Abbas Khorsandi has a dream of democracy. In 2004, the economics professor in the Iranian town of Firouzkouh was arrested for helping form the Democratic Party of Iran, along with five other activists located in different cities around the country. Khorsandi was tortured and warned to stop his democracy activism, and was released on bail a few months later after suffering a heart attack. On Sept. 17, the 50-year-old with two small children was arrested again, taken to the notorious Ward 209 of Evin Prison, where it is believed that those who go in stand a much slimmer chance of coming out alive. Charged with taking action against the security of the government and establishing an illegal organization (political party), Khorsandi has been allowed no legal representation and his wife, who has been told to stop coming to the courthouse to inquire about her husband, has only received information about him through another inmate, a human-rights activist who received a five-minute trial with no representation. Khorsandi’s situation, we’re told, is “grave,” and the only way to save the life of a man with no trial date and whose case is shrouded in morbid silence is to “make noise.” This isn’t even just about Obama, whose chances for grasping the Democratic nomination are slim but who can still influence the foreign policy of a ticket as a running mate. He’s offering these “strategies” because they have an audience here in the U.S., where an isolationist like Ron Paul gets a cult-like following and the phrase “avoidance of war at any cost” more accurately describes the anti-war crowd. It’s about a dangerous ignorance of international ideologies, loyalties, attitudes, extremist movements and the revolutionaries who risk their lives to oppose them. A recent Gallup Poll had 35 percent of Americans surveyed appropriately opining that Iran was the greatest threat to global stability, putting the Islamic regime at the top of the list. Yet 57 percent of all polled didn’t even know enough about economic sanctions against Iran to give an opinion on the tactic. The poll also had more Americans calling the United States the greatest world threat than nuclear-armed, terrorist-infested, state-of-emergency Pakistan. Obama and others play off the fallacious refrain that those exercising steadfast opposition to the mullahs’ regime are just trying to start new conflicts with a Napoleonic warlust. Yet war is often called a “necessary evil” for a reason. Few want the retaliatory fury of a spurned mullahocracy unleashing its “nuclear energy” program on Mideast neighbors. Those with their eyes open know that Ayatollah Khameini’s clan would welcome mass civilian deaths with open arms, even purposely putting women and children (and those elusive gays!) in harm’s way – having seen in Iraq how precision wartime operations can be spun in the P.R. machine to turn Europeans and Americans against their governments. When it comes down to it, it’s more than just about us. It’s about more than Democratic Party debates. It’s about people like the fledgling Democratic Party of Iran, Abbas Khorsandi, and the other founders arrested across Iran on Sept. 17: Sehpideh Pour-aqayee, Meisam Roodaki, Quasem Shirzadian, Bahrom Rasekhisar and Mansour Fraji. It is, Sen. Obama, a matter of human rights vs. torture, freedom vs. oppression, and life vs. death. Bridget Johnson writes for the Daily News and blogs at insidesocal.com/friendlyfire. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.orgWant local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre Iran has been on the lips of a bigger and richer Democratic Party, the one here in the U.S. Sen. Barack Obama last week expressed his eagerness to meet directly with Iranian leaders to “engage in aggressive personal diplomacy.” “We are willing to talk about certain assurances in the context of them showing some good faith,” Obama told The New York Times. “I think it is important for us to send a signal that we are not hellbent on regime change, just for the sake of regime change, but expect changes in behavior. “There are both carrots and there are sticks available to them for those changes in behavior,” he said. These bribes could include membership in the World Trade Organization and backing off any aims of “regime change” – in other words, hanging the Khorsandis out to dry. Would Obama, swiftly becoming the master of confounding foreign policy, have the campfire singalong with Iran before or after he attacks Pakistan? And why, after all the regime has done, would anyone trust the Islamic Republic to not smile sweetly, accept Obama’s carrot, talk pretty, then whack America over the head with the stick?
The past two days have been great with lovely sunny weather and fun small surf for all our lessons!Unfortunately the forecast for this weekend is for the swell to come from the South so the waves will be flat Saturday and Sunday, but that’s a great opportunity to head to Rathmullan and try out Stand Up Paddle boarding this weekend!Next week is showing an increase in swell size so fingers crossed for some waves. Iain ADVENTURE ONE SURF REPORT – PERFECT PADDLE BOARDING WEATHER! was last modified: August 9th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ADVENTURE ONE SURF REPORT – PERFECT PADDLE BOARDING WEATHER!
Great mini-adventures await your children where they get to learn new life skills and make new friends doing everything from building their own rafts to kayaking on Gartan Lake….Gartan is running FUN DAYS and events right throughout April with details on the poster above.For more information log on to www.gartan.com or call 07491 37032 to reserve a place. LET THE KIDS ENJOY THE GREAT OUTDOORS AT GARTAN THIS EASTER was last modified: March 30th, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:2015adventure centreEastergartan
European Week of Sport activity for families and individuals, young and not so young, beginners and experts are taking place this weekThe European Week of Sport, 7th – 13th September, is being coordinated in Ireland by the Irish Sports Council. Gartan Outdoor Education and Training Centre has partnered with the Sports Council and Donegal Sports Partnership to provide events in Donegal.The initiative aims to promote participation in sport and physical activity across Europe. The Week is for everyone, regardless of age, background or fitness level. With a focus on grassroots initiatives, it will inspire Europeans to participate on a regular basis and create opportunities in peoples’ everyday lives to exercise more. Gartan OETC has been working with the Irish Sports Council and Donegal Sports Partnership, together coordinating a programme of ‘Outdoor Adventures’ events on a nationwide basis. Throughout the country, events are being provided by Outdoor Education Ireland, the national network of public Outdoor Education and Training Centres.The programme at Gartan, being provided Friday night 11th September and all day Saturday 12th September, is packed with activity and gives plenty of scope for variety. Full details are on the Gartan website www.gartan.com, and facebook page.Hourly taster sessions of kayaking, mountain biking skills, rockclimbing and bouldering movement skills, team tasks are for everyone. Families with young children will particularly enjoy the fun of Tracking the Trolls through Gartan Estate woodland!On Friday night activities, including a night swim, will be followed by a barbeque. While there is a cost of €15 for Friday evening, including the barbeque, Saturday events are free of charge. Booking is essential, and a small booking deposit, fully refundable, secures your place. However, be warned – there will be no refund for those who don’t turn up. Non refunded deposits will be put to good use though, and will be donated to the Irish Nepalese Education Trust (INET) Earthquake Appeal, a cause close to our outdoor hearts.Details of all events nationwide can be found at www.irishsportscouncil.ie or at the European Week of Sport site ec.europa.eu/sport/weekTake this opportunity to get out, and get active, with Gartan! CELEBRATE EUROPEAN WEEK OF SPORT AT GARTAN OUTDOOR CENTRE was last modified: September 8th, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:gartanweek of sport
DDTV: Simply click play on the video above to watch the footage of Storm Rachel in West Donegal this morning.The storm has absolutely battered Donegal over the last twelve hours and is expected to do so for the rest of the evening. The footage above filmed by Iain Miller shows the storm taking effect in different parts of the Rosses.The severe guts have caused chaotic seas and that has resulted in all Ferry services to Arranmore suspended as a result.To watch the 0.38 second clip simply click play on the video above.DDTV: WATCH STORM RACHEL HIT WEST DONEGAL WITH 150KM/HR WINDS was last modified: January 15th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DDTVIain MillernewsStorm Rachelweather
Red Bluff >> The Red Bluff Spartans boys soccer team played to a tie Wednesday and the girls team to a 1-0 loss against the West Valley Eagles.The boys were on the road at Redding Soccer Park and got out to a 2-1 lead in the first half of play, but gave up the same margin in the second half to tie 3-3.The girls hosted the Eagles and gave up a goal in the second half after a scoreless first half to take the loss.The boys team (7-2-1) is scheduled to take on the Shasta Wolves (6-3) in Redding …
From Left: Chairperson of theGauteng Advisory Board Simon Molefe,Deputy Minister Obed Bapela and NYDACEO Steven Ngobeni stand in front ofthe Youth Express train. Traditional dancers who are part of theUmoja group were on hand to providesome entertainment. The Youth Express train that will betravelling around the country. (Images: Zakithi Motha)MEDIA CONTACTS• Linda Mbongwa+27 11 651 7053• Palesa Madumo+27 11 506 7376+27 72 973 2996Valencia TalaneThe Youth Express train takes off on 1 June from Johannesburg’s Park station, carrying on board be an energised team of people who are passionate about taking youth development further than it has gone before.Young people across South Africa should take the opportunity to acquaint themselves with, and explore the services of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) when the train hits their hometown.The NYDA launched their campaign for June, which is South Africa’s Youth Month, in Johannesburg on Tuesday 29 May. The organisation’s programme for this year involves a month-long train ride to all the provinces, an effort they describe as a way to reach as many of young South Africans as possible.In a partnership with the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), the NYDA will use the month to enhance their awareness campaign by taking their services to rural areas.The expedition is described by CEO Steven Ngobeni as an opportunity for the organisation to shine through in its efforts and show that it is capable of making strides in the field of youth development.It also gives the agency an opportunity to revive their image, which came under attack in 2010 from media reports of overspending for the hosting of the World Festival of Youth and Students, held in that year.At the centre of this year’s campaign is a youth fair planned for the official Youth Day celebrations at the Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. This will involve young entrepreneurs setting up exhibition stands at the venue and showcasing their businesses, while networking with captains of industry.Youth Day, which is celebrated on 16 June, is observed nationally to commemorate the student uprising of 1976 that occurred in several of the country’s largest townships. The day has been recognised as a national public holiday since 1994 and honours those who took part in the protests against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction for black pupils.Righting mistakes of the pastIn the past, said Ngobeni, the systems in place for the NYDA to operate would give potential young entrepreneurs large funds in the form of loans, without helping them to understand the implications of handling their money and their business.This is not the case anymore as the organisation now goes through all the processes with the client to make sure they have sufficient understanding of how their business works and to ensure sustainability.“The problem with the ways of the past is that there was no financial management training to accompany the loan. So instead of developing young entrepreneurs, we were, in a sense, setting that young person up to fail,” he said.“We are now moving towards making sure that young people know where to go for help when they need to start a business, including assigning them a mentor who will walk them through the processes.”He added that through a new initiative called Ithubalentsha micro enterprise programme, they hope to give deserving young people access to sustainable enterprise development products and services. “Ithubalentsha” is a Zulu word meaning “An opportunity for the youth”.Corporates lend a handIn order for the key programmes of the NYDA to succeed, however, the cooperation of corporate South Africa is needed. The message from the agency is that with the unemployment rate being as high as it is in the country, South African companies need to be asking themselves how they can help.Mzwabantu Ntlangeni, the NYDA’s executive manager of corporate partnerships, expressed satisfaction at the role that some of the country’s largest and most well-known companies have played in partnership endeavours.“We believe that there is no such thing as knocking on the wrong door,” he said, explaining that where the NYDA is not able to assist a budding entrepreneur or a young person with a worthy social initiative, they show them the way to the right door.“And the response has been very positive from corporates. A lot of them have had a somewhat negative impression of how the NYDA operates because of the media reports regarding, among other things, the world youth festival.“But when they see our plan of action, they see feasible projects that they can take part in and help turn the situation with the youth around in a big way.”One such company is the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa). Head of communications Lawrence Venkile said their core vision as a company is to position rail services as the preferred mode of transportation, and that incorporating the skills of young people in order to do this makes sense for their brand.“We see ourselves as having an opportunity to contribute towards youth development through mobility,” he said.Venkile further said while they find the opportunity to create jobs for young people exciting, their objectives do not end there. Prasa also wants to attract as many young commuters to the use of its services on a daily basis.“We transport over two-million people daily on our trains, so to attract more young people, our plan is to make our trains trendy.”Turning a bad image aroundBecause the NYDA is a government agency, its performance and governance record is monitored by the national government. Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring, Evaluation and Administration, Obed Bapela, was also on hand to provide some scope into the work of the NYDA.Bapela paid tribute to the outgoing board of the NYDA, whose term ended in April this year, saying they laid the foundation for what is now a world-class youth development agency that adheres to good corporate governance principles.“It is as a result of the hard work that went into the first three years of this agency that it has managed to receive unqualified audit opinions for the financial years since its establishment,” he said.He further listed some of the NYDA’s most notable achievements since its establishment in 2009. Among these is the successful setting up of 144 service delivery access points across the country through which the organisation can be reached.The agency has also linked over 2 000 young people with mentors and given over R60-million (just over US$ 7-million) in loans to entrepreneurs.Bapela concedes that there is more to be done still. In a country with young people accounting for 70% of the 25% unemployment rate, the work cannot be done by the government alone.
What is the measure of the time between slipping on a peel and hitting the pavement?One bananosecond.What is the ratio of an igloo’s circumference to its diameter?Eskimo pi.What is the metric equivalent of 1,000 aches?1 megahurtz.What is the metric equivalent of 2,000 mockingbirds?2 kilomockingbirds.Are you feeling tortured by dead physicists?To those who feel tortured by puns, I apologize. I’ve been feeling a bit tortured myself by news reports coming out of Japan, and specifically, the code language that surrounds radiation. The numbers themselves are usually very small and difficult to visualize, they are denoted in unfamiliar units named for dead European scientists, and just when I think I’ve mastered one, another shows up in the news.In the interest of being more informed about what we’re being exposed to, both in Japan and in nuclear plants closer to home, I, your fearless Energy Solutions columnist, will now attempt to decode them.Waiter, there are becquerels in my waterRadioactivity comes from the decay of large atoms like uranium. As uranium atoms break down, they give off energy in the form of radioactive particles. These particles are also atoms, and themselves tend to be radioactive and subject to further decay.We can measure the number of decay reactions going on in a given amount of radioactive material in terms of curies, named for Marie and Pierre Curie, who pioneered and named the study of radioactivity. One curie equals 37 billion disintegrations per second. Because one curie represents a lot of radioactive material, we often hear about a picocurie, or one-trillionth of a curie. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has a limit of 20,000 picocuries per liter of drinking water.Curies are a non-metric unit that, like inches and feet, aren’t preferred in international science. The preferred term is the becquerel (Bq), which refers to the activity of a quantity of material in which there is one decay per second. Like the Curies, Henri Becquerel was a Frenchman who studied radioactivity; he shared with them the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics.We heard a lot about becquerels when there turned out to be too many of them in the Toyko drinking water—more than 100 becquerels of iodine per liter, the safety limit for infants.I have been puzzled, though, over how one can refer to a precise quantity of radioactive material in water in terms of becquerels or picocuries. These units refer to a rate of radioactive decay per second, not a quantity of material. In other words, referring to the number of becquerels in a glass of water is like referring to the number of miles-per-hour between two Interstate exits.You can derive the number of miles between those two exits if you can measure the time (in hours) it took you to travel between them, and if you know your speed. In the same way, scientists can get a read on the number of radioactive particles in a glass of water by taking the rate of radioactivity they are reading (in becquerels) and doing math based on time of exposure and other factors. However, I can’t explain why they refer to both rate and quantity as becquerels, effectively not distinguishing between miles and miles-per-hour.How much are we exposed to?While the becquerel tells us about the radioactive matter, other measures tell us how much radioactivity we may be exposed to. The gray (named for Louis Harold Gray) measures the deposited energy of radiation on one’s body. One gray is the equivalent of absorbing the energy of one billion decayed uranium atoms per gram of body mass.A similar measure to the gray is the sievert. The sievert is named for a Swedish physicist who studied how radiation is absorbed by the body. The sievert, in contrast with the gray, is an “effective dose” that factors measures like the type of tissue absorbing the radiation. Around nuclear power, the gray and the sievert mean pretty much the same thing, but the sievert is more widely reported. (Both units, gray and sievert, effectively replace rad and rem, older inch-pound measurements that you still see in places.)A sievert is a very, very large dose, so it turns out the doses we really care about are measured in millsieverts (mSv), or thousandths of a sievert. These measurements are highly relevant inside a nuclear plant or other zone of contamination (like Chernobyl), because they indicate to an emergency worker how much exposure he is getting. In the case of off-the-charts readings, they also indicate a worrisome amount of contamination. In one recent incident at Fukushima, we heard of a technician turning and running after the meter in his hands maxed out at 1,000 millisieverts (or one whole sievert).It’s crucial to distinguish between rate of dose and actual doseWhen thinking about millisieverts, it’s crucial to watch the time factor. We know from incidents of measured radiation poisoning that a dose of 5,000 mSv is reliably fatal. But how long does it take to accumulate such a dose? Readings of mSv are usually given in per-hour metrics, as with the unfortunate technician who was reading more than 1,000 mSv per hour.Exposure to a 1,000 mSv reading for an instant is not likely to be harmful. But take your cue from that technician, and don’t stick around! That fatal dose of 5,000 mSv could accumulate in just five hours of exposure to 1,000 mSv per hour conditions, or in a month’s work of exposure to 7 mSv per hour. Radiation close to the Fukushima reactors was measured at 400 mSv/hour at one point, and was at 8 mSv/hour at the gate of the plant.Making apples-to-apples comparisons — with bananasWe often hear reassurances from authorities that radiation being emitted from a nuclear plant is much less than in a chest x-ray, or that which you receive from a transcontinental flight. These reference points seem to have become units in their own right—you may hear that a dose was half of that received in a chest x-ray. How much is that?A regular chest x-ray gives 0.1 mSv—truly small. A CT scan gives you as many as 30 mSv, so while doctors are very soothing about radiation from x-rays, they are much more cautious with CT scans, particularly around infants and children. That flight from New York to L.A. will give you a dose of about 0.03 mSv. You may be exposed to about 1 mSv/year through average background radiation, meaning that it would take 5,000 years to accumulate a serious dose.Speaking of bananoseconds, that’s how long you should stick around and listen to someone who tries to soothingly explain radiation in terms of something called the Banana Equivalent Dose, or BED. A public relations brainstorm, the BED is supposed to represent the amount of radiation you are exposed to from a banana, and thus offer an understandable and benign comparison with things like living near a nuclear plant. The measure is based on poor assumptions about how much potassium in bananas is radioactive (not much), and how the body metabolizes that potassium (very different than how it metabolizes radioactive strontium from nuclear fuel).Get it straight: Contamination versus radiationOne worrisome aspect of the Fukushima crisis, and the way in which government officials and the media have communicated about it, has been lack of clear information about contamination, as opposed to radiation.The amount of radiation you receive from a radioactive particle gets much smaller as you get further away from it. If you were in a large room with a tiny particle of plutonium, for example, your Geiger counter might not pick up much radiation. On the other hand, if you breathed that same particle into your lungs, and it became lodged against a group of your cells, those cells would be bombarded with a lot of radiation, particularly relative to their mass.When particle contamination is a risk—as with, say, explosions of reactor buildings— authorities should be keeping us very informed about what kind of contamination might be present in the air and on the ground—iodine, cesium, plutonium, and others—in addition to levels of radiation that are present.Your questions answeredDear Energy Solutions, Is PV a viable solution in the northern U.S.? – Angela in VermontAs proof that it can be done, my home in Vermont (like fellow GBA blogger Martin Holladay’s) is completely “off the grid” in terms of electricity. All of our (modest) electrical needs are served by our 1.1-kilowatt photovoltaic array, with juice to spare under this cold March sun. However, PV is an investment measured for most households in of tens of thousands of dollars. Not only is that difficult to afford for many people, but it would take decades for the average homeowner to pay back in savings (in current utility rates) an investment in PV. For me, the payback was instant because my home is a half-mile from the power line and the cost of bringing that in would have been greater.More on this and other energy solutions in future columns—keep those questions coming.
Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, says the Government is committed to the elimination of all forms of child labour in Jamaica.He informed that this objective is anchored on the recognition that the eradication of abuse against children is directly linked to the development of a safe society for all citizens.“Our determination in this goal is unshakable and we will remain engaged with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the European Union, and other international and local partners in this endeavour,” he assured.The Minister was presenting the keynote address at the World Day Against Child Labour 2013 forum, held at the Alhambra Inn in Kingston, on June 12. The day was observed under the theme: ‘No to Child Labour in Domestic Work’.Child labour, as defined by the ILO’s Minimum Age Convention of 1973, is a form of abuse, which refers to any work done by children which is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to them and interferes with their education.Under the country’s Child Care and Protection Act, it is an offence to employ a child under 13 years old. The law, however, makes an exception for children 13 to 15 years old to be employed, but only under circumstances where they are allowed to do only light work.Minister Kellier further pledged that children in hazardous work – one of the worst forms of child labour – which either threatens to harm the health, safety, wellbeing or morals of the children involved, will not be condoned in Jamaica “in any shape, size or form”.He pointed out that in this vein, the Ministry has increased its capacity to introduce, implement and enforce new legislation for this purpose.“(Our country) programmes, among other things, seek to strengthen the capacity of national and local authorities, social partners and civil society in the formulation, implementation and enforcement of policies to fight the scourge of child labour,” he said.The Ministry, he informed, has also achieved the integration of child labour education in various relevant national plans.Mr. Kellier also pointed to the work of the Tackling child labour through education (TACKLE/ILO) project office, which he said, continues to work to increase the ability of a range of social partners to play an integral role in policy dialogue and practice in their own organisations.He said all Jamaicans also have a role to play in the fight against of child labour, noting that many culturally accepted practices and perceptions must be overcome in order to eradicate the practice.Meanwhile, Chairman of the Advisory Board, TACKLE Project, Errol Miller, informed that approximately 16,000 children are involved in some form of economic activity in Jamaica.He noted that the figure is contained in a survey carried out by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica in 2002. The study revealed that the chief child labourers were street children, including market vendors, mainly in urban areas; commercial agricultural workers; urban formal sector workers, and domestic workers.“The message is apt for Jamaica – we are also guilty of child labour,” he said. Mr. Miller therefore called on all Jamaicans to say a resounding “No, to child labour!”For her part, Head of Delegation, European Union, Paola Amadei, pointed out that the closest ally of child labour in the developing world is poverty.She noted that, as such, the EU is engaged in combating the root causes of the problem through a number of programmes, including the Poverty Reduction Programme (PRP).Ms. Amadei also informed that as a main supporter in the rural sector, the EU hopes that by improving the conditions and prospects for rural farmers, there will be a run-on effect on improving the conditions which allow child labour to fester.She noted that the data on child labour in Jamaica is over a decade old, and called on the Ministry of Labour to embark on research, which will provide new statistics in this area. This, she said, will assist in strengthening the government and other stakeholder efforts in fighting the problem.The ILO estimates that children make up nearly 30 per cent of the world’s estimated 50 to 100 million domestic workers.June 12 was designed World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 by the ILO, with the objective of focusing attention on the extent of child labour globally and the efforts being made to eliminate the problem.Contact: Athaliah Reynolds-Baker
MONTREAL — Groups opposed to Quebec’s secularism law are seeking to appeal a court decision that found it wasn’t necessary to suspend certain provisions of the law.Last Thursday, the Quebec Superior Court ruled that Bill 21 would continue to apply in full until a challenge of the law could be heard on it merits.The provincial law, which came into effect in June, bans some public sector workers, including teachers and police officers, from wearing religious symbols on the job.On the steps of the Quebec Court of Appeal in Montreal today, two organizations opposed to the law announced they had filed a motion seeking leave to appeal on Monday.Justice Michel Yergeau ruled last week that the applicants had failed to demonstrate harm warranting a stay, but National Council of Canadian Muslims’ executive director Mustafa Faarooq argues that people are being affected by the law now and it must be stopped.Bill 21 invokes the notwithstanding clause of the Canadian Constitution, which prevents citizens from challenging the law for violating fundamental rights and liberties protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.The lawyers who challenged the legislation went beyond the charter arguments, arguing the law is unconstitutional because it encroaches on federal jurisdiction, it is impermissibly vague and it violates citizens’ rights to participate in their democratic institutions.On Tuesday, other organizations including the World Sikh Council and B’nai Brith Canada said they are considering seeking intervener status to join the National Council of Canadian Muslims and Canadian Civil Liberties Association in the case.The Canadian Press