Celebs show support for `HIV positive` Charlie Sheen

Washington D.C., Nov. 18 (ANI): After Charlie Sheen admitted to being HIV positive, many celebrities have come forward to support his decision to go public with his illness.

Pop star Lady Gaga posted a picture on Instagram, in which the actor is seen talking to Matt Lauer on ‘The Today Show,’ captioning it “#BraveCharlie @btwfoundation, an opportunity for people all over the world to learn about modern HIV prevention, treatments, and emotional intelligence as it relates to the stigma of the virus,” E!Online reports.

Journalist Piers Morgan shared a picture on twitter, in which he is seen interviewing the actor and captioned it, saying “Bravo @charliesheen – that took guts today. Proud to be your mate.”

‘Two and a Half Men’ actress Heather Locklear shared an old picture with the star on Instagram, captioning “My heart hurts. Prayers for Charlie and his family.”

During an interview on ‘The Today Show,’ the 51-year-old actor had admitted that he was HIV positive and said that he was diagnosed four years ago.

ISIS terrorists were ‘high on drugs’ carrying out Paris attacks

London, Nov. 18 (ANI): The drug history of Paris terror suspects is fuelling speculation that the ISIS jihadis were ‘high on drugs’ as they carried out the deadly attacks.

Ibrahim Abdeslam, who blew himself up at a French cafe on Friday, owned a bar in Belgium that shut down two weeks ago after it became a house of drug addicts.

Police officers recovered found syringes, a short set of needles and plastic tubes from the Paris hotel room that the 26-year-old had booked for the terrorists, the Daily Star reported.

Police are trying to figure out if it was drug paraphernalia or bomb-building gear linked to the killers’ explosive-packed belts.

Currently, a siege involving the police and uncertain number of terrorists is underway in the northern Paris suburb of Saint Denis where the mastermind of Paris attacks is believed to have been holed up. (ANI)

Charlie Sheen’s manager refutes ex’s claims

Washington D.C., Nov 18 (ANI): Charlie Sheen’s representatives have denied former girlfriend Bree Olson’s claims that the actor never told her about his HIV diagnosis.

In an interview with Us Weekly, Sheen’s manager, Mark Burg, said that the truth was she wasn’t in Charlie’s life when he was HIV-positive and so, there was no reason to tell her anything.

Mark said that the actor was tested on a number of occasions around that time, but his diagnosis was long after he fired Olson from the ‘Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat Is Not an Option tour.’

Olson, who apparently left her career as an adult actor for him, had claimed that the ‘Two and a Half Men’ star never told her he was HIV positive while she was sleeping with him. (ANI)

 

U.S. nervously watches Canada’s massive refugee plan

Fear of the Canadian border as a gateway for terror — a recurring theme in U.S. politics since the attacks of 9/11 — appears to be stirring anew as the sheer heft of the Canadian plan takes shape,

By: Mitch Potter Foreign Affairs Writer,

Toronto Star

It should come as something less than a shock that the United States is watching closely — and in some quarters, nervously — as Canada’s new government moves with bold, audacious speed on Syrian refugees.

Fear of the Canadian border as a gateway for terror — a recurring theme in U.S. politics since the attacks of 9/11, despite all evidence to the contrary — appears to be stirring anew as the sheer heft of the Canadian plan takes shape, with expectations of as many as 1,000 refugees a day arriving in Canada starting Dec. 1.

A telltale clue on the jittery thinking among U.S. officials came even before Friday’s attacks in Paris, when a senior officer with the U.S. embassy in Ottawa was overheard at a public gathering on Remembrance Day bluntly discussing Washington’s anxieties that some among the 25,000 refugees may come intending to travel south and wreak American havoc, ISIS-style.

“The message was very clear and not couched in diplomatic language — I heard, ‘My government is highly concerned’ about the potential threat at the border,” a witness to the U.S. official’s remarks told the Star on condition of anonymity. The official in question, Peter Malecha, a first secretary at the embassy, did not respond to the Star’s request for comment.

It is unclear whether it’s the speed or size of Ottawa’s refugee mobilization — or perhaps both — that rankles most. Either way, the fact that Canada is about to punch far above America’s weight on Syrian refugees is not going unnoticed. The Canadian pledge to absorb 25,000 people by year’s end vastly overshadows anything contemplated in Washington, where officials are looking at opening the door to an additional 10,000 refugees by the end of 2016. In per capita terms, Canada’s target is 25 times more generous than what Washington envisions. And it will happen 12 times faster.

Close watchers of the Canada-U.S. file in Washington say they are unsurprised by the added U.S. scrutiny, given how border security dominates American political conversation. Unlike in Canada, the Syrian refugee debate south of the border has been subsumed into the already overheated political battle over immigration, with Republican frontrunner Donald Trump warning any large influx of refugees represents a “Trojan Horse” security threat.

“These kinds of American anxieties speak to the borders-first mindset that prevails. And at the same time, Ottawa is being watched down here because it is not just a new government but a young government,” said Washington consultant Paul Frazer, a former Canadian diplomat specializing in cross-border issues.

“At the same time we need to keep in mind that we are a long way from 9/11 and the enhancements in border security have grown year after year, with an array of protections, coming and going. Is it presumptuous to sound the alarm about 25,000 people when Germany is dealing with 700,000 refugees as we speak? It probably is.

“But it also speaks to the stakes of this plan,” said Frazer. “If you’re the Canadian minister in charge of the file, you’re going to make sure everything is done with incredible thoroughness. But when all is said and done you will still go to bed at night crossing your fingers.”

Human-trafficking: ‘Pay or lose passport’

By John Weekes

November 10, 2015

A young man says he was lured to New Zealand on the hollow promise of a two-year visa and permanent residency for himself and his family.

Raghbir Singh Kaler, who gave evidence in New Zealand’s first human-trafficking trial today, said he was told to pay a fortune or lose his passport before flying out.

Two Indian brothers and a third man with name suppression are on trial. They have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The charges including arranging the entry of people by deception and giving incorrect information to a refugee status officer.

Mr Kaler told the High Court at Nelson today he was excited when offered work and the chance of a new life in New Zealand for himself and his family.

The man from Punjab said he learned from a relative of available work permits more than six years ago.

He said he spoke to Jaswinder Singh Sangha, one of three men now on trial.

Mr Kaler said Jaswinder told him he could arrange a two-year visa, and permanent residency.

The witness was then allegedly told: “When you become permanent, then your family can come also.”

Crown prosecutor Mark O’Donoghue asked: “Were you interested in an opportunity to come and work in New Zealand?”

The witness replied: “Yes.”

Mr Kaler said he was told about “immigration fees” and an airline ticket.

He told Jaswinder he was interested, and was then asked to give a copy of his passport.

Mr Kaler said on Jaswinder’s advice, he then travelled 90km, to Jalandhar, Punjab, with a distant relative accompanying him.

He said he then met Satnam Singh, Jaswinder’s brother.

Mr Kaler said Satnam, also on trial in Nelson now, was in an office when yet another person completed the papers.

The witness said Mana Corp, a Marlborough-based labour hire firm, was named as the employer on paperwork.

He understood $12 per hour was the salary he’d get in New Zealand, and he’d work 40 hours a week.

The court heard an out-sourced agent called TT Services processed visa applications for Immigration New Zealand (INZ) in India.

Mr Kaler said he paid 7000 Rupees (roughly $160) in the form of a bank draft to TT Services.

Mr Kaler, who was studying English at the time, said as he waited to hear about his visa application, his passport stayed with TT Services.

He said Jaswinder Singh Sangha phoned him in about May 2009, saying his “visa was there, or might be there”, and he should get ready for New Zealand.

He said Jaswinder then told him to get about 1,055,000 rupees – then equivalent to about $32,000.

“He was shocked … he was concerned,” an interpreter said on Mr Kaler’s behalf.

Mr Kaler said he questioned Jaswinder about the money, and didn’t have access to such funds.

“If you want to go, then you’ll have to pay,” Jaswinder allegedly told him.

So, Mr Kaler said, he discussed raising money from his family.

He claimed Jaswinder agreed to this, but told him if he didn’t raise the funds, he’d not get his passport back.

Mr Kaler said he decided to pay.

“I already made [up] my mind that I have to go.”

NZ’s first human trafficking trial: alleged victim gives evidence

Mr Kaler said he borrowed the money, at 2 per cent interest a month, from his family.

He said he gave Jaswinder cash, for which he never got a receipt, though he admitted never asking for one.

“I was excited to come, [I] didn’t realise.”

The prosecutor asked: “Was anything discussed about travel arrangements to New Zealand?”

The witness replied: “No.”

He said Jaswinder called him back, and in June 2009 he met him at Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, an eight-hour journey from Mr Kaler’s home.

Mr Kaler said Jaswinder handed out passports at the airport.

He said it was there he learned his visa was valid for only seven months.

“No worries, it will be extended when you reach there,” he claimed Jaswinder told him.

The witness said he arrived in New Zealand on June 22 with about 11 other migrants.

He said they then took a bus from Christchurch to Blenheim, as Satnam Singh followed in a car.

The witness said one Jaswinder Paul, also known as “Mr Nikka”, and a “Mr Rajesh”, the brother of a man named Roger, met the arrivals in Blenheim.

Mr O’Donoghue said another group of Indian men arrived about six days later. Mr Kaler said he was then moved to a house in Hospital Rd, Blenheim.

Mr Kaler said he only got about one-and-a-half days of work, which was “not enough” and less than expected.

But he said Jaswinder Paul and “Mr Rajesh” kept telling him not to worry, as work would come.

Mr Kaler said he later learned from Jaswinder Singh Sangha that Mana Corp “had to be transferred” because the company had failed.

Mr Kaler said he was told another man would take over Mana Corp, and then the third defendant arrived on the scene.

He said this man told him there was no work, and he’d have to go back to India – or apply for “refugee” status.

Mr Kelar said he was confused, and had no idea what refugee status was.

“It was happening too quick. I couldn’t understand anything.”

Mr O’Donoghue earlier discussed issues former INZ employee Wiebe Herder raised with Mana Corp’s lawyer about the company.

The prosecutor said Mr Herder had concerns about former Mana Corp director Mallikarjuna “Malli” Chunduri.

The former INZ staffer mentioned Mr Chunduri’s “sudden sale [or] disposal of the company and his sudden departure from New Zealand”.

Immigration authorities made a “special arrangement” with Mana Corp, the court was told earlier.

Steven Zindel, lawyer for the third defendant, referred to “paperwork difficulties” that spawned the compromise allowing 23 Indian workers into the country.

Mr Zindel asked if “there was some pressure to approve the compromise because of the pruning season” looming in the wine industry.

Mr Herder said there was.

The trial before Justice Robert Dobson and a jury of twelve is expected to last about five weeks.

THE CHARGES:

  • Jaswinder Singh Sangha: 7 charges of arranging entry into NZ by deception

 

  • Jaswinder Singh Sangha and Satnam Singh: Jointly face 11 charges of arranging entry into NZ by deception

 

  • Jaswinder Singh Sangha and the third man: Jointly face 36 charges relating to providing false information to a refugee status officer.

Indian-origin men among three face human trafficking trial

IANS

Satnam Singh, Jaswinder Singh Sangha two of three facing human trafficking charges.

WELLINGTON: A trial of two Indian-origin men among three facing human trafficking charges in New Zealand will begin on Monday, a media report said on Sunday.

They were allegedly involved in trafficking of 18 Indians. All the three men, however, have pleaded not guilty.

Satnam Singh, Jaswinder Singh Sangha, and a third man with name suppressed are the first people in New Zealand to be charged with people trafficking, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The accused would be tried in the high court at Nelson city after the jury selection and pre-trial formalities were completed on Friday.

During their arrest in August last year, the Immigration New Zealand (INZ) alleged that the three people were involved in trafficking 18 Indians to work in horticulture industry in 2008-09.

Singh and Sangha were arrested from Motueka town in New Zealand, an important agricultural region north of Nelson while the third man was arrested from Auckland.

Both of them were charged under the Crimes Act of arranging the entry of people into New Zealand by coercion or deception.

Crimes Act is a leading part of the criminal law in New Zealand that regulates social conduct and proscribes whatever is threatening, harmful, or otherwise endangering to the property, health, safety, and moral welfare of people.

Sangha and the third man also face charges of knowingly producing a false or misleading document to an immigration, visa, or refugee status officer.

In September, all the three men pleaded not guilty in the Nelson district court.

The most serious charge of arranging the entry of people by deception carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in jail, a fine of 500,000 New Zealand dollars ($326,275) or both.

The $700 billion man just got hired by the Fed

By Patrick Gillespie   @CNNMoney

Neel Kashkari, who oversaw the U.S. government’s $700 billion bailout of big banks, was named president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve on Tuesday.

Kashkari followed Hank Paulson from Goldman Sachs (GS) to the Treasury Department, where Kashkari would eventually become the brainchild behind the deeply unpopular bailout known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.

Kashkari, 42, was strongly criticized during the financial crisis as the face of TARP. His ties to Wall Street didn’t help either. Shortly after TARP was implemented, Kashkari left the government to work for asset-manager PIMCO.

Unexpectedly, he left PIMCO in 2013 to run for governor of California as a Republican.

During his the campaign, he spent a week living as a homeless person in an effort to debunk Democratic Governor Jerry Brown’s claim that there was a “California Comeback” for the state’s economy.

Kashkari admits in a video that while he was living as a homeless person he went to a shelter to ask for food after being unable to find a job. He lost that election.

But now Kashkari has a job with the Federal Reserve, working on the committee that has enormous power over global financial markets. Kashkari was selected by the board of the Minneapolis Fed. Unlike many other Fed committee members, Kashkari isn’t an economist.

Yet like several other high-ranking Fed officials, Kashkari is a former Goldman Sachs employee. In fact, all three regional Fed presidents named this year used to work at Goldman. The same is true of William Dudley, the New York Fed president who joined the central bank in 2007.

Kashkari comes to the Fed as Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have lambasted the Fed for having a revolving door between the central bank and Wall Street.

Kashkari begins his term in 2016 so he will not have a vote at the Fed’s next meeting in December when it decides whether it will raise its key interest rate for the first time in almost a decade.

The Minneapolis Fed declined to allow Kashkari to speak to CNN Money about his views on monetary policy.

Drunk Surinder Singh from Surrey smashes SUV into Attari border gate

Dawn/TNS

Amritsar/Lahore, November 16

A speeding sports utility vehicle (SUV), driven by a Canada-based NRI, crashed into the Wagah-Attari border gate early on Monday.

NRI Surinder Singh Kang was taken into custody by Border Security Force (BSF) personnel after he rammed his sport utility vehicle into the first gate around 3.30 a.m. and then drove to the next gate, about 800 metres ahead towards the international border. He then rammed his vehicle into the second gate.

The vehicle came to a stop after ramming into the Pakistani side of the border gate.

The incident raised caution among border officials, and led to the Punjab Rangers writing a letter to the Border Security Forces (BSF) seeking an inquiry into the incident, security sources said.

The crash left the gate at Attari “badly damaged” while the Wagah gate was partially damaged, witnesses at the site said.

The driver was arrested by BSF officials, while his SUV was confiscated by Pakistani officials after it breached into the Pakistani territory, sources said.

The vehicle was returned upon request of the BSF, they added.

Kang was allegedly drunk when he drove his SUV into the gate at Attari, crossed the Zero Line, and crashed into the gate at the Pakistani side.

He was questioned by security agencies and later handed over to the police. The NRI was booked under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other charges.

The NRI, aged around 50, holds Canadian citizenship and belongs to Nakodar area of Jalandhar district.

“All gates were closed at that time. It is a serious security breach that he managed to reach up to the zero line. The incident is being investigated,” a BSF officer posted in the area said.

The Attari-Wagah JCP is located 30 km from the Sikh holy city of Amritsar. Wagah, on the Pakistan side, is 20 km from the post.

(By arrangement with Dawn (Lahore) and with inputs from Tribune News Service)

Toronto man sues police for $5M after violent arrest caught on camera

CBC News

A Toronto man is seeking $5 million in damages from police after being beaten during a mistaken arrest that was caught on camera.

Santokh Bola, 21, was arrested after getting out of his vehicle in an Islington Avenue parking lot near his grandfather’s store in Toronto’s Rexdale area, in the city’s northwest, around 7:45 a.m. on Nov. 1.

Santokh Bola’s legal team said the 21-year-old suffered this black eye following a wrongful arrest by Toronto police officers. (Submitted)

Bola’s lawyers, speaking at a Wednesday news conference, said he was released moments after being taken into a police cruiser. Later, his family took him to hospital where he was treated for head injuries. His lawyer says he’s also suffering from emotional trauma.

Bola’s family has lodged a formal complaint with the Toronto Police Service. They’ve also filed a statement of claim at the Superior Court of Justice against the officers involved in the arrest as well as Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders and the Toronto Police Services Board.

“These people need to be held accountable,” said Sonia Bola, who spoke to reporters on her brother’s behalf as he has developmental disabilities.

Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash said the “video doesn’t tell the whole story,” about this incident.

He said officers were called to the area when someone spotted a man with a knife and that officers felt it was necessary to arrest Bola, who Pugash said fit the description of the suspect sought by police, immediately.

Pugash also said the Office of the Independent Police Review Director has opened an investigation into the matter and police will cooperate fully

CBC News also contacted Mike McCormack, head of the police union, for comment on this story but was told he is not available today.

None of the claims have been proven in court.

Video shows Bola pleading with officers

A bystander’s video — which lasts nearly three minutes long and is shot from a nearby window — doesn’t show the moments leading up to the arrest. In the video, an officer approaches Bola, who immediately yells “I didn’t do anything, sir” as the arrest begins.

Bola’s family said police told them they had been investigating a burglary in the area.

 

Santokh Bola was punched in the head at least 15 times during the arrest. (Submitted)

The officer appears to kick the suspect three times, getting him on the ground. From there, the same officer punches the man in the head 12 times in rapid succession.

“F—k you,” Bola yells at one point, amid screams of apparent pain.

A second officer, who arrives at the scene moments after the video begins recording, assists with the arrest.

“I didn’t do anything! I didn’t do anything!” Bola yells while pinned to the ground.

The first officer, with his hand on the back of the Bola’s neck, then throws three more punches into the side of the man’s head.

“Let me go, please,” Bola yells.

“You’re under arrest. Let’s go, now,” one of the officers can be heard telling Bola as he begs the officers to speak with his family.

The officers continue to hold him down while appearing to put handcuffs on. Two more officers arrive on the scene moments later.

“Sir, I beg you. I beg you. I beg you,” the man says as his face appears to be pushed down into the pavement.

With the man cuffed, the police appear to search the man while he’s on the ground.

Just before the video ends, Bola appears to jut his leg toward one of the officers and is kneed in the stomach.

Family wants answers: lawyer

Michael Smitiuch, one of Bola’s lawyers, said his client had done nothing wrong in the moments leading up to his arrest and was just arriving to help his grandfather at the family store.

‘This is not a fight against police, it’s about holding the officers involved accountable.’- Michael Smitiuch, lawyer representing Bola family

During the arrest, Smitiuch said, Bola’s behavior was completely appropriate.

“This is not a fight against police, it’s about holding the officers involved accountable,” Smitiuch said.

“The family deserves answers.”

Ken Byers, co-counsel for the case, said the force used was “obviously excessive” and said the officers involved should have stopped for a second to speak with Bola, who wasn’t armed and wasn’t trying to flee.

“Effective police relies upon respect and trust,” Byers said.

“Incidents like this erode that public faith.”

Sonia Bola said the family met with officials at 23 Division, who said they believed proper protocols were followed and offered no apology for what took place.

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit, which looks into cases involving serious injury, death or sexual assault involving the police, hasn’t been involved in this case.

Bola himself, meanwhile, has been “traumatized” by the event and still flinches anytime he sees a police officer or cruiser, his sister said.

 

Toronto man charged with carrying concealed knife into Parliament

ANDREW SEYMOUR, OTTAWA CITIZEN

A Toronto man who allegedly tried to carry a meat cleaver onto Parliament Hill is to undergo a psychiatric assessment.
A lawyer for Yasin Ali asked for the assessment in court Wednesday after the 56-year-old appeared by video from the courthouse cellblock on a charge of carrying a concealed weapon. He will remain in jail until his next appearance on Friday, when he is to appear in court in person.
Ali had a ticket to visit the Peace Tower, and was in line to go through the visitors’ entrance at about 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday when a House of Commons security guard asked him to open his coat. The guard found Ali was concealing a large cleaver with an approximately six-inch long blade. Ali never made it as far as the metal detectors.
His court appearance Wednesday was slightly delayed after it became apparent he may need the assistance of an interpreter as he speaks Somali Arabic.
It is not known why he was in Ottawa or on Parliament Hill.
Court records indicate Ali’s most recent address was at the Salvation Army’s Maxwell Meighen Centre homeless shelter on Sherbourne Street in Toronto in 2012. He also appears to have lived in western Toronto on Dixon Road in the 1990s.
He was convicted of impaired driving in 1998 and given a $300 fine, three months probation and a one-year driving prohibition. His only other contact with the courts appear to be provincial offences or by-law infractions, according to court records.
It was a just over a year ago that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau shot Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial, and in a few moments made his way from there through the front door of the Centre Block with a loaded rifle. He wounded a Commons security guard who wrestled with him after he burst through the front door, then died in a gun battle with security forces outside the Library of Parliament, at the end of the Hall of Honour.
The shooting took place metres away from caucus rooms filled with Conservative and NDP MPs.
Since then, security has been tightened and revamped, with the integration of the three securityforces that police Parliament Hill: the House of Commons Security Services, the Senate Protective Service and the RCMP.
And security forces across the country have said that they are on heightened alert since the Paris bombings of last Friday. For example, the RCMP has stepped up security at the French Embassy and increased its presence on the Hill.