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OUSU, Magdalen and Somerville JCRs to debate withdrawing Oxford Radical Forum funding

first_img“One case was that of Ahmed Yassin of Hamas, an elderly man in a wheelchair living in a refugee camp in Gaza. I was part of a protest against the incredible violence of that period, many were making this argument, including the UN, the EU, as well as a large numbers of MPs in this country.”However Jewish News—Britain’s largest Jewish newspaper—and JTA—a global Jewish news agency—have claimed that in 2004 Aouragh indeed did organise a memorial service in Amsterdam for Ahmed Yassin, the Hamas founder and ‘spiritual leader’ killed by Israel that year.The OUJS statement continues: “We believe that our community should not be inviting speakers who espouse anti-Semitism and hate speech. They should not be afforded a platform to spread their opinion. We understand that the ORF are “not committed to a unified political line”, however anti-Semitism in any form is not a political issue and should be condemned.“In the OUSU council of February 1st, £150 of OUSU’s discretionary fund was assigned to the ORF and, in particular, to these speakers’ expenses. ORF have also received funding from a number of JCRs. We believe that our students’ union and JCRs should not be supporting this event and therefore demand that their funding for the Oxford Radical Forum 2017 be withdrawn.” Following Oxford University Jewish Society’s (OUJS) condemnation of the Oxford Radical Forum (ORF) for inviting “speakers who espouse anti-Semitism and hate speech”, Oxford University Student Union (OUSU), and Magdalen and Somerville JCRs are set to debate withdrawing funding from the event. Speakers at the Oxford Radical Forum (ORF), including controversial NUS President Malia Bouattia, have been variously condemned for alleged anti-Semitic views, alleged sympathy with Hamas, and for mocking a disfigured British veteran, among other provocative positions.Magdalen and Somerville JCRs had voted before the announcement of the lineup to give £200 and £150 respectively to fund speakers travel to the event and to publicise the Forum to common room members. OUSU Council voted to give £150 from their discretionary fund. This morning debate erupted on the Magdalen JCR Facebook page in response to OUJS’s statement. Jemma Silvert wrote: “ORF are not providing a forum for open and honest debate… In platforming three openly anti-Semitic speakers they are ensuring a systematically one-sided discussion, and not the open forum they had promised when requesting our funding.“Whilst it is the prerogative of the left to criticise the actions of the Israeli government (in my personal opinion, rightly), this can be done… without any traces of anti-Semitism. If ORF wish to provide such a viewpoint in their debates they should be doing so without platforming speakers who have an unapologetic history of anti-Semitic and racist remarks.”Another student commented: “However pro-free speech you are, and I am very, I don’t see any defense for *paying* to help these people.” Magdalen is now set to hold an emergency JCR meeting this Sunday in order that a motion can be proposed in an attempt to withdraw the money they donated, which has already been given to ORF.The Magdalen JCR executive team said in an email to JCR members: “This JCR in no way condones anti-Semitism or hate speech in any form and the committee are thus deeply perturbed by ORF’s announcement. We are dealing with this to the best of our ability.”Somerville College JCR will also hold a meeting this Sunday, in which “the JCR’s donation to the ORF will be brought under review”, according to JCR President Alex Crichton-Miller.Crichton-Miller also stated in an email to JCR members: “The passing of that JCR motion in no way sought to condone the alleged views of these speakers. We utterly condemn hate speech and attacks on identity in any form. “The invited speakers was not a topic for debate in the meeting, and indeed the implicated parties had not (I am told) been confirmed as speakers at the time. The ORF is a left-leaning weekend forum that seeks to provide robust debate on issues that it feels are relevant.”OUSU said in a statement: “OUSU weren’t aware of any such allegations against the motion but take them very seriously. We have previously condemned anti-Semitism and expressed our commitment to tackling it, which we reaffirm now. We are similarly opposed to any form of oppression and prejudice against marginalised groups.“The OUSU Executive Committee has considered the matter, and believes that Cherwell’s investigation constitutes new information, and which may have affected the outcome of the motion had it come to light in the original discussion.”OUSU now intend to hold a debate at council due to be held on the first of March, to which they invite “all interested parties (including the original proposers of the motion, and OUJS) to attend and debate the issues.” The statement put out this morning by OUJC condemns three figures scheduled to speak in particular: “The Oxford University Jewish Society (OUJS) stands in opposition to the decision of the Oxford Radical Forum (ORF) 2017 to host Miriyam Aouragh, Malia Bouattia and George Ciccariello-Maher.”George Ciccariello-Maher, is a self-described ‘radical political theorist’ and Associate Professor at Drexel University.OUJS state that: “Last year, Ciccariello-Maher suggested in a tweet that Israel harvests organs, and explicitly refers to the blood libel trope. This is the idea that Jews steal the blood and organs of non-Jews for religious rituals. It is not only false, but grossly offensive. It is steeped in a long history of blood libel claims and should put someone beyond the pale of student debate.Ciccariello-Maher rejected the allegations, telling Cherwell: “The desperation of OUJS’s campaign against the ORF is truly absurd. In particular, I am accused of fostering a ‘blood libel’ narrative, when the totality of my comments on the matter have been limited to: one, defending my courageous colleague Jasbir Puar from a similar smear campaign, two, posting a 2009 article published in The Guardian on the subject, and three, responding to Israeli military comments regarding admitted past practices. “The ludicrous nature of OSJS’s claims is most apparent when they suggest that I “explicitly refer to the blood libel trope,” without mentioning that I only “refer” to the trope in order to reject its use in smear campaigns like this one. “The saddest part of such witch hunts is that we live in a moment of resurgent white supremacy – anti-Semitism very much included. We should be spending our energy fighting real racists and anti-Semites, not invented fantasies.”Malia Bouattia was criticised last year following her description of Birmingham University as a  “Zionist outpost”. Following her election as NUS President, OUJS referred to her comments as “unambiguously and unashamedly anti-Semitic” and campaigned for Oxford to disaffiliate from the NUS.center_img An NUS spokesperson released the following statement in relation to allegations made against President Bouattia: “Malia has addressed the accusations of antisemitism numerous times since her election last year, including in the Sunday Times in April, the Huffington Post in October, and in writing to the 560 NUS-affiliated further and higher education students’ unions in December.“The resuscitation of this story in the media is part of a sustained attack on a high-profile Muslim woman in a public position. Her family has been harassed and she is the subject of regular and serious threats. These attacks not only put her personal safety at risk but are part of a dangerous trend that deter under-represented groups from taking part in public life.”OUJS said of Miriyam Aouragh: “In 2004 she organised a commemoration service for Ahmed Yassin, the founder of Hamas, a terrorist organisation whose charter issued in 1988 is overtly anti-Semitic, stating the need to kill Jews and referring to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”In a statement made to Cherwell Miriyam denied the allegations: “Like many I was very angry about Israel’s murderous targeted killings campaign between 2000-2004, which saw hundreds of political activists and leaders assassinated when the popular uprising in 2000 broke out.“These war crimes were condemned across the political spectrum, especially the ‘collateral damage’ caused by extrajudicial killings using F16s, such as collapsing buildings with families in them and the killing of bystanders when cars were blown up. In light of Cherwell‘s investigation, OUSU has as made clear its intention to re-examine ORF funding: “The OUSU Executive Committee has considered the matter, and believes that the Cherwell’s investigation constitutes new information, and which may have affected the outcome of the motion had it come to light in the original discussion.“As a result, and given that ORF doesn’t take place until 3rd-5th March, we have decided to refer this motion back to OUSU Council in 7th week Hilary Term (1st March). We encourage all interested parties (including the original proposers of the motion, and OUJS) to attend and debate the issues.”The Oxford Radical Forum has been contacted for comment.last_img read more

Wildcats beat up on Kootenay opposition en route to Classic crown

first_imgThe loss of Immaculata had Moreira scrambling to reschedule the tournament, going with a seven-team round-robin draw.In the playoff round Mount Sentinel defeated Prince Charles of Creston while the Storm got past Fernie Falcons.”We are very strong serving team,” Moreira explained.”When we are serving tough we are hard to beat. Our serving this weekend was a somewhat inconsistent, although for the most part we were long which can be attributed to having limited room beyond the end lines.”Elkford, L.V. Rogers of Nelson and J. Lloyd Crowe Hawks of Trail rounded out the tourney standings.Mount Sentinel steps up the competitve level the next two weekends as the third-ranked single-A squad faces stiff challenge first at the UBC-O, 48 team event beginning Friday in Kelowna.The following weekend the Cats travel back to the Okanagan to play in the 52-team Best of the West tournament in Kelowna. The Mount Sentinel Wildcat got some bad news Friday when Immaculata of Kelowna called to say their bus broke down and would not be able to attend the Kootenay Volleyball Classic.The Cats were coming off a three-match loss to the second-ranked B.C. High School A Girl’s team and were looking for some payback on home court.Instead, Mount Sentinel took out their aggression on the rest of the teams at the Classic, going through undefeated en route to capturing the Kootenay High School Girl’s Volleyball tournament Saturday at the South Slocan-based gymnasium.”For the most part our team play continues to get better, yet we still need to improve in an number of offensive areas,” said Moreira after the Cats defeated Selkirk Storm of Kimberley 2-0 (25-14, 25-16) in the tourney final.last_img read more

Former Leaf Brett Soles backstops Coyotes past Nelson 4-1

first_imgOsoyoos increased the lead to 3-0 midway through the second period when Colton Rhodes beat Ostermann.Nelson responded when Levi Hulston scored his second goal of the season on the power play.But Nelson could not crack the Coyotes defence for any more goals as former Leaf Brett Soles, seeing his first action back in Nelson since being dealt to Osoyoos in a surprise deal last fall, closed the door.“Tonight was good,” Soles said, admitting it was a different feeling coming to the rink and dressing in the visitor’s room.“We battled hard and it was nice to get the two points back in my old place.”Tuck, into the empty net, completed the scoring for Osoyoos.The Coyotes out shot the Leafs 37-34 in the contest.Soles, posting a 9-1 record for Nelson before an off-ice issue ended his career in the Green and White, said he is surprised to see the once-proud Leaf franchise experience a down year that sees the Green and White trail Grand Forks, a team Nelson has dominated in the past, in the standings.“I loved my time here, but things change pretty quick,” he said. “It’s nice to be on a winning team that doesn’t have a lot of drama going on and stuff like that.”“It’s nice to be away from it all,” he adds. “We’re going to keep winning and focus on getting better.”Osoyoos, which lost 4-3 in Castlegar Friday, improves to 21-8-0-0-3 and a six-point lead over Summerland in the Okanagan Division.Nelson, dropping to 13-18-0-0-1, is back on the ice Tuesday when the club hosts Grand Forks Border Bruins at 7 p.m. at the NDCC Arena.Wednesday the Leafs travel to Spokane to conclude the unofficial first half of the season before the Christmas break.Chernenkoff said a pair of wins would go a long way to making this Christmas a little special.ICE CHIPS: Brett Soles sits third overall in KIJHL goalie stats with a 1.89 goals against average and 15 wins. In contrast, Nelson Leafs Patrick Ostermann is 21st with a 2.93 goals against average. . .  . Leafs Austin Anselmo was handed a game misconduct for his checking-from-behind penalty in the third period. . . . Beaver Valley Nitehawks moved into sole possession of first place in the Murdoch Division with a 7-2 pasting of Castlegar in the Sunflower City. The Hawks scored four times in a 10-minute span during the first period to jump to a 4-0 lead en route to the one-sided victory. Brett Roberts and Sam Swanson each scored twice for the Hawks. You wouldn’t know the Nelson Leafs had just lost its seventh straight game after speaking with rookie defenceman Kyle Chernenkoff.The Crescent Valley native refuses to buy into any negative chatter during the post-game interview after Nelson dropped a 4-1 decision to Osoyoos Coyotes in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Saturday night at the NDCC Arena.Instead, the 6’1”, 190-pound rearguard says the Leafs are just a break or two away from, first snapping this losing streak, and second, returning to the winning ways of old.“We just can’t buy a goal,” Chernenkoff said after the game.“We’re playing really well and everybody is rolling . . . we’re playing phenomenal hockey we’ve just got to get that key goal to break this streak and build some momentum.”Despite the slide that has seen the Leafs lose 14 of 16 games since October 31, Chernenkoff said he and his teammates are looking ahead and not using the review mirror to see what’s behind.“Every day is a new day and despite losing you’ve got to come in with the right attitude,” Chernenkoff explains.“We’re coming to the rink every day to play great hockey and that’s what we’re doing. Unfortunately, we just haven’t got that win yet.”Case in point was the start of the game.Nelson out shot the Coyotes 12-10 in the first period but it was the visitors from the Okanagan Conference scoring twice to grab a 2-0 lead.Braeden Tuck and Reid Wilson did the damage, beating Nelson netminder Patrick Ostermann.last_img read more

Aging Aboriginals pose new fiscal social challenge for government census

first_imgOTTAWA – The number of Aboriginal seniors is set to skyrocket in the next 20 years, Statistics Canada warned Wednesday as it released new census numbers that suggest the Indigenous population will soon put heavy strain on the federal government’s seniors benefits system.It’s the same concern that has policy-makers nervously eyeing Canada’s median age and the historically high number of people who are at or nearing retirement age.Wednesday’s data from the 2016 census show that the number of Aboriginal seniors has more than doubled to 121,665, compared to just 56,030 in 2006.The numbers are likely to continue to swell over the coming two decades: The agency estimates that the proportion of Aboriginals aged 65 and older will double over the next two decades from the 7.3 per cent recorded in 2016.Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, a key minister in charge of drafting a policy and strategies for dealing with Canada’s aging population, was told last fall that officials are wrestling with how to make sure benefit payments can keep up with demand.“The growth of the Aboriginal senior population will strain resources for social security, health and pension benefits, which are cost adjusted to eligible (government) social supports,” reads briefing material for an October 2016 meeting between Duclos, then-health minister Jane Philpott and 15 experts on emerging seniors’ issues.The Canadian Press obtained the documents under the Access to Information Act.Canada’s population still remains the youngest of G7 nations, but 2016 data shows it is aging more quickly than many other countries.Canada’s senior ranks grew by 20 per cent between 2011 and 2016, the fastest rate in 70 years. An earlier census release showed 5.9 million seniors and 5.8 million youth in 2016, marking the first time there were more Canadians over 65 than there were 14 and under.One key message from last year’s meeting: a one-size-fits-all policy or strategy won’t work for a seniors population that faces different needs, depending on age, geography, culture, language, ethnicity and sexual orientation — needs that occasionally overlap.Indigenous seniors generally face higher levels of poverty and health issues than the general population of seniors. They also grapple with a loss of identity, tied in many cases to a traumatic residential school experience that included physical, emotional and sexual abuse.Just like in the broader population, Indigenous seniors prefer to age in place and experience end of life at home, the follow-up report said, making safe housing even more important.Many Indigenous seniors live in “unsafe communities and in overcrowded housing units,” a problem the government needs to address, according to the official account of the meeting provided to Duclos.The census data outlined that in more detail, showing that about one-fifth of the Indigenous population live in housing in need of major repairs, a figure that is more than three times higher than in the non-Indigenous population.The census also showed that 21.5 per cent of Indigenous seniors live below the poverty line, compared to 14.6 per cent in the national population.— Follow @jpress on Twitterlast_img read more

Wilmer Valderrama To Judge write4good Iam4 Campaign

first_imgProse, an innovative social platform where readers and writers create and consume literature, has partnered with unite4:good, a global movement for kindness and social good, to launch the first #write4good campaign.Kicking off on July 8 and running through August 28, the campaign asks participants to craft written responses over 500 words in length to a challenge prompt on the Prose platform. The top entry will receive $3,000, which will be applied to the student’s account at an educational institution. The campaign will also award second and third place winners with $2,000 and $1,000, respectively.A panel of selected judges from Prose and unite4:good will identify winning entries based upon the quality of the content, authenticity, and creative edge. The panel of judges include Anthony Melikhov, founder of unite4:good; Wilmer Valderrama, CEO of WVE; Geneva Wasserman, president of U4G Entertainment; William D. Garner, New York Times bestselling author; Susan Wright Boucher, writer and creator of Plugged In, a blog dedicated to social media, recruitment, technology and career management; and Kelly Knox M.A, artist and teacher of visual and performing arts. Throughout the competition, both Prose and unite4:good will share entries on their platforms and social media pages.“This campaign is one of countless opportunities provided to writers by Prose,” said H.B. Augustine, co-founder of Prose. “By establishing a more dynamic presence in the writing, education, and social good communities, we hope to reiterate the power of the written word and the global impact that writing can create.”The winning entries will be announced September 15, in tandem with the launch of the new unite4:good platform, which will connect the digital world with real world action by uniting individuals, brands, nonprofit organizations, thought leaders, and influencers for the common purpose of motivating people towards Acts of Kindness and creating a positive social impact around the globe.“The unite4:good movement is based on the knowledge that positivity and kindness are the keys to true happiness,” said Melikhov. “By creating positive, uplifting, and inspirational works through this writing initiative, we are asking individuals not only to dig deep and share what they stand for, but to also inspire others with their actions and words.”How the competition works: • Participants sign up for Prose via the Prose app or website, and join the unite4:good movement on unite4good.com. • Participants respond to the #write4good #Iam4 challenge prompt on the Prose website. Qualifying entries will be over 500 words in length, with no word limit. • Entries will be accepted from July 8 to August 28, 2015. Only one entry will be accepted per participant. • The winners will be announced by Prose and unite4:good on September 15. • Three winners will receive $3,000, $2,000, and $1,000, respectively, which will be applied to their student accounts at an educational institution.To learn more about the #write4good challenge, please visit www.theprose.com/p/write4good.last_img read more

Andre Desmarais back at Power Corp after medical leave last year

first_imgMONTREAL – Power Corp. of Canada says Andre Desmarais has resumed his full executive duties at the company.Desmarais, deputy chairman, president and co-chief executive, had taken a temporary medical leave from his day-to-day activities at the conglomerate in April last year.Power Corp. (TSX:POW) says Desmarais continued to be involved in major issues affecting the company last year and resumed his full duties on Jan. 3.last_img

Hospital Foundation Chair confirms departure of Executive Director

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The Chair of the Fort St. John Hospital Foundation’s Board of Directors has confirmed that Executive Director Jennifer Moore is no longer with the Foundation.Foundation Board Chair Chris Maundrell confirmed today that Moore is no longer employed as the Foundation’s Executive Director. Maundrell did not give a reason for why Moore is no longer with the organization, saying that the Foundation’s Board will be issuing a press release “when the time is correct.” He added that the release would likely be issued in the next week or two.Moore was announced as the Foundation’s Executive Director less than a year ago. At the time, she also served as the Regional Economic Development Officer at the North Peace Economic Development Commission. The Commission announced last year that it would be ceasing operations on December 31, 2017. Moore’s last announcement with the organization came less than a week ago, when it was announced that the Hospital Foundation had brought in over $1 million in donations during the last fiscal year. The Foundation had set a goal of raising $650,000 during the 2017/18 fiscal year, an amount it exceeded by over $350,000.last_img read more

Death outside Pouce Pub deemed not suspicious

first_imgThe adult male was unresponsive and taken to the hospital, where he was later pronounced deceased.The RCMP wish to thank the public for their assistance in this investigation. DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The RCMP say the death of an adult male found in Pouce Coupe on December 8th is not suspicious.In a press release Thursday, the RCMP say the case has been referred to the B.C. Coroner Service for further investigation.  Although the cause of death will not be released by the RCMP, there is no evidence of foul play.On December 8, 2018, the RCMP were called to the parking lot of the Pouce Pub for a man laying down.last_img read more

Canadian Natural reports 28B Q2 profit up from 982M a year ago

first_imgCALGARY — Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. second-quarter profit climbed to beat analyst estimates as higher crude prices helped to offset lower production volumes.The Calgary-based oil company says net earnings in its second quarter grew to $2.8 billion, or $2.36 per diluted share, up sharply from $982 million or 80 cents during the same quarter last year.On an adjusted basis, its quarterly earnings for the three-month period ended June 30 amounted to $1.04 billion or 87 cents per diluted share, down from $1.28 billion or $1.04 a year earlier. The Canadian Press Analysts on average had expected a profit of 85 cents per diluted share and net income of $1.049 billion, according to the financial markets data firm Refinitiv.Daily production averaged 1,025,800 barrels of oil equivalent, down from 1,050,376 in the second quarter of 2018.The higher oil price was partially offset by lower oil production volumes in the oilsands mining and upgrading segment.The Alberta government mandated oil production curtailments that started in January, lowering production volumes and strengthening heavy oil prices.center_img Companies in this story: (TSX:CNQ)last_img read more