Girl Scouts sue Boy Scouts for name switch

The Girl Scouts of the United States of America have filed a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America for dropping the word “boy” from their name.

Set to be called Scouts BSA from 2019, the Boy Scouts announced the switch in May as it prepares to allow older girls as members for the first time.

But the Girl Scouts say the change could erode their brand, calling the move “uniquely damaging” to them.

Their lawsuit seeks damages and an injunction against trademark breaches.

“Only GSUSA has the right to use the Girl Scouts and Scouts trademarks with leadership development services for girls,” papers filed in a Manhattan federal court said.

The switch could “marginalise” the Girl Scouts, the complaint reads. It reportedly says the switch has already caused confusion, with some believing their organisation had merged with the Boy Scouts.

In response, the Boy Scouts of America issued a statement saying it was reviewing the suit, and that it believed “there is an opportunity for both organizations to serve girls and boys in our communities”.

In October 2017, the Boy Scouts board of directors voted unanimously to open their club to all children.

The Cub Scouts, for ages seven to 10, opened its local clubs to all children in 2018. Boy Scouts, for ages 11 to 17, will follow its footsteps next year when the name change becomes official.

But the Girl Scouts protested the decision at the time, with the group’s president Kathy Hopinkah Hannan accusing them of a “covert campaign” to recruit girls to tackle a “well-documented” declining membership.

The Boy Scouts reportedly have close to 2.3m members in the US, down about a third since 2000, compared with around 2 million members for the Girl Scouts.

Source: Read Full Article

US exempts Indian-backed port in Iran from sanctions

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States said on Tuesday (Nov 6) it would exempt Iran’s Indian-backed port of Chabahar from new sanctions on Teheran, recognising the value of the project to Afghanistan.

Iran late last year inaugurated the port on the Indian Ocean, which provides a key supply route to landlocked Afghanistan and allows India to bypass its historic enemy Pakistan.

The United States will exempt from sanctions the development of Chabahar along with an attached railway project and Iranian petroleum shipments into Afghanistan, the State Department said.

President Donald Trump’s “South Asia strategy underscores our ongoing support of Afghanistan’s economic growth and development as well as our close partnership with India”, a State Department spokesperson said.

“This exception relates to reconstruction assistance and economic development for Afghanistan. These activities are vital for the ongoing support of Afghanistan’s growth and humanitarian relief,” the spokesperson said.

The United States, which has been building closer relations with New Delhi since the late 1990s, earlier exempted India from sanctions that took effect on Monday.

The Trump administration has vowed to exert maximum pressure on Iran to end its support for regional proxies, exiting a denuclearisation agreement that brought sanctions relief.

Mr Trump’s decision has been opposed by European powers as well as other nations including India, which has largely warm relations with Iran and accuses Pakistan of fomenting attacks on its soil.

India has poured US$2 billion (S$2.74 billion) into Afghanistan since the 2001 US-led overthrow of the extremist Taleban regime, which was also opposed by Iran.

India has seen Chabahar as a key way both to send supplies to Afghanistan and to step up trade with Central Asia as well as Africa.

Iran has plans to link the port by railway to Zahedan on the Pakistani border up to Mashhad in the north-east.

Source: Read Full Article

Panel decides Ontario judge who took Lakehead University job broke rules but shouldn’t lose his job

TORONTO — A respected  Ontario Superior Court justice broke the rules by accepting a temporary dean’s posting at an Indigenous law school but does not deserve to lose his job, a review concluded on Tuesday.

The review, which had sparked an intense and ongoing backlash, found that Justice Patrick Smith might have been well intentioned but should nevertheless have refused to become interim dean at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont.

“This is not a case involving bad behaviour or improper motives,” the panel of the Canadian Judicial Council concluded. “Justice Smith was motivated by a genuine desire to use his skills, background and experience to help the faculty in a time of crisis.”

According to the panel, Smith violated Section 55 of the Judges Act. Among other things, the act requires judges to devote themselves exclusively to their judicial duties and to avoid involvement in any controversy or public debate that could expose them to political attack.

Following the panel’s findings, it was left to the chairman of the council’s conduct committee, Quebec’s Associate Chief Justice Robert Pidgeon, to decide on next steps. Pidgeon said he agreed with the panel and, given that Smith had already resigned from the dean’s post, the council needed to take no further action against him.

Smith had no comment on Tuesday but his lawyer, Brian Gover, expressed dismay the council had rendered its decision despite the judge’s request to Federal Court to review the matter. The council, Gover said, should have waited for the court review, which is likely to be heard early next year.

“We expect to proceed with the application for judicial review and our motion for the production of the CJC’s entire (Smith) file,” said Gover, who called the council process “completely unsatisfactory.”

Gover had previously said the legal community was in shock at the CJC’s review and called the decision to go ahead with the investigation without a complaint a “strange irregularity.”

Norman Sabourin, the executive director of the council, said in an interview that he stood by his decision to launch the probe. Sabourin said council is obligated to act whenever judicial misconduct is suspected.

“The report of the review panel makes clear there was an issue with the judge’s conduct,” Sabourin said from Ottawa.

“It’s also beneficial that there is clear understanding now of the obligations for judges.”

Sabourin refused to comment on the judicial review issue, saying council took the position Federal Court had no jurisdiction over its proceedings. The public interest required the council to complete its work, Sabourin said.

Some Indigenous leaders objected when Lakehead invited Smith in April to take on a six-month appointment as academic dean of the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law after the previous dean, Angelique Eagle Woman, alleged systemic racism at the school and resigned.

The interim appointment, approved by the province’s chief justice and which drew no objections from the federal government, was intended to fill the role only until Eagle Woman’s permanent replacement could be found. Smith took up the post June 1 but resigned three months later.

The fact that Smith took leave from the courtroom did not remove the prohibition against carrying on extra-judicial duties, the panel said.

“Justice Smith has an ethical obligation as a judge to avoid involvement in public debate that may unnecessarily expose him to political attack or be inconsistent with the dignity of judicial office,” the review panel said in its report.

“There were also reputational risks to Justice Smith and to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice associated with lending their support to the faculty of law at Lakehead during a time of crisis.”

At the same time, the panel decided the conduct was not serious enough to warrant his removal from the bench.

Source: Read Full Article

US midterm elections results as they come in

US voters cast ballots that will decide who will control Congress, in an election widely seen as a referendum on Trump.

    Polls for the US midterms in some states will begin closing in the coming hours. 

    The Democrats are hoping to win control of both houses of Congress in order to challenge Republican President Donald Trump.

    To do that they need to win 218 of the 435 seats in the lower house, the House of Representatives. 

    In the Senate, which is made up of 100 seats, 35 seats are up for election. The Democrats need 51 seats there to take control.

    There are also 39 state and territories governorships up for election in 2018.

    Keep a track of the results as we get them:

    House of Representatives

    Republicans: 1 Democrats: 0

    All 435 seats up for election, with 218 seats needed for the majority.

    Senate

    Republicans: 42*  Democrats: 23* 

    Thirty-five seats up for election, with 51 in total needed for the majority

    *Includes seats not up for re-election. 

    The latest updates on results: 

    • Republican Hal Rogers wins re-election to the US House in Kentucky’s 5th District

    Source: Read Full Article

    Signs of big turnout as first US midterm election polls close

    WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – The first polls began to close in parts of Indiana and Kentucky on Tuesday (Nov 6) as Americans cast votes at the end of a divisive campaign to decide whether Mr Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans maintain their grip on the US Congress. 

    The remainder of the polling locations in Indiana and Kentucky, and in half a dozen other states, will close in another hour. 

    But it could be hours before the winners are determined in dozens of tight races that will decide control of the House of Representatives and Senate. 

    The first national elections since Mr Trump captured the White House in a 2016 upset became a referendum on the polarising president, and a test of whether Democrats can turn the energy of the liberal anti-Trump resistance into victories at the ballot box. 

    The Democrats are favoured by election forecasters to pick up the 23 seats they need to gain a majority in the House, but have slimmer hopes of gaining control of the Senate, opinion polls show. 

    All 435 seats in the House, 35 seats in the 100-member Senate and 36 of the 50 state governorships are up for grabs on Tuesday. 

    The volatile campaign was marked by clashes over race, immigration and trade. In the final stretch, Mr Trump focused his rhetoric on hardline warnings about illegal immigration and liberal “mobs”. 

    If Democrats capture the House, they could block Mr Trump’s agenda and launch congressional investigations into aspects of Trump’s administration, from his tax returns to possible business conflicts of interest and the nature of his 2016 campaign’s ties to Russia. 

    A Republican victory in both chambers of Congress would be a validation for Mr Trump’s polarising style, a month after he solidified a conservative majority on the Supreme Court when the Senate confirmed his nominee Brett Kavanaugh after a fight that split the nation over sexual misconduct accusations against the jurist. 

    Striking a dark tone at a rally in Indiana on Monday evening, Mr Trump accused Democrats without offering any evidence of “openly encouraging millions of illegal aliens to break our laws, violate our borders and overrun our country”. 

    US stocks ticked higher in thin trading on Tuesday, as investors awaited the election results. Analysts expect pressure on stocks if Democrats gain control of the House and a sharper downward reaction if they win the Senate, too. 

    If Republicans hold their ground, stocks could gain further, with hopes of more tax cuts ahead. 

    SOME VOTING PROBLEMS REPORTED 

    The first polling stations closed at 6pm Eastern time, with early results expected shortly after. A full picture likely will not begin to emerge until late at night. 

    Problems with voting machines were preventing some Americans from casting ballots in a dozen states, US rights advocates said, following complaints about registration problems, faulty equipment and intimidation they have received throughout early balloting. 

    But a US Department of Homeland Security official said the reports of voting technology failures appeared so far to have had no significant impact in preventing people from voting. 

    Voter turnout in national elections, normally lower when the White House is not at stake, could be the highest for a midterm election in 50 years, experts predicted. 

    About 40 million early votes were likely cast, said Dr Michael McDonald, a professor at the University of Florida who tracks the figures. 
    In the last such congressional elections in 2014, there were 27.5 million early votes. 

    “I have worked at this poll the last three elections and this is the biggest turnout ever,” said Ms Bev Heidgerken, 67, a volunteer at a polling place in Davenport, Iowa. “We usually hope for 200 voters for the entire day, but by 9 o’clock we already have had 69.” 

    At least 64 House races remain competitive, according to a Reuters analysis of the three top non-partisan forecasters, and Senate control was expected to come down to a half dozen close contests in Arizona, Nevada, Missouri, North Dakota, Indiana and Florida. 

    In his time in office, Mr Trump has pushed tax cuts through Congress and overseen a period of economic and jobs growth, but has failed so far to deliver on presidential campaign promises to replace the Obamacare healthcare law and build a wall on the Mexican border that he has said is needed to combat illegal immigration. 

    DEMOCRATIC PUSHBACK 

    A Democratic victory in the House would further hinder the border wall plan and complicate congressional approval of a deal to update the North American Free Trade Agreement.

    Mr Trump also could face more pushback from Democrats on trade tariffs he has introduced, particularly in farm states hard hit by retaliatory measures from China or manufacturing states hit by higher steel and aluminium prices. 

    Wrapping up the campaign in recent days, Mr Trump repeatedly raised fears about immigrants, issuing harsh warnings about a caravan of Central American migrants that is moving slowly through Mexico toward the US border. 

    In affluent Newport Beach, California, voter Russ Buller backed Republican Dana Rohrabacher in a US House race and voiced support for Mr Trump. 

    “I love him,” the 40-year-old stay-at-home dad said of the President. “Sometimes he comes across as insensitive, but he’s saying what a lot of people are thinking.” 

    A debate about whether Mr Trump’s rhetoric encouraged extremists erupted in the campaign’s final weeks after pipe bombs were mailed to his top political rivals allegedly by a Trump supporter who was arrested and charged, and 11 people were killed in a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue. 

    Many Democratic candidates in tight races shied away from harsh criticism of Mr Trump, focusing instead on bread-and-butter issues like health insurance and safeguarding the Social Security retirement and Medicare healthcare programmes for senior citizens. 

    That message resonated with voter Clemente Escalante, 74, a retiree. 

    “They (Republicans) have been trying to take Medicare away from us, our medical services, and it’s important that we vote for candidates who will defend that,” he said at a polling place in Tornillo, Texas. 

    The deeply conservative state features a strong challenge by Democrat Beto O’Rourke to unseat US Senator Ted Cruz. 

    Democratic former vice-president Joe Biden called on Americans to use their votes to reject Mr Trump. 

    “This is the single most important off-year election of my lifetime. I really think it’s more than just about a specific issue. I think it’s about the character of the country,” he said in Wilmington, Delaware, where he voted. 

    Democrats also could recapture governor’s offices in several battleground states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio, a potential help for the party in those states in the 2020 presidential race. 

    Source: Read Full Article

    ‘God Is Going to Have to Forgive Me’: Young Evangelicals Speak Out

    The role of evangelical Christianity in American politics has been a hotly discussed topic this year, intersecting with front-burner issues like immigration, the Supreme Court and social justice. Often the loudest evangelical voices are white, male and … not young.

    With just days left before the midterm elections — two years after President Trump won the White House with a record share of white, evangelical support — we asked young evangelicals to tell The Times about the relationship between their faith and their politics.

    Nearly 1,500 readers replied, from every state but Alaska and Vermont. Hundreds wrote long essays about their families and communities. They go to prominent megachurches as well as small Southern Baptist, nondenominational and even mainline Protestant congregations. Some said they have left evangelicalism altogether.

    We read every submission and spent many hours interviewing respondents. Here’s what we learned:

    Young evangelicals are questioning the typical ties between evangelicalism and Republican politics. Many said it had caused schisms within their families. And many described a real struggle with an administration they see as hostile to immigrants, Muslims, L.G.B.T.Q. people, and the poor. They feel it reflects a loss of humanity, which conflicts with their spiritual call.

    Plenty of young evangelicals believe Mr. Trump has helped to achieve their biggest goals, like curbing abortion rights and advancing religious liberties. But they are sensitive to other issues. Many feel politically independent, or politically homeless. There is a fight for what the term ‘evangelical’ even means, and they are living it.

    And the struggle is not just with political leaders, but also within their religious communities.

    The six young evangelicals featured here, all deeply involved in their churches, offer the textured sound of the rising evangelical voice in America, one that is often drowned out by white elders. The interviews and quotations from submissions have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

    We are opening the comments section, and hope that you will add your own voice.

    Alexandria Beightol

    22, Democrat, Marco Island, Fla.

    I was pulled out of Smith College in 2015 when I told my parents that I was rethinking the legitimacy of anti-gay theology. I thought, “God is going to have to forgive me. I am not going to die in this culture war.”

    I was Republican like them. Before, I supported whatever my church told me about candidates and issues. I never questioned or read outside material on these subjects. I secretly started borrowing books from the library.

    I gave a communion message in 2016 — it was, “Our God chooses to die the death of all these marginalized people. He dies like Matthew Shepard, like a kid at the hand of the state. He was a refugee.” My church reprimanded me for “abusing the pulpit.” Other members used it to openly stump for Trump and say hateful things about Muslims and L.G.B.T. citizens.

    The world I was dreaming about was not the world my church was dreaming about. The world liberal evangelicals want to see is the one conservative evangelicals hope doesn’t happen.

    I’m worried that we’ve done immense harm to the marginalized in the name of God. You realize it is not good news at all if you are just baptizing certain inequalities or biases.

    I don’t feel so much like I am leaving conservative evangelicalism. I worship like one, I talk like one. It’s not like I can pull myself out of this relationship. I feel incredibly guilty for attending a church I can’t invite people to. But I love the community that raised me. A lot of evangelical parents are judged by the successful transmission of values to their children. I haven’t wanted to shame them.

    I am very excited to vote for Andrew Gillum. It is not that you have conservative evangelicals suddenly becoming liberal. It is more a realizing that you could be practicing something that isn’t even Christian at all.

    Rebekah Hopper

    26, Independent, Cincinnati

    My parents are very much among the white evangelical demographic that voted for Trump, and still proudly support him. I’ve never told them I’ve voted for Democrats. Whenever they read this, they’ll find out a lot.

    Last year I was in the car with my mom and her husband. Trump had said something. I said, “Well he’s racist and homophobic.” They were quick to dismiss that. That was the most I’ve ever talked politics with my mom. It was five minutes.

    I am a devout believer of Jesus, but I voted for Hillary Clinton because I believed she would be a good leader for this country. Politics is more than just one issue, we have to look at all aspects of each candidate and discern who could represent us best. Donald Trump represents nobody but himself.

    There are a lot of old white men in the Republican Party that use Christianity as a weapon to get themselves elected, but I’m here to tell you that we do not fall for them. The Jesus those men depict is not the Jesus that healed the sick and broke down social barriers. We are not a part of those men’s religion, and my hope is people will see that.

    I don’t consider myself Republican or Democrat. I am pro-life. It’s not just abortion, it’s people in prisons being treated terribly. I went to the Women’s March knowing I wouldn’t agree with a lot of what they are saying. But there’s inequality in the workplace, there’s sexual abuse.

    This is the first time I’ll vote down ballot. If Issue 1 gets passed, that is a huge victory, reducing drug use from a felony to a misdemeanor. I’ve canvassed for it.

    I don’t know if I feel betrayed. My eyes have been opened. Like if you have a best friend and you find out something crazy about them. I’m still working through the shock of that. There are a lot of people who are going to go to heaven who voted for Trump.

    Eduardo Sandoval Ruiz

    23, Republican, Louisville, Ky.

    My family moved here from Mexico in 1999. My parents are pastors, and we have been Pentecostal-evangelical for a very long time.

    Being socially conservative, yet immigrants, has been interesting at best and conflicting at worst. Most people in my parent’s church are recent immigrants. We agree with most of what Donald Trump says about God and faith, but we do disagree with what he says about immigrants and any misconduct that he and others may try to justify in his personal life.

    Being an evangelical Christian, I have to compromise. I am choosing to prioritize my core Christian beliefs over the immigration policies the G.O.P. is pushing right now. That is a point of tension.

    I don’t talk politics to anyone, not even my family. We talk about Christian values.

    I know Trump has brought back prayer. Knowing that our leaders believe those same core beliefs as us is something that brings calm. We know they have our best interest in mind.

    I can see their point of view that they don’t want illegal immigration, being afraid of foreigners taking over, there being a sense of control at the border. But I grew up in a Latino family. We are here to make a better life for our families.

    The left will probably win the next election, but I am always hopeful that God is doing big things in this country regardless if it directly involves politics or not.

    Hannah Flaming

    27, Republican, Paxton, Neb.

    I’ve always been Republican, and yes! I am really happy with my vote for Trump.

    His election was huge since half my family could not see why the other half voted for him, going so far as to say it changed their opinion of us. It’s hard enough to be just a Christian, but as a Republican it’s even harder.

    No one cared about us until Trump. We have a farm, south of Paxton. It’s a town of about 600 people. Popcorn is one of our more specialty crops. Wheat, soybeans. We were tired of having corn drop 40 cents a day. Finally somebody gets it. So our community is upbeat.

    In the Kavanaugh hearing, I thought, this girl is lying. Then I talked with my sisters, who helped me see that I was looking at it through the lens of a Republican, not the lens of a Christian. She deserved just as much grace as Kavanaugh did.

    As a Christian, I drive around the town now and see the billboards that say, “Jesus is lighting the way.” But before, when you’d say you are a Christian, that would signal you are a critical, judgmental person. I feel a little bit more safe now, going into places and saying, “I’m a Christian.”

    What are the misconceptions about young evangelicals? That we are hypocritical, heretics, with pitch forks and ropes to lynch anyone opposed to our beliefs. No. We are not this bigoted, noose-tying faith.

    I’m worried we will be silenced by others who shout very loudly.

    Curtis Yee

    22, Democrat, Sacramento

    Because I live in California and attend a Chinese church, my experience is different from what I see in the news.

    When I see professing Christian leaders like Jerry Falwell Jr. or Franklin Graham speak about how great Trump is, it concerns me that the nuances I see in my small cultural enclave may not exist elsewhere in the country. Who are these people? Do they actually wield that much authority?

    I am an only child from a Chinese-American family. Stereotypically, Chinese-Americans are not as outspoken about social/political issues — or uncomfortable subjects in general. There’s a focus on respecting elders, authority. Pair that with Christianity, and people are not necessarily as inclined to engage in political activism.

    I don’t think I diverge theologically from my parents in major ways, but while my family is quicker to blame “the liberals,” I’m able to see that they aren’t evil, just people trying to do things in a different way. We diverge mostly on how to biblically address social issues: DACA, #MeToo, immigration.

    It’s been frustrating to see people in my church community not engage, particularly on those issues which the Bible seems to speak about directly, like racism and sexism.

    For governor in California, my inclination is to like Gavin Newsom. I’m Democrat by default, simply by the way things have gone with the Republican Party over the past few years, but it is an uneasy alliance. As a Christian I feel ties with the Bible first.

    Jayna Duckenfield

    24, No Political Affiliation, Atlanta

    As a Christian it is absolutely a part of my duty to vote. I am registered to vote in Atlanta and I plan to vote for Stacey Abrams. It’s the first time I’ll vote Democrat. She is black and a woman. I am also both of those things. That’s really important to me.

    When I have white friends or colleagues, and they assume that I align fully with the Democratic Party, I try to be as tactful as possible. Wait, should I be fully Democratic? But as a Christian there will be things I don’t fully agree with.

    As I’ve gotten older I realized I couldn’t be silent any more. Both the murder of Botham Jean in Dallas, Texas, and the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh have caused me to question the legitimacy of my voice and safety in American society. I was incensed — a black man was shot in his own home.

    Both of these stories directly and indirectly communicate something about black people and women. Our worth hangs in the balance. As a Christian, I understand and believe that I have inherent worth, but politically it’s still a battle.

    I grew up in a Christian home, nondenominational, and am still following Jesus today and attend church regularly. My parents tend to lean more on the conservative side of things whereas I have a more liberal bent.

    Climate change is honestly one of the biggest issues my parents and I disagree on. I think they still believe it’s all made up.

    Produced by Tanner Curtis and Rebecca Lieberman.

    Lara Takenaga, Isabella Grullón Paz and Margaret Kramer contributed reporting.

    Elizabeth Dias covers faith and politics from Washington. She previously covered a similar beat for Time magazine. @elizabethjdias

    Source: Read Full Article

    Parkwood Institute’s Veterans Care Program resident raises $10,000 for his peers

    The veterans care program at Parkwood Institute is getting a $10,000 boost thanks to one of its own residents.

    Retired Master Cpl. Ed Duffney, who served 35 years with the Canadian Armed Forces, channelled his salesman spirit to sell t-shirts at $20 a piece. Duffney designs and approves the shirts himself before they are pressed by a local print shop.

    “The Veterans need our help and I just want to make a difference,” he said.

    The designs pay homage to the sacrifice soldiers make for the peace and prosperity of Canada.

    “His dedication to raise awareness and fundraise for the program goes a long way to support the special comforts that transform a hospital into a home-like environment for our Veterans,” said Heather Tales, director of the Veterans Care Program at St. Joseph’s Health Care London.

    The $10,000 Duffney has raised so far will pay for care and comfort equipment for his peers, including ceiling lifts to help residents in and out of bed and comfortable new furniture for family visiting rooms.

    Source: Read Full Article

    Special federal remission program relieves $110M in tariffs in wake of trade dispute

    A special program meant to help Canadian companies hit by retaliatory tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the United States has started to roll out millions in relief money.

    The government has relieved $110 million in surtaxes paid by companies between July 1 and Oct. 1, according to new figures from the Department of Finance. The relief comes as Ottawa reports collecting $438.5 million in the first three months after announcing retaliatory tariffs.

    The remission of surcharges program was unveiled alongside the counter-tariffs last summer, but applications under the program had the unusual requirement of needing approval by cabinet.

    There is no limit on how much money could be relieved through the program for companies that apply and meet the criteria for relief.

    Canada Border Services Agency has also waived surtaxes amounting to $1.8 million under its existing duty deferral program and is considering other applications.

    Back in May, Canada put dollar-for-dollar levies on American products valued at $16.6 billion after U.S. President Donald Trump slapped tariffs on Canadian imports of steel and aluminum, citing national security. About 200 products were affected. Canadian officials tried to keep the list to products that have a substitute in Canada, as not all companies can source their supplies outside of the United States.

    Enter the remissions of surcharges program. The program allows cabinet to consider “exceptional and compelling circumstances that, from a public policy perspective, are found to outweigh the primary rationale behind the application of duties, and in the current case, surtaxes.”

    The funds are welcome news for Canadian manufacturers, according to their industry group.

    “They are encouraged, but it is still very slow,” said Dennis Darby, president of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters. “For larger companies, they have the wherewithal to withstand this but for small companies, it is difficult.”

    Darby added that small and medium-sized businesses have found the process complicated.

    “The bottom line is if a manufacturer needs materials, they pay the duty on the way in and they carry that until they can find a way to get that back and some companies don’t have the cash flow to cover it,” Darby said.

    Earlier this summer, multiple Canadian manufacturers told Global News they were frustrated by the wait to get the financial help they were promised.

    Members of Parliament have been holding hearings into the impact of the steel and aluminum tariffs. Conservative trade critic Dean Allison said it is good to see more relief moving out the door, but he hopes more companies can access it.

    “I’m worried about the mom and pops and people with 20, 40, 60, 100 people being able to get access to some of that funding,” he said. “We’re still hearing from people on an ongoing basis who say, ‘Listen, we really do need help.’”

    While many Canadian manufacturers are looking for tariff relief, it is not the primary focus of Ottawa’s support for the steel and aluminum industry.

    Ottawa made $2 billion available to affected companies through other federal programs. Export Development Canada and Business Development Canada received $1.7 billion for loans, but most is yet to be spent.

    EDC has distributed $44 million since July, while BDC has authorized loans worth $131.5 million to 189 companies in the same time frame. A $250-million innovation fund has provided $49.9 million to ArcelorMittal Canada to modernize its facilities. Other funds have been set aside for work-sharing and the development of export opportunities.

    “We are committed to making sure that every dollar raised in reciprocal tariffs is given back in the form of support for the affected sectors,” said Pierre-Olivier Herbert, spokesperson for Finance Minister Bill Morneau.

    There had been hope that the steel and aluminum tariffs on both sides of the border would be lifted with the new free-trade deal. But the conclusion of negotiations on the United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement did not remove the tariffs.

    The Trudeau government has consistently said the national security justification for the tariffs is illegitimate. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, as well as David McNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to Washington, are having continuing conversations with their American counterparts on the issue.

    In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated his government’s desire to have the tariffs lifted.

    “The tariffs on steel and aluminum are a continued frustration,” Trudeau told interviewer Poppy Harlow, who sat down with the prime minister Monday at the Fortune Most Powerful Women conference in Montreal.

    “We would much rather have genuine free trade with the United States so we’re going to continue to work as soon as we can to lift those tariffs, but we’re not at the point of saying that we wouldn’t sign [USMCA] if it wasn’t lifted, although we’re trying to make that case.”

    Darby said he hopes Tuesday’s midterm elections in the United States will provide a window of opportunity to remove the tariffs and restore the integration of the industry.

    “We’re not in a market where we can say there’s a wall between us — it just doesn’t make any sense,” he said.

    — With files from The Canadian Press

    Source: Read Full Article

    Jammed Machines and Long Lines Frustrate Voters in New York City

    A two-page ballot appears to have caused havoc for scanning machines at polling places across New York City, as scores of broken scanners brought voting to a standstill at many locations on Tuesday.

    Imagine that feeling of an office copier jammed with paper just as you’re trying to fetch an important document. Now multiply that feeling by 100. That’s about how people felt as they waited in lines that circled around school gyms and around the block at their local polling places. Voters waited helplessly as the scanners stood idle.

    By 10 a.m., all four scanners at Public School 130 in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, had broken down, freezing the line of voters who stood shoulder-to-shoulder as the line grew out the door. The police was called in to help. One officer opened emergency ballot boxes beneath each scanner. Voters were told to tuck their ballots, which would be counted later, through slits in the boxes.

    Update: all of the scanners are now back up and running after some voters waited two hours to cast ballots. While they waited for scanners to return they filed emergency ballots, but that box filled up.

    When the scanners were finally fixed, there were cheers in the cafeteria

    Voters reported that scanners were down at Public School 165 on the Upper West Side, Queens Library at Peninsula in Rockaway Beach and Church of the Holy Trinity on the Upper East Side, among other places.

    “I’ve voted in every election since I turned 19 in 2003, and never have I had such a hard time voting,” Elizabeth Goetz of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, wrote in an email. “No signage, super long lines, chaos, not enough ballot sleeves or privacy booths, and worst of all, four out of four scanning machines were down at P.S. 22.”

    Some voters reported that it took them more than two hours to cast a vote. At Public School 316 in Crown Heights, a poll worker was telling voters to come back later because the line was too long.

    The problems caused by the issue with the scanners seemed to stem in part from a lack of communication. Many voters said that no election worker told them that the ballot was two pages long, and that the two pages needed to be separated and fed into the machine one at a time. Feeding in both pages at once could cause scanners to jam.

    Some voters said that pages tore apart imperfectly, which left jagged edges, also jamming machines.

    Corey Johnson, the speaker of the City Council, wrote on Twitter that at his polling place in the West Village, the line of people who had been given ballots was so long it went out the door and into the rain, which caused ballots to get wet and then jam the scanning machines.

    The Board of Elections has previously had problems with scanners, which were introduced in 2010 to replace old-fashioned crank lever voting machines. In 2012, the problems were so bad that the board went back to the old-school machines the following year.

    A spokeswoman for the board, Valerie Vazquez, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    .

    Michael Wilson contributed reporting.

    Source: Read Full Article

    Significant amount of livestock feared dead in barn fire near Mount Forest

    Wellington County OPP say a significant amount of livestock are feared dead in a large barn fire near Mount Forest, Ont. on Tuesday afternoon.

    Firefighters responded to the blaze in the area of Sideroad 2, east of Highway 6, which is southeast of Mount Forest.

    There were no reports of any injuries to humans but police are concerned about livestock that were in the barn, including goats and horses.

    Officials said heavy wind conditions were causing problems for firefighters battling the blaze.

    Damage estimates are unknown yet and the cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

    — More to follow.

    Source: Read Full Article