments to ‎press law

A legislative amendment which grants Egyptian president ‎Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi the right to reshuffle the Higher Press ‎Council flew through parliament’s media ‎committee Tuesday

Gamal Essam El-Din , Tuesday 14 Jun 2016

The Egyptian parliament’s Media and Culture Committee approved Tuesday a legislative amendment aimed at granting president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi the right to reshuffle the Higher Press Council, the body in charge of naming editors and board chairmen of state-owned press organizations.

The amendment, proposed by independent MP and journalist Mostafa Bakri and another 324 MPs, aims atchanging Article 86 of the Press Law (law 96/1996) to allow the president to issue a decree that gives him thepower to appoint a Higher Press Council for one temporary term until the new law on the regulation of the press is passed by parliament.

The amendment states that the new Higher Press Council will have the same powers that were granted to the now defunct upper house of the Shura Council and will also name new editors and board chairmen of state-run press organizations.

Bakri told the committee meeting that the amendment is an important and necessary measure as the legal term of the current Higher Press Council, which is in charge of naming editors and board chairmen of national pressorganizations, expired last January.

“As you also know, the new laws aimed at regulating the media and the press, as stipulated by the new constitution, will take some time to be passed by parliament,” said Bakri

“In light of this fact, it will be illegal for editors and board chairmen of most national press organizations to remain staying in their positions for another term and so it was important to hurry up introducing thisamendment to fill this legal gap,” Bakri added.

Bakri insisted that the amendment does not have political dimensions.

“The amendment just grants the president of the republic the right to appoint a new Higher Press Council as the legal term of the current one has expired and it no longer has the legal capacity to name new editors and board chairmen of national press organizations,” he said.

Osama Heikal, chairman of parliament’s media committee, told MPs that “the amendments grant the president of the republic the right to reshuffle the Higher Press Council for a temporary period of time until new media and press regulation laws are passed.”

“The new media and press regulation laws, which are currently being revised by the State Council, will take some time in parliament to be discussed and passed and as a result this legislative amendment is important to help national press organizations perform their job legally,” Heikal continued.

Bakri said the amendment will also help settle a number of legal disputes that arose after the legal term of theHigher Press Council expired last January.

Osama Sharshar, an independent MP and journalist, criticized the way the legislative amendment was rammed through the media committee.

“This surprising speed – in around one hour – reminds me of the way how laws were passed in less than 24 hours under the regime of (former president Hosni) Mubarak,” said Sharshar, who urged MPs to wait until the new laws on media and press regulations are referred to parliament.

“These laws, which are being revised by the state council, will be referred to parliament within two weeks and [it is] better to wait for this short period of time instead of resorting to needless exceptional measure,” said Sharshar.

Khaled Youssef, an independent MP and a high-profile film director, also highly criticized the amendment, crying foul that it gives president El-Sisi ” exceptional power”.

“Rather than discussing a legislative amendment in record speed, and rather than granting the president an exceptional and undemocratic power, we have to exert pressure on the government and the state council to refer the unified law on the regulation of the media and the press as soon as possible,” said Youssef.

He also argued that, “while president El-Sisi has announced many times that he wants to make Egypt a modern democratic state, we see that this amendment goes against this direction.”

Heikal said a report about the new legislative amendment will be prepared by the committee to be discussed by parliament during a plenary session.

“And I expect this report to be discussed by parliament next week,” he said.

Shalini Konanur interview with Massi Farahani – On Ethnic women Issues and Concerns


Shalini Konanur with Massi Farahani – On Ethnic women Issues and Concerns

Massi Farahani – Association of N. American Ethnic Journalists & Writers ( Canada) interview with Shalini

Dir South Asian Legal clinic of Ontraio  – Toronto  on Ethnic women Issues and concern

-camera: Saeed Soltanpour

Chairman of Israeli TV channel denounced for ‘racist’ comments against Shas


Firestorm ignited after new chairman of Channel 10, was accused of making racist and disparaging comments about Mizrahi Jews.

Arye Deri
Arye Deri (Shas). (photo credit:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
A firestorm of protest, including a threat by Shas to cease voting with the government in the Knesset, erupted on Tuesday after Rami Sadan, the new chairman of Channel 10, was accused of making racist and disparaging comments about Mizrahi Jews.

Sadan’s comments were allegedly made during a directors meeting of Channel 10 held several days ago.

“Let’s admit the truth, I, like you, am in the elite, hate the Shas movement and the thief [Shas chairman and Interior Minister] Arye Deri. But we, as the elite, need to expand the channel’s circles, and appeal to Shas’s audience, to Massuda from Sderot,” Haaretz quoted Sadan as saying.

The phrase “Massuda from Sderot” is a derogatory term for a Mizrahi woman from a development town in the periphery, such as Sderot.

In the wake of the comments, Shas demanded that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fire Sadan for what the party described as his racist remarks.

In a statement to the press, the party said that as long as Sadan, who is reportedly close to Netanyahu, remained in his position, Shas MKs would vote “as they see fit,” a threat to stop supporting the government in votes in the Knesset.

Deri himself took to Facebook to denounce Sadan, saying that, even in 2016, racism toward Mizrahi Jews still exists in Israel.

“In Israel in 2016 there is racism. In Israel in 2016 people scorn the Mizrahi public.

In Israel in 2016 there are people who look down on an entire community that is part of the State of Israel,” wrote Deri.

“Shas voters are not surplus to requirements, Shas voters are hundreds of thousands of Mizrahi Jews who decided to unite and to lift up their heads to eradicate phenomena like Rami Sadan.

We are here to stay, we are here to say to people like this that, in Israel in 2016, we will not let such comments pass, not in public and not in closed directors’ meetings.”

Shas MKs also called on the attorney general to annul Sadan’s appointment as chairman of Channel 10 “in light of his outrageous and unacceptable comments.”

Sadan later denied he made such comments, telling Channel 2 Online that one of the directors of Channel 10 – who had been a candidate for the chairmanship of Channel 10 – was attempting to stymie his appointment.

Sadan said he never mentioned Shas or Deri in the meeting, and that what he had been trying to express was the danger of keeping the media in the hands of the elite and away from the Russian, Arab and Mizrahi communities.

Following Sadan’s denial, Channel 10 director Golan Yuchpaz supported the Haaretz report, saying he had been present when Sadan made the comments.

“After a storm that as gone on for hours, things should be made clear: Rami Sadan told the members of the [Channel 10] directorate and to me: I hate Shas and Deri exactly as you in the elite do,” Yuchpaz Tweeted.

In a separate Tweet, he added that Sadan had continued his comments with: “We need to reach Prachiah in Sderot.”

Despite Sadan’s protestations, a series of government ministers and members of Knesset lined up to denounce his reported comments.

The Likud Party said in a statement to the press that the allegations against Sadan needed to be verified in light of his denial, but that if he had indeed made the remarks attributed to him “they would be extremely serious, and the prime minister totally rejects them.”

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman, along with Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid and the Meretz Party all publicly denounced Sadan’s alleged comments

Toronto Star union calls for 3rd-party investigation into reporter’s death


Toronto Star union calls for 3rd-party investigation into reporter’s death

Award-winning journalist Raveena Aulakh, 42, died ‘recently,’ Star says

The union representing the Toronto Star’s newsroom workers has called for an independent investigation after one of its reporters took her own life, the newspaper’s public editor wrote Tuesday.

Global environment reporter Raveena Aulakh, 42, died “recently,” the Star’s Kathy English said.

The newspaper’s management told English it had conducted an internal investigation into allegations that she had been involved in a relationship with a senior manager, Jon Filson, which were included in emails the award-winning journalist sent to colleagues in advance of her death, she wrote.

“Further, the clearly heartbroken reporter made allegations in those emails about an improper relationship between Filson and his boss, managing editor Jane Davenport,” English wrote.

Senior managers reassigned

The Star had announced Monday that Davenport would be moving out of the newsroom and take another job within Torstar.

English said that Filson no longer works for the paper.

Torstar CEO and acting publisher David Holland said the investigation concluded the organization’s policies related to workplace relationships and conflicts of interest need to be “amplified,” English reported.

“This will be undertaken immediately,” she wrote

‘Employees want answers’

The union, however, said that they want to see a third-party investigator called in as well.

“The newsroom is heartbroken and angry. Employees want answers. Workplace health and safety is at stake,” the letter from Unifor’s Toronto Star Unit, Local 87M read, as published in the Star. “We want the third-party investigator’s mandate to include workplace health and safety and harassment issues, along with company policies and practices.”

The union’s representative, Steve Gjorkes, could not be reached by CBC News Tuesday night.

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